Friday, March 21, 2014

Eyewitness account of Israeli soldier killing Palestinian judge reveals barbarity of occupation

Raed Zuaiter lying dead at the Allenby Bridge on March 10.
Raed Zuaiter lying dead at the Allenby Bridge on March 10.
 Raed Zuaiter, a 38 year-old Palestinian judge residing in Jordan was returning home to Palestine on March 10, 2014. While crossing at the Allenby Bridge border into the West Bank, he was shot and killed by an Israeli soldier. Published accounts of the incident first characterized Dr. Zuaiter – he had a doctorate in International Law – as a “terrorist” who threatened Israeli security personnel.
"Israeli guard pointing his gun against poor Palestinian man in his 38th years, & his only guilt to be killed was just because he told the Israeli soldier do not insult me, he was just smoking out the bus & the soldier pushed him cruelly so once he said no for that he killed him as if he is killing an animal , I saw his hand it didn’t shake at all while he was killing that poor man with out any mercy, who is the only son for his family & who didn’t enter Palestine for 3 years ago to return on that day Monday 10th Mar killed on the hands of those who never been humans, after all that they pulled him on the ground from his legs away & they ignored him for more than half an hour they left him bleeding with the blood almost covered all his body till he left the life"

The ongoing Nakba. Ethnic cleansing as we speak

Iraq invasion was about oil

Maximising Persian Gulf oil flows to avert a potential global energy crisis motivated Iraq War planners - not WMD or democracy
Tony Blair leaves the Iraq war inquiry 
 The Guardian
Yesterday was the 11th anniversary of the 2003 Iraq War - yet to this day, few media reflections on the conflict accurately explore the extent to which opening up Persian Gulf energy resources to the world economy was a prime driver behind the Anglo-American invasion.
The overwhelming narrative has been one of incompetence and failure in an otherwise noble, if ill-conceived and badly managed endeavour to free Iraqis from tyranny. To be sure, the conduct of the war was indeed replete with incompetence at a colossal scale - but this doesn't erase the very real mendacity of the cold, strategic logic that motivated the war's US and British planners in the first place.
According to the infamous Project for a New American Century (PNAC) document endorsed by senior Bush administration officials as far back as 1997, "While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification" for the US "to play a more permanent role in Gulf regional security," "the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein."

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Larry Derfner: It's the occupation and Israeli bigotry that are anti-Semitic

The funeral of Saji Sayel Darwish, killed yesterday by the Israeli army forces, March 11, 2014. (Yotam Ronen/
The funeral of Saji Sayel Darwish, killed by the Israeli army forces, March 11, 2014. (Yotam Ronen/
"What we do to the Palestinians and Israeli Arabs – in the last two days, for example – has caused more damage to the Jewish people than anything since the Holocaust.
Who knows? Maybe the Jordanian judge, Raed Zueter, killed by Israeli soldiers Monday, went mad from grief over his critically ill 5-year-old son lying in a coma, and really did attack the troops, and maybe they truly had no choice but to kill him in self-defense. Or maybe there was no such attack, maybe there was just an argument and the soldiers got a little trigger happy, not for the first time. Reportedly, there are eyewitness accounts for both versions of what happened at the Allenby (or King Hussein) Bridge border crossing from Jordan into the West Bank yesterday.
And maybe Sael Saji Darwish, the 20-year-old Palestinian killed by Israeli soldiers the same day, really was throwing rocks at passing Israeli cars near the settlement of Beit El, which was built close to Ramallah. Or maybe he was just tending his goats; again; there are contradicting accounts."

Israeli teens tell Netanyahu: We will not take part in occupation

Dafna Rotstein (left) and Roy Lax, two of the refuseniks who signed the letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu. Lax:
Dafna Rotstein (left) and Roni Lax, two of the refuseniks who signed the letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu. Lax: ‘If they decide to enlist me by force, I’ll sit in prison.’

Nearly 50 Israeli teenagers of draft age send letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu, stating clearly that they will refuse to join the IDF due to the occupation of the West Bank, and the violent effect it has on Israeli society.
Dozens of Israel teenagers signed a letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu on Saturday, in which they announced that they would refuse to serve in the Israeli army come draft time.
According to the letter, the teenagers are refusing to enlist in the army due to their “opposition to the military occupation of Palestinian territories,” where “human rights are violated, and acts defined under international law as war-crimes are perpetuated on a daily basis.” Aside from the ultra-Orthodox and Palestinian citizens of Israel, army service is mandatory for all Israelis (three years for males, two for females).

Israel demolishes blind man's home in Jerusalem-area village

Hani Halabiyya, a spokesman for East Jerusalem's popular resistance committees, told Ma'an that a large number of Israeli troops and military vehicles raided the Jabal al-Baba area of al-Eizariya village early Wednesday.

Bulldozers then proceeded to demolish a house owned by Suleiman Jahalin, a blind man who says he has been living in the Jabal al-Baba area since 1967.

Before starting the demolition, Israeli troops forcefully removed Jahalin and ten of his family members from their home, he told Ma'an.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

For no other reason..

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Little Avi was caught by his settler dad playing peace-games again!

Patrick Chappatte cartoon

"Bad Doggie"

Daryl Cagle cartoon

Alternative cheap gas supply

7 March 2014

The charge of the lite brigade

8 March 2014

Palestinian evangelicals lead shift away from Christian Zionism

BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) Thu 6 Mar — BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Hundreds of peace activists, church leaders, evangelical Christians and academics will meet in Bethlehem on Monday for five days of dialogue and discussion about the role of Christian Zionism in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. First held in 2010, the Christ at the Checkpoint conference has grown in size and stature over the past three years and will welcome over 700 participants from March 10-14 at the Bethlehem Bible College, located a mere 100 meters from Israel’s separation wall. Conference director Munther Isaac says the number and diversity of participants this year, together with opposition to the event from elements of the evangelical right, reflect the growing impact of a forum designed to challenge evangelical theological beliefs which have long legitimized Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories.
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Pope Francis cancels visit to Israel

Pope Francis
Middle East Monitor Fri 7 Mar — Pope Francis has had to cancel his visit to Israel in May because Israel’s foreign ministry workers are currently on strike and thus unable to make the necessary security arrangements for his visit, a foreign ministry source confirmed on Thursday to the Times of Israel newspaper. Pope Francis had announced in January his intention to visit the Palestinian territories and Israel from 24-26 May, his first visit to the Holy Land since taking office in April 2013 … The source noted that the cancellation will likely cause “large, measurable economic damage, with all the lost tourist revenue that would have accompanied the visit.” 
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BDS costs Israel 100 million shekels in losses
Middle East Monitor Fri 7 Mar — According to Israel’s Maariv newspaper, Israeli sources believe that the international boycott of Israeli settlement products has already caused Israel’s economy financial losses amounting to about 100 million shekels ($30 million), with the agricultural sector in the Jordan Valley suffering the most. One source described the boycott as a “constant war”, while others added that they expect Israel will face an increase in the number of boycott calls, especially if the peace talks with the Palestinians fail and the construction of settlements continues, noting that the European Union will also renew its decision to label settlement products if the negotiations fail, which would cause even more damages to the Israeli economy.
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Israeli women who have stood up to the occupation for 26 years

Women in black cover
Dafna Kaminer (sitting), co-founder of Women In Black and Tamar Leahn, 71, active for 20 years in Women In Black, Jerusalem group.
Ruti Geler, 62, active for 20 years in Women In Black
Noami Morag & Ruth Elraz
Activestills 7 Mar Project by: Keren Manor & Shiraz Grinbaum — In honor of International Women’s Day, Activestills pays tribute to more than a quarter century of anti-occupation activism by the ‘Women in Black’ group in Israel. Every Friday since 1988, the women have stood in the main squares of cities or at highway junctions with signs calling to end the Israeli occupation. Often spat at, cursed or violently harassed by passersby, they have become, for us, a symbol of persistence.
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Official: Israel refused to let Palestinian refugees in Syria return

RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) Thu 6 Mar — Fatah central committee member Mohammad Ishtayyeh said on Thursday that the Palestinian Authority had attempted to negotiate the return of Palestinian refugees from Syria, but Israel had refused. Ishtayyeh said in a meeting with diplomats organized by the Heinrich Böll Foundation in Ramallah that the PA had tried with all its might to “end the suffering” of Palestinians in Syria through international mediation. Israeli officials, however, had refused to allow them to come to the Palestinian territories. At least 1,500 Palestinians have been killed in the ongoing Syria conflict, and around 250,000 Palestinian refugees have been forced to leave their homes in Syria due to violence in the country.
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Egypt ban on Hamas could lead to ‘Israeli attack on Gaza’

GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 7 Mar — Egypt’s decision last week to ban the Hamas movement could lead to a new attack on Gaza by Israel’s military, a Hamas official said Friday. “We want calm, peace, and stability for Egypt, we want its people to achieve the values of justice, freedom and equality and relinquish injustice. We don’t want it to get involved in besieging Palestinians,” Khalil al-Hayya said during a protest in front of the Egyptian embassy in Gaza. Al-Hayya called on politicians and officials in Egypt to stop targeting Hamas and reiterated that the movement does not intervene in the internal affairs of any Arab nation.
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Egypt to ‘revoke citizenship’ of thousands of Hamas members

BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) Thu 6 Mar — Egyptian security services have started to collect information about thousands of Hamas members who were granted Egyptian citizenship during the rule of ousted president Mohamed Mursi, according to Egyptian media. Egypt’s Day Seven news website reported that Egyptian authorities plan to revoke the citizenship of 13,757 Hamas members for being “affiliated to an offshoot of the terrorist group the Muslim Brotherhood.” Egyptian authorities are investigating whether Hamas members have been involved in what they describe as “terrorist attacks,” adding that the prime minister has the right to revoke the citizenship of Hamas members without a court ruling if it is deemed that they endanger public security. The Egyptian news site blamed Mursi for facilitating the entry of Hamas supporters into Egypt and granting them citizenship.
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Egypt bars Gaza-bound Irish Nobel Peace Laureate Maguire

An October 21, 2013, file photo shows Mairead Corrigan Maguire, 1976 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, as she addresses the 13th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laurates in Warsaw, Poland. (AFP)
CAIRO (AFP) 5 Mar by Samer al-Atrush — Egypt detained and deported Northern Irish Nobel Laureate and peace activist Mairead Maguire on Wednesday and held up others who had been planning to go to neighbouring Gaza, the activists and officials said. Maguire had intended to join a delegation of women activists going to the blockaded Palestinian enclave on Thursday.
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Gaza groups deny Israel claims of Iran weapons shipment

BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 5 Mar — Israel claimed that it intercepted a ship in the Red Sea on Wednesday carrying Iranian “advanced weaponry” bound for Palestinian militants in Gaza, the military said. Representatives of both Hamas and Islamic Jihad, however, denied the accusations, with Hamas officials pointing out that Gaza is under a complete naval blockade by Israel that would make any shipment of arms into the besieged coastal enclave impossible. Gaza Ministry of Interior spokesman Islam Shahwan said in a statement that Israeli claims were a “dangerous move” to justify Israel’s seven-year long blockade.  Shahwan urged journalists to avoid “being tricked by the Israeli narrative about capturing a ship carrying weapons to Gaza,” adding that “the sea is completely besieged and closed by the Israeli navy, and any ship which sails will be obstructed.”
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Eritrean opposition: Arms ship was heading for Yemen, not Gaza

Middle East Monitor Fri 7 Mar — The shipment of weapons seized by the Israeli occupation army on Wednesday was intercepted near the Eritrean coast near Hasmat port, a source from the Eritrean opposition said. The source, who refused to be named, told Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper that the ship “was not heading towards Gaza, but towards the weapons storages in Eritrea and then to the Houthis in Yemen”. The source said that, “despite the fact that relations between Iran and the Eritrean government are excellent, the relations between Eritrea and Israel do not allow them to risk the interception of an Iranian ship carrying arms sent to Gaza”, adding, “the strained relations between Iran and Hamas in light of their positions regarding the Syrian regime does not make it seem likely for Iran to send weapons to Gaza.” The source also said, “The Israeli announcement of the ship’s directions aims to pressure Iran in terms of the nuclear issue.”
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Lieberman denies EU request to visit Palestinian detainee

IMEMC Sat 8 Mar by Saed Bannoura — A request by a European Union official to visit Palestinian political prisoners, held by Israel, was denied by Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs, Avigdor Lieberman, of the extreme right-wing “Israel Our Home” party. Israeli Yedioth Ahronoth has reported that the Chairman, Foreign Affairs Committee of the EU, Elmar Brok, contacted the Israel’s EU Ambassador asking him to set up a visit for an EU delegation to visit Palestinian detainees. The request was denied by Lieberman, who said that Israel would only allow the visit to take place “if the EU would allow Israel to visit prisons in Europe”.
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‘Israeli apartheid week’ events held at over 200 universities, including Hebrew University

Image from photo exhibit at Hebrew University (image by 972mag)
Image from photo exhibit at Hebrew University (image by 972mag)
IMEMC 7 Mar by Celine Hagbard — A week of events organized to bring attention to Israel’s practices and policies which resemble the South African race-based system known as apartheid were held at hundreds of universities from March 2nd to 7th 2014. Among the universities that held events this year was the Israeli Hebrew University in Jerusalem, where a photo exhibit documented some of the issues faced by Palestinians living under occupation. The week of film screenings, cultural events, discussions and lectures was meant to draw attention to the parallels between the Israeli policies, including the more than fifty Israeli laws that explicitly discriminate against Palestinians.
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Israel cuts off water supply to 45,000 Palestinians

Palestinian lady filling a water bottle in Gaza
Some 45,000 Palestinians living in the Shuafat refugee camp and the suburbs of Ras Shehadeh, Ras Khamis, As-Salam and Anata in Jerusalem have had their water cut off for nearly three days.
Middle East Monitor 6 Mar — Some 45,000 Palestinians living in the Shu‘afat refugee camp and the suburbs of Ras Shehadeh, Ras Khamis, As-Salam and Anata in Jerusalem have had their water cut off for nearly three days. The residents said Israel’s water company Gihon started by gradually reducing the water supply nearly two weeks ago until it stopped entirely. A member of Shu‘afat’s popular committee; Khaled Al-Khalidi said on Wednesday that 23,000 refugees had no access to water for three days while the residents of Ras Shehadeh; Ras Khamis, As-Salam and ‘Anata have been without water for 20 days. Al-Khalidi demanded “UNRWA, the camp’s service provider, to fulfil its obligations towards the refugees and prosecute the Jerusalem municipality and Gihon to oblige them to return the water supply.” Al-Khalidi pointed out that “UNRWA and Jordan signed an agreement in 1956 to provide water service to the Palestinian refugees without charge and in 1967 the Israeli Civil administration joined the Convention…”
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Settler caught chopping trees

Nablus farmers capture tree-chopping Israeli settler
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 5 Mar — Palestinian farmers on Wednesday detained an Israeli settler after they caught him chopping down olive trees in their fields in the northern West Bank, an official said. Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian Authority official who monitors settlement activities in the northern West Bank.
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100s of Hebron families ordered to stop constructing homes

Israeli Occupation forces hand out stop-work orders in Hebron village

HEBRON (Ma‘an) 7 Mar — Israeli forces on Friday handed stop-work orders to two families for homes in Ithna village west of Hebron. The orders to stop work on construction were received for a house owned by Wisam Jibril Hittawi, which was built four years ago and is home to six people, as well as a house under construction owned by Sayel Mahfouth Islemiyya. The notices follow a number of stop-work orders handed out in late February in the village by Israeli forces. The head of Ithna municipality Hashim al-Tumeizi said that more than 100 buildings, some of them over 10 years old, have received similar notices as part of a larger Israeli strategy to displace village inhabitants.
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Israeli forces level private Palestinian land in Jordan Valley

NABLUS (Ma‘an) 6 Mar – Israeli forces started a far-reaching campaign leveling private Palestinian lands in the northern Jordan Valley, local residents told Ma‘an. A member of a local tribal committee Abdul-Latif Ishtayya said that more than 40 military vehicles escorted dozens of settlers who brought bulldozers and started to level private Palestinian lands in Beit Hassan neighborhood. The assaulted area, he added, includes more than 700 acres of private land belonging to the al-Masri family.  Ishtayya said settlers are likely to occupy the area and establish a new settlement.
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2013 was record year in new settlement construction, and 2014 rate is already higher

Figures show: Peace talks and settlement construction go hand in hand
Construction of illegal settlement units at 'Elkana,' on the lands of the West Bank village of Masha, near Salfit, July 06, 2013. (Photo: Ahmad Al-Bazz/
Construction of housing units in the settlement of ‘Elkana,’ on the lands of the West Bank village of Masha, near Salfit, July 06, 2013. (Photo: Ahmad Al-Bazz/

972mag 7 Mar by Noam Sheizaf – Successive Israeli governments have argued for years that settlements are not an obstacle to peace. The data tells a different story. Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics revealed earlier this week that 2013 was a record year in settlement construction, while 2014 has seen the beginning of construction of 2,534 housing projects - a rise of 123 percent from 2013 … The only other years in which the number of building projects surpassed 2,000 structures were 2003, 2005 and 2008. The interesting thing is that aside from 2003, these were all years in which there was so-called “progress” made between Israel and the Palestinian Authority vis-a-vis peace negotiations. For example, 2005 was the year of the disengagement, while 2008 saw direct negotiations between Mahmoud Abbas and Ehud Olmert (the Annapolis summit, which began the process, took place in November 2007). And while there is no earlier data on construction in the occupied territories, it is worth noting that during the Oslo process (from the signing of the first agreement in 1993 to the Taba summit in 2001) the number of settlers almost doubled – from 116,300 to 208,300, not including the Jewish neighborhoods in annexed East Jerusalem.
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Saturday, March 8, 2014

If I were an American Jew, I’d worry about Israel’s racist cancer

Abraham Joshua Heschel and Martin Luther King, Jr.
Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, second from right and near Martin Luther King, in 1965. Heschel is one good role model for American Jews. Photo by AP
(Daniel Blatman is a history professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.)
"When sitting down to Shabbat dinner with my adult children, I would hear that Israel no longer represents the values on which they were raised: human dignity, equal rights, a pluralistic society, and the obligation to fight for the weak and the persecuted. In the eyes of America’s future economic and political leaders, Israel no longer has a place in the family of enlightened nations. It has become the South Africa of the 21st century.
If I were an American Jew, I would recall that Jews made up about 30 percent of civil rights activists in the U.S. South in the 1950s and ‘60s. Rabbis such as Julian Feibelman in New Orleans, Ira Sanders in Arkansas, Perry Nussbaum in Mississippi and Jacob Rothschild in Atlanta opened their synagogues to black activists and supported the movement openly and fearlessly."