Posts Tagged ‘Zionism’

Commemorating 60+ Years of the Systematic Murder of Palestinian Land. The first part of a three part series for Land Day

As I stood on the roof and watched Jerusalem stretch in front of me, with the sun reflecting on the golden Dome, I felt angry and felt how unfair the world is. I was born in Jerusalem, went to school there and practically grew up there knowing almost every corner, every street and every alley in it. I have more memories in Jerusalem than any other place in the world, all cherished ones. But now, I am not allowed into the city anymore because I am Palestinian. As I stood there, with tears in my eyes, I envied every Palestinian with an American or European passport, because they can come and visit Jerusalem. I envied every foreigner who can visit the city whenever they choose. I even envied the birds singing on the cypresses before me, because they could fly over Jerusalem and fill their eyes with its beauty and their lungs with its air. In my childhood, Jerusalem was the only major Palestinian city I knew well and loved. In the eyes and mind of a child, to me Ramallah was a cold city, Bethlehem was the “village” nearby, Nablus and Hebron were the places “to visit my uncles in Israeli prisons” and Jericho was too hot. Only Jerusalem was perfect: with its bustling Old City, the old bus station, Salah Al-Deen Street, Al Musrarah, the walk to the Notre Dame, the walk down Wadi Al-Joz and up to Al-Tur and the walk up to Ras El Amoud. I walked on the roof and saw the mountains on the Jordanian side, clearly visible during mild weather. Late afternoons, coming back home from school, one would witness a breathtaking sight going down the steep street in Sawahreh: a marvellous mixture of simple houses, some with old traditional domed roofs, barley fields or olive groves spreading against a curtain of mountains. Between the mountains and the last of the houses a strip of blue was visible. We always thought it to be the Dead Sea. Well, I personally still like to think of it as the Dead Sea. It was a combination of colours that rarely showed itself, but when it did, it was truly breathtaking.

 

To the south I could see Mount Herod in the distance. I have watched this artificial mountain since my childhood and always wondered at its shape. It always looked far away to be reached, but at the same time so close, an integral part of the view surrounding my home. I used to think about the impossibility of climbing that mountain, because it had steep sides, one would keep slipping and would never reach the top. I did “climb” that mountain years later, during the work on a TV documentary on Bethlehem. During the 2002 IOF invasion of the West Bank, my parents told me that Israeli fighter jets used to pass over Sawahreh on their way to Bethlehem. After a few minutes, the sound of explosions would rock the sky, as the IOF bombarded Bethlehem and the surrounding towns, villages and refugee camps. Since hearing this, every time I see Mount Herod I can’t help thinking of Israeli jets on their way to destroying yet another part of Palestine and kill innocent unarmed civilians. In Sawahreh, Israeli jets roaring in the sky were always a common thing. Some of Sawahreh’s vast lands had been confiscated for so-called “security reasons” and were used as a training area for the IOF. We would often hear sounds of explosions and the house would shake, or hear Israeli jets coming and going. One time, my sister, my brother and I thought that they were preparing for war, and since we had no army of our own, had no jets or tanks or bombs to protect ourselves, we held a meeting to decide on the best way to protect the family. The only solution we could think of was to build an underground shelter. I don’t know where we got the idea of a shelter from, since Palestinians have no shelters, but most probably from one of those WWII films the Israeli TV kept showing. We did start digging, using our hands and small pointy stones, but realized after a while what a lengthy and hard process that was, and instead decided that in case a war does break out we would use the water well as a shelter, i.e., after removing all the water.

 

One would think what a beautiful view, Jerusalem on one side, Bethlehem on the other with mountains and an imaginary sea in the background. Unfortunately, this scenery is interrupted by the Jewish illegal settlements Maale Adumim and Kidar, spreading themselves on Palestinian hills. Many Palestinian villages and town are surrounded by illegal Jewish settlements. Some are surrounded by settlements from one, two or three sides. Others are surrounded by illegal settlements and the Apartheid Wall. Sawahreh is surrounded by the illegal settlements of Maale Adumim from the northeast and Kidar from the east and by the Apartheid Wall from the west. Kidar settlement is the closest to us. Before the first intifada, Kidar settlers used to come and walk through our main street, among Palestinian houses. So sure they were of themselves, acting as if the land belonged to them. I remember once we were playing in the land, when a group of settlers walked up the street. We stopped playing and just watched them. I didn’t understand settlers and settlements much at the time, but I remember knowing that these people had no right to walk on our streets. We used to spend our holidays in Dheisheh refugee camp, where the IOF would shoot to kill little children, and then we would come back to Sawahreh, where settlers were walking our street. Those close to Kidar used to sell home-made white cheese and yoghurt to the settlers, who thought us too quiet and peaceful, so they called us “Kiryat Shalom” or the village of peace. It was something I always felt ashamed of, knowing that the settlers thought us too peaceful to bother with, while their army and their fellow fanatic settlers were attacking Dheisheh and killing people there. If the illegal settlers of Kidar were so very interested in peace with us, why did they steal our lands to expand their settlement, knowing that our livelihood depended on these lands? You can’t have peace with your occupier, because the only peace they will offer you is a masquerade, not a real and just peace. In Palestine, power cuts are a regular thing, and whenever we had no electricity and had to study using candle light, which often hurt our eyes, I used to look through the window and watch Sawahreh, Abu Dees and Ezariyyeh drown in complete darkness, while Kidar and Maale Adumim would be lighted like a Christmas tree. Even as a child this made me think of how unfair the situation was and that these settlers and these settlements don’t belong here.

 

I remember as a child how “far away” Maale Adumim seemed. But as I grew up, so did the illegal settlement. The danger of this expansion never really registered in my mind until one night I dreamt that I opened the window of my bedroom to find myself looking into the courtyard of a Jewish house. The settlement had eaten the land all the way from where it stood till our house, and our house and the land surrounding it was next. I woke up sweating and my heart beating fast. So real was the threat, I realized at the time, that I knew it was not a mere nightmare. The next day I went at the back of the house to the spot where one could get a direct view of Maale Adumim and tried to calculate how much time we had before my nightmare became reality. I thought we still had time to act, but I was mistaken. Since the 1990’s the settlements have been expanding and are eating more Palestinian land at an unprecedented pace. In this area there are several illegal Jewish settlements such as Maale Adumim, Alon, Almon, Kidar, Kefar Adumim and Mishor Adumim, with a combined population of some 40,000 settlers. The largest, Maale Adumim was established in 1975 on confiscated Palestinian land and lies 14 km to the east of Jerusalem. It has a population of 35,000 illegal Jewish settlers and a jurisdictional area of 50 km². Road networks have been also established to connect Maale Adumim and neighboring settlements with Jerusalem and with the Jordan Valley. Palestinian land would be confiscated, declared a “closed military zone” and later used for illegal settlement expansions.

 

On the day of my arrival to Palestine for a short visit, I watched in shock as I passed Maale Adumim at how huge it has become. Within the space of two years, since my last visit, it had doubled in size, to say the least. Standing there on the mountain top, with a wall surrounding parts of it, it reminded me of a fortress from the middle ages. Although I am a fan of fortresses, this one brought only anger and disgust. The lands opposite it, which I distinctly remember were planted with olive trees, had become bare land, the trees uprooted and the land destroyed to make way for more illegal settler houses and roads. At the entrance to Maale Adumim stood a single olive tree, as huge as life and older than any illegal settler on this land. It was clear that this tree had been uprooted from some Palestinian field, maybe even from our confiscated land, and replanted here. Macabre, I thought and could only shake my head at the sad view of that lonely olive tree. Olive trees are like Palestinians, they grow in groups, surrounded by family and friends. That tree stood there alone, a reminder to every Palestinian that this is what the so-called peace process had done to us, and that if this process is allowed to go on, every single Palestinian will end up like that tree, alone and uprooted.

 

The plan to expand Maale Adumim, known as the “E-1” Plan, which was initiated by Rabin in 1994 and approved in 1999, led to the confiscation of yet more Palestinian land. This Plan is an important part of the “Greater Jerusalem” scheme, which includes Maale Adumim, Beitar, H´Givat Ze’ev, Gush Etzion, the Ariel bloc, the Hashmonain bloc and the Jordan Rift, and aims at annexing large areas of the West Bank to Jerusalem. This plan expands the jurisdictional boundaries of Maale Adumim and its satellite settlements to the Israeli Jerusalem municipal boundaries, linking Jerusalem with surrounding settlement blocs and linking the Maale Adumim bloc with with other settlement blocs such as Pisgat Ze’ev, Pisgat Omer, Neve Ya’acov and the French Hill. Also, a wall is being built around Maale Adumim and its satellite settlements, which will completely encircle East Jerusalem and 61 km² of Palestinian land. The “E-1” Plan aims to completely cut off Jerusalem from the rest of the Palestinian Territories, disconnecting the geographic contiguity of Palestinian Territories by dividing the West Bank into two parts, thus ensuring that no viable Palestinian state would ever come to existence. Last year, roads were paved and a bridge, main junctions, public squares, police stations, checkpoints and side walls were built in the “E-1” area. This area will cover some 13,000 dunums confiscated from Palestinian villages around Jerusalem and is to house an additional 15,000 illegal settlers. Two Israeli-only roads will connect settler roads southeast of Bethlehem with roads to the northeast, including connecting Maale Adumim and other Jerusalem settlements with the Ramot Ashkol settlement. For the construction of these roads, tens of houses in Sawahreh, Abu Dees and Al Tour are to be demolished. To prevent Palestinians from entering Jerusalem or using Road Nr. 1 that passes through the E-1 and Road Nr. 60 that passes through East Jerusalem, an “alternative” road is being constructed for Palestinian use and is to connect the Southern West Bank with its Northern part. For the construction of this road, the IOF issued a military order in 2007 confiscating 1,128 dunums of Palestinian land from villages between Jerusalem and Maale Adumim, i.e. Sawahreh, Abu Dees, Nebi Musa and Al Khan Al Ahmar.

 

Blocking the southern entrance of Sawahreh is the “Container” checkpoint, which is now being expanded to become a permanent border-like crossing. Passing the checkpoint, one would not imagine what beautiful landscape lies behind the Israeli stone blocks and control tower. Locally, we call it “Barriyeh”, the wilderness or the prairies. Green meadows decorated with red poppies wherever one looks. My favourite spot there is a low area, surrounded by hills and naturally-formed stone structures. Here, running was not possible because of the tall vegetation that covered the place. We would imagine ourselves swimming and race each other or play hide and seek. Then, when we would feel hungry, we would have something to eat under the olive trees. Relics of family history decorate caves in that area and cherished memories of childhood lie behind the checkpoint, making them off-limit to us. The last time I went there was just before leaving for Germany and I had not set foot again. Our lands there, including the olive fields, which were a source of income for my family, were confiscated in 2003. Today, only those few who originally had their houses behind the checkpoint are allowed in, but no one knows how long before their houses will be demolished for some reason or other so as to close the area completely.

 

The “Container” checkpoint is a passage between the north and the south of the West Bank. It is one of more than 630 Israeli checkpoints and road barriers all over the West Bank, aiming to restrict Palestinian movement on Palestinian land. Travelling to the south, one would have to take the “Wadi Al-Nar” road. Wadi Al-Nar, the Valley of Fire, is most probably called so because of its steepness and the danger of driving there. It was a dirt road connecting Sawahreh with Ubediyyeh, rarely used except maybe by villagers travelling on donkeys. With the signing of the so-called peace process, Jerusalem was closed to most Palestinians and this road was used instead as a link left between the south and the north. If one is stuck behind a truck on that road, the meaning of “Valley of Fire” becomes clear, for when driving up the road, one has the continuous feeling that the truck will turn over any minute and everything behind that truck would be squeezed underneath it. As children we would follow the shepherds with their herds whenever we could. We would eat figs, search for snake nests in caves and play at the old ottoman stone circles. Every time we were there on the hills, we would go exploring a bit further. It was mostly steep hills, where we learned to slide slowly down a hill, using our left foot as a break. Here, there were no illegal settlements and no IOF soldiers, or at least they were not visible. When it was time to go home, instead of taking the direct way, we would go all around the hills, passing the “sacred river” to the old Sawahreh houses and further back home. The “sacred river” as we called it, was a small “river” running through the Wadi Al-Nar. Greenery was along both sides of this river, giving it a genuine river look, like those we used to see in cartoons. The vegetables growing around the riverbanks were double the size of the ordinary vegetables we would buy from the supermarket. Later, and to our great disappoint, we found out that the reason for the extraordinary growth of these vegetables was the waste water. This “sacred river” was actually the flow of waste water from Maale Adumim and other settlements in the area. Not only was their waste water contaminating our lands, their solid waste was being dumped and burned on our lands as well. Several studies have shown that illegal Settlements comprise a major environmental threat. Waste water and industrial waste from settlements is dumped on Palestinian lands, contaminating the soil and the water supply. Palestinian plans to treat waste water are usually rejected by Israel, and in one incident Israel insisted that a treatment facility for Tulkarem be built on the other side of the Green line, for no other reason than to use the treated water for its own interest.

 

During my last visit to Palestine, I wanted to see these hills again and enjoy the beauty of a Palestine that was free of illegal settlements and IOF checkpoints. It was late afternoon and as I looked around me I saw Mount Herod in the distance, with Palestinian villages decorating the hills all the way from there to Jerusalem. And opposite them, Palestinian hills extended all the way to meet the Jordanian mountains in the horizon. There was no Apartheid Wall, no IOF checkpoints and no settlements. Although I knew they were there, breaking the natural bond between Jerusalem and the rest of the West Bank, they were not visible from where I stood. I saw the old stone houses with the traditional domed roof, a herd of sheep with a shepherd who was playing the flute, the sunset adding a magical touch to the whole landscape, and there, at that moment I felt what it would feel to live in a truly free Palestine. I started taking photos and wondering how long before the Israelis would wipe out this landscape and all traces of Palestinian existence here. I went home, thinking that the Palestine I grew up in is not the Palestine of today. The Palestine of today is the rest of the so-called peace process with its illegal settlements, the Apartheid Wall, the IOF checkpoints and “Herrenstraßen” that are eating Palestine from inside, like a cancer, destroying the land piece by piece. I remembered that lonely olive tree in front of Maale Adumim and hoped that those still disillusioned by the “peace process” would wake up and act before it was too late.

 

Sources:

http://www.arij.org

http://www.peacenow.org

http://www.poica.org

http://www.btselem.org

http://www.imemc.org

 

Without a shadow of a doubt, Marcy Newman is one of the best bloggers on Palestine. It’s hard to top her sensitivity, observant eye, humour, culture and humanity. I wanted to write again about One Voice, but she did a much better job than I ever could, so please read this incredibly informative article about this “grassroots movement” (sic) that is really just the cover for Zionist exclusion of Palestinians from their homeland and continued denial of their rights. http://bodyontheline.wordpress.com/ Marcy is da girl!

how about no voice!

here is a group i would love to silence. it is called “one voice.” i say: how about no voice! apparently it is old, but someone tweeted it today so i just learned about it. this group is quite skilled in masking who they really are about (this is the first clue that it is a hardcore zionist organization dedicated to preserving the racist, zionist, colonist, terrorist state). to start with the term “one voice” is a sort of euphemism, i think, for some sort of unified solution and masks their goal of continuing the zionist colonization of palestinian land. you can get some idea of who they are from their faq page:

How is OneVoice different from other ‘peace’ groups?

We are dedicated to conflict resolution. Israelis and Palestinians at a grassroots level want to find a resolution to this conflict and agree in broad terms on the parameters for that resolution. They do not necessarily like or love each other, but they recognize that to guarantee their own freedom, security, and viability, they have to assure the same for the other side. We are committed to mobilizing people behind this belief to effect real change. We are a grassroots, non-partisan, joint Israeli-Palestinian organization – not imposing ideas from above, but helping people on the ground to find and frame their own answers.

Why do you believe in a two-state solution?

OneVoice does not have its own views on how a peace agreement should look – we are simply codifying the views of the masses, and building off of the groundwork laid by past agreements and proposals, which are accepted by the majority of Israelis & Palestinians as the basis for negotiating a two-state solution. The vast majority of Israelis and Palestinians, according to all major polls, agree that a two-state solution is the only way to end this conflict.

Is it really a parallel movement? Are both sides really represented?

This is the most commonly asked question by people on both sides. Each side perceives that the other lacks a contingent of moderates willing to lead their people to compromise. Exactly the same amount of money goes into programming in Israel as it does in Palestine.

What many people are unable to see, which we uniquely can, is that whether on the left or on the right, Israeli or Palestinian, the overwhelming majority on each side would choose co-existence and mutual respect over co-extermination and mutual ruination. In spite of any apprehension or skepticism they share, they ultimately express a commitment and desire to participate with us.

Is this an attempt to impose a Western solution on a uniquely Middle Eastern problem?

The OneVoice solution is coming from the Middle East; it is not being imposed on anyone. Hundreds of Palestinians and Israelis were involved in its inception and now more than 600,000 are members. OneVoice is shaped according to what people who live in the region believe will work. In this regard, we provide a neutral gateway towards consensus that is not linked to any existing entrenched power. OneVoice is a non-biased, grassroots platform that derives its legitimacy from popular participation.

first of all, the notion that this is some sort of grassroots movement that palestinians support is 100% hooey. sure, maybe they have a few collaborators on board (read: those who support american-zionist colonialism here), but that does not mean that the majority of palestinians support this initiative. i can tell you point blank: they do not. there is no clear position on the most important issues, like the right of return, for instance, and they treat palestinians here as if these are only people who live in the west bank–not in 1948 palestine, not in refugee camps in lebanon, jordan, syria, not in the diaspora. of course they cannot because if they were to do so they would have to deal with the right of return. and they do not.

but what is most telling, i think, is the page that lists the board members. the “honorary board” lists palestinians who normalize and who are completely discredited and disrespected among palestinians like saeb erakat. he is as bad as his cohorts on this list like zionnazis martin indyk and dennis ross. it also lists jim zogby who, like ziad asali who sits on the trustees advisory council, do a great job promoting the zionist agenda in the u.s. the rest of the names, one can safely assume, are there to do the zionists’ bidding to ensure that palestinian refugees never have the right of return and that their bantustan situation will continue to increase. make no mistake about it: if indyk and ross are on board we can expect a disastrous outcome for palestinians. period.

then you look at their “parners” page you will notice that they have all sorts of organizations that masquerade as “neutral,” but are really fronts for zionist propaganda–organizations like middle east web as well as arab american organizations that are complicit with the zionist agenda in the u.s. like american task force on palestine. and, perhaps, the real clue is in the organizations that promote normalization (read: force palestinians to be as submissive as possible in their own oppression so zionists can steal more land and murder more palestinians); these groups include: the geneva initiative and ipcri.

how these groups got on the website is another question–whether they support its work or not, for instance. apparently, when the organization began they just put various groups on the website without asking for permission first. they did this with the middle east children’s alliance (meca), and as soon as people at meca found out and requested that they remove their name and logo. apparently, they did not understand that meant meca was not interested in their so-called “peace” initiative and someone at this “one voice” group asked them to send out some email to meca’s list. when they said no, meca got this email, which i quote with permission:

Dear XXXX,

Thank you for your elaborated answer. I find it hard to understand why would you choose not to support an organization that calls for a non violent solution based on 2 states and rapid negotiations, but I guess it is your choice.

PS. Children not living under occupation are also bedwetting and have nightmares, whether it is because of missiles flying over their heads and on their houses for the last 7 years or because of suicide bombers and terrorism. Life and the reality in the Middle east is not as one sided as you portray. The apartheid analogy is nothing more then a propaganda tool, that has nothing to do with reality, and is used to take advantage of peace-seeking people, with historical guilt, by demonizing Israel and the Israelis. What you see in the media is only the bloody stories that sell. They are not always true, and more importantly they are far from being all the story or even a big part of it.

Yours,
Sefi Kedmi

typical zionist answer: the think that the bias is against the them. yet another way of deflecting attention from the reality of their daily thieving and murderous colonial project. ben white had an excellent critique of this pseudo-”peace” initiative in the guardian two years ago, which is worth reading:

We’ve had Live 8 and Live Earth, and this week, albeit on a smaller scale, we almost had One Million Voices. Organised by the OneVoice group, the declared aim was to bring together Palestinians and Israelis in simultaneous events in Tel Aviv, Jericho, London, Washington and Ottawa to voice support for the “moderates” and call for a negotiated two-state solution.

The plans fell through, amid bitter claim and counter-claim, as artists lined up for the Jericho event cancelled, and the Tel Aviv concert followed suit. This followed grassroots pressure by Palestinians who objected to what they see as yet another attempt to promote a false peace that fails to address the structural injustices driving the conflict.

Indeed, despite the peace rhetoric – and the claim that they represent a unique popular call – OneVoice’s approach suffers from the same flaws that have bedevilled official “peace” efforts from Oslo to the Quartet. Such errors were amply demonstrated in Seth Freedman’s column, which implied that the main obstacle to peace is the “extremism” that exists on both sides.

This interpretation of the situation in Palestine/Israel is only possible through a heavy airbrushing of history and a fundamental misreading of the present. Strikingly, the Tel Aviv concert was scheduled to take place in Hayarkon Park – the same location where, almost 60 years ago, the Palestinian village of Jarisha was wiped off the map by Jewish armed forces.

Its residents shared the same fate as almost 800,000 other Palestinians, expelled from what became Israel and prevented to this day from returning home, their land confiscated. Yet official OneVoice material gives the impression that the conflict only began 40 years ago, when Israel occupied the rest of Palestine (the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem).

Condemning the “extremist minority” of both sides sounds laudable. Of course, “both sides” use violence, and of course, there is hatred and religious extremism among both Palestinians and Israelis. The crucial point, however, is that Israel has all the power. Israel is occupying and colonising Palestinian land, not the other way round. Palestinian cities are besieged by a modern, hi-tech Israeli army and subjected to closure, raids and bombardment – not the other way round.

Zionist colonisation is not the preserve of a fanatical fringe in Israel – it is fundamental to the state’s identity and practice. As Martin Luther King said: “Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.” Since Israel continues to show no intention of relinquishing its role as colonial overlord, it’s no good to condemn “both sides”, as if there is equality between occupier and occupied.

Unsurprisingly, those with intimate firsthand experience of this apartheid are under no illusions about the usefulness of toothless “peace processes”. Earlier this week, the UN human rights envoy for the Occupied Palestinian Territories, John Dugard, condemned the Quartet for failing to safeguard Palestinian rights. The BBC’s Tim Franks noted that many diplomats and officials based in the region “would agree with Mr Dugard’s political analysis” yet refrain from agreeing publicly.

The language of moderation is all the rage, from OneVoice to Condoleezza Rice, from the aborted peace concerts to the forthcoming November peace conference. It’s a seductive dichotomy; on the one side are those who light the flame of peace, who strive for a “mass awakening” to the “forces of light and friendship and love”. On the other side are the extremists who threaten, smear and mislead; they are wickedly intransigent – they stifle, snuff out hope and burn flags.

But what is a “moderate”? In recent times, “moderate” has been applied to some rather unlikely characters in the Middle East. For the US, UK and Israeli governments, these include states like Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan. None of these permit much genuine freedom of expression; all of them oppress opposition movements. In fact, Saudi Arabia is one of the world’s most repressive regimes.

It seems “moderation” has nothing to do with whether you refrain from the torture of political activists or the flogging of “deviants”, and everything to do with your obedience to US policies and Israeli interests. That is what unites the Saudi royals, the Egyptian president and the Jordanian king.

Meanwhile, groups like ISM, and Another Voice are condemned by Freedman and OneVoice as “extremists” out to “eradicate the other side”, and accused of making unnamed and unspecified threats. Yet these groups are committed to the defence of human rights and international law, and are made up of tireless Israelis, Palestinians and internationals. Their categorisation as “extremists” then, is actually a reflection of their refusal to accept sugar-coated apartheid or well-meaning platitudes that serve the status quo.

It may be an uncomfortable truth, but peace for both peoples comes no closer if the fundamental power disparity between Israel and the stateless, occupied and dispossessed Palestinians is obscured. Confronting the vested interests that perpetuate Palestine’s conquest may not win you awards from Jordanian monarchs or praise from the US state department; but it ultimately brings you a lot closer to peace.

as for kedmi thinking that apartheid does not apply, i think we would do well to look at omar barghouti’s recent article on the subject, which i quote from, in part, below:

Israel’s repressive and racist policies in the 1967-occupied Palestinian territory have been recognized as constituting apartheid by a host of opinion leaders such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former US president, Jimmy Carter, and former UN Special Rapporteur for human rights, Prof. John Dugard, among others. In the same vein, former Israeli Attorney General, Michael Ben-Yair, wrote in a 2002 article in Ha’aretz describing Israel’s regime in the OPT, “We enthusiastically chose to become a colonial society, ignoring international treaties, expropriating lands, transferring settlers from Israel to the occupied territories, engaging in theft and finding justification for all these activities. … In effect, we established an apartheid regime in the occupied territories….” [36]

However, the applicability of the crime of apartheid as defined in UN conventions to Israel itself has, for the most part, been either inadvertently glossed over or intentionally ignored as an explosive subject that has every potential to invite the vengeful wrath of powerful pro-Israel lobbies. Regardless, one cannot but examine the facts and analyze Israel’s system of governance accordingly.

The strongest argument given by — sometimes well-meaning — experts who dismiss the apartheid label for Israel is that the analogy between Israel and South Africa is not exact and, in many respects, Israel’s oppression is even more severe, demanding a different designation altogether. The problem with this argument is that it assumes, quite incorrectly, that apartheid is a South African trademark and, therefore, that every regime accused of practicing apartheid must be shown to be identical to South Africa’s apartheid regime of yesteryear. Apartheid, however, although brought to world attention and given its name by the racist regime in South Africa, has been recognized by the UN for decades as a generalized crime with a universal definition.

The Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid of 1976 defines apartheid [37] as “similar policies and practices of racial segregation and discrimination as practised in southern Africa” which have “the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group of persons and systematically oppressing them, in particular by means such as segregation, expropriation of land, and denial of the right to leave and return to their country, the right to a nationality and the right to freedom of movement and residence” (Article II). The similarity to South Africa is cited not as a condition but in recognition of its status as a historic precedent.

As a recent in-depth strategic position paper [38] published by the Palestinian BDS National Committee states, Israel’s origins, laws and policies against the Palestinian people fit to a large extent the definition of apartheid. The conceptual origins of Israel’s unique form of apartheid are found in Zionism, a racist European ideology that was adopted by the dominant stream of the Zionist movement (World Zionist Organization, Jewish Agency, Jewish National Fund, among others) in order to justify and recruit political support for its colonial project of establishing an exclusive Jewish state in historic Palestine. Political Zionists dismissed the indigenous population of Palestine as non-existent in the famous Zionist slogan of “a land without a people;” making this a self-fulfilling prophecy, Zionist forces forcibly displaced 750,000-900,000 Palestinians from their homeland and destroyed hundreds of the depopulated Palestinian villages in an operation termed “cleaning the landscape” that lasted until 1960. [39]

Israel’s regime over the Palestinian people amounts to apartheid precisely because it displays many of the main features of the crime as defined by international law:

1. Racial discrimination against the indigenous Palestinian people who became citizens of the State of Israel was formalized and institutionalized through the creation by law of a “Jewish nationality”, which is distinct from Israeli citizenship. No “Israeli” nationality exists in Israel, and the Supreme Court has persistently refused to recognize one as it would end the system of Jewish supremacy in Israel. The 1950 Law of Return entitles all Jews — and only Jews — to the rights of nationals, namely the right to enter “Eretz Yisrael” (Israel and the OPT) and immediately enjoy full legal and political rights. “Jewish nationality” under the Law of Return is extraterritorial in contravention of international public law norms pertaining to nationality. It includes Jewish citizens of other countries, irrespective of whether they wish to be part of the collective of “Jewish nationals,” and excludes “non-Jews” (i.e., Palestinians) from nationality rights in Israel.

2. The 1952 Citizenship Law [40] has created a discriminatory two-tier legal system whereby Jews hold nationality and citizenship, while the remaining indigenous Palestinian citizens hold only citizenship. [41] Under Israeli law the status of Jewish nationality is accompanied with first-class rights and benefits which are not granted to Palestinian citizens.

3. The Israeli Status Law of 1952 authorizes the World Zionist Organization/Jewish Agency and its subsidiaries, including the Jewish National Fund, to control most of the land in Israel, for the exclusive benefit of Jews. In 1998, the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, CESCR, expressed [42] grave concern about this law and stated that large-scale and systematic confiscation of Palestinian land and property by the State and the transfer of that property to these agencies constitute an institutionalized form of discrimination, because these agencies by definition would deny the use of these properties to non-Jewish citizens of the State.

4. Return of Palestinian refugees and Internally-Displaced Persons (IDPs), as required by international law, has been prevented by means of force and legislation on racist grounds. Simply because they are not Jews, Palestinian refugees were excluded from entitlement to citizenship in the State of Israel under the 1952 Citizenship Law. They were “denationalized” and turned into stateless refugees in violation of the law of state succession. Their land and other property were confiscated by the State. The approximately 150,000 Palestinians who remained in Israel after the 1948 Nakba were placed under a military regime (1948 – 1966) similar to the regime currently in place in the OPT.

For decades, racial discrimination against Palestinian citizens of Israel in every vital aspect of life has been the norm. From land ownership to education to health to jobs to housing, the indigenous Palestinians have been denied equality by the State’s laws and policies. For instance, they are not allowed, to buy or rent land in about 93% of the state lands of Israel. [43] To this date, polls consistently show overwhelming majorities of Israeli Jews standing in opposition to full equality with the indigenous Palestinians in the state. [44] So the fact those Palestinians can vote, unlike their black African counterpart under South African apartheid, becomes almost a formality, a tokenism of sorts, clearly designed to project a deceptive image of democracy and fend off well-justified accusations of apartheid. [45]

Even in cancer research [46], Israeli apartheid is strongly present. In June 2001, the Health Ministry published a map of the geographical distribution of malignant diseases in Israel during the years 1984-1999. The report did not include a single Palestinian community in Israel, with the exception of Rahat, ostensibly due to “budgetary problems.” This research is particularly important because, in Israel, only when a correlation is shown between the presence of polluting sites and the incidence of malignant disease is it possible to prevent installation of new hazards, or demand tighter environmental standards. By intentionally omitting Palestinian towns in its extensive cancer mapping, the Health Ministry has indirectly given a green light to polluters to relocate to Palestinian towns inside Israel — not to mention in the OPT. The results of such health apartheid are ominous. In the past three decades the rate of malignant diseases in the Palestinian population in Israel has risen 3 to 4 times higher than among the Jewish population. A spokesperson for the Israeli Center against Racism commented, “The report has produced two different groups. One, an overprivileged group, whose lives are dear to the state and to the Health Ministry; a second, whose lives are of no importance to the state.”

This discrimination must be seen in the wider context of Israel’s perception of Palestinians by leading Israeli politicians, intellectuals, academics and mass media outlets as a “demographic threat” that needs to be dealt with resolutely; thus the rise of openly fascist parties in the recent parliamentary elections. Echoing a popular view in Israel, a ranking academic, Major General (reserve) Shlomo Gazit from the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies, preaches: “Democracy has to be subordinated to demography.”[47] And now, the fanatic right Israeli leader, Avigdor Lieberman, and his supporters are saying democracy has to be subordinated to loyalty to Jewish supremacy.

The complicity of Western governments in all this horrific violation of international law and basic human rights has led many analysts to view the role of the West as profoundly flawed, both morally and legally. The comprehensive impunity enjoyed by Israel has allowed it to project itself and to act as an uncontrollable “mad dog” — an image advocated by Moshe Dayan decades ago and endorsed most recently by Israeli military historian, Martin Van Creveld [48] — in an attempt to make the Palestinians submit to its colonial will, to accept slavery as fate.

This criminal impunity and categorical denial of rights, more than anything else, were the main motivation behind the Palestinian BDS campaign.

Since 9 July 2005, Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions have been advocated by virtually the entire Palestinian civil society everywhere as an effective form of solidarity that has a real potential to bring about an end to Western complicity with Israel and, therefore, to Israel’s occupation, colonization and apartheid. During and ever since Israel’s criminal war on Gaza, Palestinian civil society has stood more united than ever in urging people of conscience all over the world to hold Israel accountable for its crimes by treating it as South Africa was under apartheid rule. In response, unions, academic groups, faith-based organizations, political parties, social movements and others have adopted creative, context-sensitive and sustainable BDS campaigns, from South Africa to Norway, from Australia to Canada, from Britain to Venezuela, and even from the podium of the President of the UN General Assembly. [49]

Israel’s state terrorism in Gaza, enabled by virtually unlimited support from the US and Western governments in general, was a key catalyst in spreading and deepening BDS around the world, prompting advocates of Palestinian rights to feel that our South Africa moment has finally arrived. Israel is now widely perceived, at a grassroots level, as an international pariah that commits war crimes with impunity and that needs to be held accountable to international law and basic principles of human rights.

for readers who are too racist to take the word of a palestinian, how about a jewish south african man who lived through apartheid in south africa and who has witnessed it in palestine as well? ronnie kasrils also published a piece this week comparing the two regimes:

It is by no means difficult to recognize from afar, as Verwoerd had been able to do, that Israel is indeed an apartheid state. Verwoerd’s successor, Balthazar John Vorster visited Israel after the 1973 October War, when Egypt in a rare victory regained the Suez Canal and Sinai from Israel. After that Israel and South Africa were virtually twinned as military allies for Pretoria helped supply Israel militarily in the immediacy of its 1973 setback and Israel came to support apartheid South Africa at the height of sanctions with weaponry and technology – from naval ships and the conversion of supersonic fighter planes to assistance in building six nuclear bombs and the creation of an arms industry.

For the liberation movements of southern Africa, Israel and apartheid South Africa represented a racist, colonial axis. It was noted that people like Vorster had been Nazi sympathizers, interned during World War II – yet feted as heroes in Israel and incidentally never again referred to by South African Zionists as an anti-Semite!. This did not surprise those that came to understand the true racist nature and character of Zionist Israel.

Time and space does not allow further elaboration, but it is instructive to add that in its conduct and methods of repression, Israel came to resemble more and more apartheid South Africa at its zenith – even surpassing its brutality, house demolitions, removal of communities, targeted assassinations, massacres, imprisonment and torture of its opponents, collective punishment and the aggression against neighboring states.

Certainly we South Africans can identify the pathological cause, fuelling the hate, of Israel’s political-military elite and public in general. Neither is this difficult for anyone acquainted with colonial history to understand the way in which deliberately cultivated race hate inculcates a justification for the most atrocious and inhumane actions against even defenseless civilians – women, children, the elderly amongst them. In fact was this not the pathological racist ideology that fuelled Hitler’s war lust and implementation of the Holocaust?

I will state clearly, without exaggeration, that any South African, whether involved in the freedom struggle, or motivated by basic human decency, who visits the Occupied Palestinian Territories are shocked to the core at the situation they encounter and agree with Archbishop Tutu’s comment that what the Palestinians are experiencing is far worse than what happened in South Africa, where the Sharpeville massacre of 69 civilians in 1960 became international symbol of apartheid cruelty.

for those of you who want to know what palestinians want and what serves their interests you can check out these websites:

one state democratic group

and

global boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement

PS: i meant to post this last night but it slipped my mind. the reason this old organization is on my mind now is because it is in the news:

Sir Paul McCartney officially joined the International Board of Advisors of the OneVoice movement, a grassroots organization aiming at broadcasting the views of what it calls the “overwhelming majority” of moderates in both Israel and Palestine.

The Board of Directors already includes actors Danny DeVito and Jason Alexander, as well as international dignitaries and political figures like Dennis Ross.

McCartney met with OneVoice Israel Chairwoman Irit Admoni Perlman during his visit to the region in September and was later asked to join the board, according to the statement.

“They told me that the vast majority of people in both societies are moderates and simply want a better life for their families and themselves,” a statement from the organization quoted McCartney as saying, “This gave me great hope that, one day, people like them will help to bring about a peaceful resolution to the troubles in the area. I am, therefore, happy to lend my support in this way to the cause of peace.”

notice that not only did mccartney ignore the boycott and come to the israeli terrorist state, but he also ONLY met with an israeli terrorist, not any palestinians. but his group represents both sides–as if there can be two sides when you have the colonizer and the colonized.

In its increasingly rabid efforts to consolidate control of traditionally Arab-East Jerusalem, Israel this week moved to suppress Palestinian cultural activities associated with the city being declared the capital of Arab culture for 2009.

On 19 March heavily armed paramilitary police violently dispersed a meeting at the Ambassador Hotel in East Jerusalem, confiscating posters, leaflets, placards and computers.

Israeli police also raided schools, social clubs and community centres to foil activities celebrating Arab culture in the occupied city which Israel considers its “united and undivided capital”.

Several organisers, including East Jerusalem lawmaker Hatem Abdel-Qader, were arrested on charges of disturbing peace.

Israeli security forces cordoned off East Jerusalem by deploying soldiers at all entrances to the city. They turned back visitors, including several delegations from Arabian Gulf states, including Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.

Frustrated by the draconian Israeli measures the Palestinian Authority, the main organiser of the festivities, decided to transfer the main event to Bethlehem, a few kilometres south of Jerusalem. Hundreds of PA officials, foreign dignitaries, religious leaders and diplomats arrived on 21 March to listen to a speech by PA President Mahmoud Abbas.

Abbas reasserted his commitment to establishing a viable Palestinian state, with Jerusalem as its capital, on all Palestinian land Israel occupied in 1967.

“We will continue to reject the Israeli policy of Judaising Al-Quds Al-Sharif [Jerusalem]. And we will not hold peace talks with any Israeli government that rejects the two-state solution,” said Abbas, alluding to Israeli designate-Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu.

The Palestinian leader, who recited a few verses of the Quran pertaining to the status of Jerusalem in Islam, pointed out that Jerusalem was the key to peace in the region and the world, saying that peace will not prevail unless and until the Israeli occupation ends completely.

Addressing the Arab-Muslim world, Abbas said: “I urge our Arab and Muslim brothers to come to the rescue of Jerusalem, protect Jerusalem from the act of rape to which the city is being subjected… Jerusalem is being Judaised by force, its Arab identity is being obliterated, its history is being falsified, its people are being oppressed and tormented. Its homes are being demolished. Jerusalem is the beginning and the end, it is the ultimate address of peace. Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine.”

Addressing Israel, Abbas said: “Peace can’t be made through the building and expansion of settlements, brute force and military insolence. What happened in Gaza recently reflects the Israeli mindset, and with such a mindset, it is clear there can be no peace.”

Abbas’s desperate but defiant words epitomised the situation across the occupied Palestinian territories but especially in Jerusalem, where Israel is planning to destroy hundreds of Palestinian homes.

The planned destruction of the Silwan neighbourhood in the heart of the city has been described by PA officials as “demographic decapitation”.

“They are indulging in ethnic cleansing in broad daylight. They are chasing Palestinians out of their homes. They are trying to decapitate Arab existence in East Jerusalem, step by step, home by home, neighbourhood by neighbourhood, while they continue to lie about their desire for peace,” said Rafiq Al-Husseini, a senior aide to Abbas.

Asked by Al-Ahram Weekly what the PA was going to do to prevent Israel from carrying out the wholesale destruction of the Silwan neighbourhood [the goal is to build a park and recreational facilities for Jewish settlers in the surrounding areas], Al-Husseini said the PA would try to mobilise the international community to stop Israeli crimes.

During her recent visit to the occupied territories US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton described the planned demolitions as “unhelpful” and “incompatible with Israeli commitments under the roadmap”.

Israeli officials were unimpressed by Clinton’s warnings. Jerusalem’s Jewish mayor, Nir Barkat, described her words as “a lot of air”, claiming she had been misled by the Palestinians.

Barkat, an extreme right-winger, vowed to destroy Arab homes en masse, saying that “what we do in our capital is none of America’s business”.

Israeli efforts to obliterate the Arab-Islamic-Christian identity of Jerusalem began immediately after 1967. Four days after seizing the city Israeli army bulldozers razed the Maghariba and Sharaf neighbourhoods. The Palestinian inhabitants of the two neighbourhoods were expelled at gunpoint. Two mosques, two religious schools or Zawiyas and 135 houses were destroyed.

Several months later Israel seized the Harat Al-Maghariba for “public use” and built a large plaza in front of the Buraq — the Wailing or Western — Wall. The heart of Al-Maghariba and the adjacent, smaller Harat Al-Sharaf were both Islamic Waqf (religious endowment) properties dating back to the time of Salaheddin Al-Ayoubi (Saladin).

According to Palestinian sources Israel has demolished as many as 700 homes in the old town alone, forcing many inhabitants to seek shelter outside the boundaries of the city, e.g. in the West Bank.

Since 1967 Israel has confiscated 34 per cent of East Jerusalem for “public benefit” and designated 44 per cent of the occupied Arab town as “green space”. Nine per cent of the city was confiscated for the purpose of building settlements, leaving only 13 per cent of the original, built up Arab area, for the Palestinians.

In addition Israel has adopted a number of aggressive measures aimed at forcing the town’s Arab inhabitants to leave. These include imposing excessive taxes on real estate, including homes, withholding vital municipal services from Jerusalem’s Arabs in order to force them to relocate and denying residency rights to as many as 20,000 Arabs living in the city.

The Israeli authorities have continued to deny Arabs building licences, exacerbating a housing crisis in the Old Town and surrounding Arab neighbourhoods.

The systematic destruction by Israeli municipal authority of “illegally-built” homes pushed thousands of Jerusalemites to the brink of despair.

Adnan Al-Husseini, the nominal Palestinian governor of Jerusalem, described Israeli measures in Jerusalem as a “full fledged demographic war”.

“The Israeli goal is very clear. It is to force as many Palestinians as possible to leave the city and sell their property to Jewish interests.”

Al-Husseini said Israel was following a variety of tactics to achieve its strategy, including psychological and economic pressure, heavy taxation, physical coercion and harassment and financial incentives to force Arabs to sell their properties. Jerusalemite Arabs were clinging to their city, he said, despite Israeli efforts to curtail Arab demographic growth.

The Palestinian population of Jerusalem has grown extensively since the beginning of the occupation in 1967. Today, the total population of Jerusalem (East and West) is estimated at 720,000, including 475,000 Jews (66 per cent) and 245,000 Arabs (34 per cent).

As many as 260,000 of the Jewish population of the city (54.7 per cent) are living in 34 colonies established in and around East Jerusalem since 1967.

Maali Adomim, Pisgat Zeev, Har Homa and Gush Itzion are among the largest of these settlements.

Israeli demographic experts predict the Palestinian population will make up 40 per cent of the town’s total population by the 2020. It is to forestall this possibility that Israel has been making frantic efforts to confiscate more Arab land in order to build Jewish settler units.

According Israeli sources tenders for building more than 25,000 settler units have been issued since the Annapolis conference in 2007.

Earlier this month the Israeli group Peace Now revealed that the Israeli government was planning to build more than 73,000 units in the occupied West Bank, most of them in existing settlements surrounding East Jerusalem.

The group, which monitors settlement expansion in the West Bank, said the new plans would lead to the doubling of the Israeli settler population and scuttle any prospects for the creation of a viable and contiguous Palestinian state.

Among the most dangerous and explosive aspects of Israel’s efforts to Judaise East Jerusalem is the ongoing excavation and digging beneath the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third holiest shrine.

According to Waqf officials, digging beneath the Al-Aqsa Mosque is seriously undermining the foundations of Islamic shrine and the nearby Dome of the Rock.

Sheikh Mohamed Hussein, head of the Supreme Muslim Council in Jerusalem, warned that it was only a matter of time before a “major disaster” occurred as a result of Israeli diggings in the vicinity of the Haram Al-Sharif (Al-Aqsa Mosque) esplanade. He accused the Israeli authorities of constructing subterranean tunnels beneath Islamic holy places without any consideration for the safety of Islamic shrines. “I can say without the slightest exaggeration that the Al-Aqsa Mosque is facing the danger of collapse as a result of these excavations.”

Islamic Palestinian leader Raed Salah was even more dramatic in voicing his concerns. “The Al-Aqsa Mosque is facing urgent danger. A medium earthquake could cause the collapse of the mosque.”

Salah was arrested by Israeli police on Monday, 23 March, charged with “disturbing the peace” and “inciting against Israel”.

In recent years the Israeli security authorities have allowed extremist Jews to enter the Haram esplanade and perform Jewish prayers and other rituals.

In 1967 the Israeli army chief rabbi, General Shlomo Goren, tried to convince a commander of the conquering forces, Uzi Narkis, to blow up the mosque “once and for all”.

The story was told by Narkis shortly before his death in 1997 and quoted by Avi Shlaim, an Israeli historian, in The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World.

“There was an atmosphere of spiritual elation. Paratroopers were milling around in a daze. Narkis was standing for a moment on his own, deep in thought, when Goren went up to him and said ‘Uzi, this is the time to put a hundred kilograms of explosives in the Mosque of Omar and that’s it, we’ll get rid of it once and for all.’ Narkis said ‘Rabbi, stop it.” Goren then said to him, ‘Uzi, you’ll enter the history books by virtue of this deed.’ Narkis replied, ‘I have already recorded my name in the pages of the history of Jerusalem.’ Goren walked away without saying another word.”

Two weeks later the Israeli occupation army seized the key to one of the gates of Al-Aqsa Mosque (the Moroccan Gate).

Numerous efforts by Jewish extremists to destroy the Islamic shrine have been reported over the years.

The Jewish War on Gaza and its resultant destruction of the Gaza Strip and the horrible killings of innocent women and children in cold blood and as reported in series of articles in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz and in statements made by UN officials were not surprising since Jewish soldiers are educated and trained to do that, simply kill. And so the total silence of the Jewish community around the world and especially the US Jewish community should not come as a shocking surprise but was and is expected and so their dancing in the streets of New York City as their army was leveling Gaza, destroying homes, schools, hospitals, clinics, and UN supply depot and so their successful push for a an overwhelming resolutions in both House and Senate supporting Israel’s crimes in the name of “self defense”.

Ehud Barak, the Jewish Defense Chief in charge of the War on Gaza had the Chutzpah to declare the Jewish Army as “the most moral army in the world” as he went about justifying the killing and mayhem in Gaza. Of course Ehud Barak is right. The war on Gaza and the War on Lebanon, the many wars on the Arabs, and the crimes committed by his Jewish army are part of a culture, religious and value system that makes killing and murder of Arabs, a moral thing. For sure neither Ehud Barak nor the Jewish communities around the world and especially in the US seems to have heard of the word of the late Chaim Weizmann, the first Jewish president as he warned “ I am certain that the world will judge the Jewish State by what it will do with the Arabs”. Chaim Weizmann had good reasons to worry about how these Jewish settlers of Palestine and how they treat the indigenous inhabitants of Palestine, the Palestinians.

The Jewish State was not founded by peaceful new immigrants seeking refuge and escape from the Pogroms of Russia; it was founded by angry, racist militants committed to ethnically cleansing Palestine from its Arab inhabitants by all means, preferably by military means and cold blooded murder. That philosophy of the past continues today some 100 years later. The Jewish Occupation of 67 not only inspired the Jewish communities around the world, it was the rallying cry of Jews energized and drunk with victory giving Israel total unconditional and unquestionable support for all of its actions and the many wars initiated and engaged in by the Jewish state since 67.

The political, theological and social ideology that inspired the killings in Gaza, is the same that inspired the force expulsion of 700,000 Arabs, the total demolitions of 550 Arab villages, the killings in Deir Yassin, Qibya, Lod, Sabra and Shatilla, Qana I and Qana II, and the same that inspired the dropping of high explosive bombs over the school in Dir Albaqr in Egypt, the same that inspired the dropping of 1.5 million cluster bombs over civilian targets in Lebanon, the same that inspired the dropping of phosphorous bombs over civilian targets in Gaza and bombings of hospitals, schools, homes and mosques.  Such a theological value system also inspired the American Rabbi Baruch Goldstein to gun down dozens and injure more than a hundred Muslim worshipers as they kneeled in early Morning Prayer in the Ibrahimi Mosque (the Tomb of the Patriarchs) in Hebron. This theological philosophy was well explained in an essay titled “Ideology behind the Hebron Massacre” by the late Professor Israel Shahak.

For many Jews, secular or religious, believe that true redemptions comes about through murder and killings of Arabs, such were the views of the late American Jewish Rabbi Meir Kahane proponent of “ extermination of the Arabs as the surest way to bring about “True Redemption of the Jews”. Rabbi Kahane calls on the Jews not fear Gentile but fear God only as “they go about expelling all Arabs from the land of Israel”. This view remains the rallying cry of the Jewish Settlers movements and the Hill Top Jews.

That religious and theological philosophy is the prevailing philosophy of the Gush Emunim, the Jewish Settlers movement benefiting from the large generosity of American Jews especially philanthropic Jews engaged in gambling, prostitution, liquors and Bingo Games and Gods knows what else? According to Ian Lustic, Gush Emunim believe that “Jews are not and cannot be normal people” due the covenant made with God in Mount Sinai.  Rabbi Shlomo Aviner one of their leader believes “while God requires other normal nations to abide by abstract codes of “justice and righteousness” such laws do not apply to Jews”.  Rabbi Israel Ariel was quoted as saying “a Jew who kills a non-Jew is exempt from human judgment, and has not violated the prohibition of murder” Such religious philosophy prevails among the leaders of the Gush Emunim the likes of Rabbi Aviner, Rabbi Zvi Yehuda Kook, Rabbi Ariel all of whom are of the views that” Arabs living in Palestine are thieves because the land was once Jewish all the property to be found on that land “really” belongs to the Jews”. As such the Arab-Israeli conflict must not be seen as political conflict but a theological conflict that justifies the crimes in Gaza.

Eric H Yoffe in an article titled “Promoting Racism in Israel”  provides a very similar and frightening interpretation of the prevailing views among leading Rabbis especially the explanation of the commandment in Deuteronomy 25:17 where quoting from February 26,1980 article published in Bat Kol, the student paper of Bar-Illan University and titled “ The Mitzvah of Genocide in the Torah” written by Rabbi Israel Hess  where theological justifications for are found for  Killing of babes and sucklings, and forbid the showing of mercy”. This theological view comes from “milchment mitzvah” or war of religious obligations “Jewish Jihad”. Unlike the views held by suicide bombers that God provides them with 70 virgins for killing innocent people, the Jews believe that God Him Self comes down on the side of Jewish soldiers as they engage in cold blooded murder of non-Jews. This view was recently confirmed by Grand Rabbi Joseph Ovadia who claimed as reported in Haaretz that God interfered on the side of the Jewish soldiers during the War on Gaza and telling them where the terrorists were hiding.

In the same article Eric H. Yoffe, reports of exchange between Rabbi Shimon Wiser and one Yeshiva student who is also a member of the Jewish Army where the later (student) concludes “during wartimes I am permitted, even obligated to kill every Arab man and woman who happens across my way. I am obligated to kill them even if this leads to complications with military codes”. It seems this was the prevailing views not only of soldiers, but commanders and civilians leaders as well. It should not be so shocking for American Jews who secured congressional support for their Jewish Army to note the recent testimony of soldiers who reported in certain instances the cold blooded murder of an old Palestinian woman as she drudged alone on a lonely road, or the killings of a women and her children as she confused the orders of going left rather than right.  I am sure such acts of cold blooded murder made those who prepared and shoved the congressional resolutions down the throat of members of Congress very proud and is part of the value system prevailing among Israeli supporters.

This racist and criminal attitude goes toward the views that Palestinians Arabs do not belong and should not belong in Jerusalem, in Jewish towns and cities and certainly not in Israel. Thus the views of politicians the likes of Avigdor Lieberman who is committed to “transfer” of Arabs out of Israel/Palestine, and leading scholars such as Rabbi Elieser Waldenberg, the winner of the 1976 Israel Prize who is of the view that Palestinians, Muslims and Christians should not be allowed to live in Jerusalem and if the Jewish State to follow the covenant with God “it must expel all non Jews from  Jerusalem, in like manner, it is forbidden to us to permit non-Jews to be a majority in any cities among the cities of Israel” (Haaretz, May 9, 1967). Thus the ethnic cleansing of Arabs from Jerusalem has nothing to do with security as claimed, and the recent demolitions of Arab homes in Jerusalem has nothing to do with city regulations and housing codes, but has every thing to do with a theological and religious fatwa’s that forbid non-Jews to live in Jerusalem.

I always wondered why there is so much enmity between the Jewish State and the Arabs, between the world Jewish community, especially the American Jewish community and the Arabs, since the Arabs never committed the kind of crimes the Jews had to face for thousands of years, from the expulsion to Babylon, to the Inquision of Catholic Spain, to the Pogroms of Orthodox Czarist Russia to the Holocaust of Protestant Germany and the defamation of the Protocols of Zion. The Arabs and Muslims never did commit the kind of crimes that makes the Jews hate the Arabs so much. The golden age of Jews was during the periods of Muslims empires. However now I understand. It must be part of a religious, theological and cultural philosophy that must have been dormant for thousands of years and was dusted off and given a new life with the founding of Zionism and founding of a Jewish State to be a light among all nations.

With very few exceptions there is a defending silence among “Diaspora Jews”, as if a conspiracy of silence exists and in fact it does exist, especially in the US where very few Jews dare to speak out against the racist and criminal acts of Israel, against the Jewish Occupation, against the more than 500 “security” check points where Palestinians of all ages are subject to the most demeaning of human humiliations on daily basis. There is absolute silence against Israel Apartheid policies and practices, against the Jewish settlements on stolen Arab lands (including mine), against the Apartheid Wall, against the ethnic cleansing of Arabs from Jerusalem, against the destruction of farms and uprooting of hundreds of thousands of trees, against house demolitions, against targeted killings, against arbitrary arrests, against the use of civilians as shields for the very brave Jewish soldiers and  against the siege of Gaza and against war crimes committed by the Jewish Army in Gaza. Those brave Diaspora Jews (very few) who dare to speak out find themselves in the cold, out on the streets, dismissed from jobs and denied tenures and otherwise blackmailed by a Jewish community that prides itself to be among the first to support the Civil Rights movement, the first to stand up against the late Senator Joseph McCarthy and his “un-American inquisition”. Yes we have every right to be angry at “Diaspora Jews” and we have every right not to forgive them for turning what would and should have been a safe heaven for Jews that turned to a racist and criminal enterprise called the State of Israel. Of course no one expect Jewish leaders, commanders and soldiers to ever face war crimes, since Jews are not subject to abstract codes of justice and righteousness.

This essay was inspired by:

“The Ideology Behind Hebron Massacre” by Professor Israel Shakah.       

“Promoting Racism in Israel” by Eric H. Yoffe.

“On the eve of destruction” by Ari Shavit

IDF in Gaza: Killing civilians, vandalism and lax rules of engagement: Haaretz 19/03/2009.

ANALYSIS/ Can Israel dismiss its own troops’ stories from Gaza? Haaretz 19/03/2009.

IDF orders probe into allegations over Gaza war. Haaretz 19/03/2009.

Barak seeks legal okay to move civilians from homes. Haaretz 04/03/2008

Judges, scholars call on UN to probe war crimes by both sides in Gaza. Haaretz 20/03/2009.

Reserve IDF generals: Ethics probe necessary but difficult to carry out. Haaretz 20/03/2009.

UN envoy: Gaza op seems to be war crimes of greatest magnitude. Haaretz 19/03/2009.

Dead Palestinian babies and bombed mosques- IDF fashion 2009. Haaretz 20/03/2009.

Special Note: The Jewish State in addition to banning pasta, it also banned jam, biscuits, tomato paste, tea, sweets, and date bars, as security items from going into Gaza. 

http://www.jeffersoncorner.com/we-will-not-forgive-the-jews-for-their-silence-for-turning-israel-into-a-racist-criminal-state/

WRITTEN BY Khalid Amayreh

 

One of the most scandalous aspects of US foreign policy towards the Middle East is the shocking dishonesty inherent in the American approach regarding the Palestinian plight.

 

The US often watches Israel indulge in pornographic criminal acts against Palestinian civilians, acts that contradict the most fundamental American ideals and norms.

 

However, instead of condemning these evil crimes, successive American administrations have either kept silent or given Israeli the benefit of the doubt.

 

Take for example the recent Israeli blitz in Gaza. Everyone under the sun knows by now that Israeli forces committed outrageous massacres of innocent civilians in Gaza.

 

And every honest person knows that these crimes were carried out knowingly and deliberately, often using American-supplied weapons, such as F-16 fighter planes, White Phosphorus bombs, dart shells and anti-personnel chemical agents that eat through the body, causing indescribable suffering, leading to death.

 

So, could it be possible that the US, with all its intelligence capabilities, doesn’t really know that Israel committed these massacres against innocent civilians whose only “crime” was their enduring determination to be free from Judeo-Nazi persecution and oppression?

 

This week, the United Nations human rights investigator Richard Falk pointed out that the Israeli blitz against the Gaza Strip in December and January constituted a clear-cut war crime of the “greatest magnitude.”

 

Falk said Israel clearly violated the Geneva Conventions which require warring forces to distinguish between military targets and surrounding civilians.

 

“If it is not possible to do so, then launching the attack is inherently unlawful and would seem to constitute a war crime of the greatest magnitude under international law.”

 

Falk, a Jew, argued convincingly that on the basis of the preliminary evidence available there is reason to reach this conclusion: that Israel carried out deliberate massacres against innocent civilians.

 

“Some of these criminal violations included the targeting of schools, mosques and ambulances and the use of internationally prohibited weapons such as White Phosphorus, in civilian areas.”

  

Falk’s remarks have been perfectly corroborated by irrefutable evidence produced and gathered by numerous human rights groups, including Israeli groups such as B’Tselem.

 

Indeed, even Israeli soldiers and officers who took part in that genocidal onslaught are now making testimonies acknowledging that the Israeli army committed indiscriminate and wanton murder of innocent civilians and that everyone was aware of this reality.

 

According to these testimonies, published by the Israeli newspaper, Ha’aretz, “Israeli forces killed Palestinian civilians under permissive rules of engagement and intentionally destroyed their property.” (Ha’aretz, March 19, 2009)

 

According to Ha’aretz, the testimonies include a description by an infantry squad leader of an “incident” where an IDF sharpshooter “mistakenly” shot a Palestinian mother and her two children.

 

“There was a house with a family inside, we put them in a room. Later, we left the house and another platoon entered, and a few days after that there was an order to release the family. They had set up positions upstairs. There was a sniper position on the roof.

 

“The platoon commander let the family go and told them to go to the right. One mother and her two children didn’t understand and went to the left, but they forgot to tell the sharpshooter on the roof they had let them go and it was okay, and he should hold fire and he…he did what he was supposed to do….!!

 

“I don’t think he felt too bad about it, because after all, as far as he was concerned, he did his job according to the orders he was given. And the atmosphere in general, from what I understood from most of my men who I talked to…I don’t know how to describe it….The lives of Palestinians, let’s say, is something very, very less important than the lives of the soldiers. So, as far as they are concerned, they can justify it that way.”

 

Some Israeli officials and mouthpieces of Zionist propaganda would claim that these criminal acts of premeditated murder were merely “individual aberrations.”

 

This is a big and most likely malicious lie (a malicious lie occurs when the liar knows he is lying). After all, an aberration doesn’t happen 1,500 times in 22 days.

 

In short, Israeli soldiers and pilots were given clear and unmistakable instructions to murder civilians, to destroy their homes and to thoroughly terrorize them.

 

Well, things are clear enough for all those honestly interested in knowing the truth.

 

Regrettably, however, it is amply clear that the Obama administration, along with most European governments, are not really interested in pursuing this matter, not because they don’t know the truth about Israel and its hideous crimes in Gaza, but rather because the truth is too inconvenient for them.

 

Indeed, it is highly inconceivable that western governments don’t know the truth about  the recent genocide that Israel perpetrated in Gaza. They know it, probably too well.

 

The problem with these military and political powers, but moral midgets, is that they don’t want to act on their knowledge. They don’t want to look Israel in the eye and tell her Nazi-minded leaders that they are murderous thugs and ought to be thrown behind bars or at least be shipped, like drugged wild animals, to the Hague to be prosecuted for their crimes. Indeed, had the Obama administration had a semblance of moral ethics, it would have refused to receive Gabi Ashkenazi, the Chief of Staff of the Israeli Army, the man who supervised all the wanton killings and destruction in Gaza.

That man is a war criminal pursuant the laws of man and the laws of heaven.  His hands are stained with the blood of 400 children, many of whom were exterminated with White Phosphorous shells.

 

However, instead of arresting him, or at least denying him an entry visa, America received him with all the trappings and pleasantries befitting a venerable statesman. Shame on America for prostituting herself before the Nazis of our time.

 

Well, this is the crux of the matter that the Obama administration is reluctant to face for fear of upsetting the powerful Jewish lobby in America, which is trying apparently successful in forcing the new American leadership to be at AIPAC’s beck and call.

 

In short, if the Obama administration wants to be sincere and honest about peace in the Middle East, it should stop preoccupying itself with secondary and symptomatic matters such as Palestinian “terror” and Hamas’ “non-recognition” of Israel, and the so-called “Iranian threat.”

 

The real problem impeding peace and stability in the Middle East is simply the malignant tumor known as Israel, a bellicose, militaristic, arrogant and paranoid state that has lost all claim to decency, dignity and respect, a state whose modus operandi is based on murder, dishonesty and theft.

 

Hence, it is imperative that the Obama administration abandon, once and for all, its hopelessly impotent stance vis-à-vis Israel and its powerful agents in America.

 

This is if Obama truly wants to succeed and save his country and the world from the huge turbulence and chaos now looming over the horizon.

 

The statesman Winston Churchill once was heard to say, “Never hold discussions with the monkey when the organ grinder is in the room.” Surely, his experience in international relations would lead him to have had a clear understanding of who is sitting at the helm in the decision room, and who simply dances to someone else’s music.

 

Well, Mr. Obama, assume the position of leadership that everyone expects, rather than jumping to the orders of the Jewish lobby.  This is how they are accustomed to treating American presidents, from Lyndon Johnson to George W. Bush.

 

This is certainly what they want you to be. The way the lobby handled the recent “Freeman affair” is a stigma of shame on America’s forehead. It leaves no doubt as to that lobby’s rapacity, meanness and hell-bent determination to enslave America for Israel’s sake.

 

Don’t surrender to them. American is too important for the world to be handed over to the Satanic lobby.

By the Qawem Coalition: In a recent interview in the Zionist newspaper Haaretz, Marc Garlasco, an American military analyst for Human Rights Watch (and former intelligence analyst for the Pentagon), could not hide his excitement regarding “Israel’s” possible use of a new weapon called TAR-21. “It is an incredible weapon,” he says, and proceeds to describe in great detail the military capabilities of the Zionist army. An interview with a human rights organization that was expected to condemn Zionist use of chemical
and test weapons like white phosphorus and DIME (dense inert metal explosives) turns into praise for the aggressors’ military might. At the same time, Garlasco condemns the Palestinian resistance for its use of “illegal weapons,” which include conventional Qassam and Grad rockets because, according to him, they are “useless” and “not accurate enough.”
The interview with Human Rights Watch sums up the role of human rights organizations in the Zionist colonization of Palestine and exposes their racism towards the colonized. The role is always to protect the colonizer’s image of military superiority, while at the same time discouraging the colonized population from joining a meaningful resistance movement aimed at liberating the people from lifetime imprisonment.
**The population of Gaza: We are not looking for handouts
The “US” has offered 0.9 billion dollars in “aid” to Gaza, while subsidizing “Israel’s” military and economic assault to the tune of 3 billion dollars a year. Our people in Gaza overwhelmingly rejected the idea of meaningless western “aid” and described it as handouts not fit for a proud population that withstood the most aggressive military campaign in modern times. The population of Gaza stands with the resistance’s only realistic and natural demand: an end to the siege and the opening of all border crossings. This would enable the population to engage in normal trade and would certainly support any serious rebuilding effort. No society can function on handouts that do not respect the right of people to live freely, work and contribute to human society.
**Rebuilding according to the population’s strategic needs
In early March, a conference at Sharm el-Sheikh raised 4.5 billion dollars for the reconstruction of Gaza. Not surprisingly, the conference insisted that most aid would be channeled through the Palestinian Authority under the leadership of Abbas, which currently acts as the administrator of the Zionist occupation. The primary representative of the Palestinian people, Hamas, was not invited to the conference to participate in the discussion. “US” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was in attendance and pledged 900 million dollars of “US aid”– about $600 million dollars of which was in developmental aid to the Palestinian Authority. She made clear that none of this aid would go to Hamas, which currently controls Gaza and enjoys popular support among Gaza’s population.
The aim is clear. The invasion of Gaza failed to achieve any of its stated objectives. The Zionist army could not destroy the military capacity of the Palestinian resistance or undermine support for it through collective punishment. Quoting Haaretz, once again, “only when the IDF left [Gaza] could the results of the war be seen as limited, with almost daily [resistance] attacks near the fence, a continuing ‘drizzle’ of rockets and information on renewed arms smuggling.” “Humanitarian aid” now takes up where military action left off: it is offered on the condition that Palestinians in Gaza renounce the resistance and accept a leadership that does not represent their interests.
This comes as no surprise, as the rebuilding effort is seen by these organizations and countries as an opportunity to continue the war on the Palestinian resistance. Past experience in the Jenin refugee camp teaches us that though rebuilding needs to address the strategic needs of the  population, it was the aggressors’ future plans for colonization that guided the rebuilding of Jenin: the Jenin refugee camp was rebuilt according to Zionist specifications by donor countries. The specifications addressed the Zionist army’s future war plans and operational needs.
The rebuilding effort in Gaza must be done by the people of Gaza and for the people of Gaza.
**Gaza’s Call to Action
Gaza and Palestinian resistance groups have called upon all free people across the globe to contribute to Gaza’s rebuilding efforts and continue with their campaigns of solidarity. Ramadan Shallah, a Palestinian professor who has taught in the U.S. and is the leader of Islamic Jihad, said: “Every free person that voiced support for the resistance is part of the world’s collective victory in Gaza.”
Gaza is in immediate need for honest aid that is meant to alleviate its current wounds without a political price-tag — aid that does not ask the population to drop their weapons for a handout of food.
The Qawem Coalition

The issue I am going to discuss today is probably the most important thing I’ve ever had to say about Israeli brutality and contemporary Jewish identity. I assume that I could have shaped my thought into a wide-ranging book or an analytical academic text but instead, I will do the very opposite, I will make it as short and as simple as possible.

 

In the weeks that have just passed we had been witness to an Israeli genocidal campaign against the Palestinian civilian population in Gaza. We had been witnessing one of the strongest armies in the world squashing women, elderly people and children. We saw blizzards of unconventional weapons bursting over schools, hospitals and refugee camps. We had seen and heard about war crimes committed before, but this time, the Israeli transgression was categorically different. It was supported by the total absolute majority of the Israeli Jewish population.  The IDF military campaign in Gaza enjoyed the support of 94% of the Israeli population. 94% of the Israelis apparently approved of the air raids against civilians. The Israeli people saw the carnage on their TV screens, they heard the voices, they saw hospitals and refugee camps in flames and yet, they weren’t really moved by it all. They didn’t do much to stop their “democratically elected” ruthless leaders. Instead, some of them grabbed a seat and settled on the hills overlooking the Gaza Strip to watch their army turning Gaza into modern Hebraic coliseum of blood. Even now when the campaign seems to be over and the scale of the carnage in Gaza has been revealed, the Israelis fail to show any signs of remorse. As if this is not enough, all throughout the war, Jews around the world rallied in support of their  “Jews-only state”. Such a popular support of outright war crimes is unheard of. Terrorist states do kill, yet they are slightly shy about it all.  Stalin’s USSR did it in some remote Gulags, Nazi Germany executed its victims in deep forests and behind barbed wire. In the Jewish state, the Israelis slaughter defenceless women, children and the old in broad daylight, using unconventional weapons targeting schools, hospitals and refugee camps.

 

This level of group barbarism cries for an explanation. The task ahead can be easily defined as the quest for a realisation of Israeli collective brutality. How is it that a society has managed to lose its grip of any sense of compassion and mercy? 

 

The Terror Within

 

More than anything else, the Israelis and their supportive Jewish communities are terrorised by the brutality they find in themselves. The more ruthless the Israelis are, the more frightened they become. The logic is simple. The more suffering one inflicts on the other, the more anxious one becomes of the possible potential deadly capacity around. In broad terms, the Israeli projects on the Palestinian, Arab, Muslim and Iranian the aggression which he finds in himself. Considering the fact that Israeli brutality is now proved to be with no limit and with no comparison, their anxiety is as at least as great.

 

Seemingly, the Israelis are fearful of themselves being the henchmen. They are engaged in a deadly battle with the terror within.  But the Israeli is not alone. The Diaspora Jew who rallies in support of a state that pours white phosphorous on civilians is caught in the exact same devastating trap. Being an enthusiastic backer of an overwhelming crime, he is horrified by the thought that the cruelty he happens to find in himself may manifest itself in others. The Diaspora Jew who supports Israel is devastated by the imaginary possibility that a brutal intent, similar to his own, may one day turn against him. This very concern is what the fear of anti-Semitism is all about. It is basically the projection of the collective Zio-centric tribal ruthlessness onto others.

 

There is no Israeli – Palestinian Conflict

 

What we see here is a clear formation of a vicious cycle in which the Israeli and his supporters are becoming an insular fireball of vengeance that is fuelled by some explosive internal aggression. The meaning of it all is pretty revealing.  Since Palestinians cannot militarily confront Israeli aggression and destructive capacity, we are entitled to argue that there is no Israeli-Palestinian conflict. All there is, is Israeli psychosis in which the Israeli is being shattered with anxiety by the reflection of his own ruthlessness. Being regarded as the Nazis of our time, the Israeli is thus doomed to seeing a Nazi in everyone.  Similarly, there is no rise in anti-Semitism either. The Diaspora Zionist Jew is simply devastated by the possibility that someone out there is as ethically corrupted and merciless as he himself proved to be. In short, Israeli politics and Zionist lobbying should be seen as no less than a lethal Zio-centric collective paranoia on the verge of total psychosis.

 

Is there a way to redeem the Zionist of his bloody expedition? Is there a way to change the course of history, to save the Israelis and their supporters from total depravity? Probably the best way to pose this question is to ask whether there is a way to save the Israeli and the Zionist from themselves. As one may gather, I am not exactly interested in saving Israelis or Zionists, however, I do grasp that redeeming Zionists of their transgression may bring a prospect of peace to Palestine, Iraq and probably the rest of us. For those who fail to see it, Israel is just the tip of the iceberg. At the end of the day, America, Britain and the West are now subject to some similar forms of “politics of fear” that are the direct outcome of Neocon deadly interventionist ideology and practices.

 

The Shrink from Nazareth

 

Many years ago, so we are told, there was an Israelite who lived amongst his brethren in the land of Canaan.  Like the contemporary Israelis, he was surrounded by hate, vengeance and fear.  At a certain stage he had decided to intervene and to bring a change about, he realised that there was no other way to fight ruthlessness than to search for grace. “Turn your other cheek” was his simple suggestion. Identifying the Israelite’s psychosis as “a war against terror within”, Jesus grasped that the only way to counter violence is to look in the mirror while searching for Goodness within.

 

It is rather apparent that Jesus’ lesson paved the way to the formation of western universal ethics. Modern political ideologies drew their lesson from the Christian prospect. Marx’s normative search for equality can be seen as a secular rewriting of Jesus’ notion of brotherhood. And yet, not a single political ideology has managed to integrate the deepest notion of Jesus’ grace. To seek peace is primarily to search for one within. While Israelis and their Neocon twins would aim at achieving peace by means of deterrence, true peace is achieved by the search for harmony within. As a Lacanian scholar may suggest, to love your neighbour is actually to love yourself loving your neighbour. The case of the Israeli is the complete opposite. As they manage to prove time after time, they are really loving themselves hating their neighbours or in short, they simply love themselves hating in general. They hate almost everything: the neighbour, the Arab, Chavez, the German, Islam, the Goy, Pork, the Pope, the Palestinian, the Church, Jesus, Hamas, calamari and Iran.  You name it, they hate it.  One may have to admit that hating so much must be a very consuming project unless it gives pleasure. And indeed the Israeli  “pleasure principle” could be articulated as follows: it continuously drives the Israeli to seek pleasure in hate while inflicting pain upon others.

 

It must be mentioned at this point that the ˜War Against Terror within” is not exactly a Jewish invention. Everyone, whether it is nations, peoples or individuals, are a potential subject to it. The consequences of American nuclear murderous slaughter in Hiroshima and Nagasaki made the American people into a terrorised collective. This collective anxiety is known as the “cold war”. America is yet to redeem itself of the fear that there maybe someone out there as merciless as America proved to be.  To a certain extent, operation Shock and Awe had a very similar effect on Britain and America.  It led to the creation of horrified masses easily manipulated by highly motivated elite.  This exact type of politics is called “politics of fear”.

 

And yet, within the western discourse a correction mechanism is in place. Unlike the Jewish state that is getting radicalised by its own self feeding paranoia, in the West, evil is somehow confronted and contained eventually. The murderer is denounced and hope for peace is somehow reinstated till further notice. Not that I hold my breath for President Obama bringing any change, one thing is rather clear, Obama was voted in to bring a change. Obama is a symbol of our genuine attempt to curtail evil. In the Jewish state, not only it doesn’t happen, it can never happen. The difference between Israel and the West is rather obvious. In the West, Christian heritage is providing us with a possibility of a wish grounded on belief in universal goodness. Though, we are under the constant danger of exposure to evil, we tend to believe that goodness will eventually prevail. On the other hand, in Hebraic tribal discourse, Goodness is the property of the chosen. The Israelis do not see goodness or kindness in their neighbors, they see them as savage and as a life-threatening entity. For the Israelis, kindness is their very own property, accidentally they are also innocent and victims.   Within the western universal discourse, goodness doesn’t belong to one people or a single nation, it belongs to all and to none at the same time.  Within the western universal heritage, Goodness is found in each of us. It doesn’t belong to a political party or an ideology. The elevating notion of grace and a Good God is there in each of us, it is always very close to home.  

 

What Kind Of Father Is That?

 

“Then when the Lord your God brings you to the land he promised your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to give you –“ a land with large, fine cities you did not build, houses filled with choice things you did not accumulate, hewn out cisterns you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant – and you eat your fill.” (Deuteronomy:  6: 10 -11).

 

“When the Lord your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations…then you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them and show them no mercy.”  (Deuteronomy 7:1-2)

  

At this point we may try to attempt and to grasp the root cause behind the severe lack of compassion within the Israeli discourse and its supportive lobbies.  I believe that an elaboration on the troubled relationships between the Jews and their different Gods may throw some light on the topic.  It is rather obvious that the ever growing list of Jewish “Gods”, “Idols” and “Father-figures” is slightly problematic at least as far as ethics and kindness are concerned. The very relationship between “the son” and the “non-ethical father” must be explored. The philosopher Ariella Atzmon (who happens to be my mother) defines the complexity of the false beginning as the “Fagin Syndrome”. Charles Dickens’ Fagin is a “kidsman”, an adult who recruits children and trains them as pickpockets and thieves, exchanging food and shelter for goods the children steal. Though the kids must be grateful towards their master, they must also despise him for turning them into thieves and pickpockets. The kids realise that Fagin’s goods are all stolen and his kindness is far from being genuinely honest or pure.  Sooner or later the kids will turn against their master Fagin in an attempt to liberate themselves of the immoral catch.  

 

From a father-son perspective, the Biblical Jewish God Jehovah is no different from what we might see in the Fagin syndrome.  The father of Israel leads his chosen people through the desert to the promised land so they can rob and plunder its indigenous habitants. This is not exactly what one may expect of an ethical father or a “kind God”. Consequently, as much as the sons of Israel love Jehovah, they must also be slightly suspicious of him for turning them into robbers and murderers. They might even be apprehensive regarding his kindness. Thus, it shouldn’t take us by a surprise that throughout Jewish history more than just a few Jews had turned against their heavenly father.

 

However, bearing in mind the common secularist perception that Gods are actually invented by people, one may wonder, what leads to the invention of such an “unethical God”? What makes people follow the rules of such a God? It would be also interesting to find out what kind of alternative Gods Jews happened to pick or invent once Jehovah has been shunned. 

 

Since emancipation, more than just a few Jews had been disassociating themselves from the traditional tribal setting and rabbinical Judaism. Many intermingled with their surrounding realities, dropped their chosen entitlement and turned into ordinary human beings. Many other Jews insisted upon dropping God yet maintaining their racially orientated tribal affiliation.  They decided to base their tribal belonging on ethnic, racial, political, cultural and ideological grounds rather than the Judaic precept. Though they noticeably dropped Jehovah they insisted upon adopting a secularist view that was soon shaped into a monolithic religious-like precept. All throughout the 20th century, the two religious-like political ideologies that had been found to be most appealing by the Jewish masses were Marxism and Zionism.

 

Marxism can be easily portrayed as a secular universal ethical ideology. However, within the process of transformation into a Jewish tribal precept, Marxism has managed to lose any traces of humanism or universalism. As we know, early Zionist ideology and practice was largely dominated by Jewish leftists who regarded themselves as true followers of Marx. They genuinely believed that celebrating their Jewish national revival at the expense of Palestinians was a legitimate socialist endeavour. 

 

Interestingly enough, their opponents, the anti-Zionist Bund of the East European Jewish Labour, didn’t really believe in the institutional robbery of the Palestinians, instead, they believed that taking from rich European is a great universal mitzvah on the path towards social justice.

 

The following are a few lines from The Bund’s anthem

 

We swear our stalwart hate persists,

Of those who rob and kill the poor:

The Tsar, the masters, capitalists.

Our vengeance will be swift and sure.

So swear together to live or die! 

 

Without engaging in questions having to do with ethics or political affiliation, it is rather obvious that the Jewish Marxist anthem is overwhelmingly saturated with “hate” and “vengeance”. As much as Jews were enthusiastic about Marx, Marxism, Bolshevism and equality, the end of the story is known. Jews en masse dropped Marx a long time ago. They somehow left the revolution to some enlightened Goyim such as Hugo Chavez and Evo Morales.   Leaders who truly internalised in the real meaning of universal equality and ethics.

 

Though in the late 19th century and the early 20th century, Marxism found many followers amongst European Jews, following the Holocaust, Zionism has gradually become the voice of world Jewry. Like Fagin, the Zionist Gods and Idols: Herzl, Ben Gurion, Nordau, Weizmann, promised their followers a new unethical beginning.   Robbing the Palestinians was their path towards a long overdue historical justice.  Zionism transformed the Old Testament from a spiritual text into a land registry.  But again as in the case of Jehovah, the Zio God transformed the Jew into a thief, it promised him someone else’s property. This in itself may explain the Israeli resentment towards Zionism and Zionist ideology. Israelis prefer to see themselves as the natural dwellers of the land rather than pioneers in a non-ethical Jewish Diaspora colonial project. The Israeli Jew furnishes his political stand by means of severe ethical escapism. This may explain the fact that as much as the Israelis love their wars, they really hate to fight them. They are not willing to die for a big abstract remote ideology such as the “Jewish nation” or “Zionism”. They overwhelmingly prefer to drop white phosphorous and cluster bombs from afar.

 

However, along the relatively short history of modern Jewish nationalism the Zio God made friends with some other Gods and kosher idols.  Back in 1917 Lord Balfour promised the Jews that they would erect their national home in Palestine. Needless to say, as in the case of Jehovah, Lord Balfour made the Jews into plunderers and robbers, he came up with an outright non-ethical promise. He promised the Jews someone else’s land.  This was basically a false beginning. Evidently, it didn’t take long before the Jews turned against the British Empire. In 1947 the UN made exactly the same foolish mistake, it gave birth to the “Jews-only State” again at the expense of the Palestinians. It legitimised the robbery of Palestine in the name of the nations. Like in the case of shunned Jehovah, it didn’t take long before the Jews turned against the UN. “It doesn’t matter what the Goyim say, all that matters is what the Jews do”, said Israeli PM David Ben Gurion. Recently Israelis had managed to even shun their best subservient friends in the White House. On the eve of the last American presidential election Israeli Generals had been filmed denouncing President Bush for “damaging Israeli interests for being overwhelmingly supportive” (Ret. Brig General Shlomo Brom). The Israeli Generals basically blamed Bush for not stopping Israel from destroying its neighbours.  The moral is rather clear, the Zionists and the Israelis will inevitably turn against their Gods, Idols, fathers and others who try to help them. This is the real meaning of the Fagin syndrome within the Israeli political context. They will always have to turn against their fathers.   

 

I believe that the most interesting Jewish belief system of them all is the Holocaust Religion, which the Israeli Philosopher Yeshayahu Leibowitz rightly defined as the “new Jewish religion”. The most interesting aspect of the Holocaust religion is its God-figure, namely “the Jew”.  The Jewish follower of that newly formed dogmatic precept believes in “the Jew”, the one who redeemed oneself. The one who “survived” the “ultimate genocidal” event. The followers believe in “the Jew”, the “innocent” victim sufferer who returned to his “promised land” and now celebrates his successful revival narrative.  To a certain extent, within the Holocaust religious discourse, the Jew believes in “the Jew”, expressed as his/her powers and his/her eternal qualities. Within the newly formed religious framework, Mecca is Tel Aviv and the Holy Shrine is the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum. The newly formed religion has many shrines (Museums) scattered around the world and it has many priests who spread the message around and punish its opposing elements. From a Jewish perspective, the Holocaust religion is a fully transparent expression of self love. It is where past and future merge into a meaningful present, it is when history is translated into praxis.  Whether consciously or unconsciously, every person who identifies politically and ideologically (rather than religiously) as a Jew is, practically speaking, succumbing to the Holocaust religion and a follower of its father-figure “the Jew”. And yet, one may wonder, what about Kindness, is there any goodness in this newly formed  ‘father-figure’? Is there any grace in this narrative of innocent victimhood that is celebrated daily at the expense of the Palestinian people? 

 

If there is an end to history, the Holocaust religion embodies the very end of Jewish history. In the light of the Holocaust religion the “Father” and the “Son” unite at last.  At least in the case of Israel and Zionism they bond into an amalgam of genocidal ideology and reality. In the light of the Holocaust religion and its epic survival ethos the Jewish State considers itself legitimated in dropping white phosphorus on women and children who they have caged in an inescapable open-air prison. Sadly enough, the crimes committed by the Jewish State are done on behalf of the Jewish people and in the name of their troubled history of persecution. The Holocaust religion brings to life what seems to be the ultimate possible form of insular brutal incarnation.

 

Historically Jews have shunned many Gods, they dropped Jehovah, they dumped Marx, some have never followed Zionism. But in the light of the Holocaust religion, while bearing in mind the scenes from Gaza, Jenin and Lebanon, the Jew may have to continue in the tradition and drop  “the Jew”.  He will have to accept that his newly formed father-figure was formed in his own shape. More concerning is the devastating fact that the new father is proved to be a call to kill.  Seemingly, the new father is the ultimate evil God of them all.

 

I wonder how many Jews will be courageous enough to shun their esoteric newly formed father-figure. Will they be courageous enough to join the rest of humanity adopting a universal ethical discourse?  Whether the Jew drops “The Jew”, only time will tell. Just to remove any doubt, I did drop my “Jew” a long time ago and I am doing fine.

 

Zionist influx into Palestine started in 1882.  There were 6 waves of Jewish immigration between 1882 and 1948.  As a result of these waves, the number of Jews living in Palestine increased to about 650,000.

 

During the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, the Zionists asked for the creation of a state in the territory that includes all of Mandate Palestine, Southern Lebanon up to the Litani River, the Golan Heights and part of Western Jordan along a line parallel to the Hijaz railway and ends in Aqaba.  From there, the line goes northwest to Al Arish in Egypt.  (David McDowall, Palestine and Israel: The uprising and Beyond, Berkeley, Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1989, p. 20.  See also: Simha Flappan, The Birth of Israel: Myths and Realities, New York: 1987, p. 17) 

 

In 1948, Ben-Gurion considered acceptance of a Jewish state in part of Palestine as a bridgehead for future expansion whenever the time was right.  His vision was spelled out in a letter to his son, Amos, stating that “A partial Jewish State is not the end, but only the beginning… We shall bring into the state all the Jews it is possible to bring… We shall organize a modern defense force, a select army…and then I am certain that we will not be prevented from settling in the other parts of the country, either by mutual agreement with our Arab neighbors or by some other means.  Our ability to penetrate the country will increase if there is a state…”  (Michael Bar-Zohar, Ben-Gurion: A Biography.  New York: Delacorte Press, 1977, pp. 91 – 92)

 

In a round table meeting with the French at the Sévres Conference, Ben-Gurion proposed a plan for settling all the issues in the Middle East.  The plan included eliminating Nasser in Egypt and partition of Jordan, with the West Bank going to Israel and the East Bank to Iraq.  In exchange, Iraq would sign a peace treaty with Israel and undertake to absorb the Palestinian refugees.  Moreover, Ben-Gurion requested that Israel would annex southern Lebanon up to the Litani , with a Christian state established in the rest of the country.  Ben-Gurion added that the Suez Canal would enjoy international status, that the Straits of Tiran would be under Israeli control, and that Syria should be placed under a pro-Western ruler in order to stabilize the Syrian regime.  Official confirmation of the Sévres protocol was received by Ben-Gurion on 26 October and was warmly congratulated by Menachem Begin.  (Ibid, pp. 236-244)

 

Golda Meir even denied the mere existence of the Palestinians by stating that there is no such thing as the Palestinians.

 

Within 5 decades, the Zionist dream began to evaporate.

 

In spite of all the Zionist atrocities aimed at Ethnic Cleansing, Palestinian Arabs living within the borders of Mandate Palestine are approximately 4.5 million.  Within ten to fifteen years, Arabs living in Palestine would become the majority even if the Palestinian Refugees living outside Palestine were not allowed to return to the homes and lands that were usurped from them. 

 

In spite of having a large army equipped with all the high-tech weaponry provided by the U.S., Israel failed to deter or stop Arab resistance.

 

In March, 1968, Israel attacked the village of Karama on the East Bank of the Jordan and faced a bloody and heroic stand by the Palestinians.  This battle gave the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) a psychological boost and increased its influence.

 

On 24 May 2000, Israel was obliged to withdraw from Southern Lebanon, which was occupied since 1978.

 

On 12 July 2006, Israel started an ‘open war’ against Lebanon.  The war stopped on 14 August 2006.  During this war, another massacre was committed in Kana, about 54 innocent civilians, including about 37 children, were killed in an air raid, and there was a lot of damage and destruction.  However, Israel failed in achieving its goal of ending Hizbullah.   

 

On 27 December 2008, Israel launched ‘Operation Cast Lead’ against the Gaza Strip and committed a massacre killing more than 1300 men, women and children and injuring more that 5500.  The war was ended on 18 January 2009 without achieving Israel’s goal of ending Hamas.

The game is over.  The Zionist lie of a ‘land without a people for a people without a land’ did not fool any one.  What we are witnessing these days is the end of the beginning and the beginning of the end, which will not take long: 5 – 20 years…

Poster courtesy Badil.

 

 

 

 

Not only have the whites been guilty of being on the offensive, but by some skilful manoeuvres, they have managed to control the responses of the blacks to the provocation. Not only have they kicked the black, but they have also told him how to react to the kick. For a long time the black has been listening with patience to the advice he has been receiving on how best to respond to the kick. With painful slowness he is now beginning to show signs that it is his right and duty to respond to the kick in the way he sees fit.   – Steve Biko

 

One of the most important outcomes of the Gaza massacre (2009) has been the unprecedented tremendous outpouring of popular support for the Palestinian cause; something the signatories of the Oslo accords (1993) must have not been happy with. The return of the pre-Oslo slogans of liberation, as opposed to independence, have, undoubtedly, created a new dilemma, not only for Oslo political elites, but also for the NGOized, Stalinist Left.

 

The process of “Osloization”, i.e, a combination of corruption, Negotization, and a selling-out of revolutionary principles and sloganeering, fused with the fiction of the two-prison solution, has been dealt a heavy blow in the 2006 elections. Judging from statements made, not only by PA officials, but also by the Left, and even the Hamas government, the ultimate goal of the current river of blood has become the establishment of a Palestinian state in any dimension, i.e. the two-state solution. The contradiction between the tremendous international support, the revival of the BDS campaign, the outpouring of demos against Apartheid Israel and its war crimes against the Palestinians of Gaza, and the reiteration, by most political orgs, of the two state mantra is a strong indication of the need for an alternative program that makes the De-Osloization of Palestine its first priority.

 

In order to understand the Oslo Accords and the extreme damage they have caused to the Palestinian cause, one needs a historical contextualization of the so called “peace process”, or rather what many critical thinkers have called the peace industry. This understanding is a necessary step towards a process of De-Osloization, a term I will get back to at a later stage.

 

The Oslo accord was claimed to be the first step towards self-determination and an independent state. But it is clear now, 16 years after the famous handshake on the White House lawn, that no state in the short run will be established because of the mere fact that Oslo simply ignored the existence of the Palestinian people as a people. In other words, these accords have offered Zionism what it has always been striving for. Golda Meir’s infamous statement that there are no Palestinians is a case in point here.

 

And yet, to claim that ‘Oslo’ and ‘Camp David’ were great missed opportunities and ‘breakthrough’, and that the so-called ‘peace process’ was in track until the Palestinians (i.e. colonized victims) blew it is a deliberate ideological distortion of reality claimed in order to prepare Palestinians for more concessions. Real comprehensive peace was not created in Oslo and Washington; rather what was created is an American/Israeli plan to resolve the conflict after the destruction of Iraq and the collapse of the Soviet Union and their attempt to construct a “new Middle East”—to use Condoleezza Rice’s words–a Middle East characterized by imperialist-Zionist hegemony and supported by despotic regimes. The Oslo accord was born dead because it did not guarantee the minimum national and political rights of 10 million Palestinian. As long as there are refugees, cantons, detainees, blockade, settlements, ‘legal torture’ of prisoners, dispossession, assassinations and occupation, comprehensive peace cannot be achieved. It is an illusion in the minds of those who signed the Oslo accords.

 

These accords have led to the creation of a limited “administrative autonomy” in the Gaza Strip and some parts of the West Bank. The local population was given “the right” to form an authority that they could call “national.” Now the question is what makes the PNA (Palestinian National Authority) beyond questioning? What is the ‘legitimate’ ground upon which it was established? Very simple: The Oslo Accords. It has now become very obvious that despite the famous hand shakes on the White house lawn and in Annapolis, and the optimistic talk of the ‘New Middle East,’ these accords, in contradistinction with UN and Security Council resolutions, have not guaranteed the establishment of a sovereign, independent Palestinian state, or the return of the refugees, nor even the demolishment of the Jewish settlements, and compensation for those Palestinians who have lost—and still losing—their homes, lands and properties; nor the release of all political prisoners, or the opening of all checkpoints, which have become daily nightmares for residents of the WB and GS; …etc. In spite of all the hand shakes, kisses, and friendly press conferences, Israel launched one of the bloodiest wars in the history of the conflict against the civilian population of Gaza, killing in 22 days more than 1400 people, including 438 children, 120 women, 95 old people, 16 medics, 5 journalists, 5 foreign women, and in which it destroyed more than 40.000 institutions and houses, leaving many families homeless. That, of course, was not mentioned as an objective of the Oslo Accords, but nothing either was mentioned in them that would prevent such bloodletting from taking place.

 

This is the political reality that Palestinian officials who signed the agreement do not like to be reminded of. In fact, what has been created in parts of Gaza and the West Bank is a very strange entity—an apartheid-type Bantustan endorsed by the international community. Gaza 2009, therefore, is the mirror-image of Oslo. When we bear in mind that 75-80% of Gazans are refugees, the results of 2006 elections become more comprehensible not only in its anti-colonial context, but also in socio-political terms. What Oslo has created in Gaza, and the West Bank for that matter, is literally two different worlds, both of which have been led by undemocratic institutions, many security apparatuses, a Third Worldish military court (commended by the Clinton administration), corruption, mismanagement, inefficiency and nepotism—to mention but few (neo)colonial qualities.

 

By winning the 1948, 1956 and 1967 wars, and by getting international, Arab and Palestinian recognition, Israel–as an Apartheid settler-colonial state—has hoped to move into a new stage; a stage  that requires the formation of ‘new consciousness’ amongst colonized Palestinians. Herein lies the danger of Oslo; Osloization, within this neo-Zionist context, means the creation of a new paradigm through which you wash out the consciousness of your supposed enemy-the ‘Other’-and replace it with a one-dimensional mentality, through the construction of a fiction (two states for two peoples) whose end is unattainable. Even the fascist Lieberman has started singing the same song.

 

Put differently, to aim at creating the two-state Palestinian is to aim at creating false consciousness led by assimilated intelligentsia, some of whom have a revolutionary past record. Singing the slogans of “the two state solution,” “two states for two peoples,” “return to the 1967 borders,”–or even “a long-term Hudna” (as proposed by Hamas) — is intended to guarantee the subordination and conformity of the Palestinians, especially those with revolutionary ideas. Gone are the right of return of 6 million refugees and their compensation, and the national and cultural rights of the indigenous population of Palestine 1948.

 

This goal, however, never sees the antithesis it creates as a result of displacement, exploitation, and oppression; it ignores the revolutionary consciousness that has been formulated throughout the different phases of the Palestinian struggle. Nor does it take into account the legacy of civil and political resistance that has become a trademark of the Palestinian struggle. Hence the necessity of the formulation of Palestinian alternative politics. To be conscious of the corruption of the Palestinian Authority, and of the huge class gape that the Oslo Accords have created has definitely been the beginning of De-Osloization represented in the Al-Aqsa uprising and the outcome of the 2006 elections. This is an oppositional consciousness that the signatories of Oslo did not take into account. Both events represent an outright rejection of the Oslo Accords and their consequences.

 

The Gaza Strip, however, is seen by the PA as one of three building blocks of an independent state, although it is geographically separated from the second block, i.e. the West Bank. The third block is, Jerusalem, is under total Israeli control. None of the Palestinians in the occupied territories believe that the ‘semi-autonomous’ zones in the GS and the WB -that is, the ones that fall under category A—can lay the foundation for an independent state. What Oslo has led to is, in fact, a South Africa. When black South Africans needed to move from their townships to big ‘white’ cities, they needed to get a ‘pass’. During ‘peace time,’ Palestinians, not only those who work in Israel, but also those who wanted to visit the WB form Gaza, or vice versa, needed to apply for a ‘permit’. Beside the permit, Palestinians needed a so-called ‘magnetic card,’ which is a computer card that has a password to its holder’s security file. No one could work in Israel, or visit the WB, or even go to a hospital inside the ‘green line’ without a ‘permit’ and a ‘magnetic card’. If one was granted such invaluable cards, one was still not allowed to visit any other area except the one s/he was entitled to visit. If one was ‘caught’ at another area, one’s permit and card were confiscated immediately, not to mention the torture one was exposed to. Nowadays, no one is even given such luxurious ‘permits’ and cards.  How was apartheid South Africa different?

 

The tribal chiefs of the South African Bantustans used to believe that they were the heads of independent states. Luckily, the ANC, despite its many compromises with the National Party, had never accepted the idea of separation and Bantustans. The official Palestinian leadership on the other hand, at the end of the millennium, boasts of having laid the foundation for a Bantustan, claiming it to be an independent state in the make. Undoubtedly, this is the ultimate prize Zionism can offer to its ‘Other’ after having denied her/his existence for a century, and after that same ‘Other’ has proved that she is human. For Zionism’s continued presence in Palestine, the ‘Other’ must be assimilated and enslaved without her/ him being conscious of her/his enslavement. Hence the granting of ‘semi-autonomous’ rule over the most crowded Palestinian cities, and hence the logic driving the Oslo Accords.

 

Oslo, then, brought an unprecedented level of corruption into Palestine; and security coordination with Israel, under the supervision of—irony of ironies—an American general, has become the norm. Repeating the two-state mantra, carrying the Palestinian flag, singing the national anthem and— more importantly—recognizing Israel, regardless of the rights of two thirds of the Palestinian people, are what Oslo is all about.

 

The lesson we learn from Gaza 2009 is to harness all effort to fight the outcome of the Oslo Accords, and to form a United Front on a platform of resistance and reforms. This cannot be achieved without dismantling the PA and realizing that ministries, premierships, and presidencies in Gaza and Ramallah are a façade not unlike the South African Independent Homelands with their tribal chiefs. The classical national program, created and adopted by the Palestinian bourgeoisie has reached its end unsuccessfully. Most political forces, including the governing party in Gaza, fail to explain how 6 million Palestinian refugees will return to the Israeli State of the Jews and an independent Palestinian state will be created at the same time.

 

Hence the necessity for an alternative paradigm that divorces itself from the fiction of the two-prison solution, a paradigm that takes the sacrifices of the people of Gaza as a turning point in the struggle for liberation, one that builds on the growing global anti-apartheid movement that has been given an impetus by Gaza 2009. De-Osloizing Palestine is, therefore, a precondition for the creation of peace with justice.

 

Associate Professor in the Department of English Literature, Al-Aqsa University, Gaza Strip, and a member of the One Democratic State Group. – haidareid@yahoo.com

 

Source:

http://www.amin.org/articles.php?t=ENews&id=2845

Many countries are set to participate in the Conference against Racism, scheduled to be held in Geneva, April 20-25. But the highly touted international meet is already marred with disagreement after Israel, the United States and other countries decided not to participate. Although the abstention of four or more countries is immaterial to the proceedings, the US decision in particular was meant to render the conference ‘controversial’, at best.

 

The US government’s provoking stance is not new, but a repetition of another fiasco which took place in Durban, South Africa in 2001.

 

Israeli and US representatives stormed out in protest of the “anti-Israeli” and the “anti-Semitic” sentiments that supposedly pervaded the World Conference against Racism (WCAR), held in Durban in 2001. The decision was an ominous sign, for the Bush Administration was yet to be tested on foreign policy in any definite terms, as the conference concluded on September 8, three days before the 911 terrorist attacks.

 

The US justified its denunciation of the international forum, then on the very same, unsubstantiated grounds cited by Israel, that the forum was transformed to a stage for anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic rhetoric.

 

But was “the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and related intolerance” indeed transformed into a stage for racism and bigotry, as Israel’s friends, lead amongst them the Bush Administration, charged?

 

What indeed took place at the conference was democracy in its best manifestations, where no country could defy international consensus with the use of a veto power, or could flex its economic muscles to bend the will of the international community. The result was, of course, disturbing from the view point of those who refuse to treat all United Nations member states with equity and impartiality. An African demand for a separate apology from every country that benefited from slavery, to every African nation that suffered from slavery was considered excessive, and eventually discounted.

 

But the main “controversial” issue that led to the US representative’s departure from the conference was the criticism by many countries of Israel’s racism against the Palestinians. A majority of countries called for reinstituting UN General Assembly resolution 3379 which in 1975 equated Zionism with racism.

 

The conference, then, was not meant to only address the issue of Palestine and Israel. However, the strong American resistance to any criticism of the racially motivated practices of the Israeli state – the extreme violence, the land theft, the Wall, the settlements, the protracted military occupation, etc – pushed the issue to center stage.

 

The Palestinian struggle is not meant to overshadow the struggles of oppressed nations around the world, but it rather compliments the calls for rights, freedom and liberation that continue to echo around the globe. However, the fact that the illegal and violent mass oppression of Palestinians, as practiced openly by the Israeli state continue unabated – and is rather defended and justified by the United States and other European powers – highlights the historical legacy championed by former colonial powers throughout the so-called third world for so many years.

 

There are hardly many international forums that are held and governed by principals of equality and fairness amongst nations. The World Conference against Racism is one of very few, indeed. It was not a surprise, therefore, to witness the international solidarity with the Palestinian and world-wide repulsion of the racist and Apartheid policies carried out daily by Israel.

 

But the mere censure of Israel’s unfair, undemocratic and racist policies – let alone taking any action to bring them to a halt – is mechanically considered anti-Semitic from an Israeli standpoint and US administrations.

 

The US conditioned its participation of the April conference in Geneva (Durban II) by removing any specific censure of Israel, and ensuring that Israel is not ‘singled out’ for criticism. Although US sensibilities constantly expect, but demand the singling out of any country, leader or group it deems rouge, war criminal, or terrorist, Israel is treated based on different standards. “A bad document became worse, and the US decided not to participate in the conference”, Israeli daily, Haaretz, reported in reference to the draft documents being finalized before the conference.

 

The original “bad” document apparently dubs Israel “an occupying state that carries out racist policies”, a description which is consistent with international law, UN resolutions and the views of leading world human rights defenders – Archbishop Desmond Tutu,  John Dugard, the former UN Special Rapporteur for the Palestinian Territories, Richard Falk,the current UN’s envoy, among many others.

 

The ‘bad document’ might have ‘became worse’ with new references to the Gaza bloodbath, which killed and wounded nearly 7,000 Palestinians in 22-days.

 

From an American – and unfortunately, Canadian and Italian, so far – viewpoint, such inhumane practices don’t warrant a pause or mere words of condemnation. The same, of course, doesn’t apply to Sudan, Zimbabwe, Iran, Cuba and other ‘unfriendly’ nations. The US decision must be particularity disheartening to African nations who saw in the advent of Barack Obama some vindication. The US first black president, however, saw it fit to boycott a conference that intended to discuss the issue of slavery and repatriation, to once again prove that race alone is hardly sufficient in explaining US internal and external policies.

 

A day after rebuffing the conference, US Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton arrived on her first visit to the Middle East, where she admonished Iran, Hamas and Hizbollah – for largely posing threats to Israel – and praised the Jewish state and its ‘moderate’ allies.

 

She remarked in a joint statement with Israeli president Shimon Peres, on March 3: “It is important that the United States always underscore our unshakeable, durable, fundamental relationship and support for the State of Israel. I will be going from here to Yad VaShem to pay respects to the lost souls, to remember those who the Holocaust took, to lay a wreath, and to say a prayer.” 

 

Needless to say, Mrs. Clinton refused to visit Gaza, where 1.5 million people are trapped in one large concentration camp, denied access to food, medicine, political and human rights. 

 

– Ramzy Baroud (www.ramzybaroud.net) is an author and editor of www.PalestineChronicle.com. His work has been published in many newspapers, journals and anthologies around the world. His latest book is, The Second Palestinian Intifada: A Chronicle of a People’s Struggle (Pluto Press, London). 

 

SEE ALSO: Cynthia McKinney’s article on Black Agenda Report on Obama and Durban II and https://wewritewhatwelike.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/durban-2-feat1.jpgptt-tv/ for a short video on Middle Eastern Stereotypes

Lebanon: the “reconstruction” of the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp, destroyed a year and a half ago by the Lebanese army

 

The stone base that initiates the process of rebuilding the camp of Nahr al-Bared was laid on Monday, March 9 at a ceremony organized by the Lebanese Government and the UN Agency for Palestinian Refugees, UNRWA, 18 months after that the camp was completely destroyed by the Lebanese army during fighting against militants of the group Fatah al Islam.

 

Invited to the event were persons in charge of the agencies involved in the process of reconstruction, journalists, diplomats, as well as a selected and limited Palestinian representation.

 

In a improvised tent, and under the direct supervision of the army and the intelligence service of the government of Lebanon, Tarek Mitri, Lebanese Minister of Information, Abbas Zaki, the Palestinian Authority Ambassador in Lebanon, Khalid Makkawi, chairman of the Committee for Dialogue Palestinian-Lebanese and Karen Abu Zayed, General Commissioner of UNRWA in Lebanon, expressed their thanks to all those involved in the process of rebuilding the camp and the efforts that they have been making to assist more than 40 thousand refugees whose homes were razed after they were forced to flee from them, ultimately taking refuge in the neighboring Beddawi camp. Only 17,000 of them were able to return and resettle in fragile emergency shelters built by UNRWA.

 

The exponents, in turn, agreed that the start of reconstruction of the camp is a clear indication that terrorism had failed and that joining efforts should be taken to prevent that acts of vandalism, like the ones that occurred in 2007, would not repeat again in any other Palestinian camp on Lebanese soil.

 

It is expected, therefore, that after the reconstruction of Nahr el Bared this becomes the only Palestinian refugee camp which is under direct control of the Lebanese state, which is thought to be a model for the other 11 Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon.

 

What was not mentioned in any of the speeches was the absence of the refugees themselves, the ones who were constantly mentioned, the same that Zaki and Makkawi thank for their patience and dignity faced during the huge military offensive that lasted 3 months, in which they lost all their belongings, including their homes – those which were built with sweat and effort 60 years ago after being expelled from their homeland by the Zionist terrorist gangs that occupied Palestine in 1948 – and the shortage of humanitarian aid that they have had to live with during these past 18 months.

 

It was not mentioned either that many refugees still are not allowed to return to what has been called the “new camp” since access to the camp requires permission from the army and the Lebanese security services. Many have been unable to obtain the necessary permits that would allow them to pass through the many checkpoints where the Lebanese forces control movement, both within and outside the camp.

 

The camp has been completely leveled, leaving no trace of any houses, an important and necessary step for the Lebanese government to begin the reconstruction process. But no vestige either was left of any atrocities committed by the Lebanese army there, who, like birds of prey, raided the homes, destroying everything in their paths, and that not being enough, spraying the walls with flammable liquids, but not before recording their presence with offensive graffiti against the Palestinians. Nothing of that is there anymore, it has been erased, as well as part of the collective memory of a people, the memory of a people who created in this narrow square kilometer a home for 60 years while struggling to return to their own.

 

A few meters from where the event was taking place, hundreds of Palestinian residents of Nahr el Bared, were crowded into areas cleared for them by the Lebanese army, surrounded by barbed wire and under strict control of soldiers with guns in hand. Not only they were denied access, but they were required to be in rows, on each side of the street, watching the passing of foreign delegations, authorities and curious, who, since they were not Palestinians, were allowed to enter. They looked like they were on a nice weekend tour in the countryside, while the refugees were prevented from seeing its ruins, sitting on them and crying. These refugees whose dignity and courage was praised within the tent by representatives of various government authorities were being beaten after trying repeatedly and unsuccessfully to enter the square kilometer that had been their home for 60 years. 

 

Without journalists with lenses that could capture what was happening, the soldiers took the opportunity to once again abuse a civilian population that does not require anything other than their right to be treated as human beings, does not demand more that their right to see with their own eyes what happened, to save something if there was still something to save, to be able to return there, return to their second homes.

 

Women and children, old and young, all crowded on the other side of the fence, and separated from the special guests by a barrier of soldiers, shouting slogans against the president of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas and inviting him to come and witness with his own eyes what his people is passing through, the same people that he repeatedly mentioned in his speeches, but according to many Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, he has completely forgotten.

 

“My parents came here in 1948 after they were expelled from Palestine by the Zionists. I was born, a few months later, in a tent provided by UNRWA, I have lived here all my life, but always dream of returning to my homeland Palestine. I’ve seen Lebanese forces massacre my brothers and sisters in Tel Zaatar Refugee Camp, then they did it in Sabra and Shatila, as they did it again with all our houses razed here in Nahr el-Bared, but here I am, standing in front of them, shouting at his face without fear, that they may take away our lives, they may bulldoze our homes, but they will never break our spirit of resistance,” said Um Mohammad, who along with her 3 daughters and 2 grandchildren joined the crowd in protest.

 

The Lebanese and Arab media have broadcast the ceremony, ignoring what was happening on the edge of the enclosed space, as if the Palestinians did not exist, as if what happened to them was not what really matters. Not even those media related to the resistance, the ones that every day and every second launch their attacks against the Zionists and become part by their words, in public and abroad, of the Palestinian cause, fighting side by side with the Palestinians against the Zionist occupation, but when things happen at home, when an opinion is expressed that may cause them loss of votes in an election, or even worse, when they cause political trouble that makes them lose some seats in positions of power, they prefer to remain silent and look the other way.

 

What is clear after this opening ceremony is the patent intention of the Lebanese government of trying to cover with a media blanket rumors about the future of the camp, the possible construction of a military base in the area, the deployment of permanent military forces inside the refugee camps in Lebanon, and therefore the future of over 450 thousand Palestinian refugees who have once again been silenced at gunpoint.

 

Editor’s note: prior to publishing it, the author and I had a brief email exchange on it, and I would like to share with you her views.

 

“I have to say that after reading the article one more time, I found it not fair enough for what happened and I witnessed yesterday, not fair enough with the Palestinian refugees who were standing just at the edge of their enclosed camp looking at foreigners and VIP people passing through a military checkpoint that forbid them to cross. They were not able to put a foot over their destroyed houses and cry over them, but at the same time, people like me and 200 hundred more were there looking at them as if we were tourists with nothing better to do for the weekend.
My article was not fair enough with the thousands on Palestinians standing at the other side of the barbed wire with the guns of the soldiers pointing at their heads just in case they dare to move an inch, not allowed to be present in a ceremony where Lebanese and Palestinian authorities were celebrating the beginning of the process of the reconstruction of the camp, a process that everyone here knows will never ever come to reality, but they were there. The Palestinians were shouting at them and making it clear clear that they will never forget what happened there, even if the entire whole doesn’t give a shit.
The guns and tanks of the Lebanese army were not powerful enough to shout down these people, it will never be enough.
I have to say that I saw many “direct actions” from the army (Zionist one) against the Palestinians before, but nothing compared with what I saw yesterday.
I wish I could be a better writer, believe me I wish, for once to be fair with those people who yesterday grabbed my arms, shouting at me to do something, to take pictures, to let people know what is happening to them. I was the only one there, no journalists, no media, no curious people, all of them were busy listening the empty speeches of the authorities.
It was a painful experience, but also a real privilege for me to be there yesterday, sharing with them an angry moment, that no matter how ignorant the world it is regarding their daily suffering, they still shout, without fear, no matter how many tanks point at them, they still resist. Yesterday it was a pure act of resistance.

The surge in the “Pro-Palestinian” activities in the United States after the Zionist massacre in the Gaza Strip is at least suspicious if not alarming. I am not saying this because I do not want the support for our people to be the norm in this country, but because I see who is riding this wave, and understand that those elements and what they represent are still dangerous and their agenda will not die unless we reach liberation and return.

The fundamentals of the Palestinian struggle are clear and not complicated:
– Palestine is not that section that was occupied in 1967, or Gaza or Jericho. Palestine is from the River to the Sea and from the Lebanese border to Egypt.
– Palestine is Arab, it’s the heart of the Arab World, and thus are the Palestinian people.
– The Palestinian struggle is not about religion. We have nothing against the Jewish faith or the Jews.
– No just and acceptable solution to our cause will have in it anything less than a complete liberation of Palestine and the return of the Palestinian people to their homes and villages and towns that they or their parents or grandparents were forced to leave in the early part of the last century.

Any activity that will not consider these fundamentals, safeguard them and uphold them will not help our cause. People who are putting on activities that take away any of these fundamentals are not helping our cause. We cannot and we do not have the legal or ethical right to trade any of the Palestinian rights, so the “American people” can stand with us or even understand our cause. Anyone or group that attempts to do this should and will be discredit and exposed, and all of us should be vigilant and calling them on it when they do this.

Many, who were for years, trying to work against our rights, and were defeated in every step they took, even though they had the financing and support from the establishment, are resurfacing again after the massacre. Many were given the opportunity to go to Gaza and actually get into the Strip, when thousands of doctors and many other needed professionals were not allowed in. They were allowed in the Strip so they can get some sort of new blood desperately needed so they can continue their work against the rights of the Palestinian people. They are now out and about putting on teachings and resurfacing old “Foundations”, and trying again, to make murky the picture, after it became clear (after the massacre) that the divide between the resistance and the collaborators is wide open, and the same between the supporters of the struggle and those who claim to support, but work on making sure that Palestine is only the West Bank and Gaza or what’s left of it, and the Palestinian people are those who live under the Zionist occupation, and the majority of our people, the Refugees, have to fend for themselves and just accept their fate.

Others, who claim they are anti-Zionist Jews, are also getting very active. They are putting on activities, in most cases while completely ignoring the Palestinian movement here, so they can get to shape our struggle and narrative. These are the same that we had to fight for years so we can put Palestine in the center stage of the so-called anti-War and Peace and Justice movement. We defeated them and put Palestine up there and now they’re coming back to with new hope that they can go back to their old politics.

We do not view people according to their religious affiliations, and our struggle is not a religious one. They keep calling themselves Jews, and for some reason that they feel they have to put this out and that we have to accommodate it. If they feel, just because they are Jews, that they are part of the struggle, as if they are “Israelis”, then holding a teaching is not good enough. If they are true anti-Zionists and feel they are on the side of the struggle because of their religion then they should go to Palestine and join the Palestinian resistance and take up arms against the Zionist invaders.

I have known Rhoda Shapiro for many years, and just a few days ago I learned that she is of the Jewish faith. When I met this comrade, she was in the forefront of the movement defending Palestinians and their struggle for liberation and return, never once she proclaimed her Jewish(ness), like I never proclaimed my Christianity and others their Islam. Last week, Rhoda had a stroke while in a public forum in Canada doing what she spent her live doing, defending and supporting Palestinians and attacking the Zionist invaders for all they have done to the Palestinians from before 1948 until now.

This is what a true anti-War, Peace and Justice Community member should do whether they are Arabs or not, Jews or not.

SEE ALSO https://wewritewhatwelike.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/map-feat1.jpg2009/03/07/a-commitment-for-activists-palestinians-are-the-priority/

 

Pundits have asked Palestinians of every persuasion what they think of Israeli elections over the past several weeks. Opinions are varied and thoughtful; yet the truth is that to prefer one of the leading groups over another is an exercise in futility. Asking for a choice is akin to opting hypothetically for France’s Jean-Marie Le Pen (Lieberman), Dutch parliamentarian Geet Wilders (Livni), or Russia’s Vladimir Zhirinovsky (Netanyahu), with South Africa’s Pieter W. Botha (Peres) playing the presidential role of whom to ask for the formation of a national unity government.

 

 

 Israeli democracy is an oxymoron, a reality underscored by the abuse of any non-Jewish party vying for equal representation. Palestinian parties entering elections in 2006 were represented by Muslims, Christians and even atheists, with no obligation or pre-condition other than those recognized by international law. The Israeli State, however, routinely purges or inhibits Arab political movement, such as those of Azmi Bishara, with unsubstantiated claims of treason or treachery. And the political neutering of indigenous Arabs is negligible compared with the dismissive approach to any popular presence across the 1967 border.

 

 Israelis in this year’s elections claimed there were no Palestinian partners for peace. Ironic, since regardless of label, all Israeli politicians play the same game under a different name: settlements are built; borders are open and shut on a whim; buildings are destroyed; banks are stifled; cities are bombed; and so on. How can Palestinians, let alone the democratically elected Hamas, believe any Israeli politician can be spoken to, let alone trusted, when terrorism and/or racism runs through the veins of every political party?

 

 The roots of Labour and Likud are in organizations that terrorized innocent civilians and murdered randomly; before Likud there was Gahal and before that Herut, which was borne of Irgun—a proven terrorist group. Likud’s supposed peacemaker who became Prime Minister in 1977, Menachim Begin, was a key figure in the Irgun and even had a 2,000-British-pound reward for his capture. The Haganah was the militant precursor to the Labour party. Yitzhak Shamir was a leader of the Stern Gang, accused of atrocities against civilians; yet still became PM in 1983.

 

 The mainstream Zionist groups are rooted in Judaism but secular when convenient. The religious parties—those that sell their seats for power in coalition governments—are more numerous, therefore more likely to gain influence in one form or another. Although there are a few anti-Zionists such as Edah Ha Chareidis, Satmar and Neurei Karta International, right-wing Zionists dominate, such as Tsomet, Shas, Morasha, Shinui Ometz, Gush Emunim (Ne’emanei Eretz Yisrael), the Jewish National Front (Hayil), and the National Movement (Herut) among others. Some are defunct, such as Kach, Kahane Chai and Tehiya (Banai), though their members often form other groups, with the usual aim of building Greater Israel.

 

 The emergence of Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu as the “kingmaker” party is no surprise, given that their dependence on the public’s xenophobia is as deep as the religious groups. They play the chords of racism, nationalism, Zionism and Judaism perfectly. Their manifesto includes statements like the group’s “clear vision” to pursue “the three cardinal principles of Zionism: Aliyah (immigration), settlement, and defense of our homeland,” further declaring: “The responsibility for primarily Arab areas such as Umm al-Fahm and the ‘triangle’ will be transferred to the Palestinian Authority. In parallel, Israel will officially annex Jewish areas in Judea and Samaria.”

 

 

At their core, most Israeli political parties are the same when it comes to their neighbours. They dispute among themselves only in terms of controlling budgets and ministries, but as far as contributing meaningfully to regional stability or economic growth, they are satisfied to be parasites off the American taxpayer while bullying the occupied. That is why they have invested so much in lobbying groups, partisan think tanks, and other organizations in the U.S. but made no effort to honour international law.

 

 

No condolences to apartheid Israel….yes, it has killed 1,300 Palestinians in Gaza because its fears are of a demographic nature, its army never cared what age or gender it killed, Israel’s machine was harvesting Palestinians of all ages and sizes…young and old, disabled and healthy, pregnant women and young girls, the ones resisting the occupation and the ones who are still too young to understand such expressions….. Israel’s nightmare is of a demographic scale, it is frightened to be outnumbered…so the answer was to starve people to death, stop them from receiving medication so that they would die of ‘natural causes’ then bar the media from investigating that and then knit a freshly made lie to suit its new tailored fib. Israel’s actions mean there was a terrorist in every cradle, there were tunnels turning bread to arms. 

During the time Israel was feeling victorious and happy counting 1,300 massacred Palestinians in cold blood, Palestinian women retaliated by giving birth to 3,570 babies. The Palestinian woman is considered a demographic bomb, a highly fertile creature as fertile as the soil of Palestine. The more Israel sends Palestinian on a one way trip to the womb of the land, the more Palestinian women’s wombs show generosity, giving birth to more heroes.  

At a time the average fertility in Israel is 2.6 babies per woman, Gaza is considered one of the most fertile in the whole wide world with an average of 6 babies per woman. Israel suffers a high percentage of senior citizens while Gaza has an abundance of youngsters and according to UNICEF’s report on the 3rd of March 2009 the total number of children in Gaza is approximately 793,520, or 56 per cent of the population (PCBS). This was one of the main reasons that forced Israel to stop its military incursions, for there are 4,170 humans per every square Kilometre in Gaza, to imagine how densely populated Gaza is, one should know that Lebanon is 29 times the area of Gaza. 

This brings us back to Israel’s devious methods of trying to kill women who are considered as factories of men, without being blamed directly for that by its policies of blockades, and checkpoints where sick women or women about to give birth suffer for not being able to reach hospitals, by denying them the right to travel or import foods and medicines, by bombing their infrastructure leaving them with no water to drink or use for hygiene, by depriving them of fuel leading to total arrest of the sewage system refineries, by spraying them with chemicals from above and burning them with white phosphorus, and by killing them indirectly out of sorrow and deep grief after losing their family members especially their young ones, but as Yasser Arafat once said we Palestinians are an undefeatable nation we are ‘Shaab Aljabbareen’.

http://www.rebelion.org/noticia.php?id=81824&titular=las-mujeres-palestinas-son-la-pesadilla-demográfica-de-israel– IN SPANISH

The extent of the funding pledged to the Palestinian Authority by donor countries reflects the extent of their support for Israel and its policies. The American taxpayers’ contribution to the Ramallah government’s bank account is dwarfed by the large sums the U.S. government donates to Israel every year. It’s impossible to get excited over the American pledge of $900 million (two-thirds of it for strengthening Salam Fayyad’s government and the rest for Gaza’s recovery) and forget the $30 billion the United States has promised Israel in defense aid by the end of 2017, as last week’s Amnesty International report noted.

The $900 million pledged to the Palestinians in Sharm el-Sheikh should be seen as part of the regular American aid to Israel. As an occupying power, Israel is obligated to assure the well-being of the population under its control. But Israel is harming it instead, after which the United States (like other countries) rushes to compensate for the damage.The Clinton and Bush administrations – and Barack Obama appears to be following in their footsteps – erased the phrase “Israeli occupation” from their dictionaries and collaborated with Israel in ignoring its commitments as enshrined in international law. The billions of dollars that Israel receives from the United States for weapons and defense development – which played a significant role in the destruction in the Gaza Strip – are part of Israel’s successful propaganda, which presents the Rafah tunnels and Grad rockets as a strategic threat and part of the Islamic terror offensive against enlightened countries.

 

The West has blown the Hamas movement out of proportion, exaggerating its military might to the point of mendacity; this allowed for an extended siege and three weeks of Israeli military intractability. In the Palestinian and larger Arab world, this embellishment helps Hamas depict itself as the real patriotic force. The hundreds of millions of euros that have been donated or pledged to help Gaza, as though it were beset by natural disasters, are overshadowing the trade ties between Europe and Israel. The Western countries concerned about humanitarian aid for the Palestinians also buy from Israel arms and defense knowledge developed under the laboratory conditions of the occupation, that serial creator of humanitarian crises.

And the 1 billion petrodollars? First of all, they were generated from a natural resource that logic dictates should benefit the Arab peoples. Second, they were pledged at a conference that boycotted Gaza (neither Hamas nor business people or social activists from the Strip participated in the donors conference). This is how Saudi Arabia lends its hand to the American and Israeli veto of inter-Palestinian reconciliation.

Every cent paid to the Palestinians – whether for the Ramallah government’s budget or medical treatment of children wounded by Israeli pilots or soldiers – lets Israel know that it can continue its efforts to force a capitulation deal on the Palestinian elite. Only by recognizing that surrender is the goal can one understand that 16 years after Oslo, no Palestinian state was established. When did Shimon Peres, Ariel Sharon and Tzipi Livni begin talking about two states? Only after their bulldozers and military bureaucrats crushed the realistic physical basis of a Palestinian state. And this basis is: June 4, 1967 land (including East Jerusalem), Gaza – an inseparable part of the state – and zero settlements (and that applies to Gilo and Ma’aleh Adumim).

During the 1990s it was still possible to describe donations to the Palestinians as an expression of confidence and hope in Israel’s readiness to free itself of the occupation regime it had created. But not in 2009. Support for Israeli policy – this is the only way to understand the fact that other countries keep pouring in hundreds of millions of dollars meant to put out the fires set by this policy, without extinguishing the source of the blaze.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1068553.html

A donor conference is underway in Sharm Alshaikh in Egypt is “to raise funding” for Gaza but is turning out to be similar to all previous conferences: lots of huff, puff and posturing. For the US administration, it is a way to prop the government of Mahmoud Abbas (whose term ended January 9).  The US “pledged” $900 million but $200 million of those will go to cover deficits of the administration of Mahmous Abbas, $400 million to West Bank projects (many profiting Israel), and the remaining $300 million will be slated for Gaza but may never get there because the US refuses to deal or help anything associated with Hamas and Hamas is the de facto government (and most of the people) of Gaza.  The European Union is trying to buy its way out of the nagging conscience of having supported a failing US/Israeli policy (a policy that tries to bypass democracy and find compliant leaders or pressure them into compliance). This money is also getting entangled in the “no discussion with Hamas” mantra  (which only strengthens Hamas and their fundamentalist ideology). Hamas said it will not allow aid to achieve what the Israeli military failed to achieve by force (subjugation of the Palestinian people).  Other money pledged is also ending up with so many strings attached that hardly any of it is likely to enter Gaza.  But even if all these issues are solved, Israel simply continues to blockade Gaza and prevent reconstruction supplies from entering (a blockade that is not only an act of war but a crime against humanity).  Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary-general, said border crossings into Gaza must be reopened to allow aid into the devastated territory. “The situation at the border crossings is intolerable. Aid workers do not have access. Essential commodities cannot get in,” But neither he nor anyone else at this conference has even hinted at any pressure to be brought on Israel to achieve this opening.  Gaza remains a concentration camp with its residents who like all prisoners prefer the tough prisoner as their representatives.  Meanwhile, Israel plans to build 73,000 more housing units in the occupied West Bank areas outside Jerusalem and thousands more inside occupied Jerusalem (in tandem with demolishing Palestinian homes and continuing the ethnic cleansing)*. 

The posturing, speeches, and “pledges” thus distracts from what is really needed to achieve peace: pressure on the occupiers/colonizers not on the occupied/colonized.  Israel must be told by the outside world to a) not only freeze all settlement construction but actually reverse it by returning the lands to their owners and removing the settlers from all areas occupied in 1967, and b) Israel must pay for the damage it inflicted on Gaza and comply with International law on the damages of the apartheid wall it is building, c) Israel must allow Palestinians including all refugees the choice of return to their homes and lands or to be compensated if they chose not to return (and compensate them for their suffering), and d) Israel must allow the right of self determination for all the Palestinian people (a referendum on what we want would be a good beginning) and for full equality for all residents regardless of their religion. 

Initiatives are in the works along those lines.

*”Peace Now” reported that Israel is planning “73,300 new homes in West Bank”.  “Peace now” does not recognize Jerusalem as part of the occupied West Bank while all other countries do so, as does International law.  So the numbers of new colonial settlement buildings on Palestinian lands will increase by a much higher number http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1068033.html

Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD

A Bedouin in cyberspace, a villager at home

http://qumsiyeh.org

When the war gets tough, Israel brings out that magic word that they seem to have a unique understanding of: “peace / Shalom”. That word which to any normal person means harmony, tolerance, end of violence and condemnation of destructive acts that cause suffering doesn’t mean the same thing to the average Israeli, who is basically a hardcore warmonger in sheep’s clothing. “Peace” to a normal person means good things, things we see our children paint, like blue skies, rainbows and people who are in harmony with man and the environment. To an Israeli, it means something entirely different. And that is why, in a moment when Israel has driven the million and a half human beings into a hell of suffering and starvation, then decided to bomb the living daylights out of them and destroy their lives and possessions, they bring out their weapons of mass persuasion, their Hasbara pros who are able to sing and talk about love and peace, while on the other side of the mouth they are spouting words of intolerance and accusations. Noa is called to the front lines each time there is a nasty bit of reality that involves her country, and this time, she’s been a busy little bee and getting busier.

Years ago, I used to be a fan of Noa. I saw her on the Festival of San Remo, and found her performance original and thought she had a special talent. I didn’t really care that she was Israeli, she seemed somewhat a-political. (Nowadays she sounds like a warbly Celine Dion, but this is the market, and she is part of it). But, times change and if someone is Israeli, given what Israel is, they have two choices, it seems: to embrace that Israeliness until the bitter end or to cast it off. Israel can’t leave anyone indifferent, given that it’s involved in occupation and war, and their performers, writers and “intellectuals” know they are showcasing the political agenda of their country. Noa never fails to come up with the goods, and I will explain some of her recent exploits, after a brief introduction.

For quite a long time, Israel has been dishing out one atrocity after another. It almost defies the imagination of where to begin in a timeline, there is simply too much that disgusts anyone with a conscience. Yet, let’s get close to home, very close to home, and go back only as far as the 2006 war against Lebanon. If there was a cruel and evil war, that was surely it. From Cluster bombs to bombing milk factories and power plants, roads, bridges and hospitals, not to leave out dropping bombs on convoys of families who were told to flee lest they be bombed within their homes, Israel left no stone unturned in their horrifying range of violence. Funnily enough, Noa appeared on TV in Italy a few times that month, once in a “fashion show” where she sang “Shalom” while images of the “poor settlers leaving Gaza in tears” were projected behind her. Yes, it was a shock, that this was the message: Israelis suffer. Then she and Gil Dor did a song on the evening TV news, she made a few more appearances just to bring the point home.

It kind of reminded me of something that happened this January. As Europeans know, 27 January is Shoah Memorial Day week month year. Yes, it starts some time on the eve of the 26th of January and then it ends on the eve of the 27th of January a year later. It is this way each year. And, when there is a bloodbath Israel is making happen, the celebrations are not only for about an hour a day, but from dawn till dawn. I must mention a memorable moment. I was on the phone with a friend in the West Bank and we were trying to get information about a mutual friend of ours, who we knew lived near the police station that was destroyed in the first bloody day of Israeli air raids. No one had been able to reach him and it won’t be hard to imagine the fear we had. Of course, any civilians suffering in a war is bad, but there is a difference when you know your loved ones are in the middle of it. It is a nightmare. In the other room, my husband was offering coffee to his colleagues who are rescue volunteers like he is. They turned on the news and during the height of the destruction in Gaza, all that could be reported was one Shoah item after another. It was pretty striking, the way reality was so different from what the mass media was proposing. I heard one of the ambulance drivers, someone who has no interest in politics at all, say, (and it really only works best in Italian…) “più porcate si fanno, più giorni della memoria ci mettono”, which roughly translates to: the more horrible things Israelis do, the more Holocaust Memorial Days they give us.” Yes, someone who doesn’t follow these things was able to understand the connection, there’s really no other excuse for the massive bombardment of Jewish victimhood and Israeli flags that we see especially in moments of horror against Arab peoples. Reality and Hasbara are two worlds that can never cross the divide.

So, where did Noa enter into all of this? She came to hasbara rescue in a major way: through internet in her “letter to the Palestinians” where she told them that the war was necessary in order to get rid of the bad guys (Hamas). Many people were utterly disgusted by this total lack of comprehension that this war was as dirty and filthy as it gets, that she can no longer pretend to be about peace when she is justifying the slaughter of innocents, which was precisely what she was doing. In fact, Juliano Mer Khamis and others initiated a petition to have her NOT sing a charity gig for Gazan children (published here https://wewritewhatwelike.files.wordpress.com/2009/02/noa-thumb21.jpg2009/01/21/ban-achinoam-nini-noa-from-participating-at-gaza-charity-event/) and she pulled out, but then, she was called to sing her peace song and talk about how wonderfully peaceful she was on the worst television talk show in Italy, that of Fabio Fazio, who is sure to have one Israeli a week during wartime, people like Grossman, (sometimes appearing twice in one war  month!) Well, right now, Noa is going to be the Israeli entry to the Eurovision song contest, Yawn. Which is of course OF COURSE having her sing a song about the theme Israelis are the world experts on, Peace. How much ya wanna bet she becomes the victim-darling-peace advocate… yes, reality and hasbara are worlds apart.

If you’d like to see Noa’s current vision of peace, check out her site this week where she talks about the Israeli elections. Sure, they didn’t go the way she (a leftist, she tells us) would have preferred but still : LEIBERMAN AIN’T HAMAS!  And how bad is Hamas? Seeing that Noa moans about Israel being condemned by “Jew-haters” and “anti-Semites”, calling people who do this spreading INCREDIBLE propaganda (she spreads Hasbara…. different stuff, you don’t question hasbara, folks, unless you want to be insulted, bombed or occupied). Reminds me of when I saw Magdi Allam, a nutbar pro-Israel journalist. He said that those responsible for the war in Iraq were the “peace movement people who gave Saddam the hope that there was a way out of the war, and thus made him confident”. Yes, that kind of thinking is what Noa engages in: the “right” won because there was just so much nasty PROPAGANDA by Jew-haters going on. IT’S OUR FAULT! (OH, I’m getting into her style of shouting out things in all caps… sorry!)

Read it to believe it: the voice of peace. This post requires no commentary. Her hatred and Islamophobia speaks for itself. Hell, it could have been written by the ADL itself or anyone in The Israel Project, the MFA or any propaganda organ for Israel at all. It has a little something for everybody! http://www.noasmusic.com/index.asp

Hello all.

A few words about the Israeli elections and where things stand now, from my point of view:

Though i voted left, as always, I am not surprised by the results of the Israeli elections.

I am proud to live in a democratic country which has given voice to the people, even when i am unhappy with the result. I am proud to say that the ONLY party that was ever deemed illegal in Israel was KACH, lead by Kahana, the fanatic Jewish right wing party. Raam and Tal , two Arab parties who support Iran and refuse to recognize Israel as a homeland for the Jews, who don’t even make their party’s declaration of principles available in Hebrew, are kept in the Knesset. They are PROTECTED by the Israeli supreme court.

The Israeli election results, however saddening, were obvious, amongst other things, in the face of the INCREDIBLE propaganda spread around the world by the ENORMOUS amount of Anti-Semites and Jew- haters who are bent on destroying Israel. When the Israeli population sees the lies spread around, the hypocrisy of the world who sees Israel as the aggressor rather than a country acting in self defence, a world whose eyes are blind to the killing and the massacres by the MUSLIM fanatics of the Palestinian people, of Fatah, of women who dare to raise their head, of ANYONE who does not agree with them, when the Israeli people who number 7 million, 1.5 million of them Arabs, see around them 1.5 BILLION Arabs, with hardly ONE voice raised in peace, compared to the ENDLESS Israeli and Jewish voices raised in peace, then it is clear that the elections will go right.

A challenge for you:

Try Googling ’peace organizations’, see the endless, endless peace organizations based in Israel, Arabs and Jews together, and Jews everywhere in the world (the only one in Lebanon is in Lebanon, MICHIGAN!).

Then Google “Jewish terror´and see what you find….

Now, Google “Arab peace organizations…”, ?????????????

and Google “Arab/Muslim terror”……!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

By the way, Meretz, a very sane and liberal left wing organization who supports 2 states for 2 people, has supported both of Israel’s operations, in Lebanon and Gaza. Of course they have, because Meretz know very well that Israel was acting in self defence against fanatic, cruel, Nazi-like organizations, the Hamas and Hezbollah, who are holding innocent people captive, Arabs and Jews as one, and using them as human shields in their death-loving Jihad.

Why don’t you spend some time looking at THIS?

and THIS?

and THIS?

and for a thorough report, THIS:

and the list goes on and on.

I would like to say again:

both sides have failed to make peace, and now both sides have become more extreme, especially the Muslim side. Fortunately, Lieberman and his friends, which i care nothing for, can never compete with the death loving fanatics on the other side.

Now it is up to both sides to state their intentions for peace, recognition, co-existence and compromise.

I would like to raise my voice in support of peace, equal rights for all Arab citizens in Israel, equal rights for all Jewish people in all Arab countries, co-existence between Jews and Arabs in Israel and everywhere, Palestine alongside Israel in peace, prosperity and freedom.

Who will join?

And finally: The international community would do well to stop pointing fingers in such an unintelligent, not to say hateful, anti-Semitic and down-right stupid way, and start getting both sides to the table to start working out a deal.

All the best

Noa

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3679680,00.html
hear the songs here:: one of them “YOU and ME still ALIVE”
part of the lyrics.. sure, she can sing that, not those who she approved the slaughter of! How ironic, not to say sickening.

In “There must be another way” we hear this: And I cry I cry for both of us… (after you’ve said that there was a Cancer to Get Rid of, how DARE you, Noa, you hypocrite).
Faith in the Light is the most traditional Noa-esque song, and it offers this bit, “Where can we go from here, sister, it’s been one long night. Tell me that we’re here to stay and that we can set things right….” sick. You are here to stay Noa, but thousands, including babies too small to speak, are no longer here to stay, thanks to support from you!
“Second Chance” has these beads of wisdom: “Every second is a second chance.”
All of this restores my belief that the only good thing to ever have come out of Eurovision was Abba… At least they were sincere.

WRITTEN BY William A. Cook

“Become more human, and humans will love you.”

(Text of the Gospel of Phillip, 143)

Predictably, the United States Senate and House of Representatives voted to support Israel’s carnage in Gaza thereby handing the new President yet one more war to contend with, one unhappily more dangerous to America than those in Iraq or Afghanistan. That may seem to be, on its face, a strange thing to say unless one understands that we are in Iraq fighting for Israel and, with this vote, our Congress has indebted itself to the Israeli forces that govern the United States (as Ariel Sharon said long ago), forces that will use endangerment of Israel as leverage to attack Iran and Syria, countries already in their military sites since 1992.

Our Senate’s indebtedness is unanimous; while 20 in the House abstained and five voted against the resolution, all the rest voted to support. The reasons offered: Israel has a right to defend itself even though we do not know where Israel is: that is, Israel has yet to define its borders and remove itself from occupied territories; and the rockets fired over the last 8 years must stop, even though Israel, with one shell in Gaza, killed 43 at the UN school, twice the number killed by rockets in 8 years. But logic, international law and international opinion, and fundamental moral law cannot sway our Congress; money can and does. Obama may have a Senate majority and a Democratically controlled House of Representatives, but he cannot respond to the desires of the American people for change – no more wars – nor to the United community of nations that have voted with their feet against the actions of the Israeli government in open and defiant dissent against their governments in London, Ireland, Scotland, Europe and through out the Arab world including Jordan and Egypt. Our Representatives represent Israeli wishes and policies not those of the American people; the people voted overwhelmingly for change not the continued support of Israel represented by these votes or the appointments made by Obama as advisors.

Ironically our “only democratic ally” in the mid-east, as constantly reiterated by our mainstream media and talking heads, has locked the media out of Gaza in order to isolate truth to its Public Relations campaign begun the day it invaded Gaza three weeks ago. Consequently, Americans receive their news from those that decided to break international law and their own responsibilities as an occupying force under the Geneva conventions. No truth, no morality, only raw force serves this Zionist nation beholden only to itself and those it owns, including our Congress. Yet the news gets out. The people of Gaza transmit the truth by phone cameras and a handful of Al Jazeera  journalists that report from the killing fields. These pictures inundate the Internet and even a European press on occasion.   

Contrast the reality of the coverage with that provided to Americans. In Sderot, the little town used by Israel to portray its misery, devastation, and ultimate demise at the hands of the “terrorists,” the citizens have taken to the hillside overlooking Gaza — binoculars, sunglasses and beach chairs in tow — to watch the rain of Israeli terror by air, sea and land on an imprisoned people. (Shashank Bengali, “Israelis, sipping Pepsi, watch bombardment of Gaza town,” 1/5/2009, McClatchy). Are they in danger? Perhaps, although they do have bomb shelters and warning sirens, something that the people of Gaza do not have. And as I have noted elsewhere (in Counterpunch, 1/5/2009), they have been bombarded on average with 2 rockets per day for 8 years. Twenty three have died over these 8 years, an unsupportable number killed by meaningless use of force. Nonetheless, this has become the rationale for Israel’s current killing that now approaches 1000 half of whom are children. Disproportionate? Not to our Representatives.

Now consider what we are not shown, an image that the western media finds “pornographic,” “irresponsible journalism,” “too graphic,” “too emotional” for public consumption; yet the rest of the world sees these images, hundreds and hundreds of them. This alone should give our representatives pause to reflect on how their subservience to the barbaric behavior of Zionist Israel plays out in the world that is not controlled by American corporations or complicit congressmen. You can go to www.al-ayyam.ps/znews/site/pdfs/7-1-2009/p01.pdf. There you will see the head of a little girl looking forlornly though vacant eyes, mouth still open, completely buried from the neck down in rubble from her crushed home; indeed, too graphic, too emotional to contemplate, just another unnamed casualty of war where death happens … unfortunately, and “we’re sorry.” This appeared in multimedia, a Norwegian site, where you can also hear Sven Egil Omdel, the Director, explain why he decided to publish the photo even though it is against policy: “It is (the publication) a conscious provocation and we have two reasons for it: Israel keep (sic) all western journalists away from the war in Gaza. … The most important reason for us to show this face, is that the Arab world sees pictures like these from Gaza every day. Not a single still, but hours and hours of TV images of hospital floors full of small, dead bodies. Four year olds, two year olds, seven year olds, newly borns – These pictures represent the war in Gaza for millions of muslims – and we wonder why the hatred against Israel and the west grows? (translation)” This now is Obama’s war whether he wants it or not including the 3000 tons of ordnance being shipped now to Israel by the United States to supplement what they are currently using in Gaza.

Americans must understand the timing of this “war” that is not a war but a slaughter of caged people that have no where to hide, no where to go and even then, when following IDF orders, find themselves in a building targeted for destruction, their destruction. Deceit governs; racism motivates; hatred compels and greed for others’ land is the bed rock of action.

Why now? For two years, during the election campaign for the US Presidency, Israel imposed a siege on Gaza, a calculated act of slow, insidious decimation of the people planned in 2004 (www.infoimagination.org) to ultimately compel the Palestinian people to submit to Israeli dominance, without a state, without an army, without freedom of ingress and egress, unclassified and wholly dependent on Israel. Included in that strategy was the need to complete “Securing the Realm,” the document drawn up by our faithful Neo-Con “servants” that drove the policies of Bush’s administration and called for regime change in Syria and Iran in addition to Iraq. During the political campaign, while press coverage crowded out virtually all other news, the Zionist forces destroyed the infrastructure of Gaza, began the locking down of gates and the slow but methodical destruction of Gaza’s economy. Simultaneously they sought, but failed to get in time, Bush’s approval of attacks on Iran’s nuclear sites. Now, as the days of the Bush reign of terror ends, they are desperate to force Obama into a continuation of absolute and unquestioned support of Israeli policies in the mid-east. With the Congress in hand, with the vote made public in America and its continued commitment made known to the world, they believe that hey have locked Obama in a prison not unlike that surrounding Gaza.

What now? Reflection on the past few years, since 2005 to present, especially in the United States, makes possible this observation: the people of the United States and the people of Israel no longer see eye to eye on matters of mutual concern and, indeed, have already expressed that reality in fact. What do I mean? Beginning with the Downing Street memo and the disclosures of Richard Clark and Ambassador Wilson, the ability of the main stream press to hide the truth from the American people could no longer hold. As 2005 evolved, more and more disclosures unraveled the lies protected by the “fair and balanced reporting” of the corporate owned and controlled media. Fair and balanced was neither fair to truth nor balanced. To put two items on a scale, one for, one against, does not present truth or a balanced report. It simply shows two different perspectives, one for and one against. But as facts and documents became available to the American people, items available over the prior years on various Internet publications, the American people reacted by throwing out Bush supporters in the 2006 and 2008 elections and Bush support eroded into the mid-twenties.

They wanted “change” promised from the start by Senator Obama and mimicked eventually by most of the other contenders to the throne. Change meant getting out of Iraq immediately and return to a government that had a concern for America, including less absolute and blind support for Israel. The vast majority of the American people do not accept the disproportionate and cruel invasion of Gaza by Israel. As more and more pictures and videos become available on the Internet, especially the recurring images of savagery on You Tube, the American people are traumatized by the horror, especially the uncountable number of deaths of children. Our representative government does not represent the American electorate; it represents only scared politicians who depend on AIPAC money, men and women who fear for their political seats regardless of what their constituents believe and want.

By contrast Israeli citizens are faced with an election that has all three contenders fighting to convince the electorate that he/she is the one that will inflict more force to subjugate the Palestinians to Israeli will. The focus of this campaign resonates around the war monger Benjamin Netanyahu; both Livni and Barak must demonstrate that they are better leaders to take Israel against the Palestinians, the Syrians and the Iranians. Israel’s future is one of continued war which means in turn continued American billions to sustain their ambitions against their perceived enemies. They do not talk of “talk” with neighbors, only unending war against those that oppose the Jews. One does not speak of Israel as a state or government when “victimhood” is needed to induce unyielding support for the Israeli governments need to acquire more land and control the regimes of its neighbors, one must turn to the bias against Jews that is world wide and endemic. Sympathy cannot be rung from criticism of a government’s policies.

Horribly, the invasion of Gaza can be viewed quite accurately as a campaign war where Livni and Barak have made evident to the electorate that they will use force to ensure Israel’s right to dominate the area regardless of international pressure and opinion, international law or international justice. They know they can do this because they have control of the American Congress and administration including the veto power of the United States in the Security Council. World opinion means nothing. The Israeli electorate, with modest exception, does not want change.

Ultimately, it’s AIPAC’s will against the American citizens’ expressed desires as they voted for this man of change. Who will win? Will the blatant exposure of Israeli violence and mercilessness, in pictures and videos, turn the tide? Can Israeli hacking of Internet sites like that done to The Palestine Chronicle and the attempted erasure of sites that contain the pictures and videos described above stop the flow of sympathy for the plight of the Palestinians in Gaza and quell the building animosity that has arisen world-wide against the cruelty employed by Israel in its savage destruction of Gaza?

Will Obama turn to diplomacy, as he preached when a candidate and, thus doing, fulfill the truth enunciated by Phillip, “Become more human, and humans will love you”? Will he turn to negotiations with those engaged in these brutalities, to stem the violence? Will he recognize the impossible absence of the democratically elected Hamas government from deliberations with Israel over Gaza? How absurd. Will he reconsider the bribery that Bush employed to keep Egypt and Jordan in collusion with Israel despite the agony the people of Egypt and Jordan experience as they watch their people die in Gaza? Will he seek justice by returning to the resolutions of the UN that demand Israel return to the borders of 1948 or 1967, to leave the occupied lands of Palestine including East Jerusalem, to recognize the right of return of the refugees, to realize that Palestinians have a right to their state just as Israel has a right to its, something recognized by Hamas though never recognized as true by our main stream press. (Guardian, 1/12/2006 and Ynet, 1/30/2006). Will Obama seek peace that America might be free of its entanglement with a rogue state that blindly leads America into the darkness of unending conflict and death? Will he demand of Israel that its support from America depends of its recognition that it can only survive if it lives in harmony with its neighbors not out of fear but out of brotherhood? Will he suggest that the Israelis consider a diametrically opposite road to peace, one that understands “People will love you if you become more human”?

One of my dearest friends and fellow Pro-Palestine Blogger, Steve Amsel wrote a post about a “tool” I mentioned to him and other friends. Please visit his site to join in the discussion. Below his post is the post by Sinéad of http://irish4palestine.blogspot.com/ , who remarks on another group of organised pro-Israel “net warriors”. Great comments there too.

ZIO WEB ATTACKS ~~~ ARE YOU A ‘VICTIM’?

 

Do you write articles giving the truth about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict? Do you have a Blog known for its anti zionist viewpoints? Have you been getting extra ‘visitors’ to your Blog who leave negative comments or participate in polls? 
 
If yes to any of the above, there is a good reason for all of this….it’s a project called Megaphone Israel.It is a new desktop tool that alerts its subscribers to any entries that might be anti Israel or anti zionist. 
 
After notification, the ‘warriors’ jump into action and attack the source of the article. Are we to quiver in our seats because of this? Are we to stop posting because of this? I THINK NOT! 
 
As long as Israel continues its existing genocidal policies and actions against the people of Palestine, Blogs such as this one will continue to expose their crimes. Where the media fails to, we will present the facts. 
 
So Megaphone Israel should be kept busy for the next (hopefully) short while. 
 
Do any of my readers have suggestions as to how we might also be alerted….. to racist or zionist postings on the Web? We too should be posting OUR comments on their sites, just to let them know we are aware of their ‘games’. 
 
Thanks to Mary Rizzo for the alert on this situation…..

 

21/02/09 Online Censorship by Israel

What do BLOGGER, YOUTUBE, FACEBOOK, and WIKIPEDIA have in common?

Following up on yesterday’s post “Is Israel Controlling the Internet” today we will learn about Israel’s Government and the IDF attempting to censor and control the internet, face book, you tube and many other social networks, blogs, message boards and news organisations. Today I will be discussing these groups who work online for Israel and the IDF (Israeli Army).

These groups came about after the many genocidal murders committed by Israel and the IDF. Hundreds upon thousands of Lebanese, Palestinians being killed, with the majority of them being innocent civilians, women and children. Israel need helps to re-create its image worldwide. What better place than the internet?

Why the internet? Because the internet is a huge echo chamber. It also influences what news you see on your television or MSM news sites, like CNN, ABC, MSNBC and CBS for instance. It also influences what you read in your newspapers worldwide. With today’s 24 hour news cycle, the need for fresh news is quite important for retaining viewers and readers. So, many news publications and organisations turn to the internet to see what the “buzz” is and then report on that. Also, due to the internets wide range of people and access to webcams, videos and blogs, many times regular individuals get important news online before main stream media does. Given these facts, who ever controls the internet controls the news and controls the battle for the hearts and minds of the general public.

Winning public opinion is extremely important, remember Americans vote, and they could, if organized, exert pressure on their government and President to stop handing over their hard earned tax dollars to Israel. . Another important reason is “war” Israel needs Americans to be afraid of Muslims, it needs Americans to think everyone in the Middle East are either terrorists, supporting terrorists, swayed by terrorists, and that only little isolated Israel (with the 4th largest army in the world AND having nuclear weapons) is the only friend America has, and on this premise, Americans should back everything Israel does as they are our “friends” (even though they murder American military and cover it up, see below)

Their “job” is to win the battle of public opinion online. In other words, they want to influence what people think of Israel. Why is this important? Well, the obvious answer is NOT that Israel really cares what you think if it. After all, if it did perhaps it would begin adhering to some of the more than 60 UN resolutions it has against it, or perhaps stop breaking international law, or perhaps allowing international investigations when it murders people in Palestine, Lebanon and US Military men onboard the USS Liberty;

The USS Liberty off the coast of Egypt was attacked without warning. The attack lasted 40 minutes and 34 Americans were murdered, with 17o injured and the Ship destroyed.

theories as to why Israel would take such drastic action against its superpower ally is that the Liberty, a $40m state-of-the-art surveillance ship, was eavesdropping on an Israeli massacre of Egyptian prisoners of war.

The assertion of a cover-up was lent weight by a 2003 independent commission of inquiry which reported that the attack on the Liberty “remains the only serious naval incident that has never been thoroughly investigated by Congress”.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/6690425.stm
also here
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bH-oZHBzOe8

So, to sway public opinion of Israel and its war crimes in Lebanon and Palestine, back in 2000 they decided to create an online group called JIDF or Jewish Internet Defence Force, to manipulate polls and message boards and blogs by spamming comments and votes. However, this has now progressed into removing sites, videos and blogs that critisize Israel or it’s genocide in Palestine, also sites that are against Zionism, which, importantly, is NOT the same as being against Jews!! And there is another group as well, called GIYUS, or “Give Israel Your United Support”

first look at GIYUS:

GIVE ISRAEL YOUR UNITED SUPPORT
Why do I need to report?

GIYUS.ORG spends a lot of effort tracking down online articles  and surveys that members should see and act upon.
After installing the Megaphone application, you will receive alerts on these articles so that you can voice your opinion on
them.

You can help even more! Report relevant articles and surveys to
GIYUS.ORG and help Israel win the public opinion front.

Now let’s look at the other group called JIDF, e.g Jewish Internet Defense Force, sounds very miltary doesn’t it now?
“One of their campaigns has already led to 106 Facebook groups being removed”See here:

The Jewish Internet Defense Force, (JIDF) is approximately 8 years old as a collective of activists and has operated under the name the “Jewish Internet Defense Force”

The JIDF is involved in mass email campaigns, we work to discuss the issues on many fronts, in various forums. We report our concerns of TOS violations to many companies. We advocate for Israel, and we work to unify our people who share our concerns. We write emails to the media, to the internet companies, to law enforcement, and to the government. We also have a major campaign involving YouTube, where we report hateful videos or videos which are promoting violence or terrorism. We work to keep things neutral on Wikipedia,

We have also been a leading pro-Israel force online, and the success often comes in the form of inspiring someone new, who eventually becomes a solid soldier in our online army.

Jewish Internet Defense Force
http://www.thejidf.org
Leading the Fight

So let’s just have a look at the groups they target listed below with excerpts from the JIDF site itself:

FACEBOOK

Through the creation of 4 proactive Facebook groups, The JIDF initiated a 35 day campaign urging 5,000 people to report all the following groups. During that time, 106 groups were deleted, Many more groups crop up daily. Jewish Leadership must coordinate with the management of Facebook to help develop plans to fight this problem.

YOUTUBE

The JIDF believes the following channels and videos most likely break YouTube’s rules against promoting hatred and/or violence. As you can see by the amount of channels which have been suspended we have a pretty good track record. (NOTE: Too many for me to list here, but take link to see the entire list of suspended accounts http://www.thejidf.org/2008/02/problematic-youtube-channels-and-videos.html  scroll down and further down the page you will see the 100’s of accounts they are currently targeting)
http://www.thejidf.org/2008/02/problematic-youtube-channels-and-videos.html

Below are links and comments pasted exactly from their VERY long list of youtube users they want suspended, or videos removed. Admittedly some are from skinheads and truly are racist, but the vast majority are just normal videos with excerpts from credible news sources or photos from news sources. Note that the comments under the links are the actual notes this group has made regarding the video in the link it wants removed.

http://www.youtube.com/user/LaydeeLiberty123
1 video, many problematic favs

(NOTE FYI Meaning she favourited other peoples videos and got her account closed!!)

(But here is the best one of all!!)

http://www.youtube.com/user/FedFarmer
1 video – (might not be against the rules)

Now, this video is a documented media video from a British reporter and an Israeli Human Rights organisation no less. And they want to close this person’s youtube account because they uploaded this video? Why? Because as usual, the video shows human rights abuses by Israelis, so we can’t have that now can we?? Even when it’s an Israeli group that uncovered it and made the documentary, so they attempt to censor their own people!!

Here’s the video (listed above form their site) they want taken down

View it yourself

Oh no, it gets even better, and here’s another one, this is a RAP music video showing news footage and photos of those killed by Israel, again, we can’t let the world see this, they might not like us!!
CENSOR CENSOR CENSOR

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acW5hxSwCsw
(This video shows dead bodies, this is against the YouTube Community Guidelines)

and yet another one here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IBa-dFdrJ7Y
(This video shows dead bodies of children, and people getting hurt, attacked, or humiliated)

 

and here
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2B-PqTAXTEc
(This video shows dead bodies, and dead children)
(NOTE with regard to YouTube the JIDF also work with an American right wing NeoCon group called YOU TUBE SMACKDOWN http://smackdowncorps.org/

like minds stick together)

WIKIPEDIA

In general, please alert us to any problems of POV-Pushing, bias, subtle antisemitic jabs and the standard “Jew baiting” so commonly found on Wikipedia (WP), so we may update this list and continue cite specific examples. We are also looking to get a lot more active on Wikipedia, since much has been written about the problems and many people have pointed out unfair Wikipedia policies and implementation thereof, especially with regard to Israel and the Jewish people.

Please keep us posted as to any problems you experience on Wikipedia as it will aid in our research and approach. Please enjoy the following list of heavily biased Wikipedia editors. We have listed their “contributions” from “earliest” to most recent, since many of them are trying to pretend they are not biased as of late:

They are targeting several people in Wikipedia, one is an Arab, the other is a Jew who is against Zionism, here is what they say about the Anti-Zionist Jew on Wikipedia, notice how other Jews who are not Zionist fanatics like the JIDF are also targets:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:RolandR
User Contributions

Real name, “Roland Rance” who chairs “Jews Against Zionism” meetings

Just look at this user’s userpage. Wikipedia is supposed to have rules against using it for “soapboxing” but apparently they make an exception in this case (Mary Rizzo’s note: Rance is himself a major gatekeeper and censor… he manipulates according to his own taste pages on Gilad Atzmon, who is a bigger enemy of his than any Zionist is, apparently… but I did not write this post, just leaving my observation in).

Here is one of their complaints about wikipedia: the way, in the current Wikipedia article about Hamas, the fact that it is a terrorist organization isn’t even hinted at until the 6th paragraph!)

Heaven forbid, we have to get the word “terrorist” and “HAMAS” in the first sentance, otherwise it’s unfair to poor Israel!! what a load of bollox! As if people can’t think for themselves, we all need Israel to tell us what to think!

BLOGGER

Don’t think they are serious about closing blogs, webpages, facebook, and youtube accounts and more?

They even invented software to use to make their word easier, it is called “megaphone”, and endorsed by the IDF (Israeli army) and government!

See here:


Megaphone desktop tool
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Megaphone desktop tool is a Windows “action alert” tool developed by Give Israel Your United Support (GIYUS) and distributed by World Union of Jewish Students, World Jewish Congress, The Jewish Agency for Israel, World Zionist Organization, StandWithUs, Hasbara fellowships, HonestReporting, and other pro-Israel public relations, media watchdog, or activism organizations. The tool delivers real-time alerts about key articles, videos, blogs, and surveys related to Israel or the Arab-Israeli conflict, especially those perceived by GIYUS to be highly critical of Israel, so that users can vote or add comments expressing their support of Israel. The tool was released in July during the 2006 Lebanon War.

According the Jerusalem Post, Amir Gissin, head of the Public Affairs Department of the Foreign Ministry of Israel, has expressed support for the tool’s use. “The Foreign Ministry itself is now pushing the idea, urging supporters of Israel everywhere to become cyberspace soldiers in the new battleground for Israel’s image.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megaphone_desktop_tool

 

So, if you can’t win the public hearts and minds by doing the right thing, then just CHEAT CHEAT CHEAT, CENSOR CENSOR CENSOR

Report Jew-Hating Blogs in Less Than a Minute
Click here and then click “submit”
Then come back here and do the same thing with this one.
Do this many times a day. Many days a week and share it with all your friends and email lists.
The blogs in question are some of the most hateful sites we have seen and clearly against Blogger’s own rules.

Thanks!

And a little tidbit from the Jpost on JIDF. Notice that this JIDF group infiltrated and then took over a FACEBOOK group using some type of software, because they did not like the answer they got from FACEBOOK when they complained. The group, according to FACEBOOK was a political discourse group, and as such, FACEBOOK refused to close it down. So the JIDF took action themselves. See here:
Jul 29, 2008 21:16 Updated Jul 30, 2008 9:47

Jewish Internet Defense Force ‘seizes control’ of anti-Israel Facebook group
In the JIDF’s latest efforts, the group has been working around the clock to dismantle the group on Facebook titled, “Israel is not a country! Delist it from Facebook as a country.” That group had tens of thousands of members.
Facebook’s negligence and abdication of responsibility gave us no option but to take matters in our own hands,” the JIDF added.

The JIDF would not specify what technological methods it used to gain access to the group, but said it succeeded in doing so after the old administrators left.

The JIDF received a response from Facebook, he said, which called the anti-Israel group “legitimate political discourse.” Facebook was not available for comment.

“[The JIDF] gained control of the group without compromising Facebook’s security,” Oboler said. “What they have done… is taken away the hate that was spreading through [the group’s] membership. It’s a shame that Facebook themselves did not remove it. It has taken a lot of effort from [the JIDF], while it would have taken Facebook one click.”

The JIDF said its efforts are not limited to Facebook, but extend to anti-Semitism and anti-Israel posts found throughout the Internet, including on sites such as Google, Google Earth, YouTube and Wikipedia.

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1215331137728&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull
So what group or site will they come for next? Beware of who you allow to join your groups and blogs, they will join and then destroy your site.

Remember this, he who controls the internet controls the news and controls the battle for the hearts and minds of the general public. If any of this makes you angry or outraged, write to your Elected Representatives and demand that Israel stop censoring the internet. Who made them “Judge, Jury and Executioner”

We are all intelligent enough to make up our own minds *if* we are allowed to see unfettered information ourselves, why is Israel so worried? Because the internet is the LAST place news is free and where news can freely be put online for all to see. Don’t’ let Israel gain control of what you see, hear and read. America must stop being Israel’s “poodle”.

More information on this subject in tomorrow’s blog, check back then or subscribe to this blog.

PEOPLE READING THIS BLOG SHOULD CHECK TO SEE IF THEIR YOUTUBE CHANNEL OR ACCOUNT IS LISTED AS A TARGET OF THE CENSORING ZIONISTS WHO WORK FOR THE ISRAEL ARMY AND GOVERNMENT

Here is the JIDF’s YOUTUBE LIST OF CHANNELS AND USERS (note the first scrolling box are all the accounts they have managed to suspend or close down, but scroll down the page more to see the active list they are currently working on now, you may be listed!)

http://www.thejidf.org/2008/02/problematic-youtube-channels-and-videos.html

Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, don’t say anyhing bad about Israel, or they will come for you in the night…………………

thus concludes Sinéad’s fine report.

And this is what I found while digging into it some more:

Wage Cyberwar Against Hamas, Surrender Your PC
By Noah Shachtman EmailJanuary 08, 2009 | 1:10:27 PM

A group of Israeli students and would-be cyberwarriors have developed a program that makes it easy for just about anyone to start pounding on pro-Hamas websites. But using this “Patriot” software, to join in the online fight, means handing over control of your computer to the Israeli hacker group.

“While you’re running their program, they can do whatever they want with your computer,” Mike La Pilla, manager of malicious code operations at Verisign iDefense, the electronic security firm.

The online collective “Help Israel Win” formed in late December, as the current conflict in Gaza erupted. “We couldn’t join the real combat, so we decided to fight Hamas in the cyber arena,” “Liri,” one the group’s organizers, told Danger Room.

So they created a simple program, supposedly designed to overload Hamas-friendly sites like qudsnews.net and palestine-info.info. In recent years, such online struggles have become key components in the information warfare that accompanies traditional bomb-and-bullets conflicts. Each side tries to recruit more and more people — and more and more computers — to help in the network assaults. Help Israel Win says that more than 8,000 people have already downloaded and installed its Patriot software. It’s a small part of a larger, increasingly sophisticated propaganda fight between supporters of Israel and Hamas that’s being waged over the airwaves and online.

Help Israel Win, which has websites in Hebrew, English, Spanish, French, Russian and Portugese, doesn’t say much about how the program functions — only that it “unites the computer capabilities of many people around the world. Our goal is to use this power in order to disrupt our enemy’s efforts to destroy the state of Israel. The more support we get, the more efficient we are.”

Analysis from iDefense and the SANS Institute, however, reveals that computer users put their PCs at risk when they run the Patriot software. The program connects a computer to one of a number of Internet Relay Chat (IRC) servers. Once the machine is linked up, Help Israel Win can order it to do just about anything.

The Patriot program does something “fishy,” SANS Institute security specialist Bojan Zdrnja said, by retrieving “a remote file and sav[ing] it on the local machine as TmpUpdateFile.exe.” That could easily be a “trojan,” Zdrnja said, referring to a program that sneaks malicious code onto a computer.

“While at the moment it does not appear to do anything bad (it just connects to the IRC server and sites there — there also appeared to be around 1,000 machines running this when I tested this) the owner can probably do whatever he wants with machines running this,” Zdrnja wrote.

Liri, with Help Israel Win, conceded that “the Patriot code could be used as a trojan. However, “practically it is not used as such, and will never be.”

“The update option is used to fix bugs in the client, and not to upload any malicious code… never have and never will,” Liri said. “The project will close right after the war is over, and we have given a fully functional uninstaller to [remove] the application.”

It’s also unclear how much the Patriot program is really helping the Israeli side in the online information war.

La Pilla has been monitoring Help Israel Win’s IRC servers for days. “They didn’t make us download and install anything. Didn’t make us [attack] anybody. I was basically just sitting idle on their network.” The group claims to have shut down sarayaalquds.org and qudsvoice.net. But, as of now, the rest of the group’s pro-Hamas targets remain online. Meanwhile, Help Israel Win has had to shift from website to website, as they come under attack from unknown assailants.

“We began to focus on internet companies like Facebook, YouTube, Wikipedia, MySpace, and Digg,

cartoon of the day

Posted: 02/26/2009 by editormary in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

Tahdiah (Pacification)