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As Israel prepares to annex most of the West Bank, Abbas bleats about ‘incitement’

By Ramona Wadi | MEMO | January 2, 2018

Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas should be aware by now that he can no longer be taken seriously. As evidence of a shrinking Palestine continues to accumulate, Israel and the international community are well aware of this and are applying two complementary strategies. While Israel passes legislation to annex areas of the occupied West Bank colonised by illegal, Jewish settlers, the international community has quietly departed from the scene of its recent condemnations over the US-approved Israeli appropriation of Jerusalem.

The legislation was described by Israel’s Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan as a “moral right and obligation towards our settler brothers,” indicating the dependency of the colonial entity upon the expansion of its settler-colonies for its own survival. This prompted Abbas to make one of his weakest statements ever: “We shall make important decisions during 2018, including regarding legal avenues, in order to hold Israel accountable for its grave and systematic violations of international law, and to revisit agreements signed with Israel.”

A leader with decolonisation in mind would not stoop so low. Decades have proven that Israel cannot be held accountable and the international community is adamant that it will not try to reverse this impunity. Indeed, UN votes to one side (they mean little), the world is equally assertive that Palestinians should remain tethered to Israeli hegemony until there is no further need to sustain that narrative and the ethnic cleansing of Palestine is complete.

Nothing that Abbas says or does in 2018 can be deemed to be an “important decision”. Giving a hint of what he has in mind, the PA leader called upon the international community “to look at the Israeli incitement against Palestinian rights that is particularly recurrent among members of the government coalition.”

There are many weaknesses in Abbas’s statement. First of all, the international community does not need reminders; it is, quite simply and willfully, ignoring Israel’s violations of international law. To crawl and beg continuously in front of a complicit international community has harmed the people of Palestine in the long run; while Israel is rapidly executing its expansionist plans (and executing Palestinians extrajudicially in the process), Abbas is misinterpreting the whole colonial project as a series of isolated violations which he loosely labels “incitement”.

This begs the question of whether or not it is still correct to speak of Israeli incitement. Given the impunity that Israel enjoys, it is imperative that incitement is analysed critically and specified, rather than used as a convenient term to describe actions taken by Israel which result in the loss of Palestinian rights, land and lives. The prelude to such loss is indeed incitement, but it was initiated decades ago. For Abbas to speak of it as if it were something new is a bonus for Israel. Palestinians are witnessing a denial of the current political violence by the leaders which claim to represent them.

Hence, Abbas would do well to refrain from redundant statements which entrench the politically inferior position imposed upon him by Israel, the PA and the international community. If Israel’s legislation paves the way for the physical end of the two-state compromise, why are Abbas and members of the international community still insisting upon what is clearly an obsolete paradigm as the “only” solution? The answer is clear to anyone with eyes and the will to see: by adhering to the concept, Palestinian leaders and the UN are taking several steps backwards and thus buying time for Israel to complete its obliteration of Palestine unhindered. This tactic has been obvious for decades. As Israel prepares to annex most of the West Bank, Abbas bleats about “incitement”; he really can’t be taken seriously anymore.

January 3, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 3 Comments

Israeli settlers, soldiers raid Nablus-area school, injure Palestinian students

Palestine Information Center – December 28, 2017

NABLUS – A Palestinian school student suffered a rubber bullet injury on Thursday morning after Israeli soldiers stormed Burin town in Nablus to provide protection for extremist Jewish settlers, who infiltrated into the town and clashed with local residents.

Eyewitnesses explained the Palestinian Information Center that at first, a horde of violent settlers entered the town and encircled the school of Burin before attempting to storm it to attack students and teachers, who were busy doing semester exams.

The settlers also caused damage to three parked cars outside the school, and brutalized and detained several teachers on the main road of the town.

Soon later, local residents rushed to the school to fend off the settlers and clashed with them before soldiers showed up and started to fire volleys of tear gas as well as rubber and live bullets randomly to protect the settlers.

Consequently, one student was injured and several others inside and outside the school suffered from their exposure to teargas fumes.

The administration of the school also had to postpone the exams and dismiss the students following the events.

In a separate incident, a large number of Israeli soldiers stormed Rujeib town, southeast of Nablus, amid intensive shooting of tear gas and stun grenades near homes.

Eyewitnesses reported that the soldiers detained some students on the streets of the town for a while and searched them before letting them go.

The soldiers also clashed with local young men during their campaign in the town and withdrew without making arrests.

December 28, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | Leave a comment

State Dept rejects US envoy proposal to stop calling West Bank occupied – report

RT | December 27, 2017

The State Department has reportedly rejected a request by the US ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, to stop referring to Israel’s control of the West Bank as an “occupation.”  The final say is with Donald Trump, though.

The issue is being discussed, and President Trump will ultimately take the final decision, according to Israeli public broadcasting channel Kan. A State Department official said in response to the report that there has been no change in US policy regarding the West Bank, according to the Jerusalem Post.

Friedman’s alleged request comes as Washington’s attempts to find a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have not borne fruit. World leaders have questioned the US’s role as a peace broker in the region after Trump declared Jerusalem the capital of Israel on December 6 – sparking an international backlash and a rebuke by the UN General Assembly. Washington had earlier vetoed a UN Security Council resolution which demanded Trump’s decision be withdrawn.

The State Department has previously had to walk back a number of inflammatory statements made by Friedman about the West Bank. In September, he described Israel’s military control of Palestinian territories as “an alleged occupation.” Later that same month, Friedman said that Israel only occupies 2 percent of the West Bank and that illegal Israeli settlements in the territory are part of the Jewish State – prompting State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert to clarify that “our position on that hasn’t changed” and “the comment does not represent a shift in US policy.”

Israel seized the West Bank in 1967 during the Six-Day War. According to estimates by international bodies and NGOs, approximately 60 percent of the territory is fully occupied by Israel. The UN Security Council has adopted resolutions stating that Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories has “no legal validity,” and calling for the “withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict.” The State Department refers to “occupied territories” in its own reports, including in a human rights report from last year.

Friedman, an Orthodox Jew and former bankruptcy lawyer who worked for Trump’s real estate empire, has been an outspoken advocate for Israel’s claim to Jerusalem. Although lacking a formal background in diplomacy, he was a top adviser to Trump’s presidential campaign, vowing that a Trump White House would recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and relocate the US embassy in Tel Aviv to the contested holy city. Friedman has previously accused Barack Obama of “anti-Semitism” and likened one liberal Israeli anti-occupation group, J Street, to Kapos – Jewish “collaborators” who were appointed to supervise forced labor in Nazi concentration camps.

December 27, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Palestinian Children in Israeli Military Detention

Defence for Children Palestine | December 5, 2017

From the moment of arrest, Palestinian children encounter ill-treatment and torture at the hands of Israeli forces. Three out of four experience physical violence during arrest or interrogation.

Israel has the dubious distinction of being the only country in the world that systematically prosecutes between 500 and 700 children in military courts each year.

Ill-treatment in the Israeli military detention system remains “widespread, systematic, and institutionalized throughout the process,” according to the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) report Children in Israeli Military Detention Observations and Recommendations.

Recent amendments to Israeli military law concerning children have had little to no impact on their treatment during the first 24 to 48 hours after an arrest, when most of the ill-treatment occurs at the hands of Israeli soldiers, police, and the security service.

International juvenile justice standards, which Israel has obliged itself to implement by ratifying the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1991, demand that children should only be deprived of their liberty as a measure of last resort and include universal prohibitions against physical violence and torture among other protections. Despite these obligations Israeli authorities persistently disregard and fail to comply with international law.

The No Way to Treat a Child campaign seeks to challenge Israel’s prolonged military occupation of Palestinians by exposing widespread and systematic ill-treatment of Palestinian children in the Israeli military detention system.

It is a project of Defense for Children International – Palestine and American Friends Service Committee.

For more information, visit http://www.nowaytotreatachild.org

December 22, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , , | 1 Comment

Israeli forces detain 17-year-old Palestinian girl in overnight raid

Ma’an – December 19, 2017

RAMALLAH – Israeli forces detained a 17-year-old Palestinian girl from the Nabi Saleh village in northwestern Ramallah in the central occupied West Bank on Tuesday morning before dawn.

Israeli forces raided the home of the al-Tamimi family, well-known internationally for their activism against the Israeli occupation, and detained Ahed al-Tamimi, 17.

Israeli forces also confiscated computers, mobile phones and cameras from the house during the raid.

According to locals, Ahed was arrested over a video went viral on social media of her slapping an armed Israeli officer during a raid on Nabi Saleh.

Ahed Tamimi is well-known across Palestine and the Arab world for videos of her, since her childhood, defiantly resisting Israeli soldiers who clash with Palestinians in her village nearly every week.

Two years ago, her family made headlines when an Israeli soldier violently attempted to arrest her younger brother , who had one arm in a cast at the time. Ahed and her mother managed to pull the soldier of her brother and free him.

Israeli military raids into Palestinian cities, towns, and refugee camps are a near daily occurrence.

According to the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS), since US President Donald Trump’s announcement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Israeli forces have detained 450 Palestinians, including 138 minors, and nine women.

Prisoners rights group Addameer recorded 6,198 Palestinians were detained by Israel as of October. The group has estimated that some 40 percent of Palestinian men will be detained by Israel at some point in their lives.

Tamimi family under attack: Bassem Tamimi seized from Ofer court as daughter Ahed’s detention extended

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network – December 20, 2017

Palestinian organizer Bassem Tamimi, a prominent land defender in the village of Nabi Saleh, was seized by Israeli occupation forces – joining his wife, Nariman, and his daughter, Ahed – was also seized by Israeli occupation forces today, 20 December.

He was arrested as he attended the hearing for his daughter Ahed in Ofer military court, where her detention was extended for 10 days for further interrogation. This came one day after both Ahed and then her mother were arrested by occupation forces following attacks on them in Israeli media for protesting and defending their land from Israeli occupation soldiers who had shot another local boy, 14-year-old Mohammed Tamimi, in the head with a rubber-coated metal bullet.

In overnight, violent raids, occupation forces seized a cousin of the family, Nour Tamimi, 21, from her family home in Nabi Saleh. This means that Ahed and both of her parents, Nariman and Bassem – all of whom are leading land defenders in Nabi Saleh – are currently seized by the Israeli occupation forces. … continue

Israeli forces arrest Palestinian mother hours after detaining her teenage daughter

Ma’an – December 19, 2017

BETHLEHEM – The mother of a Palestinian teenage girl, who was detained from her home by Israeli forces before dawn on Tuesday, was reportedly detained at an Israeli police station when seeking information about her daughter’s whereabouts.

Official Palestinian Authority (PA)-owned Wafa news agency reported that Nariman al-Tamimi was detained by Israeli officers on Tuesday morning at the Benyamin police station, north of Ramallah in the central occupied West Bank.

Nariman was attempting to seek information about her 17-year-old daughter Ahed, who was arrested from their home in the village of Nabi Saleh hours earlier.

The whereabouts of both Nariman and Ahed remained unknown.

The al-Tamimi family is well-known internationally for their activism against the Israeli occupation, with Ahed in particular being the subject of several viral videos in which she defiantly stands up to Israeli soldiers who regularly raid her village in the central West Bank Ramallah district.

Two years ago, the family made headlines when an Israeli soldier violently attempted to arrest Nariman’s son Muhammad , who had one arm in a cast at the time. Ahed and Nariman managed to pull the soldier off of Muhammad and free him.

Palestinian teen remains in a coma after being shot in head by Israeli forces

Ma’an – December 19, 2017

RAMALLAH – Fourteen-year-old Muhammad Fadel al-Tamimi remains in a medically-induced coma as of Tuesday, days after he was hot in the face with a rubber-coated steel bullet by Israeli forces.

The Palestinian teenager, a resident of the central occupied West Bank town of Nabi Saleh, was injured during clashes in his village on Friday.

According to locals, the bullet settled in the boy’s skull after it entered his face below his nose and broke his jaw.

The teenager is currently being held in the ICU of the al-Istishari Hospital in Ramallah.

Al-Tamimi, a former prisoner, was detained when he was 13 years old, and was previously injured several times during weekly clashes in his village.

His cousin, 17-year-old Ahed al-Tamimi, was detained on Tuesday morning by Israeli forces for slapping and kicking Israeli soldiers on the same day that Muhammad was injured.

December 19, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Video | , , , , , | Leave a comment

UN Security Council Passes Resolution Challenging Jerusalem Declaration; US Vetoes

By Celine Hagbard | IMEMC | December 18, 2017

Fourteen of the fifteen nations in the United Nations Security Council voted Monday reaffirming the status of the city of Jerusalem as unresolved, and challenging the U.S. administration’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The U.S., which has veto power in the Council, vetoed the resolution.

Following the U.S. veto of the resolution, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu tweeted, “Thank you, Ambassador Haley. On Hanukkah, you spoke like a Maccabi. You lit a candle of truth. You dispel the darkness. One defeated the many. Truth defeated lies. Thank you, President Trump.”

The veto on Monday’s vote marked the first time that the U.S. has used its veto power since Donald Trump took power in the country.

The U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations said following the vote, “We [veto this resolution] with no joy, but we do it with no reluctance. The fact that this veto is being done in defense of American sovereignty and in defense of America’s role in the Middle East peace process is not a source of embarrassment for us; it should be an embarrassment to the remainder of the Security Council.”

But critics have pointed out that the U.S. administration’s move claiming Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is outside of the U.S. government’s jurisdiction, and is undermining the sovereignty and self-determination of the Palestinian people by denying their existence and right to the holy city.

Ambassador Haley also called the UN Security Council Resolution an insult.

The UN Security Council resolution was introduced by the Egyptian delegation to the Council, and was widely supported by nations around the world.

The UN Mideast Envoy Nickolay Mladenov spoke in favor of the resolution, citing Israel’s decade-old ‘E1 Plan’ to encircle the city of Jerusalem with colonial settlements, thereby cutting off the West Bank from the city and expanding the Israeli state in direct violation of international law and signed agreements.

According to Mladenov, since Trump made his declaration on December 6th, “some 1,200 units in the occupied West Bank were approved for construction, approximately 460 of them in the settlement of Ma’ale Adumim, in addition to the new settlement of Amihai, a new neighborhood in Kochav Yaakov, and a new site near Alon Shvut. The construction of infrastructure in Givat Hamatos…would solidify the ring of settlements isolating East Jerusalem from the southern West Bank.” Also in the past 12 days since Trump’s statement, “Israeli authorities demolished or seized 61 structures, 110 people, including 61 children were displaced and the livelihoods of over 1,000 people were affected.”

He pointed out that Israel has engaged in massive settlement growth on stolen Palestinian land, violence against civilian populations, and incitement against Palestinians, and noted that, “in 2017, there were 109 shooting, stabbing, ramming and bombing attacks conducted [by Palestinians against Israelis], compared to 223 in 2016. In 2017, 72 Palestinians and 15 Israelis were killed, while in 2016 there were 109 and 13, respectively.

The Israeli ambassador to the United Nations criticized the Security Council resolution, saying, “members of the Security Council can vote another hundred times to criticize our presence in Jerusalem, but history won’t change. While the Jewish people celebrate the holiday of Hanukkah that symbolizes the eternal connection to Jerusalem, there are people who think that they can rewrite history. It’s time for all countries to recognize that Jerusalem always was and always will be the capital of the Jewish people and the capital of Israel.”

But the statement by the Israeli ambassador did not acknowledge that the Security Council was not criticizing Jewish presence in the city of Jerusalem, but was instead challenging a unilateral action by the state of Israel, backed by the United States, to take over territory through the use of military force and expand Israel’s (never declared) borders while pushing out, killing and denying the presence of the indigenous Palestinian population. … Full article

December 18, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

RIP Mahmoud Zaal Odeh

If Americans Knew | December 8, 2017

Palestinian deaths are largely ignored by US media. We want people to learn about these human beings. Mahmoud Za’al Odeh was killed November 30th, 2017; attached is a 90-second video about him:

(All Palestinians and Israelis who have died due to actions committed by the other side are listed at iakn.us/2i9VONR)

December 16, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , , | 1 Comment

Appropriation of Jerusalem

Photo by Kristoffer Trolle | CC BY 2.0
By Liaquat Ali Khan | CounterPunch | December 14, 2017

In recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a state formed by native Jews and Jewish settlers from Europe and America, President Trump and the U.S. Congress have validated the Jewish appropriation of a disputed city. This commentary explains the foul dynamics of settlements. It also illuminates the “sacred” justifications offered to legitimize settler colonialism. In addition to Israel, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and many other states, owe their origin to settler colonialism, another name for forcibly taking land from indigenous inhabitants. The criticism of settler colonialism is highly sophisticated in academic circles, college colonialism courses, this year mystifyingly trickling down in high school debates.

An unholy alliance of Zionists, evangelical Christians, politicians fearful of the revengeful Israeli lobbies, radio and TV commentators, Neocon opinion-writers, and self-aggrandizing academics refuses to see Israel as a settler state. In fact, calling Israel a settler state is condemned as anti-Semitic, a handy label swiftly invoked to stop honest conversations about the grinding appropriation of Palestinian occupied territories.

Given the successful drive to criminalize holocaust denials across Europe, efforts are underway to find pathways to criminalize the criticisms of Israel. The prospective criminalization of the BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions) movement is a shameful suppression of legitimate free speech in no other country but the United States where the First Amendment reigns as the first principle of coexistence. Muffling free speech is unlikely to suppress the fact that Israel is primarily a state of settlers who have brutally suffocated and dislocated the native population of Palestinians.

Immigrants and Settlers

Ordinarily, immigrants are distinguishable from settlers. But the distinction is not valid in Israel. Under the 1950 Law of Return, Israel invites “the child or grandchild of a Jew, the spouse of a Jew, the spouse of a child and grandchild of a Jew to settle in Israel.” Non-Jews or even Jews who have converted to another religion are ineligible to return and settle. Jews mostly from Europe and America and some from the Middle East and East Africa have “returned” to Israel. The prevailing racism prefers white Jews over Jews with darker pigments.

Under international law, immigration is relocating from one country to another. Individuals and families may migrate for economic and existential reasons. Every year, millions of people migrate to foreign countries for economic betterment or to avoid starvation, discrimination, tyranny, torture, and death. Refugees migrate from war-torn countries where the probability of death and starvation escalates. In the 15th century, Jews migrated from Spain to Turkey as the defeat of Moors opened the doors of persecution and death. More recently, Palestinians, Syrians, Libyans, Yemenis, and Afghans have been forced to leave their homes and seek shelter as refugees in neighboring countries.

Settlement too is relocating from one country to another. Unlike immigrants, however, settlers dispossess native inhabitants for ideological or predatory reasons. Immigrants do not forcibly take away the land and homes that belong to the natives. Settlers do. Immigrants live in the mortal fear of deportation. Settlers do not. Immigrants may face discrimination, racism, and hostility in employment, education, and housing.  Settlers are welcome and receive affirmative state assistance and grants. The state may offer jobs, housing, and other facilities to settlers willing to live on the land that once belonged to the natives.

Unlike immigrants, the settlers develop an aggressive relationship with the natives. The purpose of settlements is to make it highly unpleasant and oppressive for the natives to continue to live side by side with the settlers. Apartheid-like conditions are built to show to the natives that they need to relocate themselves to foreign countries. Thus, settlers not only take over the land that belongs to the natives but they also force natives, economically, socially, psychologically, and physically to leave their lands and homes. Other tactics, such as buying homes and lands from helpless natives is defended on the market theory that the real estate ought to be purchasable for a price. The art of tyranny is perfect: first, push the natives to the ground; then, offer to buy their homes.

In Israel, the state-sponsored settlements are ideological and not merely predacious. Predacious settlements may be disorganized, intermittent, and privately sponsored. Ideological settlements are highly coordinated in terms of degrading the local communities economically, morally, and socially. Stereotypes may be promoted to paint the natives as savages and terrorists. Any reactive violence by the natives may be used as a pretext to demolish their homes, issue eviction orders for entire families, arrest men, and dishonor women. The natives may be employed in menial jobs at businesses started by the settlers. In fact, the natives may have no choice but to seek employment in constructing the settlements that the natives detest in their hearts.

In Jerusalem, all distinctions between native Jews and Jewish settlers disappear for ideological purposes since most of them share the common goal of driving the Palestinians out of Jerusalem so that Israel can reclaim this historic city all for itself. Orthodox Jews who oppose the existence of Israel as an anti-Biblical entity, a fast diminishing minority, share no such platform. For Trump, the realtor, a city, any city, belongs to money merchants and any “encroachments “by the have-nots should be forcibly cleared.

Terra Irredenta

Appropriation perpetrated with moral justifications acquires a new meaning. Stealing a loaf of bread seems morally justified if the thief is starving. Land appropriation is palatable if a credible moral excuse can be crafted. Settlers know this moral trick. When settlers are highly educated, their moral justifications for the appropriation of land are crafted in more persuasive (Latin) terms. Over the centuries, settlers in various countries and continents have used moral imperatives to justify the dispossession of native populations and stealing away their lands, hills, rivers, sacred places, olive trees, playgrounds where the native children played, and the cemeteries where native elders were buried. Everything can be stolen if the moral justification is mounted at the barrel of the gun.

In the 15th century, the Catholic Church used two distinct theological edicts to support conquests and colonization. The concept of “terra irredenta” empowered Christian rulers to take away the Iberian lands from the Muslims. The concept of “terra nullius” empowered the European colonizers to take away the land from the native owners in Americas and Africa. In both cases, Christianity, presented as the one and the only one true religion, was invoked as the ultimate justification to legitimize the appropriation of land. Heathens, pagans, and the deniers of Jesus as God could be lawfully converted, enslaved, dispossessed, and even killed if they resisted the Christian Europeans, the true owners of God’s land.

In the 20th century, the European Jews invoked a complex fusion of the two edicts to lay claim to what has been Palestine for centuries under the Ottoman Empire and before. Invoking terra nullius, the Zionists argued that “a people without a land (Jews) are claiming a land without a people.” This argument derived from terra nullius denies the existence of local populations, be they Africans, Native Americans, or Palestinians.

The terra nullius concept, however, is less powerful than terra irredenta under which the land is restored to “legitimate owners.” The Right to Return is conceived in the womb of terra irredenta rather than terra nullius. Terra irredenta creates a mighty distinction between current and original owners. It reverses the logic of ownership. The current owners are deemed illegal intruders whereas the original owners are considered the lawful owners. In the Iberian Peninsula, the Moors were the actual but illegal owners. The Spaniards and the Portuguese were the lawful owners. Therefore, the Moors must be dispossessed and expelled and the land restored to the original owners.

Invoking a similar logic, the European Jews claimed to be the original owners of Palestine since the Palestinians were the illegal occupiers of the sacred land that belonged only to the Jews. Accordingly, Zionist morality dictates that the Palestinians, particularly if they resist the Right to Return, be expelled, detained, killed, and their homes demolished.

Soon after Trump, the realtor, recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Prime Minister Netanyahu argued that it is “absurd” to deny the “millennial connection of the Jewish people to Jerusalem. You can read it in a very fine book – it’s called the Bible. The sooner the Palestinians come to grips with this reality, the sooner we will move towards peace.”

Much like Netanyahu, President Andrew Jackson (1829-1837) declared that “The Bible is the rock on which this Republic (U.S.) rests.” The Bible-lover Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act, under which 25 million acres of land was donated to white settlers. This land had belonged to Cherokees, Chickasaw, Creek, Choctaw, and Seminole nations, the “unlawful owners” forced to yield their land rights to Jesus-loving Christians.

Trump adores Andrew Jackson. Netanyahu adores Donald Trump. The Christian removal of Native Americans created reservations. The Jewish removal of Palestinians created refugee camps. The Native American Trail of Tears caused tears and death. The Palestinian Trail of Tears caused tears and massacres at Sabra and Shatila.

Conclusion

Invoking the Bible to appropriate land is a Judeo-Christian colonial tradition. First Christians, now Jews, are invoking the concepts of terra irredenta and terra nullius to justify the taking of land from the native owners. The appropriation of Jerusalem as a Jewish city runs counter to historical facts. It simplifies the complex history of a city that experienced the pre-Christ rule of Egyptians, Syrians, and Persians, and post-Christ rule of Arabs, Turks, and the British. Jews had not owned Jerusalem for centuries. Now, they have deadly weapons to do so. The Bible is a sacred book (different parts and versions) for Jews and Christians, even for the Palestinians, but does it justify the terra irredenta appropriation of territories and cities?

December 14, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Khamenei: Palestine will at last be freed

Press TV – December 6, 2017

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says the Muslim world will stand against a US plot to declare Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s “capital,” stressing that Palestine will eventually be freed from occupation.

Speaking on Wednesday on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him), Ayatollah Khamenei stated, “Palestine today tops the political issues facing the Islamic Ummah and everyone is duty-bound to make endeavors towards its freedom and salvage.”

The Leader made the remarks in an address to state officials, ambassadors of Muslim countries and participants at the 31st International Islamic Unity Conference underway in Tehran.

Ayatollah Khamenei said that the enemies’ plan to recognize Jerusalem al-Quds as the “capital” of the Israeli regime stems from their “incompetence and despair.”

“The Muslim world would undoubtedly stand against this conspiracy and the Zionists will be dealt a heavy blow with this move and dear Palestine will at last be liberated without doubt,” he added.

US President Donald Trump is expected to announce the recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as the Israeli “capital” and move Washington’s embassy from Tel Aviv to the occupied city.

The US bid has drawn a wave of condemnations from various countries and international bodies, which are warning of the repercussions of such a measure across the region.

Elsewhere in his comments, Ayatollah Khamenei described the US, the Zionist regime and the reactionary elements as well as those tied to big powers as “today’s Pharaohs,” noting that they are trying to sow divisions and pit Muslim nations against each other.

“Some US politicians have wittingly or unwittingly acknowledged that a war should start in the Western Asia region in order to provide the Zionist regime with a margin of safety,” the Leader said.

He also expressed deep regret over some regional rulers’ adherence to US demands, warning those serving the oppressors that their stance would be to their own detriment.

The Leader referred to “resilience” as the key to counter vicious Takfiris, who are the proxies of the US and Zionism.

The enemies’ ultimate goal of creating Takfiri groups was to spark a war between the Shia and Sunni Muslims, Ayatollah Khamenei stated.

‘Quds belongs to Islam’

Prior to the leader’s address, President Hassan Rouhani said in a speech, “Quds belongs to Islam, Muslims and the Palestinians, and there is no room for new adventurism by global arrogance.”

He also emphasized that Muslims, including Palestinians, should stand up against the conspiracy to declare Quds as the Israeli “capital,” saying Muslim states and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) have a great responsibility in that regard.

December 6, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Wars for Israel | , , , | 1 Comment

Kushner hid his leadership of foundation that funds illegal settlements

US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner [Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff/Flickr]
MEMO | December 5, 2017

US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner failed to disclose on government records his position as co-director of a foundation that funds illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, the Jerusalem Post reported today.

Kushner headed the family-run Charles and Seryl Kushner Foundation from 2006 to 2015, during which the organisation donated at least $38,000 to the building of a Jewish seminary in the West Bank settlement of Beit El and an additional $20,000 to Jewish and educational institutions in other settlements.

However, he did not reveal his history with the foundation to the Office of Government Ethics in March, despite having amended his financial records with the office several times and made three revisions to his security clearance application.

The US has previously called illegal settlement building as “unhelpful” in bringing together Israel and Palestine for a peace deal; Kushner is currently charged with leading that process.

According to the researchers at communications organisation American Bridge who made the discovery, Kushner may have avoided disclosing the information in order to prevent it being considered a conflict of interest with his government role.

The news of Kushner aiding settlement funding comes amid official investigations into his contact with senior Israeli officials in an attempt to block a UN resolution condemning Israel’s occupation during the transition between former US President Barack Obama and Trump. If true, the cooperation would be one of many allegations of conversations between Kushner and foreign leaders, including Russia.

Although being charged with spearheading the Middle East peace process, a recent report in Politico also found that despite carrying information on and conducting some of the country’s most sensitive diplomatic talks, Kushner does not have sufficient security clearance.

The Trump administration’s backing for Israel is thought to have been bolstered by the strong Zionist stance of many senior US officials, Kushner primary among them. The president’s son-in-law is a faithful advocate of Israel and his support for the country, say critics, is odd even by American standards. He counts Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a close family friend and has regularly visited the country even before being assigned his role as peace negotiator.

 

December 5, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , | 1 Comment

How Israel is ‘cleansing’ Palestinians from Greater Jewish Jerusalem

Measures aim to annex settlements to city and turn Palestinian areas into no-man’s land, warn rights groups

By Jonathon Cook | Middle East Eye | November 23, 2017

Israel is putting in place the final pieces of a Greater Jewish Jerusalem that will require “ethnically cleansing” tens of thousands of Palestinians from a city their families have lived and worked in for generations, human rights groups have warned.

The pace of physical and demographic changes in the city has accelerated dramatically since Israel began building a steel and concrete barrier through the city’s Palestinian neighbourhoods more than decade ago, according to the rights groups and Palestinian researchers.

Israel is preparing to cement these changes in law, they note. Two parliamentary bills with widespread backing among government ministers indicate the contours of Jerusalem’s future.

One bill intends to annex to Jerusalem some 150,000 Jews in illegal West Bank settlements surrounding the city. As well as bolstering the city’s Jewish population, the move will give these additional settlers a vote in Jerusalem’s municipal elections, pushing it politically even further to the right.

Another bill will deny more than 100,000 Palestinians on the “wrong” side of the barrier rights in the city. They will be assigned to a separate local council for Palestinians only, in what observers fear will be a prelude to stripping them of residency and barring them from Jerusalem.

Meanwhile, a web of harsh Israeli policies, including late-night arrests, land shortages, home demolitions and a denial of basic services, are intensifying the pressure on Palestinian inside the wall to move out.

These measures are designed to pre-empt any future peace efforts, and effectively nullify Palestinian ambitions for a state with East Jerusalem as its capital, said Aviv Tartasky, a field researcher with Ir Amim, an Israeli group advocating fair treatment for Palestinians in Jerusalem.

“What is going on is ethnic cleansing, without guns,” Tartasky told Middle East Eye. “Israel hopes to get rid of a third of Jerusalem’s Palestinian population through legislative moves alone.”

Demographic fears

Israel’s demographic concerns in Jerusalem date back to 1967, when it occupied and annexed East Jerusalem, combining the large Palestinian population there with West Jerusalem’s Jewish population. It also expanded the city’s municipal borders as a way to covertly annex West Bank land.

Israel initially set an upper limit of 30 per cent Palestinians to 70 per cent Jews in what it called its new “united, eternal capital”, but has been losing the battle to maintain that ratio ever since. Higher Palestinian birth rates mean that today there are more than 315,000 Palestinians in East Jerusalem, comprising nearly 40 per cent of the city’s total population. Projections suggest Palestinians could be a majority within a decade.

Although few Palestinians in Jerusalem have taken or been allowed Israeli citizenship, and almost none vote in municipal elections, Israel fears their growing numerical weight will increasingly make its rule in the city untenable.

“What we have in Jerusalem is an apartheid system in the making,” Mahdi Abd al-Hadi, a Palestinian academic in Jerusalem, told MEE.

“Israeli policies are dictated by demographic considerations and that has created a huge gulf between the two societies. Palestinians are being choked.”

‘Save Jewish Jerusalem’

Fear of the demographic loss of Jerusalem provoked the launch of a high-profile campaign by political and security leaders last year: “Save Jewish Jerusalem”. Fearful that Palestinians will soon be a majority and might start voting in municipal elections, the campaign warned Jewish residents they would “wake up to a Palestinian mayor in Jerusalem”.

Over the past year government ministers, including education minister Naftali Bennett, have aggressively pushed for the annexation of Maale Adumim, a large settlement outside Jerusalem, in the West Bank. Gradually, they appear to be winning the argument.

Late last month a ministerial committee was set to approve a Greater Jerusalem Bill, legislation intended to expand Jerusalem’s municipal borders to include Maale Adumim and several other large settlements in the West Bank. It won Netanyahu’s backing.

The settlements would have been annexed in all but name, and their 150,000 residents become eligible to vote in municipal elections.

De facto annexation

Yisrael Katz, the minister of transport and intelligence who helped introduce the bill, has said its purpose is to “safeguard a Jewish majority” in the city. A recent poll showed 58 per cent of Israeli Jews support the plan.

Under pressure from the administration of US President Donald Trump, Netanyahu has temporarily put the bill on the back burner. Washington is reportedly worried that the legislation will stymie a peace initiative it is reportedly about to unveil.

Ir Amim fears the legislation is likely to be revived when pressure dissipates. A position paper it published last week warned that the legislation was the “first practical move since the annexation of East Jerusalem in 1967 to implement the de facto annexation of areas in the West Bank to Israel”.

After decades of implanting Jewish settlers in the midst of Palestinian areas to prevent their development and growth, Israel is beginning the difficult process of disentangling the two populations, said Tartasky.

Eviction notices

The effects are being felt keenly on the ground.

Last Friday, Israeli forces stormed the Bedouin village of Jabal al-Baba and issued “eviction” notices to its 300 residents. In August the Israeli army demolished the village’s kindergarten school.

Jabal al-Baba stands between East Jerusalem and Maale Adumim.

“These Palestinian communities outside Jerusalem are like a bone in the throat for Israel,” said Tartasky. “Israel is trying to make their life as hard as possible to force them to leave, and so create a territorial continuity between Jerusalem and the settlements.”

The latest raid on Jabal al-Baba came immediately after Israel notified the hundreds of residents of Walaja that a military checkpoint would be relocated close to the entrance to their village. That will cut them off from ancient agricultural terraces on Jerusalem’s uplands their families have farmed for generations.

Although many of Walaja’s residents have Jerusalem identity papers issued by Israel, the new move will effectively seal them off from the city, as well as their lands. The terraces and a nearby spring, where the villagers water livestock, will become “attractions” in an expanded Jerusalem metropolitan park.

Chokehold tightening

Meanwhile, Israel is tightening its chokehold on Palestinians in East Jerusalem’s built-up areas.

Those on the far side of the concrete wall have been effectively abandoned by the Jerusalem municipality, and are finding it ever harder to access the rest of the city, said Daoud Alg’ol, a Palestinian researcher on Jerusalem.

A bill by Zeev Elkin, the Jerusalem affairs minister, is designed to disconnect from the Jerusalem municipality Palestinian neighbourhoods such as Walaja, Kafr Aqab, Shuafat refugee camp and Anata, which lie beyond the separation wall.

They would be hived off into a separate local council for Palestinians, instantly reducing the city’s Palestinian population by a third.

“Once Palestinians are in a separate local council, Israel will say the centre of their life is no longer in Jerusalem and their Jerusalem residency papers will be revoked,” said Alg’ol. “This already happens, but now it will be on a much larger scale.”

Since 1967, Israel has revoked the residency permits of more than 14,000 Palestinians, forcing them to leave Jerusalem.

Twilight zones of neglect

Even though their residents pay taxes to the Jerusalem municipality, Palestinian areas outside the barrier are already “twilight zones” of neglect and lawlessness.

In Kafr Aqab, for example, which is sealed off from the rest of East Jerusalem behind the wall and a military checkpoint, residents receive few services. Israel, however, has also denied the Palestinian Authority access.

“They are living in a no-man’s land,” said Alg’ol.

These areas have become a destination both for criminals and for Palestinian families caught out by Israel’s intricate web of strict residency regulations. Palestinians in the West Bank are denied access inside Jerusalem’s wall, while Palestinians in Jerusalem risk being stripped of their residency papers if they move out of the city.

Couples who have married across that residency divide have found a refuge in Kfar Aqab as Israel slowly disconnects the neighbourhood off from East Jerusalem. Residents say the population there has rocketed from a few thousand to tens of thousands in the past few years.

As a result, a building boom has taken place beyond the wall as Palestinians take advantage of a lack of enforcement by Israel of its building regulations. That has offered demographic gains for Israel too, said Alg’ol.

Housing crisis

“Planning restrictions and land shortages inside the wall have created a housing crisis for Palestinians, making it too expensive for them to live there,” he said. “They have been forced to move to areas outside the wall to find more affordable housing. Economic pressure is creating a silent transfer.”

Palestinians in neighbourhoods inside the wall are being driven out in other ways, noted Tartasky.

Traditionally, Israel has used a range of policies to strip Palestinians of land and prevent development in Jerusalem and justify house demolitions.

Those have included declaring Palestinian areas “national parks”, thereby criminalising the homes in them; confiscating the last green areas to build Jewish settlements; and allowing settlers to take over Palestinian properties in the Old City and surrounding neighbourhoods as israel seek to strengthen its hold over the city’s holy sites, especially al-Aqsa mosque.

There are now some 200,000 Jewish settlers living in East Jerusalem.

“Palestinians are never part of the planning in Jerusalem, and their interests are never taken into account – they are always an obstacle to be removed,” Alg’ol told MEE. “Israel wants the land but not the Palestinians on it.”

Late-night raids

Pressure has mounted on Palestinians in Jerusalem, noted Tartasky, as their communities have been denied schools and basic municipal services. More than 80 per cent of Palestinian children live below the poverty line.

The Jerusalem municipality and police have also begun stepping up “law enforcement” operations against Palestinians – or what residents term “collective punishment”. Under claims of “restoring order”, there has been a wave of recent late-night raids in areas like A-Tur and Issawiya. Large numbers of Palestinians have been arrested, demolition orders issued and businesses closed.

“Israel is using the same militarised methods as in the West Bank,” said Tartasky. “The assumption is these pressures will encourage them to move to areas outside the barrier, where sooner or later they will lose their residency rights.

“Israel has realised that is an opportunity it can exploit.”

The office of Jerusalem’s mayor, Nir Barkat, issued a statement to MEE denying that the situation of Palestinians in East Jerusalem was deteriorating. It said that there had been dramatic improvements in Palestinian areas in the provision of schools, community centres, sports fields, new roads, postal services and welfare.

It added that Barkat had “developed a plan unprecedented in scope and budget allocation to reduce gaps in East Jerusalem in order to address the 50 years of neglect he inherited from his municipal predecessors and successive Israeli governments.”

Alg’ol said the municipal claims were a denial of reality. “Israel wants to create a make-believe city free of Palestinians,” he said. “Where it can, it is ethnically cleansing them from the city. And where it can’t, it simply hides them from view.”

November 26, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | 1 Comment

UN blacklists 130 Israeli firms & 60 multinationals for working in occupied Palestinian territories

RT | October 26, 2017

The United Nations (UN) has included some of the biggest Israeli and international firms operating in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights in a blacklist for those violating “international law and UN resolutions.”

According to Israeli Ynet News which has gained access to part of the list, 130 Israeli companies and 60 international corporations received warning letters from the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid bin Ra’ad al-Hussein about their impending inclusion on the blacklist.

The list, which reportedly will be published in late December includes Israel Aerospace Industries, telecom giants, international tech firms, banks, and even cafes.

Israel Aerospace Industries, Hewlett-Packard, the Israeli branches of Motorola and HP, the Dead Sea cosmetics firm Ahava, the Cellcom and Partner telecommunications companies are among those listed. Israel’s two largest banks, Hapoalim and Leumi, are also said to be on the list.

Israeli Channel 2 News has reported that among the American firms that received letters were Coca-Cola, TripAdvisor, Airbnb, and Caterpillar.

The US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley condemned the blacklist as “the latest in this long line of shameful actions” taken by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). In June Haley warned the US could withdraw from the 47-member body.

“It may cause large investment firms or pension funds carrying stocks of various Israeli companies to divest in them because they, in turn, operate in the settlements,” an unnamed senior Israeli official told Ynet, adding “it may lead to a snowball effect that will greatly harm the Israeli economy eventually.”

The companies say the list’s creation was politically motivated and their inclusion may cause them financial harm and tarnish their brand. They are reportedly looking into filing lawsuits against the Commissioner and the UNHRC.

In September, the UN Commissioner warned over 150 companies that their activities in the “occupied Palestinian territories” may see them added to a blacklist of companies as “they operate in opposition to international law and in opposition of UN resolutions.”

The UN Human Rights Commission voted in March for the resolution being pushed by the Palestinian Authority and Arab nations, according to which the commission would formulate a database of Israeli and international firms directly or indirectly doing business in the West Bank, East Jerusalem or the Golan Heights. The decision passed despite pressure and criticism from the US.

October 26, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , | 1 Comment