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Old 20-07-2009, 10:52 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by eternal_spirit View Post
Why have two million Christians fled the Middle East in the last twenty years? One of the most important aspects of the Israeli-"Palestinian" conflict that has been overlooked is the plight of Christians in the Holy Land. Christians in the "Palestinian" territories have dropped from 15% of the Arab population to just 2% today! This Christian exodus is a result of many factors, including the fighting between Israelis and "Palestinians," the related decline in the economy, but perhaps most significantly, the religious persecution these Christians encounter from their Arab Muslim neighbors. This film is a documentary containing interviews with Christians as well as exclusive footage showing how dangerous their situation is under Islamic rule.


The film has an error problem, the page won't load.
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Old 20-07-2009, 10:59 AM   #22
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Israel rejects US demand to halt east Jerusalem project

http://rawstory.com/news/afp/Israel_..._07192009.html

Published: Sunday July 19, 2009

Israel on Sunday rejected a United States demand to stop a building project in annexed east Jerusalem, in the latest dispute between the close allies over the prickly issue of Jewish settlements.

Referring to the project in east Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood, hawkish Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the government would not place restrictions on Jewish residents in a city that the state considers to be its capital.

"We cannot accept the idea that Jews will not have the right to live or to build anywhere in east Jerusalem. We cannot accept such restrictions," Netanyahu said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting.

"Unified Jerusalem is the capital of the Jewish people and the state of Israel. Our sovereignty over it is unquestionable," he said, adding that Palestinian residents could buy houses throughout the city.

Israel's ambassador in Washington, Michael Oren, was summoned to the State Department at the end of last week and was told the project, which aims to build homes on the site of the former Shepherd Hotel, should be halted, an Israeli official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

There was no immediate US comment on the report.

Senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat told AFP that "there is no middle solution on the issue of settlements. Israel must stop them immediately, both in the West Bank and Jerusalem."

The project is on a site known to Palestinians as Karm Al-Mufti, which had once belonged to the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Amin al-Husseini, and in 1985 was bought by American millionaire Irving Moskowitz.

According to Israeli media, Moskowitz has previously financed settlement projects in east Jerusalem and in the occupied West Bank.

The Sheikh Jarrah project, located near Israeli government buildings and the British and US consulates in east Jerusalem, received a building permit from city hall three months ago, said the Maariv daily.

In a statement, the municipality said "the acquisition of the land that includes the Shepherd Hotel was legal... according to the High Court of Israel, Jews, Muslims and Christians alike can purchase land in all parts of the city of Jerusalem."

The international community considers Jewish neighbourhoods in mostly Arab east Jerusalem to be Israeli settlements, and the issue is one of the main obstacles in the hobbled Middle East peace process.

Israel captured east Jerusalem from Jordan in the 1967 Six Day War and later annexed that part of the city in a move not recognised by the international community.

It sees all of Jerusalem as its "eternal, undivided" capital and does not consider construction in east Jerusalem to be settlements.

The Palestinians want to make the east of the city the capital of their promised state, and vigorously oppose all settlement construction in east Jerusalem, home to some 200,000 Jewish Israelis and 268,000 Palestinians.

Under US President Barack Obama, Washington has repeatedly pressed Israel to stop all settlement activity, something that Netanyahu has so far rejected.

The Palestinians have refused to restart peace negotiations with the Israelis unless all settlement activity ends.


Quote:
Memo to President Obama: what did I tell you, Mr. President?!?

Netanyahu has decided that his response to the request to halt this settlement is going to be to spit in your face, and tell you it's raining.

Of course, no matter how intently you're spat upon, you'll never stop sending those checks to Israel, right?!?

No matter how deeply Israel is publicly humiliating you and your administration, you'll just keep on sending those checks, and continuing to validate bad behavior on the part of the Israeli administration, right?!?

And what is wrong with this picture, Mr. President?!?

Everything.
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Old 23-07-2009, 09:19 AM   #23
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Z Street - The New Zionist Extremist Group
Zionism is corrosive, destructive, racist, extremist, undemocratic and hateful


By Stephen Lendman
7-23-9

On July 6, co-founders Lori Lowenthal Marcus and Allyson Rowen Taylor announced: "Z Street is launched, Will end J Street Treason." More on that below.

Continuing they said: "welcome to Z street! No more appeasement, no more negotiating with terrorists, no more enabling cowards who fear offending more than they fear another Holocaust. Z STREET is for those who are willing not only to support - but to defend - Israel, the Jewish State."

Never mind that no nation threatens Israel nor has for decades. It's a regional superpower - nuclearized and defended by the world's fourth most powerful military, armed with the latest state-of-the-art weapons and technology, and not reluctant to use them.

Its only adversaries are self-made and are needed to justify oppression, a culture of violence, an ethnocracy, exclusivity, privilege, and Jewish exceptionalism over others deemed inferior, legitimate enemies, and terrorists.

Zionism is corrosive, destructive, racist, extremist, undemocratic and hateful.

-- it claims Jewish supremacy, specialness and uniqueness as God's "chosen people;"

-- espouses violence, not peaceful coexistence;

-- confrontation over diplomacy;

-- strength through militarism, intimidation, and naked aggression;

-- is what Joel Kovel calls "a machine for the manufacture of human rights abuses" led by real terrorists posing as democrats;

-- what others say is repugnant, indefensible, destructive and malignant; and

-- what author Alan Hart calls "the real enemy of the Jews;"

-- an ideology contemptuous of Judaism's moral values and ethical principles;

-- the driving force behind a re-awakened anti-Semitism; and

-- a monster that's consuming its host and threatening humanity.

That's what Z Street supports.

Its Founders Have Disturbing Resumes

Based in Philadelphia, Lori Lowenthal Marcus writes about Israel and the Middle East for media outlets like the pro-Israeli American Thinker. She's also affiliated with the extremist Zionist Organization of America (ZOA).

From Los Angeles, Allyson Rowen Taylor is associate director of the 2001-founded Stand With Us, a pro-Israeli front group calling itself:

-- "an international education organization that ensures that Israel's side of the story is told in communities, campuses, libraries, the media and churches through brochures, speakers, conferences, missions to Israel, and thousands of pages of Internet resources."

In other words, it's a pro-Israeli mouthpiece promoting Zionist extremism at the expense of truth and an equitable resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Some of Taylor's Amazon book review comments give her away:

-- on (Fox News) Sean Hannity's "Let Freedom Ring: Winning the War of Liberty over Liberalism," she "wonder(s) if anyone other than those who respect and understand the issues of Jihad, Marxism and 'Facism' will read this book. But I recommend it....I love Sean."

-- on John Mearsheimer's "The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy," she rants about authors blaming everything on Jews. This "book should have been funded by Henry Ford, or the 'Thrid' Reich. Even Norman Finkelstein, a staunch hater of the Israeli State, found flaws in this sad excuse for a book....Give me a break, 'Anti Semites' are just 'anti Semites,' " and

-- on Jimmy Carter's "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid," she calls the book "a mess....This is a work of a man who 'clarly' is in cahoots with the radical Islamofacists..it should be filed in the 'fiction' section of the library."

Taylor is also CEO and president of the August 2008-founded People Against Hate Speech, another pro-Israeli front group affiliated with the Simon Wiesenthal Center, notoriously pro-Zionist with over 300,000 global members and support from prominent figures like George W. Bush, Barack Obama, Senator Charles Schumer and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Z Street's Charter

"Z STREET is an organization of Zionists who join together at this time of great danger to the Jewish State of Israel and, increasingly, to world Jewry.

Fact check: Israel creates its own enemies through extremism, lawlessness, wars of choice, and decades of contempt for Palestinians, other Arabs and Islam.

"I. Z STREET proudly asserts the right of the Jewish people to a state."

Fact check: Israel denies one to Palestinians, occupies their land, and expropriates it for its own use in violation of international law.

"II. Z STREET proudly reclaims the words 'Zionist' and 'Jewish State' as ones to wear with pride, in direct opposition to their recent branding as shameful or impolite terms."

Fact check: Zionism's extremist, destructive ideology is explained above.

"III. Z STREET maintains that Jews have the right to live anywhere in the world, including, and especially, within greater Israel."

Fact check: Palestinians are denied all rights, including to live securely on their own land in their own country in peace.

"IV. Z STREET is dedicated to maintaining and strengthening the Jewish State of Israel in the firm belief that there can be no compromises or agreements with, and no concessions to, any Terrorist Entity or any individual Terrorists."

Fact check: For over six decades, Israel has committed slow-motion genocide against indigenous Palestinians who want peace, not conflict; are willing to recognize the Jewish state in return for their own; and who deserve equal rights to Jews and all others, but are denied them by an oppressive occupier.

"V. Z STREET is dedicated to rejecting and refuting the condemnation of any actions taken by Israel which are not similarly condemned when taken by any other individuals or political entities."

Fact check: Israel acts lawlessly, chooses violence over peace, and calls legitimate self-defense "terrorism."

"VI. Z STREET is dedicated to constantly and consistently declaring and affirming the facts which fully support the legal, moral and historical right of the Jewish State to exist in peace and security without physical or verbal assault against its sovereignty or legitimacy. This necessarily entails adamantly opposing the dismantling of and/or handing over territory to any other entity or entities."

Fact check: Israel demands special rights as "God's chosen people" but denies any to indigenous Palestinians. In addition, its settlements and human rights abuses violate international law.

"VII. Z STREET is dedicated to constantly and consistently declaring and affirming the facts that reveal the fallacious narratives of Terrorist Entities, Terrorists, and their supporters undermining the legal, moral and historical right of the Jewish State to exist in peace and security without physical or verbal assault against its sovereignty or legitimacy."

Fact check: The "narratives" are true, and so-called "Terrorists" are, in fact, peace-loving people who by law may defend themselves when attacked.

"VIII. Z STREET insists that terrorists or other threats against Israel be unequivocally condemned, and that those members of the world community failing to actively condemn those threats also be branded as active or passive supporters of a second genocide against the Jewish people."

Fact check: Israel is the region's real terrorist threat.

"IX. Z STREET declares that Israel's respect for women's, religious and other minorities' rights, provides a welcome beacon - particularly in the Middle East - to be acknowledged and respected by all people of good will."

Fact check: Israel promotes Zionist extremism, demeans Arabs and Islam, and calls Muslims "Islamofascists."

"X. Z STREET recognizes the existence of 22 officially Muslim countries and 19 Christian countries, whose status the world does not challenge, while only Israel, the Jewish State, is demonized for asserting its legitimate right to be a religion-affiliated State, and which religion, Judaism, is the world's oldest monotheistic faith."

Fact check: Israel denies equal rights to its non-Jewish citizens, a practice found nowhere else in the civilized world.

"XI. Z STREET recognizes the value of other Zionist organizations whose activities include lobbying, producing publications, the sponsorship of scholars and scholarship centers, honoring generous donors and/or other important programs. Z STREET is not intended to supercede those other Zionist organizations. Z STREET is intended to serve as an alternative to many mainstream and other Jewish organizations that, to meet donors' requirements or for ideological reasons, cannot affirm the principles set out in the Z STREET Charter."

Fact check: All Zionist organizations are extremist, hateful, and preach Jewish supremacy over Islam and Muslims.

"XII. Z STREET has no need to, and will not negotiate with, nor seek to gain the approval from, any government, Israeli or Diaspora organization, or individuals supporting the diminution or weakening of Israel either because of ideological conviction, animosity towards a strong, Jewish State, cowardice, or the misguided belief that compromise with Terrorist Entities can lead to peace in the Middle East or global peace."

Fact check: Like Israel, Z Street is uncompromisingly hard line, extremist, militant and racist.

"XIII. Z STREET will serve as an educational force that will FIGHT WITH FACTS. Z STREET undergirds its positions with facts and provides that essential ingredient to exponentially increasing its membership ranks."

Fact check: Z Street distorts facts to fit its ideology and attract new extremist members.

"XIV. Z STREET is a new, entirely volunteer organization for those who affirm the foregoing and dedicate themselves to upholding and ensuring respect for these principles. Its primary purpose of which is to provide a proud banner for Zionists behind which to rally."

Fact check: Z Street supports Zionist extremism, militancy and racism. It demeans other views and affirms that "Israel is the homeland of the Jewish people," no others, "and must remain a Jewish state." It challenges critics as neo-Nazis and calls persons, groups, or entities defending themselves against Israeli aggression "terrorists." It champions Jewish exceptionalism and demeans Arabs as inferior Islamofascists.

It believes Jews have colonization rights to dispossess indigenous Arabs for a "greater Israel" in all Judea, Samaria, the Golan, Jerusalem and Gaza.

Z Street's Opposition to J Street

Z Street was founded to counter more moderate Jewish organizations like Americans for Peace Now and J Street, a US-based Israeli advocacy group. Founded (in April 2008) by its Executive Director Jeremy Ben-Ami, it calls itself "The new address for Middle East peace and security (as) the political arm of the pro-Israel, pro-peace movement" and says:

"(It) was founded to promote meaningful American leadership to end the Arab-Israeli and Israeli-Palestinian conflicts peacefully and diplomatically. (It) support(s) a new direction for American policy in the Middle East and a broad public and policy debate about the US role in the region."

It represents Jews and non-Jews "who support Israel and its desire for security as the Jewish homeland, as well as the right of the Palestinians to a sovereign state of their own - two states living side-by-side in peace and security....based on the 1967 borders with agreed reciprocal land swaps (and) resolution of the refugee issue within the new Palestinian state and in current host countries."

It supports "a new regional approach to cooperation and security;" diplomatic solutions over military ones; multilateral conflict resolution, including with Iran; an equitable Israeli-Syrian peace agreement; dialogue instead of confrontation; and for America to provide leadership to achieve it.

It "oppose(s) alliances with the religious right or any radical religious ideologues in the name of supporting Israel as well as efforts to demean and fan fears of Islam or of Muslims." It omits Zionism or Zionist goals in its Statement of Principles, Issues, Policy, and Actions.

Executive Director Ben-Ami held a number of senior positions as Bill Clinton's Deputy Domestic Policy Advisor and Howard Dean's presidential campaign Policy Director. He's also been a senior vice president at Fenton Communications and was communications director for the pro-Israeli New Israel Fund. His father was born in Israel, and much of his family still lives there.

On October 27, Z Street supporters plan a pro-Israeli White House rally at the same time J Street holds its first annual meeting in Washington - the organization it accuses of "Treason."

Co-founder Marcus said, "the presence of Z Street will ensure that the true Zionist voice will be heard: that we will not stand by quietly as apartheid is imposed on Jews in the Israeli territories, and we will not stand by quietly as the Iranians continue racing madly towards obtaining weapons to wipe whole peoples off the globe while politicians send polite letters and invitations to parties."

Co-founder Taylor added: "This grass roots effort will compete for media attention with the slick packaging of several well-funded anti-Zionist organizations (specifically J Street), and unless those of us who are committed to maintaining a strong, unified Jewish State of Israel stand up and speak out together, the weak will continue to appear strong and the strong will continue to appear weak."

In October on Washington streets, Z Street's extremism will be vocal in full public view against J Street's message of peaceful resolution and equity for all sides of the Middle East conflict.

Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization. He lives in Chicago and can be reached at [email protected].

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to The Global Research News Hour on RepublicBroadcasting.org Monday - Friday at 10AM US Central time featuring cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on world and national issues. All programs are archived for easy listening.
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Old 23-07-2009, 09:24 AM   #24
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Israel to demolish 23 illegal settlements in one day


guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 21 July 2009 19.01 BST




Quote:

Israel is planning to remove 23 "illegal outposts" from the West Bank in the course of a single day in response to mounting US demands that it halt all settlement activity, it was reported today.

These outposts are defined as illegal by the Israeli government because they have not received planning permission. But under international law all settlements built on occupied territory are illegal. According to the Ha'aretz newspaper the outposts, housing 1,200 people, will all be evacuated and dismantled simultaneously following a decision by the Likud prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

The Israeli army denied receiving any orders for a "lightning evacuation". Settler spokesmen warned of a furious response if any such move took place.

Israel has only twice evacuated Jewish settlements since the 1967 war: in 1981 when the Sinai desert was returned to Egypt, and in 2005, when Israel unilaterally withdrew troops and settlers from the Gaza Strip. Removing settlers from the West Bank will be far more controversial.

Israel has told the US it would remove "illegal" outposts built after March 2001. The current activity is in response to unprecedented pressure from Washington, where President Barack Obama has departed sharply from the informal acquiescence of the Bush administration.

Dan Meridor, a deputy prime minister with a reputation for moderation, insisted that tacit "understandings" with Bush still bound the Obama administration.

Netanyahu has insisted that construction must be permitted in existing settlements to accommodate what he calls "natural growth" in their populations. In all, nearly 500,000 Israelis now live in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, both claimed by the Palestinians as part of their future independent state.

Tensions have flared in recent days since Netanyahu said the US had no right to demand that Israel halt plans to develop 20 apartments in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah. On Monday, campaigners protesting at the planned eviction of Palestinian families to make way for it appealed to Obama to stop the settlement.

Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, said today: "What is required from Israel is to freeze all settlement activity. When Israel meets these demands, we will be ready to go to the final negotiations."

France's foreign minister, Bernard Kouchner, meanwhile summoned the Israeli ambassador to Paris to complain about Jewish settlements. "These activities must be stopped," warned Kouchner, "otherwise there will be no chance to found an independent Palestinian state that administers itself and also guarantees Israel's security."

Britain's foreign office minister, Ivan Lewis, told MPs: "Israel should freeze all settlement activity, including the natural growth of existing settlements, and dismantle all outposts erected since March 2001."

Sweden, current president of the EU, also urged Israel "to refrain from provocative actions in East Jerusalem, including home demolitions and evictions." It added: "Such actions are illegal under international law."
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Old 23-07-2009, 09:32 AM   #25
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Israel's barrier to progress

Far from protecting anyone, the controversial separation wall can only give a false sense of security

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisf...rity-palestine

Wednesday 22 July 2009

Quote:
In many parts of the West Bank, Israel's much-vaunted separation wall is conspicuous by its absence; Ha'aretz reports that only around 60% of the barrier has been completed will come as no surprise to those who spend time in the area around the project's proposed route.

In places such as the South Hebron Hills, the only obstacles separating thousands of Palestinians from Israeli communities are sporadic flying checkpoints thrown up by the army, or flimsy, unguarded wire fences ostensibly keeping the terrorist hordes at bay. If mainstream Israeli thinking is to be believed, the "security" wall is vital for the safety of Israel's citizens, the implication being that scores of would-be bombers are daily banging their heads against a concrete wall as they try desperately to reach Israeli cities to unleash carnage on unsuspecting women and children.

However, the facts simply don't add up. If 40% percent of a mosquito net was removed, the remaining mesh would have no protective effect, since the insects would simply sail through the hole and get on with their blood-sucking task unimpeded. Yet, according to the Israeli authorities, that is not the case when it comes to the separation wall, and millions of Israelis are all too eager to swallow the lie in order to achieve a deceptive peace of mind.

At the end of a trip to Nablus, I was shown first-hand how simple it is to circumnavigate the wall and checkpoints and enter Israel entirely at will, and without encountering a single soldier or slab of wall. If it was that easy for me by day, it would be even easier for a militant by cover of darkness, and the same is true throughout the porous perimeter across the West Bank.

Travelling unchecked to and from Bethlehem, Bet Jalla and other towns to the immediate south of Jerusalem is child's play for determined tourist or terrorist alike, yet statistics have shown a marked decrease in suicide attacks – suggesting that something other than the non-existent barrier is preventing such atrocities taking place around the clock.

Some believe that Hamas are responsible for the reduction in bombings, having never rescinded their declared hudna on suicide attacks shortly after coming to power. Others believe that the Palestinians realised that suicide bombings were a failed policy, in that they simply gave Israel justification for further land-grabs and heightened security measures in response to the attacks.

One activist to whom I spoke commented that the Shin Bet's network of informants was in fact the most effective tool Israel had in preventing suicide bombings, noting that the massive unemployment rate in the West Bank drove more and more Palestinians to desperate measures, such as collaboration, in order to supplement their meagre incomes.

Whether the near-cessation of suicide attacks is down to a policy of ceasefire or an increase in informers tipping off the Israeli authorities, the wall itself has very little effect on the statistics. If anything, it increases the likelihood of renewed violence against Israeli citizens in the long term, thanks to its crippling impact on life for Palestinians affected by the route of the barrier, and their belief that their situation is unlikely to ever improve.

In the meantime, many settlers are up in arms about the route of the wall, claiming that they have been "abandoned" behind the barrier by the Israeli authorities. They claim that they have no protection from attacks at the hands of Palestinian militants, despite the army maintaining a presence wherever Jewish settlers set up shop in the West Bank.

The defence minister Ehud Barak is "determined to complete the security fence, despite the delays", according to reports, although legal challenges and diplomatic pressure appear to have put paid to any major construction efforts for the foreseeable future. Settlements, as well as the infrastructure supporting their existence, are too hot a topic at present for the Israeli authorities simply to take unilateral decisions about where to place the wall or how to fence in those communities currently bereft of barricades.

Instead of burying their heads in the sand and pretending that all is well in terms of Israelis' security as a result of an incomplete wall, Israel's leaders ought to be worried about the consequences of continuing their policies of intransigence towards the Palestinians. The cyclical nature of the conflict means that the relative calm of today is by no means guaranteed to continue into the future.

Stifling the Palestinians of the means to provide for their families, whether by denying them freedom of movement or by brazenly taking their land from under their noses, ensures another generation will grow up resenting Israel and eventually resorting to violence as a way of expressing their rage.

Despite such tactics not being in the best interests of the Palestinian people, the fact that they have seen no progress even when they put down their arms means that the dam will inevitably burst again soon. When it does, the inefficacy of Israel's half-built wall will be plain for all to see, as too will the half-hearted measures at rapprochement which have hampered peace efforts for years and decades gone by.
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Old 23-07-2009, 10:18 AM   #26
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Obama's 'Self-Hating Jews' Thwarting Zionist Expansion


Quote:
Who is to blame for the latest dispute with the United States over the new neighborhood going up in Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarrah area? Mayor Nir Barkat? Certainly not. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who stood behind him? Ridiculous. Any child knows that everything is the fault of other Jews: Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod, two American administration officials who are inciting President Barack Obama against their own people.

This is not the first time that "self-hating Jews" have given us trouble. In negotiations over the separation of forces agreement in the 1970s, U.S. secretary of state Henry Kissinger, the scion of a family of Jewish refugees who had escaped from Nazi Germany, earned the anti-Semitic epithet "Jewboy" in Israel. At the end of the 1980s, when president George H.W. Bush dared to argue that the peace process does not jibe with settlement expansion, the Shamir government instigated a campaign against "the 'Jewboy' trio": Dennis Ross, Aaron Miller and Dan Kurtzer. Now it is the turn of Obama's Jewish confidantes to be the scapegoats.

It is easy to imagine what an uproar there would be in Jerusalem if an Arab leader or newspaper dared to claim that an American president was favorable to Israel because of the influence of a Jewish adviser. Netanyahu, who spent many years in the United States, knows very well the extent to which Jewish administration officials in key positions are sensitive to the slightest hint of dual loyalty - to their birthplace and their historic homeland. It turns out that for him, politics bends the iron-clad rule that "all Jews are responsible for one another."
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To satisfy the settlers, he permits himself to hurt people whose only sin is that they are trying to promote the goals enshrined in the platform of his senior coalition partner - the Labor Party.

We want our Jews in the administration to be blind to the settlements and deaf to the complaints of the Arabs. Take Elliott Abrams, for example, who was in charge of Middle East affairs in the Bush administration. Abrams, who is identified with the neo-conservative right, made an important contribution to legitimizing a good many dubious Israeli acts. He was an excellent salesman for the "no partner" theory, and the guiding spirit behind the indulgent policy toward the flourishing of settlements. He recently publicly criticized the two-state vision of the president who had hired him, among other things, to promote that vision.

Back during his election campaign Obama made it clear that he did not have to join Likud to be a friend of Israel. Opinion polls in the United States revealed that the views of most Jews are closer to the attitudes of organizations like the Reform movement, American Friends of Peace Now and J Street, which support a two-state solution and eschew Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman's doctrine - and above all, largely object to the settlements.

The conversation Obama held with representatives of the Jewish community last week confirms that Netanyahu is drafting them for the wrong war. Even his oldest supporters did not attack the president's position on the settlements, and made do with a complaint about the high profile given to disputes over the issue of natural growth in the settlements. One of the guests at that meeting said that history showed that exposing the differences between the U.S. and Israel does not help to advance peace.

"This was not my reading of the lessons of the last eight years," Obama responded without flinching. Moreover, he said he would not shy away from a willingness to pressure all parties, including Israel, if that is in the best interests of the United States and Israel. Obama did not hesitate to tell his Jewish interlocutors that beyond the special commitment to Israel's security, his policy would be completely even-handed. If it became necessary, Obama said, he would speak to Israelis, as he had done to the Arab and Muslim world, to help them to achieve some kind of self-reflection.

Obama has internalized what his predecessors refused to understand: the traditional supporters of the Israeli right are growing old, or losing their relevance. They are giving way to younger, liberal forces who identify with Obama's values. In the "best" case, Netanyahu's incitement against the "self-hating Jews" will do to them what his whispered comment in the ear of Rabbi Kaduri "those leftists are not Jews" did to Israelis a decade ago - it turned them against him
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1101415.html
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Old 23-07-2009, 10:25 AM   #27
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"Operation in Afghanistan is rooted in Israel"



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Old 23-07-2009, 10:47 AM   #28
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Israeli cell phone ad parody that Israeli apologists are up in arms about



Parody #1 (love the portrayal of the American stooges)



Parody #2


Media coverage of the commercial:

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Old 24-07-2009, 11:12 AM   #29
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Default The Children of Gaza Speak Up

Quote:
The words of a tough and eloquent boy in the middle of a street in Gaza...sharing with us his life and his fellowmen outrageous situation.
He looks no more than 6 years old,yet his words will haunt you forever.

"no food, no games, no TV programs for children..this is a seige!"

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Old 24-07-2009, 11:30 AM   #30
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Israel Kills Palestinian Boys, Steals Organs For Transplants


Quote:
Teheran Times.com
1-9-2

AL-KHALIL (IRNA) - The Zionist state has tacitly admitted that doctors at the Israeli forensic institute at Abu Kabir had extracted the vital organs of three Palestinian teenage children killed by the Israeli Army nearly ten days ago.

Zionist Minister of Health Nessim Dahhan said in response to a question by Arab member of the Zionist Parliament 'Knesset', Ahmed Teibi, on Tuesday that he couldn't deny that organs of Palestinian youths and children killed by the Israeli forces were taken out for transplants or scientific research.

"I couldn't say for sure that something like that (taking out the organs) didn't happen."

Teibi said he had received credible evidence proving that Israeli doctors at the forensic institute extracted such vital organs as the heart, kidneys, and liver from the bodies of Palestinian youths and children killed by the Israeli Army in Gaza and the West Bank.

The Israeli authorities normally detain the bodies of martyred Palestinians for a few days without any explanation.

The Israeli Army on December 30 killed three Palestinian boys, aged 14-15 near Khan Younis in unclear circumstances.

The army issued conflicting reports on the killing, while Palestinian sources charged that Israeli troops murdered the three unarmed boys in cold blood.

The bodies of the three boys were handed over to the Palestinians for burial on 6 January.

However, shortly before burial, Palestinian medical authorities examined the bodies and found out that the main vital organs were missing from the bodies.

The Israeli media have nearly completely ignored the affair.

(IRNA)
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Old 24-07-2009, 11:43 AM   #31
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WHEN REMEMBERING IS NOT ENOUGH? ~~ INTERVIEW WITH HEDY EPSTEIN

July 23, 2009

In the following interview, Hedy Epstein makes the statement that she 'is not a Saint��� some of us disagree with her on that point.

This Free Gaza video is an interview with a great woman, Hedy Epstein, just turned 85. She has dedicated her life to working for peace and human rights. In June she was going to sail to Gaza with the other 21 volunteers on board the Spirit of Humanity. But she was attacked just days before she was to leave for Cyprus. She was walking home, when she was thrown on the ground, cutting both knees and gashing her chin. She talks to us from her home in St. Louis, Missouri.


Quote:
The motivation for this attack was pretty clear; from Israel's perspective, having an elderly Jewish peace activist as part of the "Spirit of Humanity" team, bound for Gaza, would be an extreme embarrassment.

So she was attacked, conveniently,just in time to keep her off the boat.

But what whoever orchestrated this attack should have known was, this wasn't going to keep Hedy from talking, and getting heard, internationally.

http://uruknet.com/?p=m56275&hd=&size=1&l=e
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Old 24-07-2009, 11:54 AM   #32
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Gaza blockade: �We are captive and slowly suffocating�

By Steve Weaver, ACT/Church World Service last update 24/07/2009





Quote:
JERUSALEM -- When talking to people in Gaza about the difficult humanitarian, economic and infrastructure conditions under which they live, one quickly realizes that the 22-day assault that ended early this year was only the most recent, although especially brutal, chapter in a longer context of occupation and blockade.

An already difficult situation following 40 years of occupation became significantly worse in June 2007 when Israel imposed a severe blockade following the takeover of Gaza by Hamas.

"It is killing us slowly," says Constantine Dabbagh of the Middle East Council of Churches' Palestinian Refugee Service Department (DSPR) in Gaza. "People can't get out. People can't get in. We can't get what we need. Families are separated. We are captive and slowly suffocating."

The objective indicators are sobering. Even before the recent war nearly 80 percent of Gaza residents were living below the official poverty line, less that $2.30 per day, according to the World Bank.

The United Nations estimates that 98 percent of private businesses have closed and more than 100,000 people have lost their jobs since June 2007, with total unemployment at about 45 percent. According to the UN Development Program women have been especially hard hit with only 11.5 percent participating in the job market, one of the lowest rates in the world.

ACT International members are working in Gaza to address both emergency needs resulting from the assault as well as the long term crisis. Medical services, vocational training, cash assistance, provision of food and nutritional supplements, support for home repairs, and psychosocial programs are some of the ways ACT members are supporting local communities in their effort to recover from the war and manage the long term consequences of occupation and blockade. But the crippling blockade is impacting those efforts.

A near total embargo on construction materials is having a grim affect on the newly homeless. About 1,800 people now live in Camp Dignity, in northern Gaza, after their homes were destroyed nearby. This is only one of many temporary solutions the newly displaced in Gaza have been forced into.

According to the UN over 4,200 homes were demolished during Operation Cast Lead, with an additional 14,000 damaged. "The blockade on reconstruction materials causes great difficulty to start up ACT appeal initiatives targeting repairs and reconstruction of homes, schools, community buildings, and clinics," says Dirk Lackovic-van Gorp of International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC).

Partners of ACT report a long list of challenges affecting their programs as a result of the blockade. Suhaila Tarazi, of Al Ahli Hospital, reports a range of items, from the mundane to the highly technical, the hospital has difficulty accessing. Detergent for washing machines, plastic cups, toilet paper, paper sheets for beds are all in short supply. "This is a hygiene and sanitation issue for a hospital," Tarazi said.

The hospital has been depending on one X-ray developing machine. It is eight years old and doesn't work properly. They have been trying to get a new one for the last 5 months but have been unsuccessful. The hospital received an endoscopy sterilizing machine from USAID in March. "But we can't get the special gas required for the sterilization process, so it is sitting unused," Tarazi said. "I extremely fear hearing about a piece of equipment failing, because it means it will go into storage for lack of spare parts."

It isn't only the embargo on supplies and parts that is affecting the Al Ahli Hospital. The inability of cancer patients to get travel permits to Jerusalem or Egypt is also having an impact on the hospital. "Now doctors have to make critical treatment decisions based on less information. It puts patients' lives in more danger and increases the hospital's exposure to lawsuits," said Tarazi.

DSPR is feeling the effect at their vocational training centers where young Gazans are learning valuable skills. At the metal working training center in Gaza City, DSPR has had to modify certain projects due to the scarcity of resources. Prices of all metals, including scrap, have increased considerably. At the electrical training center in Khan Yunis the director, Mahmoud Abulibda, notes the cost of supplies has tripled. "A spool of copper wire that used to cost 24 shekel now costs 85 shekels," he says. "We've had to drop some lessons, combine others and reuse materials."

The blockade is also affecting the provision of basic food items, said Lackovic-van Gorp of IOCC. "The blockade on randomly selected food items -- for no apparent reason or rationale -- causes considerable delays in the transport of food and non-food commodities into Gaza," he said. "Items blockaded over the past two months have included pasta, jam and tahini. Such bans cause additional work to repackage parcels and sometimes necessitate modifying contracts with suppliers."

DSPR's clinic in Al Shija'ia was bombed by an Israeli air strike in January and reduced to rubble. As a temporary solution the clinic is operating out of a temporary building. But this space, in need of renovation, is also being affected by the blockade. "A bag of cement that cost 20 shekels before the blockade now costs 200", says Dr. Salim Al Abadlah, DSPR Medical Coordinator. "And there are no windows." And so part of the temporary space sits unfinished and unused, waiting for the most basic construction materials.

The Greek Government, through its Consul General in Jerusalem, has generously agreed to build a new clinic when land is found for the new construction. But finding the materials for construction could prove challenging given the near total blockade on construction materials since June 2007.

When asked when they might be able to build the clinic Dr Abadlah, shrugs and says, "Maybe two months, maybe two years, maybe two decades. We don't know."

Steve Weaver is the Middle East regional coordinator for Church World Service. After being based in Palestine/Israel for three months, he offers this personal reflection on the effect Gaza blockade on the lives of Palestinians and the work of ACT International members on the ground.

Media contact:

Peter Hovring, Communications Officer (interim)
(office: +41 22 791 6039 / mobile: +41 79 681 1868 / [email protected] )

Action by Churches Together (ACT) International is a global alliance of churches and related agencies working to save lives and support communities in emergencies worldwide.
http://uruknet.com/?p=m56278&hd=&size=1&l=e
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Old 25-07-2009, 08:24 AM   #33
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Thank you (someone) for the 5 star rating of this thread.

Please feel free (or anyone else) if you want me to " broadcast" anything, just let me know.


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Old 25-07-2009, 09:21 AM   #34
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Default Israel Concerned Over Hamas Plans for Gaza Aid

Quote:
Translation: Israel is terrified that if Hamas does control aid into Gaza, it might actually get to the people who so desperately need it!

by Maayana Miskin

IsraelNN.com) Defense officials expressed concern this week over recent developments in Gaza, particularly reports that Hamas is intimidating humanitarian organizations, and has begun working more closely with the United Nations. There is evidence to suggest that Hamas may get its hands on billions of dollars meant as humanitarian aid for Gaza civilians, they said.

Reports that Hamas has threatened UN workers in Gaza began to surface months ago. During Operation Cast Lead, Hamas stole truckloads of supplies, some of which were later returned.

According to the Hebrew-language daily Maariv, pressure got so bad in recent weeks that the UN's Gaza chief, John Ging, fled the area for fear of his life. The threats were made by members of Hamas who told Ging to ensure that aid money would be directed to individuals specified by Hamas, the paper said.

The UN's Relief and Works Agency is the largest international organization operating in Gaza, and Hamas is increasing pressure on the group in an attempt to control its budget. UNRWA receives hundreds of millions of dollars each year, mostly from the European Union.

Hamas puts pressure on other groups as well. Hamas announced in the local Gaza paper Filisteen a warning that any organization that fails to heed Hamas orders will be forced out of Gaza.

The pressure appears to have worked. According to defense officials, UN workers have been meeting with senior members of Hamas to coordinate the distribution of international aid contributed in the wake of Operation Cast Lead.

Israel has sent evidence of Hamas pressure on aid groups to the United States, in order to warn the U.S. that its own funds could be misappropriated as well. The U.S. has pledged $900 million to rebuild Gaza buildings destroyed during Cast Lead.

Israeli officials said they are attempting to create a mechanism that would allow aid to be sent to Gaza while ensuring that the funds would not fall into Hamas' hands. However, officials did not express optimism over the chances that any such system would be fully effective.

UN: Distribution Based on Need
UN workers in Gaza disputed charges that Hamas pressure was affecting UN policy. Aid is distributed according to humanitarian need only, they said.

In response to reports that Ging had fled the area, UN officials said Ging had indeed left Gaza, but has since returned.

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/132559
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Old 25-07-2009, 09:27 AM   #35
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MUST READ~CRITICIZING ISRAEL TO BE ILLEGAL

24 July 2009

Quote:
New Report out ~Today Israeli Zionists are tightening their grip even MORE on our freedom of speech.Israel will use this to take the cause to America next. Very serious stuff to report today, we are loosing our right to free speech against Israel. A Zionist “think tank” in England that has US ties is submitting a report to re-define the term “Anti-Semitism” and make those “new terms” illegal. Sit down, take a deep breath and get ready to be stunned. I came across this recent 38 page PDF publication which is being submitted to the British Government from the European Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism (EISCA) the Zionist think-tank which sets out to “monitor” Anti-Semitism in the “World.” This will be used against the Government, the Media, Universities and hundreds of Pro-Palestinian organisations, not to mention blogs and any protests the public decide to hold against the Zionist state Military actions in Palestine.

This group has influential power within the British Government, indeed, one Rt Hon Denis MacShane, MP, is the Chairman of the group.

They have just delivered a “new” report In which they are “re-defining” Anti-Semitism to include just about anything one may say to criticize Israel. Such as Anti-Zionism; Holocaust denial and Holocaust related abuse; conspiracy theories; dual loyalty and the blood libel. More importantly, they take this one step further and are now including “Zionism” in this definition.

The report calls for the adoption of this new definition into law, which would then make it a “crime” to discuss or use any of the phrases, terms, arguments, theories or cases covered this new “definition.” They want the UK to adopt the EUMC (now the European Agency for Fundamental Rights [FRA]) definition of “anti-Semitism” so as to outlaw the use of the word “Nazi” when referring to Israel, its government, and Zionists. But that is NOT all they are after, there are many more “demands” which are quite shocking indeed, such as any conspiracy theories about Israel and 9-11, Zionism, or the Israeli Lobby in American Politics control in Washington. Additionally they want your Children to be “re-educated when they attend University (Sounds like Nazi’s to me!) They are also calling for media controls as well. Almost all criticism of Israel AND/OR Zionism will be “branded” as Anti-Semitism and illegal, so keep reading. This definition will target all aspects of discussion on the Israel/Palestine conflict, including media, universities, demonstrations, freedom of speech and much more. Here are excerpts of the new “Zionist Big Brother” PDF report:
STRUCTURE OF THE REPORT
The report of the All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Antisemitism drew attention to five themes of antisemitic discourse: anti-Zionism; Holocaust denial and Holocaust related abuse; conspiracy theories; dual loyalty and the blood libel. This report combines them into one overarching theme- playing the Nazi card.
So as we can see, every single aspect of this new form of censorship will now come under one all encompassing heading of "Playing The Nazi Card" So they are effectively lumping hundreds of very real and accurate criticisms against the IDF, the State of Israel, the Gaza Genocide, the Israeli Government and any one critical of Zionism into one little sentence with the word "Nazi" in it. How clever!! Therefore you MUST remember when reading this below that each time they use the phrase "Using the Nazi Card" they are including ALL of this as well: Any criticisms against the IDF, the State of Israel, the Gaza Genocide, the Israeli Government and any one critical of Zionism That is the danger in what they are attempting here folks. With that in mind keep reading:
THE NAZI CARD
In the case of the United Kingdom, the All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism recommended that the working definition be “adopted by the government and law enforcement agencies”.

When the Nazi card is played against the Israeli State, its leaders, its military practices, or its founding ideology of Zionism, it is clearly antisemitic.

Four different variants of the problem are examined in the report:
- The Nazi card as abuse against Jews.
- The Nazi card as abuse against the collective memory of the Holocaust.
- The Nazi card in the casting of Jews as conspirators and collaborators with the Nazis.
- The Nazi card manifest in discourse about Israel and Zionism.
Each of these variants of the Nazi card has harmful consequences that constitute a significant common denominator and the rationale for why this type of discourse needs to be addressed. (note that Zionism is now included in the Definition)
GAZA PROTESTS:
Placards carrying images of swastikas superimposed on the Star of David and the Israeli flag were commonplace in street-level protests about the recent Israeli military actions and the conflict in Gaza in December 2008 and January 2009. Allusions between Nazi genocidal practices and the activities of the Israeli state were also drawn in some of the speeches at protest meetings and press commentary on the conflict.
AND THIS WONT BE ALLOWED ANY MORE:
Richard Falk, the then incoming United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories, published an article in 2007 titled ‘Slouching toward a Palestinian Holocaust’ whereby, for instance, Palestinian territories have been compared to the “Warsaw ghetto”, Libya’s deputy UN ambassador, Ibrahim Dabbashi, reportedly drew a comparison between conditions in Gaza and the concentration camps of Nazi Germany. This occasion was not the first time officials associated with the UN had drawn parallels between Israeli military actions and atrocities committed by the Nazis.
UNDERSTANDING AND ADDRESSING ANTISEMITIC DISCOURSE
The project’s aims were to:
● Identify and illuminate the main component parts of antisemitic discourse.
● Include an examination of how criticism of Israel and Zionism can crossover into and become polluted by antisemitism through the expression or assumption of core antisemitic concepts.

THE CONSEQUENCES OF ANTISEMITIC DISCOURSE
This report attempts to shift the focus of analysis of contemporary antisemitism onto new ground: away from labelling and defining the problem to an understanding of the consequences of discourse against Jews, Israel and Zionism.
YOU CANNOT CRITICIZE ZIONISM:

PLAYING THE NAZI CARD AGAINST ISRAEL AND ZIONISM
One of the most challenging components of antisemitic discourse in general, and the discursive theme of the Nazi card in particular, concerns the problem of when the Nazi card is played against Israel and its founding movement, Zionism.

INTRODUCTION: THE NAZI CARD AS ANTISEMITIC DISCOURSE
Playing the Nazi card refers to the use of Nazi or related terms or symbols (Nazism,
Hitler, swastikas, etc.) in reference to Jews, Israel, Zionism or aspects of the Jewish experience.

● It would be timely for the government to commission a rapid evidence assessment into the practical experience of using the criminal law against racist and antisemitic speech in countries where such provisions have been established.

● The Home Office, in consultation with the Association of Chief Police Officers and the Crown Prosecution Service, should prepare and issue guidance for police forces and crown prosecutors about the circumstances in which playing the Nazi card, and other forms of antisemitic discourse, amounts to unlawful incitement to racial hatred.
COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES ARE TARGETTED:
UNIVERSITIES-RE-EDUCATION OF YOUR CHILDREN:
UK universities and colleges should be encouraged to debate and utilise the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC) working definition of antisemitism to inform their race equality and harassment policies.

● In seeking advice from scholars with experience in the matter, the government should commission and promote educational materials for university-level
lectures/seminars/workshops on Holocaust denial which examine how Holocaust denial in its explicit and more subtle manifestations constitutes antisemitic discourse.

● The European Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism should produce a model statement that refutes the Nazi card point-by-point so that it can aid and inform those who seek to challenge it.(Soon the Government will be paying for these to be handed out to every kid at University!)
No more talking about AIPAC,the Jewish-Zionist Lobby, it's influence, Jane Harman affair, Israeli spies, all will be considered "anti-Semitic" soon:
JEWISH/ZIONIST LOBBY IN AMERICA
It has been suggested that in recent discourse regarding the alleged role of Zionists or an Israel lobby in Western societies, the language and terms of reference used to depict their alleged actions has sometimes been reminiscent of language and themes similar to those identified by Klug when discussing the traditional depiction of the conduct of the mythical Jew. Zionists and
The Zionist lobby have periodically been depicted as conspirators, controllers of the media, and of wielding undue power and influence over governments. It might therefore be suggested that such sentiment, when echoing traditional antisemitic conspiracy theories but ostensibly targeting Zionists is likewise not grounded in any real sense of ‘what they are,’ but has similarly come to reflect a discourse of hatred against Zionists as ‘Zionists’.
AND DON'T BE TALKING ABOUT BERNIE MADE-OFF ANYMORE EITHER,MORE HERE:
In addition to such conspiracies that allege Jewish and Israeli hands behind major international calamities have been references to longstanding antisemitic conspiracy theories alleging orchestrated Jewish control of world financial markets.
And they are going after the Media:
THE PRESS AND MEDIA:
The media in Britain have also played a hand in reproducing antisemitic conspiracy theories - even inadvertently. Most famously, the cover of the 14January 2002 edition of the New Statesman used a large glistening golden Star of David piercing a prostate Union Jack and the words ‘A kosher conspiracy?...Britain’s pro-Israel lobby’.

The Press Complaints Commission should be encouraged to utilise the EUMC working definition of antisemitism to inform guidance in its Code of Practice

● The National Union of Journalists at national and branch level should be encouraged to debate and utilise the EUMC working definition of antisemitism to inform guidance about how particular discourse can lead to hatred or discrimination against Jews.

● The Press Complaints Commission should be encouraged to utilise the EUMC working definition of antisemitism to inform guidance in its Code of Practice about how particular discourse can lead to hatred or discrimination against Jews.

● When the Nazi card is played as abuse against Jews individually or collectively, it involves a discursive and targeted hurtful act of raw explicit insult and potentially serves as a threat of future violence.
So, How insane is that statement, they are calling for a law to be passed to stop a violent crime that may not take place, or has not taken place yet? So perhaps we should start arresting people who "may" in future commit a crime because of their thoughts and opinions? ZIONIST BIG BROTHER STATE COMING SOON TO YOU
● When the Nazi card is played as abuse against the collective memory of the Holocaust, the offender ‘de-Nazifies’ the role of the Nazis and casts Jews as conspirators.

● When the Nazi card is played by casting Jews as conspirators and collaborators with the Nazis, Jews are portrayed as beneficiaries of Nazi genocidal policies.

● When the Nazi card is played against Israel and Zionism, Israel as a state is cast in the role of the Nazis with Palestinians cast as victims of eliminationist policy and practice.
So in the above statements they make it crystal clear, the “Holocaust” excuse will “never” end. In other words, there will never come a time when it can be viewed as a historical event, and there will never come a time when you can be critical of it, or have an opposing opinion of that historical event. Now, to effectively rule that people cannot have their own opinions or questions, no matter how far out, is just another form of Big Brother Control of the masses by Israel world wide. Taking that one step further, what about people who believe that 9-11 was an inside job and that Jews were involved. So, that “form” of thought will also be outlawed as illegal. SEE HERE:
In the aftermath of several recent international terrorist attacks, allegations of Jewish conspiracies spread. Since the events of 9/11, antisemitic conspiracy theories have variously alleged that Jews or Zionists were responsible for the attacks or were aware of the attacks in advance. Together with such allegations has been the suggestion that thousands of Jews were secretly warned not to arrive at work on the day of the 9/11 attacks.
AND THIS WILL ALSO BECOME ILLEGAL AS WELL:
JEWS AS CONSPIRATORS AND COLLABORATORS WITH THE NAZIS
Conspiracy theories about Jews have historically provided the mainstay of antisemitic discourse. New conspiracies are promoted with varying malevolence often in reaction to prevailing social, political and economic calamities. Once given life, the conspiracy theories become part of the everyday ideology and discourse of what it is to be a Jew.
Can't have the truth about the Genocide in Gaza being reported in public, people may find out the truth!AND THEY WILL BE GOING AFTER BOOKS AS WELL, SO WATCH OUT:
In one of the earliest British contributions to the Holocaust-denial literature, Did Six Million Really Die? The Truth at Last,38 published in 1974, Richard Harwood claimed that the “deception” committed by “the Jewish people” had brought an “incalculable benefit” in that the “alleged extent of their persecution quickly aroused sympathy for the Jewish national homeland they had sought for so long”.

“The language is significant - ‘hoax’, ‘swindle’, ‘racket’ -
All in themselves implying ‘Jew’ through the historical accumulation of antisemitic connotations (money grabbing, Jewing, Shylock, etc.)”.41
PROTOCOLS OF THE ELDERS OF ZION (also will be illegal)

The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and Henry Ford’s The International Jew, are exemplars of such a depiction of the Jew. And more recent conspiracy theories about Jews manifest this malevolent discursive characterisation.
AND LASTLY, MORE EXPRESSIONS THAT WILL BECOME ILLEGAL:
● Making mendacious, dehumanising, demonising, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective - such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.
LOOKOUT, that sweeping statement covers everything about the Zionist Lobby's control inside America. So, will we see books such as THIS by JOHN MEARSHEIMER and STEPHEN WALT and books like THIS by James Petras becoming illegal under the guise of "Anti-Semitism"?? MORE...
● Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.

● Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.
Don't you love that one? If it was even remotly NOT true we'd not have AIPAC, ZOA, ADL and hundreds of other "lobby" groups contolling America and it's worldwide policies! They advocate for ISRAEL not AMERICA. AIPAC spies and Jane Harman anyone? Sadly there's more:
● Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g. by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavour.

● Using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g. claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterise Israel or Israelis.

● Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.
Please pass this post on...If you are NOT Angry then you are NOT paying attention. BIG BROTHER is already here, in the name of worldwide Zionism! READ IT ALL HERE
written by irish4palestine

http://irish4palestine.blogspot.com/...ael-to-be.html
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Old 25-07-2009, 09:36 AM   #36
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Israel rejects French demand on peace

Fri, 24 Jul 2009 06:00:10 GMT




Quote:
The Israeli government has rejected France's demand to halt Jewish settlement activity and to reopen border crossings into the impoverished Gaza Strip.

"A solution to the settlements can only be reached through a comprehensive and final peace agreement," Israel's foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor told AFP on Thursday.

Palmor instead called on France to persuade the Palestinian Authority to resume the stalled peace talks with Israel.

"In order to promote peace, France would do well to persuade the Palestinian Authority to resume negotiations," he added.

Palestinian say they will not resume the talks until Tel Aviv puts an end to its expansionist policies. Israel has been refusing to heed international calls even form its closest allies including the US to stop its illegal settlement activity.

Israel wants to continue its settlement activity in the occupied West Bank to keep up with what it calls the "natural growth” of the Israeli population. The issue has been widely considered as the main obstacle in the way of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

The settlements are built on the land Israel occupied in the 1967 Middle East war and are in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which says the occupying power is not allowed to transfer citizens from its own territory to the occupied territory.

Regarding the Gaza Strip, Palmor said that Israel's blockade of Gaza was the result of "the state of war imposed by Hamas" as well as the "detention for more than three years of soldier Gilad Shalit."

On Thursday, France summoned the Israeli ambassador to France, Daniel Shek, to demand an immediate freeze on settlement activities and for the crossings into Gaza to be reopened to allow Gaza rebuild itself after Israel's deadly war in January.

Paris wants "an immediate freeze on settlement activities, including in east Jerusalem," the French ministry spokesman Eric Chevallier said.

Israel must also re-open border crossings into Gaza, blocked since the Hamas resistance movement took power in 2007, "on a regular basis to allow Gaza to rebuild itself and life to return to normal," Chevallier added.

HRF/DT
http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id...onid=351020202
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Old 25-07-2009, 09:59 AM   #37
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IN GAZA ~~ MOURNING THROUGH ART

July 24, 2009

Gaza artist, survivor finds power in paint
By Eman Mohammed





Palestinian artist Ziad Deeb next to an image that he made of his family members killed during Israel’s attacks on Gaza last winter


From the entrance of the house, one can observe the whole tragedy. On 6 January 2009, an Israeli artillery shell landed in the front yard of the Deeb family home in the Jabaliya refugee camp in the northern Gaza strip. A large, wide hole in the ground and two missing walls are all that remain. Sitting in his wheelchair in the corner, Ziad, 22, is the last survivor of the Deeb family. He lost both legs during the attack, and 10 relatives were killed including his father, grandmother, brothers, nieces and nephews.

Ziad choose a different and unlikely way to mourn. He was a graduate of Gaza’s College of Fine Arts when Israel’s winter invasion began. When it was over, he started drawing — on wood, on the walls of the city streets, in front of destroyed government buildings, and public squares.

Ziad explained that his art is “the best way I can express myself.” He added that, “It took me only seconds to look around and see my family members drowning in their own blood. I didn’t hear the explosion, it was only a loud whistling sound, and dark smoke blocked my vision. But I could smell the strong odor of blood and when I tried to move myself I saw my legs ripped apart. Then the smoke became less and I saw everyone around me was dead and I thought I was too.”




Ziad says that memories of the massacre inspire him “to keep painting more and more, I believe this is the only thing that can’t be taken away from me and my disability can’t be an obstacle.” He adds that “as weird as it might sound, this ugly memory urges me to go further with my arts. If I can’t be heard, my paintings can be seen. I draw for...



peace, now that’s how much I believe in the power of colors, paintbrushes and art itself.”

Mohammed Deeb, 33, Ziad’s uncle was only few meters away when the attack occurred. Ziad now lives with his uncle who helps him to move around and tries to help him live something like a normal life. Mohammed expressed his admiration of his nephew’s courage stating that, “He survived a catastrophe. I have no idea how he got this strength, but I do believe God gave him patience and creativity to overcome such a difficult ordeal. His art is unique in Gaza.” He added with teary eyes that, “He is special, there is no doubt about that.”

In spite of the tragedy, Ziad still enjoys spending time with his friends and playing the oud and other musical instruments. As his uncle explains, “they took his family’s life but they couldn’t take the life out of him.”

Ziad showed his excitement for new art projects and exhibitions he is planning to participate in by starting new techniques of wood-based carvings copied from paper paintings in color and black and white. He explained that “I have dreams to pursue, if not for myself, then for the memory of my family. They are in a better place, I just know this for a fact. Losing them caused me wounds that can never heal but I won’t allow the sadness to defeat me. In the end that’s what it takes to make great art, to never be defeated.”

All images by Eman Mohammed.

Eman Mohammed is a Jordanian-Palestinian freelance photojournalist and reporter based in the Gaza Strip since 2005.

Source

http://desertpeace.wordpress.com/200...g-through-art/
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Old 25-07-2009, 10:02 AM   #38
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Keep up the good work, Ziad.
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Old 25-07-2009, 10:41 AM   #39
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Breaking The Silence - Testimonies Of Israeli Soldiers



By Stephen Lendman
7-24-9

Quote:
"Breaking the Silence is an organization of veteran Israeli soldiers that collects anonymous testimonies of soldiers who served in the Occupied Territories during the Second Intifada." They recount experiences that deeply affected them, including abusing Palestinians, looting, destroying property, and other practices "excused as military necessities, or explained as extreme and unique cases."

They believe otherwise in describing "the depth of corruption which is spreading in the Israeli military" to which Israeli society and most Western observers turn a blind eye. "Breaking the Silence" was established to force an uncomfortable reality into the open to "demand accountability regarding Israel's military actions in the Occupied Territories perpetrated by us in our name."

Its new booklet features 54 damning testimonies from 30 Israeli soldiers on their experiences in Operation Cast Lead. They recount what official media and government sources suppressed with comments like:

"You feel like an infantile little kid with a magnifying glass looking at ants, burning them."

Another referred to "not much said about the issue of innocent civilians." Anyone and anything were fair game, and laws of war went out the window.

They explained wanton destruction, crops uprooted, human slaughter, women and children killed in cold blood, illegal weapons used, free-fire orders to shoot to kill anywhere at anything that moved, and using civilians as human shields.

Israeli commanders refuted their accounts as groundless, but B'Tselem reported that the military "refused to open serious, impartial investigations," even when provided with detailed information, including victims' names, exact dates, and precise locations of incidents.

On its own, B'Tselem collected testimonies from Gaza residents in which 70 Palestinian civilians were killed, over half of them children. Israeli military sources were unresponsive, except to acknowledge receipt of some information, nothing more or that a serious investigation would be conducted. It never was.

Anonymous Testimonies to Protect Soldiers from Recriminations - First >From Earlier Operations

A Nachal unit first sergeant recounted Israeli tanks entering a West Bank village and crushing a car beneath the treads. "Yes, I saw it from the APC we were in. I peeped out. Suddenly we heard a car being crushed....I can't understand why a tank should run over a car when the road's open." It wasn't an isolated incident. It happens often, wanton destruction for its own sake.

He also said that "When we got back from that operation, we had loot so to speak. There were IDs confiscated, uniforms, Kalachnikovs. For army intelligence."

A Nachal elite unit first sergeant said missions were explicitly intended to harass people. Homes were entered, arrests made. "At various points while closing in on a house there are varying open-fire instructions. When the whole house is surrounded, crews placed all around it, the guy who runs out of the house is considered an 'escaper' and must be stopped. If he exits running in a suspect manner (he) must be shot (and) kill(ed). Shot to be stopped: in other words, shoot to kill."

When entering villages, armed Palestinian policemen "at certain points in time....were considered enemy troops (so) we had to shoot to kill if we saw any." Orders were to shoot when in doubt. In describing the atmosphere and command orders, they were "Kill, kill, kill, kill. We want to see bodies."

He explained his anti-terrorism training saying: "Terrorist in sight, that's what it's called, when you run into them. It's some sort of code. It used to be 'hostages.' So you reach the terrorist, you confirm the kill. You don't confirm the kill, you confirm the guy has been 'neutralized,' no chance of his getting back to you because he's been shot in the head. That's confirming he's neutralized."

A 401 Armor unit staff sergeant described the freedom he had to fire a lot - "automatic fire, directed at the whole city, at houses and at doors, was something that everybody did, not just me. I do not know why I did it. I (had) a gun. I did not think. In the army I never thought. I did what I was told to do. And besides, everybody did it. That was the custom - officers and such, everybody knew."

A Battalion 55 Artillery corp first sergeant said when his unit "return(ed) from operations we would throw stun and smoke grenades into the bakeries that opened between 4:00 and 5:00 am because people in the village threw stones....Once I fired over 1500 rounds from a machine gun at the houses in the city." Nobody cared, it was just at Palestinians.

An Armoured Corps first sergeant recounted earlier Gaza and West Bank operations for the "main purpose (of) either demolish(ing) terrorists' houses or places where they manufacture mortars, and other such stuff, or...You would come in and ruin everything you see." At times, "open-fire orders (were to kill) every person you see on the street....kill him....shoot to kill. Don't mind whether he has or has no gun on him."

Operation Cast Lead Testimonies

One soldier said:

"....In training you learn that white phosphorus is not used, and you're taught that it's not humane. You watch films and see what it does to people who are hit, and you say, 'There, we're doing it too.' That's not what I expected to see. Until that moment I had thought that I belonged to the most humane army in the world."

Other testimonies describe white phosphorous used in densely populated neighborhoods, wanton killing and destruction "unrelated to any direct threat to Israeli forces, and permissive rules of engagement that led to the killing of innocents."

More comments reflected the "moral deterioration" of the army and Israeli society, even affecting the rabbinate that blessed mass slaughter and destruction prior to engagements.

Soldier testimonies bear witness to disturbing Israeli values "on a systemic level." Operation Cast Lead's rein of terror was "a direct result of IDF policy, and especially (its) rules of engagement (that sanction) shoot (first) and (don't) ask questions."

Breaking the Silence participants offered their testimonies as "an urgent call to Israeli society and its leaders to sober up and investigate anew the results of our actions....(a disturbing) slide together down the moral slippery slope" that affects them and all Jews globally.

Testimony 1 - Human Shield

People are called "Johnnie. They're Palestinian civilians" in Gaza neighborhoods. In checking out houses, "we send the neighbor in, the 'Johnnie,' and if there are armed men inside, we (use) 'pressure cooker' procedures....to get them out alive....to catch the armed men." When necessary, combat helicopters are called in to fire anti-tank missiles at civilian homes. Then send a "Johnnie" in to check for dead and wounded.

In one home, two were dead and another alive, so supersized Caterpillar D-9 bulldozers start "demolishing the house over him until the neighbor went in" and got him out.

Human shields were also used to check for booby-traps and perform other services. "Sometimes the force would enter while placing rifle barrels on a civilian's shoulder, advancing into the house and using him as a human shield. Commanders said these were the instructions and we had to do it."

Testimony 2 - House Demolitions

Residential buildings at strategic points were taken over by force. Neighborhoods were described with "lots of destroyed houses....ruins....more and more ruins, and even the houses still standing, most of them kept getting shelled...." Other houses were blasted....blown "up in the air" with explosives.

"Operational necessity" sometimes meant a whole neighborhood was destroyed so as "not to jeopardize Israeli soldiers (and with) the day after" in mind, meaning to disrupt Gaza life to the maximum and leave it that way after forces pulled out.

Testimony 3 - Rules of Engagement

Descriptions included "enter(ing) a yard and out of sheer fear the family was waiting in an exposed spot - a father, grandfather, young mother and babies. As we were coming in, the commander was firing a volley, and mistakenly killed an innocent. We got to the house....he goes in with live fire....the family was hiding from the bombings....he happened to kill an elderly guy....it really seems insane....if I look at it from the (other) side, there are people who deserve to go to jail."

Testimony 4 - Rules of Engagement & Home Occupation

Tactics taught are "dry" and "wet" entries. In Gaza, there was "no such thing as a dry entry. All entries were wet," meaning free-firing with missiles, tank shells, machine guns, grenades, everything. On the ground, wet entry orders were to "shoot as we enter a (house or) room (so) no one there could fire at us."

Testimony 5 - Atmosphere

What "bothered me? Many things....all that destruction. All that fire at innocents. This shock of realizing with whom I'm in this together....the hatred, and the joy of killing....I killed a terrorist....blew his head off....There's nothing to hold you back." They're just Arabs.

Testimony 6 - Bombardment

The new 120mm Mortar was used in Gaza with "95 - 100%" accuracy. When it hits, it scatters shrapnel all around. It was used against neighborhoods. Innocents were hit, and "our artillery fire there was insane...."

"Most of the time firing was for softening resistance I think....We simply received orders. If we hit terrorists, then I guess that was the purpose."

Testimony 7 - Rules of Engagement

The commander stressed using "fire power" from the air and on the ground. "You see something and you're not quite sure? You shoot....Fire power was insane. We went in and the booms were just mad. The minute we got to our starting line, we simply began to fire at suspect places....a house, a window....In urban warfare, anyone is your enemy. No innocents." Houses were taken over with soldiers positioned inside "according to plan."

Testimony 8 - Rules of Engagement & Use of White Phosphorous

Some of the younger soldiers "think it's cool to wield such power with no one wanting to rein them in. They (were given) permission to open fire" even at most people who "definitely (are) not terrorists." Free fire used all weapons against "everything (including) houses," whether or not they looked suspect. "I know (that some) crews....even fired white phosphorous. Our battalion mortars (and tanks) were also using phosphorous."

Sometimes an order was given: "Permitted, phosphorous in the air." At times, it was used "because it's fun. Cool. I don't understand what it's used for."

Testimony 9 - Rules of Engagement & House Demolitions

"From the onset....the brigade commander and other officers made it very clear to us that any movement must entail gunfire" with or without being shot at. Alerts were given about a suicide bomber or sniper in the area, but "none of (these) materialized as far as our company was concerned."

"Houses were demolished everywhere." They were fired at "with tremendous power. We didn't see a single house that remained intact....The entire infrastructure, tracks, fields, roads (were) in total ruin." D-9 bulldozers demolished everything "in our designated area. It looked awful, like in those World War II films where nothing remained. A totally destroyed city."

Testimony 10 - Briefings

Formal briefings covered "going off to war (and in war) no consideration of civilians was to be taken. Shoot anyone you see....this pretty much disgusted me. There was a clear feeling, and this was repeated whenever others spoke to us, that no humanitarian consideration played any role in the army at present."

Language used in one briefing was something like: "Don't let morality become an issue. That will come up later. Leave the nightmares and horrors that will come up for later, now just shoot."

Testimony 11 - Use of White Phosphorous & Rules of Engagement

"We walked (with another battalion) and saw all the white phosphorous bombs....we saw glazing on the sand (resulting) from white phosphorous (use), and it was upsetting." Houses were targeted and many around them were destroyed with people inside them.

Testimony 12 - Rules of Engagement

Moving into an area, orders were to "hold the junction, control it." Vehicle movement wasn't allowed and those advancing were fired on. Whole areas were abandoned. In entering houses, strict procedure is followed, including "setting red lines. It means that whoever crosses this line is shot, no questions asked." Orders always were shoot to kill, including women and children.

Testimonies 13 and 14 - Rules of Engagement

Houses were entered with gunfire and taken over. Some civilians were killed. Anyone out at night was called a terrorist even if it was clear he had no weapons.

Testimonies 15 and 16 - Rabbinate Unit

Promoting "Jewish Awareness," rabbis talked with soldiers and gave out materials, the Book of Psalms and some brochures. War got a religious tone against "four enemies:" Hamas, Iran, the Palestinian Authority even though it doesn't control Gaza, and Arab citizens of Israel. Rabbinate briefings said "they (all) undermine us."

Also that Israel was fighting a "war of choice, (a) holy war (with) differing rules." The message "aimed at inspiring the men with courage, cruelty, aggressiveness (and feeling) no pity, God protects you, everything you do is sanctified....Palestinians are the enemy....everyone."

Soldiers were told to be "crusaders," to have a "proper fighting spirit," and show no mercy. Distributed pamphlets said: "Palestinians are like the Philistines of old, newcomers who do not belong in the land, aliens planted on our soil which should clearly return to us."

One man introduced as Rabbi Chen presented his talk in points, also covered in pamphlets. First was "the sanctity of the People of Israel. He put it this way: he said while going in there, we should know there is no accounting for sins in this case." In other words, "whatever we do is fine."

Another point referred to the "sons of light" waging war against the "sons of darkness" to turn the IDF into a messianic force in a battle of good versus evil.

Testimony 17 - House Demolitions & Rules of Engagement

"Pressure cooker" tactics were used. D-9 bulldozers "worked nonstop to raze orchards and take down houses suspected of containing tunnels" or stopping sniper fire. "The feeling is it's all sand dunes, all the streets were destroyed and there were shell pits from the bombings before the ground offensive." After a week, "our officer decided he'd hold a grenade-launching practice....So we went into a house next door, took an inner room, and each person came along and threw a grenade inside. The house was totally devastated."

Testimony 18 - Briefings & Rules of Engagement

Before the operation began, the battalion commander "said we were going to exercise insane fire power with artillery and air force....There were no clear red lines. In urban areas it's very much at the commanders' own discretion....we were told to enter every house (using) live fire....a grenade or two, shooting, and only then we enter."

Testimony 19 - Bombardment

It was designed "to gain control of the area....The whole cover thing starts, massive fire, auxiliary fire, and then my company goes it....In the first phase, we open fire in every zone." Every house in a designated area is entered....At the end of the day the platoons are set up in the houses. Each house becomes a small army outpost with positions...." Then other houses are occupied and searched. Families inside were assembled in one room, then told to leave and walk into the city. In some houses, the men were gathered together and shackled.

Testimony 20 - Rules of Engagement

"Our objective was to split the Gaza Strip, fragment it," take total control.

Testimony 21 - Briefings & Rules of Engagement

The commander said don't "feel bad about destruction because it is all done for the safety of our own soldiers." If someone is suspect, "we should not give him the benefit of the doubt. Eventually this could be an enemy, even if it's some old woman approaching the house. It could be an old woman carrying an explosive charge."
We had constant reports about suspect women or pairs, stuff like that, but never ran into any.

"There are two phases: there's the primary phase of taking objectives....whatever is suspect is targeted for fire." Youngsters in the ranks "are out for action and most of them have pretty racist views....some of them say (they) don't want wars, but what can (they) do, this is how things are and we'll never have peace with the Arabs." Those with more moderate views are in the minority. For most soldiers, "there are two possibilities: either you're terribly scared or terribly gung-ho. Better gung-ho than frightened, for this way you can do a better job of it."

Testimony 22 - Bombardment

One home "was known as a Hamas activist's house. This automatically gets acted upon...the house was bombed while these guys were inside. A woman came out, holding a child, and escaped southward." Reports were that people inside were unarmed. "But that's not the point. The point is that four men standing outside the house conferring look suspect."

Testimony 23 - Rules of Engagement & Home Searches

"In routine work there are outposts, windows, observation posts and stairs....you go out, take the house, spend (enough time) inside, then go back to the same house or to another one....You're also told to wreck floor tiles to check for tunnels. Television sets, closets (everything). Many explosive charges were found, they also blew up, no one was hurt."

Before going in you shoot....we didn't really need to shoot after the tank had wrecked the house....Physically the houses were ruined." In some, drawings were made on walls, even with lipstick, and "the closets were all trashed. It sounded retarded....you go into a house and turn it all inside out."

Testimony 24 - Briefings & House Demolitions

Initial briefings by commanders never mentioned "the lives of civilians (or) showing consideration to civilians." Here it wasn't mentioned. "Just the brutality, go in there brutally....In case of any doubt, take down houses. You don't need confirmation for anything...."

D-9 operators "cannot show consideration. If he's ordered to demolish a house, he" does it...."houses and agricultural areas as well, orchards and hothouses." At the end of the operation, the commander said "We demolished 900 houses....a really huge number. We demolished a lot."

Testimony 25 - Briefings & Rules of Engagement

"The battalion commander said there would be lots and lots of terrorists and we should really watch out but don't worry, everyone will have taken plenty of people down (because) insane fire power (gives us an) advantage over them."

Testimony 26 - Briefings & Rules of Engagement

Before going in, "the battalion commander....defined the operation goals: 2000 dead terrorists, not just stopping the missiles launched at (Israeli) communities around the Gaza Strip. He claimed this would bring Hamas down to its knees....No one said 'kill innocents.' " But orders were for the army to kill everyone thought to be suspect.

"The issue of civilians became irrelevant as soon as you'd enter combat - the rules change. You shoot. It's war. In war no questions are asked."

Testimony 27 - House Demolitions

Suspect houses were targeted with white phosphorous shells "to serve as an igniter, simply make it all go up in flames," and in the process destroy weapons and tunnels.

Testimony 28 - Rules of Engagement

Neighborhoods were cleaned out, areas "where infantry had not yet entered." After going in, "terrorists" were identified and killed. "We kept working with snipers, infantry 'straw widows,' where they identify targets for you and you fire shells....You shoot even if (targets not) identified."

Testimony 29 - House Demolitions & Bombardment

In controlled areas, orders were "to raze as much as possible....Such razing is a euphemism for intentional, systematic destruction, enabling total visibility....so no one could hide anything from us" and operational objectives could be accomplished - destroying suspected booby-trapped houses and tunnels. Also leaving behind minimal infrastructure after the operation was concluded.

The destruction in Gaza "was on a totally different scale (than anything) I had previously known....the ground was....constantly shaking. I mean, there were blasts all the time. Explosions were heard all day long, the night was filled with flashes, an intensity we had never experienced before. Several D-9 bulldozers were operating around the clock, constantly busy....What is a suspect spot? It means you decided it was suspect and could take out all your rage at it."

Testimony 30 - House Demolitions & Bombardment

Most "mosques were demolished. (Our) brigade commander (said) we should not hesitate to target mosques. Nothing is immune, nothing and no area. He explicitly mentioned mosques....If you see sand bags, you shoot without the shadow of a doubt....You run into a curve in the road and know there's an angle from which you cannot monitor a certain area, first you shoot, see if anything happens, then you proceed....If you don't know what's in a building, you fire at it. Such were the general instructions...."

Testimony 31 - Rules of Engagement

"We weren't told outright to shoot anything we saw moving but that was the implication. I asked, 'What if I see a girl outside?' She has no business being outside. 'So what do I do?' Check if she's armed - then shoot her." For anyone engaged at short range, it's "understood from (our) briefing that it's better to shoot first and ask questions later."

Testimony 32 - Briefings

"There was less talk of values, more of professionalism, not a moral issue." The atmosphere placed little value on Palestinian lives. Jewish ones were another matter.

Testimony 33 - Rules of Engagement

"We fired rounds at houses in front of us (in) which we didn't see movement....But these were houses that we identified as looking out over us. We fired into windows, before the ceasefire....everyone started shooting. I heard this happened in other areas as well."

Testimony 34 - Rules of Engagement

Even though Israeli forces faced no resistance on entering Gaza, orders were that everyone is suspect. "There is no such thing as suspect arrest procedure. If I detect a (possible threatening) suspect - I shoot (to kill)."

Commander briefings stressed "aggressive action," protecting soldier lives, and having no regard for civilians. They're all suspects.

Testimony 35 - Vandalism

Soldiers "took out notebooks and text books and ripped them. One guy smashed cupboards for kicks, out of boredom....The deputy company commander's staff wrote 'Death to Arabs' on their walls." Lip service only was paid to looting. Don't ask, don't tell was how it was.

Testimony 36 - Rabbinate Unit

They gave pep talks and handed out booklets about "the importance of serving the People of Israel who have been persecuted all these years and (are) now back in (their) homeland and need to fight for it." The usual hot button issues were mentioned - the Holocaust, defending God, and the rights of Israeli Jews. Arab ones don't matter.

Testimony 37 - House Demolitions & Vandalism

Houses were entered with live gunfire, grenades, and other destructive force. Extensive damage was done. Soldiers inside did much more. They had no regard for "even the simplest most basic sanitary stuff like going to the toilet, basic hygiene. I mean you could see they had defecated anywhere and left the stuff lying around." No one cared.

Testimony 38 - Rules of Engagement & House Demolitions

"The amount of destruction was incredible....Not one stone left standing over another. You see plenty of fields, hothouses, orchards, everything devastated. Totally ruined. It's terrible. It's surreal....in my own company there were plenty of people who fired just for the hell of it, at houses, water tanks. They love targeting water tanks." D-9 operators also...."love to demolish, and when the commander sends them off, 'Go take down that house,' they're happy."

Testimony 39 - Vandalism

Doors inside houses were blasted open. Contents were smashed, television and computer screens. Things of value were looted. "The guys would simply break stuff. Some were out to destroy and trash the whole time. They drew a disgusting drawing on the wall. They threw out sofas. They took down (pictures) just to shatter (them)." They did what they wanted. Who'd stop them? The assumption was "everyone is a terrorist (so) it's legitimate to do just anything we please."

Testimony 40 - Bombardment

Targeted houses were bombed, destroying others nearby. Indiscriminate bombing was commonplace.

Testimony 41 - Bombardment

Helicopters and UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) were directed against suspect houses. "I'm not certain what is considered suspect and what proper rules of engagement are. We responded to anything that seemed suspect to us." In one area, all houses were fired on. "There was massive fire."

Testimony 42 - Home Demolitions & Use of White Phosphorous

Shells were fired at a house suspected of being booby-trapped. "Then some order arrived to ignite it. The way to do that was to actually fire phosphorous shells from above. (It) ignites the whole house."

Testimony 43 - Rules of Engagement

"One guy said he just couldn't finish this operation without killing someone. So he killed someone...." It was war.

Testimony 44 - Vandalism

Houses were cleared with live fire and people inside taken away. There was no control. Soldiers did what they wanted. At times, they "went crazy." They did "unnecessary damage to property, smashing stuff, looting. Commanders didn't care.

Testimony 45 - House Demolitions & Vandalism

More demolitions. Another neighborhood ruined. "Some of the houses had been demolished because they sheltered armed combatants, other(s) suspected of having tunnels underneath, yet others blocked our line of vision....they were taken down, whole orchards were razed."

Testimony 46 - Vandalism

"In primary searches for weapons, we go in and then suddenly a guy opens a cupboard, sees china and begins to throw it all on the floor (to) show it to the Arabs." Stuff was thrown out windows and walls written on also.

Testimony 47 - House Demolitions

"It was amazing." So many were destroyed that "At first you go in and see lots of houses. A week later, after the razing, you see the horizon further away, almost to the sea. They simply took down all the houses around so the terrorists would have nowhere else to hide." All around you see rubble.

Testimony 48 - Briefings

Briefing stressed "going in there and getting things back in order," that, of course, meant terrorizing Gazans into submission. "An army that does these things, that takes apart houses because there was sporadic shooting nearby, is an unprofessional army."

Testimony 49 - Bombardment

Soldiers were forbidden to go up on rooftops because helicopters, planes, and UAVs fired on persons detected there. "Whoever climbed to the roof was doomed."

Testimony 50 - Rules of Engagement

All Palestinians were suspects, so even ones waving white flags were shot. "The soldiers were made to understand that their lives (mattered), and that there was no way (they'd risk being killed) for the sake of leaving civilians the benefit of the doubt. We were allowed to fire in order to spare our lives." Orders were to shoot at everyone, "even an old woman - take them down."

Testimony 51 - Human Shields

Some soldiers were worried about moral issues like using people as human shields. "Personally I'm unhappy about it....I certainly don't intend to serve in the Occupied Territories any longer....I'm not feeling good....having been there and taken part in (operations making him) very uneasy....You always have another option."

Testimony 52 - House Demolitions

"....most of the destruction that went on....was not necessary....the battalion commander said that as far as we were concerned this was war."

Testimony 53 - Rules of Engagement

...."at a certain time soldiers (use) a machine gun, rifle and grenade launcher (to) take a house....and target it for a blast of deterrent fire. The idea is to sow confusion, keep shifting the direction of warfare."

Testimony 54 - Atmosphere

"Going in, the atmosphere was 'gung-ho' and the whole country was behind us. While inside, all of that disappeared....Listen, coming out of there I did not feel any heroic elation or sacrifice, just that it was sickening and unglamorous and boring and stupid. People suffered....human beings become nothing....It is impossible to conceive of such an extent of suffering as that which we inflicted on Gaza....that is what I take with me in particular, how people can be indifferent to suffering or see it as trivial."

Final Comments

Defense minister Ehud Barak claims Israel has "the most moral army in the world." The above testimonies say otherwise. They show:

-- deep moral degradation;

-- insensitivity to human lives and suffering;

-- clear evidence of indiscriminate slaughter and destruction for its own sake;

-- civilians targeted like combatants;

-- women and children treated no differently than men;

-- the elderly, the very young, it didn't matter;

-- being Palestinian makes them terrorists;

-- rules of engagement were "shoot first and ask questions later" if at all.

For over six decades, Israel defiled international law by committing the most egregious crimes of war and against humanity against Palestinian civilians and neighboring Arab states. The world community hardly blinks.

Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization. He lives in Chicago and can be reached at [email protected]

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to The Global Research News Hour on Republic Broadcasting.org Monday - Friday at 10AM US Central time for cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on world and national issues. All programs are archived for easy listening.




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Old 26-07-2009, 08:02 AM   #40
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Default documentary about Rachel Corrie

Documentary sparks uproar at Jewish film fest


Matthai Kuruvila, Chronicle Staff Writer

Saturday, July 25, 2009



Quote:
The San Francisco Jewish Film Festival has come under siege after deciding to show a documentary about Rachel Corrie, a Washington state 23-year-old killed in 2003 while trying to prevent an Israeli military bulldozer from demolishing a Palestinian's home.

Whether Corrie naively put herself in harm's way in support of terrorists or was intentionally killed by the Israeli military is the nexus of the controversy.



Quote:
Compounding the issue, festival organizers invited Corrie's mother, Cindy, to speak after today's showing at the Castro Theatre of the film "Rachel." It is one of 71 films at this year's festival, which includes two films profiling kidnapped Israeli soldiers.

The reaction has been outrage. The festival board's president stepped down from her role, opening-night ceremonies were boycotted by some, and Israel Consul General Akiva Tor said it was a "big mistake to invite Mrs. Corrie."

At the core of the debate are questions about how broadly Jews can discuss Israel within their own community - and how Jews represent Israel to the broader world. It is also overlaid with accusations of the "new anti-Semitism," prejudice that is disguised as particular criticisms of Israel, the only Jewish state.

"The furor is much larger than this one film or this one speaker," said Peter L. Stein, the festival's executive director. "It reveals a rift in our community that we all need to help understand and hopefully heal."

Family feud
The 29-year-old festival is the oldest and largest Jewish film festival in the nation, yet it's also like a small family. The film festival's board includes members with close links to both the accusers and those accused of the new anti-Semitism.

Allegations of new anti-Semitism have been particularly vociferous from the Koret and Taube foundations, longtime backers of the festival. The foundations criticized Jewish Voice for Peace and the American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker organization widely considered to be on the vanguard of Christian pacificism. The festival had asked the two groups to promote "Rachel" within their constituencies. The two Jewish foundations issued a joint statement labeling the Quaker and Jewish peace organizations as "two virulently anti-Israel, anti-Semitic" groups associated with "groups that aid and abet terror against the Jewish state."

Mervyn Danker, San Francisco director of the American Jewish Committee, also called the Quaker group "virulently anti-Semitic" because it had co-hosted - with other Christian pacificists - a dinner with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The Iranian president has called the Holocaust a myth and declared that "Israel must be wiped off the map."

"This goes beyond the acceptable realms of open discourse," said Danker.

The Quaker group
Mark Graham, external affairs director for the Philadelphia-based American Friends Service Committee, said his organization doesn't support "anything that aids and abets terror," nor does it have any boycotts against Israel.

"We're a Quaker pacificist organization, in our founding and our roots," he said. "Things that promote violence, such as arms sales, are things we're against."

As for the dinner with Ahmadinejad, Graham said, "fundamental in the DNA of this organization is that differences can be resolved through dialogue. Having a dinner was one way to have a dialogue."

Cindy Corrie, meanwhile, said she was surprised at the uproar at this festival, which did not happen at a screening of "Rachel" at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York.

"I don't think it has a whole lot to do with me," she said. "It has more to do with the discussion that is happening within the Jewish community and how that discussion has grown - which is a very healthy thing."


For more information about "Rachel" and the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, go to www.sfjff.org.

E-mail Matthai Kuruvila at [email protected].

This article appeared on page C - 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle



Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...#ixzz0MLn7R4Tt
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