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Israeli Attorney General Refuses to Prosecute Jilani’s Police Killers

By Richard Silverstein | Tikun Olam | June 30, 2012

Yesterday, Israel’s Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein announced his refusal to prosecute Border Police officers Maxim Vinogradov and Khir Al-Din Shadi, who executed East Jerusalem Palestinian Ziad Jilani in 2010, after a minor traffic accident on the city’s crowded streets.  A lower court had earlier found insufficient evidence to prosecute Jilani.  His widow, Moira, appealed to the Attorney General and his response today further confirms the impunity of Israeli security forces when it comes to the murder of Palestinian civilians.

ziad jilani's family
Ziad Jilani’s surviving family: justice perverted and denied

Jilani was the father of three young daughters (see accompanying picture).  He’d met and married Moira, a woman from Texas, and was making a life for himself in Palestine.  One Friday afternoon after prayers, he was making his way home to take his family for an evening out, when he accidentally side-swiped a police vehicle.  Thinking they might be under a terror attack, officers pursued Jilani, wounded him and, when he was immobile on the ground, fired shots into his brain at point-blank range.

Reading what the attorney general has to say about all this is instructive.  One point that stands out is that despite a graphic description in the brief of the execution, the document talks of Jilani’s “death” rather than “murder.”  They don’t even use the term “killing.”

The memorandum says there is insufficient evidence to bring the accused to justice.  The officers took action in pursuing Jilani because they saw their comrades injured and believed they had witnessed a hit and run accident, though the actual injuries of the policemen were minor.  Therefore in the initial part of this action the policemen acted according to their training and initially opening fire on Jilani followed proper procedure.

Do you know many other jurisdictions where policemen are allowed to open fire on a hit and run driver?  I’ve never heard of such a thing.  Pursuit, sure.  But immediately opening fire?  Never.

The State Prosecutor, Hila Gorani argues in her brief, that it could not prosecute Vinogradov because it could not be certain that he had sufficient intent to commit murder, since it could not with certainty determine his frame of mind when he fired the kill shots into Jilani.  He could not determine whether he fired in the heat of the moment, amidst panic and fear the “deceased” would further endanger him.  All of this must also be seen in the context of what the accused thought was a hit and run accident.

The brief says that the case against Vinogradov isn’t being closed because he’s found to have acted according to law.  But because there is insufficient evidence to determine a criminal act.  In other words, we’re not saying our boy Vinogradov was a Boy Scout.  But a murderer?  No way.  Or at least we can’t (or don’t want to) prove it beyond a reasonable doubt.

In an act of counting how many dead Palestinians can dance on the head of a pin, Gorani somehow finds it probative to refute eyewitness testimony that Jilani was murdered by shots fired mere centimeters from his head.  Instead, she counters that the pathologist hired by the murdered man’s family found he died from shots fired from “over a meter [three feet] away.”  Big fucking deal.  That’s all I can say and all this deserves.

Another element of the policemen’s argument that makes no sense is that they argue that they believed Jilani, who lightly injured them in the course of the accident, was a terrorist.  They continued to believe this after they shot and wounded him from a distance of about 10 feet, even though he was no longer in his van and they could see he was unarmed.  They somehow believed when they shot him, that even though he was no longer capable of harming anyone, he was on his way to commit some unforeseen act of terror or that he might fire on them.  They feared, if you believe this sack of lies, that he constituted a danger to others.  This from a bunch who, in firing at Jilani, actually injured a bystander.

The policemen testified (only in their second interrogation, during the first they didn’t even mention this… hmmm) that after being wounded, Jilani “moved his hand” which they viewed as “suspicious.”  Who knows, they surmised, maybe he had a knife, gun or explosive device.  They derive this intelligence from a man who was wounded and lying immobile (except for that fluttering hand) on his stomach on the ground.  They continued to believe it when they shot him twice in the head from a distance of a few inches.  A terrorist?  Really?

All of this constitutes an Israeli version of Stand Your Ground.  Under this doctrine any police officer may kill anyone he believes (or claims he believes) is about to commit an act of terror.  The threshold is quite low.  You don’t have to do anything any normal person would find suspicious.  You merely have to lose control of your van and sidesweep a police car and leave the scene of the crime.  That’s enough to seal your death warrant in the Only Democracy in the Middle East.  Let’s call this Driving While Palestinian.  In the U.S. Driving While Black will land you in jail, perhaps.  In Israel it will land you in the morgue.

The State prosecutor further supports her decision not to prosecute based on the supporting testimony of “numerous” police officers (no mention of the contradicting testimony of Palestinian eyewitnesses since they don’t amount to shit), who of course may be presumed always to tell the truth without favor.

Apparently, Weinstein also wasn’t sufficiently troubled by the fact that during the first interrogation, the commanding officer claimed he fired the kill shots and in the second, only after the family performed an autopsy which could determine with specificity who murdered him, did Vinogradov confess that he was the killer.

Nor did Vinogradov’s homicidal comments posted to his Facebook account shortly before the murder, in which he said the equivalent of, “Gonna go out and kill me some Ay-rabs,” rise to a sufficient level of concern that justified prosecution.  Though of course the statements weren’t very nice.

Gorani attempts to argue that Jilani was murdered because he drove erratically.  To support this, she even notes that the authorities performed tests of his vehicle and found it to be in good working order.  Doing so, presumably would argue that Jilani’s mental state and indecipherable motives were the cause of his own execution.

The prosecutor concedes that there is sufficient grounds for disbelieving the testimony of the policemen that they fired the kill shots because they still felt Jilani might be a danger to them.  But not enough to justify prosecuting them on criminal charges.  Our boys may be liars, she appears to be saying, but we can’t (or don’t want to) prove it.

In rejecting the appeal of Jilani’s family, the State feared it couldn’t prove guilt.  But is that any surprise in a legal system gamed against Palestinian victims?  Is it a valid argument for a prosecutor in a country that disregards the rule of law regularly to say he can’t prosecute because his legal system would never find any policeman who murdered a Palestinian guilty?  That’s essentially the argument here.

But you can be assured, Gorani tells us, that she didn’t arrive at this decision easily or cavalierly, but only after heavy consideration of the evidence.  We looked at all the evidence, as did the police investigation and the State attorney’s investigation, she says.  So you can rest assured that all that investigating covered all of our asses and arrived at the only and proper conclusion.  The premise here seems to be that if you have a case in which an Israeli security officer behaves badly the more investigations you have the better.  Not that the investigations will arrive at the truth or justice.  They can and should all arrive at the same conclusion: permitting and justifying impunity.  But merely having such a process, as kangaroo-like as it may be, serves a useful purpose that will presumably anesthetize the victims and indemnify the perpetrators.  The underlying message is that the fix is in, but we’ll do our best to prove otherwise.

That “proper conclusion” I mentioned above is that while our boys didn’t behave terribly well, they did their job as best they could and a poor Palestinian suffered as a result.  But in the greater scheme of things it’s far more important that we protect the boys who protect us, than that we protect the lives of innocent Palestinians.  That’s the shameful sentiment in a nutshell.  Impunity reigns triumphant.  And the rule of law is prostituted.

June 30, 2012 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Subjugation - Torture | , , | Leave a comment

Egyptian President to expose FBI in 1993 WTC bombing?

m911t | June 30, 2012

Egypt’s new President Mohammed Morsi doesn’t believe the official story of 9/11.

And he apparently also doubts the official story of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

According to ABC News, President Morsi recently said:

“I see banners for Omar Abdel Rahman’s family, and for prisoners arrested according to martial rulings and detainees from the beginning of the revolution…It is my duty to make every effort, and I will beginning tomorrow, to secure their release, among them Omar Abdel Rahman.”

Omar Abdel Rahman, the so-called “blind Sheikh,” was the patsy-in-chief set up to take the blame for the mobbed-up New York FBI office’s bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993. (The FBI also orchestrated the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, according to convicted bomber Terry Nichols.)

Even the New York Times, which led the cover-up of both World Trade Center bombings, cited tapes proving that FBI informant Emad Salem, who created and led the 1993 bombing plot, repeatedly discussed with his FBI handlers the fact that the FBI was responsible for the bombing: 

“Do you deny,” Mr. Salem says he told the other agent, “your supervisor is the main reason of bombing the World Trade Center?” Mr. Salem said Mr. Anticev did not deny it.  – NY Times

Many if not all of the Muslims who were falsely convicted of the FBI’s act of terrorism were obviously innocent. Would Mohammed Salameh really have tried to get his $400 deposit back on the van used in the bombing if he had known about the plot? “Mohammed A. Salameh had returned three times to a Ryder Truck Rental dealer in Jersey City requesting a refund of the $400 cash deposit he had placed on a yellow Ford Econoline van.” – Who Bombed the U.S. World Trade Center? — 1993  Growing Evidence Points to Role of FBI Operative  By Ralph Schoenman  (published in Prevailing Winds Magazine, Number 3, 1993)

Lynn Stewart, the lawyer for the innocent Muslims framed for the FBI’s act of terrorism, was herself convicted on trumped-up charges in retaliation for her efforts to expose the FBI’s terrorism and frame-up of her clients.

June 30, 2012 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Aqaba: Family of 12 receives home demolition order

28 June 2012 | International Solidarity Movement, West Bank

On Sunday, June 24 in Aqaba, Muhammed and Nassa Al-Jabba received a demolition order by Israeli authorities demanding that they evacuate the premises of their home within the next 3 days. The Al-Jabba family have not evacuated the home as it is the sole residence for their family of 10 children. The Israeli military may arrive at any time to demolish the building in the Area C (Israeli civil and security control) village.

Upon arriving in the village of Aqaba, International Solidarity Movement (ISM) volunteers spoke with the mayor, Haj Sami, an older man left wheelchair bound after suffering 3 gunshots from Israeli soldiers while working on his farm in 1971. He was only 16 years old at the time and fortunate to survive.

Haj Sami introduced ISM volunteers to Nassa Al-Jabbar, the mother of 10 who has been faced with a demolition order, giving her only 3 days to abandon the premises before the Israeli army is able to arrive with bulldozers and raze her home.

Nassa and her husband Muhammed have spent 10 years building their home. When asked why it took them so long, Nassa replied that because a permit to build on their own land is impossible to attain from Israel, the house was built in 7 different stages in order to avoid the soldiers attention.

Nassa says that if Israeli forces demolish her home, she, her husband, and her 10 young sons and daughters will have no other place to go. They do not have the funds to build another home.

Muhammed states that regardless of the outcome, he will not leave his home. If demolished, their house will join the over 24,000 Palestinian homes that have been demolished since 1967.

Nassa and Muhammed’s home is not the only building that faces demolition. Four other shelters and a concrete factory have received orders as well.

The village of Aqaba has suffered extensively from the Israeli occupation. Of a population of 1000, 700 residents are internal refugees. The villagers live in constant threat of home demolition.

On September 15, 2011, two animal shelters and a home were demolished. There was no advance warning, not even a demolition order. The roads that provide easy access into the village were also destroyed by Israeli forces. On a weekly basis, Israeli forces hold military training near the village, subjecting Aqaba to the sound of gun shots. On Tuesday morning however, the Israeli military began also training with tanks. The explosions are resulting in stress and trauma for the villagers.

If allowed to happen, Nassa and Muhammed’s home will join the list of thousands of demolitions inflicted on Palestinians by the Israeli military occupation.

June 30, 2012 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | Leave a comment

Memo to J14 Movement: Social Justice Demands Ending Occupation

By Patrick O. Strickland | Palestine Chronicle | June 29, 2012

Jerusalem  – The organizers of Israel’s J14 movement demand social justice. Outraged by the increasing concentration of wealth and the soaring cost of living, many Israelis have stood up and called for cheaper housing, food, education, and taxes, among other things.

Last summer, eight consecutive weeks of social justice demonstrations brought hundreds of thousands of Israelis into the streets of every major city. Demonstrators occupied city centers across the country, and tent cities popped up in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa, Akko, Eilat, and elsewhere.

In what turned out to be the climax of the movement, nearly half a million people marched through Tel Aviv. “The people demand social justice,” announced Daphne Leef, the woman who triggered the movement last year by setting up a tent on Tel Aviv’s chic Rothschild Boulevard after being evicted from her apartment.

The J14 movement has drawn a diverse crowd most demographics of the political and social spectrum. Its leaders insist that their cries for social justice are on behalf of everyone—Arabs as well as Jews, in other words. Their demands, they say, are social and not political, and their methods are strictly peaceful.

Yet the state has responded to this year’s protests with police violence. Last week, Daphne Leef was aggressively arrested by police officers after trying to pitch a tent in downtown Tel Aviv again. She and 11 other activists, observers say, were dragged on the concrete and thrown around before being stuffed into police cars and hauled off.

Last Saturday, thousands of J14 protesters marched through Tel Aviv and blocked off the Ayalon, a major freeway that connects the city to every highway in the country. Police were quickly deployed and broke up the demonstration by force.

However, many 1948 Palestinians—those who have Israeli citizenship—feel excluded by the limited scope of the J14 movement.

“Arab conditions are not the same here. Due to class differences, our problems are much different than the Jewish population,” Abu Toameh, a communist student activist, told me.

“We have trouble expanding our villages or buying commercial land. The price of apartments in Tel Aviv, which has an extremely low Arab population, doesn’t address our immediate concerns.”

Israel’s Channel 10 reported that Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino issued orders to police intelligence to carefully document the “involvement of the Arab community in the protests.”

Unable to appeal to a significant percentage of Palestinians inside Israel, it goes without saying that they have failed to garner the sympathy of Palestinians in the occupied territories.

Two weeks ago, the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) issued demolition orders to Susiya, a small West Bank village in the South Hebron Hills. Over 50 buildings, the IDF said, were illegally erected without permits.

The buildings, in fact, are tents hastily constructed with cinderblocks and rain tarps. They will be destroyed—displacing some 300 villagers, 120 of which are children—in order to make space for the expansion of the neighboring Jewish settlement.

The police violence in Tel Aviv pales in comparison to the IDF’s response to a demonstration in Susiya last week.

“Once the march started, the soldiers began to shoot tear gas and noisy bombs. We were peaceful, but they blocked the road and threatened to spray us with high-pressure water hoses and began to spray more tear gas,” said Roberto, an Italian activist who went to Susiya to show solidarity.

As government-sanctioned settlements continue to expand throughout the West Bank, it’s hard to imagine that the thousands of Palestinian refugees in the occupied territories feel much solidarity with protesters who demand cheaper housing in the middle class neighborhoods of Tel Aviv.

Under the constant threat of the Israeli Air Force’s bombs, how does it look to the youth of Gaza to see images of Israeli liberals banging on drums in city squares and demanding cheaper cottage cheese?

The J14 movement has a chance to assume revolutionary dimensions. The concept of social justice, however, is hollow unless activists are willing to link their struggle to that of Palestinians against the occupation. If they fail to do so, social justice will remain a broad concept without a meaningful realization.

While their intentions are good, J14 must widen the scope of its demands. Otherwise, achievements will be limited and unimpressive. The much greater injustices cannot be ignored: the violent reality of the 45-year occupation of the West Bank and the daily bombardment of the Gaza Strip.

~

Patrick O. Strickland is a freelance writer living and traveling on both sides of the Green Line in Israel and the Palestinian territories. He is a weekly Israel-Palestine correspondent for Bikya Masr and writes regular dispatches on his blog, http://www.patrickostrickland.com. He is a graduate student of Middle Eastern Studies.

June 30, 2012 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism | , , , | Leave a comment

Israeli Occupation Forces arrest 50 citizens, block travel of 450 others at Karame crossing

Palestine Information Center – 30/06/2012

RAMALLAH — The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) arrested 50 Palestinians and blocked the travel of 450 others at the Karame crossing between occupied West Bank and Jordan since the start of 2012.

The Palestinian prisoner’s committee said in a statement on Friday that most of those arrested in the first half of this year were young men or university students.

It noted that students and sick and elderly people were among the 450 citizens banned from travel.

The committee charged that the measure ran contrary to laws and norms, noting, meanwhile, that those allowed to travel are almost always delayed for no justified reason while some of them are questioned by the IOA intelligence.

The committee asked world organizations and human rights groups to intervene and put an end to such practices that violate the freedom of movement.

June 30, 2012 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | 1 Comment

Israeli Occupation Forces Release Kidnapped Lebanese Shepherd after Contacts by UNIFIL

Al-Manar | June 30, 2012

Lebanese Intelligence apparatus received the shepherd Youssef Mohammad Zahra from the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) forces Saturday after being abducted by the Zionist army a day before.

Zahra was abducted Friday by the Zionist occupation army near the Southern area of Shebaa Farms, while he was grazing his flock in the Shahel region, state-run National News Agency reported.

The farmer was ambushed by Zionist troops who crossed 20 meters into the Lebanese territory, in a clear violation of Lebanon’s sovereignty.

Zahra was blindfolded and abducted into the occupied territories of Palestine.

The Lebanese army sent a complaint to the leadership of the UNIFIL in Naqoura, considering the accident as “a violation of the border” and demanding the immediate release of the abducted shepherd.

UNIFIL opened an investigation Friday, holding contacts with the Zionist army to release the kidnapped citizen.

Tenenti said the Zionist army confirmed the abduction, adding that efforts are being exerted to release Zahra as soon as possible.

Lebanese Foreign Minister Mansour condemned the abduction of Zahra, “pointing out that “the international community must force Israel to stop its recurrent and persistent violations against Lebanon.”

June 30, 2012 Posted by | Illegal Occupation | , , , , | Leave a comment

Venezuela to join Mercosur on July 31

Press TV – June 30, 2012

The South American trade bloc Mercosur has announced that Venezuela will become a full member of the group on July 31.

On Friday, at a summit meeting in Mendoza, a small city in western Argentina, Mercosur leaders also agreed to extend Paraguay’s suspension over the dismissal of President Fernando Lugo until constitutional order is restored, Reuters reported.

The lower house of the Paraguayan Congress impeached Lugo on June 21, and the Senate opened his trial on June 22 and quickly reached a guilty verdict, ousting Lugo.

Mercosur leaders did not impose economic sanctions on Paraguay but banned Paraguayan officials from participating in Mercosur meetings.

Paraguay’s suspension created an opportunity for Venezuela to be incorporated into the bloc since opposition in the Paraguayan Congress was the only obstruction after a six-year wait.

Although the governments of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay approved Venezuela’s admission into the bloc in 2006, its status remained in limbo as the agreement depended on ratification by the Paraguayan Congress.

“We’re calling on the entire region to recognize the need to expand our union so we can confront this crisis… caused by rich countries, but which will affect our economies regardless,” Argentine President Cristina Fernandez said at the summit.

“(We need to) develop the incredible potential that South America has in terms of food and agriculture, minerals, energy, and science and technology,” she added.

Mercosur is an economic union and political agreement between Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay founded in 1991. Its purpose is to promote free trade and the fluid movement of goods, people, and currency.

The bloc’s combined market encompasses more than 250 million people and accounts for more than three-quarters of the economic activity on the continent, or a combined GDP of $1.1 trillion.

June 29, 2012 Posted by | Economics | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Do Israelis Teach Their Children To Hate?

By Ali Hocine Dimerdji | CEASEFIRE | June 19, 2012

One of the most common questions anyone who has ever written about Palestine or engaged in debate around the Palestinian-Israeli conflict would regularly face is “Why do they [Palestinians] teach their children to hate?” This question is a favoured rhetorical tool of the pro-Israel propagandists because it neatly encapsulates a host of Orientalist and racist implications while never actually making them explicit.

By asking this question one is implying that Palestinians do not love their children the way every other culture loves theirs. The question dehumanises Palestinians and casts them as other and alien, in effect blaming them for their own oppression. Rafeef Ziadeh tackles and deconstructs that very question, while constructing an alternative more robust narrative in her spoken word piece ““We Teach Life, Sir””, culminating in the phrase “We Palestinians wake up every morning to teach the rest of the world life, sir”.

The question is largely based on misleading, and since proved false, reports by Israeli government sources and the Center for Monitoring the Impact of Peace (CMIP). The Electronic Intifada described this group in an article entitled The Myth of Incitement in Palestinian Textbooks, published on 07/12/2010, as “a Jewish organization with links to extremist and racist Israeli groups that advocate settlement activities in the Palestinian territories, expulsion (transfer) of Palestinians from their homeland, and claims that Palestinians are all “terrorists” and that peace with them is not possible.”

These reports, which have been accepted at face value by proponents of Israel, particularly in the USA’s political and media spheres, claim that textbooks used in the occupied Palestinian territories are filled with anti-Semitic and inciting language. While these claims have been completely debunked by a variety of sources and have been shown to be pure fabrication, they keep being parroted and resurface whenever the occupation is questioned.

What is however missing from this discussion, but becoming more apparent, is that the reverse is actually true. The Israeli education system and Israeli textbooks are in fact filled with incitement and racist discourse. The latest example of this was a leaked civics preparatory examination question approved by the Israeli ministry of education. The text can be viewed on The Alternative Information Centre (AIC) news website.

The text of the question reads (translation used from AIC):

“The wives of rabbis published a letter calling on daughters of Israel not to hang around with Arabs. There are those who support this letter and those who think it’s not appropriate. Express your opinion about the letter. In your answer, present two reasons and explain using concepts you learned in civics.”

The most disturbing part of this story is that the sample answer provided takes the side of “the wives of rabbis” and provides racist arguments in support of that stance.

The sample answer reads as follows: “I support the letter of the wives of rabbis.

  1. If the daughters of Israel will hang around with Arabs, they are liable to have relationships and marry them. This would harm the Jewish majority of the state.
  2. If the daughters of Israel will hang around with Arabs, they are liable to fall victims of violence for nationalistic reasons. This would harm their right to life and security.”

The fact that the Education Ministry promotes openly racist stereotyping and discourse, particularly in a civics class, is indicative of the normalisation and prevalence of such forms of discourse within Israeli society at large and the education system in particular. This type of language and use of racist tropes is not uncommon in Israel. It is however, remarkable that it would be considered acceptable to use in an educational setting.

The Israeli political leaders commonly use these tropes to represent Palestinians as alien and other. Being referred to as “Arabs” as opposed to “Palestinians” is highly problematic, particularly when it is directed towards the Palestinian citizens of Israel. It is a strategy that aims at separating them and their struggle from that of the Palestinians within the occupied territories and the refugees and Diaspora Palestinians. It is also a way of diluting the specific Palestinian identity within a larger Arab identity, making it possible to argue that Palestinians can settle in any Arab country.

Another problem is the fact that “The daughters of Israel” is seen to represent only Jewish Israelis and not Palestinian citizens of Israel, even though around twenty per cent of Israelis are in fact Palestinian. Palestinians are thus marginalised and excluded. They are not seen to be legitimate citizens of the state of Israel. They are outsiders and alien to the state of Israel.

The third racist trope is the assumption of the threat of violence. Palestinians are seen as inherently violent. This assumption of violence is presented as fact.

The fourth and final trope is the representation of Palestinians as a demographic threat. There is nothing new in this statement, it is however extremely problematic. The portrayal of Palestinians as a demographic threat is very commonplace in Israeli political discourse. While this description can be traced back the early years of the Israeli state, It was first the Koenig Memorandum in 1976 and then Benjamin Netanyahu in 2003 who mainstreamed the use of the term in reference to the Palestinian citizens of Israel.

In 2003 the then interior minister, now prime minister, Netanyahu openly called the Palestinian citizens of Israel a demographic threat. He said: “If there is a demographic problem, and there is, it is with the Israeli Arabs who will remain Israeli citizens.” Since then, that language has become mainstream in Israeli political discourse and is regularly used to describe the native population.

The leaked civics examination question is not the only indicator that the Israeli education system is in fact filled with incitement and racist language. Nurit Peled-Elhanan, an Israeli scholar, tracks the propaganda and racism in Israeli textbooks in her book “Palestine in Israeli School Books: Ideology and Propaganda in Education”.

In an interview conducted by Alternate Focus last year she explains part of her findings in the book. She explains that Israeli schoolbooks tend to use and deploy strategies of racist discourse similar to the ones used to represent the third world in European textbooks and First Nations in US ones.

The first such strategy is that Palestinians in Israeli textbooks are completely absent. She says: “Palestinians are not represented at all in Israeli textbooks… In all the text books […] that I looked at you cannot find one photograph of a human being who is a Palestinian”

She continues by saying that “You never see a Palestinian doctor, or teacher, or child. And the only way they are represented are as the problems or threats… As terrorists… or primitive farmers… or in racist cartoons”, which is the second strategy to represent Palestinians. She explains that Palestinians are often referred to as “the Palestinian problem”, echoing the European anti-Semitic language prevalent in the nineteenth and early twentieth century, which described the Jewish population as “the Jewish Problem”.

She explains in the rest of the interview the various other strategies deployed by Israeli schoolbooks, which as a whole amount to a very disturbing picture of the Israeli education system. These strategies include representing the death of Palestinians “as the lesser evil if it brings any good consequences to us”. She also says that: “Israelis are really educated to worship death, to sacrifice themselves for the country”.

She also notes that the “demographic problem” is very prominent in these textbooks, in reference to the 1948 Nakba. The ethnic cleansing that took place in Palestine prior to and after the creation of Israel is represented as a just and necessary event in order to secure a Jewish majority in what had become Israel.

All these facts lead to the conclusion that if this deployment of incitement and racist discourse within the Israeli education system does not change, there is very little room for progress in resolving the plight of Palestinians.

What the mounting evidence shows is that the Israeli education system is a highly ideological system that institutionalises and normalises racist representations of the native population, i.e. Palestinians. In such a context, it seems more apt to reverse the perennial question and, instead, ask “why do Israelis teach their children to hate?”

Ali Hocine Dimerdji is a French Studies PhD student at the University of Nottingham, and an Algerian citizen who has lived both in Algeria and Lebanon. Follow him on Twitter @hocinedim.

June 29, 2012 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , | 1 Comment

How to start a revolution: Learn from Iceland!

THEDUMBPLANET | May 15, 2012

The people of Iceland forced their corrupt government to resign.

A public assembly was created to rewrite the constitution.

The banks were nationalized;

it was decided not to pay the debt that PRIVATE banks created.

All of this was accomplished in a peaceful way…

What would happen if the rest of the world followed this example?

June 29, 2012 Posted by | Corruption, Economics, Timeless or most popular, Video | 2 Comments

22 Elected Legislators Still Imprisoned By Israel

IMEMC & Agencies | June 29, 2012

Head of the Census Department at the Palestinian Ministry of Detainees, Abdul-Nasser Farawna, reported that the current number of elected Palestinian legislators imprisoned by Israel dropped to 22 after Israel released, on Thursday afternoon, two legislators, the Palestine News Network, PNN, reported.

The two legislators who were released Thursday are Khalil Ar-Rabaey from Hebron, and Nasser Abdul-Jawad from Salfit.

Farawna said that Israel released, over the past five days, five legislators identified as Anwar Zboun, Ayman Daraghma, and Mohammad At-Til, in addition to Ar-Rabaey and Abdul-Jawad.

He added that 22 legislators are still imprisoned by Israel, 19 of them are members of the Hamas Change and Reform parliamentary bloc, in addition to the Secretary-General of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, legislator Ahmad Saadat, legislator Marwan Barghouthi and legislator Jamal At-Terawi, both members of Fateh movement.

Farawna stated that the continued abduction and imprisonment of the elected legislators and officials is a direct violation of international law and basic principles of human rights, and a violation of the principles of democracy.

He added that kidnapping Palestinian officials is a rude Israeli meddling in internal Palestinian affairs, and called on Arab and international parliamentarian to act on obliging Israel to secure the release of all elected officials.

June 29, 2012 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Tool Kit

By Daniel Borgström | Dissident Voice | June 29th, 2012

An angry crowd, beating drums and waving pitchforks, clubs, and hammers, marches up the street, heading for the house of a local politician. It’s political theater, but the pitchforks, clubs and hammers are real. So, does the politician get out on her porch and meet the protesters with a shotgun? Or, as has become a standard response to protest in Oakland, does she call in riot police, armed with everything from tear gas to tanks?

This was the scene on June 11th, a public protest to an ordinance proposed by Oakland City Council member Patricia Kernighan to ban what she calls “Tools of Violence.”

It’s true that violence is a serious problem in Oakland. People shoot people, and the police also shoot people. Police are part of the problem. In February an officer killed a teenager and shot himself in the foot–literally. In dealing with political protests the OPD also has a terrible record, most famously on April 7, 2003 when 59 people were injured by attacking police; the incident was investigated by a United Nations commission, and the city received mention on the list of the world’s human rights abusers. The practice continues: At Occupy demonstrations last fall officers critically injured Iraq war veterans Scott Olsen in October and Kayvan Sabeghi in November. There’ve been numerous injuries, some major and many minor.

(It almost happened to me–on January 28 I happened to look up and see an officer aiming a shotgun at my face. For an instant I thought I was going to be the next Scott Olsen.)

This has been going on for years. It’s gotten to a point where a judge has warned that the OPD may be placed in federal receivership for failure to implement court ordered reforms. So Council member Pat Kernighan’s concern with violence might have seemed totally justified and downright commendable if it had been directed at the police rather than at peaceful protesters.

However, Kernighan’s ordinance targets protesters who, after Scott and Kayvan were injured, began carrying shields to protect themselves from police projectiles. The proposed “tools of violence” ordinance defines the “tools” so broadly as to include shields, as well as backpacks, and even water bottles and tripods for cameras. Obviously, the proposed ordinance has little to do with ending violence; it’s about suppressing First Amendment rights.

The situation called for creative theater, a dramatic response as bizarre as the proposed ordinance. So Occupy Oakland called a demonstration, inviting people to bring pots & pans and their favorite TOOL OF VIOLENCE. The event was publicized, both online and in leaflets, so Pat Kernighan obviously knew we were coming to visit her at her home on Monday, June 11th.

That evening a delegation of about fifty of us gathered at the northeast end of Lake Merritt. We were appropriately equipped with the various items of the Kernighan Tool Kit. One couple had brought a huge fork and spoon, some had shields, others wore bike helmets, and almost everyone had water bottles. Several carried hammers. Hammers, which would normally seem quite out of place at a demonstration, had now become a symbol of protest against the suppression of our First Amendment rights.

I brought my whole earth flag on a pole–the same flag I’ve been carrying for years at the Sunday peace walk. Although there has never been any complaint about my flag, Kernighan’s proposed ordinance would define the 6-foot pole as a club, and the penalty would be six months in jail. So that qualified my flag as appropriate for this event.

People carried all sorts of “tools.” My favorite of that evening was a large manure fork, carried by a hefty fellow looking like he was on his way to clean a barn. A standard farm tool, its long sharp prongs added a subtle touch of serious authenticity to our image.

After a brief rally, we set out marching up Lakeshore filling the right hand lane as usual, beating drums and chanting, “These are NOT–tools of violence!”

Some passersby gawked at us, staring wide-eyed at the bizarre display of tools, nearly enough to equip a hardware store. Others waved.

Police cars trailed behind, but didn’t interfere.

At the front of our column was a banner, reading “No justice, no peace.” We had several livestreamers, camera people, some in front and some in the middle.

Up Lakeshore Avenue, onto Walavista, and eventually up a long steep hill on Arimo Avenue towards where Councilmember Pat Kernighan lives.

“Patty! Patty! Can’t you see? You will live in infamy!” we chanted as we ascended the hill, also distributing leaflets as we went.

And what would we find on arrival? What would she do when she saw an angry crowd, beating drums and waving pitchforks, clubs, and hammers, marching up the street, heading straight for her door? Would she be standing on her porch, shotgun in hand, like in a Western movie? Or, as has become the pattern here in Oakland, would we be greeted by a phalanx of riot police? Perhaps even an armored vehicle–the one the sheriffs had brought out on May Day?

This was a relatively affluent neighborhood, and there were no potholes in this street. Houses up here were elegant, well kept up, but not really mansions. The inhabitants were clearly among the better off residents of Oakland’s District 2, but they didn’t appear to be the 1%. Some families came out and waved to us. Even up here, Occupy seemed to enjoy a bit of popular support.

And finally, along the crest of the hill, we came to a halt. This was where Pat Kernighan lived. It was a one-story house, pale green with white trim, and large windows across the front. Nice, but rather modest for an officeholder who serves the 1%.

No police. Not in front of her house anyway. There were just the two or three cop cars behind us. They stayed back, keeping their distance.

So where was Pat Kernighan? Three or four of our delegation went to ring her door bell, knocking on the door, peering in the windows. “Councilmember Kernighan, where are you? You have visitors. A delegation from Occupy Oakland. Don’t you want to come out and talk with us? No?”

The rest of us waited out in the street, watching. A TV camera, I think it was Channel 2, was filming the scene, as were several of our camera people.

Watching this, I thought of a demonstration I’d read about years ago which was held in front of a governor’s mansion. I forget which state, or who the governor was, but anyway. He came out and talked with the protesters, who must’ve been pretty surprised. It gave the appearance of a politician who listened, and it made the guy look good. And it occurred to me that if Pat Kernighan were to come out and talk with us, she might come off looking good this evening.

“Maybe she’s hiding in the basement,” quipped someone standing next to me.

“Leaving her house undefended? Look at those big windows. She’s been telling everyone that we’re a band of violent vandals.”

“She could’ve had riot police here to protect her home, but she didn’t bother to call them. Obviously she doesn’t believe we’re violent. It’s just something she talks about at the city council.”

We held a short rally, Bella Eiko and Elle Queue spoke while others leafleted the nearby houses, just to let Kernighan’s neighbors know why we’d came. Then we marched back the way we’d came, down the hill and back to the flatlands, beating drums, and waving flags, hammers and pitchforks.

*****Below is Council member Kernighan’s proposed ordinance (The numerous typos in the below are in the original):

ACTION REQUESTED OF THE CITY COUNCIL

Adopfion of this ordinance.
Respectfully submitted.
Barbara Parker
City Attorney
Attorney Assigned:
Mark Morodomi
964388v2
APPROVED AS TO FORM AND LEGALITY
City Attorney
ORDINANCE NO. C.M.S.

INTRODUCED BY COUNCIL MEMBER KERNIGHAN AND CITY ATTORNEY PARKER ORDINANCE PROHIBITING THE POSSESSION OF THE TOOLS OF VIOLENCE DURING A DEMONSTRATION

THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF OAKLAND DOES ORDAIN AS FOLLOWS:
SECTION 1. The following is added to the Oakland Municipal Code, Chapter 9.36 – Weapons.
Article VI.
Section 9.36.500. Tools of Violence at Demonstrations
A. Definitions.

The following definitions shall apply only for the purposes of this section.

“Club” means any length of lumber, wood, wood lath, plastic, or metal, unless that object is one-fourth inch or less in thickness and two inches or less in width or, if not generally rectangular in shape, such object shall not exceed three-quarter inch in its thickest dimension. Nothing in this section shall prohibit a disabled person from carrying a cane, walker, or similar device necessary for mobility so that the person may participate in a demonstration.

“Painting Device” means any aerosol paint can or pressurized paint sprayer, including but not limited to, any improvised device.

“Paint Projectile” means any container, including a plastic bag or balloon, and containing paint and designed to be thrown or projected.

“Shield” means any impact-resistant material held by straps or a handle attached on the holder’s side of the impact-resistant material and designed to provide impact protection for the holder. “Handle” does not include a stick or dowel used as a sign post. Paper, cloth, cardboard, or foam core less than one-quarter inch thick are not impact-resistant material for the purposes of this ordinance.

“Wrench” means a wrench with a span greater than or expandable to one and a quarter inches standard or 30 millimeters metric and of a length of 12 inches or more. B. Weapons and Vandalism Tools Prohibited.

No person shall carry or possess a Club, fire accelerant, fireworks, Painting Device, Paint Projectile, Shield, sling shot, hammer, or Wrench while participating in any demonstration.
955033

C. Exemptions.

The prohibitions of this section shall not apply to any law enforcement agency employee, fire service agency employee, or public works employee who is carrying out official duties.

D. Penalties.

1. Any person violating Subsection B is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six months or by fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) or by both.

2. Remedies under this chapter are in addition to and do not supersede or limit any and all other remedies, civil or criminal. The remedies provided for herein shall be cumulative and not exclusive.

Daniel Borgström is an ex-Marine against the war, a veteran occupier. He writes about progressive actions. He can be reached at: daniel@borgstrom.com.

June 29, 2012 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , | Leave a comment

Ecuador Will Cease Participation In School Of The Americas

School of the Americas Watch Statement on Ecuadoran Decision to Cease Participation in SOA/WHINSEC | June 28, 2012

This Wednesday, June 27, Ecuadoran President Rafaeal Correa, after hearing from a delegation of SOA Watch, has taken the decision to cease sending Ecuadoran soldiers to the School of the Americas.

We wish to express our happiness for this decision by the Ecuadoran government, convinced that the School of the Americas – now called the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation –indeed trained and trains Latin American soldiers under the doctrine of National Security, based on fighting the internal enemy. This doctrine has borne human rights violations throughout Latin America.

In 2010, in the Truth Commission Report that investigated human rights violations in Ecuador, the training that Ecuadoran soldiers had received at the School of the Americas was called to attention, and the report recommended that the State cease sending troops to the military school. Today that recommendation has been taken into account and we are happy.

The thousands of victims of human rights violations in Ecuador and all of Latin America have the right to know those responsible for the killings, forced disappearances and torture, and that they are brought to justice to pay for their crimes. At the same time, nations must give guarantees to society and survivors that this will not happen again. One concrete way to do this is to end military training at the SOA, that has caused so much damage and suffering to our people.

Ecuador joins Venezuela, Uruguay, Argentina and Bolivia, who have pulled out of the SOA. As a result, we call on the other countries of Latin America to stop sending their troops to the School of the Americas as soon as possible.

We congratulate President Rafael Correa for this sovereign decision and to finally protect the Ecuadoran people from being subject to future human rights violations.

In solidarity,

School of the Americas Watch

June 29, 2012 Posted by | Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | Leave a comment