Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

Bethlehem Mayor: Netanyahu Statement on Palestinian Christians is Another Attempt at Distorting the Reality of Occupation

IMEMC News & Agencies – October 16, 2018

Mayor of Bethlehem, advocate Anton Salman said, in response to Sunday’s statements by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Bethlehem and the situation of Palestinian Christians, that such a statement “is another Israeli attempt at distorting the reality of the Israeli occupation and particularly the effects that Israeli policies have had on the Palestinian Christian community since 1948.”

“If Mr. Netanyahu was concerned about the situation of Palestinian Christians, particularly in the Bethlehem area, he would return the 22,000 dunams of Bethlehem land illegally annexed to Israel for expansion of colonial settlements. He would dismantle the annexation wall that divides Bethlehem from Jerusalem, for the first time in 2000 years of Christianity, and would stop imposing restrictions to Palestinian movement, including the thousand of Palestinian Christians living in exile and whose return is impossible due to the Israeli control over the Palestinian population registry,” said the mayor in a statement issued by the Bethlehem municipality.

He continued, according to WAFA : “For example, in Jordan alone, a few kilometers away, there are at least 20,000 Palestinian Christians from the Bethlehem area that are denied family unification and even cannot enter the city, not even to celebrate Christmas, due to the Israeli military restrictions.

“We would like to remind Mr. Netanyahu that it was himself who supported the building of one of the most damaging colonial-settlements that surround Bethlehem, Jabal Abu Ghneim (Har Homa), and that, in 2015, he declared that by doing so he is preventing the connection between Bethlehem and Jerusalem.”

There are over 100,000 Israeli settlers surrounding Bethlehem from all sides, reducing the area of Palestinian control over Bethlehem to less than 13% of the district, and making it impossible to plan for the future of our city, said the statement.

Furthermore, it was Mr. Netanyahu who voiced objection to declaring the Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage route as a World Heritage site and his policies of harassment were behind the decision of the churches to close the church of the Holy Sepulcher for three days in Jerusalem in objection to church taxation policy, added the statement.

“His comment was also full of historical inaccuracies. It is shameful that while calling himself a ‘protector of Christianity’, he would use Christians as a tool for his Islamophobic talking points. The decrease in percentage of Christians in Bethlehem, as well as in the rest of Palestine, was provoked with the Nakba of 1948 and ongoing due to Israel’s colonial plans and policies that started in 1967.”

He said that this was also the case in West Jerusalem, from where a large Palestinian Christian community was expelled by Israel from Ein Karem, Talbiya, Qatamon, and other places. From 31,000 Christians in 1948, Jerusalem only has around 12,000 Christians today.

“We would like to advise Mr. Netanyahu to stop using Christians as a tool to pinkwash the occupation. The best he could do for a future of peace and coexistence, where the Christian community would thrive again, it is to respect his obligations under international law, including Security council resolutions 478 on Jerusalem and 2334 on settlements, dismantling illegal colonial-settlements and the annexation wall surrounding Bethlehem, including in the Cremisan Valley, fully end the occupation of Palestine and allow for the return of our people to their city. It is not the Palestinian government that prevents their return Mr. Netanyahu; It is your government.”

He said: “I would like to use this occasion to call upon the heads of the churches in Jerusalem as well as to the Holy See to raise their voices against the use of religion for political purposes. It cannot be tolerated anymore that the bible is used wrongfully in order to justify crimes and violations that go against the teachings of values spread by our lord Jesus Christ.”

October 15, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Islamophobia, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment

“Just Another Mother Murdered”

Palestinian children weep in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip (July 15, 2014)

A dozen years ago Alison Weir described how U.S. media ignored a Palestinian death… This pattern has persisted year after year after year… 

By Alison Weir – If Americans Knew October 6, 2006

Almost no one bothered to report it. A search of the nation’s largest newspapers turned up nothing in USA Today, the Boston Globe, Boston Herald, Chicago Sun-Times, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, San Francisco Chronicle, Seattle Times, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Houston Chronicle, Tampa Tribune, etc.

There was nothing on CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, PBS, NPR, Fox News. Nothing.

The LA Times, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and Associated Press each had one sentence, at most, telling about her. All three left out the details, the LA Times had her age significantly off, and the Washington Post reported that she had been killed by an Israeli tank shell.

It hadn’t been a tank shell that had killer her, according to witnesses. It had been bullets, multiple ones, fired up close.

Neighbors report that Israeli soldiers had been beating her husband because he wasn’t answering their questions. Foolishly or valiantly, how is one to say, the 35-year-old woman had interfered. She tried to explain that her husband was deaf, screamed at the soldiers that her husband couldn’t hear them and attempted to stop them from hitting him. So they shot her. Several times.

Her name was Itemad Ismail Abu Mo’ammar.

She didn’t die, though. That took longer. It required her life to flow out of her in the form of blood for several hours, as Israeli soldiers refused to allow an ambulance to transport her to help. Her husband and children could do nothing to save her.

Finally, after approximately five hours, an ambulance was allowed to take her to a hospital, where physicians were able to render one service: pronounce her dead, a few days before the commencement of Ramadan, a season of family gatherings much like the Christmas season for Americans. She left 11 children. None of this was in the Washington Post story, which had reported her death in one half of one sentence.

Her husband’s brother, who lived in the same house, was also killed. He was a 28-year-old farmer.

Why did this all happen? The family lived behind a resistance fighter wanted by Israel. They were simply “collateral damage” in a failed Israeli assassination/kidnapping operation.

All together, five Palestinians were killed that day. The other three were young shepherds killed in another area, two 15 years old and one 14, who seem to have simply been in the wrong place at the wrong time. Gaza.

None of this was reported in most of America’s news media, and so the American public never learned about a mother bleeding to death in front of her children, or young shepherds being blown to pieces. Apparently, it just wasn’t newsworthy.

A Case Study of “Good” News Coverage

The Washington Post at least mentioned these deaths, so perhaps those who care about journalistic standards should laud the Post for its coverage.

And yet, the Post in its short report got so much so wrong.

In addition to misreporting Itemad’s cause of death and omitting critical facts, the Post’s story portrayed the entire context incorrectly, telling readers that these five deaths had broken a period of “relative calm.”

The fact is that while it was true that in the previous six months not a single Israeli child had been killed by Palestinians, during this period Israelis had killed 75 Palestinian young people, including an 8-month-old and several three-year-olds.

I phoned the Post and spoke to a foreign editor about the need to run a correction, providing information on Itemad’s murder. The editor said that she would pass this on to their correspondent (who is based in Israel), but explained that it was “impossible for him to go to Gaza.” When I disagreed, she amended the “impossible” to “very difficult.” She neglected to mention that the Post has access to stringers in Gaza available to check out any incident the editors deem important.

Next, I wrote a letter to the paper containing the above information. Happily, the Post letters department apparently checked it out and decided it was a good letter. They sent an email informing me that they were considering my letter for publication and needed to confirm that I was the one who had written it, and that I had not sent the information elsewhere.

I replied in the affirmative, we exchanged a few more messages, and everything appeared on target. Normally, when publications contact you in this way, your letter is published shortly thereafter. I waited in anticipation. And waited.

It is now almost two weeks after their report, and I have just been informed that the paper has decided not to print my letter. The Post has apparently determined that there is no need to run a correction.

I think I understand.

Although the Washington Post’s statement of principles proclaims, “This newspaper is pledged to minimize the number of errors we make and to correct those that occur… Accuracy is our goal; candor is our defense,” the American Society of Newspaper Editors clarifies these ethical requirements: corrections need only be printed when the error of commission or omission is “significant.”

And, after all, these were only Palestinians, and it was just another mother dead.


Alison Weir is the founder and executive director of If Americans Knew. She is the author of Against Our Better Judgment: The Hidden History of How the U.S. Was Used to Create Israel


Another Palestinian mother has just been killed. For a list of Palestinian and Israeli women killed see this Timeline.

October 15, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , | 4 Comments

Hypersensitivity and hypocrisy reduce leftist critics of Israel to collaborators

By Greg Felton | October 8, 2018

The most disturbing aspect of the U.S.’s subservience to Israel is that it has gone on for so long. Ever since Harry Truman accepted that $2 million bribe to support the “creation” of Israel in 1948, Israel and its multi-tentacled lobbies have extorted hundreds of billions of dollars in military and other forms of tribute, which it uses to terrorize and murder civilian populations; meanwhile, tens of millions of Americans go without medical care, livable housing, honest banking or decent education.

Thanks to the coercive power of the Lobby, the U.S. is no longer even recognizable as a republic. “Congress,” as Pat Buchanan famously observed, “is Israeli occupied territory.” This occupation is so blatant and unapologetic that one might have expected popular uprisings and demands for treason trials long before now, but Zionist subversion has become so normalized and pervasive that it is invisible, even accepted, by the mass public.

It is true that some brave Americans denounce the Zionization of America and condemn Israel’s genocide of Palestine, but their efforts are largely ineffectual. Much of the reason has to do with language. The shibboleth “anti-Semite”––a meaningless, artificial term––is reflexively hurled to smear anyone who stands up for Israel’s victims or condemns Israel’s atrocities. This intimidation has metastasized throughout all aspects of American (and Canadian) society, which makes the Lobby’s influence by definition totalitarian.

A less obvious, but equally serious, reason has to do with language within the anti-Zionist community, especially the abuse of the terms “Jew” and “Jewish”. People on either side of the political spectrum understand these terms emotionally, not intellectually, and apply them in a manner that ends up reinforcing the cult of Jewish victimhood, the most powerful Zionist propaganda weapon and the source of the “anti-Semite” slur.

First, the failings of the anti-Zionist left are generally common to most so-called leftist agitators. (I say “so-called” because the terms “left” and “right” no longer have any useful meaning in an age of pro-imperial conformity; these terms will be used only for the sake of convenience.) Leftists present themselves as progressives, voices of reason and defenders of free speech, but their commitment to these principles is rather selective. When their dogma or terminology are challenged, even within the leftist community, they respond with cognitive dissonance and hostility and even call for censorship of “offensive” opinions. This hypocrisy is especially prevalent regarding Israel, and I experienced this earlier this year.

In April, I noticed that a bookstore hosted presentations by local authors. I mentioned to one of the owners, Tamara Gorin, that I lived in the area asked if I could give a reading. She said I could, and we settled on the afternoon of June 23. Before leaving the bookstore, however, I made a point of letting her know that my book attracts hostility from pro-Israel zealots in case she wanted to reconsider. Gorin replied that she believed in free expression and that she had previously championed unpopular points of view. As part of our arrangement, she agreed to carry three copies of the third edition of my book, The Host & The Parasite––How Israel’s Fifth Column Consumed America.

My presentation focused mainly on my latest chapter, which deals with the place of the Obama and Trump administrations on the spectrum of the Zionization of America. I use the term “Zionization” deliberately because in my book and elsewhere I am scrupulously careful not to conflate “Zionist” with “Jew”: The former is a political term; the latter is religious. Not all Jews support Israel and many of Israel’s most effective critics are Jewish. In fact, anti-Zionist Jewish professors and students have been targeted by the Lobby for their outspokenness.

After the presentation, though, the subject of Jews did come up, but only once and in a tangential sense. In response to a question about why so many Americans favour Israel, I mentioned the phenomenon of Judeophilia­­, also known as philosemitism­­: an affinity among certain Christians for Jews and all things Jewish, including religion. I cited as an example Josiah Wedgwood and James Arthur Balfour, both of whom were British MPs who supported the Jewish banker Lord Rothschild in his ambition to carve out a Jewish “national home” in Palestine. From this analogy, I said many American politicians seek the company and favour of rich and powerful people, many of whom control campaign funding and the corporate media. It just so happens that many of them happen to be Jewish. I should have added at the time that the vast majority, to borrow Thomas Friedman’s expression, are “warm Jews”: Jews who put Israel’s needs first.

The day after the event, I received an e-mail from Gorin asking me to pick up my books. She decided not to carry them because of my mention of Jews, which she said was an attack on people because of their faith. The next day when I went to collect my books I remonstrated rather vigorously that she had misrepresented what I said and by extension accused me of being anti-Jewish even though in no way did I attack anyone’s faith. In any event, her refusal to carry my book made no sense since, as I told her, the subject of Jews is not in it.

During the next 20 minutes, I demanded she demonstrate how I attacked Jews on religious grounds. At length, she admitted that I had not. I then insisted that she honour her commitment to free expression by carrying my book. She still refused.

At issue was not my presentation or my book but Gorin’s hypersensitivity to the mention of Jews. Like a lot of liberal critics of Israel––especially Jews of East European extraction like Gorin––claims of support for free expression are not to be taken at face value. By effectively censoring me, she exhibited the kind of selective moralism that sabotages debate and reduces the so-called liberal left to collaborators with the Zionist entity.

For example, J Street, a non-profit, liberal advocacy group in Washington, D.C., claims to advocate for a peaceful, diplomatic end to conflicts between the Arab World and Israel, yet it calls itself “pro-peace” and “pro-Israel.” The concept of irony and self-contradiction is lost on its Jewish founders, one of whom is George Soros, the éminence grise of the Democratic Party, the natural governing party of Israel in the U.S. Advocating for peace while drawing a false equivalency between Zionist terrorists and their victims is monstrous and serves only to justify the on-going atrocity.

This hypocrisy was also on display yet again in Canada’s Parliament when an opposition MP asked Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau why his government did not have any reaction to Israel’s demolition of the Palestinian village of Khan al Ahmar, which included the destruction of a school. The question was good and the MP deserves credit for bringing it up, but she also couched her question in the false equivalency of “peace” and “the two-state solution,” which has never been a viable option. Trudeau, like an obedient Israeli satrap, began his answer with, “Canada is a steady ally of Israel” and proceeded to say that his government expressed its “concerns” to the Israeli government, especially regarding the school. He ended with the boilerplate excuse that “unilateral action” would not help “a two-state solution,” as if Israel’s actions were not unilateral.

Pro-peace, leftist, liberal critics of Israel have to do more than call attention to Israel’s atrocities, offer sympathy for its victims and recite delusional boilerplate; they must use language honestly to defend all manner of Palestinian self-defence and categorically denounce Israeli atrocities. If this entails drawing attention to the influence of warm Jews, so be it. The same goes for attacking the cult of Jewish victimhood, which is a matter of politics, not religion.

Before I left, I again challenged her on her hypocritical support for free speech. She conceded there were some topics that were off-limits, one of which is the Holocaust®. This was the first mention of religion in this absurd episode. As long as this founding act of sacred Jewish violence is off limits, leftist criticism of Israel will never amount to anything more than a sanctimonious hypocrisy.

Next: Right-wing bigotry masquerades as patriotism
Previous: Political reformers will wallow in futility until they take aim at the real enemy

October 14, 2018 Posted by | Corruption, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Progressive Hypocrite, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 10 Comments

Israeli historian thinks 1956 massacre was part of a secret plan to expel Palestinians

Issachar “Yiska” Shadmi, right, following his show trial.
If Americans Knew | October 13, 2018

Israel’s Ha’aretz newspaper reports that the highest Israeli officer tried for Israel’s 1956 Kafr Qasem massacre admitted before his death that his trial was staged to protect military and political elites.

Israeli historian Adam Raz believes that a secret plan to transfer Israel’s Arabs was behind the 1956 attack, in which Israeli soldiers shot dead 19 men, 6 women, and 23 children (some reports give the total killed as 51). They were allegedly killed because they had violated an Israeli imposed curfew, of which they were unaware.

Palestinian villagers killed by Israeli forces in Kafr Qasim, October 29, 1956

The Israelis who perpetrated the massacre were courtmartialed and convicted, but their sentences were soon commuted, they received presidential pardons and were released from jail. Some were awarded desirable jobs; Ben Gurion appointed the batallion commander head of security at the Dimona nuclear reactor.

The most senior defendant, Col. Issachar Shadmi, commander of the brigade in charge of the area, was fined 10 pennies for exceeding authority.

Issachar “Yiska” Shadmi, after his trial, holding the 10-prutot coin he had to pay as a fine.

Until his death last month at the age of 96, Shadmi lived in a spacious home in an upscale neighborhood of Tel Aviv.

Ha’aretz journalist Ofer Aderet interviewed Shadmi in 2017.

During the interview Shadmi said that the 1958 court case was “a show trial, staged in order to keep Israel’s security and political elite – including Prime Minister Ben-Gurion, IDF Chief of Staff Moshe Dayan, and GOC Central Command (and later chief of staff) Tzvi Tzur – from having to take responsibility for the massacre.”

The trial, Aderet reports, “was intended to mislead the international community with regard to Israel’s ostensible pursuit of justice.”

Shadmi said: “They explained to me that they needed to put me on trial, because if I had tried in my own country and convicted, even if I was fined only a penny, I wouldn’t go to The Hague…. If they didn’t prosecute me… I would be tried at The Hague. And that is something that neither I nor the country were interested in.”

Aderet writes that Shadmi said he was well compensated as a civilian for going along with the show trial: “I turned into a major Defense Ministry building contractor.”

Israeli historian Adam Raz has filed a lawsuit demanding that Israel declassify documents relating to the affair. He says: “Most of the material is still classified. I was surprised to discover that it’s easier to write about the history of Israel’s nuclear program than about Israel’s policies regarding its Arab citizens.”

Raz believes that another reason for the show trial was to hide a secret program called “Operation Mole.” The goal was to expel Palestinians from the area. He says: “The public is familiar with the ‘Mole’ program only as a rumor.” says Raz; much of the documentation remains classified in the IDF archive.

Aderet writes: “Raz thinks one must see the Kafr Qasem massacre in this context: ‘The massacre wasn’t perpetrated by a group of soldiers who were out of control, as has been argued until today. From their point of view they were following orders, which in essence would lead to the expulsion of the villagers,’ he says. Or, in other words, they were operating in line with the directives of Operation Mole, as they understood them.”

Raz has written a book about the massacre scheduled to be published this month, but it appears it will only be available in Hebrew.

October 13, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , | 3 Comments

Palestinian Woman Stoned to Death by Israeli Settlers

IMEMC News – October 13, 2018

A group of Israeli paramilitary settlers attacked a Palestinian couple south of Nablus, in the northern part of the West Bank, on Friday, killing the woman and severely injuring her husband.

Aisha Mohammed Talal al-Rabi, 47, was riding in a car with her husband near the Za’tara roadblock, south of Nablus, in the northern part of the West Bank, when a group of Israeli settlers came onto the road and began throwing rocks at their car.

The slain woman was from Bidya town, northwest of Salfit.

The Israeli colonial settlers threw a number of large rocks, breaking the windshield of the car. They then continued to throw rocks, according to local sources, hitting the couple multiple times in the head and upper body.

Aisha died of blunt force trauma to the head, caused by a rock that was thrown at her head by the settlers.

Armed Israeli paramilitary settlers have launched a number of attacks on the Palestinian civilian population in the Nablus area, with the number of attacks drastically increasing since two Israeli settlers were killed by a Palestinian in the area on Monday.

October 13, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 5 Comments

Los Angeles Jewish Community Foundation funded shadowy group that targets students

If Americans Knew | October 12, 2018

The Los Angeles Jewish Community Foundation has admitted that it funded the Israeli organization reported to run Canary Mission, the online blacklist of American pro-justice student activists. The Israeli government has used the list to interrogate and detain U.S. citizens.

For years Canary Mission managed to keep the identity of its funders secret, and major Jewish leaders claimed they didn’t know who was behind the effort to harm American students.

An exposé published by the Forward now reports: “Evidence is now building that major Jewish institutions with hundreds of millions of dollars in assets, and boards of directors that include prominent members of the U.S. Jewish community, have played a significant role in bankrolling the site.”

A foundation controlled by the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco had previously been discovered to have been funding the Israeli group, Megamot Shalom.

The New York City-based Jewish Communal Fund and the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County, refused to respond to the Forward’s questions about whether they have also funded Canary Mission.

The Forward article, by Josh Nathan-Kazis, reports:

“The grants from the Los Angeles foundation to Megamot Shalom were made at the advice of a donor whose identity the foundation would not disclose. They were made through the foundation’s donor advised fund, a philanthropic device that allows wealthy individuals to park assets at the charity. While donors to a donor advised fund can suggest how their gifts should be used, the assets belong to the charity, and the charity must approve all grant recommendations.

The foundation, with net assets of $726 million, has close ties to the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, known as the major Jewish fundraising organization in Los Angeles.

The Forward states: “Canary Mission operated in absolute secrecy for three years while posting political dossiers on more than a thousand undergraduates, most of them involved in pro-Palestinian activism. The site says that it intends to damage the students’ job prospects.”

The Helen Diller Family Foundation, one of the San Francisco Community Foundation’s major supporting foundations, earmarked $100,000 for Canary Mission.

Diller is headed by San Francisco real estate developer Jaclyn Safier, who also sits on the Board of Visitors of the University of California, Berkeley. According to its website, the Board of Visitors “provides advice and support to the chancellor, executive vice chancellor and provost, and campus leadership.”

Diller has also funded groups known for promoting bigotry against Muslims.

Both the Los Angeles Community Foundation and the San Francisco Community Foundation now say they will stop funding Canary Mission.

October 12, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Israel Rattled By UNESCO’s Palestinian Protection Pledges

Al-Aqsa compound in East Jerusalem. (Photo: via Twitter)
Palestine Chronicle | October 12, 2018

The executive council of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has left Israel disquieted, after vowing to effect protections for Palestinian heritage.

A statement, issued by Israel’s United Nations ambassador Danny Danon, said:

“This is an additional proof for those who did not understand why the United States and Israel withdrew from UNESCO. This proves once again that UNESCO is a body based on lies, biases and deliberate action against us. Israel will not be a member of an organization that is trying to rewrite history and accept to be exploited by our enemies.”

The protections cover educational and cultural institutions, the need to protect and preserve the monuments, culture and education in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and to show Israeli violations against Palestinian heritage, cultural and natural sites, particularly the Old City of Jerusalem, Al-Aqsa Compound, the Church of the Nativity, the mosque of Bilal ibn Rabah in Bethlehem, the Old City and the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron (Al-Khalil) and the Gaza Strip.

Israel sternly rejected the mandate which the council unanimously espoused Wednesday during a Palestine resolutions session at the body’s 205th plenary meeting in Paris.

The disputed resolutions detail, according to Al Ray Palestinian Media Agency, that,

“The Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls, a site inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List and on the List of World Heritage in Danger, is the sacred city of the three monotheistic religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam,” reaffirming that “all 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, and in particular the ‘basic law’ on Jerusalem, are null and void and must be rescinded forthwith.”

The Program and External Relations Commission (PX) of the UNESCO executive also adopted a second resolution to include crimes committed by Israel, such as the destruction of schools and other crimes committed in Khan Al-Ahmar.

The UNESCO declaration stated:

“The two Palestinian sites of Al-Haram Al-Ibrahimi/Tomb of the Patriarchs in al-Khalil/Hebron and the Bilal Ibn Rabah Mosque/Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem” are “an integral part of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and shares the conviction affirmed by the international community that the two sites are of religious significance for Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.”

It also added:

“The ongoing Israeli excavations, works, construction of private roads for settlers and of a Wall inside the Old City of Al-Khalil/Hebron which are illegal under international law and harmfully affect the authenticity and integrity of the site, and the subsequent denial of freedom of movement and freedom of access to places of worship.”

Both resolutions are supported by Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, and Sudan.

“Tthe spirit of dialogue and the sense of responsibility that led to this result. A trend towards consensus is now emerging,” UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay added.

October 12, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | 3 Comments

After 70 Years of Abuse, a Definition of Anti-Palestinian Racism

Is this where the fight-back begins?

By Stuart Littlewood | Dissident Voice | October 10, 2018

What is the matter with the Palestine solidarity movement? Since 1948 (and before that, even) the Palestinians have been viciously abused and dispossessed while the perpetrators and their supporters have continually played the anti-Semitism card.

Bemused spectators have been bored witless by the long and ludicrous propaganda campaign to vilify Jeremy Corbyn, bully the Labour Party into accepting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism as a cornerstone in their code of conduct and stifle discussion of Israel’s crimes against  the Palestinian people. The expected riposte never came.

Anti-Palestinian Racism

Now Jewish Voice For Labour, of all people, have struck back with a useful looking definition of Anti-Palestinian Racism which they decribe as “hatred towards or prejudice against Palestinians as Palestinians”. In a document faintly mocking the pronouncements on anti-Semitism they suggest that manifestations of anti-Palestinian racism might include the denial of Palestinian rights to a state of Palestine as recognised by over 130 member countries of the United Nations and blaming Palestinians for their own plight under brutal military occupation and lock-down. Here’s how they put it:

Contemporary examples of anti-Palestinian racism in public life, the media, schools, the workplace, and in the religious sphere could, taking into account the overall context, include, but are not limited to:

  1. Denying the Palestinian people their right to self-determination and nationhood, or actively conspiring to prevent the exercise of this right.
  2. Denial that Israel is in breach of international law in its continued occupation of Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
  3. Denial that Israel is an apartheid state according to the definition of the International Convention on Apartheid.
  4. Denial of the expulsion of 750,000 Palestinians during the 1948 Nakba and of their right, and the right of their descendants, to return to their homeland.
  5. Denial that Palestinians have lived in what is now the land of Israel for hundreds of years and have their own distinctive national identity and culture.
  6. Denial that the laws and policies which discriminate against Palestinian citizens of Israel (such as the recently passed Nation State Law) are inherently racist.
  7. Denial that there is widespread discrimination against Palestinians in Israel and the Occupied Territories in matters of employment, housing, justice, education, water supply, etc, etc.
  8. Tolerating the killing or harming of Palestinians by violent settlers in the name of an extremist view of religion.
  9. Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Palestinians — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth of a Palestinian conspiracy to wipe Israel off the map.
  10. Justifying the collective punishment of Palestinians (prohibited under the Geneva Convention) in response to the acts of individuals or groups.
  11. Accusing the Palestinians as a people, of encouraging the Holocaust.

I am not sure how Palestinians, as genuine Semites living there for thousands of years, will react to No.5 which claims their homeland is “now the land of Israel”. Despite being illegally occupied by an apartheid entity most of whose members have no ancestral links to the ancient “land of Israel” it is still Palestine.

For decades activists have been telling the Israel lobby to look in the mirror and address their own racial hatred towards the Palestinians. You must truly hate people to deny them their freedom and even their right to return to their homes and livelihoods. Why has it taken so long for such a simple and obvious weapon to be produced? Doesn’t it make you wonder about the true agenda of those in charge of Palestine solidarity? And why has it taken a group of Jews (bless ’em) to do it?

The question now is how best to deliver this somewhat delayed riposte. It might have been best delivered while the iron was hot, at the height of the anti-Semitism witch-hunt and media onslaught. Many activists wanted Corbyn to turn on his tormentors and tell them to mend their own vile attitude towards Palestinian Arabs before daring to smear others with accusations of  anti-Semitism.

On the other hand it will benefit from careful honing, cool planning and the massing of pro-Palestinian support to make the hit really count.

For reasons we know only too well our politicians won’t adopt it as eagerly as they embraced the IHRA’s definition of anti-Semitism. But it is at least a starting point in the fight-back especially if deployed by a coalition of genuine pro-Palestine groups and the BDS movement as the centrepiece of their new, combined campaign strategy.

Lies, damned lies….

Meanwhile I hope all those who allowed themselves to be suckered by the Israel lobby will hang their heads in shame when they read this report by the Media Reform Coalition: Labour, Antisemitism and the News – A disinformation paradigm.

The Executive summary says that an analysis of over 250 articles and news segments from the largest UK news providers (online and television) showed:

  • 29 examples of false statements or claims, several of them made by anchors or correspondents themselves, six of them surfacing on BBC television news programmes, and eight on TheGuardian.com
  • A further 66 clear instances of misleading or distorted coverage including misquotations, reliance on single source accounts, omission of essential facts or right of reply, and repeated assumptions made by broadcasters without evidence or qualification. In total, a quarter of the sample contained at least one documented inaccuracy or distortion.
  • Overwhelming source imbalance, especially on television news where voices critical of Labour’s code of conduct were regularly given an unchallenged and exclusive platform, outnumbering those defending Labour by nearly 4 to 1.

In all, there were 95 clear-cut examples of misleading or inaccurate reporting on mainstream television and online news platforms, with a quarter of the total sample containing at least one such example. On TV two thirds of the news segments contained at least one reporting error or substantive distortion.

The report points to “a persistent subversion of conventional news values”. Furthermore, coverage of Labour’s revised code of conduct during the summer of 2018 often omitted critical discussion of the ‘working definition’ of anti-Semitism promoted by the IHRA and wrongly described it as universally adopted. “We established through background case research that although the IHRA is an international body with representatives from 31 countries, only six  of those countries have, to date, formally adopted the definition themselves.

  • In spite of a call for local authorities to adopt the definition by the UK’s central government in early 2017, less than a third of councils have responded and several of those have chosen not to include any of the controversial examples contained within the working definition.
  • Several high-profile bodies have rejected or distanced themselves from the working definition, including the EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency (a successor to the body that drafted the original wording on which the definition is based) and academic institutions including the London School of Economics and the School of Oriental and African Studies.
  • Mainstream academic and legal opinion has been overwhelmingly critical of the IHRA definition, including formal opinions produced by three senior UK barristers and one former appeals court judge. Virtually none of this essential context found its way into news reports of the controversy. Instead, the Labour Party was routinely portrayed by both sources and correspondents as beyond the pale of conventional thinking on the IHRA definition.“

Which all goes to show that Britain’s mainstream media has a hill to climb to get back its self-respect.

October 10, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | 1 Comment

US professor urges release of student held in Israel

MEMO | October 10, 2018

A professor at the University of Florida appealed Tuesday for the release of a former student who has been held by Israeli authorities for a week, Anadolu reports.

Lara Alqasem, a US citizen, has been in Israeli custody since arriving at Ben Gurion International Airport last Tuesday with a valid student visa hoping to study law, human rights and freedom of travel at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

Israeli officials are denying 22-year-old Alqasem entry based on allegations that she supported the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which urges businesses, educational institutions and celebrities to cut ties with Israel.

The movement has long been criticized by Israeli officials, and the Israeli parliament, known as the Knesset, passed a law in 2017 allowing authorities to deny entry to individuals who make public calls for a boycott of Israel.

Dror Abend-David, who taught Alqasem at the University of Florida, said he is “one of many people,” including her former professors, who think she should be released and allowed to study immediately.

“Everyone who taught her was very impressed with her,” he told Anadolu Agency. “There’s a very active group of professors here on campus who are working for her.”

One of the proposals being floated, Abend-David said, is a reevaluation of the university’s study abroad program in Israel.

That could effectively make Israel’s policy of denying entry to BDS supporters an own goal.

When asked if he thought Israeli officials could ironically be accomplishing BDS’ goals for the movement, Abend-David pointed to two works of Soviet-era Russian literature that he said, “made the point that bureaucrats don’t see irony”.

Hebrew University President Asher Cohen told Israel’s Army Radio that Israel’s actions could harm the university’s anti-BDS efforts and could end up serving the movement instead, according to the Times of Israel.

Israel earlier Tuesday conditioned Alqasem’s release on her issuing a public apology for her alleged support of the global boycott.

”If Alqasem comes forward tomorrow morning with her own voice, not with all sorts of lawyers’ wisecracking and statements that could be construed this way or another – and declares that supporting BDS, she thinks today, is illegitimate and she regrets what she did on this matter, we will consider our stance,” Minister of Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan said on Twitter on Tuesday.

Her first appeal against the Israeli decision to deny her entry was denied last week. A second appeal is expected to be heard in the coming days.

The US State Department on Tuesday punted on questions about Alqasem’s case, saying it is up to Israel to decide who it allows into the country.

Israeli officials and their supporters have regularly alleged the BDS movement is inherently anti-Semitic. But when asked if he thought Alqasem was anti-Semitic herself, Abend-David was unequivocal in his response.

“Lara was not anti-Semitic in any way, shape or form,” he said. “She has been kind and polite and helpful with no hint that she felt badly of Israel or anyone who is connected with that country.”

October 10, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , | Leave a comment

That Single Line of Blood: Nassir al-Mosabeh and Mohammed al-Durrah

By Ramzy Baroud | Ma’an | October 9, 2018

As the frail body of 12-year-old Nassir Al-Mosabeh fell to the ground on Friday, September 28, history was repeating itself most tragically.

Little Nassir was not just another number, a ‘martyr’ to be exalted by equally poor refugees in Gaza, or vilified by Israel and its tireless hasbara machine. He was much more than that.

The stream of blood that poured out from his head wound on that terrible afternoon drew a line in time that travelled back 18 years.

Almost 18-years to the day separates Nassir’s recent murder and the Israeli army killing of Mohammed Al-Durrah, also 12, on September 30, 2000. Between these dates, hundreds of Palestinian children have perished in similar ways.

Reports by the rights’ group, B’tselem, are rife with statistics: 954 Palestinian children were killed between the Second Intifada in 2000 and Israel’s war on Gaza, the so-called Operation Cast Lead in 2008. In the latter war alone, 345 children were reportedly killed, in addition to another 367 child fatalities reported in Israel’s latest war, ‘Protective Edge’ of 2014.

But Mohammed and Nassir – and thousands like them – are not mere numbers; they have more in common than merely being the unfortunate victims of trigger-happy Israeli soldiers.

In that single line of blood that links Nassir al-Mosabeh and Mohammed al-Durrah, there is a narrative so compelling, yet often neglected. The two 12-year-old boys looked so much alike – small, handsome, dark-skinned refugees, whose families were driven from villages that were destroyed in 1948 to make room for today’s Israel.

Jamal al-Durrah and his 12-year-old son, Muhammad, were filmed as they were caught in crossfire between Israeli and Palestinian security forces. The footage shows the pair crouching behind a concrete cylinder, the boy crying and the father waving, then a burst of gunfire and dust, after which the boy is seen slumped across his father’s legs [Wikipedia]

Young as they were, both were victims of that reality. Mohammed, died while crouching by the side of his father, Jamal, as he implored the Israelis to stop shooting. 18 years later, Nassir walked with thousands of his peers to the fence separating besieged Gaza from Israel, stared at the face of the snipers and chanted for a free Palestine.

Between the two boys, the entire history of Palestine can be written, not only that of victimization and violence but also of steadfastness and honour, passed from one generation to the next.

“Who will carry on with the dream,” were the words Nassir’s mother repeated, as she held a photograph of her son and wept. In the photo, Nassir is seen carrying his school bag, and a small bottle of rubbing alcohol near the fence separating Gaza and Israel.

“The dream” is a reference to the fact that Nassir wanted to be a doctor, thus his enthusiasm to help his two sisters, Dua’a and Islam, two medical volunteers at the fence.

His job was to carry the alcohol bottle and, sometimes, oxygen masks, as his sisters would rush to help the wounded, many of them Nassir’s age or even younger.

In a recent video message, the young boy – who had just celebrated the achievement of memorizing the entire Holy Quran – demonstrated in impeccable classical Arabic why a smile could be considered an act of charity.

Protesting the Israeli siege and the injustice of life in Gaza was a family affair, and Nassir played his role. His innovation of taping raw onions to his face to counter the tears induced by the Israeli army tear gas garnered him much recognition among the protesters, who have been rallying against the siege since March 30.

So far, nearly 200 unarmed protesters have been killed while demanding an end to the 11-year long blockade and also to call for the ‘Right of Return’ for Palestinian refugees.

Nassir was the 34th child to be killed in cold-blood since the protests commenced, and will unlikely be the last to die.

When Mohammed al-Durrah was killed 18 years ago, the images of his father trying to shield his son’s body from Israeli bullets with his bare hands left millions around the world speechless. The video, which was aired by France 2, left many with a sense of helplessness but, perhaps, the hope that the publicity that Mohammed’s televised murder had received could shame Israel into ending its policy of targeting children.

Alas, that was never the case. After initially taking responsibility for killing Mohammed, a bogus Israeli army investigation concluded that the killing of Mohammed was a hoax, that Palestinians were to blame, that the France 2 journalist who shot the video was part of a conspiracy to ‘delegitimize Israel.’

Many were shocked by the degree of Israeli hubris, and the brazenness of their mouthpieces around the western world who repeated such falsehood without any regard for morality or, even, common sense. But the Israeli discourse itself has been part of an ongoing war on Palestinian children.

Israeli and Zionist propagandists have long claimed that Palestinians teach their children to hate Jews.

The likes of Elliott Abrahms raged against Palestinian textbooks for “teaching children to value terrorism.” “That is not the way to prepare children for peace,” he wrote last year.

In July the Israeli army claimed that Palestinian children deliberately “lure IDF troops,” by staging fake riots, thus forcing them into violent confrontations.

The US-Israeli propaganda has not just targeted Palestinian fighters or factions but has done its utmost to dehumanize, thus justify, the murder of Palestinian children as well.

“Children as young as 8 turned into bombers, shooters, stabbers,” reported one Adam Kredo in the Washington Free Beacon, citing a “new report on child terrorists and their enablers.”

This is not merely bad journalism, but part of a calculated Israeli campaign aimed at preemptively justifying the killing of children such as Nassir and Mohammed, and thousands like them.

It is that same ominous discourse that resulted in the call for genocide made by none other than Israel’s Justice Minister, Ayelet Shaked, where she also called on the slaughter of Palestinian mothers who give birth to “little snakes.”

The killing of Nassir and Mohammed should not then be viewed in the context of military operations gone awry, but in the inhuman official and media discourses that do not differentiate between a resistance fighter carrying a gun or a child taking an onion and an oxygen mask.

Nor should we forget that Nassir al-Mosabeh and Mohammed al-Durrah are chapters in the same book, with an overlapping narrative that makes their story, although 18 years apart, one and the same.

October 9, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 1 Comment

The politicisation of the Palestinian right of return is imperative

Nakba journey - Palestinians fleeing during the Nakba in 1948

By Ramona Wadi | MEMO | October 4, 2018

In its annual report to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People recommended that Israel acknowledges the Palestinian Nakba. The backdrop for such an acknowledgement remains the two-state compromise, which defeats the purpose of the recommendation.

Such recognition, according to the report, is “a necessary requirement for a viable and lasting peace.” The Committee also recommended that “Palestine refugees should be treated as dispossessed nationals of a country – Palestine – rather than stateless refugees.” It refuted the framing of colonisation as “conflict”, stating, “It is not a conflict between two parties over disputed territory. It is one of one State occupying, colonising and annexing the territory of another state.”

The terminology is a far cry from the usual platitudes used by UN institutions. However, there is still the possibility of manipulating Palestinian rights due to the Committee’s adherence to the two-state paradigm. Taking a stance against the Israeli and US efforts to alter, to the point of non-recognition, the Palestinian refugees and their legitimate right of return is not enough if the Committee does not articulate an alternative that is derived completely from Palestinian narratives.

The two-state scenario has been exposed as a scam to facilitate Israel’s colonisation of Palestinian territory and create a perpetually displaced population, to the point that the Palestinian right of return needs to be read and interpreted in relation to the ongoing displacement. In Palestinian memory, the Nakba is not restricted to 1948, because Israel’s ethnic cleansing of Palestine has never stopped. As the international community fails to challenge Israel’s colonialism and demographic obsession, it is consenting to Israel’s displacement of Palestinians from their territory. Far from promoting the importance of recognising the Nakba, the international community is endorsing it by allowing Israel to exist on its own terms, while Palestinians are constantly forced to modify their existence to accommodate a colonial power on their territory.

Nakba denial by Israel is steeped in its fabricated narratives, imposed upon the international community and disseminated in such a way that Palestinian narratives, despite their legitimate roots, are forced to fight for space in order to gain international recognition, let alone endorsement. The international community’s obsession with dissociated commemoration runs contrary to its purported human rights obligations. It is also an insult to Palestinians’ memory that their history is condensed into remembrance on specific days while Israel has been allowed every day of the year since 1948 to advance its colonisation of Palestinian territory, to say nothing of the earlier settler-colonialism that facilitated the establishment of the state.

International recognition of the Palestinian Nakba as an ongoing trauma in Palestine’s collective memory would isolate Israel’s attempts to force it into oblivion. Yet, this step cannot be implemented within the two-state framework as the latter still endorses Israel’s colonial existence as legitimate, while presenting a hypothetical Palestinian state as dependent, even malfunctioning, in terms of self-determination and its exclusion of Palestinian liberation.

The politicisation of the Palestinian right of return is thus imperative. As things stand, the international community continues to feed the illusion that the two-state compromise constitutes the only political solution, while the right of return is misrepresented as compensation in its entirety. This is why Palestinians must determine their own right of return even if it challenges the international community’s impositions.

October 9, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | Leave a comment

Israel arrests 500 Palestinians over Facebook posts

Palestine Information Center – October 8, 2018

GAZA – Israel has arrested 500 Palestinians, including women, children and MPs, over their social media posts, the Palestine Center for Prisoners Studies reported.

The center’s spokesman Riyadh Al-Ashqar said that the Israeli authorities began arresting Palestinians for their social media posts since the start of the Jerusalem Intifada claiming such uploads incite terror against Israel.

Israel is using its recently formed “Cyber Unit” to monitor Palestinian social media posts, he said.

This unit, Al-Ashqar said, classifies any Facebook post that glorifies Palestinian martyrs, discloses Israeli crimes, and supports resistance as “incitement of terror”.

Hundreds of Palestinians have been sentenced over the past three years to different jail terms on the ground of incitement on social media, he charged.

Some others were placed under house arrest and denied from using social media platforms, he continued.

Al-Ashqar strongly condemned such arrests that “clearly violate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the European Convention of Human Rights.”

He concluded by calling on the international community to protect the Palestinian people’s right of freedom of expression.

October 8, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | 3 Comments