Free Ahed! Bassem Tamimi and Miko Peled Chat on One-Month Anniversary of the Slap

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Israelis Deface Poster of Killed Tamimi Family Member

On January 3 Musab Tamimi became the first Palestinian to be killed by Israeli forces in the year 2018. Musab was the 16-year-old cousin of Ahed Tamimi, who remains imprisoned for slapping an Israeli soldier.

It is customary in Palestinian society to make posters of those killed by Israeli forces. For bereaved family members, it is a way of paying tribute to lost loved ones. Yesterday, on January 18, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, in an article by Gideon Levy and Alex Levac, reported that Israeli soldiers defaced a poster of Musab with stars of David and filthy graffiti.

The photo above shows Musab’s father, Firas, holding the defiled picture of his son. In their article, the two writers report:

Here’s what soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces scrawled on a mourning notice for 16-year-old Musab Tamimi, who was killed by a sniper’s shot to the throat: “Son of a bitch, slut, dead.” For good measure, they drew a Star of David.

Two days after they killed the teen, IDF troops again invaded his village, Deir Nizam, north of Ramallah. In a late-night raid, they arrested four young residents and left behind as a souvenir the memorial notice they violated. Neatly folded, the notice is now in the possession of the bereaved father, Firas Tamimi. An expression of pain crosses his face when he shows it to us. He was the one who carried his bleeding son two weeks ago to the car and rushed him to a hospital, where the teen was pronounced dead.

Readers can access the full article here.

The story also relates previously-unknown circumstances regarding Musab’s death. The youth was shot in the neck by an Israeli sniper. Israeli officials justified the shooting on the grounds that he was armed with a rifle. However, Musab’s younger brother told Haaretz there was no gun. Also it seems an Israeli official, apparently worried that information might get out, issued a warning to the family against talking to the media:

This week, before our visit to Deir Nizam, a villager was summoned for a talk with “Captain Malek” from the Shin Bet security service. Through him, Firas relates, the agent conveyed a message to Musab’s family not to talk to the media and to ensure quiet in the village.

Musab lived in the village of Deir Nizam, not far from Nabi Saleh, where Ahed Tamimi slapped the soldier on December 19. Earlier this week an Israeli military court denied bail to Ahed, ruling that she must remain incarcerated until she stands trial.

Another manifestation of off-the-rails Israeli insanity to make the news recently is the story of Abdullah Eyad Ghanayem, who was crushed to death by an Israeli military jeep in 2015. According to a report here, the Israeli army has filed suit against Ghanayem’s family, as well as his entire village of Kafr Malik, located in the central West Bank near the city of Ramallah.

The suit reportedly seeks 95,260 Israeli shekels (about $28,000) for damages to the jeep. The story was brought to my attention by one of our readers, Siljan.

And Speaking of Banned and Challenged Books…

A few days ago I posted an article about children’s books by Jewish authors, a disproportionately high number of which were found by Andrew Joyce, the writer of the article, to have been included on a list of “banned and challenged books” that is yearly maintained by the American Library Association (ALA).

Not long after I posted the article, a friend sent me an email about the children’s book you see above.

P is for Palestine has not, at least as of yet, made the ALA’s list, although that could be because it was only published this past November. Yet assuredly the book has been challenged (rather persistently), and may possibly have been banned in certain places as well. It is not currently available, for instance, at either Amazon or Barnes and Noble. The only online retailer that appears to be carrying it is Etsy.

According to Joyce, the books published by Jewish authors and which made the ALA’s list were found to have been objectionable by parents and school officials mainly due to their sexual content. For instance, one of the books he talks about, It’s Perfectly Normal, contains graphic illustrations of people engaging in sex acts. The book, which has been made available to ten-year-olds, has a section explaining that sexual intercourse “can involve the penis and the vagina, or the mouth and the genitals, or the penis and the anus.” Not surprisingly, the inclusion of the book in public school curricula has sparked considerable protest.

P is for Palestine has also sparked protests–but for an entirely different reason.

In November of 2017, shortly after the book’s release, a number of New York City Jews launched a campaign against a local bookstore after it scheduled an event featuring a reading and book signing by the author. The following was reported by the website Palestine Legal:

Last week, a popular independent book store in New York’s Upper West Side, Book Culture, received calls to censor and denounce a children’s book, P is for Palestine, after the book’s author, Professor Golbarg Bashi, publicized an event at the store on an Upper East Side mother’s blog.

I haven’t actually seen a copy of the book, but apparently it does not include any graphic depiction of the human anatomy or sex acts. On the contrary, like many children’s books, it attempts to expand children’s vocabularies by presenting them with words beginning with different letters of the alphabet (this I do know from reading the reviews). And the chief complaint from Jews who have gone ballistic over the issue is the “I” word–intifada.

“I is for Intifada, Intifada is Arabic for rising up for what is right, if you are a kid or a grownup!” reads one section of the book.

Additionally, there is a section reading, “J is for Jesus,” which probably also doesn’t sit too well with the kosher critics.

“We forcefully reject Palestinian efforts to persuade us that ‘intifada’ has a peaceful connotation,” wrote three rabbis in an open letter posted on the website of a local synagogue after the controversy erupted. “These are apologetics, at best, and more likely, attempts to confuse, whitewash, and distort. It is easy to philosophize from afar about the Arabic origins of the word ‘intifada’ if you have never experienced its murderous wrath or lived under its constant violent threats.”

Besides all the venom-spitting over the book, the article in Palestine Legal goes on to report on threats to block the store, Book Culture, from participating in an upcoming book fair sponsored by a local synagogue. The piece was published November 29, but on December 4, an update was posted noting that the store’s owners had been “forced to put out a statement which says that they do not endorse boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaigns for Palestinian rights, that they support Israel’s right to exist, and that they oppose terrorism.”

The statement issued by the store reads as follows:

  1. We regret that we did not fully appreciate the political or communal ramifications of the children’s book P is for Palestine by Dr. Golbarg Bashi, nor did we anticipate the pain and distress it has caused in our community. We now understand these much better.
  2. We oppose terrorism or other forms of violence perpetrated against Israeli civilians during the intifada or thereafter. Any impression from the book to the contrary is not our view.
  3. We support Israel’s right to exist.
  4. We do not endorse the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS).

In addition to the above written statement, one of the store’s owners, Chris Doeblin, produced an outpouring of contrition in an interview with a local media outlet–in an article headlined, “Rabbis and Bookstore Owner Break Bread After Split Over Palestine Book.”

The store, we are told by Palestine Legal, was finally allowed to participate in the book fair.

The author of P is for Palestine is Goldbarg Bashi, an Iranian-Swedish woman who formerly taught at Rutgers University. You can visit her website here. In a Facebook post in late November she talks about death threats and other hostile communications she has received since the release of her book. Here is an excerpt:

A small but very loud minority have accused my book of very serious but false charges. It is important for me to note, once again, that their disproportionate backlash against my book and my person (resulting in death threats, devaluing of my social-impact business) was initially to the mere title of the bookPalestine they claimed does not exist, even though the UN and scores of legitimate nation states on our globe recognize Palestine as a country, and how dare I (read an Iranian, or Muslim, or Arab, or Palestinian woman) publish such a book in “their” city New York.

There are 26 letters in the English alphabet, and in the Palestinian context the letter I most certainly stands for Intifada, as does B for BethlehemC for ChristmasJ for JesusF for FalafelK for KuffiyaN for Nazareth and so on.

Intifada means resistance and resilience against the global and the UN condemnation of the Israeli occupation of Palestine—it is a daily component of Palestinian life that is manifested in carrying the signs and symbols of Palestinian life with pride—carrying a Palestinian flag, wearing a Palestinian dress, cooking a Palestinian dish, protecting a Palestinian olive tree from being bulldozed etc are all examples of Intifada.

It would be irresponsible of an author of a book for Palestinian children (or e.g. Native American children) to ignore or whitewash the fact that their people have a resistance movement, most of which is manifested in peaceful protest—I have written a loving book for real Palestinian children with some of whom I grew up in a Swedish refugee camp—along with many other refugee children from around the world. My sense of moral responsibility emerged in those refugee camps not among the self-proclaimed powerful neighborhoods of New York City who racially-profile me, incite hatred and violence against my person and my social-impact start-up, and issue edicts to boycott and shut down bookstores for having dared to sell world’s first English language alphabet book on Palestine.

I wonder how many of the Jews who have gotten so upset over P is for Palestine, became equally as worked up over It’s Perfectly Natural.

Something tells me probably not many.

And I wonder how many of those who take such offense at the word “intifada” have ever bothered to go out and protest against any of  Israel’s murderous campaigns in Gaza?

Again, something tells me probably not many.

Whether the book P is for Palestine has specifically been banned from Amazon and Barnes and Noble I can’t say. All I know for sure is that as of this posting it is not available at either (unlike It’s Perfectly Natural, which is available at both). Certainly it’s possible that the author, for whatever strange reason, chose not to sell it through these two major online dealers.

But a question very much worth pondering at this point is whether any of this will be mentioned by the American Library Association when it publishes its next list of the most “banned and challenged books.”

And once again…though I hope I’m wrong…I have a feeling I know the answer to that as well.

‘We Create Life from Death’–Ahed Tamimi (from 2016 interview)

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In the video above (hat tip Greg Bacon) we see an interview conducted with Ahed Tamimi in 2016 by Abby Martin. At one point, Martin asks Tamimi about a necklace she is wearing around her neck. The girl replies that the pendant consists of bullets that were taken from an uncle who was martyred–apparently a reference to Rushdi Tamimi, who was shot in the back by Israeli forces in 2012 and who died the following morning.

“These are bullets which the soldiers shoot at us,” Ahed tells Martin. “We collect them after they leave the village. These came from my uncle who was martyred, my cousin gave them to me.”

“We make beautiful things out of them, like jewelry,” she adds. “We create life from death.”

Probably not surprisingly, Martin–accurately, I might add–describes Ahed Tamimi as “a new icon of resistance.”

Recently RT published a report saying that Israel, in an effort to fight the BDS movement, has launched a new project known as “Kella Shlomo”–a secretive organization which will carry out “engagement in the online space” supposedly to  counteract the “delegitimization campaign” the Israelis are so haunted and preoccupied by.

I might have more to say about the new project in days to come, but for now I’ll simply say I don’t think it’s going to do them much good. The world is turning against the Israelis. Evidence of this is manifest in the global opposition to Trump’s embassy move, and I predict that Ahed Tamimi–and this interview with her in particular–are going to go a long way toward making Israel into even moreof a pariah than it already is.


The above is a photo of a memorial held for Rushdie Tamimi following his death in 2012 in which young Ahed can be seen holding up a picture of her uncle. The girl now “creates life from death” by wearing a necklace made of the bullets that were dug from his body.

To read an account of Rushdie Tamimi’s death click here.

Israel is a pariah state and becoming more so by the day.

If the Palestinians go on creating life out of death, eventually death will be defeated.

Russian Patriarch Discusses Good, Evil, and the End-Times

The feature image that Russia Today selected when i uploaded this video is quite cheesy, but the comments by Russian Patriarch Kirill are actually quite powerful and relevant.

Syrian Kids on Talent Show: Is the US Planning to Steal One-Third of Their Country?

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[ Ed. note – Yesterday I posted an article from Sputnik about a report suggesting that the US is now pursuing a new strategy, one aimed at establishing a 28,000-square-kilometer Kurdish enclave in eastern Syria. The area is said to be three times the size of Lebanon.

The report, according to Sputnik, is based on an article that appeared in Asharq al-Awsat. The latter is an international newspaper based in London but which reportedly has ties to the Saudi government–so the story may be fictitious, or at least questionable. But Sputnik, at any rate, gave it enough credence to post an article about it, and indeed what the report says–regarding US moves toward “diplomatically recognizing” a Kurdish-controlled area east of the Euphrates–seems entirely consistent with past US behavior…and Sputnik’s report on the matter included the map you see below:

The yellow area shows territory which, as of late 2017, was de facto controlled by Kurdish forces and their allies. The red outlines the part of the country remaining under Syrian government control. As you can see, the yellow area comprises roughly a third of the country, perhaps a little more. The news that the US is moving to “diplomatically recognize” the Kurdish area–if in fact the report is true–suggests that it is planning on setting up a Kurdish state. The establishment of a “Kurdistan” in the Middle East, as Sarah Abed has reported, would be seen by some as the establishment of a “second Israel.”

In my post of yesterday I commented that the partitioning of the country in this manner would be “an affront to the sacrifices made by the brave Syrians who fought and died for their country.” I got up early this morning and decided to see if I could find anything about the report on SANA, the Syrian Arab News Agency. I didn’t find anything on it. But what I did find was an article about a group of Syrian children competing on “Voice Kids,“–apparently a reality-type talent show showcasing children that appears on TV in a number of countries (I don’t watch TV, so I tend not to keep up with these things).

Below is the article from SANA about the talented Syrian kids who have been selected to appear on the show–and beneath that a video of a Voice Kids segment that I found on YouTube and which in fact features one of the Syrian children singing. The song she sings is a plea for peace. “My land is small. Small like me. Give us peace,” she sings. The words, the entire performance really, is/are incredibly powerful. The song is entitled, “Give Us Our Childhood.”

These are talented children quite obviously–children who, we can presume, have had their entire childhoods stolen from them by the US with its evil, nefarious regime-change designs. Setting up a Kurdish state in eastern Syria serves no US interest. The only interest is serves is Israel’s.

US: Get Out of Syria!

***

13 Syrian Children Take Center Stage in Voice Kids Season 2

By SANA

Damascus, SANA – 13 Syrian children have made their way to the second stage of the Voice Kids show in its second edition after they stunned the audience, viewers and judges with their adorable and talented performance in the blind auditions.

The Syrian children have been chosen among other 45 children from several Arab countries to move to the next round (battle stage).

The show’s panel consists of three Arab stars: Kazem al-Saher, Nancy Ajram and Tamer Hosny.

Ajram took the biggest share of Syrian talents, as her team included the 9-year old kids: Jessica Gharbi, Yaeel al-Qasem and Obai al-Fares, Komay Gharz Eddin (13 years old), Zain Ammar (10 years old), the twin Khaled & Abed al-Merhi (11 years old) and Taha Mohsen (12 years old).

Continued here

***

The US has already stolen their childhood. If it pursues this devious quest at setting up a Kurdish state in eastern Syria, it will effectively also be stealing one-third of their homeland. That in a nutshell is what it comes down to.

From the video description: “Syrian child brings judges and audience to tears singing ‘Give Us Our Childhood’”

Report: US Plans to Recognize Kurdish Area in Syria 3x the Size of Lebanon

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[ Ed. note – If the report below is true, then the US is setting the stage for continued warfare in Syria, with the possibility of dramatic escalation depending on whether Russia will be content to sit back and allow the plans to proceed. A partitioning of this nature would also be an affront to the sacrifices made by the brave Syrians who fought and died for their country. ]

Sputnik

Washington is planning ‘concrete steps’ toward providing a Syrian Democratic Forces-controlled area in northern Syria’s eastern Euphrates area three times the size of Lebanon with diplomatic recognition, a leading Arabic international newspaper has reported.

The 28,000 square km territory, controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces, a collection of predominantly Kurdish militias including the YPG People’s Protection Units, took its first step toward US recognition after US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis promised to send US diplomats to SDF-controlled areas to work alongside US troops operating in the region, the official said.

Map of the Syrian Civil War, as of late 2017. The yellow area shows territory which are de facto controlled by Kurdish forces and their allies. The red outlines territory controlled by the Syrian government.
Map of the Syrian Civil War, as of late 2017. The yellow area shows territory which are de facto controlled by Kurdish forces and their allies. The red outlines territory controlled by the Syrian government.

According to the official, US initiatives in the region include empowering local councils, backing reconstruction efforts, assisting in training of government agency workers, improving public services and infrastructure, protecting SDF areas and engaging in the upkeep of military bases, all of which will eventually lead to diplomatic recognition.

Last week, it was reported that a new ‘North Syrian Army’ which included SDF formations and backed by the US-led coalition, was being created to carry out ‘border security duties’ in territories under their control. Local media said that the militias would guard areas along the region’s northern border with Turkey.

The US and its coalition allies are expected to provide the new force with technical assistance, weapons and training.

Kurdish forces have been in control over the de facto autonomous region commonly known as Rojava since 2013 amid the civil conflict in Syria. During the war against Daesh and other terrorist groups, Syrian Army units have mostly engaged in pragmatic cooperation with Kurdish forces. In September 2017, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said Damascus would consider granting the Kurds greater autonomy once the war against the terrorists was over.

At the same time, Damascus has voiced its opposition to the US presence and operations on Syrian territory, including Rojava, saying that it does not accord with the principles of international law, including respect for Syria’s territorial integrity. The Syrian government has insisted that US operations inside Syria are illegal, since they were never invited into the country by Damascus.

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