In recent years, the parents of Jared Kushner, the son-in-law and trusted confidant of US President-elect Donald Trump, have donated tens of thousands of dollars to organisations and institutions located in illegal West Bank settlements, according to their tax forms.
Kushner’s family donates a few million dollars a year on average to charitable causes through the Charles and Seryl Kushner Foundation, which Jared sits on the board of along with his brother and two sisters. The foundation was established in 1997.
Among organisations and institutions in the occupied West Bank that receive funding from the Kushner family, the American Friends of Beit El Yeshiva (religious school) received $20,000 in 2013.
Israel’s Haaretz newspaper reported that the president of American Friends of Beit El Yeshiva, whose offices are located in New York, is David Friedman, Trump’s senior adviser on Israel affairs. Friedman, who has served as Trump’s real estate lawyer for the past 15 years and is considered to be very close to the president-elect, has expressed interest in becoming the next US ambassador to Israel, Haaretz added.
Freidman is also seen as a top contender for the former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, who was also keynote speaker at last year’s fundraising dinner for the Beit El Yeshiva American friends group.
The list of organisations that received donations from Kushner’s family foundation has included the Etzion Foundation, whose US fundraising offices are located in New Jersey. The foundation supports Yeshivat Har Etzion, Kibbutz Migdal Oz and the Herzog College teachers’ training institution – all are located in the illegal Gush Etzion settlement bloc outside Jerusalem. In 2012, the Kushner family foundation donated $5,000 to the Etzion Foundation, in addition to another $10,000 in 2013.
Another recipient of Kushner funding in Gush Etzion, which headquartered in the settlement of Efrat, is Ohr Torah Stone which received $5,000 in 2011.
The Od Yosef Chai yeshiva, a religious school in the occupied West Bank, was granted $500 by the Kushner family. According to Haaretz, this particular school did not receive any funding from the Israeli government, as it had been involved in launching violent attacks against nearby Palestinian villages and Israeli security forces.
In 2014, the Kushner family pledged $18 million to the Shaare Zedek Medical Centre in Jerusalem, in addition to the $2 million it had already committed earlier. The Kushners have a history of supporting hospitals – both in Israel and the United States – but this was by far the largest gift given by the family to a single medical institution, Haaretz noted.
Another key beneficiary of Kushner charity in Israel is the Israeli army. Between 2011 and 2013, the foundation donated a total of $315,000 to Friends of the IDF, on whose board Jared serves.
Among other institutions and organisations the Kushners have supported in Israel in the past four years, are the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra ($2,500); the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design ($1,000); United Hatzalah ($70,000); the Israel Cancer Research Fund ($10,000); Meir Panim Lachayal, another organisation that supports Israeli soldiers ($4,000); the Shalva Children’s Centre ($20,000); Ma’ayanei Yeshua Hospital ($25,000); and the Rabin Medical Centre ($23,000).
In the United States, the family foundation supports many Jewish day schools, charities and cultural centres. In recent years, it has contributed close to $30,000 to various institutions operated by Chabad – the ultra-Orthodox outreach organization.
One of the single largest beneficiaries of Kushner contributions in recent years has been the Ramaz School in Manhattan which received $250,000. Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, the former principal of Ramaz, supervised Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka’s conversion before she married Jared.
Last November, the Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely welcomed suggestions that US President-elect Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner could be appointed as a special envoy to broker peace in the Middle East.
Is “remembering the Nazi Holocaust and where anti-Semitism can lead” a good thing? Unfortunately, thanks to people who constantly cite this horrible genocide in order to justify the illegal, immoral and anti-human behaviour of the Israeli state, one must answer, “it depends.”
Drawing attention to the Nazi Holocaust and anti-Semitism in Canada today often reinforces, rather than undermines, oppression and discrimination. This perverse reality was on display at two recent events in Toronto.
At a semi-annual Ryerson Student Union meeting, a Hillel member pushed a resolution calling on the union to promote Holocaust Education Week in conjunction with United Jewish Appeal-Toronto, which marked Israel’s 2014 slaughter in Gaza by adding $2.25 million to its annual aid to that wealthy country. The motion stated, “this week is not in dedication to anti-Zionist propaganda” and called for the week to focus “solely on the education of the Holocaust and not on other genocides.”
Objecting to this brazen attempt to use the decimation of European Jewry to protect an aggressive, apartheid state many students left the meeting. When quorum was lost before the vote, pro-Israel activists cried — wait for it — anti-Semitism.
“Tonight, I experienced true and evil anti-Semitism,” complained Tamar Lyons, vice-president of communications for Students Supporting Israel at Ryerson University, in a social media post republished by B’nai Brith. In it, the Emerson Fellow of StandWithUs, an organization that trains university students to advance Israel’s interests, bemoaned how “a Muslim student ‘goy-splained’ me.”
After the meeting, Lyons linked the purported anti-Jewish incident to the Ryerson Student Union endorsing the BDS movement two years earlier. She told the Canadian Jewish News it was “a direct result of [the] boycott, divestment and sanctions movement and the anti-Israel sentiment that’s so prevalent on campus.”
Taking place on the eve of an Ontario legislature vote to condemn BDS activism, the national director of B’nai Brith jumped on the Ryerson affair. “What starts with BDS does not end with BDS,” said Amanda Hohmann. “More often than not, BDS is simply a gateway drug to more blatant forms of anti-Semitism.”
(Yup, take a toke of that leftist–internationalist “pressure Israel to follow international law” bud and soon you’re longing for some Neo-Nazi ‘get-the-Jews’ smack.)
As B’nai Brith hyped the Ryerson affair, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs pushed the Ontario legislature to pass a motion in support of the spurious “Ottawa Protocol on Combating Anti-Semitism” and to reject “the differential treatment of Israel, including the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.”
Passed 49 to 5 (with 53 absent), motion sponsor Gila Martow told the legislature: “We would not be here supporting the Ku Klux Klan on our campuses, so why are we allowing [the] BDS movement and other anti-Jewish and anti-Israel organizations to have demonstrations and use our campuses, which are taxpayer-funded?”
In an interview with the Toronto Sun after the vote the Thornhill MPP described BDS as “psychological terrorism on the campuses….The motive behind BDS is to hurt the Jewish community by attacking Israel.”
The only MPP who spoke against the motion was the NDP’s Jagmeet Singh. But, even this defender of the right to criticize Israel spent much of his speech talking about how anti-Semitism “must be denounced.”
Notwithstanding the anti-Semitism hullabaloo, the BDS vote and Ryerson affair have little to do with combating anti-Jewishness. As is obvious to anybody who thinks about it for a second, comparing internationalist and social justice minded individuals to the KKK will elicit, not lessen, anti-Jewish animus. Similarly, labeling a non-violent movement “psychological terrorism” and writing about “Muslim goy-splaining” isn’t likely to endear Jewish groups to those concerned with Palestinian dispossession and building a just world.
The major Jewish organizations and trained Israeli nationalist activists scream anti-Semitism to protect Israel from censure, of course. But they also do so because few are willing to challenge them on it. As such, the anti-Semitism smears should be seen as a simple assertion of CIJA and B’nai Brith’s political, economic and cultural clout.
Possibly the best placed of any in the world, the Toronto Jewish community faces almost no discernable economic, social or cultural discrimination. Describing it as “the envy of the UJA federation world,” Alan Dershowitz told its 2014 Toronto Major Gifts dinner: “You mustnever be ashamed to use your power and strength. Never be afraid that people will say, ‘You’re too strong and powerful.’ Jews need power and strength. Without this strength — economically, morally, militarily — we can’t have peace.”
But, UJA-Toronto, CIJA, B’nai Brith, etc. aren’t seeking “peace.” Rather, they’re working to strengthen a Sparta-like, Jewish-supremacist state in the Middle East.
The Ryerson affair and vote at the provincial legislature reflect a Toronto Jewish establishment drunk with its power. But the sober reality of constantly justifying oppression by citing the Holocaust/anti-Semitism is that it undermines the power of that memory and is an insult to all those who suffered and died at the hands of the Nazis.
How Russia is pilloried while real news about Israel goes unreported
The drama surrounding allegations that the internet is awash with “fake news” is being promoted by the so-called mainstream media which certainly has a lot to answer for when it comes to producing material that does not pass the smell test. Does the name Judith Miller ring any bells? And the squeaks of rage coming from the U.S. Congress over being lied to is also something to behold as the federal government has been acting in collusion with the media to dish up falsehoods designed to start wars since the time of the Spanish-American conflict in 1898, if not before.
The fake news saga is intended to discredit Donald Trump, whom the media hates mostly because they failed to understand either him or the Americans who voted for him in the recent election. You have to blame somebody when you are wrong so you invent “fake news” as the game changer that explains your failure to comprehend simple truths. To accomplish that, the clearly observable evidence that the media was piling on Donald Trump at every opportunity has somehow been deliberately morphed into a narrative that it is Trump who was attacking the media, suggesting that it was all self-defense on the part of the Rachel Maddows of this world, but anyone who viewed even a small portion of the farrago surely will have noted that it was the Republican candidate who was continuously coming under attack from both the right and left of the political-media spectrum.
There are also some secondary narratives being promoted, including a pervasive argument that Hillary Clinton was somehow the victim of the news reporting due specifically to fake stories emanating largely from Moscow in an attempt to not only influence the election but also to subvert America’s democratic institutions. I have observed that if such a truly ridiculous objective were President Vladimir Putin’s desired goal he might as well relax. Our own Democratic and Republican duopoly has already been doing a fine job at subverting democracy by assiduously separating the American people from the elite Establishment that theoretically represents and serves them.
Another side of the mainstream media lament that has been relatively unexplored is what the media chooses not to report. At the present moment, it is practically obligatory to slam Russia and Putin at every opportunity even though Moscow is too militarily weak and poor to fancy itself a global adversary of the U.S. Instead of seeking a new Cold War, Washington should instead focus on working with Russia to make sure that disagreements over policies in relatively unimportant parts of the world do not escalate into nuclear exchanges. Russian actions on its own doorstep in Eastern Europe do not in fact threaten the United States or any actual vital interest. Nor does Moscow threaten the U.S. through its intervention on behalf of the Syrian government in the Middle East. That Russia is described incessantly as a threat in those areas is largely a contrivance arranged by the media, the Democratic and Republican National Committees and by the White House. Candidate Donald Trump appeared to recognize that fact before he began listening to Michael Flynn, who has a rather different view. Hopefully the old Trump will prevail.
Blaming Russia, which has good reasons to be suspicious of Washington’s intentions, is particularly convenient for those many diverse inside the Beltway interests that require a significant enemy to keep the cash flowing out of the pockets of taxpayers and into the bank accounts of the useless grifters who inhabit K-Street and Capitol Hill. Neoconservatives are frequently described as ideologues, but the truth is that they are more interested in gaining increased access to money and power than they are in promulgating their own brand of global regime change.
There is, however, another country that has interfered in U.S. elections, has endangered Americans living or working overseas and has corrupted America’s legislative and executive branches. It has exploited that corruption to initiate legislation favorable to itself, has promoted unnecessary and unwinnable wars and has stolen American technology and military secrets. Its ready access to the mainstream media to spread its own propaganda provides it with cover for its actions and it accomplishes all that and more through the agency of a powerful and well-funded domestic lobby that oddly is not subject to the accountability afforded by the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) of 1938 even though it manifestly works on behalf of a foreign government. That country is, of course, Israel.
And that assessment of Israel and what damage it does regarding what most Americans would regard as genuine national interests is most definitely not reported, revealing once again that what is not written is every bit as important as what is. I would note how what has recently happened right in front of us relating to Israel is apparently not considered fit to print and will never appear on any disapproving editorial page. Just this week the Senate unanimously passed an Anti-Semitism Awareness bill and also by a 99 to zero vote renewed and strengthened sanctions against Iran, which could wreck the one year old anti-nuclear weapon proliferation agreement with that country.
The Anti-Semitism Awareness Act is intended to give the Department of Education investigatory authority over “anti-Jewish incidents” on America’s college campuses. Such “incidents” are not limited to religious bigotry, with the examples cited in the bill’s text including criticism of Israel and claiming that the holocaust was “exaggerated.” It is a thinly disguised assault on the Boycott Divest and Sanction (BDS) movement, which is non-violent, does not criticize Jews as a religion or ethnicity, and is actually supported by many Jewish Americans who are concerned about Israel’s apartheid regime.
The Anti-Semitism bill makes Jews and Jewish interests a legally protected class, immune from any criticism. “Free speech” means in practice that you can burn an American flag, sell pornography, attack Christianity in the vilest terms or castigate the government in Washington all you want but criticizing Israel is off limits if you want to avoid falling into the clutches of the legal system. The Act is a major step forward in effectively making any expressed opposition to Israeli actions a hate crime and is similar to punitive legislation that has been enacted in twenty-two states as well as in Canada. It is strongly supported by the Israel Lobby, which quite likely drafted it, and is seeking to use legal challenges to delegitimize and eliminate any opposition to the policies of the state of Israel.
As the Act is clearly intended to restrict First Amendment rights if they are perceived as impacting on broadly defined Jewish sensitivities, it should be opposed on that basis alone, but it is very popular in Congress, which is de facto owned by the Israel Lobby. That the legislation is not being condemned or even discussed in the generally liberal media tells you everything you need to know about the amazing power of one particular unelected and unaccountable lobby in the U.S.
And there is always Iran to worry about. If the United States can successfully avoid a war with Russia, a conflict with the Mullahs could have major consequences even if the all-powerful U.S. military successfully rolls over its Iranian counterpart in less than a week. Iran is physically and in terms of population much larger than Iraq and it has a strong national identity. An attack by Washington would produce a powerful reaction, unleashing terrorist resources and destabilizing an economically and politically important region of the world for years to come. Currently, the nuclear agreement with Iran provides some measure of stability and also pushes backwards any possible program by Tehran to build a weapon. Iran does not threaten the United States, so why walk away from the agreement as some of Trump’s advisors urge? Or violate the agreement’s terms as the U.S. Congress seems to be doing by extending and tightening the sanctions regime with its just passed Iran Sanctions Extension Act? Look no further than the Israel Lobby. Hobbling Iran, a regional competitor, is a possible Israeli interest that should have nothing to do with the United States but yet again the United States government carries the water for the extreme right wing Netanyahu regime.
Israel for its part has welcomed the Trump election by building 500 new and completely illegal settler homes in what was once Arab East Jerusalem. Trump has surrounded himself with advocates for Israel and Prime Minister Netanyahu’s expectation that he will have a free hand in dealing with those pesky Palestinians is probably correct. I would like to think that Donald Trump will unpleasantly surprise him based on actual American rather than Israeli interests but am not optimistic.
Indeed, deference to perceived Israeli interests enforced by the Israel Lobby and media permeates the entire American foreign policy and national security structure. Congressman Keith Ellison who is seeking to become Democratic National Committee Chairman is being called an anti-Semite for “implying U.S. policy in the region [the Middle East] favored Israel at the expense of Muslim-majority countries, remarks ADL’s CEO Jonathan Greenblatt described as ‘deeply disturbing and disqualifying.’” Donald Trump and his senior counselor Steve Bannon have also both been called anti-Semites and several other potential GOP appointees have been subjected to the media’s fidelity-to-Israel litmus test.
The recently nominated Secretary of Defense James Mattis, who can hardly be called a moderate when it comes to Iran, has also been labeled an anti-Semite by the usual players. Why? Because in 2013 he told Wolf Blitzer “So we’ve got to work on [peace talks] with a sense of urgency. I paid a military security price every day as a commander of CENTCOM because the Americans were seen as biased in support of Israel, and [because of this] moderate Arabs couldn’t be with us because they couldn’t publicly support those who don’t show respect for Arab Palestinians.”
Mattis continued, referring directly to Israeli apartheid: “I’ll tell you, the current situation is unsustainable … We’ve got to find a way to make work the two-state solution that both Democrat and Republican administrations have supported, and the chances are starting to ebb because of the settlements. For example, if I’m Jerusalem and I put 500 Jewish settlers to the east and there’s ten-thousand Arabs already there, and if we draw the border to include them, either [Israel] ceases to be a Jewish state or you say the Arabs don’t get to vote — apartheid. That didn’t work too well the last time I saw that practiced in a country.”
Mattis will no doubt be reminded of his remarks when he is up for Senate confirmation. A predecessor Chuck Hagel was mercilessly grilled by Senators over his reported comment that the “Jewish lobby” intimidates congressmen. But ironically nearly everyone who is not an Israel-firster who is involved in U.S. foreign and security policy knows that aggressive Israeli colonization of the Palestinian West Bank and its siege of Gaza contribute greatly to terrorism against the United States, since Washington is regularly blamed for enabling Netanyahu. When General David Petraeus said pretty much the same thing as Mattis back in 2010 he was forced to “explain” his comments, retract them and then grovel before he was eventually given a pass by the Lobby.
And there is considerable self-censorship related to the alleged sensitivity of “Jewish issues,” not only in the media. I recently attended a conference on the Iraq invasion of 2003 at which the role of Israel manifested through its controlled gaggle of American legislators and bureaucrats as a factor in going to war was not even mentioned. It was as if it would be impolite or, dare I say, anti-Semitic, to do so even though the Israeli role was hardly hidden. Former Bush administration senior official Philip Zelikow has admitted that protecting Israel was the principal reason why the U.S. invaded Iraq and others have speculated that without the persistent neocons’ and Israel’s prodding Washington might not have gone to war at all. That is apparently what then Secretary of State Colin Powell also eventually came around to believe.
So let’s stop talking about what Russia is doing to the United States, which is relatively speaking very little, and start admitting that the lopsided and completely deferential relationship with Israel is the actual central problem in America’s foreign policy. Will the media do that? Not a chance. They would rather obsess about fake news and blame Putin.
Dutch secret services conducted an investigation into suspicions that Geert Wilders, head of the anti-Islam Party for Freedom, was strongly influenced by top Israeli military and political figures, according to reports in the Netherlands.
Wilders, the firebrand leader of the Dutch far-right Party for Freedom (PVV), was investigated by the country’s General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD) between 2009 and 2010 over his “ties to Israel and their possible influence on his loyalty,” according to De Volkskrant newspaper, which conducted interviews with 37 public officials and former intelligence officers.
An investigation into an opposition leader is an exceptional case in the Netherlands, the newspaper noted, citing several former intelligence officers who said such inquiries are considered an “absolute no-go” due to political sensitivity.
Wilders was an MP at the time the AIVD probe was carried out, with his party supporting the center-right coalition government led by then Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, enabling it to remain in power.
The intelligence agency sanctioned the operation, citing concerns about “the possibility that Wilders is influenced by Israeli factors,” according to the newspaper.
Back in 2010, Wilders reportedly had close ties to influential people in Tel Aviv. At the time, he visited Major General Amos Gilad, former chief of the Israeli Defense Ministry’s intelligence division, and frequently met the Israeli ambassador in the Netherlands.
According to the De Volkskrant report, which cites sources from the Netherlands’ Jewish community, these contacts stalled as Wilders did not turn his agenda into policy.
The results of the AIVD investigation have never been disclosed. Both Gerard Bouman, who led the AIVD from 2007 to 2011, and Wilders himself declined to comment.
Wilders’ Israeli connections trace back to his youth, when he volunteered for a year at Moshav Tomer, a Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank, according to the Times of Israel. He also repeatedly referred to Jews as role models for Europe and urged a complete seizure of the West Bank. At one stage, his anti-Muslim slogans made him a star among Dutch Jewish constituencies and beyond.
According to a recent poll by Maurice de Hond, Wilders’ PVV would have won 33 seats in the 150-seat lower chamber of the Dutch parliament if elections had been held on November 29. In that case, Wilders would have become the Netherlands’ next prime minister as chairman of the biggest parliamentary party.
The far-right party has 15 seats in the current parliament, having gained about 10 percent of the vote at the 2012 general election. The next election is scheduled to take place in March 2017, leaving many to believe Wilders will triumph amid growing frustration with the Netherlands’ center-right coalition.
Palestinian youth organizer Daoud Ghoul was among 14 Palestinians seized overnight by Israeli occupation forces, one week after his release from Israeli prison. Ghoul, 33, is the director of youth programs for the Health Work Committees and the Kanaan Network of Palestinian civil society organizations. He has been subject for over two years to repeated Israeli harassment and intimidation. His home was raided at 4:00 am and his personal belongings and electronics confiscated; he is currently being held at the Moskobiyeh interrogation center in Jerusalem.
On Sunday, 27 November, Ghoul was released after serving an 18-month sentence, accused by the Israeli occupation of affiliation with a “prohibited organization,” the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. After a visit to Brussels, Belgium in November 2014 in which he presented before the European Parliament about Israeli ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in Jerusalem, threats to Palestinian life in the city, and attacks on Palestinian health workers, he was banned from his home city of Jerusalem by an Israeli military order. He was then banned from the West Bank and from international travel, and was forced to move to Haifa from his hometown of Silwan in East Jerusalem. On 15 June 2015, he was seized by occupation military forces one month after his HWC Jerusalem office was forcibly closed by the occupation military.
After serving his 18 month sentence ordered against him by a military court, Ghoul was welcomed last Sunday by his friends and family and by supporters around the world who had long demanded his release. The sudden re-arrest of Daoud Ghoul one week after his release recalls similar cases like that of student Bahaa al-Najjar, released from administrative detention in early November only to once again be imprisoned without charge or trial one week later, or Bilal Kayed, ordered to six months in administrative detention without charge or trial immediately following the expiration of his 14.5-year sentence.
Ghoul’s case is also similar to those of other youth activists persecuted by the Israeli occupation, as well as part of the ongoing attacks on Palestinians in Jerusalem, including mass arrests, harsh sentencing of children and the stripping of Jerusalem IDs of Palestinian Legislative Council members.
Ghoul was among six young Palestinians, many former prisoners, arrested in Jerusalem last night. All of their computers and mobile phones were confiscated and Amjad Abu Assab said that the pretext of “incitement via social media” was cited in at least some of the cases. Among those arrested were Uday Abu Saad and Mohammed Salah of Shuafat refugee camp, Jihad Amira and Amin Hamad from Sur Baher, and Saleh Muhaisen from the village of Issawiya, in addition to Ghoul.
Three more Palestinians from Qabatiya, south of Jenin, Mahmoud Abu Ein, Louay Ziad Zakarneh and Musa Abdel-Salam Kamil, were seized by occupation forces, as were Bilal Anas Abu Eid and Munir Hussein Briggah of al-Khalil. More Palestinian young people were arrested in Jericho and in Beit Fajar, south of Bethlehem.
Israel Appoints Eyal Karim as the Israeli Army Chief Rabbi in Spite of His Response to Allow Soldiers Raping Palestinian Women
Brig. Gen. Eyal Karim officially took his position as chief rabbi of the IDF Thursday evening after a change of command ceremony at the IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv attended by Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot.
During the ceremony, the chief of staff said, “The appointment of chief rabbi of the IDF is an extremely significant event in the army. Unfortunately, the ceremony took place a week late,” added Eisenkot. “I was convinced months ago that we are choosing Rabbi Eyal Karim for the job. He is the most fitting and appropriate choice for command and rabbinic authority in the IDF. I had no doubts.”
Following his official promotion, Karim spoke at length, saying, “During this journey of thousands of years, Israel drew its strength and spirit from the Torah—all its laws, values and morality. These are the foundation stones of the Jewish people. David Ben-Gurion, who asked Rabbi Goren to be chief rabbi, understood that the army has to address a wide range of people without creating a split in the army. He understood that there had to be a way for all soldiers to have a fulfilling service in the IDF together.”
Comments Karim made in 2003 when he was a civilian resurfaced after his appointment. In a column called “Ask the Rabbi” at Kipa.co.il, a popular Hebrew-language website catering to religious Jews, Karim responded to a number of anonymous letters inquiring about specificities of Jewish religious law, including a question about rape in times of war.
“Is it allowed nowadays for an IDF [Israeli army] soldier, for example, to rape girls during battle, or is such a thing forbidden?” Karim was asked. He answered: “Even though fraternizing with a gentile woman is a very serious matter, it was permitted during wartime … the Torah permitted the individual to satisfy the evil urge.”
Karim’s comments first attracted notice in 2012, when dissident Israeli journalist Yossi Gurvitz first published them in English at +972 Magazine. Gurvitz says that when he asked the military to comment on Karim’s statements, he was rebuked by an army spokesperson and told that his query “disrespects the IDF, the State of Israel and the Jewish religion.”
The Journalist, David Shenn, noted recently that “the army is hardly the only sector of Israeli society from which sexual assaults emanate. But rape culture in the military is especially disconcerting, as its soldiers have access to deadly weapons and the license to use them. And now its chief rabbi is a man who once gave Jewish soldiers sanction to rape Palestinian women until he was shamed into retracting it.”
Karim’s defenders insist that his comments on rape were misunderstood and that he couldn’t possibly have permitted sexual assaults against Palestinian women. But threats of rape have been wielded by Israeli occupation forces against Palestinians.
Donald Trump has picked Gen. (ret) James Mattis his defense secretary. Even though, Mattis is a known anti-Muslim, and pro-Israel Christian Zionist, some of his past statements are going to haunt him during his nomination approval at the US Senate like former secretary of defense Chuck Hagel.
For example in March 2012, Mattis told Senate Armed Services Committee that in order to withdraw the US-NATO forces from Afghanistan with some honor, the US needed Pakistan’s help.
Could it be the reason that Donald Trump during a telephone conversation with Pakistan’s prime minister Nawaz Sharif praised him and Pakistani nation?
“You’re doing a fantastic job. Your country is amazing with tremendous opportunities. Pakistanis are one of the most intelligent people,” Trump told Nawaz Sharif.
This is surprising considering Donald Trump during campaign had said: I love India, I love Hindus.
In July 2013, Gen. James Mattis told the Israeli goat, Wolf Blitzer (CNN) during an interview he gave at the Aspen Institute: World hate the US for backing Israel.
“So we’ve got to work on peace talks with a sense of urgency. I paid a military security price every day as a commander of CENTCOM because the Americans were seen as biased in support of Israel, and because of this moderate Arabs couldn’t be with us because they couldn’t publicly support those who don’t show respect for Palestinians,” Mattis said.
“I’ll tell you, the current situation is unsustainable. We’ve got to find a way to make work the two-state solution that both Democrat and Republican administrations have supported, and the chances are starting to ebb because of the settlements. For example, if I’m Jerusalem and I put 500 Jewish settlers to the east and there’s ten-thousand Palestinians already there, and if we draw the border to include them, either Israel ceases to be a Jewish state or you say the Palestinian don’t get to vote – apartheid. That didn’t work too well the last time I saw that practiced in a (South Africa) country,” added Mattis.
Jimmy Carter was treated shamefully by Alan Dershowitz and Brandeis University and the Jewish Lobby for voicing precisely the same warning, and was excluded by their pressure from speaking at the Obama Democratic National Conventions. Watch-lists have been made of academics who dare criticize the Zionist entity squatting on Palestinian-owned land.
On November 20, the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) called Donald Trump not to appoint James Mattis as defense chief based on his past hatred toward Israel.
“In the past Mattis revealed a lack of appreciation for and understanding of the extraordinary value to American security resulting from a strong American-Israeli alliance and a secure Israel. Thus I urge that Mattis not be appointed defense secretary,” ZOA President Morton Klein said.
Matt Brooks, executive director of Republican Jewish Coalition, praised the appointment of James Mattis, calling him a friend of Israel who wants a strong America to defend Israel.
In 2010, one of Mattis’s predecessors in CENTCOM’s command, David Petraeus, shocked his Israeli friends, and American Jewish Lobby when prepared testimony he was to give to the Senate leaked before he appeared. The prepared remarks, which were based on a study that his staff conducted of American security interests in the Middle East, stated: “The enduring hostilities between Israel and some of its neighbors present distinct challenges to our ability to advance our interests in the region. The conflict foments anti-American sentiment, due to a perception of US favoritism for Israel.
Since retirement, Gen. James Mattis has worked as a consultant to the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace, US-based Zionist think tank whose fellows include Israel-Firsters Condoleezza Rice, George P. Shultz (Jewish), Thomas Sowell, Gen. John P. Abizaid, Shelby Steel (married to Jewish Rita), and Edwin Meese III.
Jewish state plans to unplug the muezzins
Here’s another dastardly twist in the religious hate war against Muslims in the Holy Land.
According to a report by The Times, mosques in the city of Lod are threatened with having their loudspeakers, which call the faithful to prayer five times a day, shut down. The first call is at 4.45 am and this is a nuisance to non-Muslim residents, so much so that the mayor recently suggested broadcasting a Jewish prayer to drown out the Muslim adhan. Imagine the pre-dawn cacaphony! No, he’s not exactly the brightest fairy-light on the Christmas tree.
The argument is that hundreds of thousands of Israeli citizens routinely suffer from the noise caused by the muezzin’s calls, it’s getting them down and freedom of religion shouldn’t be allowed to undermine their quality of life.
However, a bill going through the Knesset banning the use of outside broadcast equipment by houses of worship, which had the support of prime minister Netanyahu, was stopped in its tracks when it dawned on some members that the wording could backfire on religious Jewish communities who use a siren to mark the start of the Sabbath on Friday evenings. So it’s back to the drawing board on this one. Personally I’d prefer the naturally mellifluous voice of the muezzin from a distant minaret to the electronically amplified and distorted version. It should still disturb the sleep of a useful number of Israelis, especially if muezzins punctuate their performance with an occasional blast from a musical instrument like the bugle.
This is not the first time that the dark forces of Zionism have tried to silence the Muslims of this city. Lod was originally a Canaanite town and in ancient times became the old Arab city of Lydda. Its importance grew under Ottoman rule and the British mandate and by 1948 it had become a key trading centre with an airport and rail hub and nearly 20,000 inhabitants – 18,500 Muslim and 1,500 Christian. The UN’s Partition Plan of 1947 allocated Lydda to a future Arab state.
But in July 1948 Israeli terrorist troops seized Lydda, shot up the town and drove out the population as part of their ethnic cleansing programme. In the process they silenced 426 men, women, and children…. permanently. 176 of them were slaughtered in the town’s main mosque. See here for the lurid details.
Those who survived were forced to walk into exile in the scalding July heat leaving a trail of bodies — men, women and children — along the way. And who was the perpetrator of this foul massacre? None other than the great hero of the Six Day War, Moshe Dayan.
The assault on Lydda was witnessed by two American news correspondents. One recorded that “practically everything in their way died. Riddled corpses lay by the roadside.” The other wrote that he saw “the corpses of Arab men, women and even children strewn about in the wake of the ruthlessly brilliant charge”.
Christians, especially English Christians (and indeed Swedish, Portuguese, Romanian, Georgian and Maltese) will be aware that these outrages were committed in St George’s home town. He was born and buried in Lydda.
Israeli troops carried away 1,800 truck loads of loot. Jewish immigrants then flooded in and Lydda was given its Hebrew name, Lod.
So Israelis have no right to be there in the first place. Nor Ben Gurion airport, formerly Lydda airport. All was stolen in the murderous terror raid.
There’s an amusing story where an irate airline passenger wrote: “This morning (6 May 2003) on a flight from Rome to Tel Aviv, after landing the pilot announced in the microphone: ‘Welcome to Palestine’. I think this is the most disgusting thing for a pilot to say.”
It led to a long and acrimonious argument on the forum with many demanding dire punishment for the Alitalia pilot. It seems an Air France pilot had said something similarly shocking. Had he been sacked I’d have enjoyed chairing his employment tribunal. I salute that unnamed Alitalia pilot. And the Air France one.
So next time you fly into Ben Gurion, if the pilot doesn’t announce over the tannoy the greeting: ‘Welcome to Lydda and Palestine. And may St George protect you!’ remember to whisper it to yourself. Whisper being the operative word seeing as how Israelis tend to get twitchy when confronted with the truth.
Another symbolic international day for Palestinian rights has degenerated into the usual stale observations and recommendations that do little other than try to impart a semblance of balance between the coloniser and the colonised. Perhaps the UN has preferred to remain loyal to the monstrous history it spawned by approving the Partition Plan on 29 November 1947, rather than address its complicity in the dispossession, ethnic cleansing and displacement of the Palestinians.
Departing from a jeopardising premise, Fiji’s Peter Thomson presided over the 71st session of the UN General Assembly and declared that peace between Israel and the Palestinians is “fundamental to our efforts to realise the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, and to ensure that they are able to enjoy lives of dignity, opportunity, prosperity and equality.” The Palestinian people have endured a history of premeditated killing for decades because the UN upholds obscurity as a priority over the anti-colonial struggle. Peace, therefore, can be eliminated from the convenient rhetoric as it is nothing but a euphemism for oblivion in the context of Israeli colonial violence and international acceptance and complicity.
Not to be outdone, the Head of the EU Delegation to the UN, João Vale de Almeida, presented a summarised version of the perpetual concerns and condemnations, but added a slight variation to the usual rhetoric. The EU, he claimed, is “alarmed by the advancement in the Knesset of the ‘Settlement Regularisation Bill’ which would allow for the ex post ‘legalisation’ of Israeli outposts in the occupied West Bank and de facto confiscation of private Palestinian land.” It is mystifying, to say the least, how an international institution that is normally so well-informed can express “alarm” over violations that have occurred blatantly and in a clear, calculated sequence following the original Zionist plan for Greater Israel. There was more likely to be advance knowledge and acquiescence, not alarm, over the proposed legislation.
Almeida made another obfuscating comment regarding Gaza: “Militant activity and the dire situation in Gaza feed general instability and constitute a recipe for renewed conflict.” He provided no context for the Palestinian resistance in Gaza; no mention of how Israel’s Operation Protective Edge destroyed the enclave and displaced Palestinians in a space that is completely besieged. Hamas “and other militant groups” are also urged to stop “the illicit arms build-up.” Presumably the EU, like Israel, wishes there to be a defenceless population that is completely stripped of the right to defend itself against Israel’s state of the art military technology. Almeida’s statement encourages the abuse of Palestinian civilians by Israel whenever it chooses to field test its latest weapons on live targets before marketing them internationally and thus exposing international hypocrisy with regards to alleged support for Palestinian rights.
Perhaps the symbolic commemoration of “International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People” should be scrapped, since the UN, the EU and other international institutions are incapable of articulating the trajectory between the initial and the current colonial violence against Palestinians. All of the futile statements which simply rehash decades of other repetitive rhetoric do not help the Palestinians in any way. Sporting a keffiyeh for the macabre day, which is a backdoor commemoration of the UN Partition Plan as well as purported international solidarity, is humiliating, not a show of support. In the absence of a commitment to support Palestine’s anti-colonial struggle, one can conclude that the international agenda for this “day of support” is to devaluate Palestine and downgrade it even further from a symbolic presence to a passive memory.
While there has been recent criticism of those taking the position that Israel is committing genocide against Palestinians, there is a long history of human rights scholarship and legal analysis that supports the assertion. Prominent scholars of the international law crime of genocide and human rights authorities take the position that Israel’s policies toward the Palestinian people could constitute a form of genocide. Those policies range from the 1948 mass killing and displacement of Palestinians to a half-century of military occupation and, correspondingly, the discriminatory legal regime governing Palestinians, repeated military assaults on Gaza, and official Israeli statements expressly favoring the elimination of Palestinians.
Genocide is a term that has both sociological and legal meaning. The term genocide was coined in 1944 by a Jewish Polish legal scholar, Raphael Lemkin. For Lemkin, “the term does not necessarily signify mass killings.” He explained:
More often [genocide] refers to a coordinated plan aimed at destruction of the essential foundations of the life of national groups so that these groups wither and die like plants that have suffered a blight. The end may be accomplished by the forced disintegration of political and social institutions, of the culture of the people, of their language, their national feelings and their religion. It may be accomplished by wiping out all basis of personal security, liberty, health and dignity. When these means fail the machine gun can always be utilized as a last resort. Genocide is directed against a national group as an entity and the attack on individuals is only secondary to the annihilation of the national group to which they belong.
Since Lemkin’s first invocation of the term, it has gained political, social, and legal meaning. For political scientists, historians, and sociologists, genocide is “understood as a major type of collective violence, with a distinctive place in the spectrum of political violence, armed conflict, and war, of which it is usually seen as a part.”
From a legal perspective, genocide, like the crime against humanity of persecution, is an international crime distinguished by the specific intent to discriminate against a group on recognized grounds through a series of acts or omissions often reflected in and achieved through State policies. While different in degree, both genocide and persecution “[reduce] a person to their identification with or membership in a group,” but also “[attack] the group itself.” Persecution criminalizes the denial of fundamental rights for members of the group, and genocide criminalizes the most extreme stage of discrimination: efforts to actually destroy the group.
According to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, genocide includes various acts “committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group” as such, including:
(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; and
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group.
This definition is reflected in Article 6 of the Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), which has jurisdiction over crimes occurring on the territory of the State of Palestine since June 13, 2014.
The Genocide Convention was written in the aftermath of World War II and the horrors of the Holocaust, especially to deter and prevent such horrors in the future and, failing that, to punish those responsible. The Convention thus provided a legal framework that clearly identifies the essence of the crime of genocide, regardless of the political, social, or cultural permutations in which the crime may be attempted or carried out and regardless of the specific qualities, stage, or scale of the genocidal process. The Holocaust set the terms by which a form of general or pervasive violence against a group might be legitimately termed “genocide” as a general sociological concept as it need not “imply a comparison to any other specific case.”
Scholars of genocide have distinguished it as a crime different from other forms of war, killing, violence, discrimination, and repression. “Genocidal action aims not just to contain, control, or subordinate a population, but to shatter and break up its social existence. Thus genocide is defined, not by a particular form of violence, but by general and pervasive violence.” They note that settler colonial regimes are structurally prone to genocide, and may indulge in “genocidal moments” when they become frustrated by the resistance of a colonized or occupied people.
The term “genocide” has been used to describe the mass murder of Armenians by the Ottomans, Stalin’s expulsion of Chechens, Ingush Tartars, and Jews from the U.S.S.R., the removal of Jews and Hungarians from Romania, and Italy’s efforts to clear Slovenes and Croats from the Dalmatian coast. There have been successful prosecutions of individuals for genocide arising out of efforts to destroy the Tutsi population in Rwanda in 1994 and Srebrenica in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1995.
Numerous prominent human rights authorities, advocates, and scholars have claimed that Israel’s policies and actions with respect to the Palestinian people have amounted to a form of genocide.
Expulsion and Killing of Palestinians in 1948
With respect to the creation of the Israeli state in 1948, there has been a robust scholarly debate about whether the settlement of Jews and the expulsion of Palestinians in Mandate Palestine could be described as genocide. Sociologist Martin Shaw, one of the most distinguished modern scholars of genocide, has written, “We can conclude that pre-war Zionism included the development of an incipiently genocidal mentality towards Arab society.” “Israel entered without an overarching plan, so that its specific genocidal thrusts developed situationally and incrementally, through local as well as national decisions. On this account, this was a partly decentred, networked genocide, developing in interaction with the Palestinian and Arab enemy, in the context of war.”
In 2010, the Journal of Genocide Studies hosted a conversation between Martin Shaw and another prominent scholar of genocide, Omer Bartov, on whether the term “genocide” could be reasonably applied to the Israeli treatment of Palestinians, particularly the expulsion and killing of Arabs in 1948. The two scholars took very different positions on the question, but the journal rejected complaints from some quarters that it was an illegitimate, or worse, a bigoted question to pose and debate at all.
Francis Boyle, a professor of international law, testified in 2013 that “The Palestinians have been the victims of genocide as defined by the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.” He argued that:
For over the past six and one-half decades, the Israeli government and its predecessors in law – the Zionist agencies, forces, and terrorist gangs – have ruthlessly implemented a systematic and comprehensive military, political, religious, economic, and cultural campaign with the intent to destroy in substantial part the national, ethnical, racial, and different religious group (Jews versus Muslims and Christians) constituting the Palestinian people.
Long-Term Military Occupation of Palestinian People
When the international community ratified legal rules that would regulate the actions of occupying powers while also protecting the rights of occupied peoples and nations/states, it was understood that military occupation would be a short-lived necessity attendant to armed conflict, and that occupying forces would be withdrawn at the end of the conflict. Israel’s prolonged belligerent occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza for 50 years far exceeds the kind of occupation that animated the creation of legal rules of occupation contained in international law. Given the seemingly permanent nature of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, some human rights experts, including Israeli historian Ilan Pappé, have warned of an “incremental genocide” of Palestinians and the ultimate destruction of Palestinians as a national group. This “incremental genocide” through the policies and practices that have both sustained and served as the hallmarks of Israel’s occupation is accomplished, they argue, by a normalization of the Israeli annexation of Palestinian territory and the exile or absorption of the national group of people who identify as Palestinian. International law is clear that an occupying power may not annex the people or territory it occupies.
The late human rights lawyer and Center for Constitutional Rights Board President Michael Ratner also charged Israel with committing “incremental genocide” against the Palestinian people: “There’s no doubt again here this is ‘incremental genocide,’ as Ilan Pappé says. It’s been going on for a long time, the killings, the incredibly awful conditions of life, the expulsions that have gone on from Lydda in 1947 and ‘48, when 700 or more villages in Palestine were destroyed, and in the expulsions that continued from that time until today. It’s correct and important to label it for what it is.” He argued further, “I want to emphasize today [that] these killings are part of a broader set of inhuman acts by Israel constituting international crimes, carried out by Israel over many years, going back to at least 1947 and 1948. They include crimes that aren’t talked about that much in the media or the press, the crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, and apartheid. These crimes can be prosecuted in the International Criminal Court and are defined there.”
The Russell Tribunal on Palestine, a nongovernmental “people’s body” made up of prominent international human rights experts and advocates, convened between November 2010 and September 2014 to investigate the question of human rights violations in the context of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza. It took testimony and deliberated specifically on the question of whether Israel may have committed genocide in relation to the Palestinian people. The jury concluded that some Israeli citizens and leaders may have been guilty in several instances of the separate crime of incitement to genocide, which is specified in Article 3(c) of the Genocide Convention. “The cumulative effect of the long-standing regime of collective punishment in Gaza appears to inflict conditions of life calculated to bring about the incremental destruction of the Palestinians as a group in Gaza. The Tribunal emphasises the potential for a regime of persecution to become genocidal in effect.”
Military Assaults on Gazan Population
With respect to Israel’s most recent military offensive, the so-called “Operation Protective Edge” launched against Gaza in the summer of 2014, prominent human rights authorities expressed concern that the campaign constituted a violation of international humanitarian law as contained in the Geneva Conventions:
- Amnesty International issued a statement proclaiming “an International Criminal Court (ICC) investigation is essential to break the culture of impunity which perpetuates the commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The case for such action is made all the more compelling in the light of the ongoing serious violations of international humanitarian law being committed by all parties to the current hostilities in the Gaza Strip and Israel.”
- The ICC has jurisdiction over genocide, and the U.N. Special Advisers on the Prevention of Genocide issued a statement two weeks into the 2014 offensive that they were “disturbed by the flagrant use of hate speech in the social media, particularly against the Palestinian population,” finding that “individuals have disseminated messages that could be dehumanising to the Palestinians and have called for the killing of members of this group,” while “remind[ing] all that incitement to commit atrocity crimes is prohibited under international law.”
- Al-Haq, the oldest Palestinian Human Rights organization, found that serious violations of international law were committed in the course of the 2014 Israeli offensive against Gaza. Al-Haq, along with other Palestinian human rights organizations the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, Al-Mezan, and Aldameer, submitted a legal file to the International Criminal Court urging it to open an investigation and prosecution into the crimes against humanity and war crimes committed during the course of Israel’s 2014 Gaza offensive. The crimes suggested for prosecution by these human rights organizations include genocide.
- Dozens of Holocaust survivors, together with hundreds of descendants of Holocaust survivors and victims, accused Israel of “genocide” for the deaths of more than 2,000 Palestinians in Gaza during the 2014 Israeli military offensive against Gaza, “Operation Protective Edge”. 
- Others who have charged that Israel committed genocide during Operation Cast Lead include Bolivian President Evo Morales, who recalled that country’s ambassador from Israel. He stated, “What is happening in Palestine is genocide.”
- Author and activist Naomi Wolf wrote, “I mourn genocide in Gaza because I am the granddaughter of a family half wiped out in a holocaust and I know genocide when I see it.”
Israeli Government Statements Targeting Palestinians
Finally, prominent Israeli politicians have publicly called for action against the Palestinian people that unequivocally meets the definition of genocide under the 1948 Convention. For instance, in February 2008, Matan Vilnai, Israel’s deputy defense minister, declared that increasing tensions between the Israelis and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip could bring on themselves what he called a shoah, or holocaust, “The more Qassam [rocket] fire intensifies and the rockets reach a longer range, they will bring upon themselves a bigger shoah because we will use all our might to defend ourselves.”
Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked posted a statement on Facebook in June 2014 claiming that “the entire Palestinian people is the enemy” and called for the destruction of Palestine, “including its elderly and its women, its cities and its villages, its property and its infrastructure.” Her post also called for the killing of Palestinian mothers who give birth to “little snakes.”
In August 2014, Moshe Feiglin, then-deputy speaker of the Israeli Knesset and member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling Likud Party, called for the destruction of Palestinian life in Gaza and offered a detailed plan for shipping Palestinians living in Gaza across the world. Specifically, he envisioned a scenario where the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) would find areas on the Sinai border to establish “tent encampments… until relevant emigration destinations are determined.” He further suggested that the IDF would then “exterminate nests of resistance, in the event that any should remain.” He subsequently wrote in an op-ed, “After the IDF completes the ‘softening’ of the targets with its fire-power, the IDF will conquer the entire Gaza, using all the means necessary to minimize any harm to our soldiers, with no other considerations.” He continued, “Gaza is part of our Land and we will remain there forever. Liberation of parts of our land forever is the only thing that justifies endangering our soldiers in battle to capture land. Subsequent to the elimination of terror from Gaza, it will become part of sovereign Israel and will be populated by Jews. This will also serve to ease the housing crisis in Israel. The coastal train line will be extended, as soon as possible, to reach the entire length of Gaza.”
Prominent human rights advocates and scholars have argued that the killings of Palestinians and their forceful expulsion from mandate Palestine in 1948, the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza, and the violence and discrimination directed at Palestinians by the Israeli government have violated a number of human rights protections contained in international human rights law, genocide being among them.
 Raphael Lemkin, Genocide – A Modern Crime, 4 Free World 39 (1945), available at: http://www.preventgenocide.org/lemkin/freeworld1945.htm (emphasis added).
 Martin Shaw, Genocide, Oxford Bibliography, September 30, 2013, available at: http://www.oxfordbibliographies.com/view/document/obo-9780199756384/obo-9780199756384-0029.xml.
 Helen Brady and Ryan Liss. Historical Origins of International Law Vol. 3, “The Evolution of Persecution as a Crime Against Humanity,”FICHL Publication Series No. 22 (2015) p. 554, available at https://www.fichl.org/fileadmin/fichl/FICHL_PS_22_web.pdf. Notably, “some scholars suggest[ ] that any distinction [between genocide and persecution] has effectively disappeared,” with the two crimes “offer[ing] two different but related visions of the same harm: in short, a crime against the individual as a member of a group (persecution) or a crime against the group itself (genocide).” Id. at 491.
 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, Adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 9, 1948 as General Assembly Resolution 260, and entered into force on 12 January 1951, available at: https://treaties.un.org/doc/Publication/UNTS/Volume%2078/volume-78-I-1021-English.pdf. The Genocide Convention has 147 signatories, including the United States, Israel and Palestine.
 Genocide Convention, Article II.
 Declaration Accepting the Jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court, Mahmoud Abbas, President of the State of Palestine, Dec. 31, 2014, available at http://www.icc-cpi.int/iccdocs/PIDS/press/Palestine_A_12-3.pdf. On January 6, 2015, the United Nations Secretary General, acting in his capacity as depository for the Rome Statute, accepted Palestine’s accession to the Rome Statute. United Nations, Depository Notification, Ref: C.N.13.2015.TREATIES-XVIII.10, 6 Jan. 2015, available at https://treaties.un.org/doc/Publication/CN/2015/CN.13.2015-Eng.pdf. On January 16, 2015, the Prosecutor of the ICC, Mrs. Fatou Bensouda, opened a preliminary examination into the situation of Palestine.
 Martin Shaw in Martin Shaw & Omer Bartov, The Question Of Genocide In Palestine, 1948: An Exchange Between Martin Shaw And Omer Bartov, 12 Journal of Genocide Research 243, 244 (2010).
 Martin Shaw, Palestine In An International Historical Perspective On Genocide, 9 Holy Land Studies 1, 5 (2010).
 A. Dirk Moses, An Antipodean Genocide? The Origins Of The Genocidal Moment In The Colonization Of Australia, 2 J. of Genocide Research 89, 90 (2010).
 Martin Shaw, Palestine In An International Historical Perspective On Genocide, 9 Holy Land Studies 1, 9 (2010).
 See, e.g., Prosecutor v. Jean-Paul Akayesu, ICTR, http://www.icty.org/x/cases/karadzic/tjug/en/160324_judgement.pdf.
 See, e.g., Prosecutor v. Radovan Karadžić, ICTY, http://www.icty.org/x/cases/karadzic/tjug/en/160324_judgement.pdf.
 Martin Shaw, Palestine In An International Historical Perspective On Genocide, 9 Holy Land Studies 1, 13 (2010), noting the comments of the President of the Zionist Organization Chaim Weizmann’s comment in 1941 “if half a million Arabs could be transferred, two million Jews could be put in their place.”
 Id. at 19.
 Martin Shaw in Martin Shaw & Omer Bartov, The Question Of Genocide In Palestine, 1948: An Exchange Between Martin Shaw And Omer Bartov, 12 Journal of Genocide Research 243, 244 (2010).
 See Gal Beckerman, Top Genocide Scholars Battle Over How To Characterize Israel’s Actions, Forward, February 16, 2011, available at: http://forward.com/news/135484/top-genocide-scholars-battle-over-how-to-character/.
 Professor Francis A. Boyle, The Palestinian Genocide by Israel Before
The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal, August 21-24, 2013, available at: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2339254.
 Id. at 3.
 See Geneva Convention III: Articles 1-4; Geneva Convention IV 1907: Section Three – Occupied Territories – Articles 47-56; Geneva Convention IV 1949: Section Three – Occupied Territories – Articles 47-78; Additional Protocols I and II.
 Ilan Pappé, A Brief History of Israel’s Incremental Genocide, in ON PALESTINE (Noam Chompsky and Ilan Pappé ed.; Haymarket 2015) pp. 147-154. See also, Steve Lendman, Israel’s Slow-Motion Genocide in Occupied Palestine, in THE PLIGHT OF THE PALESTINIANS (William A. Cook ed., Palgrave 2010)
 Article 2(4) of the United Nations Charter states that “All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.” See also: Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. Geneva, 12 August 1949 Section III, Art. 47, “Protected persons who are in occupied territory shall not be deprived, in any case or in any manner whatsoever, of the benefits of the present Convention by any change introduced, as the result of the occupation of a territory, into the institutions or government of the said territory, nor by any agreement concluded between the authorities of the occupied territories and the Occupying Power, nor by any annexation by the latter of the whole or part of the occupied territory.”
 Michael Ratner, UN’s Investigation of Israel Should Go Beyond War Crimes to Genocide, The Real News, July 27, 2013, available at: http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=12155.
 Id. See also Saree Makdisi, Palestine Inside Out: An Everyday Occupation (Norton 2010) for the notion of a “slow motion” extension and consolidation of the genocidal aspects of 1948.
 Russell Tribunal On Palestine, “About,” http://www.russelltribunalonpalestine.com/en/about-rtop.
 Israel and Occupied Palestinian Territories: The International Criminal Court must investigate war crimes, August 1, 2014 http://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/MDE15/019/2014/en/.
 UN, Department of Public Information, Statement by the Special Advisers of the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide, Mr. Adama Dieng, and on the Responsibility to Protect, Ms. Jennifer Welsh, on the Situation in Israel and in the Palestinian Occupied Territory of Gaza Strip, July 24, 2014, available at
 See, Divide and Conquer: A Legal Analysis of Israel’s 2014 Military Offensive Against the Gaza Strip, 2015, available at: http://www.alhaq.org/publications/publications-index/item/divide-and-conquer.
 Palestinian Human Rights Organisations Deliver Submission to the International Criminal Court on Alleged Israeli War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity during 2014 Gaza offensive, Nov. 23, 2015, available at: http://www.alhaq.org/advocacy/targets/international-criminal-court-icc/998-palestinian-human-rights-organisations-deliver-submission-to-the-international-criminal-court-on-alleged-israeli-war-crimes-and-crimes-against-humanity-during-2014-gaza-offensive.
 Zachary Davies Boren, Holocaust survivors and their descendants accuse Israel of ‘genocide’, The Independent, August 24, 2014, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/holocaust-survivors-and-their-descendants-accuse-israel-of-genocide-9687994.html.
 Bolivian president: Israel air strikes on Gaza is ‘genocide’, July 16, 2014, http://www.itv.com/news/update/2014-07-16/bolivian-president-israel-air-strikes-of-gaza-is-genocide.
 Naomi Wolf walked out of synagogue when they had nothing to say about Gaza massacre, July 22, 2014, http://mondoweiss.net/2014/07/synagogue-nothing-massacre.html.
 Israeli minister warns of Palestinian ‘holocaust’, The Guardian, February 29, 2008, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2008/feb/29/israelandthepalestinians1.
 Text of Shaked’s Facebook post (in Hebrew), since deleted, is available here: https://electronicintifada.net/sites/default/files/styles/original_800w/public/2014-07/ayelet-shaked-facebook-post-30-june-2014-genocide.jpg?itok=k5yvVqQp×tamp=1448949295.
 Jill Reilly, Israeli official calls for concentration camps in Gaza and ‘the conquest of the entire Gaza Strip, and annihilation of all fighting forces and their supporters’, Daily Mail, August 4, 2014, available at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2715466/Israeli-official-calls-concentration-camps-Gaza-conquest-entire-Gaza-Strip-annihilation-fighting-forces-supporters.html.
 Moshe Feiglin, My Outline for a Solution in Gaza, Arutz Sheve, August 15, 2014, available here: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/15326#.VCLljPldXTo.
Journalist Ilanit Chernick’s feature piece celebrating Sukkot in Israel is not innocuous, and is redolent of White South Africa’s attempt to display scenic Cape Town, the glitter of Sun City or the enchanting Kruger Park game reserve to hide Apartheid’s ugly face and its crimes against humanity.
Photos of the ancient seaport city of occupied Majdal, now called Ashkelon, was one of the 540 Palestinian villages and towns ethnically cleansed by Zionist brutality in 1948. In 1918, it became part of the British Occupied Enemy Territory Administration and in 1920 became part of Mandatory Palestine.
Majdal had 10,000 Palestinian inhabitants and in October 1948, the city accommodated thousands more refugees from nearby villages. They are now part of the 7 million Palestinian refugees and displaced people in the Palestinian diaspora who have been denied their basic human rights.
The picture of the Al-Buraq Plaza, or what some Jews call the Western Wall, is an integral part of the western boundary wall of the Al-Aqsa Sanctuary. After a two-year study, a League of Nations Commission reported in 1931 that Muslims would have the sole ownership of, and the sole propriety right to, the Western Wall as it forms an integral part of the Al-Aqsa Sanctuary. The commission also specified the pavement in front of the Wall and of the adjacent Maghribi Quarter opposite the Wall to be under Muslim control.
This was recently confirmed by UNESCO’s Executive Board in Paris who adopted a resolution that called Israel “the occupying power” and demanded that Israel not restrict Muslim access to the Temple Mount, condemning Israel for “illegal measures against the freedom of worship” at the “Muslim holy site of worship.” It also accused Israel of installing fake Jewish graves in other spaces of the Muslim cemeteries located in the Al-Aqsa area.
The fate of Al-Quds, Jerusalem, and its holy sites cannot be understood separately from the fate of Palestine. The daily struggle of Palestinian Muslims and Christians in that city is a representation of the struggle of Palestinians everywhere. In 1980, Israel passed a law that explicitly annexed the illegally occupied city to become part of the State of Israel. Since then, Jerusalem has been a major point of strife, political conflict and controversy.
The Zionists have concentrated much of their efforts on the “Judaisation” of Jerusalem. They confiscated 86 per cent of the city and filled it with Jewish immigrants. In the area of East Jerusalem, where the Al-Aqsa Mosque is located, about 200,000 Jews were settled there after they had encircled it with a wall of settlements, isolating it from its Arab and Islamic surroundings.
Jerusalemite Palestinians feel the burden of Israeli discrimination on a daily basis. While they represent 37 per cent of the total population in the city, the poverty rate among them has reached 75 per cent, a third of their youth drops out before finishing high school and 39 per cent of their houses are built without permits. Palestinian residents of Jerusalem are not Israeli citizens, but rather possess permanent residency status that can be revoked at any time.
The ban on the Islamic call to prayer, the Athan, in a bid to silence the mosques, is but the latest in a succession of steps taken by all Israeli governments from the moment Israel occupied and annexed East Jerusalem, to Judaise the city in every respect.
Palestinian MK Haneen Zoabi stated: “The issue is not about noise in their ears but about the noise in their minds. What disturbs them so much is the noise of the Palestinians’ presence in their own homeland.”
The Athan has been sounding over the city five times a day for the past millennium and a half, and this is an attempt to change the multi-confessional complexion of the holy city characterised by the mingling sounds of the Athan and church bells ringing.
Chernick’s images are divorced from reality, with perhaps the exception of the poignant photo of the black Ethiopian beggar on the restaurant sidewalk. The pathetic plight of the Falashas languishing in slums on the outskirts of the cities; the grotesque wall that separates the Palestinians from their livelihood; the cages that choke non-Jews desperate for work or treatment at checkpoints; and the plight of the Africans confined in hovels awaiting expulsion are pictures waiting to be taken for Chernick’s next assignment that will depict Israel’s true reality.
An Israeli court has handed down prison sentences to two Syrians living in the occupied Golan Heights for blocking an Israeli ambulance transporting militants operating in Syria for treatment.
The military court on Thursday sentenced Amal Abu Saleh to seven years and eight months in jail and a fine of more than 3,000 dollars, Syria’s official news agency SANA reported.
Bashira Mahmoud, the other Syrian, was sentenced to 22 months in prison. She was also fined 1,000 dollars.
According to the report, Israeli forces arrested the two along with 24 others in June 2015, when residents of the village of Majdal Shams blocked the ambulance and prevented it from transporting two injured terrorists with the Takfiri Jabhat Fateh al-Sham militant group, formerly known as al-Nusra Front.
The Israeli regime later released the detainees except the two. Bashira has been under house arrest since July 2016.
Sheikh Nazih Abu Saleh, Amal’s uncle, said the court ruling was “hostile.” He added that the residents of the occupied Golan Heights have the right to block the transport of al-Nusra terrorists for treatment in Israeli hospitals.
Ahmed Sheikh Abdul Qader, the governor of the city of Quneitra in southwestern Syria that borders Golan, slammed the “provocative” court ruling, calling on human rights organizations to force the Israeli regime to release Syrians held in its prisons.
Syria says Israel and its Western and regional allies are aiding Takfiri terrorist groups operating inside the Arab country.
In December 2015, the Daily Mail said the Israeli regime had saved the lives of over 2,000 Takfiri militants at the cost of about 13 million dollars since 2013.
The Syrian army has several times seized huge quantities of Israeli-made weapons and advanced military equipment from the foreign-backed militants inside Syria.
In February 2014, photos of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were released, showing him visiting injured militants at a field hospital in Israel.