Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Who do you believe, me or your eyes?

April 21, 2017

“Humankind cannot bear very much reality”, so wrote T.S. Eliot in Burnt Norton part of the Four Quartets (1943).and when you have been fed propaganda all your life and cannot easily mine the truth, you cut bait rather than fish.

No matter where we live we are subject to massive doses of BS, nowhere more than in North America where the silent whirring of the capitalist dream merchants goes virtually undetected.Like philosopher Mike harris once said, it’s common sense.

Gerry Spence wrote:

In America, we have achieved the Orwellian prediction – enslaved, the people have been programmed to love their bondage and are left to clutch only mirage-like images of freedom, its fables and fictions.  The new slaves are linked together by vast electronic chains of television that imprison not their bodies but their minds.  Their desires are programmed, their tastes manipulated, their values set for them.
From Freedom to Slavery.

In general people have a vague notion that they are being seduced but it is a sweet seduction—creature comforts, prestige, fame, status etc which buys our silence .Don’t rock the boat cause I’m all right, Jack.

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Neil Postman,in Amusing Ourselves to Death (1985) correctly, in my judgment, wrote that Huxley was closer to the truth than Orwell

Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egotism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy.

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Daniel Quinn wrote in Ishmael:
Once you learn to discern the voice of Mother Culture humming in the background, telling her story over and over again to the people of your culture, you’ll never stop being conscious of it. Wherever you go for the rest of your life, you’ll be tempted to say to the people around you, “how can you listen to this stuff and not recognize it for what it is?”

And if you do this, people will look at you oddly and wonder what the devil you’re talking  about…you’re going to find yourself alienated from the people around you-friends,family, past associates…

In Israel, where the number one paper Israel Hayom is a freebie paid for by US casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, your worldview is akin to the parallel universe of Fox News. Unfair and unbalanced.

40% of Israel, after Zionist brainwashing in the education system, after being segregated almost totally from Palestinians, after 3 more years in the army, are seemingly incapable of seeing another reality. 4 % of the populace read Haaretz a sterling newspaper. Israeli citizens regularly meet reporters who actually walk in the shoes of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. They report what they see. They, like American philosopher Groucho Marx’s question, Who do you believe me or your eyes.” Sadly, most Israelis wear blindfolds.

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Many people can not bear this reality. Hence the apology from correspondent Gideon Levy written today

I apologize for the one-sidedness. How could I not maintain a balance between the murderer and the murdered; the thief and his victim; and the occupier and the occupied? Gideon Levy Apr 21, 2017

Dear Orna and Moshe Gan-Zvi,

I was saddened to read in Tuesday’s Hebrew edition of Haaretz that you’ve decided to cancel your subscription. I don’t know you, but I will miss you as readers. As someone who is partly responsible for your decision, as your article indicated, allow me to apologize.

To apologize for writing the truth all these years. I should have taken into account that this truth wasn’t palatable to you, and acted accordingly. It was not pleasant for you to read the theory put forward by me and my fellow Haaretz correspondent Amira Hass about the occupation. You, who are active in Rotary Israel, who come from the business world, who are so proud of your children and the fact that they live in the West Bank. Your son was educated at the Eli premilitary academy, and your granddaughters proudly carry the last name Sheetrit.

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Amira Has

You, who are so pleased with yourselves and your values, with your children and your morals, don’t think you should be forced to read unpleasant truths. You simply don’t deserve it. Indeed, how could I have spent all these years publishing articles that even you, generously, admitted were touching, without ever, to my shame, checking how these Palestinian families ended up in their serious predicaments? Really, how did that happen? Of course it was their own fault, but I keep blaming the Israel Defense Forces – how could I?

And how could Amira Hass be so one-sided and lacking in perspective that would explain how a people could prefer the elimination of another people over a democratic society? Really, how could you, Amira? I assume, Moshe, that if they were to lock you in a cage for years, you would continue your Rotary membership and refuse to back a struggle against your incarceration. I assume, Orna, that if foreign soldiers were to burst into your home in the middle of the night and arrest your Moshe before your eyes, kick him, force him to his knees, blindfold him, handcuff him, and beat him in front of your children who study in Eli – and then snatch him from your home for months without trial – you would be looking for some “creative leadership” for your people.

I assume that you, who come from the business world, would lovingly accept those who confiscate your property and ban you from your own land. I’m sure it would never occur to you to struggle against those who have tortured you with such evil for so many years. What can we do? The Palestinians are different from you, dear Orna and Moshe. They were not born in such lofty heights as you. They are human animals, bloodthirsty, born to kill. Not all of them are as ethical as you and your children from the Eli academy. Yes, there are people who fight for their freedom. There are people who are forced to do so violently. In fact, there are almost no nations who haven’t acted this way, including the chosen people you’re proud to belong to.

Not only do you belong; you are the pillar of fire that leads the camp, you’re the best, the moral elite – you, the religious Zionists. I apologize for the one-sidedness. How could I not maintain a balance between the murderer and the murdered; the thief and his victim; the occupier and the occupied? Forgive me for daring to turn off your joy and pride in the land flowing with milk and Mobileye, and cherry tomatoes, too.

There are so many wonderful things in this country, and Haaretz – with its “moral deterioration,” as you call it – is ruining the party. How did I not see that you don’t like to read the truth, and didn’t take this into account when I’d return from the occupied territories every week to write about what I’d seen with my own eyes? But now it’s too late. The call to boycott chocolate spread was too much even for you, so you’ve decided to boycott Haaretz. From now on, the only paper on your coffee table will be the weekly, right-wing Makor Rishon. They won’t write about how IDF soldiers sprayed five Palestinian car passengers with bullets three weeks ago, and I’m sure your Shabbats will be a lot more pleasant from now on.

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Gideon Levy Haaretz Correspondent

“50 years of bloodshed, abuse, disinheritance” Gideon Levy

April 19, 2017

Yesterday Jonathan Cook married to a Palestinian and living in nazareth,the largest Palestinian city in israel wrote about israel getting ready..mirabile dicta—to celebrate 50 years of occupation.

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Today the conscience of Israel, a good Tel Aviv boy as he often decribes himself, Gideon Levy,haaretz correspondent,  writes as only he can about his country. Levy begins by acknowledge Israel’s many gifts

From a state that began as a brand plucked from a fire, modest, insecure, hesitant, chalking up amazing accomplishments that the whole world marveled at, to an arrogant, despised state, marveled at only by those that resemble it.

The remaining part of his article is abridged.

This is a jubilee year: 50 years after the greatest Jewish disaster since the Holocaust, 50 years after the greatest Palestinian disaster since the Nakba. It is the jubilee of their second Nakba and our first. A moment before the start of the celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of the “liberation” of the territories, we should remember that it was a disaster. A great disaster for the Palestinians, of course, but also a fateful disaster for the Jews here.

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2017 ought to be a year of soul-searching in Israel, a year of unparalleled sadness. It is already clear that it will not be. Instead, the government plans to make it a year of celebration, celebrating the occupation. Ten million shekels ($2.74 million) have already been allocated to celebrate 50 years of suppression of another people, 50 years of rot and internal destruction.
A state that celebrates 50 years of occupation is a state whose sense of direction has been lost, its ability to distinguish good from evil impaired. A military victory may be celebrated, but to celebrate decades of brutal military conquest? What exactly is there to celebrate, Israelis?

Fifty years of bloodshed, abuse, disinheritance and sadism? Only societies that have no conscience celebrate such anniversaries. It is not only on account of the suffering it causes the Palestinians that Israel must refrain from celebrating the anniversary. It must cloak itself in sorrow also over what has happened to Israel since that terrible summer of 1967, the summer in which it won a war and lost nearly everything. A great disaster struck us. Like a kibbutz or moshav where farmland has been sold to private residential developers, ruining the community’s character, like gentrification that runs roughshod over the poor, like a once-healthy body now riddled with cancer, so Israel has grown since the summer of 1967, its DNA damaged.

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It is enough to look at Jerusalem which went from being a charming university city with government institutions to a monster ruled by the Border Police. It began with the ultranationalist-religious orgy that swept over everyone but for a handful of prophets, and continues today, through the familiar mechanisms of brainwashing. Size matters, in Israel’s case: It has turned it into an evil, violent, ultranationalist, religious, racist state.

All this began in 1967. Not that 1948 was so pure, far from it, but 1967 accelerated, institutionalized and legitimized the decline. It gave birth to the ongoing contempt for the world, the bragging and bullying. In 1967 the occupation began. It metastasized wildly inward, from the roadblocks in the West Bank to the nightclubs in Tel Aviv, from the refugee camps to the roads and the supermarket lines. …

” Right after the hangover came the signs of cancer: The religious suddenly became messianic, the moderates ultranationalist, and it’s a short road from there. Nothing stood in the way of Israel becoming what it is, at home or abroad. It perpetuates the occupation, although it ostensibly didn’t want it from the outset, because it could. And it established an apartheid regime in the territories, because there is no other kind of occupation. Now it’s here. Strong, armed and rich as it never was in 1967. Corrupt and rotten as only an occupying country can be. That is what we are supposed to celebrate. And that is what we must weep over.

50 years of occupation. Hurray!

April 18, 2017

“It doesn’t matter what goyim think, it matters what Jews do.”

Ben-Gurion

Yiddish sometimes has the appropriate word and chutzpah has wormed its delightful way into our common parlance.

It really means beyond the pale, utterly shameless, can you believe such gall? Well, Israel is at it again and the Nazareth blogger Jonathan Cook nails it in his much read blog,

Israel has made a habit of totally ignoring international law, treaties and it must be said, common decency.I mean is a 50 year occupation of another’s land something to crow about? Hardly.

You will notice the phrase “dunam after dunam, goat after goat” is a well known expression meaning,”don’t let the goyim (non-Jews) see what you are doing. Do it slowly so dumb and ill-informed North Americans do not see your gradual theft of Palestinian land.keep it under the radar.Dunam is an Ottoman measure of land, one quarter of an acre.

Once Yitzhak Rabin upbraided the settler movement for parading its brazen theft.To him they were too obvious in their kleptomania. If they grabbed too much land at once Americans, their great backer, would notice the chutzpah.

Cook writes (here abridged) and you can follow him at

http://www.jonathan-cook.net/2017-04-17/israels-festivities-50-years-shame/

COOK

Israel is to hold lavish celebrations over the coming weeks to mark the 50th anniversary of what it calls the “liberation of Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights” – or what the rest of us describe as the birth of the occupation.

The centerpiece event will take place in Gush Etzion, south of Jerusalem. The West Bank settlement “bloc” enjoys wide support in Israel, not least because it was established long ago by the supposedly left-wing Labour party, now heading the opposition.

The jubilee is a potent reminder that for Israelis, most of whom have never known a time before the occupation, Israel’s rule over the Palestinians seems as irreversible as the laws of nature. But the extravagance of the festivities also underscores the growth over five decades of Israel’s self-assurance as an occupier.

Shrink
Documents found this month in Israel’s archives reveal that, when Israel captured East Jerusalem in 1967, its first concern was to hoodwink the international community.

The foreign ministry ordered Israel’s ambassadors to mischaracterise its illegal annexation of East Jerusalem as a simple “municipal fusion”. To avoid diplomatic reprisals, Israel claimed it was necessary to ease the provision of essential services to the occupied Palestinian population.

Interestingly, those drafting the order advised that the deception was unlikely to succeed. The United States had already insisted that Israel commit no unilateral moves.

 
But within months Israel had evicted thousands of Palestinians from the Old City and destroyed their homes. Washington and Europe have been turning a blind eye to such actions ever since.

One of the Zionist movement’s favourite early slogans was: “Dunam after dunam, goat after goat”. The seizure of small areas of territory measured in dunams, the demolition of the odd home, and the gradual destruction of herding animals would slowly drive the Palestinians off most of their land, “liberating” it for Jewish colonisation. If it was done piecemeal, the objections from overseas would remain muffled. It has proved a winning formula.

Nikki Haley, grand embarrassment

April 9, 2017

As per usual, the prophet-in-residence in Israel Gideon Levy wrote a scorching article on a clown-in-residence the new US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley.

He began:

Raise a cheer, fellow Jews, for your new envoy, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley. Cheer the false propaganda, cheer the imaginary reality. Wallow in the false friendship with Israel and in recklessness toward the whole world. Cheer the lies and fabrications behind the Colgate smile. Hurray for Haley. Hurray for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. You and she deserve each other. How fitting that you should fall in love with her. Together you can say that night is day and think it’s true. That’s why Haley is your rock star: That’s how you’d like to see Israel and the world, but the world, and especially Israel, aren’t as Haley tells you they are. And so your cheers, fellow Jews, are cheers for a lie.

Haley crowed in the UN that she demanded (and won) that the factual report of israeli report be excised from the UN website Rima Khalaf, head of the U.N.’s Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), resigned rather than remove the document herself. It was not removed because it was wrong but as Secretary General Antonio Gutteres said it did no go through proper challenges—US and Israel!

Haley
Now, get this, here is what a supposedly polished diplomat actually said about the distinguished author of the report, the UN special rapporteur for the UN ‘s Human Rights Council as well as the emeritus professor of International Law at Princeton, Richard Falk: ”And a ridiculous report, the Falk Report, came out. I don’t know who the guy is or what he’s about, but he’s got serious problems. Goes and compares Israel to an apartheid state. So the first thing we do is we call the secretary general and say, this is absolutely ridiculous.”

FAL

This is what passes for serious American diplomacy today under Donald Trump

Last word here to Levy:

But Haley is apparently ignorant and brainwashed as to what has happened here over the last century. She also knows nothing about the current situation in the region, if she caused the chairman of a UN committee to resign after a report by that committee determined that there is apartheid in Israel. Does Haley know what apartheid is? Does she know what Israel is? “There’s a new sheriff in town,” she said in her poetic way, to the cheers of the Jews, as if the United Nations were a crime-ridden neighborhood that had to be cleaned up. But Haley is an American and Americans can say anything they want.

Richard Gere in Hebron

March 27, 2017

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Hebron is the largest Palestinian city in the West Bank, 30 ks south of Jerusalem , about 200,000 Palestinians and 600 provocative settlers. The army is there to protect the settlers who have free rein. You really have to experience this shocking abuse of the indigenous Palestinians, a nauseous experience I had in 2010.This is an experience fewtourists have.

GR

Richard Gere was in Israel promoting his latest film. His celebrity status gave him access to the bizarro world of life in palestine. visit.Here he was accompanied by the brave soldiers’ group Breaking the Silence.

http://www.breakingthesilence.org.il/settlers

The soldiers are human beings.They cannot stomach the un-Jewish actions of the true believers,the settlers.They openly tell their mothers.
They escort Gere to Hebron.

Not a Palestinian in sight. Soldiers and settlers roam comparatively carefree. The roads are too quiet. All of the shops are shuttered. Gere is stunned:

“This is the thing that’s flipping me out right now,” Gere stammers to his Hebron guides, activists with the Israeli human rights group Breaking the Silence, former soldiers that now advocate against Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territory, “Of everything we’ve seen for two days, the people we’ve talked to, it’s…I mean…I’m…I’m touched by that, I know that story. But this is really bizarre.”

“This is genuinely strange,” Gere adds, before telling his guides, Hebron is like the Jim Crow South:

“It’s the dead city, but who owns the city? And their [the settlers] feeling of ‘I’m protected, I can do whatever I want,’ and that sense of where the boundaries are. I mean it’s like…it’s exactly like what the what the Old South was in America. Blacks knew where they could go, they could drink from that fountain, they couldn’t go over there, they couldn’t eat in that place. It was well understood. You didn’t cross it or you’d get your head beat in or lynched,” Gere said.

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The “only democracy” at it again

March 23, 2017

How long before the world shakes its cobwebs off and realizes the  real dire sitauation in Israel/Palestine.This is the latest outrage.

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On the morning of Sunday, March 19, Israeli tax authorities barged into the home of Omar Barghouti, the prominent Palestinian human rights defender and co-founder of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement for the freedom, justice and equality of the Palestinian people. They detained and interrogated Omar and his wife Safa for 16 hours that first day. Omar is currently enduring a fourth day of interrogation.

Below is the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee’s (BNC) response to these developments and the Israeli government’s systematic efforts to criminalize the BDS movement, intimidate activists and stop free speech:

A prominent Palestinian human rights defender and co-founder of the BDS movement, Omar Barghouti, has for years been subjected to intense threats, intimidation and repression by various arms of the far-right Israeli government, particularly after it considered the movement a “strategic threat” to its entire system of injustice against Palestinians.

At a March 2016 conference in occupied Jerusalem, several Israeli government ministers threatened Omar and key BDS human rights defenders with severe measures, including “targeted civil elimination” – a euphemism for civil assassination. The Ministry of Strategic Affairs last year established a “tarnishing unit,” as exposed in the Israeli daily Haaretz. This unit’s job is to tarnish the reputation of BDS human rights defenders and networks.

It is in this context that the Israeli tax department’s investigation of Omar and his wife, Safa, must be understood. After failing to intimidate them through the threat of revoking Omar’s permanent residence in Israel, and after the effective travel ban imposed on him proved futile in stopping his human rights work, the Israeli government has resorted to fabricating a case related to Omar’s alleged income outside of Israel to tarnish his image and intimidate him.

The fact that this investigation includes a travel ban and that it comes a few weeks before Omar Barghouti is scheduled to travel to the U.S. to receive the Gandhi Peace Award jointly with Ralph Nader in a ceremony at Yale University proves its true motive —repression.

The fact that the Israeli government publicized the inflammatory fabrications against Omar just 24 hours after he was taken in for investigation shows beyond doubt that the investigation’s real goal is to tarnish his reputation.

No matter what extreme measures of repression Israel wields against the BDS movement or its human rights defenders and vast network of supporters, it cannot stop this movement for human rights. Bullying and repression can hardly affect a grassroots movement that grows in people’s hearts and minds, empowering them to do the right thing — to stand on the right side of history, against Israel’s fanatic regime of apartheid, occupation and ethnic cleansing, and for freedom, justice and equality for the Palestinian people.

This latest desperate chapter of repression and intimidation by the Israeli government against Omar Barghouti is the strongest indicator yet of the failure of the Israeli regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid to slow down the impressive growth of the BDS movement for Palestinian rights.

A rare public voice for Palestine

March 13, 2017

MIKO

Which should be weekly fare in a free country, PBS host Tavis Smiley featured the well known Israeli dissident Miko Peled on his show. This actually happened on February 2. Quite amazing given the suppression and self-censorship around Israel’s brutal and illegal treatment of Palestinians.

Peled is the author of The General’s Son, Journal of an israeli in Palestine.He is also the son of Matti Peled a high ranking officer of the 67 war who told the Israeli brass to give back the occupied territories if Israel didn’t want permanent war. The General went on to do a Ph.D. in arabic studies, heard the cry of Palestine and dissented. The son carries on.

Now living in California and an articulate critic of Israel,Miko Peled roared through the 13 minutes Smiley afforded him. How did he differ from his grandfather and father?

With my grandfather, there’s no way… This idea that you come from Europe, take over the land from the people who were there, kick them out– I don’t see how you can legitimize that… But those were different times, times when Europeans could come to other countries and do what they wanted. That was what Zionism was all about…
Israel is now one state. Jews and Palestinians, whether in the West Bank or in Israel, live very close to each other geographically, even though completely segregated. So geographically, it’s impossible to do. There is no area you can slice out and say ‘This will be an Israel and this will be a Palestine. It has been a single state for decades now, governed by the State of Israel, but I get privileges, the Palestinians do not. In other words, it gives exclusive rights to Jewish people at the expense of Palestinians.

I don’t see the need for a Jewish state because the Jewish state is precisely the problem. You can’t have a Jewish state in Palestine without infringing on the rights of the indigenous people, which are the Palestinians.You cannot have a Jewish state in an Arab country unless you are going to infringe upon the rights of the local people. You have to kick them out because they won’t have rights.

Smiley spoke about how controversial the issue was in the USA because Obama and Trump continue their blind support for Israel. How did Peled, an Israeli come to his stance?

In my journey, what I did, I went from my very comfortable, very safe, very clean sphere where I thought everybody lived like this into a sphere that was no more than 10 or 5 minutes away from me as it happens where Palestinians live in a completely different reality, different laws.

 
You know, they get 12 hours of water per week, whereas we have as much water as we could possibly want. You know, things like that. They live under different laws than we do, you know. They get arrested, they get treated differently than I do, which I didn’t know.

So I took that step even though everybody was telling me it’s dangerous over there. There are terrorists over there, they’re going to kill you over there, it’s against the law to go there. You’re committing a felony by going there.

But I did it anyway because it was important for me to see what is happening here and how do we resolve this and why is there this conflict? There’s no easy way to conduct this. You have to confront your fears. You have to confront the reality. You have to confront the fact that there’s racism involved, and it’s not an easy conversation, certainly not in the beginning.

Bravo for Tavis Smiley for allowing this voice to appear.Of course he had to balance Peled with a fairly zionist rabbi but that’s TV in America—and Canada.

I

A radically flawed democracy

March 8, 2017

Jonathan Cook, the voice of democratic sanity from Nazareth strikes again—this time from Abu Dabi where his article was first printed.

http://www.jonathan-cook.net/2017-03-06/israel-where-vision-and-reality-violently-diverge/

Cook is married to a Palestinian and is an Israeli citizen living in Nazareth, the largest Arab enclave in Israel.

Justice

His latest post may be summed up as “some Jews are more welcome than others” or “welcome to the only democracy in the Middle East but check your political opinions at the door or we’ll send you back to where you came from.”

Everybody knows (or should know by now) how anybody with an Arab sounding name is routinely abused at the border. As Cook points out with the most right wing government in its history Israel denials have been increased nine fold in the past five years.It seems the litmus test—Jew or not—do you support Netanyahu and are you for BDS.Imagine Canada grilling somebody with a valid passport about their attitudes.There would be a holy stink.

In July 2015 Susan Abulhawa the Palestinain American writer whose first novel, Mornings in Jenin, was translated into 30 languages and whose The Blue Between Sky and Water is translated into 19 languages was subjected to a disgusting 7 hour humilaition at the Israeli border

She pulled no punches.

After the 7 hour humiliation she lost it “ You wish you had the same roots as I do,” she shouted. “You should be the one to leave, not me! I’m a daughter of this land.” Later on on Facebook she let it all hang out…wouldn’t you?

“Denied entry to my homeland by a bunch of fucking Zionist colonizers who didn’t think I was sufficiently differential. Livid,”

Have a nice trip home, maam.
Cook points out that “legislation passed by the Israeli parliament on Monday night will only intensify the exclusionary trend. The new law forbids entry to anyone who supports a boycott, even if it is only of the settlements. As one legislator pointed out, that means Israel may quickly find itself bound to refuse entry to all officials from the United Nations and Europe.”

Last week Israel denied a tourist visa to the head of one of the most respected human rights organization Human Rights Watch’s Omar Shakir. Israel is notorious for getting wiggly over any international body which dares to point out its flagrant abuses against international law. All are “Palestinian propaganda.”

Jennifer Gorovitz, an American Jewish vice-president of the New Israel Fund, one of the largest funders of Israeli organisations supporting human rights and social justice was humiliated and held up for hours s before PM Netanyahu’s team realized that this was becoming a PR disaster.She was then deemed “not a security threat.”

Gorovitz wrote of her experience: “My privilege as a Jew means I never imagined that Israel could or would deny me entrance.” Such an assumption was justified. Israel’s Law of Return is supposed to guarantee Jews around the world the right to almost instant citizenship in Israel.

The Law off Return for Jews from Baltimore and New York but no Right of Return for Palestinians ethnically cleansed in 1948.

DEMO
All of this of course is ignored by the Trudeau government and hypocrites like New York mayor Bill de Blasio and governor Andrew Cuomo who salute the Israeli flag on a regular basis. New York has always been the power centre of American Judaism and every politico realizes this. Hence slavish support for Israel.

Cook adds “For that reason, the law is grossly unjust. It privileges Jewish access to Israel at the expense of the native Palestinian population, most of whom were expelled in 1948.”
Cook like any of us who would be forced to watch this parade of injustice unfold in one’s own country has no more time for niceties. His outrage is palpable.

He writes:

And it is deporting not just those such as migrant workers and African asylum seekers who might pollute the Jewish state with non-Jewish genes. Now it is openly targeting Jews whose politics do not align with Netanyahu’s far-right government.

Cook points out:

It should be noted that many of the solidarity and boycott activists turned away are Jewish. Famous Jewish critics of Israel such as Noam Chomsky and Norman Finkelstein have been barred too.

On Monday, March 6 Rebecca Vilkomerson, the US executive director of Jewish Voice for Peace, observed that, despite the fact her husband and children are Israeli citizens, and her grandparents buried there, under the new anti-boycott legislation she was now denied the right to visit.

Such a shining example of “the only democracy in the Middle East.

Ilan

Let’s beat up a few shepherds

March 6, 2017

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The most moral army at work

Every day Haaretz with its brave reporters Amira Hass and Gideon Levy bring us ho-hum stories of the everyday humiliation of Palestinians. These daily occurrences in the lives of an occupied people should shame Israel and its brainwashed citizens. they appear to have no effect and in the Jewish diaspora rabid tribalists refuse to hear the truth that Israel in its Zionist nationalism, denuded of true Jewish values is a disgrace to democracy.

Only Haaretz would publish the following article which should embarrass any citizen in a functioning democracy.

Now Hass covering this abuse,this state terrorism for decades seems to be at the end of her tether. Here in the articles title she mocks the idea that the West Bank is really Judea and Samaria—as they appear on Israel’s state maps. The IDF in hass’s words is now “a junta”, out of control and racist.It appears quote easy to brainwash 20 year old kids that palestinians are really Nazis or minimally ‘terrorists” interlopers on Israel’s land. Really, it is to weep.

I guess it’s easy to pick on two young shepherds and feel power over them.Where in hell are their superior officers? What goes through these robots’ minds as they refuse to honour the humanity of the Other?

Hass article follows
Otherwise Occupied Baseless Arrests in the Holy Kingdom of Judea and Samaria

Someone fed the Israel Defense Forces spokesman’s office with lies claiming that two young West Bank Palestinians caught by Israeli soldiers were suspected of breaking a see-saw owned by West Bank settlers.

We won’t publish S.’s full name because at 17 years old, he is a juvenile. Unidentified soldiers from an unidentified IDF unit arrested him and his neighbor, Saif-al-Din Ibrahim, on February 28.

They fired shots to scare them, slapped them, inflicted pain and left them bound and blindfolded out in the cold for several hours. Then the police were called in on a baseless pretext to finalize the abuse. The arrests without cause of S. and Saif al-Din Ibrahim are two more of those unreported run-ins, an entirely normal circumstance in the holy kingdom of Judea and Samaria.

That’s how a junta that forces itself on a civilian population conducts itself. Humiliation and the infliction of fear, the demonstration of superiority and harassment are the necessary ammunition that the soldiers employ. Along with lying.

Umm al-Amad is a tiny village not far from Yatta in the southern West Bank. It is home to about 300 people who earn a living from small-scale agriculture (farming and raising sheep and goats) and a bit of work in Israel and in the settlements.

The village is far from the main highway and tucked behind neighboring villages. About a kilometer and a half  (a mile) away is the ever expanding settlement of Otniel.

Ibrahim, 21, was herding sheep that were munching on the fresh grass of the terraced landscape just a few meters below his house, when suddenly, at around 2:30 P.M., he heard the sounds of gunfire to the west and saw two people running away. He then spotted soldiers on their way down the slope. Two were on foot with a jeep close behind. An armed civilian, apparently a security coordinator, showed up as well.

“They called out to me to come down to them from the terrace,” Ibrahim told Haaretz. “I understand Hebrew. I didn’t know what they wanted from me. I asked them: ‘How do you want me to come down when I’m with the sheep?’

They shot near me into the air. I was forced to come down. Three of them grabbed me. One held me by the head and slammed me against the terrace’s stones. The second one pulled my hands to the side and cuffed them, and the third held my legs.”

Then they beat the major criminal and dragged him to the jeep. The girls in the house saw what was happening and started screaming. The soldiers entered the house and pushed one of the girls against a wall, as they screamed out their threats.

They then went outside and turned on another group of villagers, members of the H. family, who were trimming branches in an olive grove. There were two or three adults there, and a boy, and nearby, S. was tending a flock of seven sheep.

Two soldiers stood on a higher terrace and ordered S. to come toward them. When he didn’t comply immediately, they fired into the air nearby. They also threatened to shoot anyone who took their picture.

S. approached them. He recounted the following to Haaretz: “They asked: ‘Where’s the guy who was with you?’ I answered: ‘There was no one with me,’ to which they replied: ‘Liar.’”

The soldiers bound him and had him lie on the ground. He screamed. They asked why he was screaming, and he said it hurt. In response, one of the soldiers put his rifle to S.’s neck.

S.’s father, who was in the olive grove, ran toward the jeep that his son was taken to. In Hebrew, the father asked: “Why did you take them?  After all, they were herding the sheep.” According to the father, the officer answered: “I am taking who I see in front of my eyes.”

At about 3 P.M., the jeep departed with its human booty that our unidentified soldiers had hunted down. For about six hours, the Palestinians were held outside in the increasingly cold weather at a military post at Otniel. They were bound and for most of the time, blindfolded as well. From time to time, someone would come by, give them a punch and call them thieves.

They were taken to be examined by a doctor, and when they complained that they had been beaten, the doctor said it was not true, the pair later recounted.

An officer among those who had conducted the arrests, interrogated the pair and accused them of breaking something in the vicinity of their village’s spring – an area that settlers from Otniel had taken over – and had stolen something. Someone then took a lit cigarette lighter near their faces.

They were then transferred to the Israel Police station at Kiryat Arba outside the West Bank city of Hebron. There, too, they were placed bound and blindfolded outside in the cold for about an hour and a half before being questioned. S., the minor, was questioned first.

Did he want to see a lawyer or wait until after interrogation, he was asked. “There’s no need. I didn’t do anything,” he replied. Ibrahim’s response was the same.

The military officer who had arrested them appeared and Ibrahim told the police investigator he had arrested him near his home. The investigator took him out of the room and at about 1:00 ordered both detainees released unconditionally and without bail.

A Palestinian man who happened to be in the area took them into Hebron, where they called their parents and found a cab to take them home.

The IDF Spokesman’s Office said in response: “Last Monday afternoon, a report was received about Palestinians suspects in the area near the community of Otniel. A force that rushed to the scene initiated standard arrest procedures after which the suspects fled. Following a chase, they were caught.

At the same time, a report was received of the destruction of a see-saw at a memorial site in the community [Otniel] near the site at which the suspects had been found. The detainees were held at a battalion outpost in Otniel and then were transferred for continued handling by the police. As far as is known, no violence was employed. The complaints on the matter will be looked into.”

The following should be noted regarding this IDF statement: The incident occurred on Tuesday. Otniel was constructed next to the village of Umm al-Amad. The young people did not flee at all. There is no see-saw near their homes or in the vicinity of their arrest.

Someone issued a bald-faced lie to the IDF Spokesman, or as S.’s father saw it: “The soldiers were very frustrated that they hadn’t caught the people who had fled and to cover up their failure, they arrested whoever they happened upon.”

The holocaust card #2

March 4, 2017

Aloni died in 2014, a very decent woman, cared about human rights in the Occupied Territories. She was concerned about the turning right  of young israelis,and yes—the  instrumetalization of the holocaust. As Education Minister, she criticized organized tours by Israeli high school pupils to Holocaust concentration camps on grounds that such visits were turning Israeli youth into aggressive, nationalistic xenophobes, claiming that students “march with unfurled flags, as if they’ve come to conquer Poland”.

aloni

In an interview with American journalist Amy Goodman (2002), the Israeli politician Shulamit Aloni explained how the charge of anti-Semitism is “a trick we use” to suppress criticism of Israel coming from within the United States, and that for criticism coming from Europe “we bring up the Holocaust.”

Amy Goodman: Yours is a voice of criticism we don’t often hear in the United States. Often when there is dissent expressed in the United States against policies of the Israeli government, people here are called anti-semitic. What is your response to that as an Israeli Jew?

Shulamit Aloni: Well, it’s a trick, we always use it. When from Europe somebody is criticizing Israel, then we bring up the Holocaust. When in this country people are criticizing Israel, then they are anti-Semitic. And the organization is strong, and has a lot of money, and the ties between Israel and the American Jewish establishment are very strong and they are strong in this country, as you know. And they have power, which is OK.

They are talented people and they have power and money, and the media and other things, and their attitude is “Israel, my country right or wrong”, identification. And they are not ready to hear criticism. And it’s very easy to blame people who criticize certain acts of the Israeli government as anti-Semitic, and to bring up the Holocaust, and the suffering of the Jewish people, and that is justify everything we do to the Palestinians.