General Strike in Palestine as Yarmulke-Wearing Trump Visits Western Wall

 

Trump, along with his wife and daughter, have visited the Western Wall in Jerusalem, with the president sporting a Jewish yarmulke–this as Palestinians prisoners are on day 36 of a hunger strike and as people throughout the occupied territories held a general strike in solidarity with the prisoners.

Mothers refusing food in solidarity with hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners. “I cannot eat while my sons are starving,”

In Manger Square in Bethlehem, protestors gathered to protest Trump, who is scheduled to make a stop there tomorrow.

“We came to tell you that the one who decides the fate of Palestinian people are the Palestinian refugee camps and not the Americans, the cause of the camps is the cause of all Palestinians,” said one protestor.  “The fate of Jerusalem can’t be decided by Trump, for Jerusalem is Arab; Jerusalem is Palestinian, and we decide its fate, not the Americans. The only ones who supported Palestinian people are the heroic prisoners, they are strugglers, fighting with only their bodies.”

Meanwhile, US and Israeli companies are reportedly working together to siphon off natural gas from Gaza’s territorial waters, while a 16-year-old Palestinian boy has been shot and killed after allegedly attempting to carrying out a stabbing of Israeli forces at a check point near Bethlehem. Additionally, some Some 20 other people were shot and injured as protestors attempted to march from the West Bank city of Ramallah to Israel’s Qalandiya checkpoint. Witnesses said Israeli soldiers fired at the demonstrators, using live ammunition as well as rubber coated steel bullets, from rooftops overlooking the main street .

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu greeted Trump and then told reporters that he and the president share a “commitment to peace.” Palestinians have called for a second “day of rage” to coincide with Trump’s visit to the West Bank on Tuesday.

So are these unruly Palestinians just illogical, irrational anti-Semites who simply hate Jews for no reason–or are their protests, hunger strikes, and days of rage motivated in some manner by Jewish behavior? I wonder if Trump, Ivanka, or Melania pondered that question in their visit to the Western Wall? Probably not.

Israeli Police Kills A Jordanian Man After An Alleged Stabbing Attack In Jerusalem

Source

May 13, 2017

Israeli police officers killed, on Saturday afternoon, a Jordanian citizen in the Chains Gate area, in Jerusalem’s Old city, after he reportedly stabbed and wounded a police officer.

The Israeli Police said the man approached police officers and stabbed one in the upper-part of his body, moderately wounding him.

Israeli daily Haaretz said an officer, in his late thirties, was injured and was evacuated to Shaare Zedek Medical Center, after suffering moderate wounds, but remained fully conscious and in a stable condition, and later confirmed his death.

It added that the Police “neutralized the assailant,” a term largely used by various Israeli media agencies, to indicate that the person was killed, or seriously wounded.

A video from the scene shows the slain person’s body on the ground, and a wounded Israeli police officer, with his gun drawn, standing nearby.

The Maan News Agency quoted Israeli Police spokeswoman Luba Samri, stating that the “attacker approached officers and stabbed a one.”

Samri added that the attacker is a 57 year old Jordanian man who entered the country a week ago on a tourist Visa, and added that the police is still investigating his background, including the reason of his visit.

The slain Jordanian man was later identified as Mohammad Abdullah al-Kasaji.

Following the incident, the police and soldiers closed Bab al-Amoud and Bab As-Sahera, leading to the Old City, and pushed dozens of officers into the area.

The soldiers also assaulted many Palestinians, and abducted one, before moving him to a nearby police station.

The abducted man, identified as Omran Rajabi, works as a guard of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and was taken prisoner after the fatal shooting, when he started filming soldiers who were attacking a Palestinian woman, trying to enter the mosque.

Palestine news

DR. EDWARD RHYMES’ #INDEPENDENTMEDIAMONDAY W/: EVA BARTLETT

In Gaza

Dr. Edward Rhymes hosted me on April 24 to talk about Syria and related issues. He is an informed and compassionate host, a genuine pleasure to speak with and hear. Please consider supporting his media initiative, Rhymes Media Group on Patreon!

Listen to the discussion HERE.

April 24, 2017, Rhymes Media Group (on BlogTalk Radio) wrote:

“…our, very special guest, was independent journalist extraordinaire, Eva Karene Bartlett. We talked about her personal journey from political disinterest to engaged advocacy journalist.

Eva and Dr. Rhymes also discussed the war on Syria, the sham-humanitarian organization the White Helmets, Israeli oppression of Palestine and the Orwellian-Octopus of the Entrenched-Interests Media and the need for independent and alternative media. Be sure to listen this gentle warrior as she gives her profound insights on so many issues of the day.

Thanks for stopping by Rhymes Media Group, and thanks for listening to #IndependentMediaMonday.

RMG appreciates your support. if you’re not, as of yet, a patron, please consider becoming one.

Ave Maria

The music is by Franz Schubert, sung by Dolores O’Riordan, while the images are from the film The Passion of the Christ.

Ave Maria, gratia plena,
Maria, gratia plena
Maria, gratia plena
Ave Ave Dominus
Dominus tecum,
Benedicta tu in mulieribus,
et benedictus
et benedictus fructus ventris
ventris tui, Iesus.
Ave Maria.
Ave Maria, full of thanksgiving
Maria, full of thanksgiving
Maria, full of thanksgiving
Ave Ave God
Your God
Be blessed among the women
And blessed
And blessed be the product of your womb
Your womb, Jesus.
Ave Maria.

The Passion of the Christ came out in 2004 and was immediately labeled as “anti-Semitic” by its detractors. Though it never won an Academy Award, it holds the all time box office record for an R-rated film, having grossed $370,782,930 in the US and a whopping $611,899,420 worldwide. To the surprise of many, it became a major hit among audiences in the Arab world:

Mel Gibson’s controversial movie “The Passion of the Christ,” is breaking box office records across the Middle East. With the approach of Easter, Arab Christians identify primarily with the religious message. But it’s the film’s popularity among Muslims – even though it flouts Islamic taboos – that’s turning it into a phenomenon.

Islam forbids the depiction of a prophet, and Koranic verses deny the crucifixion ever occurred. For those reasons, the film is banned in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Bahrain. It’s also banned in Israel – but for other reasons.

“Banned in Israel–but for other reasons.” The above is from an article about The Passion that was published in the Christian Science Monitor on April 9, 2004. You’ll notice that the countries which banned the film–Israel, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain–are today all allied with each other in the support of terrorists in Syria…where the film was not banned.

But to get back to the Christian Science Monitor piece. The article includes a quote from an Israeli Jew, who damns the film as anti-Semitic “both in intent and effect.”

“I have no doubt that the film is anti-Semitic both in intent and effect, but I’m very wary of some Jewish organizations’ reactions to it,” said Yossi Klein Halevi, who is identified as being affiliated with the Shalem Center in Jerusalem.

“It needs to be more nuanced,” Halevi complained. “When an evangelical in Colorado Springs sees it, he doesn’t see anti-Semitism. But when Yasser Arafat sees it and calls it an important historic event, he’s responding to that anti-Semitism. And the fact that it’s becoming a major hit in the Arab world, that has consequences… ‘The Passion’ is where Mel Gibson and Yasser Arafat meet, and it isn’t bound by a love of Jesus.”

As alluded to in Halevi’s quote, The Passion was commented upon by former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, who is said to have attended a screening of the film along with Christian leaders. After the screening, an aide to Arafat remarked, “The Palestinians are still daily being exposed to the kind of pain Jesus was exposed to during his crucifixion.”

Here again, the passage of history is deeply significant. In October of 2004, Arafat came down with a severe illness, and on November 11 he died at a hospital in Paris. There was suspicion the death was not due to natural causes, but it wasn’t until 2013 that a team of Swiss scientists released the results of a months-long investigation showing Arafat most likely had died of polonium poisoning. Many today speculate that Israel was behind the assassination.

Ariel Sharon, who himself came to a bad end, was the leader of Israel at the time Arafat was poisoned. The former Israeli prime minister suffered from obesity and weighed 254 pounds, and on January 4, 2006, he was overcome by a hemorrhagic stroke. The last eight years of his life were spent in a coma.

“The Palestinians are still daily being exposed to the kind of pain Jesus was exposed to during his crucifixion.” When we recall what the people of Gaza in particularly have endured over the years, the analogy has validity. While I am not comparing Yasser Arafat to Jesus, the latter’s words from the Gospel of John, chapter 15, are worth recalling:

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father.  You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.

Jesus was sent by God to teach humanity how to live in peace. He was born among the Jews not because Jews are “chosen” by God, but because Jews especially were in need of hearing this message. Jesus was the long-awaited Jewish messiah, but because he preached a message of peace rather than war and conquest, the Jews rejected him. Here are the words of Mary in the first chapter of Luke–a passage that is often referred to as the “song of Mary.”

My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for the Mighty One has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
His mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
and lifted up the lowly;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
according to the promise he made to our ancestors,
to Abraham and to his descendants forever.

Ave Maria, gratia. And if you think about it, you’ll notice another deeply significant sequence of events. Mary’s words that God “helped his servant Israel,” is of course an allusion to the Old Testament narrative. But then came the birth of Jesus; his rejection and the calls for his crucifixion in 30 A.D.; followed by a stupendously stunning Jewish downfall just 40 years later–in 70 A.D.–when the Romans sacked Jerusalem and destroyed the temple. One wonders if a somewhat similar type downfall may await the modern Jewish state.

My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior. Here is another rendition of Ave Maria sung by Dolores O’Riordan, this time accompanied by Luciano Pavarotti:

Ave Maria, gratia. Gratia.

“EVA BARTLETT DISCUSSES THE POWER OUTAGE AND DAILY ABUSES IN GAZA”, ANC REPORT (AUDIO)

Apr 30, 2017, ANC Report
anc
Thanks to Ryan Dawson for having me on to talk about the hell that is life in Gaza, as well as the struggle of Palestinian political prisoners, and solidarity with Syria.
(*Please note: webcam might be closer than it appears… Sorry for the close-up, some sort of setting or his recording program issue, I suppose.*)

Listen to the discussion HERE

*

Some points mentioned and related links:

*Gaza Electricity/Sewage Crises and Related*
-Ry Dawson and Robert Inlakesh speak about Gaza
-UN predictions fall short: Gaza uninhabitable today, Dec 21, 2014, RT Op-Edge, (longer version on blog)

DSC06319

“Today we went with Beit Hanoun ‘Local Initiative’ volunteers to retrieve the long-decomposed body of a man who didn’t live to see his own 19th birthday.
Ahmed Abu Hashish disappeared on April 21st. His family believed that he had been killed somewhere in the north-eastern border region, the israeli-imposed ‘buffer zone’ where Zionist soldiers routinely shoot at Palestinian farmers and residents. Since then, his parents and others have searched, unsuccessfully, for his body, fearing the worst.
Sixteen of us (family, local rights activists and volunteers from Beit Hanoun, and international accompaniment ) set out this morning to comb the land for the missing youth. The terrain is dry weeds and tall, prickly scrub, making walking difficult.
We accompanied the father -Abu Ayesh- and a local who knew the area well, filming and attempting to convey to the soldiers shooting at us from jeeps that we had come to retrieve a corpse.
The shooting, along with 2 loud explosions, likely sound grenades, became more intense and closer when the body was actually spotted and the team started to load it onto a white sheet. As we quickly loaded Ahmed Abu Hashish onto his cloth stretcher, the shooting continued.
Abu Ayesh had been further off, and thankfully missed the scene of his son’s body, 54 days decomposed, falling apart, head falling off.
Nearly 2 months after his death, the anguish of the Ahmed Abu Hashish family is great, his body desecrated by the elements, they denied access to it due to the threat of being shot by israeli soldiers at the border –who indeed did shoot when we retrieved the body….”
*List of many of my own links/writings/photos from/on Gaza here:

*Palestinian Political Prisoners*

“…the Strike of Freedom and Dignity has a series of demands, including an end to the denials of family visits, appropriate medical care and treatment for ill Palestinian prisoners, and an end to solitary confinement and administrative detention, imprisonment without charge or trial.”
“The strike has been met with sharp repression by the Israeli prison administration, which has denied legal visits to the vast majority of hunger strikers, cut off family visits, confiscated prisoners’ clothing and blankets, subjected strikers to frequent raids and abusive transfers from one prison to another, isolated hunger strike leaders in solitary confinement and even confiscated salt from hunger strikers according to many reports. Hunger strikers take only salt and water during their strikes.
Repressive units continued to attack the prisoners in Ayalon Ramle prison on Friday, 28 April, after transferring a number of leaders of the hunger strike to isolation cells in this prison…”
*
Addameer Prisoner Support:
“Approximately 6,500 Palestinians are currently held in Israeli prisons and detention centers, including approximately 300 children and nearly 550 held under administrative detention, a form of detention without charge or trial that Israel uses to hold Palestinians indefinitely on secret information.
Each year the Israeli military arrests thousands of Palestinians in an attempt to suppress any resistance to its continued occupation and apartheid policies. Among these are hundreds of children, some as young as 12 years old. In too many cases Palestinian children are tortured, ill-treated, placed in solitary confinement and coerced into signing a confession in Hebrew, a language which most Palestinian children do not understand. Every year approximately 500-700 children are sentenced in Israeli courts.
Night raids are the most common form of arrest, during which Israeli soldiers will ransack an individual’s house, destroying personal property and abusing physically abusing family members. The arrested person will then be handcuffed and blindfolded before being thrown into the back of an Israeli military jeep, face-down, where the beatings, insults, and humiliation will continue.
Under Israeli military law, Palestinians can be interrogated for a period of 75 days and denied access to a lawyer for 60 days. Since 1967, approximately 75 Palestinian detainees have died as a result of torture while under Israeli interrogation.
*
-“Alliance of Convenience: Why Israel Supports ISIS?” ( Syriana Analysis VIDEO)

If the international community is willing, Hamas’ declaration can mark a turning point

If the international community is willing, Hamas’ declaration can mark a turning point

The movement’s document could mark a step towards a lasting solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – but will the message be heard?

 

Three years ago, I wrote an opinion piece for The Guardian in which I sought to correct the inaccurate, though prevalent, perception of Hamas as a movement whose resistance against Israel is driven by religion, in general, and a hatred of Judaism, in particular.

There has been an active unwillingness to hear the repeated efforts of senior members of Hamas to clarify the movement’s position towards Israel and the conflict

“Hamas draws inspiration from faith; yet religion has little to do with our struggle,” I wrote at the time. I attempted to explain the journey and evolution that Hamas has undergone since its foundation it the 1980s.

Unfortunately, to date there is little evidence that this message has yet been universally understood amongst the international community. Rather, it seems that at times there has been an active unwillingness, and especially amongst Western societies, to hear the repeated efforts of senior members of Hamas to clarify the movement’s position regarding Israel and the conflict.

Despite this failure to acknowledge earlier efforts to explain its motives, Hamas has released a document this week attempting again to convey the movement’s current thinking on several key issues.

A struggle against occupation

The document makes it clear that Hamas differentiates between Judaism, a religion towards which there is no hostility and whose adherents should be respected, and the current occupation of Palestinian land by Israel – against which there is a legal and moral right to resist.

Put simply, the struggle is not against Jews but against the occupation and Israeli rogue state, whose government persistently pursues policies aimed at humiliating and depriving the Palestinians of their basic rights of independence and self governance.

Although the Palestinian people can never be forced to give up the dream of returning to their ancestral homelands, this new document reflects political realities that we face in the present day.

In line with the position of other Palestinian national movements, Hamas has expressed a willingness to accept a Palestinian state along 1967 borders, provided that the Palestinian people are free to live in dignity, security and with recognition of their right to sovereignty, self-determination and complete independence of Israel.

Years of debate

Some may be sceptical of these claims, arguing that it is at best a tactical shift that masks the “real” nature of Hamas which is best reflected in the Charter of 1988. But such arguments are fundamentally flawed.

Hamas’ declaration is all the more remarkable when the devastation and loss of thousands of Palestinians in the three wars since 2008 is taken into account

As I have written previously, the 1988 charter was a product of the circumstances that prevailed at the time and should be understood as an expression of the deep anger, frustration and hopelessness that stems from the continued illegal occupation that laid at the heart of the first Intifada.

In contrast, this new document is the product of years of thinking and debate, among both Hamas’ leadership and the rank and file of the movement. Indeed, it would have been impossible for the leadership to make such a public declaration without broad acceptance or it would have risked alienating its own base.

Hamas’ declaration is all the more remarkable when the devastation and loss of thousands of Palestinians in the three wars since 2008, along with the daily costs of the siege of Gaza, is taken into account. That Hamas is still pressing ahead with this decision despite this recent history is a reflection of the deep commitment to the values and principles contained within the document.

In April 2017, Palestinian children play among the ruins of a building in Gaza City destroyed during the 50-day war between Israel and Hamas in the summer of 2014 (AFP)

Accordingly, I believe that this new document represents a historic opportunity. If the international community is willing to hear its message, it could mark the beginning of a new conversation with Hamas. This could lead to a genuine exchange and dialogue that creates understanding. Such a conversation marks an essential first step in the journey towards a lasting peaceful solution to the conflict.

If, on the other hand, this gesture is rejected like previous ones, and people continue to wrongly associate Hamas with an extremism that seeks regional domination and the destruction of those who do not share our Islamic beliefs, it can only undermine the efforts of the movement to engage in a meaningful dialogue and risk the continuation of the conflict that has marred life in the region for far too long.

– Dr Ahmed Yousef is a senior political adviser to former Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, former deputy of the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the head of the House of Wisdom Institute.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Eye.

The Speech That Killed Sharon الكلمة التي قتلت شارون

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