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Until Gaza Is Free Nazi state Will Never Be Free

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Until Gaza Is Free ‘Israel’ Will Never Be Free

Palestinian youths fly their kites during a Hamas-sponsored summer scout camp, in an event held as a show of support against Israeli security measures installing metal detectors at the Al Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem, on the beach near the Israeli border fence, in Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza Strip, Wednesday, July 19, 2017.
© AP Photo/ Adel Hana

The abandonment of 1.8 million men, women, and children to their fate in Gaza by the so-called international community is one of the most grievous moral outrages of our time.

Let us not mince words: Gaza in 2017 is a vast open air prison whose inmates have committed no crime or transgression other than that of being Palestinians who dare assert the right to self-determination on land that has long been coveted by an oppressor whose flagrant disregard for international law and human rights is beyond dispute.

Since 2007 the Gaza Strip — comprising a narrow stretch of land which hugs the eastern Mediterranean Coast, and which at 40km long and 12km (at its widest point) is one of the most densely populated parts of the world — has existed in a state of unyielding siege and blockade. Nothing can enter or leave via its Erez border crossing with Israel to the north, or its Rafah border crossing with Egypt to the south, without the consent of the Israeli authorities in agreement with their Egyptian counterparts.

A 2017 UN report into living conditions in Gaza confirms that “on the ground, life for the average Palestinian in Gaza is getting more and more wretched. This year electricity is the most visible deterioration in the living conditions in Gaza but it comes on top of a host of other chronic and acute problems that have become part of ‘normal’ life. An 11-year-old child has not experienced more than 12 hours of electricity in a single day in his/her lifetime. No one remembers a time in recent memory when drinkable water reliably appeared out of the tap. Memories of ease of movement in and out of the Strip are also increasingly distant.”

@UN country team report: Gaza Ten Years Later http://reliefweb.int/report/occupied-palestinian-territory/gaza-ten-years-later?utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=shared&utm_source=twitter.com  via @reliefweb

Photo published for Gaza Ten Years Later

Gaza Ten Years Later

The UN Country Team in the occupied Palestinian territory released a report today that reviews the socio-economic status of the Gaza Strip, a decade after the events of 2006-2007 that saw a violent…

reliefweb.int

 

Meanwhile, according to a recent Amnesty International report, “Israel’s military blockade of the Gaza Strip [has] entered its 10th year, continuing the collective punishment of Gaza’s entire population.” It also cites the fact that the Israelis maintain a “buffer zone” inside the Strip and have used “live fire and other weapons against Palestinians who entered or approached it.”

Writer and journalist Max Blumenthal described his own experience of entering Gaza and passing through this buffer zone in a 2015 interview with fellow journalist Glenn Greenwald. “You wander down a long corridor, which is a cage,” Blumenthal recalled, “and then you arrive at a metal door at a concrete wall. The metal door opens, it shuts behind you, and you’re inside what is effectively a walled-off ghetto.”

Palestinian children look through a hole in a sheet metal fence outside their home in a poor neighbourhood in Gaza City
© AFP 2017/ MAHMUD HAMS
Palestinian children look through a hole in a sheet metal fence outside their home in a poor neighbourhood in Gaza City

He goes on:

“You look down this endless wall, to your right, and you see a remote-controlled machine gun perched on the wall. That’s the spot and strike system, which is operated by an all-female unit of Israeli soldiers in the Negev Desert, tens of kilometers away, by remote. And what they do is, they watch the buffer zone — this 300 [meter] area that Palestinians are forbidden from entering inside the Gaza Strip. And anyone who enters who they determine to be a ‘terrorist,’ they eliminate with the push of a joystick button from a remote-controlled machine gun. It’s just that dystopian.”

Punctuating this daily lived experience of misery for the Palestinians of Gaza are regular Israeli attacks from land, sea, and air, which are tantamount to war crimes given that due to the lack of space in the Strip they are indiscriminate and regularly result in the massacre of civilians. And this is without taking into account the two full-scale military assaults unleashed by the Israelis on Gaza — Operation Cast Lead in 2008-09, and Operation Protective Edge in 2014 — in which thousands of civilians were killed and maimed, many of them children.

Mohammed Keferna, 14, sits on a couch in his family's building that was damaged by Israeli strikes during last summer's Israel-Hamas war, in Beit Hanoun, northern Gaza Strip, Friday, Jan. 30, 2015
© AP PHOTO/ ADEL HANA
Mohammed Keferna, 14, sits on a couch in his family’s building that was damaged by Israeli strikes during last summer’s Israel-Hamas war, in Beit Hanoun, northern Gaza Strip, Friday, Jan. 30, 2015

The burning question is why, in the face of such damning evidence, Israel has been able to get away with committing such grievous crimes against the people of Gaza for so long? The answer is that for far too long the application and enforcement of international law has been less to do with justice and more to do with power — or a given state’s relationship to power.

Israel’s geostrategic importance to the United States and its European allies has allowed it free rein in its brutal repression of the Palestinian people, both in the Gaza Strip and across the Occupied Territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. It is afforded a level of geopolitical and diplomatic support that no other state engaged in such wanton crimes against humanity would enjoy, thus exposing the moral bankruptcy of the US and those European governments which continue to deny not only the righteousness of the Palestinian struggle for justice but their status as victims of a continuing monstrous injustice.

In this Sunday, March 26, 2017 photo, Palestinian residents of Gaza strip wait on the Israeli side of the Erez terminal to cross to Gaza Strip
© AP PHOTO/ TSAFRIR ABAYOV
In this Sunday, March 26, 2017 photo, Palestinian residents of Gaza strip wait on the Israeli side of the Erez terminal to cross to Gaza Strip

In defending its apparatus of repression — which includes apartheid, ethnic cleansing, siege, torture, arbitrary detention without trial, and violence — the word “terrorism” is consistently invoked. When it comes to Gaza specifically, the Israelis cite the existence and actions of Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, as a threat to its security and the security of its citizens, specifically those living in Israeli towns adjacent to Gaza.

While there is no gainsaying the fact that attacks unleashed against Israeli civilians by Hamas are indefensible, they are not incomprehensible given the severity of the occupation. What Israel and its supporters are careful to elide when it comes to Hamas is the salient fact that the Islamist group is a product of this occupation, which has lasted since 1967 and shows no evidence of ending.

Palestinian protesters hurl stones at Israeli troops following a protest against the blockade on Gaza, near the border between Israel and Central Gaza Strip May 19, 2017
© REUTERS/ IBRAHEEM ABU MUSTAFA
Palestinian protesters hurl stones at Israeli troops following a protest against the blockade on Gaza, near the border between Israel and Central Gaza Strip May 19, 2017

Prison imprisons the guards as much as it does the inmates, and the chains that bind the Palestinians also bind their oppressors. It is hard to imagine that on any given day the word “Palestine” or “Palestinian” does not intrude on the consciousness of people living in Israel, reminding them of a people who remain unbowed, despite their miserable condition, just a few miles from the affluence they themselves have long taken for granted.

Hatred of others is the handmaiden of hatred of self, and until Gaza and the rest of Palestine is free Israel will never be free.

Related:

Israel Speeds Up Construction of Barrier Against Hamas Tunnels
Israeli Retaliatory Airstrikes on Hamas Positions in Gaza Injure 4 Palestinians
Worse Than Aftermath of 2014 War: Gaza Strip Hit by Electricity Crisis – Charity

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

Nazi regime detain 880 Palestinians, including 144 children, in July

Nazi Jewish forces detained 880 Palestinians from the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the besieged Gaza Strip in the month of July alone, according to joint report from the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS), al-Mezan Center for Human Rights, Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, and the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs.

Among the detainees were 144 children and 18 women, the report pointed out, adding that the majority of the detentions took place in East Jerusalem and the Jerusalem district of the West Bank, with a total of 425 detentions.

The Jerusalem area was followed by by Hebron with 120 detentions, Nablus with 85, Jenin with 49, Qalqiliya with 47, Bethlehem with 45, Ramallah with 37, Tulkarem with 36, Tubas with 14, Salfit with 10, and Jericho with 10, while two people from the Gaza Strip were detained.

July’s detentions brought the total number of Palestinian prisoners in Nazi custody to 6,400, including 52 women, 10 teenage girls, and 300 children, according to the report.

Among the detainees are 12 members of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), one of whom has been classified by Nazi regime as an “illegal fighter.”

Meanwhile, approximately 450 prisoners are being held without trial or charge under Nazi widely condemned policy of administrative detention.

Nazi regime issued 97 administrative detention orders in July, 20 of which were first-time sentences, while the other Palestinians saw their existing administrative detentions renewed.
Nazi army raids in Palestinian towns, villages, and refugee camps are a daily occurrence in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, with a biweekly average of 95 search and detention raids carried out over the course of 2016, according to UN documentation.

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

Revoking Palestinians of Jerusalem residency ‘war crime’

Nazi regime committing a war crime by revoking residency permits for Palestinians in East Jerusalem. In new report “deportation or forced transfers of any part of the population of an occupied territory could amount to war crimes under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court” said shoah.com

The report detailed how revoking permits is part of a larger strategy that includes “unlawful settlement expansion, home demolitions, and restrictions on building in the city”, which have resulted in “maintaining a solid Jewish majority in the city”.

“Israel claims to treat Jerusalem as a unified city, but the reality is effectively one set of rules for Jews and another for Palestinians,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch.

Nearly 15,000 Palestinians in East Jerusalem have had residency permits revoked since 1967, the report said.

“This constitutes forcible transfers when causing displacement to other parts of the Occupied Palestinian Territory and deportations when displacement takes place outside the country,”  it added.

More than 300,000 Palestinians there have permanent residency status but are not ‘Israeli’ nationals…

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

Zionist puppet European Union removes video featuring Zio-Nazi genocide advocate

Zionist puppet European Union embassy in illegally occupied Palestine 1948 ‘Tel Aviv’ has removed from its Facebook page an official EU promotional video featuring Nazi Avishai Ivri, Jewish “comedian” who incites genocidal levels of violence against Palestinians.

This came a day after The Electronic Intifada published an exposé of Nazi Ivri’s long record of extreme anti-Palestinian racism.

In posts on Twitter, Nazi Ivri has called on the Nazi regime to kill “1,000 Arabs” for every Israeli who dies in conflict-related violence and has urged that Israel “wipe out Gaza.”

He denies the existence of Palestinians as a people and has urged the Nazi regime to expel them so it can become the “sovereign” in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.

“We decided to stop promoting a video on EU-Israel cooperation,” the EU embassy stated on Twitter on Friday. “We want no doubts that anything we do promotes the values the EU stands for.”…

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

Khirbet Tana in the West Bank: A Silenced Struggle Against Nazi Occupation and Expulsion

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Khirbet Tana has been under Israeli attack for long in the attempt to expel the Palestinian population from their lands and colonise the areas with settlements. Challenging Israeli home demolition, residents have taken to reform and inhabit caves and are leading an inspiring struggle for dignity and rights.

 

Featured image: Khirbet Tana Tea 

Representatives from the Land Defense Coalition spent the afternoon of July 5th driving through the winding hills of the surrounding Nablus Governorate area, and standing under trees to escape the ceaseless heat as we visited Khirbet Tana, a herding and agriculturally based community of families that reside in the some forty plus caves dotting the sloping hills.

The Land Defense Coalition members were visiting the local popular committee that organises the daily resistance and steadfastness of the community.

The most recent internationally released report Khirbet Tana was in January of 2017, when the village made news for being one of the first demolitions of the new year. The Israeli occupation forces demolished 49 structures during this encounter. In 2016, Khirbet Tana was demolished over four times.

Similar efforts of displacement are ongoing in other regions of the West Bank: the Israeli project to develop settlements in the E1 corridor of Jerusalem threatening the Bedouin community of Khan al-Ahmar is only one other example. In the South Hebron Hills people are in daily struggle for their survival on their land.

These communities also face settler violence. For example in 2011, there was an incident where settlers beat a Tana shepherd and slaughtered 15 of his animals.

A historic village struggling for their future

The Ottoman-era mosque built in the 1850s is material evidence of the longevity of the Khirbet Tana community, where families have lived and farmed on the land since before 1948, before the territory was declared a ‘firing zone’. With the crest of the hills towering over, and the valley dipping and curving alongside the road to the caves, the Animal

Husbandry Cooperative members pointed out how the features of the hills are defined by intimidation and violence from the Israeli military and the nearby settlements of Itamar and Mikhora.

Before 1967, the community was in control of 18,000 dunams of land of which 14,000 were seized by the Israeli military. This has left only 4,000 dunams of crucial shepherding and grazing area for this farming dependent community. The Israeli state’s confiscation and occupation of this land physically and symbolically disconnects Tana residents from an extensive swath of land that holds ancestral significance and necessary resources for their livelihood.

Despite recorded history of the Khirbet Tana community in the Nablus Governorate area, Khirbet Tana has been declared by Israeli Courts an unauthorized village because of its proximity to a closed military training zone (Firing Zone 904A).

According to POICA, the total area of the West Bank classified as firing zone amounts to 998,185 dunums and constitutes 17.6 % of the West Bank total area. A ramification of this “firing zone” decree is that any type of building, which could range from a rudimentary tent or full cement buildings, is restricted, building permits are denied and there exists quasi-juridical justification that holds up in Israeli courts for random demolitions.

The entirety of the community therefore lives in caves. In order to expand any community shelters, be it another room for a family to sleep in or another place to house the animals, another cave must be dug out and cleaned.

Another challenge the community faces is access to electricity. There are no water or sewage lines and no electricity grid that reaches the families in the caves. The Israeli authorities refuse to connect the village to the extensive electricity and water grids they readily offer to nearby settlements. The residents use solar panels to generate rudimentary electricity, “only enough for one light bulb”, as quoted by the Animal Husbandry Collective.

In an extreme show of violence and disregard for international intervention, the Israeli army’s Civil administration has confiscated solar panels in other Bedouin communities, despite being donated through international aid. The community school now rests close to the Mosque and is a two room white structure donated by international aid. It has been demolished over 5 times since 2005, in a clear violation of international law, such as Article 48 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, prohibiting an occupying power from destroying or confiscating the private property of the civilian population and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child where children’s right to education and play are protected.

Sumud – steadfastness in the face of injustice

The families continue despite the obstacles and violence cited. During this visit the families were absent because they have escaped the unencumbered heat in the hills by posting temporary tent to complete the seasonal wheat farming in another area of Beit Furik.

The caves feel ghost-like and the delegation is reminded of the danger the unrenovated caves can pose. While some of the Israeli military’s violence can be dramatic and highly visible such as the demolitions, the darkness of the caves serve as a reminder that other perpendicular forms of Israeli violence, such as restricting access to electricity, are disruptive to daily living.

There are signs of life: be it the school, children’s art projects hung up decorating the caves, or the simple existence of a bread oven, signs of the families strength and courage persist.

The Land Defense Coalitions project and goal is to give the community a living situation deserving of their endurance and perseverance, to make the cave-living sustainable through renovations and investment in an expanded electricity system of solar panels.

The hope is that these projects will be complete before the families return after the harvest season and the beginning of the school year.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI0 Comments

Palestinians, B’nai Brith and Canada’s New Democratic Party

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Niki Ashton injects vital ideas and principles into the NDP leadership campaign

Niki Ashton. Image credit: Matt Jiggins/ flickr
By Prof. Tony Hall 

Like many NATO countries, Canada has suffered from an impoverishment of free and open debate when it comes to the issue of relations with the Israeli government and the Palestinian people. In country after country the Israeli lobby dominates not only governing parties but opposition parties as well.

The Canadian Parliament has epitomized the pattern. Elected federal officials have conspicuously failed to reflect the anxieties felt by many Canadians of conscience who have managed to become well informed on Palestinian-Israeli relations. There has been little in Canadian parliamentary debates or in mainstream media reports to reflect the views of those most attuned to the unmitigated suffering of Palestinian people under the jack-booted authoritarianism of Israeli domination.

In recent years the Liberals and Conservatives and the New Democrats (NDP) have maintained a blind eye towards Israeli assaults on the Palestinian people especially in Gaza and in the Occupied Territories seized through Israeli conquest a half century ago. Typically Canadian parliamentarians parrot one another across party lines on the sanctity of the “Israeli right of self-defence.” Concurrently our elected representatives mostly fail to notice that Palestinians share with all peoples a basic human right to protect themselves against systematic bouts of dispossession, disempowerment, mass incarcerations, and industrial-scale military murders sometimes heartlessly described as “cutting the grass.”

In 2016 Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau joined with the Conservative Party of Canada in backing a motion to condemn all groups and individuals supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement aimed at penalizing Israel for its anti-Palestinian infractions. Only one federal party, the diminutive Bloc Québécois, has openly argued that “the BDS campaign constitutes legitimate criticism of Israeli policies.

Tom Mulcair 750f7

Tom Mulcair. Image credit: United Steelworkers/ flickr

In the prelude to the federal election of 2015 Tom Mulcair, the leader of the party that is supposed to embody Canadian social democracy, highlighted his own attachment to Zionist extremism by purging the New Democratic Party of federal candidates who expressed support for Palestinian rights. For Mulcair, those seeking to represent the NDP under his leadership were punished for noticing that the United Nations agencies had accused the Israeli Defence Force of “war crimes” in the military invasions of Gaza in 2009 and 2014.

The NDP’s venerable veteran parliamentarian, Libby Davies, was an early casualty of Tom Mulcair’s marked bias in taking sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Other casualties included Morgan Wheeldon, Jerry Natanine and Paul Manly, the son of long-serving NDP parliamentarian and United Church clergyman, James Manly. The son’s alleged crime was to have called for the release of his father from custody after the elder Manly was arrested in a Finnish ship carrying humanitarian supplies through the Israeli-enforced blockade encircling Gaza.

B’nai Brith Canada versus NDP Leadership Candidate, Niki Ashton

Is the conformist complacency in the glum parliamentary proceedings concerning Palestine and Israel about to come to an end? Perhaps that change will occur if a spark of controversy in the NDP leadership race ignites wider debate on such crucial issues of Canadian public policy.

The contest to replace Tom Mulcair is showing signs of vibrancy that began with a clash of interpretations pitting NDP leadership candidate Niki Ashton’s pro-Palestinian politics against B’nai Brith Canada. B’nai Brith Canada is the local extension of the US and Israeli-based Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith.

Ms. Ashton represents a huge and largely Aboriginal riding in the northern part of the Canadian province of Manitoba. As many see it, Ms. Ashton’s convictions concerning the importance of Palestinian rights are a natural extension of her representation in Parliament of so many Indian and Metis people. In both Canada and the Middle East, Indigenous peoples share similar perspectives on the incursions of newcomers bent on asserting ownership and control over their Aboriginal lands.

The conflict between Niki Ashton and B’nai Brith Canada has much to do with how disparate perceptions of history impinge on contemporary politics. The nub of the current dispute has to do with Palestinian perceptions of the founding acts of the new Jewish state in 1948 as a “catastrophe,” as the “Nakba” in Arabic. The Palestinian view of the Nabka is very close to the Jewish perception of the Shoah. Shoah is the Hebrew term to identify the disaster engulfing European Jewry during World War II.

In 1998 Yasser Arafat instituted May 15 as Nakba Day. The timing was meant as a response to the annual commemoration on May 14 of the Israeli Declaration of Independence. As many Palestinians see it, the founding of Israel led to the initial violent displacement of about 700,000 of their people, almost half of the Palestinian population at that time.

Deir Yassin ca7a1

The horror of the Israeli military assault was epitomized by the murderous atrocities committed at Deir Yassin of the Irgun and Lehi militias. Led by a future Israeli prime minister, Menachem Begin, Irgun and Lehi had been instrumental in displacing the British administrators of colonial Palestine through a hugely publicized act of international terrorism at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem in 1946.

In reflecting on this history, NDP leadership candidate Niki Ashton announced on her Facebook page,

For more than 60 years, Palestine has been struggling to simply exist. Many in our country have been fighting in solidarity for many years. This week in Montreal I was honoured to stand with many in remembering the Nakba. It was also powerful to join many at a rally in solidarity with those on hunger strike in Palestine today. The NDP must be a voice for human rights, for peace and justice in the Middle East. I am inspired by all those who in our country are part of this struggle for justice.

Michael Mostyn, the CEO of B’nai Brith Canada, responded as follows to Ms. Ashton’s actions and comments. In a Toronto Sun opinion piece Mr. Mostyn observed,

The re-emergence of the Jewish State in 1948 is a miraculous story of indigenous survival and resilience, not a “catastrophe” to be mourned.

Mr. Mostyn’s rejection of the Nakba narrative harkens back to many similar divergences when it comes to the position of Indigenous peoples on a variety of commemorations in the colonized world. Not surprisingly, Native groups often have severe problems and reservations when they are asked to join in anniversary celebrations of, say, 1492, or 1776, or 1867.

Michael Mostyn 63f54

Michael Mostyn doing in interview with Christina Stevens, 2016. Image courtesy of Twitter

Not satisfied to stop at insisting that the founding of the Jewish State must be universally embraced, even by the Palestinians, as a “miraculous” event to be lauded, he goes on to attempt to turn the tables on groups he clearly sees as classes of criminals. Mr. Mostyn thereby seeks to transform the Palestinian memory of the Nakba into the lionization of an Israeli military campaign to clear aside the human obstacles to Israeli ascendance. He writes,

Had Jewish forces not prevailed [in 1948], the likely result would have been another genocide of the land’s Jewish inhabitants, just after the Holocaust, by invading Arab armies who had sworn to exterminate them.

In a news item on B’nai Brith Canada’s own web site Mr. Mostyn adds

To suggest that we should commemorate and mourn the Arab world’s inability to successfully commit a genocide against the Jewish people is beyond comprehension.

In her Facebook post Ms. Ashton combined her comments on the Nakba with a reference to Palestinian hunger strikers currently making their stand throughout the elaborate Israeli prison system. Mr. Mostyn treats this act of protest with contempt. He accuses Ms. Ashton of joining in solidarity with “convicted murders,” with her “advocating for vile terrorists.” The B’nai Brith CEO fails to mention in his remarks on the hunger strike that many of the thousands of jailed Palestinians are being held for months and even for years under “administrative detention certificates.” They have been jailed but not charged with any crime.

Mr. Mostyn concludes by condemning Ms. Ashton as the possessor of “a defective moral compass.” He asserts

Ms. Ashton’s comments are a shocking and insulting departure from the traditional position of her party and those of mainstream Canadians…. Every Canadian, and every honest NDP supporter, should be shocked by Ashton’s ignorance, callousness, and blatant double-standards… Her ignorance as to the reality of the situation in Israel, particularly when it comes to the hunger strike of convicted murderers, is alarming from someone aspiring to be leader of this country.

Who Is Out of Step with the Opinions of Mainstream Canada?

Yves Engler has closely studied the controversy and concluded that it has worked in the favour of Niki Ashton’s leadership campaign and against the credibility of B’nai Brith Canada. He observes that the B’nai Brith backed down once it realized that its interest in Ms. Ashton’s politics was feeding a broader discussion rather than discrediting its target. Engler writes,

Their silence on Ashton’s recent moves is deafening. B’nai B’rith is effectively conceding that their previous attacks backfired and they now fear drawing further attention to Ashton’s position since it would likely strengthen her standing among those voting for the next NDP leader.

Reflecting on the experience Engler observes,

The first ever pregnant major party leadership candidate in Canadian political history has gained this support by speaking truth to power and taking a principled position on an issue most politicians have shied away from. And, she has demonstrated that the purpose of Israeli nationalist attacks is to silence them, not to have a debate. In fact, real debate is what organizations like B’nai B’rith fear the most because the more people know about Israel and the Occupied Territories, the more they support the Palestinian cause.

https://electronicintifada.net/content/why-canadas-ndp-supporting-israeli-racism/20576

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/yves-engler/ndp-foreign-policy_b_15430872.html

The injection of Israeli and Palestinian issues into the NDP leadership campaign is a promising development that is attracting considerable attention domestically and internationally. This turn of events holds out the promise of bringing the parliamentary facet of Canadian social democracy more into line with the existing Middle East policies of agencies like the United Church of Canada, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, the Confédération des syndicats nationaux, the Canadian Labour Congress and student groups like the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario.

The enthusiasm generated by open debate is proving to be infectious. About 80 prominent academics and community activists have come up with an open letter urging the NDP to formulate a more balanced, enlightened and intelligent Middle East policy. Among those who signed the document are Noam Chomsky and former UN special rapporteur on Israel-Palestine, Prof. Richard Falk. The letter concludes with a list of proposals indicating,

WE propose that the New Democratic Party of Canada commit to the following, both in opposition and in government:

1. condemning Israeli settlements as a violation of international law and as an impediment to a just resolution;

2. calling upon the State of Israel to halt any further settlement construction, respect the political and civil rights of its Palestinian citizens, pursue a fair solution to the plight of Palestinian refugees, lift its blockade on Gaza and end its military occupation of the Palestinian Territories;

3. calling upon legitimate representatives of the State of Israel and the Palestinian people to negotiate in good faith a just resolution that respects the spirit and intentions of UNGA Resolution 194 and UNSC Resolution 242;

4. pursuing and supporting the use of diplomatic and economic means to exert pressure on the State of Israel in such a manner as to achieve a just resolution. This includes:

> using Canada’s stature and position in the international community to push for meaningful progress on the topic of Israel and Palestine

> renegotiating the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement in such a manner as to divert from the Canadian market any product made in Israeli settlements

> suspending security trade and cooperation between Canada and Israel indefinitely and until the Gaza siege is lifted, the occupation ends and a just peace is achieved

> revoking the tax-exempt status of any organization operating within Canada that is known to financially support or benefit from Israel’s military occupation

> requesting that the International Criminal Court give greater attention to the situation in Israel and Palestine

> recognizing the State of Palestine

B’nai Brith Canada accuses Ms. Ashton of making “a shocking and insulting departure from the traditional position of her party and those of mainstream Canadians.” Yves Engler and others conclude otherwise. They allege it is B’nai Brith Canada that is increasingly out of step with mainstream opinion of well informed Canadians.

I agree. Certainly I continue to be dismayed at B’nai Brith Canada’s deployment of the hate speech deceptions of Joshua Goldbergin the initiation of a campaign of smear and disinformation against me. The campaign began with a publicity stunt based on the planting on my Facebook wall of a reprehensible Facebook post whose origins go back not to me but to Joshua Goldberg and quite possibly to B’nai Brith Canada and related agencies.

Some explanations are in order from the responsible parties. The time is past when Mr. Mostyn can play the victim card when the B’nai Brith is so deeply implicated in hate speech victimization of others. To accuse an attractive and rising social democratic politician like Niki Ashton of “advocating for vile terrorists” is a blasphemy of a high order. Taking the side of oppressed groups over the side of their oppressors is not only legitimate but laudable in the context of these dangerous times through which we are living.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Canada0 Comments

ATTN’s videos may exceed 1.5 billion monthly views – Progressive except for Palestine?

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ATTN’s videos may exceed 1.5 billion monthly views – Progressive except for Palestine?

ATTN: co-founder Jarrett Moreno
By Alison Weir 

Look for an array of of short, snappy, professionally made social media videos to expose injustice, racism, and numerous other issues in the coming months.

But don’t expect them to expose Israel’s oppression of Palestinians, or the role of the Israel lobby in pushing for war.

In fact, if past actions are any indication, the videos may instead extoll the virtues of Israel, despite the country’s ongoing record of human rights abuses, systemic discrimination, and violent militarism.

A new digital media company known as ATTN: is forming partnerships with traditional media companies and others to produce “social issues” videos with a potential reach of well over 1.5 billion video views per month.

ATTN: stands for “attention.” The colon is part of the official name. The company was founded in 2014 with $4 million seed money that quickly grew to $22 million. By 2016 it was reportedly already getting over 400 million monthly video views and receiving more than 2 billion monthly impressions.

The media partnerships are with ABC News and the Tribune Media Company, which are eager to reach younger, Internet-focused audiences, and are expected to increase ATTN:’s already extensive reach.

The videos will be disseminated on social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and will especially target younger audiences who rarely watch TV news programs. ATTN: sees its main audience as what it calls “mature millenials” – people in the 25-34 year-old range. While the segments will be designed for social media, they may also appear on ABC News’ TV broadcasts.

This is part of a larger strategy in which ATTN: is working with clients such as HBO, Bloomberg, and REI to produce videos that will drive consumers to their companies.

‘Issues-driven to make a social impact’

ATTN: calls itself “an issues-driven media company. Reuters reports that ATTN: “produces video and news pieces focused on a variety of political and social issues such as abortion and anti-Semitism.” Its commercial angle, as an Ad Week article put it, is to produce “socially-minded branded content.”

The New York Times reports that the company is “targeting progressive-leaning young people,” and its work is reliably leftish. Its website announces: “At our core, ATTN: believes in informing people to make a social impact.” The Los Angeles Business Journal calls it a “politically liberal news and advocacy site,” and its collection of videos largely bear this out.

There is one subject area, however, in which its progressive stance seems to be missing: Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. Past actions suggest that the company and its founders may be what are known as “PEPs – Progressive Except Palestine.”

PEPs typically oppose racism and oppression and support indigenous peoples, equal rights, justice, freedom, and the rights of prisoners – except when it comes to Palestinians.*

On that topic, they support Israel’s “right to exist,” (i.e. its right to ethnically cleanse the indigenous population and discriminate against Muslims and Christians) and tend to overlook, minimize, or even justify its periodic slaughters in Gaza; its vast imprisonment of men, women, and children, often without even a semblance of judicial process; its confiscation of farmers’ land; demolition of family homes; its seemingly never-ending military occupation; and its systemic discriminationagainst Palestinians and other non-Jews.

Invisible Palestinians

ATTN:, despite its record of covering almost every current social justice issue, sometimes multiple times, seems to have ignored Israel’s oppression of Palestinians. In fact, what articles and videos ATTN: has produced on the subject praise Israel and ignore the Palestinians entirely.

An ATTN: video praising Israel describes “an idyllic secluded greenhouse nestled in the mountains of Galilee.” The ‘social issues’ video, which has received over 5.3 million views on Facebook, fails to mention the plight of Palestinians in Galilee.

One example is “The Major Way Israel Is Putting America to Shame on Marijuana,” which states: “The Israeli government’s stance on medical marijuana research and the country’s cultural landscape make it far friendlier to marijuana than the puritanical policies of the U.S. government.” The piece, quite likely, is helpful to Israeli companies marketing marijuana to the U.S.

The article discusses “an idyllic secluded greenhouse nestled in the mountains of Galilee,” but does not mention that the Galilee is notorious for the Israeli governmental policies that discriminate against the Christian population and that are increasingly squeezing Palestinians out.

Salah Sawaid stands on the last area of arable land available to the village of Ramya in the Galilee. An Israeli court ruled that the Palestinian village must be bulldozed. (Photo Jonathan Cook)

The article quotes an Israeli who says: “The Jewish people also feel a responsibility to perform ‘tikkun olam,’ repairing the world and improving the human condition.” The Israeli links Israel’s policies on medical marijuana to “its social and culture valuation of life, as characterized in the Talmud.”

While Israel’s marijuana policies may be as enlightened as the article says, the claim about Israeli culture’s “valuation of life” seems more questionable, given Israeli policies and practices.

In fact, Israel’s numerous aggressive wars and invasions of the Palestinian Territories and surrounding countries, its consistent killing of large numbers of civilians, the fact that Israelis who have killed Palestinians in cold blood are rarely or minimallypunished, and the sometimes very explicit statements by some Israeli personages suggest that Israel’s “valuation of life” often only applies to Israeli life.

ATTN:’s mention of the Talmud ignores the uncomfortable fact that like probably all religious texts, the Talmud’s messages are mixed. Among the Talmud’s many benevolent passages are some that are deeply problematic, and these are particularly relevant to extremist portions of the Israeli public and leadership.

Israeli author Israel Shahak, who was endorsed by progressive icons Noam Chomsky and Edward Said, translates some of these passages in his books, and reports that some religious teachings have very different meanings than are commonly portrayed:

“In numerous cases general terms such as “thy fellow,” “stranger,” or even “man” are taken to have an exclusivist chauvinistic meaning. The famous verse “thou shalt love thy fellow as thyself” (Leviticus, 19:18) is understood by classical (and present-day Orthodox) Judaism as an injunction to love one’s fellow Jew, not any fellow human. Similarly, the verse “neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy fellow” (ibid., 16) is supposed to mean that one must not stand idly by when the life (“blood”) of a fellow Jew is in danger; but, as will be seen in Chapter 5, a Jew is in general forbidden to save the life of a Gentile, because “he is not thy fellow.” (Shahak’s book, Jewish History, Jewish Religion,, can be downloaded or read online here.)

Israel’s alleged “valuation of life” is hard to square with the statement by Israel’s former chief rabbi, Mordechai Elyahu, who called for the Israeli army to mass-murder Palestinians: “If they don’t stop after we kill 100, then we must kill 1000. And if they don’t stop after 1000, then we must kill 10,000. If they still don’t stop we must kill 100,000. Even a million.”

Some booklets distributed by the Israel Defense Forces rabbinate called for the killing of civilians. The chief rabbi taught that soldiers who “show mercy” toward the enemy in wartime will be “damned.” A book by two Israeli rabbis, The King’s Torah, teaches that killing infants is permissible.

Writer Stephen Lendman reports that some Israeli rabbis teach that “the ten commandments don’t apply to non-Jews. So killing them in defending the homeland is acceptable, and according to the chairman of the Jewish Rabbinic Council: ‘There is no such thing as enemy civilians in war time. The law of our Torah is to have mercy on our soldiers and to save them…. A thousand non-Jewish lives are not worth a Jew’s fingernail.’”

Similar statements by Israeli officials are reported frequently in the Israeli media, even on the filtered English language websites. They are also sometimes taught in the United States. Chabad Rabbi Manis Friedman, “world-renowned author, lecturer and philosopher; and co-founder of Bais Chana Institute of Jewish Studies,” wrote:

“I don’t believe in western morality, i.e. don’t kill civilians or children, don’t destroy holy sites, don’t fight during holiday seasons, don’t bomb cemeteries, don’t shoot until they shoot first because it is immoral.

“The only way to fight a moral war is the Jewish way: Destroy their holy sites. Kill men, women and children (and cattle).

Friedman wrote that “living by Torah values will make us a light unto the nations.”

Again, ATTN: misses the situation for Palestinians

Another ATTN: article and video is How One Country Nailed the Solution to Its Drought, about Israel’s desalinization projects.

The video, which got over 30 million views on Facebook, tells how Israel’s desalinization work is superior to the U.S., while leaving out the fact that the U.S. gives Israel $10 million per day. According to the video Israel now has “a surplus of water.”

The laudatory video repeats some of the founding myths of Israel, while omitting the fact that Israel gets much of its water by taking it from the Palestinian Occupied Territories and its neighbors. Reporter Charlotte Silver writes in her investigative article “Israel’s water miracle that wasn’t“:

Israel credits its use of desalination plants and drip-irrigation with enabling the desert to bloom – the iconic image reinforcing the still-lingering notion that the land of historic Palestine was a dry one, while further impressing Israel’s world audience with the young country’s wizardry with water.

Less attention is given to the Knesset report commissioned in 2002, nearly four decades after Israel’s national water carrier began diverting the Jordan river to Israeli citrus orchards in the Negev region. The report concluded that the region’s ongoing water crisis – a desiccated Jordan river and shrinking Dead Sea – was “primarily man-made”.

In 2014 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with California Governor Jerry Brown and bragged that, unlike California, “Israel doesn’t have a water problem.”

Silver writes: “The visit – and the message it carried – are just the latest in the PR ploys aptly called ‘bluewashing’. Israel doesn’t have a ‘water problem’ because it steals water from Palestinians.”

Camilla Corridin similarly reports in “Israel: Water as a tool to dominate Palestinians:

Since it occupied the West Bank in 1967, Israel has laid hands on Palestinian water resources through discriminatory water-sharing agreements that prevented Palestinians from maintaining or developing their water infrastructure through its illegal planning and permit regime. As a result, thousands of Palestinians are unable to access sufficient water supplies and became water-dependent on Israel.

By building on the myth of a water-scarce region – Ramallah has more rainfall than London – Israel has deliberately denied Palestinians control over their water resources and successfully set the ground for water domination, granting itself a further tool to exercise its hegemony over the occupied population and territory.

ATTN: founders Matthew Segal and Jarrett Moreno

Entrepreneurs Matthew Segal and Jarrett Moreno founded ATTN: in 2014. (Photo from the OurTime.org “Generation Now Inaugural Youth Ball,” January 19, 2013. The two also co-founded Our Time.)

At 32 and 31, ATTN: co-founders Matthew Segal and Jarrett Moreno are part of the generation they’re hoping to influence. Both seem to be Israel partisans.

An ATTN: article by Segal (who will now also be an ABC on-air contributor) criticizes the nonviolent movement known as BDS (boycott, divest, sanction), which is attempting to use financial pressure to  push Israel to end its violations of Palestinian human rights and of international law.

In his article Segal claims that BDS is a “catalyst” for antisemitism. He quotes the pro-Israel Simon Wiesenthal Center’s claim that BDS is a “thinly-disguised effort to coordinate and complement the violent strategy of Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim ‘rejectionists’ who have refused to make peace with Israel,” which reverses reality (see also this , this, and this).

Segal quotes Jewish students who oppose BDS, but provides no information from the diverse collection of students who support it, many of whom are also Jewish, and ignores the Israeli violence against and subjugation of Palestinians that elicited the BDS movement.

featured ATTN: video continues this theme in a video entitled “The Rise of Anti-Semitism in the United States.” Like Segal’s article, the film connects criticism of Israel to anti-Semitism.

The video highlights an unsubstantiated claim by the ADL that anti-Semitic incidents in the United States jumped 86 percent in one year,” superimposing the statement on a photo of Jewish children in Israel.

The video claims that anti-Semitism on the left is due to “anti-Israel sentiment,” and includes a warning by the UK’s Mark Gardner about the alleged prevalence of anti-semitism.

What the scare video doesn’t reveal is that The ADL and Mark Gardner are pro-Israel partisans who conflate criticism of Israel with “anti-Semitism,” and that this conflation is part of an ongoing campaign to change the meaning of the word.

What Jarrett Moreno missed on his visit to Israel

ATTN: co-founder Jarrett Moreno shows a similar pro-Israel bias.

In 2013 he posted a series of Instagram photos during a trip to Israel. As an individual responsible for an organization that claims to be socially concerned and against racism, Moreno shows a surprising lack of awareness about Israel’s past and present oppression of Palestinians.

In one of his posts, Moreno is wearing a hat with an Israeli flag emblem on it and  writes: “An American feeling at home in the ancient city of Tzfat.”

Another name for Tzfat is Sefad or Safad. It’s an ancient, religiously mixed site (some have speculated that it was the location of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, although most today believe this to have been at another nearby location.)

In 1945 Safad’s population of 12,000 was approximately 80 percent Palestinian. In 2003 the Palestinian population was under one percent. Jewish, Muslims and Christians having been forced out by Israel’s founding war and its policies since.

In 2010 an Israeli journalist called it “the most racist city in Israel.” Its 18 senior rabbis had ordered residents not to rent to non-Jews and some Palestinian homes were attacked to chants of “Death to the Arabs.” In 2016 Safed’s chief rabbi posted on Facebook that the Israeli army should stop arresting Palestinians and instead should “execute them and leave no one alive.”

Another Instagram post says: “Iced coffee & goofy smiles in #Israel #KiryatGat”.

Former San Francisco Chronicle journalist Henry Norr gave some background on this city in his 2008 article “The Nakba, Intel, and Kiryat Gat“:

Sixty years ago, there was no Kiryat Gat. The land it now occupies was divided between two Palestinian villages, al-Faluja and ‘Iraq al-Manshiya. While the area is well within the Green Line, Israel’s 1949-67 border, its history is in one way unique: Israeli forces never captured it during the 1948-49 war. Egyptian forces occupied it in late May 1948, and although later Israeli counter-offensives broke up their front and laid siege to the two villages — known at the time as the “Faluja pocket” — the 4,000 Egyptian troops deployed there (including a young officer named Gamal Abdel Nasser, soon to become president of his country) held out until Egypt and Israel agreed to an armistice on 24 February 1949.

That’s when the Nakba befell al-Faluja and ‘Iraq al-Manshiya.*

Stranded and surrounded, the Egyptians were in no position to stay in the area. To their credit, however, they insisted as a condition of their withdrawal that Israel guarantee the safety of the civilians in the area — about 2,000 locals and some 1,100 refugees from other parts of Palestine.

In principle, Israel accepted the Egyptians’ demand. In an exchange of letters that were filed with the United Nations and appended to the main armistice agreement, the two governments agreed that civilians who wished to remain in al-Faluja and ‘Iraq al-Manshiya would be permitted to do so, and that “All of these civilians shall be fully secure in their persons, abodes, property and personal effects.”

Within days, however, it was clear that the agreement wasn’t worth the paper it was written on. Under the direction of Yitzhak Rabin (later Prime Minister of Israel), and probably with the direct approval of founding Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, according to historian Benny Morris, Israeli troops promptly mounted “a short, sharp, well-orchestrated campaign of low-key violence and psychological warfare designed to intimidate the inhabitants into flight.”

Residents of al-Faluja flee in 1949. (Palestine Remembered) Members of an American Quaker relief mission who were in the area at the time kept a diary of the violence they observed, such as the case of a man brought to them with “two bloody eyes, a torn ear, and a face pounded until it was blue.” And UN observers reported not only beatings and robberies, but also cases of attempted rape and “promiscuous firing” on civilians by Israeli soldiers.

What Morris labels “low-key,” however, probably didn’t seem so to the victims. He himself quotes a survivor’s testimony that the Israeli army “created a situation of terror, entered the houses and beat the people with rifle butts.”

Members of an American Quaker relief mission who were in the area at the time kept a diary detailing the violence they observed, such as the case of a man brought to them with “two bloody eyes, a torn ear, and a face pounded until it was blue.” And UN observers reporting to Ralph Bunche, the distinguished African-American diplomat then serving as chief UN mediator in Palestine, noted not only beatings and robberies, but also cases of attempted rape and “promiscuous firing” on civilians by Israeli soldiers.

Israel supporters, of course, are quick to dismiss even such eyewitness accounts as exaggerations if not outright fabrications. But even the most ardent Zionist can’t easily dismiss one other source who documented what happened in the Faluja pocket: Israel’s own foreign minister at the time, Moshe Sharett. Observing the blatant contradiction between the solemn diplomatic commitment his government had just undertaken and the behavior of its forces on the ground, he worried that it might jeopardize Israel’s campaign to gain UN membership. On 6 March 1949, just ten days after the agreement with the Egyptians, he fired off an angry memo to the Israeli army, charging that its actions in al-Faluja and ‘Iraq al-Manshiya were throwing into question “our sincerity as a party to an international agreement.” Noting that Israel was trying to argue at the UN that it was not responsible for the Palestinian refugee problem, he wrote, “From this perspective, the sincerity of our professions is tested by our behavior in these villages. … Every intentional pressure aimed at uprooting [the local population] is tantamount to a planned act of eviction on our part.”

Sharett objected not only to the overt violence, but also to what he said was a “whispering propaganda campaign” conducted covertly by the Israeli army, threatening the civilians with “attacks and acts of vengeance by the army” if they didn’t leave the area. “This whispering propaganda is not being done of itself,” Sharett continued. “There is no doubt that here there is a calculated action aimed at increasing the number of those going to the Hebron Hills [then controlled by Jordan] as if of their own free will, and, if possible, to bring about the evacuation of the whole civilian population” of the Faluja pocket.

… By mid-March all of al-Faluja’s residents had abandoned their homes; the residents of ‘Iraq al-Manshiya held out longer, but after several shootings by Israeli sentries, the last of them — some 1,160 people — left in Red Cross-organized convoys on 21 and 22 April.

Five days later, Rabin ordered the demolition of both villages.

In sum, they fell victim to the same tactics Israeli forces had perfected during the ethnic cleansing of the rest of their new state over the previous year. The only thing unusual about al-Faluja and ‘Iraq al-Manshiya was that Israel had formally promised not to do what it did, that so many Westerners were on hand to document the process, and that even a top Israeli official provided confirmation of their accounts.

Gaza enters the picture, sort of

Jarrett Moreno (right) with Israeli Guy Amir (posted on Instagram July 27, 2014)

In 2014, the year after Moreno’s trip, Israel invaded Gaza, yet again (its previous major invasion had been 2008-9). Moreno, now back in the U.S., responded with a July 27 Instagram photo of himself with an Israeli friend. He comments:

“Thinking of my friend Guy Amir and many thousands of Israelis who dropped school and work to respond to more than a decade of rocket attacks from Hamas.”

In the “decade of rocket attacks” that Moreno mentions, rockets from Gaza had killed 23 Israelis. Moreno doesn’t mention that during the same period, Israeli forces had killed about 4,000 Gazans and injured tens of thousands.

Moreno’s post goes on to say:

Hoping for safety and peace for my friends through the Middle East, the citizens of Gaza + Israel, and Jews who’ve been victims of violent protest around the world.”

A boy sits amid the rubble of his destroyed house in the Gaza Strip, July 2014. Israeli forces damaged or destroyed thousands of homes, displacing an estimated quarter of a million people.

The Red Cross reported in 2010 that the Israeli blockade had caused a steady rise in chronic malnutrition among the 1.5 million people living in Gaza.

While Moreno’s post suggests that Israelis and Gazans were suffering equally, the reality was far from equal.

Gazans were living in what many have described as an open air concentration camp in which food, medicines, building supplies, and the ability to come and go were severely restricted by Israel. Children were suffering malnutrition and some died from treatable conditions.

During Israel’s “Operation Protective Edge” invasion of Gaza, the period when Moreno posted, Israelis killed more than 2,100 Palestinians (three-quarters were civilians); Palestinians killed 72 Israelis (six were civilians).

The day before Moreno’s post, Israeli forces had killed a two-and-a-half year old, an 18-month-old, a seven-year-old, a five year-old, two one-year olds, an eleven-year-old, and a four-year-old among the at least 494 Palestinian children killed by Israel during the invasion. No Israeli children were killed.

A few months later Moreno posted a grinning selfie:

The bottom line

So far, ATTN:’s marketing strategy has paid off.

Its Facebook page has 4.7 million followers; one video alone got over 60 million views. A spokesperson says the company is “benefiting from a trust halo.”

Matthew Segal’s net worth is now reportedly $2.1 million. (Jarrett Moreno’s is unknown but is likely similar.)

ATTN: proclaims that it covers ‘important issues and calls to action, breaks down complex issues for its viewers, and starts conversations around issues that matter with hundreds of millions of people every month.’

Its promo video has a clip of Joe Biden noting “the power of social media and the power of communicating a view.”

Given ATTN:’s record so far and the views of its founders, this ‘social issues’ powerhouse that plans to ‘make an impact’ does not bode well for Palestinian men, women, and children – or for the Israelis who oppose their government’s actions and have long called for the U.S. to “stop Israel.”

If ATTN: continues its present course, both may continue to lose out – as well as Americans, whose politicians from both parties, give Israel massive amounts of our tax money, year after year.


Alison Weir is executive director of If Americans Knew, president of the Council for the National Interest, and author of Against Our Better Judgment: The Hidden History of How the U.S. Was Used to Create Israel.  


* Conservatives seem to have a similar phenomenon – where for some people ‘America First’ changes to ‘America Second’ when Israel comes into the picture, and fiscal conservatism turns into massive hand-outs when money to Israel is involved. Politicians from both parties who desire donations from Israel partisans and who desire favorable coverage from pro-Israel media – which includes almost everyone, from Elizabeth Warren to Ted Cruz – are a mainstay of both groups.

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

Nazi Jewish settlers torch cars, vandalize property during attack on Ramallah-area village

NOVANEWS

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These photos reached me right now , Nazi Jewish Settler run over 4 Palesrinain children with his car in Jerusalem and ran away

Nazi Jewish  settlers set fire to two Palestinian-owned vehicles on Wednesday in the village of Umm Safa in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah in an alleged revenge attack for three Nazi Jewish settlers who were killed by a Palestinian in the nearby Halamish settlement last month.

Palestinian news agency Wafa received testimony from Marwan Sabah, the village council head, who said that Nazi Jewish settlers had set fire to the vehicles around 2:30 a.m.

While Nazi soldiers were reportedly stationed at the entrance of the village at night, the settlers attacked homes on the outskirts of the village after the soldiers had left, Sabah said.

However, Nazi soldiers are rarely able to control Nazi Jewish settlers, and reports often emerge of Nazi soldiers watching settler attacks on Palestinians without intervening. If any action is taken by Nazi soldiers, it is typically in the form of shooting “crowd control measures,” such as tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets, and often live ammunition, at Palestinians.

Nazi Jewish settlers had also reportedly graffitied hate slogans on walls in the village, calling for revenge attacks on Palestinians in response to a deadly attack last month when a Palestinian from the Ramallah-area village of Kobar entered the Halamish settlement and stabbed three Nazi Jewish settlers to death.

According to the Nazi army, the incident would be under the jurisdiction of the Israeli police. However, an Nazi police spokesperson was not immediately available to comment.

Nazi forces raided Kobar village in the predawn hours of Wednesday, detaining the father and uncle of the Halamish attacker, 19-year-old Omar al-Abed. Three others from the village were also detained during clashes that left 15 injured, some with live fire.

Last week, some 200 Nazi Jewish settlers from the Nazi Jewish illegal Halamish settlement attacked the Kobar village. Nazi forces responded by violently suppressing clashes that had broken out between the settlers and Palestinian locals, which resulted in one Palestinian being injured by live ammunition shot by the Nazi army.

An upwards of some 600,000 Nazi Jewish settlers reside in occupied Palestinian territory in violation of international law. The international community has repeatedly called their presence and rising population the main impediment to potential peace in the region.

The UN reported on Saturday that after a three-year decline of settler attacks on Palestinians, the first half of 2017 showed a major increase in such attacks, with 89 incidents being documented so far this year.

“On a monthly average, this represents an increase of 88 percent compared with 2016,” the UN said. The attacks during this time period have led to the deaths of three Palestinians.

Zionist media has reported that the Shin Bet, Nazi Gestapo internal security agency, has also warned the Nazi regime over the alarming trend and has “called on the government to adopt urgent measures to prevent further deterioration,” according to the UN.

Palestinian activists and rights groups have long accused Nazi regime of fostering a culture of impunity for Nazi Jewish settlers and Nazi soldiers committing violent acts against Palestinians.

Nazi regime served indictments in only 8.2 percent of cases of Nazi Jewish settlers committing anti-Palestinian crimes in the occupied West Bank in the past three years, according to NGO Yesh Din.

Meanwhile, Palestinians allegedly or actually committing any attacks on Nazi army are often shot dead at the scene, in what rights groups have deemed “extrajudicial executions,” or face long prison sentences.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI0 Comments

‘No Time For Shallow Diplomacy Christians’ In The Religious War On Churches In The Holy Land

NOVANEWS
By Stuart Littlewood 

A month ago, after reading a desperate cry for help from the National Coalition of Christian Organisations in Palestine (NCCOP) addressed to the World Council of Churches, I emailed eight churches in my locality asking whether that heart-rending appeal had trickled down to them at parish level.

If not, I hoped to find out where the break in communications occurred, as this wasn’t the first time churches in the Holy Land had sought support from Western Christendom. Previous appeals were largely ignored and left to civil society for action.

Now, say the Palestinians, the situation is “beyond urgent”. So had the NCCOP’s latest plea actually arrived on the desks of parish priests in my neighbourhood? And if so, how were grass-roots Christians responding?

I included a link to the actual crisis document, which should have made every churchman sit up, and a gentle reminder that their faith and their job of work are rooted in the Holy Land. “So what are the chances, I wonder, of seeing concerted action from Western churches before it’s too late? And what part can local parishes play?

The key point was this: it’s beyond urgent. So are our spiritual leaders, those upstanding ‘men of the cloth’, mobilising their troops?

Only one of the eight replied — the local Catholic vicar-general — who dismissed the subject in two sentences. So there you have it. If this local bunch are representative of the Christian community in the UK, they don’t give a four-X for their brothers and sisters in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. And they are utterly indifferent to the fact that the place where Christianity was born is being stolen from under their noses.

If that’s a wrong interpretation, and Christians in the West do actually wish to help, the issue is straightforward enough. Churches in Palestine are asking churches here to call things as they are: to recognize Israel as an apartheid state in terms of international law and the UN report which says so. They are concerned that States and churches are still dealing with Israel on a business-as-usual basis, as if the situation were normal, and ignoring the criminal reality of military occupation.

Churches came together in opposition to apartheid in South Africa and helped end it. Why haven’t they done the same in Palestine?

They ask us to unequivocally condemn the Balfour Declaration as unjust, and they rightly demand that the UK asks forgiveness and compensates the Palestinian people for their losses. Theresa May’s government, however, plans to celebrate the centenary of the Balfour Declaration “with pride” and has invited Mr Netanyahu to the fun.

Clearly Mrs May, God-fearing churchgoer that she is, needs to feel the heat of His wrath. The woman is so arrogant that her government intends to appeal against the recent decision by the Royal Courts of Justice defending our right to boycott Israel.

End the ‘Ecumenical Deal’, put interfaith dialogue through the wringer

The Palestinians want us to take the strongest possible stand against any theology or group that seeks to justify the occupation. That means of course challenging our religious dialogue partners and withdrawing from those partnerships if they won’t condemn Israel’s brutal occupation.

But I can hear our canting clerics muttering: “Oh dear, no, no, no. We mustn’t upset our interfaith colleagues. That would never do.”

Churches that sell their holdings or otherwise divest from companies that profit from the occupation of Palestinian lands often take years of agonising confab to reach such a commonsense position. But they needn’t think just moving their money is enough. A recent example is the Mennonite Church USA, where it took (they say) a three-person writing team and a 10-member reference group working intensely during the past two years and consulting widely across the church and with Palestinian and Jewish partners, to come up with a modest proposal. And to sugar the divestment pill they declared that “the legacy of Jewish suffering is intertwined with the suffering of Palestinians”. What the Palestinians had to do with Jewish suffering or ever did to deserve having their lands and homes confiscated, isn’t explained. But it is used to provide an excuse to call on Mennonites to strengthen relationships with Jewish communities.

Why? Can they not understand that you have to be consistent in boycotting Israel? It involves boycotting the people who also support and advocate for Israel including those who fail to condemn the Zionist regime’s vile policies that hurt our Palestinian friends. As George Galloway has said, you simply don’t engage with them.

Christians who cannot grasp what is really going on out there, and don’t see what is needed to stop it, might find Robert Cohen’s excellent article Brace Yourselves for Costly Palestinian Solidarity helpful in pointing towards proper, meaningful action.

He explains why the Christian-Jewish dialogue needs re-setting. Central to the problem is the so-called Ecumenical Deal, a reluctance to question Jewish support for Israel for fear of unpicking decades of interfaith reconciliation following the Holocaust.  We appear to have cast ourselves in the self-defeating role of repenting for age-old Christian anti-Jewishness. Breaking out of it and criticising Israel would be seen as a re-emergence of that anti-Jewishness.

I’m not aware of Christian anti-Jewishness although continuing failure on the part of Jewish leaders to condemn the cruel policies of the Israeli regime, aka ‘the Jewish State’, is surely asking for it. Does anyone inside or outside the bubble of the Church seriously buy into this repentence stuff? From outside, among people who would never set foot in a church again but still call themselves Christians because they were brought up according to the Christian code, it looks pathetic.

Christians in Palestine, says Cohen, despair of our Church leaders’ endless hiding behind the cover of political neutrality and their unwillingness to offend their religious dialogue partners. Consequently, he predicts, Jewish-Christian dialogue “is about to go through the wringer”.

Time for some ‘really uncomfortable conversations’

Pressing the re-set button means “refusing to allow your local Jewish communal leadership to set the boundaries of permissible debate on Israel”. It also means “listening to the Christian voice under occupation before the Jewish voice living comfortably, with full equal rights, many thousands of miles from that same occupation”.

Operating the wringer, of course, will be followed by a distinct chill in relationships forcing Church leaders, local ministers and their congregations, as well as the Jewish leaders they have dialogue with, out of their comfort zone. Good. As Rebecca Vilkomerson, Jewish Voice for Peace, recently wrote in Haaretz, after 70 years of dispossessing and expelling Palestinians, 50 years of Israeli military occupation and 10 years of blockading Gaza, it is time for Jewish communities “to have some really uncomfortable conversations”.

Palestinians say no to ‘shallow diplomacy’ but it’s all they’re likely to get

How does the World Council of Churches react to those urgent pleas from Palestine?

They will study and analyse. “As we at the WCC consider our plans for 2018 and beyond, we want churches in Palestine to know that their perspective is heard and it is vitally important,” said the WCC’s general secretary. “We will continue with the same passionate spirit to work on specific objectives, strategies and partners for advocacy to end the occupation and to work for just peace in Palestine and Israel.”

The WCC’s Commission of the Churches on International Affairs has been asked to contribute a thorough analysis of the changing political landscapes and dynamics in the Holy Land with an eye toward developing a more specific advocacy strategy that works through nations and organizations with significant influence.

WCC has also started an online campaign, Seek #JusticeAndPeace in the Holy Land, which features profiles of peacemakers and various cries for justice.

WCC also plans to “explore theological reflections, studies and projects that will bring a perspective on just peace in the Holy Land from all parts of the world”, and strengthen communication about the situation in Palestine so that it can “help churches and other ecumenical partners address their constituencies and governments in a more systematic way”. This includes developing a set of principles and practices of responsible pilgrimages of justice and peace to the Holy Land.

Will the Palestinian churches be impressed? Their cry for help stated specifically: “We stand in front of an impasse and we have reached a deadlock. Despite all the promises, endless summits, UN resolutions, religious and lay leader’s callings, Palestinians are still yearning for their freedom and independence, and seeking justice and equality.”

They stressed that religious extremism is on the rise, with religious minorities paying a heavy price. “We need brave women and men who are willing to stand in the forefront. This is no time for shallow diplomacy Christians.”

When I called the Church of England press office yesterday they didn’t think any response had been made. Such concern, then. And when I ran through the members of the WCC’s Central Committee I noticed the two representatives from the Church Of England were both based in Europe. How helpful is that?

The power of hope

Christianity sometimes has great trouble telling right from wrong and doing something about it. The Holy Land is a case in point. Evil reigns there. Christianity across the world cowers. What would Christ say to that?

I know what Michel Sabbah says. He is a former Catholic Patriarch of Jerusalem, a courageous man of the front line and one of the great heroes of the struggle.

“The current situation is hopeless. In reality, there are no signs of hope at all for the Palestinian people. In spite of that, we hope.

We hope because we are Christians, and God is present.
We hope because we believe in the fundamental goodness of the human being, Israeli and Palestinian. Human goodness will prevail at the end upon the human power of evil.

We hope because Palestinians are persevering in claiming their rights.
It is a source of hope that we never gave up….

We hope because among Israelis, there are people who are trying to work with Palestinians for what is right. And there are an increasing number of movements for peace, strong in will….

If we had no hope we would not live. Hope is life, and history gives us hope. What is right will prevail.”

Michel Sabbah
Catholic Patriarch Emeritus

I fear that if he pins any hopes on the wets of the Western churches he’ll be disappointed. But he already knows that, surely.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI0 Comments

‘The Palestine Exception’: War on BDS is now a war on American democracy

NOVANEWS
By Ramzy Baroud 

There is something immoral in Washington D.C., and its consequences can be dire for many people, particularly for the health of US democracy.

The US government is declaring war on the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. The fight to defeat BDS has been ongoing for several years, but most notably since 2014.

Since then, 11 US states have passed and enacted legislation to criminalise the movement, backed by civil society, which aims to put pressure on Israel to end its occupation of Palestine.

Washington is now leading the fight, thus legitimising the anti-democratic behaviour of individual states. If the efforts of the US government are successful, an already struggling US democracy will take yet another step back, and many good people could potentially be punished for behaving in accordance with their political and moral values.

Senate Bill 720 (S.720), also known as the “Anti-Israel Boycott Act”, was largely drafted by the notorious and powerful Israel lobby in Washington, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

According to its own “2017 Lobbying Agenda”, AIPAC has made the passing of the bill its top priority.

The US Congress is beholden by Israel’s interests and by the “stranglehold” of AIPAC over the elected representatives of the American people.

Thus, it was no surprise to see 43 senators and 234 House representatives backing the bill, which was first introduced in March.

Although the Congress has habitually backed Israel and condemned Palestinians – and any politician or entity that dared recognise Palestinian rights – this time, the Congress is going too far and is jeopardising the very basic rights of its own constituencies.

The First Amendment to the US Constitution has been the pillar in defense of people’s right to free speech, freedom of the press, “the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”  This right, however, has often been curtailed when it applies to Israel. The Centre for Constitutional Rights refers to this fact as “The Palestine Exception”.

S.720, however, if it passes, will cement the new US status, that of “flawed democracy” as opposed to a full democratic nation that legislates and applies all laws fairly and equally to all of its citizens. The law would make it a “felony” for Americans to support the boycott of Israel.

Punishment of those who violate the proposed law ranges from $250,000 to $1 million, and/or 20 years in prison.

The bill has already had chilling effects on many groups in the country, especially among African American activists, who are fighting institutionalised racism. If the bill becomes law, the precedent will become the norm, and dissidents will find themselves standing trial for their mere opinions.

With regard to Israel, the US Congress is united. Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers often act in ways contrary to the interests of their own country, just to appease the Israeli government. This is no secret.

However, the real danger is that such laws go beyond the traditional blind allegiance to Israel – into a whole level of acquiescence, where the government punishes people and organisations for the choices they make, the values they hold dear or the mere inquiry of information about an issue that they may find compelling.

On 17 July, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) issued a letter calling on lawmakers who signed the Senate version of the bill to reconsider. The bill would punish businesses and individuals, based solely on their point of view. Such a penalty is in direct violation of the First Amendment ACLU stated.

Only one person, thus far, has reportedly reconsidered her support, junior Democratic Senator from New York, Kirsten Gillibrand. She requested for her name to be removed from the list of co-signatories.

AIPAC’s reaction was immediate, calling on its army of supporters to pressure the Senator to reinstate her name on the list and to “reaffirm her commitment to fighting the international de-legitimisation of Israel.”

Dire as it may seem, there is something positive in this. For many years, it has been wrongly perceived that Israel’s solicitation of American support against Palestinians and Arabs is, by no means, a foreign country meddling or interfering in the US political system or undermining US democracy.

The “Israel Anti-Boycott Act”, however, is the most egregious of such interventions, for it strikes down the First Amendment, the very foundation of American democracy, by using America’s own lawmakers to carry out the terrible deed.

This bill exposes Israel, as well as its hordes of supporters, in Congress. Moreover, it presents human rights defenders with the opportunity to champion BDS, thus the rights of the Palestinian people and also the rights of all Americans. It would be the first time in many years that the battle for Palestinian rights can be openly discussed and contextualised in a way that most Americans find relevant to their everyday life.

Actually, this was one of the aims of BDS, from the start. While the boycott and de-legitimisation of the Israeli military occupation of the Palestinians is at the core of the civil society-backed movement, BDS also aims at generating an urgent discussion on Israel and Palestine.

Although inadvertently, the Congress is now making this very much possible.

The bill, and the larger legislative efforts across the US – and Europe – are also a source of hope in the sense that it is recreating the very events that preceded the demise of the apartheid regime in South Africa.

The US and British governments, in particular, opposed the South African liberation movement, condemned the boycott and backed the racist authoritarian role of P. W. Botha to the very end. Former President, Ronald Reagan, perceived Nelson Mandela to be a terrorist. Mandela was not removed from the US terror list until 2008.

It is quite telling that the US, UK and Israel were the most ardent supporters of South Africa’s apartheid.

Now, it is as if history is repeating itself. The Israeli version of apartheid is fighting for legitimacy and refuses to concede. It wants to colonise all of Palestine, mistreat its people and violate international law without a mere word of censure from an individual or an organisation.

The US government has not changed much, either. It carries on supporting the Israeli form of apartheid, while shamelessly paying lip service to the legacy of Mandela and his anti-apartheid struggle.

Although the new chapter of the anti-apartheid struggle is called “Palestine”, the US and its western backers continue to repeat the same costly policies they committed against the South African people.

As for true champions of human rights, regardless of their race, religion or citizenship, this is their moment. No meaningful change ever occurs without people being united in struggle and sacrifice.

In one of his speeches, an American abolitionist and former slave, Frederick Douglass said: “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.”

The US Congress, with the help of AIPAC, is criminalising this very demand of justice.

Americans should not stand for this, if not for the sake of Palestinians, then for their own sake.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, USA, ZIO-NAZI0 Comments

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