Israel: Segregation of Children in Extremist religious schools, Lost rights of Women

November 18 2011

Israeli parents protest growing extremist bent in religious schools

Our outcry is over the prohibition against kindergarten girls singing,’ Ariela Miller, mother of three children in the Orthodox state school system, tells Haaretz.
By Talila Nesher

Parents of some 400 children in the state religious school system have banded together to protest what they view as the extreme bent the system has taken.

“People are angry over the issue of women [prohibited from] singing in the IDF, but our outcry is over the prohibition against kindergarten girls singing,” Ariela Miller, the mother of three children in the Orthodox state school system, told Haaretz.

Girls and boys lining up separately for school buses at Tel Aviv’s Zeitlin School, part of the national-religious school system. Photo by: Nir Kafri

“Children are habituated to rabbis being the only source of authority, much before educators. No wonder that when they come to crossroads in life, they cannot use their own judgment,” Miller said.

Unlike Miller, most of the parents are afraid to reveal their names for fear of a negative impact on their children’s schooling. One activist, who works for the Education Ministry, said she was summoned for a talking-to and told to stop her activities against the Education Ministry.

Another mother said that the main extremist influence was coming from organized groups of Orthodox people moving into a community with the purpose of increasing religious observance in that community. “But make no mistake, the Education Ministry is a full partner and is pushing them forward,” she said.

Parents are brimming with examples of increasing extremism in state religious schools. One father who has children in Tel Aviv’s Moriah school said: “On the last Memorial Day, some of the girls did not sing in the ceremony because ‘it is not modest,’ and they have already begun talking about the fact that at the end of the year event the fathers won’t be able to see the girls perform and that there will even be separate events for boys and girls.”

Another father said the school principal has no choice but to accede to the demands of the parents of the ultra-Orthodox group that has moved in, “and if an instruction is not implemented, it comes later from above – from [the Education Ministry’s] supervisor.”

The father added that when he complained he was told that if he did not like it, he could take his daughter to another school.

A mother from a state religious kindergarten in Kiryat Gat said that when she asked if a date had been set for the class Hanukkah party, the teacher said the event was being organized by the Orthodox residents’ group, and that fathers would not be invited because “it is not modest for girls to dance and sing in the presence of the fathers, which would [also] prevent the mothers from dancing.”

Classroom hours have also been changed unrecognizably, the father of a child at the Shilo school in Kiryat Ono says. When the parents first received the schedule of classes, it seemed alright, he said. “Only later did we realize that there are sacred studies disguised as secular studies: homeroom, for example, is suddenly being taught by the school rabbi, who certainly doesn’t deal with civics, but rather with Jewish law.”

The father said his daughter showed him a book that the school had purchased for the children, which he said was “completely ultra-Orthodox.” The father said the male figures in the book were depicted with ultra-Orthodox skullcaps and sidelocks and on the page teaching about showing respect to parents “there was only a father, no mother at all.”

A project to further classic Israeli literature at the Tomer kindergarten in Ramat Hasharon by subsidizing the purchase of books was scrapped last year, a parent said, after the group of Orthodox people who had moved into the community to further its religious observance said Haim Nahman Bialik and Lea Goldberg were “not modest.”

A mother of a child in the Tomer kindergarten said the group of Orthodox residents “impose censorship instead of the Education Ministry” in checking the plays the school was paying for the children to see.

A parent from the Moriah school said: “One fine day they decided to separate the children on the bus: the boys in the front and the girls in the back. Recess is also taken in different yards.”

Parents from Kiryat Gat said that on the first day of kindergarten they were given a flyer in which mothers were instructed “to come to the kindergarten in modest dress (skirt or dress, no pants and certainly not without sleeves ).”

Before the beginning of the school year at the Morasha school in Petah Tikva, a group of parents petitioned the High Court of Justice over what they perceived as forced gender separation beginning in the first grade. “The High Court ordered the situation to remain as it is until a committee studies the issue,” Idit, one of the mothers said. “But the High Court doesn’t know that it is being tricked, because last year we were forced to separate them under the assumption that it was for one year, so leaving the situation as it is means continuing the separation.”

The Education Ministry responded: “State religious education provides solutions to a variety of communities and the various groups studying in its framework. Discussions are underway to study the matter in all its aspects.” Source

This happened in the US. They tried to impose their will on women, on the buses.

Bus Line Serving Orthodox Jewish Community Tells Women to Sit at the Back of the Bus

By Jill Filipovic

October 21 2011

Didn’t an iconic figure in the American civil rights movement already take this one on?

In many ways, the B110 bus that connects South Williamsburg and Borough Park seems like any other bus. It has a route number and blue bus stop signs like any other city bus, and it’s open to the public. But the B110 is operated by a private company, Private Transportation Corporation, which pays the city for the right to provide a public service. And reporter Sasha Chavkin finds that on this bus—which caters to a predominately Orthodox Jewish ridership—special rules apply. Namely, women get the Rosa Parks treatment.

Chavkin recently asked an acquaintance to ride the B110 recently and found that female passengers are asked to sit in the back. His canary in the Hasidic coalmine encountered a bus full with “Orthodox Jews with full beards, sidecurls and long black coats, who told her that she was riding ‘a private bus’ and ‘a Jewish bus.’” When she asked why she had to move, a man scolded her, explaining, “If God makes a rule, you don’t ask ‘Why make the rule?”

A female Post reporter had a similar experience when she sat in the front of the B110, where signs written in Hebrew and English also direct women to use the back door during busy times.

Yeah no.

This bus in question is run by a private company, but has a contract with New York City in order to operate — and that contract requires that the franchise “comply with all applicable laws and is prohibited from discriminating in the provision of the bus service on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, sex, age, handicap, marital status, or real or perceived sexual orientation.”

In other words, they’re really not supposed to be sending women to the back of the bus. But it’s kind of amazing how many commenters over at Gothamist are like, “It’s religion, not discrimination!” Sure. Source

In Israel this is what happens.

Woman beaten on J’lem bus for refusing to move to rear seat

December 15 2006

Miriam Shear says she was traveling to pray at the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City early on November 24 when a group of ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) men attacked her for refusing to move to the back of the Egged No. 2 bus.

By Daphna Berman

A woman who reported a vicious attack by an ad-hoc “modesty patrol” on a Jerusalem bus last month is now lining up support for her case and may be included in a petition to the High Court of Justice over the legality of sex-segregated buses.

Miriam Shear says she was traveling to pray at the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City early on November 24 when a group of ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) men attacked her for refusing to move to the back of the Egged No. 2 bus. She is now in touch with several legal advocacy and women’s organizations, and at the same time, waiting for the police to apprehend her attackers.

In her first interview since the incident, Shear says that on the bus three weeks ago, she was slapped, kicked, punched and pushed by a group of men who demanded that she sit in the back of the bus with the other women. The bus driver, in response to a media inquiry, denied that violence was used against her, but Shear’s account has been substantiated by an unrelated eyewitness on the bus who confirmed that she sustained an unprovoked “severe beating.”

Shear, an American-Israeli woman who currently lives in Canada, says that on a recent five-week vacation to Israel, she rode the bus daily to the Old City to pray at sunrise. Though not defined by Egged as a sex-segregated “mehadrin” bus, women usually sit in the back, while men sit in the front, as a matter of custom.

“Every two or three days, someone would tell me to sit in the back, sometimes politely and sometimes not,” she recalled this week in a telephone interview. “I was always polite and said ‘No. This is not a synagogue. I am not going to sit in the back.'”

But Shear, a 50-year-old religious woman, says that on the morning of the 24th, a man got onto the bus and demanded her seat – even though there were a number of other seats available in the front of the bus.

“I said, I’m not moving and he said, ‘I’m not asking you, I’m telling you.’ Then he spat in my face and at that point, I was in high adrenaline mode and called him a son-of-a-bitch, which I am not proud of. Then I spat back. At that point, he pushed me down and people on the bus were screaming that I was crazy. Four men surrounded me and slapped my face, punched me in the chest, pulled at my clothes, beat me, kicked me. My snood [hair covering] came off. I was fighting back and kicked one of the men in his privates. I will never forget the look on his face.”

Shear says that when she bent down in the aisle to retrieve her hair covering, “one of the men kicked me in the face. Thank God he missed my eye. I got up and punched him. I said, ‘I want my hair covering back’ but he wouldn’t give it to me, so I took his black hat and threw it in the aisle.”

‘Stupid American’

Throughout the encounter, Shear says the bus driver “did nothing.” The other passengers, she says, blamed her for not moving to the back of the bus and called her a “stupid American with no sechel [common sense.] People blamed me for not knowing my place and not going to the back of the bus where I belong.”

According to Yehoshua Meyer, the eyewitness to the incident, Shear’s account is entirely accurate. “I saw everything,” he said. “Someone got on the bus and demanded that she go to the back, but she didn’t agree. She was badly beaten and her whole body sustained hits and kicks. She tried to fight back and no one would help her. I tried to help, but someone was stopping me from getting up. My phone’s battery was dead, so I couldn’t call the police. I yelled for the bus driver to stop. He stopped once, but he didn’t do anything. When we finally got to the Kotel [Western Wall], she was beaten badly and I helped her go to the police.”

Shear says that when she first started riding the No. 2 line, she did not even know that it was sometimes sex-segregated. She also says that sitting in the front is simply more comfortable. “I’m a 50-year-old woman and I don’t like to sit in the back. I’m dressed appropriately and I was on a public bus.”

“It is very dangerous for a group of people to take control over a public entity and enforce their will without going through due process,” she said. “Even if they [Haredim who want a segregated bus] are a majority – and I don’t think they are – they have options available. They can petition Egged or hire their own private line. But as long as it’s a public bus, I don’t care if there are 500 people telling me where to sit. I can sit wherever I want and so can anyone else.”

Meyer says that throughout the incident, the other passengers blamed Shear for not sitting in the back. “They’ll probably claim that she attacked them first, but that’s totally untrue. She was abused terribly, and I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Word of Shear’s story traveled quickly after she forwarded an e-mail detailing her experience. She has been contacted by a number of groups, including Shatil, the New Israel Fund’s Empowerment and Training Center for Social Change; Kolech, a religious women’s forum; the Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC), the legal advocacy arm of the local Reform movement; and the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance (JOFA).

In the coming month, IRAC will be submitting a petition to the High Court of Justice against the Transportation Ministry over the issue of segregated Egged buses. IRAC attorney Orly Erez-Likhovski is in touch with Shear and is considering including her in the petition.

Although the No. 2 Jerusalem bus where the incident occurred is not actually defined as a mehadrin line, Erez-Likhovski says that Shear’s story is further proof that the issue requires legal clarification. About 30 Egged buses are designated as mehadrin, mostly on inter-city lines, but they are not marked to indicate this. “There’s no way to identify a mehadrin bus, which in itself is a problem,” she said.

“Theoretically, a person can sit wherever they want, even on a mehadrin line, but we’re seeing that people are enforcing [the gender segregation] even on non-mehadrin lines and that’s the part of the danger,” she said.

On a mehadrin bus, women enter and exit through the rear door, and the seats from the rear door back are generally considered the “women’s section.” A child is usually sent forward to pay the driver.

The official responses

In a response from Egged, the bus driver denied that Shear was physically attacked in any way.

“In a thorough inquiry that we conducted, we found that the bus driver does not confirm that any violence was used against the complainant,” Egged spokesman Ron Ratner wrote.

“According to the driver, once he saw that there was a crowd gathering around her, he stopped the bus and went to check what was going on. He clarified to the passengers that the bus was not a mehadrin line and that all passengers on the line are permitted to sit wherever they want on the bus. After making sure that the passengers returned to their seats, he continued driving.”

The Egged response also noted that their drivers “are not able and are not authorized to supervise the behavior of the passengers in all situations.”

Ministry of Transportation spokesperson Avner Ovadia said in response that the mehadrin lines are “the result of agreements reached between Egged and Haredi bodies” and are therefore unconnected to the ministry.

A spokesperson for the Jerusalem police said the case is still under investigation. Source

Here is another interesting story you might enjoy. From July 2010

Israeli rabbis are to clamp down on the growing number of devout Jewish women wearing the burka by declaring the garment an item of sexual deviancy.

In Israel Arabs are not allowed on buses or roads for Jews only if they do go on a road or a bus they arrested. Absolute segregation.

Rather reminds me of how blacks were treated like in the US.

Palestinian activists arrested on Israeli bus

By DIAA HADID, Associated Press

November 15, 2011

(11-15) 12:39 PST HIZMA CHECKPOINT, West Bank

Six Palestinian activists, clutching national flags and surrounded by dozens of reporters, were dragged off an Israeli bus they planned to ride into Jerusalem after a standoff with police Tuesday.

They were detained and then released a few hours later in the West Bank, said pro-Palestinian activist Jonathan Pollack.

The Palestinians boarded the Israeli bus in a widely advertised action hoping to draw attention to what they call discriminatory measures in the West Bank, particularly travel restrictions.

Tuesday’s action highlighted how some Palestinians are adopting peaceful actions in their struggle for statehood in the West Bank, where the Western-backed Palestinian Authority has a measure of self-rule. Even as the bus protest unfolded in the West Bank, Palestinian militants in Gaza to the south fired rockets at nearby Israeli communities.

“We want to show the system of discrimination that we live in here. My point isn’t go to jail — my point is to have the freedom to get on a bus,” said Badia Dwaik, a 38-year-old civil servant, shortly before he was dragged off the Israeli number 148 Egged bus, which serves Israeli settlements.

Israeli officials say the travel restrictions on Palestinians are needed to prevent militants from entering Israel or West Bank settlements to stage attacks. The restrictions increased during the violent Palestinian uprising of 2000-2005, when buses were frequently blown up by suicide bombers.

The Palestinian activists dubbed themselves “Freedom Riders” after 1960s American civil rights activists who worked in the U.S. South to counter racial discrimination and segregation there, though there were no security elements in the American rights struggle.

In the West Bank — home to 2.5 million Palestinians and some 300,000 Jewish settlers — the two sides usually use different bus systems.

Although no specific rule prevents Palestinians from riding the “Israeli” buses — they are generally not allowed into the Jewish settlements these buses serve. The Palestinians also need permits to enter Jerusalem.

Tuesday’s protest began at a stop near the Jewish settlement of Migron. Posted on the bus stop were posters praising the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, an extremist who argued that Palestinians should be expelled from Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. The first three “number 148” buses — apparently aware of the planned provocation — sped by. But the fourth pulled up.

Maggie Amir, 48, from the nearby Jewish settlement of Rimonim, who was waiting to board, said Palestinians shouldn’t be allowed on.

“This is our bus,” she said, adding: “Quite simply, we are afraid of them.”

The Palestinians paid their fares and boarded, as reporters jostled to board. Dwaik sat a row away from Haggai Segal, a 54-year-old Israeli from the settlement of Ofra, once jailed for planting a car bomb that badly wounded a Palestinian mayor. The two did not interact.

Dozens of reporters clustered around the six activists, who wore T-shirts emblazoned with “justice” and “freedom.” Several wore black-and-white checkered headscarves.

After an uneventful 20-minute ride, the bus stopped at the Hizme checkpoint on Jerusalem’s outskirts. Israeli police boarded, demanding to see their Jerusalem entry permits. Lacking the permits, the Palestinians refused to get off.

“I am not going to obey your discriminatory law,” Dwaik told the policeman, speaking Arabic.

“So you are detained,” the policeman said, also in Arabic.

“Fine. I am not moving.”

About an hour later the six Palestinians were detained, dragged off the bus and taken away in a police car to a nearby station — in Jerusalem, having somewhat reached their destination. Source

Israel effectively annexes Palestinian land near Jordan Valley

State gave Israeli kibbutz 1,500 dunam (375 acres ) of Palestinian-owned land over Green Line.

By Akiva Eldar

November 18 2011
Israel carried out a de facto annexation of Palestinian land northeast of the Jordan Valley and given it to Kibbutz Merav. Merav, part of the Religious Kibbutz Movement, is about seven kilometers northwest of the parcel.

The route of the separation barrier in the area was changed so that the plot in question, about 1,500 dunams (375 acres ), would be on the Israeli side.

Israel has previously built roads on and given Palestinian land in the West Bank to Jewish settlements, but this is thought to be the first instance of Palestinian-owned land being transferred to a community on sovereign Israeli territory.

A spokesman for the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, Maj. Guy Inbar, confirmed that the property is in the West Bank and said, “Kibbutz Merav has been farming this land for decades.”

The issue of the land’s legal status and its transfer to Merav is clouded in mystery, and official statements have been contradictory. All efforts to locate documents explaining the situation have failed, Inbar said.

The kibbutz is in the Emek Mayanot Regional Council, whose jurisdiction is entirely within the Green Line. In a statement, council officials said the land is beyond its jurisdiction and that the Israel Lands Administration controls land allocations to the council’s member communities.

Ofer Amar, a spokesman for the World Zionist Organization’s Jewish settlement division said the tract is classified as farmland within the Emek Mayanot Regional Council. He said the settlement division had no authority over the parcel.

Kibbutz Merav’s secretary general, David Yisrael, confirmed the kibbutz has been farming the land for years, growing field crops including corn as well as citrus fruit. He said he had a lease with the ILA for it, but refused to show it to Haaretz.

An official in the Civil Administration said Yisrael refused to show the contract to his agency, too.

ILA spokeswoman Ortal Tzabar said the ILA had no knowledge of the matter, as it does not deal with land outside sovereign Israeli territory.

“There is a straight line from plundering these 1,500 dunams to Amona, Migron and Givat Asaf, outposts that were built years later,” said Dror Etkes, director of Peace Now’s Settlements Watch Project, who detected the annexed land in aerial photographs.

If the appropriation of the Palestinian farmers’ lands in the Jordan Valley had happened now, rather than in the 1970s, Israeli civil rights groups would have prevented it, Etkes said.

“This is an example of why it so important for MK Ofir Akunis and his wacky right-wing colleagues to conceal and silence leftist organizations and turn the High Court of Justice and the media into the government’s puppets,” Etkes said.

Ashraf Madrasa, from the nearby village of Bardallah, showed Haaretz an ownership deed from 1961 for a 36-dunam tract of the land. He said the Israel Defense Forces seized the land, declared it a “military area,” drove out the owners and ordered never to return.

A number of landowners were given alternative plots belonging to “absentee” Palestinians who fled during the 1967 Six-Day War. Sami Rajab, whose family farms in the area, said that in exchange for several plots in the area he was evicted from, his father received a tract that belonged to his uncle, who emigrated to Canada.

Recently his cousin came to visit and demanded his lands back, Rajab related. “We told him he had to ask the Israeli government to give it back to him,” Rajab said.

According to international law Israel is the custodian of absentee property in the West Bank and is prohibited from giving it to settlers, not to mention to communities within Israel.

In an opinion issued in 1997, the Civil Administration’s legal adviser said: “The Custodian of Absentee Property in the West Bank is nothing but a trustee looking after the property so it is not harmed while the owners are absent from the area … the custodian may not make any transaction regarding the asset that conflicts with the obligation to safeguard the asset as stated, especially his obligation to return the asset to the owner upon his return to the region.”

The state comptroller wrote in a 2004 report that thousands of dunams of privately-owned Palestinian lands were given to Israeli communities in the Jordan Valley in the 1960s and 1970s, according to ILA and Custodian of Absentee Property documents.

The ILA continued “these allocations, defined in the above documents as apparently illegal, after that as well,” he wrote.

Source

And Israel calls itself a Democracy.

Really? Who are they trying to kid?

So while your here you might like to take a look at this as well.

What are the children taught.

Stealing Palestinian homes

On the other hand the Orthodox Jews are against Zionism and defend the Palistininas

Since the beginning of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories in 1967, over 650,000 Palestinians have been detained by Israel.

For more information go HERE

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US wants to Censor the Internet

For years, the US government has condemned countries like China and Iran for their clampdown on Internet use. But now, the impact of America’s new censorship laws could be far worse — effectively blocking sites to every Internet user across the globe.

Last year, a similar Internet censorship bill was killed before reaching the US Senate floor, but it’s now back in a different form. Copyright laws already exist and are enforced by courts. But this new law goes much further — granting the government and big corporations enormous powers to force service providers and search engines to block websites based just on allegations of violations — without a trial or being found guilty of any crime!

US free speech advocates have already raised the alarm, and some key Senators are trying to gather enough support to stop this dangerous bill. We have no time to lose. Let’s stand with them to ensure American lawmakers preserve the right to a free and open Internet as an essential way for people around the world to exchange ideas, share communication and work collectively to build the world we want.

Op-Ed: Blacklist Bill allows Feds to remove websites from Internet

The House version of the Internet Blacklist Bill was released October 26, 2011, with no effort to fix problems that existed in the Senate version. A violation of the First Amendment, it is contrary to official positions of internet freedom and censorship.

“Under the Internet Blacklist Bill — S.968, formally called the PROTECT IP Act — the Department of Justice would force search engines, browsers, and service providers to block users’ access to websites that have been accused of copyright infringement — without even giving them a day in court.” (Demand Progress)

The S.968 bill is considered dangerous and short-sighted due to its broad writing that covers a multitude of issues, bringing danger to not only Internet security but is considered a serious threat to free online speech and innovation. The Censorship-galore Department describes it as an attempt to build the Great Firewall of America, requiring service providers to block access to certain websites.

This bill could shut down YouTube, Twitter and many other social websites that bring together the Occupy movements across the nation and world—any user-generated content site where the law can make the sites’ owners legally responsible for the posted content of its users.

Additionally, the bill could shut down music storage lockers and cloud-based products, while its broad-based terminology includes provisions that allow selected websites to be charged with felony charges for streaming unlicensed content—video game play-throughs, coverage of band performances and karaoke videos.

“The bill also threatens to take away Americans’ rights to safe, affordable medications by blocking access to licensed and regulated pharmacies outside of the U.S. that require a prescription.”

As reported to Tech Dirt the CCIA, CEA and NetCoalition prepared a joint letter to members of Congress who had originally sponsored the bill, saying that on behalf of the technology industry they had never been approached about the bill.

This is ironic, as Protect IP is basically driven by the demands of the entertainment industry. Yet the bill will dramatically reduce jobs, job growth and innovation in the country—something promised by the GOP when they were voted into office and something not yet seen.

The House had previously agreed to meet with organizations that represented the tech industry and who would be most affected by Protect IP. However, the House has chosen to rush the bill through this past Wednesday without listening to professional opinions or advice from the tech industry, individuals who feel strongly that the bill is “jobs-destroying,” “innovative-binding,” “and internet-breaking.”

Letter to the GOP House from CCIA, CEA and NetCoalition:

October 24, 2011

Via Facsimile and E-Mail

The Honorable Lamar Smith Chairman Committee on the Judiciary House of Representatives

Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable John Conyers, Jr. Ranking Member Committee on the Judiciary House of Representatives

Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Bob Goodlatte Chairman Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition, and the Internet Committee on the Judiciary House of Representatives

Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Mel Watt Ranking Member Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition, and the Internet Committee on the Judiciary House of Representatives

Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairman Smith and Representatives Conyers, Goodlatte, and Watt:

We want to thank you for convening a meeting on Friday in regard to the legislative proposal to address rogue foreign websites that infringe the rights of U.S. IP owners. We also appreciate the time your staff has devoted to this important and complex issue. We regard this initial meeting as a productive step toward building consensus around a solution, and we urge that the Committee await introducing legislation until the affected stakeholders can comment meaningfully on the specifics of the approach.

One point of consensus that appeared to emerge in Friday’s meeting was that in an area as complex as Internet regulation, the specific text by which the framework is implemented matters greatly. Thus, the stakeholders who stand to be directly affected by the regulatory framework under consideration should be consulted on the text.

For this reason, we urge you to reconvene affected stakeholders and experts when a draft has been prepared, and utilize the input that they may provide before introducing legislation. Our industries remain committed to working with all stakeholders to craft a legislative proposal that addresses this issue without undue collateral damage.

Sincerely, Computer & Communications

Industry Association (CCIA)

Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)

NetCoalition

With the Internet Blacklist Bill literally shoved through the House, those same copyright holders will be able to cut off advertising and payment processing to such sites. Without court review.

Source

Disastrous IP Legislation Is Back – And It’s Worse than Ever

We’ve reported here often on efforts to ram through Congress legislation that would authorize massive interference with the Internet, all in the name of a fruitless quest to stamp out all infringement online.  Today Representative Lamar Smith upped the ante, introducing legislation, called the Stop Online Piracy Act, or “SOPA,” that would not only sabotage the domain name system but would also threaten to effectively eliminate the DMCA safe harbors that, while imperfect, have spurred much economic growth and online creativity.

As with its Senate-side evil sister, PROTECT-IP, SOPA would require service providers to “disappear” certain websites, endangering Internet security and sending a troubling message to the world: it’s okay to interfere with the Internet, even effectively blacklisting entire domains, as long as you do it in the name of IP enforcement. Of course blacklisting entire domains can mean turning off thousands of underlying websites that may have done nothing wrong.  And in what has to be an ironic touch, the very first clause of SOPA states that it shall not be “construed to impose a prior restraint on free speech.” As if that little recitation could prevent the obvious constitutional problem in what the statute actually does.

But it gets worse. Under this bill, service providers (including hosting services) would be under new pressure to monitor and police their users’ activities.  Websites that simply don’t do enough to police infringement (and it is not at all clear what would qualify as “enough”) are now under threat, even though the DMCA expressly does not require affirmative policing.  It creates new enforcement tools against folks who dare to help users access sites that may have been “blacklisted,” even without any kind of court hearing. The bill also requires that search engines, payment providers (such as credit card companies and PayPal), and advertising services join in the fun in shutting down entire websites.  In fact, the bill seems mainly aimed at creating an end-run around the DMCA safe harbors. Instead of complying with the DMCA, a copyright owner may now be able to use these new provisions to effectively shut down a site by cutting off access to its domain name, its search engine hits, its ads, and its other financing even if the safe harbors would apply.

And that’s only the beginning: we haven’t even started on the streaming provisions.

We’ll have more details on the bill in the next several days but suffice it to say, this is the worst piece of IP legislation we’ve seen in the last decade — and that’s saying something.  This would be a good time to contact your Congressional representative and tell them to oppose this bill!  Source

We all pay to access the Internet and we all should have a say in it.

Say no to censorship and keep the web as we know it.

For  anyone around the world you can go HERE and sign a Petition to stop the US Censorship.
Silicon Valley legislators oppose online piracy act (SFGate)

The stop online piracy act: summary, problems, and implications

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Haaretz Threatened for Exposing Israeli Assassination Cover-Up

MP Calls for Paper’s Closure Over Leak

By Jason Ditz,
April 8, 2010

Reports have emerged over the past few weeks that Israeli reporter Anat Kam has been held under secret house arrest in the nation since December of last year, but the reports have been confined to the Western media as, despite the story appearing in papers the world over, the Israeli government had forbidden domestic media from reporting on the matter until today.

Kam is facing charges of “treason” for leaking copies of classified military documents to Uri Blau, a reporter for Haaretz who has often been critical of the Israeli military. Blau has written several stories over the past few years, mostly based around the Israeli military flouting orders about rules of engagement by the High Court, based on the documents. One of the articles involved an “arrest” mission that ended in the deaths of three Islamic Jihad members. Soldiers admitted in the classified data that they were ordered to kill, not arrest the three.

Blau has since fled the country and is said to be in Britain. Haaretz has defended publishing the stories and says it will support Blau in the matter. The Israeli Justice Ministry has vowed to use “all possible” means to return Blau to Israel to face charges of his own and interrogation by Shin Bet. Shin Bet declared today that Blau must submit to interrogation, and that his possession of classified data is a “direct threat” to national security.

But this could be just the beginning of the fallout for Haaretz, a popular leftist newspaper in Israel which often publishes articles critical of government policy. One opposition MP has urged patriotic Israelis to cancel their subscriptions to the paper. Another MP in the ruling coalition, National Union’s Michael Ben-Ari, has called on the Interior Ministry to close the newspaper down entirely in the name of national security. Yisrael Beiteinu MP David Rotem called for Kam and potentially others involved in the leak to have their citizenship taken away. Other members of the Israeli parliament condemned the paper as “anti-semitic” and alleged that the leaks were a plot by the ideological left to see Israel handed over to “the Arabs.”

Haaretz for its part claims to have had a secret deal with Shin Bet allowing them to reveal the data, but says Shin Bet has since broken the deal by attempting to capture Blau. It has defended Kam’s actions as that of a whistleblower and even published an article likening censorship in Israel media to that in Iran. Source

Related

Israel Gags News on Extra-Judicial Killings

No Freedom of  Speech, No Freedom of the Press. How Israeli is that?

Typical of Israel however. They try to remove all Freedom of Speech or Press around the world. The anti-semitic propaganda is what Israel calls everyone who criticizes Israel, Even other Jews or Jewish groups are called anti semitic.  It doesn’t hold water. It is just a typical talking point used to silence the truth.

It has been used to death by Israel. To a point of nausea. What ever turns their cranks. No one is going to fall for the BS anymore. Well not anyone who has an independent though at any rate. They may be able to brainwash those in Israel, but not the rest of the world.

Assassinations/Murders are illegal. They have been getting away with murder far to long.

The rest of the world is fed up with their illegal actions on many fronts.

Assassinations/Murders, False Flags, abuse of other countries passports, Manufacturing reasons for wars….. ETC ETC ETC. The list is so long it would take me all day to write it.

Israel is anti Semitic, they hate Arabs most of whom are the ” Real Semites”.

Update April 9 2010

Israeli court lifts gag order on military espionage case

By Joel Greenberg in Jerusalem

April 9 2010

An Israeli court yesterday lifted a gag order on a military espionage case in which a former female soldier was charged with leaking classified military documents to an Israeli newspaper.

Some of the documents showed that top military officers approved killings of wanted Palestinians in what were ostensibly arrest operations in the West Bank, in violation of strict limits imposed on such assassinations by the Israeli Supreme Court.

Anat Kamm, 23, the former soldier, had been under house arrest since December, but the Israeli media was barred from reporting the case under a sweeping gag order obtained by the Israeli authorities. The restrictions were eased after details of the case were reported by foreign websites and newspapers, including The Independent, and a growing chorus of critics in Israel said that the blackout on local media coverage was a violation of press freedom and the public’s right to know.

The gag order had been challenged in court by the Haaretz newspaper and Israel’s Channel Ten television channel.

An indictment revealed Thursday alleges that Kamm copied some 2000 classified documents while she worked in the office of the military’s top West Bank commander, and after her discharge passed some of them to a Haaretz reporter, Uri Blau. About 700 documents were classified as top secret.

Some of the documents were cited in a 2008 article by Blau which reported that top officers of the army and leaders of the Shin Bet security service had authorized killings of wanted Palestinian militants in operations in which they could have been arrested, in violation of the Supreme Court ruling. The article was approved for publication by the Israeli military censor.

Blau is currently in London, out of reach of Israeli prosecutors, and Haaretz said on its website that it was negotiating with the Israeli legal authorities for his return. Yuvak Diskin, the chief of the Shin Bet, told reporters Thursday that Blau was suspected of holding classified documents obtained from Kamm, and that the Shin Bet wanted them recovered. “It’s the dream of any enemy state to get their hands on such documents,” he said.

Kamm, who became a media columnist for an Israeli website after completing her military service, faces charges that carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. She has been charged with espionage – possessing and passing classified information with the intent of harming state security.

Eitan Lehman, a lawyer for Kamm, asserted that his client had caused no harm to state security and had no intention of doing so. “All the newspaper stories were published with the consent of the military censor,” he said. “If she had posed a threat to national security, she would not have been allowed to stay home and continue working.”

A hearing in court in which Kamm will be formally charged is scheduled for April 14. Source

Blau-Kamm case exposes the dark underbelly of Israel’s security state

By Jonathan Cook,

April 9  2010

What is misleadingly being called in Israel the “Anat Kamm espionage affair” is quickly revealing the dark underbelly of a nation that has worshipped for decades at the altar of a security state.

Next week 23-year-old Kamm is due to stand trial for her life — or rather the state’s demand that she serve a life sentence for passing secret documents to an Israeli reporter, Uri Blau, of the liberal Haaretz daily. She is charged with spying.

Blau himself is in hiding in London, facing, if not a Mossad hit squad, at least the stringent efforts of Israel’s security services to get him back to Israel over the opposition of his editors, who fear he will be put away too.

This episode has been dragging on behind the scenes for months, since at least December, when Kamm was placed under house arrest pending the trial.

Not a word about the case leaked in Israel until this week when the security services, who had won from the courts a blanket gag order — a gag on the gag, so to speak — were forced to reverse course when foreign bloggers began making the restrictions futile [including notably Richard Silverstein]. Hebrew pages on Facebook had already laid out the bare bones of the story.

So, now that much of the case is out in the light, what are the crimes supposedly committed by Kamm and Blau?

During her conscription, Kamm is said to have copied possibly hundreds of army documents that revealed systematic law-breaking by the Israeli high command operating in the occupied Palestinian territories, including orders to ignore court rulings. She was working at the time in the office of Brig Gen Yair Naveh, who is in charge of operations in the West Bank.

Blau’s crime is that he published a series of scoops based on her leaked information that have highly embarrassed senior Israeli officers by showing their contempt for the rule of law.

His reports included revelations that the senior command had approved targeting Palestinian bystanders during the military’s extra-judicial assassinations in the occupied territories; that, in violation of a commitment to the high court, the army had issued orders to execute wanted Palestinians even if they could be safely apprehended; and that the defence ministry had a compiled a secret report showing that the great majority of settlements in the West Bank were illegal even under Israeli law (all are illegal in international law).

In a properly democratic country, Kamm would have an honorable defence against the charges, of being a whistle-blower rather than a spy, and Blau would be winning journalism prizes not huddling away in exile.

But this is Israel. Here, despite a desperate last-stand for the principles of free speech and the rule of law in the pages of the Haaretz newspaper today, which is itself in the firing line over its role, there is almost no public sympathy for Kamm or even Blau.

The pair are already being described, both by officials and in chat forums and talkback columns, as traitors who should be jailed, disappeared or executed for the crime of endangering the state.

The telling comparison being made is to Mordechai Vanunu, the former technician at the Dimona nuclear plant who exposed Israel’s secret nuclear arsenal. Inside Israel, he is universally reviled to this day, having spent nearly two decades in harsh confinement. He is still under a loose house arrest, denied the chance to leave the country.

Blau and Kamm have every reason to be worried they may share a similar fate. Yuval Diskin, the head of the Shin Bet, Israel’s secret police, which has been leading the investigation, said yesterday that they had been too “sensitive to the media world” in pursuing the case for so long and that the Shin Bet would now “remove its gloves”.

Maybe that explains why Kamm’s home address was still visible on the charge sheet published yesterday, putting her life in danger from one of those crazed talkbackers.

It certainly echoes warnings we have had before from the Shin Bet about how it operates.

Much like Blau, Azmi Bishara, once head of a leading Arab party in Israel, is today living in exile after the Shin Bet put him in their sights. He had been campaigning for democratic reforms that would make Israel a “state of all its citizens” rather than a Jewish state.

While Bishara was abroad in 2007, the Shin Bet announced that he would be put on trial for treason when he returned, supposedly because he had had contacts with Hizbullah during Israel’s attack on Lebanon in 2006.

Few experts believe Bishara could have had any useful information for Hizbullah, but the Shin Bet’s goals and modus operandi were revealed later by Diskin in a letter on its attitude to Bishara and his democratisation campaign. The Shin Bet was there, he said, to thwart the activities of groups or individuals who threatened the state’s Jewish character “even if such activity is sanctioned by the law”.

Diskin called this the principle of “a democracy defending itself” when it was really a case of Jewish leaders in a state based on Jewish privilege protecting those privileges. This time it is about the leaders of Israel’s massive security industry protecting their privileges in a security state by silencing witnesses to their crimes and keeping ordinary citizens in ignorance.

Justifying his decision to “take the gloves off” in the case of Kamm and Blau, Diskin said: “It is a dream of every enemy state to get its hands on these kinds of documents” — that is, documents proving that the Israeli army has repeatedly broken the country’s laws, in addition, of course, to its systematic violations of international law.

Diskin claims that national security has been put at risk, even though the reports Blau based on the documents — and even the documents themselves — were presented to, and approved by, the military censor for publication. The censor can restrict publication based only on national security concerns, unlike Diskin, the army senior command and the government, who obey other kinds of concerns.

Diskin knows there is every chance he will get away with his ploy because of a brainwashed Israeli public, a largely patriotic media and a supine judiciary.

The two judges who oversaw the months of gagging orders to silence any press discussion of this case did so on the say-so of the Shin Bet that there were vital national security issues at stake. Both judges are stalwarts of Israel’s enormous security industry.

Einat Ron was appointed a civilian judge in 2007 after working her way up the ranks of the military legal establishment, there to give a legal gloss to the occupation. Notoriously in 2003, when she was the chief military prosecutor, she secretly proposed various fabrications to the army so that it could cover up the killing of an 11-year-old Palestinian boy, Khalil al-Mughrabi, two years earlier. Her role only came to light because a secret report into the boy’s death was mistakenly attached to the army’s letter to an Israeli human rights group.

The other judge is Ze’ev Hammer, who finally overturned the gag order this week — but only after a former supreme court judge, Dalia Dorner, now the head of Israel’s Press Council, belatedly heaped scorn on it. She argued that, with so much discussion of the case outside Israel, the world was getting the impression that Israel flouted democratic norms.

Judge Hammer has his own distinguished place in Israel’s security industry, according to Israeli analyst Dimi Reider. During his eight years of legal study, Hammer worked for both the Shin Bet and Israel’s Mossad spy agency.

Judge Hammer and Judge Ron are deeply implicated in the same criminal outfit — the Israeli security establishment — that is now trying to cover up the tracks that lead directly to its door. Kamm is doubtless wondering what similar vested interests the judges who hear her case next week will not be declaring.

Writing in Haaretz today, Blau said he had been warned “that if I return to Israel I could be silenced for ever, and that I would be charged for crimes related to espionage”. He concluded that “this isn’t only a war for my personal freedom but for Israel’s image”.

He should leave worrying about Israel’s image to Netanyahu, Diskin and judges like Dorner. That was why the gag order was enforced in the first place. This is not a battle for Israel’s image; it’s a battle for what is left of its soul.

Source

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Published in: on April 9, 2010 at 2:44 am  Comments Off on Haaretz Threatened for Exposing Israeli Assassination Cover-Up  
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Censoring victims makes them victims again

November 4 2008

By Kimberly Tsao

Movie theaters cut out the racy scenes from the “Sex and the City” movie. Radio stations change James Blunt’s “Beautiful” song lyrics from “I’m fucking high” to “I’m flying high.” Theme parks blur pictures taken during rides because someone gave the camera the finger. Censorship has even infested courtrooms.

Nebraska Judge Jeffre Cheuvront prohibited prosecutors and witnesses from using the words, “rape,” “sexual assault,” “assailant” and “victim” during Tory Bowen’s alleged rape trial, according to 2008 People magazine and Associated Press articles.

Censorship isn’t a power given to judges – it’s an abuse of power in itself.

Bowen’s alleged rapist got off on a mistrial – twice. Perhaps it was because juries at censored trials aren’t notified of judges’ restrictions.

Or perhaps it was because Bowen had to take long pauses so she didn’t violate the judge’s order, thus appearing unsure of herself during her 13-hour testimony. In the end, Bowen took her fight to the Supreme Court, but the justices refused to hear her case last week.

Unfortunately, Bowen’s trial isn’t an isolated case. According to the People magazine article, every state has similar legal principles. In California and Utah, prosecutors aren’t allowed to say “victim” during criminal trials.

What else are they suppose to call them?

According to Merriam-Webster, a “victim” is “one that is subjected to oppression, hardship or mistreatment.” People who’ve been raped undeniably fall under that definition.

Insert “alleged” here. Did those countless years at law school teach defense attorneys nothing? They can say “alleged victim.” Duh.

Censorship is a slippery slope. If the prosecutors can’t say “assailant,” what about “aggressor,” “assaulter,” “goon” or “bushwhacker”? The aforementioned words are all synonyms, so shouldn’t judges ban those terms as well?

If you’re ever raped, forget the law – study the thesaurus. It’ll be your best weapon if you decide to go to court.

In Bowen’s case, Cheuvront permitted the accused and the defense attorneys to call the alleged rape “sex” and “intercourse.”

Perhaps “sex” and “intercourse” aren’t complete opposites of “rape” and “sexual assault,” but they are definitely not synonymous with each other. So why are defense lawyers allowed to substitute the terminologies?

Say “alleged rape” if you want, but call it what it is and in most cases, that isn’t “sex.”

Besides, if we strictly adhere to the law’s so-called rationale, then we could say that thieves only take what they need and that murderers send the dead to a better place. Murderers are population controllers and thieves are Goodwill employees – minus the tax write-offs.

Even if you could disregard the fact that this, like all censorship, is a First Amendment violation, it’s a clearly unfair legal practice.

In a 2007 Slate magazine article, Dahlia Lithwick wrote, “It’s precisely because language is so powerful in a courtroom that we treat it so reverently.” Reverently, yes. Justly, no.

The question of fairness should apply to both the accused and the accuser in all criminal trials.

This could be on a Snapple bottle cap: Did you know that most societies still don’t understand rapes?

If they did, they would deal with rapes the same way they deal with robberies and homicides. The fact that most courts don’t even give the words equal treatment speaks volumes about modern societies’ outdated perception of rapes.

However, the argument for censored trials is that words, such as “rape kit,” are “unfairly prejudicial to a defendant,” according to the same articles.

Following that reasoning, judges should censor the defendants from saying “sex” and “intercourse” because those words are unfairly prejudicial to the victim.

“Sex” and “intercourse” imply consent, which isn’t always the case and is often tricky to determine, especially if the victim was intoxicated.

That’s why we have jurors – all 12 of them. They’re smart enough to be registered voters, so they can certainly sift through evidence. If the judge has trust issues, then a viable alternative to censorship would be jury instruction.

Censorship is blind. It has crossed the line without even realizing it.

To the enforcers of censorship, draw a line. It doesn’t need to be straight.

On behalf of Tory Bowen and other women like her, I cry, “Rape.”

To the judges who rape the victims all over again, take a good look at my middle finger.

Source

I think what was done by the judge is to say the very least appalling. Rape  is an act of violence nothing less and should not be censored especially in a court room. If they want to censor anything how about the on line porn sites, there are thousands upon thousands of them and many actually promote rape. Tory deserved a fair trial and obviously didn’t receive it. Rape is Rape. It is a horrid crime. She is a victim. “Victim” isn’t a dirty word.

What about Free Speech?  I guess that only applies to criminals or hate groups like the KKK or Skinheads. The rest of Americans especially victims are not granted the same right obviously.  Rape victims have been  re victimized for years and this practice should be stopped. Justice should be for all, including “VICTIMS”.

How sad that anyone like Tory, should have to censor her testimony to suit the judge or the state.

They should be able to tell the truth as it happened.
Rape reported on campus; sixth of semester
November 4 2008

By Matthew Kimel and Andrea Frainier
The sixth reported rape case at San Jose State University of the Fall semester was filed on Oct. 24, according to the University Police Department media log.

The latest report occurred on the sixth floor of Campus Village Building C, according to two of the reported victim’s roommates.

“She brought up two guys, and she didn’t know them,” said one of the reported victim’s freshman roommates.

The roommates said the two men were first brought into their suite by the reported victim around 9 or 10 p.m. on Oct. 22, and the incident occurred around midnight or 1 a.m. Oct. 23.

“We were (present) but we didn’t hear anything,” said one of the roommates who was informed of the incident at the UPD station the next day.

UPD Sgt. Mike Santos said there have been no found links to any of the six reports this semester.

“The main connection,” he said, “is that all but one are alcohol-related and have occurred in the dorms.”

Santos said the case is still under investigation and no arrests have been made.

Meeghan Harrington, resident life coordinator in Campus Village Building C, said she was not allowed to comment on the situation that occurred in her building. She said University Housing Community Relations Coordinator Kevina Brown was the spokesperson for the situation.

Brown said she could not comment on the situation and anything that “regards to sexual assault should be deferred to University Police.”

Brown, however, said efforts are being made to make sure the assaults don’t continue.

“I would suggest (students) use a buddy system and have someone with them at all times,” Brown said. “We’re really trying to get the word out that students should protect themselves.”

Santos said a safety alert was sent to housing after the third or fourth report was taken for students to become “aware of what’s going on around them.”

Students in Building C were not given a direct notice of the safety alert.

The alert has been posted on a bulletin board and within the elevators.

“I saw some in the elevators,” said one of the reported victim’s roommates, “but there’s not any in the dorm’s hallways or stuff like that.”

Brown said the recent assaults are not “far out of the ordinary from what we have seen in the past.”

“It’s an unusually high number,” she said. “I don’t know if I would say it alarms me, but we want to do anything we can do to make sure it doesn’t continue.”

Julianne Aiello, an undeclared freshman and resident of Building C, said she didn’t see the safety alert, but she said she feels safe on campus, especially in the building.

Dan Shively, a junior psychology major, said he wasn’t aware of the Oct. 24 incident.

“I’m pretty sure most people heard about it though,” he said. “It’s being talked about a lot, being safe and whatnot.”

Even though Building C is a dry building, where alcohol is prohibited, Shively said there have been incidents of people abusing this policy. He said he doesn’t think the situation is out of control.

Shively said students from Campus Village are thinking about starting an escort program in which students could call resident advisers to walk them to and from the dorms.

Source