Out in the Open: Jewish Power Rears Ugly Head in Censoring of UN Report

 photo netanyahuangry_zps27af2802.jpg

By Richard Edmondson

Recent developments at the United Nations–(with regard to the censoring of a report on Israeli apartheid and the resignation of a high-ranking UN official who had been ordered to repudiate it)–should be viewed in the context of remarks made earlier this month by Alan Dershowitz.

Speaking at an anti-BDS conference in Los Angeles, the former Harvard Law School professor and now CNN contributor offered the following advice to his fellow Jews:

People say Jews are too powerful, we’re too strong, we’re too rich. We control the media. We have too much this. We have too much that. And we often apologetically deny our strength and our power. Don’t do that. Don’t do that. We have earned the right to influence public debate.

As you can tell from the above video, the event where Dershowitz made those remarks was sponsored by Stand With Us, a Zionist lobby organization based in Los Angeles. Entitled, “Combating the Boycott Movement Against Israel,” the conference took place March 4-6 and was billed as “the crucial counter BDS conference.” Admission was $500 per person for “regular attendees” and $1,000 for “VIPs.”

“All registration levels include five gourmet kosher meals, all sessions, and materials,” reads the online promotional brochure. “VIP rates also include a private reception with Alan Dershowitz and other BDS experts, preferred seating throughout the conference, and valet parking.”

The conference is said to have been attended by more than 250 people. Less than two weeks later, on March 15, a UN organization, the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, published a report concluding that Israel imposes a policy of apartheid against the Palestinians–hardly a controversial allegation in this day and age. Yet the New York Times described it as “a politically explosive assertion” and said that the release of the report had “led to furious denunciations by Israel and the United States.”

Two days later, on Friday, March 17, Rima Khalaf resigned as head of the ESCWA after being ordered by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to withdraw the report. That same day, the report was removed from the UN’s website. The Israeli lobby had once again given the world a not-so-subtle demonstration of its power.

You can go here to read an analysis of the report by Stephen Lendman and here to access an archived copy of the full report (how long it will remain archived at the location is unclear). The report seems well grounded in international law, drawing upon the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid and other international agreements for the basis of its conclusions. Its authors, Richard Falk and Virginia Tilley, both come from a legal and scholarly background, and both were commissioned by the ESCWA to produce the report.

“Although the term ‘apartheid’ was originally associated with the specific instance of South Africa, it now represents a species of crime against humanity under customary international law and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court,” they write in the report’s executive summary. They then proceed to quote the pertinent section of the Rome statute:

“The crime of apartheid” means inhumane acts…in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime.

As you can tell, the report was produced in a scholarly manner, but I’d like to return now to the comments of Dershowitz as shown in the video above. What he seems to be saying in effect is that Jews should no longer deny the power they hold. Better to be open about it, maybe even brag on it a little bit. The upside to this, presumably, is that it might help eliminate confusion about who really runs much of the world now. He also seems to feel that being open about Jewish power would enable Jews to more effectively use their power “in the interest of peace,” as he puts it.

Are Jews really using their power to promote peace in the world? In the paragraphs above I initiated what in essence amounts to a timeline beginning with the Stand With Us conference in L.A. That conference took place March 4-6. On March 15 came the UN report, followed by the resignation of Khalaf, on March 17, and the removal of the report from the UN’s website. That’s where I ended, but let’s expand the timeline a bit further and see what happens.

Also on March 17, Israeli war planes crossed into Syrian airspace and carried out a bombing raid at a site near the recently-liberated city of Palmyra. In response, Syria fired upon the Israeli planes using a Russian-supplied air defense system. Claims and counter-claims were made about the incident: Syria says it shot down one of the planes; Israel denies this.

But two days later, on March 19, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman warned that Israel will destroy Syria’s air defenses if it fires on any more Israeli planes. The implication seems to be that Israel assumes to itself the God-given right (and you’ll recall Dershowitz speaking about the “strength” putatively given by the Old Testament god Yahweh) to cross into another country’s airspace and carry out a missile attack whenever it feels like it. This in fact is a point that was made by a writer at Russia Insider:

“The serious exchange of missile fire between Israel and Syria early Friday morning reflects the Assad regime’s attempts to change the unofficial rules of the game.”

So begins a column published in Israel’s Haaretz.

The newspaper is of course referring to the Israeli jets that “breached Syrian air space early in the morning and attacked a military target near Palmyra”, apparently in an attempt to “aid” Islamic State forces.

According to reports, it’s suspected that the Syrian Army responded to this “breach” by firing off a few S-200 missiles.

The writer, Rudy Panko, then goes on to supply a direct quote from the Haaretz opinion piece:

Presumably the Syrian anti-aircraft salvo was a signal to Israel that the regime’s policy of restraint in the face of the airstrikes will not remain as it was. President Bashar Assad’s recent successes – first and foremost the conquest of Aleppo – have seemingly increased the dictator’s confidence. Israel will have to decide whether the operational need – to thwart advanced weapons shipments to Hezbollah – also justifies the possible risk of the downing of an Israeli fighter jet and a broader conflict developing with Syria.

There is an interesting question as to whether the aircraft detection radar system was deployed by Israel’s new great friend, Russia, precisely one week after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu returned from Moscow after yet another successful visit to see President Vladimir Putin.

One can imagine that the intelligence community will also be interested to learn whether the Syrian decision to fire back was coordinated with Assad’s collaborators and partners: Russia, Iran and Hezbollah.

He then makes the point that “Syria’s decision to defend itself from hostile, foreign jets dropping bombs on Syria shows a lack of ‘restraint’ on Assad’s part, according to Haaretz.” A similar point was made by another writer at Russia Insider, who put it perhaps in an even more sarcastic vein:

The moral of this story is: Israeli military jets enjoy diplomatic immunity. Harming them under any circumstances is prohibited by the Geneva Convention, the U.N. Charter, and the U.S. Declaration of Independence.

Carrying the timeline a bit further–as far as we can carry it now–on March 19, the same day Lieberman threatened to destroy Syrian air defenses, an Israeli drone carried out an attack in Syria’s southern province of Quneitra, killing one person; on Monday, March 20, reports came out confirming that Russia had summoned the Israeli ambassador over the March 17 attack in Syria; and also today, news has emerged of yet another Israeli air attack inside Syria–the third in three days–said to have been carried out sometime during the night of March 19-20.

Does it appear, from all of this, that Jews are using their power in the interest of peace? Keep in mind, that the events cited here are from one 20-day period in but one month only. Let’s return to the words of Dershowitz:

“Never ever apologize for using our strength and our influence in the interest of peace,” he says, and then he cites “the psalmist” whom he quotes as saying, “God will give the Jewish people strength…only then will God give the Jewish people peace. Peace will come for the Jewish people and the Jewish nation only through strength. Never apologize for using your strength for peace.”

It’s hard to say which biblical passage Dershowitz is referring to (the word “Jewish” is not found anywhere in the Psalms), but I would venture a guess and say that perhaps it’s a reference to Psalm 118, which reads in part:

All the nations surrounded me, but in the name of the Lord I cut them down. They surrounded me on every side, but in the name of the Lord I cut them down. They swarmed around me like bees, but they were consumed as quickly as burning thorns; in the name of the Lord I cut them down. I was pushed back and about to fall, but the Lord helped me. The Lord is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation.

The whole passage, and particularly the words “all the nations,” would suggest a tribe of people who are at war with the entire world. The notion that such people would use their power to bring about “peace” would seem preposterous and nonsensical.

When  the UN report was first released, Israel rushed to invoke the holocaust. According to a Reuters report, “Israel fiercely rejects the allegation and likened the [UN] report to Der Sturmer – a Nazi propaganda publication that was strongly anti-Semitic.” There are two ironies here that need to be pointed out. The first is that Falk, one of the authors of the report, is Jewish. The second has to do with Khalef, a Semitic woman of Arab descent–and that such a woman would be accused of “anti-semitism” by those claiming to be Jews but who are not even Semites. How do people who are descended from the Khazars of southern Russia, who are not semitic, get away with accusing actual, genuine Semites of being “anti-Semitic”? Does any of this make sense? It doesn’t have to.

The likening of the report to the Nazi publication  mentioned is a knee-jerk, emotional reaction that is devoid of logic–but this too is a manifestation of Jewish power: that accusations made by Jews don’t have to be logical. It is enough simply that it is a Jew making them. This alone renders them beyond question.

Below is a discussion on the issue of Israeli apartheid featured a couple of days ago on Press TV. You will note that one of the guests, Brent Budowsky, a columnist for The Hill, not only denies that Israel is an apartheid state, he even denies the existence of Jewish power.

Apparently Budowsky didn’t get the memo about Dershowitz’s speech at the Stand With Us Conference–or perhaps he did get it but had already previously internalized the unspoken principle that while it’s okay for Jews to discuss Jewish power, the same freedom of speech does not apply to Gentiles.

At any rate, Jewish power is real. It immerses us; we are swimming in it. A future awaits us in which we, Americans, could very well find ourselves facing jail time for criticizing Jews or Israel, much as Europeans now are jailed for questioning the holocaust.

But it could be even worse than that. Much worse. Israel is intent on expanding its boundaries from the Nile to the Euphrates, while Zionist Jews in America seem to have a fixation on an even larger goal: complete, total, unchecked and uninhibited global hegemony, and possibly, in the course of trying to achieve this ambition, nuclear war with Russia if it should come to that. Israeli apartheid, the “species of crime” now being committed against the Palestinians, could end up going global…unless we find a way to defeat it.

isrsldiers

UK facing court battle over right to BDS

UK facing court battle over right to BDS

Foreign minister Boris (The clown) Johnson promoted economic ties in Jerusalem last week. (Israeli Goverment Press Office)

A court challenge against British restrictions on the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment and sanctions movement is going ahead, according to human rights campaigners.

The British government had undertaken to prevent local councils from using pension policies to protest against the arms trade and repressive regimes, particularly Israel.

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign is seeking a judicial review of the British government’s policies. The campaigners have been informed by a judge that the review can proceed “as soon as possible” after 1 April.

The campaigners are seeking to overturn changes to the rules on local authority pension schemes, announced by the British government in October 2015.

The Conservative government also published guidance in February last year that was intended to discourage the use of BDS tactics.

Publicly-funded bodies were told these amounted to a “BDS ban” – although closer reading of the text revealed this not to be the case.

But in June 2016, the first case to cite the “ban” failed in the British high court. The case – led by anti-Palestinian lawyers – targeted decisions by a number of local councils to support the BDS movement.

Attack on protest

The government tried to justify the October 2015 pension measures, claiming they aimed at stopping the “growing spread of militant divestment campaigns against UK defense and Israeli firms.”

But speaking to The Financial Times, one top pension official accused the government of “ridiculous nannying”

He said that “the government should stop sticking its nose in. If a democratically elected council body wishes to pursue an investment strategy with money generated by council taxpayers, they should be able to.”

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign said the judge had agreed the case was of “significant public importance.”

Ben Jamal, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s director, said the guidance on pension schemes “represents a wider attack on people’s rights to protest about Israel’s violations of Palestinian human rights, including via the promotion of the peaceful campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions.”

The legal fight is being supported by War on War and the Campaign Against the Arms Trade.

The UK government’s increasingly open defense of Israel comes in the context of growing Israeli-backed efforts to restrict BDS activities across the world.

In the US, there has been a wave of laws aimed at punishing and silencing activists. But campaigners and human rights lawyers have fought back, often successfully drawing on constitutional protections to free speech.

A breath of fresh air in Hollywood: Richard Gere: Illegal israeli Settlements are an ‘absurd provocation’

American actor and humanitarian activist Richard Gere has described illegal Israeli settlement “an absurd provocation”, Israel’s Haaretz newspaper reported on Sunday.

In an interview with the paper, Gere said: “Obviously, this occupation is destroying everyone. There is no defence of this occupation.”

Addressing the issue of illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, he said: “Settlements are such an absurd provocation and, certainly in the international sense, completely illegal.”

They [settlements] are certainly not part of the programme of someone who wants a genuine peace process.

Gere said that he does not like violence and noted that the Israelis should feel secure, but stressed that this must not be at the expense of the Palestinians.

“I denounce violence on all sides of this,” he said, “and, of course, Israelis should feel secure. But Palestinians should not feel desperate.”

While speaking to Haaretz, Gere defended the Israeli NGO Breaking the Silence, which exposes crimes committed by the Israeli soldiers against Palestinians on the ground.

He said that he was appalled by the demonisation of the group by the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and others.

#IllegalSettlements

“To question authority makes you a traitor?” he asked. “If you question bad policies you are a self-hating Jew? That is insane. And, of course it is the last resort of tyrants.”

Gere also criticised American President Donald Trump because of his unbalanced policies regarding refugees.

“Trump has made ‘refugee’ and ‘terrorist’ the same meaning,” he said, “it was not so long ago that ‘refugee’ was someone who was running from a fire. Someone who needed help… And now that person is a terrorist, a dangerous person, someone to be shunned and kept out.”

“Everybody needs to speak out, no matter what their job description is,” he said.

If it looks like apartheid

If it looks like apartheid

The separation wall runs round the West Bank supposedly along the Green Line as marked by the 1949 armistice agreement but in fact making many incursions into and across Palestinian land. Here it detours  to enclose the Shuafat refugee camp. Photo by Ahmad Gharabli /AFP

UN report: Israel has established an ‘apartheid regime’

Report breaks new ground on the UN’s examination of the situation in occupied Palestine by using the word ‘apartheid’.

By Ben White, Al Jazeera
March 15, 2017

A new United Nations report accuses Israel of having established “an apartheid regime that oppresses and dominates the Palestinian people as a whole”.

The publication comes amid renewed debate about whether, through its settlement policy and rejection of Palestinian self-determination, the Israeli government is creating – or even has already created – a de facto “one-state”, which critics warn would constitute a form of apartheid.

It urged governments to “support boycott, divestment and sanctions [BDS] activities and respond positively to calls for such initiatives”.

The report – Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid – was commissioned and published by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) and launched in Beirut.

John Reynolds, a lecturer in law at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth, told Al Jazeera the report “breaks new ground in the context of the UN’s analysis of the situation in Palestine”.

The report was authored by two critics of Israeli state practice: Virginia Tilley, professor of political science at Southern Illinois University, and Richard Falk, former UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories, and professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University.

Noting how “the expert consensus [is] that the prohibition of apartheid is universally applicable and was not rendered moot by the collapse of apartheid in South Africa”, the report argues that Israel is “guilty of policies and practices that constitute the crime of apartheid”, a “crime against humanity under customary international law and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court”.

The report is a “detailed analysis of Israeli legislation, policies and practices” that highlights how Israel “operates an apartheid regime”, including through “demographic engineering”.


Palestinians climb over the Israeli wall in a-Ram, north of Jerusalem, on their way to al-Aqsa mosque in the Old City of Jerusalem to attend the second Friday prayer in the fasting month of Ramadan, 19 July 2013. Photo by Activestills.org

Palestinian citizens of Israel are described as “subjected to oppression on the basis of not being Jewish”, it said.

Palestinians in East Jerusalem similarly experience “discrimination in access to education, healthcare, employment, residency and building rights”, as well as “expulsions and home demolitions”.

Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip are governed by “military law” alongside Jewish settlers “governed by Israeli civil law”, the report said.


Martial law: Israeli soldiers detain a Palestinian protesting against Jewish settlements, in Jalazoun refugee camp, near Ramallah, West Bank. Soldiers have the power to arrest and hold in administrative detention  any Palestinian  who annoys them June 12, 2015.  Photo  by Mohamad Torokman

Palestinian refugees and exiles are “prohibited from returning to their homes in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory” on the basis that they “constitute a ‘demographic threat’ and that their return would alter the demographic character of Israel”.

Israeli authorities failed to respond to Al Jazeera’s request for a comment.

As well as urging governments to back BDS, the report recommends that the UN and its member states should “revive the Special Committee against Apartheid, and the United Nations Centre Against Apartheid (1976-1991)”, which would then “report authoritatively on Israeli practices and policies relating to the crime of apartheid”.

The report also suggests an advisory opinion be sought from the International Court of Justice “as to whether the means used by Israel to maintain control over the Palestinian people amount to the crime of apartheid”.

David Keane, associate professor in law at Middlesex University, said the new report differs from previous ones on the subject because it “expressly attaches the apartheid label”.

water-graph-ewash

Natural resources – land, water, stone –  are distributed with no attempt at parity.

 

There was no immediate response from Israel to the report, which could contribute to an already deteriorating relationship between the government of Israeli Prime Benjamin Netanyahu and the United Nations.

“For Palestinians and their allies, the report will help to provide a solid basis for their work,” Nadia Hijab, executive director of al-Shabaka – The Palestinian Policy Network – told Al Jazeera .

Citing the reputation and credibility of the authors, Hijab described the report as “a clear, concise document” whose recommendations are “timely and much needed”.

Ben White is a freelance journalist, writer and activist, specialising in Palestine/Israel.

LINK

To download the report from the UN’s Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UNESCWA) click here

USA upset that UN accused israel of apartheid. It’s like accusing Pope of being a Catholic

US Demands UN Pull Report Accusing Israel of Apartheid

Envoy Nikki Haley says Washington outraged by publication; Sec-Gen Guterres distances self from it; Israel slams it as ‘despicable’

The United States on Wednesday demanded that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres withdraw a report by a UN body accusing Israel of imposing apartheid on the Palestinians and of racially dominating them.

Guterres distanced himself from the report by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) but US Ambassador Nikki Haley said it should be scrapped altogether.

“The United States is outraged by the report,” said Haley in a statement. “The United Nations secretariat was right to distance itself from this report, but it must go further and withdraw the report altogether.”

The report published Wednesday, titled “Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid,” says that “available evidence establishes beyond a reasonable doubt that Israel is guilty of policies and practices that constitute the crime of apartheid as legally defined in instruments of international law.”

UN confirms that a boycott (#BDS) of israel is justified due to their apartheid regime

Landmark UN report backs Israel boycott

15 March 2017

New UN report concludes that “Israel has established an apartheid regime that dominates the Palestinian people as a whole” and calls for broad support of boycott movement.

Ryan Rodrick Beiler ActiveStills

A new UN report offers explicit backing for the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign to end Israeli apartheid and support a just peace.

The landmark report’s endorsement of boycotts, economic sanctions and other grassroots initiatives comes at a moment when Israel is desperately attempting to criminalize and suppress international support for Palestinian rights.

Published by the UN’s Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), the report concludes that “Israel has established an apartheid regime that dominates the Palestinian people as a whole.”

It finds “beyond a reasonable doubt that Israel is guilty of policies and practices that constitute the crimes of apartheid” as defined in international law.

It urges national governments to “support boycott, divestment and sanctions activities and respond positively to calls for such initiatives.”

Racial regime

The UN report – “Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid” – is not a comparison between Israel and apartheid South Africa, but an evaluation of Israel’s practices against the 1973 International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid and other key human rights laws.

The convention defines the crime of apartheid as “inhuman acts committed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group of persons and systematically oppressing them.”

International law defines racial discrimination to mean “any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, color, descent or ethnic or national origin,” the report notes.

The Zionist movement’s “claim to Palestine as the exclusive homeland of the Jewish people rests on an expressly racial conception of both groups,” the report states. “This means that Jews and Palestinians are ‘racial groups’ ” for the purposes of applying the apartheid convention.

“The mission of preserving Israel as a Jewish state has inspired or even compelled Israel to pursue several general racial policies,” the report says.

These include “demographic engineering, in order to establish and maintain an overwhelming Jewish majority in Israel.”

This encompasses the ethnic cleansing of almost 800,000 Palestinians in 1948, the denial of the right of return for Palestinian refugees and “a range of other policies designed to restrict the size of the Palestinian population.”

Although they can vote, the rights of Palestinian citizens of Israel – about a fifth of the state’s citizens – are also systematically restricted, while full rights are granted only to Jews.

Meanwhile, Israel’s discriminatory “Law of Return” automatically grants citizenship to Jews from anywhere in the world, “while denying citizenship even to those Palestinians who have a documented history of residency in the country.”

Sham democracy

“As in any racial democracy,” the report argues, “such a majority allows the trappings of democracy – democratic elections, a strong legislature – without threatening any loss of hegemony by the dominant racial group.”

In a stark illustration of the racial logic espoused by Israel’s leadership, the country’s defense minister Avigdor Lieberman this week reiterated the view that the Jewish state should eventually be ethnically cleansed of virtually all Palestinians.

“There is no reason why Sheikh Raed Salah, Ayman Odeh, Basel Ghattas or Haneen Zoabi should continue to be Israeli citizens,” he said in reference to prominent Palestinian politicians, three of them members of Israel’s parliament, the Knesset.

Israel prohibits anyone from using its ostensibly democratic system to challenge the regime’s fundamentally racist set-up. Its Basic Law – the closest thing that Israel has to a written constitution – bars parties from running on a platform that explicitly or implicitly includes “negation of the existence of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.”

“Voting rights lose their significance in terms of equal rights when a racial group is legally banned from challenging laws that perpetuate inequality,” the report states. “Israeli law bans organized Palestinian opposition to Jewish domination, rendering it illegal and even seditious.”

This is not the first analysis to find that Israeli policies meet the legal definition of apartheid: a 2009 study by South Africa’s Human Sciences Research Council concluded that Israel practices apartheid in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.

But the new UN study goes much further, finding that Israel’s apartheid system dominates the entire Palestinian people. It concludes that the “strategic fragmentation” of the Palestinian people into separate territorial units and legal regimes – as citizens with limited rights within Israel, as stateless persons in the West Bank and Gaza, as “permanent residents” in East Jerusalem, or as refugees and exiles with no right of return – “is the principle method by which Israel imposes an apartheid regime.”

The 2009 study was overseen by political scientist Virginia Tilley. Tilley and the eminent professor of international law Richard Falk are co-authors of the new UN report.

Ending a “criminal enterprise”

Governments have a legal obligation to act immediately to end the crime of apartheid. This includes refusing to recognize an apartheid regime as lawful, refusing to aid a state in maintaining such a regime and cooperating with UN bodies and other states to end it.

The report urges UN bodies to act, and even suggests seeking a formal opinion from the International Court of Justice on Israel’s apartheid system. National governments should also back BDS and allow “criminal prosecutions of Israeli officials demonstrably connected with the practices of apartheid.”

But given that states and official bodies are not likely to take the lead, the report recognizes that “civil society institutions and individuals have a moral duty to use the instruments at their disposal to raise awareness of this ongoing criminal enterprise.”

They must use these tools to “exert pressure on Israel to dismantle apartheid structures and negotiate in good faith for a lasting peace that acknowledges the rights of Palestinians under international law and makes it possible for the two peoples to live together on the basis of real equality.”

Transnational movement

Recalling an earlier era, the report notes that research and legal analyses by UN bodies – such as the United Nations Center Against Apartheid – were critical resources for civil society activists in their efforts aimed at “legitimating boycott, divestments and sanctions, and contributing to the overall formation of a transnational movement against apartheid in South Africa.”

One of the report’s key aims today is to encourage “practical measures in accordance with international law to exert pressure on Israel to dismantle its apartheid regime.”

“Efforts should be made to broaden support for boycott, divestment and sanctions initiatives among civil society actors,” the report recommends.

Private sector firms should be “reminded of their legal, moral and political responsibility to sever ties with commercial ventures and projects that directly or indirectly aid and abet the apartheid regime.”

All of this confirms the reasoning and tactics of the Palestinian-led BDS movement – support for which even the staunchly pro-Israel European Union has belatedly recognized as a democratic right.

 

It’s official, israel is on the road to fascism

First a flashback to the 60’s …. There was a joke circulating that went something like this … An American and a Soviet were having a discussion. The American said “I live in a Democracy, I can call President Kennedy a bastard and nothing will happen to me”. The Soviet responded, “I too live in a Democracy, I can also call President Kennedy a bastard and nothing will happen to me”.

Now, a look at ‘The Only Democracy in the Middle East” ….

U.S.-born Jeff Halper, cofounder of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, was held after leading a tour of the E1 area across the road from the Israeli settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim.

Police Detain Prominent Israeli Activist for Alleged Possession of BDS Material
Yotam Berger

Police detained prominent left-wing activist Jeff Halper last Wednesday at the Ma’aleh Adumim settlement, for suspected incitement, saying they acted on a complaint he had “materials related to BDS” in his possession.

Halper, who moved to Israel from the United States in 1973, was picked up after leading a tour of foreigners to the E1 site across the road from the settlement and transported by police van to a nearby station then released without being placed under arrest.

Police officers photographed the posters and maps he was holding before freeing him. Halper denies handing out any material related to BDS during the tour, or even discussing the boycott movement.

Handing out such materials would not have been in violation of the law, even a 2011 anti-boycott law according to which a person or an organization calling for the boycott of Israel, including the settlements, can be sued by the boycott’s targets without them having to prove that they sustained any damage.

The law also denies a person or a company that declares a boycott of Israel or the settlements eligibility to bid for government tenders. A separate law passed this month entitles Israel to deny entry to pro-BDS activists.

Halper, cofounder of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, told Haaretz he was on a tour with foreign visitors in the territories last Wednesday. He took the group of 15 to a lookout over Area E1, near Ma’aleh Adumim.

“It’s a good place to show them this context of where Ma’aleh Adumim is located relative to Jerusalem. It’s a regular stop on our tours, this wasn’t the first time I was taking a group to this spot,” Halper said.

After the tour the tourists boarded a bus headed north and he headed to catch a bus to Jerusalem, but “as I ran toward a bus, I saw police in the area, and I saw them talking and contacting the group. I called the Palestinian driver (of the bus transporting the tourists) and he said he had heard a rumor that we were distributing BDS material.”

“Suddenly the bus came to a stop in the Middle of Maaleh Adumim, after two stops, the police boarded the bus and told me, you are being detained, and they took me off the bus,” Halper said.

Halper was questioned about the material he had.

“They didn’t tell me why I was being detained; they said something about BDS, but no details. They put me into a van, which is unpleasant as it is. They drove me in the direction of the police station. Just when we got to the station they stopped and asked me a few questions about what I had in my bag and whether I had any BDS material in the bag.

“We got out of the vehicle and they threw my maps on the van, the maps were of Jerusalem and the greater Jerusalem area. There was also something on which it was written BDS for BDS, it’s something that I use. I say that we have no solution to offer and I propose a binational democratic state, so I have the slogan that goes BDS for BDS. It’s not a sticker or flyer, but just a map with those words on it.

“They found it and took it, wrote up a summons or something like that, and released me,” Halper said.

Halper said the police refused to give him a copy of the ticket or explain what he was suspected of.

In response to a query from Haaretz, the Samaria regional police said:
“There is no investigation into this matter. There was information checked by a patrol once it became clear he committed no violations, he was freed.”
Police spokespeople said the suspicion against him is “incitement” but he was released after questioning, and no further investigation was expected to take place.

Jeff Halper from his Facebook page. Credit Facebook

Also this weekend ….

British pro-BDS activist barred from entering Israel

Week after Knesset passes law banning foreign nationals who call for boycotts, ex-chair of Palestine Solidarity Campaign Hugh Lanning denied entry

Full report HERE

Israel is quickly getting there …

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