Archive | August 21st, 2014

How the War on Christians in Iraq and Syria is Paving the Way for a Clash of Civilizations

NOVANEWS

Global Research

The first part of this article discussed the targeting of Christian Syrians and Iraqis. It detailed how their ancient communities, churches, and clerics have all come under fire and persecution by the US-supported insurgents that are ravaging both Syria and Iraq. The second part will explain the rationale behind this and how it is tied to the strategic goals of the US and Israel to redraw the map of the Middle East and North Africa. [1]

There is an attempt to cordon off the Arabs and create distinctive and sharply delineating lines. These lines of delineation are replacing the seamless lines of transition that exist in places like the Middle East, North Africa, and the Balkans. Under this scheme, there can no longer be a melding transition between societies and countries. What is being staged is the creation of an exclusively Muslim region in Syria and the Middle East— excluding the citadel of Israel — that will be in turmoil because of fighting within the Sunni majority and between the Sunni Muslims and the Alawites, Twelver (Jaffari) Shiites, Zaidi Shiites, and Ibadis.

Bkerké’s Maronite Patriarchate Senses the Danger to the Levant’s Christians

Amidst the Arab Spring and the start of the problems in Syria, the Maronite Greek Catholic Syriac Church of Antioch, which is simply called the Maronite Church (after Saint Youhana Maroun, its patron) and the largest of the autonomous Eastern Catholic Churches, appointed a new patriarch on March 15, 2011. The new Maronite patriarch, Mar Beshara Peter (Boutros) Al-Rahi, would shift the underlying politics of the Maronite Patriarchate in Bkerké (and Dimane in the summer) towards a new direction from that of his predecessor Cardinal Mar Nasrallah Boutros Sfeir, who heavily favoured the bigoted warlord Samir Geagea’s Lebanese Forces Party and the Hariri-led March 14 Alliance.

Cardinal Nasrallah was at odds with Damascus and he even refused to visit the Maronite communities inside Syria on church missions himself when he headed the Maronite See, because he said that his visit would signal his approval towards the Syrian regime’s actions inside Lebanon. Cardinal Nasrallah’s supporters would point out, in his support, that he also refused to legitimize Israel by personally visiting it whereas Patriarch Al-Rahi decided to join Pope Francis I and his delegation in 2014 for a meeting with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, the figurehead primate of all the Eastern Orthodox Churchs, in Jerusalem to mark the fiftieth anniversary of Pope Paul VI’s meeting with Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras I in1964.

Inside Lebanon, Sfeir either had a tense relationship or was at odds with Hezbollah, Michel Aoun’s Free Patriotic Movement, Suleiman Frangieh’s Marada Movement, and the rest of the March 8 Alliance too. Mar Nasrallah’s unyielding positions created divisions among the Maronite Christians and he began to be increasingly opposed by other Maronite bishops, which believed he was endangering the Maronite and Christian positions in Lebanon through his policies. It was even alleged that the Holy See or Vatican intervened and nudged Boutros Sfeir to resign vis-à-vis Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, the Argentine prefect overseeing the congregation of Eastern Catholic Churches for the papacy, and when Cardinal Nasrallah himself went to Rome to visit Pope Benedict XVI and to unveil a statue of Youhana Maroun in Vatican City. These accounts, however, were dismissed by his Maronite supporters as the malicious rumours of his opponents.

Upon his election into the Maronite Patriarchate by the Synod of Maronite Bishops, Cardinal Beshara reversed his predecessor’s personal policies by taking a stand in support of Lebanon’s Hezbollah and its ally Syria. Hezbollah, which had frozen meetings with the Maronite Patriarchate under Boutros Sfier’s leadership, sent a delegation led by senior Hezbollah parliamentarian Mohammed Raad to Bkerké to open a new chapter by renewing dialogue. [2] He also expressed his renewed fears about a purging of Christians in the Levant and the Middle East. In the past he and other Maronite leaders had fears that the Saudi-supported Hariri family could eventually devastate the Christians in Lebanon through its support of fanatical organizations and militias that openly support Al-Qaeda and have anti-Christian tendencies. In 2011, Beshara was warning against the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria. [3] Moreover, Patriarch Al-Rahi, like many other Christian spiritual leaders in Lebanon and Syria, recognized the threat that the insurgence afflicting Syria posed towards all Levantine Christians. Like Hezbollah and the Free Patriotic Movement, Patriarch Al-Rahi also realized that the insurgents would eventually attack Lebanon, if they successfully took over Syria.

Al-Rahi’s support for Hezbollah and Syria became clear when he met French President Nicolas Sarkozy at the Élysée Palace on September 5, 2011. Sarkozy and he had disagreements about regime change in Syria. Patriarch Al-Rahi argued that the Syrians should be left alone and that Syrian polity should be allowed to reform without foreign interference from France and its allies. [4] Nicolas Sarkozy was also told by Patriarch Al-Rahi that the real threat to Lebanon was Israel and that Tel Aviv needed to be neutralized if France was sincere and legitimately wanted Hezbollah’s paramilitary forces to disarm. [5] It was maintained in Lebanon, in the course of the exchange between the two men, that Sarkozy told Beshara that the Christians of Lebanon and Syria could immigrate to the European Union as consolation. This was later denied in a statement released on behalf of the Élysée Palace by the French Embassy in Beirut on September 23, 2011. [6]

Al-Rahi was instantly criticized by the Hariri-led March 14 camp whereas he was thanked by Syria’s Christian and Muslim spiritual leaders, which even visited him as part of an interfaith delegation upon his return to Lebanon. [7] Although they were supposed to visit him after he was elected as the spiritual leader of the Maronites, the Syrian interfaith delegation’s visit had been postponed due to the crisis in Syria. [8] Nonetheless, the Syrian interfaith delegation, accompanied by Syria’s ambassador to Lebanon, took the opportunity to signal its gratefulness by calling on the Maronite Patriarchate in Bkerké. [9] Hezbollah, the Free Patriotic Movement, the Amal Movement, and March 8 applauded Beshara upon his arrival to Beirut from Paris and during his visit to South Lebanon. Prime Minister Najib Al-Mikati and President Michel Suleiman also expressed support for Al-Rahi’s position in France. [10]

A Christian-Muslim Divorce and the Destruction of the «Levantine Cleft»

The New York Times began to assert in 2012 that «Syria’s pluralistic society, which once rose above sectarian identity in a region often characterized by a homicidal assertion of religious belief, is now faced with civil disintegration and ethnic cleansing». [11] The Maronite Patriarchate and the Christian communities of the Levant realized that was at stake in Syria was much more than about the Syrian government. The things that were really stake were the continuation of the ancient Christian presence and the coexistence of Christians with Muslims, Druze, and Jews which the Israeli and US governments were trying to demolish with the aim of creating sectarian states that would be line with the so-called «clash of civilizations».

Syria is viewed by advocates of the clash of civilizations paradigm as what is called a «cleft nation». Cleft nations like Lebanon, Syria, and Bosnia (as well as the former Yugoslavia and Soviet Union) are merging points between supposedly different civilizations. These nations and their societies help blend the different civilizations together and, hence, these cleft nations can obstruct a clash of civilizations by bridging different civilizational entities. The purging of Christian Syrians and Christian Iraqis, like Israeli and Zionist attempts to make Jewish Iranians leave their Iranian homeland, is aimed at sociologically and politically reconfigure the Middle East as a crossroad of different civilizations and as a merging point for the monotheistic Abrahamic faiths and their followers and confessions. [12] It also denies the fact that Western Christians, Orthodox Christians, Muslims, and Jews really belong to one civilization. Moreover, this project’s nefarious aims include unknotting or de-blending Syria and the Middle East as pluralistic societies, social mosaics, and historic merging points between Christians and Muslims.

This Christian-Muslim divorce and project to redraw the map is why the corrupt Sarkozy’s offer to relocate the Levantine Christian to the European Union was no gracious offer whatsoever. It was dually a slap in the face of all Christendom and all Arabdom by the same powers that have deliberately created the conditions to assault the ancient Christian communities of Syria. Resettling the Christian communities outside of the region and/or demarcating them into sectarian enclaves is meant to delineate the Arab nations along the lines of exclusively Muslim nations, This falls into accordance with both the Yinon Plan and the geopolitical objectives of Washington to control Eurasia by constructing a clash of supposedly different civilizations.

To read the first part, please click here.

Notes:

[1] Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, «Plans for Redrawing the Middle East: The Project for a ‘New Middle East,’» Global Research, November 18, 2006.
[2] «Hizbullah Delegation Visits Bkirki and al-Rahi: We Haven’t Tackled Issue of Arms,» Naharnet, March 18, 2011.
[3] Hussein Dakroub, «Rai defends stance on Syria, weapons,» Daily Star, September 12, 2011; Jean Aziz, «Christians of the Levant Say France Is Plotting to Displace Them,» Al-Monitor, January 7, 2013.
[4] Ibid.
[5] Ibid.
[6] «France denies Sarkozy said no home for Christians in region,» Daily Star, September 23, 2011.
[7] Bkirki: Syrian Delegation’s Visit Aimed at Bridging Gap between Sects,» Naharanet, September 29, 2011; «Patriarch al-Rahi, Damascus Mufti Discuss Syrian-Lebanese Relations and Bolstering Islamic-Christian Fraternity,» Syrian Arab News Agency, September 29, 2011.
[8] Ibid.
[9] Ibid.
[10] Hussein Dakroub, «Raid defends Syria,» op. cit.
[11] Kapil Komireddi, «Syria’s Crumbling Pluralism,» New York Times, August 3,2012.
[12] Robert Tait, «Iran’s Jews reject cash offer to move to Israel,» Guardian, July 12, 2007; Yossi Melman, «Iranian Jews blast offer of cash for immigrating to Israel,» Haaretz, July 14, 2007.
Copyright © 2014 Global Research

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What really happened in Ferguson last night

NOVANEWS

ANSWER activists arrested as police fire rubber bullets and tear gas

Charge Darren Wilson with murder
The community in Ferguson mobilizing last night
against police terror
Photo: Jamier Sale

Last night police agencies carried out a massive attack against peaceful protestors in Ferguson, Mo.

Click here to send an email demanding the indictment and prosecution of police officer Darren Wilson, who executed Michael Brown.

Volley after volley of rubber bullets and tear gas canisters were fired by police forces, who used the latest technologies and armored vehicles in an effort to crush those who were protesting the cold-blooded murder of Michael Brown, an unarmed Black teenager who was shot six times, including twice in the head.

ANSWER activists Ana Santoya and Arthur Sangster were arrested with others who were corralled by the police during last night’s assault. The arrests happened during a peaceful march. Gloria La Riva, a longtime leader of ANSWER, was shot with a rubber bullet. She had been videotaping the events of the past days.

Gloria, Ana and Arthur were joined in Ferguson by John Beacham, the Midwest organizer of ANSWER and Jamier Sale.

ANSWER banner 8-17-14 Ferguson march
This video still was taken by Gloria La Riva last
night at the march that was attacked by 
police

Send an email right now demanding the indictment and prosecution of police officer Darren Wilson, who executed Michael Brown. A police badge is not a license to kill African-American young people.

Join this movement for justice.

In addition to showing support in Ferguson for the besieged African-American community in this small town near St. Louis, people having organized protests in more than 100 cities demanding the indictment and jailing of the killer cop who took Michael Brown’s life.

ANSWER stands for Act Now to Stop War & End Racism.

Since ANSWER was formed on September 14, 2001, we have made the connection between imperial wars and racism. In Ferguson we are witnessing the use by increasingly militarized domestic police forces of war technologies that were employed against the occupied people of Iraq.

The tanks, armored vehicles, night goggles and anti-human crowd control technologies that were employed in Iraq have literally migrated to Ferguson, Mo., and other U.S. cities as the Pentagon keeps sending its battlefield equipment to U.S. police forces for use against “occupied” Black and Latino communities at home.

Read two eyewitness accounts from Gloria La Riva published yesterday (August 17) and today (August 18).

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What does Gaza look like when the soldiers and media leave?

NOVANEWS

Israeli and Hamas delegations have yet to bring an end to the current round of violence after meeting throughout the week for Egyptian-brokered talks in Cairo.Life in Gaza is far from being back to normal. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled their homes during the fighting, and many have nowhere to return to. Photographer Basel Yazouri walked among the ruins in the Strip, where he witnessed life after both the Israeli soldiers and the international media left.

The cost of the war has drastically affected Israel’s south, where some of the poorest segments of the population live. Daniel Beller, a Be’er Sheva blogger, wants his government to remember his city even when there are no rockets falling.

Two thousand Palestinians were killed since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge. The high number and the identity of those killed were debated in the media this week. Samer Badawi argues that with so many lost and even more mourning, the real question surrounding the death count isn’t how it’s tallied but why it is so staggeringly high. Mairav Zonszein demands the media view the deaths from the perspective of Israel’s perpetual control of Palestinians.

On Saturday evening, 10,000 anti-war demonstrators flocked to Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square for the biggest protest since the beginning of the operation, where famed author David Grossman called on Israelis to live together with Gazans “as neighbors.”

What is the Israeli government’s endgame? Larry Derfner argues that simply by negotiating with Hamas, Netanyahu has handed his arch-rival an easy victory that could have been avoided. Noam Sheizaf, on the other hand, believes that Hamas should be part of the solution and the political process, and therefore negotiating with the group is imperative.

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Canadian students vote to join boycott of I$raHell

NOVANEWS
Posted by: Sammi Ibrahem, Sr

Canada may be Israel’s closest lickspittle state – more than even the United States – but it would seem that Canada’s youth don’t share their government’s slavish attitude towards the world’s only surviving apartheid state.

According to the Ottawa Citizen, the Ontario branch of the Canadian Federation of Students, representing more than 300,000 university students in the province, has unanimously passed a resolution to boycott Israel.

The website quoted a union executive member, Anna Goldfinch, as saying that the resolution to join the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (or BDS) Movement in support of Palestine received no opposition at its annual general meeting last weekend.

The resolution, which was submitted by the Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU),“endorses a number of solidarity tactics that have been called for by Palestinian civil society”, she added.

RSU’s president, Rajean Hoilett, was quoted by the Ottawa Citizen as saying that he was calling for the university and colleges in Ontario not to “remain complicit” through investments and ties with academic institutions that support or profit from “Israeli war crimes”.

Everywhere, from Ottawa to Santiago and from Oakland, California, to London, the people are shouting loud and clear, often in defiance of their corrupt governments: no to Israeli crimes and yes to justice for the Palestinian people.

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GAZA HOLOCAUST IN THE MEDIA

NOVANEWS

Dr. Rafey Habib “A Prayer for Gaza”
http://othersite.org/a-prayer-for-gaza/

Rania Masri Speech “Mr. Obama – What is Barbaric?” – Must Watch
http://othersite.org/rania-masri-speech-mr-obama-what-is-barbaric/

Mohammed Hassona “Humanitarian Situation in Gaza, 8/7 – 10/8/14
http://othersite.org/mohammed-hassona-humanitarian-situation-in-gaza-8-july-10-august-2014/

Al Akhbar “The Victims of Gaza – A List of Palestinians Killed in Israels Ongoing Assault”
http://othersite.org/al-akhbar-the-victims-of-gaza-a-list-of-palestinians-killed-in-israels-ongoing-assault/

If Americans Knew “The Conflict in Numbers”
http://othersite.org/if-americans-knew-the-conflict-in-numbers/

Doc Jazz “Gaza Buffer Zone”
http://othersite.org/doc-jazz-gaza-buffer-zone/

Facebook Chat With Hosam from Gaza
http://othersite.org/facebook-chat-with-hosam-from-gaza/

Mounir Saada “Clutches of Death in Gaza”
http://othersite.org/mounir-saada-clutches-of-death-in-gaza/

Call for Murder of ISM activists
http://othersite.org/call-for-murder-of-ism-activists/

James Petras “Israeli Genocide and Its Willing Accomplices”
http://othersite.org/james-petras-israeli-genocide-and-its-willing-accomplices/

Jeremy Salt “The ‘New and Brutal Israel'”
http://othersite.org/jeremy-saltthe-new-and-brutal-israel/

Kopel/Gallant/Eisen “Is Resisting Genocide a Human Right?”
http://othersite.org/david-b-kopel-paul-gallant-joane-d-eisen-is-resisting-genocide-a-human-right/

Avi Shlaim “Lessons of the Conflict in Gaza”
http://othersite.org/avi-shlaim-lessons-of-the-conflict-in-gaza-al-jazeera/

Justin Schwegel “The Greenhouse Propaganda – How Gazan History Is Being Rewritten to Dehumanize Palestinians”
http://othersite.org/justin-schwegel-the-greenhouse-propaganda-how-gazan-history-is-being-rewritten-to-dehumanize-palestinians/

Stephen Lendman “Israel Murders Gazan Health Workers”
http://othersite.org/stephen-lendman-israel-murders-gazan-health-workers/

Condemnation of Israels Assault on Gaza
http://othersite.org/over-300-survivors-and-descendants-of-survivors-of-victims-of-the-nazi-genocide-condemn-israels-assault-on-gaza/

OCHA Emergency Situation Report, 11/8/14
http://othersite.org/ocha-gaza-emergency-situation-report-august-11-2014/

Dr. Mads Gilbert “Solidarity With Gaza” – Video Speach
http://othersite.org/dr-mads-gilbert-solidarity-with-gaza/

Barnaby Raine “Speech on London Demo”
http://othersite.org/barnaby-raine-speech-on-london-demo/

Carlos Latuff
http://othersite.org/carlos-latuff-barack-obama-on-ukraine-and-gaza/

Many more other contributions on  Culture – http://othersite.org/category/culture/

 

 

 

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Updated Gaza crisis Atlas

NOVANEWS

Dear all,

OCHA has updated the Gaza Crisis Atlas and the new version is available here 

The updated version includes a breakdown of type of damage to buildings, as determined by UNOSAT, against Gaza maps at the governorate and neighbourhood level. UNOSAT has categorized the damage according to “destroyed structure,” “severely damaged structure”, and “moderately damaged structure”.

The Gaza Crisis Atlas is a planning tool intended to assist aid and development agencies in assessing and responding to humanitarian and reconstruction needs emanating from the conflict in the Gaza Strip. It is a vital tool for humanitarian and development organizations, but it is also a valuable resource for anyone operating in Gaza as well as those wanting to better understand the impact of the recent escalation of hostilities.

The Atlas includes over 100 printable A3-size maps featuring satellite images of all areas of the Gaza Strip. The main features/land marks were plotted on a high resolution satellite image captured on 6 July 2014. The Atlas was designed at the neighbourhood level to provide higher level of detail to support operational organizations to conduct needs assessments and programming. The individual subset maps illustrate physical damages provided by UNOSAT based on analysis of satellite images from 1 August 2014. Location of shelters, health and education facilities in addition to other baseline information is all mapped.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, GazaComments Off on Updated Gaza crisis Atlas

Nazi Jewish settlers unleash dog pack on Palestinian kids

NOVANEWS
Nazi Jewish settlers have unleashed a large pack of dogs on Palestinian children, brutally injuring one near Salfit in the center of the occupied West Bank.

The dogs harshly savaged the five-year-old boy, who is in dire need of several surgeries, including a facial reconstructive one.

The boy, identified as Karmel Moayyad Shakir, was playing with his peers in the village of Azawiyeh when the illegal settlers from the nearby Kannat settlement arrived at the spot along with a large pack of dogs.

Before the boy’s family could intervene, the dogs attacked the five-year-old who was lucky enough not to die, yet sustained severe injuries.

“We were sitting in the house. My son went out to play with his friends when suddenly I heard the kids screaming and the sound of dogs. I ran out and saw more than 20 dogs attacking my son with the settlers in the background. There was so much blood we rushed him directly to hospital,” said Thikra Ashkira, the kid’s mother.

Karmel’s family said the villagers there were vulnerable to the Nazi Jewish settlers  repeated attacks, with Israeli military forces protecting the attackers.

“The area we live in is the closest to the Nazi Jewish settlement. We suffer many such attacks by the settlers and their dogs. We usually try to keep the kids inside, but we can’t do it every time because they have the right to play,” said Moayyad Shakir, Karmel’s father.

Among many other illegal Nazi settlements, Kannat is notorious for its extremist Jewish Nazi residents.

The presence and continued expansion of illegal Nazi settlements in occupied Palestine has created a major obstacle for the efforts to establish peace in the Middle East.

More than half a million Jewish Nazi setlers  live in over 120 illegal settlements built since Nazi illegal occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds in 1967.

The UN and most countries regard the Nazi Jewish  settlements as illegal because the territories were captured by Nazi regime in a war in 1967 and are hence subject to the Geneva Conventions, which forbid construction on occupied lands.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, GazaComments Off on Nazi Jewish settlers unleash dog pack on Palestinian kids

Public talk on From Iraq to Gaza: The Politics of Fear

NOVANEWS

By:  Antony Loewenstein

Last Friday I gave the following speech at Sydney’s Lebanese Muslim Association forum on terrorism, Gaza, ISIS and Western governments spreading fear and anger towards the Islamic faith. Labor MP Tony Burke and Liberal MP Craig Laundy both pledged to bring harmony to the community and yet both their parties have flamed bigotry. Government surveillance is clearly mostly targeted towards Muslims and honest politicians would acknowledge it.

Here’s my speech:

–       Thanks to Andrew Bolt and the Murdoch press for mentioning tonight’s event this week; it’s clearly a threat to public order to be critical of Israel and the “war on terror”.

–       It’s a shame there are no women on this panel discussing the effects of war, terrorism and the Middle East from the group that often suffers the most from counter-terrorism policies as well as Zionist and Muslim extremism.

–       We must resist fear without question.

–       We must resist the narrative being sold to us about Palestine and Israel, so-called Western “humanitarian intervention” and government spin over the supposed terrorist threat.

–       We must resist the pressure placed on vulnerable communities to accept collective guilt for the actions of a few. I believe the Muslim leadership needs to more vigorously refuse to co-operate so closely with governments and intelligence bodies that aim to bring mass surveillance on the Muslim and wider communities.

–       A recent report in the US, through documents leaked by NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden, found that the NSA and FBI have been secretly monitoring for years thousands of Muslims with no connection to terrorism at all, along with a handful of potential extremists. Some of the most prominent Muslim spokespeople in the US are now suing the US government for being caught in an unaccountable system with no chance to defend themselves.

–       Another recent report, from another NSA whistle-blower, revealed that the Obama administration has placed over 680,000 people on its secretive Terrorist Screening Database with more than 40% of these individuals having no connection to terrorism.

–       With our closeness to the US, there’s every reason to believe the Muslim community in Australia is equally under suspicion. The Muslim response should not be acquiescence with the state, the AFP or ASIO but demands to know the evidence explaining why collective guilt has become the defacto policy from Canberra. It is unacceptable and does not make us safer.

–       Let’s speak out against the barbarity of ISIS and Al-Qaeda and understand why this hatred is brewing in our midst. It’s because of failings in education, language, parenthood, attention, imams, government actions, Western foreign policy hypocrisy and atrocities in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Libya and beyond. We have a responsibility to challenge fundamentalism and understand its roots to reduce it.

–       I speak to you as an atheist, Jewish, Australian, proud of my heritage but ashamed of Israeli actions. A few years ago my friend Peter Slezak and I founded Independent Australian Jewish Voices to highlight the growth in Jewish dissent over the Middle East. Not all Jews are Zionists and increasingly across the world young Jews are speaking out against the Israeli occupation of Palestine and wars in Gaza. Not in our name.

–       Jews who speak out against Israel are often demonised, harassed and threatened. But recent actions in Gaza, the brutality, death and destruction, have unleashed a growth in Jewish dissent around the world.

–       Anti-Semitism must never be tolerated. It must be challenged and crushed. This conflict isn’t about Jews versus Arabs. It’s about Zionism colonising Arab lands. Remember that many Jews are proudly Jewish and proudly anti-Zionist.

–      500 South African Jews, from a traditionally strongly Zionist community, recently signed a public letter that read in part: “Just as we resist anti-Semitism, we refuse to dehumanise Palestinians in order to make their deaths lighter on our collective conscience. We sign this statement in order to affirm their humanity and our own. We distance ourselves from South African Jewish organizations whose blind support for Israel’s disproportionate actions moves us further from a just resolution to the conflict.”

–       This is the kind of humane Judaism of which I can be proud.

–       One of the finest Israeli, Jewish journalists, Gideon Levy, explained this week what is at stake and why we must stay vigilant and outspoken: “A wave of animosity is washing over world public opinion. In contrast to the complacent, blind, smug Israeli public opinion, people abroad saw the pictures in Gaza and were aghast. No conscientious person could have remained unaffected. The shock was translated into hatred toward the state that did all that, and in extreme cases the hatred also awakened anti-Semitism from its lair. Yes, there is anti-Semitism in the world, even in the 21st century, and Israel has fuelled it. Israel provided it with abundant excuses for hatred. But not every anti-Israeli sentiment is anti-Semitism. The opposite is true – most of the criticism of Israel is still substantive and moral. Anti-Semitism, racist as any national hatred, popped up on the sidelines of this criticism – and Israel is indirectly responsible for its appearance.”

–       The media frames this issue as between two equal sides fighting over land and autonomy. The press says it’s “complicated”, that only certain perspectives should be heard, namely Zionist lobbyists and the occasional Palestinian or Arab. This is a lie. For too long, spokespeople from the Jewish establishment claim that their community speaks in one voice over Israel. They say they’re against terrorism and want peace. But what about state terrorism, unleashed by Israel and Australia and the US in Iraq and Afghanistan? Their dangerous tendency to conflate anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism leads to public skepticism over their cause.

–       In reality, this conflict is about occupation of Palestinian land, since 1948, and the legitimate rights of both Jews and Arabs to live in peace in Palestine. I have seen the reality of this situation with my own eyes in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza and found warmth, resistance, hardship, destruction of neighbourhoods and a desire for peace. But there cannot be a true and sustainable peace without justice, the Palestinian Right of Return and an end to the decades-long occupation.

–       Shamefully, successive Australian governments have indulged Israeli actions for too long. As a result, Canberra is now a fringe player on the world stage, unable to even acknowledge that East Jerusalem is “occupied”. The rise of Israeli fascism, endorsed by the Israeli government, is largely ignored in the West.

–       But there is hope. The last ten years have seen an explosion of new media that allows a stunning diversity of views. During the recent Gaza conflict, we all consumed tweets, Facebook posts, blogs and mainstream news from countless sources inside Gaza. Some were Gazans, able to communicate their plight online to the world, and others were brave professional reporters, such as Jon Snow from Britain’s Channel 4, who were unafraid to document the horrors unleashed by Israel on the people of Gaza.

–       In Australia Palestinian writers and commentators are occasionally heard though far too rarely. There is still timidity. Here’s an example. I was recently asked to appear on a popular current affairs TV show to debate a Zionist lobbyist. The lobbyist refused to show up alongside me so the TV producer cut the segment. Without a strong pro-Israel voice it was deemed impossible to have the story. How many times is a pro-Israel voice appearing alone on our TV screens? Regularly. A robust discussion over Israel and Palestine is healthy and necessary within the Jewish community but just featuring a Jewish dissident, on my own, was clearly a bridge too far. Why not have a Jew and Palestinian discuss the issues calmly and passionately?

–       The boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement is surging in popularity. From public moves against Sodastream for operating a factory in the occupied territories to European countries selling stakes in Israeli banks that bankroll the occupation. I strongly support BDS and encourage its growth in Australia. I hope the Muslim community more fully embraces this non-violent tactic, by lobbying politicians, businesses and the media to force Israel and its financial and intellectual backers to pay a price for flouting international law.

–       Of course Israel isn’t the only guilty party in the Middle East. One of the most pernicious actors is the US-backed Saudi Arabia, spreading poisonous Wahabism across the world. Extremism lives in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Palestine, Egypt, Yemen and Iran. Do not be afraid to confront the radicals in our own communities, those who preach death, beheadings and violent jihad.

–       We must resist with purpose. 

 

Posted in Gaza, IraqComments Off on Public talk on From Iraq to Gaza: The Politics of Fear

Condolence

NOVANEWS

 

Shoah Executive Director Sammi Ibrahem and all staff send sincere condolences to Mr. Essam Younis,  Director of  Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, (Gaza) for the deaths of his father, Mr. Hassan Hussein Younis  (Abu Kamal)  and his  stepmother, who were killed by a barbaric Jewish Nazi airstrike in Rafah on Thursday morning, 21 August 2014.

 

 

 

 

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PLC Member Khaleda Jarrar Illegally Transferred to Jericho

NOVANEWS

In the context of escalation by Israeli occupation forces in the West Bank, and while they have resumed their offensive on the Gaza Strip, this morning, they issued a decision  ordering transfer of Ms. Khalida Jarra, Member of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) from Abu Ali Mustafa Bloc and Member of the Political Bureau of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), from her place of residence in Ramallah to Jericho for six months, claiming that she endangers the security of the region.

According to investigations conducted by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, at approximately 01:45 on Wednesday, 20 August 2014, Israeli forces, accompanied by a police force, an intelligence officer and female soldiers, raided the house of Ms. Khalida Jarrar, Member of the PLC and Member of the PFLP Political Bureau, in Salam Za’rour Street near the Continuous Education Center in the center of Ramallah.  An Israeli officer delivered to her a military notice ordering her transfer from Ramallah to Jericho until 19 February 2015, claiming that “she poses a threat to the security of the region, so she must be put under special monitoring.”  Ms. Jarrar stated to PCHR that the notice was written in Hebrew, but the officer read it to her in Arabic and requested her to sign it, but she refused.  The officer then gave her a map that specifies her movement inside Jericho.

PCHR strongly condemns the decision to transfer PLC Member Khalida Jarrar to Jericho, and stresses that it violates Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, which states: “Individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any other country, occupied or not, are prohibited, regardless of their motive.”  In this context, PCHR calls upon the international community to immediately act to stop all Israeli crimes, and reiterates its call for the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their obligations under Article 1 of the Convention to respect and ensure respect for the Convention in all circumstances, and their obligations under Article 146 of the Convention to search for and prosecute those suspected of perpetrating grave breaches of the Convention.

 

Posted in Palestine AffairsComments Off on PLC Member Khaleda Jarrar Illegally Transferred to Jericho

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