Aletho News


Sheldon Adelson, the Godfather

If Americans Knew | May 21, 2018

Wendy Mesley discusses Sheldon Adelson’s role in getting the U.S. embassy moved to Jerusalem, as well as his massive influence on Donald Trump and American politics in general.

May 21, 2018 Posted by | Corruption, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Video, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Israel revokes residency of 4 Jerusalemite officials

Palestine Information Center – April 30, 2018

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM – Palestinian human rights sources said that Israel decided on Sunday to strip four Jerusalemite officials of their permanent residency under the pretext of not being loyal to Israel.

Lawyer Fadi al-Qawasmi said that Israel’s Interior Minister Aryeh Deri decided to revoke the residency of MPs Mohammed Abu Tir, Ahmad Attoun, and Mohammed Toutah as well as former Minister of Jerusalem Affairs Khaled Abu Arafa.

Al-Qawasmi said in press statements that the decision came after the Knesset approved a new bill earlier in March that allows the Interior Minister to strip any Jerusalemite of his residency rights if he is involved in “terrorism” or “anti-Israel acts”.

According to al-Qawasmi, the Israeli Supreme Court in mid-September 2017 overturned a decision to revoke the residency of the Jerusalemite MPs. However, it decided to give the Israeli government a time limit to enact a law that gives the Interior Ministry the authority to strip any Jerusalemite of his residency.

The Palestinian lawyer described the bill as “unfair” and “illegal”, saying that it was applied retroactively. He affirmed that he will return to Israeli courts to oppose the decision.

The Palestinians in East Jerusalem and the Druze in the Syrian Golan Heights are considered residents not citizens by the Israeli authorities. Revoking their residency, according to the new bill, means expelling them permanently from these territories.

In 2006 the Israeli authorities confiscated the ID cards of the four Jerusalemite MPs after arresting them following their participation in a protest in Occupied Jerusalem. They spent several months in Israeli jails before they were deported to the West Bank.

April 30, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | Leave a comment

Paraguay to move its embassy in Israel to Occupied Jerusalem

Palestine Information Center – April 29, 2018

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM – Israel Hayom newspaper on Sunday said that the Paraguayan president Horacio Cartes has pledged to transfer his country’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Cartes said that he would like the move to take place before he leaves office in June.

Cartes said during a ceremony held in the Paraguayan capital of Asunción to mark the 70th anniversary of the establishment of Israel that his decision stems from both political and personal commitment.

Paraguay is the fourth country to decide to move its embassy to Occupied Jerusalem joining the Czech Republic, Guatemala and Honduras who followed the lead of the US.

Both the US and Guatemala have decided to transfer their embassies to Jerusalem in mid-May, while Honduras and the Czech Republic have not set a date yet.

On 6th December 2017 the US president Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and announced his intention to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city stirring worldwide condemnation.

April 29, 2018 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, War Crimes | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Romanian President Demands Prime Minister’s Resignation Over Betrayal of Palestine

By Adam Garrie | Eurasia Future | 2018-04-27

When Romania’s Prime Minister Viorica Dancila announced that her country would move its “Israeli” Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem/Al-Quds in line with the United States, she did not consult her President as Romanian law demands. The move which is considered a grave insult to millions of Arabs, Muslims and Christians throughout the world was apparently taken in a unilateral move that Romania’s President has said violates both national and possibly international law.

President Klaus Iohannis has stated that the Premier’s decision “does not cope with her position of the prime minister of Romania and thus it turns the government into a vulnerability for Romania…. That is why I call publicly for her resignation.”

The rift comes after Prime Minister Dancila recently took a trip to “Israel” which the President said was not cleared with the head of state and therefore cannot be described as an official state visit even though Dancila acted as though it was.

The political turmoil within Romania is a clear sign that even among the few European nations that have been inching towards a US position of moving their embassies in “Israel” to Jerusalem/Al-Quds, such moves are highly domestically divisive.

Today in Palestine, demonstrators continue their Great March of Return protests which are set to continue through Nakba Day on the 15th of May. Thus far, “Israeli” aggression against peaceful demonstrators has resulted in over 40 deaths and the wounding over over 5,500 Palestinians.

April 27, 2018 Posted by | Corruption, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , | Leave a comment

Israel Moves to Revoke Residency to 12 Palestinians of Jerusalem

Palestine Chronicle | March 22, 2018

Under a recently enacted law, Israel’s Interior Minister Aryeh Deri has expressed his intentions to strip the residency status of 12 Palestinians in Jerusalem, accusing them of being involved in “terror”.

Four of the 12 are elected Parliamentarians affiliated with the Hamas Movement.

The law, passed two weeks ago, gives the interior minister the power to strip the residency documents of any Palestinian on grounds of a “breach of loyalty” to Israel.

But last year, the Supreme Court ruled that the interior minister does not have the power to do so after a petition was filed by rights groups.

In response, the Israeli government enacted the bill two weeks ago, giving the minister the legal means to strip the residency documents of any Palestinian whom he deems a threat.

Rights groups have blasted the new law as racist and illegal.

“East Jerusalem is considered occupied territory under international humanitarian law (IHL) – like all other areas of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip – and its Palestinian residents are a protected civilian population,” Adalah, a Palestinian rights group in Israel, said.

Palestinians in the city are given “permanent residency” ID cards and temporary Jordanian passports that are only used for travel purposes. They are essentially stateless, stuck in legal limbo – they are not citizens of Israel, nor are they citizens of Jordan or Palestine.

The new bill will only worsen the difficult conditions for the 420,000 Palestinians living in occupied East Jerusalem, who are treated as foreign immigrants by the state.

Since 1967, Israel has revoked the status of at least 14,000 Palestinians.

Deri, the interior minister, who was, in the past, convicted of bribery, fraud and “breach of trust”, says this law would allow him to protect the “security of Israeli citizens”.

March 22, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , | 2 Comments

Israeli settler runs over, injures Palestinian teenage boy in occupied West Bank

Press TV – March 11, 2018

A Palestinian teenage has reportedly sustained injuries after an Israeli settler ran him over in the southern part of the occupied West Bank.

Local sources, requesting anonymity, told Arabic-language Ma’an news agency that the 16-year-old victim, identified as Rushdi Yasser al-Khatib, was struck on the road linking the towns of Hizma and ‘Anata northeast of the occupied Old City of Jerusalem al-Quds on Sunday afternoon.

The sources added that the settler fled the scene after the incident.

The Palestinian Health Ministry later announced that Khatib had been transferred to the Palestine Medical Complex in the central West Bank city of Ramallah, describing his injuries as serious.

Palestinian medics said the teenager has suffered a fractured skull and bruises all over his body.

There have been scores of “hit and run” incidents targeting Palestinians in different parts of the occupied West Bank, with most of them largely going uninvestigated by Israeli authorities. Some of such events have resulted in fatalities.

A 21-year-old Palestinian woman, identified as Tamara Thawabta, was run over near the entrance to Palestine Technical University – Kadoorie in al-Arroub town, located 15 kilometers south of Bethlehem, on September 26, 2017.

Asil Tariq Abu Aoun was run over by an Israeli settler near Hamra checkpoint in Furush Beit Dajan village, located 10 kilometers east of Nablus, on August 26. The 8-year-old Palestinian girl later succumbed to her serious injuries.

On August 10, an Israeli settler ran over four Palestinian children in the predominantly Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan on the outskirts of the Old City of Jerusalem al-Quds.

About 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 illegal settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds.

March 11, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | 2 Comments

The Only Jewish Ghetto in the Middle East

By Gilad Atzmon | March 8, 2018

AlJazeera reported yesterday that the Israeli parliament has passed a law that allows the Minister of Interior to revoke the residency rights of any Palestinian in Jerusalem on grounds of a “breach of loyalty” to Israel.

Under the new measure, Israel’s Interior Minister, Aryeh Deri, leader of the ultra-Orthodox political party Shas and a convicted criminal , has the authority to revoke the residency documents of any Palestinian whom he deems a “threat.”

It doesn’t take a genius to grasp that this law is racially oriented: it only applies to non-Jews. This type of law follows from the fact that  Israel defines itself as the ‘The Jewish State,’ and operates as a tyrannical Jewish shtetl in which the Palestinians are Goyim du jour –0n a daily basis they  are confronted by the most extreme forms of Jewish exceptionalism (choseness).

Hanan Ashrawi, a senior member of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), described the law as “an extremely racist piece of legislation.  By unethically stripping the residency of Palestinians from Jerusalem and depriving the rights of those Palestinians to remain in their own city, the Israeli government is acting in defiance of international law and is violating international human rights and humanitarian laws.”

Aljazeera points out that  “despite Israel’s claims that occupied East Jerusalem is part of its ‘eternal, undivided’ capital, the Palestinians who are born and live there do not hold Israeli citizenship, unlike their Jewish counterparts.” Apparently the ‘un-dividedness’ of Jerusalem only applies to the members of one tribe and the land they manage to grab by force.

Palestinians in Jerusalem are granted “permanent residency” ID cards and temporary Jordanian passports that are only valid as travel documents. This leaves them stateless, stuck in legal limbo – they are not citizens of Israel, nor are they citizens of Jordan or Palestine.

Zionism vowed to fix diaspora Jews by means of a ‘homecoming.’ It promised to make the ‘new Hebrews’ into ‘people like all other people.’ The project has been a total failure. Israel is a humongous racist ghetto. It is a country like no other. It has managed to amplify every symptom Zionism was born to eliminate.

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

Israeli taboos must be broken for honest and open discussion

View from the tower of the Church of Redeemer shows the Dome of the Rock mosque and the cross of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, [Saeed Qaq/Apaimages]
By Hossam Shaker | MEMO | February 19, 2018

Palestine was never really there. A thousand years is just a worthless length of time, and all you see on the ground is a layer waiting to be stripped away completely. This is not my imagination speaking; it is what dominates the mindset of too many Israelis and their supporters thanks to decades’ worth of sustained propaganda, which has fed the minds of generations with uncompromising convictions which accept neither discussion nor review.

One of the most sensitive taboos in this respect is the mere recognition of the existence of the Palestinian people in the past, or even in the present. The truth is at odds with the very roots of Zionism. Israelis used to talk crudely about “Arabs”, a convenient solution to the problem of saying “Palestinian”. The Arabs, they reason, are just people who came from the desert and can go back to it or can be expelled there. “This country won’t be enough for all of us together,” the Zionists argue. “They have 20 Arab countries, why won’t they go there?” Such naïve “logic” can be used both ways: You have a great friend in US President Donald Trump, so why didn’t you go and join him?

This Israeli mentality has provided the cultural pretext for the ethnic cleansing that Israel’s “New Historians” have described in detail, starting with Benny Morris up to the expanded works of Ilan Pappé. Hence, don’t exhaust yourself searching for references to “the Palestinian people” in anything issued by Israeli officials during the “peace process” for a quarter of a century, because you won’t find it. There are only “Palestinians”, but the people have a homeland, history, identity, roots and rights, and these are concepts that Israelis cannot imagine as part of a country which is not Palestine at all in their view. The forgotten fact today is that the founder of political Zionism himself, Theodor Herzl, and his colleagues in the early World Zionist Organisation had no choice but to call it Palestine, a name which was also included in all subsequent documents, including the 1917 Balfour Declaration.

In Israeli hands, archaeology and history are saturated with propaganda. Israeli excavations and museums are guided by an arrogance and ideology to reach specific conclusions. The Zionist narrative began in Europe in the late nineteenth century and not in Palestine. Archaeological propaganda must invent an imaginary country to match the Israeli myth. It does not recognise what happened during the past 2,000 or 3,000 years, and does not pay attention to what is beyond even that.

The Israelis face a dilemma, though: what do they do with a place that obviously has an indigenous culture and character; and is an Arab and Palestinian, Muslim and Christian environment, with evidence of this equally obvious? How should they deal with all these minarets, domes and church towers which survived demolition and destruction; the well-known Arab architecture; and even the olive trees and palm trees that have survived the uprooting and burning? The Israeli trick to overcome this very real dilemma is to escape from the reality by basing their state on a relatively very short period of ancient history, smothered with nationalist ideology. This is significant, because what we see of Israel today is superficial; peel this particular layer back and what you will find underneath actually belongs to the Palestinians. Nevertheless, the Zionist myths appeal to Trump and his predecessors in the White House, although only he has dared to declare that Jerusalem is there for Israelis alone.

The celebration of the Israeli narrative justifies the sweeping aside of vast periods of historical facts that are denied in order to create a scenario that corresponds to the imagined history based on Zionist ideology and mythology. In June 1967, for example, a few days after occupying the eastern part of Jerusalem (having occupied the western sector since 1948), Israeli bulldozers destroyed a historic neighbourhood in the heart of the Old City. This represented one of the most extensive campaigns of destruction in the 20th Century. The Moroccan Quarter included 135 historic buildings dating back centuries; it was destroyed completely in order to create an empty space in the heart of Jerusalem that is now a large square next to the Western (“Wailing”) Wall. Who is strong enough today to compare the images of this area before and after 1967? Who remembers the historic Moroccan Quarter, with all the features of the archaeological sites that precede the era of Saladin? Who asks where the rubble of the Quarter’s ancient stones and monuments which lasted for more than 1,000 years has gone?

What is striking about this, as with other incidents of mass destruction that discreetly and hastily followed the military occupation, is the fact that these events have not yet been discussed in any great depth amongst Israelis themselves, or even internationally. This sort of thing remains one of the major Israeli taboos. Everything related to occupied Palestine’s indigenous identity and history is a very serious no-no for discussion in Israeli circles.

Israeli propaganda has shackled its audience to an ideology, which provides them with naive perceptions of the land 2,000 or 3,000 years ago and, of course, not before or since. This propaganda begins with the words of the Zionist anthem, Hatikvah, which the Zionist Organisation later manipulated to include Jerusalem, though the city was not mentioned by the writer, Naftali Herz Imber, when he wrote the song in 1877. This is not only about the historical fabrications of the propaganda, but it is also about the manipulation of the words in the anthem, since some were taken from the Polish national anthem, and its melody was stolen from popular European folk songs in many versions.

The propaganda feeds politicians’ speeches so that they can fill Israeli minds with a specific concept: You were here yesterday, and you are back here today. The implication is that all who were here between “yesterday” and “today” are of no value. They were just wanderers with neither roots nor history of their own. Some enthusiasts who favour this logic may understand it as giving them the green light to destroy the “wanderers” and their property and expel them if necessary. It is the mentality of “transfer” and ethnic cleansing; it is the logic of the bulldozers that are crushing history in favour of an invented history creating “facts on the ground” in accordance with the mindset of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s far-right party that is backed by the army, illegal settler gangs, the Jerusalem Municipality and the Antiquities Authority.

Danny Ayalon, a close associate of Netanyahu, served as Deputy Foreign Minister for years, and was a fierce advocate of illegal Israeli settlements built on the occupied Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Jerusalem. Ayalon appeared in a popular propaganda video about Jerusalem in which he appeared to sneak into tunnels under the Old City and started to imagine himself walking around 2,000 years ago. The video is full of historical naivety, as usual, but it includes a truly horrifying image: the destruction of the Dome of the Rock and its surrounding compound, as if the most prominent Jerusalem landmark is just a fast food takeaway or suchlike that can be destroyed and replaced by a garage.

Well-known for his social media activity, Ayalon has done in the virtual realm what the neo-fascist religious organisations have tried to do in the real world by carrying out attacks and incursions of the Noble Sanctuary of Al-Aqsa for decades. These far-right Jewish groups want to destroy Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Dome of the Rock Mosque and other Islamic and Christian monuments. This started with an arson attack on Al-Aqsa in 1969, since when there have been numerous plots to bomb the sanctuaries. Jerusalem, for them, is just something to be eliminated, as suggested by Ayalon in the video clip.

The so-called “price tag” attacks by Jewish settlers include arson, vandalism and graffiti on mosques, churches, monasteries, houses and the graves of Muslims and Christians, with demands in Hebrew that they leave the country. The people responsible are the products of the Israeli education system. They were subjected to Zionist propaganda, which filled their minds with the notion that they are the masters of history and the masters of the land. The result has been an apparently endless stream of attacks since the beginning of this century, some of which resulted in burning families and children; the then 18-month-old Ali Dawabsheh was burned alive along with his parents in a 2015 arson attack on their home; his four-year-old brother Ahmed survived, but with serious burns.

A whole raft of theatrical propaganda and props have been created to fuel the mentality of hate that produces the perpetrators of such acts. One of the most important institutions of the state that was founded on the ruins of Palestine is the Knesset, Israel’s parliament. Members of the Knesset sit facing a large artificial stone wall, which is meant to provide a sense of historical depth to their country. Racist laws are drafted by these parliamentarians so that the state can impose a Jewish identity on the country while ignoring its real history and denying the existence of the Palestinian people. Such laws are increasing in number, along with restrictions on Israeli human rights organisations that oppose the official propaganda.

Among the Knesset members there are fanatical settlers who live in houses built on lands stolen from Palestinians in the West Bank by force of arms. They are convinced that God gave them this land thousands of years before the inauguration of Netanyahu’s government. Some of them give you the impression that God is there on the side of the armed thugs who use automatic rifles to intimidate Palestinians in their own homes, and burn their olive trees. Because they are the undisputed masters of history, their carefully fortified settlements are usually built in strategic locations on the hills, where they have a superior view over the Palestinian villages at their feet.

In the cities and towns on the Mediterranean coast, the most difficult questions that the resident of a house that has been stolen since 1948 might face are, “Who built this house, father? Who planted this tree, mother? Who made this road, grandfather?” Such questions cover very sensitive Israeli taboos; if peace is to be a genuine option, they must be broken and opened up to honest and open discussion.

February 19, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 1 Comment

NDP could break elite consensus against Palestinian rights

By Yves Engler · February 15, 2018

The anti-Palestinian consensus among Canada’s three main political parties is crumbling and NDP members could bury it this weekend.

After taking an all-expense paid trip to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s conference in Washington and participating in a Jewish National Fund event in Israel 14 months ago, the NDP’s foreign critic has begun challenging Canada’s contribution to Palestinian dispossession. Hélène Laverdière has repeatedly criticized the Trudeau government’s silence on Donald Trump’s decision to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem. In response she tweeted, “a devastating day for those who believe in peace, justice and security in the Middle East. Where is Canada’s voice in protest of Trump’s decision on #Jerusalem? I urge Canada to condemn this decision in the strongest of terms.”

The party’s foreign critic also asked the federal government to condemn Israel’s detention of 16-year-old Ahed Tamimi and hundreds of other Palestinian children who are usually tortured by Israeli forces. Similarly, Laverdière has pressed Ottawa to properly label products from illegal Israeli settlements and submitted a petition to Parliament calling “upon the Government of Canada to demand that Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem.”

Two weeks ago I received an email on behalf of party leader Jagmeet Singh titled “all people deserve the same human rights”, which listed the party’s recent support for Palestinian rights. It noted, “the NDP shares your concerns about Palestine. NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and his team of New Democrats have a consistent record of defending Palestinian rights as well as raising concerns over Islamophobia.”

A series of factors are likely driving Laverdière’s shift. She probably never backed former NDP leader Tom – “I am an ardent supporter of Israel in all situations and in all circumstances” – Mulcair’s position. Additionally, last year’s NDP leadership race unleashed ever bolder expressions of support for the Palestinian cause.

Amidst the campaign, Laverdière was criticized for speaking at AIPAC’s 2016 conference in Washington and participating in an event put on by the explicitly racist Jewish National Fund. In August the NDP Socialist Caucus called for her resignation as foreign critic and it has submitted a motion to this weekend’s convention calling for her to be removed from that position.

Ottawa’s high-profile abstention at the UN General Assembly after Donald Trump announced that he would move the US Embassy to Jerusalem has given the NDP an opportunity to distinguish itself from the Trudeau government. And media coverage of subsequent Palestinian resistance, most notably Ahed Tamimi’s courageous slaps, has provided additional opportunities to highlight the Liberal’s extreme anti-Palestinianism.

The NDP leadership is also trying to head off members’ calls to boycott Israel (according to a 2017 Ekos poll, 84% of NDP members were open to sanctioning Israel). At least five resolutions (among more than ten concerning Palestine/Israel) submitted to the convention call for some type of boycott of Israel. The NDP Socialist Caucus has called on the party to “actively campaign” in support of the (just nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize) Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions‘ movement’s demands.

With probably more backing than any of the 100+ resolutions submitted, 30 riding associations and youth committees endorsed “Palestine Resolution”, which calls for “banning settlement products from Canadian markets, and using other forms of diplomatic and economic pressure to end the occupation.” Of course, party leaders fear the media response to any type of boycott resolution being adopted.

Whatever the reason for Laverdière’s shift away from anti-Palestinianism, it remains insufficient. As I’ve detailed, the NDP continues to provide various forms of support to Israel and the party has an odious anti-Palestinian history. In the mid-1970s the party opposed Palestinian Liberation Organization participation in two UN conferences in Toronto and Vancouver and party leader Ed Broadbent called the PLO “terrorists and murderers whose aim is the destruction of the state of Israel.”

That year NDP icon Tommy Douglas also told the Histadrut labour federation: “The main enmity against Israel is that she has been an affront to those nations who do not treat their people and their workers as well as Israel has treated hers.” (Douglas’ 1975 speech was made while Israel occupied the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Golan Heights and Sinai, after it repeatedly invaded its neighbours and ethnically cleansed 750,000 Palestinians from their homeland.)

A progressive party worth its salt campaigns on an international issue in equal measure to its government/society’s contribution to that injustice.

Over the past century Canada has played no small part in Palestinians’ dispossession. Hundreds of Canadians provided military force to realize the crassly anti-Palestinian Balfour Declaration and this country’s diplomats played a central role in the UN’s decision to give the Zionist movement most of Palestine in 1947.

Today, Ottawa regularly votes against Palestinian rights at the UN and subsidizes dozens of charities that channel tens of millions of dollars to projects supporting Israel’s powerful military, racist institutions and illegal settlements. Additionally, Canada’s two-decade-old free trade agreement with Israel allows settlement products to enter Canada duty-free and over the past decade Ottawa has delivered over $100 million in aid to the Palestinian Authority in an explicit bid to advance Israel’s interests by building a security apparatus to protect the corrupt Palestinian Authority from popular disgust over its compliance in the face of ongoing Israeli settlement building.

Hopefully, in the years to come the NDP can help Canada make up for its sad anti-Palestinian history. Perhaps this weekend the party will finally bury official Canada’s anti-Palestinian consensus.

February 15, 2018 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , | Leave a comment

Israel imposes taxes on church, UN properties in Jerusalem

MEMO | February 3, 2018

The Israeli municipality in Jerusalem began to impose taxes on church and United Nations properties in occupied East Jerusalem, Israel Hayom reported.

The Israeli newspaper said today that the Israeli municipality will collect tens of millions of dollars from churches and United Nations institutions as a result of the real estate taxes.

It added that the Mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, changed the policy applied since the Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem in 1967.

The Jerusalem Municipality informed the Ministry of Finance and the Prime Minister’s Office that it is demanding that church and international institutions pay municipal taxes on properties owned by them.

The paper pointed out that the ruling will affect 887 properties which belong to the church and the UN.

It is estimated that the municipality will earn 650 million shekels ($191 million) from the new policy.

“The talk is not about the role of worship, which is excluded from the property tax under the law, but properties that are used for purposes other than prayer and some are used for commercial activities,” Israel Hayom explained.

It added that this week the municipality imposed restrictions on the bank accounts of evangelical, Armenian and Roman churches on the grounds of non-payment of property taxes.

“The decision of the state [exemption] over the past years has caused losses of up to one billion shekels. It is unreasonable for the residents of Jerusalem to pay the price of garbage collection, lighting, gardening and street construction, while preventing the municipality from raising large amounts of money that could help it, Significantly in the development of the city and improve services for the population [of the listed properties].”

“Either the state will compensate us financially for not collecting these funds or we will collect them according to the law,” the municipality said.

US President Donald Trump’s decision last month to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has encouraged the Israeli government to annex large swathes of the city and force its laws on it. World leaders and international organisations rallied to condemn the move and its disregard for the final status negotiations of the 1993 Oslo Accords.

February 3, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , | 1 Comment

Palestine’s Mamilla Cemetery and Israel’s colonial project

By Mustafa Fatih Yavuz | MEMO | January 25, 2018

Israel has many instruments with which to conduct its colonial project in occupied Palestine: cutting-edge military technology; its nuclear weapons and strategic alliance with the US that Israel’s deterrence factor relies on; and US diplomatic protection to contain countries attempting to stop the colonial-settlement of historical Palestine. Now even the dead are being involved, as the story of the Mamilla Cemetery in occupied Jerusalem attests.

Mamilla is a neighbourhood of Israeli-occupied Jerusalem, located to the west of the Old City’s Jaffa Gate. It is known mainly for its commercial activities in Mamilla Mall that was built in 2007.

As with all of Jerusalem’s neighbourhoods, Mamilla also hosts dozens of historical sites and structures. Mamilla pool is said to have been built by the Romans and gives the area its name. However, the name originates from the Arabic roots “Maman Allah”, which means “water of God” or “benefit from God”.

For centuries, Mamilla Cemetery has been a burial place for Muslims. Some of the Blessed Companions of Prophet Muhammad are buried there, as are some of Salahuddin Al-Ayyoubi’s soldiers and generals.

During the Ottoman period, in 1860, the cemetery was protected by a 2 metre-high fence and Jerusalemites continued to use it as a burial site. In 1927, the Muslim Supreme Court decided to declare the area as a historical site and maintain the tombs in good condition.

In 1948, though, that changed with the creation of the state of Israel and the occupation of West Jerusalem. Mamilla was deemed by the Zionist government to come under the jurisdiction of the Israeli Department of Absentee Landholders. Following the 1967 occupation of the rest of Jerusalem, the Islamic Waqf (Endowment) Department submitted a petition to get the cemetery back and resume burials there.

The Israeli authorities rejected this, and the Jerusalem municipality took the first step to erase Palestinian heritage from the area by turning a large part of the cemetery into a public space, called ‘’Independence Park’’. Many graves were removed in the process, as they were years later when cafes, a car park and, ironically, a “Museum of Tolerance” were planned for the cemetery.

“Museum of Tolerance”

In 2004, the Israeli government and the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Centre announced plans for the so-called Museum of Tolerance. By that time, only 8 per cent of Mamilla Cemetery was left, with only 5 per cent of the graves.

The museum is planned to be a multimedia centre for children and adults with theatre and education facilities. The Centre announced the project as a 21st century project dealing with “contemporary issues crucial to Israel’s future — intolerance, anti-Semitism, terrorism, Jewish unity and mutual respect and human dignity for all.”

Once the construction of the museum started, Palestinians and international supporters responded. In 2006, the families whose ancestors are buried in the cemetery, along with human rights organisations, submitted complaints to the Israeli Supreme Court. Petitions were also sent to the UN and UNESCO but to no avail.

According to the chief archaeologist of the Israeli Antiquities Authority, Gideon Suleimani, the human bones unearthed during the construction of the museum date back to 1278; those who were buried in that area were the political, military and religious elite of the Muslim community. His report led Israeli academics and media to raise concerns; the Supreme Court then suspended excavations temporarily. In 2008, the Court declared that the project could continue on the basis that a car park had been built in the area more than 40 years ago which had raised no objections.

Another effort to halt excavation was a petition presented to five different UN bodies in February 2010. Palestinian historian Rashid Khalidi and other individuals from sixty families in Jerusalem whose ancestors were buried in Mamilla Cemetery organised a “campaign to preserve Mamilla Jerusalem Cemetery”. The Centre for Constitutional Rights in New York supported a petition to the UN but it didn’t stop Israel and the Israeli Antiquities Authority from digging up even more graves.

Even the dead are dangerous for Israel

For the Zionists, whatever is linked to Palestinian identity poses a threat to their colonial plan to Judaise Palestine. In their thinking, places like Mamilla Cemetery are evidence of the land’s Palestinian history and must be erased.

Even though the Wiesenthal Centre claimed that ‘’the [human] remains were handled in keeping with the highest standards and High Court’s guidelines’’, lawyer Ahmad Amara, who was responsible for defending the Mamilla Cemetery between 2004 and 2007, saw for himself that bones were desecrated and thrown into cartons and left on one side. What Suleimani described as an “archaeological crime” continued despite the legal protests by Palestinians. Between 2008 and 2009 alone, around 1,000 skeletons were dug up and removed from the site.

In 2010, the Israeli Land Administration bulldozed 300 Muslim gravestones in the cemetery. The following year, another 100 were destroyed. Vandals from the “Price tag” settlers’ group attacked the cemetery in 2011, spraying ‘’Death to the Arabs” on gravestones.

Also in 2011, eighty-four archaeologists demanded that the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, the Jerusalem Municipality and the Israeli Antiquities Authority should end the museum construction. The project, they argued, was against all of the ethics of archaeology. ‘’The bulldozing of historic cemeteries is the ultimate act of territorial aggrandisement,” said Yale University Professor of Near Eastern Archaeology Harvey Weiss, “the erasure of prior residents.’’

Despite all of the objections, the “Museum of Tolerance” is expected to open in a few months’ time to coincide with the state of Israel’s 70th anniversary. That, of course, was the beginning of the Palestinian Nakba (Catastrophe); the Nakba is ongoing.

January 25, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Palestinian Leadership Decides to Suspend Recognition of and Cooperation with Israel

IMEMC News – January 16, 2018

The second-highest decision-making body of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) decided Monday to call on the executive committee to suspend recognition of Israel until Israel recognizes the existence of Palestine, and annuls its annexation of Jerusalem, marking the latest fallout from Donald Trump’s December 6th claim of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The PLO will cease all security cooperation with Israel, and will cease the cooperation of the Paris Agreement, which had tied the Palestinian economy to the Israeli economy.

The statement from the Central Council said, in part, “Since Israel has voided all signed agreements through its constant violations of these agreements, the Central Council affirms that the direct goal is an independent Palestinian state, which involves moving from self-rule to having a state, by achieving sovereignty of the state of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital.”

The Council called on the international community to work on ending the Israeli occupation, using all of the past UN Security Council and General Assembly resolutions, to achieve Palestinian sovereignty and an independent Palestinian state.

They called on countries to boycott Israeli settlement products, and to publish the database which includes the list of companies which bring products from the settlements.

The Council called for adopting the Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions (BDS) call, denouncing Israeli apartheid as a racist regime that is being imposed in place of a Palestinian state, rejecting any temporary solutions – especially regarding borders, rejecting any recognition of Israel as a Jewish state (which implies the denial of the existence and rights of the millions of non-Jews who live there), affirming the unity agreement signed in 2011 between the Palestinian factions, and affirmed again in 2017, and assuring a political partnership under the PLO as the only representative of the Palestinian people.

The Council affirmed the legitimate right of resistance to the occupation, as stated by international law, and called for support of the non-violent resistance movement in Palestine.

They also affirmed the urgent need to assist the Palestinians in Jerusalem, the eternal capital of Palestine, who are facing expulsion, home demolitions, and constant violations by Israel. They called on all Arab countries to follow through on their commitments of support to the Palestinian people.

The Council decided to take all needed measures to assist the Palestinians living in the besieged Gaza Strip.

They decided to continue the work on the international level to provide protection for the Palestinian people, as stated in Security Council Resolution 605 in 1987, 672 and 673 in 1990, Resolution 904 of 1998, and to ensure the implementation of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, which calls for protecting civilians living under foreign military occupation.

They decided to continue the international work to call for full membership at the United Nations for the state of Palestine.

The Council also decided to submit the cases of settlements, political prisoners, and the Israeli wars on Gaza to the International Criminal Court, and they also decided to continue filing more applications to international organizations and agencies.

Unofficial translation of the statement (by WAFA ):

Statement issued by the Central Council of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)

January 14, 2018

Ramallah, Palestine

The Palestine Liberation Organization’s Central Council held its twenty-eighth ordinary session, under the name “Jerusalem the eternal capital of the State of Palestine”, between January 14 – 15 2018 in the city of Ramallah, in the presence of President Mahmoud Abbas.

A total of 87 members out of 109 members attended the session, while a number of members were unable to attend because they were arrested or prevented by Israel.

President of the Central council Salim Al-Za’noun began the session by saying that “The time has come for our Palestinian Central Council, that is representing the Palestinian National Council, which took the decision to establish the Palestinian National Authority to be the core of the state, to decide its future and function and to reconsider the recognition of the State of Israel until it recognizes the State of Palestine with Jerusalem as its capital and accept the refugees’ return based on resolution 194.”

Al-Za’noun stressed that the Central Council rejects any ideas that are being circulated as part of the so-called “deal of the century”, because they violate international law and resolutions of the international community and seek to impose a deficient solution that does not meet the minimum of Palestinians’ legitimate rights.

He called for finding other international pathways under the auspices of the United Nations to sponsor solving the Palestinian cause.

He said, “Our success in facing these risks and challenges requires accelerating the steps of implementing reconciliation and ending the division, and developing a plan to strengthen national partnership within the framework of the PLO, as the supreme national political and legal reference for our people.”

Al-Za’noun proposed to hold a session of the National Council, in which both Hamas and the Islamic Jihad will be invited with the task of reshaping, choosing or electing a new national council, as stipulated by the system of elections of the National Council.

“We respect and appreciate the position of Arabs and their support for the Palestinian cause. We demand the implementation of the decisions of the Arab summits on Jerusalem, especially the Amman summit of 1980, which called for severing all relations with any state that recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel or transfers its embassy to it.”

He stressed that the sacrifices and struggles of prisoners in Israeli jails obligate Palestinians to provide all forms of support and that the dignity of Palestinians remains above any consideration.

Meanwhile, President Abbas reiterated commitment to a two-state solution based on international resolutions, the Arab peace initiative on the 1967 borders, the cessation of settlements’ expansion and unilateral actions. He affirmed that Palestinians will continue to seek the Security Council until full membership is achieved.

He stressed that Palestinians will not accept what the US attempts to impose, and that the PLO will reconsider its relations with Israel, yet engage in any serious peace negotiations under the auspices of the UN.

Following are the resolutions issued by the Central Council:

First: US recognition of Jerusalem

1. To condemn and reject the decision of US President Donald Trump, recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and transferring his country’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and work to reverse this decision.

2. The Council considered that the US administration, by announcing this decision, has lost its eligibility to function as a mediator and sponsor of the peace process and will not be a partner in this process unless the decision is reversed.

3. The Council stressed its rejection of President Trump’s policy that is aimed at presenting a project or ideas that contravene the resolutions of international community to resolve the conflict, which revealed its essence by declaring Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The Council stressed the need to abolish the Congress’s decision to consider the PLO as a terrorist organization since 1987, and the State Department’s decision to close the Office of the PLO general delegation in Washington on November 17, 2017.

Second: The relationship with Israel (the occupation):

In light of the withdrawal of the occupying state from all agreements and revoking them by practice and imposing a fait accompli, and with the Central council stressing that the direct goal is the independence of the State of Palestine, which requires transition from self-governing to the stage of a state that is struggling for independence, with East Jerusalem as its capital and on the borders of 4 June 1967, in implementation of the resolutions of the National Council, including the Declaration of Independence in 1988, and relevant UN resolutions, including the General Assembly resolution 67/19 of 29/11/2012, as the political and legal basis for Palestinians reality, and the affirmation of adherence to the territorial unity of the State of Palestine, and the rejection of any divisions or facts imposed contrary to that;

The Central Council decided that the transitional period stipulated in the agreements signed in Oslo, Cairo and Washington, with its obligations no longer stand.

1.The Central Council calls upon the international community to assume its responsibilities on the basis of relevant UN resolutions to end the occupation and enable the State of Palestine to achieve its independence and to exercise its full sovereignty over its territory, including its capital, East Jerusalem, on the borders of 4 June 1967.

2.Assign the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization to suspend recognition of Israel until it recognizes the State of Palestine on the 1967 borders and revokes the decision to annex East Jerusalem and expand and build settlements.

3.The Central Council reaffirms its decision to stop security coordination in all its forms and to break away from the relationship of economic dependence established by the Paris Economic Agreement, to achieve the independence of the national economy. It requests the Executive Committee of the PLO and the institutions of the State of Palestine to start implementing this.

4.Continue to work with world countries to boycott Israeli colonial settlements in all fields, to work on publishing the database for companies operating in Israeli settlements by the United Nations and to emphasize the illegality of Israeli colonial settlements since 1967.

5.Adopt the BDS movement and call on world countries to impose sanctions on Israel to put an end to its flagrant violations of international law and to end its continued aggression against the Palestinian people and the apartheid regime imposed on them.

6.Reject and condemn the Israeli occupation and apartheid that Israel is trying to enshrine as an alternative to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, and affirm the determination of the Palestinian people to resist by all means.

7.Reject any proposals or ideas for transitional solutions or interim stages, including the so-called state with temporary borders.

8.Refuse to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

Third: The internal Palestinian situation:

1.Adhere to the reconciliation Agreement signed in 2017 and its execution mechanisms, the latest of which is the Cairo agreement in 2017 and the provision of means of support for its implementation, and enable the Government of National unity to assume its responsibilities fully in the Gaza Strip in accordance with the Amended Basic Law, and then conduct general elections and hold the Palestinian National Council session no later than the end of 2018 in order to achieve political partnership within the framework of the PLO, the legitimate and sole representative of the Palestinian people, and work to form a government of national unity in order to strengthen the political partnership and the unity of the Palestinian political system.

2.Affirm the right of our people to exercise all forms of resistance against the occupation in accordance with the provisions of international law and to continue to activate, support and strengthen the peaceful popular resistance.

3.Affirm the need to support Palestinians and their steadfastness in the eternal capital of the State of Palestine, Jerusalem and affirm the need to support their struggle against the Israeli measures aimed at Judaizing the Holy City.

4.Take all measures to support our people in the Gaza Strip, who faced the Israeli aggression and the Israeli siege and provide the support they need, including freedom of movement, access to health, the reconstruction and the mobilization of the international community to break the siege.

5.The Central Council condemns the leaking of the property by the Greek Orthodox church to Israeli institutions and companies and calls for accountability of those responsible. It supports the struggle of the Palestinian people from the Orthodox community in order to preserve their rights and their role in administering the affairs of the Orthodox Church and preserving its property.

Fourth: The Security Council, the General Assembly and the International Criminal Court:

1.Continue to work to provide international protection to the Palestinian people in the territory of the occupied State of Palestine (West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip) based on the Security Council resolution 605 for the year (1987), 672 (1967) and (1990), 904 of (1998), and the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 (Protection of Civilians in Time of War).

2.Continue to work to strengthen the status of the State of Palestine in international forums and activate the request for full membership of the State of Palestine in the United Nations.

3.Provide referral on various issues (settlement, prisoners, aggression on the Gaza Strip) to the International Criminal Court.

4.Continue to join to international institutions and organizations, including the specialized agencies of the United Nations.

Fifth: The Arab and Islamic levels:

1.Call for activating the resolution of the 1980 Amman Summit, which obliges the Arab states to sever all ties with any state that recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and transfers its embassy to it, which has been reaffirmed in a number of other Arab summits with the request of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation member states to do the same.

2.Adhere to the Arab peace initiative and reject any attempts to change or alter it and maintain its priorities.

3.Work with the Arab countries (The Arab League), the Islamic countries (OIC) and the Non-Aligned Movement to hold an international conference with full powers to launch the peace process and in coordination with the EU countries, Russia, China, Japan and other international groups on the basis of relevant international resolutions and benefit from the outcomes of the 2017 Paris conference in a way as to ensure the end of the Israeli occupation and the empowerment of the State of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital on the 1967 borders and exercise its independence and sovereignty and to resolve the refugee issue on the basis of UN Resolution 194 and other final status issues in accordance with the resolutions of the international community within a specific time frame.

4.The League of Arab States, the OIC, the Non-Aligned Movement and the African Union must stand firm in front of world countries that violated the resolutions of these collective frameworks on voting against the United Nations General Assembly resolution on Jerusalem 21/12/2017.

5.The Central council condemned US threats to cut aid to UNRWA, which is seen as a way for the US to abandon its responsibility over a refugee crisis that it has aided in creating and calls on the international community to commit itself to securing the necessary funds for UNRWA, which would put an end to the continued decline in the Agency’s services and instead improve its role in providing basic services to the victims of the Nakbah and ensure a decent life for refugees as a responsibility that the international community should fulfill in accordance with resolution 194.

6.The Central Council rejects foreign intervention in Arab countries and calls for a political solution and dialogue in order to end the crises and wars experienced by some Arab countries. It calls for maintaining the unity of these countries and defying attempts to divide and alleviating the suffering of Arabs.

Sixth: Develop mechanisms to implement the decisions of the previous Central Council to represent women by at least 30% in all institutions in the State of Palestine and to harmonize the laws in accordance with the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

Seventh: The Central Council salutes the masses of Palestinians in refugee camps and exile camps in Syria, Lebanon and the Diaspora who affirm their adherence to the right of return every day. The Executive Committee is mandated to continue and intensify work with the Palestinian communities in the world and to communicate with international parties to mobilize support in facing decisions that aim to liquidate the Palestinian cause.

Eighth: The Central Council salutes the struggle and steadfastness of the prisoners in the Israeli jails and calls for their support in their daily confrontation and calls on national and international institutions to bring up their cases in all forums until their release. The Council condemns the arrest and intimidation of children, including Ahed Tamimi, which has become a symbol of Palestinian pride in the face of occupation as well as dozens of other children.

It condemns the deliberate killings and field executions committed by Israel, as well as the killing of Ibrahim Abu Thuraya, and condemns the continued detention of the bodies of Palestinians in the numbers graves, and calls for their unconditional release.

Ninth: The Central Council salutes Palestinians for their response to President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and transfer the US Embassy to it. It salutes the souls of Palestinians who rose for Palestine and al-Aqsa.

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