Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, asking the UN Palestinian ‘freedom’

September 23 2011

Today, the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, presented a bid for the state of Palestine, based on the 1967 borders, to be considered by the Security Council for full membership in the United Nations.

Shortly afterward, he addressed the General Assembly, where he reviewed, from the 1948 Nakba until today, the multitude of ways in which Israel has suppressed Palestinians’ rights. While the question remains if the UN statehood bid adequately addresses the larger issue of Palestinian rights, Abbas’ address importantly gave voice to the Palestinian struggle for self-determination. While there is no uniform support for this UN bid, today was undoubtedly a historic and moving day. After over 63 years struggling for global recognition, it was moving to see the countries of the world represented in the UN general assembly give President Abbas a rousing standing ovation.

Not so for Prime Minister Netanyahu, who spoke shortly after Abbas. Netanyahu responded to the Palestinian leader with diversion and doublespeak instead of honest engagement, and peace slogans couched in hostility, aggression, and denial of Palestinian claims—a continuation of the standard Israeli tactic. We know from history that this empty rhetoric has been used by Israeli government for decades and will only mean further pain and oppression for Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and all over the world.

As a Jewish-American organization, we believe it is important to remain focused on our primary responsibility:  having an impact on U.S. policy. As such, we will continue to speak out strongly against the U.S. using its veto power in the Security Council to reject this bid for statehood.

We know now that President Obama will not do the right thing. Speaking at the UN on Wednesday, Obama lauded the Arab Spring—but rejected the Palestinian Autumn. The president retreated from his earlier positions that demanded Israeli accountability for its military occupation, and he did not acknowledge the ongoing role of the U.S. in maintaining that imbalance through its extraordinary economic, military, and diplomatic support for Israel, even when its actions violate international law, human rights, and U.S. policy.  And he didn’t acknowledge that twenty years of the “peace process” has brought only a more entrenched occupation. Instead, Obama merely said that both sides should “sit down together, to listen to each other, and to understand each other’s hopes and fears.” (1)

While this week has not been an easy one, we at JVP actually feel a redoubled assurance in the promise of our strategy to change the dynamics on display at the United Nations.  We know now, more than ever, that the President or Congress will not change on their own.  The array of power and money is simply too strong—for now.  We know, as with the examples of the civil rights movement and the anti-apartheid movement, to name just two, that it is movements like ours that force our governments to change their policies.  It was the steadfastness, the creativity, the demonstrations, the local organizing, and the BDS tactics that helped these movements and so many others for social justice eventually succeed.  So we’ll let the politicians play their games, and meanwhile, our work will continue.

Jewish Voice for Peace

For the entire speech By Abbas asking UN for Palestinian ‘freedom’

Gaza and the West bank could be turned into provinces and both elect representatives to represent them as a country. Both I am sure could agree to this. That way both are represented fairly.

Israel will oppose this of course as will the US but who cares what they think anymore.

Israel will have to be forced to accept this, but they will not negotiate in good faith, as it has been proven over the past 63 years.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took the time to push his racist agenda against Islam.

He repeated his slanderous, hatred, repeatedly.  He should take a long hard look in the mirror. The past record of Israel speech volumes.

The man is paranoid and fabricated a lot of what ifs. Wow I sure hope no one believes his hateful, racist, rhetoric.

He says he wants peace. That is a lie. He keeps promoting hatred to attempt to get other countries to go to war.

His speech was racist. All I heard was about his haltered of Islam.

He talked about how they removed Israelis from settlements but he neglected top tell the UN how many time Israel has bulldozed homes and displaced thousands of Palestinians.

He forgot to mention how many people Israel has imprisoned, assassinated, stolen property from  and murdered.

I think he actually believes what he says which is very sad.

This fellow calls them as he sees them.I really have to put this in my post. He says what a lot of people think.

He is right on so many issues.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Addresses United Nations General Assembly

If you wish to read his speech it is HERE

I have to back him up on a few counts

Suppressed History: The Genocide at Vinnitsa/Ukraine Genocide

War “Pollution” Equals Millions of Deaths

Cost of war to Libyans about $200 Billion

Over 800 Bodies Dumped in Libyan Cemetary by Rebels

The International Hearings into the Events of September 11 2001

Afghan Children Being Sold Into Forced Labor/Slavery

Criminal State – A Closer Look at Israel’s Role in Terrorism/NATO and US supporting the Rebels who are actually terrorist on the US/NATO Terrorist list. I thought the war was against terrorist not to help them. I guess they have been helping the Terrorists all along. Anything to keep the wars going for the profiteers.

Racist murders in Libya at the hands of rebel forces

Israel angers Egyptian Protesters

Published in: on September 24, 2011 at 12:49 am  Comments Off on Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, asking the UN Palestinian ‘freedom’  
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The attack on the Gaza relief flotilla jeopardizes Israel itself

Israel – What Next

July 28 2010

The IDF has not become more competent in recent years. By almost all accounts—including the Israeli government’s own commission of inquiry—it performed abysmally in the 2006 Lebanon war. … Finally, there is the danger that Israel might attack Iran’s nuclear facilities, which could have terrible consequences for the United States. The last thing America needs is another war with an Islamic country, especially one that could easily interfere in its ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. This is why the Pentagon opposes striking Iran, whether with Israeli or U.S. forces. But Netanyahu might do it anyway if he thinks it would be good for Israel, even if it were bad for the United States. –

By John J. Mearsheimer  in the American Conservative

Israel’s botched raid against the Gaza-bound humanitarian flotilla on May 31 is the latest sign that Israel is on a disastrous course that it seems incapable of reversing. The attack also highlights the extent to which Israel has become a strategic liability for the United States. This situation is likely to get worse over time, which will cause major problems for Americans who have a deep attachment to the Jewish state.

The bungled assault on the Mavi Marmara, the lead ship in the flotilla, shows once again that Israel is addicted to using military force yet unable to do so effectively. One would think that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) would improve over time from all the practice. Instead, it has become the gang that cannot shoot straight.

The IDF last scored a clear-cut victory in the Six Day War in 1967; the record since then is a litany of unsuccessful campaigns. The War of Attrition (1969-70) was at best a draw, and Israel fell victim to one of the great surprise attacks in military history in the October War of 1973. In 1982, the IDF invaded Lebanon and ended up in a protracted and bloody fight with Hezbollah. Eighteen years later, Israel conceded defeat and pulled out of the Lebanese quagmire. Israel tried to quell the First Intifada by force in the late 1980s, with Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin telling his troops to break the bones of the Palestinian demonstrators. But that strategy failed and Israel was forced to join the Oslo Peace Process instead, which was another failed endeavor.

The IDF has not become more competent in recent years. By almost all accounts—including the Israeli government’s own commission of inquiry—it performed abysmally in the 2006 Lebanon war. The IDF then launched a new campaign against the people of Gaza in December 2008, in part to “restore Israel’s deterrence” but also to weaken or topple Hamas. Although the mighty IDF was free to pummel Gaza at will, Hamas survived and Israel was widely condemned for the destruction and killing it wrought on Gaza’s civilian population. Indeed, the Goldstone Report, written under UN auspices, accused Israel of war crimes and possible crimes against humanity. Earlier this year, the Mossad murdered a Hamas leader in Dubai, but the assassins were seen on multiple security cameras and were found to have used forged passports from Australia and a handful of European countries. The result was an embarrassing diplomatic row, with Australia, Ireland, and Britain each expelling an Israeli diplomat.

Given this history, it is not surprising that the IDF mishandled the operation against the Gaza flotilla, despite having weeks to plan it. The assault forces that landed on the Mavi Marmara were unprepared for serious resistance and responded by shooting nine activists, some at point-blank range. None of the activists had their own guns. The bloody operation was condemned around the world—except in the United States, of course. Even within Israel, the IDF was roundly criticized for this latest failure.

These ill-conceived operations have harmful consequences for Israel. Failures leave adversaries intact and make Israeli leaders worry that their deterrent reputation is being undermined. To rectify that, the IDF is turned loose again, but the result is usually another misadventure, which gives Israel new incentives to do it again, and so on. This spiral logic, coupled with Israel’s intoxication with military force, helps explain why the Israeli press routinely carries articles predicting where Israel’s next war will be.

Israel’s recent debacles have also damaged its international reputation. Respondents to a 2010 worldwide opinion poll done for the BBC said that Israel, Iran, and Pakistan had the most negative influence in the world; even North Korea ranked better. More worrying for Israel is that its once close strategic relationship with Turkey has been badly damaged by the 2008-09 Gaza war and especially by the assault on the Mavi Marmara, a Turkish ship filled with Turkish nationals. But surely the most troubling development for Israel is the growing chorus of voices in the United States who say that Israel’s behavior is threatening American interests around the world, to include endangering its soldiers. If that sentiment grows, it could seriously harm Israel’s relationship with the United States.

Life as an Apartheid State

The flotilla tragedy highlights another way in which Israel is in deep trouble. Israel’s response makes it obvious that its leaders are not interested in allowing the Palestinians to have a viable state in Gaza and the West Bank, but instead are bent on creating a “Greater Israel” in which the Palestinians are confined to a handful of impoverished enclaves.

Israel insists that its blockade is solely intended to keep weapons out of Gaza. Hardly anyone would criticize Israel if this were true, but it is not. The real aim of the blockade is to punish the people of Gaza for supporting Hamas and resisting Israel’s efforts to maintain Gaza as a giant open-air prison. Of course, there was much evidence that this was the case before the debacle on the Mavi Marmara. When the blockade began in 2006, Dov Weisglass, a close aide to Prime Ministers Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert, said, “The idea is to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger.” And the Gaza onslaught 18 months ago was designed to punish the Gazans, not enforce a weapons embargo. The ships in the flotilla were transporting humanitarian aid, not weapons for Hamas, and Israel’s willingness to use deadly force to prevent a humanitarian aid convoy from reaching Gaza makes it abundantly clear that Israel wants to humiliate and subdue the Palestinians, not live side-by-side with them in separate states.

Collective punishment of the Palestinians in Gaza is unlikely to end anytime soon. Israel’s leaders have shown little interest in lifting the blockade or negotiating sincerely. The sad truth is that Israel has been brutalizing the Palestinians for so long that it is almost impossible to break the habit. It is hardly surprising that Jimmy Carter said last year, “the citizens of Palestine are treated more like animals than human beings.” They are, and they will be for the foreseeable future.

Consequently, there is not going to be a two-state solution. Instead, Gaza and the West Bank will become part of a Greater Israel, which will be an apartheid state bearing a marked resemblance to white-ruled South Africa. Israelis and their American supporters invariably bristle at this comparison, but that is their future if they create a Greater Israel while denying full political rights to an Arab population that will soon outnumber the Jewish population in the entirety of the land. In fact, two former Israeli prime ministers—Ehud Olmert and Ehud Barak—have made this very point. Olmert went so far as to argue, “as soon as that happens, the state of Israel is finished.”

He’s right, because Israel will not be able to maintain itself as an apartheid state. Like racist South Africa, it will eventually evolve into a democratic bi-national state whose politics will be dominated by the more numerous Palestinians. But that process will take many years, and during that time, Israel will continue to oppress the Palestinians. Its actions will be seen and condemned by growing numbers of people and more and more governments around the world. Israel is unwittingly destroying its own future as a Jewish state, and doing so with tacit U.S. support.

America’s Albatross

The combination of Israel’s strategic incompetence and its gradual transformation into an apartheid state creates significant problems for the United States. There is growing recognition in both countries that their interests are diverging; indeed this perspective is even garnering attention inside the American Jewish community. Jewish Week, for example, recently published an article entitled “The Gaza Blockade: What Do You Do When U.S. and Israeli Interests Aren’t in Synch?” Leaders in both countries are now saying that Israeli policy toward the Palestinians is undermining U.S. security. Vice President Biden and Gen. David Petraeus, the head of Central Command, both made this point recently, and the head of the Mossad, Meir Dagan, told the Knesset in June, “Israel is gradually turning from an asset to the United States to a burden.”

It is easy to see why. Because the United States gives Israel so much support and U.S. politicians routinely laud the “special relationship” in the most lavish terms, people around the globe naturally associate the United States with Israel’s actions. Unfortunately, this makes huge numbers of people in the Arab and Islamic world furious with the United States for supporting Israel’s cruel treatment of the Palestinians. That anger in turn helps fuel terrorism against America. Remember that the 9/11 Commission Report, which describes Khalid Sheik Muhammad as the “principal architect of the 9/11 attacks,” concludes that his “animus toward the United States stemmed not from his experiences there as a student, but rather from his violent disagreement with U.S. foreign policy favoring Israel.” Osama bin Laden’s hostility toward the United States was fuelled in part by this same concern.

Popular anger toward the United States also threatens the rulers of Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia, key U.S. allies who are frequently seen as America’s lackeys. The collapse of any of these regimes would be a big blow to the U.S. position in the region; however, Washington’s unyielding support for Israel makes these governments weaker, not stronger. More importantly, the rupture in Israel’s relationship with Turkey will surely damage America’s otherwise close relationship with Turkey, a NATO member and a key U.S. ally in Europe and the Middle East.

Finally, there is the danger that Israel might attack Iran’s nuclear facilities, which could have terrible consequences for the United States. The last thing America needs is another war with an Islamic country, especially one that could easily interfere in its ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. This is why the Pentagon opposes striking Iran, whether with Israeli or U.S. forces. But Netanyahu might do it anyway if he thinks it would be good for Israel, even if it were bad for the United States.

Dark Days Ahead for the Lobby

Israel’s troubled trajectory is also causing major headaches for its American supporters. First, there is the matter of choosing between Israel and the United States. This is sometimes referred to as the issue of dual loyalty, but that term is a misnomer. Americans are allowed to have dual citizenship—and in effect, dual loyalty—and this is no problem as long as the interests of the other country are in synch with America’s interests. For decades, Israel’s supporters have striven to shape public discourse in the United States so that most Americans believe the two countries’ interests are identical. That situation is changing, however. Not only is there now open talk about clashing interests, but knowledgeable people are openly asking whether Israel’s actions are detrimental to U.S. security.

The lobby has been scrambling to discredit this new discourse, either by reasserting the standard argument that Israel’s interests are synonymous with America’s or by claiming that Israel—to quote a recent statement by Mortimer Zuckerman, a key figure in the lobby—“has been an ally that has paid dividends exceeding its costs.” A more sophisticated approach, which is reflected in an AIPAC-sponsored letter that 337 congresspersons sent to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in March, acknowledges that there will be differences between the two countries, but argues that “such differences are best resolved quietly, in trust and confidence.” In other words, keep the differences behind closed doors and away from the American public. It is too late, however, to quell the public debate about whether Israel’s actions are damaging U.S. interests. In fact, it is likely to grow louder and more contentious with time.

This changing discourse creates a daunting problem for Israel’s supporters, because they will have to side either with Israel or the United States when the two countries’ interests clash. Thus far, most of the key individuals and institutions in the lobby have sided with Israel when there was a dispute. For example, President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu have had two big public fights over settlements. Both times the lobby sided with Netanyahu and helped him thwart Obama. It seems clear that individuals like Abraham Foxman, who heads the Anti-Defamation League, and organizations like AIPAC are primarily concerned about Israel’s interests, not America’s.

This situation is very dangerous for the lobby. The real problem is not dual loyalty but choosing between the two loyalties and ultimately putting the interests of Israel ahead of those of America. The lobby’s unstinting commitment to defending Israel, which sometimes means shortchanging U.S. interests, is likely to become more apparent to more Americans in the future, and that could lead to a wicked backlash against Israel’s supporters as well as Israel.

The lobby faces yet another challenge: defending an apartheid state in the liberal West is not going to be easy. Once it is widely recognized that the two-state solution is dead and Israel has become like white-ruled South Africa—and that day is not far off—support for Israel inside the American Jewish community is likely to diminish significantly. The main reason is that apartheid is a despicable political system that is fundamentally at odds with basic American values as well as core Jewish values. For sure there will be some Jews who will defend Israel no matter what kind of political system it has. But their numbers will shrink over time, in large part because survey data shows that younger American Jews feel less attachment to Israel than their elders, which makes them less inclined to defend Israel blindly.

The bottom line is that Israel will not be able to maintain itself as an apartheid state over the long term because it will not be able to depend on the American Jewish community to defend such a reprehensible political order.

Assisted Suicide

Israel is facing a bleak future, yet there is no reason to think that it will change course anytime soon. The political center of gravity in Israel has shifted sharply to the right and there is no sizable pro-peace political party or movement. Moreover, it remains firmly committed to the belief that what cannot be solved by force can be solved with greater force, and many Israelis view the Palestinians with contempt if not hatred. Neither the Palestinians nor any of Israel’s immediate neighbors are powerful enough to deter it, and the lobby will remain influential enough over the next decade to protect Israel from meaningful U.S. pressure.

Remarkably, the lobby is helping Israel commit national suicide while also doing serious damage to American security interests. Voices challenging this tragic situation have grown slightly more numerous in recent years, but the majority of political commentators and virtually all U.S. politicians seem blissfully ignorant of where this is headed, or unwilling to risk their careers by speaking out.
__________________________________________

John J. Mearsheimer is a professor of political science at the University of Chicago and coauthor of The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy. Source

Israel harms itself all the time this is nothing new. Seems they want everyone to hate them. They certainly go out of their way to make people hate what they do. They do some extremely horrid things.

Stealing body parts from people.

Torturing people including children.

Throwing thousands of Palestinians in prisons including children and Israelis who refuse to go to war or protest against Israels actions.

Radiating Jewish children.

Experimenting with radiation on their own people.

Using weapons of mass destruction on Palestinians or their neighbours that will also kill their own people and those in neighbouring countries.

Starving innocent people to achive a foolish political agenda.

Assiting the US in horrid wars as a funnel tunnel for money and weapons.

Israel is a rouge state and an Apartheid state. They helped South Africa create their Apartheid state as well.

Assassinations. Starting wars. Attacking the USS Liberty ETC.

Using terroist ideologies to take Palestine away from the Palestinian people.

Israel is not just a threat to the US it is a threat to the world. They love war. They just adore war.

Their history speaks for itself. Unfortunately most people don’t know all the horrid things they have done. What a shame.

Those who speak out against what they do and attempt to bring the truth to the fore front are demonized and terrorized.

Those who attempt to defend the Palestinians many times are killed by the Israelis as in the case of Rachel Corrie.

Children and others who protest peacefully are many times shot, injured or killed.

Wage war not to defend itself, but to simply attempt to prove they are more powerful.

Hamas did not break the ceasefire in 2008 Israel did.

Gaza (1): A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

Jews around the world who fail to see the light and  blindly support Israel, obviously do not see the danger Israel posses, no only to the world at large, but to all Jews world wide. To be so blind is rather sad. One has to wonder how anyone could be so brainwashed.

There is enough evidence and history to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt, Israel is dangerous.

These are just a few stories about Israel. These are a mere tip of a gigantic iceberg. There are more in my Archives.

Foreign control of large swathes of the Sinai Peninsula obtained through fraud and Israeli involvement

Israel And Apartheid: By People Who Knew Apartheid

Fake Al Qaeda, Fake Passports, Fake planes, Fake Hijackers

Haaretz Threatened for Exposing Israeli Assassination Cover-Up

IDF order will enable mass deportation from West Bank

Arrest of Israeli officer leading organ trafficking ring

Israeli troops attack protesters injuring and killing Again!

The Israeli Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy

Rachel Corrie’s parents Get Nasty Letter from professor at Haifa University

Dubai police chief to seek Netanyahu arrest

Israel “blackmails Gaza’s patients to turn them into collaborators”

Amir, ten years old, abducted by Israeli soldiers from his bed

“This Time We Went Too Far” Truth and Consequences in the Gaza Invasion

E-book on Jewish National Fund’s role in colonization of Palestine

Israel on Trial – The Russell Tribunal on Palestine

Children of Gaza are Suffering, Scarred, Trapped

Full Israeli  El Al flight took off on 9/11 from JFK to Tel Aviv

Mossad using Spanish passport Arrested in Algeria

British MPs call for review of arms export to Israel

Australia: Fraser calls for expulsion of Israeli diplomats

Israel to Allow Shoes into Gaza Strip After Three Year Ban

UK warns of Israel travel amid passport scandal

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu authorized assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh

Israel floods Gaza villages, displacing a hundred families

US/Israeli Charity uses little Palestinian Childs photo to raise money for Israel’s Hungry

Turkey, Lebanon lash out at Israeli Violation of airspace

Gaza sees more newborns of malformation

Israeli war crimes: Soldiers admit to deliberate killing of Gaza civilians

Slavery and Human Trafficking Crimes

Jewish town, Mitzpeh Kamon, won’t let Arab build home on his own land

Israeli settlers attack mosque in West Bank

Jewish lobby wages war on Christmas trees and all symbols of Christianity

Israeli Occupation Authorities Deny Gaza Christians Permission to Travel to Bethlehem at Christmas

“We will have to kill them all”: Israeli Effie Eitam

West Bank Rabbi: Jews can kill Gentiles who threaten Israel including Children and even Babies

The Eviction Of Palestinian Families Continue, When they want a home the Israeli’s just steal it

UN Calls for Israel to Open Crossing for Goods

A Palestinian student has been handcuffed, blindfolded and forcibly expelled to the Gaza

Recent

Nobel Peace Prizes ‘are being awarded illegally’

US House Vote on Afghan War Funding a Disgrace

Fourteen Examples of Systemic Racism in the U.S. Criminal Justice System

The CIA: Beyond Redemption and Should be Terminated

US occupation not for “liberation of Iraqis

Mental illness rising among US troops

Republicans in the US House of Representatives want Israel to attack Iran

Gaza Flotilla: Lawyers from 60 Countries to Sue Israel

Hospitals in Haiti to be shut down due to lack of funds

Israel attacks Gaza Flotilla in International Waters

June 4, 2010 updates added at bottom. Updates of upcoming protests and a petition to the United Nations have been added. Will be adding more as I find them.

Israel is violating international law.  UN Security Council resolution 1860, passed in January 2009,  calls for an end to the Gaza blockade and to allow the unimpeded flow of aid into the region.

Reports on deaths of victims of the Israeli attack varies from 9 to 19 depending on which reports you read.

Israelis opened fire before boarding Gaza flotilla, say released activists:

First eyewitness accounts of raid contradict version put out by Israeli officials

By Dorian Jones in Istanbul and Helena Smith

June 01, 2010

Survivors of the Israeli assault on a flotilla carrying relief supplies to Gaza returned to Greece and Turkey today, giving the first eyewitness accounts of the raid in which at least 10 people died.

Arriving at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport with her one-year-old baby, Turkish activist Nilufer Cetin said Israeli troops opened fire before boarding the Turkish-flagged ferry Mavi Marmara, which was the scene of the worst clashes and all the fatalities. Israeli officials have said that the use of armed force began when its boarding party was attacked.

“It was extremely bad and very tough clashes took place. The Mavi Marmara is filled with blood,” said Cetin, whose husband is the Mavi Marmara’s chief engineer.

She told reporters that she and her child hid in the bathroom of their cabin during the confrontation. “The operation started immediately with firing. First it was warning shots, but when the Mavi Marmara wouldn’t stop these warnings turned into an attack,” she said.

“There were sound and smoke bombs and later they used gas bombs. Following the bombings they started to come on board from helicopters.”

Cetin is among a handful of Turkish activists to be released; more than 300 remain in Israeli custody. She said she agreed to extradition from Israel after she was warned that conditions in jail would be too harsh for her child.

“I am one of the first passengers to be sent home, just because I have baby. When we arrived at the Israeli port of Ashdod we were met by the Israeli interior and foreign ministry officials and police; there were no soldiers. They asked me only a few questions. But they took everything – cameras, laptops, cellphones, personal belongings including our clothes,” she said.

Kutlu Tiryaki was a captain of another vessel in the flotilla. “We continuously told them we did not have weapons, we came here to bring humanitarian help and not to fight,” he said.

“The attack on the Mavi Marmara came in an instant: they attacked it with 12 or 13 attack boats and also with commandos from helicopters. We heard the gunshots over our portable radio handsets, which we used to communicate with the Mavi Marmara, because our ship communication system was disrupted. There were three or four helicopters also used in the attack. We were told by Mavi Marmara their crew and civilians were being shot at and windows and doors were being broken by Israelis.”

Six Greek activists who returned to Athens accused Israeli commandos of using electric shocks during the raid.

Dimitris Gielalis, who had been aboard the Sfendoni, told reporters: “Suddenly from everywhere we saw inflatables coming at us, and within seconds fully equipped commandos came up on the boat. They came up and used plastic bullets, we had beatings, we had electric shocks, any method we can think of, they used.”

Michalis Grigoropoulos, who was at the wheel of the Free Mediterranean, said: “We were in international waters. The Israelis acted like pirates, completely out of the normal way that they conduct nautical exercises, and seized our ship. They took us hostage, pointing guns at our heads; they descended from helicopters and fired tear gas and bullets. There was absolutely nothing we could do … Those who tried to resist forming a human ring on the bridge were given electric shocks.”

Grigoropoulos, who insisted the ship was full of humanitarian aid bound for Gaza “and nothing more”, said that, once detained, the human rights activists were not allowed to contact a lawyer or the Greek embassy in Tel Aviv. “They didn’t let us go to the toilet, eat or drink water and throughout they videoed us. They confiscated everything, mobile phones, laptops, cameras and personal effects. They only allowed us to keep our papers.”

Turkey said it was sending three ambulance planes to Israel to pick up 20 more Turkish activists injured in the operation.

Three Turkish Airlines planes were on standby, waiting to fly back other activists, the prime minister’s office said. “Source

Israeli Murders, NATO and Afghanistan

By Craig Murray

June 02, 2010

I was in the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office for over 20 years and a member of its senior management structure for six years, I served in five countries and took part in 13 formal international negotiations, including the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea and a whole series of maritime boundary treaties. I headed the FCO section of a multidepartmental organisation monitoring the arms embargo on Iraq.

I am an instinctively friendly, open but unassuming person who always found it easy to get on with people, I think because I make fun of myself a lot. I have in consequence a great many friends among ex-colleagues in both British and foregin diplomatic services, security services and militaries.

I lost very few friends when I left the FCO over torture and rendition. In fact I seemed to gain several degrees of warmth with a great many acquantances still on the inside. And I have become known as a reliable outlet for grumbles, who as an ex-insider knows how to handle a discreet and unintercepted conversation.

What I was being told last night was very interesting indeed. NATO HQ in Brussels is today a very unhappy place. There is a strong understanding among the various national militaries that an attack by Israel on a NATO member flagged ship in international waters is an event to which NATO is obliged – legally obliged, as a matter of treaty – to react.

I must be plain – nobody wants or expects military action against Israel. But there is an uneasy recognition that in theory that ought to be on the table, and that NATO is obliged to do something robust to defend Turkey.

Mutual military support of each other is the entire raison d’etre of NATO. You must also remember that to the NATO military the freedom of the high seas guaranteed by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea is a vital alliance interest which officers have been conditioned to uphold their whole career.

That is why Turkey was extremely shrewd in reacting immediately to the Israeli attack by calling an emergency NATO meeting. It is why, after the appalling US reaction to the attack with its refusal to name Israel, President Obama has now made a point of phoning President Erdogan to condole.

But the unhappiness in NATO HQ runs much deeper than that, I spoke separately to two friends there, from two different nations. One of them said NATO HQ was “a very unhappy place”. The other described the situation as “Tense – much more strained than at the invasion of Iraq”.

Why? There is a tendency of outsiders to regard the senior workings of governments and international organisations as monolithic. In fact there are plenty of highly intelligent – and competitive – people and diverse interests involved.

There are already deep misgivings, especially amongst the military, over the Afghan mission. There is no sign of a diminution in Afghan resistance attacks and no evidence of a clear gameplan. The military are not stupid and they can see that the Karzai government is deeply corrupt and the Afghan “national” army comprised almost exclusively of tribal enemies of the Pashtuns.

You might be surprised by just how high in Nato scepticism runs at the line that in some way occupying Afghanistan helps protect the west, as opposed to stoking dangerous Islamic anger worldwide.

So this is what is causing frost and stress inside NATO. The organisation is tied up in a massive, expensive and ill-defined mission in Afghanistan that many whisper is counter-productive in terms of the alliance aim of mutual defence. Every European military is facing financial problems as a public deficit financing crisis sweeps the continent. The only glue holding the Afghan mission together is loyalty to and support for the United States.

But what kind of mutual support organisation is NATO when members must make decades long commitments, at huge expense and some loss of life, to support the Unted States, but cannot make even a gesture to support Turkey when Turkey is attacked by a non-member?

Even the Eastern Europeans have not been backing the US line on the Israeli attack. The atmosphere in NATO on the issue has been very much the US against the rest, with the US attitude inside NATO described to me by a senior NATO officer as “amazingly arrogant – they don’t seem to think it matters what anybody else thinks”.

Therefore what is troubling the hearts and souls of non-Americans in NATO HQ is this fundamental question. Is NATO genuinely a mutual defence organisation, or is it just an instrument to carry out US foreign policy? With its unthinking defence of Israel and military occupation of Afghanistan, is US foreign policy really defending Europe, or is it making the World less safe by causing Islamic militancy?

I leave the last word to one of the senior NATO officers – who incidentally is not British:
“Nobody but the Americans doubts the US position on the Gaza attack is wrong and insensitve. But everyone already quietly thought the same about wider American policy. This incident has allowed people to start saying that now privately to each other.”

Craig Murray is a human rights activist, writer, former British Ambassador, and an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Lancaster School of Law. Visit his blog http://www.craigmurray.org.uk

Source

Israel‘s Moral Superiority?
Netanyahu: World ‘Hypocritical’ for Condemning Gaza Flotilla Raid

In first address to nation, Netanyahu says had Turkish-flagged ship breached blockade, so could hundreds of vessels carrying weapons.

By Barak Ravid

June 02, 2010

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday defended the Israel Navy’s raid of a pro-Palestinian convoy en route to the Gaza Strip earlier this week, in his first address to the nation regarding the botched operation which left nine people dead and several more wounded.

Netanyahu accused international critics of “hypocrisy” and declared that Israel would continue to blockade the Hamas-run Palestinian enclave, saying that to lift the embargo would turn it into a base for Iranian missiles that would threaten both Israel and Europe.

“Iran is continuing to smuggle weapons into Gaza,” said Netanyahu in a televised address. “It is our obligation to prevent these weapons from being brought in by land and sea. The previous government understood this and imposed a closure.”

“The goal of the flotilla was to breach [the closure] and not to bring goods, as we would have allowed them to do,” said Netanyahu. “If the blockade had been broken, dozens and hundreds more ships carrying weapons could have come.”

Netanyahu, who canceled his trip to Washington and a meeting with President Barack Obama due to the raid, declared that Israel had no opposition to seeing humanitarian aid brought into the Gaza Strip.

But Hamas’ growing armament was a cause for concern and a crucial reason to leave the blockade in place, said the prime minister. Without a blockade and intense inspection of every ship nearing the area, said Netanyahu, “Gaza will turn into an Iranian port.”

Nanyahu told his political-security cabinet during a special session on Tuesday that international condemnation would not stop Israel’s naval blockade of the Gaza Strip.

The raid of the Turkish-flagged ship awakened a storm of criticism among Israel’s friends and foes alike, leading many members of the United Nations Security Council – including Britain – to call on Israel to lift its years-long siege of the Hamas-ruled coastal territory.

At a special meeting convened in the wake of the raid, Netanyahu told his ministers that the blockade was still necessary to prevent weapons from being smuggled into the Gaza Strip.

“We know from the experience of Operation Cast Lead that the weapons entering Gaza are being turned against our civilians,” Netanyahu said, referring to Israel’s three-week offensive on the Gaza Strip that ended in January 2009.

“Gaza is a terror state funded by the Iranians, and therefore we must try to prevent any weapons from being brought into Gaza by air, sea and land,” he said.

Netanyahu acknowledged that militants were still capable of smuggling weapons in via tunnels from Egypt, but emphasized that the large amounts of weapons that could be brought by sea made the threat a completely different affair.

“On the Francop ship alone we confiscated some 200 tons of weapons being smuggled to Hezbollah,” the prime minister said, in reference to the Antiguan-flagged ship Israel intercepted off the coast of Cyprus in November 2009.

“Opening a naval route to Gaza will present an enormous danger to the security of our citizens,” said Netanyahu. “Therefore, we will stand firm on our policy of a naval blockade and of inspecting incoming ships.”

“It’s true that there is international pressure and criticism of this policy, but [the world] must understand that it is crucial to preserving Israel’s security and the right of the State of Israel to defend itself.”

Source
The Flotilla was not a threat to anyone in Israel.
What a BS. If anyone believes the Flotilla was a threat quick go find a Psychiatrist. You need one obviously.
Self defense against defenseless people delivering Humanitarian Aid??? Who is Netanyahu trying to kid?
Does he think everyone on the planet has “Complete Idiot” written across their foreheads. He is really pushing the Gullibility factor.

I for one am completely and utterly insulted, if thinks I am that stupid.

Israel is the perpetrator of the crimes in this case.

Israel attacks Gaza aid fleet

Israeli forces have attacked a flotilla of aid-carrying ships aiming to break the country’s siege on Gaza.

At least 19 people were killed and dozens injured when troops intercepted the convoy of ships dubbed the Freedom Flotilla early on Monday, Israeli radio reported.

The flotilla was attacked in international waters, 65 km (or just over 35 Nautical miles) off the Gaza coast.

Avital Leibovich, an Israeli military spokeswoman, confirmed that the attack took place in international waters, saying: “This happened in waters outside of Israeli territory, but we have the right to defend ourselves.”

Footage from the flotilla’s lead vessel, the Mavi Marmara, showed armed Israeli soldiers boarding the ship and helicopters flying overhead.

Al Jazeera’s Jamal Elshayyal, on board the Mavi Marmara, said Israeli troops had used live ammunition during the operation.

The Israeli military said four soldiers had been wounded and claimed troops opened fire after “demonstrators onboard attacked the IDF Naval personnel with live fire and light weaponry including knives and clubs”.

Free Gaza Movement, the organisers of the flotilla, however, said the troops opened fire as soon as they stormed the convoy.

Our correspondent said that a white surrender flag was raised from the ship and there was no live fire coming from the passengers.

Before losing communication with our correspondent, a voice in Hebrew was clearly heard saying: “Everyone shut up”.

Israeli intervention

Earlier, the Israeli navy had contacted the captain of the Mavi Marmara, asking him to identify himself and say where the ship was headed.

Shortly after, two Israeli naval vessels had flanked the flotilla on either side, but at a distance.

Organisers of the flotilla carrying 10,000 tonnes of humanitarian aid then diverted their ships and slowed down to avoid a confrontation during the night.

They also issued all passengers life jackets and asked them to remain below deck.

Al Jazeera’s Ayman Mohyeldin, reporting from Jerusalem, said the Israeli action was surprising.

“All the images being shown from the activists on board those ships show clearly that they were civilians and peaceful in nature, with medical supplies on board. So it will surprise many in the international community to learn what could have possibly led to this type of confrontation,” he said.

Meanwhile, Israeli police have been put on a heightened state of alert across the country to prevent any civil disturbances.

Sheikh Raed Salah, a leading member of the Islamic Movement who was on board the ship, was reported to have been seriously injured. He was being treated in Israel’s Tal Hasharon hospital.

In Um Al Faham, the stronghold of the Islamic movement in Israel and the birth place of Salah, preparations for mass demonstrations were under way.

Protests

Condemnation has been quick to pour in after the Israeli action.

Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, officially declared a three-day state of mourning over Monday’s deaths.

Turkey, Spain, Greece, Denmark and Sweden have all summoned the Israeli ambassador’s in their respective countries to protest against the deadly assault.

Thousands of Turkish protesters tried to storm the Israeli consulate in Istanbul soon after the news of the operation broke. The protesters shouted “Damn Israel” as police blocked them.

“(The interception on the convoy) is unacceptable … Israel will have to endure the consequences of this behaviour,” the Turkish foreign ministry said in a statement.

Ismail Haniya, the Hamas leader in Gaza, has also dubbed the Israeli action as “barbaric”.

Hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists, including a Nobel laureate and several European legislators, were with the flotilla, aiming to reach Gaza in defiance of an Israeli embargo.

The convoy came from the UK, Ireland, Algeria, Kuwait, Greece and Turkey, and was comprised of about 700 people from 50 nationalities.

But Israel had said it would not allow the flotilla to reach the Gaza Strip and vowed to stop the six ships from reaching the coastal Palestinian territory.

The flotilla had set sail from a port in Cyprus on Sunday and aimed to reach Gaza by Monday morning.

Israel said the boats were embarking on “an act of provocation” against the Israeli military, rather than providing aid, and that it had issued warrants to prohibit their entrance to Gaza.

It asserted that the flotilla would be breaking international law by landing in Gaza, a claim the organisers rejected. Source

UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON THE LAW OF THE SEA

SECTION 2. LIMITS OF THE TERRITORIAL SEA

Article 3

Breadth of the territorial sea

Every State has the right to establish the breadth of its territorial sea up to a limit not exceeding 12 nautical miles, measured from baselines determined in accordance with this Convention.

http://www.un.org/Depts/los/convention_agreements/texts/unclos/closindx.htm

The flotilla was attacked in international waters, 65 km = over 35 nautical miles off the Gaza coast.

For all the Israeli’s knew the Flotilla could have been headed to Egypt to dock and have the goods transported to Gaza via the Egyptian boarder as well.

Either way what Israel did was a violation of International Law of the Sea. The Flotilla was under no obligation to stop for the Israelis as they were over the 12 Nautical miles out to sea at the time Israel attacked them..

Israel has no legal right to arrest anyone or hold any ships hostage. Israel committed an act of deliberate, premeditated, murder and piracy. Other crimes also include assault and battery, kidnapping and imprisonment of innocent civilians, and theft.

The people in the Flotilla  had committed absolutely no crime what so ever.

If I thought about it for a while I could come up with a few more charges that should be laid against the Israelis.

It could be a long list of violations. Murder, kidnapping, assault and battery,theft on land or sea are crimes and those responsible should be charged and imprisoned for their crimes, as any of us would be, if we committed these crimes.

If Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu allowed this and he did, he is as guilty of these crimes as those who committed them. He is responsible and should be tried for these crimes as well, as any other Government Representative or other Official who ordered or allowed  these crimes to be committed.

UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON THE LAW OF THE SEA

SECTION 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS

Article 86

Application of the provisions of this Part

The provisions of this Part apply to all parts of the sea that are not included in the exclusive economic zone, in the territorial sea or in the internal waters of a State, or in the archipelagic waters of an archipelagic State. This article does not entail any abridgement of the freedoms enjoyed by all States in the exclusive economic zone in accordance with article 58.

Article 87

Freedom of the high seas

1. The high seas are open to all States, whether coastal or land-locked. Freedom of the high seas is exercised under the conditions laid down by this Convention and by other rules of international law. It comprises, inter alia, both for coastal and land-locked States:

(a) freedom of navigation;

(b) freedom of overflight;

(c) freedom to lay submarine cables and pipelines, subject to Part VI;

(d) freedom to construct artificial islands and other installations permitted under international law, subject to Part VI;

(e) freedom of fishing, subject to the conditions laid down in section 2;

(f) freedom of scientific research, subject to Parts VI and XIII.

2. These freedoms shall be exercised by all States with due regard for the interests of other States in their exercise of the freedom of the high seas, and also with due regard for the rights under this Convention with respect to activities in the Area.

Article 88

Reservation of the high seas for peaceful purposes

The high seas shall be reserved for peaceful purposes.

Article 89

Invalidity of claims of sovereignty over the high seas

No State may validly purport to subject any part of the high seas to its sovereignty.

Article 90

Right of navigation

Every State, whether coastal or land-locked, has the right to sail ships flying its flag on the high seas.

http://www.un.org/Depts/los/convention_agreements/texts/unclos/closindx.htm

Article 101

Definition of piracy

Piracy consists of any of the following acts:

(a) any illegal acts of violence or detention, or any act of depredation, committed for private ends by the crew or the passengers of a private ship or a private aircraft, and directed:

(i) on the high seas, against another ship or aircraft, or against persons or property on board such ship or aircraft;

(ii) against a ship, aircraft, persons or property in a place outside the jurisdiction of any State;

(b) any act of voluntary participation in the operation of a ship or of an aircraft with knowledge of facts making it a pirate ship or aircraft;

(c) any act of inciting or of intentionally facilitating an act described in subparagraph (a) or (b).

Article 102

Piracy by a warship, government ship or government aircraft

whose crew has mutinied

The acts of piracy, as defined in article 101, committed by a warship, government ship or government aircraft whose crew has mutinied and taken control of the ship or aircraft are assimilated to acts committed by a private ship or aircraft.

Article 103

Definition of a pirate ship or aircraft

A ship or aircraft is considered a pirate ship or aircraft if it is intended by the persons in dominant control to be used for the purpose of committing one of the acts referred to in article 101. The same applies if the ship or aircraft has been used to commit any such act, so long as it remains under the control of the persons guilty of that act.

http://www.un.org/Depts/los/convention_agreements/texts/unclos/closindx.htm

Egypt opened its border with the Gaza Strip for an unlimited amount of time. Seems Egypt is not pleased with Israel over this attack.

Turkey is calling for Israel to be severely punished for it’s acts of violence against innocent civilians.

Protests have broken out in many countries over the incident.

Jordanians protest Israeli raid on Gaza-bound flotilla

Jordanians took to the streets in Amman on Monday, protesting the Israeli raid on a flotilla of aid ships bound for Gaza Strip.

During a march from the Jordanian professional associations’ headquarters to the Prime Ministry, the demonstrators chanted slogans against Israel, calling for closing the Israeli embassy in Amman.

The demonstrators urged the government to expel the Israeli ambassador in Amman and annul the Wadi Arabia peace treaty Jordan and Israel signed in 1994. Source

Thousands in Istanbul protest against Israeli attack on flotilla


East Bay Citizens Condemn Israel Attack on Gaza Aid Flotilla

Minneapolis Demonstration Against Israeli Attack on Gaza Freedom Flotilla

US citizen Emily Henochowicz was shot directly in the face with a tear gas canister as she non-violently demonstrated against the Flotilla massacre she lost her left eye. Source

Photos of Protests from: Turkey, Malaysia, Pakistan, Egypt, Greece, Netherlands, Belgium, Israel, Cyprus, Britain, West Bank,  France, Indonesia, US, Lebanon

America Complicit In Israel’s Crimes

As I write at 5pm on Monday, May 31, all day has passed since the early morning reports of the Israeli commando attack on the unarmed ships carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza, and there has been no response from President Obama except to say that he needed to learn “all the facts about this morning’s tragic events” and that Israeli prime minister Netanyahu had canceled his plans to meet with him at the White House.

Obama’s 12-hour silence in the face of extreme barbarity is his signal to the controlled corporate media to remain on the sidelines until Israeli propaganda sets the story. Source

Related

Gaza Flotilla Drives Israel Into a Sea of Stupidity

Remember  to add this when you protests or write to a Government officials.

Israel is violating international law.  UN Security Council resolution 1860, passed in January 2009,  calls for an end to the Gaza blockade and to allow the unimpeded flow of aid into the region. The flotilla was attacked in international waters, 65 km (or just over 35 Nautical miles) off the Gaza coast. Israel had no legal right to stop them.

Keep up the pressure – End the siege of Gaza
Call on Canadian politicians to condemn the murder of the Gaza flotilla activists.
Global Day of Action – Saturday, June 5

International pressure is growing to end the siege of Gaza. The murder of the flotilla activists has thrust the issue into the mainstream, forcing governments around the world to speak out against the blockade.

Not surprisingly, Stephen Harper has not condemned the attacks and supported the U.S. initiative to water down the UN security council resolution on an investigation into the crimes. Both the U.S. and Canada have said that, rather than have the UN hold an independent investigation, Israel should investigate itself. This self-examination will be a smokescreen designed to hide the truth.

We in Canada have to speak out and demand that Harper stop being silent on war crimes, whether in Afghanistan or Palestine.

What can you do?

  • Join the events this week. Events are posed on the CPA website.

Palestinian groups are urging people to organize a global day of protest this Saturday, June 5. Many CPA members groups are already organizing events on Saturday and we are calling on peace activists to either join events already organized or, where there is no event, to try and organize one in your city. If you are organizing an event send the details to cpa@web.ca so we can post the information. Please feel free to contact the CPA for materials and information about the day of action.
To read the global call for action check the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC) website.

There are also events each day in Canada condemning the attacks. Please keep checking the CPA website for the most up-to-date events listings for Canada. For global event listings check out the Gaza Freedom March website.

  • Send a letter to your MP

Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East have put out a call for you to write letters to Canadian MP’s urging them to condemn the attacks. Click here to go to the website and send your letter.

Event Listings
Halifax
Israeli Attack on Humanitarian Aid Shipment
No to Israeli War Crimes! Support Gaza and the Palestinian People!
Join the Daily Mass Informational Pickets and Vigil

4 – 5 p.m. Wednesday (June 2), Thursday (June 3), Friday (June 4)

Maritime Mall (Aliant Bldg., where the passport office is)
Barrington Street and foot of Spring Garden Road

We call on everyone to join the people of the world in condemning the murderous attack on the Freedom Flotilla

Ad Hoc Committee to Defend Palestine
e-mail: shunpike@shunpiking.com
Hamilton
Bring this Message to Harper:
Lift the Siege of Gaza NOW!
Stop the killing of innocents!
Demand the release of Canadian prisoners!

Friday, June 4th
Federal Government Building in Hamilton – 55 Bay St. North
Across the Street from Copps Colosseum – 5:00 p.m.

Ample parking is available

NO TO PIRACY!!!
NO TO WAR CRIMES!!
Hamilton Coalition to Stop the War

Montreal
Samedi 5 Juin 13h30
coin Peel et St-Catherine
Place Dorchester
métro Peel

Apportez vos drapeaux, vos pancartes originales, vos instruments de musique!

http://www.tadamon.ca/post/6961

Appel pour une action de solidarité à Montréal avec les victimes du massacre de la flottille humanitaire “Gaza Freedom Flotilla” et le peuple palestinien. Manifestons au centre-ville de Montréal pour appeler à la fin du siège israélien sur Gaza et la fin de la complicité du Canada dans l’apartheid israélien. Cette manifestation sera coordonnée avec plusieurs d’autres à travers le monde ce samedi, en réponse à l’appel de la société civile palestinien pour des manifestations globales.

Ottawa:
Gaza Freedom Flotilla Global Day of Action in Ottawa – Rally and March
3:00pm.
Saturday, June 5, 2010
Human Rights Monument
Organized by the Ottawa Palestine Solidarity Network
http://notowarcrimes.blogspot.com | ottawa.palestine@gmail.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=122130111158157

Penticton, BC
Rally at Stockwell Day’s Office

The Penticton Peace Groups believes that the Israeli government has committed new war crimes in an act of piracy and murder against the flotilla of small ships delivering humanitarian aid to Gaza.

We are calling on the people of the south Okanagan to take this message to MP Stockwell Day’s office, this Saturday, June 5, 2010 at noon, meeting at Nanaimo Square.
For more information contact: Brigid Kemp at: bridiekemp@gmail.com

Toronto:
Gaza Freedom Flotilla
Global Day of Action: Saturday, June 5

Rally and March
Date: Saturday, June 5
Time: 1:00 p.m.
Location: Israeli Consulate, 180 Bloor Street West

June 5 also marks the 43rd anniversary of the Israeli occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Our action aims to draw the world’s attention to Israel’s continuing illegal occupation, its refusal to abide by international law, and its massacre of innocent humanitarian workers.

Organized by:
Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid, Palestine House Community Centre, Canadian Arab Federation, Toronto Coalition to Stop the War, Canadian Peace Alliance

Find us on Facebook: http://bit.ly/dBPiGY
To endorse, please email endapartheid@riseup.net.

Waterloo
Protest: Israel`s Flotilla Raid, Tuesday June 8

We would like to invite you to join us at 1pm on Tuesday, June 8th in the SLC courtyard for a march around campus to bring awareness to the humanitarian crisis involving Gaza and the Freedom Flotilla. We feel is is extremely important to bring as much awareness of this issue at this time and express our deepest disapproval of the actions committed by the Israeli Defense Forces. We hope to see you there! Should you have any questions, comments,or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.

For more information please see: Students for Palestinian Rights

Winnipeg
Peace Alliance Winnipeg, Independent Jewish Voices and CanPalNet, will be holding a demonstration to show our solidarity with the people of Gaza, to express our sorrow at the murder of peaceful activists, and to join hands with people around the world in expressing our outrage at Israel’s actions.

Please join us.

Friday, June 4, 2010
4:00 to 6:00 p.m. Broadway Avenue and Osborne Street in Winnipeg. For more information please see: Peace Alliance Winnipeg

From the Jewish Voice for Peace

When I got the news about Israel’s armed attack on the Gaza Flotilla at 2:30 am on the morning of May 31, I felt sick. I immediately called a dear friend in Jerusalem, one of the most committed activists I know.  Across the ocean, I could hear in her voice that she was in tears. “The worst part about it, ” she said, “is that nothing will change.”

“No,” I replied. “I can’t believe that can be true.  Things have to change.””Well,” she said, “then it is up to you, the internationals.”

She’s right. It is up to us, the internationals both here in the United States and abroad.

That is why I want you to send a message to US President Obama if you live outside of the United States, and to Obama and the US Congress if you are a U.S. resident, demanding the immediate release of the detained human rights activists, an end to the siege on Gaza, an impartial investigation of the attack on the flotilla, and a suspension of US aid until Israel abides by international law.We still don’t know a lot about what happened to the flotilla of boats carrying some 700 human rights activists from around the world and over 10 tons of humanitarian aid to Gaza– Israel has kept the activists under a near total media blackout while sharing only its implausible narrative of events. What we do know is that Israeli commandos boarded a ship in international waters and killed at least ten activists, injuring dozens of others.

Israel insists that highly trained commandos were forced to lethally fire on activists, creating a new definition of self-defense. In the first alternative accounts to appear, an Israeli Knesset member and an Al Jazeera cameraman who were on board the ship at the time each described something different, a scene of chaos with civilians waving white flags and commandos using stun guns, rubber bullets and tear gas. Regardless of what actually happened when armed soldiers landed, Israel’s wanton killing of civilians is unacceptable.

We still don’t know th
e names of those who were killed or injured, or where they are from. And we don’t know the whereabouts or well-being of more than 400 activists still being held by Israel.

These deaths, and the attacks on the boats, have hit all of us around the world particularly hard. There were people from 40 different countries on board the ships, including Israelis and Palestinians. Israel sent armed commandos onto a civilian ship in international waters, a brazenly illegal act to enforce Israel’s nearly 3-year illegal siege of Gaza – a siege that has left 1.5 million men, women and children living like prisoners on substandard diets, deprived of the simplest things like potato chips, musical instruments, and toys. The flotilla wasn’t just about this one delivery of aid. It was about the right of Palestinians to have sea, land and air routes to the rest of the world and for the need to end the blockade.

I know that there comes a point in one’s life when you simply have to take a stand. You cannot sit by silently and watch ongoing and wholly unjustified destruction of life, tacitly supported by governments around the world, and simply do nothing.

The flotilla was filled with people just like you and me who finally decided it was time to risk life and limb to take a stand, to break through those prison walls, and we thank them for it.

Now, as citizens of the world, we owe it to the people of Palestine, and the people of Israel who want to live in peace, and the brave people on that flotilla, to build the movement to make Israel accountable to international law and standards of simple human decency – especially because our governments have failed us.

he response of the U.S. government thus far has been wholly inadequate, with a mild statement “regretting the loss of life,” without assigning any blame for the fiasco, let alone applying any sanctions for Israel’s acts.  Please, join me in telling President Obama and Congress enough is enough

. US taxpayer dollars fund Israel’s occupation, and together with wall to wall uncritical diplomatic support have sent the message that any Israeli action, no matter how foolhardy, will be backed by the full might of the United States.

It’s time for that to stop.

We must also continue to build the already massive global people’s movement for justice, which has undeniably found its greatest impact in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. This is about all of the ways, big and small, people can bypass their often ineffective governments to use economic pressure to make the Israeli government accountable to international law. After launching our energetic support for campus efforts to divest from the occupation, Jewish Voice for Peace will let you know soon about our own divestment campaign to help bring pressure on Israel to reach a just solution.It is time for the United States, as Israel’s closest ally and most powerful nation in the world, to stop unconditional support for the Israeli government.Doing so will protect Israelis and Palestinians, American citizens, and internationals alike.

Click here to demand that President Obama and Congress call for an immediate lifting of the siege of Gaza,

An international and impartial investigation into the tragic killing of civilians in a humanitarian mission, and the suspension of military aid to Israel until he can assure the American public that our aid is not used to commit similar abuses.
Rebecca Vilkomerson,
Executive Director,
Jewish Voice for Peace

PS, We’ve prepared posters in PDF format that you can use at protests, in your car window or on bulletin boards. Download them here.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact

Also a Petition to the UN

Israel’s deadly raid on a flotilla of aid ships headed for Gaza has shocked the world.

Israel, like any other state, has the right to self-defence, but this was an outrageous use of lethal force to defend an outrageous and lethal policy — Israel’s blockade of Gaza, where two thirds of families don’t know where they’ll find their next meal.

The UN, EU, and nearly every other government and multilateral organization have called on Israel to lift the blockade and, now, launch a full investigation of the flotilla raid. But without massive pressure from their citizens, world leaders might limit their response to mere words — as they have so many times before.

Let’s make the world’s outcry too loud to ignore. Join the petition for an independent investigation into the raid, accountability for those responsible, and an immediate end to the blockade in Gaza — click to sign the petition, and then forward this message to everyone:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/gaza_flotilla_1/?vl

The petition will be delivered to the UN and world leaders, as soon as it reaches 200,000 names — and again at every opportunity as it grows and leaders choose their responses. A massive petition at a moment of crisis like this one can demonstrate to those in power that sound bites and press releases aren’t enough — that citizens are paying attention and demanding action.

As the EU decides whether to expand its special trade relationship with Israel, as Obama and the US Congress set next year’s budget for Israeli military aid, and as neighbours like Turkey and Egypt decide their next diplomatic steps — let’s make the world’s voice unignorable: it’s time for truth and accountability on the flotilla raid, and it’s time for Israel to comply with international law and end the siege of Gaza. Sign now and pass this message along:

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IDF order will enable mass deportation from West Bank

Amira Hass: A new military order aimed at preventing infiltration will come into force this week, enabling the deportation of tens of thousands of Palestinians from the West Bank, or their indictment on charges carrying prison terms of up to seven years. When the order comes into effect, tens of thousands of Palestinians will automatically become criminal offenders liable to be severely punished.

IOA Editor: “Infiltration,” an Orwellian term invented by the Occupier, is designed to treat certain Palestinians as having no rights to be present at a given area without special permission that is unlikely to be granted by the IDF.  Reminiscent of the Present Absentees (internally displaced Palestinians – IDPs), a post-1948 Israeli classification, this, too, is an attempt to segregate and dispose of elements of the Palestinian people that the Occupation authorities wish to remove — based on political, geographic, or any other criteria, however arbitrary. This newly-formalized authority serves as yet another tool at the hands of the IDF in the long-term process of ethnic cleansing — the removal of the Palestinian people from their land — that Israel has been carrying out since 1948.


By Amira Hass, Haaretz – 11 April 2010

A new military order aimed at preventing infiltration will come into force this week, enabling the deportation of tens of thousands of Palestinians from the West Bank, or their indictment on charges carrying prison terms of up to seven years.

When the order comes into effect, tens of thousands of Palestinians will automatically become criminal offenders liable to be severely punished.

Given the security authorities’ actions over the past decade, the first Palestinians likely to be targeted under the new rules will be those whose ID cards bear home addresses in the Gaza Strip – people born in Gaza and their West Bank-born children – or those born in the West Bank or abroad who for various reasons lost their residency status. Also likely to be targeted are foreign-born spouses of Palestinians.

Until now, Israeli civil courts have occasionally prevented the expulsion of these three groups from the West Bank. The new order, however, puts them under the sole jurisdiction of Israeli military courts.

The new order defines anyone who enters the West Bank illegally as an infiltrator, as well as “a person who is present in the area and does not lawfully hold a permit.” The order takes the original 1969 definition of infiltrator to the extreme, as the term originally applied only to those illegally staying in Israel after having passed through countries then classified as enemy states – Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon and Syria.

The order’s language is both general and ambiguous, stipulating that the term infiltrator will also be applied to Palestinian residents of Jerusalem, citizens of countries with which Israel has friendly ties (such as the United States) and Israeli citizens, whether Arab or Jewish. All this depends on the judgment of Israel Defense Forces commanders in the field.

The new guidelines are expected to clamp down on protests in the West Bank.

The Hamoked Center for the Defense of the Individual was the first Israeli human rights to issue warnings against the order, signed six months ago by then-commander of IDF forces in Judea and Samaria Area Gadi Shamni.

Two weeks ago, Hamoked director Dalia Kerstein sent GOC Central Command Avi Mizrahi a request to delay the order, given “the dramatic change it causes in relation to the human rights of a tremendous number of people.”

According to the provisions, “a person is presumed to be an infiltrator if he is present in the area without a document or permit which attest to his lawful presence in the area without reasonable justification.” Such documentation, it says, must be “issued by the commander of IDF forces in the Judea and Samaria area or someone acting on his behalf.”

The instructions, however, are unclear over whether the permits referred to are those currently in force, or also refer to new permits that military commanders might issue in the future. The provision are also unclear about the status of bearers of West Bank residency cards, and disregards the existence of the Palestinian Authority and the agreements Israel signed with it and the PLO.

The order stipulates that if a commander discovers that an infiltrator has recently entered a given area, he “may order his deportation before 72 hours elapse from the time he is served the written deportation order, provided the infiltrator is deported to the country or area from whence he infiltrated.”

The order also allows for criminal proceedings against suspected infiltrators that could produce sentences of up to seven years. Individuals able to prove that they entered the West Bank legally but without permission to remain there will also be tried, on charges carrying a maximum sentence of three years. (According to current Israeli law, illegal residents typically receive one-year sentences.)

The new provision also allow the IDF commander in the area to require that the infiltrator pay for the cost of his own detention, custody and expulsion, up to a total of NIS 7,500.

Currently, Palestinians need special permits to enter areas near the separation fence, even if their homes are there, and Palestinians have long been barred from the Jordan Valley without special authorization. Until 2009, East Jerusalemites needed permission to enter Area A, territory under full PA control.

The fear that Palestinians with Gaza addresses will be the first to be targeted by this order is based on measures that Israel has taken in recent years to curtail their right to live, work, study or even visit the West Bank. These measures violated the Oslo Accords.

According to a decision by the West Bank commander that was not backed by military legislation, since 2007, Palestinians with Gaza addresses must request a permit to stay in the West Bank. Since 2000, they have been defined as illegal sojourners if they have Gaza addresses, as if they were citizens of a foreign state. Many of them have been deported to Gaza, including those born in the West Bank.

One group expected to be particularly harmed by the new rules are Palestinians who moved to the West Bank under family reunification provisions, which Israel stopped granting for several years.

In 2007, amid a number of Hamoked petitions and as a goodwill gesture to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, tens of thousands of people received Palestinian residency cards. The PA distributed the cards, but Israel had exclusive control over who could receive them. Thousands of Palestinians, however, remained classified as “illegal sojourners,” including many who are not citizens of any other country.

The new order is the latest step by the Israeli government in recent years to require permits that limit the freedom of movement and residency previously conferred by Palestinian ID cards. The new regulations are particularly sweeping, allowing for criminal measures and the mass expulsion of people from their homes.

The IDF Spokesman’s Office said in response, “The amendments to the order on preventing infiltration, signed by GOC Central Command, were issued as part of a series of manifests, orders and appointments in Judea and Samaria, in Hebrew and Arabic as required, and will be posted in the offices of the Civil Administration and military courts’ defense attorneys in Judea and Samaria. The IDF is ready to implement the order, which is not intended to apply to Israelis, but to illegal sojourners in Judea and Samaria.” Source

When you think Israel can’t sink any lower, it does.

You all realize this is Israels way of getting rid of more Palestinians of course.

Israel certainly can come up with some disgusting ideas.  They make up new rules and laws just as they go along. No real need or justification for them, just new ways to remove Palestinians from their homes.

The people that should be deported out of the West Bank are the Jewish people in the settlements. They are there illegally. All settlements in the West Bank are illegal.  So the law breakers get to stay and the Palestinians get deported.

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Israel And Apartheid: By People Who Knew Apartheid

Published in: on April 11, 2010 at 3:26 am  Comments Off on IDF order will enable mass deportation from West Bank  
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Israel Gags News on Extra-Judicial Killings

April 3 2010

Written by Mel Frykberg

Anat Kam, 23, who used to work for the Israeli news site ‘Walla’, was arrested last December for allegedly copying secret Israeli Defence Force (IDF) documents during her compulsory military service.

These documents outlined how Israeli assassination squads would plan the killing of Palestinian political leaders and fighters months beforehand and then pass their deaths off as ”mishaps” during ”failed” attempts to arrest them.

Uri Blau, a reporter from the daily ‘Haaretz’, then wrote a piece on the copied documents and is refusing to return to Israel from Britain fearing that Israel’s domestic intelligence agency, the Shin Bet, will arrest him if he does.

Due to a military gag order the news has remained suppressed even as Israeli journalists fight the suppression order in court.

The news was broken several days ago by Donald McIntyre from Britain’s ‘Independent’.

The controversy has highlighted Israel’s extra-judicial killings which violate international law and have caused death and injury to thousands of Palestinian civilian bystanders despite the country having no death penalty.

Israel’s judiciary has approved ”targeted killings” but only of militants who were allegedly involved in carrying out or planning armed attacks against Israeli soldiers or civilians both within the Palestinian occupied territories and in Israel proper.

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) in Gaza says that during the period September 2000 to March 2008, 500 Palestinians suspected of being involved in military resistance to the Israeli occupation were executed.

However, the ”collateral damage” during the assassinations included another 228 civilian bystanders – 77 of them children. Eleven Palestinians have been assassinated in the last two years.

”Israel is using disproportionate force. Civilians are paying the price. In the overwhelming majority of cases the targeted individuals could have been arrested and brought to trial without being killed. Many of them have been killed in cold blood,” Jaber Wishah from PCHR told IPS.

”International law’s right to life says that state authorities are obliged to follow due process when they are in a position to arrest individuals,” says Michael Kerney from the Ramallah-based rights organisation Al Haq which researched and documented many of the killings.

”Everybody is entitled to a fair trial and no state can dismiss this,” Kerney told IPS.

Some of those targeted have included individuals who were ”pardoned” by the Israelis after having agreed to give up armed resistance to the occupation.

Last December three pardoned members of the Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, a military offshoot of the Palestinian Authority (PA)-affiliated Fatah movement, were shot dead in Nablus in the northern West Bank following the death of an Israeli settler.

According to their families and the subsequent investigations of human rights organisations they had already surrendered and were unarmed despite Israeli claims that they had refused to surrender.

”By failing to produce any evidence linking the targeted individuals to attacks allegedly committed by members of the Palestinian resistance, as well as failing to utilise peaceful means in order to arrest and detain suspects, the soldiers assumed the role of both judge and executioner,” reported Al Haq.

Furthermore, unarmed Palestinians, who have not been involved either politically or militarily in resisting the occupation, also continue to die in what some have called deliberate premeditated murder.

Several weeks ago four Palestinian teenagers were shot dead amidst dubious circumstances in two separate incidents in the villages of Awarta and Iraq Burin near Nablus.

According to medical reports they were shot at close range with live ammunition after clashes between Palestinian youngsters and Israeli soldiers had broken out.

However, the individuals concerned had not been involved in the clashes according to several investigations carried out by Al Haq, PCHR and Israeli rights group B’tselem.

One was shot in the back and another had a bullet lodged in the back of his skull despite Israeli soldiers saying they had only used non-lethal ammunition.

The Israeli military police declared they would investigate the incidents following contradictory testimony given by the soldiers involved.

However, when IPS visited one of the sites a week later with family members, approximately 20 spent cartridge cases, bloodied gloves, a saline solution kit and other bits of evidence lay on the ground undisturbed.

None of this is new. Israel has a history of assassinating political opponents predating its official establishment.

In 1944, the Israeli terrorist group, the Stern gang, assassinated Britain’s Lord Moyne, the military governor of Egypt, accusing him of interfering with Jewish migration to Palestine.

In 1948, Count Folke Bernadotte – a Swedish diplomat who had secured the release of 15,000 inmates from Nazi concentration camps while he was vice-president of the Swedish Red Cross  was also murdered by the Stern gang.

Stern gang members believed Bernadotte, as the U.N.’s Palestine mediator, to be too sympathetic to the Arabs. Yitzhak Shamir, later to become an Israeli prime minister, was one of the Stern gang’s leaders.

”Since the outbreak of the second Intifada, Israel has increasingly avoided accountability for the serious violations of the human rights of residents of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip for which it is responsible,” says B’tselem.

”This avoidance is seen, in part, in its policy not to open criminal investigations in cases of killing or wounding of Palestinians who were not taking part in the hostilities, except in exceptional cases, and in its enactment of legislation denying, almost completely, the right of Palestinians who were harmed as a result of illegal acts by Israeli security forces to sue for compensation for the damages they suffered.”

Source

Journalist on the run from Israel is hiding in Britain

‘Haaretz’ writer fled to London fearing charges over exposé on Palestinian’s killing

April 2 2010

By Kim Sengupta

An Israeli journalist is in hiding in Britain, The Independent can reveal, over fears that he may face charges in the Jewish state in connection with his investigation into the killing of a Palestinian in the West Bank.

Uri Blau, a reporter at Israel’s liberal newspaper, Haaretz, left town three months ago for Asia and is now in London. Haaretz is understood to be negotiating the terms of his return to Israel with prosecutors, according to an Israeli source, who declined to be identified, because of the sensitivity of the situation.

The news of Mr Blau’s extended absence comes just days after it emerged that another Israeli journalist, Anat Kam, has been held under house arrest for the last three months on charges that she leaked classified documents to the press while completing her military service.

Although no media outlet or journalist has been specifically named as the recipient of the classified information, there is speculation on Israeli blogs that Ms Kam gave documents to Mr Blau that formed the basis of a story he wrote in November 2008.

In his article for Haaretz, Mr Blau reported that one of two Islamic Jihad militants killed in Jenin in June 2007 had been targeted for assassination in apparent violation of a ruling issued six months earlier by Israel’s supreme court. While not outlawing assassinations in the West Bank altogether, the ruling heavily restricted the circumstances in which they were permissible, effectively saying that they should not take place if arrest was possible.

In an unusual move, Israel has placed a gagging order on national media, preventing them from reporting any aspect of the Kam case. Israel’s Channel Ten and Haaretz are expected to challenge this order on 12 April.

According to the court order, Ms Kam, 23, is being held on “espionage” charges. It alleges that she passed classified documents to a male journalist while working as a clerk in the Israel Defence Forces Central Command during her military service.

She was arrested more than a year after Mr Blau’s report, which was cleared by military censors at the time of publication, when she was working for the news service Walla, until recently owned by Haaretz.

Ms Kam denies all the charges. Her trial has reportedly been set for 14 April and she could face a lengthy prison sentence if convicted. Mr Blau did not respond to requests for comment; his friends and colleagues refused to discuss the case in detail.

Dov Alfon, Haaretz’s editor-in-chief, said in an emailed statement: “Haaretz has a 90-year-long tradition of protecting its reporters from government pressures, and Uri Blau is getting all the help we can provide him with.”

The move to gag Israel-based media has sparked fevered debate on Jewish blogs, which have freely reported the story. Bloggers have railed against the blackout, saying it represents a critical challenge to the freedom of the press.

“I do not believe that a citizen can be arrested and tried for suspected security offences right under our noses without anyone knowing anything about it,” wrote former Haaretz editor Hanoch Marmari in an eloquent cri de coeur on the Seventh Eye website.

“Trials do not take place here in darkened dungeons, nor do we have show trials behind glass or chicken wire. I have no doubt that such a strange, terrible and baseless scenario cannot take place in such a sophisticated democracy as our own.” Source

Well Israel never really does an investigation even when settlers kill a Palestinian.  They say they do, but in actuality they do not. That is not new at all. That is standard proceedure.

Israel kills anyone they feel like killing anyone no matter if it is a child or and adult. They kill people quit often.

As a matter of fact they have been killing for years so again this is not new. It is old hat.

As we well know they even go to other countries and kill people. They as we all know use fake passports. That to is standard procedure.

There is no real justice for Palestinians under Israeli law.

Even reporters or others who have been killed in Gaza or the West Bank, do not get a real investigation into their deaths by Israel.  They never have.

Deaths of Palestinians or outsiders are usually swept under the carpet.

Some Democracy. More like no Democracy.

Related

License to kill

By Uri Blau

December 4 2008
The announcement made by the Israel Defense Forces’ spokesman on June 20, 2007 was standard: “Two armed terrorists belonging to the Islamic Jihad terror organization were killed last night during the course of a joint activity of the IDF and a special force of the Border Police in Kafr Dan, northwest of Jenin. The two terrorists, Ziad Subahi Mahmad Malaisha and Ibrahim Ahmed Abd al-Latif Abed, opened fire at the force during its activity. In response the force fired at them, killing the terrorists. On their bodies two M-16 rifles, a pistol and ammunition were found. It was also discovered that the terrorists were involved in planning suicide attacks against the Israeli home front, including the attempt in Rishon Letzion last February.”

The laconic announcement ignores one important detail: Malaisha was a target for assassination. His fate had been decided several months earlier, in the office of then head of Central Command, Yair Naveh. As far as the public was concerned, on the other hand, the last declared assassination carried out by the IDF in the West Bank took place in August 2006; at the end of that year the High Court of Justice set strict criteria regarding the policy of assassinations in the territories.

A Haaretz Magazine investigation reveals for the first time operational discussions in which the fate of wanted men and innocent people was decided, in apparent disregard of the High Court decision. Thus it was revealed that the IDF approved assassination plans in the West Bank even when it would probably have been possible to arrest the wanted men – in contradiction to the State’s statement to the High Court – and that in cold military terminology the most senior IDF echelons approve, in advance and in writing, the harming of innocent Palestinians during the course of assassination operations. Moreover, it turns out that the assassination of a target the defense establishment called part of a “ticking infrastructure” was postponed, because it had been scheduled to take place during the visit of a senior U.S. official.

Leading legal experts who were asked to react to the documents say that the IDF is operating in contradiction to a High Court ruling. “Morality is a very difficult issue,” Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer of Hebrew Univeristy said. “The thought that there are people who sit behind a desk and determine that someone is fated to die is a frightening thought.”

Another two killings

(at most)

The IDF spokesman refuses to provide precise figures about the number of targeted assassinations carried out since the start of the intifada in 2000: “The subject of preventive strikes is concentrated in the hands of the Shin Bet [security service].” A spokesman for the Shin Bet stated that the organization “does not publish data of this kind.” According to the human-rights organization B’Tselem, the IDF assassinated 232 Palestinians between the start of the intifada and the end of October 2008, in operations that also killed 154 non-targeted civilians.

The most common code names for assassination operations are the acronyms Pa’amon (peula mona’at – preventive action) and Sakum (sikul mimukad – targeted assassination). During the past two and a half years the IDF has not announced the carrying out of assassinations in the West Bank, and when wanted men were killed there, the official reports stated that these were “arrest operations” or “exchanges of fire.” This was also reported in regard to the killing of Abed and Malaisha – who has now been revealed as a previous target for assassination.

On March 28, 2007 a representative of the Shin Bet, a representative of the Special Police Unit Yamam and several officers from Central Command convened in Naveh’s office. On the agenda was the Two Towers operation (the strike at Malaisha). “The mission” said the head of the command, “is arrest,” but “in case identification is made of one of the leaders of Palestinian Islamic Jihad: Walid Obeidi, Ziad Malaisha, Adham Yunis, there is permission for the force to intercept them, and that is according to the situation assessment in the course of carrying out the mission.” Naveh did not allow an assassination if there were women or children near the wanted man, and explained that, “in the event that there are women and children in the vehicle, the method is arrest.”

On April 12 Naveh convened another meeting about Malaisha. This time he decided that permission would be granted to carry out the assassination of the target and “another two people at most.” On the day of the meeting in Naveh’s office another discussion took place, chaired by the head of the Operations Directorate, Brig. Gen. Sami Turjeman. At the meeting, the plans for a preventive operation against Malaisha were presented, and the head of the Operations Directorate explained that “a preventive strike in Ayush [Judea and Samaria] is an exceptional sight … It could be seen as an attempt to damage the attempts to stabilize, which means that it requires sensitivity to causing a minimum of collateral damage. Everything possible must be done to prevent harm to those who are uninvolved.” The target of the operation, he added “leads a ‘ticking’ infrastructure and meets the required criteria for a preventive strike.”

At this point Turjeman spelled out the conditions of Malaisha’s incrimination, and ruled that only if they existed would the targeted assassination get a green light. He added that no more than five people (including the driver) should be assassinated in the operation. Turjeman approved the operation even if there should be one unidentified person in the car. Regarding the matter of timing, he said that “in light of the anticipated diplomatic events, the prime minister’s meeting with Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas] and the visit of the U.S. Secretary of Defense, I recommend … implementation afterward.” In the discussion Turjeman also referred to the High Court ruling about appointing a committee whose job would be to examine targeted assassinations after the fact, and said that in light of the High Court instructions on the matter, the operation should be documented.

The next day the operation was brought up for the approval of Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi. A limited number of senior officers convened in his office, including his deputy, the head of the Operations Directorate, the head of the Operations Brigade, the chief military prosecutor, a representative of Central Command and a representative of the Shin Bet. The paper summing up the meeting says that Ashkenazi “emphasized that due to the High Court orders regarding the establishment of a professional committee on targeted assassinations, the composition of the committee should be agreed on with the Shin Bet as soon as possible.”

Although Malaisha was defined as part of a “ticking infrastructure,” Ashkenazi too was disturbed by the timing of the action and said that “in light of the diplomatic meetings anticipated during the course of the week, the date of implementation should be reconsidered.” Ashkenazi prohibited attacking the vehicle in which Malaisha was traveling if it was discovered that there was “more than one unidentified passenger” in it.

Two months after the Two Towers plan was approved, and long after the diplomatic visits and meetings that took place in the second week of April 2007, came the operation in which Malaisha was killed in the Jenin area.

Legal approval

At the beginning of 2002, attorneys Avigdor Feldman and Michael Sfard petitioned the High Court of Justice against the policy of targeted assassinations on behalf of the Public Committee against Torture in Israel and the Al-Haq organization. Almost five years later, on December 14, 2006, the president of the Supreme Court at the time, Justice Aharon Barak, issued his decision. Barak, with the concurrence of Justices Dorit Beinisch (now the president of the Supreme Court) and Eliezer Rivlin, rejected the petition and did not rule out the legality of targeted assassinations in the territories.

“We cannot determine that every targeted preemption strike is forbidden under international law, just as we cannot determine that every targeted preemption is permissible under international law,” Barak wrote in the last judgment he published in his 28 years on the Supreme Court.

According to the High Court ruling, well-founded and convincing information is necessary in order to classify a civilian as being part of a group of civilians who are carrying out hostile acts; a person should not be assassinated if it is possible to use less damaging methods against him; and he should not be harmed more than necessary for security needs. In other words, a person should not be assassinated if it is possible to arrest him, interrogate him and indict him. However, if the arrest involves serious danger to the lives of the soldiers, there is no need to use this means; after every assassination a thorough and independent examination must be conducted regarding the degree of precision, the identity of the man as a terror activist, and in the case of mistaken identity, the payment of compensation should be considered; harm to innocent civilians should be avoided as much as possible during an assassination, and “harm to innocent civilians will be legal only if it meets the demands of proportionality,” ruled Barak.

In this context, Barak gave an example according to which “it is possible to fire at a terrorist who is firing from the balcony of his home at soldiers or civilians, even if as a result an innocent bystander is liable to be hit. Such a strike at an innocent civilian will meet the demands of proportionality. That is not the case if the house is bombed from the air and dozens of its residents and bystanders are hit.”

Barak stated that, “The struggle against terror has turned our democracy into a ‘defensive democracy’ or a ‘fighting democracy.’ However, this struggle must not overturn the democratic nature of our regime.”

According to B’Tselem, since the ruling regarding targeted assassinations was handed down, 19 Palestinians who were targets of assassination have been killed in the territories, and 36 Palestinians who were close to the targets were hit in the course of IDF operations, all of them in the Gaza Strip.

“It turns out that in total contradiction to the High Court ruling, there are cases in which there is an order to assassinate someone when it is possible to arrest him,” says David Kretchmer, a professor of international law. “Advance approval to kill civilians who do not take part in hostile activities makes things even worse. The principle of proportionality, to the effect that if one strikes at a military target an accompanying strike against civilians will not be illegal, does not apply in a case when the attack itself is illegal – for example, in a case where there is an obligation, according to the High Court ruling, to arrest the suspect.”

Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer: “According to the High Court ruling it is clear that where it is possible to carry out an arrest, we must carry out an arrest and avoid what is called a ‘targeted assassination’ and which I call ‘preventive killing.’ A substantial part of Judea and Samaria is under the effective rule of the IDF, and in my opinion, in such an area preventive killing must be ruled out. The limited interpretation that I am suggesting for the international law is that an attack must take place in the course of that person’s participation in a dangerous action, because then you are in effect acting in self-defense based on the situation taking place.”

Legal commentator Moshe Negbi: “‘Unidentified people’ can also be totally innocent and you are ostensibly giving a license to kill here. The problem is previous knowledge, because usually when we refer to collateral damage we are referring to ‘after the fact,’ but here this is almost certain foreknowledge. It is very problematic that permission is given to execute an innocent man deliberately. The question is whether it is proportional. I think that the High Court was referring to a situation where perhaps among a mass of people there is one who is innocent, but here it is one on one. It is very grave to grant permission when you know ahead of time that 50 percent of those you are hitting are innocent. Such a thing must certainly be discussed at the level of the attorney general and it certainly must be known to the public and undergo public criticism, if only so that anyone who thinks it is patently illegal can turn to the High Court.”

Regarding the fact that assassinations can wait until the conclusion of diplomatic meetings, Kretchmer says: “Postponing an operation for diplomatic reasons is unequivocal proof of the fact that this is not a ‘ticking bomb’ situation.” Kremnitzer adds: “According to my legal understanding, these cases [targeted assassinations] must be cases in which you must act immediately, and if it is not a matter of an immediate need, in my opinion it is against the law.”

Although almost two years have passed since the High Court ruling, a committee to examine the assassinations after the fact has yet to be appointed. Last week Aviad Glickman published on Ynet (the website of the mass circulation paper Yedioth Ahronoth) that Attorney General Menachem Mazuz had turned to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert demanding the establishment of such a committee as soon as possible. “This step must be completed without further delay,” wrote Mazuz, “for fear that a continued delay is liable to constitute contempt of court.”

The bad guys

Yair Naveh, who served as head of Central Command from 2005 to 2007, confirms that occasionally, there is no genuine attempt to arrest wanted men. “If the guy doesn’t put his hands up we don’t get into stories, we immediately establish contact. I don’t want to have people hurt for no reason. If I know that the guy is armed and is a ticking bomb, then I want him to be hit immediately without fooling around. It’s not the preventive action procedure, it’s an entirely different story.

“In my time there were no targeted assassinations. Not a single one, as far as I recall. In principle, there were no targeted assassinations in Central Command and none were approved. What I did have was an ability to reach all of [the wanted men]; therefore there is no reason for a targeted assassination. It is relevant only when you can’t reach someone, but if you can reach him and arrest him at night or have an exchange of fire with him, then it is not a targeted assassination.”

Is it possible that programs were approved and in the end were not carried out?

“No. In principle there was no such thing during my time, because in every operation there were special forces that had to arrive and arrest the guy. To tell the truth, in some places we knew a priori that there would be firing. If you know that you are operating against Islamic Jihad or against Hamasniks or even against some of the jokers who were in the Casbah, then it was clear to me that there would be engagement.”

In the approval of the March 2007 plan regarding Ziad Malaisha you said the mission was arrest, but if one of the leaders of Islamic Jihad was identified, the force had permission to carry out interception. What is that if not targeted assassination?

“Those are guys for whom we received basic confirmation that they are ticking bombs. Those are guys that if we had contact with them, because we knew in advance that they were armed, the default choice was not to start calling on them to halt and then to see whether or not they fled, but right from the start, if they didn’t put up their hands and throw away their weapons, then we engaged with them. That’s not because they had to be killed. It’s also because they are both ticking bombs and armed. That’s the assumption.”

That is semantics. You gave permission to fire at them from the moment they were identified.

“If they don’t put up their hands right at the start. You arrive, shout ‘IDF, hands up!’ You surround them. If the guys don’t put up their hands, then you don’t wait to close in on them, to make a declaration. If you receive confirmation that the guys have received all the relevant approvals, then we say, ‘Friends, I don’t want you to get into a pressure cooker here’ [methods used by the IDF to make someone give himself up]. If they don’t surrender immediately then you immediately engage them, so that you won’t be hurt. That’s the story. It’s not a targeted assassination, where you are approving their execution even if they put up their hands.”

The approval you gave the forces states that if there are women and children, there is to be an arrest. In other words, it would have been possible to arrest them.

“That means that if there are women and children we assume another risk and tell the guys that if they fire at you and begin to flee you don’t begin to exchange fire, but you try to stop the vehicle by shooting at the tires.”

The Operations Directorate approval in the case of Malaisha states that this is a preventive action operation.

“If it was approved as preventive action, that is, as a target for assassination, it’s a different story.”

But then it contradicts the High Court orders to the effect that Israel controls the area and approval of the plan includes the option of arrest.

“Don’t bother me with the High Court orders, I don’t know when there were High Court orders and when there weren’t. I know that a targeted assassination is approved and there is a preventive action procedure and I receive instructions from the Operations Directorate.”

What is the difference between the preventive action procedure and people that you give permission to fire at if they are identified?

“The difference is language. You say ‘Hands up. If not, I’m opening fire,’ and here I don’t say anything and drop a bomb from a plane.”

In the instructions there is no mention of the arrest option, and permission is given to fire if there is identification of a wanted man.

“I’m not familiar with such a document.”

Why in the approvals for targeted assassination is permission given in advance to harm unidentified people?

“Weren’t there people in the Shahadeh case? [Fatah leader Mohammed Shahadeh was assassinated by Hamas in October 2006]. But those aren’t questions that you should ask me. What is approved as preventive action goes through approvals all the way to the prime minister, and what is decided is decided. Usually these guys hung around with bad guys, not good guys.”

Linguistic innovations

In the State’s reply to the High Court, prior to its ruling, it was claimed that carrying out a targeted assassination is “an exceptional step” that is taken “only when there is no other, less severe way of implementing it … In the context of these strict instructions it was decided that when there are realistic alternatives to the action, such as arrest, these alternatives should be used.”

But the most noticeable thing the High Court ruling changed regarding the assassinations is the language used by the IDF in planning them. On December 13, 2006, a day before the High Court ruling was handed down, wanted man Muhammed Ramaha was killed in the Ein Beit Ilma refugee camp in the Nablus area. According to the IDF spokesman’s report to the media at the time, Ramaha was killed in the course of a joint “arrest operation” of the IDF, the Shin Bet and the Yamam police unit.

Now it turns out that Ramaha’s fate had been sealed a month earlier, when the Central Command conducted a discussion on an operation planned by the IDF’s Maglan special operations unit in the Nablus area. Those in attendance were presented with orders from Maj. Gen. Naveh, who ruled that the armed men walking around the area were connected to Mohammed Ramaha’s unit and “should be attacked.” There was no option offered of trying to arrest the members of the squad, and conditions for opening fire were the identification of two armed men, “conspiratorial” activity involving at least one armed man, or “when an indication is given” of the presence of Ramaha in the squad. As mentioned, a month after the discussion Ramaha was killed.

The Maglan soldiers were also the ones who carried out an operation on November 8, 2006 that ended in the killing of five Palestinians, two of them unarmed. The IDF, as usual, did not present it as an assassination mission, but it turns out that the force’s assignment was “to sneak into the center of the village, up to the observation point overlooking the killing area that had been designated in advance, to lie in ambush for armed terrorists and to hit them at short range.”

Another example: At the end of September 2006 the then head of the Operations Directorate, Maj. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot (today GOC Northern Command), conducted a discussion in which approval was given to assassinate a Fatah member – an expert on the production of explosives belts – in the Nablus area. “The Time For Chaos Has Arrived” was the name of this operation, in which the major general approved attacking the man “in the context of the procedure of targeted assassination of important figures in light of the fact that he is a ‘ticking bomb.'” As opposed to operations planned after the High Court ruling, where there are specific instructions regarding conditions in which the action should not be carried out, in this case the only instructions were “to try to refrain insofar as possible from harming innocent people.”

“Apparently what happened in the wake of the High Court ruling is mainly ‘word laundering,'” says Kretchmer. “In other words, the use of words referring to arrest when in fact there is no real intention of carrying out an arrest, but the reference is to assassination.” Sfard says that, “whoever gave the IDF a permit to execute civilians without trial should not be surprised when the death squads it has created do not adhere to the few restrictions imposed on this policy. It’s a natural, logical and inevitable process of moral deterioration involved in assassinations.”

A military source said that the first years of the intifada were “a period lacking order. They fired at just about anything that moved.” He says that in recent years, especially after the High Court ruling, the procedure in Central Command and the Operations Directorate is somewhat different, one reason being that representatives of the Military Prosecutor’s Office “are breathing down their necks.” As for the importance attributed by the army to the country’s image and to the timing of its activity, the source said, not without a degree of cynicism, that “the criteria for a ‘ticking bomb’ change if Condoleezza Rice is in the country.”

An investigation by Haaretz indicates that IDF operations that are defined in advance as arrest operations rather than assassination operations do for the most part end in arrest. However, there is something disturbing about the fact that when it comes to the plan to arrest a Palestinian, the commander in charge of the operation sometimes feels a need to explain that this is not an assassination assignment and that the wanted man should be brought back alive. For example, in an operation planned last May for the arrest of a Fatah activist in Bethlehem, the GOC Central Command explained to the commander of the Duvdevan undercover commando unit that “the mission is arrest rather than killing.” And in fact, that activist was arrested alive. In the same operation, incidentally, it was explained to the forces that “there is no permission to behave aggressively toward foreign media crews.”

When Naveh was asked why he occasionally told the forces that the wanted men be brought back alive, which should ostensibly be obvious, he explained: “That means that I am exposing our forces to additional risk, and even if he opens fire, they do not kill him immediately but try nevertheless to arrest him.” It also turns out that the presence of children is not always an excuse to cancel military operations. At the end of March 2007, the chief of staff allowed Duvdevan to carry out the arrest of a wanted man during the birthday party of one of his children. The name chosen by the IDF for this action was Kindergarten Party.

Source

Israeli journalists on ice for report on Israeli assassinations

Other Israeli crimes . There are many.

Fake Al Qaeda, Fake Passports, Fake planes

Dubai police chief to seek Netanyahu arrest as well as the Mossad agents

Recent

Israel bombards Gaza – and threatens worse

Update April 2 2010: Disease Threatens Haitian Children

Canada and the European Union: Advancing theTransatlantic Agenda

Foreign control of large swathes of the Sinai Peninsula obtained through fraud and Israeli involvement

Mossad using Spanish passport Arrested in Algeria

British MPs call for review of arms export to Israel

Australia: Fraser calls for expulsion of Israeli diplomats

Israel to Allow Shoes into Gaza Strip After Three Year Ban

UK warns of Israel travel amid passport scandal

Tony Blair’s attempt to keep his Iraqi Oil Profits a secret

Women in Iraq Miss Saddam

Israel condemned at Arab summit over Israel’s illegal settlements on occupied Palestinian land

Report: U.S. vows to halt Israeli building in East Jerusalem

March 13 2010

U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell promised Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas that the U.S. will bring a halt to Israeli building in East Jerusalem, a Palestinian official told the newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi on Saturday.

“In a telephone conversation, Mitchell said the U.S. would make sure Israel stops building in the area,” the Palestinian official told the London-based Arabic daily newspaper.

The U.S. has recently expressed frustration over Israel’s announcement on Tuesday of new settlement construction, a move that deeply embarrassed visiting U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and imperiled U.S. plans to launch indirect negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

In an interview with CNN aired Friday night, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Israel’s announcement of new construction of homes in a Jewish neighborhood in East Jerusalem was “insulting” to the United States.

“I mean, it was just really a very unfortunate and difficult moment for everyone – the United States, our vice president who had gone to reassert our strong support for Israeli security – and I regret deeply that that occurred and made that known,” Clinton said during the CNN interview.

While Clinton did not blame Netanyahu personally for the announcement, she said, “He is the prime minister. Like the president or secretary of state…ultimately, you are responsible.”

U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said Clinton spoke with Netanyahu on the phone and told him the announcement was a “deeply negative signal about Israel’s approach to the bilateral relationship…and had undermined trust and confidence in the peace process.”

“The secretary said she could not understand how this happened, particularly in light of the United States’ strong commitment to Israel’s security,” Crowley said.

“She made clear that the Israeli government needed to demonstrate not just through words but through specific actions that they are committed to this relationship and to the peace process,” he said.

Clinton’s rebuke of Netanyahu capped a week of tense exchanges between the United States and Israel, which on Tuesday announced it was building 1,600 new settler homes in an area of the occupied West Bank it annexed to Jerusalem.

The announcement infuriated the West Bank-based Palestinian leadership, which threatened to pull out of U.S.-brokered indirect “proximity” talks with Israel that Washington hoped would be the first step toward relaunching full peace negotiations after more than a year.

Another senior U.S. official said Friday that Netanyahu’s political standing is “perilous” because of divisions within his coalition over efforts to pursue peace with the Palestinians.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter, predicted “a dicey period here in the next couple days to a couple of weeks” as Washington tries to get the indirect talks launched.

Quartet condemns Israel: Unilateral action cannot prejudge talks’ outcome

In addition to the U.S. condemnation of Israel’s announcement, the Quartet of Middle East peacemakers also condemned on Friday Israel’s announcement approving new construction in east Jerusalem.

“The Quartet condemns Israel’s decision to advance planning for new housing units in east Jerusalem,” the statement said. “The Quartet has agreed to closely monitor developments in Jerusalem and to keep under consideration additional steps that may be required to address the situation on the ground.”

“Unilateral action by the Israelis or Palestinians cannot prejudge the outcome of (peace) negotiations and will not be recognized by the international community,” the statement said.

“The Quartet will take full stock of the situation at its meeting in Moscow on March 19,” the statement said.

The Quartet called on all concerned to support the urgent resumption of
dialogue between the parties and to promote an atmosphere that is conducive to successful negotiations to resolve all outstanding issues of the conflict.

The group reiterated that Arab-Israeli peace and the establishment of an
independent, contiguous and viable state of Palestine is in the fundamental interests of the parties, of all states in the region, and of the international community.

ADL ‘stunned’ by U.S. condemnation of Israel

The U.S. based Anti-Defamation League said late Friday that it was “stunned” by Clinton’s “dressing down” of Israel.

“We cannot remember an instance when such harsh language was directed at a friend and ally of the United States,” said Abraham Foxman, director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), in a statement.

The ADL called Clinton’s remarks a “gross overreaction” to a “policy difference among friends.”

“One can only wonder how far the U.S. is prepared to go in distancing itself from Israel in order to placate the Palestinians in the hope they see it is in their interest to return to the negotiating table,” Foxman said.

Source

Ya Right? I will believe it when I see it and not before. Sounds like a fantasy to me.

Meanwhile the reality.  Nothing will change. The US is just posturing to appeases voters or make themselves look better in the eyes of the world at large.

Settlers are still stealing land. Just another everyday occurrence.

Settlers torch olive orchard in Hebron
March 12, 2010

A group of fundamentalist Jewish settlers burnt on Thursday at night an olive orchard in Safa village, north west of Hebron, in the southern part of the West Bank.

Dozens of settlers torched the grove while the Israeli army did not attempt to intervene or stop them.

The residents called the local civil defense and firefighters but the army prevented them from reaching the grove.

Soldiers also attacked an international peace activist and confiscated his camera for taking pictures of the assault and the soldiers.

The land in question is 25 Dunams (6.17 Acres) planted with Olives and some evergreens.

Source

Related

Clinton: Israel must prove commitment to peace

March 16 2010

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Tuesday said Israel must prove it is committed to the Mideast peace process with actions. But she brushed aside suggestions that relations with the main U.S. ally in the Mideast are in crisis over Israeli plans to build new Jewish housing in east Jerusalem.

E-book on Jewish National Fund’s role in colonization of Palestine

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Amir, ten years old, abducted by Israeli soldiers from his bed

“This Time We Went Too Far” Truth and Consequences in the Gaza Invasion

Israel on Trial – The Russell Tribunal on Palestine

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Rachel Corrie’s parents Get Nasty Letter from professor at Haifa University

Published in: on March 14, 2010 at 1:17 am  Comments Off on Report: U.S. vows to halt Israeli building in East Jerusalem  
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Amir, ten years old, abducted by Israeli soldiers from his bed

Nora Barrows-Friedman writing from Hebron, occupied West Bank, Live from Palestine,

March 8 2010

Amir and his mother just hours before he was abducted by Israeli soldiers. (Nora Barrows-Friedman)
Amir al-Mohtaseb smiled tenderly when I asked him to tell me his favorite color. Sitting in his family’s living room last Thursday afternoon, 4 March, in the Old City of Hebron, the ten-year-old boy with freckles and long eyelashes softly replied, “green.” He then went on to describe in painful detail his arrest and detention — and the jailing of his 12-year-old brother Hasan by Israeli occupation soldiers on Sunday, 28 February.

Hours after our interview, at 2am, Israeli soldiers would break into the house, snatch Amir from his bed, threaten his parents with death by gunfire if they tried to protect him, and take him downstairs under the stairwell. They would beat him so badly that he would bleed internally into his abdomen, necessitating overnight hospitalization. In complete shock and distress, Amir would not open his mouth to speak for another day and a half.

In our interview that afternoon before the brutal assault, Amir said that on the 28th, he was playing in the street near the Ibrahimi Mosque, on his way with Hasan to see their aunt.

“Two of the soldiers stopped us and handcuffed us,” Amir said. “They brought us to two separate jeeps. They took me to the settlement and put me in a corner. I still had handcuffs on. They put a dog next to me. I said that I wanted to go home. They said no, and told me I would stay here forever. They refused to let me use the bathroom. They wouldn’t let me call my mother. They blindfolded me and I stayed there like that until my father was able to come and get me late at night.”

Amir’s detention inside the settlement lasted nearly ten hours. “The only thing that I thought about was how afraid I was, especially with the dog beside me. I wanted to run away and go back to my house,” he said.

Amir and Hasan’s mother, Mukarrem, told me that Amir immediately displayed signs of trauma when he returned home. “He was trying to tell me a joke, and trying to laugh. But it was not normal laughter. He was happy and terrified at the same time,” she said. “He wet himself at some point during the detention. He was extremely afraid.”

Amir revealed that he hadn’t been able to sleep in the nights following his detention, worried sick about his brother in jail and extremely afraid that the soldiers would come back (which, eventually, they did). Today, approximately 350 children are languishing inside Israeli prisons and detention camps, enduring interrogation, torture and indefinite sentences, sometimes without charge. The number fluctuates constantly, but thousands of Palestinian children between the ages of 12 and 16 have moved through the Israeli military judicial system over the past decade since the outbreak of the second Palestinian intifada. Israel designates 18 as the age of adulthood for its own citizens, but through a military order, and against international law, Israel mandates 16 as the age of adulthood for Palestinians. Additionally, Israel has special military orders (#1644 and #132) to be able to arrest and judge Palestinian children — termed “juvenile delinquents” — as young as 12 years old.

“This way, they have a ‘legal’ cover for what they are doing, even though this is against international laws,” said Abed Jamal, a researcher at Defence for Children International-Palestine Section’s (DCI-PS) Hebron office. “However, in Amir’s case, they broke even their own laws by arresting and detaining him as a ten-year-old boy. These laws are obviously changeable according to Israel’s whim. We have yet to see a prosecution for crimes such as these.”

I asked Amir and Hasan’s father, Fadel, to describe how one is able to parent effectively under this kind of constant siege.

“It’s not safe for the children to go outside because we’ve faced constant attacks by the settlers and the soldiers,” he explained. “This by itself is unimaginable for us. And now, we have one son in jail and another traumatized … they’re so young.”

On Sunday, 7 March, exactly a week after Hasan’s arrest and Amir’s detention, the family and members of the local media made an early-morning journey to Ofer prison where Hasan had been held since his initial arrest. After a lengthy process in which the Israeli military judge admitted that the boy was too young to stay in prison, Hasan was released on the condition that he would come back to the court to finish the trial at a later date. This trial followed the initial hearing last Wednesday at Ofer, where Maan News Agency reported that the judge insisted that Fadel pay the court 2,000 shekels ($530) for Hasan’s bail. According to Maan, Fadel then publicly asked the court, “What law allows a child to be tried in court and then asks his father to pay a fine? I will not pay the fine, and you have to release my child … This is the law of Israel’s occupation.”

Consumed by their sons’ situations, Mukarrem and Fadel say they are trying to do the best for their family under attack. “What can we do?” asked Fadel. “We lock the doors. We lock the windows. We have nothing with which to protect our family and our neighbors from the soldiers or the settlers. If a Palestinian kidnapped and beat and jailed an Israeli child, the whole world would be up in arms about it. It would be all over the media. But the Israelis, they come into our communities with jeeps and tanks and bulldozers, they take our children and throw them into prison, and no one cares.”

DCI-PS’s Jamal reiterates the point that international laws made to protect children under military occupation have been ignored by Israel since the occupation began in 1967. “Most of the time, we try to do our best to use the law, the Geneva Conventions, the UN Convention for the Rights of the Child as weapons against this brutality,” said Jamal. “All of these laws exist, but Israel uses their own military laws as excuses to defy international law. As Palestinians, we have to work together to create solidarity against this brutality. Through our work, we try to tell the international community what’s going on with Palestinian children to create a wide berth of support against this situation. We believe that the only way this will stop is through the support of the international community.”

Amir slowly began speaking again 36 hours after the beating by Israeli soldiers. Zahira Meshaal, a Bethlehem-based social worker specializing in the effects of trauma in children, said that Amir’s “elective mutism,” a symptom of extreme psychological shock caused by his beating and detention, is a common response, but that it is a good sign that he began talking again. “This is a reaction of fear on many levels. Amir’s house and his family are his only source of security,” said Meshaal. “This was taken away from him the moment the soldiers invaded his home. It’s easy to attend to the immediate trauma, but the long-term effects will undoubtedly be difficult to address. He’ll need a lot of mental health services from now on.”

Meshaal comments on the nature of this attack in the context of the unraveling situation inside Hebron. “We are talking about a place that is on the front lines of trauma,” she said. “This is an ongoing and growing injury to the entire community. Parents have to be a center of security for their children, but that’s being taken away from them. Especially in Hebron, the Israeli settlers and soldiers know this, and use this tactic to force people to leave the area. It’s a war of psychology. This is a deliberate act to make the children afraid and force people to leave so that their children can feel safer.”

At the end of our interview last Thursday, Amir sent a message to American children. “We are kids, just like you. We have the right to play, to move freely. I want to tell the world that there are so many kids inside the Israeli jails. We just want to have freedom of movement, the freedom to play.” Amir said that he wants to be a heart surgeon when he grows up. His mother and father told me that they hope Amir’s own heart — and theirs — heals from last week’s repetitive and cumulative trauma at the hands of the interminable Israeli occupation.

Source

This is everyday life for those in the West Bank. This not how children should be treated.

Related

The systematic and institutionalised ill-treatment and torture of Palestinian children by Israeli authorities

There are also two other very good reports on the Prison system run by Israel. One for Adults and one for Children HERE as well . Be sure to read them and then maybe you will understand just how horrible things really are for Palestinians. International Laws are defiantly broken and often.

No democratic country, with the exception of the US with their prison system like Guantanamo  for Prisoners of war, does this to people.

A Palestinian student has been handcuffed, blindfolded and forcibly expelled to the Gaza

How would you feel if these things were done to your children? Children should not live in constant fear.

Terrorizing children. You don’t want to know what I am thinking, really you don’t.

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Published in: on March 9, 2010 at 8:49 am  Comments Off on Amir, ten years old, abducted by Israeli soldiers from his bed  
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E-book on Jewish National Fund’s role in colonization of Palestine

Released March 7, 2010

Edited by Mortaza Sahibzada, JNF: Colonising Palestine since 1901

Press release, Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, 16 February 2010

The Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign has published an e-book on the Jewish National Fund (JNF) that meets a need for an affordable introduction to the activities of the JNF, an organization supported financially by the British taxpayer but whose activities in Israel/ Palestine are politically-driven, and whose politics are nakedly racist. This little book reveals how a British charity works openly for the dispossession of Palestinian Arabs and the establishment of fully segregated Jewish-only communities and areas that exclude Arabs.

The book explains why, when the JNF Committee sought legal advice from England in 1905 as to the possibility of registering as a charity, their legal advisors were unanimous that it would be impossible:

“We therefore conclude that the purpose of the Fund will be a political rather than a charitable one and that limiting the Fund’s use to strictly charitable purposes would run counter to the main purpose of the Fund …”

The JNF initially failed to secure charitable status, being refused by the House of Lords in 1932, but it now enjoys charitable status for activities that would be illegal if carried out in the countries where it raises the funds, including the UK where the JNF enjoys the patronage of Prime Minister Gordon Brown and the leaders of the other two main political parties.

Edited by Mortaza Sahibzada, JNF: Colonising Palestine since 1901 is available for download from the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

Ilan Pappe’s introduction reveals through the open commitment of the JNF’s founders to the expulsion, what is today termed “ethnic cleansing,” of the native Palestinians and their replacement by Jewish immigrants. Pappe discusses the JNF’s success in obtaining much of the land pillaged from the Palestinians by the Zionist militias through murder and violence in 1948 and its effective control of much more through its role as an agent of the State of Israel in keeping almost all the land surface of Israel for exclusively Jewish ownership at the expense of Israel’s one million Palestinian citizens. The author shows the JNF’s audacity in presenting itself as a “green” movement as it plants trees with the express aim of obliterating all traces of ethnically cleansed and destroyed Palestinian communities.

Abe Hayeem of Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine analyses the intense politicization of Israeli architects and their complicity in Zionist war crimes. While the JNF was intimately involved in the racially-driven confiscation of Palestinian lands, architects also worked easily in the nightmare world of legally-designated “Present Absentees,” i.e. Palestinians still inside Israel after 1948 but whose land was slated for transfer to exclusively Jewish ownership. Bringing the story up to date, Hayeem notes the JNF’s involvement in illegal confiscation operation on behalf of the Israeli state, in collusion with illegal settlers in the occupied West Bank, the intimidation of Palestinian land-owners by Jewish authorities, and the complicity of the country’s architects in racist schemes to oppress and dispossess Palestinians.

Uri Davis examines the British Park, proclaimed in a sign there as “a gift of the Jewish National Fund of Great Britain.” The British Park is built on the ethnically cleansed Palestinian villages of Ajjur and Zakariyya, making the UK JNF complicit in war crimes and unfit for charitable status on grounds of multiple violations of international humanitarian law. Astonishingly, Prof. Davis alleges that the British Park is used to store some of Israel’s nuclear weapons of mass destruction.

Susannah Tarbush looks at Gordon Brown’s decision to become a Patron of the JNF on his arrival in 10 Downing St, shortly after the Israeli Knesset passed a racist law confirming the apartheid nature of JNF-controlled lands in Israel, forbidding their transfer to any non-Jew. She deals with the petition from Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine and the inevitable accusation from Israelis that the British architects who criticized the JNF’s involvement in human rights violations as “anti-Semitic.”

Sonja Karkar criticizes Australian PM John Howard for allowing a JNF park to be named after him in the Negev, where the Israeli system of apartheid takes the form of forcing the local Bedouin Arabs off their land and into villages that the government they are citizens of refuses to recognize or supply with basic services. The John Howard Park shares the Negev with Government crop-spraying aircraft which destroy the Bedouin’s crops.

Ben White, author of Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner’s Guide, tackles the Kafka-esque mind-game of an Israeli park being dedicated to Black civil rights leader Martin Luther King, the non-Jewish property owners being categorized as “present absentees,” and the fruits of Zionist ethnic cleansing supposedly “perpetuating the message of equality and peace.” White shows how the attempt to associate the Zionist colonial venture with the US civil rights movement comes up against the harsh reality of Israeli ethnic cleansing with the JNF center stage.

In similar vein, Raheli Mizrahi argues that the Venezuelan and Bolivian governments should take action against their local JNF bodies and deny the Israelis the ideological cover provided by their appropriation of the symbols of the anti-colonial struggle in South America. She touches on the sometimes cruel treatment of Arab, notably Yemeni, Jews in Israel.

The authors of the closing remarks section report on the intra-Zionist discussions at a London JNF fundraiser before their vocal protest at the JNF’s ongoing land theft and racism.

Seven appendices contain important documents relating to the struggle to end the impunity the JNF derives from official support in many countries.

Download the full report [PDF]

Source

The Report is well worth reading. Some Charity.You don’t want to know what I am thinking, really you don’t.

Another Israeli Charity.

US/Israeli Charity uses little Palestinian Childs photo to raise money for Israel’s Hungry

BADIL RESOURCE CENTER: Israel penalising Nakba commemoration: one more step down the path of Apartheid

March 3 2010

The Israeli parliamentary Law Committee has recently approved a law proposal the (“Nakba bill”) that, if passed by the Knesset, would impose economic sanctions on the organizers of Nakba commemorations. Every year in May, Palestinians and supporters of their right of return commemorate the Nakba of 1948, which marks the single most traumatic and far-reaching event in the long and ongoing process of forced displacement and dispossession of the Palestinian people by the state of Israel. Nakba commemorations are important events in Israel, where some 335,000 Palestinians, citizens of Israel, continue to be denied their right to return to their homes, lands and communities, and are forced to live as internally displaced persons within their own country. Read More…

Jeff Halper: An Israeli in Palestine
Jeff Halper immigrated to Israel near the end of the sixties. As a peace activist he then founded The Israeli Committee Against Home Demolitions to protect and rebuild the Palestinian homes destroyed by Israeli bulldozers.

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Canadian students participate in Israeli Apartheid Week

Published in: on March 7, 2010 at 3:00 pm  Comments Off on E-book on Jewish National Fund’s role in colonization of Palestine  
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Israel on Trial – The Russell Tribunal on Palestine

March 5 2010

The first session of The Russell Tribunal on Palestine (RTP) has found European Union member States to be in Breach of International and internal European Union Law with respect to the protection of Palestinian human rights.

Full findings here.

The jury, comprised of eminent legal experts and human rights defenders heard two days of reports from international experts and witnesses on the issues of:

  • the principle of respect for the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination;
  • the settlements and the plundering of natural resources;
  • the annexation of East Jerusalem;
  • the blockade of Gaza and operation Cast Lead;
  • the construction of the Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory;
  • the European Union/Israel Association Agreement.
  • The RTP found that Israel was violating the Palestinian right to self determination as enshrined in The Declaration on the granting of independence to colonial countries and peoples (A/Res. 1514(XV), 14 Dec. 1960) and all United Nations General Assembly (NGA) resolutions that have reaffirmed the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination since 1969 (A/Res. 2535 B (XXIV), 10 Dec. 1969, and, inter alia, A/Res. 3236 (XXIX), 22 Nov. 1974, 52/114, 12 Dec. 1997, etc);

    Furthermore, by occupying Palestinian territories since June 1967 and refusing to leave them, Israel violates the Security Council resolutions that demand its withdrawal from the territories concerned (SC/Res. 242, 22 Nov. 1967; 338, 22 Oct. 1973)

    The RTP also found Israel´s discriminatory acts towards Palestinian populations inside Israeli territory and occupied Palestinian territory as violating the Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid of 18 July 1976, which is not binding on Israel, though this does not exonerate Israel in that regard.

    The acts include the closure of the borders of the Gaza Strip and restrictions on the freedom of movement of its inhabitants; prevention of the return of Palestinian refugees to their home or land of origin; prohibition on the free use by Palestinians of certain natural resources such as the watercourses within their land.

    By annexing Jerusalem in July 1980 and maintaining the annexation, Israel violates the prohibition of the acquisition of territory by force, as stated by the Security Council (SC/Res. 478, 20 August 1980).

    By constructing a Wall in the West Bank on Palestinian territory that it occupies, Israel denies the Palestinians access to their own land, violates their property rights and seriously restricts the freedom of movement of the Palestinian population, thereby violating article 12 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political rights to which Israel has been a party since 3 October 1991; the illegality of the construction of the Wall was confirmed by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in its Advisory Opinion of 9 July 2004, which was endorsed by the UNGA in its resolution ES-10/15.

    By systematically building settlements in Jerusalem and the West Bank, Israel breaches the rules of international humanitarian law governing occupation, in particular article 49 of the Fourth General Convention of 12 August 1949, by which Israel has been bound since 6 July 1951. This point was noted by the ICJ in the above-mentioned Advisory Opinion.

    By pursuing a policy of targeted killings against Palestinians whom it describes as “terrorists” without first attempting to arrest them, Israel violates the right to life of the persons concerned, a right enshrined in article 6 of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1966.

    By maintaining a blockade on the Gaza Strip in breach of the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 12 August 1949 (art. 33), which prohibits collective punishment.

    By inflicting extensive and serious damage, especially on persons and civilian property, and by using prohibited methods of combat during operation “Cast Lead” in Gaza (December 2008 – January 2009).

    EU member states were found to be violating provisions of the Lisbon Treaty (2010) including foundational principles of the EU itself as set down in article 2 which confirms attachment ´to the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights´.

    EU states as high contracting parties to the Geneva Conventions 1949 were found to be breaching elementary obligations of due diligence and ensurance of peremptory legal norms which cannot be derogated from, by failing to react to and remedy violations of the convention committed by Israel. As such they were found to be assisting Israel in its breaches of international law.

    Article 146 compels EU Member states ´to undertake to enact any legislation necessary to provide effective penal sanctions for persons committing, or ordering to be committed, any of the grave breaches of the present Convention defined in the following Article.´

    Grave breaches include: wilful killing, torture or inhuman treatment, including biological experiments, wilfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health, unlawful deportation or transfer or unlawful confinement of a protected person, compelling a protected person to serve in the forces of a hostile Power, or wilfully depriving a protected person of the rights of fair and regular trial and extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly.

    International Law Commission articles on state responsibility for wrongful acts were found to apply to EU member states as is the 1966 covenant on Civil and Political Rights which states:

    ´Every State has the duty to promote through joint and separate action universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with the Charter´.

    Reports from experts brought to light passive and active forms of assistance in the alleged commission of breaches by the EU and its member states particularly through:

  • exports of weapons and components of weapons by EU states to Israel, some of which were used during the conflict in Gaza in December 2008 and January 2009;
  • exports of produce from settlements in occupied territories to the EU;
  • participation by the settlements in European research programmes;
  • failure of the EU to complain about the destruction by Israel of infrastructure in Gaza during the Cast Lead operation;
  • failure of the EU to demand Israeli compliance with clauses concerning respect for human rights contained in the various association agreements concluded by the EU with Israel;
  • the decision by the EU to upgrade its relations with Israel under the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership Agreement;
  • tolerance by the EU and its member states of certain economic relations between European companies and Israel involving commercial projects in the occupied territories, such as the management of the Tovlan lan/ite in the Jordan valley and the construction of a tramline in East Jerusalem.
  • The participation of illegal Israeli settlements in European research programmes, the failure of the EU to complain during the Cast Lead operation about the destruction by Israel of infrastructure that the EU had funded in Gaza, and the (proposed) upgrading of bilateral relations between the EU and Israel are characterized by a number of experts as assistance to Israel in its alleged violations of international law.

    In conclusion of the first Barcelona session, the RTP calls on:

    (i) the EU and its member states to fulfil its obligations forthwith by rectifying the breaches specified in the final ruling

    (ii) the EU in particular to implement the EU Parliament resolution requiring the suspension of the EU-Israel Association Agreement and thereby putting an end to the impunity that Israel has benefited from until now.

    (iii) EU Member states to implement the recommendation at para 1975 (a) of the UN Fact Finding Mission Report on the Gaza Conflict (Goldstone Report) regarding the collection of evidence and the exercise of UJ against Israeli and Palestinian suspects; and

    (iv) EU Member states to repeal of any requirements in any member state that a suspect must be a resident of that member state or of any impediments to the compliance with the duty to prosecute or extradite for trial all suspected war criminals sought out by the member states

    (v) EU Member states to ensure that UJ laws and procedures are made as effective as possible in practice, including through co-ordination and the implementation of agreements on the mutual co-operation of states on criminal matters, through the EU contact points on cross-border and international crime, EUROPOL and INTERPOL etc.

    (vi) EU Member states to make no regressive changes that would blunt the effect of existing Universal Jurisdiction laws, so as to ensure that no EU member state becomes a safe haven for suspected war criminals

    (vii) The Parliaments of Austria, France, Greece and Italy to pass laws providing the penal legislation required by article 146 IVGC to enable UJ to be exercised in those countries.

    (viii) individuals, groups and organisations to take all avenues open to them to achieve compliance by EU member states and the EU of their aforementioned obligations, as exemplified by the use of universal jurisdiction over individual criminal suspects, domestic civil proceedings against individual governments and/or their departments or agencies and private companies, in respect of which it is the intention of the RTP to commission and/or encourage others to commission research into which countries and jurisdictions these matters can most effectively be pursued; and

    (ix) the existing legal actions and campaigns in the context of BDS to be stepped up and widened within the EU and globally.

    The Russell Tribunal on Palestine calls on the European Union and on each of its member states to impose the necessary sanctions on its partner Israel through diplomatic, trade and cultural measures in order to end the impunity that it has enjoyed for decades. Should the EU lack the necessary courage to do so, the Tribunal counts on the citizens of Europe to bring the necessary pressure to bear on it by all appropriate means.

    CONTACT – Russel Tribunal on Palestine Co-ordinator Frank Barat 0044 771 8998 695 russelltribunal@yahoo.co.uk

    Source

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    Rachel Corrie’s parents Get Nasty Letter from professor at Haifa University

    This from the Jewish press.

    Welcome to Haifa, Mr. and Mrs. Corrie
    By Steven Plaut
    March 3 2010

    In the name of the embattled citizens of Haifa, I would like to offer the Corries an appropriate welcome to our city, in the form of the following letter:

    Dear Mr. and Mrs. Corrie,

    You are coming to our lovely town to sue Israel, claiming that your daughter was “killed by an Israeli bulldozer.” But you neglect to mention the circumstances under which she was so killed (nor the fact that she died from her injuries while under Palestinian medical care).

    You have stated, “She had been working in Rafah with a nonviolent resistance organization, the International Solidarity Movement, trying to stop the demolition of Palestinian homes and wells.”

    Homes and wells, huh?

    Well, she was not. Rachel was trying to prevent the demolition of tunnels used to smuggle weapons for Palestinian terrorists seeking to murder Jewish civilians. ISM openly endorses Palestinian “armed struggle” against Jewish children and civilians and openly collaborates with terrorists. It has hidden wanted terrorists and their weapons in its offices. It is an accomplice in murder. Lying is not the best way to drum up sympathy for your daughter.

    You say your daughter died trying to protect an “innocent house.” Again, this is not the truth. That “innocent house” was camouflage for a not-so-innocent terrorist smuggling tunnel, and the residents of that innocent house knew all about the tunnel.

    Your daughter was in a war zone as a belligerent, on behalf of a movement of Arab fascists seeking to destroy Israel and murder as many Jews as possible. Your daughter died while interfering with an anti-terror operation carried out by soldiers in a land in which she had no business being at all.

    You demand that we feel your pain at the loss of your daughter, yet your daughter conscripted herself as an accomplice for those seeking to murder my children. You feel no pain for the scores of martyrs in my own city of Haifa murdered by those same terrorists.

    Your daughter put herself in harm’s way by challenging a large bulldozer and positioning herself where the operator could not see her. You know quite well that the bulldozer operator was not seeking to harm her.

    You have written, “We had not understood the devastating nature of the Palestinians’ situation.” Of course, you have never expressed any interest in the devastating nature of the Jews’ situation. The Jews have been battling Arab fascism and genocidal terrorism for a hundred years, before, during, and after the Nazi Holocaust of six million Jews. Your daughter was helping those who perpetrate Nazi-like atrocities against randomly selected Jews.

    You smugly praise the propaganda play about your daughter, which ignored all the other Rachels – the Jewish victims of terror in Israel who were murdered by genocidal terrorists.

    Your daughter, and apparently you as well, never had any understanding of the Middle East conflict. The Middle East conflict is not about the right to self-determination of Palestinian Arabs, but rather about the right to self-determination of Israeli Jews.

    For a century the Arabs have attempted to block any expression of Jewish self-determination, using violence, armed aggression, and terrorism. The Arabs today control 22 countries and territory nearly twice the size of the United States. They refuse to share even a fraction of one percent of the Middle East with Jews, even in a territory smaller than New Jersey.

    The Arab countries invented the Palestinian people and their “plight” as a propaganda ploy in imitation of the German campaign on behalf of Sudeten self-determination in the 1930s. Just as the struggle for “Sudeten liberation” was nothing more than a fig leaf for the German aggression aimed at annihilating Czechoslovakia, so the struggle for “Palestinian liberation” is nothing more than cover for a jihad to destroy Israel and its population.

    Your write, “Clearly, our daughter has become a positive symbol for people.”

    I am afraid you are mistaken. Your daughter has become a symbol for dangerous foolhardiness. She essentially committed suicide as an empty gesture to assist murderers and terrorists.

    You want the world to mourn for your daughter, who died while working with monsters out to murder our children. On the pages of anti-Semitic propaganda web magazines you denounce Israel, but you do not have a single word of sympathy for the families of the thousands of innocent Israeli victims of the terrorists with whom your daughter chose to ally herself.

    On behalf of the citizens of Haifa, all of whom your daughter’s Hamas friends are trying to murder, I remain,

    Steven Plaut

    There is more to the article but the above excerpt says it all. For the rest if you care to read it,  just click on the Source

    Rachel was not a terrorist or helping terrorists. Nor was she a clueless American.   She was helping innocent people and her writing was not filled with hate, but with care and hope.

    Rachel Corrie belonged to ISM They are not a terrorist group as some in Israel would have you believe, but a peaceful organization using peaceful methods.

    To join the ISM in Palestine, you must adhere to the following principles:

    1. Belief in freedom for the Palestinian people based on all relevant United Nations Resolutions and international law.
    2. Using only nonviolent, direct-action methods, strategies and principles to work towards our goal.

    Rachel never hurt anyone.

    Rachel’s E-mails

    This weekend 23-year-old American peace activist Rachel Corrie was crushed to death by a bulldozer as she tried to prevent the Israeli army destroying homes in the Gaza Strip. In a remarkable series of emails to her family, she explained why she was risking her life

    March 18 2003

    February 7 2003
    Hi friends and family, and others,I have been in Palestine for two weeks and one hour now, and I still have very few words to describe what I see. It is most difficult for me to think about what’s going on here when I sit down to write back to the United States. Something about the virtual portal into luxury. I don’t know if many of the children here have ever existed without tank-shell holes in their walls and the towers of an occupying army surveying them constantly from the near horizons. I think, although I’m not entirely sure, that even the smallest of these children understand that life is not like this everywhere. An eight-year-old was shot and killed by an Israeli tank two days before I got here, and many of the children murmur his name to me – Ali – or point at the posters of him on the walls. The children also love to get me to practice my limited Arabic by asking me, “Kaif Sharon?” “Kaif Bush?” and they laugh when I say, “Bush Majnoon”, “Sharon Majnoon” back in my limited arabic. (How is Sharon? How is Bush? Bush is crazy. Sharon is crazy.) Of course this isn’t quite what I believe, and some of the adults who have the English correct me: “Bush mish Majnoon” … Bush is a businessman. Today I tried to learn to say, “Bush is a tool”, but I don’t think it translated quite right. But anyway, there are eight-year-olds here much more aware of the workings of the global power structure than I was just a few years ago.

    Nevertheless, no amount of reading, attendance at conferences, documentary viewing and word of mouth could have prepared me for the reality of the situation here. You just can’t imagine it unless you see it – and even then you are always well aware that your experience of it is not at all the reality: what with the difficulties the Israeli army would face if they shot an unarmed US citizen, and with the fact that I have money to buy water when the army destroys wells, and the fact, of course, that I have the option of leaving. Nobody in my family has been shot, driving in their car, by a rocket launcher from a tower at the end of a major street in my hometown. I have a home. I am allowed to go see the ocean. When I leave for school or work I can be relatively certain that there will not be a heavily armed soldier waiting halfway between Mud Bay and downtown Olympia at a checkpoint with the power to decide whether I can go about my business, and whether I can get home again when I’m done. As an afterthought to all this rambling, I am in Rafah: a city of about 140,000 people, approximately 60% of whom are refugees – many of whom are twice or three times refugees. Today, as I walked on top of the rubble where homes once stood, Egyptian soldiers called to me from the other side of the border, “Go! Go!” because a tank was coming. And then waving and “What’s your name?”. Something disturbing about this friendly curiosity. It reminded me of how much, to some degree, we are all kids curious about other kids. Egyptian kids shouting at strange women wandering into the path of tanks. Palestinian kids shot from the tanks when they peak out from behind walls to see what’s going on. International kids standing in front of tanks with banners. Israeli kids in the tanks anonymously – occasionally shouting and also occasionally waving – many forced to be here, many just agressive – shooting into the houses as we wander away.

    I’ve been having trouble accessing news about the outside world here, but I hear an escalation of war on Iraq is inevitable. There is a great deal of concern here about the “reoccupation of Gaza”. Gaza is reoccupied every day to various extents but I think the fear is that the tanks will enter all the streets and remain here instead of entering some of the streets and then withdrawing after some hours or days to observe and shoot from the edges of the communities. If people aren’t already thinking about the consequences of this war for the people of the entire region then I hope you will start.

    My love to everyone. My love to my mom. My love to smooch. My love to fg and barnhair and sesamees and Lincoln School. My love to Olympia.

    Rachel

    February 20 2003

    Mama,

    Now the Israeli army has actually dug up the road to Gaza, and both of the major checkpoints are closed. This means that Palestinians who want to go and register for their next quarter at university can’t. People can’t get to their jobs and those who are trapped on the other side can’t get home; and internationals, who have a meeting tomorrow in the West Bank, won’t make it. We could probably make it through if we made serious use of our international white person privilege, but that would also mean some risk of arrest and deportation, even though none of us has done anything illegal.

    The Gaza Strip is divided in thirds now. There is some talk about the “reoccupation of Gaza”, but I seriously doubt this will happen, because I think it would be a geopolitically stupid move for Israel right now. I think the more likely thing is an increase in smaller below-the-international-outcry-radar incursions and possibly the oft-hinted “population transfer”.

    I am staying put in Rafah for now, no plans to head north. I still feel like I’m relatively safe and think that my most likely risk in case of a larger-scale incursion is arrest. A move to reoccupy Gaza would generate a much larger outcry than Sharon’s assassination-during-peace-negotiations/land grab strategy, which is working very well now to create settlements all over, slowly but surely eliminating any meaningful possibility for Palestinian self-determination. Know that I have a lot of very nice Palestinians looking after me. I have a small flu bug, and got some very nice lemony drinks to cure me. Also, the woman who keeps the key for the well where we still sleep keeps asking me about you. She doesn’t speak a bit of English, but she asks about my mom pretty frequently – wants to make sure I’m calling you.

    Love to you and Dad and Sarah and Chris and everybody.

    Rachel

    February 27 2003

    (To her mother)

    Love you. Really miss you. I have bad nightmares about tanks and bulldozers outside our house and you and me inside. Sometimes the adrenaline acts as an anesthetic for weeks and then in the evening or at night it just hits me again – a little bit of the reality of the situation. I am really scared for the people here. Yesterday, I watched a father lead his two tiny children, holding his hands, out into the sight of tanks and a sniper tower and bulldozers and Jeeps because he thought his house was going to be exploded. Jenny and I stayed in the house with several women and two small babies. It was our mistake in translation that caused him to think it was his house that was being exploded. In fact, the Israeli army was in the process of detonating an explosive in the ground nearby – one that appears to have been planted by Palestinian resistance.

    This is in the area where Sunday about 150 men were rounded up and contained outside the settlement with gunfire over their heads and around them, while tanks and bulldozers destroyed 25 greenhouses – the livelihoods for 300 people. The explosive was right in front of the greenhouses – right in the point of entry for tanks that might come back again. I was terrified to think that this man felt it was less of a risk to walk out in view of the tanks with his kids than to stay in his house. I was really scared that they were all going to be shot and I tried to stand between them and the tank. This happens every day, but just this father walking out with his two little kids just looking very sad, just happened to get my attention more at this particular moment, probably because I felt it was our translation problems that made him leave.

    I thought a lot about what you said on the phone about Palestinian violence not helping the situation. Sixty thousand workers from Rafah worked in Israel two years ago. Now only 600 can go to Israel for jobs. Of these 600, many have moved, because the three checkpoints between here and Ashkelon (the closest city in Israel) make what used to be a 40-minute drive, now a 12-hour or impassible journey. In addition, what Rafah identified in 1999 as sources of economic growth are all completely destroyed – the Gaza international airport (runways demolished, totally closed); the border for trade with Egypt (now with a giant Israeli sniper tower in the middle of the crossing); access to the ocean (completely cut off in the last two years by a checkpoint and the Gush Katif settlement). The count of homes destroyed in Rafah since the beginning of this intifada is up around 600, by and large people with no connection to the resistance but who happen to live along the border. I think it is maybe official now that Rafah is the poorest place in the world. There used to be a middle class here – recently. We also get reports that in the past, Gazan flower shipments to Europe were delayed for two weeks at the Erez crossing for security inspections. You can imagine the value of two-week-old cut flowers in the European market, so that market dried up. And then the bulldozers come and take out people’s vegetable farms and gardens. What is left for people? Tell me if you can think of anything. I can’t.

    If any of us had our lives and welfare completely strangled, lived with children in a shrinking place where we knew, because of previous experience, that soldiers and tanks and bulldozers could come for us at any moment and destroy all the greenhouses that we had been cultivating for however long, and did this while some of us were beaten and held captive with 149 other people for several hours – do you think we might try to use somewhat violent means to protect whatever fragments remained? I think about this especially when I see orchards and greenhouses and fruit trees destroyed – just years of care and cultivation. I think about you and how long it takes to make things grow and what a labour of love it is. I really think, in a similar situation, most people would defend themselves as best they could. I think Uncle Craig would. I think probably Grandma would. I think I would.

    You asked me about non-violent resistance.

    When that explosive detonated yesterday it broke all the windows in the family’s house. I was in the process of being served tea and playing with the two small babies. I’m having a hard time right now. Just feel sick to my stomach a lot from being doted on all the time, very sweetly, by people who are facing doom. I know that from the United States, it all sounds like hyperbole. Honestly, a lot of the time the sheer kindness of the people here, coupled with the overwhelming evidence of the wilful destruction of their lives, makes it seem unreal to me. I really can’t believe that something like this can happen in the world without a bigger outcry about it. It really hurts me, again, like it has hurt me in the past, to witness how awful we can allow the world to be. I felt after talking to you that maybe you didn’t completely believe me. I think it’s actually good if you don’t, because I do believe pretty much above all else in the importance of independent critical thinking. And I also realise that with you I’m much less careful than usual about trying to source every assertion that I make. A lot of the reason for that is I know that you actually do go and do your own research. But it makes me worry about the job I’m doing. All of the situation that I tried to enumerate above – and a lot of other things – constitutes a somewhat gradual – often hidden, but nevertheless massive – removal and destruction of the ability of a particular group of people to survive. This is what I am seeing here. The assassinations, rocket attacks and shooting of children are atrocities – but in focusing on them I’m terrified of missing their context. The vast majority of people here – even if they had the economic means to escape, even if they actually wanted to give up resisting on their land and just leave (which appears to be maybe the less nefarious of Sharon’s possible goals), can’t leave. Because they can’t even get into Israel to apply for visas, and because their destination countries won’t let them in (both our country and Arab countries). So I think when all means of survival is cut off in a pen (Gaza) which people can’t get out of, I think that qualifies as genocide. Even if they could get out, I think it would still qualify as genocide. Maybe you could look up the definition of genocide according to international law. I don’t remember it right now. I’m going to get better at illustrating this, hopefully. I don’t like to use those charged words. I think you know this about me. I really value words. I really try to illustrate and let people draw their own conclusions.

    Anyway, I’m rambling. Just want to write to my Mom and tell her that I’m witnessing this chronic, insidious genocide and I’m really scared, and questioning my fundamental belief in the goodness of human nature. This has to stop. I think it is a good idea for us all to drop everything and devote our lives to making this stop. I don’t think it’s an extremist thing to do anymore. I still really want to dance around to Pat Benatar and have boyfriends and make comics for my coworkers. But I also want this to stop. Disbelief and horror is what I feel. Disappointment. I am disappointed that this is the base reality of our world and that we, in fact, participate in it. This is not at all what I asked for when I came into this world. This is not at all what the people here asked for when they came into this world. This is not the world you and Dad wanted me to come into when you decided to have me. This is not what I meant when I looked at Capital Lake and said: “This is the wide world and I’m coming to it.” I did not mean that I was coming into a world where I could live a comfortable life and possibly, with no effort at all, exist in complete unawareness of my participation in genocide. More big explosions somewhere in the distance outside.

    When I come back from Palestine, I probably will have nightmares and constantly feel guilty for not being here, but I can channel that into more work. Coming here is one of the better things I’ve ever done. So when I sound crazy, or if the Israeli military should break with their racist tendency not to injure white people, please pin the reason squarely on the fact that I am in the midst of a genocide which I am also indirectly supporting, and for which my government is largely responsible.

    I love you and Dad. Sorry for the diatribe. OK, some strange men next to me just gave me some peas, so I need to eat and thank them.

    Rachel

    February 28 2003

    (To her mother)

    Thanks, Mom, for your response to my email. It really helps me to get word from you, and from other people who care about me.

    After I wrote to you I went incommunicado from the affinity group for about 10 hours which I spent with a family on the front line in Hi Salam – who fixed me dinner – and have cable TV. The two front rooms of their house are unusable because gunshots have been fired through the walls, so the whole family – three kids and two parents – sleep in the parent’s bedroom. I sleep on the floor next to the youngest daughter, Iman, and we all shared blankets. I helped the son with his English homework a little, and we all watched Pet Semetery, which is a horrifying movie. I think they all thought it was pretty funny how much trouble I had watching it. Friday is the holiday, and when I woke up they were watching Gummy Bears dubbed into Arabic. So I ate breakfast with them and sat there for a while and just enjoyed being in this big puddle of blankets with this family watching what for me seemed like Saturday morning cartoons. Then I walked some way to B’razil, which is where Nidal and Mansur and Grandmother and Rafat and all the rest of the big family that has really wholeheartedly adopted me live. (The other day, by the way, Grandmother gave me a pantomimed lecture in Arabic that involved a lot of blowing and pointing to her black shawl. I got Nidal to tell her that my mother would appreciate knowing that someone here was giving me a lecture about smoking turning my lungs black.) I met their sister-in-law, who is visiting from Nusserat camp, and played with her small baby.

    Nidal’s English gets better every day. He’s the one who calls me, “My sister”. He started teaching Grandmother how to say, “Hello. How are you?” In English. You can always hear the tanks and bulldozers passing by, but all of these people are genuinely cheerful with each other, and with me. When I am with Palestinian friends I tend to be somewhat less horrified than when I am trying to act in a role of human rights observer, documenter, or direct-action resister. They are a good example of how to be in it for the long haul. I know that the situation gets to them – and may ultimately get them – on all kinds of levels, but I am nevertheless amazed at their strength in being able to defend such a large degree of their humanity – laughter, generosity, family-time – against the incredible horror occurring in their lives and against the constant presence of death. I felt much better after this morning. I spent a lot of time writing about the disappointment of discovering, somewhat first-hand, the degree of evil of which we are still capable. I should at least mention that I am also discovering a degree of strength and of basic ability for humans to remain human in the direst of circumstances – which I also haven’t seen before. I think the word is dignity. I wish you could meet these people. Maybe, hopefully, someday you will.

    Source

    Rachel’s  (additional emails)

    March 18 2003

    February 8 2003
    I got a number of very thoughtful responses to the email I sent out last night, most of which I don’t have time to respond to right now. Thanks everyone for the encouragement, questions, criticism. Daniel’s response was particularly inspiring to me and deserves to be shared. The resistance of Israeli Jewish people to the occupation and the enormous risk taken by those refusing to serve in the Israeli military offers an example, especially for those of us living in the United States, of how to behave when you discover that atrocities are being commited in your name. Thank you.
    Received by Rachel on February 7 2003
    I am a reserve first sergeant in the IDF. The military orisons are filling up with conscientious objectors. Many of them are reservists with families. These are men who have proven their courage under fire in the past. Some have been in jail for more than six months with no end in sight.

    The amount of AWOLS and refusals to serve are unprecedented in our history as a nation as well as are refusals to carry out orders that involve firing on targets where civilians may be harmed. In a time now in Israel where jobs are scarce and people are losing their homes and businesses to Sharon’s vendetta, many career soldiers – among them pilots and intelligence personnel – have chosen jail and unemployment over what they cold only describe as murder.

    I am supposed to report to the Military Justice department – it is my job to hunt down runaway soldiers and bring them in. I have not reported in for 18 months. Instead, I’ve been using my talents and credentials to document on film and see with my own eyes what the ISMers and other internationals have claimed my boys have been up to.

    I love my country. I believe that Israel is under the leadership of some very bad people right now. I believe that settlers and local police are in collusion with each other and that the border police are acting disgracefully. They are an embarrassment to 40% of the Israeli public and they would be an embarrassment to 90% of the population if they knew what we know.

    Please document as much as you can and do not embellish anything with creative writing. The media here serves as a very convincing spin control agent through all of this. Pass this on letter to your friends. There are many soldiers among the ranks of those serving in the occupied territories that are sickened by what they see.

    There is a code of honor in the IDF – it is called “tohar haneshek” (pronounced TOWhar haNEHshek). It’s what we say to a comrade who is about to do something awful, like kill an unarmed prisoner or carry out an order that violates decency. It means literally “the purity of arms”.

    Another phrase that speaks to a soldier in his own language is “degle shachor” (DEHgel ShaHor) – it means “black flag”. If you say, “Atah MeTachat Degle Shahor” it means “you are carrying out immoral orders”. It’s a big deal and a shock to hear it from the lips of “silly misguided foreigners”

    At all times possible try to engage the soldiers in conversation. Do not make the mistake of objectifying them as they have objectified you. Respect is catching, as is disrespect, whether either be deserved or not.

    You are doing a good thing. I thank you for it.

    Peace,

    Danny

    Continuation of her email to her mother, February 28 2003
    I think I could see a Palestinian state or a democratic Israeli-Palestinian state within my lifetime. I think freedom for Palestine could be an incredible source of hope to people struggling all over the world. I think it could also be an incredible inspiration to Arab people in the Middle East, who are struggling under undemocratic regimes which the US supports.

    I look forward to increasing numbers of middle-class privileged people like you and me becoming aware of the structures that support our privilege and beginning to support the work of those who aren’t privileged to dismantle those structures.

    I look forward to more moments like February 15 when civil society wakes up en masse and issues massive and resonant evidence of it’s conscience, it’s unwillingness to be repressed, and it’s compassion for the suffering of others. I look forward to more teachers emerging like Matt Grant and Barbara Weaver and Dale Knuth who teach critical thinking to kids in the United States. I look forward to the international resistance that’s occurring now fertilizing analysis on all kinds of issues, with dialogue between diverse groups of people. I look forward to all of us who are new at this developing better skills for working in democratic structures and healing our own racism and classism and sexism and heterosexism and ageism and ableism and becoming more effective

    One other thing – I think this a lot about public protest – like the one a few weeks ago here that was attended by only about 150 people. Whenever I organize or participate in public protest I get really worried that it will just suck, be really small, embarrassing, and the media will laugh at me. Oftentimes, it is really small and most of the time the media laughs at us. The weekend after our 150-person protest we were invited to a maybe 2,000 person protest. Even though we had a small protest and of course it didn’t get coverage all over the world, in some places the word “Rafah” was mentioned outside of the Arab press. Colin got a sign in English and Arabic into the protest in Seattle that said “Olympia says no to war on Rafah and Iraq”. His pictures went up on the Rafah-today website that a guy named Mohammed here runs. People here and elsewhere saw those pictures.

    I think about Glen going out every Friday for ten years with tagboard signs that addressed the number of children dead from sanctions in Iraq. Sometimes just one or two people there and everyone thought they were crazy and they got spit upon. Now there are a lot more people on Friday evenings.

    The juncture between 4th and State is just lined with them, and they get a lot of honks and waves, and thumbs ups. They created an infrastructure there for other people to do something. Getting spit on, they made it easier for someone else to decide that they could write a letter to the editor, or stand at the back of a rally – or do something that seems slightly less ridiculous than standing at the side of the road addressing the deaths of children in Iraq and getting spit upon.

    Just hearing about what you are doing makes me feel less alone, less useless, less invisible. Those honks and waves help. The pictures help. Colin helps. The international media and our government are not going to tell us that we are effective, important, justified in our work, courageous, intelligent, valuable. We have to do that for each other, and one way we can do that is by continuing our work, visibly.

    I also think it’s important for people in the United States in relative privilege to realize that people without privilege will be doing this work no matter what, because they are working for their lives. We can work with them, and they know that we work with them, or we can leave them to do this work themselves and curse us for our complicity in killing them. I really don’t get the sense that anyone here curses us.

    I also get the sense that people here, in particular, are actually more concerned in the immediate about our comfort and health than they are about us risking our lives on their behalf. At least that’s the case for me. People try to give me a lot of tea and food in the midst of gunfire and explosive-detonation.

    I love you,

    Rachel

    Rachel’s last email

    Hi papa,

    Thank you for your email. I feel like sometimes I spend all my time propogandizing mom, and assuming she’ll pass stuff on to you, so you get neglected. Don’t worry about me too much, right now I am most concerned that we are not being effective. I still don’t feel particularly at risk. Rafah has seemed calmer lately, maybe because the military is preoccupied with incursions in the north – still shooting and house demolitions – one death this week that I know of, but not any larger incursions. Still can’t say how this will change if and when war with Iraq comes.

    Thanks also for stepping up your anti-war work. I know it is not easy to do, and probably much more difficult where you are than where I am. I am really interested in talking to the journalist in Charlotte – let me know what I can do to speed the process along. I am trying to figure out what I’m going to do when I leave here, and when I’m going to leave. Right now I think I could stay until June, financially. I really don’t want to move back to Olympia, but do need to go back there to clean my stuff out of the garage and talk about my experiences here. On the other hand, now that I’ve crossed the ocean I’m feeling a strong desire to try to stay across the ocean for some time. Considering trying to get English teaching jobs – would like to really buckle down and learn Arabic.

    Also got an invitation to visit Sweden on my way back – which I think I could do very cheaply. I would like to leave Rafah with a viable plan to return, too. One of the core members of our group has to leave tomorrow – and watching her say goodbye to people is making me realize how difficult it will be. People here can’t leave, so that complicates things. They also are pretty matter-of-fact about the fact that they don’t know if they will be alive when we come back here.

    I really don’t want to live with a lot of guilt about this place – being able to come and go so easily – and not going back. I think it is valuable to make commitments to places – so I would like to be able to plan on coming back here within a year or so. Of all of these possibilities I think it’s most likely that I will at least go to Sweden for a few weeks on my way back – I can change tickets and get a plane to from Paris to Sweden and back for a total of around 150 bucks or so. I know I should really try to link up with the family in France – but I really think that I’m not going to do that. I think I would just be angry the whole time and not much fun to be around. It also seems like a transition into too much opulence right now – I would feel a lot of class guilt the whole time as well.

    Let me know if you have any ideas about what I should do with the rest of my life. I love you very much. If you want you can write to me as if I was on vacation at a camp on the big island of Hawaii learning to weave. One thing I do to make things easier here is to utterly retreat into fantasies that I am in a Hollywood movie or a sitcom starring Michael J Fox. So feel free to make something up and I’ll be happy to play along. Much love Poppy.

    Rachel

    Source

    Rachel Corrie Memorium Site

    Bless Her Dear Heart.

    She dreamed of a better life for Palestinians.

    She dreamed of Peace.

    Her dreams and goals will be remembered by millions around the world.

    Hold her memory close to your heart.

    Dare to dream as she did.
    Strive for Peace.

    Over the years since Rachel’s death, things have not improved for those in Gaza, only gotten worse.

    Many  young Israeli’s still  go to  jail because they refuse to join Israels army.

    They are demonized for their objections, to the methods Israel uses.

    They refuse to bomb, shoot  people or destroy homes and places of employment or the hundreds of types of destruction imposed on those in Gaza or the West Bank.

    Steven Plaut failed to mention that in his article.

    Seems his goal was to demonize Rachel and her parents.

    Related

    Rachel Corrie Gets Her Day in Court

    Israel declares the shooting of American activist, Tristan Anderson to be an “act of war”

    Israeli Defense Ministry goes on trial for Corrie death

    March 9, 2010

    On Wednesday, the Israeli Defense Ministry will go on trial as a court hears a case filed by the parents of an American woman run down by an Israeli military bulldozer in Gaza, in March 2003.
    A civil suit seeks to hold Israeli forces responsible for the death of Rachel Corrie, a 23-year-old activist who was crushed to death as she protested a Palestinian home from demolition in the Gaza Strip.
    “We claim that her assassination was intentional,” or, at the very least, that the army is guilty of “huge negligence,” Hussein Abu Hussein, the attorney who filed the petition on behalf of Corrie’s parents, commented.
    Abu Hussein cites the state’s acknowledgment of the fact that Corrie and other members of the International Solidarity Movement—a Palestinian-led peace organization that advocates non-violent means of resistance to the Israeli occupation—were demonstrating in the area for several hours before Corrie was struck by the bulldozer. He also points out that Corrie was wearing a fluorescent orange vest to increase her visibility.
    At the time of her death, the Israeli military response was that the driver of the machine did not see Corrie.
    “If you see people, you should stop and think of all the needed steps not to harm [them]. Instead of stopping the D9, which weighs 64 tons, they continued. And due to that, [Corrie] was killed,” Abu Hussein said.
    Four of Corrie’s fellow activists who witnessed her death were initially denied entry into Israel where they were asked to testify at the trial, but US pressure reportedly changed the Israeli position. A US citizen and three UK nationals will now be able to speak at the trial, which is expected to last two weeks.
    Israel will not issue an entry permit to Dr Ahmed Abu Nakira, the Gazan physician who saw Corrie after she was injured and declared her dead. The state rejected the request for his entry on the grounds that there is no coordination between Israel and Gaza, due to the Israeli blockade that began after Hamas rose to power in 2007.
    “It’s an obstacle to justice,” Abu Hussein said. “On the one side, [Israel] won’t give permission [for Dr Abu Nakira] to come; on the other they won’t allow him to testify by videoconference, which is used daily by courts everywhere in the modern world.”
    Speaking shortly after Corrie’s death, an Israeli military representative called the incident a “regrettable accident.” An internal investigation conducted by the Israeli army later absolved the soldier operating the bulldozer of any wrongdoing.
    The report, released in April 2003, claimed that Corrie was not killed by the “engineering vehicle” but “was struck by a hard object, most probably a slab of concrete which was moved or slid down while the mound of earth which she was standing behind was moved.” The army accused Corrie and the other activists present of behaving in an “illegal, irresponsible, and dangerous” manner.
    Abu Hussein says that the army’s investigation lacked transparency. The civil suit, which was filed in 2005, is the only way to hold the state accountable for Corrie’s death, he says.
    While it is exceedingly rare for the Defense Ministry to take direct responsibility in such cases, the state has made financial reparations to a handful of families like the Corries. Just two months after Rachel’s death, British journalist and filmmaker James Miller, 34, was shot to death by an Israeli soldier. After an army investigation found no wrongdoing, the UK warned it would extradite the soldiers involved. Last year, Israel settled out of court with Miller’s family for approximately 1.5 million pounds (2.25 million US dollars).
    “The family is not seeking money. They’re seeking acknowledgment of responsibility by the state,” Abu Hussein says. If the Corries do receive compensation from Israel, they intend to donate the sum to “the matter Rachel was struggling for—for peace.”
    The Corries’ suit “underscores that Israel doesn’t prosecute” soldiers accused of wrongdoing and that the state behaves it is “exempt from accountability,” Abu Hussein said.
    “In the cases brought by Palestinians against the IDF [Israeli forces], more than 90 percent are denied,” he says, pointing to a culture of immunity that has been criticized human rights groups.
    From 2000 to 2009, the Israeli NGO Yesh Din monitored almost 2000 Israeli military investigations into incidents in which a Palestinian or international claimed the army was guilty of a criminal offense, including unlawful shooting that led to injury or death. Indictments were filed in only six percent of these cases. Many of the soldiers who were prosecuted cut deals with the court that reduced the severity of both the charges and punishments.
    “When we look at the number of cases, and we look at the fact that only six percent yield indictments, it is safe to assume that a soldier in the field today will know that he can get away with pretty much anything,” Yesh Din’s research director Lior Yavne remarked.
    A representative for the Corries emphasized that the family hopes the upcoming trial will bring attention to ongoing human rights abuses perpetrated by the Israeli army in the occupied Palestinian territories. “The issue is Palestine and human rights defenders,” the liaison says. “They want to highlight Gaza in light of [the UN-commissioned] Goldstone [report] and Operation Cast Lead.” Source

    The reality

    Demolitions continue. Reconstruction material is not getting in. The blockade is still imposed and the illegal wall is still there.

    UN official calls for ‘radical’ policy shift in occupied Palestinian territory

    March 4 2010 –

    The top United Nations humanitarian official today called for “radical” changes in Israeli policies towards the occupied Palestinian territory to allow people to carry out normal and dignified lives.

    “For this to happen, marginal improvements here and there are not enough,” Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes underscored in Jerusalem while on a visit to the region.

    In Gaza, border crossings must be re-opened, while in the West Bank, illegal demolitions and evictions should stop, he said. In the so-called Area C, which covers 60 per cent of the West Bank and remains largely off limits to Palestinians, he called for the allowing of natural development.

    In Shu’fat refugee camp in East Jerusalem, Mr. Holmes saw first-hand the impact of the barrier – which Israel says it is building to keep out suicide bombers and other attackers – on the Palestinian community. It has curtailed access to health, education and other basic services, while also limiting livelihood opportunities.

    He also witnessed the effects of continued demolitions and forced evictions in the Arab neighbourhoods of Al Bustan and Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem, where many families have been forced from their homes and many more are at risk of displacement.

    “I was moved by what I saw and heard today during the discussions I had with Palestinian families forced out of their homes,” Mr. Holmes, who also serves as UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, said.

    “The recent decision of the Jerusalem municipality to delay the planned demolitions in Al Bustan is a positive step, but what is really needed is the cancellation of demolition orders and evictions in Palestinian areas,” he added.

    In Area C, the Under-Secretary-General visited a school in the Al Jahalin Bedouin community, which has been in the area for generations. It has come under pressure recently due to a nearby settlement and restrictions on building permits and access to the area.

    The school, built with the help of the UN and its partners, has been marked for demolition, which he says cannot be justified. “The case of this school shows how difficult it has become for herding communities to continue living in Area C and for humanitarian agencies to assist them,” he noted.

    In the West Bank city of Ramallah, Mr. Holmes met with Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, expressing his support for the Palestinian Authority and the UN’s determination to continue helping vulnerable people in the occupied Palestinian territory.

    Earlier this week, the UN official saw for himself the conditions in Gaza, just over one year after the end of the three-week Israeli military offensive, known as operation “Cast Lead,” which had the stated aim of ending rocket attacks by militants operating in the area.

    The fighting left more than 1,400 people dead, injured 5,000 others and reduced homes, schools, hospitals and marketplaces to rubble.

    “I have a lot of admiration for the resilience and ingenuity of Gaza residents in trying to cope with the present circumstances,” he said. “The work of relief agencies to assist those who have to endure hardship is also remarkable.”

    But he stressed that it is “disturbing” that one year after the fighting ended, “no meaningful reconstruction has yet started.”

    Mr. Holmes is scheduled to leave Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory tomorrow.

    From UN

    Not so long ago

    UN Calls for Israel to Open Crossing for Goods

    Add to that the Birth Defects.
    New birth defects seen in Gaza due to Israeli weapons

    An increase in birth defects among newborns in the Gaza Strip — first documented in the Palestine Telegraph — has become apparent, despite claims to the contrary by some doctors at Al-Shifa Hospital. Pregnant women say they are living in constant fear.

    Noha Abu Laban, 37, a resident of Jabalia camp in the northern Gaza Strip, is in her final month of pregnancy and says: “In the war, I inhaled the smoke of white phosphorus, which was fired on the roof of our house. I have been feeling sick since my pregnancy, and have had heavy bleeding.” Noha is currently being treated in the High-Risk Pregnancy Care Unit at Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City.

    Alaa Al-Tunp, a 25-year-old resident in the Al-Tofah neighborhood, says: “When I heard the stories of deformed fetuses, I became so worried, especially since I miscarried once before, during the war, when I was in my third month of pregnancy. I had inhaled the smoke of the white phosphorus. There are many pregnant women here in the High=Risk Pregnancy Care Unit who had the same experience.” Alaa says she is very worried that she will miscarry once again, or that her baby will be deformed.

    More than 20 pregnant women interviewed at the High-Risk Pregnancy Care Unit at Al-Shifa reported suffering intermittent bleeding.

    Ahlam, a nurse in the neonatal intensive care unit, indicated that there have been many infants with birth defects, and some die after just a week. Most of the newborns in this condition are not named, since it is believed they will not survive. One of the babies, for example, suffers from deformities in which his head is twice the size of his body, his skin is wrinkled and covered with thick hair, and his respiratory system struggles to function.

    Dr. Jehad Hisain, who works at the neonatal intensive care unit at Al-Shifa Hospital, confirmed that these deformities are increasing, adding that the parents often do not visit them in the unit for months, since death is their babies’ anticipated fate.

    Experts regard the most recent birth defect in Gaza as a result of the last one sided war launched by Israel. The Israeli war “massacre” claimed the lives of thousands while DU weapons and white phosphorous targeted only areas populated by civilians in Gaza.

    Mads Gilbert , a Norwegian doctor who worked in Gaza in time of war, revealed that Israel used new close-range explosive (DIME) shells that cause severe injuries and battlefield amputations on the civilians being struck by these weapons.

    Previous report of the Palestine Telegraph documented birth defect cases that give strong proofs, that Israel has used such weapons.

    Source

    Released March 7, 2010 It’s all about taking the land from Palestinians. Definitely worth reading. It also has a lot of history as well.

    E-book on Jewish National Fund’s role in colonization of Palestine

    The list could go on forever.

    Of course Israels criminal acts are not confined to just Gaza, West Bank and Israel they also go on through out the world.  Recently the murder in Dubai.

    This of course is not new, assassinations/murders are very common.

    Dubai police chief to seek Netanyahu arrest

    Assassination latest act in nightmare without end

    UK police meet passport victims connected to assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu authorized assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh

    Israel on Trial – The Russell Tribunal on Palestine

    Israel “blackmails Gaza’s patients to turn them into collaborators”

    Hiba Al-Shamaree Iraqi Female Blogger Trial set for March 3 2010

    Canadian students participate in Israeli Apartheid Week

    8.8-magnitude Earthquake in Chile

    Help Haiti Everybody Hurts Video

    US/Israeli Charity uses little Palestinian Childs photo to raise money for Israel’s Hungry

    Published in: on March 5, 2010 at 11:10 pm  Comments Off on Rachel Corrie’s parents Get Nasty Letter from professor at Haifa University  
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

    World aid agencies appeal to Israel to unlock Gaza

    By Nidal Al Mughrabi
    Reuters
    January 21 2010

    GAZA – The United Nations said on Wednesday Israel’s blockade of Gaza undermines the enclave’s healthcare system and puts patients at risk.

    Max Gaylard, resident Humanitarian Coordinator for the Palestinian territories, said Israel was to be commended for letting Palestinians from Gaza access specialist medical care but could save more lives by allowing more timely treatment.

    “It is causing ongoing deterioration in the social, economic and environmental determinants of health,” he said. “It is hampering the provision of medical supplies and the training of health staff and it is preventing patients with serious medical conditions getting timely specialised treatment.”

    “We have had extreme cases of patients dying because they could not get out to get the more advanced medical care in Israel,” Gaylard told Reuters in an interview after presenting a report on the situation at a Gaza news conference.

    “It is quite true that hundreds of patients do get out to Israel. That has been happening on a continuing basis. That is good and we welcome it and the Israelis are to be commended for that,” he said. “I think we are concerned about the ones who do not go out and there are too many of them.”

    One year later

    One year after Israel’s offensive on Hamas-ruled Gaza, UN agencies and the Association for International Development Agencies (AIDA), representing over 80 NGOs, issued a report highlighting the health impact of the blockade.

    They again called on Israel to relax its tight control of the Gaza Strip’s borders to allow sufficient supply of essential items and let people seek care not available in the enclave.

    Gaza student Fida Hejji, 18, died of cancer waiting for Israeli permission to go to an Israeli hospital for treatment.

    She was promised an entry permit three times. Three days after she died last November, her family got a hospital date.

    Hejji had hoped to get life-saving treatment in Israel as other Gazans have done. The Egyptian border is also closed.

    “In her [Hejji’s] last days she used to ask when she could rest, and when all her pain would come to an end,” said her mother Shadia. “I knew she was dying.”

    Israel generally permits supplies of drugs into Gaza but not always enough to prevent shortages. Certain medical equipment such as X-ray and electronic devices are difficult to bring in and clinical staff frequently lack equipment they need.

    Israel says it approves most requests by Gazan patients to cross its border for treatment, and there has been a 25 per cent increase in approvals since 2008 – data supported by World Health Organisation findings issued by Gaylard’s office.

    “Not only are we doing our utmost to allow the people of Gaza every possible medical treatment, but we are doing this in a situation in which their own government is imposing a state of war and trying deliberately to harm Israelis, including those whose mission is to assist the very people of Gaza,” said Yigal Palmor, a spokesman for Israel’s foreign ministry.

    Too late for some

    The UN report said 1,103 patients sought permits for treatment in Israel in December 2009. Most succeeded but 21 per cent were denied or delayed, as a result of which patients missed their hospital appointments and had to restart.

    “Two patients died recently while awaiting referral – one in November and one in December,” it said. In total, “27 patients have died while awaiting referral” in 2009.

    Israel captured Gaza from Egypt in a 1967 war. The ensuing occupation saw limited Palestinian scope for developing an autonomous health service. Israel left in 2005 but the result was far from the peaceful coexistence it might have hoped for.

    Critics accuse Israel of applying collective punishment to Gaza’s 1.5 million people, who are ruled by an elected Islamist government of the Hamas movement. Hamas refuses to recognise Israel and preaches armed struggle until its destruction.

    Hamas remains in control despite the hammering Gaza took in the offensive Israel launched a year ago to stop the firing of rockets and mortars aimed at southern Israeli towns.

    The UN said Gaza’s economy and environment were in a poor state, with inevitable consequences for health, and it noted that half the population are children.

    “The humanitarian community is gravely concerned about the future of this generation whose health needs are not being met.

    “The decline in infant mortality, which has occurred steadily over recent decades, has stalled in the last few years.”

    Israel refuses to let Gaza have materials that can be put to military use. It says the Palestinians are too ready to blame all ills on Israel, and should not be ungrateful for the medical aid Israeli doctors and hospitals provide.

    Israel’s offensive damaged 15 of Gaza’s 27 hospitals and 43 of its 110 primary healthcare facilities, the report said.

    Some 1,400 Palestinians died in the bombing and shelling, and Israel lost 13 citizens in the December 27 – January 18 offensive of 2008-2009. Rocket and mortar fire into Israel from Gaza dropped off dramatically in 2009, but has never entirely ceased.

    The damage cannot be fixed until Israel allows construction materials into Gaza, the report said. Meanwhile, doctors and nurses are cut off from learning the latest techniques abroad.

    “The new surgical wing in Gaza’s main Shifa Hospital has remained unfinished since 2006,” the report noted.

    Nafeth Enaeem, head of Shifa’s kidney department, said dialysis treatments had to be carefully rationed last year, which he said was the worst in terms of health conditions.

    “Sometimes a cable for a machine took three months of coordination with the Israeli side to get into Gaza,” he said.

    Source

    This I suppose is Israels answer.

    Israel has stopped issuing work permits to foreign aid workers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem

    James Hider in Jerusalem

    January 21 2010

    Israel has stopped issuing work permits to foreign aid workers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, sparking fears about the future of relief operations in the Palestinian territories.

    The Israeli Interior Ministry has issued only tourist visas to aid groups such as Oxfam, Médecins sans Frontières and Save the Children since before Christmas. They say that their legal situation is now precarious and that some staff have been denied entry by Israeli border officials who also control all entry to the West Bank.

    The move came amid pressure from right-wing Israeli groups to crack down on non-governmental organisations, which are often seen as having a political, anti-Israeli bias. Early last year an Israeli group, NGO monitor, forced the New York-based Human Rights Watch to suspend a weapons specialist who had written a scathing report on Israel’s use of white phosphorus during its Gaza offensive. The group tracked down anonymous comments that the researcher had made on online discussions for collectors of Nazi memorabilia.

    Some left-wing Israeli groups have accused Israel of “declaring war” on foreign groups such as Human Rights Watch and Oxfam, which have been critical of Israel’s blockade of Gaza.

    Aid groups are now worried that the decision by the Interior Ministry could inhibit their work to provide medical support, welfare and basic supplies to hundreds of thousands of Palestinians.

    “We are now in a very precarious legal position,” said Jean-Luc Lambert, head of Médecins sans Frontières in Jerusalem: “We can’t get B1 [working] visas, only [tourist] visas, and with this it is not permitted for us to work.”

    Mr Lambert said that aid groups had been given verbal reassurances from the Israeli authorities that they would be able to continue their operations in the 60 per cent of the West Bank under Israeli control, in Arab East Jerusalem and in Gaza — whose only open crossings are on its frontier with Israel, controlled by Israeli forces.

    During the Israeli offensive against Gaza, however, the authorities prevented many aid groups from entering the area, raising concerns about the value of any verbal agreement. “This leaves NGOs vulnerable to border guards’ interpretation of the rules,” said Mr Lambert, making the development a serious source of concern for 150 international organisations.

    He said that technically, under the new rules, he could not work in his East Jerusalem headquarters, nor hold a meeting in the predominantly Arab half of the city that Israel captured in the 1967 Six-Day War and which both sides claim as their capital.

    “Officially, East Jerusalem belongs to the West Bank, but for Israelis it belongs to Israel.”

    Another Western aid worker said there was a fear in the aid community that the move was a first step towards expelling them from East Jerusalem, where Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, has said that Jewish settlement building will continue despite protests from the United States and the European Union. “There’s a feeling that we are going to be pushed out of East Jerusalem,” he said.

    The Interior Ministry denied that visas had been stopped and said that if aid organisation workers spent most of their time in the West Bank they would need to apply to the Palestinian Authority or the Israeli Army for permits.

    Aid workers said that they usually worked in both Israel and the West Bank, with their logistical hubs in the former, with its access to international sea, land and air routes, while bringing relief to Palestinians in the isolated West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The Interior Ministry said that it was holding discussions with the army about how to deal with such cases.

    NGOs operating in Gaza also worry that a lack of work permits could mean that they would not be able to enter the sealed-off coastal enclave through Israel, and may have to take in supplies through Egypt.

    Catherine Weibel, of Oxfam, said that the issue of Israeli work permits was generating much anguish among foreign aid workers, many of whom worry that they could be denied permission to re-enter.

    Source

    NGO Monitor goes after all Human Rights organizations. NGO Monitor is is a group set up to harrass Human Rights organisations.

    Not a very impressive group. They go after groups like Amnesty International or the  Red cross even.  So anything they have to say should be totally ignored by everyone.

    It rates right up there with Honest Reporting or Camera.

    They rather remind me of Fox TV. Anything but honest or fair.

    Just more or less lobby groups. All Pro Israel and send thousands of letters to whoever they wish to annoy.

    Anything to stop the truth about Israel from being told.

    Recent

    US Trial of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui has started

    Update on Haiti Earthquake January 19 2010

    Israel floods Gaza villages, displacing a hundred families

    Update on Haiti Earthquake January 18 2010

    Spanish lawmaker’s photo used for bin Laden poster

    US/Israeli Charity uses little Palestinian Childs photo to raise money for Israel’s Hungry

    Published in: on January 21, 2010 at 5:50 am  Comments Off on World aid agencies appeal to Israel to unlock Gaza  
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

    Israeli Occupation Authorities Deny Gaza Christians Permission to Travel to Bethlehem at Christmas

    December 27 2009

    Israeli occupation forces prevented young Christians from the Gaza Strip from traveling to the West Bank to celebrate Christmas and the New Year. These restrictions were imposed in the context of Israel’s illegal closure of the Gaza Strip, which has now been in place for 928 consecutive days. The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns this form of collective punishment, and calls upon the international community to exert pressure on Israeli occupation authorities to cancel their decision and immediately allow all Christians to move freely, to grant access to the Church of the Nativity and Church of the Resurrection, and to respect the right to freedom of religion.

    According to Palestinian sources, Israeli occupation authorities prevented Christians from the Gaza Strip aged 16-35 from traveling from the Gaza Strip to the West Bank to participate in the celebration of Christmas and the New Year in Bethlehem and Jerusalem.  They refused to consider any application for permits for those aged between 16 and 35 from both sexes for no apparent reason. This policy contradicts Israeli claims that it allowed all Gazan Christians to participate in the celebrations of Christmas in the West Bank.

    According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at least 550 Christians applied for permits to travel to the West Bank, and Israeli occupation authorities refused to accept applications from 450 others aged 16-35.  Israeli occupation forces allowed only 450 applicants, 70% of whom were children, to travel to the West Bank.  PCHR note that most rejected applications were of parents, which in effect deprived children who obtained permits of traveling as their parents were not able to accompany them.

    Such measures have been in place for the last number of years.  Last year, the Palestinian Civil Affairs Commission submitted at least 1,000 applications to obtain permits for Christians to travel from the Gaza Strip to the West Bank, but Israeli occupation authorities approved only 271, mostly of children and the eldery.  Those who were allowed to travel were subjected to humiliating prolonged checking at Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing before being allowed to pass through the crossing.

    PCHR is deeply concerned over the policy of collective punishment adopted by Israeli occupation authorities, which constitutes a serious violation of international human rights and humanitarian law, particularly the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949.  PCHR calls upon the international community to immediately act to allow Palestinian civilians to enjoy their rights to freedom of movement and worship.  PCHR stresses that everyone has the right to freedom of faith and religion, including the right to conduct religious rituals, and the right to freedom of movement and/or having access to sacred religious sites, which are fundamental rights that must be respected, protected and upheld.

    Source

    Related

    Weekly Report: On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory 30 Dec 2009- 05 Jan. 2010

    Gaza sees more newborns of malformation

    55 activists injured in clashes in Egypt/Egyptian authorities called in over 2,000 riot police to block Viva Palestina convoy in port of Al-Arish they made it into Gaza

    Jewish lobby wages war on Christmas trees and all symbols of Christianity

    West Bank Rabbi: Jews can kill Gentiles who threaten Israel including Children and even Babies

    Published in: on January 7, 2010 at 5:32 am  Comments Off on Israeli Occupation Authorities Deny Gaza Christians Permission to Travel to Bethlehem at Christmas  
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

    Obama Approves $30 Billion in Military Aid to Israel Over Next Decade

    By Jason Ditz,
    December 18, 2009

    As the single largest expense of the 2010 foreign aid budget, President Obama approved $2.775 billion in military aid to Israel, the first payment in a decade-long commitment that will reach at least $30 billion.

    Last year, Israel’s military budget amounted to $13.3 billion, so the US funding is a significant portion of their overall expenditure. The US formerly provided both military and civilian aid, but it has since been folded entirely into military aid, at Israel’s request.

    The money is not a blank check, however. The US requires that Israel spend at least 75% of the money given in military aid with US military contractors, effectively using the foreign aid budget to subsidize domestic weapon-makers.

    In addition to military aid, the US also provides $3.148 billion in loan guarantees to Israel, part of a Treasury Department program aimed at keep Israel’s debt manageable. Ironically, though the US budget is spiraling out of control and America’s own debt continues to rise, there was no serious debate of reducing aid to Israel.

    The budget also pledges $500 million in American aid to the Fatah Party’s Palestinian Authority. This aid is contingent on certain requirements, including that the group recognize Israel. This funding is distinct from any funding the CIA may give the Palestinian Authority’s security forces, which would be secret.

    $500 Million in Aid Also to Go to Palestinian Authority

    Source

    The US debt is now nearing 13 trillion.

    CIA working with Palestinian Authority security agents

    US agency co-operating with Palestinian counterparts who allegedly torture Hamas supporters in West Bank.

    Palestinian security agents who have been detaining and allegedly torturing supporters of the Islamist organisation Hamas in the West Bank have been working closely with the CIA, the Guardian has learned.

    Less than a year after Barack Obama signed an executive order that prohibited torture and provided for the lawful interrogation of detainees in US custody, evidence is emerging the CIA is co-operating with security agents whose continuing use of torture has been widely documented by human rights groups.

    The relationship between the CIA and the two Palestinian agencies involved – Preventive Security Organisation (PSO) and General Intelligence Service (GI) – is said by some western diplomats and other officials in the region to be so close that the American agency appears to be supervising the Palestinians’ work.

    One senior western official said: “The [Central Intelligence] Agency consider them as their property, those two Palestinian services.” A diplomatic source added that US influence over the agencies was so great they could be considered “an advanced arm of the war on terror”.

    While the CIA and the Palestinian Authority (PA) deny the US agency controls its Palestinian counterparts, neither denies that they interact closely in the West Bank. Details of that co-operation are emerging as some human rights organisations are beginning to question whether US intelligence agencies may be turning a blind eye to abusive interrogations conducted by other countries’ intelligence agencies with whom they are working. According to the Palestinian watchdog al-Haq, human rights in the West Bank and Gaza have “gravely deteriorated due to the spreading violations committed by Palestinian actors” this year.

    Most of those held without trial and allegedly tortured in the West Bank have been supporters of Hamas, which won the Palestinian elections in 2006 but is denounced as a terrorist organisation by the PA – which in turn is dominated by the rival Fatah political faction – and by the US and EU. In the Gaza Strip, where Hamas has been in control for more than two years, there have been reports of its forces detaining and torturing Fatah sympathisers in the same way.

    Among the human rights organisations that have documented or complained about the mistreatment of detainees held by the PA in the West Bank are Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, al-Haq and the Israeli watchdog B’Tselem. Even the PA’s human rights commission has expressed “deep concern” over the mistreatment of detainees.

    The most common complaint is that detainees are severely beaten and subjected to a torture known as shabeh, during which they are shackled and forced to assume painful positions for long periods. There have also been reports of sleep deprivation, and of large numbers of detainees being crammed into small cells to prevent rest. Instead of being brought before civilian courts, almost all the detainees enter a system of military justice under which they need not be brought before a court for six months.

    According to PA officials, between 400 and 500 Hamas sympathisers are held by the PSO and GI.

    Some of the mistreatment has been so severe that at least three detainees have died in custody this year. The most recent was Haitham Amr, a 33-year-old nurse and Hamas supporter from Hebron who died four days after he was detained by GI officials last June. Extensive bruising around his kidneys suggested he had been beaten to death. Among those who died in GI custody last year was Majid al-Barghuti, 42, an imam at a village near Ramallah.

    While there is no evidence that the CIA has been commissioning such mistreatment, human rights activists say it would end promptly if US pressure was brought to bear on the Palestinian authorities.

    Shawan Jabarin, general director of al-Haq, said: “The Americans could stop it any time. All they would have to do is go to [prime minister] Salam Fayyad and tell him they were making it an issue.. Then they could deal with the specifics: they could tell him that detainees needed to be brought promptly before the courts.”

    A diplomat in the region said “at the very least” US intelligence officers were aware of the torture and not doing enough to stop it. He added: “There are a number of questions for the US administration: what is their objective, what are their rules of engagement? Do they train the GI and PSO according to the manual which was established by the previous administration, including water-boarding? Are they in control, or are they just witnessing?”

    Sa’id Abu-Ali, the PA’s interior minister, accepted detainees had been tortured and some had died, but said such abuses had not been official policy and steps were being taken to prevent them. He said such abuses “happen in every country in the world”. Abu-Ali sought initially to deny the CIA was “deeply involved” with the two Palestinian intelligence agencies responsible for the torture of Hamas sympathisers, but then conceded that links did exist. “There is a connection, but there is no supervision by the Americans,” he said. “It is solely a Palestinian affair. But the Americans help us.”

    The CIA does not deny working with the PSO and GI in the West Bank, although it will not say what use it has made of intelligence extracted during the interrogation of Hamas supporters. But it denies turning what one official described as “a Nelson’s eye to abuse”.

    The CIA’s spokesman, Paul Gimigliano, denied it played a supervisory role over the PSO or GI. “The notion that this agency somehow runs other intelligence services … is simply wrong,” he said. “The CIA … only supports, and is interested in, lawful methods that produce sound intelligence.”

    Concern about detainee abuse is growing in the West Bank despite an effort by the international community to create Palestinian institutions that will guarantee greater security as a first step towards creating a Palestinian state. More than half of the PA’s $2.8bn (£1.66bn) budget came from international donors last year; more than a quarter was swallowed up by the ministry of the interior and national security. Human Rights Watch and al-Haq have said that in raising the security capacity of the PA, donor countries have a responsibility to ensure it observes international human rights standards.

    At the heart of the international effort is the creation of the Palestinian national security force, a 7,500-strong gendarmerie trained by US, British, Canadian and Turkish army officers under the command of a US general, Keith Dayton. Many Palestinians blame Dayton for the mistreatment of Hamas sympathisers, although the general’s remit does not extend to either of the intelligence agencies responsible.

    Some in Dayton’s team are said to have been warned by senior CIA officers that they should not attempt to interfere in the work of the PSO or GI. Privately, some of them are said to fear that the mistreatment of detainees, and the anger this is arousing among the population, may undermine their mission. One source said: “I know that Dayton and his crew are very concerned about what is happening in those detention centres because they know it can jeopardise their work.”

    Source

    The CIA are the torture teachers. They seem to be doing what they always do, considering Obama said no more torture. I guess he lied.

    I have great faith the CIA  have helped immensely in the torture of
    Hamas victims. I don’t believe the so called spokes person for the CIA. Not knowing what I know about the history of the CIA.  They are in it up to their ears, as usual.

    Torture is illegal under  International Law.

    At least Hamas was elected democratically and they are the ones being punished by the PA, Israel, the CIA and the rest of the world just sits idly by while they are also being tortured as well.  US tax dollars hard at work.

    Just more Guantanamo Bay slop.

    So the US tortures, Israelis torture and now the Palestinian Authority also tortures.

    Those citizens who pay for this in the US should be so proud their tax dollars go to a good cause. The Enablers are as bad as the ones who torture.

    Aid should be for the hungry people of the world not for torture or weapons. Of course all the weapons that are purchased with the military aid are from  US weapons manufactures.  They make a fortune off the tax payers in the US who pay for it all.  The enablers of wars around the world.

    The US Gov uses tax payers money given to other countries to buy weapons from the US.  Not profitable at all.

    Not for the people who give their hard earned money in taxes just to profit the weapons dealers.
    I bet those weapons manufactures  give a whole lot of money to candidates at election time however. Nothing like getting business on silver platter given to you.

    1263 – U.S. Foreign Economic and Military Aid by Major Recipient Country [Excel 74k] | [PDF 458k] Up to 2007 Source

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    Israeli settlers attack mosque in West Bank

    December 11 2009

    Israeli settlers in the occupied Palestinian West Bank have vandalised a mosque, torching its library and spraying hate messages in Hebrew on the building.

    The graffiti on the mosque bodes badly for settlers accepting a return to 1967 borders (AFP)

    The attack blamed on hardline Jews on Friday may be linked to plans that seek to curb their illegal settlement activity on land taken from Palestinians.

    Clashes erupted as villagers hurled stones at Israeli troops sent to investigate the incident at the mosque in the northern West Bank’s Yasuf village. The security forces responded with teargas.

    One of the Hebrew language slogans sprayed on a wall read: “Get ready to pay the price.” Another read: “We will burn you all.”

    Village councillors and Palestinian security officials blamed Israelis from a nearby settlement for the attack.

    Settler anger

    The area is home to some of the most hardline settlers who advocate a “price tag” policy under which they target Palestinians in retaliation for any Israeli government measure they see as threatening Jewish settlements.

    The Israeli military said “it appears that the suspects wrote hate-filled messages in Hebrew in addition to burning bookshelves and a carpet.”

    It assured the Palestinian Authority that it “views the incident gravely” and that security forces are working to locate the perpetrators, the statement said.

    Last week, a house and three vehicles were set on fire in another village, also near the West Bank city of Nablus. The owner of the house told police he saw three Jewish settlers start the fires.

    Settlers have expressed outrage over the government’s decision to impose a 10-month moratorium on new building permits for Israeli homes in the occupied West Bank, outside annexed Arab east Jerusalem.

    Many settlers consider they have a God-given right to live in the biblical Land of Israel, which includes the West Bank.

    Source

    No one needs to wonder where the hate begins.

    This in any other country would be considered  Hate Crimes.

    When swatiqas are sprayed on Synagoges that is a hate crime.

    This too is a hate crime. There is no difference.

    They think they have the right because they believe they are the Chosen people.

    They do not have the right to commit hate crimes.

    They do not have the right under any law biblical or not.

    Using the biblical laws is just an excuse to steal, murder and oppress.

    I guess they forgot the Ten Commandments.

    Those are the only Ten Laws from that time that still apply today.

    Those are the ten laws modern law is based on.

    Nothing in there says you can do any of the things,  Israelis do to the Palestinians.

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    Published in: on December 13, 2009 at 8:36 pm  Comments Off on Israeli settlers attack mosque in West Bank  
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    Palestinian sues over Bruno ‘terrorist’ slur

    Associated Press

    December 10 2009

    Ayman Abu Aita waches extracts from Sacha Baron Cohen’s new hit movie ‘Bruno’, in which Aitta says he was presented as a ‘terrorist’

    A Palestinian shopkeeper portrayed as a terrorist in the film Bruno is suing Sacha Baron Cohen, US talk show host David Letterman and others in a £67.5 million defamation case.

    The action filed by Ayman Abu Aita in US federal court seeks 110 million dollars in damages for libel and slander.

    In the film, Cohen plays a gay Austrian fashion journalist trying to make it big in the US. To achieve worldwide fame, Bruno travels to the Middle East to make peace. He interviews Abu Aita, and a caption labels the Bethlehem shopkeeper as a member of the militant Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade.

    Mr Abu Aita is suing CBS and Letterman’s company Worldwide Pants over an interview before the film’s release where the Late Show host and comedian Cohen discussed Bruno’s encounter with a “terrorist”.

    In the interview, Cohen, 37, said he set up the meeting in the West Bank with the help of a CIA agent.

    Cohen said he feared for his safety and interviewed the “terrorist” at a secret location chosen by Mr Abu Aita. A clip was then played on The Late Show with David Letterman.

    According to the lawsuit, however, the interview with Mr Abu Aita took place at a hotel chosen by Cohen and located in a part of the West Bank that was under Israeli military control.

    Film distributor NBC Universal and director Larry Charles are also named in the lawsuit.

    A spokeswoman for Universal Studios declined to comment. Tom Keaney, a spokesman for David Letterman, also said he would not comment.

    Cohen also faced multiple lawsuits after his earlier movie Borat including one for £18.4 million filed by residents of a remote Romanian village who said they were misled into thinking the project was a documentary about poverty. Most of the lawsuits were thrown out.

    Mr Abu Aita is prominent businessman, a Christian and a “peace-loving person who abhors violence”, the latest lawsuit states.

    Before the film, he “enjoyed a good reputation for honesty and a peaceable nature” in his community, his lawyers wrote.

    They say any accusations or insinuations that he is or ever was associated with the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade, or any other terrorist activity, was “utterly false and untrue”.

    Lawyer Joseph Drennan said mr Abu Aita was never offered a release to sign to appear in the film.

    “This is an important lawsuit because it is about the dignity of a specific person. It is about his reputation, about his standing in the community,” Mr Drennan said.

    “It addresses a very corrosive and calumnious slur against any young Palestinian who would be a political activist on the West Bank”, who would be called a “terrorist” because of his activism.

    Hatem Abu Ahmad, Mr Abu Aita’s Arab-Israeli lawyer, said Cohen made millions “on the back of my client”.

    The film drew disdain from the Israelis and Palestinians portrayed in a place Bruno calls Middle Earth.

    Mr Drennan said he expected a hearing on Mr Abu Aita’s complaint in late January.

    Source

    I hope he wins. Something like that could do a lot of damage to a person including getting him killed. Being called a terrorists is outrageous when you are a peaceful person. This borderlines a hate crime for profit.

    It could also destroy your life.

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    Israel: Attempting to take away Canadians Freedom of Speech

    This must be addressed and soon. Seems the Harper Government is trying to Criminalize free speech at the urging of Israel.

    Canada already has hate laws to protect people . Those laws are sufficient there is no need for any other laws. There is very little antisemitism in Canada.  This legislation will be used to cover the crimes if Israel and prevent Canadians from speaking out against them.  This is totally unnecessary.

    When Israel violates Human Rights  and Canadians who wish to, should have the Freedom to say so. Not only is it their right it is their obligation to speak out against oppression of any peoples in any country.

    Defend Canadian Free Speech from Israel’s representatives who would criminalize it. Please sign Petition.

    http://www.petitiononline.com/sc12ijvc/petition.html

    I advise also to Contact the Canadian Politicians  Directly and let them know you want your free speech and not to bend to the will of the Israeli Lobby groups.

    Canadians have the right to speak on behalf of those who are being persecuted no matter what country is at fault.  Sign the petition and or let your representatives know,  you will not tolerate your loss of Freedom of Speech.

    http://canada.gc.ca/directories-repertoires/direct-eng.html

    Pass this on to all Canadians. I can bet many of them do not know.

    Scream, shout and yell from the roof tops,  but protect your Freedom to speak your mind.

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    Check the Archives for more stories they are segregated by month.

    Just click on whatever month and it will bring up all the links to postings for the month. There is a lot of information there.  If you don’t know about what is happening in Gaza or the West Bank at the hand of Israel get educated.

    The things Canadians will never be allowed to talk about if they pass this legislation are many. Crimes against humanity are committed by Israel almost daily.

    Indexed List of all Stories in Archives

    “The Canadian and Israel Public Security Agreement”,

    British MP George Galloway barred from Canada under the Canada Israel “Public Security” Agreement

    by Michel Chossudovsky

    March 26, 2009

    British MP George Galloway was refused entry to Canada on the pretext that he supported Hamas, which is categorized by the Canadian government as a “terrorist organization.”

    Point of Interest before you finish reading.
    Hamas was Democratically elected Not a Terrorists group. They are a party just like Democrats, Liberal, Labour, NDP, Conservative or Republican etc.

    Contrary to what has been reported in the media, this was not a unilateral decision by the government of Canada.

    In all likelihood, the decision was taken in close consultation with Israel under the terms of a farreaching agreement on “public security” signed in Tel Aviv on March 23 2008. The “Declaration of Intent” establishes a framework of bilateral cooperation between Canada and Israel in the area of “Public Security”. The agreement has not been the object of debate in the Canadian parliament, nor has it received media coverage.

    Under the proposed agreement, the Deputy Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness of Canada is in liason with his Israeli counterpart the Director General of Public Security for the Government of the State of Israel. Together they chair a joint Management Committee.

    The terms reference of the Canada-Israel “Declaration” are extremely broad. They include issues of immigration and ethnic profiling, the management of borders, intelligence and the exchange of information, emergency preparedness, correctional services, prisons, law enforcement  and counter-terrorism.  The agreement allows for officials from the State of Israel, to play a role in Canadian “public security” including border security and immigration.

    The important question is whether Israeli officials were present in Canada and whether they were assisting their Canadian  counterparts with regard to the decision to bar George Galloway.

    The article below provides detailed information on the nature of this Canadian-Israeli project.

    Also see text of agreement in ANNEX,

    Michel Chossudovsky, March 26, 2009


    The Canada-Israel “Public Security” Agreement

    Ottawa & Tel Aviv collaborate in counter-terrorism & Homeland security

    by Michel Chossudovsky

    April 2, 2008

    Canada and Israel have signed a far-reaching public security cooperation agreement.

    The agreement, described as a “Partnership”, involves a “Declaration of Intent” by the two governments. The Declaration was signed in Tel Aviv on March 23:

    “Today, the Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of Public Safety Canada and Avi Dicter, Minister of Public Security of the Government of the State of Israel, signed a Declaration of Intent to enhance cooperation in the area of public safety.

    “The Government of Canada is committed to enhancing the security of Canadians – both through our actions at home and with our international partners.” said Minister Day. “Today’s declaration demonstrates the longstanding cooperation between Canada and Israel on public safety issues, and we welcome this increased cooperation in order to improve our countries’ capacity to protect our citizens.”

    This declaration will allow Canada and Israel to better enhance cooperation in the areas of organized crime, emergency management, crime prevention, and other related public safety concerns. The declaration seeks to establish a more structured framework for the continued cooperation on public safety issues between Canada and Israel.

    “The Declaration of Intent is an opportunity for Canada and Israel to strengthen their commitment to safeguarding their citizens and respective national interests from common threats,” said Minister Dicter.” ( http://www.ps-sp.gc.ca/app_support/xml/ps_news_e.xml)

    Cheney Mission to the Middle East Shrouded in Secrecy

    Canada’s Minister of Public Safety Stockwell Day was in Israel on the same day as Vice Cheney Dick Cheney.

    Coincidentally, a US mission led by Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff was also in Israel on official business, as guest of Israel’s Minister of Public Security, Avi Dicter. There are no reports on Canada-US-Israeli consultations during these official visits. In all likelihood, officials from the respective departments/ministries of US Homeland Security, Israel’s Public Security and Canada’s Public Safety had meetings behind closed doors.
    Terms of Reference of the Partnership

    Israel’s Ministry of Public Security carries out public security, law enforcement activities. It is also in charge of the operation of Israel’s prisons, which are in large part used to detain Palestinians.

    Canada’s Ministry of Public Safety, established in 2003, is a copy and paste version of US Homeland Security. Public Safety Canada has a close bilateral relationship with US Homeland Security.

    Public Safety Canada works closely with several government agencies including the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), Correctional Service Canada (CSC) and The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). Officials from these agencies have no doubt been consulted regarding the terms of reference of the Israel-Canada declaration.

    The terms reference of the Canada-Israel Declaration are extremely broad. They include issues of immigration and ethnic profiling, the management of borders, intelligence and the exchange of information, emergency preparedness, correctional services, prisons, law enforcement  and counter-terrorism.

    The Declaration of Intent involves the setting up of a close bilateral cooperation arrangement at the ministerial level. A management committee has been set up under the helm of  the Deputy Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness of Canada, and the Director General of Public Security of the State of Israel.

    Senior Israeli and Canadian officials respectively from Israel’s Ministry of Public Security and from various Canadian federal departments and agencies (including the RCMP, CSIS and CBSA), which are under the jurisdiction of Stockwell Day’s ministry  would carry out “an approved program of work”.

    The programme would be implemented by a Senior Coordinator from each country, namely, the Assistant Deputy Minister (Strategic Policy) for Canada’s Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and the Deputy Director General of Israel’s Ministry of Public Security of the State of Israel;

    Nature of the Agreement

    The agreement requires the two countries to “[b]uild on their shared commitment to facilitate and enhance cooperation to protect their respective countries’ population, assets and interests from common threats”.

    What type of border security and control of immigrants is involved?

    How does this impinge upon Canada’s immigration procedures?

    The agreement appears to be built upon a much broader agreement between Canada and the US in the area of Homeland Security.  However, it also replicates the pattern of a February 2006 agreement reached between US Homeland Security and Israel’s Ministry of Public Security

    The Israel-Canada agreement has been in the pipeline since Israel’s Public Security Minister Avi Dicter’s October 2007 visit to the US and Canada. Avi Dicter met Stockwell Day last October in Toronto “with the intention on establishing cooperation on homeland security” and counter-terrorism.

    Israel is not part of North America. Canada and Israel do not share a common border. So what is the underlying agenda?

    Will Canada assist Israel in policing its border with Lebanon, Syria and the Palestinian territories?

    Conversely, will Israeli officials assist Canada in ethnic profiling of people (including biometric applications, which is mentioned in the agreement) who visit Canada from the Middle East?

    Will Israeli officials have access to confidential files of Canadians?

    What type of cooperation is envisaged in the areas of prisons and law enforcement? Interrogation techniques? Are Israeli consultants going to help us reorganize our correctional services?

    The agreement would allow officials from the State of Israel, a country on record for its numerous human rights violations acts directed against the people of Palestine and Lebanon, to play a role in Canadian public security. In this regard, will Israeli officials assist the RCMP and CSIS in the profiling of Canadians citizens who are Muslims. This ethnic profiling is already applied at Canadian airports.

    Will Israeli officials assist their Canadian counterparts in dealing with individuals and/or organizations in Canada involved in supporting the rights of Palestinians. Will Israeli officials assist their Canadian counterparts in the domestic “war on terrorism”, which in the post 9/11 period has led to numerous arbitrary detentions on trumped-up charges.

    At the same time,  the Declaration establishes a de facto complicit relationship whereby Canadian officials (RCMP, etc) would contribute to assisting Israel in its domestic police and border activities (e.g. Lebanon, Syria, Gaza and the West Bank), not under the auspices of the United Nations, but directly in cooperation with Israeli police and security officials.

    In fact, Canada’s “contribution” to the policing of Israel’s borders with Gaza and the West Bank is already part of a 300 million dollar aid package in support of the “peace process”. According to Public Safety Canada,  “a significant component [of the 300 million will be] devoted to security, including policing and public order capacity-building. This five year commitment will go towards the creation of a democratic, accountable, and viable Palestinian state that lives in peace and security alongside Israel.” (Marketwire, Ottawa, March 24, 2008)

    Following his meeting with his counterpart Avi Dicter, Stockwell Day had meetings on the 24th of March in the West Bank with President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, where issues pertaining to Canada’s peace package, including police training and capacity building were discussed. “I was pleased to meet with Palestinian Authority President Abbas and Prime Minister Fayyad to discuss public safety issues of mutual interest,” said Minister Day. Stockwell Day also visited a West Bank prison as well as a police training center in Jericho. (Ibid)

    Under the Declaration of Intent, Canada cannot exercise “neutrality” with regard to the Palestinian process. Canada would act as a partner of Israel in all issues of public security in the occupied territories. Moreover, Canadian support channelled to the US-Israeli sponsored Palestinian regime of Mahmoud Abbas will be used to repress Hamas, which is the duly elected government. It will contribute to worsening the situation in the occupied territories.

    Counter-terrorism and Homeland Security

    The issue of “counter-terrorism” is not mentioned explicitly in the Declaration of Intent. The terms of reference, however, suggest that the “war on terrorism” is an integral part of the agreement.

    In early February 2007, Minister Avi Dicter addressed the public security committee of the Canadian House of Commons:  “Iran is the largest terrorist state in the world” Dichter said. In his discussion with Canadian MPs, Dichter “laid out what he believes to be the guidelines for Canadian-Israeli security cooperation in the future, possibly similar to the agreement that the minister signed a day later in Washington DC.” (Jerusalem Post, 7 February 2007)

    “The Canadian MPs echoed their American compatriots in addressing the former Shin Bet head as a world expert in the field of terror rather than as a visiting minister of a foreign government, asking him at one point what specific steps the parliament could take to prevent terror attacks on Canadian soil. In his answer, Dichter reiterated the importance of strengthening border security and use of proper investigative methods with suspects.” (ibid)

    During a followup official visit of Israel’s Minister of Public Security Avi Dicter to Canada in late October 2007,  meetings of Israeli and Canadian officials were held behind closed doors to discuss a blueprint for cooperation in the areas of homeland security and counter-terrorism. The meetings chaired by Stockwell Day were held in Toronto on October 29, 2007.  A so-called “Arrangement Paper” was to be drafted with a view to defining  “the actions of the competent structures at ministerial, central and subordinate/local levels for preventing and fighting home land securities issues”:

    “The parties have agreed to intensify future cooperation by identifying ways of direct communication in order to maximize the exchange of information, technology and operational activity. For the same reason it has been agreed to accelerate negotiations for the signing of an Arrangement Paper between the two Ministries on cooperation in home land security and counter terrorism issues which falls within the responsibility of the respective Ministries.

    Negotiations on the arrangement paper mentioned above will take place as necessary. The signing of the arrangement paper will be held on an occasion and place coordinated in advance between the Ministries.

    The two Ministers agreed that by early November three work teams will be established in order to promote the cooperation between the two ministries on the following subjects: • Counterterrorism and Crime • Emergency preparedness • Border crossing security, focusing on biometric identification”

    (Official communique of Israel’s Ministry of Public Security,
    http://www.mops.gov.il/BPEng/MOPS+News/DicterWithCanadianMinister_30_10_07.htm )

    The “Arrangement paper” refers to the draft text of The Declaration of Intent, which was signed in Tel Aviv on March 23, 2008. The two governments chose to sign the agreement during a week of intense diplomatic activity in Tel Aviv, involving the concurrent visits of the Vice President of the US, the US Secretary of the Department Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and other senior officials.

    The final text of the Declaration of Intent remains vague. “Counter-terroism” and the “Homeland” are not explicitly mentioned in the final text of the Declaration signed on March 23.

    Legal Implications

    The text of the Declaration of Intent states that “:{it] is not intended to create legally binding obligations, under either domestic or international law. Yet, at the outset, it violates several fundamental principles of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”

    The Canada-Israel Public Security agreement has barely been mentioned by the Canadian media.

    It has not been the object of a debate in parliament. Why has this issue not been brought to the forefront of public debate?  Why has the parliamentary opposition remained mum on the subject?

    It should be forcefully challenged in Canada’s courts.


    Public Safety Canada March 23, 2008

    Declaration of Intent Between the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness of Canada and the Ministry of Public Security of the Government of the State of Israel

    The Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness of Canada and the Ministry of Public Security of the Government of the State of Israel, declare their intent:

    1. To prioritize and manage cooperation in the following areas within the responsibility of the Ministries:

    1. Border management and security, including biometric applications;

    2. Correctional services and prisons;

    3. Crime prevention;

    4. Critical infrastructure protection;

    5. Emergency management;

    6. Illegal immigration;

    7. Law enforcement cooperation;

    8. Money laundering;

    9. Organized crime;

    10. Terrorist financing; and

    11. Trafficking in persons.

    2. To achieve the following objectives:

    1. Build on their shared commitment to facilitate and enhance cooperation to protect their respective countries’ population, assets and interests from common threats;

    2. Integrate and coordinate of the identification, prioritization, and implementation of cooperative efforts between themselves in the area of public safety;

    3. Manage the delivery of approved cooperative activities within the scope of this Declaration;

    4. Establish of clear lines of communication and points of contact between themselves as part of an ongoing process of dialogue and partnership in pursuing common goals;

    5. Share knowledge, experience, expertise, information, research, and best practices;

    6. Identify and share public safety concerns on the basis of threats, risk assessments, priorities, vulnerabilities, and consequences; and

    7. Facilitate technical exchange cooperation, including education, training, and exercises.

    3. To establish a Management Committee that would:

    1. Be comprised of the Deputy Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness of Canada, and the Director General of Public Security for the Government of the State of Israel;

    2. Meet annually and as needed to develop and approve a program of work, consistent with the scope and objectives of this Declaration, for that upcoming year;

    3. Evaluate and approve progress and results of activities carried out under this Declaration from the previous year;

    4. Identify officials from the Ministry of Public Security of the Government of the State of Israel and from the department and agencies for which the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness of Canada is responsible, to carry out, within specific timeframes, each of the items in the approved program of work;

    5. Be supported by a Senior Coordinator, namely, the Assistant Deputy Minister (Strategic Policy) for the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness of Canada, and the Deputy Director General for the Ministry of Public Security of the Government of the State of Israel; and

    6. Have the Senior Coordinators ensure the delivery of the approved program of work and recommend new activities for the Committee’s approval.

    4. To bear respectively the costs that they each incur for performing, managing, and administering its activities under this Declaration;

    5. To ensure the appropriate protection of all information, knowledge, expertise, etc. that is exchanged between them against any unauthorized access, alteration, publication, or dissemination; and

    6. To protect any information, knowledge, expertise, etc. that is exchanged between them against disclosure to any third party with the same degree of care as they each exercise with their own information, knowledge, expertise, etc. of a similar nature;

    It is understood that:

    This Declaration is not intended to duplicate or supersede any existing arrangements between any departments and/or agencies of the Government of Canada and the Government of Israel; and

    This Declaration is not intended to create legally binding obligations, under either domestic or international law.

    Signed in duplicate at Tel Aviv, this 23rd day of March, 2008, which corresponds to the 16th day of Adar b’5768, in the English, French, and Hebrew languages with all texts being equally valid.

    FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY AND EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS OF CANADA

    FOR THE MINISTRY OF PUBLIC SECURITY OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE STATE OF ISRAEL

    Source

    Canada and Israel Sign Declaration to Cooperate on Public Safety
    ISRAEL, March 23, 2008
    Today, the Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of Public Safety Canada and Avi Dicter, Minister of Public Security of the Government of the State of Israel, signed a Declaration of Intent to enhance cooperation in the area of public safety.

    “The Government of Canada is committed to enhancing the security of Canadians – both through our actions at home and with our international partners.” said Minister Day.  “Today’s declaration demonstrates the longstanding cooperation between Canada and Israel on public safety issues, and we welcome this increased cooperation in order to improve our countries’ capacity to protect our citizens.”

    This declaration will allow Canada and Israel to better enhance cooperation in the areas of organized crime, emergency management, crime prevention, and other related public safety concerns.  The declaration seeks to establish a more structured framework for the continued cooperation on public safety issues between Canada and Israel.

    “The Declaration of Intent is an opportunity for Canada and Israel to strengthen their commitment to safeguarding their citizens and respective national interests from common threats,” said Minister Dicter.

    See Also:

    • Declaration of Intent Between the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness of Canada and the Ministry of Public Security of the Government of the State of Israel (added Below)

    Information:

    Mélisa Leclerc
    Director of Communications
    Office of the Honourable Stockwell Day
    Minister of Public Safety
    613-991-2863

    Shani Banker
    Press Secretary
    Office of Avi Dicter
    Minister of Public Security of the Government of the State of Israel
    972 2 50 6272094

    http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/media/nr/2008/nr20080323-eng.aspx

    ANNEX

    FULL TEXT of AGREEMENT

    Declaration of Intent Between the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness of Canada and the Ministry of Public Security of the Government of the State of Israel
    The Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness of Canada and the Ministry of Public Security of the Government of the State of Israel, declare their intent:

    1. To prioritize and manage cooperation in the following areas within the responsibility of the Ministries:
      1. Border management and security, including biometric applications;
      2. Correctional services and prisons;
      3. Crime prevention;
      4. Critical infrastructure protection;
      5. Emergency management;
      6. Illegal immigration;
      7. Law enforcement cooperation;
      8. Money laundering;
      9. Organized crime;
      10. Terrorist financing; and
      11. Trafficking in persons.
    2. To achieve the following objectives:
      1. Build on their shared commitment to facilitate and enhance cooperation to protect their respective countries’ population, assets and interests from common threats;
      2. Integrate and coordinate of the identification, prioritization, and implementation of cooperative efforts between themselves in the area of public safety;
      3. Manage the delivery of approved cooperative activities within the scope of this Declaration;
      4. Establish of clear lines of communication and points of contact between themselves as part of an ongoing process of dialogue and partnership in pursuing common goals;
      5. Share knowledge, experience, expertise, information, research, and best practices;
      6. Identify and share public safety concerns on the basis of threats, risk assessments, priorities, vulnerabilities, and consequences; and
      7. Facilitate technical exchange cooperation, including education, training, and exercises.
    3. To establish a Management Committee that would:
      1. Be comprised of the Deputy Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness of Canada, and the Director General of Public Security for the Government of the State of Israel;
      2. Meet annually and as needed to develop and approve a program of work, consistent with the scope and objectives of this Declaration, for that upcoming year;
      3. Evaluate and approve progress and results of activities carried out under this Declaration from the previous year;
      4. Identify officials from the Ministry of Public Security of the Government of the State of Israel and from the department and agencies for which the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness of Canada is responsible, to carry out, within specific timeframes, each of the items in the approved program of work;
      5. Be supported by a Senior Coordinator, namely, the Assistant Deputy Minister (Strategic Policy) for the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness of Canada, and the Deputy Director General for the Ministry of Public Security of the Government of the State of Israel; and
      6. Have the Senior Coordinators ensure the delivery of the approved program of work and recommend new activities for the Committee’s approval.
    4. To bear respectively the costs that they each incur for performing, managing, and administering its activities under this Declaration;
    5. To ensure the appropriate protection of all information, knowledge, expertise, etc. that is exchanged between them against any unauthorized access, alteration, publication, or dissemination; and
    6. To protect any information, knowledge, expertise, etc. that is exchanged between them against disclosure to any third party with the same degree of care as they each exercise with their own information, knowledge, expertise, etc. of a similar nature;

    It is understood that:

    This Declaration is not intended to duplicate or supersede any existing arrangements between any departments and/or agencies of the Government of Canada and the Government of Israel; and

    This Declaration is not intended to create legally binding obligations, under either domestic or international law.

    Signed in duplicate at Tel Aviv, this 23rd day of March, 2008, which corresponds to the 16th day of Adar b’5768, in the English, French, and Hebrew languages with all texts being equally valid.

    For The Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness of Canada For The Ministry of Public Security of the Government of the State of Israel

    http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/media/nr/2008/nr20080323-1-eng.aspx

    I am Guessing UK MP SIR Gerald Kaufman nor Goldstone or anyone from the United Nations  who voted in favour of the UN Mission report would not be banned from entering Canada as well. That beyond lose of freedom of speech that is outrageous.  I cannot even find the words to present my total disgust.

    Absolutely shameful. It also against International Law to ban anyone of this caliber from Countries. They are not criminals but it seems the Canadian Government officials who did this are.

    Video below. Of  UK MP SIR Gerald Kaufman

    “Israel was born out of Jewish Terrorism” Tzipi Livnis Father was a Terrorist” Astonishing claims in the House of Parliament. SIR Gerald Kaufman, the veteran Labour MP, yesterday compared the actions of Israeli troops in Gaza to the Nazis who forced his family to flee Poland.

    During a Commons debate on the fighting in Gaza, he urged the government to impose an arms embargo on Israel.

    Sir Gerald, who was brought up as an orthodox Jew and Zionist, said: “My grandmother was ill in bed when the Nazis came to her home town a German soldier shot her dead in her bed.

    “My grandmother did not die to provide cover for Israeli soldiers murdering Palestinian grandmothers in Gaza. The present Israeli government ruthlessly and cynically exploits the continuing guilt from gentiles over the slaughter of Jews in the Holocaust as justification for their murder of Palestinians.”

    He said the claim that many of the Palestinian victims were militants “was the reply of the Nazi” and added: “I suppose the Jews fighting for their lives in the Warsaw ghetto could have been dismissed as militants.”

    He accused the Israeli government of seeking “conquest” and added: ”

    They are not simply war criminals, they are fools.”

    Let them take away your freedom of speech it also affects the press they will lose their freedom of speech as well. Then comes censoring where we can go on the web and it just goes on and on.

    Canada keep your freedoms before you end up as a communist country.

    That is the direction it is headed.

    Canada making deals with Israel is not in the best interest of the Canadian Citizens.

    Kiss your freedoms goodbye Canada.  Sharing with Israel is sharing with terrorists.

    What the Canadian Government has done is put Canadians in danger, not security.

    I wonder how much money the Conservatives  get at election time from Israeli Lobby Groups?I bet a bundle.

    That is how they bought and sold the Government leaders in the UK and the US.  Lured by money.

    Instead of doing what is best for American people and those in the UK they do Israels bidding.

    Why on earth would Canadians be so blind as to not see what is happening?

    This is also how Israel gets secret classified information from other countries as well.

    They will also find a way to have Israelis hired to work in the Government which is a conflict of interest.

    This has been done in the US at a staggering rate.  This is the beginning of infiltration into yet another country.

    Soon Canadians will be living in a police state.  Or you could be like those in Gaza.  Either way you loose your freedom.

    Already Harper has been making agreements that have not gone through normal parliamentary procedure.

    Remember Stockwell Day is not really a Conservative. Reformer, Allience whatever  if I remember correctly. Most of the conservatives are not really conservatives. It was taken over Remember.  The conservative party is not really the conservative party like it use to be, not by a long shot.

    Supporting Israel has put the US in extreme debt. Trillions in debt.

    From the Jewish Voice for Peace Support the Goldstone Report Anyone from Any Country can sign.

    I support the Goldstone Report Please sign this.

    This is also rather interesting

    The Israel Lobby Celebrates Espionage in New York

    Need to know how Israel treats their prisoners? It’s not pretty. They even torture children. There is information on it HERE and there are two very extensive reports one for Adults and one for Children. Just scroll down a bit to get to the links. Yes Canada you are in for an interesting future.  Israel can teach you to torture.

    We’re calling on activists around the globe to organize an action between December 27th through December 31st to send Obama, the US State Department and Congress a message to pressure the Israeli government to Lift the Siege on Gaza Now!

    Is it anti-semitic to defend Palestinian human rights?
    By Edward C. Corrigan, BA, MA, LL.B.
    August 26 2009

    (This article was submitted to The Canadian Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Antisemitism http://www.cpcca.ca/home.htm )

    All across Canada and in the United States, there is an organized campaign to suppress criticism of Israeli policies toward the Palestinians.

    The campaign is especially strong on university campuses where many voices have been raised in support of human rights for the Palestinians.

    One such example is the attempt to suppress the Public Interest Research Group, founded by Ralph Nader, at the University of Ottawa for their support for Palestinian human rights.

    Similar anti-Palestinian campaigns have occurred at many universities in Canada

    including the University of Toronto, the University of Western Ontario and York University.

    An attack against a student group that was sympathetic to the Palestinians occurred at the University of Western Ontario in 1982. The student group was refused official recognition because of its support for the Palestinians and for sponsoring Palestinian and Arab speakers. After this refusal a complaint was made to the Ontario Human Rights Commission.

    After a long battle, and with the support of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and its General Counsel Alan Borovoy, and a supportive editorial in The Globe & Mail, the Ontario Human Rights Commission compelled the University Students Council at the University of Western Ontario to issue a statement of regret and to ratify the student group. The refusal was deemed discriminatory against Palestinians and persons associated with Palestinians. (See “The Palestinian Question at the University: The Case of Western Ontario,” American-Arab Affairs, Summer 1987, pp. 87-98.)

    Despite this successful legal precedent at Western Ontario there have been many attacks against individuals and groups across Canada and the United States because of their support for human rights for Palestinians. Over the last few years there is a concerted attempt to suppress discussion of the Palestinian issue in North America.

    There also is a campaign to punish those individuals who have spoken out in support of the Palestinians by cutting funding and by denying them tenure and even getting them terminated from their positions of employment.

    Two well-known examples of firings are the campaigns that targeted Jewish professors’ Norman Finkelstein (author of many books on Israel and Zionism including Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestinian  Conflict, (Verso Press, New York, 1995) and Joel Kovel (author of Overcoming Zionism: Creating a Single Democratic State in  Israel/Palestine (Pluto Press: London, 2007)) for their attacks on Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians.

    Another tactic is to smear such individuals who have supported the Palestinians with allegations of anti-Semitism. One such individual was Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu. A few complaints from the Jewish community led to the Noble Prize winner being banned from speaking on campus by the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota. Tutu was attacked because of statements he made criticizing Israeli policy toward the Palestinians that some Jewish individuals said were “anti Semitic.”

    Marv Davidov, an adjunct professor with the Justice and Peace Studies program at the University of St. Thomas said:

    “As a Jew who experienced real anti-Semitism as a child, I’m deeply disturbed that a man like Tutu could be labeled anti-Semitic and silenced like this,…

    “I deeply resent the Israeli lobby trying to silence any criticism of its policy. It does a great disservice to Israel and to all Jews.”

    After provoking a strong backlash against the decision, and a campaign lead by Jewish Voice for Peace in support of the Arch Bishop which produced more than 6,000 letters of protest, the University rescinded the ban.

    Professor Bill Robinson was also a target of a similar campaign about alleged anti Semitism to get him fired at the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB). Ultimately the University administration defended Robinson’s academic freedom and the right to express his opinions in his global politics class. Robinson, who is Jewish, distributed an email prepared by a pro-Palestinian Jewish activist that compared the Israeli attack on Gaza to the Nazi attack on the Warsaw Ghetto. In response to this attack, on Professor Robinson, more than 100 UCSB faculty members signed a petition asking the university to dismiss the charges against  him. In addition, 16 university department chairs wrote letters to the University authorities asking them to dismiss the case against Robinson.

    Sir Gerald Kaufman, one of the founders of Independent Jewish Voices in Britain, also used his position as a Member of Parliament in London, England to criticize Israeli policy toward the Palestinians. Members of Kaufman’s family perished at the hands of the Nazis and in the Holocaust. As one of the U.K.’s harshest critics of Israeli policies, Kaufman routinely compared the Jewish state’s treatment of Palestinians to Nazi Germany’s treatment of Jews. (See for example, “We Cannot Allow These Murders to Go Unpunished: We can demand these homicidal Israeli soldiers be prosecuted for war crimes,” by Gerald Kaufman, The Independent, April 12, 2006).

    This campaign to silence critics of Israel and to demonize supporters of the Palestinians is most disturbing and a violation of free speech, academic freedom and violation of Palestinian human rights.

    It is also a violation of basic democratic rights when a government does it. For example, the recent cuts to the Canadian Arab Federation’s funding by Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney. The punitive action taken by Minister Kenney is a denial of the fundamental freedoms and rights which are guaranteed in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

    The Charter guarantees the right of free speech and freedom of conscience and protects the individual and organizations from government sanction.

    This campaign is also an attack on the numerous dissenting Jews who support human rights for the Palestinians.

    Canadian Jewish groups like Not in Our Name (NION) and Jewish Independent Voices (Canada) and their support for the Palestinians and their criticism of the “Jewish State,” are simply ignored. For political purposes they simply do not exist.

    The mainstream media also rarely covers these alternative Jewish perspectives. However, there are rare exceptions and sometimes views critical of Zionism are published in the mainstream North American press. Here is one notable example:

    “It’s hard to imagine now, but in 1944, six years after Kristallnacht, Lessing J. Rosenwald, president of the American Council for Judaism, felt comfortable equating the Zionist ideal of Jewish statehood with “the concept of a racial state — the Hitlerian concept.” For most of the last century, a principled opposition to Zionism was a mainstream stance within American Judaism.

    Even after the foundation of Israel, anti-Zionism was not a particularly heretical position. Assimilated Reform Jews like Rosenwald believed that Judaism should remain a matter of religious rather than political allegiance; the ultra-Orthodox saw Jewish statehood as an impious attempt to “push the hand of God”; and Marxist Jews — my grandparents among them — tended to see Zionism, and all nationalisms, as a distraction from the more essential struggle between classes.

    To be Jewish, I was raised to believe, meant understanding oneself as a member of a tribe that over and over had been cast out, mistreated, slaughtered.

    Millenniums of oppression that preceded it did not entitle us to a homeland or a right to self-defense that superseded anyone else’s. If they offered us anything exceptional, it was a perspective on oppression and an obligation born of the prophetic tradition: to act on behalf of the oppressed and to cry out at the oppressor.

    For the last several decades, though, it has been all but impossible to cry out against the Israeli state without being smeared as an anti-Semite, or worse. To question not just Israel’s actions, but the Zionist tenets on which the state is founded, has for too long been regarded an almost unspeakable blasphemy.

    Yet it is no longer possible to believe with an honest conscience that the deplorable conditions in which Palestinians live and die in Gaza and the West Bank come as the result of specific policies, leaders or parties on either side of the impasse.

    The problem is fundamental: Founding a modern state on a single ethnic or religious identity in a territory that is ethnically and religiously diverse leads inexorably either to politics of exclusion (think of the 139-square-mile prison  camp that Gaza has become) or to wholesale ethnic cleansing. Put simply, the problem is Zionism.” (“Zionism is the problem: The Zionist ideal of a Jewish state is keeping Israelis and Palestinians from living in peace,” by Ben Ehrenreich, Los Angeles Times, March 15, 2009.)

    Most of the rest of the World has a much more critical view of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land and supports the right of Palestinians to self determination.

    For example in one vote at the United Nations, held on December 19, 2006 on the Israeli Palestinian issue, the tally was 176 to five in favor of the Palestinians.

    The countries that supported Israel were the United States, the Marshall Islands, Palau and Micronesia.

    Five countries abstained. They were: Australia, Canada, Central African Republic, Nauru and Vanuatu.

    The entire rest of the World voted in favor of the right of Palestinians to self-determination. However, to read the mainstream North American press you almost never hear of these one-sided votes.

    All human beings are entitled to basic human rights. However, the well documented human rights violations of the Palestinians at the hands of the Israelis, by respected organizations such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, The International Red Cross, the United Nations, and even by Israeli organizations such as B’Tselem, Rabbis for Human Rights and the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel and by many Israeli journalists, are attacked and buried under a barrage of criticism that they are biased, are unfair for singling out the Jewish State or are even anti-Semitic.

    My own record as a lawyer representing refugee claims for Palestinians from the Occupied Territories made against Israel, is 28 positives to one negative or a 96.5% success rate.

    However, in the eyes of the supporters of Israel this does not mean that there are serious human rights problems in the Occupied Territories.

    Israel can do no wrong. It is the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada that is “anti-Semitic” and the Jewish members of the IRB who rendered positive decisions on Palestinian refugee claims made against Israel are “self-hating Jews.”

    A Palestinian is simply an inhabitant or citizen of Palestine. There are Jewish, Christian, Muslim and non-believers who are Palestinian. The indigenous Palestinian Jews were opposed to the European Jewish settlers who were flooding into Palestine with the support of Great Britain. A Palestinian is simply a national designation like that of being Canadian or American.

    There is no racial, ethnic or religious criteria for being a Palestinian. Only by right of birth, naturalization and descent that one becomes a Palestinian, just like in most other countries.

    The Jewish State’s citizenship and Immigration process are unique in the World. To qualify as a “Jew” in “the Jewish state” one must meet a racial or ethnic criteria or in the alternative, a religious criterion.

    The Jewish Law of Return grants almost immediate citizenship rights to Jews from anywhere in the World.

    Palestinians who were born in the country and forcibly expelled are, for the most part, forbidden to return.

    The Zionist state of Israel defines itself as “Jewish” and structures itself to advance the interests of Jews at the expense of non-Jews and especially against the indigenous Christian and Muslim Palestinian population.

    In March 1919 United States Congressman Julius Kahn presented an anti-Zionist petition to President Woodrow Wilson as he was departing for the Paris Peace Conference.

    The petition was signed by 31 prominent American Jews. The signatories included Henry Morgenthau, Sr., ex-ambassador to Turkey; Simon W. Rosendale, ex-attorney general of New York; Mayor L. H. Kampner of Galveston, Texas; E. M. Baker, from Cleveland and president of the Stock Exchange; R. H. Macy’s Jesse I. Straus; New York Times publisher Adolph S. Ochs; and Judge M. C. Sloss of San Francisco. Part of the petition read:

    “….we protest against the political segregation of the Jews and the re-establishment in Palestine of a distinctively Jewish State as utterly opposed to the principles of democracy which it is the avowed purpose of the World’s Peace Conference to establish. Whether the Jews be regarded as a “race” or as a “religion,” it is contrary to the democratic principles for which the world war was waged to found a nation on either or both of these bases.”

    There is much controversy over what is Zionism and how to define the “Jewish State.” As Akiva Orr writes,

    The Zionist movement and its State- ISRAEL, do not represent the Jewish people. They never did.

    They represent a particular trend within the Jewish people, namely- the nationalist trend. To find out whether Israel is a Jewish State or a Zionist State one need only ask any religious Orthodox Jew anywhere. His answer will be unambiguous: a Jewish State must be ruled by Jewish religious law- “ Halakha”. Israel is not ruled by “Halakha” laws, but by secular laws. Therefore Israel is not a Jewish State. The fact that it provides refuge to Jews does not make it a Jewish State . . . Zionism and Judaism are different entities. They have contradictory qualities. (See http://www.kibush.co.il/show_file.asp?num=34734. Occupation Magazine, 25 July, 2009.)

    The argument is often made that criticism of Israel, or more appropriately the self described “Jewish State,” the meaning of which is not defined, is anti-Semitic. The fact that many Jews have criticized Israel and Zionism is deemed irrelevant. These Jewish critics are attacked as “self-hating Jews.”

    There is no rational basis for the argument that criticism of the State of Israel and the political ideology of Zionism is anti-Semitic. The logic for this view is obviously flawed.

    For example it makes no sense to accuse an individual who criticizes Apartheid South Africa’s racist policies toward the blacks as evidence of racism toward Whites.

    Or that criticism of the Nazi policy toward the Jews should not be allowed because it is evidence of racism against Germans.

    Similarly if you criticize American policy toward the Iraq war and torture at Abu Ghraib Prison, or the Jim Crow laws that institutionalized discrimination against blacks in the southern states, that you are racist against Americans. This argument is obviously absurd and should not even need a response.

    To quote one American Jewish academic on the comparison of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians to the racist Jim Crow laws in the United States: “I grew up as a white girl in the Jim Crow South and I have spent my adult life in the study of racism; what I see when I go to Palestine is Jim Crow on steroids.”( “A Jewish state – or Jewish values?,” by Tema Okun, Mondoweiss, 21 July, 2009).

    It is a basic right to evaluate and to criticize a political ideology or political movement and to review and even criticize a state’s policies.

    The argument should be evaluated on the merits and the truthfulness of the facts presented. It is also a right to present alternative facts and to have a debate.

    However, when one side wants to avoid debate, divert the discussion or suppress the topic and launches personal attacks against their opponents, it is almost a certain proof that they are hiding some uncomfortable truths.

    Dr. Joel Beinin in an article, “Silencing critics not way to Middle East peace,” published in the San Francisco Chronicle, on February 4, 2007, discussed the campaign to silence critics of Israeli policy.

    Beinin is a professor of History at Stanford University and is Jewish. He is active with Jewish Voice for Peace. Here is what Beinin had to say about the campaign to attack critics of Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians.

    “Why discredit, defame and silence those with opposing viewpoints? I believe it is because the Zionist lobby knows it cannot win based on facts.

    An honest discussion can only lead to one conclusion: The status quo in which Israel declares it alone has rights and intends to impose its will on the weaker Palestinians, stripping them permanently of their land, resources and rights, cannot lead to a lasting peace.

    We need an open debate and the freedom to discuss uncomfortable facts and explore the full range of policy options. Only then can we adopt a foreign policy that serves American interests and one that could actually bring a just peace to Palestinians and Israelis.”

    The ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, as well as the massacres, rapes and illegal confiscation of Palestinian property, is well documented by Israeli historians.

    These include Simcha Flapan, The Birth of Israel: Myths and Realities (New York: Pantheon Books, 1987); Benny Morris, The birth of the Palestinian refugee problem 1947-1949, (Cambridge University Press: New York, 1987); Nur Masalha, Expulsion of the Palestinians (Washington D.C.: Institute for Palestine Studies, 1992); Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi, Original Sins, (Olive Branch Press: New York, 1993); and Ilan Pappe, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, (Oneworld Publications: Oxford, 2006).

    There are many more Israeli authorities that confirm the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians in 1947-1949 and again in 1967. In fact it is still going on today in what some Israelis call the “slow motion ethnic cleansing” of the Palestinians. (For example see “Slow Motion Ethnic Cleansing,” By Uri Avnery, Counter Punch, 09 October, 2003.)

    If the Palestinians, or their supporters, complain about the well-documented facts surrounding the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, losing their property to which they had legal title to, losing their personal belongings and even their bank accounts, having 531 villages destroyed, losing their country and their right to a citizenship, and then not being allowed to return to their homes in contravention of international law; or complain about discriminatory policies of the Jewish National Fund or the discrimination involved in the Jewish Law of Return; or complain about the house demolitions, the more than 600 Israeli military check points in the West Bank, the 42 years of military Occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, the program of targeted assassinations, the well-documented cases of torture; and the imprisonment of more than 11,000 Palestinians including women and  children, many held without charge under what is called Administrative Detention, or the recent slaughter in Gaza, that these complaints and to expose these facts is anti-Semitic!

    The view that it is anti-Semitic to criticize Israel, or its actions, is pure and simple racism against Palestinians. The Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims have many legitimate reasons to criticize the policies and actions of “the Jewish State.” A state that aggressively, and repeatedly, attacks its neighbours and is slowly but systematically ethnically cleansing its non-Jewish population is not above criticism.

    No state is above criticism. You should be very afraid of a political ideology that you must accept without question.

    There is also much to criticize in the Arab world but it would be absurd to say that one cannot criticize the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for its treatment of women or its human rights record, because it is racist against Arabs or is anti-Muslim. A person who made such an argument would be laughed at. No one would take them or the argument seriously.

    Yet this allegation of anti-Semitism is a frequent smear tactic that has been used against individuals who have publicly supported Palestinian human rights.

    These individuals include former US President Jimmy Carter, Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela, Bertrand Russell, Mahatma Gandhi, Arnold Toynbee, George Orwell and many, many others who have expressed public support for the Palestinians. Most of the strongest critics of Zionism and Israel’s policies are Jewish.

    The only Jewish member of Lloyd George’s cabinet when Great Britain first threw its weight behind Zionism in 1917, Sir Edwin Montagu, was adamantly opposed to the creation of a Jewish state. He attacked the Balfour Declaration and Zionism because he believed they were anti-Semitic. Montagu argued that Zionism and anti-Semitism were based on the same premise, namely that Jews and non-Jews could not co-exist.

    Ironically, people like me who want Jews to remain in our society, be an important part of our community and be safe from discrimination and racism are diametrically opposed to the Zionist goal of ingathering all of the Jews to Palestine.

    Zionists want to “save the Jews” because they are not safe in the diaspora and face the threat of persecution due to the intractable anti-Semitism that exists in non-Jewish societies. To quote one Zionist commentator,

    “The Law [of Return] and the Clause and, for that matter Zionism and the Jewish State are necessary so long as the threat to our people continues; so long, in other words, as Diaspora exists…..So the Law of Return continues to be necessary for Jewish survival, to serve its essential function in Zionist theory and practice. The Law defines Israel’s Zionist mission, our state as protector and refuge for threatened Diaspora Jewry. (“Hands off the Law of Return!,” by David Turner, The Jerusalem Post, December 10, 2007)

    Without the history of Christian anti-Semitism that has existed in Europe and the centuries of persecution of the European Jewish community political Zionism would be considered a deranged and absurd political philosophy. Without anti-Semitism Zionism has no legitimacy.

    Sir Edwin Montagu was also afraid that a Jewish state would undermine the safety of Jews in other countries. It appears that this fear was realized in that the safety of the Arab Jewish community was undermined, to a large extent deliberately, so that they would be forced to immigrate to Palestine to strengthen the Jewish presence there.

    Montagu’s opposition to Zionism and the Balfour Declaration was supported by the leading representative bodies of Anglo-Jewry at the time, the Board of Deputies and the Anglo-Jewish Association, and in particular, by three prominent British Jews Claude Montefiore, David Alexander and Lucien Wolf.

    Many Jews are anti-Zionist and opposed the settlement of Jews in Palestine.

    In fact historically Zionism was not supported by the majority of Jews. In the process of creating the state of Israel the political Zionists destroyed Palestine and ethnically cleansed more than 700,000 Palestinians from their homes and villages in order to create a demographic Jewish majority in their newly created “Jewish state.”

    There is a very respected and honored Jewish tradition of opposition to injustice and human rights violations. There is no monolithic position for Jews when it comes to Israel and the Palestinian issue.

    Below is a link for my article “Jewish Criticism of Zionism” which lists more than 160 Jewish critics of Zionism. This article lists many prominent Jewish intellectuals that are extremely critical of Israel’s policies towards Palestinians.

    There is a long distinguished line of Jewish critics of Zionism and Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.

    This list includes Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud, Hannah Arendt, Franz Kafka, Isaac Asimov, I.F. Stone, Norton Mezvinsky, Alfred Lilienthal, Silvain Levi, Eric Rouleau, Tony Judt, Sara Roy, Ronnie Kasrils, Eric Hobsbawn, Saul Landau, Noam Chomsky, Hans Kohen, Eric Fromm, Bruno Kreisky, Pierre Mendes France, Richard Falk, Harold Pinter (the Nobel prize winner for Literature), Philip Roth, Michael Selzer, Don Peretz, Immanuel Wallerstein, Rabbi Michael Lerner, actor Ed Asner and many other leading Jewish intellectuals and religious figures.

    Isaac Asimov was one of the greatest writers of the Twentieth Century and wrote on many topics. He expressed his views about Zionism in a number of pieces. One example is found in the second volume of his autobiography In Joy Still Felt. There, he tells of having dinner in 1959 with some friends and his wife. Asimov wrote:

    “As usual, I found myself in the odd position of not being a Zionist and of not particularly valuing my Jewish heritage….I just think it is more important to be human and to have a human heritage; and I think it is wrong for anyone to feel that there is anything special about any one heritage of whatever kind. It is delightful to have the human heritage exist in a thousand varieties, for it makes for greater interest, but as soon as one variety is thought to be more important than another, the groundwork is laid for destroying them all.”

    Asimov also commented on Zionism in a chapter titled “Anti-Semitism” in I. Asimov, his third autobiographical volume.

    There, Asimov discussed how he was distressed by the capability of the historically oppressed (such as the Jews) to in turn become oppressors if given the chance.

    Asimov wrote: “Right now, there is an influx of Soviet Jews into Israel. They are fleeing because they expect religious persecution. Yet at the instant their feet touched Israeli soil, they became extreme Israeli nationalists with no pity for the Palestinians. From persecuted to persecutors in the blinking of an eye.”

    Tens of thousands of religious Jews today are adamantly opposed to Zionism including the orthodox Neturei Karta and the Satmar sects. Rabbi Yisroel Weiss is the international spokesman for Neturei Karta. Hundreds of thousands of religious Jews in Israel reject the secular political movement of Zionism which created “the Jewish State.”

    There is an important book written by Dr. Yakov M. Rabkin, a professor of History at the University of Montreal. It is titled A Threat from Within: A Century of Jewish Opposition to Zionism, (Zed Books: London, 2006).

    This book examines Jewish religious opposition to Zionism and details the long history of religious opposition to Zionism as a political movement to establish a Jewish state in Palestine. Rabkin describes present day Jewish religious anti-Zionism as follows:

    “…the rejection of Zionism in the name of the Torah, in the name of Jewish tradition. Such rejection is all the more significant in that it can in no way be described as anti-Semitic, recent attempts to conflate any expression of anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism notwithstanding.

    At first glance this seems to be a paradox.

    After all, the public almost automatically associates Jews and Israel. The press continues to refer to “the Jewish State.” Israeli politicians often speak “in the name of the Jewish people.”

    Yet the Zionist movement and the creation of the State of Israel has caused one of the greatest schisms in Jewish history.

    An overwhelming majority of those who defend and interpret the traditions of Judaism have, from the beginning, opposed what was to become a vision for a new society, a new concept of being Jewish, a program of massive immigration to the Holy land and the use of force to establish political hegemony there.” (Yakov M. Rabkin, A Threat from Within: A Century of Jewish Opposition to Zionism, (Zed Books: London 2006), p. 2.)

    Israel’s founders were in fact atheists who wanted to transform Judaism from being a religion into a secular national movement based on race or ethnicity. This explains why Jewish religious leaders were strongly opposed to secular Zionism. Theodore Herzl was seen as an anti-Semite due to his hostility to religious Jews.

    In 1943, a group of 92 Reform rabbis, and many other prominent American Jews, created the American Council for Judaism with the express intent of combatting Zionism.

    Included in the Council’s leadership were Rabbi Morris S. Lazaron of Baltimore; Lessing J. Rosenwald, the former chairman of the Sears, Roebuck & Company, who became president of the Council; Rabbi Elmer Berger who became its executive director; Arthur Hays Sulzberger, publisher of The New York Times; and Sidney Wallach of the American Jewish Committee.

    An example of their views on Zionism is “Palestine,” a pamphlet published by the American Council for Judaism, 1944, p.7 [American Council for Judaism Records (1942-1968), American Jewish Archives. Cincinnati, OH] which stated as follows: “…the concept of a theocratic state is long past. It is an anachronism. The concept of a racial state— the Hitlerian concept— is repugnant to the civilized world, as witness the fearful global war in which we are involved.”

    The American Council for Judaism was founded to expressly oppose Zionism.

    It was created in response to a 1942 Zionist Conference in the US, which proposed the formation of a Jewish army in Palestine before the state was founded.

    The Council send letters to various governments and officials expressing their objection to such a notion as a ‘religious’ state, especially since they believed that: “that Jewish nationalism tends to confuse our fellowman about our place and function in society and diverts our own attention from our historic role to live as a religious community wherever we may dwell.”(America Council for Judaism, Series A. Correspondence, Subseries 1: General, 1942-1953.)

    Membership in the Council grew to more than 15,000. Its members were highly articulate and greatly angered the Zionist leadership, who wanted the American Jewish community to present a united front on the Palestine question.

    The book, Jews Against Zionism: The American Council for Judaism 1942-1948, by Thomas A. Kolsky, (Temple University Press, Philadelphia, 1990) is a history of the anti-Zionist American Council for Judaism during the period just before the creation of the “Jewish State.”

    After Israel’s spectacular success in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, however, a change in the policy towards Zionism occurred in the American Council for Judaism.

    Anti-Zionist Jewish author Alfred Lilienthal has suggested that “Zionist infiltration” succeeded in “neutralizing” the Council. A separate organization was subsequently established in 1969 called American Jewish Alternatives to Zionism (AJAZ).

    The new group, which was based in New York, continued the original anti-Zionist tradition of the American Council for Judaism. Rabbi Elmer Berger served as president of AJAZ and also editor of its publication the AJAZ Report until shortly before his death in 1996.

    The American Council for Judaism is still in existence but has softened its strict anti-Zionist position but today it is non-Zionist and highly critical of the “Jewish State’s” policies toward the Palestinians.

    Their publications frequently carry anti-Zionist Jewish criticism. Allan C. Brownfeld is the Editor of Issues, their quarterly newsletter and also editor of their “Special Interest Report.” Stephen L. Naman is President of the Council.

    Adam Shatz, the literary editor of The Nation Magazine, has edited a book titled Prophet’s Outcast. The book contains essays written by 24 prominent Jewish scholars and intellectuals which are very critical of Zionism and Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. A copy of my review in Middle East Policy can be found at the link below.

    Another important book is The Other Israel: Voices of Refusal and Dissent, edited by Roane Carey and Jonathan Shainin. It contains articles very critical of Israel’s policies, written by 27 prominent Israelis.

    The Forward was written by a prominent Israeli author and journalist Tom Segev. The Introduction is written by Anthony Lewis, the two-time Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, who worked at The New York Times between 1969 and 2001. Lewis is now the James Madison Visiting Professor at Columbia University. The link to my review is found below.

    There are many Israeli critics of Zionism and anti-Zionist Jews in Israel where the conflict with the Palestinians is most apparent.

    These include Avraham Burg, former head of the World Jewish Agency and former Speaker of the Knesset; Shulamit Aloni, a former Minister of Education;

    Yossi Sarid a former Knesset member and past leader of Meretz; Uri Avnery former Knesset member and leader of Gush Shalom; the late Israel Shahak former Chair of the Israeli League for Human and Civil Rights; former General and Knessett Member Mattityahu Peled; Meron Benvenisti, former Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem; Jeff Halper head of Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions; Felica Langer, a well known human rights lawyer; Michael Warschawski, co-founder of the Alternative Information Center; University of Oxford historian Avi Shalim; Eitan Bronstein Chair of Zochrot, which means “Remember,” and works to remind Israelis about the Nakba or Palestinian catastrophe; the late linguist and journalist Tanya Reinhart; New Israeli Historian Ilan Pappe; Uri Davis, author of
    Israel: An Apartheid State (London: Zed Books, 1987); Tikva Honig-Parnass, editor of Between the Lines; and journalists Gideon Levy, Amira Hass, A.B. Yehoshua, Yitzhak Laor, Akiva Eldar, Meron Rapoport, B. Michael and Gideon Spiro to name only a few of the many Israelis who are anti-Zionist, non-Zionist or extremely critical of Zionism and Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians.

    There was an interesting book review published in Haaretz,on February 29, 2008, written by Tom Segev.

    It was a review of a book titled, When and How Was the Jewish People Invented? (published by Resling in Hebrew). It is authored by Israeli historian Shlomo Zand (also spelled Sand). Prof. Zand teaches history at Tel Aviv University. The book became a best seller in Israel. Segev writes:

    “…in one of the most fascinating and challenging books published here in a long time. There never was a Jewish people, only a Jewish religion, and the exile also never happened – hence there was no return. Zand rejects most of the stories of national-identity formation in the Bible, including the exodus from Egypt and, most satisfactorily, the horrors of the conquest under Joshua. It’s all fiction and myth that served as an excuse for the establishment of the State of Israel, he asserts.”

    This information and arguments have been around for a long time but it is interesting to see them published in one of Israel’s leading daily newspapers and presented in a book written by an Israeli historian. Here is how Segev summarizes the arguments in Zand’s book:

    “According to Zand, the Romans did not generally exile whole nations, and most of the Jews were permitted to remain in the country. The number of those exiled was at most tens of thousands. When the country was conquered by the Arabs, many of the Jews converted to Islam and were assimilated among the conquerors. It follows that the progenitors of the Palestinian Arabs were Jews. Zand did not invent this thesis; 30 years before the Declaration of Independence, it was espoused by David Ben-Gurion, Yitzhak Ben-Zvi and others.

    If the majority of the Jews were not exiled, how is it that so many of them reached almost every country on earth? Zand says they emigrated of their own volition or, if they were among those exiled to Babylon, remained there because they chose to. Contrary to conventional belief, the Jewish religion tried to induce members of other faiths to become Jews, which explains how there came to be millions of Jews in the world. As the Book of Esther, for example, notes, “And many of the people of the land became Jews; for the fear of the Jews fell upon them.”

    Zand quotes from many existing studies, some of which were written in Israel but shunted out of the central discourse. He also describes at length the Jewish kingdom of Himyar in the southern Arabian Peninsula and the Jewish Berbers in North Africa. The community of Jews in Spain sprang from Arabs who became Jews and arrived with the forces that captured Spain from the Christians, and from European-born individuals who had also become Jews.

    The first Jews of Ashkenaz (Germany) did not come from the Land of  Israel and did not reach Eastern Europe from Germany, but became Jews in the Khazar Kingdom in the Caucasus. Zand explains the origins of Yiddish culture: it was not a Jewish import from Germany, but the result of the connection between the offspring of the Kuzari and Germans who traveled to the East, some of them as merchants.

    We find, then, that the members of a variety of peoples and races, blond
    and black, brown and yellow, became Jews in large numbers.

    According to Zand, the Zionist need to devise for them a shared ethnicity and historical continuity produced a long series of inventions and fictions, along with an invocation of racist theses. Some were concocted in the minds of those who conceived the Zionist movement, while others were offered as the findings of genetic studies conducted in Israel.” (“An Invention Called ‘The Jewish People,’ By Tom Segev, Ha’aretz, February 29, 2008.)

    It is somewhat ironic that issues and subjects that relate to the Palestinians and Zionism that are virtually taboo in North America are openly discussed in Israel.

    These same subjects are much more openly discussed in Europe and in the rest of the World. (For example see, “New Israeli Scholars Face up to Israel’s Origins,” by Eric Rouleau and “Are the Jews an Invented People” by Eric Rouleau, Le Monde diplomatique, 10 May, 2008; and “A crisis in Judaism: For many Jews today, Israel is not a normal state – it is a cause or ideal, and therein lies the problem,” By Brian Klug, The Guardian, 15 January, 2009; “Israel’s war crimes,” By Richard Falk, Le Monde diplomatique, English edition, March 2009; “Israel’s Lies,” By Henry Siegman, London Review of Books, 29 January, 2009).

    Here is what noted financier, George Soros, writing in The New York Review of Books, on April 12, 2007, had to say on this the lack of  debate in the United States on the Palestinian issue:

    “The current policy is not even questioned in the United States. While other problem areas of the Middle East are freely discussed, criticism of our policies toward Israel is very muted indeed. The debate in Israel about Israeli policy is much more open and vigorous than in the United States. This is all the more remarkable because Palestine is the issue that more than any other currently divides the United States from Europe.”

    . . .

    For an example of the type of discussion that goes on in Israel is the following statement made by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert: “For sixty years there has been discrimination against Arabs in Israel. This discrimination is deep-seated and intolerable.” Olmert made this statement while addressing a meeting of the Knesset committee that was investigating the lack of integration of Arab citizens in public  service.” (see “PM slams ‘discrimination’ against Arabs,” By Elie Leshem and Jpost.com Staff, Jerusalem Post, Nov 12, 2008).

    Another example is the current Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin (from the right-wing Likud Party) who called for a fundamental change in relations between Jews and Arabs in Israel. He urged the founding of a “true partnership” between the two sectors, based on mutual respect, absolute equality and the addressing of “the special needs and unique character of each of the sides.”

    The Speaker was reported to say all this in an address to be delivered at the president’s residence in Jerusalem on August 3rd, 2009. Quoting from Rivlin’s prepared speech which was released to the media:

    “the establishment of Israel was accompanied by much pain and suffering and a real trauma for the Palestinians (in large part due to the shortsightedness of the Palestinian leadership). Many of Israel’s Arabs, which see themselves as part of the Palestinian population, feel the pain of their brothers across the green line – a pain they feel the state of Israel is responsible for.”

    Many of them,” Rivlin says, “encounter racism and arrogance from Israel’s Jews; the inequality in the allocation of state funds also does not contribute to any extra love. (See “Knesset Speaker: Establishment of Israel caused Arabs real trauma,” By Haaretz Service, Haaretz, 3rd August, 2009.)

    Can you ever imagine a top American or Canadian politician making statements like these, or a leading Canadian or American newspaper publishing an article like this one? If they did make statements like these what would be the reaction?

    However, Rivlin still tried to focus the blame on the Palestinian leadership for the problems and does not fully acknowledge Israel’s part in the expulsions. These expulsions and massacres started before the official declaration of Israel’s Independence on May 14, 1948. And according to Israeli Historian Ilan Pappe there were expulsions of the Palestinians from 30 villages after the War had ended in 1949.

    Rivlin also does not address the land seizures from Palestinians who fled or were expelled from their homes but remained in Israel.

    These individuals were considered Israeli citizens, but still lost all of their property. These individuals are called “present Absentees,” an Orwellian phrase if there ever was one.

    Here is how one Israeli academic, Gabriel Piterberg, describes the phrase and how it relates to Israel: “How the founding myths of Israel dictated conceptual removal of Palestinians, during and after physical removal. The invention of  ‘retroactive transfer’ and ‘present absentees’ as the glacial euphemisms of ethnic cleansing.” (See “Erasures,” by Gabriel Piterberg, New Left Review, July-August 2001.)

    Nor does Rivlin acknowledge that most of the Zionist leadership wanted all of Palestine without its Arab population and this wish “miraculously” came true. Palestinian leadership, inept as it was, cannot be blamed for everything.

    Another important book on this topic is Reframing Anti-Semitism:

    Alternative Jewish Perspectives published by the Jewish Voice for Peace.

    It contains articles written by 8 Jewish American writers. One of the articles is written by Judith Butler, the Maxine Elliot Professor in Rhetoric and Comparative Literature at the University of California at Berkley.

    Her article is on the question of whether criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic. Her answer and article is titled: “No, Its Not Anti-Semitic.” The link to my review of the Jewish Voice for Peace book is found below.

    Another book that examines Jewish criticism of Zionism and Israel’s policies is Wrestling with Zion: Progressive Jewish-American Responses to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, edited by Tony Kushner and Alisa Solomon (Grove Press: New York, 2003).

    Kushner is an award winning playwright and Solomon a staff writer at The Village Voice and a professor at Baruch College-City of New York. This book contains a collection of 53 prominent American Jewish writers’ critical analysis of Zionism and Israel’s policies.

    This list includes such distinguished writers as Arthur Miller, Susan Sontag, Marc Ellis, Naomi Klein (actually a Canadian) and Rabbi Arthur Waskow among many others.

    Another important book on Jewish criticism of Zionism and Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians is A Time to Speak Out: Independent Jewish Voices on Israel, Zionism and Jewish Identity (Verso: London, 2008).

    It is edited by four prominent British academics, Anne Karpf, Brian Klug, Jacqueline Rose and Barbara Rosenbaum. This book contains the highly critical writings of 27 Jewish academics and thinkers on the issues of the Occupation, Israel and Zionism.

    There are a number of other anthologies and collections of writings from anti-Zionist Jews.

    These include Zionism Reconsidered, edited by Michael Selzer, (The MacMillian Company: London, 1970); Zionism: The dream and the reality: A Jewish Critique, Gary V. Smith ed. (Barnes & Noble Books: New York, 1974); Jewish Critics of Zionism and The Stifling and Smearing of a Dissenter, by Moshe Menuhin, (Association of Arab University Graduates, 1976); Judaism or Zionism, EAFORD & AJAZ (American Jewish Alternatives to Zionism) eds., (Zed Books: London, 1986); The End of Zionism and the Liberation of the Jewish People, Eibie Weizfeld ed. (Clarity Press: Atlanta, 1989); Radicals, Rabbis, and Peacemakers: Conversations with Jews against the occupation, edited by Seth Faber (Common Courage Press, Monroe ME, 2005).

    Faber’s book contains a series of interviews with leading American dissident Jews’ Noam Chomsky, Steve Quester, Joel Kovel, Norton Mezvinsky, Ora Wise, Norman Finkelstein, Phyllis Bennis, Adam Shapiro, Daniel Boyarin, Rabbi David Weiss, and includes a speech and an essay by Marc Ellis.

    Mordecai Richler, the late esteemed Canadian author, wrote an article entitled “Israel marks 50th anniversary out of favor with many Jews,” Toronto Star, February 15, 1998.

    Many other Canadian Jews are opposed to Zionism or are critical of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.

    Many Canadian Jews were against the war on Gaza. These dissenters include academics and writers Judy Rebick, Naomi Klein, Avi Lewis, Rick Salutin, Bernard Avishai, Howard Skutel, Yakov Rabkin, Klaus Herrmann, Janet Weinroth, Judith Weisman, Michael Neumann, Alan Sears, Gabor Mate, Judy and Larry Haiven, Michael Mandel, Ursula Franklin, Abbie Bakan, Mordecai Briemberg, Eibie Weizfeld, Zalman Amit, Rabbi Reuben Slonim, pianist Anton Kuerti, Ralph Benmergui broadcaster and producer and Judy Deutsch head of Science for Peace to name but a few.

    The Jewish Outlook Society, headquartered in Vancouver, Canada, publishes Outlook.

    They describe their magazine as, “An Independent, secular Jewish publication with a socialist-humanist perspective.” Carl Rosenberg is the Editor and Sylvia Friedman is the Managing Editor. Harold Berson is in charge of circulation. They have over 40 Jewish individuals, primarily living in Canada, who serve in various capacities with the organization and their publication.

    Outlook takes a critical view of Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians and frequently publishes Jewish anti-Zionist perspectives.

    Independent Jewish Voices (IJV) (Canada) currently has more than 100 members.

    Dylan Penner, Sid Shniad and Diana Ralph serves as coordinators for IJV. The Steering Committee is composed of 24 Canadian Jewish activists including Fabienne Presentey, Sandra Ruch, Andy Leher and Harry Shannon. The IJV is a member-led organization, with chapters in Vancouver, Winnipeg, Toronto, Hamilton, Ottawa, Montreal, and Halifax.

    Here is what Independent Jewish Voices (Canada) said, in their February 19, 2009 Press Release, about Stephen Harper Conservative government’s position on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and Minister Jason Kenney’s cutting off funding for English Second Language training programs run by the Canadian Arab Federation:

    “We believe that Mr. Kenny [sic] and his Conservative government is threatening CAF’s funding because CAF stands for justice for Palestinian people and because it expresses principled criticism of oppressive Israeli policies.

    As Jews, we affirm that criticizing Israeli policies is NOT anti-Semitic. Anti-Semitism refers to hostility and/or prejudice against Jews. Like any other government, Israel has obligations under international law.

    To responsibly raise critical concerns about the discriminatory, illegal, and brutal policies of another government is an ethical imperative, which our government should support.

    However, the Conservative government has gone further than any previous Canadian administration in endorsing illegal and brutal Israeli assaults on Palestinian and Lebanese people.

    Prime Minister Stephen Harper has pledged complete allegiance with Israel and labels as “anti-Semitic” any criticism of Israeli actions (including the Gaza massacre, house demolitions, use of illegal phosphorous and DIME weapons against civilians, etc.).

    As Jews, we believe this is a dishonest smoke-screen, a ploy to discredit principled calls for humanity, justice, and compliance with international law.”

    There are hundreds, and probably thousands, of Jewish critics of Zionism and of Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians who have published articles or written books on the subject. Yet many Zionists, and their supporters, claim that there is a monolithic Jewish position in support of Zionism, Israel and the occupation of Palestinian land.

    This claim of near universal Jewish support for the Zionist state and its actions toward the Palestinians is so far from the truth that it is laughable.

    One has only to open your eyes and review the written record to see that there is no Jewish consensus on these issues and a great deal of criticism and outright opposition to Zionism exists in Jewish intellectual and religious circles, both in the past and today.

    Israel’s supporters shamelessly use the argument that to criticize Israel is anti-Semitic no matter what Israel does. This argument is almost entirely false and politically motivated. Not to tell the truth, or to suppress discussion, about what is going on in Palestine is racist and a crime against the Palestinian people and a crime of silence and indifference not unlike the one committed against Jews in the Second World War.

    To quote George Soros on the use of anti-Semitism, a tactic he described  “the most insidious argument,” to silence the political debate on Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians.

    “…..Any politician who dares to expose AIPAC’s influence would incur its wrath; so very few can be expected to do so. It is up to the American Jewish community itself to rein in the organization that claims to represent it.

    But this is not possible without first disposing of the most insidious argument put forward by the defenders of the current policies: that the critics of Israel’s policies of occupation, control, and repression on the West Bank and in East Jerusalem and Gaza engender anti-Semitism.

    The opposite is the case. One of the myths propagated by the enemies of  Israel is that there is an all-powerful Zionist conspiracy. That is a false accusation. Nevertheless, that AIPAC has been so successful in suppressing criticism has lent some credence to such false beliefs. Demolishing the wall of silence that has protected AIPAC would help lay them to rest. A debate within the Jewish community, instead of fomenting anti-Semitism, would only help diminish it.”

    Billionaire George Soros can hardly be considered a leftist. He is also Jewish.

    Here is what Ben Ehrenreich, the author of the novel “The Suitors,” wrote in the Los Angeles Times on the issue of criticism of Zionism being anti-Semitic.

    “Meanwhile, the characterization of anti-Zionism as an “epidemic” more dangerous than anti-Semitism reveals only the unsustainability of the position into which Israel’s apologists have been forced. Faced with international condemnation, they seek to limit the discourse, to erect walls that delineate what can and can’t be said.

    It’s not working. Opposing Zionism is neither anti-Semitic nor particularly radical. It requires only that we take our own values seriously and no longer, as the book of Amos has it, “turn justice into wormwood and hurl righteousness to the ground.”

    Establishing a secular, pluralist, democratic government in Israel and Palestine would of course mean the abandonment of the Zionist dream. It might also mean the only salvation for the Jewish ideals of justice that date back to Jeremiah.” (“Zionism is the problem: The Zionist ideal of a Jewish state is keeping Israelis and Palestinians from living in peace,” by Ben Ehrenreich, Los Angeles Times, March 15, 2009.)

    There is clearly a wide range of opinion on Zionism that exists within the Jewish community. This fact needs to be recognized. We also need to reject specious arguments and reject false allegations of racism and anti-Semitism. We need to fight for freedom of speech, academic freedom, critical inquiry and democratic debate, at all universities and colleges, in the media, in the halls of political power and all across North America. Individuals should be allowed to decide for themselves questions about Zionism and the Palestinians based on open debate, the facts and informed opinion not on suppression of debate, intimidation and censorship.

    This article will appear in a forthcoming issue of Outlook magazine published by the Canadian Jewish Outlook Society.

    Source

    Canadian MPs decide more witnesses are needed as Parliamentary Inquiry into Antisemitism continues

    New hearings for CPCCA scheduled for January 25th, February 1st & 8th 2010. Seems there are 150 witnesses below. Seems the Canadian press didn’t want anyone to know about them. The bill hasn’t been passed yet as Government was  Prorogued. It didn’t resume until March of 2010.  So be sure to let them know Freedom of speech is not something you will surrender. Canada does not have a problem with  Antisemitism.  Israel is not a part of Canada. They should not be dictating to Canadians what we can or cannot do. If anything they should clean up their Human Rights Violations, not telling Canadian we can’t talk about them. Human Rights Violations are everyone’s concern world wide..

    Update: March 15, 2009

    This statement was rejected by both the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail (as an op-ed). Please help this important statement get into broad circulation – pass it on to your networks (faculty, community, MPs, university presidents, unions etc.).  You may also wish to write to the Star and Globe editorials and express your  dismay that they have chosen not to publish it.

    Jewish Canadians Concerned About Suppression of Criticism of Israel

    James Deutsch, M.D., Ph.D.

    Judith Deutsch, M.S.W., R.S.W.

    Miriam Garfinkle, M.D.

    Over 150 Jewish Canadians signed a statement expressing their concerns about the campaign to suppress criticism of Israel that is being carried on within Canada.

    The signatories include many prominent Canadians, including Ursula
    Franklin O.C., Anton Kuerti O.C., Naomi Klein, Dr. Gabor Mate, and
    professors Meyer Brownstone (recipient of Pearson Peace Medal), Natalie
    Zemon Davis, Michael Neumann, and Judy Rebick. *

    The signatories are particularly concerned that unfounded accusations of
    anti-Semitism deflect attention from Israel’s accountability for what many
    have called war crimes in Gaza. They state that B’nai Brith and the
    Canadian Jewish Congress have led campaigns to silence criticism of Israel
    on university campuses, in labor unions and in other groups. Immigration
    Minister Jason Kenney and Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff unquestioningly
    echo the views of these particular Jewish organizations.

    They strongly state that they are against all expressions of racism. While
    firmly committed to resisting any form of prejudice against Jewish people,
    their statement explicitly states that these spurious allegations of
    anti-Semitism bring the anti-Communist terror of the 1950s vividly to mind.
    The statement underlines the immeasurable suffering and injustice to the
    Palestinian people due to the severe poverty, daily humiliations, and
    military invasions inflicted by the State of Israel.

    Statement: Jewish Canadians Concerned about Suppression of Criticism of
    Israel

    We are Jewish Canadians concerned about all expressions of racism,
    anti-Semitism, and social injustice. We believe that the Holocaust legacy
    “Never again” means never again for all peoples. It is a tragic turn of
    history that the State of Israel, with its ideals of democracy and its dream
    of being a safe haven for Jewish people, causes immeasurable suffering and
    injustice to the Palestinian people.

    We are appalled by recent attempts of prominent Jewish organizations and
    leading Canadian politicians to silence protest against the State of Israel.
    We are alarmed by the escalation of fear tactics. Charges that those
    organizing Israel Apartheid Week or supporting an academic boycott of Israel
    are anti-Semites promoting hatred bring the anti-Communist terror of the
    1950s vividly to mind. We believe this serves to deflect attention from
    Israel’s flagrant violations of international humanitarian law.

    B’nai Brith and the Canadian Jewish Congress have pressured university
    presidents and administrations to silence debate and discussion specifically
    regarding Palestine/Israel. In a full-page ad in a national newspaper,
    B’nai Brith urged donors to withhold funds from universities because
    “anti-Semitic hate fests” were being allowed on campuses. Immigration
    Minister Jason Kenney and Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff have echoed these
    arguments. While university administrators have resisted demands to shut
    down Israel Apartheid week, some Ontario university presidents have bowed to
    this disinformation campaign by suspending and fining students, confiscating
    posters, and infringing on free speech.

    We do not believe that Israel acts in self-defense. Israel is the largest
    recipient of US foreign aid, receiving $3 million/day. It has the fourth
    strongest army in the world. Before the invasion of Gaza on 27 December
    2008, Israel’s siege had already created a humanitarian catastrophe there,
    with severe impoverishment, malnutrition, and destroyed infrastructure. It
    is crucial that forums for discussion of Israel’s accountability to the
    international community for what many have called war crimes be allowed to
    proceed unrestricted by specious claims of anti-Semitism.

    We recognize that anti-Semitism is a reality in Canada as elsewhere, and we
    are fully committed to resisting any act of hatred against Jews. At the
    same time, we condemn false charges of anti-Semitism against student
    organizations, unions, and other groups and people exercising their
    democratic right to freedom of speech and association regarding legitimate
    criticism of the State of Israel.

    Signatories:

    Abigail Bakan
    Adam Balsam
    Sharon Baltman
    Julia Barnett
    Lainie Basman
    Jody Berland

    Sam Blatt
    Geri Blinik
    Anita Block
    Elizabeth Block
    Sheila Block
    Hannah Briemberg
    Mark Brill
    Stephen Brot
    Meyer Brownstone
    Eliza Burroughs
    Smadar Carmon
    Gyda Chud
    Charles P. Cohen
    Nathalie Cohen
    David Copeland
    Natalie Zemon Davis
    Eliza Deutsch
    James Deutsch
    Judith Deutsch
    Abbe Edelson
    Jack Etkin
    Elle Flanders
    Danielle Frank
    Ursula Franklin
    Dan Freeman-Maloy
    Miriam Garfinkle
    Alisa Gayle
    Jack Gegenberg
    Mark Golden
    Brenda Goldstein
    Sue Goldstein
    Cy Gonick
    Marnina Gonick
    Rachel Gotthilf
    Amy Gottleib
    Kevin A. Gould
    Daina Green
    Lisa Frances Greenspoon
    Ricardo Grinspun
    Cathy Gulkin
    Rachel Gurofsky
    Deboran Guterman
    Yesse Gutman
    Freda Guttman
    Judy Haiven
    Michael Hanna-Fein
    Jean Hanson
    Jan Heynen
    Maria Heynen
    Adam Hofmann
    Jake Javanshir
    Jeannie Kamins
    Marylin Kanee
    Howard S. Kaplan
    Gilda Katz
    Maxine Kaufman-Lacusta
    Mira Khazzam
    Bonnie Sher Klein
    Mark Klein
    Martin Klein
    Naomi Klein
    Joshua Katz-Rosene
    Ryan Katz-Rosene
    Judy Koch
    Anton Kuerti
    Jason Kunin
    Aaron Lakoff
    Michael Lambek
    Natalie LaRoche
    Richard Borshay Lee
    Andy Lehrer
    Gabriel Levin
    Gabriel Levine
    Joel Lexchin
    Kim Linekin
    Abby Lippman
    Lee Lorch
    Martin Lukacs
    Audrey Macklin
    Elise Maltin
    Richard Marcuse
    Wayne Mark
    Gabor Mate
    Arthur Milner
    Anna Miransky
    Dorit Naaman
    Joanne Naiman
    Neil Naiman
    Michael Neumann
    David-Marc Newman
    David Noble
    Clare O’Connor
    Robin Ostow
    Andre W. Payant
    Jenny Peto
    Simone Powell
    Chanda Prescod-Weinstein
    Fabienne Presentey
    Yacov Rabkin
    Diana Ralph
    Naomi Rankin
    Judy Rebick
    Ester Reiter
    Jillian Rogin
    Richard Roman
    Joseph Rosen
    Herman Rosenfeld
    Martha Roth
    Marty Roth
    Ruben Roth
    E.Natalie Rothman
    B. Sack
    Ben Saifer
    Miriam Sampaio
    Jacob Scheir
    Fred Schloessinger
    Alan Sears
    Shlomit Segal
    Edward H. Shaffer
    Noa Shaindlinger
    Ray Shankman
    Eva Sharell
    Elliot Shek
    Sid Shniad
    Max Silverman
    Samuel Singer
    Elizabeth Solloway
    Susan Starkman
    Greg Starr
    Jonathan Sterne
    Jeremy Stolow
    Rhonda Sussman
    Vera Szoke
    Joe Tannenbaum
    Howard Tessler
    Marion Traub-Werner
    Ceyda Turan
    Sandra Tychsen
    Cheryl Wagner
    Jon McPhedran Waitzer
    David Wall
    Naomi Binder Wall
    Kathy Wazana
    Karen Weisberg
    Barry Weisleder
    Paul Weinberg
    Judith Weisman
    Suzanne Weiss
    Abraham Weizfeld
    Ernie Yacub
    B.H. Yael
    Yedida Zalik
    Melvin Zimmerman

    Source

    Update March 1 2010- The Government leaders were not to happy with students.

    Canadian students participate in Israeli Apartheid Week

    The Israeli Lobby’s do not speak for Jewish people. They speak only for Israel.

    CJPME’s Written Submission to the Canadian Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Anti-Semitism (CPCCA) Concerning Anti-Semitism in Canada

    Then there is this.

    New maritime security law will deputize U.S. officers “in every part of Canada” during integrated operations

    by Stuart Trew

    On November 27, Public Safety Minister Peter Van Loan and Justice Minister Rob Nicholson tabled legislation that would transform designated U.S. police and security agents into peace officers equal to the RCMP “in every part of Canada” during joint maritime border operations. As if holding the RCMP accountable for its officers’ actions isn’t hard enough, nothing in the new legislation should make Canadians feel comfortable that any complaints against U.S. agents operating on Canadian territory will be dealt with swiftly or fairly.

    Bill C-60, the Keeping Canadians Safe (Protecting Borders) Act, is being sold by Van Loan and Nicholson as a way to “strengthen cooperative bilateral policing efforts to stem the flow of cross-border criminal activity in shared waterways and further protect community safety and security in Canada.” It is the legislative face of a cross-border “Shiprider” agreement dreamed up by past governments under the now defunct Security and Prosperity Partnership and signed this May by Van Loan and U.S. Homeland Security czar Janet Napolitano.

    But Bill C-60 will go further than coastal waters. Section 11 states:

    In the course of an integrated cross-border operation, every designated officer is a peace officer in every part of Canada and has the same power to enforce an Act of Parliament as a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (italics mine).

    In the case of a complaint against a U.S. officer deemed a ‘designated officer’ by the RCMP commissioner, there doesn’t seem to be any way to guarantee a fair hearing because so much is left to the discretion of the force and the public safety minister. Even if you do end up with a full public hearing, there is every chance it will actually be private because of broadly worded exceptions:

    23. (10) A hearing to inquire into a complaint must be held in public, except that the Commission may order the hearing or any part of the hearing to be held in private if it is of the opinion that during the course of the hearing any of the following information will likely be disclosed:

    (a) information the disclosure of which could reasonably be expected to be injurious to international relations, the defence of Canada or any state allied or associated with Canada or the detection, prevention or suppression of subversive or hostile activities;

    (b) information the disclosure of which could reasonably be expected to be injurious to law enforcement;… (italics mine in both cases)

    The public hearing into the tasering of Robert Dziekanski was clearly injurious to law enforcement and has renewed calls for the Canadian government to reform the practice of police investigating themselves. Would the new joint maritime security bill rule out public hearings into taserings on the Great Lakes?

    DETENTIONS AT SEA

    What about accountability in the case of people arrested or detained in shared waters?

    Under “detentions of persons,” Bill C-60 states that:

    12. (1) The laws of Canada apply to any person detained or taken into custody within Canada in the course of an integrated cross-border operation.

    (2) No person referred to in subsection (1) may be removed from Canada, except in accordance with the laws of Canada.

    The laws of Canada apparently allowed Canada Border Services Agency officers to drive Algerian refugee claimant Benamar Benatta over the border into the United States in late 2001 where he spent the next five years in prison under conditions the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention called tantamount to torture. The RCMP was also happy to leave Maher Arar with U.S. security officers at JFK airport in New York, who quickly deported the Canadian citizen to torture in Syria and have yet to admit their mistake.

    WHY DO WE NEED THIS BILL?

    On top of the obvious questions raised above there’s the lack of any evidence from Van Loan, Nicholson or the Conservative government that we need to let U.S. security officers put around the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence Seaway and other shared sea and inland waters with the same powers as Canadian police officers. What was so wrong with the previous arrangement that we need extraordinary measures?

    You can write to Ministers Nicholson (NichoR@parl.gc.ca) and Van Loan (VanLoP@parl.gc.ca) to get their version. You can also click here to find your MP’s contact information to let them know you expect them to ask these questions and more when Bill C-60 comes up for second reading in the House. We’ll keep you posted about when that might be.

    Source

    A Palestinian student has been handcuffed, blindfolded and forcibly expelled to the Gaza

    October 30, 2009

    Palestinian’s involuntary return is the sixth in 10 days, says human rights group

    By Ben Lynfield

    A Palestinian student has been handcuffed, blindfolded and forcibly expelled to the Gaza Strip by Israeli troops just two months before she was due to graduate from university.

    Berlanty Azzam, 21, who was studying for a business degree at Bethlehem University, said she was coming home in a shared taxi from a job interview in Ramallah on Wednesday when soldiers at the “Container” checkpoint took her identity card and that of another passenger with a Gaza address.

    After six hours of waiting, soldiers told her she would be taken to a detention centre in the southern West Bank, and she was handcuffed and blindfolded, she said.

    “The driving took longer than it should have and I started to think something was wrong. I started to wonder, what are they doing to me?” After the car stopped and the blindfold was lifted, Ms Azzam saw she was at the Erez crossing to Gaza.

    It was the sixth known forced return to Gaza of Palestinians stopped at the “Container” checkpoint – which is between Bethlehem and Abu Dis – in 10 days, according to the Israeli human rights group Gisha. Israel has also been preventing family reunifications in the West Bank for Palestinians with relatives living in Gaza, in effect forcing people to relocate to the Strip.

    The steps are part of an Israeli policy of treating Gaza and the West Bank as two separate entities, thereby undermining the coherence of Palestinian claims for a state encompassing both territories. The 1993 Oslo agreement stipulates that the West Bank and Gaza Strip are to be treated as one territorial unit.

    Major Guy Inbar, an Israeli defense ministry official, said the reason for Ms Azzam’s deportation was that she was “staying illegally” in the West Bank.

    “We are talking about a Gaza citizen who requested permission to study in the area of Judea and Samaria and received a negative answer,” he said.

    “In 2005, she was given a permit to visit Jerusalem for four days and she remained afterwards [in the West Bank] without any permit. Her entire period as a student was based on deceit and was against the law.”

    Sari Bashi, head of the Israeli Gisha human rights group, who tried to intervene on Ms Azzam’s behalf, said she was assured by military lawyers on Wednesday that the student would not be deported to Gaza and that the rights group could seek a judicial review in the morning.

    “The military misled us,” Ms Bashi said. “There is a violation here of the right to access education, the right to freedom of movement and the right to choose one’s place of residence within one’s own territory.”

    The army did not respond to a request for comment.

    Brother Jack Curran, vice president for development of Bethlehem University, termed the expulsion “a disgrace”. “This is not about politics. It’s about a young person finishing her degree. Since 2005 she has been studying as a good student. No one is a winner from this.”

    Source

    Another innocent victim of Israels raciest policies towards Palestinians.

    When is comes to  Human Rights Israel is a complete failure.

    The only crime this young woman did was wanting an eduction. Other then that she did nothing wrong.

    Berlanty Azzam, 21,was handcuffed and blindfoldedBerlanty Azzam, 21,was handcuffed and blindfolded

    Now explain to this young woman why the rest of the world complacently stands by and allows this to happen.

    She works all those years to get an education and two months short of graduating it is stolen from her by a Racist Government namely Israel.

    Berlanty deserves the same right to an education, as do all young people

    Foreign Government have no problem selling Weapons to Israel to kill murder and maim but never take into account Israels disregard for UN Resolution or Human Rights.  I guess it must be the profiteering factor. They certainly do not consider of the lives of Palestinians.

    Imagine if this was done to your child. How would you feel?

    The only thing Israel stands for is hate. Israel is consumed by hate.

    That becomes more obvious every day. In over 61 years there has been nothing but hate, fear mongering and war come out of Israel.  On a scale of 1 to 10. 1 being the lowest on the scale of positive contributions to the world as a whole they get a minus 1 billion.  That is actually giving them the benefit if the doubt.  They have not contributed one positive attribute, what so ever. They are self indulgent bigot’s filled with hate towards others.

    Even their treatment of other Jew’s is appalling.

    Anyone who supports Zionist Israel should hang their heads in complete shame.  If anyone is a terrorist state it is Israel.

    Related Articles

    Foreign Arms Supplies To Israel/Gaza and Petition to support the Goldstone Report

    Their treatment of migrant workers is also raciest,  no doubt in my mind whatsoever. They are treated more like slaves then employees.

    New report highlights Israeli exploitation of migrant workers

    Published in: on November 1, 2009 at 6:33 pm  Comments Off on A Palestinian student has been handcuffed, blindfolded and forcibly expelled to the Gaza  
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    Israels New visa requirement hinders travel in West Bank

    September  27 2009

    An engineer who designed a high-tech geo-thermal building in the West Bank says new visa rules are making it hard to travel in the area with his Canadian passport.

    “I was denied three times in seven months, I was given one-week visas, one-month visas, Palestinian-Authority-Region-only visas,” says Khaled Al Sabawi.

    The new “Palestinian Authority only” visa means he cannot pass through Israel to get in or out of the West Bank.

    “That’s the same as someone coming into Canada and getting a ‘Saskatoon-only visa,'” says Al Sabwi.

    Travellers who arrive at the Ben Gurion airport are now being told to take a long detour into the West Bank from Jordan.

    The Al-Sabwi family, originally from London, Ont., have worked in the West Bank for more than 15 years. They say it has always been a hassle getting through, but the new rules have made it especially difficult in the last year, making it extra hard to do business in the area.

    The U.S. government says the visa practices are unfair to Americans with Palestinian or Arab backgrounds. Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada has posted a travel advisory about the restrictions, but has otherwise been silent over it.

    One Canadian church worker says the rules make it so difficult to move around, it might deter tourists from coming to the country.

    “It’s very arbitrary,” says Kathy Bergen, of the Society of Friends.

    “It’s at the whim of the immigration officer. If I were living abroad, and knew about this, I would think twice about coming.”

    It would be an especially big blow to cities like Bethlehem that thrive on tourism.

    The Israeli government declined to speak to CTV News about the subject.

    Source

    Simply don’t go to Israel. Let their tourism bottom out?

    You couldn’t pay me enough to go there. Even if you offered me a million happy dollars, I would not step foot in  Israel.

    That would be the last place on the earth, I would ever want to go to. Especially knowing everything I know.

    For those wanting to go to Gaza or the West Bank however this is just disgusting. Just one more Way Israel has found to make peoples lives miserable and to isolate the West Bank and Gaza. What some don’t know about traveling there is you can also be strip searched by officials.

    Letting AP in on the Secret: Israeli Strip Searches are Torture

    The UN Mission Report is quite though/ Most of What Israel said about  The Palestinian Fighters was a myth. Then again much of what Israel says is a Myth. Talk about fabricated lies. Now the propaganda machine is focusing on Iran. If anyone believes anything,  Israeli leaders  say, they should have their heads examined.

    I don’t know how many times during the war they blatantly lied.

    But I do  know they never told the truth.

    The UN Mission 575 Page Report on Gaza/Israel War

    Again they are not cooperating and yet they condemn Iran. Who has let inspectors in.

    UN nuclear assembly has called for Israel to open its nuclear facilities to UN inspection

    Unanimous! UN resolution aims for nuclear-free world

    Who Benefited the most by J.F. Kennedy’s Death? Israel was one of the Big Winners

    PA minister accuses Israel of neglecting prisoners’ health and torture children

    Israel’s Dirty Nuclear Secrets, Human Experiments  and WMD

    Gaza (1): A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

    December and January Archives especially have many stories on Israels war crimes.

    Indexed List of all Stories in Archives

    The UN Mission 575 Page Report on Gaza/Israel War

    Sept. 17, 2009

    A United Nations report has concluded that both the Israeli military and armed Palestinian groups committed actions amounting to war crimes during Israel’s three-week war in Gaza.

    This report also includes violations in the West Bank as well.

    The UN Mission repeatedly sought to obtain the cooperation of the Government of Israel. After numerous attempts had failed, the Mission sought and obtained the assistance of the Government of Egypt to enable it to enter the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing.

    Due to the lack of cooperation from the Israeli Government, the Mission was unable to meet members of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. They had to travel to Geneva.

    Which in itself says a lot about Israel.

    This I found very disappointing.

    The Mission received allegations that depleted and nondepleted uranium were used by Israeli forces in Gaza. These allegations were not further investigated by the Mission.

    The report also covers a great deal of history.

    Israel is a party to the four Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, but has not ratified their Additional Protocols I or II on the protection of victims of armed conflict. In addition, Israel is a party to the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May be Deemed to be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects, as well as its Protocol I on Non-Detectable Fragments, both of 10 October 1980.

    Under the rules of State responsibility, Israel is responsible for any
    violations of international law attributable to it. Specifically, under the Fourth Geneva Convention, article 29, “the Party to a conflict in whose hands protected persons may be, isresponsible for the treatment accorded to  them by its agents, irrespective of any individual responsibility which may be incurred.”

    Article 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention defines
    grave breaches as: … those involving any of the following acts, if committed against persons or property protected by the present Convention: wilful killing, torture or inhuman treatment, including biological experiments, wilfully causing great suffering or

    serious injury to body or health, unlawful deportation or transfer or unlawful confinement of a protected person, compelling a protected person to serve in the forces of a hostile Power, or wilfully depriving a protected person of the rights of fair and regular trial prescribed in the present Convention, taking of hostages and extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly. (Page 89-90)

    Israeli /Air strikes started December 27 until  January 3 2009. (page 102)  In total, between 2,300 and 3,000 sorties were flown.

    The report concludes the Police force officers who were killed many within the first five minutes of attacks on Gaza were in fact  Civilians.. This was something Israelis has argued about.

    Many of the allegations Israel made against Palestinian fighters were not true.

    The report also talks about crimes that were commited by Palestinian fighters.

    It may be a long read but definitely worth reading.

    Some parts are a bit repetitious,  but on a whole a rather  accurate report. I found they came to the same conclusions as I did while following the conflict.

    Up to page 178  anyway, which is where I am at this point. I may add more comments as I read the rest of the report. I thought I would go ahead and publish it so others can read it as well.

    Happy reading folks.

    Download and read the 575-page report “Human Rights in Palestine and Other Occupied Arab Territories” by the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict (UNFFMGC).

    Download and save to file then open to read.  If you need Adobe I have provided the link to the latest version.

    Download the latest version of Adobe Reader

    Assassinations in Gaza and West Bank

    Total Direct Aid to Israel Conservatively Estimated at almost$114 Billion

    110th Congress Voting Records (114KB PDF)

    2008 Pro-Israel PAC Contributions to Congressional Candidates (100KB PDF)

    Who Benefited the most by J.F. Kennedy’s Death? Israel was a big winner/Links to many of Israel’s Terrorist activities through out the world as well.

    Published in: on September 28, 2009 at 4:20 am  Comments Off on The UN Mission 575 Page Report on Gaza/Israel War  
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    PA minister accuses Israel of neglecting prisoners’ health

    Links to Two very good reports on prisoners below. One on Children on on Adults.

    Bethlehem

    Palestinian Minister of Prisoners Affairs Issa Qaraqi on Tuesday alleged that potentially fatal diseases such as cancer were going untreated inside Israeli prisons.

    In a statement, Qaraqi attributed certain patients’ decline to the “Israeli prison service deliberately neglecting prisoners’ healthcare,” and its failure to release prisoners on humanitarian grounds.

    Jailing some 25 prisoners with cancer “is a serious phenomenon which indicates that prisoners in Israeli jails do not get the minimum healthcare,” the minister added.

    Qaraqi mentioned 22-year-old prisoner Hamza Tarayra, from Bani Na’eim near Hebron, who was released recently before completing his sentence because he has advanced cancer of the mouth.

    The minister also mentioned prisoner Fayiz Zeidat who was also released before completing his term due to cancer. Qaraqi said that Zeidat was transferred to Jordan for medical treatment.

    Qaraqi accused Israeli prison service medics of diagnosing prisoners with cancer at early stages, but deliberately ignore their treatment until their situation worsens.

    He also stated that many released prisoners had died of cancer, such as Ziad Hamid, Musallam Ad-Duda, and Atif Abu Aker.

    The statement concluded by citing a short list of Palestinian prisoners in Israel that Qaraqi said suffer from advanced diseases:

    1. 36-year-old Raed Darabieh from the Gaza Strip, who is serving a lifetime sentence and suffering from bone marrow cancer.
    2. Female prisoner Raja Al-Ghoul, who suffers from heart disease and badly needs a procedure.
    3. 28-year-old Ahmad Awwad from Tulkarem who also suffers from heart disease and needs surgery.
    4. Akram Al-Anteir who suffers from tumors that have left him paralyzed.
    5. Akram Mansour from Qalqiliya who suffers from a blood allergy and has lost hearing.
    6. Female prisoner Amal Jum’a from Nablus who has from cervical cancer.

    Source

    Defence for Children International has a report on the treatment Children  in Israeli prisons it an extremely disturbing report .It explains how they are coerced and tortured to get confessions.Much of what has been done to the children are in violation of :

    Appendix I – UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989)

    Ratified by the State of Israel in 1991

    Appendix II – UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (1984)

    Ratified by the State of Israel in 1991

    Appendix III – International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966)

    Ratified by the State of Israel in 1992

    Appendix IV – Fourth Geneva Convention (1949)

    Ratified by the State of Israel in 1951

    If this is any indication of how children are treated the adults who have been imprisoned are surely treated worse.

    There are also some older reports  here as well.

    I also posted a story yesterday on a a demonstration at one of the prisons which hold over 11,000 Palestinians. Included in it was another Agency who has gathered information on the Treatment of Children and adults as well The youngest prisoner in Israeli custody is a year and half old.

    Israel is in violation of Treaties in it’s treatment to adults as well.

    They are breaking International Laws.

    Just yesterday the

    Israeli forces seize Bil’in teenager

    Bethlehem

    Israeli forces seized a young Palestinian early on Tuesday from the West Bank village of Bil’in, known for its vibrant nonviolent protests against Israel’s separation wall.

    According to the village’s Popular Committee, four Israeli military jeeps, a truck, and some 50 soldiers entered the village shortly after 3am.

    The soldiers raided three houses simultaneously, detaining Abed Baset Muhammed Abu Rahme, 19.

    In the second house, the soldiers tried to arrest Yaseen Mohammed Ali Yaseen ,21, but he was not at home, according to the popular committee. The soldiers left a military order for him to turn himself in by 9am the next day.

    The committee also said that international activists confronted the soldiers, filming and photographing the raid. The soldiers responded to this activity with tear gas and stun grenades, and trained a laser beam on the activists “as a means of intimidation.”

    According to the committee, the soldiers withdrew at 4am. The committee released photos and a video of the raid on its website.

    Bil’in is well known for its weekly demonstrations against the separation wall Israel is building on the village’s land. The Israeli military has launched a series of arrest raids in the village over the past several months, apparently targeting demonstrators and organizers.

    Source

    If you protest you can and will be thrown in prison for as long as the Israeli’s feel like keeping you there. Children have no rights to have a lawyer present during questioning or even a parent. They are many times not even given a reason as to why they are arrested. Read the report and you will understand.

    From the Report

    Between January 2001 and December 2008, over 600 complaints were filed against Israeli Security Agency (ISA) interrogators for alleged ill-treatment and torture.

    The Police Investigation Department of the Ministry of Justice, the relevant authority charged with investigating these complaints, did not conduct a single criminal investigation.

    Also in reference to the Report

    Israel ‘beats up children’

    Jonathan Cook

    The National

    June 17. 2009

    NAZARETH // The rights of Palestinian children are routinely violated by Israel’s security forces, according to a new report that says beatings and torture are common. In addition, hundreds of Palestinian minors are prosecuted by Israel each year without a proper trial and are denied family visits.

    The findings by Defence for Children International (DCI) come in the wake of revelations from Israeli soldiers and senior commanders that it is “normal procedure” in the West Bank to terrorise Palestinian civilians, including children.

    Col Itai Virob, commander of the Kfir Brigade, disclosed last month that to accomplish a mission, “aggressiveness towards every one of the residents in the village is common”. Questioning included slaps, beatings and kickings, he said.

    As a result, Gabi Ashkenazi, the head of the armed services, was forced to appear before the Israeli parliament to disavow the behaviour of his soldiers. Beatings were “absolutely prohibited”, he told legislators.

    Col Virob made his remarks during court testimony in defence of two soldiers, including his deputy commander, who are accused of beating Palestinians in the village of Qaddum, close to Nablus. One told the court that “soldiers are educated towards aggression in the IDF [army]”. Col Virob appeared to confirm his observation, saying it was policy to “disturb the balance” of village life during missions and that the vast majority of assaults were “against uninvolved people”.

    Last week, further disclosures of ill-treatment of Palestinians, some as young as 14, were aired on Israeli TV, using material collected by dissident soldiers as part of the Breaking the Silence project, which highlights army brutality.

    Two soldiers serving in the Harub battalion said they had witnessed beatings at a school in the West Bank village of Hares, south-west of Nablus, in an operation in March to stop stone-throwing. Many of those held were not involved, the soldiers said.

    During a 12-hour operation that began at 3am, 150 detainees were blindfolded and handcuffed from behind, with the nylon restraints so tight their hands turned blue. The worst beatings, the soldiers said, occurred in the school toilets.

    According to one soldier’s testimony, a boy of about 15 was given “a slap that brought him to the ground”. He added that many of his comrades “just knee [Palestinians] because it’s boring, because you stand there 10 hours, you’re not doing anything, so they beat people up”.

    The picture from serving soldiers confirms the findings of DCI, which noted that many children were picked up in general sweeps after disturbances or during late-night raids of their homes.

    Its report includes a selection of testimonies from children it represented in 2008 in which they describe Israeli soldiers beating them or being tortured by interrogators.

    One 10-year-old boy, identified as Ezzat H, described an army search of his family home for a gun. He said a soldier slapped and punched him repeatedly during two hours of questioning, before another soldier pointed a rifle at him: “The rifle barrel was a few centimetres away from my face. I was so terrified that I started to shiver. He made fun of me.”

    Another boy, Shadi H, aged 15, said he and his friend were forced to undress by soldiers in an orange grove near Tulkarm while the soldiers threw stones at them. They were then beaten with rifle butts.

    Jameel K, aged 14, described being taken to a military camp where he was assaulted and then had a rope tightened around his neck in a mock execution.

    Yehuda Shaul, of Breaking the Silence, said soldiers treated any Palestinian older than 12 or 13 as an adult.

    “For the first time a high-ranking soldier [Col Virob] has joined us in raising the issue – even if not intentionally – that the use of physical violence against Palestinians is not exceptional but policy. A few years ago no senior officer would have had the guts to say this,” he said.

    The DCI report also highlights the systematic use of torture by interrogators from the army and the secret police, the Shin Bet, in an attempt to extract confessions from children, often in cases involving stone-throwing. Islam M, aged 12, said he was threatened with having boiling water poured on his face if he did not admit throwing stones and was then pushed into a thorn bush. Another boy, Abed S, aged 16, said his hands and feet were tied to the wall of an interrogation room in the shape of a cross for a day and then put in solitary confinement for 15 days.

    Last month, the United Nations Committee Against Torture, a panel of independent experts, expressed “deep concern” at Israel’s treatment of Palestinian minors.

    According to the DCI report, some 700 children are convicted in Israel’s military courts each year, with children older than 12 denied access to lawyers in interrogation.

    It adds that interrogators routinely blindfold and handcuff child detainees during questioning and use techniques including slaps and kicks, sleep deprivation, solitary confinement, threats to the child and his family, and tying the child up for long periods.

    Such practices were banned by Israel’s Supreme Court in 1999 but are still widely documented by Israeli human rights groups.

    In 95 per cent of cases, children are convicted on the basis of signed confessions written in Hebrew, a language few of them understand.

    Once sentenced, the children are held in violation of international law in prisons in Israel where most are denied visits from family and receive little or no education.

    Yesh Din, an Israeli human rights group, reported in November that soldiers rarely faced disciplinary action over illegal behaviour.

    Army data from2000 to the end of 2007 revealed that the military police had indicted soldiers in only 78 of 1,268 investigations. Most soldiers received minor sentences.

    Please read the report on children

    The adults have many bogus crimes logged against them as well.

    This is one example from the report on adults who have been charged and incarcerated by the Israeli Military Courts.

    Faiza Dib Foda, Education Consultant
    and Kindergarten Instructor

    Faiza Dib Foda, an Israeli citizen, was born in Acre in 1955. She
    is a resident of Doha near Bethlehem and works in Bethlehem.
    Faiza was arrested on 30 October 2006 for violation of the Prevention
    of Terrorism Ordinance21 and accused of membership
    and activity in the Islamic Jihad. This organization was designated
    an unlawful association on 22 June 1969. The allegation of
    terrorist activity refers to her educational and administrative work
    in a Bethlehem kindergarten, which involved soliciting donations
    for the kindergarten.
    We first met Faiza at her remand extension hearing on 9 November
    2006. Her lawyer requested that she be released until the
    trial, suggesting that she reside with her sisters in Acre until then.
    The judge thought otherwise. In his decision, he wrote:
    “…the defendant is charged with membership and activity
    in a hostile organization… I am satisfied that there are
    reasonable suspicions and perhaps credible evidence
    supporting the allegations. This is a serious charge warranting
    detention, which will allow the prosecution to present
    an indictment.”
    Since the investigation had been completed, the judge ordered
    remand extension for eight days and immediate transfer of the
    file to the military prosecution. In the indictment the offense is discussed in terms of Sections 84 and 85 (1) (a) of the Defense
    (Emergency) Regulations – 1945.22
    During the above-mentioned period the defendant was
    a member of Bethlehem Alnakaa Association, which is
    an unlawful association. The defendant served as educational
    director of the Alnakaa School. As a member of
    the association, she often approached members of the
    Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) to solicit money needed
    to pay debts incurred by the Bethlehem Alnakaa Association,
    which is an unlawful association. PIJ activists responded
    to her pleas and on several occasions sent her
    sums ranging from 1,900 dollars, 2500 dollars, to 20,000
    shekels.
    Alnakaa operated unimpeded for seven years. On 30 January
    2005, the Military Commander signed a declaration outlawing the
    association, but failed to inform the children, the parents, and the
    teachers of the change. The kindergarten continued to operate
    undisturbed for two more years.
    In October 2006, Ms. Foda was arrested on charges of membership
    and activity in a terrorist organization. The prosecution
    did not submit any proof that the association aims to commit violent
    acts or threatens public safety. Although the court accepted
    the defendant’s claim that she was not aware of the decree outlawing
    the association, and that she innocently assumed that she
    was working with women and young children, the GSS assertion,
    backed by a signed decree of the Minister of Defense outlawing
    the association, was sufficient to press charges against her.
    The indictment states that the defendant was an education
    instructor at the Alnakaa School. Two witnesses for the prosecution were GSS interrogators who had taken Ms. Foda’s statements.
    Fifteen months later, on 23 January 2008, we saw Ms.
    Foda again. The trial had not taken place and, according to her
    attorney, it had been postponed several times, with the penalty
    increasing each time. At the time of her arrest, the punishment
    for the offense she was charged with was sixteen or seventeen
    months. Subsequently, according to her attorney, it was changed
    to 30 months. On a cold January day, she was brought in from
    Sharon Prison, and was forced to wait a whole day in a metal
    cage where prisoners are kept before trial at Ofer Military Camp.
    Her trial took place at 16:00, lasted a few minutes, and was to be
    continued on 5 March 2008.
    On 5 March 2008, a year and half after her arrest, the sentence
    was handed down, after a plea bargain agreed to by both
    sides. Faiza Foda, 53 years old, educational instructor and administrator
    of a kindergarten in Bethlehem, was sentenced to
    eighteen months in prison starting with her arrest (which means
    that she would be released in two weeks), and a fifteen- months
    suspended prison sentence for two years, starting on the date of
    her release. At the sentencing session the prosecutor stated:
    ”From our perspective, the defendant is someone who
    was sentenced for four years in jail in 1991 for aiding
    and abetting the enemy. Not only has the defendant not
    changed her ways, but she actively helped restore a proscribed
    organization, held a senior position in it and did
    her utmost to further the cause of the organization even
    though she knew full well that it was illegal.”
    Note that the activity in question relates to pedagogical counseling
    in a kindergarten. The defense reminded the court that beyond
    the military phrases such as “aiding and abetting the enemy,” the
    defendant is a middle-aged woman, who suffers from asthma
    and has a paralyzed left leg. The Alnakaa (Purity) Association is
    a non-profit women’s organization devoted to the advancement of
    women, running a school and a medical center. The edict outlawing
    the association was not publicized and was never brought to
    the attention of the defendant who was preoccupied with education
    and administration. Apparently, the military court regards the
    teaching of Arab children as an activity that undermines security
    in the region. The defendant was sentenced to eighteen months
    in jail. She was released on 20 April 2008.

    For the Report on the adults who were charged and incarcerated check here

    Seems they just keep throwing you in jail  or other means which may include torture, until you plead guilty.

    A quote from the report.

    The very conduct of trials in the military court determines their outcome. Almost 100% of defendants are found guilty of all, or some, of the charges brought against them;

    For example, organizations
    intent on and capable of harming the State of Israel, such
    as the military division of Hamas, on the one hand and, on the other, administrative agencies of the Palestinian Authority (parliament, legislative council), political parties, religious schools, students’ associations, charity organizations, kindergartens, daycare centers, clinics, summer and sports camps, orphanages,
    students’ clubs and support groups for families of prisoners incarcerated in Israel.

    Very rarely have we heard a judge ask, what
    exactly is that organization to which the defendant is supposed
    to have links, and whether that particular organization, in fact,
    appears on the list of proscribed associations. When an organization is not included in the list but is referred to by the prosecution as a hostile organization, the court never bothers to check that the goals and activities of that organization, in fact, constitute a threat to security. Source

    More Reports from the same site.

    Mass demonstration planned outside Israel’s Ofer prison holding 11,000 Palestinian political prisoners

    Israel declares the shooting of American activist, Tristan Anderson to be an “act of war”

    Israel’s Dirty Nuclear Secrets, Human Experiments  and WMD

    Indexed List of all Stories in Archives


    Israel declares the shooting of American activist, Tristan Anderson to be an “act of war”


    Israel declares the shooting of American activist, Tristan Anderson to be an “act of war.”Tristan Anderson, an American national, was critically injured on 13 March 2009 when he was shot with a high velocity tear-gas projectile during an unarmed demonstration against the Wall in the West Bank village of Ni’lin (report and video: http://palsolidarity.org/2009/03/5324).

    The Israeli Ministry of Defense has notified the Anderson family’s lawyers that Israel perceives the incident on 13 March 2009 as an “act of war.” This classification was made despite the fact that Anderson’s shooting occurred during a civilian demonstration and there were no armed hostilities during the event or surrounding it.

    The consequence of such classification is that according to Israeli law, the state of Israel is not liable for any damage its’ forces have caused.

    Israeli police have completed their criminal investigation and passed the file to the district attorney of the Central District of the Israeli prosecution offices. The Anderson’s criminal attorney, Michael Sfard, is awaiting their decision.

    According to Michael Sfard,

    If a process by which unarmed civilian demonstration is classified by Israel as an ‘act of war,’ then clearly Israel admits that it is at war with civilians. International law identifies the incident as a clear case of human rights abuse. As such, Tristan and his family are undoubtedly entitled to justice and compensation. We will pursue this matter and take the government of Israel to court.

    In addition to filing a criminal complaint against the State of Israel for the shooting of their son, the Andersons have submitted a notice of intent to file a civil suit.

    Leah Tsemel, the civil suit attorney, stated,

    This is another occasion where the Israeli government is alluding responsibility. The demonstrations that take place in Ni’lin and Bil’in are not acts of war. We will pursue, in Israeli courts and international courts if necessary, justice for the Anderson family.

    Tristan Anderson was critically injured on 13 March 2009 when he was shot with a high-velocity tear gas projectile by Israeli forces. He was taken to Tel Hashomer hospital near Tel Aviv and to date remains in the hospital facilities. Tristan suffered multiple condensed fractures as a result of being hit in the right frontal lobe. He has had several life-saving surgeries and his prospects for recovery are unclear.

    On 10 August 2009, Tristan underwent another surgery to reattach the top part of his skull, which was removed in order to save his life immediately after his shooting five months ago.

    Several eye-witnesses have given testimony that Tristan was shot when he could not have been perceived as any threat to the forces in the area. He was shot from around 60 meters while standing with a few internationals and Palestinians, hours after the demonstration had dispersed from the construction site of the Wall.

    “We are horrified and overwhelmed,” said Nancy Anderson during a press conference on 23 March 2009. “We are scared and really still in shock. To shoot peaceful demonstrators is really horrifying to us. What we want to ask is that the Israeli government publicly take full responsibility for the shooting of our son.” (audio of press conference held by the Andersons: http://www.alternativenews.org/news-from-within:-palestine/israel-podcasts/1854-news-from-within-podcast-press-conference-of-the-parents-of-american-activist-tristan-anderson-who-was-critically-injured-by-israeli-military.html)

    Israeli forces have been systematically shooting tear-gas projectiles directly at demonstrators during protests at the West Bank Wall.

    After Anderson’s shooting, the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem requested the Judge Advocate General, Brig. Gen. Avichai Mandelblit, to immediately clarify to security forces that it is absolutely forbidden to directly aim tear-gas canisters, including extended-range type canisters, at demonstrators in the West Bank. B’Tselem also provided extensive video footage of demonstrations in Ni’lin, Bi’lin, and Jayyus showing repeated firing of tear-gas grenades directly at demonstrators, proving that, contrary to the army’s contentions, Israeli forces in the West Bank have commonly practiced this unlawful act. (report & video: http://www.btselem.org/English/Firearms/20090318_Firing_of_Tear_Gaz_at_Demonstrators.asp).

    Following the killing of a Palestinian demonstrator in Bil’in, Basem Abu Rahme, by Israeli forces on 17 April 2009 with a high velocity tear gas projectile (report and video: http://palsolidarity.org/2009/04/6185), B’Tselem again demanded that the army enforce its Open-Fire Regulations and investigate the incidents (http://www.btselem.org/English/Firearms/20090422_Firing_Tear_Gaz_Canisters_directly_on_People.asp).

    On 5 May 2009, Yehoshua Lemberger, deputy state attorney for criminal affairs of the Justice Ministry, asked the police to review the guidelines for dispersing protesters based on Rahme’s death and the police investigations of four additional incidents that occurred in Nil’in, including the shooting of Tristan Anderson (http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1239710864477&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull).

    Source

    Act of war?????????? Who are they trying to kid. Attempted murder, and Murder would be more like it. The killing continues. Israel must be stopped. This type of thing happens all to often.

    Testimony from Israeli soldiers/ Gaza

    Israel targets Sweden over newspaper claim

    Butchers: The hidden truth about Israel’s kidney theft ring

    Swedish PM: No apology to Israel in regards to article Swedish newspaper reveals Israeli army murders Palestinians for their organs

    U.S. group invests tax-free millions in East Jerusalem land

    Gaza cancer patients have only painkillers, due to Israeli Blockade

    Swedish newspaper reveals Israeli army murders Palestinians for their organs

    Published in: on August 27, 2009 at 7:19 am  Comments Off on Israel declares the shooting of American activist, Tristan Anderson to be an “act of war”  
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    Swedish newspaper reveals Israeli army murders Palestinians for their organs

    August 20 2009

    DataFiles_Cache_TempImgs_2009_2_images_News_2009_08_20_organ-harvesting_300_0

    From Khalid Amayreh

    OCCUPIED EAST JERUSALEM — Israeli officials and spokespersons have been railing against a leading Swedish newspaper for publishing a report claiming that the Israeli occupation army murders Palestinians in order to use their organs for transplants for Jewish patients.

    The Tabloid Aftonbladet, one of Sweden’s most popular newspapers, on Tuesday, 18 August, reported that Israeli occupation soldiers had been murdering Palestinian youngsters in the West Bank in order to extricate their organs and sell them. The report carried a photograph showing the body of a victim of such an execution, with a large scar running from his chin to abdomen.

    The report quotes the family of one of the victims as saying that “our sons were plundered from their organs.” The report also makes a connection with the recent corruption scandal in New Jersey involving elected officials, rabbis, and illegal organ trading.

    The author of the report, Donald Bostrom, spoke of a strong suspicion among Palestinians that young men’s organs were harvested by the Israeli army. He suggests that the International Court of Justice in the Hague should open an investigation into the matter.

    Witness

    Bostrom quotes a Palestinian witness as describing one case in which the Israeli occupation army shot dead a young Palestinian from a West Bank village and then extricated his organs.  The Palestinian victim is identified as Bilal Ahmed Ghniyan.

    “He was taken away by a military helicopter and brought back by the army five days later, dead. As his family members buried him, they saw a large scar running from his stomach to his chin.”

    Bostrom also quotes other eye-witnesses testifying that their sons were used as “forced organ donors.”

    “Blood libel”

    Israeli spokesperson and Foreign Ministry officials were raving and ranting against Aftonbladet  accusing the mass circulation newspaper of indulging in “blood libel” and making “canards” against Israel .

    Israeli spokesman Yigal Palmor said the Swedish newspaper had “turned the demonization of Israel into a sacred cause.”

    Other Israeli officials threatened to sue the Swedish newspaper for libel, claiming that the report was an expression of anti-Semitism.

    Israel has been  reacting with exaggerated sensitivity toward international criticisms of its manifestly harsh treatment of Palestinians and the brazen racism associated with this treatment.

    Earlier this year, the Israeli army, using internationally-banned weapons launched a massive and deadly blitzkrieg on the virtually unprotected population of the Gaza Strip, killing, maiming and incinerating thousands of innocent civilians, including hundreds of children.

    Human rights organizations described the huge  rampage of terror and death, which lasted for more than 20 days,  as “clear war crimes” and “crimes against humanity.”

    Similarly, Israel had killed thousands of innocent civilians in the West Bank , and many of the victims were sent to the Abu Kabir forensic institute for autopsy operations.

    However, it is unclear if the vital organs of these young victims were always  disposed of or taken out for transplant in Jewish patients.

    The Israeli army, which exerts huge political and legal influence in Israel, nearly always resisted scrutiny of its operations in the West Bank which are carried out in utter violation of international law, especially the international humanitarian law.

    Precedent

    In January, 2002, an Israeli cabinet minister tacitly admitted that organs taken from the bodies of Palestinian victims might have been used for transplants in Jewish patients without the knowledge of the Palestinian  victims’ families.

    The minister, Nessim Dahan, said in response to a question by an Arab Knesset member that he couldn’t deny or confirm  that organs of Palestinian youths and children killed by the Israeli army were taken out for transplants or scientific research.

    “I couldn’t say for sure that something like that didn’t happen.”

    The Arab Knesset member who posed the question to Dahan is believed to be Ahmed Teibi. Teibi pointed out that he had received “credible evidence” proving that Israeli doctors at the forensic institute of Abu Kabir extracted such vital organs as the heart, kidneys, and liver from the bodies of Palestinian youth and children killed by the Israeli army in Gaza and the West Bank .

    During an interview with al-Jazeera TV in 2002,  the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat  accused the Israeli apartheid regime of murdering Palestinian infants, children, and youths and harvesting their vital organs for transplants.

    “They murder our kids and use their organs as spare parts` Why is the whole world silent? Israel takes advantage of this silence to escalate it’s oppression and terror against our people,” said an angry President Arafat.

    During the interview, which took place on 14 January, 2002,   Arafat held up photos of the mutilated bodies of the children.

    “I’m not worried about myself”, as the President is under house arrest, “I’m worried about the Palestinian people who have been under siege for the past 15 months.”

    Israel had  admitted that doctors at the L. Greenberg Institute of Forensic Medicine at Abu Kabir had harvested the organs of 3 Palestinian youth killed by the Israeli army near Khan Younis.

    After 10 days the bodies of the three victims  were returned to their families for burial but with their organs and even their eyes removed.

    Israel never carried out a serious investigation into this and other incidents involving the extrication of vital organs from the body of Palestinian victims killed by the Israeli occupation forces.

    According to reporter Saira Soufan,  the illegal harvesting of the organs of Palestinian soldiers and freedom fighters has been documented since before the 1990’s.

    “Upon return of the soldiers’ bodies to their mourning families, the pillage of body parts is discovered during the burial process.

    “ The empty cavities have been filled with garbage such as cotton wool, garden hoses, and broomsticks, then sewn up as a result of a so-called  ‘autopsy.’”

    Occasionally, Israeli authorities steal body organs from the bodies of tourists who die in Israel .

    An  unpublicized instance occurred  in 1998,  when a Scotsman, Alistair Sinclair, died under mysterious circumstances in the Ben-Gurion Airport lockup.

    Mr. Sinclair’s parents sued the Israeli authorities  upon finding that  their son’s heart and other organs missing. A replacement heart and organs were sent to his mother, who didn’t  believe that these were those of her son’s.

    Source

    Mores stories and pictures about Gaza in the Archives.

    Indexed List of all Stories in Archives

    Published in: on August 22, 2009 at 3:05 am  Comments Off on Swedish newspaper reveals Israeli army murders Palestinians for their organs  
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    Israeli military forces stage attacks on the various areas of the West Bank almost on a daily basis

    Israelis kidnap 6 Palestinians in WB
    February 8 2009

    Israeli military forces have intensified their incursions into the West Bank after their unilateral cease-fire in the Gaza Strip.

    Israeli troops have taken six Palestinian youth into custody after clashes erupted between the two sides in the Ras Al-Arud region.

    Palestinian news agency, Maan, has reported that the Saturday arrests followed clashes in Ra’s-ul-Orouz north of Al-Khalil on the west bank late Saturday.

    A group of young Palestinian men hurled stones at Israeli forces after Israeli forces opened fire at them.

    No injuries were reported.

    The incident came a day after the Israeli troops arrested five other Palestinians during their assaults on various regions of the West Bank.

    Israeli military forces stage attacks on the various areas of the West Bank almost on a daily basis under the excuse of arresting Palestinian fighters. They detain Palestinian people and take them to unknown locations.

    Around 12,000 Palestinian detainees are currently being kept in the Israeli prisons.

    The Israeli forces have intensified their assaults on the West Bank after declaring a unilateral cease-fire in the Gaza Strip.

    Israel launched a 23-day offensive against the Gaza Strip claiming to counter Hamas rocket shells to its settlements. Around 1, 330 people including a large number of women and children were killed and 5, 450 others were injured during the slaughter.

    In the wake of the strikes, the Israeli regime faced a widespread international condemnation and declared a unilateral cease-fire in the besieged region after failing to achieve its goals.

    The war is considered the second major blow for the regime after its military failed to realize its goals in 33-day war on Lebanon in summer 2006.

    Source

    I guess they want to blow up the West Bank now.

    So what we have here is someone comes into your neighbourhood and shoots at you and becasue you get pissed off “YOU” get thrown in jail.  Well I understand that completley don’t you? You should have just stood there and let them shoot you?????? What would give you the right to ever dare to think you had the right to get pissed off?

    Why is it they think people will just sit complacently by while they do this. If the Palestinians fight back they are called the Terrorists.  How pathetic. Israel is the one terrorizing people.

    It is time for the world to wake up and the leaders especially to what happens daily to the Palestinians and Boycott Israel. Stop the Weapons from entering the country and stop the Aid from the US. These daily incursions are yet again breaking International Law.

    This of course accomplished one thing, the people will rebel then as usual Israel cry’s Self Defense. When in fact Israel is the cause in the first place. But nope they always blame the victims.

    So why does anyone believe anything they say, when it comes to Iran or any other country surrounding them? They fabricate lies to spoon feed everyone.

    Everything they say and do is just to start yet another war. Pure and simple. They are the problem. War, War, War is their constant scream.

    They are a Fascist country. As they say “Cinderella if the Shoe fits”.

    They were given the country on a silver platter and now they abuse anyone and everyone. Cinderella isn’t looking so cute these days is she? She looks more like the wicked witch of the west.

    Netanyahu ‘will coax Obama into Iran war’
    February 7 2009

    The Israeli prime ministerial frontrunner will win a US blessing to enter war with Iran, says a source familiar with US Mideast policies.

    Aaron David Miller, the US State Department’s top analyst in the 1980s, said Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu will be able to convince President Barack Obama that a military attack is the only solution to the Iranian nuclear issue.

    “The Israelis will be pushing [Washington] to ensure that Iran never gets to that point and failing that, they will consider a military strike,” Reuters quoted Miller — who is a former US Middle East peace negotiator and is currently an analyst at the Woodrow Wilson Center — as saying late Friday.

    “It need not be conclusive or threatening, but it will be very serious and … scare the daylights out of the president that unless the international community mobilizes to address the situation, the Israelis will,” he said.

    Tel Aviv accuses Iran, a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), of having plans to develop nuclear weaponry.

    Tehran, however, insists that it enriches uranium for peaceful purposes and that it has the right to the technology already in the hands of many others.

    Israeli leaders, who have in their possession the sole nuclear arsenal in the Middle East, have intensified their go-to-war rhetoric against Iran in the run-up to Tel Aviv’s elections set for February 10.

    Israeli election frontrunner Benjamin Netanyahu said last week that his first mission, if elected prime minister, would be to “thwart the Iranian threat” once and for all.

    “[Iran] will not be armed with a nuclear weapon… It includes everything that is necessary to make this statement come true,” warned the leading candidate for the prime minister post.

    Israeli legislator and weapons expert Isaac Ben-Israel, meanwhile, claimed that Tel Aviv has only a year to pull off a unilateral strike on Iran’s nuclear infrastructure, asserting that any attack would only delay, rather than sabotage, Iranian breakthroughs in nuclear technology development.

    Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak has also stressed that possible Washington-Tehran talks “should be kept short and followed by readiness to take action”.

    British strategist Mark Fitzpatrick, however, has asserted that Israeli military action against Iran was “a significant possibility, but not a probability”.

    “That point will probably be some time towards the end of this year,” said the senior fellow for non-proliferation at London’s Institute for Strategic Studies, adding that Israel should consider the negative consequences before it makes any move.

    Source

    If Obama gets sucked into a war against Iran then he surely is and all day sucker. The world leaders as well must stop being so gullible, and wake up to the fact Israel lies to the world and to their own people.

    Seems to me Israel would be thrilled with a world war yet again like two of them weren’t enough. They are warmongers and instigators.

    They assassinate people, kill innocent people, then lie about it. It was Self Defense. What a crock of BS.  Poor wee Israel. How pathetic.

    They scream we have the right to exist well a little tip for them. Everyone else have the right to exist too. The rights of Israel are not greater then anyone else’s. They are not special. They must abide by the laws like all of must. They have tried to wage war on all their neighbouring countries. They are the threat. All they ever talk about is waging war. This guy is bad that guy is bad blah blah blah. That’s all they ever do.  So everyone else is the bad guy and they are the good guys. How dare they ever presume the entire world is fooled by their rhetoric and warmongering. They are the bad guys. They prove that on a daily basis. They lie on a daily basis. If they ever told the truth who would believe them.? They have cried wolf so many times in the past that it is just another wolf cry. If anyone is foolish enough to believe anything they say, then they really need to get a reality check.They feed their lies to the press for the world to read. How nauseating. Even the press gets sucked in by their lies. The propaganda  they spew out is getting to be extremely hard to swallow.

    If anyone dislikes Israel it is her own fault. Like the wickid witch of the West, terrorizing people does that you know. Israel goes out if her way to create new enamies on a daily basis. She does it on purpose. Then crys for the rest of us to help her.

    If she were my child I would give a good sound spanking. I would ground her for a very long time.  I would  have her enroled in an anger managment classes for a few hundred years. I would take all her toys away. I would take her allowance awasy.

    If my child ever behaved in this manner she would be disiplined.  I would never tolerate any kid of mine behaving in such a manner. Israel behaves just like any child who has been spoiled rotten.  Worse still a drug addict on her addiction is war and fear.

    So if we would not tolerate out children behaving in such a manner, why would we tolerate a country behaving in such a manner?  When kids are allowed to behave in such a manner their children will also have the same problems. It is after all handed down from generation to generation. We all know that.

    A couple of Israeli Candidates running for Election: How can anyone vote for them?

    Act of Piracy, Kidnapping, Illegal Confinement, Theft, Assault and Battery, committed by Israel

    Letting AP in on the Secret: Israeli Strip Searches are Torture

    ICC starts analysis of Gaza war crimes allegations

    Gaza (6) A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

    More Pictures from Another site.

    Israel abducted over 5,000 people and put them in prison

    Indexed List of all Stories in Archives

    Published in: on February 8, 2009 at 7:00 pm  Comments Off on Israeli military forces stage attacks on the various areas of the West Bank almost on a daily basis  
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    The making of Israel’s Apartheid in Palestine

    The making of Israel’s apartheid

    Phil Gasper recounts the history of how Israel was founded on the basis of the expulsion of the Arab population of Palestine.

    An Israeli soldier stands guard over Palestinians waiting to cross at a checkpoint (Rami Swidan | Maan Images)

    ZIONISM IS a political movement that originally emerged in the late 19th century as a response to anti-Semitism, particularly in Eastern Europe.

    Capitalist development had undermined the traditional commercial roles that many Jews had played in the old feudal economy. As the economy moved into periodic crises, ruling groups in many countries deflected mass anger by scapegoating Jews.

    Zionists drew the pessimistic conclusion that anti-Semitism couldn’t be eliminated–and that to escape persecution, Jews had to emigrate to a region where they could set up an exclusively Jewish state.

    Theodore Herzl, known as the father of Zionism, wrote of “the emptiness and futility of trying to ‘combat’ anti-Semitism,” and called for a Jewish state to be set up in an undeveloped country outside Europe.

    Herzl was explicit that the program could be carried out only with the backing of one of the major imperialist powers. Once such support had been won, the Zionist movement would conduct itself like other colonizing ventures.

    Herzl wrote that, if a Jewish state were created in Palestine, it would form “a portion of the rampart of Europe against Asia, an outpost of civilization as opposed to barbarism.” In other words, the new state would be part of the system of colonial domination of the rest of the world.

    The founders of Zionism were prepared to ally themselves with the most vicious anti-Semites. Herzl approached Count Von Plehve, the sponsor of the worst anti-Jewish pogroms in Russia, with the message: “Help me to reach the land sooner, and the revolt [against Tsarist rule] will end.”

    What else to read

    The International Socialist Review has extensive coverage of the Israel-Palestinian conflict, with numerous articles covering the background.

    Annie Zirin’s “The hidden history of Zionism” recounts the history of the Zionist movement and its alliances with right-wing and anti-Semitic forces. “Israel and the Nakba” by Paul D’Amato describes the violence at the founding of the state of Israel. Hadas Thier gives the background to the current conflict in Gaza in “The siege of Gaza.”

    For books about the formation of the state of Israel, look for The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine and A History of Modern Palestine: One Land, Two Peoples, both by Ilan Pappe, a radical Israeli historian. Pappe delivered a March 2007 speech titled “The History of Israel Reconsidered” that is worth the read.

    Norman Finkelstein’s Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict is essential reading for picking apart the myths used to justify Israel’s apartheid. For an introductory take on the subject, see Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict: A Primer, by Phyllis Bennis.

    Between the Lines: Readings on Israel, the Palestinians and the U.S. “War on Terror,” by Tikva Honig-Parnass and Toufic Haddad, documents the apartheid-like conditions that Palestinians live under today.

    For background on Israel’s war and the Palestinian struggle for freedom, read The Struggle for Palestine, a collection of essays edited by Lance Selfa on the history of the occupation and Palestinian resistance.

    Zionist leaders offered to help guarantee Tsarist interests in Palestine, and rid Eastern Europe and Russia of those “noxious and subversive Anarcho-Bolshevik Jews”–in other words, the people who wanted to fight anti-Semitism, rather than capitulate to it. Von Plehve agreed to finance the Zionist movement as a way of countering socialist opposition to the Tsar.

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    WHEN BRITAIN took control of Palestine at the end of the First World War, Zionists turned their attention to lobbying the British government. The Zionist leader Chaim Weizmann argued, “A Jewish Palestine would be a safeguard to England, in particular with respect to the Suez Canal.”

    This argument began to seem increasingly attractive to the British ruling class. The war had underlined the importance of the Middle East, which guarded the sea routes to the Far East and contained the immensely profitable and strategically vital Persian oilfields. In November 1917, the British foreign minister Lord Balfour (a notorious anti-Semite) issued a declaration pledging his government’s support for “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.”

    The Balfour declaration did not create a Jewish state, but it did encourage mass emigration to Palestine and the construction of an extensive settler community that was to become the basis of the state of Israel.

    But there was one problem. Contrary to Zionist propaganda that Palestine was “a land without people for a people without a land,” the area was, in fact, the most densely populated region of the Eastern Mediterranean, with an Arab population that had lived there for about 1,000 years and which had developed an extensive economy.

    Small Jewish settlements had existed in Palestine from the late 19th century, but after 1917, the colonization process accelerated considerably. Jewish organizations bought up large areas of land from absentee landlords, displacing large numbers of Palestinian peasants.

    The Zionists also began building an exclusively Jewish “enclave” economy, organized around the Histadrut–the general confederation of Hebrew workers in Palestine. The settlers refused to employ Arab labor and boycotted Arab goods.

    In the 1930s, the rise of fascism in Europe gave a further boost to Jewish immigration, even though most Jews had no interest in moving to Palestine. Zionism was still a fringe movement among Jews, and only 8.5 percent of Jewish migrants went to Palestine during this period.

    The number would have been even smaller if countries like the U.S. and Britain had not had racist immigration policies that excluded most Jews. But the refugees who did arrive in Palestine strengthened the settler community.

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    THE FOUNDING of a Zionist state is often justified as a response to the rise of fascism and the horrors of the Nazi Holocaust, which exterminated 6 million Jews.(that number has been changed numerous times since and is now apparently about 740,000. It must also be noted that many who died at the hands of Hitler were non-Jews and many died from Typhus)) But far from being fighters against fascism, Zionists frequently collaborated with the Nazis.

    In 1933, the Zionist Federation of Germany sent a memorandum of support to the Nazis: “On the foundation of the new [Nazi] state, which has established the principle of race, we wish to fit our community into the total structure, so that for us, too, in the sphere assigned to us, fruitful activity for the Fatherland is possible.”

    The Zionist movement went so far as to oppose changes in the immigration laws of the U.S. and Western Europe, which would have permitted more Jews to find refuge in these countries. In 1938, David Ben-Gurion, who was to become the first prime minister of Israel, wrote: “If I knew that it would be possible to save all the children in Germany by bringing them over to England, and only half of them by transporting them to Eretz Yisrael, then I would opt for the second alternative.”

    Jews in Palestine were given privileged status by the British colonial regime. The British helped establish and train a Zionist militia, granted Jewish capital 90 percent of economic concessions, and paid Jews higher wages than Arabs.

    From the 1920s onwards, the British government used the Jewish settlers to help suppress mass Arab demonstrations against landlessness and unemployment, and for independence.

    The most sustained uprising by the Palestinians took place from 1936 to 1939, and included a general strike of several months, withholding taxes, civil disobedience and armed insurrection. The British responded by declaring martial law and instituting mass repression, relying heavily on Zionist forces. Hundreds of Palestinians were executed or assassinated, thousands were imprisoned, and thousands of homes were demolished.

    But Britain was greatly weakened by the Second World War and was forced to withdraw from Palestine. In 1947, the leading imperialist powers, including the U.S. and the USSR, decided to partition the country into separate Jewish and Palestinian states. Although Jews comprised only 31 percent of the population, the Zionists were given 54 percent of the fertile land.

    Even this was not satisfactory for the Zionists, however. In 1938, Ben-Gurion had declared:

    The boundaries of Zionist aspiration include southern Lebanon, southern Syria, today’s Jordan, all of Cis-Jordan [the West Bank] and the Sinai…After we become a strong force as the result of the creation of the state, we shall abolish partition and expand to the whole of Palestine. The state will only be a stage in the realization of Zionism, and its task is to prepare the ground for our expansion. The state will have to preserve order–not by preaching, but with machine guns.

    The Zionist project could only be completed if the local Arab population was expelled. As Joseph Weitz, head of the Jewish Agency’s Colonization Department, had put it in 1940, “there is no room for both peoples together in this country…And there is no other way than to transfer the Arabs from here to the neighboring countries. To transfer all of them; not one village, not one tribe should be left.”

    In 1948, this policy was put into effect. Zionist forces seized three-quarters of the land and expelled some 750,000 Palestinians.

    Military groups whose leaders included the future Israeli Prime Ministers Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir, carried out massacres at villages like Deir Yasin–where over 100 men, women and children were murdered–designed to terrorize the rest of the Palestinian population to flee for their lives.

    The official Israel Defense Forces carried out other massacres. One soldier gave the following eyewitness account of what happened at the village of Dueima:

    They killed between 80 to 100 Arab men, women and children. To kill the children they fractured their heads with sticks. There was not one home without corpses…Educated and well-mannered commanders who were considered “good guys”…became base murderers, and this not in the storm of battle, but as a method of expulsion and extermination.

    There were nearly 500 Palestinian villages in the territory that came under Israeli occupation after partition. During 1948 and 1949, nearly 400 of these were razed to the ground. More were destroyed in the 1950s.

    In 1969, Moshe Dayan, former chief of staff and minister of defense, admitted: “We came here to a country that was populated by Arabs, and we are building here a Hebrew, Jewish state. Instead of Arab villages, Jewish villages were established…There is not a single [Jewish] settlement that was not established in the place of a former Arab village.”

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    ISRAEL ALSO learned the lesson of portraying its own aggression as self-defense against hostile neighbors. But in 1948, it was only after Israel had launched its attack on Palestinians that other Arab countries mobilized a token force, largely in an effort to mollify their own populations, rather than as a serious military effort. The Arab states did nothing to reverse the expulsion of Palestinians, and by the time the 1948 war ended, the Zionists were in control of 78 percent of historic Palestine.

    Moshe Sharett, an Israeli prime minister in the 1950s, admitted that the Israeli political and military leadership never believed the Arab governments represented any serious danger to Israel. Rather, Israel has sought to maneuver Arab states into military confrontations it was certain of winning, with the aim of destabilizing the regimes and occupying more territory.

    Israel’s goal, according to Sharett, has been to “dismember the Arab world, defeat the Arab national movement and create puppet regimes under regional Israeli power” and “to modify the balance of power in the region radically, transforming Israel into the major power in the Middle East.”

    Before 1947, Jews owned about 6 percent of the land in Palestine. In the process of establishing the state of Israel, the Zionists expropriated 90 percent of the land, the vast majority of which had formerly belonged to Arabs.

    Entire cities were emptied of Palestinians, and Palestinian orchards, industry, rolling stock, factories, houses and possessions were seized. The majority of Palestinians were ethnically cleansed from their homeland. Arabs who remained in Israel became second-class citizens, while Palestinians who were driven out of the country mostly lived in poverty in refugee camps throughout the Middle East.

    Israel passed the “Law of Return,” which allows every person of Jewish descent to emigrate to Israel. But Palestinians weren’t allowed to return to their homes.

    Following the Six-Day War in 1967, Israel occupied further territory, including the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. In the West Bank, 55 percent of the land and 70 percent of the water were seized for the benefit of illegal Jewish settlers.

    In Gaza, 2,200 Jewish settlers were given over 40 percent of the land, while 500,000 Palestinians were confined in crowded camps and slums. Israel finally withdrew from Gaza in 2005, but it has maintained a blockade that reinforced conditions akin to a giant prison camp.

    Israel’s actions have been repeatedly condemned by the United Nations, but the U.S. government ensured that nothing was done to enforce a series of resolutions.

    Since its creation, Israel has been a defender of Washington’s interests in the oil-rich Middle East. As the influential Jewish paper Ha’aretz put it in 1951:

    Israel is to become the watchdog. There is no fear that Israel will undertake any aggressive policy towards the Arab states when this would explicitly contradict the wishes of the U.S. and Britain. But, if for any reasons the Western powers should sometimes prefer to close their eyes, Israel could be relied upon to punish one or several neighboring states whose discourtesy to the west went beyond the bounds of the permissible.

    As a consequence, Israel has received billions of dollars of U.S. aid every year, which have made it one of the most heavily armed states in the world–one easily capable of undertaking the slaughter in Gaza we see today.

    Source

    This came out May  2007

    Secret memo proves Israel knew occupation was illegal

    LONDON
    A secret memo proves that the Israeli government knew that its occupation of Palestinian land was illegal after it won the Six Day War in 1967, a British newspaper reported Saturday.

    Theodor Meron, who wrote the memo as the Israeli foreign ministry’s legal advisor at the time, said “I believe I would have given the same opinion today,” according to The Independent newspaper.

    With Israel now celebrating the 40th anniversary of the war, the 76-year-old Meron, who went on to become a leading international jurist, challenges Israel’s long-held argument that settlements do not violate international law.

    The Independent said it obtained a copy of his legal opinion, which was marked “Top Secret” and “Extremely Urgent.”

    Quoting its author, the newspaper said the memo concluded “that civilian settlement in the administered territories contravenes the explicit provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention.”

    Meron also told the newspaper that then foreign minister Abba Eban was “sympathetic” to his view that civilian settlement would go against the Hague and Geneva conventions governing the conduct of occupying powers.

    But the Labour government at the time progressively approved the settlements in the captured West Bank despite the secret legal opinion which had been passed on to then prime minister Levi Eshkol.

    Such actions paved the way for at least 240,000 Israelis to settle in the the West Bank.

    Meron, who served as president of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia until 2005, was also quoted as telling the Independent that the settlements have proven to be a real stumbling block.

    “It’s obvious to me that the fact that settlements were established and the pace of the establishment of the settlements made peacemaking much more difficult,” he was quoted as saying.

    In the Six Day War in June 1967, Israel captured the Sinai peninsula from Egypt, the Golan Heights from Syria and the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan.

    Agence France-Presse

    Source

    Israel has been warmongering and committing crimes for years and are still committing crimes and self defense is what they use continually. It doesn’t hold much water anymore. If anyone believes their propaganda well that is a shame.

    They are still doing Washington’s dirty work as well.  Washington is doing Israel’s Dirty work also. Collaborators in crimes against Humanity.

    Britain still is one of their buddies as well.

    Why would any of it change?

    If anyone thinks they actually care how many Palestinians die think again.  They are exterminating them. Just like they have been for years all in the name of self defense. Seems the use the same play book as the Bush administration. It is lies of course. They are the ones breaking the Law. They are the criminals.

    To believe other wise is just ignorance and lack of education.

    What they do today is what they have always done.

    Gaza (3): A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

    Gaza (2): A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

    Gaza (1): A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

    US Veto Blocks UN Anti-Israel Resolution again that’s 40 since 1972

    Israel’s ‘Crimes Against Humanity’

    Israel And Apartheid: By People Who Knew Apartheid

    Gaza War Why?: Natural Gas valued at over $4 billion MAYBE?

    Israel pounds Gaza strip, vows to continue attacks



    Israel infantry soldiers walk in formation on the border as they leave Israel for the northern Gaza Strip, Saturday, Jan. 3, 2009. (AP / Sebastian Scheiner)

    Israeli soldiers peer out of their tank as they move towards the Gaza Strip from southern Israel early Monday, Jan. 5, 2009. (AP / Anja Niedringhaus)

    A wounded Palestinian boy is treated at the Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, after an Israeli missile strike early Monday, Jan. 5, 2009. (AP / Hatem Moussa)

    January 5 2009

    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip

    Israeli forces pounded Gaza Strip houses, mosques and tunnels on Monday from the air, land and sea, killing at least seven children and six other civilians, as they consolidated a bruising offensive against Palestinian militants.

    Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said the offensive would continue until Israel achieved its objective, “peace and tranquility” for residents of southern Israel who continued to be bombarded by Palestinian rocket and mortar fire.

    A stream of diplomats and world leaders hoping to end the violence headed for the region to meet with Israeli leaders as world outrage over ballooning Palestinian casualties mounted. Gaza health officials reported 524 dead and nearly 2,000 wounded since Israel embarked upon its military campaign against Gaza’s Islamic Hamas rulers on Dec. 27. At least 200 civilians were among the dead.

    Israeli forces seized sparsely populated areas in northern Gaza on Sunday and by Monday morning were dug in on the edges of Gaza City. Further movement into the heart of the built-up areas would mean deadly urban warfare, replete with house-to-house fighting, sniper fire and booby traps, in crowded streets and alleyways familiar to Hamas’ 20,000 fighters.

    A total of 13 civilians died in the various attacks across Gaza on Monday morning, said Gaza health official Dr. Moaiya Hassanain.

    Four young siblings were killed in a missile strike on a house east of Gaza City. Three other children died in a naval shelling of a Gaza City beach camp, and three adult civilians died when a missile struck near a house of mourning in the northern town of Beit Lahiya, he said. Three other adult civilians died in attacks elsewhere.

    Israeli troops took over three six-floor buildings on the outskirts of Gaza City, taking up rooftop positions after locking residents in rooms and taking away their cell phones, a neighbor said, quoting a relative in one of the buildings before his phone was confiscated.

    “The army is there, firing in all directions,” said Mohammed Salmai, a 29-year-old truck driver. “All we can do is take clothes to each other to keep ourselves warm and pray to God that if we die, someone will find our bodies under the rubble.”

    Civilian casualties have spiked since Israel launched a ground offensive Saturday, following a week of punishing air strikes. Of about 80 Palestinians killed during the ground operation, at least 70 were civilians, Hassanain said.

    Black smoke from tank shells and windswept dust billowed in the air over Gaza City, while white smoke from mortar shells rose in plumes above a main road leading to northern Gaza that the Israeli military seized on Sunday, cutting off Gaza’s north from its south. Explosions could be heard in Gaza City as aircraft attacked buildings.

    The streets of Gaza City, home to 400,000 people, were almost empty. Two children crossing a street near a Hamas security compound didn’t look right and left for cars, but gazed up at the sky, apparently looking for attack aircraft. The only vehicles on the road were fire engines, ambulances and press cars.

    Unmanned Israeli planes and Apache helicopters circled overhead.

    “Hamas has sustained a very harsh blow,” Barak told parliament’s foreign affairs and defense committee.”But we still haven’t reached our objectives, so the offensive continues.”

    Israel has three main demands: an end to Palestinian attacks, international supervision of any truce and a halt to Hamas rearming.

    “If we withdraw today, without reaching some kind of comprehensive agreement, we haven’t done anything,” Israeli Cabinet Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer told Army Radio. “The military has to carry on with its work.”

    Hamas demands a cessation of Israeli attacks and the opening of vital Gaza-Israel cargo crossings, Gaza’s main lifeline.

    The violence has deepened the suffering in impoverished Gaza, home to 1.4 million people. The military said Monday that 80 truckloads of humanitarian aid and critical fuel supplies would be let in.

    Mohammed Almbaid, a Canadian resident working with aid organization CARE International, says the Israeli offensive has made it increasingly difficult to deliver food and medical supplies to Gaza.

    “By the hour, it’s becoming more difficult to reach needy people,” Almbaid said in a telephone interview from his office in Ramalah, West Bank. “As of yesterday we’re having extreme difficulty to move any of the stuff in our stockpiles.”

    Almbaid said a rising number of Palestinians are forced to go without crucial aide as Israeli battle tactics restrict the movements of those hoping to deliver humanitarian relief.

    “It’s extremely tragic, extremely heart-breaking to see this happening,” he said.

    Militants, defying the attacks, fired more than a dozen rockets at Israel early Monday, police said. No injuries were reported, but the rockets continued to fire deep inside Israel, some 32 kilometres from the Gaza border. One reason Israel launched the Gaza campaign was because militants have acquired weapons able to reach closer to Israel’s Tel Aviv heartland.

    Israel’s ground operation is the second phase in an offensive that began as a weeklong aerial onslaught aimed at halting Hamas rocket fire that now threatens major cities and one-eighth of Israel’s population of 7 million people.

    The spiraling civilian casualties have fueled an intensifying international outcry.

    French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who unsuccessfully proposed a two-day truce before the land invasion began, was due to meet with Israei Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who lost control of Gaza to Hamas in June 2007.

    While blaming Hamas for causing Palestinian suffering with rocket fire that led to the Israeli offensive, Sarkozy has condemned Israel’s use of ground troops, reflecting general world opinion. Sarkozy and other diplomats making their way to the region are expected to press hard for a cease-fire.

    A European Union delegation including foreign policy chief Javier Solana was due to meet with Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni.

    The Czech Republic, which took over the 27-nation EU’s presidency on Thursday, urged Israel to allow humanitarian relief aid into Gaza. German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke on the phone Sunday with Olmert and advocated a quick cease-fire in Gaza, her government said in a statement. Merkel also called for an end to the smuggling of weapons into the Gaza Strip.

    Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon said in a statement “Canada is deeply concerned about the increase in hostilities between Israel and Hamas.”

    “We urge renewed international diplomatic efforts to achieve a sustainable and durable ceasefire, starting with the halting of all rocket attacks on Israel. Canada maintains that the rocket attacks are the cause of this crisis,” said Cannon.

    Cannon also urged the international community to come together to address the humanitarian situation, including ensuring access to food, fuel and medical supplies.

    Source

    Israeli invaders have killed and wounded many Palestinian children
    By Hiyam Noir

    January 5 2009 03.24am





    Gaza City January 4 2008

    Photographer “name withheld”

    GAZA

    Some 20 minutes before the ground invasion Israeli launched air strikes at more than 45 targets throughout the Gaza Strip, their ground forces trespassed Gaza borders at 10 pm on Saturday evening, pushing deeper into Gaza.

    At the eastern parts of Gaza, Israeli tanks entered through the Erez and Karni crossing points, the artillery advanced towards the southern parts of Gaza City.

    The Israeli intruders are stationed at the abandoned Israeli settlement of Netzarim outside Jabaliya.  Tank fire killed earlier three residents in the Shujayya neighborhood. Palestinian fighters clashed with heavy armed Israeli ground forces in Gaza City, one Israeli is reported dead and 30 where injured.

    In Beit Hanoun in the north eastern Gaza Strip, Israeli tanks penetrated hundreds of meters then they closed the main road between Beit Hanoun and Gaza City. From the northwest Israeli forces reached the American school in the north of Beit Lahiya. The American school was leveled to the ground on Saturday targeted in an Israeli air strike.

    Nearby the destroyed Yasser Arafat Airport, east of Rafah amid heavy artillery fire, Israeli tanks killed one and injured several other Palestinian fighters. Before noon on Sunday an airstrike killed the DFLP senior leader, Muhammed Abed Barbakh, his father Abed and his two brothers Mahdi and Yousef, also his nephew Musa Yousef was killed when missiles struck the home in the An-Nahdah neighborhoodof. Barbakh was a commander in the military branch of the National Resistance Brigades (DFLP).

    On Saturday before noon three children where killed in the southern town of Rafah.

    Since the start of the Zionist Israeli ground invasion on Saturday night, 70 people, including 21 children and 11 women have been killed, more than 370 are reported injured. Gaza governmental Health Ministry on Sunday confirmed that since the 27 of December, 507 Gaza residents have been killed including 107 children,  over 2450 are injured, hundreds are seriously injured.

    Four children together with their mother became some of the victims today in the Zionist air and ground offensive their bodies where cut to pieces when missiles hit the house of the Baker family in the At-Toufah neighborhood in Gaza City.

    In Beit Lahia in northern Gaza Strip, 4 children were killed during a series of air strikes in which 13 people have been killed, 34 have been injured.Tank missiles have killed at least 23 Gaza residents including 14 residents in Biet Lahia, and another 4 in Beit Hanoun.

    In the Zionist Israeli escalated onslaught across Gaza Strip, from north to south the Palestinian resistance continue to confront Israeli tanks and ground troops invading Gaza Strip from four points. Hamas have prepared for an all out ground invasion of Gaza Strip for more than a year, building up a military force of almost 20.000 fighters, well trained in urban warfare.

    Sounds of heavy mashinegunfire can be heard throughout Beit Lahia, in northern Gaza Strip, the Palestinian resistance are involved in fierce fighting with the Israeli intruder also in Jabaliya refuge camp, in nearby Netzarim, and in parts of Gaza City, including As Shuhayya and the At Toufah neightboorhod.

    At 6pm last night 3 Gaza paramedics where killed and one was wounded in Tal Al- Haw a in the southern part of Gaza City and two residents have been killed in the Zayton area also in Gaza City.

    At least 514 Palestinians have been killed since Israel began intense air strikes on 27 December.  Gaza medical officials put the number of wounded at 2,250 over nine days.

    Sources report that some 20 Israelis have been killed, and many others are wounded.

    Source

    I wonder how much Depleted Uranium the Israelis are using?

    If they are using weapons from the US, I can be relatively sure there is a large amount of DU being used.

    Israeli tanks, soldiers invade Gaza Strip

    Lucky few leave Gaza, Israel planned attacks six months ago

    Iranian clerics wearing shrouds chant slogans during an anti-Israeli demonstration after the Friday prayers at Palestine square of Tehran Jan. 2, protesting Israel's continuing bombardment of Gaza.`
    Iranian clerics wearing shrouds chant slogans during an anti-Israeli demonstration after the Friday prayers at Palestine square of Tehran Jan. 2, protesting Israel’s continuing bombardment of Gaza.`
    Photograph by: Behrouz Mehri/AFP/Getty Images

    GAZA – They boarded buses in the pre-dawn murk on Friday, lucky foreign passport holders allowed by Israel to escape from seven days of Israeli bombardment in the Gaza Strip.

    “The situation is very bad. We are afraid for our children,” said Ilona Hamdiya, a woman from Moldova married to a Palestinian. “We are very grateful to our embassy,” she said in lightly accented Arabic.

    Between 350 and 450 foreigners were authorised by Israel to leave Gaza if they wish, via the forbidding concrete corridor that ushers them into Israel’s fortified crossing point and its panoply of security scanners to detect hidden suicide bombs.

    Five busloads headed out on the short trip to the border, one of American passport holders and four of mainly East Europeans.

    They left behind 1.5 million Palestinians unable to escape the conflict which has killed 414 people since it began last Saturday. Four Israelis have been killed by Gaza rockets.

    Gaza city was waking up to another day of Israeli air strikes, flickering electricity and long queues for bread. Aside from the bakeries, the almost deserted streets were cold and dirty, littered with a week’s bombing debris.

    Morning air strikes hit six houses. A Palestinian girl of about 14 died apparently of a heart attack, terrified by an explosion which rocked her house, neighbours said.

    In the south an Israeli missile killed three children aged 8 to 12, as they played in the street in southern town of Khan Yunis. One was decapitated. At Shifa hospital in Gaza City, doctors could not disguise their anger.

    “These injuries are not survivable injuries,” said Madth Gilbert, a Norwegian surgeon unable to save one boy who had both feet blown off. “This is a murder. This is a child,” he said.

    At the UN Beach Distribution Centre, teenagers with rickety trolleys and men with horses and carts collected sacks of flour and other food aid from a warehouse replenished the day before by 70 aid trucks allowed in via Israel.

    “Only God can get us out of this mess,” said one old man waiting to buy his ration of unleavened loaves.

    DIE BEFORE GOD

    At Jabalya refugee camp to the north, boys inspected the twisted concrete left by one of the Israeli air force’s latest targets, the so-called Mosque of Martyrs which Israel says was a a hidden arsenal and command post for fighters of the Islamist Hamas group which rules the Gaza Strip.

    The air force supplied black and white cockpit video of the strike to underscore the large number of secondary explosions which it said proved its case.

    Several mosques that would normally be busy before Friday prayers were still closed in the morning because they had been warned by Israel’s army that they would be bombed.

    Nine have been hit since the attack began on Saturday.

    “I will pray at home. You never know, they may bomb the mosque and destroy it on our heads,” said one man buying humus from a street stand. Another was defiant: “What better than to die while kneeling before God?” he said.

    Gaza markets, normally bustling on a Friday, were deserted.

    “It is an adventure to get out of your house to fetch a kilo of tomatoes or something,” said Abu Yasser, a father of four.

    “But I must take my chances because my children are not to blame for this and they do not understand why all this is happening,” he told Reuters.

    Hundreds of families say they have had telephone calls warning their houses would be bombed, and they have left to stay with relatives or friends. Some of their neighbours have packed up and gone as well, wary of becoming “collateral damage”.

    Duct tape has been in heavy demand by Palestinians who tape up their windows hoping to protect against flying glass from the heavy explosions.

    Hamas police moved about mostly in plain clothes, with no guns on display. Merchants were warned against war profiteering.

    Source

    The True Story Behind this War Is Not The One Israel Is Telling

    By Johann Hari

    December 29 2008
    The world isn’t just watching the Israeli government commit a crime in Gaza; we are watching it self-harm. This morning, and tomorrow morning, and every morning until this punishment beating ends, the young people of the Gaza Strip are going to be more filled with hate, and more determined to fight back, with stones or suicide vests or rockets. Israeli leaders have convinced themselves that the harder you beat the Palestinians, the softer they will become. But when this is over, the rage against Israelis will have hardened, and the same old compromises will still be waiting by the roadside of history, untended and unmade.

    To understand how frightening it is to be a Gazan this morning, you need to have stood in that small slab of concrete by the Mediterranean and smelled the claustrophobia. The Gaza Strip is smaller than the Isle of Wight but it is crammed with 1.5 million people who can never leave. They live out their lives on top of each other, jobless and hungry, in vast, sagging tower blocks. From the top floor, you can often see the borders of their world: the Mediterranean, and Israeli barbed wire. When bombs begin to fall – as they are doing now with more deadly force than at any time since 1967 – there is nowhere to hide.

    There will now be a war over the story of this war. The Israeli government says, “We withdrew from Gaza in 2005 and in return we got Hamas and Qassam rockets being rained on our cities. Sixteen civilians have been murdered. How many more are we supposed to sacrifice?” It is a plausible narrative, and there are shards of truth in it, but it is also filled with holes. If we want to understand the reality and really stop the rockets, we need to rewind a few years and view the run-up to this war dispassionately.

    The Israeli government did indeed withdraw from the Gaza Strip in 2005 – in order to be able to intensify control of the West Bank. Ariel Sharon’s senior adviser, Dov Weisglass, was unequivocal about this, explaining: “The disengagement [from Gaza] is actually formaldehyde. It supplies the amount of formaldehyde that is necessary so that there will not be a political process with the Palestinians… this whole package that is called the Palestinian state has been removed from our agenda indefinitely.”

    Ordinary Palestinians were horrified by this, and by the fetid corruption of their own Fatah leaders, so they voted for Hamas. It certainly wouldn’t have been my choice – an Islamist party is antithetical to all my convictions – but we have to be honest. It was a free and democratic election, and it was not a rejection of a two-state solution. The most detailed polling of Palestinians, by the University of Maryland, found that 72 per cent want a two-state solution on the 1967 borders, while fewer than 20 per cent want to reclaim the whole of historic Palestine. So, partly in response to this pressure, Hamas offered Israel a long, long ceasefire and a de facto acceptance of two states, if only Israel would return to its legal borders.

    Rather than seize this opportunity and test Hamas’s sincerity, the Israeli government reacted by punishing the entire civilian population. It announced that it was blockading the Gaza Strip in order to “pressure” its people to reverse the democratic process. The Israelis surrounded the Strip and refused to let anyone or anything out. They let in a small trickle of food, fuel and medicine – but not enough for survival. Weisglass quipped that the Gazans were being “put on a diet”. According to Oxfam, only 137 trucks of food were allowed into Gaza last month to feed 1.5 million people. The United Nations says poverty has reached an “unprecedented level.” When I was last in besieged Gaza, I saw hospitals turning away the sick because their machinery and medicine was running out. I met hungry children stumbling around the streets, scavenging for food.

    It was in this context – under a collective punishment designed to topple a democracy – that some forces within Gaza did something immoral: they fired Qassam rockets indiscriminately at Israeli cities. These rockets have killed 16 Israeli citizens. This is abhorrent: targeting civilians is always murder. But it is hypocritical for the Israeli government to claim now to speak out for the safety of civilians when it has been terrorising civilians as a matter of state policy.

    The American and European governments are responding with a lop-sidedness that ignores these realities. They say that Israel cannot be expected to negotiate while under rocket fire, but they demand that the Palestinians do so under siege in Gaza and violent military occupation in the West Bank.

    Before it falls down the memory hole, we should remember that last week, Hamas offered a ceasefire in return for basic and achievable compromises. Don’t take my word for it. According to the Israeli press, Yuval Diskin, the current head of the Israeli security service Shin Bet, “told the Israeli cabinet [on 23 December] that Hamas is interested in continuing the truce, but wants to improve its terms.” Diskin explained that Hamas was requesting two things: an end to the blockade, and an Israeli ceasefire on the West Bank. The cabinet – high with election fever and eager to appear tough – rejected these terms.

    The core of the situation has been starkly laid out by Ephraim Halevy, the former head of Mossad. He says that while Hamas militants – like much of the Israeli right-wing – dream of driving their opponents away, “they have recognised this ideological goal is not attainable and will not be in the foreseeable future.” Instead, “they are ready and willing to see the establishment of a Palestinian state in the temporary borders of 1967.” They are aware that this means they “will have to adopt a path that could lead them far from their original goals” – and towards a long-term peace based on compromise.

    The rejectionists on both sides – from Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran to Bibi Netanyahu of Israel – would then be marginalised. It is the only path that could yet end in peace but it is the Israeli government that refuses to choose it. Halevy explains: “Israel, for reasons of its own, did not want to turn the ceasefire into the start of a diplomatic process with Hamas.”

    Why would Israel act this way? The Israeli government wants peace, but only one imposed on its own terms, based on the acceptance of defeat by the Palestinians. It means the Israelis can keep the slabs of the West Bank on “their” side of the wall. It means they keep the largest settlements and control the water supply. And it means a divided Palestine, with responsibility for Gaza hived off to Egypt, and the broken-up West Bank standing alone. Negotiations threaten this vision: they would require Israel to give up more than it wants to. But an imposed peace will be no peace at all: it will not stop the rockets or the rage. For real safety, Israel will have to talk to the people it is blockading and bombing today, and compromise with them.

    The sound of Gaza burning should be drowned out by the words of the Israeli writer Larry Derfner. He says: “Israel’s war with Gaza has to be the most one-sided on earth… If the point is to end it, or at least begin to end it, the ball is not in Hamas’s court – it is in ours.”

    Source

    The video also states that Israel planned the attacks over six months ago.

    Live Video Coverage Of Israel’s Attack On Gaza.

    If anyone thinks the US cares about Gaza you are wrong.
    US gives Israel free rein on whether to invade Gaza

    WASHINGTON

    January 3 2008

    US President George W. Bush, in remarks to be broadcast Saturday, urged all able parties to press Hamas to stop firing rockets at Israel and secure a lasting ceasefire, after a week of heavy Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip.

    His administration meanwhile gave Israel free rein over whether to send ground troops into Gaza, despite growing criticism over its handling of a conflict that has killed at least 436 Palestinians and left 2,290 others wounded.

    At least 75 of those killed have been children, according to emergency services inside Gaza.

    “The United States is leading diplomatic efforts to achieve a meaningful ceasefire that is fully respected,” Bush said in his weekly radio address, the text of which was released by the White House in advance.

    These were his first remarks since the conflict erupted a week ago.

    He said “I urge all parties to pressure Hamas to turn away from terror, and to support legitimate Palestinian leaders working for peace,” including Mahmud Abbas, president of the US-backed Palestinian Authority.

    He said he has been in contact with Abbas as well as King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia, King Abdullah II of Jordan, President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of Israel.

    Bush, who hands the White House to his successor Barack Obama in just 18 days, blamed Hamas for the latest violence and rejected a unilateral ceasefire that would allow Hamas to continue to attack Israel from the Gaza Strip.

    Hamas shared power with the Palestinian Authority for a period after winning parliamentary elections in the West Bank and Gaza in 2006 but the arrangement collapsed and Hamas seized power outright in Gaza in June 2007.

    “This recent outburst of violence was instigated by Hamas — a Palestinian terrorist group supported by Iran and Syria that calls for Israel’s destruction,” Bush said.

    Bush said the Israeli strikes were in self-defense after Hamas let a six-month ceasefire lapse on December 19 and fired rockets at Israel.

    He also accused Hamas of putting Palestinian lives at risk by hiding among them.

    White House deputy press secretary Gordon Johndroe earlier said the United States has urged Israel to avoid civilian casualties in their military operations, whether they involve continued air assaults or a ground incursion.

    “Those will be decisions made by the Israelis,” he said when asked if Israel would be justified in launching a ground assault.

    Israel has thousands of troops massed for a ground offensive on Gaza that would aim to deal a hammer blow to Hamas and re-establish Israel’s military credentials with its other foes, experts said.

    After briefing Bush earlier, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Washington sought a “ceasefire that would not allow a re-establishment of the status quo ante where Hamas can continue to launch rockets out of Gaza.”

    She added: “It is obvious that ceasefire should take place as soon as possible, but we need a ceasefire that is durable and sustainable.”

    Rice has had a flurry of consultations with her counterparts from Israel, Arab countries as well as Russia, Britain and the European Union, officials said. Johndroe added that Rice has also spoken to Obama in the last week.

    Asked if she planned to travel to the Middle East to broker an end to the crisis, Rice replied: “I have no plans at this point.”

    The Israeli offensive has prompted condemnation from around the world, but particularly from Arab and Muslim countries.

    In New York, Amnesty International sent a letter to Rice berating the administration for its “lopsided” support for the Israeli assault and urged it to suspend weapons deliveries to Israel.

    Zbigniew Brzezinski, who was national security adviser for US president Jimmy Carter, told CNN television that Rice’s remarks “clearly show that the US policy right now is completely bankrupt” and the Israeli offensive “will further radicalize the Palestinians.”

    He said Obama, whom he supports, will have to make a “fresh start” when he succeeds Bush on January 20.

    But the US president-elect has kept silent on the latest phase of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with his aides saying their boss was “monitoring” the situation.

    Source

    The bottom line is Israel wants all of “What use to be Palestine”.

    That has been the plan from the beginning. The US has been helping them do this.
    Don’t be fooled by Israel or the US pretending to negotiate anything. They lie. Both have been lieing for years.
    This will also lead to the destabilization of the Middle East in general. The on going war is for power and profiteering.
    Just a pitty Israel leaders are so blind to the fact, they are being used by the US for their own self serving agenda.
    When a county like the US give billions of dollars to a country for weapons, be  suspicious very suspicious. Israel is just doing the dirty work for the US as did Saddam way back when the US helped Iraq, only to attack Iran of course. Somethings are so obvious if you know a bit about history.

    U.S. Government Uses Al-Qaeda To Attack Iran
    Bush authorizes group formerly headed by alleged 9/11 mastermind to be bankrolled & armed by CIA for covert regime change

    May 28, 2007
    Paul Joseph Watson & Steve Watson

    Recent revelations illustrating the fact that the U.S. government is using a Sunni Al-Qaeda terrorist group formerly headed by the alleged mastermind of 9/11 to carry out bombings in Iran undermines the entire war on terror as a monumental hoax that is being exploited purely to realize a geopolitical agenda.

    “President George W Bush has given the CIA approval to launch covert “black” operations to achieve regime change in Iran, intelligence sources have revealed. Mr Bush has signed an official document endorsing CIA plans for a propaganda and disinformation campaign intended to destabilise, and eventually topple, the theocratic rule of the mullahs.””The CIA is giving arms-length support, supplying money and weapons, to an Iranian militant group, Jundullah, which has conducted raids into Iran from bases in Pakistan,” the London Telegraph reported yesterday.

    Jundullah is a Sunni Al-Qaeda offshoot organization that was formerly headed by alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Even if you believe the official story of 9/11 to the letter, the fact that Bush has personally authorized U.S. support for this group completely dismantles the facade of the war on terror.

    The group has been blamed for a number of bombings inside Iran aimed at destabilizing Ahmadinejad’s government and is also active in Pakistan , having been fingered for its involvement in attacks on police stations and car bombings at the Pakistan-US Cultural Center in 2004.

    The U.S. government is arming and directing a Sunni Al-Qaeda group to carry out bombings in Iran and yet Bush has the temerity to grandstand during his Rose Garden speech last week and wave the Al-Qaeda bogeyman to strike the fear of God into American citizens.

    “As to al Qaeda in Iraq, al Qaeda is going to fight us wherever we are. That’s their strategy. Their strategy is to drive us out of the Middle East. They have made it abundantly clear what they want. They want to establish a caliphate. They want to spread their ideology. They want safe haven from which to launch attacks. They’re willing to kill the innocent to achieve their objectives, and they will fight us. And the fundamental question is, will we fight them? I have made the decision to do so. I believe that the best way to protect us in this war on terror is to fight them,” Bush said on Thursday.


    Arms cache belonging to Jundullah – the Sunni Al-Qaeda terrorist group being funded by the CIA with President Bush’s approval.Bush’s definition of fighting Al-Qaeda is apparently to lend them all the funds, weapons and tactical know how they need to carry out attacks against innocent civilians in Iran, and let us not forget that America’s allies the British have also been caught training insurgents in Iraq to carry out hi-tech bombings that are later blamed on Iran – just as the SAS worked with U.S. special forces to train the KLA in Kosovo , which was also an Al-Qaeda chapter having been financed directly by Bin Laden himself.

    But in the world of newspeak and the lowest common denominator propaganda that cloaks the real agenda of the “war on terror”, anyone who rises up against occupation, be it a kid who throws a rock in Baghdad or a car bombing on behalf of an increasingly Shiite-led insurgency, the natural enemies of the Sunni “Al-Qaeda,” are terrorists and are Al-Qaeda members.

    A cruel irony exists whereby anyone and everyone who opposes military occupation is smeared as an Al-Qaeda terrorist and yet the only real Al-Qaeda terrorists are being bankrolled, armed and directed by the CIA itself, with Bush’s explicit approval.

    Since President Bush didn’t know the difference between Sunni & Shiite Muslims until two months before the invasion of Iraq and the incoming chairman of a congressional intelligence committee said Al Qaeda prominently came from the Shia branch of Islam, we can’t hold out much hope for Joe Public and this is why the simplest propaganda is always the most effective.

    They’re the bad guys, we’re the good guys – black and white with no shades of gray.

    In reality, Al-Qaeda only exists within intelligence circles coordinated by the highest echelons of the U.S. government, and is being used yet again as a tool for destabilization in nations targeted for regime change by the Neo-Cons.

    Jundullah is not the only anti-Iranian terror group that US government has been accused of funding in an attempt to pressure the Iranian government.

    Multiple credible individuals including US intelligence whistleblowers and former military personnel have asserted that the government is conducting covert military operations inside Iran using guerilla groups to carry out attacks on Iranian Revolution Guard units.

    It is widely suspected that the well known right-wing terrorist organization known as Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK), once run by Saddam Hussein’s dreaded intelligence services, is now working exclusively for the CIA’s Directorate of Operations and carrying out remote bombings in Iran of the sort that the Bush administration condemns on a daily basis inside Iraq.

    After a bombing inside Iran in March, the London Telegraph also reported on how a high ranking CIA official has blown the whistle on the fact that America is secretly funding terrorist groups in Iran in an attempt to pile pressure on the Islamic regime to give up its nuclear program.

    Source

    Could it be that the US is using Israel to get a war going with Iran yet again as they did with Saddam in 1980. Are they really telling  Israel they can secure all of what was known as Palestine? Yes to both I would guess.

    Never underestimate the nasty deeds of the US.  Gaza is being used to anger everyone and it is to date working very well.

    The US wants Iran to help those in Gaza just so Israel will be able to attack them as well.  How much you want to bet I am right?

    When Israel rammed the boat going into Gaza with medical supplies, I am guessing they thought it was the one from Iran.  Israel has been itching for a war with Iran as much as the US is and has been for some time.

    Gaza is part of a bigger picture I think.

    Would I trust either the US or the Israeli Government at this point.

    NO absolutely not.

    The US has vetoed every resolution brought forth by the UN to resolve the the Israel- Gaza situation.  They have vetoed over 40 anti-Israeli resolutions sought by the council since 1972. Anything the US says at this point is  pure propaganda, lies and BS.

    If Hamas Did Not Exist

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    Leaders Lie, Civilians Die, Israelis-Palestinians

    US Veto Blocks UN Anti-Israel Resolution

    Global protests against Israel

    Israel Used Internationally Banned Weaponry in Massive Airstrikes Across Gaza Strip

    Iran preps humanitarian aid ship to Gaza Strip

    Israel’s ‘Crimes Against Humanity’

    Gaza Families Eat Grass as Israel Blocks Food Aid

    Israel Responsible for Genocide by Starvation in Gaza

    Israel blocks foreign media from Gaza

    U.N.: Israel won’t allow food aid to enter Gaza

    Israeli violations of Lebanese sovereignty