Archive | Campaigns

Pushing Gaza to Suicide: The Politics of Humiliation

NOVANEWS
  • A Palestinian man watches Israeli heavy machinery demolish apartment blocs in the occupied West Bank settlement of Beit El, July 29, 2015.
    A Palestinian man watches Israeli heavy machinery demolish apartment blocs in the occupied West Bank settlement of Beit El, July 29, 2015. | Photo: Reuters
Those who are ’employed’ still struggle to survive. Eighty percent of all Gazans are dependent on humanitarian assistance.

Mohammed Abed is a 28-year-old taxi driver from the village of Qarara, near the town of Khan Younis in the Gaza Strip. He has no teeth.

Lack of medical care and proper dentistry work cost him all of his teeth, which rotted and decayed at a very young age. His dire financial needs prevented him from acquiring dentures. His community eventually pitched in, collecting the few hundred dollars needed for Mohammed to finally being able to eat.

RELATED: Chilean-Palestinians Slam Pro-Israel Lobby in Chile

Mohammed is not unemployed. He works ten hours, sometimes more, every single day. The old taxi he drives between Khan Younis and Gaza City is owned by someone else. Mohammed’s entire daily salary ranges from 20 to 25 shekels, about 6 dollars.

Raising a family with four children with such a meager income made it impossible for Mohammed to think of such seemingly extraneous expenses, such as fixing his teeth or acquiring dentures.

Strange as it may seem, Mohammed is somewhat lucky.

Unemployment in Gaza is among the highest in the world, presently estimated at 44 percent. Those who are ’employed’, like Mohammed, still struggle to survive. 80 percent of all Gazans are dependent on humanitarian assistance.

In 2015, the UN had warned that Gaza would be uninhabitable by 2020. At the time, all aspects of life testified to that fact: lack of reliable electricity supply, polluted water, Israel’s military seizure of much of the Gaza Strip’s arable land, restricting the movement of fishermen and so on.

An Israeli military siege on Gaza has extended for over 10 years, and the situation continues to deteriorate.

A Red Cross report last May warned of another ‘looming crisis’ in the public health sector, due to the lack of electricity.

The energy crisis has extended from electricity supplies to cooking gas.

Last February Israel cut cooking gas supplies to the Strip to a half.

“The cooking gas stations stopped accepting empty gas cylinders because their tanks are empty,” according to the Chairman of the Petroleum and Gas Owners Association of the Gaza Strip, Mahmoud Shawa. He described the situation as “very critical.”

Three months ago, the Mahmoud Abbas-controlled Palestinian Authority in Ramallah decided to reduce the salaries of tens of thousands of its employees in the Gaza Strip.

The money provided by the PA had played an essential role in keeping the struggling economy afloat. With most employees receiving half – or less – of their salaries, the barely functioning Gaza economy is dying.

‘H’ is a university professor and his wife, ‘S’, is a doctor. The middle-class couple with five children has lived a fairly comfortable life in the Strip, even during the early years of the siege. Now, they tell me they are counting their money very carefully so as to avoid the fate of most Gazans.

‘S’s salary comes from Ramallah. She is now only able to claim US$350 dollars from what was once a significantly higher pay. ‘H’ does not receive his money from the West Bank’s authority, but his salary was slashed by half, anyway, since most of the students are now too poor to pay for their tuitions.

Mu’in, who lives in the Nuseirat Refugee Camp, is worse off. A retired teacher, with a pension that barely reaches US$200 a month, Mu’in is struggling to put food on the table. An educated father of four unemployed adult sons and a wife recovering from a stroke and barely able to walk, Mu’in lives mostly on hand-outs.

With no access to the West Bank due to the Israeli siege, and with severe restrictions on movement via the Rafah-Egypt border, Gaza is living through its darkest days. Literally. Starting June 11, Israel began reducing the electricity supply to the impoverished Strip, as per the request of Abbas’ Palestinian Authority.

The results are devastating. Gaza households now receive 2 to 3 hours of electricity per day, and not even at fixed hours.

‘S’ told me that her family is constantly on alert. “When electricity arrives at any time of the day or night, we all spring into action,” she said. “All batteries must be charged as quickly as possible and the laundry must be done, even at 3 in the morning.”

But Gazans are survivors. They have endured such hardships for years and, somehow, they have subsisted.

But cancer patients cannot survive on the mere strength of character. Rania, who lives in Gaza City, is a mother of three. She has been struggling with breast cancer for a year. With no chemotherapy available in Gaza’s barely-functioning hospitals, she takes the arduous journey from Gaza to Jerusalem every time she needs to have the life-saving procedure. That was, until Israel decided not to issue new permits to Gaza’s terminally ill patients, some of whom have died waiting for permits and, others – like Rania – who are still hoping for a miracle before the cancer spreads through the rest of their bodies.

But Israel and Egypt are not the only culprits. The Palestinian Authority in Ramallah is using the siege as a bargaining chip to put pressure on its rivals, Hamas, who have controlled the besieged Strip for ten years.

Hamas, on the other hand, is reportedly seeking a partnership with its old foe, Mohammed Dahlan, to ease the Gaza siege through Egypt in exchange for making him the head of a committee that is in charge of Gaza’s external affairs.

Dahlan is also a foe of Abbas, both fighting over the leadership of the Fatah party for years.

Abbas’ requests to Israel to pressure on Gaza via electricity reduction, together with his earlier salary cuts, are meant to push Hamas out of its the proposed alliance with Dahlan.

Palestinians in Gaza are suffering; in fact, dying.

To think that Palestinian ‘leaders’ are actually involved in tightening or manipulating the siege to exact political concessions from one another is dismaying.

While Israel is invested in maintaining the Palestinian rift, so that it continues with its own illegal settlement policies in the West Bank and Jerusalem unhindered, Palestinians are blinded by pitiful personal interests and worthless ‘control’ over occupied land.

In this political struggle, the likes of Mohammed, ‘H’, ‘S’ and cancer-ridden Rania – together with two million others – seem to be of no significance.

Magdalena Mughrabi, Deputy Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International, sounded the alarm on June 14 when she warned that “the latest power cuts risk turning an already dire situation into a full-blown humanitarian catastrophe.”

“For 10 years, the siege has unlawfully deprived Palestinians in Gaza of their most basic rights and necessities. Under the burden of the illegal blockade and three armed conflicts, the economy has sharply declined and humanitarian conditions have deteriorated severely,” she said.

Omar Shakir, Human Rights Watch director for the region, rejected the notion that the Israelis cut of electricity supplies to Gaza are made as per the Palestinian Authority’s request.

RELATED: Hezbollah Leader Blasts Israelis, ‘Weak’ Saudis on Al-Quds Day

“Israel controls the borders, the airspace, the waters of Gaza, so Israel has an obligation that goes beyond merely responding to a request from Palestinian authorities,” Shakir said.

Between Israel’s dismissal of international calls to end the siege and Palestinians’ pathetic power game, Gazans are left alone, unable to move freely or live even according to the lowest acceptable living standards.

Fatima, a 52-old mother from Rafah, told me that she tried to kill herself a few days ago if it were not for her children wrestling the knife away.

When I told Fatima that she has so much to live for, she chuckled and said nothing.

The suicide rate in the Strip is at an all-time high, and despair is believed to be the main factor behind the alarming phenomena.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Gaza, Human Rights0 Comments

Palestine: Remembering the Naksa

NOVAEWS

Image of Nazi soldiers interrogating Palestinians during the 1967 Gaza war [Miren Edurne/facebook]
By Nasim Ahmed 

Fifty years ago this month, Israel launched a war against its neighbours and took control of the parts of Palestine which it had failed to capture during its 1948 “War of Independence”.

What: The Palestinian Naksa (“Setback”)

When: 5 June 1967

Where: Palestine

What Happened?

On 5 June 1967, Israel launched a pre-emptive strike against Egypt, Jordan, Iraq and Syria. After knocking out the air defences of these countries, it occupied East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, as well as the Syrian Golan Heights and Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. Thus, it had taken control of the final 22 per cent of historic Palestine that it wasn’t able to occupy in 1948.

Nearly 400,000 Palestinians were added to the hundreds of thousands of refugees displaced in 1948 and their homes and villages were razed to the ground by the Israelis. Around half were being displaced for the second time in less than 20 years. Israel’s ethnic cleansing of Palestine was ongoing (as it is to this day).

The number of Palestinian refugees in the camps operated by the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon grew.

The Naksa commemorates this tragic setback in the Palestinian struggle for freedom and self-determination.

What Happened Next?

The outcome of the war launched by Israel was, for many of its citizens and supporters, the fulfilment of God’s promise. Adding 44 per cent of the territory allocated by the 1947 UN Partition Plan for a Palestinian state, to the 56 per cent set aside for a Jewish state, marked a new beginning for both Israel and stateless Palestinians.

Within 20 years of being recognised as an independent state, Israel began an occupation that would become the longest in modern history, at 50 years and counting. Palestinians in the “occupied Palestinian territories” were subjected to a brutal Israeli military occupation as well as the activities of armed, right-wing Jewish settlers, for whom Israel’s victory was God’s handiwork and a licence to colonise the land which they believed was promised to them and them alone.

Israel’s already repressive military rule over Palestinians living within its undeclared borders was transferred to the West Bank and Gaza. Very soon, a matrix of control and domination, that included checkpoints, permits and home demolitions, was imposed on the lives of millions of Palestinians under Israeli occupation.

For the Palestinians, the combination of the Arab defeat during the “Six-Day War”, the repeated failure of the international community to protect their human rights, and Israel’s total colonisation of Palestine, prompted a serious re-evaluation of their situation. Having witnessed the futility of relying on others to end the indignity from which they had suffered for decades, they began to organise politically in an attempt to reverse the losses of 1948 and end their misery and statelessness.

In the years following the Naksa, Palestinian communities in the refugee camps and diaspora began to organise themselves politically and socially. A number of setbacks against the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) did not deter them. Such civil society activities led to the formation of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) in the late eighties; the popular uprising now known as the First Intifada; and the PLO under the control of the secular Fatah movement gaining recognition by Israel and its allies as the “sole representative of the Palestinian people”. This phase of the political process ended with the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1994, providing the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip with “interim self-governing arrangements”.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Human Rights0 Comments

The Legitimacy of Family Compensation for Palestinians Killed, Injured, and Imprisoned

NOVANEWS

The Legitimacy of Family Compensation for Palestinians Killed, Injured, and Imprisoned

By Kathryn Shihadah | If Americans Knew 

JTA reports on what would seem to be a no-brainer: a bill requiring that aid money to the PA be withheld if the PA continues its Martyrs Fund or “pay to slay” policy. Of course nothing is quite as simple as meets the eye.

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Top Senate Democrats said they were closer to signing on to a Republican-backed bill that would slash aid to the Palestinian Authority if it did not stop subsidizing Palestinians jailed for attacks on Israel. [Ed. note: Info on bill is here]

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer told attendants at the Orthodox Union’s annual Washington action day on Thursday that he would support the Taylor Force Act or legislation similar to it if the Trump administration is unable to get the Palestinian Authority to stop the payments. [Ed. note: Senator Schumer is a major advocate for Israel; see video.]

“Abbas has to stop making payments to terrorists and their families, and all elected officials should call them out,”  Schumer said.

Also edging closer to endorsing the legislation was Senator Ben Cardin, top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The United States now gives the Palestinian Authority about $500 million in annual aid. The bill, which was introduced by Republican Senators Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham, would only leave the portion for security assistance — about $60 million in 2013. Cruz also attended the Orthodox Union event.

“We’re going to find a way to pass the Taylor Force Act,” Senator Cardin said, suggesting that he wanted changes to the bill before he could fully endorse it. The measure was named for the American killed in a 2016 stabbing attack in Tel Aviv.

The Taylor Force Bill  “prohibits certain assistance…from being made available for the West Bank and Gaza” unless the State Department is satisfied that the PA is working to end violence against US and Israeli citizens, is publicly condemning such acts and cooperating in investigating them, and has “terminated payments for acts of terrorism.” (Here is a list of cosponsors of the bill.)

If the bill becomes law, the US may withhold 88% of aid to the Palestinian Authority until it complies.

Economics of occupation

Israel has also withheld money from the PA in the past—tax revenues that are collected by Israel but that actually belong to the Palestinians, about $125 million per month. For example, funds were held back by Israel in November 2012 as a punishment for the UN vote which brought de facto recognition of Palestine’s statehood, and again in January 2015 as a penalty for Palestine’s application to join the ICC.

The transfers are an important revenue source for the cash-strapped Palestinian government.

Palestinians already suffer economically from the hardship of a brutal fifty-year occupation. According to a study by the UN Conference on Trade and Development, agriculture and industry have suffered huge losses. One reason is the inaccessibility of “Area C,” which accounts for over 60% of West Bank land (66% of its grazing land) and is off-limits to Palestinians. The report estimates that “the occupation of Area C costs the Palestinian economy the equivalent of 35% OF GDP.”

Gaza is also barred from half of its farmland and 85% of its fishery resources. Over 2.5 million productive trees have been vandalized or uprooted since 1967; 82% of Palestinian groundwater has been confiscated by Israel, and must be bought back by Palestinians at inflated prices.

Even tourism has been “annexed”: Israel has “rebranded” popular West Bank sites as being in the “Holy Land,” obscuring their Palestinian identity. Israeli tour guides control most visitors, making it easy to take a day trip to Bethlehem, but then stay in an Israeli hotel.

Adding to its many economic advantages, Israel garners $10 million a day in aid from the United States, compared to the $500 million per year that Palestine receives now and is in danger of losing.

Israel uses its huge aid budget to finance the occupation and fight wars with Gaza—both of which are illegal according to international law and condemned by almost every country in the world. Its assaults on women and children, as well as noncombatant men, is well documented. For example, the Middle East Children’s Alliance reported that “1,518 Palestinian children were killed by Israel’s occupation forces from the outbreak of the second Intifada in September 2000 up to April 2013… meanwhile the number of children injured by the Israelis since the start of the Second Intifada against Israel’s occupation has now reached 6,000. That number means that one Palestinian child was killed by Israel every 3 days for almost 13 years.”

However, Israeli leaders argue that the “hate-filled climate” against Israel was created not by occupation and war, but by “fiery speeches” by Palestinian leaders and “venomous” Facebook posts.

Compensation in the event of death or injury

Payment to the family of a service member killed or injured in the line of duty is a common practice. In America, for example, families receive a one-time payment to help surviving members deal with financial hardships connected with the loss of their loved one. This “death gratuity” is currently $100K.

Israel too has a compensation program for families of IDF soldiers killed or injured in the line of duty.

Because the Palestinian Territories are forbidden from having armed forces, their resistance against the occupation is carried out by civilians. In the event of their death, injury, or imprisonment their families face the same type of struggles that any service member’s family would face, and the Palestinian Authority provides for them through the so-called “Martyrs Fund.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu plans to withhold revenue from the PA until the fund is dismantled, as he considers these payments “an incentive for murder.”

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, leading sponsor of the Taylor Force bill, fails to make the connection between the US and Israeli compensation programs and the Palestinian Martyrs Fund, declaring that “the practice is inconsistent with American values, inconsistent with peace, and inconsistent with decency.”

Not a reward for violence

Nasser Tarayreh, whose son was killed after stabbing an Israeli girl, explains, “I don’t think anyone is willing to sacrifice his life for money. And for us as a family, all the money in the world won’t replace my son.” In fact, the money would be needed to provide shelter soon, as their home was scheduled for demolition—an Israeli practice in retribution against the families of attackers. Nasser will receive $350 a month from the Martyr’s Fund.

Many “martyrs” were not killers or attackers, but were themselves killed while walking to school, participating in a peaceful demonstration, or sleeping in their beds. If they died as a result of Israel’s brutality, they bear the title of martyr.

The fund also compensates families of prisoners and detainees. Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network reported that “the Israeli occupation arrested 6,440 Palestinians in 2016, including 1,332 children and 164 women,” in addition to members of the Palestinian Legislative Council and journalists.

The fund had a budget of $170 million in 2016 and makes monthly payments to about 35,000 Palestinian families. Qadora Fares, who works with the system, explains, “This is a kind of social protection for the family. The children of the prisoners and martyrs and wounded have the right to go to schools, hospitals and get food.”

Fox News reported that the Washington Post strongly condemned the support of victims’ families in the Palestinian resistance. Fox quoted the WP as saying, “The PA is running a bounty system. Payments to terrorists and their families are enshrined in Palestinian law, provided for in the PA budget, and indirectly supported by foreign aid…incentivizing the murder of civilians is barbarism…”

It should be noted that this quote is not from a WP journalist, but part of an opinion piece by Israel partisan Thane Rosenbaum. Ironically, Rosenbaum authored Payback: The Case for Revenge, a book presenting the theory that “if the law won’t set things right, which it so often fails to do, then it’s ok, indeed moral, for us to do so ourselves”—a theory with which many Palestinians would, to Rosenbaum’s dismay, agree. Rosenbaum has elsewhere implied that a child whose father works for Hamas is actually a target by association, and that therefore it is morally acceptable to kill children.

Daniel Larison of the American Conservative said in his review of Payback, “Rosenbaum’s argument is extremely similar to the justifications that terrorist groups use when they target civilians in their own attacks…It is very important to reject this logic no matter where it comes from or whose cause in a conflict it is being used to advance, because this is the logic that has been used to justify countless atrocities down through the years.”

Origin of violence

In an interview for the Institute for Palestine Studies, Palestinian psychiatrist Eyad al Sarraj explained that many Palestinians who turn to violence have themselves witnessed great violence perpetrated on their families. “During the first intifada, studies showed that 55 percent of the children had witnessed their fathers being humiliated or beaten by Israeli soldiers.

“The psychological impact of this is stunning. The father, normally the authority figure, comes to be seen as somebody who is helpless, who can’t even protect himself–let alone his children. So children became more militant, more violent… The militant ones believe that if they die as suicide fighters in the struggle for justice, they are conquering defeat and death itself.” Sarraj continued, “they wouldn’t turn their bodies into bombs if they had F-16s, Apache helicopters, tanks, or a tiny fraction of the weapons Israel gets from the United States.”

Sarraj describes violence as a manifestation of a deep-seated issue: “Suicide bombings and all these forms of violence–I’m talking as a doctor here–are only the symptoms, the reaction to this chronic and systematic process of humiliating people in effort to destroy their hope and dignity. That is the illness, and unless it is resolved and treated, there will be more and more symptoms of the pathology.”

Sarraj expressed deep opposition to Palestinian violence, but distinguished between the martyrs and their families: “As a Palestinian, as an Arab, as a Muslim, and as a human being, I feel obliged to support them. I cannot leave their children in poverty–I have to do what I can to leave them some hope and dignity.”

The face of the Fund

One story that illustrates both the tragedy that qualifies Palestinians for the Martyrs Fund and the experience that produces even more martyrs, is that of Abu Jameh. At dinnertime on July 20th 2014, Israeli planes bombed an apartment building in Gaza, killing 24 members of a family—a woman, her son, four of her daughters-in-law, and 18 of her grandchildren. One member of Hamas was also present for the meal. Abu Jameh who survived but was injured, lost his pregnant wife and six of his seven children. He reflected, “there is nothing left. It is the end for us,” and added later, “I will marry again four times, and I will have 10 sons with each wife, and they will all be in the resistance.”

Emmanuel Nahshon, Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman got it wrong when he stated, “Terror has become a comfortable business for families.”

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Human Rights0 Comments

Largest Nazi Public Transportation Company Loses Netherlands Contract

NOVANEWS
Largest Nazi Public Transportation Company Loses Netherlands Contract Worth 190 Million Euros Following Campaign by BDS Activists
Image result for Egged Israel Transport CARTOON

Last month, Egged Bus Systems (EBS), a subsidiary of Egged Israel Transport Cooperative Society, Israel’s largest public transportation operator, lost a bid for a decade-long contract to run public transportation in the North-Holland region of the Netherlands, which includes the country’s capital, Amsterdam. This contract was valued at 19.1 million euros a year, with a total worth of 190.1 million euros.

Egged Bus Systems lost this lucrative bid after Dutch BDS activists launched a campaign charging its Israeli parent company with facilitating grave violations of Palestinian human rights and international humanitarian law.

Specifically, Egged Cooperative operates Jewish-only buses to and between almost all of Israel’s illegal settlements built on stolen Palestinian land in the militarily occupied West Bank, including remote outposts and East Jerusalem.

Egged buses traveling on Israeli settlement bus routes bar access to Palestinians. They use an extensive network of roads built to seamlessly connect illegal settlements on both sides of the illegal Israeli separation Wall to cities within present-day Israel.

The company thus supports and profits from a racist, segregated bus system that actively facilitates the maintenance and expansion of Israel’s illegal settlements, which are themselves considered war crimes under international law.

A spokesperson for DocP, a coalition of Dutch BDS activists for Palestinian rights, said,

We are very happy with this result, with the fact that our regional government rejected Egged’s bid to run North-Holland’s public transportation system.

People can now step into a bus in Amsterdam without helping pay for Israeli apartheid buses that discriminate against Palestinians. Without helping normalize coming and going from Tel Aviv to illegal Jewish-only settlements built on stolen Palestinian land.

There is nothing normal about the daily oppression faced by Palestinians, and I’m heartened that our Dutch BDS campaigns are growing in popular support and showing results.

Riya Hassan, Europe’s campaigns officer for the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC) said:

Congratulations to all the activists, organizations and collectives in the Netherlands who successfully built on their earlier BDS campaigns to exclude from their communities a powerful Israeli transportation company that profits from segregated busing, segregated roads and segregated Israeli settlements illegally built on stolen Palestinian land.

You have helped ensure that the regional council of North-Holland adheres to its own obligations under international law by not aiding and abetting Israel’s serious violations of Palestinian rights.

Egged Cooperative has also been accused of putting its Palestinian drivers in harm’s way, and not doing enough to protect them from violent Israeli extremists. In 2014, 100 Palestinian Egged bus drivers resigned fearing attacks by Israeli settlers and after Palestinian Jerusalem-line bus driver Yusuf Hassan al-Ramouni was found dead and hanging in an Egged bus.

Egged Bus Systems was one of four companies bidding for the lucrative public transportation contract in the Netherlands. The winning company Connexxion, a Dutch public transportation company, will provide buses and run public transportation in North-Holland for the next 10-years, beginning in July 2018.

Connexxion is itself owned by Veolia, a French corporate giant which was complicit in the Israeli occupation until an extensive BDS campaign cost it tenders around the world estimated to be worth over $20 billion, causing it to exit the Israeli market. Veolia and Connexxion have ended their complicity with Israel’s violations of Palestinian human rights, but have yet to pay reparations to the Palestinian communities they harmed, and campaigners are still demanding that they do so.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Campaigns0 Comments

Mass Incarceration: Why Does The U.S. Jail So Many People? ‘VIDEO’

NOVANEWS

Image result for U.S. Jail CARTOON

AJ+ 

The U.S. incarcerates more people than any other country in the world. With 2.2 million people behind bars, and millions more on probation or parole, 1 in 35 American adults is caught up in the prison system. AJ+ teamed up with The Marshall Project to examine why.

Posted in USA, Human Rights0 Comments

World Refugee Day, estimates show 66% of Palestinians became refugees in 1948

NOVANEWS
Image result for World Refugee Day CARTOON

On the anniversary of World Refugee Day, and one month after the 69th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba, or “catastrophe,” it is estimated that 66 percent of Palestinians who were living in British-Mandate Palestine in 1948 were expelled from historic Palestine and displaced, according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS).

“The human plight and tragedy that has befallen on the Palestinian people”  resulted in approximately 957,000 Palestinian refugees — 66 percent of the total population of Palestinian who were living in historic Palestine on the eve of the war in 1948, PCBS said in a statement Tuesday.

Today, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), the UN agency responsible for providing services to millions of Palestinian refugees, estimates that the number of registered Palestinian refugees in 2016 amounted to about 5.9 million, PCBS noted, highlighting that this figure was representative of a minimum number.

Palestinian legal NGO BADIL has previously estimated the number to be around 7.2 million.

As of 2016, Palestinian refugees in the West Bank registered with UNRWA accounted for 17 percent of the total refugees registered with the organization, while refugees in Gaza accounted for 24.5 percent.

According to UNRWA, 42 percent of the total population of the occupied West Bank and besieged Gaza Strip are internally displaced refugees from historic Palestine, with data indicated that Palestinian refugees living in the occupied territory and Gaza have an overall unemployment rate of 33.3 percent in 2016, compared to 22.3 percent among non-refugees.

Meanwhile, Gaza, which has often been compared to an “open air prison” for its 1.9 million inhabitants crowded into 365 square kilometers, has suffered from a decade of isolation and deprivation, made all the worse by three devastating Nazi military operations, and persistent intra-Palestinian political strife.

Touting one of the world’s highest unemployment rates at 44 percent, an estimated 80 percent of Gaza’s population is dependent on humanitarian assistance.

Across the diaspora, the percentage of Palestinian refugees registered with UNRWA in Jordan amounted to 39.1 percent of the total refugees registered, while the percentage of Palestinian refugees registered in Lebanon and Syria numbered at 8.8 percent and 10.6 percent, respectively.

According to UNRWA, while Palestinian refugees in Lebanon represent an estimated 10 percent of the population of Lebanon, they lack many basic rights, as they are not formally citizens of another state and are unable to claim the same rights as other foreigners living in Lebanon. Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, for example, are prevented from working in up to 20 highly-skilled professions.

As a result, “among the five UNRWA fields, Lebanon has the highest percentage of Palestine refugees living in abject poverty,” the group said, adding that around 53 percent of the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon live in 12 recognized refugee camps, “all of which suffer from serious problems, including poverty, overcrowding, unemployment, poor housing conditions and lack of infrastructure.”

Meanwhile, the ongoing conflict in Syria has forced hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees from the country, including men, women and children, to flee to surrounding countries and other areas in Syria in search of safety.

The Hamas movement’s Office for Refugees’ Affairs in Lebanon released a statement Tuesday, saying that the “Right to Return is a basic human right issue stated by international resolutions and guaranteed by heavenly laws.”

The office lauded UNRWA for its work with Palestinian refugees across the Middle East, but highlighted the dire and deteriorating humanitarian conditions of Palestinian refugees grows as UNRWA cannot adequately service nearly all 5.9 million registered refugees.

In the statement, the group called upon the international community to “uphold its responsibilities towards the refugees’ cause” and called upon the hosting Arab countries, especially Lebanon, “to provide decent living to Palestinian refugees by giving them their civil, social and humanitarian rights without connecting those to localization.”

Last week, Nazi Prime Minister Naziyahu called for the dismantlement of UNRWA, saying “UNRWA, to a large degree, by its very existence, perpetuates — and does not solve — the Palestinian refugee problem.”

Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi condemned Netanyahu, saying his statements were “the epitome of arrogance, particularly since Israel itself is responsible for creating the Palestinian refugee problem.”

“Israel should not be allowed to dictate how to change the legal system and to persist with its unlawful unilateralism,” Ashrawi said, adding that ”the Israeli government bears a moral and legal responsibility for Palestinian refugees and the serious injustices of the past.”

UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness responded to Naziyahu’s comments at the time, saying that the issue of Palestinian refugees could only be resolved through a negotiated end to the Nazi-Palestinian refugee conflict, instead of shuttering an aid agency catering to their humanitarian needs.

While UNRWA has been the target of Palestinian criticism on a number of occasions, Palestinian refugees, notably in the occupied Palestinian territory, see the preservation of their status as refugees as maintaining their claim to their right of return to the villages in historic Palestine from which their ancestors fled during the creation of the Racist Nazi state.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Human Rights0 Comments

What does it take to move from pseudo-democracy to real participation?

NOVANEWS
Democratic illusion

By Graham Peebles

Imagine a country run along truly democratic lines. In such a mythical land, what would be the role of the politician, and the nature of his or her relationship with that amorphous group paraded under the banner of “the people”?

Will of “the people”?

We in pseudo-democratic countries hear a lot about politicians serving and honouring the “will of the people” – in Britain this nauseating slogan of appeasement has been repeated ad infinitum since the disastrous European referendum vote – but from where does the supposed conviction of the masses arise? Does it evolve from independent minds tussling with questions of justice and freedom, debating and discussing pertinent issues over tea and cake, or is it the politicians who construct this perceived will, manipulating the people they claim to serve into believing what they, the politicians, want them to believe. And while on occasions there may be some degree of uncertainty in the success of the project of persuasion – “the people” can sometimes be an annoyingly unpredictable bunch – every avenue of propaganda and control is employed to ensure that the ideological intentions of the political class are reflected in the will of the people as and when they place their sacred X on the ballot paper, and exercise their long-fought-for democratic right, which (particularly in first-past-the-post systems) carries little authority and even less autonomy.

Mass manipulation

The principle tool of inducement is of course the mainstream media: television and radio stations, newspapers and magazines are used to flood the minds of the populous with a certain view of life, particular ideas, values and carefully edited “facts”. Political and economic slogans are repeated like mantras over the airwaves, until they infect the populous and are repeated parrot-like by apathetic, ill-informed voters. Education systems are designed to support the message, enabling the most malleable minds to be conditioned into, for example, competition and conformity. Organised religion reinforces the pervasive values and imposes its own, often cripplingly repressive doctrine on the faithful. Creative independent thinking – the principle quality of enquiry, analysis and response – is for the most part lost within the fogs of dogma and stereotype that are wrapped around the minds of the unsuspecting virtually from birth. The world is presented as hostile, competitive, full of pain and difficulties. Material satisfaction and pleasure is sold as happiness, desire constantly fed – creating agitated noisy minds, discontent and anxiety, all of which deny or greatly inhibit the possibility of that most democratic quality, free thinking.

Political and economic slogans are repeated like mantras over the airwaves, until they infect the populous and are repeated parrot-like by apathetic, ill-informed voters.

Individuality has been perverted, championed and denied. Within a conformist society where the pressure to think, act, and be a certain way is all-pervasive. True individuality – the natural flowering of innate potential within an environment of cooperation, understanding and tolerance, free from fear – is restricted and only realised through strength and often brings exclusion. And so the “will” of individuals, their ability to think beyond the rhetoric, to see the false as the false and the true as the true, becomes constrained at best, easily manipulated and/or non-existent.

Popular awakening

Many are awake to this; young and old see the injustices, the pretence and invasion for what they are. They are angry, and long for an alternative way of living. Huge numbers have been marching in cities throughout the world, demanding change and to be listened to. The response of the ruling elite has been fierce resistance, often violent. Ever more repressive policies, austerity and the like have been imposed, wages effectively lowered, costs increased, life made even more difficult, physically exhausting and emotionally draining, insecurity intensified, hope denied. Despite this assault, there is a global movement of solidarity evolving, and with the energy of the time flowing with increasing strength, the citadel of resistance cannot be sustained indefinitely. True democracy, a social construct that we have idealised but not lived, will win the day, greatly changing the role of the politician and the type of people who become public representatives.

… without a well educated, engaged population, democracy remains a fantastical construct of the elite, its principles periodically displayed for public appeasement and sustained self-deceit.

Democracy is participation, as are social responsibility, freedom of expression and social justice, tolerance and mutual understanding. All these are inherent in the democratic ideal and constitute its primary colours. Where these are absent, so too is democracy. Likewise,without a well educated, engaged population, democracy remains a fantastical construct of the elite, its principles periodically displayed for public appeasement and sustained self-deceit. In the absence of democracy, politicians, living in a suited bubble of complacency and privilege – two interwoven vices of self-deception – become ideological enforcers and persuaders. Divorced from the public at large, aligned with corporate interests and consistently duplicitous, trust in governments and politicians is at an all-time low. These men, and women, of power are rightly seen as cynical and ambitious, prepared to say anything to achieve positions of power and to hold on to them.

The truly democratic politician

If complacency is the poison of the political class, then apathy and ignorance are the Achilles heel of the people. Social responsibility and participation sit at the very heart of the matter – participation by well-informed people who recognise that we are all individually responsible for society, for the well-being of our neighbours at home and abroad, and the integrity of the natural environment, participation in how the place in which we live and work functions, participation founded on a sense of responsibility leading to and demanding, by dint of commitment and creative participation, influence.

Within such an environment the role of the politician changes dramatically. It becomes one of listening, facilitating, informing and enacting, of representing – making known – the “will of the people” to the business community and parliament – which is of course what they should do now but on the whole, don’t. In this democratic paradigm, self-interest and corporate power begin to weaken and the will of the people to evolve. Democratic decisions about policies and methods, the clarifying of aims, the nature of systems and structures in such a world would be reached through overwhelming consensus – not the paltry 51 per cent of perhaps a mere 45 per cent of the population, as is the case now.

When the nature of… the will of the people is based on the recognition of humankind’s essential unity, together with the acknowledgment that we are responsible for the world and all life within it, then all becomes possible.

Under the existing democratic paradigm the talk is of power and control, duplicitous politicians and leaders and disenfranchised citizens. The rhetoric of political debate is combative and dishonest, ideologies and ideals clash, the economy dominates and business largely dictates government policy. Socio-economic systems have been designed and developed to deny the manifestation of real democracy and to facilitate the perpetuation of the status quo: a state of affairs in which piece by piece the natural environment is being destroyed, half the world’s population is living on less than $5 a day, economic inequality is at unprecedented levels and 65 million people are displaced. That is to name but the most pressing issues facing humanity.

True democracy is an expression of human solidarity. For this to develop and reflect the proclaimed ideal, systemic change and a fundamental shift in attitudes is required, both by politicians and the people who they are supposed to represent. This will not come from the political class – they are quite happy with things the way they are and will fight to the last. It will, and must, come from the people. The worldwide protest movement contains within it the evolutionary seeds of lasting change, but as the reactionary forces resist with increasing force, the need for sustained engagement and collective participation grows stronger. As Maitreya has made clear, “nothing happens by itself, man must act and implement his will”. When the nature of that will the will of the people – is based on the recognition of humankind’s essential unity, together with the acknowledgment that we are responsible for the world and all life within it, then all becomes possible.

Posted in Politics0 Comments

Book: I$RAHELL State of Terror

NOVANEWS
Thomas Surez’s “State of Terror”
Book Review by Eve Mykytyn

Thomas Surez’s “State of Terror” is a meticulously documented history of Zionism from its early stages in Israel until 1956. It is the story ofhow a number of secular Jews successfully installed a religious state located on the land of another nation.

The established myth is that after centuries of antisemitism culminating in the Holocaust, the Jews ‘deserved’ Israel, the ‘land without a people for people without a land.’ Historical accounts often deepen and are refined with time and study. Suarez’s book (along with a few others such as Alison Weir’s “Against Our Better Judgement”) convincingly refutes the generally accepted history entirely.

Suarez points out that in 1897 an early Zionist cabled the news to his coconspirators that Palestine was already densely populated. What followed was a terrorist conspiracy to take that land that is shocking in its scope and violence.

Starting around 1918, in what is now Israel, the Irgun, the Lehi (Stern Gang) the Hagana and the Jewish Agency operated at various times as competing and cooperating gangs of thugs. They raised money by robbery and extortion, extracting ‘tributes’ from local businesses, bombing those who failed to pay. The Zionist gangs assassinated Palestinians, police, the British, and Jews whose opinions diverged from theirs.

The war did not temper their violence. When the British consolidated three boats of refugees onto the ship Patria in Haifa with the intention of taking them to a displaced persons camp in Mauritus, the Hagana bombed the ship of refugees. Over 267 people died, among them 200 Jews. Zionists spun the story as a reenactment of the biblical story of Masada, claiming that the passengers of the Patria heroically committed mass suicide by bombing their own ship when they failed to reach Israel.

During and after World War II, the Zionists demanded with remarkable if not complete success that Jews be segregated from other soldiers and then segregated within displaced persons camps. Suarez cites pro-Zionist Churchill’s discomfort with such segregation, Churchill wrote that nearly every race in Europe had been shipped to concentration camps and “there appears to be very little difference in the amount of torture they endured.” (page 120). Jews who wanted to stay in their home lands or who successfully negotiated the resettlement of European Jews anywhere but Israel were denounced and thwarted.

How did the Zionists succeed in insisting that they spoke for all Jews when it is clear that they did not? What gave them the right, as murderers of Jewish refugees, to speak for displaced Jews after the war?

Zionists consistently claimed to speak for all Jews. No wonder the Zionists insisted on the use of Hebrew (a number of early German and Yiddish language newspapers were bombed). Suarez points out that the settlers spoke the language of the biblical era because they claimed to be its people (page 25). Ben Gurianclaimed that the “Bible is our mandate.”

Israel’s official birth in 1948 purged a million Palestinians and destroyed 400 of their villages. The UN had established Israel’s borders, but Israel already stretched beyond the borders and claimed sovereignty over all the land it held. Both England and the United States knew that Israel would not give back any land. Reuven Shiloah, the first director of the Mossad, not only told them so but declared Israel’s right to take more land as necessary (page 277).

Israel’s theft of Palestinian land and assets was not simply a result of claiming land Israel was granted by the UN. Suarez makes the point that: “economic analysis… illustrates that the Israeli state owes its very existence to its wholesale theft of Palestinians’ worldly possessions… Despite the massive infusion of foreign capital into Israel and its claims of modern efficiency, it was the end of the Palestinians [assets] that saved the Israeli state from stillbirth” (page 288).

Israel’s treatment of its Palestinian benefactors after 1948 was atrocious. It is painful to read through Suarez’s partial listing of atrocities: rape, torture, murder and robbery. Arab villages, Christian and Muslim, friendly and not, were destroyed. In one instance, Arab villagers were murdered by being forced to stay in their homes as they were bombed. (page 309).

At the time, Israel itself was the site of “alarming proportions” of murder, rape and robbery within its own citizenship. One Israeli speculated that this arose from a “general and contemptuous disregard for law” (page 298). A British report stated: “intolerance explodes into violence with appalling ease in Israel.”

Israel reached into Iraq (with false flag operations against Iraqi Jews to prompt immigration) and into North Africa to obtain citizens for its new settler state. The Iraqi and North African Jews were kept in miserable conditions until they were deployed as place holders to live on newly acquired land.

In 1954 Israelis planted bombs in Egypt in a false flag operation intended to convey that Egypt was unstable. When the plan was exposed in 1955, the United States and the United Kingdom considered military action against Israel to stop its murderous seizure of land. In a cold war series of events detailed by Suarez, France and England ended up siding with Israel againstEgypt in the Suez Crisis, ending any chance that England and the United States would conduct any action against Israel.

So far in his book Suarez has delivered a careful, albeit painful, history.

And then Suarez delivers his indictment, “with the conclusion of Suez,… Israel had fully established its techniques of expansion and racial cleansing that continue to serve it today: its maintenance of an existential threat, both as a natural consequence of its aggression and of provocation for the purpose; its expropriation and squandering of the moral weight of historic anti-Semitism and the Holocaust; its dehumanization of the Palestinians; its presence as the prophet-state of the Jews; and its seduction of its Jewish population with the perks of blood privilege.”

Posted in ZIO-NAZI, Literature0 Comments

Nazi army blocks road to Bedouin village

NOVANEWS
Nazi army blocks road to Bedouin village, preventing 100 children from going to school

Children in the Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran in the Negev

A recently installed guardrail on highway has isolated a Bedouin community in southern occupied Palestine 1948  for days, preventing 100 Bedouin children from attending school, NGO Adalah reported on Sunday.

According to the group, which focuses on the rights of Palestinian 1948 citizens. Nazi regime effectively sealed off Umm Bidoun, a Bedouin community in the Negev desert unrecognized by the Nazi regime, by blocking off the only dirt road connecting the village to Highway 31 with a guardrail.

The road surface markings on the highway near other passage out of Umm Bidoun have also recently been changed, making it illegal for vehicles to cross the road, Adalah added.

The recent changes have effectively prevented any vehicles, including school buses, from accessing the village, Adalah said.

As a result, the legal NGO stated that, due to the absence of schools in Umm Bidoun, 100 children who study in the village of al-Furaa 15 kilometers away have been unable to go to school for days.

Adalah said on Sunday it had contacted officials from the Nazi Education Ministry, the al-Qasoum regional council, and Netivei ‘Israel’, the national roads authority, to demand that the obstacles to freedom of movement for the residents of Umm Bidoun be lifted.

Adalah field researcher Marwan Abu Freih told Ma’an on Monday that Netivei had told the organization that it was examining the issue.

Spokespersons from the Ministry of Education did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the case on Monday.

“It is inconceivable that some 100 students can — in such a sudden and arbitrary manner — be prevented from attending school without any advance notice to or consultation with parents,” Abu Freih said on Sunday. “Adalah and the families demand that the Education Ministry act immediately to correct this situation.”

Abu Freih added on Monday that members of Nazi parliament, the Knesset, representing Palestinian 1948 citizens, had reached out to Adalah to offer their assistance in resolving the case.

Bedouin villages were established in the Negev soon after the 1948 Holocaust war following the creation of the Nazi state. Many of the Bedouins were forcibly transferred to the village sites during the 17-year period when 1948 Palestinians insid were governed under Nazi military law, which ended shortly before Israel’s military takeover of Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, in 1967.

Between 160,000 and 170,000 Bedouins are believed to reside in the Negev today, more than half of whom reside in unrecognized villages, according to the Association for Civil Rights (ACRI).

The classification of their villages as “unrecognized” prevents Bedouins from developing or expanding their communities, while Nazi authorities have also refused to connect unrecognized Bedouin villages to the national water and electricity grids, and have excluded the communities from access to health and educational services.

A Knesset report on Bedouins in Israel noted that “(school) dropout rates are high, among various reasons due to lack of access and public transportation to their schools.”

Meanwhile, Jewish communities in the Negev continuously expand, with five new Jewish plans approved last year. According to an investigation undertaken by rights groups ACRI and Bimkom, two of the approved communities are located in areas where unrecognized Bedouin villages already exist.

Rights groups have claimed that Nazi policies in Bedouin communities are specifically aimed at depopulating the Negev of its Bedouin residents to make room for the expansion of Jewish communities.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Human Rights0 Comments

Nazi MPS TRY TO ASSAULT ZOABI ”VIDEO” 

NOVANEWS
VIDEO: ISRAELI MPS TRY TO ASSAULT HANEEN ZOABI

Image result for NAZI PARLIAMENT

This 9-minute video, showing Israeli Jewish MPs’ reaction to a speech by Haneen Zoabi today, offers a very revealing insight into how Israel’s tribal democracy works. And it isn’t pretty.

Even in the British parliament, which is imploding at the moment, it is impossible to imagine scenes like these.

Zoabi made the speech after Israel agreed this week very belatedly to pay compensation to the families of nine humanitarian activists killed by Israeli commandos in 2010 on the Mavi Marmara, as it plied international waters on its way to deliver aid to Gaza. In fact, it would be more accurate to say Israel assassinated the activists, as a way to deter others from following in their wake.

The Marmara was a Turkish vessel and the compensation was part of Israel’s reconciliation deal with Turkey.

Zoabi was the only Israeli MP on the ship, and was accused of treason by Knesset members for participating in the aid flotilla. She became public enemy number one and received many death threats at the time, including some barely veiled ones from Jewish MPs.

All the exchanges in this video are in Hebrew, but that doesn’t really matter. You don’t need to understand the language to understand what is going on. One Jewish MP, Oren Hazan, of Netanyahu’s Likud party, heckles Zoabi non-stop for more than four minutes, with the Speaker doing nothing more than politely asking him to calm down and refrain from interrupting.

Remember that Palestinians MPs are regularly ejected from the Knesset for far less than this kind of barracking and violation of parliamentary protocol. Notice also that the Knesset TV spends as much time, if not more, focusing on the heckler than Zoabi, implicitly legitimising his anti-democratic behaviour.

But when Zoabi accuses the soldiers of “murder” at about 4.30-min into the video, all hell breaks loose. A dozen or more Jewish MPs rush to the podium and start circling Zoabi like a pack of baying hyenas. By this stage, when Zoabi is being physically threatened by a number of MPs in the parliament chamber, you might think it would be time for some of them to be forcefully ejected, if only to indicate that this subversion of the democratic process will not be tolerated. But not a bit of it. They are treated with kid gloves.

The Knesset guards simply try to block the violent Jewish MPs from reaching the single Palestinian MP in their sights, presumably fearful that were she to be physically assaulted that might make headline news and make Israel look bad.

Paradoxically, the only MP you can see on the film being pushed out of the Knesset chamber is Zoabi’s party leader, Jamal Zahalka, who from the look of things is interceding because he’s worried she is in danger. Hazan was finally removed, though after more than eight minutes of heckling, threats and belligerence.

Another paradox: Zoabi and her fellow party MPs have only recently been allowed to speak in the Knesset again, after the ethics committee (dominated by Jewish MPs) suspended them for several months because of their “unacceptable” political views.

I doubt very much that any of these Jewish MPs, even though they have threatened and tried to physically harm another MP, one from the wrong tribe, will suffer any consequences at all for their behaviour.

Zoabi said in her speech: “I stood here six years ago, some of you remember the hatred and hostility toward me, and look where we got to. Apologies to the families of those who were called terrorists. The nine that were killed, it turns out that their families need to be compensated. I demand an apology to all the political activists who were on the Marmara and an apology to MK Haneen Zoabi, who you’ve incited against for six years. I demand compensation and I will donate it to the next flotilla. As long as there’s a siege, more flotillas need to be organized.”

In addition to the violent reception from MPs visible on film, there was widespread incitement from other MPs. Michael Oren, who a while back was Israel’s ambassador to the US, sounded like Avigdor Lieberman as he said Zoabi’s speech proved she was not loyal and should be permanently stripped of her parliamentary status, under a soon-to-be-passed Suspension Law.

In true colonial style, the government’s chief whip, David Bitan, was reported to have told Palestinian voters in Israel after Zoabi’s speech: “We need to make sure she doesn’t stay in the Knesset. We’ve had enough of this and she doesn’t even represent you properly.”

Written by Jonathan Cook

Posted in ZIO-NAZI, Human Rights0 Comments

Shoah’s pages

www.shoah.org.uk

KEEP SHOAH UP AND RUNNING

June 2017
M T W T F S S
« May    
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930