Listening to most Democratic liberals or progressives (you choose the term) leads one to believe that the biggest menace to civilization today is Minnesota congresswoman Michele Bachmann. If not Bachmann, the latest and greatest bogeyman is Texas governor Rick Perry. Bachmann won the recent Iowa straw poll and in so doing made herself more of a serious candidate, in media eyes at any rate, for the Republican presidential nomination. Perry’s announcement of his presidential ambitions shortly thereafter moved him up on the liberal fear meter.
Predictably, Barack Obama lovers are in a panic because the Perrys and Bachmanns of the world give them so much material to work with. Bachmann called the agriculture department’s settlement of proven discrimination against black farmers a form of reparations. She claims to follow biblical teachings urging women to be submissive to their husbands while at the same time being an attorney, a member of congress and now a presidential candidate. Her husband claims to be able to “cure” gay people and turn them into heterosexuals.
Perry may be the only one of the declared Republican candidates who can raise more ire than Bachmann in the liberal imagination. He signed a resolution declaring days of prayer for his drought stricken state and then held a large rally for more prayer (and fasting too) at a stadium in Houston. He has implied that Texas ought to secede from the union and he called Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke “treasonous.” As if that were not enough, he packs heat while jogging, carrying a loaded gun during his daily constitutional.
While Bachmann and Perry stir up the Democrats’ antipathy to all things they claim to care about, Obama gets a pass no matter how awful his actions. The same people who get the vapors over prayers to end droughts, say nothing as their president wages wars of aggression in Libya and Somalia. Recent reports estimate that up to 168 Pakistani children have been killed by American drone attacks but that news brings not even mumbled words from the mouths of Obamaites.
Michele Bachmann does play fast and loose with the truth, having famously claimed that Obama’s trip to India in 2010 would cost the government $200 million per day. Her misstatements make her a favorite foil for Democrats who are snooty about style, and never about substance. It is true that Perry called Social Security a ponzi scheme, but it is Barack Obama who has made common cause with Republicans to cut the program. While Perry raises liberal hackles every time he opens his mouth, the Obama administration has confirmed that the current military pension system may be a thing of the past. Retired service members will have to take a risk with the insecure 401(k) system just like the rest of us. That is the kind of news that would get liberal pants in a twist if the president were a Republican.
A cynic might conclude that Barack Obama pays Bachmann, Perry and their cohorts under the table to utter racist, foolish and just plain crazy statements. Every time they open their mouths Democrats who have some degree of frustration with Obama forget all about their misgivings because the big, bad barbarians are at the gate. Hand wringing about prayer rallies and cures for gay people are distractions, very dangerous distractions for many important issues in the world.
Nearly three years ago the world economy nearly fell off the precipice when market manipulation burst the most recent capitalist bubble. All of the indices of crisis are still present. There is still fictitious capital plaguing the world markets. The United States never returned to manufacturing anything useful, but instead churns out bombs and guns and the inevitable wars that come with them. Western European nations are going broke, and austerity, not the stimulation which would save western economies, has become the cure all for a dangerous situation.
None of this seems to matter to Democrats, who will only speak up when gaffe prone conservatives are in danger of becoming president. Their beloved president rarely makes any gaffes. He is a smart man from the right schools and from the right party. While he brokered a budget deal which Reagan would have killed for, and presides over the biggest military budget in American history, his liberal fans don’t care. They only care that Bachmann confuses Massachusetts with New Hampshire or Elvis Presley’s birthday with his death day.
So, why not Michele Bachmann or Rick Perry? Since all of the conservative dreams are coming true under Obama anyway, it may make sense to have an honest conservative back in the White House. The comedic possibilities are endless. We should at least have opportunities to laugh as we head over the cliff.
Margaret Kimberley’s Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR. She lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgandaReport.com.
“I have striven not to laugh at human actions, not to weep at them, nor to hate them, but to understand them.” – Baruch Spinoza
Daniel Cohen (fictitious name) is deeply admired by many. He is a humanist, an anti Zionist and he is also a man of great integrity. A week ago, Daniel decided to challenge my views, and launched a courageous debate. Being a gracious man he might have hoped to open my eyes to some ‘categorical mistakes’ he believed I was making. For my part, I was very open to his criticism and engaged in the dialogue.
Daniel was not happy with the way the exchange has evolved. Though he circulated his comments and my interventions to his close Jewish friends, he made it clear that he wanted to stop the exchange at a certain stage. Daniel was very angry with me. He also made it clear that he did not want me to publish the exchange of views. As I always do in such cases, I suggested that together, we should edit the debate, but he refused. Respecting Daniel’s request for anonymity, I have now re-edited the text myself, concealing Daniel’s real name, removing all sections and biographical references that could reveal Daniel’s identity. Occasionally, I have re-phrased Daniel’s comments for purpose of continuity and clarity, but I have faithfully retained his meaning.*
Unlike Daniel, I believe that issues to do with Jewish history and Jewish ideology must be discussed openly and without fear.
Questions You Should Never Raise
Daniel Cohen: Dear Gilad, we certainly share many ideas and thoughts. We both oppose Zionism and Israeli policies, however, rather, too often, you fail to be careful enough with your formulations, and this gives room for some misunderstandings. You seem to challenge some issues to do with the Holocaust, and history in general. It seems to me as if, often enough, you raise questions to which various sufficient answers already exist.
Gilad Atzmon: I can already tell you, at this stage, that I have a slight problem with your approach. To start with, as a philosopher, I am far more interested in the art of asking questions. I leave the ‘answers’ to politicians. Moreover, the relationship between questions and answers is paradigmatically oriented. A sufficient ‘answer’ within one paradigm (or discourse) may as well be totally inadequate or irrelevant within another – a certain ‘answer’ within Aristotelian physics may well be within the realm of the inexpressible within a ‘Newtonian’ paradigm.
Daniel: If you ask, for instance, why were the Jews repeatedly hated in so many places along their history, as you do in some of your texts, you create room for anti-Semites who may say it is because they are intrinsically evil.
Gilad: To start with, as a thinking being full of curiosity, I do not take instructions from anti Semites or Zionists or Jewish anti Zionist campaigners. I instead follow my instincts and go along with my sincere ethically driven truth-seeking adventure. Also, I believe that the answer you attributed to anti Semites can be easily addressed. Jews cannot be ‘intrinsically evil’ because Jews do not form a racial or ethnic continuum. Any racial attribution to Jews is clearly wrong and silly.
Daniel: I actually do not agree with your approach. The appropriate answer to the above question is that in the Middle Ages Jews were barred from many professions except money trade and peddling, two professions which could easily arouse disdain and hate.
Gilad: Dear Daniel, with all due respect, such an answer is far from being sufficient. In Europe at least, Jews have been emancipated since the French Revolution. By the end of the 19th century most European Jews enjoyed equal rights. And yet, something went horribly wrong in the 1920s-30’s. Our duty then, is to understand, what was it? Why did it happen? Why do Jews encounter resentment all too often and in many different places?
I don’t know whether you are aware of it, but the reasoning you suggest here is very similar to the Early Zionist mantra. Borchov, and Katznelson were also convinced that Diaspora conditions were responsible for ‘Jewish deformed cultural identity’. They believed that on a land of their own, Jews would be able to re-invent themselves and become ‘people like other peoples’.
As you and I agree, Zionism is a complete disaster. The Jews are hated in the Middle East. And as Shahid Alam suggests, Zionism did not really solve the Jewish question; it only re-located it in a new place (Zion).
The answer to the question is actually very simple; as long as Jews operate politically, culturally and socially within exclusive racially oriented cells, be it Israel, Zionism, Jewish ‘anti’ Zionist networks or even ‘Jews only’ football clubs , they will encounter problems.
But let us go back to issues of whether there are some ‘questions that should never be raised’. For me, to be in the world is to live through changes, to allow meaning to be in flux and to let ourselves be transformed accordingly. I could never accept the Idea that some questions have sufficient and firm answers. In fact, I oppose any form of dogmatism.
Daniel: But, in your text ‘Truth, History & Integrity’ you go as far as asking “why Auschwitz’s (Jewish) prisoners didn’t wait for the Red Army ?” Do you think that this is an appropriate question to ask?
Gilad: Sorry Daniel. I have to stop you there, I believe that in order to address this quote, I must first re-locate my words in the right order, and within the appropriate context. In my paper ‘Truth, History & Integrity’ I quote Israeli Holocaust historian Israel Gutman, who suggests that Auschwitz prisoners (or at least some of them) joined the Death March voluntarily (“I then decided to join [the march] with all the other inmates and to share their fate” ). Following Gutman’s quote, I then presented the following inference:
“If the Nazis ran a death factory in Auschwitz-Birkenau, why would the Jewish prisoners join them at the end of the war? Why didn’t the Jews wait for their Red liberators?”
What we see above is a clear inference (rather than a mere question). It seems to me that it is there to suggest that further research is needed. As opposed to the historian who searches for a narrative, as a philosopher, I am there to question what the word ‘narrative’ actually stands for, or in Kantian terms — what are the conditions of the possibility of a historical narrative. In my relevant paper, I do not attempt to provide an answer — I am not an historian. My primary issue is concerned with the freedom to wander/wonder, and to raise possible dilemmas without being terrorised by the ‘Holocaust censorship police’ or any other form of thought dictatorship.
Daniel: But, can’t you see that with such a manner of behaviour you provide Holocaust deniers and anti-Semites with ammunition? They can so easily misuse your words.
Gilad: Dear Daniel, I do understand your concern, but with all due respect, I have been writing for some years now, and, as far as I am aware, anti-Semites or Holocaust deniers do not seem to misuse my words. I have been quoted by some so-called anti Semites, some of whom liked me, whilst others hated me, but they appear to quote my ideas within context and seem to be faithful to the original meaning and intention of my writing.
But — let me tell you, I have seen many Zionists and ‘anti’ Zionists systematically misquoting me, misrepresenting me, forging my statements, and taking my words out of context, all willfully done to create the most awful impression of my work.
Daniel: But let’s return to your earlier statement — can’t you see that the inference you are making here is that Auschwitz was not a death factory, which to me, comes near to denial.
Gilad: No, I do not agree with such an interpretation of my words. In my article, you will notice that I refrain from suggesting any answer. I would argue instead that raising the right questions is far more important than repeating the ‘right’ answers. The same applies to the 911 Truth Movement. Whether someone manages to come up with the right explanation of this peculiar chain of events is one issue, the fact that so many people suspect and challenge the official narrative is clearly a revelation or at least very positive sign. Furthermore, I also find the notion of ‘denial’ rather problematic. Instead of denial, I would prefer to emphasise the fundamental and ethically grounded right to revise, re-visit and re-view. I believe that to be tolerant is to agree not to agree, and also to respect others when we don’t agree.
Jews, Judaism & Jewishness
Daniel: I want to say that I am also troubled with your attitude towards Judaism and Jewish religion.
Gilad: Actually, you will notice when you read my work that I tend to avoid dealing with the Judaism (the religion), and I also avoid discussing Jewish people as an ethnic or racial group — instead, I prefer to elaborate on ‘Jewishness’, Jewish ideology and Jewish political identity.
Daniel: But for me, there is no such a thing as ‘Jewishness’ — there is only Zionist Ideology. I do not accept at all the notion of Jewish ideology or Jewish political identity. I am only willing to deal with the Zionist political identity.
Gilad: I am absolutely fine with that – I am familiar with, and respect your views, which are common amongst Jewish anti Zionists. Unfortunately, my way of ‘perceiving the universe’ is somewhat more complex and I am far from being proud of what I see. It seems to me that you are missing a crucial aspect of the whole debate – You do not seem to realise that Zionism is just part of the problem. The notion of Zionism no longer actually means very much to Israelis anymore. Hence it falls short of explaining Israeli collective barbarism. Once Israel was founded, the Zionist dream had fulfilled itself. Zionism is now largely a Jewish Diaspora discourse, and therefore, falls short of explaining Israeli politics and Israeli brutality in particular.
Israel defines itself as the ‘Jewish State’, and it drops bombs on innocent civilians from airplanes that are clearly and unambiguously decorated with Jewish symbols. Israel commits horrendous crimes—‘in the name of the Jewish people’. In ‘my universe’ then, I am more than entitled to ask what Jewishness stands for, and I repeat, that Zionism is just one manifestation of Jewishness.
The next stage is surely to define what Jewishness is all about.
I say again, that in my writing I differentiate between ‘Jews’ –the people, Judaism–the religion, and Jewishness the ideology. I avoid the first two categories almost entirely, and I focus on Jewish ideology. I admit that such an approach issue can lead occasionally to some misinterpretations – but as far as I am able, I do try to be clear about it, as much as I can.
I do not consider the Jews to be a race, and yet it is obvious that ‘Jewishness’ clearly involves an ethno-centric and racially supremacist, exclusivist point of view that is based on a sense of Jewish ‘chosen-ness’. Zionism too, is a clear manifestation of such an ideology. But, tragically enough, the Jewish Left happens to be of a very similar tendency. Like Zionists, the Jewish Left are also interested in notions of being ‘racially’ or ethnically exclusive. For instance, Hamed from Gaza would not be able to settle in Tel Aviv — but surprisingly enough, he may also find it very problematic to join IJV (independent Jewish voice) or ‘Jews for peace in Palestine’.
Daniel: But you have to bear in mind that in sharp contrast with the multifaceted religion of Judaism, Zionism is completely monolithic in that it can be defined as having just one single goal: maximum surface in Palestine (for the Jews) with the minimum number of Palestinians on it.
Gilad: I am sorry but here again, I find myself in a slight disagreement with you. Zionism and political Zionism are dynamic movements, and subject to constant metamorphic changes. They change their goal all the time. It is even very difficult to define what is the ‘exact’ role of Zionism after Israel has been founded. I think that your definition of Zionism is basically a very good description of Israeli policy (“maximum of surface in Palestine with the minimum number of Palestinians on it”). However, and I re-emphasise, Zionism should now be considered to be largely a Diaspora discourse. It means very little if anything at all to the Israelis.
Zionists cannot even decide whether they want to schlep world Jewry to Zion, or to leave them in the Galut (Diaspora) so they can campaign for Israel forever.
Daniel: But wouldn’t you agree that Zionism is chauvinistic, racist, expansionist and colonialist? It is imperative to be very careful in distinguishing between the words Judaism and Zionism.
Gilad: I largely agree with the above. However, in my work I never tie the two together. Yet, I do allow myself to argue that if Israel defines itself as the ‘Jewish State’ we must surely be entitled to wonder what Jewishness stands for.
Holocaust religion vs. Judaism.
Daniel: Gilad, you write about Holocaust religion. Yet again, in very sharp contrast to Holocaust religion, Judaism has taught the world how to differ in opinion and how to debate. Judaism is non-dogmatic and since the destruction of the second Temple everyone over 13 years of age is entitled to take part in debate and discussion, provided he has good arguments.
Gilad: I am not so sure that I agree with you here. In theory you may be right, that on the face of it, the Talmud is indeed part of an open debate and a search for conclusive and rational ruling. However, there is another aspect to Rabbinical thinking, and that is the notion of Herem (ex-communication) to give just one example. Rabbinical Judaism is very dogmatic and extremely intolerant towards dissidence. The cases of Spinoza ex communication and the brutality towards Uriel Da Costa seem to be to be crucial for an understanding of Judaism . I want to remind you that Israeli PM Rabin was assassinated following a Halacha ruling (Din Rodef).
Daniel: However, Holocaust religion is the opposite. It is very dogmatic and forbids practically any discussion.
Gilad: I obviously agree with you here, but given your opinion here, then I would expect you to support me asking all those earlier questions that to me, appear to be totally legitimate.
Daniel: But surely you agree that you cannot debate with people who deny the Holocaust as a historical fact. And why should one raise questions where answers are already known to all?
Gilad: Dear Daniel, I would prefer to engage in a preliminary discussion here. I think we should be careful in the way we use the word ‘fact’. A given Historical chapter is not solely a fact but a narrative composed of many ingredients such as: facts, personal testimonies, prose, culture, emotional contents and so on. The narrative is the mortar that bonds all the different ingredients by means of reasoning. It allocates events with meaning and direction. This applies to the Napoleonic wars as much as it does to the Holocaust, or indeed, any other historical chapter. The Holocaust should not be regarded solely as a rigid set of ‘facts’ but rather as a very complicated historical narrative, a compound of very many things including facts (of course). I believe that once we allow the Holocaust to be treated as a historical narrative rather than a religion or a ‘fact’, none of us would be under the impression that every doubt may endanger the entire historical narrative or even our existence. For me, openness and integrity when we study historical events is far more important than any ideology or a given party line.
Daniel: I could not disagree more. History is indeed very complex but past historical research has given us quite a good picture and understanding of what actually happened in Europe between 1933-1945.
Gilad: Daniel, you are a very educated man, would you allow yourself to say the same thing about science? Would you dare saying “Chemistry has given us quite a good picture of what is happening in the world, so we may put an end to our research right here”? I don’t think so. And this is where integrity comes into the picture.
Daniel: But, surely you see that to reduce the Holocaust into a narrative or even a number of narratives is a personal insult to every Jew.
Gilad: OK I can see where the problem is here. In fact, I do not ‘reduce the holocaust into a narrative’, because every historical chapter is a narrative. The Nakba is a narrative, Zionism is a narrative, and the Napoleonic Wars is a narrative. Narrative is not a secondary quality. Narrative is the attempt to string (factual) events into a story with a direction and reason. The narrative furnishes the fact with sense. The Narrative is actually a dynamic notion. It allows us to shape and revise our vision of the past as we proceed in time. The Nakba, for instance, was hardly discussed in Western media until recently. Do you know why? Because we are now understanding the 1948 Zionist crime through our current notion of Israeli brutality. This is the true meaning of historical thinking; we move forward and backward. This is the deep meaning of the narrative and this is also the meaning of temporality-‘to be in time’. We are subject to constant changes.
The past becomes a meaningful event once it reflects on our present and future. The past becomes a vivid form of knowledge when it conveys a prospect of a better future, when it becomes as elastic as the now and ‘things to come’. In order to achieve such a goal we must allow ourselves to visit, re-visit and re-vise our visions of the past as we move along forward towards the unknown (future).
For me the meaning of temporality is the free bouncing between past and future, between the memory and the unknown. Any attempt to seal a chapter in our past, is for me, an attempt against humanity. I will never support such an approach and I understand that this is enough to make me a hate figure in the Jewish world. I can take it.
Daniel: I am very displeased with the result of our discussion. It has led nowhere, and I am saddened by it.
Gilad: I think that I understand your frustration. However, unlike you, I actually think that this was an amazing discussion especially because we do not agree. I myself have learned a lot.
You can now pre-order Gilad Atzmon’s New Book: The Wandering Who?
* Ahead of publication, I sent the exchange to Daniel. This exchange is published with his consent.
 “One of my friends and relatives in the camp came to me on the night of the evacuation and offered a common hiding place somewhere on the way from the camp to the factory. …The intention was to leave the camp with one of the convoys and to escape near the gate, using the darkness we thought to go a little far from the camp. The temptation was very strong. And yet, after I considered it all I then decided to join (the march) with all the other inmates and to share their fate ” (Israel Gutman [editor], People and Ashes: Book Auschwitz – Birkenau, Merhavia 1957).”
 Many of those who identify themselves politically as Jews happen to believe that any doubt concerning the Jewish historical narrative is nothing less than questioning Jews’ ‘right to exist’.
Just exactly what influence Omar “The Secret Minister” Suleiman retains over the military junta that rules Egypt is a question of utmost importance for those who live on the banks of the Nile River. With a resume including 20 years as head of Egyptian Intelligence he is not someone anyone of those who helped bring about the downfall of Mubarak can afford to ignore.
He was the CIA’s go to man when it came to doing the Agencies dirty work in the Middle East as well as being the liaison with Israel and was reported to be in contact with Mossad on an almost daily basis.
Suleiman is infamous for enforcing the blockade of Gaza, saying he wanted the Palestinians there to “be hungry but not starving” in punishment for supporting Hamas. Hungry as in a 40% level of malnutrition related disability rates amongst Gaza’s children.
Mubarak as Egypt’s Godfather was as lacking in charisma as any leader in the Arab world and ruled by brute force alone. Omar Suleiman was his consigliere and enforcer combined, and was reputed to having a hands on approach to how his torturers carried out their interrogations.
While Mubarak and Sons lived a very publicly ostentatious lifestyle and were well known for their corrupt and decadent ways, Suleiman “The Secret Minister” always preferred to remain behind the scenes, at least until those last desperate days of the Mubarak regime and his “appointment” to the new position of Vice President of Egypt. It was he who announced to the world that a military coup had been carried out and that Mubarak was officially “retired”.
Of course, every member of the Egyptian military junta that overthrew Mubarak had arrived on the Supreme Military Council with his appointment stamped “Approved by Suleiman”. While they may hate “The Secret Minister” one could expect that the junta leaders know that if they want to avoid ending their careers standing in a cage in an Egyptian court “they had better hang together or they will all hang separately”.
Suleiman put them where they are and who better to keep matters from really disintegrating? And who better to keep them informed about what the CIA will and will not approve of.
Today the whereabouts of Suleiman the Secret remains just that, a secret. The last time he was allegedly heard from was via a letter to Al-Ahram newspaper in which he disavowed any desire to be elected President of Egypt. No, all he wanted to do was “live a quiet life with his family”.
Trial by military courts, torture and disappearances, all the hallmarks of Suleiman the Secret are still a part of today’s Egypt and those who partied in the streets after the Coup against Mubarak had better be warned. Behind the scene and still pulling the strings, Suleiman the Secret remains a danger whose continued influence will be ignored at the peril of those who rejoiced at Mubarak’s downfall.
Thomas C. Mountain is the only independent western journalist in the Horn of Africa, living and reporting from Eritrea since 2006.
When the U.S. promised the Libyan rebels access to Libyan government accounts I predicted that one of the consequences of this would be a retraction of sovereign funds from the “western” financial systems:
Anyone in power somewhere around the world is now advised to not keep any money in a U.S. based banking account. As soon as some idiots come up and proclaim a revolution, the U.S. will likely seize that money and give a few crumbs of it to the revolution leader. (The rest will be taken by the usual banking crooks.)
This will be one of the many blowbacks from this lunatic attack on Libya.
Today the Wall Street Journal reports:
Venezuela plans to transfer billions of dollars in cash reserves from abroad to banks in Russia, China and Brazil and tons of gold from European banks to its central bank vaults, according to documents reviewed Tuesday by The Wall Street Journal.The planned moves would include transferring $6.3 billion in cash reserves, most of which Venezuela now keeps in banks such as the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, and Barclays Bank in London to unnamed Russian, Chinese and Brazilian banks, one document said.
Moving its money away from accounts where “western” government can confiscate it at a whim is good for Venezuela. It takes away a major graft motive for “western” induced revolutions and thereby lowers the chances of one occurring.
For a “western” banking system that lacks basic capital the move is not a positive sign. But given the example Obama set with Libya we can expect that more countries will silently follow this move.
2011 will be the 8th year the annual JAI / ATG Olive Picking Program in Palestine from October 15th to 24th 2011. This event is of special significance to the Palestinian economy when all energies and efforts are mobilised.
Since the beginning of the second Intifada in 2000, the olive harvest has been overshadowed by the Israeli policies of repression, closure, blockage of streets, confiscation of agricultural lands, as well as repeated attacks against Palestinian farmers by Israeli settlers. Now with the construction the Apartheid Wall and the continuous expansion of Israeli settlements at the expense of agricultural land in the occupied Palestine , many farmers are separated from their trees, and help is most needed.
The objective of this program is to mobilise as many people as possible for olive picking, especially in areas that are situated in proximity to Israeli settlements and bypass roads, in order to help Palestinian farmers harvest their olive trees which they might be unable to do without international support. Also, the event has brought up awareness to hundreds of people from many countries around the world about real life under the Israeli Military Occupation, and the experience itself was referred to by several participants as a life changing one. You too are invited to join us for this event.
Besides picking olives, the program will feature introductory presentations about the organising institutions, the current situation in Palestine and the effect of the Apartheid Wall, tours in the old city of Jerusalem and the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem , a tour of Hebron , cultural evenings and social gatherings.
There will be opportunities to visit the dead sea prior to and after the program and on the day off as well as visiting holy places of interest including historical sites such as the Al Aqsa and Ibrahimi mosques and Nativity.
Olive Picking 2011–
15th – 24th October ( Starting Saturday 15th October 2011 for 9 nights )
- The cost of the program including accommodation in a double room, meals, guides, local transportation and other relevant expenses is $650 or the equivalent in your local currency. – please check the currency converter – http://www.xe.com/ucc/
- Accommodation can be arranged at a hotel or with a local family.
- Travel from and to the airport is not included in the cost but can be arranged for groups.
To learn more about previous seasons please go to the video and watch a 10 minutes film about the event here:
JENIN — Al-Jazeera’s bureau chief in Afghanistan Samer Allawi is being held by Israeli intelligence agency Shin Bet for alleged affiliation to Hamas.
An Israeli military court extended Allawi’s term of detention on Tuesday after Shin Bet filed an indictment against him alleging that he is affiliated to Hamas and had relations with some of the commanders of its armed wing.
Allawi has denied all charges, saying the Israeli authorities were trying to produce fraudulent charges and that his arrest was actually based on his work as a reporter. He said interrogations focused on his professional work, social ties, and financial affairs.
The defense has refuted the possibility of Shin Bet having any evidence to support the charges.
Allawi, 46, was arrested while departing from the West Bank on Tuesday Aug. 9 after a three-week visit to his home village of Sebastia northwest of Nablus city.
He told the lawyer of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society last week that the Israeli intelligence tried to recruit him and that when he refused to work with them he was threatened with being accused of something serious.
A Palestinian pedestrian has been killed after an Israeli border police vehicle hit him in East al-Quds (Jerusalem) suburb near an Israeli settlement neighborhood. The 38-year-old victim Amin Talab Dabash was hit by an Israeli police jeep in Har Homa in East al-Quds, AFP reported on Wednesday.
A spokesman for the Israeli border police, however, claimed that the victim died in a traffic accident.
“Last night in the area of Har Homa, there was an accident when one of our jeeps hit a pedestrian. As a result of the accident, he died,” the Israeli spokesman said.
“He was crossing the road in a dark area, an area without lighting and the jeep hit him,” he added.
The Dabash family accuses Israel’s border police of having intentionally killed him.
At least 1,000 Palestinians attended Dabash’s funeral chanting slogans against the Israeli regime.
A group of armed extremist Israeli settlers torched dozens of dunams of farmland near the Homesh former settlement, north of Nablus city, in the northern part of the West Bank on Tuesday evening.
Ghassan Douglas, a Palestinian official in charge of settlements file in the northern part of the West Bank, stated that the settlers set ablaze all trees planted around the evacuated settlement and that the fire consumed hundreds of almond trees and evergreens.
He added that the trees belong to the local Palestinian residents, and that the attack was carried out just as the residents were preparing to break their fast as the Muslims are marking the holy month of Ramadan.
On Sunday evening, July 31, a group of fundamentalist Israeli settlers set ablaze, 150 Dunams of farmlands that belong to residents of Ein Jaloud village, near the northern West Bank city of Nablus.
On Friday July 15, settlers torched Palestinian olive orchards in Jabal Suleiman area, close to Burin village, south of Nablus.
The attack was carried out by a group of twenty heavily armed settlers who set ablaze at least 80 Dunams of farmlands, including dozens of olive trees.
Israeli soldiers arrived at the scene but failed to stop the settlers, but instead, obstructed the work of local firefighters.
The repeated attacks by the settlers are part of what they dub as “Price Tag” and include attacking and torching mosques in the West Bank, in addition to attacking farmers and their lands. The settlers hold the Palestinians responsible for the few random settlement outposts that were evacuated by the Israeli army in the West Bank.