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In words and deeds: the genesis of Israeli violence

By Ramzy Baroud | MEMO | January 16, 2018

Not a day passes without a prominent Israeli politician or intellectual making an outrageous statement against Palestinians. Many of these statements tend to garner little attention or evoke rightly deserved outrage.

Just recently, Israel’s Minister of Agriculture, Uri Ariel, called for more death and injuries on Palestinians in Gaza.

“What is this special weapon we have that we fire and see pillars of smoke and fire, but nobody gets hurt? It is time for there to be injuries and deaths as well,” he said.

Ariel’s calling for the killing of more Palestinians came on the heels of other repugnant statements concerning a 16-year-old teenager girl, Ahed Tamimi. Ahed was arrested in a violent Israeli army raid at her home in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh.

A video recording showed her slapping an Israeli soldier a day after the Israeli army shot her cousin in the head, placing him in a coma.

Israeli Education Minister, Naftali Bennett, known for his extremist political views, demanded that Ahed and other Palestinian girls should “spend the rest of their days in prison”.

A prominent Israeli journalist, Ben Caspit, sought yet more punishment. He suggested that Ahed and girls like her should be raped in jail.

“In the case of the girls, we should exact a price at some other opportunity, in the dark, without witnesses and cameras”, he wrote in Hebrew.

This violent and revolting mindset, however, is not new. It is an extension of an old, entrenched belief system that is predicated on a long history of violence.

Undeniably, the views of Ariel, Bennett and Caspit are not angry statements uttered in a moment of rage. They are all reflections of real policies that have been carried out for over 70 years. Indeed, killing, raping and imprisoning for life are features that have accompanied the state of Israel since the very beginning.

This violent legacy continues to define Israel to this day, through the use of what Israeli historian Ilan Pappe describes as ‘incremental genocide.’

Throughout this long legacy, little has changed except for names and titles. The Zionist militias that orchestrated the genocide of the Palestinians prior to the establishment of Israel in 1948 merged together to form the Israeli army; and the leaders of these groups became Israel’s leaders.

Israel’s violent birth in 1947- 48 was the culmination of the violent discourse that preceded it for many years. It was the time when Zionist teachings of prior years were put into practice and the outcome was simply horrifying.

“The tactic of isolating and attacking a certain village or town and executing its population in a horrible, indiscriminate massacre was a strategy employed, time and again, by Zionist bands to compel the population of surrounding villages and towns to flee,” Ahmad Al-Haaj told me when I asked him to reflect on Israel’s past and present.

Al-Haaj is a Palestinian historian and an expert on the Nakba, the ‘Catastrophe’ that had befallen Palestinians in 1948.

The 85-year-old intellectual’s proficiency in the subject began 70 years ago, when, as a 15-year-old, he witnessed the massacre of Beit Daras at the hands of Jewish Haganah militia.

The destruction of the southern Palestinian village and the killing of dozens of its inhabitants resulted in the depopulation of many adjacent villages, including al-Sawafir, Al-Haaj’s home village.

“The notorious Deir Yasin massacre was the first example of such wanton killing, a model that was duplicated in other parts of Palestine,” Al-Haaj said.

The ethnic cleansing of Palestine at the time was orchestrated by several Zionist militias. The mainstream Jewish militia was the Haganah which belonged to the Jewish Agency.

The latter functioned as a semi-government, under the auspices of the British Mandate Government, while the Haganah served as its army.

However, other breakaway groups also operated according to their own agenda. Two leading bands amongst them were the Irgun (National Military Organization) and Lehi (also known as the Stern Gang). These groups carried out numerous terrorist attacks, including bus bombings and targeted assassinations.

Russian-born Menachem Begin was the leader of the Irgun which, along with the Stern Gang and other Jewish militants, massacred hundreds of civilians in Deir Yassin.

‘Tell the soldiers: you have made history in Israel with your attack and your conquest. Continue this until victory. As in Deir Yassin, so everywhere, we will attack and smite the enemy. God, God, Thou has chosen us for conquest,” Begin wrote at the time. He described the massacre as a “splendid act of conquest.”

The intrinsic link between words and actions remain unchanged.

Nearly 30 years later, a once wanted terrorist, Begin became Prime Minister of Israel. He accelerated land theft of the newly-occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, launched a war on Lebanon, annexed Occupied Jerusalem to Israel and carried out the massacre of Sabra and Shatilla in 1982.

Some of the other terrorists-turned-politicians and top army brass include Begin, Moshe Dayan, Yitzhak Rabin, Ariel Sharon, Rafael Eitan and Yitzhak Shamir. Each one of these leaders has a record dotted with violence.

Shamir served as the Prime Minister of Israel from 1986 – 1992. In 1941, Shamir was imprisoned by the British for his role in the Stern Gang. Later, as Prime Minister, he ordered a violent crackdown against a mostly non-violent Palestinian uprising in 1987, purposely breaking the limbs of kids accused of throwing rocks at Israeli soldiers.

So, when government ministers like Ariel and Bennett call for wanton violence against Palestinians, they are simply carrying on with a bloody legacy that has defined every single Israeli leader in the past. It is the violent mindset that continues to control the Israeli government and its relationship with Palestinians; in fact, with all of its neighbours.

 

January 16, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment

What’s Wrong with Liberal Jews?

Progressive except for Palestine

By Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • January 16, 2018

Jerry Seinfeld, the Jewish American comedian, who was performing in Tel Aviv Israel at the Menora Mavtichim Arena at the end of December, recently made the news over his real live adventure at an anti-terrorism tourism camp. The so-called Counter Terror and Security Academy named Caliber 3 is a tourist training camp near the Efrat settlement south of Bethlehem, which means it is, appropriately enough, actually built on land stolen from the Palestinians. The camp’s website commemorated the Seinfeld visit by posting notice of the participation of “the legendary Jerry Seinfeld and his family,” plus photos, in a vignette that has since been removed.

The Caliber 3 website describes itself as “the leading counter terror and security training academy, run by active members of the IDF.” The day visit includes a “shooting adventure” involving a simulated suicide bombing in a Jerusalem marketplace as well as a terrorist knife attack. The package, which costs $115 per adult and $85 for children, includes sniper training and a demonstration of the use of attack dogs against a terrorist suspect.

The bad guys in the scenarios were inevitably the Palestinians, invariably described as “terrorists,” and the heroes were the Israeli army and police who were, of course, protecting innocent Jewish civilians. Jerry was photographed grinning and his entire entourage cheered and waved to demonstrate what a wonderful time they were having.

Now Jerry Seinfeld is not just a funny man, he is also a hard-core Hollywood-by-way-of-New York liberal and he may actually believe nonsense like Benjamin Netanyahu really wants peace or that a two-state solution for Israel-Palestine would work just fine, not recognizing that that ship has already sailed. Most of his peers in the heavily Jewish entertainment industry are also politically liberal, though they would likely choose to be called “progressive,” the preferred nomenclature since Ronald Reagan made liberal unfashionable.

Jerry is probably full of warm and fuzzy feelings about racial injustice, illegal immigrants and voting rights in America but he is either unaware or indifferent to the fact that a fundamentally racist Israel is preparing to expel or imprison forty-thousand African asylum seekers and that hundreds of thousands of Arabs who are under the life-and-death control of the Israeli security services have no rights whatsoever apart from being tried by military tribunals where the conviction rate is 99%. Nor is Jerry or any of his Hollywood friends likely to stage a benefit for 16 year old Ahed Tamimi, who is in prison in Israel facing a possible life in prison sentence for having slapped an Israeli soldier from a patrol that had invaded her family home in her West Bank village shortly after shooting her cousin in the head.

I have to believe that Jerry doesn’t obsess much over his Israeli hosts having stolen someone else’s land and killing them if they resist. But I also have to believe that if Jerry were to witness a training camp like C-3 in the United States where the shooting of black people or illegal Mexicans were simulated he would no doubt be both outraged and disgusted, even though somehow shooting simulated Arabs and grinning while doing so does not appear to bother him one bit.

Unfortunately, Jerry the Jewish liberal is not that unusual. American Jews, who are the key to the continuing blank check American support of Israel, balk at recognizing the evil that the self-defined Jewish state represents even though both opinion polls and voting patterns suggest strongly that they are predominantly reliably liberal regarding both social and political issues. Israel does, in fact, reject the values of most diaspora Jews while also contradicting the moral and ethical tradition of Judaism itself, which it claims to uphold. It is the antithesis of what many American Jews believe to be the right way to behave.

As a theocracy that acts like every other theocracy, including neighboring Saudi Arabia, Israel exists to promote the interests and well-being of its own co-ethnoreligionists, which means that the concerns of other religious groups or citizens are basically of no interest whatsoever. And Israel is not only a theocracy, it is also a prime model of a national security state where the military and police have a relatively free hand. In its interaction with the indigenous Arabs, Israel is a settler colonial state that regards the original inhabitants as inferior creatures only fit to be ethnically cleansed or, at best, to do menial work for their Jewish masters.

Israel has consequently been called an “apartheid state,” but some observers who actually experienced South African apartheid believe that what is practiced in Israel, where Palestinians are harassed at numerous military checkpoints and are routinely denied building and residency permits to force them to leave their homes, is far, far worse. “Liberal Zionist” Michelle Goldberg, writing recently in the New York Times, put it succinctly: “Supporters of Israel hate it when people use the word ‘apartheid’ to describe the country, but we don’t have another term for a political system in which one ethnic group rules over another, confining it to small islands of territory and denying it full political representation.”

Recently Israel has demonstrated its essential thuggishness by taking advantage of the Trump Jerusalem decision to legalize the expansion of its borders farther into the West Bank while also approving the building of more than 1,100 new houses. It has banned travel to Israel by representatives of twenty international organizations that have been critical of its behavior, including the Quaker American Friends Service Committee that saved many Jews during the Second World War as well as the largely Jewish Code Pink and Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP).

And the predominantly liberal highly educated and assimilated American Jews who choose to hold their noses and look the other way when Israel misbehaves exact a price on every other American. Lockstep support for Israel costs billions in U.S. Treasury provided and tax-exempt dollars annually, but does even more damage in terms of bad foreign policy choices and loss of respect from other nations due to Washington’s constant protecting of the murderous and corrupt Netanyahu government, defending the indefensible in a client state which contributes absolutely nothing to the well-being of Americans.

And then there are the wars fought at least in part on behalf of Israel, supported enthusiastically by the U.S. media and political class. Most recently, the White House and Israel have entered into a secret arrangement to destabilize Iran, which does not threaten the United States. Such pointless interventionism by Washington in the Middle East derives from the corruption of American politics and politicians due to Jewish money, a process that is currently working its way through various legislatures in seeking to define any criticism of Israel as anti-Semitism while also driving the same, labeled “hate speech,” from the internet. At the local level, government job seekers and those applying for public grants must actually agree in writing in some states not to boycott Israel, incredibly imposing rules relating to a foreign government on American citizens.

The recent bad decision to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem came about mostly due to the millions of dollars that Israeli/American casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson pumped into the Trump election campaign. Adelson, who regrets having once served in the U.S. Army instead of that of Israel, once claimed that the Palestinians exist “to destroy Israel.” He has his Democratic Party counterpart in Hollywood’s Haim Saban, the principal donor to the Hillary Clinton campaign, who has claimed that he is a one issue guy and that issue is Israel.

Indeed, liberal Jews understand perfectly well, just as do most other observers, that the Israel story is a tale of follow the money, even if it is not considered polite to say so. The Jewish oligarch billionaires club – Adelson, Saban, Bernard Marcus, Paul Singer, Larry Ellison – who are to a man obsessed with protecting Israel, work together with major Jewish organizations to dominate the American political class through their largesse. Inevitably, they expect a quid pro quo and they almost always get what they want.

And then there are the venal bootlicking politicians who wallow in Israel-love for tribal reasons, my favorites being Senators Chuck Schumer and Ben Cardin. Schumer has designated himself the “shomer” or defender of Israel in the U.S. Senate, leading one to ask how is it possible that the voters in New York elect someone who says openly that he will protect the interests of another country rather than the United States? And how does such a reptile become Senate Minority Leader? More money assiduously applied to the Democratic National Committee, one suspects.

Allan Brownfeld of the American Council for Judaism describes the situation with considerable clarity. He says Judaism is a religion and Israel is a country. The two should never be confused and active or tacit support for the bad behavior by Israel actually damages the ethical basis of Judaism. American Jews are first and foremost Americans and that is where their loyalty should lie, not with a foreign country.

Gilad Atzmon has a somewhat different take on the dilemma confronting diaspora Jews who are somewhat befuddled, if not completely convinced, by the Israeli government claims that it represents all Jews worldwide. He writes “if Israel defines itself as the Jewish State and decorates its F-35s with Jewish symbols, we are entitled to ask who are the Jews, what is Judaism, what is Jewishness and how all these terms relate to each other! Evidently these questions terrify some Jewish ethnic activists.”

Some would argue that there is growing sentiment among liberal American Jews, particularly the younger ones, to dissociate from Israel and to condemn its behavior. To be sure this would appear to be true, and there are also numerous Jewish dominated “progressive” organizations that are highly critical of Israel’s current government. Many of them are astonishingly ineffective, suggesting that there is a certain ambivalence among the critics. This arises in part, I suspect, because they ultimately want to protect Israel as a Jewish state, only demanding that it somehow behave better and be nice to the Palestinians, but there is no likelihood that that will happen in the foreseeable future given the lack of any significant political party in Israel that would support such a development.

This process of rationalizing ultimately contradictory theses has been described as working from inside the Jewish bubble and is related to the politics of Jewish identity. Groups like Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) do not really see themselves as Americans speaking to other Americans about the impact of Israel on the United States. Instead, they identify as Jews addressing worldwide Jewry over the issue of how to support Jewish supremacy in Israel/Palestine as a sine qua non of Jewish identity while doing what is necessary to avoid unpleasant consequences. The effect of this ambivalence from inside is corrosive, leading some to believe that Jewish gatekeepers will successfully misdirect grassroots movements like Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) to make sure that they do no real damage to the Jewish state just as they have already hamstrung groups demanding an end to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank.

It has also been observed that Jewish liberals who oppose Israeli policies frequently have more pity for themselves than for the people under Netanyahu’s jackboot and their proposals frequently defer to Israeli interests. And sometimes there are personal interests at stake. Rebecca Vilkomerson of JVP, who was blacklisted by Israel and will be unable to travel there, is married to an Israeli Jonathan Lebowitsch, who is a Solution Architect at Checkpoint, a cybersecurity company with ties to the Israeli military. She is now for the first time living with a reality imposed by the Israeli government that is analogous to what many Palestinians have experienced since 1948, i.e. being unable to go back to the homes that their families have lived in for generations. And she is a Jew who has broken no law, dealing with a Jewish state that is proclaimed to be the “only democracy in the Middle East.”

Other groups like J-Street veer even further in the direction of compromise with Israeli interests, basically wanting a Jewish state that is less offensive to the international audience, with some kind of fantasy concordat with the Arabs that will make the issue of what kind of place Israel really is less visible. Some time ago, I attended a J Street sponsored talk by a retired Israeli general who was supposed to be of the “peace” party. His message: “Iran must be destroyed.”

I used to believe that educating the American public about what is really going on in the Middle East would bring about a change in policy. I don’t believe it any longer because Jews control the media and the message. As Peter Beinart puts it, “In part that’s because establishment Jewish discourse about Israel is, in large measure, American public discourse about Israel. Watch a discussion of Israel on American TV and what you’ll hear, much of the time, is a liberal American Jew (Thomas Friedman, David Remnick) talking to a centrist American Jew (Dennis Ross, Alan Dershowitz) talking to a hawkish American Jew (William Kristol, Charles Krauthammer), each articulating different Zionist positions.”

And beyond the media there is the heavy hand of the agitprop being disseminated by the Trump Administration. U.S. ambassador to Israel David Friedman, who recently tried to expunge the word “occupation” from the State Department language describing Israel’s colonization of the West Bank, claimed falsely last week that the Palestinians and their leadership are to blame for the lack of a peace deal with Israel. The statement by Friedman denounced Hamas for praising a drive-by shooting that killed an Israeli Rabbi in a West Bank attack. “An Israeli father of six was killed last night in cold blood by Palestinian terrorists. Hamas praises the killers and PA laws will provide them financial rewards.” Friedman said. “Look no further to why there is no peace.” Friedman supports the fanatical settler movement and has never expressed any sympathy for the far more numerous Palestinian children killed in the past two months by Israeli security forces.

It is undoubtedly true that an increasing number of Jewish American liberals have been troubled by the Israeli police state, which politically has tilted increasingly hard right. Even with an accommodating media, the Israeli refusal to end the occupation of the West Bank and the strangling of the open-air prison that is Gaza have been very visible and have made many question the state’s democratic pretensions. The military domination of a subject population also has a demographic downside in that the land controlled by Israel includes over 6.2 million Palestinian Arabs and about 6.5 million Jews. The Palestinian birthrate is higher than the Jewish birthrate and, in twenty years, Arabs will outnumber Jews in what might be described as Greater Israel, but it is now clear that Israel as it currently sees itself will never grant those Arabs equal rights or give up its attempt to completely dominate the region from the Jordan River to the sea.

Why is all this obsessing over the paradoxical behavior of Jewish liberals important? It is important because American Jews are hugely over-represented in the places that matter: in the media, in entertainment, in politics, in financial services, in the professions, in the arts and in education. It has been my own personal experience that some prominent Jewish critics of Israel resent identical criticism coming from non-Jews and tend to use their resources to marginalize it, frequently alleging that it is motivated by anti-Semitism. That means that the goyim will never be able to shift the press or congress or the White House about how awful the connection with Israel really is, no matter what we say or do, but as soon as Jewish American liberals get on board and convince themselves that they cannot stand any more of the lying about Israel change will come. It is all about Jewish power in America, but this time as a potential positive force. Guys like Jerry Seinfeld will have to figure out that performing in Israel and playing around for a laugh at their counter-terrorist indoctrination centers that simulate shooting Arabs is not exactly acceptable. We might even get Hollywood on board to produce an honest movie about the plight of the Palestinians.

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is http://www.councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org.

January 16, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Bezos Gives Millions to DACA, Amazon Staff Need Foodstamps

teleSUR | January 13, 2018

Billionaire Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has been hailed for donating US$33 million of his fortune to a scholarship fund for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, while more than 700 Amazon employees have to rely on foodstamps to feed themselves.

News outlets CNBC, Politico, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times published glowing reports on his philanthropic gesture benefitting immigrants, which comes on the heels of US President Donald Trump promising to revoke immigration protection for some 200,000 El Salvadorans living in the United States and referring to Haiti and African nations as “shithole countries.”

But a recent study by Policy Matters Ohio indicates that more than 700 local Amazon employees – the bulk of Bezos’ staff, who ensure products are correctly sorted, packaged and dispatched – have to rely on foodstamps to survive.

Amazon reportedly received more than $17million in tax breaks in Ohio to open its first two distribution centers, according to The Daily Beast. This act of corporate welfare, which was recorded in 2015, was hailed by lawmakers as a job-creator.

Yet the company has also faced multiple lawsuits and complaints. According to a report by The Morning Call, Amazon employees in Allentown, Pennsylvania, worked in a warehouse where the heat index reached some 102 degrees Farenheit. At least 15 collapsed from heat exhaustion.

“I never felt like passing out in a warehouse and I never felt treated like a piece of crap in any other warehouse but this one,” said Elmer Goris, who worked at the Lehigh Valley site.

Three plaintiffs sued Amazon in 2015, claiming that the company violated wage and hour policies in San Bernardino, California. Two years later, Amazon workers in Sacramento said they were denied overtime pay and rest breaks, according to Salon.

Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, Amazon has been criticized in Scotland for not signing up to the government’s “fair work” program, despite having received more than £5.3million (US$7.28million) of taxpayers’ money to help spur job growth.

Forbes lists Bezos’ wealth at US$108billion, meaning his “philanthropic” donation to DACA recipients equates to roughly 0.03 percent of his total fortune.

January 14, 2018 Posted by | Economics, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | 2 Comments

No charges for Israel soldier who killed Palestinian child returning from swimming

MEMO | January 12, 2018

An Israeli army officer who opened fire on a car of Palestinian civilians, killing a 15-year-old boy, will not be prosecuted, it was reported today.

Mahmoud Badran was killed, and four friends wounded, after returning from a swimming pool on the night of 21 June 2016.

At the time, the Israeli military claimed the forces responsible believed the car of youngsters were responsible for throwing stones at Route 443 in the occupied West Bank.

An investigation by the Military Police Criminal Investigation Division (MPCID) has now concluded that the “mistake” was a reasonable one to make in the circumstances, despite the fact that the officer opened fire in violation of the regulations.

According to Haaretz, the officer in question is a platoon commander in the Kfir Brigade, which is based in the occupied West Bank. He, and two colleagues, were driving towards Jerusalem in plain clothes when they noticed stones and an oil patch on the road, and a bus parked up on the side.

After driving to where they believed the stones had been thrown from, the officer and soldiers got out and opened fire on a car driving on a road under Route 443. Open-fire regulations in the West Bank state that when a vehicle does not endanger the soldiers, shots must be fired in the air.

According to Israeli rights group B’Tselem, “massive fire” was directed at the vehicle of Palestinian youngsters, despite the fact that there was zero indication its occupants were responsible for the stone-throwing (and even if there had been, lethal force was unjustified).

The MPCID investigation similarly concluded that the officer had not seen the stone throwers, and targeted the car purely due to its proximity to the site. Despite such findings, no indictment will be filed against the officer, not even for causing death by negligence.

According to Haaretz, the officer faces dismissal for his conduct during the incident. The army spokesperson told the paper that the findings were still being examined by the Military Advocate General’s office ahead of a final decision.

At the time, B’Tselem predicted that the investigation would produce no results, slamming “the military law enforcement system” as “a whitewashing mechanism”.

January 13, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 4 Comments

Open Letter from Academics at Birzeit University in Palestine

IMEMC News – January 9, 2018

We at Birzeit University call on the academic community to protest the Israeli government’s deliberate harassment of international students and academics who travel to Palestine in order to study or work in Palestinian academic institutions.

The past few years have seen many international students and academics stopped, interrogated, and/or deported by Israeli security as they tried to enter Palestine through the entry points controlled by Israel.

These excessive measures violate academic freedom, the right to education, and the free exchange of students and academics. Such actions are often pursued without charge and include interrogation techniques, many of which constitute verbal assault. Thus, it is another flagrant violation of basic human rights by the Israeli occupation.

We call upon the international academic community – especially universities – to stand in solidarity with both their own students and academics, as well as Palestinian institutions, in common condemnation of these unjust practices and violations. We also call upon you to intensify your efforts in boycotting Israel and its academic institutions till it ends its violations of the human rights of the Palestinians.

The right to access Palestinian academic institutions is denied through systematic abuse of power designed to discourage prospective members of the academic community, coupled with an implied threat of retaliation should members of that community persist in seeking their rights. Human rights conventions state that access to education should be granted based on merit and ability. But in this unique situation, Israel is denying academic access and unjustly punishing those seeking it.

The decision of some international institutions to stop their students from engaging with their Palestinian counterparts is giving the Israeli authorities a helping hand in implementing these violations. Condemnation should be directed instead towards the Israeli authority’s harassment of these institutions’ own students and academics in Palestine.

Such a decision reflects the sad reality that punishes the victims of Israeli discrimination and human rights violations, as well as the Palestinian academic institutions. Students and academics who experience discrimination, harassment, and denial of entry at the hands of the Israeli authority should receive support and protection from their own states and academic institutions.

January 10, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular | , , | Leave a comment

Israel Demands Compensation From Family Of Palestinian Crushed To Death Under Army Jeep

Abdullah Eyad Ghanayem was 22 years of age when he died in 2015. He had been a political prisoner from 2012 – 2014.
If Americans Knew | January 10, 2018

Abdullah was shot in the back by an Israeli soldier, then crushed to death under a military jeep. Now the military is demanding compensation from Abdullah’s family for damages to the jeep.

from IMEC News

The Israeli army filed a lawsuit against the family, and the entire town, of a Palestinian who was crushed to death under a military jeep which flipped over him, after the army invaded Kafr Malek village, east of Ramallah, in central West Bank, in mid-June 2014.

The military is demanding the family of Abdullah Ghanayem (Ghneimat), and his entire town, to pay 95,260 Israeli Shekels (about $28,000), in compensation for damages caused to the military jeep.

Ghanayem was crushed by an Israeli military jeep, on June 14, 2015, after the soldiers invaded Kafr Malek.

He remained under the jeep for three hours, and bled to death, after the soldiers prevented medics and rescue teams from helping him.

Now, the Israeli authorities are demanding his family, and his entire village, to pay 95,260 Shekels  in compensation, for damages caused to the military jeep.

January 10, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | 4 Comments

The plight of Irish political prisoners

PressTVUK | January 8, 2018

The incarceration of Irish political prisoners in British prisons in the North of Ireland is rarely discussed in the mainstream media. In this special report recently televised, Press TV in partnership with ‘Crimes of Britain’ examine the plight of Irish political prisoners in including allegations of internment and torture.

January 9, 2018 Posted by | Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , | 1 Comment

Bolivia Joins Operation Condor Investigation

teleSUR – January 7, 2018

Bolivian President Evo Morales has announced that his country is joining the regional investigation into Operation Condor alongside Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.

These latter nations created the Truth Commission to uncover the “Empire’s transgressions” during Operation Condor, the Bolivian head of state tweeted, referring to the United States.

Operation Condor was a covert, multinational “black operations” program organized by six Latin American states (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay, later joined by Ecuador and Peru), with logistical, financial, and intelligence support from Washington,” according to J. Patrice McSherry, author of Predatory States: Operation Condor and Covert War in Latin America (2005). Their shared intent was to do away with leftist movements in the region.

Morales said he laments this shared history of human rights violations, but celebrates the “brave and dignified struggle against the military dictatorships.”

For its part, Bolivia suffered under Operation Condor during its nearly 20-year dictatorship between 1964 and 1982.

Nila Heredia, who was named the country’s rights commission representative, said that Bolivia is giving “its full support (to the commission) with its experience (of working on other rights commissions, as well as technical expertise.”

Morales has also announced that Bolivia will host a seminary for experts from the Truth Commission on Feb. 20.

Estimates of the number of those killed or disappeared from the clandestine Operation Condor ranges from 20,000 to 60,000.

January 8, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , | Leave a comment

Ahed Tamimi’s arrest sheds a disturbing light on how children are targeted by Israel

By Jonathon Cook | The National | January 8, 2018

Sixteen-year-old Ahed Tamimi may not be what Israelis had in mind when, over many years, they criticised Palestinians for not producing a Mahatma Gandhi or Nelson Mandela.

Eventually, colonised peoples bring to the fore a figure best suited to challenge the rotten values at the core of the society oppressing them. Ahed is well qualified for the task.

She was charged last week with assault and incitement after she slapped two heavily armed Israeli soldiers as they refused to leave the courtyard of her family home in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, near Ramallah. Her mother, Nariman, is in detention for filming the incident. The video quickly went viral.

Ahed lashed out shortly after soldiers nearby shot her 15-year-old cousin in the face, seriously injuring him.

Western commentators have largely denied Ahed the kind of effusive support offered to democracy protesters in places such as China and Iran. Nevertheless, this Palestinian schoolgirl – possibly facing a long jail term for defying her oppressors – has quickly become a social media icon.

While Ahed might have been previously unknown to most Israelis, she is a familiar face to Palestinians and campaigners around the world.

For years, she and other villagers have held a weekly confrontation with the Israeli army as it enforces the rule of Jewish settlers over Nabi Saleh. These settlers have forcibly taken over the village’s lands and ancient spring, a vital water source for a community that depends on farming.

Distinctive for her irrepressible blonde hair and piercing blue eyes, Ahed has been filmed regularly since she was a small girl confronting soldiers who tower above her. Such scenes inspired one veteran Israeli peace activist to anoint her Palestine’s Joan of Arc.

But few Israelis are so enamoured.

Not only does she defy Israeli stereotypes of a Palestinian, she has struck a blow against the self-deception of a highly militarised and masculine culture.

She has also given troubling form to the until-now anonymised Palestinian children Israel accuses of stone-throwing.

Palestinian villages like Nabi Saleh are regularly invaded by soldiers. Children are dragged from their beds in the middle of the night, as happened to Ahed during her arrest last month in retaliation for her slaps. Human rights groups document how children are routinely beaten and tortured in detention.

Many hundreds pass through Israeli jails each year charged with throwing stones. With conviction rates in Israeli military courts of more than 99 per cent, the guilt and incarceration of such children is a foregone conclusion.

They may be the lucky ones. Over the past 16 years, Israel’s army has killed on average 11 children a month.

The video of Ahed, screened repeatedly on Israeli TV, has threatened to upturn Israel’s self-image as David fighting an Arab Goliath. This explains the toxic outrage and indignation that has gripped Israel since the video aired.

Predictably, Israeli politicians were incensed. Naftali Bennett, the education minister, called for Ahed to “end her life in jail”. Culture minister Miri Regev, a former army spokeswoman, said she felt personally “humiliated” and “crushed” by Ahed.

But more troubling is a media debate that has characterised the soldiers’ failure to beat Ahed in response to her slaps as a “national shame”.

The revered television host Yaron London expressed astonishment that the soldiers “refrained from using their weapons” against her, wondering whether they “hesitated out of cowardice”.

But far more sinister were the threats from Ben Caspit, a leading Israeli analyst. In a column, he said Ahed’s actions made “every Israeli’s blood boil”. He proposed subjecting her to retribution “in the dark, without witnesses and cameras”, adding that his own form of revenge would lead to his certain detention.

That fantasy – of cold-bloodedly violating an incarcerated child – should have sickened every Israeli. And yet Mr Caspit is still safely ensconced in his job.

But aside from exposing the sickness of a society addicted to dehumanising and oppressing Palestinians, including children, Ahed’s case raises the troubling question of what kind of resistance Israelis think Palestinians are permitted.

International law, at least, is clear. The United Nations has stated that people under occupation are allowed to use “all available means”, including armed struggle, to liberate themselves.

But Ahed, the villagers of Nabi Saleh and many Palestinians like them have preferred to adopt a different strategy – a confrontational, militant civil disobedience. Their resistance defies the occupier’s assumption that it is entitled to lord it over Palestinians.

Their approach contrasts strongly with the constant compromises and so-called “security cooperation” accepted by the Palestinian Authority of Mahmoud Abbas.

According to Israeli commentator Gideon Levy, Ahed’s case demonstrates that Israelis deny Palestinians the right not only to use rockets, guns, knives or stones, but even to what he mockingly terms an “uprising of slappings”.

Ahed and Nabi Saleh have shown that popular unarmed resistance – if it is to discomfort Israel and the world – cannot afford to be passive or polite. It must be fearless, antagonistic and disruptive.

Most of all, it must hold up a mirror to the oppressor. Ahed has exposed the gun-wielding bully lurking in the soul of too many Israelis. That is a lesson worthy of Gandhi or Mandela.

January 8, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 2 Comments

Israeli authorities raze Palestinian wedding venue in Haifa

Demolished wedding venue
Palestine Information Center – January 8, 2018

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM – Israeli municipal authorities on Sunday demolished a Palestinian wedding venue in the industrial zone of Baqa al-Gharbiyye city in the Haifa District (the 1948 occupied lands) at the pretext of unlicensed construction.

Owner of the venue Mohamed Khashan said that he had tried to go to Israeli courts to prevent the demolition, but he was surprised to see Israeli police troops cordoning off the area at dawn yesterday before a bulldozer embarked on knocking down the place.

Khashan told Quds Press that the bulldozer razed the place over wedding equipment and furniture, without allowing him to move anything away.

He pointed out that dozens of weddings, ceremonies and celebrations had been held in his venue, which was built several years ago.

January 8, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 1 Comment

Just Say No to Jeff Sessions

By Dr. Ron Paul | January 8, 2018

Attorney General Jeff Sessions kicked off the New Year by reversing the Obama-era guidance for federal prosecutors to limit their enforcement of federal marijuana laws in states that have legalized marijuana for medical or recreational use. In what is almost certainly not a coincidence, Sessions’ announcement came days after California’s law legalizing recreational marijuana sales went into effect. Sessions’ action thus runs counter to the wishes of the majority of the people in the most populous US state, as well the people of the 28 other states (and DC) that have legalized some form of marijuana use.

Federal laws criminalizing marijuana and other drugs have failed to reduce drug use. However, they have succeeded in giving power-hungry politicians and bureaucrats what was, before 9-11, the go-to justification for violating our civil liberties. The federal war on marijuana has also wasted billions of taxpayer dollars. Far from reducing crime, outlawing drugs causes crime by ensuring criminals will control the market for drugs. Outlawing drugs also provides incentives for drug dealers to increase the potency, and thus the danger, of drugs, as higher potency products take up less space and are thus easier to conceal from law enforcement.

The US Constitution does not give the federal government any authority to criminalize marijuana. Thus, the question of whether marijuana is legal is one of the many issues reserved to the states under the Tenth Amendment. If the Constitution gives Congress the power to ban marijuana, then why was it necessary to amend the Constitution to give Congress the power to ban alcohol?

Sessions’ usurpation of state marijuana laws is the type of federal intrusion into state issues usually opposed by conservatives. Sadly, too many conservatives are just as willing to sacrifice constitutional government and individual liberties for the war on drugs as they are for the war on terror.

Conservative hypocrisy is especially strong when it comes to medical marijuana. Many Americans have used medical marijuana for conditions such as cancer and glaucoma. Yet many conservatives who (properly) decry Obamacare’s mandate forcing every American to purchase health insurance cheer Jeff Sessions’ effort to deprive suffering individuals of the medical treatment of their choice. Cruel paternalism in healthcare policy is often associated with progressives, but unfortunately conservatives are just as guilty.

States that have legalized medical marijuana have fewer deaths related to opioid abuse. These states have also experienced a decrease in crime and black market activity. This is perhaps because some have found medical marijuana a viable alternative to opioids.

Laws outlawing marijuana criminalize peaceful behavior that, while potentially harmful to the individual, does not violate the rights of others. Therefore, these laws, like all laws authorizing government force against peaceful, if immoral, actions, are incompatible with a free society. Once again we see the hypocrisy of conservatives who decry progressives’ war on tobacco and fatty foods, yet support jailing marijuana users.

Federal laws outlawing marijuana violate the Constitution, justify violations of civil liberties, and increase violence. By criminalizing nonviolent behavior voluntarily chosen by individuals, drug laws undermine the moral principles underlying a free society.

President Trump should fire Jeff Sessions and replace him with someone who respects the Constitution and individual liberty. Also, officials from states with legal medical or recreational marijuana should refuse to cooperate with those tasked with enforcing federal marijuana laws. If President Trump and state officials stand up for liberty, the people will join them in saying no to Jeff Sessions.

January 8, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , | Leave a comment

German opposition calls to reverse online hate speech law

RT | January 7, 2108

New online hate speech regulations which took effect Monday, stipulates that German authorities can impose huge fines of up to €50 million ($60.1 million) on social media platforms which fail to promptly delete offensive content.

The parliamentary leader of the Left Party, Sahra Wagenknecht, called the legislation a “slap in the face for all democratic principles,” claiming the courts, rather than private companies, should determine what constitutes unlawful content.

Nicola Beer, the General Secretary of the liberal Free Democrats (FDP), expressed similar sentiments. “The past few days have clearly shown private providers aren’t always able to make the right decision,” she told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper.

Other politicians, such as the leader of the Greens, Simone Peter, argued the law hampered free speech in Germany, leaving it at hands of US corporations to decide what was “hate speech” and what was not.

January 7, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , | 1 Comment