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This is why Al-Quds is being silenced

By Mohammed Ayesh | MEMO | February 19, 2019

If Al-Quds satellite station actually closes its doors and completely stops broadcasting, which is what is currently occurring, albeit gradually, this means that the enemies of the Palestinian national project succeeded in silencing the voice that has long plagued the occupation over the past ten years. Moreover, silencing Al-Quds carries a number of implications, most importantly those associated with the “deal of the century”, which is simmering on a low heat, and the need to silence voices opposed to it.

The collapse of Al-Quds, which broadcasts from Beirut, is occurring shortly after the imminent closure of Al-Aqsa television in Gaza, which almost occurred a few weeks ago. However, this was cancelled at the last minute. It is also occurring a few months after the complete shutdown of Al-Ketab satellite which was broadcast from Gaza. The common reason behind all of these closures and obstacles is a financial crisis.

Al-Quds has been a source of concern for the Israelis over the last ten years and it played an important role during the three wars waged against the Gaza Strip. It has therefore been bombed by the Israeli air force in Gaza and its crews were prohibited from operating in the occupied West Bank, occupied Jerusalem, and the territories inside the Green Line. Some of its journalists and correspondents were arrested and the channel was eventually shut down in those areas.

The only reason for the collapse and closure of Al-Quds channel is the financial crisis, and the reason behind the financial crisis is the siege imposed by the Arabs on the Palestinian resistance and all of its media outlets. This was the siege the Israelis were unsuccessful with, but the Arab regimes succeeded in this regard. It is a carefully planned and systematic siege that aims to silence the voices that are opposed to the “deal of the century”. It has become clear that a number of Arab regimes are involved in the arrangements of this deal and have colluded in passing it, despite the unanimous Palestinian and Jordanian rejection of it.

All the other reasons that some of the employees and those monitoring the situation have referred to are embellishments and are not the truth. Administrative errors, financial waste, or other reasons do not lead to the complete shut down of a television channel and cannot silence its voice. Moreover, a lot of these stories and statements are just figments of the imagination of those uttering them.

Al-Quds and other channels that can be referred to as the resistance’s media outlets are funded by Arab donors who have a love and passion for Palestine and Jerusalem and those who want to support the Palestinian people. Such donors were singled out by the Arab regimes, which spend millions, and even billions of dollars to slander the Palestinian people in order to promote normalisation with Israel.

The Arab regimes that besiege the Palestinians and demonise them and prevent donors from supporting them and supporting their resistance and steadfastness in the face of the occupation, are the same ones that have recently been exposed as being involved in the Judaisation of occupied Jerusalem. They are also the same regimes that are in collusion with Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner in preparing the “deal of the century”. They are also the same countries who mobilise electronic armies to post comments online such as, “the Palestinians in Palestine carry an Israeli passport, the Palestinians abroad sold their country, the Palestinian in Gaza are spies for Iran, and the Arabs’ interests i.e. in normalising relations with Israel because Iran is more dangerous than Israel.”  Those who believe this foolish and dubious theory are the same people who besieged Al-Quds and silenced its voice in order to continue their project.

The bottom line is that the targeting and silencing of Al-Quds is happening in the context of the siege imposed on the entire Palestinian nation and as part of the systematic campaign targeting Palestinians in order to justify normalisation with Israel. This then leads to justifying the “deal of the century”, which these Arab regimes do not want any one opposing.

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February 19, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , | Leave a comment

Spain company rejects Israel tender for Jerusalem railway

MEMO – February 2, 2019

A Spanish company announced yesterday that it had rejected an Israeli tender to build part of the Jerusalem railway, which will cut deep into occupied territory.

Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF or Construction and Other Railway Services) announced that it “refuses to build a section of the railway in Jerusalem because [it] included Palestinian land that will be confiscated, in violation of the resolutions of international legitimacy,” Al-Wattan Voice reported.

The company’s workers also rejected its participation in the project on the same grounds. Representatives of the workers said that the problem lies in the fact that the railway will pass through Palestinian lands to serve illegal settlements in East Jerusalem.

“Any project in any city around the world, especially Jerusalem, must respect human rights and international legitimacy in its implementation,” CAF stressed.

CAF added: “The General Assembly of the United Nations and the International Court of Justice [ICJ], through various resolutions, have said that they are against the occupation of land through which will pass the section of the railway.”

Read also:

Israel advances Jerusalem cable car plan

February 2, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Solidarity and Activism | , , , | Leave a comment

Jerusalem Archbishop: ‘Everything Palestinian is targeted by Israel’s occupation’

Archbishop of Jerusalem’s Greek Orthodox Church, Atallah Hanna, seen during a protest in the West bank city of Hebron, January 22, 2015 [Muhesen Amren / ApaImages]
MEMO | February 2, 2019

The Palestinian Archbishop of Jerusalem’s Greek Orthodox Church, Atallah Hanna, said yesterday that “everything Palestinian in Jerusalem is targeted by the Israeli occupation”.

During a meeting with a delegation from Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders, MSF), Hanna explained the dangers threatening Palestinians’ existence and identity in the Holy City, Al-Wattan Voice reported.

“Everything is in danger in Jerusalem,” Hanna said, adding: “The Islamic and Christian holy sites and endowments are targeted in order to change our city, hide its identity and marginalize our Arabic and Palestinian existence.”

Hanna added that “recently, the Israeli occupation cancelled a planned celebration on the 50th anniversary of establishing Al-Maqased Hospital,” noting that the Israeli occupation had cancelled many other Palestinian events planned to take place in Jerusalem.

The Archbishop said that Palestinians “are living under severe torture and harsh persecution,” pointing to Israel’s closure of Palestinian institutions in the city. “It seems that they wanted us to give up Jerusalem and submit to their polices, measures and practices,” he added.

Hanna continued: “Jerusalem is for us and will remain for us. We will never give up our rights in Jerusalem and we will defend it against Israeli oppression.”

Addressing the MSF staff, he said: “We want you to know closely the suffering of the Palestinians and the oppression inflicted by the Israeli occupation on them in Jerusalem. We want our message to reach all the people around the world as we want more friends for the Palestinians.”

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Israeli forces detain secretary of Fatah in Jerusalem

14 Palestinians homeless as Israel forces 2 Jerusalem homes to be torn down

February 2, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | 1 Comment

UN Officials Reaffirm that Forcible Transfers are In Breach of Geneva Convention

IMEMC News & Agencies | January 23, 2019

After visiting the Palestinian Sabbagh family, who is facing eviction from its home, in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of occupied Jerusalem, for the benefit of Israeli settlers, United Nations and other officials have again warned that forced eviction and transfer of Palestinians are a breach of Fourth Geneva Convention.

Jamie McGoldrick, Humanitarian Coordinator United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the occupied Palestinian territory, Gwyn Lewis, Director of West Bank Operations for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), James Heenan, Head of Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in the occupied Palestinian territory, and Kate O’Rourke, Country Director of the Norwegian Refugee Council, said in a statement that they visited the Sabbagh family “who face imminent forced eviction from their home in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem, part of the occupied Palestinian territory, and are at heightened risk of forcible transfer.”

According to the statement, the Sabbagh family is a Palestinian refugee family originally from Jaffa city, who were settled in the neighborhood, along with 27 other families, with the support of the United Nations and the Jordanian government, in the 1950s.

Like other families in the area, for years they have been engaged in a legal dispute opposing efforts by Israeli settler organizations to evict them from their homes. Recently, this legal struggle was deemed unsuccessful as Israeli courts have ruled in favor of the settlers’ claims. Thirty-two members of the Sabbagh family, including six children, now face forced eviction, while an additional 19 members will be directly affected by the loss of the family property, should the eviction take place.

“In the occupied Palestinian territory, strict obligations apply with regard to the prohibition of forcible transfer and forced eviction,” said the officials in the statement. “Along with house demolitions, forced evictions are one of the major factors contributing to the creation of a coercive environment that may result in no other choice for individuals or communities but to leave. Forcible transfer is a grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Forced evictions contrary to international law also violate the right to adequate housing and the right to privacy, and may be incompatible with other human rights.”

They added, according to WAFA : “In many cases in East Jerusalem, including in Sheikh Jarrah, the forced eviction of Palestinians is occurring within the context of Israeli settlement construction and expansion, illegal under international humanitarian law. An estimated 3,500 Israelis are currently living in settlements established with the support of the Israeli authorities in the heart of Palestinian communities in East Jerusalem. In Sheikh Jarrah alone, more than 200 Palestinians face potential eviction, should they be unsuccessful in similar cases currently before Israeli courts.”

They called on the Israeli authorities “to immediately halt plans to evict the Sabbagh family to prevent further displacement of these refugees, cease settlement construction, and abide by their obligations as an occupying power under international humanitarian law and international human rights law.”

January 23, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Palestine urges international probe into Jerusalem excavations

MEMO | December 30, 2018

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry has called for forming an international commission to investigate Israeli excavations in the occupied city of East Jerusalem and beneath the flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

In a statement on Saturday, the ministry warned that the Israeli diggings pose a major threat to Palestinian houses in the occupied city.

“These excavations aim to cause cracks in Palestinian houses, with Israeli authorities ordering residents to leave these houses on the ground that they are not fit for living,” the ministry said.

The ministry went on to describe the Israeli eviction of Palestinians from their homes as a “large-scale, systematic ethnic cleansing”.

There was no comment from Israeli authorities on the ministry’s statement.

Israel refuses to allow access to UNESCO to examine the holy sites in East Jerusalem.

In July 2017, the UNESCO executive board adopted a resolution that slammed “the failure of the Israeli occupying authorities to cease the persistent excavations, tunneling, works, projects and other illegal practices in East Jerusalem, particularly in and around the Old City of Jerusalem, which are illegal under international law”.

The resolution further stated that “legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying power, which have altered – or purport to alter – the character and status of the holy city of Jerusalem… are null and void and must be rescinded forthwith”.

In 2016, UNESCO passed a resolution describing Jerusalem as an “occupied” city and Israel as an “occupying power”, which, under international law, has no sovereignty over the historic city.

The same resolution stated that Jerusalem’s Old City was “entirely Palestinian”, going on to emphasise its historical “Muslim and Christian” identity and heritage.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. In a move never recognised by the international community, it unilaterally annexed the entire city in 1980, claiming it as its “eternal and undivided” capital.

Read also:

Israel to spend $16.6 million on excavations under Al-Aqsa Mosque

December 30, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Australia’s Shameful Gift to Netanyahu

By Jeremy Salt | American Herald Tribune | December 17, 2018

Australia and Israel are white settler states, established violently over the heads of the indigenous people, without the benefit of any treaty arrangement. ‘A land without people for a people without land’ was the Zionist lie. ‘Terra nullius’ was the Australian white settler equivalent.

Australian aboriginal ownership was collective and traditional. Palestinian ownership was collective, traditional and individual but in both cases, the land was stolen. How can the foundations of any state established on stolen land be said to be legal? What will white Australians say if someone comes along and takes ‘their’ country from them? ‘You can’t do this to us’?

The essential differences between Israel and Australia are numbers and hinterland. The land the white settlers called Australia was inhabited in the late 18th century by about half a million people. They had lived in this island continent and its small heart-shaped island off the southern coast, Tasmania, for more than 60,000 years, making the oldest recorded civilizations in the Near East look like newborns. They had their own languages, traditions, art, and oral history, the ‘dreaming,’ which is the most wondrous telling of the experiences of their ancestors.

But they were not numerous. They had no written laws and – most importantly – no modern weaponry. Killed, driven off their land and stricken by the diseases the white settlers brought with them, they were soon decimated. There was no-one to whom they could turn for help, no sympathetic similar civilization living nearby that could spring to their assistance. They were all on their own.

Contrast this with the Palestinians. Their land was also taken from them but they lived according to written laws and contracts which Europeans could understand even if they violated them. They were not sufficiently well-armed to defend themselves against a colonial-settler minority backed by outside governments but they were far more numerous than the settlers, 90 percent of the population in 1920, even after 40 years of Zionist colonization, and still two-thirds of the population at the time of the war of conquest in 1948.

By 2018 the Israeli population stood at 8.4 million, of which number 6.1 million (about 75 percent) is Jewish and mostly Zionist. The Palestinian world population of about 12 million includes about 4.4 million Palestinians living in the West Bank, East Jerusalem or Gaza and about 1.4 million within Israel’s pre-1967 borders. Within a few years, the Palestinian population between the Mediterranean and the River Jordan is expected to surpass the Jewish population.

These numbers aside, as part of an Arab-Islamic civilization with a rich history, the Palestinians also have the support of a vast hinterland. The population of the Arab world stands at about 420 million. The world Muslim population is about 1.8 billion. Corrupt and undemocratic Arab governments may collaborate with Israel but the people are behind the Palestinians, as are Muslims everywhere as well as Christians and those of no particular religious or ideological affiliation who know right from wrong and, as a matter of conscience, must support the Palestinians.

In the face of these demographics, Israel’s continuing war against the Palestinians would seem to be suicidal. Palestine as an issue is not going to go away. In the long term, this is a war Israel cannot win. It holds Palestine by force, not by right, law or morality. All three are on the side of the Palestinians and not on the side of an Israeli state which continues the illegal settlement of their land.

No plan, no UN resolution gave Israel any right to drive the Palestinians from their homes and out of their homeland. No resolution gave the Zionists any sovereign right to Jerusalem. It was a Palestinian city which, after the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, should have remained the property of the Palestinian people, overwhelmingly Muslim and Christian, in their own state or as part of a Syrian state.  Instead, their land and the right to choose their future was taken from them.

Here are some relevant land ownership figures, compiled in 1945 by the British mandatory authorities (one dunam is the equivalent of 1000 sq. meters or about 0.245 of an acre):

Jerusalem district (Hebron, Jerusalem, Ramallah):

Arab ownership – 3,3993,001 dunums.

Jewish ownership – 39, 679 acres.

In the Jerusalem region, the ‘Arabs’ (mainly Palestinian Muslims and Christians) owned 1,326, 571 dunums against 33,401 dunums owned by Jews. In 1946 the UN produced a map showing that 62 percent of the Jerusalem district was ‘Arab’ and only 38 percent Jewish, despite the heavy Zionist settlement.

While the demographics of Jerusalem city showed a Jewish majority, as many incoming Jews preferred to live in cities rather than work on the land, most properties even in West Jerusalem (about 70 percent) were Palestinian-owned in 1948.

Almost all of the east – the old city – was. The fine stone buildings, the walls, the cobbled streets and the arches were designed and built over the centuries by Muslim and Christian Palestinians. They were part of the booty that fell to the Zionists when the city was taken over, first installment 1948 and second 1967, with the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian population continuing until the present day.

In law, all Jerusalem – not just the eastern sector – is an occupied city. It is an Israeli city, Israel’s ‘capital’, only according to the occupier’s law, which in fact is not a law at all but a gross violation of international law.

Yet, with two of the world’s most populous Muslim countries, Indonesia and Malaysia, not far away and objecting loudly, the Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, has announced his government’s recognition of West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and its recognition of East Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital when the time comes. He was speaking in Sydney at the Zionist think tank, the Lowy Institute, started by, and named after, Frank Lowy, a billionaire businessman of Czech origin who, as a member of the Haganah, helped to ethnically cleanse Palestine in the war of 1948 before migrating to another ethnically cleansed country, Australia, in the early 1950s.

Of course, Zionism never had any intention of sharing Palestine, let alone sharing Jerusalem as the capital of two states. Morrison has pledged to recognize East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state when the time comes. He must know that Israel is determined to make sure the time will never come. Israel, of course, is only partly happy because Australia is only-half recognizing its claim to Jerusalem.

Had the indigenous Australian people been more numerous, had they had the weapons to defend themselves and had they the support of a hinterland willing to support their resistance to white settlement, Australia could well have been driven openly in the direction of Israel or apartheid South Africa.  Israel is now pursuing the same goal that white settler Australia managed to achieve, the reduction of the indigenous population to an insignificant minority, whose rights are covered up with tokenism, as exemplified in the ‘sorry’ movement and the verbal acknowledgment of traditional land ownership at every conference or workshop, at a time rural aboriginal communities are treated with the same neglect as before. Out of sight, out of mind.

Why did Morrison do this? Out of his Christian religious convictions?  (He worships at a Pentecostal church in Sydney, which boasts of its adherents speaking in tongues when being baptized. Morrison has denied ever speaking in tongues himself, even though it would clearly be good practice for anyone planning a political career).

Does Morrison have some idea that the ‘Jewish vote’ will swing the next federal election his way? Did not the Wentworth byelection in 2018, lost by his government, show him that while there is a strong and influential Zionist lobby in Australia, there is no such thing as a Jewish vote, but individual Jewish voters, who may support Israel, but not Netanyahu’s Israel, and might see the Morrison decision as inflammatory and not helpful in the long term to anyone, including Israeli Jews.

Like Israel, Australia began life as a colonial settler state. Its Foreign Minister, H.V. Evatt, played a significant role in imposing Israel on Palestine in 1948. There have been exceptions, but by and large, all Australian governments have given open-ended support to Israel ever since. Their criticisms of its frequently vicious behavior never amount to more than a mild slap on the wrist, delivered for propaganda purposes.

It is no wonder that in Malaysia and Indonesia, Australia is widely regarded as a post-colonial remnant, still dependent on distant countries, first Britain and now the US, and still unable to pluck up the courage to carve out a genuinely independent future.

When Israel refuses to abide by international law, on Jerusalem, on the West Bank, on Gaza, on the occupied Golan Heights, on the return of the Palestinian people to their homeland and on the laws of war, why give Netanyahu the gift of recognizing even the western half of an occupied city as his capital?

Almost everyone writing on Australian politics seems to believe that Morrison will be out of government after the federal elections in 2019. Bill Shorten, an ALP (Australian Labor Party) machine man all his political life, has criticized Morrison over Jerusalem, but is he just playing politics, scoring points, or when he takes over as Prime Minister, will he rescind this unnecessary and provocative decision?

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

Australia Announces Moving its Embassy to Jerusalem: Is there any Surprise?

By James ONeill – New Eastern Outlook – 18.12.2018

When the current Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison floated the idea that Australia might move its Israeli embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, it was widely suggested that this was an attempt to curry favour with the relatively large (12%) Jewish population in the electorate where a by-election was being held.

Following the government’s humiliating defeat in an electorate it had held for more than a century, the idea was expected to die. That possibility was reinforced by the widespread criticism that followed the prime minister’s announcement. That criticism was couched almost solely in terms of the damage such a move would do to Australia’s relationships with its near neighbours such as Indonesia.

Supporters of the Prime Minister also argued that moving the embassy to Jerusalem would enhance progress in the “two state solution” to the problem between Israel and the Palestinians.

More recently however, the Australian cabinet has approved the idea that the embassy should be moved, but not immediately. The delay was purportedly on cost grounds, financial cost that is, not reputational.

Almost completely missing from news bulletins and mainstream media analysis are the arguably far more important elements in the Tel Aviv – Jerusalem equation.

The first of these is the legal question. In considering that point, regard has to be had to Australia’s professed support for what it terms “the rules based international order.” That term, while widely used, is never clearly defined. In fact, as the experience of recent decades has conclusively shown, it means a western version of the international rules selectively employed to support an American centred hegemonic order.

The term “international law” is now avoided in political discourse, for the very good reason that the actions of the western powers do not sit well with adherence to international law.

The invasions, occupations, and attacks upon Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Yemen, among others this century alone make the point. In all of these illegal endeavours Australia has been a willing, indeed eager, participant. This is quite apart from Australia’s own violations of, for example, the Convention on Refugees and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Australian politicians also regard themselves as immune from accountability for participating in illegal wars. Unlike the British and the Dutch for example, there has never been a public inquiry into the lies and illegalities at the base of the Iraq invasion in 2003.

The Australian government has never held a debate on its participation in the Syrian War, even defeating a Green Party motion in 2015 to even debate that decision to join yet another illegal war. What little has been said publically by the relevant Ministers about that war and the reasons for joining it are at best vague and more often untruthful.

It is this disregard for international law that is at the root of the decision to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. That decision needs to be put in the context of Australia’s record with regard to the Middle East, and more particularly, as it pertains to the status of Jerusalem and the Palestinian and Syrian territories.

From the inception of the Israeli State, the city of Jerusalem was accorded special status. In the Palestine Partition Resolution 181 of 1947, the United Nations General Assembly resolved that “the city of Jerusalem be established as a corpus separatum under a special international regime and shall be administered by the United Nations.”

That special status has been reaffirmed in every General Assembly or Security Council resolution on the matter from then until as recently as December 2018. It did not take long for Israel to disregard the special status of Jerusalem. A map showing Israeli and Palestinian territory at the time of partition, and a contemporary map show very different situations, as Israel has persistently encroached upon Palestinian territory to establish Jewish only settlements.

The 1948 war commenced this process in a significant way. The 1967 so-called Six Day War reinforced that process, with Israel capturing East Jerusalem from Jordan, the Golan Heights from Syria, and other parts of what was supposed to be the basis for a future Palestinian State.

Completely contrary to international law, Israel has continued to occupy the land it acquired through conquest. Judging by its actions and the statements of successive political leaders, up to and including the current Prime Minister Netanyahu, it has no intention of ever relinquishing its hold on the occupied territories.

In 1980 the Israeli parliament passed a law purporting to extend Israel’s law, jurisdiction and administration in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights. This was again in defiance of international law. UN Security Council Resolution 242 (1967) had unanimously confirmed that Israel should withdraw from territories it occupied in the Six Day War.

Following the passage of the Israeli law in 1980, the UN Security Council by 14:0 (with the United States abstaining) condemned Israel’s non-compliance with previous UNSC resolutions; condemned the attempt to change the status of Jerusalem as a violation of international law and therefore null and void; and demanded that the law be immediately rescinded.

While not specifically approving Israel’s blatant disregard for international law, and UN Security Council and General Assembly resolutions, neither did Australia go out of its way to be critical either.

Politicians in successive governments, either Labor or Liberal, have, with rare exceptions, refrained from criticism of Israel’s actions. If silence implies consent, then from 1947-2018 the overwhelming inference to be drawn is that Australia tacitly at the very least approved Israel’s actions.

In recent years that support has become more overt. In 2014 the government of the then Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced that it had decided to drop the word “occupied” when describing Israel’s settlements in East Jerusalem. The then Attorney General George Brandis said that the word “occupied” was “freighted with pejorative implications which is neither appropriate nor useful.”

To describe that claim as fatuous would be an understatement.

Australia’s tacit approval of Israel’s unlawful actions has now been made explicit. In a series of votes in late November and early December 2018, Australia was one of 6 countries to vote against a General Assembly resolution demanding an end to Israel’s occupation of the occupied territories; voted against a resolution demanding a peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine (along with only seven others); and abstained on a further resolution (along with 13 others) with 2 votes against (Israel and the United States) demanding an end to Israel’s illegal occupation of the Syrian Golan heights.

None of these votes, all of which were carried by overwhelming majorities, were featured in the Australian mainstream media.

The announced decision to move the Australian embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, where it would join only the United States and Guatemala, is therefore not a decision that should be seen in isolation. It simply reflects a long-standing tolerance of Israel’s persistent violation of international law.

As noted above, the Australian government also claims that shifting the embassy will facilitate the “peace process:” aimed at a two state solution. Apart from the United States and Israel, Australia must be the only country in the world to make such a claim.

The “two state solution” has been one of the great fallacies and enduring myths of the modern era. It is doubtful if it was ever more than a vain hope, and what little prospect there may have been in 1948 has been shattered by the repeated actions of successive Israeli governments that Australia supports.

A claim that moving the embassy will facilitate the peace process is on a par with Abbott and Brandis hoping to eliminate the word “occupied” from a discussion of Israeli actions in Palestine and the Syrian Golan Heights.

The conclusion must be that Australia has no serious interest in the resolution of the Israel/Palestine question. By its public statements and voting record in the United Nations there can now be no question that Australia is firmly in the Israeli camp.

Quite how that accords with the oft-repeated claim of a belief in the “rule of law” and support for the legitimate aspirations of an oppressed people is awaiting an explanation. Given the Australian mainstream media’s complicity in ignoring the reality of Israeli’s daily violation of the rights of the Palestinians, and equal complicity in concealing Australia’s actual voting record in the UN on Israel related questions, it may be a long wait.

Both of the major political parties are equally complicit in refusing to address any of these issues in Parliament. Quite why the politicians and the media take the stance they do is a separate question. A further separate question is why the government seems so determined to proceed in the face of expert advice and widespread opposition on a course of action so manifestly at odds with Australia’s national interest, its security, and its professed beliefs.

December 18, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , | 2 Comments

Israel to build ‘Embassy Quarter’ in occupied Jerusalem

MEMO | December 12, 2018

Israel is to build an embassy complex in occupied Jerusalem, a year after US President Donald Trump announced his plans to relocate the American Embassy to the city. Israel’s Construction and Housing Ministry announced today that it plans to build a complex with space for nine separate embassies in occupied East Jerusalem, in the belief that more countries will follow the US lead and move their diplomatic missions from Tel Aviv, Arutz Sheva reported.

The complex is to be built on a 25-acre plot of land in East Talpiot, a southern neighbourhood of Jerusalem. Following the Nakba of 1948, East Talpiot became part of no man’s land, next to the 1949 Armistice Line – sometimes known as the Green Line – observed by Israel and Jordan. During the Six Day War of 1967 Israel occupied the neighbourhood, establishing an illegal settlement there in 1973.

The plan to build the complex in East Talpiot is therefore in contravention of international law. As such, any country which chooses to move its embassy into the complex upon its completion would also be violating international law.

The intended construction is being pushed by Israel’s Construction and Housing Minister, Yoav Galant, who said of the plan: “I am convinced that many more countries will relocate their embassies to Jerusalem, which is why I instructed experts in the ministry to come up with an appropriate solution for the embassies in the future, including construction of a special ‘Embassy Quarter’.”

Galant urged the international community to relocate their embassies to Jerusalem. “It is our eternal capital. It is the right thing to do. Make the move quickly; the best places are going to be taken quickly.”

US embassy moved to Jerusalem – Cartoon [Chappatte/Twitter]

Since Trump announced that he would move the US embassy to Jerusalem last December, only Guatemala and Paraguay have followed suit. However, within months of relocating its mission, Paraguay reversed the decision and moved the embassy back to Tel Aviv, citing a desire to support “broad, lasting and just peace” among Israelis and Palestinians.

Other countries have toyed with the idea of moving their embassies to Jerusalem but have been hesitant to follow through with the move. In October, it emerged that Australia was contemplating relocating its embassy, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison saying that he was “open-minded” about it. “No decision has been made regarding the recognition of a capital or the movement of an embassy […] but at the same time, what we are simply doing is being open to that suggestion,” he explained.

This prompted a furious backlash from Malaysia and Indonesia, two countries that have historically been supportive of the Palestinian cause. Australia has not yet acted on any such plans, with reports emerging yesterday that a decision is “still pending”.

December 12, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Jewish temple activists set up altar for animal sacrifice in Jerusalem

Palestine Information Center – December 11, 2018

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM – Jewish activists, who hope to see the temple mount built in place of the Aqsa Mosque, unveiled a new altar in Occupied Jerusalem Monday, which they say is intended to be placed in the future on the mount after removing the Mosque and used to offer animal sacrifices.

According to Haaretz newspaper, these activists, who are preparing for a rebuilt temple by recreating some of the ancient tools used in temple rituals, have been practicing, for the past decade, the offering of sacrifices in the days before Passover.

On Monday, the activists wanted to practice using the altar but had to make do with only part of the service because the Israeli Jerusalem municipality refused to let them slaughter an animal in a public park.

“In the end, there will be a grander altar, but for the time being we have this, and the moment they open the gates we’re ready to take it up to the temple mount,” senior temple mount activist Shimshon Elboim told the newspaper.

So far the practice sessions have included slaughtering an animal and offering it on a temporary altar of wood in an area near the western wall of the Mosque

On Monday, the activists wanted to execute the complete ritual of slaughtering the animal and offering it after they received a permit from the police for that, but the municipality’s legal adviser rejected their request to slaughter an animal in a public park outside the Old City walls, thus the sheep earmarked for this purpose was taken to another location to be slaughtered.

“What we still have to do is awaken the people,” Elboim said. “There is slow but sure progress, and if the authorities allow it, tomorrow we can do the whole service.”

December 11, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , | Leave a comment

No connection between Judaism and Al-Aqsa, suggests UN resolution

Muslims arrive at Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound to perform the Friday prayer in Jerusalem on 26 October 2018 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]
MEMO | December 3, 2018

The UN General Assembly has apparently rejected any connection between Judaism and the Noble Sanctuary of Al-Aqsa. In a vote held on Friday, the General Assembly passed six resolutions condemning Israeli violations against Palestinians. Among them was Resolution A/73/L.29 entitled “Jerusalem” which called for “respect for the historic status quo at the holy places of Jerusalem, including the Haram Al-Sharif.”

The use of the Arabic name for the sanctuary has been interpreted as a not-so-subtle rejection of the site’s alleged connection with Judaism. The Jewish name for the Noble Sanctuary, the Temple Mount, is not mentioned anywhere in the UN document.

The resolution received 148 votes in favour and just 11 against. It also stressed that the UN General Assembly,

“Reiterates its determination that any actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the Holy City of Jerusalem are illegal and therefore null and void and have no validity whatsoever, and calls upon Israel to immediately cease all such illegal and unilateral measures.”

The Assembly passed several other resolutions on the question of Israel-Palestine this weekend. One — A/73/L.29 The Syrian Golan — rejected Israel’s occupation of the Golan Heights, “demand[ing] once more that Israel withdraw from all the occupied Syrian Golan to the line of 4 June 1967 in implementation of the relevant Security Council resolutions.”

The resolution also declared that “the Israeli decision of 14 December 1981 to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the occupied Syrian Golan is null and void,” adding: “The continued [Israeli] occupation of the Syrian Golan and its de facto annexation constitute a stumbling block in the way of achieving a just, comprehensive and lasting peace in the region.”

The General Assembly resolutions were condemned vehemently in the Israeli media, with Breaking Israel News slamming them as evidence of the UN “[continuing] its streak of frequently condemning the Jewish state”. Other media cited NGO UN Watch — which is known for calling the UN anti-Israel or anti-Semitic – as saying that the “Jerusalem” resolution “implies that Israeli administration of Jerusalem hinders freedom of religion when in fact the opposite is true.” UN Watch also labelled the “Syrian Golan” resolution as being “oblivious to [the] genocidal massacres taking place now in Syria, and its security implications for Israel and the civilians of the Golan Heights.”

The resolutions, however, were hailed as a success by the Palestinian Authority, Wafa reported. “By voting in favour of the five resolutions,” said Palestine’s Permanent Observer to the UN, Riyad Mansour, “the international community affirms its support of our national cause, despite the efforts made by the US administration in international forums to resist this.”

In a rare move, following the General Assembly vote, the European Union publicly warned the Palestinians that they must drop their UN bid to use only Al-Haram Al-Sharif to refer to Jerusalem’s holiest site. In a statement, the EU “[stressed] the need for language on the holy sites of Jerusalem to reflect the importance and historical significance of the holy sites for the three monotheistic religions, and to respect religious and cultural sensitivities.” It added that the future choice of language “may affect the EU’s collective support for the resolutions.”

Commenting on the EU statement, the Jerusalem Post observed, “Until now, the EU has not taken a united stand on a drive by both the Arab states and the Palestinians to subtly change UN language with regard to the Temple Mount [Al-Haram Al-Sharif].” Its opposition or decision to abstain on any future resolutions of this nature “would mark a dramatic shift in its policy.”

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December 3, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Israel wages a New War of Attrition in Jerusalem

“Jesus is a monkey”
By Jonathan Cook | The National | December 2, 2018

Czech president Milos Zeman offered Benjamin Netanyahu’s ultra-nationalist government a fillip during his visit to Israel last week. He inaugurated a cultural and trade centre, Czech House, just outside Jerusalem’s Old City walls.

At the opening, he expressed hope it would serve as a precursor to his country relocating its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. If so, the Czech Republic would become the first European state to follow US President Donald Trump’s lead in moving the US embassy in May.

It is this kind of endorsement that, of late, has emboldened Mr Netanyahu’s government, the Israeli courts, Jerusalem officials and settler organisations to step up their combined assault on Palestinians in the Old City and its surrounding neighbourhoods.

Israel has never hidden its ambition to seize control of East Jerusalem, Palestinian territory it occupied in 1967 and then annexed, as a way of preventing a viable Palestinian state from emerging.

Israel immediately began building an arc of Jewish settlements on Jerusalem’s eastern flank to seal off its Palestinian residents from their political hinterland, the West Bank.

More than a decade ago, it consolidated its domination with a mammoth concrete wall that cut through East Jerusalem. The aim was to seal off densely populated Palestinian neighbourhoods on the far side, ensuring the most prized and vulnerable areas – the Old City and its environs – could be more easily colonised, or “Judaised”, as Israel terms it.

This area, the heart of Jerusalem, is where magnificent holy places such as the Al Aqsa mosque and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre are to be found.

Under cover of the 1967 war, Israel ethnically cleansed many hundreds of Palestinians living near the Western Wall, a retaining wall of the elevated Al Aqsa compound that is venerated in Judaism. Since then, Israeli leaders have grown ever hungrier for control of the compound itself, which they believe is built over two long-lost Jewish temples.

Israel has forced the compound’s Muslim authorities to allow Jews to visit in record numbers, even though most wish to see the mosque replaced with a third Jewish temple. Meanwhile, Israel has severely limited the numbers of Palestinians who can reach the holy site.

Until now, Israel had mostly moved with stealth, making changes gradually so they rarely risked inflaming the Arab world or provoking western reaction. But after Mr Trump’s embassy move, a new Israeli confidence is tangible.

On four fronts, Israel has demonstrated its assertive new mood. First, with the help of ever-more compliant Israeli courts, it has intensified efforts to evict Palestinians from their homes in the Old City and just outside its historic walls.

Last month, the supreme court handed down a ruling that sanctions the eviction of 700 Palestinians from Silwan, a dense neighbourhood on a hillside below Al Aqsa. Ateret Cohanim, a settler organisation backed by government-subsidised armed guards, is now poised to take over the centre of Silwan.

It will mean more Israeli security and police protecting the settler population and more city officials enforcing prejudicial planning rules against Palestinians. The inevitable protests will justify more arrests of Palestinians, including children. This is how bureacratic ethnic cleansing works.

The supreme court also rejected an appeal against a Palestinian family’s eviction from Sheikh Jarrah, another key neighbourhood near the Old City. The decision opens the way to expelling dozens more families.

B’Tselem, an Israeli rights group, characterised these rulings as “sanctioning the broadest move to dispossess Palestinians since 1967”.

At the same time, Israel’s parliament approved a law to accelerate the settler takeover.

Over many years, Israel created a series of national parks around the Old City on the pretext of preserving “green areas”. Some hem in Palestinian neighbourhoods to stop their expansion while others were declared on the land of existing Palestinian homes to justify expelling the occupants.

Now the parliament has reversed course. The new law, drafted by another settler group, Elad, will allow house-building in national parks, but only for Jews.

Elad’s immediate aim is to bolster the settler presence in Silwan, where it has overseen a national park next to Al Aqsa. Archaeology has been co-opted to supposedly prove the area was once ruled by King David while thousands of years of subsequent history, most especially the current Palestinian presence, are erased.

Elad’s activities include excavating under Palestinian homes, weakening their foundations.

A massive new Jewish history-themed visitor centre will dominate Silwan’s entrance. Completing the project is a $55 million cable car, designed to carry thousands of tourists an hour over Silwan and other neighbourhoods, rendering the Palestinian inhabitants invisible as visitors are delivered effortlessly to the Western Wall without ever having to encounter them.

The settlers have their own underhand methods. With the authorities’ connivance, they have forged documents to seize Palestinian homes closest to Al Aqsa. In other cases, the settlers have recruited Arab collaborators to dupe other Palestinians into selling their homes.

Once they gain a foothold, the settlers typically turn the appropriated home into an armed compound. Noise blares out into the early hours, Palestinian neighbours are subjected to regular police raids and excrement is left in their doorways.

After the recent sale to settlers of a home strategically located in the Old City’s Muslim quarter, the Palestinian Authority set up a commission of inquiry to investigate. But the PA is near-powerless to stop this looting after Israel passed a law in 1995 denying it any role in Jerusalem.

The same measure is now being vigorously enforced against the few residents trying to stop the settler banditry.

Adnan Ghaith, Jerusalem’s governor and a Silwan resident, was arrested last week for a second time and banned from entering the West Bank and meeting PA officials. Adnan Husseini, the Palestinian minister for Jerusalem, is under a six-month travel ban by Israel.

Last week dozens of Palestinians were arrested in Jerusalem, accused of working for the PA to stop house sales to the settlers.

It is a quiet campaign of attrition, designed to wear down Jerusalem’s Palestinian residents. The hope is that they will eventually despair and relocate to the city’s distant suburbs outside the wall or into the West Bank.

What Palestinians in Jerusalem urgently need is a reason for hope – and a clear signal that other countries will not join the US in abandoning them.

December 2, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | Leave a comment

Jewish Americans sue Airbnb over West Bank listing ban

MEMO | November 29, 2018

A group of Jewish Americans sued Airbnb Inc on Wednesday in US federal court, accusing the home rental company of religious discrimination over its decision last week to remove listings for about 200 homes in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, Reuters reports.

The 18 plaintiffs, including Israeli-American families and individuals who said they own or wish to rent affected homes, accused Airbnb of “redlining” Jewish-owned properties while letting Muslims and Christians rent their homes.

They said this effectively left Airbnb taking sides in the dispute over the West Bank, where Palestinians hope to establish an independent state and which Israel captured in 1967, along with East Jerusalem.

“We don’t believe this lawsuit will succeed in court, but we know that people will disagree with our decision and appreciate their perspective,” Airbnb said in a statement.

The complaint was filed in federal court in Delaware, where Airbnb is incorporated, and which the plaintiffs said has jurisdiction over the San Francisco-based company’s alleged violation of US laws against housing discrimination.

“Airbnb has made a religion- and nationality-based decision about who can list,” Robert Tolchin, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said in an interview. “It decided in the United States, ‘We will not list for Jews in the West Bank.’ It should be equal access for all.”

The plaintiffs are seeking injunctive relief and unspecified damages, including for lost rental income.

A separate lawsuit challenging Airbnb’s policy was filed in a Jerusalem court on Nov. 22.

The Delaware case differed by claiming that “Airbnb is violating Americans’ rights, and this can’t be argued in an Israeli court under Israeli law,” Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, another lawyer for the plaintiffs, said in an interview.

Most world powers believe Israel’s settlements on occupied Palestinian land violate international law.

Roughly 500,000 Israelis live in settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Airbnb’s delisting was announced on Nov. 19 and applies only in the West Bank, where Palestinians have limited self-rule under Israeli military occupation.

While concluding that “companies should not profit on lands where people have been displaced,” Airbnb said it had “deep respect” for the “many strong views” about what to do with disputed lands.

Palestinians in the West Bank have welcomed Airbnb’s decision.

The case is Silber et al v Airbnb Inc, US District Court, District of Delaware, No. 18-01884.

November 29, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , , | 3 Comments