Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

“It’s the tunnels not the burning children”

August 1, 2014

1432 Gazans killed
1219 civilians
346 children

A of 8 A.M Friday morning a 72 hour cease fire has been announced in Gaza.

When I was taken to the remains of the Warsaw ghetto many years ago I met a gentleman selling copies of pictures taken that April of 1943, all taken by the Waffen SS. They were brutal beyond words, men jumping out of buildings and some coming out of sewers with their hands up. As a holocaust educator, i bought them to show to my students.

The brilliant spoof of the NY Times  by the People’s Cube.



25 years later I had to endure the bizarre propaganda emanating from Israeli spokesmen. They were obsessing about “the tunnels, the tunnels”.THis was their latest line peddled to a stunned world by their pliant acolytes who seem to be living in another parallel universe. Of course they were “terror tunnels”. Israel always has a cute way with words

No mention of the sadistic inhumane destruction of Gaza especially the missiles which killed 19 in a UN shelter. Even the docile White House appalled by the latest barbarity spoke out. spokesman Josh Earnest stated “The shelling of a UN facility that is housing innocent civilians who are fleeing violence is totally unacceptable and totally indefensible.” All this from the USA?
And how about the truly awful line of Israel’s favourite Prime Minister, Stephen Harper. who blamed Hamas!

Harper IS

The US with its craven leadership finally realized what civilized countries have known: Enough is enough. And behind the scenes they read the riot act to Netanyahu, surely one of the worst leadrs Israel has had to endured, best described by Avi shlaim, the Israeli historian now teaching at Oxford:” the destroyer of dreams, the man of the undivided  land of Israel but not of peaceful co-existence, the underminer of the Oslo accords, the man who gave the right wing settlers free rein to harm, harass and heap humiliations on the long-suffering population of te occupied territories, a man whose ideological makeup militated against trading land for peace and finally the man who betrayed the legacy of the founder of the movement by spurning the offer of the  Palestinians.”(The Iron Wall, p.606)

The day before (you can’t make this stuff up) I watched the hapless John Kerry petulantly defend himself against Israeli critics with this line: “I have always had a 100% voting record in the Senate”—justifying everything Israel has done to the Palestinians.” So much for moral leadership from this hostage to the israeli Lobby. Oh yeah, Congrsssional races are on the horizon.
As for the tunnels.What would you expect when Gaza has become a prison teetering on total collapse, children traumatized, power plant destroyed, blockaded on every side and Israel and its true believers shouting tunnels!

Less Stein, more Margolis

July 28, 2014






From working the last several years in the media,I’ve gotten to know a lot of journalists.I’ve gotten to understand a lot more about how these large media outlets function. It really is remarkable, and not hyperbole, that there is nothing that makes major media figures and new executives more petrified than reporting on IsraelThe way in which they become so frightened to do any sort of reporting that could make what they call Israel’s supporters inside the United States angry cant really be overstated.

Glen Greenwald

When the beautiful Christian ex-President and Nobel prize winner Jimmy Carter published his book Palestine: Peace not Apartheid (2006) not everyone cheered. Carter had been deeply involved in Middle East policies for three decades. He was a Groucho Marxist. The late comic famously opined, “Who do you believe, me or your eyes.”

Carter had seen it all and like the Hebrew prophets of old, he told it like it was: “an apartheid system was being created in the West Bank and Gaza, Palestinians are deprived of basic human rights, their land has been occupied, then confiscated, then colonized by the Israeli settlers….Israel’s continued control and colonization of Palestinian land have been the primary obstacles to a comprehensive peace agreement in the Holy Land.

He went on to criticize Israel for building what he describes as an imprisonment wall through the West Bank. He accused Israel of strangling the residents of Gaza where the poverty rate has reached 70 percent and where the malnutrition rate mirrors countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. And Carter is critical of Washington’s role.” The United States,” he wrote,” is squandering international prestige and goodwill and intensifying global anti-American terrorism by unofficially condoning or abetting the Israeli confiscation and colonization of Palestinian territories.”

One of the persons who went ballistic was the frequent International expert” Janice Stein of the Munk Centre at the U.of T. whom apparently Steve Paikin on his show the Agenda can not get enough of, said that Carter must be insane to hold such views. Her experience in Gaza and Occupied Territories—zilch, nada. But she keeps appearing though on CBC and TVO as an expert.

Now one who seldom ever appears any more is former Sun writer and award-winning, internationally syndicated columnist. Eric Margolis…and here is why, his July 28 column (edited here)



Israel’s 155mm Cure For Terrorism

By Eric Margolis

This event(the Suez crisis) is worth recalling as we today watch US President Barack Obama and his hapless Secretary of State John Kerry plead with Israel to stop massacring Palestinians in Gaza.

What could be more pitiful than two of the world’s most supposedly powerful men imploring Israel to stop killing Palestinians with US-supplied weapons like F-16 warplanes and heavy 155mm self-propelled guns – which violates US Arms Export Act, though no one in Washington dares to admit this? Or resuming military payoffs to Egypt’s brutish military dictatorship to keep Palestinians locked up in the Gaza Ghetto?
After five decades of patient work, the pro-Israel lobby now gives the US Congress its marching orders on the Mideast. The media in the US and Canada have largely adopted Israel’s narrative about the Mideast and Gaza.

Here in New York City, watching the TV news, one would think Gaza is a nest of demented terrorists threatening Israel’s very existence with ‘terror tunnels’ and ‘terror rockets.’ Hamas, which Israel helped create to split Palestinians, is a ‘terror organization.’ Palestinian children are running in front of Israeli 155mm heavy artillery shells to give Israel a bad name. Interestingly, one of the best source for real news on what’s going on is Israel’s excellent newspaper, “Ha’aretz.”

There is growing anger around the globe over Israel’s savaging of Palestinians, but Americans don’t see this. As the Arab death toll rises to over 1,000, the world is calling for an imposed cease fire and an end to Israel’s and Egypt’s cruel siege of Gaza. America is getting blamed for the horrors of Gaza.

Washington should be able to demand that Israel, which is due to receive over $30 billion in US aid in the next decade, cease fire and open Gaza’s gates. Of all the vetoes cast since 1950 in the UN Security Council, the majority have been by the US to protect Israel from censure.

Can Washington act to enforce America’s national interests and common humanity? Not likely.


Israel has long timed its punitive assaults to sync with the US elections cycle. We are now in the penumbra of America’s upcoming November elections, and Israel knows it. Now’s the time, in Israel’s view, to crush Hamas into dust and tell foreign critics to go to hell.

In fact, the Arab and greater Muslim world’s silence and inaction over the massacre in Gaza suggests that the Greater Israel expansionists may be right. 5.5 million Palestinians remain after all these years sand in the eye of the Mideast.

NDP loses vision

July 28, 2014



Unfortunately, there is no alternate viewpoint to Baird’s among Canada’s political leaders…. The sad truth is that as the Conservatives have become more and more unbalanced in their support for extremist Israeli actions, opposition parties, fearing a Zionist reaction, have also been thrown off balance. On this key issue they have become nothing more than parrots, sitting in a cage of their own making, chanting, “Israel has a right to defend itself.” —Jim Manly

Jim Manly, a man of sterling integrity, a retired  United Church minister and former federal member of the NDP speaks a painful truth as did the great Toronto star columnist Haroon Siddiqui in Sunday’s Star.

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and, to a lesser extent, NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair have fallen in line with Stephen Harper’s support of the Israeli onslaught on Gaza.
None questions the Israeli killing and maiming of hundreds of civilians, including women and children.

All echo the formulation that, given the barrage of (ineffective) Hamas rockets, Israel has a right to retaliate (bombing by air, shelling from the sea, mounting a ground invasion, levelling houses, hitting hospitals, mosques and schools run by the United Nations, and disrupting electricity, water and sewage systems).

Manly, 81, is a two-term former NDP Member of Parliament. In 2012 was jailed for nearly a week in Israel after taking part in an international solidarity mission aboard the Estelle, which challenged the Israeli government’s blockade of Gaza. His son Paul frustrated at the Party’s failure to speak strongly about this criticized the party.No criticism allowed.

It has become obvious that the  former champion of the oppressed the NDP has been muzzled by leader Tom Mulcair. It has sickened many longtime members .

Politico columnist Andrew Mitrovica pretty well summed up the political correctness in his column of July 20 (”Is Mulcair another Harper with a beard?”)He detailed the shocking elimination of Manly’s  talented son Paul as  NDP candidate in Nanaimo Ladysmith. The issue ISRAEL. The israel lobby hangs like an incubus even over the NDP.

The following poem flew around the internet

Mulcair is our leader. 
We shall not speak;
He maketh us to toe the Zionist line;
He turneth from the suffering of Gaza and standeth firm for Israel.
Yea, tho’ he tramples on NDP Policy
Yea, tho’ the people of Gaza are dragged though the Valley of Death
We shall speak no evil,
For Mulcair is over us;
His caucus and whip, they muzzle us.
Surely Mulcair and Zionism shall follow us
All the days of this session
And we shall be covered with the shroud of silence forever.

National Director Ann McGrath tried to stamp out this growing brush fire by assuring the faithful that Israel had nothing to do with with Manly’s rejection. Few bought the booswa.

Mitrovica wrote:

Taken together, the NDP’s decision to bar Manly from the nomination is absurd, cynical and, frankly, heartless — not the image the NDP has carefully cultivated for the past 50 years or more.

On July 15 the Independent Jewish Voices challenged the NDP

We are chagrined that the NDP has yet to speak out against Israel’s bombing of civilians in Gaza. These are war crimes, since it is clear that Israel has used its precision-guided missiles to target families’ homes, hospitals, schools, ambulances, and even a centre for disabled children. The horrific images coming out of Gaza should elicit strong and immediate condemnation from any individual or organization that is concerned about human rights.

Why then, we are wondering, has the NDP failed to condemn these atrocities? Since Israel’s bombing of Gaza began last Tuesday, the NDP has failed to release any formal statement condemning the massacres that the bombing has caused. While we appreciate the NDP’s call — despite coming after a week of Israeli bombings — for a ceasefire, we are deeply disturbed by the NDP’s language in this statement.

It is indeed lamentable to see the lack of courage here. But it is understandable. The “powers and principalities” which St.Paul wrote about, the “mysterium iniquitatis” (the mystery of evil) is evident when institutions, corporations and yes, political parties with noble intentions, seem to lose their bearings and begin to succumb to expediency, popularity, consensus, realpolitik. They are invaded by death. They lose fire and noble intent. The church of course is not exempt here, a point I will make in the future. The principalities seemingly have a life of their own, apparently autonomous from human control. Survival now becomes the raison d’etre and a political party, born of transcendent idealism becomes just another tired institution.

To steal a line from the Book of Proverbs (29:18)


Where there is no vision the party perishes.

The burning children

July 27, 2014



After the Holocaust, no statement, theological or otherwise, should be made that is not credible in the presence of the burning children.
Theologian Irving Greenberg 1974

Sunday midnight in Gaza
1014 killed
832 civilians
212 children

Be ever hearing, but never understanding;be ever seeing, but never perceiving.’
Make the heart of this people calloused;
make their ears dull
and close their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their hearts,
and turn and be healed.
Isaiah 6: 9

For the great bible scholar Walter Brueggemann Jeremiah was the prophet par excellence, the one who saw with great clarity what his people had become. They simply refused to look.

Amira Hass the brilliant israeli journalist is among the many Jeremiahs for her time. She implored fellow Israelis to see the ugly handiwork of the state—and it was only 15 minutes away. She lived among Palestinians saw the effects of the brutal occupation, relatives cut off from each other, from farmlands and markets, an ugly apartheid wall stealing even more land, a proud people forced to undergo humiliating checkpoints and 600 roadblocks, collective punishment, extrajudicial murder in a so-called democracy. She felt the the constant annexation and colonizing activity of “the only democracy in the Middle East”—in reality a state living in a dream world of its own fantasy.a  country which has become a pariah on the world stage.

Isaiah’s anticipation had come true. The “royal consciousness” of power and exclusion had, horror of horrors, become like Pharaoh’s court. The Mosaic revolution of the freedom of the slaves had been overturned and the slaves had now become the slave master.

Jeremiah was sick with grief

My grief is beyond healing. My heart is sick within me. (8:18). His beloved Israel is living in Disneyworld. the status quo is just great.

Peace, peace, but there is no peace”(6;14)

The people have become numb. Denial is massive. Criticism must be faced before newness can break through. The covenant has been broken. God is grieving. The only way through is to die to all the old lies, the truth of the Nakba, the dispossession of 750,000 people in 1948 and the theft of land post 1967. Another people on the same land must be embraced. Innocence and victimhood must be laid aside.

False prophets of course are always with us, Stephen Harper and John Baird immediately come to mind. Those who parrot the stupidities of “what would you do if rockets were shot into your country”—no history, no understanding of the 50 year massive and unrelenting state violence which provokes a desperate response—pathetic rockets which have killed two innocents against precise guided missiles, drones, Apache helicopters, naval blockades and the arsenal of the fifthe strongest army in the world.

Earlier we saw another Jeremiah—Naomi Wolf express her disgust with her synagogue’s silence.

Sara Roy is another brilliant female Jeremiah, a senior scholar at Harvard whose parents were Holocaust survivors. as well 100 members of her extended family murdered in Poland Ms Roy has spent much of her academic life studying Gaza..

What will happen to Jews as a people whether we live in israel or not?Why have we been unable to accept the fundamental humanity of palestinians and include then within our moral boundaries. Rather we reject any connection with the people we are oppressing. Ultimately, our goal is to tribalize pain, narrowing the scope of human suffering to ourselves alone. Our rejection of the “other “ will undo us.”

And now forty years later professor Greenberg’s famous statement which holds up in sickening tension the awful reality of burning innocent children sacrificed to political, military pompous obfuscation and warn out ideology. This time it is Palestinian children burning at the hands of Jews.

No matter. This means nothing to blind men like the Israeli ambassador to the US,Ron Dermer: “the truth is that the Israeli Defence Forces should be given the Nobel Peace Prize… a Nobel Peace Prize for fighting with unimaginable restraint.“

George Orwell, where are you when we need you? The  hearts have indeed become calloused.



The murder continues

July 21, 2014



Downsizing the number of Palestinians all over historic Palestine is still the Zionist vision. In Gaza, its implementation takes its most inhuman form.

Ilan Pappe, Israeli historian

Watching the unconscionable siege of Gaza, the pummeling of a civilian population,a penned up people, 1.7 million, hemmed in  on every side at the mercy of sophisticated missiles one wonders how long  the world can tolerate such a callous war crime. The tally Sunday night:

368 Palestinians killed, of whom 299 are civilians, Including 84 children and 43 women, and 2,340 others wounded, mostly civilians, Including 679 children and 478 women; 389 houses targeted and destroyed and hundreds of others extensively damaged, thousands of Palestinian civilians forcibly displaced. Sewage,water and power grids destroyed

Here we have a civilian populace with no army to defend itself at the mercy of lethal hi-tech murder and we have to listen the glib justification of military commanders in perfect English defend the indefensible and legitimate such indiscriminate bombing. Israel is not to blame. It is all Hamas’s fault.

F-16 fighters  and drones  descend   on these “pathetic ducks in a barrel”. They have no bomb shelters, literally nowhere to run or hide in an overcrowded urban center. They cannot leave; all exits are barred. They have no Iron Dome anti missile system.

It is all Hamas’s fault.

The pathetic home-made rockets are simply the crazed behaviour  of an oppressed people encased  in steel. They are the furious howl of a people without hope. This response has simply given israel another chance at “the incremental genocide”(Pappe) Goliath is waging on David.

And all we hear from the craven John Kerry and Barack Obama, “Israel has a right to defend itself.”

And the US keeps sending $3 billion a year as settlements  grow and more  Palestinian  land is eaten up and international law is defied.

US elections are on the horizon and money easily trumps cheap Palestinian blood.

On July 19 several Nobel laureates, public intellectuals  and cultural workers signed an open letter in the Guardian

Among the Nobelists were   Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Adolfo Peres Esquivel, Jody Williams, Mairead Maguire, Rigoberta Menchú and Betty Williams.

Other well known signatories included:
Alice Walker, Writer,

Brian Eno, Composer/musician, UK

Chris Hedges , Journalist, Pulitzer Prize 2002, US

Frei Betto, Liberation theologian, Brazil

Hilary Rose, Academic,

Ilan Pappe, Historian, author, Israel

Ismail Coovadia, former South African Ambassador to Israel

Joao Felicio, President of ITUC, Brazil

John Berger, artist, UK
John Dugard, Former ICJ judge, South Africa

John Pilger, journalist and filmmaker , Australia

Judith Butler, Academic, philosopher,

Ken Loach, Filmmaker, UK

Michael Ondaatje, Author, Canada/Sri Lanka

Mike Leigh, writer and director, UK

Noam Chomsky, Academic, author, US

Nurit Peled, Academic, Israel

Paola Bacchetta, Academic, US

Richard Falk, Former UN Special Rapporteur on Occupied Palestinian Territories,

Roger Waters, Musician, UK

Ronnie Kasrils, Former minister in Mandela’s gov’t, South Africa

One wonders where is the prophetic voice of religion.

No context: Robert Fisk and Ilan Pappe

July 15, 2014

Any text without a context is a pretext.
Jesse Jackson

Downsizing the number of Palestinians all over historic Palestine is still the Zionist vision. In Gaza, its implementation takes its most inhuman form.
Ilan Pappe, Israeli historian

As in prior posts I stated that one must begin before “What would you do if rockets were fired at you.’ and “israel has a right to defend itself” propaganda, The problem here is a lack of context, a lamentable lack of historical knowledge. As for the Hamas rocketry civilized people reject such tactics, Though none have died from these hopelessly inadequate weapons of war, ordinary people should not live with fear and the sound of sirens.
But all the tribalist and talking heads need to back up and contextualize the situation. Whoever is firing the rockets (Hamas) is not a monster. He is a human being like all of us. What drives such a suicidal response? What has happened to such a person to such bizarre behaviour? His violence is violence 2, a response to the relentless structural violence that American Jewish activist Daniel Sitarski alluded to in his brilliant spoof of the ADL’s clumsy cartoon, one which has no context



This is the “incremental genocide” the brilliant Israeli historian Ilan Pappe refers to. “ This context should be insisted upon, since the Israeli propaganda machine attempts again and again to narrate its policies as out of context and turns the pretext it found for every new wave of destruction into the main justification for another spree of indiscriminate slaughter in the killing fields of Palestine.”

Globe and Mail:
”The PMO says Harper reiterated Canada’s steadfast support for Israel and its right to defend itself against terror attacks. Both leaders agreed that Hamas must end its targeted attacks on Israeli citizens.”


Harper is a political naif, am amnesiac with no sense of history or apparent empathy for Palestinian life.



Acknowledged as the pre-eminent Middle East journalist Robert Fisk attempted to school the Harpers of this world in a column on July 9



OK, so by this afternoon, the exchange rate of death in two days was 40-0 in favour of Israel. But now for the Gaza story you won’t be hearing from anyone else in the next few hours.


It’s about land. The Israelis of Sederot are coming under rocket fire from the Palestinians of Gaza and now the Palestinians are getting their comeuppance. Sure. But wait, how come all those Palestinians – all 1.5 million – are crammed into Gaza in the first place? Well, their families once lived, didn’t they, in what is now called Israel? And got chucked out – or fled for their lives – when the Israeli state was created.

And – a drawing in of breath is now perhaps required – the people who lived in Sederot in early 1948 were not Israelis, but Palestinian Arabs. Their village was called Huj. Nor were they enemies of Israel. Two years earlier, these same Arabs had actually hidden Jewish Haganah fighters from the British Army. But when the Israeli army turned up at Huj on 31 May 1948, they expelled all the Arab villagers – to the Gaza Strip! Refugees, they became. David Ben Gurion (Israel’s first Prime Minister) called it an “unjust and unjustified action”. Too bad. The  Palestinians of Huj were never allowed back.

And today, well over 6,000 descendants of the Palestinians from Huj – now Sederot – live in the squalor of Gaza, among the “terrorists” Israel is claiming to destroy and who are shooting at what was Huj. Interesting story.
And same again for Israel’s right to self-defence. We heard it again today. What if the people of London were being rocketed like the people of Israel? Wouldn’t they strike back? Well yes, but we Brits don’t have more than a million former inhabitants of the UK cooped up in refugee camps over a few square miles around Hastings.

The last time this specious argument was used was in 2008, when Israel invaded Gaza and killed at least 1,100 Palestinians (exchange rate: 1,100 to 13). What if Dublin was under rocket attack, the Israeli ambassador asked then? But the UK town of Crossmaglen in Northern Ireland was under rocket attack from the Irish Republic in the 1970s – yet the RAF didn’t bomb Dublin in retaliation, killing Irish women and children. In Canada in 2008, Israel’s supporters were making the same fraudulent point. What if the people of Vancouver or Toronto or Montreal were being rocket-attacked from the suburbs of their own cities? How would they feel? But the Canadians haven’t pushed the original inhabitants of Canadian territory into refugee camps.


Jesuit educated Neanderthal

June 16, 2014


The world is burning and these two leaders are laughing.


Australian PM Tony Abbott last week in Ottawa


Christopher Hume wrote this in the Star today


Unlike most world leaders — if that’s the right term — these two want to be frank; they will do nothing to stop global warming, they proudly declared, if it might hurt the economy. Not one dollar, certainly not one job, shall be lost in the fight to control climate change, the gravest issue we face today.

That pained smile Harper adopts when forced to explain his most indefensible actions to a room full of doubters was much in evidence Monday when the two PMs showered the benefit of their wisdom upon ungrateful media hordes. The difference between us and them, we were reminded, is that other nations are hypocrites and we’re not. We’re upfront about it — the environment is not our issue. Other leaders may say they care; but they don’t.


Well, actually, some do care. But not Canada or Australia. Why should we? Just because Oz is burning up and beset with drought. Just because two-thirds of Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the time they reach 70. Just because Canada was the only country of 27 studied by the Centre for Global Development whose record on the environment actually got worse last year. Just because the tarsands are synonymous with greed, environmental degradation and, in Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s word, “filth.”


A friend in Australia, a female religious wrote me about Abbott in these terms:


We have the most disgusting prime minister – Catholic, arch conservative and without a heart or empathy.  Tony Abbott – went to Jesuit school. Recently the whole of the senior class wrote him an open letter bewailing his betrayal of Jesuit ideals and principles.  Made no difference as I think he believes he is chosen by God and so infallible (sound familiar?)


One would ask how does a man Jesuit-educated escape with his moral compass awry? What happened on the way to the top job? Did money corrupt him? What well is he drinking from?


There is room for differences of opinion among Christians but guys like this and the Ayn Rand loving Paul Ryan the Republican VP candidate in the last  US election seem lost and disconnected from a sacramental orientation.


The beautiful thing about both Abbott and Ryan is that both men’s views were repudiated very forcefully by their Catholic contemporaries.

Ontario goes Liberal

June 13, 2014



So Ontario goes Liberal.

Not too surprising given the options.

Tim Hudak is Mike Harris redivivus, anti-union, a scary return to slash and burn, a trashing of the commons. Married to Deb Hutton and pals of Leslie Noble and Tom Long. Google them and be frightened.

Imagine running a campaign based on firing 100,000 human beings as those fired do not have families, children. He brought up far right policies from the US—not a good idea.

Andrea Horwath sadly tilting to the populist right, no big ideas, nibbling away on the fringe to titillate middle class voters. No great support for the poor, minimum wage. Very sad, a betrayal of traditional NDP values. She forced an election, now losing the voice she had in a minority government. NDP needs to get back to its roots. A resignation should be forthcoming.

People like Kathleen Wynne. They separated her from Dalton McGuinty. Very bright, compassionate and progressive.

For Christians check out where the pain is in the province and see how people voted.

Look at the capital Toronto where suffering shows itself—new immigrants struggling, a poor transportation system, a place where gays can live with dignity, where most of First Nations live off the reservation, where the poor are visible, where citizens have been suffering under an incompetent far right Tory mayor, where the world in all its diversity gathers…not a Conservative seat.

Why? Tim Hudak and Mike Harris are not Conservatives like Bill Davis was-rational, reasonable, committed to gradual not revolutionary change.



People are waking up to this fact. Maybe the Tories will.

Netanyahu plays the pope

May 27, 2014



Can you believe this guy, the chutzpah—telling the pope “Jesus spoke Hebrew.”


First of all so what? What has this got to do with the ongoing oppression of Palestine?

Does he mean to imply that Israel owns all of Palestine  because Jesus was a Jew?


Secondly, the pope corrected him and told him, “No, he spoke Aramaic’.


Imagine the nerve of this guy playing silly semantic games with Pope Francis, the man who dared to pray at the awful apartheid Wall which has stolen 10% of Palestinian land.



The Israeli general Moshe Dayan spoke candidly about this dispossession on 1969.

We came to this country which was already populated by Arabs and we are establishing a Hebrew, that is a Jewish state there. In considerable areas of the country (the total area was about 6 percent — ) we bought the lands from the Arabs (or more properly, from their feudal overlords –), Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages. You do not know even know the names of these Arab villages, and I do not blame you, because these geography books no longer exist; not only do the books not exist, the Arab villages are not there either. Nahalal (Dayan’s own village) arose in the place of Mahalul, Gevat — in the place of Jibra, (Kibbutz) Sarid — in the place of Haneifs and Kefar Yehosua — in the place of Tell Shaman. There is not one place built in this country that did not have a former Arab population.
The expelled Palestinian population were the descendants of the apostles. When the expulsion ended in 1948, 800,000 people had been uprooted and 531 villages destroyed.

As for Netanyahu,”the slick talking basso profundo ideologue” as Max Blumenthal called him in Goliath, Israel has plumbed the depths of serious statecraft. Like ariel sharon,Netanyahu has always been a proponent of “All of this land is ours.” he will say anything and do anything to augment this plan of disaster.


Blumenthal who recently appeared in Toronto like many others sees through the “American accented marketing agent…the self-proclaimed master of hasbara (Official BS)the explainer extraordinaire who could obliterate inconvenient truths about occupation and war crimes with emotionally potent talking points. He once told Likud activists, “It doesn’t matter if justice is on your side. You have to depict your position as just.”

Blumenthal describes the crafty manipulation of conservative pundit George will who was totally taken in by Netanyahu. The latter showed Will a small signet stone found near the western Wall that was 2,800 years old. It had the seal of of a Jewish official. His name Netanyahu.” Wow! The Netanyahus go back 2800 years to the ancient biblical land.

The only trouble was Netanyahu’s grandfather Nathan Milikovsky had changed his name when he emigrated from Lithuania to Palestine.

And now Jesus spoke Hebrew.

Avi Shlaim the brilliant new historian who left Israel to teach at Oxford has the last word here on Netanyahu, ”the destroyer of dreams, the man of the undivided Land of Israel but not of peaceful co-existence, the underminer of the Oslo accords, the man who gave the right wing settlers free rein to harm,harass and heap humiliations on on the long-suffering population of the occupied territories, a man whose ideological makeup militated against trading land for peace, and finally the man who betrayed the legacy of the founder of the movement by spurning the offer of peace with the Palestinians...” (The Iron Wall, p.606)


Breaking the silence in Israel

May 23, 2014



In Israel a few years several of us met with some very brave soldiers of the Israeli Defense Force. Yehuda Shaul, an Orthodox Jew from Toronto stood out in his eloquent presentation. In brief, they simply could not stand the daily humiliation visited on Palestinians in the Occupied Territories. Most of the abuse still remains hidden from the innocent eyes of North Americans. These soldiers did something about it. They collected hundreds of testimonies from soldiers who protected the thugs in the settlements who with virtual impunity harass school children and rip out olive trees by the hundreds of thousands.


When they posted the fruits of their justice efforts in Tel Aviv it caused shock waves among Israelis who wanted to believe in “the purity of arms”, the morality of the IDF so loudly trumpeted by the state. These brutal acts were not “the exceptions” of a “few bad apples” but the daily norms of Occupation.

images-1 images


On Friday, June 6th 2014, Breaking the Silence will commemorate its 10 year anniversary and 47 years since the beginning of the Israeli Occupation of the territories.

In a one-of-a-kind event, the veterans with a conscience plan to honor the decade of witnessing by reading out soldier testimony for 10 straight hours. That day, hundreds of public figures, politicians, scholars, artists, journalists, musicians, soldiers, and ordinary citizens alike will participate in a nonstop 10-hour public reading of the  testimonies. There will be no performances, no speeches, just person after person breaking their silence about the harsh reality of day-to-day life in the Occupied Territories.

Since the founding in 2004, nearly 1000 soldiers have provided Breaking the Silence with testimony about their military service. this story has been erased from public life and mired in secrecy, with soldiers largely choosing to keep their families, communities and the entire Israeli society in the dark about what they have to do in order to maintain military occupation over another people.

The soldiers are inviting the Tel Aviv public to become part of the event because in their words “ we believe that the moral and social price we pay for this reality is unbearable.”

How many Canadian newspapers will cover this event?

How many Canadian rabbis will speak to this?


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