Try to Figure Out Where Labour Ends and Likud Starts

likud caa.jpg

By Gilad Atzmon

A few days before Christmas, Labour Cllr Richard Watts and the Islington Council, acting at the request of the UK Likud Herut Director, chose to stop me from playing with the Blockheads. The impoverished Council, in an odd interpretation of working for its citizens, hired two partners from one of London’s most expensive law firms to help them in their crusade against my saxophone.

Their action prompted hundreds of complaints and a petition of protest from  almost 7000. Despite the backlash, another Labour councillor has stepped in to try to ruin my musical career.  Rachel Eden has in the past attempted to interfere with my literature event at Reading Literary Festival, organised a protest against me without knowing who I was and what I stood for, and is on the Zionist We Believe in Israel list of 2016 General Election candidates who pledge their support for Israel.

Dear xxxx,

Hope you’re well and enjoying the run up to Christmas…
Sorry to email you about something controversial but I suspect that you’d rather I let you know.  (the comments in brackets are my own GA)

I just wanted to alert you that I am sure inadvertantly (sic) Progress has taken a booking from Gilead (sic) Atzmon.  He’s not a household name but he is very well known by the Jewish community as an anti-semite, last time he came to Reading he claimed that Jerusalem-ites doing mitzvot caused the Grenfell Tower tragedy:
https://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/atzmon-blames-grenfell-tower-tragedy-on-jerusalemites-following-mitzvot-1.447012 (GA: If Mrs. Eden had actually bothered to read the JC article, she would have noticed that I emphasise that Jerusalem vs. Athens is not a Jew vs Gentile binary. I pointed out that tragedies like the Grenfell tower come about because in Jerusalem people are trained to follow patterns and regulations: as opposed to thinking authentically and ethically as in Athens.)

As you’ll see from this story he was protested by a mix of Jewish and LGBT residents, he is also a holocaust ‘skeptic’ and Labour councillors including me. (GA: I am not a Holocaust ‘skeptic’ as I am not an historian, however, I support the idea that every event in the past must be subject to  historical analysis and revision!)

If you want to know a bit more about him the Jewish Chronicle keeps an eye on him:
https://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/antisemite-gilad-atzmon-banned-from-performing-islington-council-1.474094  (GA: now there’s an unbiased source)

He recently lost a libel lawsuit in which was sued by the campaign against anti-semetism:(sic) (GA: I settled a libel suit with CAA’s Gideon Falter, and the issue was not relevant to antisemitism.) https://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/gilad-atzmon-forced-to-ask-supporters-for-funds-after-campaign-against-antisemitism-libel-lawsuit-1.473179
Hope not hate have a bit about him here:
https://www.hopenothate.org.uk/2017/10/20/gilad-atzmon-heads-reading/

(GA: Hope not Hate is a notorious Zionist operation and has been exposed as such many times in the past.)

All in all I am guessing you and the committee probably didn’t know any of this as he is trying to portray himself as “just” a jazz musician, but I would assume he’s not the sort of person you want associated with Progress Theatre.

Rachel

The promoters of the concert replied to Cllr Eden as follows: “Our focus is on – and our interest is in – the music, nothing else. We do not aim to provide a platform for people to express their personal views on any non-musical subject. We have not received complaints of offence being caused at any of our concerts in the fourteen years we have been promoting jazz, despite programming a wide variety of acts and individuals. In the case of Gilad Atzmon, we understand that he has never even been questioned by any law enforcement authority about the allegations to which you refer, let alone convicted.”

It would be a blessing for the kingdom if our politicians had the clarity of thinking, ethical stand and respect for free speech displayed by our musical promoters and venues. Apparently, despite Eden’s persistent  harassment of the venue, the promoters held fast against her onslaught.

As expected, when it became clear that Cllr. Eden would not be able to stop my concert, the notorious ultra Zionist Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) in accord with its stated goal to ruin anyone it deems a threat to Zion, openly re-joined the effort to rid Britain of my saxophone.

Apparently, numerous promoters around the country have received threatening letters from Stephen Silverman, a ‘music teacher’ as well as The CAA’s ‘Director of Investigation and Enforcement.’ A charity is defined as “an organisation set up to provide help and raise money for those in need.” I wonder what it is that qualifies an organisation as charitable when instead of helping others it operates to investigate and ‘enforce’ rules of its own making.

Enforcement commissar Silverman’s email is a rehash of their usual list of misleading, misquoted and badly sourced accusations and ends with, what for them is an unusually polite declaration:  “It would, of course, be inappropriate for us to attempt to dictate who appears at your venue, and that is not my intention. The purpose of this letter is merely to provide you and your venue with information of which you may be unaware.”

Naturally, Silverman does not actually mean his deferential words. Once a venue replies that it does not intend to accede to the demands of Silverman and his klan, Silverman sends a second letter accusing the venue of “taking side” with haters, in “dereliction of duty” to side with Jews. The email ends with a clear threatening note:

From: stephen.silverman@antixxxxx.uk

Sent: 18 January 2019 17:11
To: XXXX
Cc: ‘Anthony Orkin’ anthony.orkin@antixxxxx.uk
Subject: RE: Gilad Atzmon

Thank you for your reply. On the basis of your response it is clear that, by failing to stand up to antisemitism, you have chosen to side with those who seek to stir up hatred towards this country’s Jewish communityYour willingness to turn a blind eye to the activities of this leading antisemite shames you, your board and your arts centre, and is nothing less than a dereliction of duty. 

There is a vast amount of documented evidence, accumulated over many years, that bears witness to the extent of Gilad Atzmon’s antisemitism. He attempts to shield himself from the consequences of this with a bogus philosophy of his own devising that purports to be critical of ‘Jewishness’, Jewish politics and Jewish culture rather than of Jews. It is a paper-thin facade that crumbles under even the most cursory scrutiny.

This is someone who publicly told a Jewish man that he detested the Jew in hone (GA: actually, this was in reply to a tweet that “as a Jew” I should want to kill Arabs. The tweet was from vile hateful character @onepound1 who was subsequently banned from twitter for hate speech. I didn’t know that @onepound1 is indeed Jewish, perhaps Mr. Silverman is more familiar with this anonymous twitter user and his murderous intent?) stated that burning synagogues could be considered a rational act (GA: indeed, as are many violent actions in a war. They are rational not ethical and not desirable. The Guardian published my letter in that regard)  and invited the Jewish people to apologise for being so hateful that the world has been forced to persecute them (GA: here’s the quote in context:  “Instead of constantly blaming the Goyim for inflicting pain on Jews, it is time for Jews to look in the mirror and try to identify what it is in Jews and their culture that evokes so much fury. It may even be possible that some Jews would take this opportunity to apologise to the Gentiles around them for evoking all this anger.”). He repeats some of the same discredited antisemitic views about Jewish power that were employed by the Nazi regime to pave the way for the Holocaust, and he uses his blogs, videos and public talks to encourage others to share his hatred. (GA: noticeably Silverman doesn’t present a single hateful comment by me.) In 2012, he was disavowed by a group of prominent Palestinian writers and activists who refused to have anything further to do with his antisemitism. (GA: here he is telling you that a group of 20 Palestinian activists are more sensitive to accusations of antisemitism then they are in furthering their cause.)

We will endeavour to ensure that your actions, positive or negative, receive the attention that they deserve.

Kind regards

Stephen Silverman

Director of Investigations and Enforcement

Direct: 0330 822 XXXX extn 203

– –

As I point out above, Silverman’s accusations are misleading. However, threatening emails from this specific Jewish charity raise some serious concerns. In August, 2017, after the CAA and Silverman sent similar threatening notes to an Oxford bookshop that refused to acquiesce to their demands, a member of the audience was the victim of a  vicious physical attack that left him with a severe eye injury. After the attack, audience members, some of whom were Jewish, responded with angry letters to the CAA, but the British ‘charitable’ organisation refused to take any responsibility for the attack.

Friday night’s concert at the Progress Theatre was a sold out success, in spite of Cllr Eden’s campaign and CAA’s threatening messages. Last night we performed at the Ropetackle Arts Centre which has received similar threatening emails from Silverman and one Simon Butler, a NYC ‘CAA’s volunteer.’

The Ropetackle Arts Centre responded to the threats as follows:

“The letter from Mr Silverman has been passed to me in my capacity as chairman of the charity which runs the Ropetackle Arts Centre.

We recently received a similar request from Simon Butler. After very careful consideration, we informed him that we were intending to go ahead with the concert. This remains our decision which we do not feel appropriate to explain or justify other than to point out that Gilad Atzmon has performed at our Centre on numerous previous occasion without any complaint.”

If the CAA wants to fight antisemitism for real they should consider ceasing their operation tomorrow morning.  Their mean spirited attempt to ruin people financially reflects disastrously on them and anyone who is associated with their campaign. The more their operation and its methodology become known, the more likely the public is to believe that their bullying is supported by Jews in general. Such thoughts could lead to a real backlash which is a result antithetical to the goals of those of us who oppose all racism and violence.

 


My battle for truth and freedom involves  some expensive legal services. I hope that you will consider committing to a monthly donation in whatever amount you can give. Regular contributions will enable me to avoid being pushed against a wall and to stay on top of the endless harassment by Zionist operators attempting to silence me.

ATB

Gilad 

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«ISrael» IS «ISIS»

Hussein Samawarchi

When the word “terrorist” is mentioned, it would be normal to imagine a person with rugged features who places a bomb in an innocent family’s house. This same individual would be so cold-hearted that he might have shot a child the day before. He would be a dogmatic follower of fanatic beliefs which allow him to end people’s lives without losing any sleep. A terrorist is filled with hate and presumes himself to be higher on the righteousness scale. He believes that he has been a victim, that he has been hard done by. These feelings are what turn him from a naturally born compassionate human to a murderous sociopath.

The above can easily describe any member of “ISIS”. It is also a description of an “Israeli” soldier. They are both the same.

Terrorism is when heavily armed men abuse, verbally and physically, a young man walking back home with less than minimum pay in his wallet because their apartheid regime will not allow him to work unless he accepts peanuts for hard labor. Terrorism is when these armed men shoot a beautiful teenager through the books in the backpack she’s carrying; the amount of bullets piercing her innocent body make it seem like they were target practicing. It is when they drag an eight-year-old boy by the hair across the street and kick him with army boots into their vehicle; his mother suffers a broken jaw from the strike of a shoulder stock of a rifle while trying to hold on to him.

These are the terrorists that make up what is called “The Most Moral Army.”
Since the word “Moral” is definitely misplaced in this description, namely due to the atrocities that the free press of the world reports on a daily basis out of occupied Palestine, then every word in this sentence can be subject to error. The usage of the word “Army” is also misplaced if a person considers that an army has to belong to a country and the latter cannot be a fabricated entity void of indigenous culture.

Far from their destructive unlawful presence in the area which is based on murder and horror, it almost makes a person feel sympathy towards the “Israelis” for their lack of anything cultural that binds them to this land. They are so culturally bankrupt that they practically steal dishes and claim them for their own. The illegal settlers whose national dishes are Bigos, Banush, and Sauerbraten have suddenly claimed the Jordanian Hummus and the Lebanese Tabbouleh to be theirs. It is so sad.

Going at this pace, we will soon be seeing rabbis wearing Sherwals and dancing the famous Dabkeh, claiming that to be part of their folklore as well.

Shipping in a mix of foreigners to massacre locals and steal their land under biblical pretenses neither makes their claims nor their presence legal. If the Holy Bible sanctions murder and theft then the Pope of Rome will have a lot of explaining to do. But, we all know it doesn’t because the Christians of the Middle East have been amongst the fiercest defenders of the Holy Land against the Zionist infestation.

Latifa Abu Humaid’s house was surrounded and had explosives planted in it. The old woman’s home was demolished. This came after she had lost her six sons to assassination and incarceration. If this is not terrorism, what is?

It does not come as a surprise, though, that the “Israelis” operate this way. That they rely on subhuman unethical rules of engagement with anyone opposing their tyranny. After all, they walk in the footsteps of the creators of their unlawful geographical entity. Individuals like Golda Meir who, as “Prime Minister”, was a part of creating a list of 20-35 people tagged for assassination. She gave the green light to begin the killings and she supervised the process. Is the act of orchestrating assassinations not terrorism?

“Israel’s” terrorism is also practiced by proxy. It has foreign agents placed in top positions of other governments working for its benefit. Nicky Haley gave, yet, another cheap performance at the United Nations the other day. It was because the motion to name the Palestinian resistance a terror group did not see the light. The voting result of the international community caused her feelings to be hurt. Nicky doesn’t have any feelings when Palestinian children lose their lives at the hands of murderous settlers; her Zionist emotions are triggered only when “Israel” doesn’t get its way. She did that “I’ll huff and I’ll puff” routine against those who failed to vote in her masters’ favor. Threats are another shade of terrorism.

Just like the term “anti-Semitic” has been outrageously twisted, the term “terrorist” is becoming a joke because of how it is being wrongly slapped on all those who actually fight terrorism. The men of Hezbollah are “terrorists” for defending their land, Palestinians are “terrorists” for hanging on to their rights, the Syrians are “terrorists” for fighting “ISIS”, and the list goes on. I wonder if children in the US will begin suing their parents on terrorism charges for not buying them enough toys.

There is no doubt that many Jews were persecuted in the first half of the past century, but that is definitely not an excuse for anyone to be granted an international license to terrorize humanity and, definitely, not an excuse to turn Palestine into holocaust grounds for its people. This is said with the strong belief that those occupying Palestine and committing all the terror do not represent Judaism; rather, Zionism disguised as Judaism. In all cases, the people of Palestine did not have anything to do with the Zionist creation of the Nazi party and the subsequent conspiracy against Jews.

We’ve all watched the movie “Schindler’s List”. There weren’t any Nazi officers from Gaza or Ramallah or Nablus. Not a single one was called Omar or Khalid or Mohyi Eldeen. So, if it is a matter of reprisal, they have, without doubt, unleashed their malice and spite onto the wrong people.

Source: Al-Ahed New

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Deadly Drone Attack on Al-Anad Kills, Injures Dozens of Aggression Forces

Yemeni drone

Yemeni drone (archive)

Al Manar

A Yemeni drone strike hit a military parade outside the southern port city of Aden on Thursday, killing or injuring dozens of Saudi-led aggression forces.

The drone attack targeted graduation ceremony in Al-Anad airbase in Lahij, military sources close to both Houthi revolutionaries and aggression forces reported.

The drone managed to get into the airbase and hit the main platform of the parade, Yemen’s Al-Massirah reported.

The casualties included high-ranking commanders of Saudi-backed fugitive president Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s forces, military sources said.

Sky News Arabia reported that Chief of Staff of Hadi’s forces, along with Lahij governor were among those injured in the drone attack.

Al-Massirah reported that the strike accurately hit its target, noting that the attack followed a surveillance operation of the aggression forces’ moves and gatherings in Al-Anad airbase.

Local sources said that sirens of ambulances were heard in the area, Al-Massirah reported, adding that many of the injured are in serious condition.

Talking to Al-Manar following the attack, Yemeni Air Force and Air Defense Spokesman, Abdullah Al-Jafri said that the attack on Al-Anad airbase killed or injured 150 Saudi-led forces and mercenaries, including high-ranking Saudi and Emirati commanders.

He said that the strike on the strategic air base of Al-Anad has sparked fear among aggressions powers, stressing that they will not be able to stop the revolutionaries’ drones.

Source: Agencies

 

Yemeni Air Forces Strike Saudi Al-And Base: Dozens Killed, Injured

 

Local Editor

Yemeni Air Forces and the Popular Committees launched on Thursday an air strike on the Saudi aggression forces at Al-Anad Air Base in the southern province of Lahij.

A Yemeni military source said that the air strike was carried after a careful monitoring of the gatherings and movements of the Saudi forces inside the base.

The source confirmed that dozens of Saudi led forces and mercenaries were killed in the operation.

Yemeni Air Forces Strike Saudi Al-And Base: Dozens Killed, Injured

Yemeni Air Forces Strike Saudi Al-And Base: Dozens Killed, Injured

 

Meanwhile, Hadi regime chief of general staff, deputy chairman of general staff, and the intelligence chief, and a prominent military leader were all injured in the operation.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Yemeni forces and artillery unit of the army and the popular committees carried out a joint operation that targeted forces in Al-Baydaa region.

Source: Al-Masirah, Translated by website team

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An image grab taken from a video obtained by AFPTV shows the moment a drone exploded above Yemen's al-Anad airbase in in the government-held southern province of Lahj on January 10, 2019.

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What Happened To the Billions Germany Gave Israel?

By Hafsa Kara Mustapha
Source

Holocaust_Survivor_4ea8a.jpg

The Holiday season as December is now referred to, is a time for parties, family gatherings, gift sharing and all the lovely things associated with the end of year festivities.

As the party season bids farewell and the cold weather intensifies it is also a time to reflect on those less fortunate.

In this context, charities work particularly hard to raise funds for the category of people they chose to support. Across social media, which have become major advertising platforms, appeals for funds are now a regular fixture on users’ feeds.

A recent request for donations that was of particular interest was one for money to help elderly Holocaust survivors in their twilight years.

The touching images of frail-looking men and woman are undoubtedly moving and force all those who see them feel much empathy towards a group of vulnerable people who suffered major trauma. Yet as the details of requested donations emerged it became increasingly odd to see these adverts. Of all the vulnerable groups existing today Holocaust survivors are, thanks to reparations paid by Germany, aptly provided for.

Claims Conference

In 1951, just under six years after the end of the Second World War, an organisation was set up called the Claims Conference.

It was tasked with obtaining reparations from Germany in order to compensate Jews for the persecution they suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime. It has to be noted however that Roma, gay, disabled as well as Communist activists who were equally interned in concentration camps, were not offered financial reparations.

Never the less the Claims Conference, set up by a group of Jewish organisations, has been working tirelessly to seek ‘a small measure of justice for Jewish victims’ as stated on its website.

This ‘small measure,’ obtained from Germany, has totalled over $70bn over the past seventy years.

This eye-watering sum that amounts to the state budgets of several countries would have been used to assist Jewish victims following the collapse of Hitler’s rule.

Yet the regular appeals for further donations, from ordinary citizens, implies that Holocaust survivors are still in need of monetary assistance, despite ongoing negotiations with the governments of Germany and Austria to pay further damages to Jewish claimants.

So the question is if Germany –and Austria – have released over $70bn to compensate survivors yet survivors are still in need of assistance, where has the money gone?

In July 2018 the German government agreed to release a further $88m towards care cost for the elderly.

Yet by Christmas adverts appealing for support for the very few survivors left were circulating again.

According to Claims Conference auditing is undertaken by KPMG however the body is regulated by the organisations that form it.

In 2013, a Holocaust survivor called Dora Roth made headlines when she accused the Israeli government of siphoning money destined for victims such as herself.

In April 2016 Haim Katz, Israel’s welfare minister, released a report revealing that more than 20,000 survivors in Israel had never received financial assistance owed to them.

The money, however, was regularly delivered by Germany yet it appears it never reached those it was intended for.

While Germany is only too happy to deliver the funds it is silent on who should be their recipients. According to one former German politician, now working in the financial sector, German politicians cannot stand up to Israel. ‘They know Israel will shout anti-Semitism at the first opportunity and are too terrified with being labelled with that fateful word.’ Asked if German media and politicians are not concerned about where these vast sums of money are ending, he added that issues relevant to compensation and Israel are taboo in his country.

‘Despite the economic downturn, we continue to be milked like cash cows, knowing full well it’s beyond reason to continue to demand such sums, yet there are no brave politicians or journalists willing to ask the questions.’

The Israeli minister who exposed the problem also went on to say that the problem is far worse than it appears as his report only took into account the surviving victims as of 2016 explaining that many more died throughout the years without ever seeing the money Israel claimed on their behalf.

Israel for its part blames the delay in delivering the funds to issues relating to heavy bureaucracy but many find that argument laughable.

Simon, an ex Israeli now living in Paris laughs at this excuse: ‘it didn’t take them 70 years to fleece the Germans but they –Israeli authorities- need 70 years to distribute the money.’

Disillusioned with Israel and its founding ideology Zionism, Simon is scathing towards his former country: ‘To get a permit to destroy a Palestinian home, they took 7 minutes, adding that his rejection of the country was a result of the abuse he received from other Israelis because he was a Holocaust survivor.’

We were viewed with absolute contempt by our ‘fellow countrymen’ (he insists on the brackets). They would tell us we were weak and went to the camps like ‘sheep to the slaughter’.

They would even make sheep noises when I used to walk in the streets when neighbours found out I was a survivor.

Confirming how unimportant Holocaust survivors are in Israeli society, and how oblivious the public is to their plight, Roth’s outburst had little consequences. From a European or American perspective, the fact survivors who have obtained so many reparations –unlike any other group in history- should be left to die in poverty should be major news and yet the money continues to be delivered while the victims continue to die destitute.

Ironically it is their legacy that is used as a justification for the existence of the nation that continues to neglect and despise them.

Who will dare ask the question?

Despite all the evidence of legitimate questions being raised, no one is raising them.

Where is this money ending up? Who is tasked with distributing and why is it failing?

Why should so much of it go through the Israeli government when not all survivors are or have remained in Israel?

Some claim Israel uses it as part of its nationwide budget others still say it is going to fund the military.

It is ironic that money made available to victims of war should now be invested in furthering wars by a country itself often accused of Nazi-like policies and routinely committing war crimes.

The spectre of being labelled an anti-Semite is, of course, a genuine concern no politician or journalist can ignore.

The mere fact of holding to account Israel over the possibility some are extorting funds would be spun as the ‘age-old accusations Jews love money.’

Anti-semitic ‘tropes’ as these bizarre semantic twists are called are casually thrown about wherever Israel or a Zionist person or organisation face questions.

If questions arise about misinformation from an Israeli source then claims of ‘Jews run the media’ will soon surface and bring the subject to a close.

Should claims of embezzlement surround an Israeli or Zionist body then its accusations of ‘Jews love money.’

Even high-profile cases of child abuse involving notable Zionist figures are inevitably spun as ‘Jews are using the blood of goyim children.’

For every Israeli/Zionist crime, there is its accompanying ‘anti-Semitism’ protection policy.

This time, however, victims of Israeli dishonesty are Jewish.

Who will speak up for them?

No one is the simple answer. According to varying reports, most if not all Holocaust victims will have died by 2025.

Israel is therefore just buying time. Meanwhile, now that Germany can no longer be ‘legally’ fleeced, Arab money is the next target for Israel’s appetite for easy ‘guilt money,’ as Simon puts it.

Israel- who expelled Palestinians from their ancestral homeland in 1948 yet refuses to compensate them- is going after Arab states in the hope of obtaining some $250bn in reparations. Though the overwhelming majority of Arab Jews left their Arab nations voluntarily and were never subjected to any treatment remotely equivalent to concentration camps, Israel, knowing it can manipulate international institutions, is launching its latest money-making scheme.

The only question that remains is who will be made to pay up next?

Gamblers are betting on Italy. After all the Roman Empire has a lot to answer for.

Occupied Palestine in 2018: Record Deaths and Injuries, Food Insecurity, Demolitions, Record Low Humanitarian Funding

Global Research, December 30, 2018
ReliefWeb 27 December 2018

Trends affecting humanitarian affairs in the occupied Palestinian territory

Today, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) released a summary of data collected during 2018. Further breakdowns and statistics from previous years are available through the links below.

Record numbers of Palestinian deaths and injuries

A total of 295 Palestinians were killed and over 29,000 were injured in 2018 by Israeli forces. This is the highest death toll in a single year since the Gaza conflict of 2014 and the highest number of injuries recorded since OCHA began documenting casualties in the oPt in 2005.

About 61 per cent of the fatalities (180 people) and 79 per cent of the injuries (over 23,000) were in the context of Gaza’s ‘Great March of Return’ demonstrations by the fence. Across the oPt, 57 of the Palestinian fatalities and about 7,000 of the injuries were under 18 years of age. At least 28 of the Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in 2018 were members of armed groups in Gaza and another 15 were perpetrators or alleged perpetrators of attacks against Israelis in the West Bank.

A total of 14 Israelis were killed during the year by Palestinians and at least 137 others were injured. While the number of fatalities is nearly the same as in 2017 (15 people), the proportion of civilians among these fatalities (50 per cent) increased compared to the previous year (27 per cent).

Uptrend in attacks by settlers

In 2018, OCHA recorded 265 incidents where Israeli settlers killed or injured Palestinians or damaged Palestinian property, marking a 69 per cent increase compared with 2017; as a result, one Palestinian woman was killed, and another 115 Palestinians were injured (another two Palestinian suspected perpetrators of attacks were killed by Israeli settlers). Palestinian property vandalized by settlers includes some 7,900 trees and about 540 vehicles.

There were at least 181 incidents where Palestinians killed or injured settlers and other Israeli civilians in the West Bank or damaged Israeli property, a 28 per cent decline compared with the previous year. However, the number of Israelis killed in these incidents in 2018 (seven), increased compared to 2017 (four).

West Bank demolitions continue, but fewer Palestinians are displaced

In 2018, the Israeli authorities demolished or seized 459 Palestinian structures across the West Bank, mostly in Area C and East Jerusalem, overwhelmingly on the grounds of a lack of Israeli-issued building permits, which are almost impossible to obtain, slightly more than in 2017. Such incidents displaced 472 Palestinians, including 216 children and 127 women, the lowest such figure since OCHA began systematically recording demolitions in 2009. In Area C alone, there are over 13,000 pending demolition orders, including 40 issued against schools.

The blockade on Gaza still extremely restrictive

The land, sea and air blockade on the Gaza Strip, imposed by Israel citing security concerns, continued, with people being able to exit on an exceptional basis only. On a monthly average, in 2018 (Jan-Nov) there were some 9,200 exits from Gaza by permit holders through the Israeli-controlled Erezcrossing, a 33 per cent increase compared to 2017, but 35 per cent less than the 2015-2016 average. The Egyptian-controlled Rafah Crossing has opened on a regular basis since May, recording about 56,800 exits in all of 2018, up from a yearly average of less than 19,000 in 2015-2017.

The rate of approval of permit applications for UN national staff to leave Gaza stood at 59 per cent during 2018, up from 47 per cent in 2017. However, the total number of applications submitted in 2018 dropped by 24 per cent, primarily due to the larger number of staff that were denied for security reasons and banned for reapplying for 12 months, currently 131 compared to 41 staff by the end of 2017.

Kerem Shalom, controlled by Israel, remained the almost exclusive crossing for the movement of commodities to and from Gaza, with limited imports also allowed via the Salah Ad Din Gate on the border with Egypt. On a monthly average, about 8,300 truckloads of goods entered Gaza via both crossings in 2018, 17 per cent below the equivalent average in the previous two years, while 209 trucks exited Gaza on average, mostly to West Bank markets, nearly the same as in 2016-2017. Access to fishing areas and to farming lands near the fence inside Gaza remained restricted.

More people in Gaza food insecure

About 1.3 million people in Gaza, or 68 per cent of the population, were identified as food insecure in 2018, primarily due to poverty, up from 59 per cent in 2014, when a similar survey was conducted. The unemployment rate in Gaza reached an average of almost 53 per cent in the first three quarters of 2018, an all-time record, with youth unemployment at 69 per cent. By contrast, in the West Bank, 12 per cent of the Palestinians are food insecure, down from 15 per cent in 2014, while unemployment stood at an average of 18 per cent.

Record-low in humanitarian funding

While humanitarian needs across the oPt rose during 2018, funding levels for humanitarian interventions declined significantly: only US$221 million had been received, against the $540 million requested in the 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan

Note: Data on casualties and demolitions is as of 26 December 2018 and is subject to caveats and definitions available in these links. Israeli fatalities exclude a baby delivered prematurely after the injury of his mother. Data on exits via Erez crossing is up to 30 November 2018, and data on imports and exports, as well as on the Rafah crossing are as of 15 December 2018.

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Hate speech without hate: Britain and the United States

December 28, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

Free-speech_0.jpg

By Eve Mykytyn

Gilad Atzmon is fighting a battle for free speech in England. Here’s why it matters in the United States. Atzmon was prohibited by a local council, Islington, made up almost entirely of Labour Party members, from playing the saxophone with his band the Blockheads. The ban followed a complaint from a far right Zionist, who in his own social media posts frequently disparaged and threatened the Labour Party and its leader as anti Semitic.

The complainant submitted a number of quotations from Atzmon taken out of context and cut and pasted for the desired effect. In fact, Atzmon is not an anti Semite, although he is critical of identity politics and particularly of Jewish identity politics (for example, the group Jewish Voices for Peace, why not All Voices for Peace?). The council concluded that Atzmon’s views were “at the lowest provocative and distasteful or at the highest anti-Semitic and racist”.

England has hate speech laws and with that conclusion one might have expected the council to file a complaint. But Atzmon has never been charged or even questioned under such laws. Through a convoluted series of rationales, the council, which does not have policing power, decided it had the right to prohibit a saxophone player from joining his band. The Labour Party seems to support the council’s decision: the Guardian reported that a spokesman for the Labour Party, without proof, labelled Atzmon a “vile anti-Semite“. Would Atzmon, a critic of Israel, been allowed to have the council deny admission to hard core Zionists? Could the council ban Muslims in burkas about whom Zionists complained?

“The right to examine its history simply places the holocaust with other terrible events we must examine and learn from, such as the Armenian Holocaust or the countless and uncounted Africans who died in the middle passage.”

Atzmon was also falsely called a holocaust denier. Atzmon is a critic of European laws that forbid any examination into the holocaust that contradicts the “accepted” narrative. This is odd, because the count of six million is, in itself, a suspiciously round number. Could it have been 6,100,000? Timothy Snyder, a Jewish historian at Yale, has written in the book Bloodlands, Europe between Hitler and Stalin, that far more Jews were simply shot than had originally been thought. Is this a violation? And, of course, no other historical narrative has been granted the legal right to go unexamined. The right to examine its history simply places the holocaust with other terrible events we must examine and learn from, such as the Armenian Holocaust or the countless and uncounted Africans who died in the middle passage.

In the United States we are facing similar issues. At the moment, there is a groundswell of support for prohibiting ‘white supremacists’ or more accurately, those whom some perceive as ‘white supremacists,’ from speaking. The University of Virginia, a public college, banned Richard Spencer and nine other white nationalist from campus for four years, although there were no claims that any of the 10 had participated in violence. Effective prohibitions have also come from students in response to Charles Murray’s statistical analyses (as at Middlebury College where thrown bottles injured a professor). There was indeed violence at Charlottesville where ‘white nationalist’ gathered, but there was violence during the civil rights marches. Should we have prohibited those brave enough to fight Jim Crow?

Twenty five states now have anti-BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) laws for state workers or government contractors prohibiting participation in and/or requiring divestment (another boycott?) of companies that support BDS. This even though the Supreme Court has long held that political boycotts –  are a form of expression protected by the First Amendment. A similar bill is now pending in Congress and seems to enjoy wide support. Why can’t a teacher or a government contractor conclude that Israel’s persistent brutality towards the native Palestinians is worthy of a boycott? Like Atzmon’s saxophone playing, they are being subjected to a political test while simply trying to earn a living, unrelated to Israel or boycotts.

Clearly, this is a slippery slope and it appears Britain is still ahead of the United States in attacking unwanted speech. Let’s not race so hard to catch up.

*Eve Mykytin is a writer, editor and former financial lawyer

source: https://www.redressonline.com/2018/12/hate-speech-without-hate-britain-and-the-united-states/

Ending the Bloodshed in Yemen

The Blade’s Editorial Board

The 56-41 vote by the United States Senate to end US military support for Saudi Arabia’s deadly war in Yemen is remarkable for several reasons.

First, and quite amazingly, it marked the first time that the Senate has utilized the powers granted to it under the 1973 War Powers Act, which gives Congress the authority to end military actions.

Second, the bipartisan vote was a complete 180 from just this past March, when a similar bill to end the US involvement in Yemen only received 44 votes. Political junkies will tell you that a 12-vote swing is an awful lot.

Of course, there is a reason for that vote swing and it was not because 12 senators suddenly developed a conscience. Rather, the brutal murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, allegedly at the order of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, resulted in an enormous outcry. The country wanted Congress to rebuke the Saudis, and removing support of the war in Yemen, which has come mostly in the form of arms and fuel for bombers, was the clearest way to do so.

But getting out of the conflict in Yemen is good for the US and good for the world. Foreign policy experts agree that without US assistance, the bloodshed is likely to come to end. This would be great news because some analysts have estimated that more than 50,000 people have already been killed in the conflict and that nearly 20 million Yemeni are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. For reference, Yemen’s total population is just over 28 million.

Sadly, getting the Senate vote is not a straight shot for removing US support for the war. House Republicans, with the critical help of five House Democrats, slipped a provision into the recently passed “farm bill,” a legislative package focused on agricultural subsidies, which blocks a vote on the Yemen resolution during this congressional term. The thought is that the Senate, which will be even more GOP-heavy come 2019, will not pass the Yemen war resolution again.

The Senate must show its backbone in 2019 and vote the Yemen resolution through again, with the support of the House. Ending US support for the war in Yemen should not be a red vs. blue game. It should be a bipartisan consensus, fueled by a desire to stand apart from the Saudis and reclaim our morality.

There is no time for political gamesmanship. Both chambers of Congress should pass the Yemen war resolution and they should pass it now.

Source: The Blade, Edited by website team

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