Archive | Campaigns

US Anti-BDS Legislation Punishes Solidarity with Palestine

NOVANEWS

Global BDS activism is vital – the most effective initiative challenging Israeli ruthlessness, essential to preserve and support.

Congressional Israel Anti-Boycott Act legislation wants it criminalized. It aims to “amend the Export Administration Act of 1979 to include in the prohibitions on boycotts against allies of the United States boycotts fostered by international governmental organizations against Israel and to direct the Export-Import Bank of the United States to oppose boycotts against Israel, and for other purposes.”

Its key provisions include:

  • Congressional opposition to BDS.
  • Calling UNHCR criticism of Israel support for BDS, notably its March 2016 blacklist of companies operating in Occupied Palestine on stolen land.
  • Expanding the Export Administration Act (EAA), prohibiting involvement with any foreign government’s boycott of Israel.
  • Prohibiting Americans from responding to boycott requests from international governmental organizations, including the UN and EU.
  • Requiring the Export-Import Bank to consider an applicant’s BDS-related activities when considering granting assistance.
  • Assuring nothing legislatively alters established US policy on final status issues, including borders, Jerusalem, and other issues left to Israel and Palestinians to resolve on their own – assuring continued occupation harshness and denial of fundamental Palestinian rights.
  • Prohibiting commercial activities intended to harm Israel.
  • Expanding and coordinating cooperation by America with Israel to counter BDS.
  • Criminalizing BDS activism flagrantly violates First Amendment rights. Human rights groups strongly oppose proposed Israel Anti-Boycott legislation.

The ACLU blasted it for “punish(ing) individuals for no reason other than their political beliefs.” Requesting BDS information would be illegal.

Penalties would include stiff fines up to $1 million dollars and/or imprisonment as long as 20 years.

Dissent is the highest form of patriotism, First Amendment rights to express views freely fundamental. Without them, all others are endangered.

Israel is a Ziofascist, racist police state. Opposing its ruthlessness is an obligation along with a right. Criminalizing free expression is the hallmark of dictatorships.

In Abrams v. United States (1919), Justices Louis Brandeis and Oliver Wendell Holmes called disagreement with free speech never a reason to condemn it. Their views strongly influenced nearly all subsequent High Court First Amendment rulings.

If Israel Anti-Boycott legislation is enacted, federal courts should strike it down, affirming its unconstitutionality.

Scores of human rights groups oppose it, including the ACLU, Center for Constitutional Rights, Council for American Islamic Relations, Peace Now, and Jewish Voices for Peace, among many others.

In a joint statement to Congress, they expressed strong “oppos(ition) (to) this unconstitutional, draconian bill and to affirm the First Amendment right of all people in the United States to support political boycotts as a means to achieve justice and equality for Palestinians.”

“(I)ts passage would still send a message that political boycotts for Palestinian rights are disfavored by the government, causing a severe chilling effect on constitutionally protected speech.”

“The US Supreme Court has ruled that peaceful political boycotts are protected by the First Amendment. The government may not enact laws that would punish those who support political boycotts or compromise the right to support political boycotts.”

Enactment “will have the effect of chilling First Amendment-protected political speech.”

“(W)e call on all members of Congress to publicly oppose the Israel Anti-Boycott Act and to affirm the First Amendment right to support political boycotts – including those aimed at achieving justice and equality for Palestinians.”

 

Posted in Palestine Affairs, USA, Campaigns0 Comments

August 2017 report: 522 Palestinians arrested by Nazi occupation

NOVANEWS

Palestinian prisoners’ institutions released their monthly report on Palestinian prisoners and detainees of the Nazi illegal occupation for August 2017. The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society, Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights, Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association and the Prisoners’ Affairs Commission compiled the report below. Translation by Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network.

In August 2017, Israeli occupation forces continued their policy of arbitrary detention against hundreds of civilians in the occupied Palestinian territory and their ongoing practices which violate international humanitarian and human rights law.

Arrest Statistics

In August 2017, 522 Palestinians were arrested by Nazi occupation forces, including 130 children and 16 women.

According to the documentation of the prisoner support organizations, 194 Palestinians were arrested from Jerusalem, 70 from al-Khalil, 50 from Ramallah, 45 from Nablus, 38 from Bethlehem, 33 from Jenin, 27 from Tulkarem, 24 from Qalqilya, 19 from Salfit, 11 from Jericho, seven from Tubas and four from the Gaza Strip.

The total number of Palestinian prisoners in Nazi Camp’s reached 6300 prisoners, 64 of whom are women. Among them are 10 minor girls and 300 boys, 450 administrative detainees imprisoned without charge or trial and 12 detained members of the Palestinian Legislative Council.

134 administrative detention orders were issued in August for imprisonment of Palestinians without charge or trial; 61 were new orders and 73 were renewal orders, as administrative detention orders are indefinitely renewable.

The Arrest of Human Rights Defenders

Article 1 of the Declaration on the Protection of Human Rights Defenders was approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1998, providing that: “Everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to promote and to strive for the protection and realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels.” Despite this, the occupation continues to arrest and prosecute activists and human rights defenders.

On 23 August, Nazi occupation forces arrested a human rights defender, Salah Hamouri, a field researcher for Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, after invading his home in the town of Kufr Aqab north of Jerusalem, ransacking it. Hamouri has been arrested more than once. He was sentenced to nearly seven years in prison in a plea bargain but was released in the Wafa al-Ahrar prisoner exchange in 2011. A few days after his arrest, he was initially released on several conditions:
1) House imprisonment in the village of Reineh in occupied Palestine ’48 for 20 days
2) Travel ban for 3 months
3) Expulsion from the city of Jerusalem for 90 days
4) Paying a bail of 10,000 NIS ($3,800 USD)

However, before he was to be released, he was instead issued a 6-month administrative detention order. When brought before the court for confirmation, he was instead sentenced to return to the remainder of his prison sentence from which he was released in 2011, approximately 3 months. The prosecution appealed this sentence, and his 6-month administrative detention order was reimposed.

The arrest of Hamouri is an example of the arbitrary detention targeting human rights defenders and human rights activists for imprisonment, with the goal of preventing them from playing their role in the community in raising awareness and defending the rights and freedoms of the people. It is notewirthy that Hamouri was arrested more than once, during which he was subjected to various forms of torture and ill-treatment, most recently in 2004, after which he was imprisoned for nearly 7 years before being released in the 2011 Wafa al-Ahrar agreement.

During his detention in 2004, he was offered a plea bargain by the Nazi occupation authorities to deport him to France for 10 years, since he is a French citizen, instead of sentencing him, but he refused the offer and stayed in Palestine. After he was released, he was subjected to several arbitrary practices by the Nazi occupation forces. He was issued an order preventing him from entering the West Bank twice, and the period of his prohibition was a year and a half.

In 2016, Nazi occupation officials deported his pregnant wife Elsa, a French citizen, and banned her from Palestine for 10 years, with their child, Hassan, who she is forced to raise away from his father. Finally, all of his requests for the right to family reunification have been refused as an arbitrary punitive measure against Salah and his family.

Extrajudicial Killings: The Case of the Martyr Raed al-Salhi from Dheisheh Camp

The policy of field executions and shooting to kill is not a surprising action committed by individuals, but is instead a deliberate and systematic policy approve at the highest levels of the occupying power. Statements made by the government officials of the occupation state in the media or directly in proposals from members of the government emphasized the need to reduce the legal requirements for the use of live ammunition against Palestinians, to the extent that it constitutes a breach of international law.

Since September 2015, human rights organizations have been monitoring and documenting cases in which occupation forces engaged in extrajudicial executions of Palestinian civilians, by shooting at the upper body with intent to kill (areas between the head and abdomen) during demonstrations and confrontations that broke out in most of the occupied Palestinian territories.

The occupation did not hesitate to use this method even during the implementation of its arrest raids and invasions carried out by the army in Palestinian camps, villages and cities. On 9 August 2017, in the early hours of the morning, the Nazi occupation forces invaded the Dheisheh refugee camp, east of Bethlehem city, in order to carry out a campaign of arrestts of youth in the camp.

Occupation forces opened fire at point-blank range on the young Abdel-Aziz Arafa, who was wounded in the left leg by live ammunition, and Raed Salhi, who was critically wounded after being shot six times during his arrest. He was martyred on 3 September 2017 as a result of his injuries. He was directly wounded in the liver and kidney by live ammunition, and through field testimony collected from the families of the youths and others, it was confirmed that the army deliberately fired live ammunition at him, carrying out a field execution.

The prisoner, Bassam al-Salhi, the brother of Raed Salhi, said:

“On 9 August 2017 at 3:43 am, I was woken from my sleep by my mother’s voice screaming and crying, saying that the army is killing people and that they fired inside the house specifically. When I got up I went out to the living room and my mother was crying and screming. She told me that Raed is martyred, that he is wounded and is behind the wall behind our house. I was with my younger brother Mohammed and we went to try to save Raed, going out the door leading to the back wall. I jumped on the balcony to try to get to the back wall, because our houses in the camp are close together. And the occupation forces opened fire on the railings of our neighbors, the soldiers firing heavily. Then I saw a soldier lying on the railings of our home and it looked to me as if he was wounded. I later learned that the soldiers who fired at Raed hit the soldier, and all the soldiers concentrated on evacuating the wounded soldier. I thought I would take advantage of their preoccupation and jumped to the house of the other neighbors, where Raed was lying on the ground near their house, just behind ours. I saw Raed, who was lying on the ground and trying to walk and losing a lot of blood, and I approached him and extended my hand for him to take, but at this moment, one of the Israeli soldiers caught Raed in his laser sight. I dragged him by the hands quickly and his left leg was bleeding. He had a bullet in his leg and he was full of blood, we moved away from the place between the houses until we were settled away from our besieged neighborhood full of soldiers. Throughout this time, Raed was bleeding in large amounts and speaking to me about many things, as if he were dying. He was starting to spit up blood and after about 15 minutes a number of soldiers stormed the place, following the trail of blood. During this time, one of the soldiers asked me to move away from him but I refused, and then a soldier attack me. Another pulled out his gun and fired to frighten me but I did not move. Then the same soldier hit me on my right shoulder and leg and pushed me away by force from Raed. They took him away from me, and a soldier examined his pulse. I did not know what to do. Two soldiers then carried him by his arms and legs and I did not know where they took him after the army left the camp.”

The practice of extrajudicial executions and killings by the Nazi illegall occupation forces is a war crime under international law, under article 8 (a)(i) of the Rome Statute. Murder is a war crime, and therefore the occupation bears full responsibility in this context of war crimes against the Palestinian people as a whole.

Arrests and Heavy Fines Imposed on Children

In August, the Nazi Jewish courts issued sentences against 39 children and imposed heavy fines on child prisoners, amounting to more than 110,000 NIS ($31,200 USD).

Human rights organizations’ monitoring and documentation showed that in the past month, 59 children were taken to the “Cubs” section of Ofer prison. Of these, 40 were arrested from their homes, 10 on the roads, 3 at the military checkpoints, 4 after being summoned to interrogation and two for lack of possession of work permits.

Four children were arrested after being shot and 13 more were injured. They were beaten and harassed during their arrest and taken to interrogation centers. Sentences issued ranged from one month to 32 months.

The Palestinian institutions consider that the imposition of excessive financial burdens on child prisoners is a major constraint on the future of the child, a form of collective punishment and a major burden amid the prevailing state of poverty, which affects and violates other human rights for themselves and their families. During the prior month, these fines reached the amount of 87,000 NIS. ($24,700 USD).

Legal Concerns

Here, the Palestinian organizations introduce the international humanitarian and human rights law on the human rights of detainees and the legal guarantees it provides, as well as Nazi violations and the legal prohibitions against such violations, as follows:

1 – Legal safeguards relating to the prohibition of arbitrary detention of Palestinian civilians. These arrests violate international human rights law, including the article 9 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and articles 9 and 10 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1976).

2 – The policyof administrative detention by the occupation state, in which detention is carried out on the basis of secret evidence and without any charge against the detainee, violates internationally recognized rights to a fair trial according to the following:

a) It is contrary to Article 11 (1) of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that: “Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.”

b) It violates articles 9 and 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1976, which guarantees everyone the right to a fair trial, to be informed of the charges against them and to be able to defend themselves.

c) The failure to disclose any charges against the person detained under the administrative detention order precludes every possibility of verifying the compliance of the occupying state with Article 78 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, which states that “If the Occupying Power considers it necessary, for imperative reasons of security, to take safety measures concerning protected persons, it may, at the most, subject them to assigned residence or to internment.” It is impossible to verify whether this detention is permitted without knowing what the reasons have been and are.

d) Not to inform the detained person of the charges against them constitutes a violation of Article 71 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, which obliges the occupying power to report charges without delay. They also constitute a violation of article 10 of the Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons in Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment of 1988, which requires the same.

3. The killing of Raed al-Salhi by point-blank shooting is a violation of the right to life under Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The practice of extrajudicial executions and killings is a war crime under international law, pursuant to article 8 (2/a/1) of the Rome Statute. Murder is a war crime, and therefore the occupation bears full responsibility in this context amid the upsurge in war crimes against the Palestinian people as a whole.

4. The detention of children violates Principle 13 of the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for Juvenile Justice (the Beijing Rules), adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1985, which stipulated that pre-trial detention should only be used as a last resort and for the shortest possible period, as well as providing for protection and social, psychological, educational, professional and medical assistance, which are not provided by the prison administration. The Nazi judiciary imposes heavy fines on children in the framework of collective punishment, contrary to the rules of international humanitarian and human rights law.

Conclusion

This report sustains a number of findings, through our analysis of the practices of occupation authorities and the reality of Palestinian detainees in Nazi Camp’s, as follows:

1) The occupying forces are continuing their grave breaches and systematic violations of international humanitarian and human rights law.

2) These Nazi violations have resulted in severe suffering for Palestinian detainees in Nazi Camp’s.

3) The silence of the international community has encouraged the occupying power to increase their violations against Palestinian detainees.

4) The High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions did not play their roles and have in fact encouraged the occupation authorities to escalate their violations.

 

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

USA: Unethical medical testing on children ”VIDEO”

NOVANEWS

Image result for NAZI Unethical medical testing on children

THEY CALLED IT “RESEARCH”
“AGAINST THEIR WILL” BY ALLEN M. HORNBLUM

Unethical medical testing on children.

They called it “research.”

Grim stuff and largely unreported.

The speaker is Allen M. Hornblum author of “Against Their Will: The Secret History of Medical Experimentation on Children in Cold War America.”

Who ran it?

MDs and researchers. Well paid every step of the way.

Posted in USA, Health, Human Rights0 Comments

Nandos, Lidl and Asda Chickens Come Home to Roost After Animal Advocacy Group Goes Undercover

NOVANEWS

Animal Equality published footage showing chickens destined for Nando’s, Lidl and Asda were being kept in appalling conditions. One month later, has enough been done to ensure animal welfare and food hygiene standards are met? FRANCES RANKIN reports

 

Featured image: A chicken with a deformed bill appears unwell while living at a farm supplying Nando’s, Lidl and Asda. (c) Animal Equality International

Charity Animal Equality have said the farm that supplies chicken to Nandos, Lidl and Asda is not doing enough to secure the welfare of chickens, after footage filmed by undercover investigators has revealed cruel and dirty conditions.

Animal Equality a month ago published video including one clip showing a chicken lying on its back and exposing a purple, apparently swollen underbelly. The international animal advocacy charity claims the bird is unable to walk and is forced to sit in ammonia soaked litter, which causes burns.

The upsetting footage shows another chicken seemingly struggling to support its own body weight. Others sit close to the ground, lethargic and blinking or breathing slowly as if ill. The charity described birds being kicked, carried around flapping after their necks were snapped and dying on their backs unable to reach water.

Dr. Toni Shephard, UK Executive Director of the charity said:

“When Faccenda received our footage showing suffering and neglect on their farm, they said they would be investigating the farm and it would not be restocked with birds until they were satisfied that welfare standards had improved. But how can you assess welfare standards when the sheds are empty?

“Quite disappointingly, Faccenda gave the farm the all-clear just a week after our expose, conveniently timed for when the sheds were due to be re-stocked anyway. This leaves us questioning how rigorous the investigation was, particularly as there were no birds on the farm at the time.”

Dead chicks in bins

Cambria Farm in Taunton supplies Faccenda, the second-largest chicken supplier in the country, and houses over 150,000 chickens in four giant sheds.

Modern breeds of chicken are used because they gain weight very quickly. This leads the young birds to struggle to support an adult-sized body on small legs and puts their hearts under huge pressure.

The film shows farmers dumping buckets full of dead chicks in bins and wheelbarrows. One clip seems to show a chick dumped on the pile of bodies still breathing. Workers were also filmed picking up chickens and throwing them into crates.

Dr. Shephard, said:

“The birds were just a few days old when we first filmed, yet already hundreds of chicks were dying every day and the bins outside the giant sheds were full of tiny bodies, still with their yellow baby feathers.

Appropriate action

“Just a couple of weeks later, the skips were fuller still and many of the birds were suffering from painful lameness. By our last visit, the sheds were so crowded it was difficult to walk through them.”

Animal Equality has passed the evidence on to the Animal and Plant Health Agency (AHPA) for further investigation. An APHA spokesperson said “appropriate action is taken” where welfare regulations are breached, but were unable to comment on individual cases.

The charity says this footage shows clear breaches of the government’s welfare code which states that injured or sick birds should be “immediately be removed to a hospital pen and treated or humanely killed”.

Defra’s welfare code also states no animal must be transported in a way that may cause injury or unnecessary suffering to the animal. The undercover footage shows workers at the farm carrying birds by one leg and violently catching and crating the birds.

An independent vet

A spokesperson for Faccenda told The Ecologist the company is taking the complaints “seriously” and have had multiple vets visit the site to investigate the allegations, but have now decided to recommence activities on the farm.

They said this will occur with, “additional monitoring and ongoing support from our vet to ensure adherence to standards and practices.”

Paul Vaughan-France, owner of the farm, had told The Times:

“I will take the images as good feedback and will do everything I can to work on every aspect of my husbandry. I have had an independent vet on site to review my practices and he is satisfied with his findings.”

A spokesperson for Nandos said:

“The farm in question is being thoroughly investigated by both parties and we have been assured that it will meet Red Tractor standards before it will be allowed to supply chicken again. We intend to remain close to the situation to ensure that happens.”

A spokesperson for Asda said the company “take animal welfare very seriously” and have “strict processes in place to ensure all of the farms that supply Asda meet our own high standards and are Red Tractor approved.” They said:

“We have addressed this matter with our supplier who have conducted a full investigation following these allegations.”

A Lidl spokesperson said:

“Lidl UK takes the issue of animal welfare very seriously and were in close communication with the supplier on this matter, whilst their investigations carried out.

“We have a code of conduct in place with all of our suppliers, with agreed expectations regarding responsible business practices, which may be audited by an independent third party at any point.”

Posted in Health0 Comments

Surrounded by the Mediterranean’s Water, But Nothing From the Faucets to Drink

A barefoot boy drags a basket holding a container of water down a Gaza City street, Aug. 21, 2017. (MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)


Washington Report on Middle East Affairs,October 2017, pp. 16-17

Gaza on the Ground

By Mohammed Omer

“IN MY APARTMENT, I have no water to flush the toilet,” says 41-year-old Abu Jaber, a PA employee who lives in Gaza. “Can you believe this?” He goes on to describe how, for the past week, in the unbearable heat of August, there has been no water supply to his residence.

He must buy all his drinking water, and carry it up to his ninth-floor apartment overlooking the beach. Lots of southern Mediterranean Sea water to look at through the window, but no clean fresh water in his water tank for drinking and basic hygiene—the result of ongoing power outages of up to 23 hours a day following PA President Mahmoud Abbas’ request that Israel cut its power supply to Gaza from 120 megawatts to 48 megawatts a day (see Aug./Sept. 2017 Washington Report, p. 10).

Some Gaza residents have tried to get around the problem by digging 30 to 40 meters underground to build their own water wells—a risky project which not only costs $4,000 to $5,000, but further depletes the already scarce aquifer water reserves.

This, however, is not an option for Abu Jaber, living as he does in a city filled with high-rise apartment buildings. And even if it were, without electricity, he couldn’t pump the water up to his apartment.

Abu Jaber knows that, with his connection to the Ramallah-based PA, most Gazans view him as a member of the elite. While it’s true that he is able to occasionally enjoy a cold drink on the terrace of a famous hotel in Ramallah, the next evening finds him back in his Gaza apartment without water to flush the toilet.

“We live in a mad world,” he told the Washington Report. “We are only 30 miles away from Israel, but observe a huge difference in quality of life and human rights. God never said we should endure such an inhumane life—I can no longer stand it!”

Most Gazans buy water from water trucks that roam the streets—but that water is for drinking and costs 15 to 20 times more than water from Gaza’s pipeline network. It would be unheard of to purchase this drinking water for toilet use—but Abu Jaber has no other option. Each 1,000 liters of drinking water costs Abu Jaber 25 NIS (about $7)—money that should be spent on supplies for his children’s coming school year.

At least he is lucky that he can afford it, since 80 percent of Gaza’s 2 million residents cannot, forced instead to rely on charities for their basic living expenses.

Already Gaza’s water supply is less than the World Health Organization daily average of 100 liters per person, and many thousands of families are suffering as a result, according to the United Nations Office for Humanitarian Affairs.

Residents of many Gaza villages have no option but to dig unlicensed wells for water that is often unhygienic and untreated. The Palestinian Water Authority says there are around 10,000 wells across the Gaza Strip, including 300 municipal wells, 2,700 agricultural wells and 7,000 unlicensed water wells. Before Israel imposed its punitive siege on Gaza, the local government used to fine these unauthorized wells, but now their number simply continues to increase. The choice, after all, is between life from water dug from underground aquifers—or death.

“Gaza Ten Years Later,” a recent U.N. report on the effect of the Israeli siege, declared: “Despite the warnings issued by the U.N. in 2012, Gaza has continued on its trajectory of de-development, in many cases even faster than the U.N. had originally projected.” The report found that access to safe drinking water in Gaza through the public water network plummeted from 98.3 percent in 2000 to a mere 10.5 percent in 2014—compared to almost 97 percent in the West Bank. It’s no surprise then that, during the same period, Gazans’ reliance on water-tank trucks, containers and bottled water rose from 1.4 percent to 89.6 percent.

The resilience of Gazans seems to characterize a lot of stories one hears on a daily basis. Abu Hajjaj, for example, a farmer in Khan Younes, said, “It’s been tough with frequent water outages—but who will listen to our complaints—no one listens—all states are busy with their own affairs.”

A related risk, rarely mentioned in the international media, is the amount of untreated or partially treated wastewater released into the Mediterranean Sea every day. That amount has increased from 90,000 cubic meters (CM) per day in 2012 to 100,000 CM per day in 2016. Due to the electricity crisis, the U.N. report documented an even further increase—to 108,000 CM per day.

In July, Israel’s Ministry of Health instructed the country’s national water company, Mekorot, to close two piping stations near the border with Gaza, over fears that Gaza’s sewage dumping would pollute the water in Israeli aquifers.

The PA pays Mekorot for about 5 million CM of water it supplies to a small area of Gaza. Given Gaza’s growing population, however, this is nowhere near enough. Moreover, Israel’s continued ban on construction materials that allegedly could have “a dual use,” has also limited Gaza’s ability to rebuild damaged water stations and build new water desalination plants.

Gaza’s Coastal Municipalities Water Utility (CMWU) is currently prioritizing the operation of 55 sewage pumping stations to avoid massive localized flooding, which could pose a threat to human lives, particularly in winter.

To Abu Jaber, however, this does not offer much hope of change for the better. “We are humans, and have basic rights and needs that should be kept into consideration,” he states.

“Gaza Ten Years Later” forecast that by 2020 Gaza’s coastal aquifer will be irreversibly damaged.

But, says Abu Jaber, “It is already 2020 in Gaza. Please tell the world!”

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

Abducted From Their Homeland by Nazi Mustarebeen

Abducted From Their Homeland by Israel’s Mustarebeen

Abducted From Their Homeland by Israel’s Mustarebeen

A member of Israel’s undercover Mustarebeen arrests a Palestinian demonstrator near the Jewish West Bank settlement of Beit El, outside Ramallah, during protests against Israel’s “security measures” at the al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City, July 28, 2017. (ABBAS MOMANI/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)


Washington Report on Middle East Affairs,October 2017, pp. 12-13

Special Report

By Kate Daher

For this article, unfortunately, I’m compelled to omit the names of those I am writing about in order to protect the innocent from retribution—that is, the Palestinians who will suffer further under Israel’s notorious collective punishment policy if the injured com-plain too loudly.

AS WE BATHED in the light of a stunning blue moon at Wadi Rum in Jordan, my traveling companion and I were unaware that, at almost that very hour, Israeli settlers were burning to death a Palestinian baby boy in the village of Duma—not far from another Palestinian village in the West Bank we had left just a few days earlier, after visiting a friend’s family and siblings. The Dawabsheh family was being tortured and torched by settlers who had graffitied their small house with the word, “REVENGE.” The settlers proceeded to throw firebombs into the open windows of the sleeping family’s home, killing 18-month-old Ali, his father, Saad, and his mother, Riham. (See September 2015 Washington Report, p. 11.) To this day, Israel refuses to compensate Ahmad Dawabsheh, a 4-year-old toddler at the time, who was badly burned and barely survived this unforgettable brutality.

Nor did I think I would meet my friend’s family again, but two years later I am sitting on his deck with his visiting parents, whom I first met in that village near Duma when I spent an afternoon eating lunch in their home and touring their village. Tonight, as my friend translates, his father is smoking a tobacco-filled hookah pipe while his mother serves tea with fresh mint.

Much has changed for them since our first meeting in the summer of 2015.

Now, their 17-year-old son is in an Israeli prison, while their 27-year-old son is being held in a different prison inside Israel. In the fall of 2015—just two months after our visit—their younger son was playing with a friend on his mother’s iPad in the family store when the Internet suddenly went out. The boys thought this might be another electrical blackout, since this occurs frequently in the occupied Palestinian territories. Instead, three men with guns drawn stormed the building and forced the two young men into a back room, threatening to kill them if they made any noise. What the boys didn’t realize was that parked outside was a minibus used to haul Palestinians away from their homes and into Israeli prisons. The unmarked vans are used by Israeli special forces, who are backed by the Israeli army, and bear white Palestinian license plates, instead of the yellow ones reserved for Israelis. The special forces are called “Mustarebeen” in Arabic, “Duvdevan” in Hebrew, or “Arabized” in English—meaning “they look like Arabs.” This enables them to move more freely in the land they occupy and where they do not belong.

That day in Palestine, the special forces unit kidnapped the teenagers and beat them in the back of the van. When the older son discovered the destruction and damage to his shop, he assumed a robbery had taken place, since multiple items were missing (and never returned). He quickly gathered some friends and drove to the outskirts of the village to look for his younger brother. Soon enough, they came upon the security van. When the elder son jumped out of his car, he was immediately fired upon: 10 shots, 4 of which penetrated his body. The parents had no idea this was happening until some time later.

VIOLATING­ INTERNATIONAL LAW

Arresting Palestinians in the West Bank and transporting them to Israel is a violation of international law. According to an article in the April 26 Washington Post, “approximately 40 percent of Palestinian males have been arrested or detained at some time.” In the words of Amnesty International, “Israel’s decades-long policy of detaining Palestinians from the occupied West Bank and Gaza, in prisons inside Israel, and depriving them of regular family visits is not only cruel but also a blatant violation of international law…”

Indeed, the trip to visit family members in prison is its own special nightmare—a long, arduous, and often unsuccessful, process. Israeli authorities frequently deny families a visitation permit—the first step in the process. Family visitation rights were at the heart of the recent 40-day hunger strike led by Palestinian political prisoner Marwan Barghouti.

Another issue in the strike was the use of vehicles called Postas to take prisoners from the prisons to their military court hearings. Unlike their Israeli settler “neighbors,” Palestinians living in the occupied territories are not entitled to civil trials. The Posta features small metal cells that increase the hand- and foot-cuffed prisoners’ pain and bruising when they are tossed around in the back of the vehicle (similar to the way Freddie Gray suffered during his fatal ride in a Baltimore police van). In the early days of his imprisonment, the elder brother missed scheduled court hearings, where his parents might see him, for fear that his injuries would worsen if he was transported in this vehicle. “A rough ride,” as his father described it.

daher2

A Palestinian passenger who was not allowed to reboard the bus to Jerusalem because of a “small tear in her passbook” is left stranded at the side of the road without her belongings. (PHOTO K. DAHER)

In the case of my friend’s family, because his brothers are held in separate prisons, their parents are required to travel on different days, doubling the arduous process: applying for permits, leaving at 4 a.m. to catch the bus, passing through Israeli military checkpoints—and with no guarantee that they will see their son. Many visiting family members are denied entrance at the prison gate, without explanation.

To date, the older son remains in critical need of medical attention as a result of his gunshot wounds. On at least two occasions, the prison authorities scheduled his surgery on the same day they scheduled his parental visits—undoubtedly another use of collective punishment. Forced to choose between visiting with his parents and taking care of his own health, he chooses to see his parents.

Traveling by bus between Bethlehem and Jerusalem during my last visit, I witnessed a similar event, though under less severe conditions. At one point, the bus was stopped by Israeli security, and all the Palestinian passengers were required to get off and show their papers to the soldiers at the checkpoint. The rest of us remained on the bus and waited quietly. I watched as each Palestinian obeyed the order to hand over their passbooks, and was surprised to see that one elderly woman was not getting back on the bus. I asked the other passengers what was happening, and they explained that she was detained because “there was a small tear in her passbook.” The guards did not remove her belongings, including her purse, from the bus. They remained on an empty seat near mine as the bus drove away. She stood outside, her back straight, hands folded in front of her. The silence on the bus was deafening. When I realized that something was terribly wrong, I quickly snapped her photo.

All the sorrow, anguish and humiliation of several decades of occupation were visible on her pained face as she stood on the side of the road.

As I continued our conversation with my friend’s parents back here in the States, I asked about the crimes allegedly committed by their sons. It seems that someone had fired a weapon close to an Israeli settlement, and, while no one was injured, several young people were made to appear in front of military courts and then sentenced to prison terms.

Genuinely surprised by my question, “what was their crime?” the father took a minute to respond. “Their crime,” he said, “is that they love their country.”

 

 

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

War Crimes and Open Wounds: The Physician Who Took on ‘Israeli’ Segregation

NOVANEWS

On the occasion of her 80th birthday, Ruchama Marton, the founder of Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, talks about the atrocities she witnessed as a soldier, the enduring power of feminism, and why only outside help has a chance of ending Israel’s military rule over the Palestinians.

Featured image: Dr. Ruchama Marton in her home in Tel Aviv. (Shiraz Grinbaum/Activestills.org)

Ruchama Marton belongs to what you might call Generation 1.5 of Israel’s anti-occupation activists. She was slightly too young to belong to the small and avant-garde group that established the revolutionary socialist organization Matzpen in the 1960s, but old enough to have taken classes with firebrand Professor Yeshayahu Leibowitz in Jerusalem. There, while at medical school, she revolutionized the admissions process for female students, leading to the abolishing of admissions quotas. And when she discovered there as ban on women wearing trousers at the medical faculty, she revolted against that as well.

Marton founded Physicians for Human Rights-Israel during the First Intifada, bringing the term “human rights” into the Israeli political discourse. Born in Israel, where she has lived her whole life, she has been an active psychiatrist for more than 40 years. Her relationship with this place is complicated and painful, almost impossible.

Marton minces no words when it comes to the leftist and peace organizations, which she sees as a kind of “humane society,” seeing little point in activism that does not directly confront the violation of human rights, the core of which are political rights.

She has been outraged by injustice and segregation her whole life. Between fighting chauvinism and patriarchy, and the lifelong struggle against the occupation, she refuses to be silent.

I met Marton for a talk in her Tel Aviv home in honor of her 80th birthday. I assumed she wouldn’t make it easy for me. I was right.

As a psychiatrist with years of experience, I want to start with what I think is the big question. Why are we so obsessively attached to dehumanizing Arabs? Why does it seem as if the greatest desire of this place is to deny the Palestinians any kind of recognition and legitimacy? After all there is no practical purpose for that at this point, we’ve already won.

“What do you mean it doesn’t serve a practical purpose? That’s nonsense. It serves all of the Zionist interests. Each and every one.”

Explain.

“First of all, we are colonialists. Zionism is colonialist. And the first thing a good colonialist does is dispossess. Dispossess of what? Of anything he can. Of what is important, of what serves him. Of land. Of natural resources. And, of course, of humanity. After all, it is obvious that in order to control someone else you have to take away their humanity.”

But hasn’t that project ended? It’s not as if we are in a war now and are about to conquer new territory. The War of Independence ended long ago. We won. We have already drawn borders. Why do we still need that mentality? 

“What borders? There are no borders, there will be no borders, and I don’t see that there is any intention to draw them now. But beyond that, dispossession is an unending task. Those occupied people, those dispossessed people, whether they are inside the Green Line or outside of it, they do not agree. They do not give up. They don’t agree to be dispossessed of their land, of their water, of their humanity. As Hannah Arendt said: without political rights there is no human being. Political rights come before everything else. Before the right to property, movement, assembly. Those are all very nice but they are secondary. Without political rights, everything you do is charity. Without political rights, there is nothing.”

Physicians for Human Rights volunteers provide first aid on the Israel-Egypt border. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Physicians for Human Rights volunteers provide first aid on the Israel-Egypt border. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Ruchama’s family came to Israel from a rural region in Poland. Both of her parents grew up in religious homes, like most Jews at that time, certainly the ones who lived outside of the big cities. Her father was so enthralled by communist ideas, she says, that for months he secretly saved money to be able to go to Russia in the 1920s.

“The night before he was about to leave,” she says, “his father walked into his room and said: ‘I know you have been saving money and I know what for. I want to ask you to promise me one thing: do you want to go? Go. Go to America, go to Palestine. Just promise me that you will not go to Russia. They’ll kill you.’ My dad promised and kept his promise.”

Your parents settled in the Geula neighborhood of Jerusalem. You were born in 1937. Do you remember the British Mandate in Jerusalem? 

“Of course. I remember the Australian soldiers patrolling the streets, and walking to the Western Wall with my grandmother. We would walk through the Old City past the Arab merchants; there was no fear. There was no great friendship either, but there was no fear.

“In Jerusalem there was a curfew every night. I remember one night when I stayed over at a girlfriend’s house until after curfew, and I went out into the street and started walking home. An Australian soldier called to me, but I didn’t understand what he was saying, since I didn’t speak English. He caught up with me and tried to understand what I was doing there, where I was going.

“He was a giant, probably six ft. tall. I don’t know how it happened, but he took my hand and walked me home. A little girl with a giant Australian soldier.

“The grandmother who used to take me with her to the Western Wall was killed by a shell in the beginning of the War of Independence. She went out to bring water in a bucket to a neighbor who had small children and was hit by a shell fired by the Arabs a shell fired by the Arabs. A little later we moved to Tel Aviv, which was a completely different world.

“Tel Aviv was much different from Jerusalem. It had a feeling of strangeness and wildness. We lived in an area on the outskirts of town; there were hardly any houses there. It was surrounded by Arab orchards, gardens, and fields of sugarcane growing toward the Yarkon River. It was another world.”

Did you have any friends in Tel Aviv? It must not have been easy.

“I didn’t know anybody here, of course. And in that generation parents and children hardly spoke to one another. But in the house across from us, the only house close by, there was an Arab family. They had an orchard, a garden, and a small herd of sheep and goats.

“They had two children, Zeidin, who was about a year younger than me, and Fatima, who was a bit older than me. They were my best friends. We used to play together, spend our days together in the orchards and in nature. I loved them.

“At the end of 1947 soldiers came and evicted the family. I remember standing and watching that scene unfold. They loaded what little belongings they had and their old grandmother on a donkey and set off for the east. Their house still exists to this day — it was turned into a synagogue.”

In the 1956 Sinai War you also saw things that left a deep mark on you.

“The murder of prisoners by the soldiers in my unit, Givati.”

What happened there? 

“In the days following the Israeli invasion of the Sinai Peninsula, Egyptian soldiers continued to surrender. They would come out of the sand dunes, sometimes barefoot, black from the desert sun, dirt, and sweat, with their hands up.

“Our soldiers shot them. Dozens of them, maybe more. That’s just what I saw. They would come down from the dunes and the soldiers lifted their guns and killed them.”

And what did they do with them? Did they just leave them on the sand?

“Yes. It left me sick. Physically sick. I vomited and was in a terrible state. I went to my commander and asked for a leave. I told him it was because of what happened. Needless to say, he completely ‘did not know’ what I was talking about. But he approved my leave and I hitchhiked home.

“I wanted to talk about what happened. I wanted to publish it, but nobody agreed. They told me to leave it alone. I had friends who worked at newspapers, and I thought, naïvely, that they might want to publish it. Nobody agreed to touch it. When I was 19 I already knew that what they told me about Zionism and the army was a pile of lies.”

An Internet search about the killing of prisoners during the Sinai War led to several links, including an interview with Brig. Gen. Arieh Biro, who admitted that he and his soldiers murdered Egyptian prisoners during that war. I can only assume that the murders that took place were far more common and serious than the ones found in the “inquiry” ordered by Shimon Peres in 1995.

After the army you went to medical school. At the time there were quotas for women. 

“Yes. There was a quota and they didn’t want a lot of women to become doctors. So they limited them to a 10 percent quota. I waged a struggle against that along with other students and faculty members, leading to the cancellation of the quota. Since then women are admitted to medical school in Israel based on their qualifications, just like men.”

After all of your years working with human psychology and the conflict, do you see any change? f I understand you correctly, despite the tremendous propaganda skills Israel has developed, despite the ongoing brainwashing, from what you’re saying it seems that it was the same in the 1950s.  

“First of all, Zionism and what a human being is are two things that don’t intersect. But there has been no essential change here. It’s more of the same. It’s true that the Zionist propaganda machine would make the Soviets proud, but the essence of the beliefs about basic things, about the treatment of the Arabs and their place — those beliefs have not changed.”

A mental health revolutionary

At 80, Marton is still an active psychiatrist. In her many years in the profession, she has advocated and campaigned to take mental health care out of the psychiatric hospitals and bring it into the community.

I was very surprised that there was someone in Israel talking about psychiatric care as part of the community. It actually means normalizing mental health. 

“Why shouldn’t there be a psychiatric clinic inside the neighborhood health clinic? There should be an optometrist, an ENT, and a psychiatrist. In exactly the same place, at the same level, in the same corridor, with the same concept.”

You believed in this very early in your career, and you took concrete steps to make it happen.

“I was the first person in Israel who brought a proposal to the medical establishment – I went all the way to Shimon Peres and others, I told them that mental health clinics do not need to be in psychiatric hospitals. It’s a disaster, no less. People have that terrible stigma that deters them from entering a psychiatric hospital.

“There was one director, Davidson (Prof. Shamai Davidson, Director of the Shalvata Hospital from 1973-1986. He moved to Israel from Dublin in 1955 – A.M.), he really was a saint; he really understood and supported the idea of community-based psychiatric care. The concept of community is something he brought with him from the diaspora. He listened to me with an open heart and was the one who carried out that revolution and led to the opening of a psychiatric treatment clinic at a clinic in Morasha, and then in Ramat Hasharon, and from there it just spread.

To this day the project has not been completed. But we did break that initial wall.

Do you know how many people don’t ask for help because the clinic is located inside a psychiatric hospital? And then what happens? They break down and get hospitalized. Great! We got what we wanted.”

I’m listening to what you’re saying and thinking: there is something justified about people’s fear of the psychiatric system. Something about the system’s perception of itself and of the patient — it’s sick.

“That’s very true. That was what I was fighting for. But today my fighting days are behind me. After 30 or 40 years, I’ve had enough. Maybe I didn’t succeed in everything, but I did in some things. I’m very proud of it.”

Do you think about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, or about the Zionist story, in psychological terms? The story of murdering prisoners, for example, the likes of which I heard from people close to me, fills me with deep shame. 

“I am fascinated by the subject of shame. It is the emotion I have worked with most for years. I believe that without shame there is no hope for the world — there is no human being. Without shame a person can do anything. One of the things that has happened to us is that we have lost all shame. The soldiers who shot the prisoners were not ashamed. That is why they did what they did.”

Where else do you see examples of such shamelessness? 

Marton seen with Dr. Eyad al-Sarraj, founder of the Gaza Mental Health Foundation in the early days of Physicians for Human Rights. (Physicians for Human Rights)

Marton seen with Dr. Eyad al-Sarraj, founder of the Gaza Mental Health Foundation in the early days of Physicians for Human Rights. (Physicians for Human Rights)

“In my profession. Palestinians who were involved in terrorism, or at least accused of it, are sent to psychiatric evaluation. You might be surprised to hear this, but there are simply no Palestinians with mental illnesses — at least not the kinds that prevent them from being tried by Israel. Palestinians do not have the right to be crazy.”

Israeli psychiatrists examine Palestinian defendants and know that they suffer from various psychiatric conditions, yet they still declare them competent to stand trial?

“Of course they know. And how do I know that they know? Because after they are tried and sent to prison, they receive medication for schizophrenia. And these are not errors of ignorance. I’m talking about good doctors. Yet still they give ridiculous and erroneous diagnoses.

“I went there and saw for myself. I spoke to prisoners. I wrote about it in the newspaper at the time. I was disciplined by the Israel Medical Association for naming doctors who were involved in such diagnoses. They intended to sue me but they decided to let it go so as not to expose the public to all of the dirty tricks that go on behind closed doors. I was then forced to write a letter of apology. I wrote the letter, which included two lines of apology followed by a full account of the things I knew, including the mistaken diagnoses and what was behind them. That letter has not been published to this day.”

That was not the end of Marton’s and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel’s trouble with the Israeli Medical Association and the Israeli establishment. In 2009 the Association announced it was cutting ties with PHRI, after the organization accused Israeli doctors of taking part in torture. Furthermore, the Tax Authority has refused to renew the organization’s status as a public institution for tax purposes, ever since it published a statement according to which the occupation is a violation of human rights — including the right to health. According to the Tax Authority, such statements are deemed “political.”

Medicine is a political issue 

How did Physicians for Human Rights-Israel begin? 

“When I wanted to do something practical, something political, I used that which was most available to me: medicine. I contacted a Palestinian medical organization. Palestinian volunteers used to go out to treat people in the field, and I joined them.

Marton rides along with and volunteers on the way a Physicians for Human Rights trip to the West Bank. (Physicians for Human Rights)

Marton rides along with and volunteers on the way a Physicians for Human Rights trip to the West Bank. (Physicians for Human Rights)

“After a while I began organizing volunteers from Israel. I had to beg people to go out with me on Saturday mornings. At first I managed to get two people, which felt like a huge achievement. Now around 30 volunteers go out [to the West Bank] with the mobile clinic.

“I made the organization’s rules: it is always us and the Palestinians together. It is never a delegation of white colonialists going out to rescue the natives. We work together in full agreement with our Palestinian partners; they say where they need us, and in the absolute majority of cases that is where we go.”

And where do you work? It’s not as if they have organized clinics.

“Clinics? There are hardly any clinics in those villages, and the ones that exist are small and unsuitable for big teams like ours. We use schools and offices of local councils. And you don’t need to make some big announcement — word gets around in the village and in the nearby villages. First thing on Saturday morning, there are already too many people.”

What treatments do you provide?

“Anything that one can do in the field, including relatively simple surgeries. We bring donated medications with us, and write prescriptions for medications we don’t have. When there is a need for complicated exams we refer to different hospitals in the Palestinian Authority and Israel. That also involved many years of struggle.”

The State of Israel never considered itself responsible for the health of those it occupied.

“Right. But until Oslo, or until the First Intifada, there were Palestinian hospitals in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, which became Israeli government hospitals after 1967. There was a very limited medical budget, nothing like in a normal country. But, for example, there was a vaccination budget. Paradoxically, in the refugee camps, the situation was much better, since they were under the responsibility of UNRWA.

When the First Intifada broke out, one of the decisions made by then-Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin was to stop the budget for Palestinian medical services. When I heard about this I flew to London and showed up at the offices of the BBC. I told them about the situation in the occupied territories, and they sent a team to do a brief item about that decision and its outcome, namely people dying in their homes because of the lack of medical care. The uproar convinced Rabin to restore at least part of the budget.”

Go home, get dressed

A few days ago there was a photo in the newspaper of the head of the Mossad visiting the home of the U.S. national security advisor. All the people in the photo were men. I’m really happy to say that such a photo looks strange to me today. 

“That brings me back again to the subject of segregation. That is how people are taught to think about themselves. That separation, the fact that there is a women’s gallery [in synagogue], and now they want separation in the army and the universities too. Segregation is the root of all evil.

“My first wars were not over the Palestinian issue. They were feminist, even though I didn’t call it that at the time.”

You are a proud woman.

“Not enough. I mean I’m too proud to ask for credit, and sometimes I’m full of resentment that I don’t get it. For example, I was the first one to introduce the concept of “human rights” into the Israeli discourse. Before that there were “civil rights,” but human rights as a political concept is my work.”

Yet you still don’t feel comfortable demanding recognition.

“That’s right. Maybe it’s the result of my feminine education. Not feminist, feminine. The kind that teaches women not to stand out. To be nice, smile, not to get angry. To never start a sentence with the word ‘I.’ That’s how women are raised.”

You are outraged by chauvinism. It’s not that different from your outrage at the occupation.

“My whole life I had to contend with stigmas and separate rules for women. With the fact that women were not allowed to wear pants in medical school in the Jerusalem cold. When I showed up with pants one female lecturer said to me: “Young lady, go home, get dressed properly and come back.” I went home and I didn’t come back. I raised hell, ad in the end I won.”

Criticism of all sides

 You are very critical of the Israeli Left and the way it confronts the occupation.

“There is no Israeli Left. What we need to do is start Israel’s human rights organizations from scratch so that they are willing to fight to end apartheid. Apartheid that distinguishes between those who have everything and those who have nothing. Those who are allowed everything and those who are forbidden everything. If they are unwilling to undertake that fight, what are they fighting for? For their own self image.

“You can’t fight colonialism, occupation, apartheid — call it what you want — by playing in the government’s court, according to the government’s agenda. You must breach those boundaries.”

The Labor Party actually maintained the occupation for 10 whole years and didn’t do anything about it.

“Don’t say Mapai didn’t do anything. They were the ones who established the settlements. Begin was the only righteous leader we have had. I mean it. Under his rule torture was completely forbidden. When the head of the Shin Bet came to him and asked ‘Sir, not even a slap?’ He said: ‘No. Not even a slap.’

“Begin forbade demolishing houses, he forbade expulsion. He was the only righteous man in Sodom. There was not a single righteous man either before him or after him.”

I always thought, and still think, that the normal moderate Revisionist Right is the camp with the best chances of treating the Arabs humanely. 

“I don’t want humane treatment of the Arabs. I want political rights. After that you can be humane or whatever you want. Without political you continue to be a colonialist, an occupier, an apartheidist.

“A human rights organization that is not willing to fight for that is howling at the moon. It is meaningless.”

In a sense you are also talking about yourself. This is also a personal reckoning.

“That’s right. I’m talking to you after 30 or maybe 50 years of fighting the occupation. We need outside help. And I’m talking mainly about one thing: BDS.”

Working in Israel for that cause is not easy.

She laughs. “It’s a matter for traitors, and today’s traitors are tomorrow’s heroes. Anyone who is not willing to pay that price does not know how to fight. If you don’t pay a price you are fighting only for your own beautiful image. As long as the occupation continues, as long as apartheid continues, it doesn’t matter if you are a little more or less beautiful.”

Physician for Human Rights volunteers hand out medication from a mobile clinic in the West Bank. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Physician for Human Rights volunteers hand out medication from a mobile clinic in the West Bank. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

She stops to think for a moment.

“We have to fight the idea of segregation, because it separates between me and the political, between the Arab and his land, between the Arab and his human dignity. Segregation is the wound. It is the axis around which things revolve.”

Even though Jews brought the idea of segregation here with them. After all, there are all kinds of segregation among the Jews themselves, along ethnic, religious, and political lines. 

“There surely is segregation here on all levels. After all, we are divided here into first-class and second-class Jews, and beneath them are Palestinian citizens of Israel, and the Palestinians in the West Bank are even lower. At the very bottom of the ladder are the asylum seekers and the refugees (Physicians for Human Rights holds an Open Clinic that provides medical care to refugees and asylum seekers, A.M.).

“Segregation exists within our society as a central political principal. If we cancel segregation, then what? It will be a political disaster for the regime — not just for the Right.

“When I think about what my organization has done — about the trips to Gaza, about handing out medicine out of solidarity, about managing to shatter segregation — that has our biggest achievement.”

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

Fake News, “Human Rights” and “Free Speech” in the USA

NOVANEWS

Fake News, “Human Rights” and “Free Speech” in the USA: State-Sponsored Intimidation, or When FARA Goes Too Far

 

The US government is blatantly violating the most basic tenets of its purportedly “sacred” ideology of “human rights” and “free speech” by egregiously overstepping the bounds of FARA to engage in the same type of state-sponsored intimidation that it regularly accuses its geopolitical opponents of for far less.

Yahoo broke the story earlier on Monday that the FBI questioned former Sputnik employee Andrew Feinburg following his public complaints to the media about how the company is supposedly being run, and this reportedly came after another former employee, Joseph John Fionda, allegedly contacted the FBI on his own initiative to share “a big packet” of information accusing Sputnik of breaking the law. The legislation at the center of this scandal is theForeign Agents Registration Act” (FARA), a 1938 law originally passed to expose Nazi influence operations inside of the US. It’s since been used for registering anyone who works as a “foreign agent”, which stereotypically refers to Congressional lobbyists hired by foreign governments but is nowadays being proposed by some US voices to apply to Sputnik and RT as well.

The basis for this move is that both companies are publicly funded by the Russian government, and that this therefore supposedly makes them “propaganda” because it’s assumed by the American authorities that all of their employees lack “editorial independence” from the Kremlin. As could have been expected, the same forces pushing for Sputnik and RT to register as “foreign agents” under FARA aren’t interested in equally applying these expanded “standards” to other publicly financed international media outlets such as Al Jazeera and the BBC.

Using the same criteria as is being applied against these two companies, one could rhetorically question the “independence” of US Congressmen and American government-connected “think tanks” to the “deep state”, which is another word for its permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies that hold disproportionate influence over policymaking decisions.

In any case, what’s important to focus on is the difference between publicly financed institutions and those which are “government-run”. The first one simply means that taxpayers are paying the bills, whereas the second refers to government employees being the final decision makers on all matters. All government employees work for publicly financed institutions, but not all employees at publicly financed institutions are government employees. Sputnik, for example, is a publicly financed media platform where the editors always have the final say as decision makers in what is a globally recognized industry-wide hierarchical standard. This doesn’t indicate “censorship” or a “cover-up” – it’s just plain journalism.

If Washington-funded media platforms happen to accuse Sputnik and RT of being “government-run”, then it might possibly be that they’re falsely projecting their own unstated but widely assumed internal arrangements onto their Russian counterparts.

Moreover, just because two disgruntled employees seem to have experienced communication issues with their superiors and failed to resolve – or in some cases, even address – them prior to continuing with their given assignments doesn’t mean that there’s a “Kremlin conspiracy” because their bosses were displeased with their overall work at the company as a result. Outcomes like that happen in those situations. It’s life – nothing more, nothing less – and should be used as a personal learning experience, not as someone’s 15 minutes of fame driven by their desire to more easily land a new job elsewhere, whether in the same industry or the “think tank” one. It’s natural for people to have divergent views on any given subject, especially when it’s related to politics, but editors always have the final say when it comes to the journalism industry, and employees are supposed to respect that.

One of the more popular fake news claims going around about Sputnik and RT is that the two outlets were heavily biased in favor of Trump during the 2016 election, but that’s frankly not true, as anyone would know by listening to Sputnik’s radio programs from that time, watching RT’s shows, or reading both of their websites’ archives. Both platforms lean closer to the liberal-progressive side of things as opposed to the conservative one. Simply reporting on the many unfavorable stories surrounding Hillary Clinton and not blindly fawning over her candidacy doesn’t qualify as “institutional bias”, though in largely controlled systems such as the American one where most of the media openly back the Democrats, then the Overton window concept would suggest that Sputnik and RT’s balanced reporting and analyses would understandably stand out as attention-grabbing and exemplary.

In addition, it should never be forgotten that it was the on-the-fence population of the Rust Belt who surprisingly turned the election in Trump’s favor. One would presume that the liberal-progressive masses in the solidly Democratic states on each coast would be Sputnik and RT’s core audiences given how these two outlets’ more leftist-leaning stance on many matters overlap with the prevailing preferences there, so it’s ridiculous to believe that these Russian companies somehow convinced voters to want to “Make America Great Again” in the more stereotypically nationalistic heartland with their liberal-progressive messaging. In fact, it’s uncertain how many people in that part of the US listen to, watch, or read Sputnik and RT in the first place when Fox NewsCNN, and Rush Limbaugh dominate those media markets, and whether these Russian companies are even capable of making any difference at all in those swing states.

Another point that’s often brought up in the course of this conversation is that individual writers, analysts, and presenters might be “biased”, but human beings are unique and have their own way of understanding and relaying information, which in the media field leads to them expressing their individual viewpoints and perspectives in their work. There’s nothing wrong with this, and it should be celebrated that people feel comfortable enough in their professional environment to express themselves as they see fit, though provided that they’re not obnoxiously – and perhaps even deliberately – doing something to cross the line of the editorial standards which vary according to the media outlet. The Sputnik and RT employees that are in the public limelight sometimes have opinions that are just as passionate as their counterparts in The Washington Post and The New York Times, though the latter two are rarely – if ever – condemned for their zeal by the US government.

The double standard that’s being applied when it comes to Sputnik and RT should be clear for all to see, and it’s that the American “deep state” doesn’t tolerate foreigners having an opinion about the US unless they present it on a US-based media platform or on one of Washington’s allies’. Otherwise, as the witch-hunting “logic” now goes, they’re “foreign agents” possibly “spreading propaganda”, and their outlets need to be registered as such with the intimidating “scarlet letter(s)” of FARA if they’re foreign-funded. Even worse, the hysterical zeitgeist has now peaked at such a point that Americans are unable to talk about American-related issues (whether domestic or foreign) on non-American international media outlets publicly funded by a foreign government without potentially having to register as a “foreign agent” in their homelands, whether they still live there or emigrated already.

This is nothing less than state-sponsored intimidation, since Washington is implying that the Americans who work for and comment on these platforms might be “national security threats” because of their supposedly undeclared “foreign agent” status.

If Russia implemented the same media version of FARA that the US is seriously considering and decided to decree that its citizens working for publicly funded American information outlets both in the country and abroad are “foreign agents” that are forced to register with the Kremlin, then the US government would instantly condemn it as state-sponsored intimidation and political oppression, possibly even extending political asylum and an expedited path to citizenship for those said nationals who might be working in the US and are too afraid to ever go home again. Frighteningly, however, it’s not Russians who have to fear the long arm of their government in this respect, but Americans, though it’s “politically incorrect” for anyone to say so.

In the Twilight Zone of the New Cold War, Russia could plausibly – and with full ethical and legal backing behind it –contemplate granting its Russian-based American employees political asylum and potential citizenship because of the state-sponsored intimidation that they might become reasonably subjected to back home just because they decided to “Tell The Untold” and “Question More”. If the US government demands that Sputnik and RT employees register as “foreign agents” under FARA but selectively ignores enforcing this new “standard” against other publicly financed international media companies and their employees, then it’s not unrealistic to imagine that Edward Snowden might end up sharing a toast with some fellow American political refugees in Moscow before too long.

Posted in USA, ZIO-NAZI, Human Rights, Media0 Comments

Is Europe Beginning to Talk Sense on Refugees?

NOVANEWS

Angela Merkel is tipped to easily win reelection for a fourth term — in power only five years fewer than Vladimir Putin, she is congratulated, while he is accused of running a rigged system — yet many German voters are angry at her for opening Germany’s doors to Muslim refugees and economic migrants. 

North African and Turkish workers are not new to Europe: in the sixties, France and Germany brought over thousands to replenish the ranks of its work force decimated by war, who were encouraged to send for their wives and children. The latter, far from clamoring to return to their parents’ former homes, are Islamizing the Christian continent, just as the anti-immigrant right claims.

Although he stands no chance of becoming Chancellor, the center-right Free Democratic Party candidate, Christian Lindner has come up with an idea that seems admirable: Germany should work to restore peace to the Middle East and Africa, and then ask refugees to go home.

Realistically, it will take decades for this to happen, by which time the children of today’s arrivals will have children of their own, for whom their parents’ lands will be foreign. For comparison, although second and third generation Palestinians still dream of an independent Palestinian state, theirs is a contiguous land which occupation has frozen in time, while Africa and the Middle East will be very different places were the damage of colonialism and war to be repaired.

So why even mention Lindner’s proposal? Precisely because it lays responsibility for the outsized wave of Muslim immigration squarely on the Christian world that is rejecting it. Following the destruction of World War II, Western Europe gratefully accepted American assistance. Although presented as altruistic, it came with obligations that prevented the old world from having an independent foreign policy. Although France and England succeeded in building nuclear deterrents, as part of NATO, they were expected to sign on to US-led wars, never imagining that these would boomerang. While America remained safely isolated from the Eurasian and African continents by two oceans, the victims of its wars and economic rape headed for Europe as the nearest haven.

Contrary to their expectations, Europe let them down. The so-called ‘union’ left Greece to shoulder most of the burden from the Middle East for a year, until it managed to persuade Turkey to take back some refugees in return for hefty financing for holding camps and promises that its application to join would be given new life. 

(For thirty years, as hundreds of thousands of Turkish and North African workers kept German and French industry humming, Muslim Turkey had been trying to become part of Europe. Now it was being asked to take in thousands of foreigners so that Europe could remain “a Christian continent”, while not even granting Turks visa free travel! In 2016, an aborted coup resulted in Turkish President Erdogancracking down on dissidents, the press and the judiciary, even getting a majority to approve changes to the constitution that increased his powers, putting EU ascension even farther off, and thus making Turkey’s cooperation on refugees more problematic.)

As for Italy, as the closest European country to Libyan ports of departure, it was easily overwhelmed, while France and Spain kept their ports closed to traffickers. (Germany, though having no Mediterranean port, pushed for concerted sea patrols.) Some refugees headed for Rome, where they set up pup tents on a major square near the Central Station, while others were seen climbing over the boulders protecting summer homes from the sea between Ventimiglia and Menton. They got to Calais, six hundred miles away, where they set up a camp that soon came to be known as ‘the jungle’.

From there they tried nightly to cross to England, either on lorries or trains under the Channel Tunnel, more inclined to learn English than French and believing a conservative monarchy would better protect them than France’s socialist government. Soon they were joined by adolescents, and even unaccompanied children. After several years of trash accumulating and locals protesting, the government forced them out,  most scattering before they could be relocated. 

Meanwhile, and unexpectedly, the quotas mandated for each country by Brussels were indignantly rejected by the recently joined nations of Eastern Europe, mainly Hungary, Poland and Czechoslovakia. Having lived for two generations behind the Wall separating them from Western Europe, they saw no contradiction in putting up walls of their own, using police dogs to convince the refugees that they would never be tolerated.

German voters angry over Angela Merkel’s open door policy, are unlikely to vote for either the socialists or the Greens. However the proposal by the Free Democrats — normally a possible coalition partner — to allow refugees to remain in Germany until the Middle East and Africa are ‘repaired’, will likely help the far-right anti-immigrant party, Alternative for Germany, to pull ahead. 

Most Germans recognize that Merkel is the strongest candidate when it comes to relations with both the US and Russia. But while Lindner’s proposal sounds reasonable, they know deep down that the problem of Muslim immigrants can only grow. (See this and this.)

Posted in Europe, Human Rights0 Comments

Nazi regime remove Palestinian village’s sole water pipe

NOVANEWS

A Palestinian girl fills jerrycans with spring water in Salfit, West Bank on 27 June 2016 [Nedal Eshtayah/Apaimages].

Palestinians living near the village of Duma in the occupied West Bank district of Nablus have been told that the sole water pipeline servicing the area will be removed by Nazi occupation forces as it was deemed “illegal”.

Palestinian news agency Wafa reported that Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official who monitors Nazi Jewish settlement activity in the northern occupied West Bank, said that Nazi forces had informed the residents of their intention to remove and destroy the pipeline.

Daghlas said that the pipeline is the sole water source for the area. According to Wafa, 14 Palestinian families live in the area and depend on the pipeline.

MOTHER PALESTINE WATER

Read: Nazi reducing water supply to Palestinians in Jordan Valley

A spokesperson for COGAT, the agency responsible for implementing Nazi policies in the occupied Palestinian territory, told Ma’an that the pipe was installed in the area as “part of an attempt to build an illegal residential complex at an archaeological site where construction is prohibited.”

However, rights groups have long reported that Nazi control of water resources in the occupied West Bank has led to water shortages in Palestinian communities which force Palestinians to buy water directly from the Nazi regime. Palestinians are prevented from digging their own wells or other projects to enhance water access.

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

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