Gaza in Context… Watch it!!!

July 27, 2016  /  Gilad Atzmon

Jews and Walls

Jews and walls… Jews and shtetls …. Jews and paranoia…. collective insanity.
“They can’t be that crazy, ” says Aziz Oubid. Yes, Aziz, they can and they are!

Isaac Herzog

Saying he wants “to save Jewish lives,” the leader of the Israeli opposition is proposing to divide Jerusalem with more high walls and checkpoints, effectively banishing 200,000 Palestinian residents from the city.

The proposal by Isaac Herzog, formally adopted last month by the Labor Party, imagines building miles of new concrete barriers and smart fences to separate 28 Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem from Jewish neighborhoods and Jewish settlements in the city.

Herzog, co-leader of the Israeli Zionist Union party and the Labor Party’s leader describes his plan as “we’re here and they’re there,”and  says the walls must be built inside the city to stop Palestinians from killing Israeli Jews in knife, gun and car attacks.
The plan would transform vast stretches of Jerusalem from a demographically divided but physically contiguous metropolis into an archipelago of sectarian cantons served by roads and tunnels designed for either Israelis or Palestinians.

If the Herzog plan were to be implemented, Israel would reduce the Muslim population of Jerusalem from more than a third of the city to about 10 percent.

“They will put us behind a wall and say that 200,000 Palestinian residents of Jerusalem need a special permit to visit al-Aqsa Mosque? That is a religious war,” said Aziz Oubid, co-owner of an auto parts store in the Palestinian neighborhood of Issawiya just a few miles from the Old City.

“They can’t be that crazy,” he said.

Palestinians complain that the Herzog plan is impractical, radical and racist — that it amounts to “collective punishment” for hundreds of thousands of Arabs for the actions of a few dozen assailants, and would separate lifelong residents of Jerusalem, both Muslim and Christian, from their jobs, schools, hospitals and holy places. They do not seem to understand that this is precisely the intention of the plan.

“We are more than suspicious. Even talking like this increases the frustration, increases the anger,” said Darwish Darwish, the traditional leader, known as mukhtar, of the Issawiya neighborhood.

“Herzog is telling Palestinians of East Jerusalem that we don’t give a damn about them,” said Daniel Seidemann, founder of Terrestrial Jerusalem, a group that tracks development in the city.

“The threat to Jewish Jerusalem isn’t the Palestinians,” Seidemann said. “It’s the occupation.”

Jews and walls…

Read more here.

The Fall of the Berlin Wall and the Multiplication of Western Walls

11.15.2014 :: Analysis by James Petras

Introduction: On November 9, 2014, Germany and its Western Allies, celebrated the ‘Fall of the Berlin Wall’ and the subsequent‘re-unification’of the ‘two Germanys’. Prime Minister Merkel described the ‘historic event’ as a “victory of freedom for all peoples in Europe and across the world.”

The entire Western media and officialdom echoed Merkel’s rhetoric, as 300,000 Germans gathered at the Brandenburg Gate hailed their leader as she spoke of ‘one people, one nation and one state in freedom, peace and prosperity…’ But Merkel’s discourse is a self-serving chauvinist fabrication which distorts the real consequences of a united Germany. Moreover, the Western celebration of ‘fallen walls’ is very selective.

The notion that Germany was ‘unified’ democratically is of dubious historical accuracy. The consequences of a powerful unified Germany have not led to a peaceful prosperous Europe and Germany’s current role in world politics, particularly its policies toward the Middle East, North Africa and the Ukraine, has been anything but peaceful.

The Walls of Freedom and the Walls of Prison

While NATO regimes celebrate the ‘Fall of the Berlin Wall’ as the highest expression of freedom, these same political leaders support, finance and promote the construction of oppressive walls throughout world: Unified Germany and its NATO partners have supported Israel’s Separation Wall dividing and caging millions of Palestinians for the better part of two decades. Apparently there are progressive and reactionary ‘walls’ – ‘good walls’ and ‘bad walls’. Unlike the Palestinians, Berliners were never deprived of basic necessities and subject to random displacement or even murder – the Western airlift provided all for West Berliners.

Israel’s Separation Wall results in division and seizure of Palestinian land, ancestral homes, farms, schools and cultural sites while centuries-old olive groves are razed – depriving their owners of productive income.

The US has built its own massive ‘Security Wall’ along its Mexican border, incarcerating and even shooting refugees fleeing Washington’s militarization of Central America and Mexico. The US ‘Security’ Wall condemns millions of Mexicans and Central Americans to live in terror and misery in murderous US client narco-states. In the past seven years, over 100,000 Mexican civilians have been killed under the reign of US-backed Presidents, who were elected through fraud, as they relentlessly pursue the US mandated “War on Drugs”. Similar levels of killings ravage Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala where narco-gangs, with the backing of corrupt political, police and military officials, terrorize the cities and countryside. The death toll from US military interventions in Central America far exceeds those by the former-Soviet Union in Eastern Europe. The US border wall ensures that the survivors of this terror will remain exposed to the brutal rule of US-backed regimes.

At the same time, the civilized ‘European Union’ has erected its land and sea ‘Walls against refugees’ from Iraq, Syria, Libya, Lebanon and Palestine, fleeing NATO directed invasions and proxy wars in their countries. According to the UN Commission on Refugees, 13 million civilians have been displaced by US wars in Iraq and Syria. Many fleeing the war zones crash up against the European ‘legal walls’ – immigration restrictions, concentration or “internment” camps and prolonged detentions welcome their “flight to freedom”.

Chancellor Merkel chose not to mention these ‘civilized’ walls against people fleeing NATO’s ‘humanitarian interventions’. Nor have the Prime Ministers and Presidents of Europe or the US and its ‘ally’ Israel acknowledged the deaths and suffering…because these are their Walls, their own ‘barriers to freedom’.

Democratic Re-Unification or Annexation by Force

Merkel glosses over the crucial fact that the East Germans were never consulted or allowed to hold a free election to decide what kind of relation they would like with the West German regime. They were never asked under what terms and in what time frame “reunification” would take place. The West German regime seized control and dictated economic and social policies that destroyed their eastern neighbors’ economy by fiat. Hundreds of thousands of East German factory-workers faced brutal arbitrary firings as the capitalist ‘West’ shut closed state factories. East German farmers looked on helplessly as their prosperous, stable co-operatives were dissolved on the orders of West German officials. Where was the democracy in this policy of brutal annexation and political viciousness that slashed the former ‘East’ Germans living standards, multiplied unemployment ten-fold, greatly prejudiced the welfare benefits and employment of female workers and devastated pensioners.? Over 1.5 million Eastern German workers were uprooted and became economic refugees in the ‘West’ where wages were double the rate in ‘liberated’ East Germany. The wages were higher, but so was the job insecurity and the loss of social welfare provisions of the East. And if the death of 138 East Germans during 28 years, trying to escape over the Wall, was a tragedy, then what should we call thethousands who have drowned or died other horrible deaths trying to cross the Mediterranean to reach Europe or to scale the Wall separating the US and Mexico, or Israel’s Wall strangling six million Palestinians?

There are many ‘death strips’ denying Latin Americans, Palestinians, Middle Easterners their freedom from want, blocking their escape from US-NATO wars and Israeli genocide. But those‘atrocious walls’ were not mentioned by Chancellor Merkel at the Brandenburg Gate as she celebrated the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The scribes and scribblers from theNew York Times, the Financial Times and the Washington Post did not mention these real, contemporary walls and their brutal toll. The selective denunciation of certain Walls contrasts with the politics of erecting ‘other’, more formidable Walls. Western walls of exclusion carry with them a denial of responsibility for the political and economic conditions that has driven millions of refugees to flee Central America, Palestine, the Middle East and North Africa.

US intervention and support of proxy death-squad regimes and the brutal military in Central America, from the 1960’s to the 1990’s, resulted in over 250,000 civilian deaths and the displacement of over 2 million refugees.

US-EU invasions and proxy wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria for over a decade have uprooted more than 13 million people and killed well over million civilians.

Israel’s wars and occupation against the Palestinian people have resulted in over 500,000 Jewish colonial settlers grabbing Palestinian land since 1967.

The self-proclaimed Jewish state forcibly displaced hundreds of thousands and killed, maimed and jailed over 300,000. To admit that the West constructs and maintains its own system of atrocious walls inevitably points to the policy of decades of prolonged bloody imperialist wars leading to millions of refugees.

Imperial wars are characterized by the construction and maintenance of complex ‘Western Walls’, far deadlier and brutal than the Berlin Wall and less likely to fall. In fact, Western Walls are multiplying and being fortified by the latest surveillance technology. Larger budgets and more lethal arms for anti-immigrant police, has led to the brutal hunt, capture and incarceration of refugees – as Western regimes become more like police states .

The Malignant Consequences of the Fall of the Berlin Wall and the Annexation of East Germany

The annexation of East Germany vastly increased the economic power of Germany, providing German capital with several million skilled workers and trained engineers at no cost. Germany’s enhanced power dictated the course of the European Union’s economic policy. With the onset of the economic crisis, Germany’s capitalist and political elite were well positioned to dictate the terms of ‘recovery’ – and impose the entire burden on the working and middle classes of Southern Europe and Ireland. Germany’s ruling class, in firm control of the EU directorate, forced “austerity programs” on Greece, Portugal, Spain, Italy and Ireland. These regressive policies, which ensured that creditors would recover their loans with interest, led to spiraling unemployment rates, in some cases of over 50% for young people, and long-term, large-scale decline in living standards. ‘Unified Germany’ flexed its newly found economic muscle and extended its hegemony over the EU and ensured debt payments from its European subjects.

Unified Germany’s economic power led to renewed political and military aspirations to engage and assert its presence in the US led imperial wars in the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia and the Ukraine. By the end of the first decade of the 21st century ‘united Germany’ was profitably supplying weapons, logistics and military missions in Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq. It provided Israel with weapons and economic aid while Palestinians were expelled from their homes and land. Merkel’s imperial ambitions were revealed in her wholehearted backing of the far-right coup in Ukraine. Subsequently Germany imposed sanctions against Russia and supported the Kiev regime’s savage military blitz against the Donbass. In the Ukraine, Germany once again, as in the 1930’s, found allies among neo-Nazi collaborators and thugs willing to slaughter ethnic Russian speaking federalists in the East. Merkel’s dream is to convert the Ukraine into a German-American client state, where German exports would replace Russian goods and German agro-mineral investors can exploit the country’s raw materials.


It is obvious that Merkel, Obama and other imperialist rulers have a double standard with regard to ‘Walls’ – they denounce ‘Communist Walls’ while supporting murderous ‘Capitalist Walls’ against refugees; they celebrate the fall of the Berlin Wall while they build bloodier Walls against the victims of their imperial wars.

Apart from the cant and hypocrisy of Western officialdom, there is a political logic guiding these policies. The West’s criteria , for deciding which Walls are worthy of support and which Walls should fall, runs along the following lines: Walls that keep out victims of imperialist wars are progressive and necessary for ‘national security’; Walls that protect Communist, nationalist or leftist regimes are repressive, dehumanizing and must fall.

If we consider the larger political consequences of an event, like the fall of the Berlin War and the subsequent arbitrary annexation of the East, it is clear that ‘re-unified’ Germany’s exercise of power has had a profoundly negative impact on the economies of Southern Europe and has concentrated dictatorial political powers in the hands of German decision-makers operating through EU headquarters in Brussels. Unified Germany has renounced its passive role and re-asserted its role in world politics: slowly at first as a passive junior partner to US imperialist wars in the Middle East and now, more decisively, by linking up with Ukraine rightists and thugs and imposing economic sanctions on Russia.

Germany’s ‘great fall’ after World War II required a half century to “put all the pieces together again”. But once in place, Germany seeks to project world power, particularly through its proxies in the EU and NATO, in alliance with US imperialism. The Fourth Reich increasingly looks back to the Third Reich.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

The Berlin Wall Just Another Brick in The Wall

Amazing comparison on Gilad Atzmon’s website:

Finian CUNNINGHAM | 11.11.2014 | 18:51

The 25th anniversary marking the fall of the Berlin Wall was an occasion to propagandise the past simultaneously with the present. US President Barack Obama in reference to the defunct wall said that the crisis in Ukraine showed that «Europe’s freedom» was still unfinished business. Thus Obama was neatly, if mendaciously, conflating the conventional Western notion of the Berlin Wall representing past Soviet oppression with the ongoing Western claim that conflict in Ukraine is due to Russian expansionism.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, speaking in the capital as hundreds of illuminated balloons rose into the night sky, said that the fall of the Berlin Wall was «an inspiration» for oppressed people everywhere, and she singled out Iraq, Syria and Ukraine for special mention. «Dreams can come true,» said Merkel, without a credible explanation.

An obvious and strange omission from Merkel’s list of oppressed people were those in the Occupied Palestinian territories who live in the shadow of the Israeli concrete separation wall.

This barrier, which violates international law, is taller and longer by hundreds of kilometres than the Berlin Wall ever was. Fitted with armed observation towers, Palestinians are a living embodiment of people oppressed by a contemporary Berlin Wall – yet Chancellor Merkel chose to ignore that and instead made reference to Ukraine.

This glaring anomaly in Merkel’s words belies the propagandised nature of the 25th anniversary marking the fall of the Berlin Wall and more generally the Cold War between West and East. The complete disconnect in Western leaders’ words with contemporary events is a telltale contradiction.

While the official celebrations were underway in Berlin, elsewhere in eastern Ukraine the Western-backed Kiev regime was continuing its military onslaught against the civilian population there. Western news media would report that the city of Donetsk was bombarded in the worst shelling for over a month, as if that violence was merely an unfortunate, hazardous occurrence without precedence. What the Western media omitted to tell was that this indiscriminate shelling of civilian areas by the Western-backed Kiev regime is a blatant war crime and is in violation of a ceasefire that was brokered in Minsk on September 5.

The Western media also fail to highlight that it was Washington and Berlin in particular who were instrumental in bringing the Kiev regime to power in an illegal coup against the elected government of Ukraine back in February. And that because the mainly Russian-speaking people of the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk refused to recognise the reactionary anti-Russian regime in Kiev the latter then launched a military offensive to crush this popular dissent – all with full Western support, including the supply of American military materiel and advisors to expedite this onslaught.

That offensive has been going on for more than seven months, with a death toll of over 4,000, mainly civilians, with up to one million turned into refugees. Last week, two children were killed when Kiev forces shelled a school in Donetsk city. A follow-up report by observers from the neutral Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) found that the school playing field where the children were blown to pieces bore at least 10 craters from the barrage. This was no accidental «collateral» damage. It was the usual criminal targeting of civilians by this regime.

Yet this week Washington reiterated a warning to Russia, for it to withdraw its alleged forces from eastern Ukraine and to honour commitments to the Minsk ceasefire. Russia denies that it has military forces inside eastern Ukraine or that it is supplying weapons to the pro-independence militia in Donetsk and Luhansk. Even if Russia were, it could be argued as legal and legitimate support to an oppressed population under fire from a foreign-backed illegal junta masquerading as a government in Kiev.

Western sanctimonious lecturing is repugnant and ironic given that it was Moscow’s diplomacy that largely facilitated the Minsk truce talks in the first place, between the Kiev regime and the separatist militia; and given the stark fact that it is the Western-backed regime that is not honouring the terms of the ceasefire, as well as persisting in committing gross crimes against humanity.

Obama and Merkel’s bracketing of the present conflict in Ukraine with the collapse of the Berlin Wall is obscene. It is a travesty of history and an odious attempt to conceal the very real crimes and cause of current conflict in Ukraine.

However, this propagandising of the past and present is paradoxically consistent.

Ukraine has been thrown into crisis by the Western powers for the covert purpose of aggravating Russia and instigating a cleavage between Moscow and the rest of the European continent. The object of Ukraine as a penetration point against neighbouring Russia has been spelled out by Western geopolitical planners, such as Zbigniew Brzezinski, since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the presumed end of the Cold War in 1991.

The main beneficiary of this new furtive conflict was always going to be Washington, from its renewed sway over Europe through executive control of the NATO military alliance, the continued pumping of America’s military-industrial complex, the breaking up of the strategic Russian-European energy trade, and the suppression of Russia as an emerging alternative pole in a multipolar global economy, with the concomitant demise of the US dollar as the world’s de facto monopoly exchange currency and, as a result, the nemesis of America’s chronic fiscal debt.

That European governing parties would perversely go along with this self-damaging geopolitical scheme only shows the vassal nature of their relationship with Washington.

It is also consistent with how the Cold War and the Berlin Wall first came into existence.

As American historian William Blum has pointed out, the Berlin Wall was built in 1961 not simply because of Soviet desire for reclusive isolation or internal oppression. It came about after a concerted campaign by the US and its Western allies to sabotage and destabilise the newly formed socialist German Democratic Republic. Western agents operating from American and British-occupied West Berlin were assiduous in carrying out acts of terrorism and industrial sabotage against East Berlin over several years following the end of the Second World War. The wall was seen as a necessary measure for security and protection by the GDR authorities in the face of this covert Western aggression.

From 1961 until its dismantling in 1989, some 150 people were killed for trying to traverse the wall from the GDR. But tens of thousands of others were allowed to migrate officially from East to West. Many thousands of Germans were also allowed to cross from the capitalist West to settle in the socialist East, an important countervailing detail that Western Cold War propaganda conveniently neglects.

The Berlin Wall as a symbol of presumed Soviet despotism is largely a Western ideological construct that obscures crucial factors in how the Cold War came into being, and why.

It was the Western powers led by the US and Britain that moved treacherously to alienate their Second World War Russian ally. At the Yalta conference in February 1945, Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin had agreed on a post-war demarcation of Europe following the anticipated defeat of Nazi Germany in May.

But by the next wartime summit, held in Potsdam in July-August 1945, the Western allies had abruptly moved to a hostile stance toward the Soviet Union. A major factor was that the deceased Roosevelt had been succeeded by Harry S Truman as American president, who shared Churchill’s visceral antipathy towards communism, and who was more amenable to US corporate interests.

On the eve of the Potsdam conference, on July 16, the US carried out its first successful atomic bomb explosion in the desert of New Mexico. The secret news of this new terrifying weapon had a dramatic effect on Truman adopting a much more adversarial attitude to the Soviets. Within a month, Truman ordered the dropping of the A-bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This new threshold of annihilation used unilaterally by the Americans had a freezing impact on relations with the Soviet Union, which did not obtain its own A-bomb until 1949.

Less than a year after the defeat of Nazi Germany, in March 1946, Winston Churchill made his famous Sinews of Peace speech in Truman’s native Missouri. In that address, the former British war leader warned about «an Iron Curtain» descending across Soviet Eastern Europe. It was another calculated moment in alienating the Soviet Union.

In 1943, Nazi propaganda minister Josef Goebbels used the same formulation as Churchill when he also warned about a Soviet Iron Curtain across Europe if the Third Reich were defeated. Thus the significance of Churchill’s words were not lost on the Russians, who had lost 27 million people in Hitler’s war of aggression, beginning with Operation Barbarossa in June 1941.

Churchill’s speech drew an angry response from Moscow. Joseph Stalin denounced it as warmongering and an attempt to destabilise Russian relations with Eastern Europe. For Russia, Eastern Europe was seen as a vital defensive corridor to prevent another devastating assault in the future emanating from Western Europe.

Russia also knew that Hitler’s Nazi war machine had been in part politically engineered by covert British and American financier and industrial support during the 1930s, with the tacit remit of attacking the Soviet Union and liquidating socialism as a competing ideology to crisis-stricken capitalism.

With the rogue Nazi regime out of the way in 1945, it would have seemed to the Soviet Union that the Western powers were resuming their previous hostile policy towards Moscow as had been extant during the rise of Nazi Germany in the 1930s. The recruitment of thousands of Nazi agents, military officers and scientists by the West in the aftermath of the Second World War to wage a clandestine war against the Soviet Union sent an unmistakable signal of Western strategic objectives.

The acquisition of the atomic bomb and the willingness to use it unilaterally against the Soviet Union by Western leaders, including Winston Churchill, adds to the foreboding context of how the Cold War and the Berlin Wall came into being.

Also, it should be noted that within four years of the Second World War’s end, the US, Britain and other European states formed the NATO military alliance, in 1949, with the pointed exclusion of the Soviet Union – the former ally that could rightly claim to have been the main victim of Nazi aggression and mass extermination, and eventually to be the main victor against this huge evil. Yet the Western powers were now turning treacherously to ostracise Moscow as a global pariah.

In the early postwar years, the Western public were well aware of Russia’s immense sacrifices and courage. There was also a groundswell of Western public support for socialist politics and a repudiation of warmongering capitalism, which was, at least subliminally in the public mind, associated with the origins of the Second World War – as it was too with the First World War less than three decades prior. Both wars had resulted in a total of 80 million dead – the worst combined cataclysm in human history.

For the American capitalist ruling class and its European allies, the Cold War was a necessary bulwark against an ascendant Russia. This new war cleaved Europe in a frozen ideological conflict that lasted for nearly half a century and continually threatened humanity with nuclear conflagration.

The Berlin Wall may have come down 25 years ago. But the Washington-led Western axis has been busy ever since constructing new barriers to peaceful international relations and to embark on a new Cold War in order to falsely polarise nations. From this divide-and-rule policy of polarisation, the US-led West can impose its hegemony. The relentless eastward expansion of NATO to the borders of Russia over the past two decades – in spite of post-Cold War vows during the early 1990s not to do so – is a corollary of the belligerent intention.

Far from serving as an inspiration to liberate people, the Berlin Wall is a symbol of continuing Western-imposed division and conflict. The Ukraine crisis and the contrived belligerent chasm that it has opened up across Europe is proof that the West’s long war against Russia has merely taken on a new form. No matter that millions of ordinary European citizens may suffer the consequences.

Western responsibility can also be invoked in other ongoing conflicts in Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. So much for Merkel’s inspiration to these wretched peoples.

The rise of Nazi fascism during the 1930s, the Second World War, the Cold War and the present new Cold War are all part of a continuum of conflict directed by the Western capitalist powers against its perceived main global rival – Russia. The Berlin Wall is only one of many belligerent barriers that arise and will continue to arise from this Western imperialist aggression.

Let’s not just bring down all the walls; let’s bring down the system behind them. For, as the Pink Floyd song goes, the Berlin Wall is just another brick in the wall – the much bigger ideological wall that is Western capitalism.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

Whitewashing Kiev Mass Murder

by Stephen Lendman

Washington ousted Ukraine’s democratically elected president. It elevated fascist thugs to power.

They’re radicalized ultranationalists. They’re overt anti-Semites. They’re militant hate-mongers. They have no legitimacy whatever.

They’re convenient US stooges. They’re puppets. They take orders from Washington.

They masquerade as politicians. They represent mob rule. They make mafia bosses look saintly by comparison.

For the first time since WW II, overt fascists have real power. They hold major government posts.

They represent the epicenter of European fascist reemergence. They usurped power by force. They’re waging war on their own people.

Right Sector neo-Nazis attacked Kiev residents and police. They bear full responsibility for Maidan killings.

Clear evidence proves it. Ousted President Viktor Yanukovych had nothing to do with what happened.

Previous articles discussed it. What Kiev won’t reveal. What it suppressed. Whitewashed.

Wrongfully blamed on Yanukovych. Shamelessly regurgitated by Western governments and media scoundrels.

Investigations when conducted conceal what’s most important to reveal. Regime killings are systematically whitewashed.

On October 10, Reuters headlined “Special Report: Flaws found in Ukraine’s probe of Maidan massacre.” More on this below.

Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet’s leaked conversation last April with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton revealed what happened.

He visited Kiev. He commented on what he learned. It’s polar opposite mainstream propaganda. He explained what’s vital to know.

Yanukovych was wrongfully blamed, he said. “(T)here is now stronger and stronger understanding that behind the snipers, it was not Yanukovyich, but it was somebody from the new coalition.”

“The Russian side is enraged by the militant provocation which is an indication of the reluctance of the authorities in Kiev to bridle and disarm nationalists and extremists.”

On March 12, 2014 former Ukrainian Security Service head Aleksandr Yakimenko confirmed Paet’s assessment. He blamed putschist official Andrey Parubiy.

He co-led Ukraine’s 2004 Orange Revolution. He’s a neo-Nazi Svoboda party leader.

He served as National Security and Defense Council secretary. He did so until stepping down in August.

“Shots came from the Philharmonic Hall,” said Yakimenko. “Maidan Commandant Parubiy was responsible for this building.”

“Snipers and people with automatic weapons were ‘working’ from this building on February 20. They supported the assault on the Interior Ministry forces on the ground who were already demoralized and had, in fact, fled,” he added.

“When the first wave of shootings ended, many have witnessed 20 people leaving the building.”

They were carrying military-style bags used for sniper and assault rifles with optical sights.

Many witnesses saw them. Foreign elements may have been involved. Perhaps CIA, US special forces, and secret service operatives.

What happened was well planned in advance. “These were the forces that carried out everything that they were told by their leadership – the United States,” Yakimenko stressed.

Maidan leaders practically lived at Washington’s embassy, he added. It was coup d’etat headquarters.

As security chief, Parubiy controlled access to weapons used for Maidan killings. He took full advantage.

Reuters investigated what happened. It conducted interviews with prosecutors, defense attorneys, protesters, police officers and legal experts.

It discovered “serious flaws” in Kiev’s investigation. In April, three suspects were arrested. Members of an elite Berkut riot police unit.

Including decorated commander Dmytro Sadovnyk. He was wrongfully charged with ordering his men to fire on Maidan protesters.

He and two others were accused of killing 39 Kiev residents. They were framed. So-called evidence against Sadovnyk was fabricated.

Included was a photograph allegedly showing him masked on the day of the killings. Holding a rifle with two hands. His fingers clearly visible.

He doesn’t have two hands. An earlier training accident blew off his right hand. A stump replaced it.

His lawyer, Serhiy Vilkov, said “(h)e can’t shoot. To blame him for the crime is a political game.”

According to Reuters, “probes into the killings have been hindered by missing evidence.”

“Many guns allegedly used to shoot protesters have vanished; many of the bullets fired were taken home as souvenirs.”

“Barricades, bullet-pierced trees and other items of forensic evidence were removed, lawyers say.”

So-called investigations “are testing Ukraine’s ability to rise above the kinds of failings that have hobbled the country” since its 1991 independence.

“(E)ndemic problems” persist. Including radicalized governance, indifference to rule of law principles, state-sponsored violence, “political corruption, racketeering, a divide between” Ukrainian and Russian language speakers and “a broken justice system.”

“The two prosecutors and a government minister who have led the Maidan shooting probes all played roles in supporting the uprising,” said Reuters.

“To date,” Maidan killers haven’t been apprehended. Justice remains denied.

Prosecutors wrongfully declared three Berkut officers guilty by accusation. Ukraine is party to the European Convention on Human Rights.

Its principles are clear and unequivocal. Defendants are presumed innocent unless proved otherwise beyond a shadow of a doubt. According to international criminal law attorney Richard Harvey:

“A public statement by a prosecutor that directly challenges that presumption is a denial of due process.”

Kiev fabricated evidence. It did so to blame innocent victims for its crimes. They had nothing to do with what happened. Nor Yanukovych.

Ukraine’s “general prosecutor’s office declined to discuss” evidence proving it. Innocent victims remain jailed.

No trial date was set, said Reuters.  “All three men face life imprisonment.” For killings they didn’t commit.

A previous article discussed Ukraine’s whitewashed Odessa massacre report. What happened revealed fascism’s dark side.

Kiev bore full responsibility. Premeditated mass murder was committed as planned. Coverup and denial suppressed it.

Verifiable evidence proved otherwise. Neo-Nazi Right Sector thugs set Odessa’s Trade Union House (TUH) ablaze.

People were trapped inside. Dozens were massacred. Scores more were injured. Many were missing.

They were either dead or in neo-Nazi hands. Early reports way underestimated what happened. It was multiples worse than reported.

Neo-Nazis isolated Odessans inside the TUH. A largely unwitnessed massacre followed.

Setting the building ablaze was strategy. It was done to conceal mass murder. Ordinary Ukrainians were slaughtered in cold blood.

Nearby tents were set on fire. Doing so preceded what followed. Right Sector thugs positioned themselves inside the TUH. They were there in advance.

They were armed and dangerous. Police did nothing to intervene. They conspired with fascist killers. So did Odessan firefighters.

They only appeared when TUH’s entrance doors burned through. Its building was five stories. From outside, fire was only visible in a single room.

Bodies were shown on upper floors untouched by fire. How did they get there? Who bore responsibility?

They were murdered in advance. Things were staged. They were made to seem like fire consumed them.

Corpses were dragged from where they died. People perished inside from gunshot wounds, strangling and beatings.

Some were thrown from windows. They didn’t jump. It bears repeating. Setting TUH ablaze masked what happened. Fire didn’t kill activists inside. Neo-Nazi hoodlums did.

Some corpses had burnt heads and shoulders only. Clothes they wore showed no signs of fire.

Someone doused their shoulders and heads with “flammable stuff.” Hands and wrists were burned to the bone.

Photos showed strange whitewash floor markings. It was powder from extinguishers.

Right Sector thugs used it on people they killed. They did so to protect themselves from fire and carbon monoxide poisoning.

Hardwood floors showed no signs of fire damage. Victims were murdered other ways.

Photographic evidence was damning. So were independent videos. They showed mass murder by means other than fire and/or carbon monoxide poisoning.

Some bodies had multiple gun shot wounds to the head. They were executed in cold blood at point blank range.

A pregnant woman was strangled with an electric wire. Hundreds were killed. As many as 300 or more.

Most were hacked to death with axes or clubbed to death with bats. Some were shot. Others were thrown from windows.

Fascists operate this way. Ukraine is a hotbed of extremism. No-holds-barred barbarism reflects official policy.

Washington manipulates things covertly. Coup-appointed putschists are convenient stooges.

They committed gruesome atrocities. They murdered hundreds of Odessans in cold blood.

Western leaders buried truth. So did MSM scoundrels. Whitewash substituted for truth and full disclosure. Justice remains denied.

Kiev declared war on its own people. It massacred thousands in cold blood. It continues doing it despite Minsk protocol ceasefire terms.

Its high crimes against peace go unpunished. On October 13, RT International headlined “Five Ukraine war tragedies: Questions unanswered, investigations drawn out,” saying:

“Human rights groups…call(ed) for Kiev to conduct forensic analyses of corpses from mass graves uncovered in E. Ukraine to learn what happened to them.”

“But like four other tragedies, scant progress has been made in bringing the truth to light.” Coverup and denial persist.

According to OSCE spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic:

“We are aware of the reports about anonymous burials in Donbass, in particular as reported by the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission.”

“Clearly there needs to be an independent investigation in line with international standards which should include forensic examination.”

“It is too early for us to speculate on exactly what has happened here or on who is responsible.”

Kiev stonewalls investigatory efforts. Self-defense forces discovered mass graves.

They responded to information provided by area residents. They said Ukrainian forces dug them to conceal mass murders. To cover up their high crimes.

Victims were killed execution-style. Bodies were discovered about 35 kilometers northeast of Donetsk.

Four sites were found so far. In areas Kiev forces and extremist  National Guard Aidar battalion elements control.

Total body counts are yet to be determined. New sites may be found. Sergey Lavrov believes hundreds were buried secretly. Maybe more than he imagines.

Russia’s Investigative Committee head Vladimir Markin was clear and unequivocal saying:

“For those who have doubts regarding who’s responsible for these murders, the Investigative Committee has irrefutable evidence – witness accounts and appropriate examinations – that directly indicates that this crime was committed by fighters from the National Guard and Right Sector.”

Mass graves “are further eloquent testimony to the atrocities of the Ukrainian nationalists,” he added.

“(A)ll of the victims were tortured before their murder.” Months after mass killings were committed, guilty parties remain free uncharged.

September 5 Minsk protocol ceasefire terms are illusory. Kiev’s war on its own people persists.

Self-defense freedom fighters are wrongfully blamed for its crimes. Justice remains denied.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

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An American Jew in Palestine

Steven Davidson's summer taught him that peacetime and wartime in Palestine aren't a whole lot different.

Steven Davidson / The Chronicle

Steven Davidson’s summer taught him that peacetime and wartime in Palestine aren’t a whole lot different.

HEBRON, Palestine—I recall the sermons in my religious services growing up. During the High Holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, there were always calls for peace and prayers for Israel. A country symbolizing the triumphant conclusion to centuries of persecution, Israel was the home to my people—the Jews. And they had waited so long to return. It wasn’t until this summer in which I had the honor of doing so. Although I began my trip under the normal auspices of going on Birthright, my trip took me far from the comforts of Israel, into a land where few Jews go—Palestine.

Preparing to leave from Tel Aviv, I was nervous for the two months ahead. I had just finished participating in the Birthright program. After listening to the Israeli narrative of this land for two weeks, I was ready to see the other side that had been kept from me and other Jews for so long. Mentions of the West Bank were sparse during Birthright, and when it was discussed, the narrative seemed incomplete. I had loved my connection with the Land of Israel—the land of my origins. However, I was disturbed by the way people connected the Land of Israel with the State of Israel—the actions and policies of the current government—without true inner contemplation. Political doctrine was presented as fact.

Now I was going to the black part of the map.

Steven Davidson / The Chronicle

I craved to see Palestine with my own eyes, but knew so little about the land. Before I went to teach English to Palestinians and work for an Nongovernmental organization in Hebron, I tried to research the Palestinian culture. But Google searches only yielded news clippings of terrorist attacks and violent clashes. All I had heard from Israelis about Palestinians was their supposed poor taste in clothing. As I crossed the Green Line to enter the West Bank, life in Palestine was a complete and anxious unknown.

So how did a Jew from New York survive in a place in which the Anti-Defamation League found 93 percent of the population to be anti-Semitic? Aside from a group of trusted people, everyone in the West Bank thought I was Christian.

The situation I discovered while living in Hebron in the West Bank for more than two months was shocking. Living there during times of peace (relatively speaking), a kidnapping and ensuing operation and ultimately war, I witnessed all the stages of the occupation. I witnessed inhumane horrors at the hands of what I had been told for so long was a benevolent government. They were horrors I had not anticipated to be so blatant in their nature and so extensive in their practice. Yet, the comforting light at the end of my journey was to have the opportunity to meet the people there who—in spite of their traumatic lives—only showed me love and hospitality.

There I was, on the other side of one of the biggest conflicts in world history, and all these people showed me was kindness. There was the husband and wife who, after feeding me to no end (an all-too-common occurrence), sent me on my way with a bag of peaches. The father, peering around the room, handed me an energy drink, desperate to give me anything. In one afternoon alone, four separate people on the street invited me to dinner that night. There was the taxi driver who took it upon himself to leave his shift to show me around the Old City and reveal all the secrets his town had to offer, and the restaurateur who took me in as I sought to break fast during Ramadan. As I finished the three-course Iftar, I asked him how much it would cost. He looked at me and replied, “No, Islam,” as he pointed to the sky.

These were people who often worked upward of 11 or 12 hours in a day to make not much money at all, and yet, here they were paying for my drinks, treating me to dinner and doing everything they can to make me feel welcome.

So how did a Jew from New York survive in a place in which the Anti-Defamation League found 93 percent of the population to be anti-Semitic? Aside from a group of trusted people, everyone in the West Bank thought I was Christian. I was racked with guilt of lying to people who had been so kind to me, yet I knew that if the wrong person had found out my background, there could be grave repercussions.

Wars do not happen without a systematic dehumanization of your enemy. In Palestine, this dehumanization is the same in peacetime as it is in the throws of battle.

Ultimately, my identity would not have made a difference with most people. In conversations I had, people repeatedly stated to me that they were not anti-Semitic—they were only anti-Zionist. They emphasized all the two Abrahamic religions shared, and they always mentioned the American Jews who voiced opposition to Israeli occupation. The picture I was viewing was vastly different than the one that had been painted for me when I was younger. I realized that statistics like the ADL’s was the result of equating anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. Even when I encountered anti-Semitism, which I will never condone, I knew it was the product of experiences that span far beyond my 21 years on this earth. Their fleeting interactions with Jews have often ended staring down the barrel of a gun.

Wars do not happen without a systematic dehumanization of your enemy.

In Palestine, this dehumanization is the same in peacetime as it is in the throws of battle. The Palestinians live under military rule.

Israel Defense Forces soldiers can effectively do as they please. Even places Palestinians are technically allowed to go would sometimes be off-limits. I listened as my friend told me how his ability to go to the Dead Sea, inside the West Bank, was dictated by whether a soldier along the way decided to turn him back or not. And if my friend asserted his right to go? “I might be shot.”

Whoever by name controlled areas of the West Bank, it was ultimately Israel that had the overriding power. Checkpoints were everywhere—soldiers were as common as olive trees. Before I arrived, there had been a video of an identified soldier shooting and killing an unarmed girl, yet nothing happened. There is virtually no international media found in the West Bank. Israel largely keeps the foreign press out and demands self-censorship.

Most international reports on the West Bank are in fact reported from Tel Aviv or Jerusalem. To read the news unfolding in front of me distorted by the media at home only affirmed that I needed to share what I experienced. Censorship is one of Israel’s greatest weapons—the reality does not match the story given to the public.

The wall that divides Israel and Palestine creates more than physical barriers.
Steven Davidson / The Chronicle

A towering slab of concrete divides Israel and Palestine. The wall’s construction destroyed dozens of villages, has caused an endless economic depression and imprinted permanent psychological damage to the Palestinian people. Every time I mentioned going to Tel Aviv, guilt would seep through as people lamented their desire to just one day be able to see the ocean. It pained me as I’d pass Jerusalem from the other side of the wall and those around me would look on at the Dome of the Rock in the distance, wishing to one day pray there. It was always an awkward topic to mention my travels in Israel, having visited all these places as a foreigner. These places were a part of their childhood, yet now they could never experience what I did with such ease. The wall penetrated people’s minds and livelihood in so many ways, even in life-or-death situations. There was a boy who fell ill and needed immediate medical attention. His family drove to the wall to go to the hospital in Jerusalem. In spite of his critical condition, soldiers denied permission for him to go. He died at the wall. These stories are far from uncommon.

Visiting the wall was intensely emotional. In Bethlehem, people write down their experiences and tape them to the wall. The stories stretch for miles. Street art on the wall calls for freedom and justice, a world where they “build bridges, not walls.” Tears flowed down my face in a gentle stream. I came upon an inscription: “Judaism ≠ Zionism,” as a Crescent Moon and Star of David were drawn side-by-side. I collapsed to my knees. The messages in front of me were cries of desperation, of humanity. And yet, only on this side of the wall could these cries be heard.

 I asked myself, ‘Why? What is the reason?’ The answer always was: there was no reason.

Even in the West Bank, Palestinians struggle to move around. Checkpoints arbitrarily turn people back or detain them for hours on end, despite international law limiting detention without reason to 20 minutes. People are beaten and humiliated at these checkpoints. These are not defensive measures. They occur unprovoked and upon innocent bystanders. With checkpoints and limited roads available to the Palestinians, a 60-mile trip from Hebron to Jenin can take six hours.

Foreign aid workers are hardly welcome in the West Bank. The friends I had were forced to lie under the pretenses of their stays in Israel or face being turned away. Each time they leave, they fear they won’t be allowed back in. Suspicion of going to the West Bank leads to detention in the airport or on the border for hours, with the very possible result of being turned away. I knew an American lawyer who was stopped at Ben Gurion Airport. They demanded to look through her computer. Knowing her rights, she said no. They told her they would take her computer and send it back to her. When it was sent back, there was a bullet hole through it.

Members of Christian Peacemaker Teams—a human rights organization with funding from the United Nations—have had their credentials turned down at the border. Even when they get into the West Bank, there are risks. They have been arrested by the IDF for simply escorting Palestinian children to school to prevent violence from settlers and soldiers alike.

I cannot count the amount of times I witnessed and learned things in which I’d fall silent. I asked myself, ‘Why? What is the reason?’ The answer always was: there was no reason. I’ve witnessed what the government and thus media declare to be security measures. They’re not security measures. They’re oppression.

The prisoners Palestinians refer to as “the kidnapped” are those who are under Israeli administrative detention. Administrative detention was a law carried over and expanded from the times of the British Mandate. It allows Israel to throw anyone in prison—in use, Palestinians—for up to six months without charges or due process. They simply renew the sentence every six months, making imprisonment indefinite. These cases are nonviolent in nature and are largely used as a measure to suppress political activism in the West Bank.

The first night I was in Hebron, I met a man who was in administrative detention for five years. He was silenced after being politically active on his college campus against the occupation. There were others I had met who had been imprisoned under similar terms. None of them committed any wrongful crimes.

I had tea in the home of another man who had been imprisoned under administrative detention for four years. Hamas had been helping to pay for his college tuition, so he was thrown in jail. What people don’t realize about support for Hamas in the West Bank is that it does not come out of a desire to kill all Jews. In times of relative calm, most support actually comes from Hamas’s social welfare programs, such as helping kids pay for school, running soup kitchens and organizing community activities such as soccer leagues. This dynamic changed as the war in Gaza began.

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Separation barrier: A grey sky above Mahdi’s dreams

Children running on the Lebanese side of the border with occupied Palestine near the Israeli-built wall. August 18, 2014. (Photo:Al-Akhbar English/Fatima Hanan Elreda)
Published Tuesday, September 23, 2014
“Who is Handala?” Mahdi asks as he stares up at the separation barrier. Giant blocks of cement covered in graffiti; some artistic, other vandalistic, and the rest strokes of anger taken out on the wall, were as big as mountains to 5-year-old Mahdi. From the ‘F word’ to love messages to anti-Zionist slogans, the wall has become a concrete canvas, a work of resistance art.
He says he knows what’s behind the wall. “…The Israelis, they’re the bad guys. We have to shoot them,” exclaims Mahdi mimicking the ricocheting impact of a machine gun. He soon forgets our conversation and runs along the wall as if racing against it. He wins every time. The boy, born and raised in a pro-resistance environment, believes that one day he will grow up to be a fighter.
The Israelis claim they built the separation barrier along the border with the southern Lebanese town of KfarKila to prevent infiltration attempts into occupied Palestinian territory.
Stretching from “Fatima Gate,” a former crossing between Lebanon and Israel, to the Spanish pond between KfarKila and Adaisseh the barrier is meant to ‘protect’ the Israeli military giant from threats such as Mahdi.
While it is by no means a mammoth as huge as the “apartheid wall” in the West Bank, neither in size nor in its effect on the lives of civilians, the barrier adjacent to the southern border has cast a shadow over the Lebanese side and has even blocked the view of occupied Palestine. At a sly level, the Israelis may have built it to wall up ambitions, as if it will make the struggle disappear.
Mahdi presses his ear against the wall, wondering if there is someone listening on the other side. There probably is. The walls do have ears. Israel spying on Lebanon, specifically Hezbollah, is no secret to anyone.
Now all eyes – except for those of Hezbollah’s – have been diverted from the lurking predator in the south. The new front against the so-called Islamic State has distracted us from the timeless conflict.
As a Lebanese citizen, from the south in particular, I have failed my country. It’s been 10 years since I last visited my village Yaroun which lies within the triangle of resistance: Maroun al-Ras, Aitaroun, Aita al-Shaab. Not only have I forgotten what it means to be from the south amid the struggles of daily life, but I am also guilty of being an ignoramus when it comes to the history of our land. Yes, I am willing to stand in a court of justice (if that exists in Lebanon) and plead guilty. My crime? Getting lost in the stream of normalization. My self-handed sentence would be to swim against the current.
But then again, it is them who are breaching international law by continually flying within Lebanese aerial space, carrying out ground military incursions, spying, and most symbolically of all uprooting trees. These trees, with their roots in Lebanon and branches in occupied Palestine stand witness to the tensions on the border. These trees could one day ignite an all-out war.
Once again, the Arab struggle against Israeli settler-colonialism comes down to a David and Goliath confrontation. If Mahdi had a slingshot he would pick up some rocks and hurl them at the enemies of the holy land. If this were to happen, Israeli troops would either crawl under a rock or respond with gunfire. No human barrier has ever stopped Israeli occupation forces from killing children.
Building a wall won’t make what’s behind it disappear and neither do good fences make good neighbors at all times, at least not when this ‘neighbor’ continues to occupy Lebanese land. All the while, the color of occupation paints a grey sky above Mahdi’s dreams.
Fatima Hanan Elreda is a news editor at al-Etejah TV. She has a BA in journalism from the Lebanese International University and is currently pursuing a degree in English Literature at the Lebanese University.
The views expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect Al-Akhbar English‘s editorial policy. If you would like to submit a thoughtful response to one of our opinion pieces, send your contribution to oursubmissions editor.


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Israel’s Bubble of Denial

The 24-hour visit by German chancellor Angela Merkel to Israel this week came as relations between the two countries hit rock bottom. According to a report in Der Spiegel magazine last week, Merkel and Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu have been drawn into shouting matches when discussing by phone the faltering peace process.
Despite their smiles to the cameras during the visit, tension behind the scenes has been heightened by an diplomatic bust-up earlier this month when Martin Schulz, the president of the European parliament and himself German, gave a speech to the Israeli parliament.
In unprecedented scenes, a group of Israeli legislators heckled Schulz, calling him a “liar”, and then staged a walk-out, led by the economics minister Naftali Bennett. Rather than apologising, Netanyahu intervened to lambast the European leader for being misinformed.
Schulz, who, like Merkel, is considered a close friend of Israel, used his speech vehemently to oppose growing calls in Europe for a boycott of Israel. So how did he trigger such opprobrium?
Schulz’s main offence was posing a question: was it true, as he had heard in meetings in the West Bank, that Israelis have access to four times more water than Palestinians? He further upset legislators by gently suggesting that Israel’s blockade of Gaza was preventing economic growth there.
Neither statement should have been in the least controversial. Figures from independent bodies such as the World Bank show Israel, which controls the region’s water supplies, allocates per capita about 4.4 times more water to its population than the Palestinians.
Equally, it would be hard to imagine that years of denying goods and materials to Gaza, and blocking exports, have not ravaged its economy. The unemployment rate, for example, has increased 6 per cent, to 38.5 per cent, following Israel’s recent decision to prevent the transfer of construction materials to Gaza’s private sector.
But Israelis rarely hear such facts, either from their politicians or media. And few are willing to listen when a rare voice like Schulz’s intervenes. Israelis have grown content living in a large bubble of denial.
Netantahu and his ministers are making every effort to reinforce that bubble, just as they have tried to shield Israelis from the fact that they live in the Middle East, not Europe, by building walls on every side – both physical and bureacratic – to exclude Palestinians, Arab neighbours, foreign workers and asylum seekers.
Inside Israel, the government is seeking to silence the few critical voices left. The intimidation was starkly on display last week as the supreme court considered the constitutionality of the recent “boycott law”, which threatens to bankrupt anyone calling for a boycott of either Israel or the settlements.
Tellingly, a lawyer for the government defended its position by arguing that Israel could not afford freedom of expression of the kind enjoyed by countries like the US.
Illustrating the point, uproar greeted the news last month that a civics teacher had responded negatively when asked by pupils whether he thought Israel’s army the most moral in the world. A campaign to sack him has been led by government ministers and his principal, who stated: “There are sacred cows I won’t allow to be slaughtered.”
Similarly, last week it emerged that a Palestinian from East Jerusalem had been interrogated by police for incitement after noting on Facebook that his city was “under occupation”.
Outside Israel, Netanyahu is indulging in more familiar tactics to browbeat critics. Tapping European sensitivities, he accused those who support a boycott of being “classical anti-semites in modern garb”. Netanyahu justified the allegation, as he has before, on the grounds that Israel is being singled it out.
It looks that way to Israelis only because they have singularly insulated themselves from reality.
Western critics focus on Israel because, unlike countries such as North Korea or Iran, it has managed to avoid any penalties despite riding roughshod over international norms for decades.
Iran, which is only suspected of secretly developing nuclear weapons, has been enduring years of savage sanctions. Israel, which has hidden its large stockpile of nuclear warheads from international scrutiny since the late 1960s, has enjoyed endless diplomatic cover.
Contrary to Netanyahu’s claim, lots of countries around the world have been singled out for sanctions by the United States and Europe – whether diplomatic, financial or, in the case of Iraq, Libya and Syria, military.
But the antipathy towards Israel has deeper roots still. Israel has not only evaded accountability, it has been handsomely rewarded by the US and Europe for flouting international conventions in its treatment of the Palestinians.
The self-styled global policemen have encouraged Israel’s law-breaking by consistently ignoring its transgressions and continuing with massive aid handouts and preferential trade deals. In Germany’s case, one of the most significant benefits has been its decision to supply Israel with a fleet of Dolphin submarines, which allow Israel to transport its rogue nuclear arsenal around the high seas.
Far from judging Israel unfairly, Schulz, Merkel and most other western leaders regularly indulge in special pleading on its behalf. They know about Israel’s ugly occupation but shy away from exercising their powers to help end it.
The reason why popular criticism of Israel is currently galvanising around the boycott movement – what Netanyahu grandly calls “delegitimisation” – is that it offers a way for ordinary Americans and Europeans to distance themselves from their governments’ own complicity in Israel’s crimes.
If Netanyahu has refused to listen to his external critics, western governments have been no less at fault in growing impervious to the groundswell of sentiment at home that expects Israel to be forced to take account of international law.
Both Merkel’s diplomatic niceties and her shouting matches have proven utterly ineffective. It is time for her and her western colleagues to stop talking and to start taking action against Israel.
Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His latest books are “Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East” (Pluto Press) and “Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair” (Zed Books). His website is
A version of this article first appeared in The National, Abu Dhabi.

World from Behind the Wall

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Behind the Wall“Put yourself in their shoes. Look at the world through their eyes. It is not fair that a Palestinian child cannot grow up in a state of their own. Living their entire lives with the presence of a foreign army that controls the movements not just of those young people but their parents, their grandparents, every single day. It’s not just when settler violence against Palestinians goes unpunished. It’s not right to prevent Palestinians from farming their lands; or restricting a student’s ability to move around the West Bank; or displace Palestinian families from their homes Neither occupation nor expulsion is the answer. Just as Israelis built a state in their homeland, Palestinians have a right to be a free people in their own land.” -President Barak Obama in Israel 2013

Would that the President might take his own advice—“Put yourself in their shoes. Look at the world through their eyes”—he need only open his eyes beyond the wall that imprisons the Palestinians he speaks about: see how the wall blinds the Jews to the plight of the people they drove from their land, see the barren landscape on the other side rubble strewn, savaged by bulldozers and missiles, see the people caught in a maelstrom of poverty and deprivation, listen to the mothers and wives weep for their husbands and sons jailed without charge in Israel’s Gulag where escape comes by self-starvation as the only defense against indefinite torture and lives lost to family and friends, listen to the cries of the people of the world who have condemned this barbaric behavior only to run into the President’s own wall–the veto in the UN Security Council that effectively denies the justice he so righteously exalts, “Peace is also just.” How true and how easily it could be made a reality if he were to simply abstain during the vote that sought to bring this defiant state before the International Court of Justice finally after 64 years of impunity to the very justice this President mouth, as though saying it levitates him beyond criticism.

Indeed, “Look at the world through their eyes,” let Americans look at the state of Israel through Palestinian eyes to witness the monstrous injustice that exists in this “democratic state” that “shares America’s values,” America’s only “friend” in the mid-east. Let’s look at how the Israeli government responds to the President’s call for justice for the Palestinians, within three days of his visit. Let’s report on a peaceful protest that has gone unnoticed by the American press with the exception of Tim King’s Salem-News: “Israeli forces have sprayed Palestinian homes in the village of Nabi Saleh with “skunk”* as a punishment for organizing weekly protests against the Apartheid Wall built on occupied West Bank land (March 26, 2013). See the video provided by the paper that the eyes of all might be opened:

While the American press offered nothing about this incident, Reuters and the Guardian did as well as The Middle East Monitor which provided this background information: “Israeli forces have sprayed Palestinian homes in the village of Nabi Saleh with raw sewage … as a punishment for organizing weekly protests against the Apartheid Wall built on occupied West Bank land. Human rights watchdog B’Tselem published a video showing Israel’s armoured tanker trucks fitted with “water cannons” which spray the foul fluid at Palestinian protesters. B’Tselem said in a statement that the Israeli forces also targeted all the houses of the village with the sewage. The powerful jet broke windows and caused a great deal of damage in the houses, said the Israeli organization. “It also causes environmental damage,” it pointed out. The non-lethal weapon has been added to the Israelis’ armoury for crowd control, said B’Tselem, even though the video shows clearly that it is also used against Palestinian-owned property”.

How can the people of the United States tolerate such despicable and inhumane behavior from a supposed friend? When did Americans decide that peaceful protests should not be allowed? When did Americans decide that their tax dollars should provide a state the means to shower humans and their homes in foul smelling chemicals that literally cloaks them in animal smell used by animals for self-protection but used here to prevent intelligent dissent from oppressive military aggression. Literally forcing silence to prevent disagreement. These are the ruthless and barbaric actions of a state that has no respect for humans other than its own; it casts a pall over its ”friend,” the American people, by making them complicit in such abominable behavior, it smells to high treason, an insult to those who have provided an estimated 3 trillion dollars of support that this state might exist (

What is particularly disturbing is the fact that minds have designed this “strategy” to quell dissent, a fundamental right and duty of democratic people. It tells us that the state of Israel does not value dissent; its newspapers can carry debates by its Jewish citizens but it will not tolerate dissent from those it occupies or its non-Jewish citizens.

Look through the eyes of the Palestinian mother and father who have struggled mightily to maintain a home through these years of deprivation; watch them see this “shit,”a term used in Vermont to describe the spreading of cow manure on the fields in the spring, but this is not Vermont nor are the Israelis “shitting the fields,” pulverize the house breaking through the windows saturating furniture, beds, even kitchen utensils depriving them of basic forks and knives to use at dinner. What is this but collective punishment of the innocent who at worst wanted to demonstrate against the occupation peacefully. There is no self-defense here; it is rather sheer racist hatred of others, demeaning, shameful, a means to inflict uncontested force against the defenseless, the coward’s way to self-fulfillment.

No state can spread such “shit” on its people with impunity except Israel protected as it is by our captured Senators like Lindsey Graham, who had the audacity to interrogate a true patriot, Senator Hagel, who pledged his oath of office to the United States not a foreign government, because he was beholden to AIPAC knowing as he sat there the answer to his question to Hagel, name a Senator Mr. Hagel who is afraid of Israel, with the answer written all over his obsequious face, you Senator Graham.

This is not the democracy Americans practice; it is a sham democracy that protects the few and emasculates those excluded. Democracy is inclusive. Had I not witnessed this behavior in this decade of advanced civilization, I would have thought that it came from the mind of our most enlightened sci-fi satirists, Kurt Vonnegut, Aldous Huxley, or George Orwell, minds capable of dreaming the impossible couched in scenes of the savage country or 1984; perhaps reality has caught up with comic satire.

Obama’s trip to Israel demonstrated, in the words of AIPAC, America’s “resilient friendship, based in large part on an unshakable dedication to common values. Commitment to democracy, the rule of law, freedom of religion and speech and human rights are all core values shared between the United States and Israel” (AIPAC). What is that rule of law that binds these two countries together that such a vicious display of animosity against neighbors would be inflicted so shortly after the President of this “resilient friendship” left the country having asked the Israeli people to consider “Looking through the eyes of their neighbors at the conditions imposed on them by the Israeli occupation”?
The Israeli government has imposed Military Order 101 that requires an Israeli permit if more than 10 people gather, something similar to the “parade permits” required in the old south to ensure no demonstrations against “Bull Connor’s peaceful world.” Martin Luther King had to face that same logic in the United States in August of 1963. Certainly our President knows the brilliance of King’s logic that tore apart the logic of occupiers and oppressors that denied the rights of people who live in a free, open and equitable land, a truly democratic land that treats all its citizens by rules of law as civilized societies must: “…I am in Birmingham because injustice is here. Just as the eighth-century prophets left their little villages and carried their “thus saith the Lord” far beyond the boundaries of their hometowns; and just as the Apostle Paul left his little village of Tarsus and carried the gospel of Jesus Christ to practically every hamlet and city of the Greco-Roman world, I too am compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my particular hometown.” Is not this the purpose of the President’s visit to Israel, to announce to the world that America will not tolerate injustice done in its name by its “resilient friend” that receives 8 million a day from the lagers of the American taxpayer?
But there’s more, much more that King argued before the American government when it was forced to confront its immorality and illegality after 90 years of segregation, oppression and deceit against its own people. “I am cognizant,” King asserted, “of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly…You deplore the demonstration that are presently taking place in Birmingham. But I am sorry that your statement did not express a similar concern for the conditions that brought the demonstration into being.”

How prophetic of the conditions that have yoked the United States to the state of Israel. Indeed that state wants to forge a “security agreement” that would link its behavior to that of the United States and literally drive our policies in concert with theirs. Skunk tankers would become American tools against its own people even as we permit, even encourage, the lawlessness that drives Israeli policies against its neighbors whether the American people agree or not. Thus do we become complicit in the evil perpetrated by that rogue state.

But some will assert that America had laws requiring permits to gather, to protest peacefully, and to march against the immoral actions of its local military authority. And King demolished that logic by appeal to a human nature that knows barbarity does not and should not rule in a civilized state.

“One may well ask, “How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?” The answer is found in the fact that there are two types of laws: there are just laws, and there are unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that “An unjust law is no law at all.”Now, what is the difference between the two? How does one determine when a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law, or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. Toput it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas, an unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal and natural law. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust.”

We, the humans that design and implement the rules of law, do so to ensure that all are treated equally under that law; if not we have abrogated the responsibility of civilized humans to act on behalf of all and thus have become but beasts dependent on instinct and ruthless force to exist. That is not the principled foundation upon which the United States was fashioned. And while the nation did not begin its days in keeping with its principles, it never erased them but rather attempted in time to reconcile its beliefs with the implementation of laws that corrected its deficiencies.

Well might we ask how this President reacted to the foul actions of the Israeli government when it uses such despicable actions against the people it is responsible for protecting under the rules of international occupation? This is what he said: “So peace is necessary. But peace is also just.Peace is also just. There is no question that Israel has faced Palestinian factions who turned to terror, leaders who missed historic opportunities. That is all true.”

[But it is as well deceitful; it addresses only the concerns of one side, the “resilient friend” of the U.S. Why no mention of the Nakba, the defiant use of illegal terrorist destruction by the Jewish Agency and its armies against the legal authority of the Mandate Government charged by the international community to protect both the indigenous people of Palestine and the immigrants arriving from Europe? Why no mention of the 64 years of intentionally stalled peace negotiations’ that resulted in the virtual takeover of all the land of Palestine? Why no mention of the original intention of the Jewish Agency and its adherents to remove by whatever force necessary the Arabs from the land of Israel when in fact they didn’t own it or have “historical” right to it? Why pretend to the world that the Palestinians have been the perpetrators of terrorism when they have the legal right to defend their homeland against illegal occupiers and oppressors?]

“And that’s why security must be at the center of any agreement.”

[Security for whom? Do not the Palestinians need security when the reality on the ground has been the theft of virtually all their land? Only security for the state of Israel against the Palestinians when the state of Israel has the fourth largest military in the world and the Palestinians have no military?]
“It has to be done by the parties.”

[Certainly it is obvious to all that the United States cannot be a broker for peace between these parties. It is yoked to the state of Israel irrevocably. Only the UN can bring resolution by bringing Israel before the Security Council to determine how it will reconfigure its borders so that the state of Palestine can be fashioned legitimately and justice for all can be established.]

“But the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination, their right to justice, must also be recognized.”

[If this is Obama’s desire than does he has a responsibility to take action to ensure it happens. Doing nothing will change nothing. Let the 95% of the world’s population that has recognized the rights of the Palestinian people (188 nations out of 193 allowed by their vote acceptance of the people of Palestine to member status in the UN) direct the process by which justice can be done.]

If we look at the world from behind the wall that imprisons the Palestinian people, we must accept the injustice that pervades the Zionist government’s treatment of their neighbors. Any law that degrades human personality as Martin Luther King states is unjust. What is more degrading to the human personality than to be drenched in the sewage that flows from the Jewish squatters’ settlements or sprayed by the skunks that use their protective innards to deny the democratic right of dissent? A just people create just laws, laws that uplift human personality. Peace is just as the President said; would that he would make it so.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian  
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

Operation Security Roof*

 By Gilad Atzmon

Following the IDF difficulties in defeating Hamas’s ballistic warfare, the Israeli Government is now searching for contractors with some advanced experience in large scale reinforced concrete constructions. The mission ahead is the building of a solid concrete roof over the entire Jewish State.  PM Netanyahu is determined that the only way to defend Israel’s populated area is to cover the Jewish State with a thick layer of iron and cement.

The Israeli Government’s decision to build a concrete roof followed a considerable debate within the cabinet. Defence Minister Ehud Barak insisted that a massive extension of the current Security Wall would be enough to provide the goods. Barak maintained that a substantial increase of the wall to the height of 90,000 ft. would be more than sufficient to stop missiles from entering Israeli territory. He sensibly argued that Israeli youngsters would benefit from seeing the blue sky when they raise their eyes above. Prime Minister Netanyahu couldn’t agree less. Being fully aware of the nature of ballistic warfare, the PM contended that the only way to provide the Jewish State with the ultimate security is to cover it from above with a reinforced concrete shield. Israeli President Shimon Peres, the legendary peace enthusiast, offered a compromise inspired by the idea of a trampoline. Peres suggested that a Security Wall’s 90,000 ft. extension made of an elastic net would do the job. The elder statesman argued that an elastic net will guarantee that every Palestinian missile aimed at Israel would bounce back to the Arab territory once it hits the net. Netanyahu and Barak dismissed Peres’s suggestion. They argued that considering the excessive Israeli usage of artillery and missiles against the Gazans, the Jewish State would suffer far more from the erection of such a ‘bouncy net’. “Israel,” said Barak, “would never survive the extent of its own fierce artillery barrages bouncing back on itself.”

In a press conference following the heated cabinet debate, the Government spokesman Mr Zion Zioni stressed that “following the total success of the Security Wall in stopping Palestinian suicidal terror, ‘Security Roof’ is obviously the natural way to proceed.” Mr Zioni maintained as well that the new Israeli project will turn the Jewish State into a “sealed Jewish Bunker”. “In fact,” Zioni emphasised, “‘Operation Security Roof’ brings the Zionist adventure into its final destination. We are now moving from the ‘Iron Wall’ phase into the ‘Concrete Roof’ future. With a reinforced concrete ceiling from above, a Security Wall in the East and the Mediterranean Sea in the West, the Jewish State will eventually become the safest haven for world Jewry. Herzl’s dream comes true. Long Live Israel!”
Yet, some technical difficulties lay ahead. Probably the most crucial problem has something to do with breathing. Like the rest of the humankind,  most Israeli people consume oxygen and release carbon dioxide. Apparently, the Israeli cabinet Ministers were made aware of this very crucial fact by the Health Minister Dr. Herbal Krechtzen. Netanyahu, being a man of action, responded immediately. Already in the cabinet meeting he authorised the Defence Ministry to explore different solutions to the acute biological problem.

We already learned from the Defence Ministry spokesman Lt. Galileo Galilee that ‘Filter On The  Roof’, the Israeli-American High Tech chemical giant (traded on Wall Street, operated from Gush Katif) has been contracted to deal with the problem. We have learned as well from Lt. Galilee that Filter On  The Roof has already come up with more than a few solutions. Although some of the solutions are rather radical, it is crucial to mention that they are all extremely innovative, as you would expect from an Israeli-American High Tech venture. Probably the most conventional and practical solution proposed by the chemical giant was to bore as many as 6 million ventilation holes in the roof. Peres,  Netanyahu  and Barak rejected the possibility without even thinking twice. “Considering our traumatic collective memory of the holocaust,” so they said, “turning the Jewish State into a big room with holes in the ceiling is simply unacceptable.”

Probably the most radical suggestion made by the Israeli-American company was to train the Jewish population in Israel to breath like fish. By the time the Israeli people are well trained, all that is left to do is just to fill the Jewish bunker with seawater. In other words, Filter on the Roof suggested to turn the Israeli State into a ‘giant Jewish tropical aquarium’. Though this option seems to be very radical and even inconceivable, most cabinet Ministers reacted enthusiastically. They all agreed that such a solution would fit nicely with the concept of modern Jewish life in general and Zionism in particular. Israelis love the sea. Israelis, unlike the Diaspora Jews are not afraid of water. Once the entire Israeli society is covered with water, no one would ever consider throwing them to the sea.

We will be following this developing story and keeping you informed.

* This is an old piece of mine, I re-print it today with some minor changes.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

Only in Palestine

By Nahida the exiled Palestinian

In Palestine, good and evil assemble
In stark contrast
An epitome of creation
In Palestine, heroism meets malice head on 
No concealment, no pretence
In Palestine, kindness confronts bitterness
Mercy grows defiant
“Never forget and never forgive” mantra is brought to shame
In Palestine, walls all around 
Yet, sitting on the fence is no longer an option 
One must choose a camp
In Palestine, from prophetic schools saints and angels graduate 
Yet, out of sorcery spells fiends and devils are frothed into being
In Palestine, hatred is a chain, millennia old 
Pulling to Hell of depravity
 Beasts who promote
In Palestine, endurance is a meadow, blossoming through parched soil
Painting the horizon
Tears of elation and whispers of devotion
In Palestine, tenderness is a melody, sung by Gaza shores
Growing in abundance, filling hearts and minds
Dancing at twilight, healing girls and boys
In Palestine, love is a rainbow, shimmering above
 Lifting to Heavenly splendour 
Sublime nostalgic souls
In Palestine, faith is ocean-deep
Patience knows no boundaries
Sincerity soft-tactile and hope… sky-wide
In Palestine, sinners are repentant
The pious clothed in modesty and lovers intertwined
In Palestine, sisters made queens, brothers are protectors
Children are adored, fathers held up high
but under mothers’ feet Paradise is laid down
In Palestine, the hungry is fed, the lonely is embraced
The lost will be guided and the searching will find

Jerusalem Arab-Free in 2015

The Capital of Palestine: Arab-Free in 2015

In 2010, the Israeli government set a precedent by ordering the expulsion of four Hamas Members of the Palestinian Legislative Council. The expulsion orders were based solely on their political activities. This comes under the Loyalty Law that will soon be effective on a wider scale.

A Palestinian demonstrator lies next to his national flag to block a road during a protest against the confiscation of Palestinian land to expand Jewish settlements in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh near Ramallah on 31 August 2012. (Photo: AFP – Abbas Momani)
Published Tuesday, September 4, 2012
The Israeli Government is racing against time in a bid to put the finishing touches on its plan to annex and Judaize East Jerusalem. Palestinians represent roughly 58 per cent of the residents of East Jerusalem today. The Israeli plans in place aim to decrease the percentage of Palestinians in East Jerusalem to about 10 percent.
Israel has been determined to force irreversible facts on ground since day one of the occupation. On 10 June 1967, the Israeli government demolished the Moroccan quarter next to the Western Wall to make a public space for Jewish worshipers, destroying 135 historic residential buildings.
In 1980, Israel officially declared the annexation of East Jerusalem by passing the Jerusalem Law in the Knesset, declaring all Jerusalem, West and East, as the united capital of Israel. The United Nations Security Council condemned this declaration in its resolution 478. This disapproval did not stop Israel from freely pursuing its goals.
The mastermind behind the Israeli plans for Jerusalem is former-mayor Teddy Kollek. The strategy he devised consists of two parts: seizing the land and driving out the Palestinians.
The Israeli government seized the lands of East Jerusalem through creating the Law of Absentees, the building of settlements and the Apartheid wall. Demographic changes were also influenced by the increase of Jewish settlers in East Jerusalem. The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) estimated 267,643 settlers in East Jerusalem living in 26 settlements end-of-2011.
As Israel annexed East Jerusalem, the state laws applied to the city. The Israeli government used the Absentees Property Law to seize vast areas of Palestinian land. This law had been passed in 1950 in a bid to legalize the acquisition of the lands of the Palestinian refugees expelled in 1947 and 1948.
In an interview with Al-Akhbar, Ziad Hammouri, director of the Jerusalem Center for Social & Economic Rights (JCSER) said:

“The Israeli government has confiscated about 86 percent of the Palestinian land in East Jerusalem since the occupation.” The mass confiscations limited the expansion of the Palestinian neighborhoods and villages in Jerusalem.

The Apartheid Wall was built in a way to annex empty land to Jerusalem. In some cases, inhibited areas were annexed, claiming the land while rejecting the citizens. Al-Walajeh, a village south of Jerusalem, is an example.
The Israeli government annexed vast areas of land in Walajeh and the houses on it. Currently, many Palestinians are living in their own houses “illegally” [according to Israeli laws] in the annexed areas. The same happened in areas in Anata and Beit Jala.
Jan de Jong, a geo-strategic planner at the Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs (PASSIA), said in an interview: “The Israeli government is working on drastically enlarging the settlements in Jerusalem.”
“The ring [Apartheid Wall] around Jerusalem is basically completed. You will be surprised to see how far the plans have already advanced…The old Oslo map might be changed,” added Jan de Jong.
Demographic Control
According to PASSIA research, the Palestinian population in East Jerusalem decreased by 18.8 percent within the first weeks of the occupation. Within two years of the occupation, the percentage of Palestinians in East Jerusalem dropped from 100 percent to only 67.2 percent. In 2011 it dropped to only 58 percent (382,041 Palestinians).
After the annexation of East Jerusalem, Jerusalemites were given a blue Jerusalem ID based on the Entry into Israel Law. This law was passed in the Knesset in 1952. It regulates the granting of a residency to non-Israeli citizens.
“The mere idea of granting us the blue ID based on this law, as if we are new-comers, means they were prepared to reduce the Palestinian population in Jerusalem at any time,” said Hammouri. According to the law, residency could be revoked in three cases: spending more than seven years abroad, acquiring residency in another country or getting a foreign citizenship.
Between 1967 and 2011, the Israeli government revoked the residency of 14,561 Palestinians in East Jerusalem, according to latest JCSER statistics. A UN High Commissioner for Human Rights report estimated that in 2010, 10,000 Palestinian children in East Jerusalem were unregistered because only one parent is a permanent resident.
Yakir Segev, who holds the East Jerusalem portfolio in the Jerusalem municipality, declared at Hebrew University in January 2010 that the Palestinian neighborhoods behind the separation wall were no longer part of Jerusalem.
Israeli Wall continues to blight Palestinian life says UN report

In December 2011, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barakat announced that the municipality would soon classify 70,000 citizens of Jerusalem as non-residents, referring to Palestinians living behind the wall. He added that these areas will be under the West Bank civil administration.

“This is a dangerous declaration,” said Hammouri. “It means that Palestinians in these areas will be subjected to the military law.”

 Today, 290,000 Palestinians have the Jerusalem ID. According to Hammouri, between 100 thousand to 120 thousand of those live behind the wall.
“The municipality’s future plans will most probably include getting rid of highly-dense Palestinian neighborhoods in Jerusalem that are currently within the wall,” he added. “This plan will include Essawiyeh, Sur Baher, Im Tuba and Anata.”
The tens of thousands of Palestinians whose residency will be revoked will be considered Absentees according to the Israeli law. Subsequently, all the properties they own in Jerusalem will be confiscated by the state.
In 1995, The Israeli government introduced the concept of “Center of Life,” circumventing the Entry into Israel Law. “The Center of Life concept means that you are required to prove continuous residency in Jerusalem for at least two years,” said Hammouri. “The concept is vague. The government can define it in any way it wants.”
The Sharon Land-Grab Wall splitting Abu Deis
Neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem
(Khalil Abu Arafeh, Alquds, 8/27/03).
Through building the Apartheid wall, the Israeli government has already managed to get rid of many densely populated Palestinian villages and neighborhoods such as Abu Deis, Shuafat, Qalandia and others. Nonetheless, they remain under the jurisdiction of the Israeli municipality of Jerusalem. In these neighborhoods, there is an estimated 100,000 Palestinians who still hold the blue Jerusalem residency ID.
Palestinian residents of the neighborhoods that are just behind the wall spend most of their day in the City [inside the wall]. They come for work or education.
“Because at the end of the day they sleep at home behind the wall, their ‘center of life’ is not considered Jerusalem,” said Hammouri.
In areas far from the wall [within the borders of the municipality of Jerusalem], Palestinians carrying Jerusalem IDs pay full taxes and receive medical and national insurance from the Israeli government. Governmental transactions are processed in special offices designated by the municipality inside a check point’s complex.
In early 2011, the municipality of Jerusalem stopped requiring some residents of these areas to pay Arnona tax. Paying the Arnona tax is pre-condition to prove that their center of life is in Jerusalem. “These special governmental offices designated at check points are tricky,” said Hammouri. “The government uses them to collect data on Palestinians living behind the wall and subsequently revoking their residency under what their Center of Life concept.”
In early 2012, the Israeli government introduced a new magnetic card that replaces the current blue IDs. Currently, acquiring the card is optional. In two years time it will become obligatory for all Israeli citizens and Jerusalem residents.
This magnetic card contains biometric information, tax records, movement [between Jerusalem and the West Bank], records and other information. Hammouri expects that in the near future Jerusalemites will be required to apply for permits in order to enter the West Bank. “They will declare all checkpoints as international crossing points,” said Hammouri.
Starting November 2011, Jerusalemites were permitted to carry their Jerusalem IDs abroad. Palestinians from East Jerusalem are required to deposit their IDs in Allenby Bridge before they leave the country. Hammouri predicts that Jerusalemites living abroad will not be granted the new magnetic card and the blue IDs they carry will be no more than a useless piece of paper.
The Ghost of Jerusalem
The emptying of Jerusalem from its residents is happening in a “soft” manner. The Israeli government does not physically expel Palestinians; the revoking of residency is happening in stages. As time progresses, thousands of Jerusalemites will be banned from entering the city.
Hamas MP Mohammed Abu Teir warned in 2010 that the expulsion order he received was the first in a series of orders that will see the expulsion of 315 politically active Palestinians in Jerusalem.
“In the near future, politically active Palestinians in Jerusalem will be expelled under the Loyalty Law,” said Hammouri. “It is one of the most ridiculous laws. They want us to be loyal to our occupiers.”
“Meanwhile, you will dream and live a fantasy that you are a Jerusalemite with an ID,” said Mahdi Abdel Hadi, head and founder of PASSIA. “But it will have no value because you are not part of the Israeli system.”
In efforts to pursue their plans undisturbed, the Israeli government is “drugging” Palestinians. The restrictions on entering Jerusalem during this Ramadan were eased in an unprecedented way since the eruption of the Second Intifada in 2000. Ma’an News Agency reported that the Israeli government granted around 150,000 Palestinians permits to enter Jerusalem in Eid al-Fitr. Even employees of Palestinian security forces, who were previously banned from getting permits, were granted permits. Palestinians who had a security ban in their files were granted permits despite the security ban.
“Israelis are enjoying 100 percent security in the West Bank and Jerusalem,” said Mahdi. Palestinians are being “domesticated,” lulled into accepting the Israeli reality for years to come. Currently, the Israeli government is testing the waters of the Palestinians reaction. We are in the experimental phase of the Israeli plans for Jerusalem.
The Israeli infrastructure was built on the determination never to withdraw from East Jerusalem. In 2011, Israel finished building the light train in Jerusalem. The track of the light train connects settlements in East Jerusalem to the center of West Jerusalem. The main highway that connects Jerusalem to Tel Aviv, “Road 1”, crosses portions of lands occupied in 1967 [Latrun Area].
The Guardian published in March 2009 an EU report that says: “Israeli ‘facts on the ground’ – including new settlements, construction of the barrier, discriminatory housing policies, house demolitions, restrictive permit regime and continued closure of Palestinian institutions – increase Jewish Israeli presence in East Jerusalem, weaken the Palestinian community in the city, impede Palestinian urban development and separate East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank.”

The 2010 statistics of the Israeli National Insurance Institute says that 78 percent of Palestinians in Jerusalem are below the poverty line. Today, there are 20,000 standing demolition orders for Palestinian houses and installations in East Jerusalem.

At this rate, within two years there will be a minimal Palestinian presence in Jerusalem. Palestinian negotiators will be faced with new facts on ground that make it impossible to reach an acceptable agreement on the status of Jerusalem. The Israeli government continues to stall to buy time to finish its plans, while the international community plays along and their only actions are ink on paper.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian  
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

Ghetto Warsaw Uprising and Israel

by Roy Tov
Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

A new ghetto is rising, a phoenix emerging from the Holocaust ashes…

Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

There is no “Holocaust Day” in Israel; officially, the country commemorates the “Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day.” Outside Israel, the “heroism” part of the name is often overlooked; yet, within the electronics and cement walls surrounding the Zionist state, the “heroism” is well emphasized. There is no other option; this institutional celebration of death would be unbearably suffocating otherwise. Despite formally encompassing several events, the heroism refers mainly to the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

In fact, the name “Warsaw Ghetto” is Jewish. The Nazis had created in October 1940 the “Jüdischer Wohnbezirk” or “Wohngebiet der Juden” (German), both translate as Jewish Quarter. Yet, the term “ghetto” is neither mistaken nor offensive, it was first used in Venice to describe the area where Jews were bound to live; nowadays, it is used in reference to a part of a city predominantly occupied by a particular group. The Warsaw Ghetto was the largest of all Jewish Ghettos in Nazi-occupied Europe during World War II.

The ghetto was established by the German Governor-General Hans Frank on October 16, 1940. Soon after its creation, the ghetto population reached 400,000 people, about 30% of Warsaw’s residents, while it occupied only 2.4% of the city’s territory. The ghetto was divided in two areas the “small ghetto,” inhabited by rich Jews and the “large ghetto,” where the poor lived; both were linked by a footbridge. On November 16, the ghetto was closed with a barbed wire topped wall. Armed guards overlooked it; escapees could be shot on sight. The division of the ghetto into economical classes is not casual; the internal administration of the area was performed by the “Judenrat” (Jewish Council), led by an “Ältester” (the Eldest). This administrative body was a close collaborator with the Nazis to the extent that it can be considered as an extension of the Nazi administration.

On January 18, 1943, after almost four months without forced deportations, the Germans entered the Warsaw Ghetto resolved to perform one. However, they found resistance that deteriorated into a long battle. The final struggle started on April 19, 1943, when several thousand Nazi troops entered the ghetto. Their approach was systematic, destroying all the buildings, block by block. Significant resistance ended on April 23, and the uprising officially ended on May 16, with the demolition of the Great Synagogue of Warsaw. The official Nazi report claimed more than 56,000 victims.

This struggle is the source of the “heroism” in the name of the Israeli remembrance day. Can you imagine growing up in a place where all your teachers keep saying that your grandparents—or those of the kid sitting next to you—were made into soap? Do you understand what such a kid sees whenever he uses a soap bar? Can you understand what happens when he discovers later in life that no human genes were ever found in those soap bars? Can you understand what he feels after finding that everything was an evil emotional manipulation performed by a control-freak regime interested in keeping its citizens frightened forever? In the Israeli Holocaust Day events, the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising is a counterbalance designed to give some hope—though of a very doubtful nature—in an otherwise unbearable day.

Israel’s raison d’être…

The Great Game 2012
Israel acknowledges that the
is its raison d’être. It doesn’t matter what happened there, the official version led to the UN’s Partition Decision and to the
incomplete independence declaration
of the State of Israel. Yet, style=”color: #114e63;”>Neturei Karta’s (an ultra-orthodox Jewish group) website displays documents clarifying the responsibility of Jewish leaders of the time beyond doubt.

In this context, the activities of the Judenrat were also obvious. Adam Czerniaków was the Eldest of Ghetto Warsaw; aware of his being part of the Nazi regime and in fact a traitor to his flock, he committed suicide.

The young state chose a bizarre path. Instead of resembling a modern state, it began recreating the Warsaw Ghetto. Israel is not a country in the Western sense of the word. It is not an entity defined by territory, or even by a legal system. That’s one of the reasons why the Knesset legislated the Law of Return, which gives automatic citizenship to every Jew landing in Israel, a law that would be defined as racist elsewhere. That’s why many Israeli denizens do not get citizenship even if marrying a citizen.

In 2012, Israel’s leaders—call them the Elders of Zion if you want—are closer than ever to achieving this questionable feat. Following the erection of legislative walls that created a social structure resembling the one in the Warsaw Ghetto, Israel is close to finally burying itself under ghetto-like walls; all the time while threatening the world with the Samson option, a suicidal nuclear second strike (see
Six Million Submarines

Judges 16:30 And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life.


Ich bin ein Berliner

“Ich bin ein Berliner” (I am a Berliner) said U.S. President John F. Kennedy while visiting Berlin on June 26, 1963. Soon afterwards, the Berlin Wall became an unchallenged fact of the Cold War. Since August 13, 1961, the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) began constructing a wall that cut off West Berlin from East Germany and from East Berlin. The Berlin Wall was officially referred to as the “Anti-Fascist Protection Wall” (Antifaschistischer Schutzwall) by the East German government. Related to it was the Inner German Border fence that demarcated the border between East and West Germany; both barriers were an important part of the “Iron Curtain” that separated Western Europe and the Eastern Bloc during the Cold War.
Ich bin ein Berliner
Graffiti along the West Bank Wall
On August 22, 1989, the Berlin Wall was a solid reality; as solid as the walls constructed by Israel along its borders. It has been a solid reality since 1961. In January of the same year, Erich Honecker—East Germany’s leader—had predicted that the wall would stand for a “hundred more years.”
The next day, something important happened far away from there: Hungary removed its physical border defenses with Austria. Next month more than thirteen thousand East German tourists in Hungary escaped to Austria. By itself, the event had little importance; the East German authorities would have probably found a way of blocking this little hole in the dam separating the two sides of Europe.
The crossing from East Germany to Hungary via Czechoslovakia was closed, but then a similar incident happened in neighboring Czechoslovakia, which also was experiencing reforms. Eastern Europe’s reality was complex; it didn’t allow making linear assumptions.
The Soviet Union was facing a deep crisis; Gorbachev was planning significant reforms. Poland and Hungary were already making reforms. Protests broke out all over East Germany in September. Initially, people were chanting “Wir wollen raus!” (“We want out!”). Afterwards, they changed to “Wir bleiben hier,” (“We’re staying here!”). On October 18 Erich Honecker, resigned. The “Peaceful Revolution” of 1989 had begun. On November 4, half a million protestors gathered at the Alexanderplatz in East Berlin. On November 9, the East German government announced that all GDR citizens could visit West Germany and West Berlin, and the wall was brought down by a plethora of euphoric people from both sides of the Wall of Evil.

A notorious fact regarding the wall is that the most offensive side in the conflict was the one to build up the wall; the East German military forces were tarnished for their violence towards civilians attempting to escape. This is similar to what is happening in Israel nowadays. Its new walls resemble an odd mixture between the Berlin Wall and the Warsaw Ghetto Wall.

A new ghetto is rising, a phoenix emerging from the Holocaust ashes…

Egypt: In late 2012, Israel will finish building a new fortified fence between the countries. The mighty fence cannot be climbed and features electronic systems allowing the regional military headquarters to find breaches in real time. The construction of the fence was decided in 2010 by Prime Minister Netanyahu. “I took the decision to close Israel’s southern border to infiltrators and terrorists. This is a strategic decision to secure Israel’s Jewish and democratic character,” he said to the Hebrew media on January that year. Again, he ignored non-Jewish citizens.

New Wall Being Built by Israel
Between Israeli Misgav Am and Lebanese Kfar Kila
Lebanon: In April 2012, Israel began replacing the fence on its border with Lebanon with a 5 to 7 meter high cement wall between the Israeli town of Metulla and the Lebanese village of Kila; where the violent border clash between the countries took place in August 2010. It follows the design of the new fence along the Egyptian border. There are plans to upgrade the entire border fence with this new contraption.

West Bank: The West Bank Barrier is still under construction and facing a myriad of legal problems since Israel is not building it on its side of the border, but on the Palestinian one. The barrier is a fence with vehicle-barrier trenches surrounded by an on average 60 meter wide exclusion area along 90% of its length, and an 8 meter tall concrete wall along the rest. 12% of the West Bank area is on the Israeli side of the barrier.

Jordan: I
grew up
less than a mile from the Jordan River. Yet, seldom could I enjoy its views. When doing so, it was from above—the Jordan Valley features several steps—and at points that were very difficult to access. The feeble fence blocking the access to the river wasn’t the reason for the deprivation; simply minefields filled the entire lower step of the valley.

Syria: For many years, the fence along the Syrian-Israeli border was the best in Israel. Landmines and electronics secured it. Along the years, the equipment became obsolete. Following the violent events of Naksa Day 2011

Casus Belli), when many Syrian citizens were killed in Syria by IDF soldiers shooting from the occupied Golan Heights, Israel began the reinforcement of the old fence.

Well done, New Judenrat! In a few months, you will finish the creation of the Israel Ghetto, the obviouslegal successor of the Warsaw Ghetto. The Israel Ghetto will be surrounded by state-of-the-art fences. Were they designed to block entrance, or to avoid escape? Considering the massive numbers of illegitimate workers in Tel Aviv—see
Terror in Tel Aviv
—there is little doubt the second option is the most important one. The New Judenrat wants control of its unwilling sheep at all costs.

Please let me end this article using the English language in the manner my
friends would. It is not the fashion favored by people like William Shakespeare; yet, I believe it is not less clear than his wise words: Warsaw Ghetto, Israel Ghetto; same, same.

Warsaw Ghetto | Final Picture

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

In Photos: UNIFIL Breaches 1701 as Israeli Wall Construction Violates Lebanon’s Sovereignty

Local Editor

After “Israel”, the United Nations Interim Forces in Lebanon breached the UN Security Council resolution 1701.

During its construction of a six- meter high separation wall along the borders with Lebanon, “Israel” committed a violation of the Lebanese sovereignty.

The Lebanese Army has been closely monitoring the situation with several senior army officers present near the construction area and the LA referred the “Israeli” breach to Tuesday’s tripartite meeting to be held in the Southern Naqoura point.

The commander of UNIFIL Gen. Paulo Sierra inspected the area of violation i.e. the separation wall of the Motleh “Israeli” settlement after crossing the Naqoura point.

Three Zionist officers were present in the scene.

Suddenly, the UNIFIL Spanish commander Calderon overcame the barbed wire along the separation wall and crossed illegally into Occupied Palestine to meet Gen. Paolo Sierra.

The move that resembles a clear violation to all the agreements concluded between UNIFIL and the Lebanese army did not initiate any reaction from Sierra.

It is worth mentioning that the agreements between Lebanon and UNIFIL, in accordance with UN Resolution 1701, states that “communications or transit to Occupied Palestine are prevented except through the Naqoura crossing.”

The LA’s soldiers and officers deployed in the region, near the Fatima Gate, protested to the UNIFIL, demanding the withdrawal of the Spanish officer-Calderon- away from the region.

The LA’s request was implemented after Calderon returned to the Lebanese land in the same way. He was immediately withdrawn to the headquarters of the Spanish contingent. A meeting was also held in Marjayoun barracks between the UNIFIL and the LA.
Hours later, the Lebanese army soldiers detected a Ghanaian UNIFIL officer chatting with an “Israeli” officer near the barbed wire. The LA filed another complaint on this breach.

Meanwhile, the “Israeli” works on the wall continues in the northern area while it was stopped on the side of al-Adaysee town because of the Lebanese reservation.

Source: al-Intiqad, Translated and Edited by

Israeli Wall Construction Violates Lebanon’s Sovereignty

Separation wallLocal Editor

The Israeli occupation forces while proceeding its drilling operations for the construction of the barrier at Fatima gate this morning, removed the barbed wire separation, without putting any barriers thus leaving the borders open.

The Israeli action raised suspicion and objection among Lebanese army officers and soldiers who took fast precautions and filed a complaint with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). They also warned against any attempts to cross the Lebanese territories and work from it on the wall construction.

UNIFIL demanded that the Israeli side stop working on the wall until barriers are erected along the border.

Specialized units of UNIFIL came to the scene and put barriers all over the distance where the Israeli constructions are taking place.

UNIFIL Urges ’’Israel’’ to Stop Wall Construction
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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

Lebanese students at US university fraternize with "Friends of the IDF"

A worker in the Israeli border town of Metulla fixes part of a fence along a wall that will run several kilometers along part of Israel’s border with Lebanon (Photo: AFP – JINIP).
The Lebanese government has said it will look into the legality of a “Lebanese society” at an American university hosting a joint event with an Israeli one.

The Lebanese Social Club (LSC) at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) is organizing a charity fundraiser with the Israeli Leadership Council “for the disenfranchised children of Israel and Lebanon.”

The group is part of the Lebanese Collegiate Network (LCN), which Al-Akhbar revealed earlier this month is heavily sponsored by the CIA, leading to claims that it was little more than a recruitment center for the American spy network.

The tagline for the “Night of the Arts” event, scheduled for May 6 in the Ackerman Student Union at UCLA, says it “will be a grand celebration of the culture, passion, and ethos of the Israeli and Lebanese peoples.”

It adds “all profits will be divided equally 50/50 among orphanages in Israel and Lebanon,” without mentioning the thousands of Lebanese and Palestinians killed by Israel in recent decades.
Adnan Mansour, Lebanese foreign minister, said the government was to look into whether the event was legal under Lebanese law.

“We will investigate whether the Lebanese Social Club consists of Lebanese citizens or Lebanese Americans,” he said.

Lebanon and Israel are in a state of war and according to Lebanese law it is illegal to communicate with any person from an enemy state.

Israel continues to violate Lebanon’s sovereignty by flying surveillance drones as well as building a wall along the Lebanese border.

The stated aim of the Israeli Leadership Council, which is co-organizing the event, is to “build an active and giving Israeli-American community in order to strengthen the State of Israel.”

The group also has a close relationship with the “Friends of the IDF” charity.

Event co-organizer Patrick Malkoun, from the university’s Lebanese Social Club, said he had not been aware of any legal issues concerning Lebanese citizens having dealings with Israelis.
He stressed that the event was not meant to offend anyone as it was about raising money for good causes.

“We are all hear as college students to prove our worth in this world, what we can do in the business world. If we can put on events, if we can put on charity fundraisers, if we can contact people to show off communication skills and business skills,” he said.

“I think the world want us to have Israeli and Lebanese children putting their business brains together for something that is not political. These are children, who don’t have a say in politics,” he added.
Samah Idriss, Director of the Campaign to Boycott Israel Supporters in Lebanon, said the group’s decision undermined attempts to isolate Israel.

“At a time when tens of artists and thousands of people around the world are boycotting Israel, a bunch of “Lebanese” students attempt to normalize relations with Israel. I hope Lebanese students at UCLA who know the meaning of national dignity stand up to those Israeli-Lebanese,” he said.

Following the article about the LCN Al-Akhbar has learned that a board member of the group has resigned.

“The CIA taints the LCN in the perspectives of those in Lebanon, and even many people here. CIA associations damage the credibility of anyone and everyone in the Lebanese public sphere, especially in light of recent events,” the board member said in a resignation letter obtained by Al-Akhbar.

“The very fact that the CIA is one of the largest LCN donors has created a negative stigma that will follow the LCN. I hereby resign and call on those within the LCN to boycott this organization if they share similar opinions to mine,” it added.

This prompted the Lebanese Student Association at Berkeley University to pull out.

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Eye on the Enemy: ’’Israel’’ to Build a Separation Wall on Lebanese Borders

“Israel” to Build a Separation Wall on Lebanese Borders

Channel 10

How many walls will secure the Zionist occupation of Palestine?
Picture by Michael J. Tottens from the lebanese side
Here’s how crazy the border is.
The town in the foreground, Metulla, is inside “Israel.”
The town in the background, Kafr Kila, is in Lebanon.
That “Israeli” town is inside a “penninsula,” or a finger,
that juts into Lebanon.

“Israeli” Channel Ten reported that “Israel” will begin building next week a separation wall on part of the Lebanese border, to protect the northern town “al-Motella.” The channel indicated that the length of the channel to the wall will be more than 2 km and up to 10 meters, and it is designed to prevent clashes between the “Israeli” army and the Lebanese army who is positioned few meters far from that area.

The channel clarified that “Israel” has informed Lebanon with the wall project and they will coordinate with the “UNIFIL” stationed in Lebanon.

Military sources said in January that “Israel” is considering building a 79 km-long wall on the part of the Lebanese border, for fear of snipers firing on the newly built residential areas in the village of “al-Motellah”.

Chief of Staff: Army Will Place Appropriate Response for Future Challenges

They Call it “Independence” … We Call it Nakba

Yesterday (Monday April 23), the General Staff Forum held a ceremony in honor of the “Israeli” Independence Day in Tel Aviv, in presence of Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz and Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

During the ceremony, Lt. Gen. Gantz thanked all army soldiers and commanders who work day and night to defend the State of “Israel”. He also thanked security forces for their efforts to secure the country. The Chief of Staff added: “The past year was full of new operational challenges, also foretelling future events. I wish us all a successful year with a very long term plan.”

According to Lt. Gen. Gantz, “the atmosphere around us is changing and not having the right response to the new challenges might be of serious consequences. We must look five and ten years into the future, recognize the challenges and place an appropriate response.” “the moral of the week says that the ancient “Israelis” have been dispersed for spreading false facts. I hope we will be able to keep our words, stay away from harmful speech, as for peace and try to achieve it by all means.”Chief of Staff then wished “Israeli” citizens a happy Independence Day.

Defense Minister, Ehud Barak said at the ceremony that “”Israel”, about to celebrate its 64th independence day, is stronger than ever. Just a few days after “Holocaust Remembrance” Day, “Israeli” Fallen Soldiers Remembrance Day and Independence Day are just around the corner. There is no expression more emotional for the transition from the Holocaust to resurrection, not forgetting its heavy price. 22,993 have fallen in “Israel’s” campaigns, the price is very heavy, each person is an entire world and many of us carry the memory of friends we’ve lost.”

“We are at the beginning of a very important year, it is our responsibility to do everything possible so that this year will be peaceful and be prepared in case it is not. We count on you, the State of “Israel” is strong thanks to the army and your work,” added Barak.

U.S. boosts its “Iron Dome” Aid to $680 Million

Military Forum of Tapuz

According to the recommendations of the Pentagon last month, following the success in interdicting fire from the Gaza Strip, the Armed Services Committee in the Senate have passed a bill to increase assistance to “Israel”, to be able to produce four additional defense systems. The decision requires the approval of Congress.
The U.S. is expected to increase its assistance given to develop the Iron Dome system with an additional $ 680 million. The amount, which was approved by the Armed Services Committee in the Senate, will be added to the amount of $ 205 million approved by the Obama administration in the past. If the bill passed in the Congress, the aid will be given to “Israel” gradually until the year 2015.

The increase in financial assistance for the development of the “Israeli” defensive system had been expected, because in the last month the Pentagon announced that it will give additional funding in case the system proved to be effective in interdicting fire from Gaza.

Its high success, especially in the current round of escalation, has apparently led to the decision in the United States. The funds will help in the purchase and production of four systems of “Iron Dome” that will be added to the other three deployed so far, along with the supply of missiles and the strengthening of the infrastructure. The decision on the assistance has been taken as part of discussions to approve the budget of the United States for the year 2013.
Some parties in the United States claim that this move was set to embody the obligations of Obama’s administration towards “Israel”, especially ahead of future elections to be held there in November. In addition, there are those who believe that the increased funding is a “reward” for “Israel” to try to push it to refrain from attacking Iran.

Defense Minister Leon Panetta said last month, “The support of “Israel’s” security is the top priority of President Obama.” “The Department of Defense conducted talks with the Government of “Israel” on U.S. support for the purchase of additional Iron Dome systems, and plans to request funding from Congress allowing such purchases in line with the demands of “Israel” and its capacity of production.”

It should be noted that the increased funding of the” iron dome” is added to the annual security assistance worth about $ 3 billion borne by the United States to “Israel”. “

Source: Hebrew Media, translated and edited by

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Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty Gassed-Out

 New Nadir Reached in Sinai

Sabotaged Sinai Gas Pipeline
The Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company and the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation announced on April 23, 2012, that they are “terminating the Gas Supply and Purchase Agreement” with Israel since the East Mediterranean Gas Company failed its payments.
The East Mediterranean Gas Company is an Israeli-Egyptian joint company that operates the El Arish–Ashkelon submarine pipeline, which transfers gas from Egypt to Israel. The Israelis deny the claim. Though the event has clear political repercussions, it matters little since at the time of the announcement Egypt can’t supply gas even if it wanted. 

the hidden story of one of the richest men in Egypt,
now wanted on charges of corruption

Since Mubarak’s regime was ousted in early 2011, the Arab Gas Pipeline—see map below—has been attacked roughly once a month. Following an Explosion in Sinai early this year, the entire pipeline is inoperable. Egyptian and Israeli authorities openly blame the attacks on Islamists opposed to peace with Israel and Bedouins complaining of discrimination against by the Egyptian government. The pipeline used to supply 40% of the gas consumed by Israel, but Israel is not worried about that since the recently discovered gas fields in the eastern Mediterranean Sea (see Greece Joins Gas Alliance) more than compensate for the loss of the Egyptian gas. Israel is worried because Egypt is—for the first time—openly breaching the peace treaty between the nations.

Sabotaged Sinai Gas Pipeline
In recent months the situation between Israel and Egypt is deteriorating rapidly. The Egyptian government is concerned about the violence in its heartland and cannot provide enough police forces to the increasingly violent Sinai Peninsula. The peace treaty with Israel forbids Egypt to place army units in Sinai. Yet, in recent months the Egyptians authorities asked permission from Israel to let military units to enter Sinai and attempt to control the ongoing mayhem. Until now, Israel always complied, but the Egyptian army failed to reinstate order.
These were the first signs the situation changed. Now, the refusal of the Egyptian to supply gas—officially on economic grounds—adds to it a clear breach of the 1979 Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty economic annex.
Egyptian public opinion opposes Israel. Recently, a new Israeli Embassy in Cairo was Announced, after the previous one was attacked and destroyed last September. In recent weeks, the Egyptian media and parliament have criticized Coptic Christians and the Grand Mufti of al-Azhar for visiting Jerusalem. Above everything else, former president Hosni Mubarak is facing criminal charges for his role in the 20-year gas supply agreement, which was signed in 2005. Egyptian officials have said the gas was initially sold to EMG at $1.25 per British thermal unit (BTU). In 2008, the price was increased to $4 per BTU, while countries like Turkey, Greece and Italy paid between $7 and $10. In such a way, the poor Egyptian people were subsidizing the rich Israelis. When the former president faces trial for the shameful deal he backed, it is unlikely that the deal would be respected.

sinai map large
Arab Gas Pipeline | Sabotaged

Also Israel is taking clear steps against Egypt. In Rising Ottoman, I reported on the Israeli National Security Council travel warnings for summer 2012. Among others, it recommended Israeli citizens to avoid visiting Tunisia (Djerba Island is the site of a religious festival), Egypt (especially the Sinai Peninsula), and Turkey. The three were popular destinations for Israelis seeking summer shelters; the resorts of the latter could host up to a million Israelis in a good season. Yet, three days before the Egyptians announced the agreement termination the Israeli government urged its citizens to leave Sinai, after it had apparently learned of Egypt’s intention to suspend gas supplies. The Israel step is a clear retaliation.
“We want to understand this as a trade dispute… to turn a business dispute into a diplomatic dispute would be a mistake,” said the controversial Israeli minister of Foreign Affairs, Avigdor Lieberman, after the Egyptian announcement.
Thus, Israel is retaliating by hitting the Egyptian tourism industry. Moreover, later this year Israel will finish building a new fortified fence between the countries. The fence is mighty, much taller and solid than the old fence separating Israel from Syria. After all, Bashar Assad is quite friendly towards Israel (see Lebanon Beats Syria).

In this reality, the USA was unlikely to remain unscathed. On the same day the commercial agreement with Israel was terminated, the Egyptian government refused to license eight US civil society groups. The groups included the election-monitoring Carter Centre, Seeds of Peace, Coptic Orphans, the Latter-day Saints Association and other organizations. The Egyptian Insurance and Social Affairs Ministry rejected the applications because the organizations’ activities violated “the state’s sovereignty on its lands.”

“Vote al-Shater”

Elections 2012 in Egypt
Elections 2012 in Egypt Vote Shater

The upheaval runs deeper. One of the main issues nowadays in Egypt is the list of approved candidates for the presidential elections that are about to take place on May 2012. In their last move, the generals running Egypt announced today (April 24) that they have approved a law amendment that would bar senior officials from the Mubarak era from running for president. The amended law bars from the presidency those who served in senior positions in government and the ruling National Democratic Party under President Hosni Mubarak in the last decade. It seems this step was intended mainly to block Ahmed Shafiq, who served as prime minister last year. Omar Suleiman—Mubarak’s former vice-president and spy chief—has already been disqualified, along with two Islamists.
The last could have been seen as a balancing step while the Muslim Brotherhood—probably the largest political force in Egypt—kept saying until March 2012 that it would not place a candidate for the presidential elections. Yet, this has changed. At the beginning of this month, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Khairat al-Shater was named the Brotherhood’s official. Mr. al-Shater is a millionaire businessman, and the Islamist movement’s chief financier. The group will use its extensive grassroots network of members to get the vote out for Mr. Shater and is already trying to convince other conservative parties to give him their backing too. Despite campaigning being not officially allowed until after list of candidates is published, the picture shows the campaign is already on. As of now, he is the leading candidate.

How many walls will secure the Zionist occupation of Palestine?
“The Pls have managed to push the Jew back to the ghetto, and this ghetto will shrink as Pls ballistic capability grows. The Jewish state is a matter for Historians, its future is doomed.” Gilad Atzmon

Next month, we may witness a new Egypt. A former ally of Israel would then face a hostile border with the Zionist state. A mighty fence separating the two would be near completion. The gas deal would be a thing of the past, its agonizing details to be finally settled by an international court. Maybe a new coalition led by the Muslim Brotherhood would need to deal with a popular request to put the Peace Treaty with Israel to test by holding a general referendum on it. Wild winds whirl Sinai’s sands.
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by Roy Tov
Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

How many walls will secure the Zionist occupation of Palestine?

“The Pls have managed to push the Jew back to the ghetto, and this ghetto will shrink as Pls ballistic capability grows. The Jewish state is a matter for Historians, its future is doomed.” Gilad Atzmon

“We have become a nation that imprisons itself behind fences, which huddles terrified behind defensive shields.” It has become, he said, a “national mental illness”. Alex Fishman

metula settlement
The Zionist settlement of Metula viewed from the Lebanese village of Kfar Kila,
situated along the “Blue line” which borders Lebanon and occupied Palestine. Both the foreground
and the background are inside Lebanese territory. According to UNIFIL, Zionist occupation forces will
attempt to replace this wire fence with a 15 foot high wall. Nearby Hezbollah security forces and local Lebanese
scoff at this latest provocation
How many walls will secure the Zionist occupation of Palestine?

Franklin Lamb
Great wall
Click the map to enlarge it, or
go for more Great Wall Maps

It may be that researchers would want to examine as long ago as the period from the 3rd century BC until the beginning of the 17th century in order to find a regime so frenetically building walls and barriers in a hopeless quest to hold onto stolen lands as we in Lebanon may soon witness in the South of the country. It was back in 221 BC that in order to protect China from the land claims of the Xiongnu people from Mongolia, the Xiongnu tribe being China’s main enemy at that time who sought the return of lands they claimed the Chinese had stolen, that the emperor Qin Shi Huang ordered the construction of a wall to guard China’s territorial gains.

Hadrian’s Wall in England
Lots of walls have been built throughout history to preserve occupied lands such as the Roman built Hadrian’s Wall in England and Khrushchev’s Berlin wall of 1961.The latter was actually built to keep people inside East Berlin after more than2 million of their citizens fled to West Berlin.

Building the Wall in 1961, and 1989
when it was finally brought down
But no regime in history has built, in the span of six decades, the number of walls as the paranoid regime in Tel Aviv has erected. And it plans at least five more “anti-terrorist protective walls” including one slated to begin soon along the Lebanese-Palestine border at the Lebanese village of Kfar Kila. And that one may present a problem.
The decision to build a wall “to replace the existing Israeli technical fence “along the Blue Line near the town of Kfar Kila was announced last month by Tel Aviv. The announcement followed a meeting between the Israel military and UNIFIL and both are keeping fairly mum about what it knows about this latest wall but UNIFIL spokesman Neeraj Singh hinted to this observer that the first section will be about half a mile longhand approximately 16 feet high.

Picture by Michael J. Tottens from the lebanese side
Here’s how crazy the border is.
The town in the foreground, Metulla, is inside “Israel.”
The town in the background, Kafr Kila, is in Lebanon.
That “Israeli” town is inside a “penninsula,” or a finger,
that juts into Lebanon.
It is surrounded by Hezbollah-controlled territory on three sides.

Some south Lebanon residents are strongly objecting for among other reasons that the high wall will block the scenic views into Palestine. Others are ridiculing the reasons for the wall expressed by the US-Israeli lobby that will ask the American taxpayer to pay for it.

Israel firster, David Schenker, from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, set up by AIPAC, told a Congressional hearing recently:

“South Lebanon is obviously a very sensitive area [for Israel],being so close to Metula and the possibility of infiltration by Hezbollah and Palestinians is a legitimate concern. The Israeli government believes that at his wall will prevent terrorists from launching direct line-of-sight firing of things like RPGs and mortars. Even the throwing of stone which some tourists visiting the area are in the habit of doing.”

Local observers, UNIFIL officials and experts like Timor Goksel, who worked as UNIFIL’s spokesman for 24 years along the blue line, expressed surprise at why Israel is claiming that Kfar Kila is a particularly dangerous area that needs a wall.

In point of fact the area has not been a particularly hazardous or “sensitive” one historically, even when the PLO controlled the area in the 1970’s. Goksel explained;

“In my 24 years’ experience, there were never any attacks there because it’s adjacent to a Lebanese village, so any attack there will make life for the Lebanese difficult. I don’t think anybody has ever thought of doing anything there. Moreover, even if you cross into Israel at Kifa Kula there, you’re not going to come across an Israeli position for a long time, so it doesn’t make sense for anyone to attack from there. What are you going to attack? There’s no target.”

Some local observers are speculating that the real reason Israel wants the barrier in Kfar Kila might be to stop its troops from bargaining for drugs in exchange for weapons and classified military information, as the IDF’s drug problem among its “northern command” soldiers has escalated since the battering it took in the July 2006 war.
The new border fence under construction along border with Egypt near the Red Sea resort town of Eilat

Israel’s newest frontier wall will follow the one being erected along the 150-mile boundary between the Sinai and Negev deserts. That wall building project is due to be completed by the end of this year of 2012. Once the Kfar Kila wall is finished, Israel will be almost completely enclosed by steel, barbed wire and concrete, leaving only the southern border with Jordan between the Dead and Red Seas without a physical barrier. But that too, may be walled in the future according to Shenker. He testified that the reason was due to the uncertainty in Jordan and its increasingly wobbly government.

Yet another wall, approximately seven miles from the Mediterranean along the southern border will meet the fence Israel has already been built around Gaza.
This wall runs for 32miles, with a buffer zone, which Palestinians are forbidden from entering, and extends close to 1,000 metres inside the narrow Gaza Strip, walling off more prime Palestinian agricultural land. This “security war” has caged Palestinians inside Gaza but did not prevent the cross-border capture of IDF soldier Gilad Shalit in 2006.

Israel mulls building wall along
part of Lebanon border
Benjamin planned to strengthen borders
with Jordan with a new fence

Along the Palestine-Lebanon border, a barrier built by Israel in the 1970s along the boundary was reconstructed, after Israel was forced out of Lebanon in 2000 following a 22-year occupation.
This barrier did not prevent Hezbollah in a cross-border ambush in 2006, capturing two Israeli soldiers in order to negotiable a prisoner exchange.

Hezbollah members hand over the bodies
of two Israeli soldiers to the Red Cross

Nor did it prevent Hezbollah from firing of thousands of rockets during the ensuing 33-day war in retaliation for Israeli bombing much of south Lebanon.

And the “protective walls” rise like mushroom after a summer rain.

Further east from Lebanon, an Israeli barrier has been constructed on the ceasefire line drawn at the end of the 1973 Yom Kippur war, running between the Golan Heights, which Israel has illegally occupied for nearly 45 years, and Syria.
It was here that hundreds of pro-Palestinian demonstrators entered occupied Palestine last May, in the Golan and along the Lebanese border. More than a dozen people were killed and scores injured when Zionist forces opened fire on the unarmed civilians.
A crossing at Quneitra, now operated by the UN, does allow some movement of UN personnel, truckloads of apples, a few Druze students and the occasional Syrian bride in white.

A few miles north of Quneitra is Shouting Hill, where Druze families in the Golan yell greetings across the barrier to relatives in Syria.
Moving south through heavily mined fields and hills, the 1973 ceasefire line is bordered by Israeli military bases and closed military zones, and shells of tanks from past battles, until it connects with the border with Jordan. It then joins with one of Israel’s first walls, constructed in the late1960s, which now stretches almost from the Sea of Galilee down the Jordan Valley to the Dead Sea.
Most of this line is not Israel’s border, but rather a barrier separating Jordan from the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
“The Pls have managed to push the Jew back

to the ghetto, and this ghetto will shrink as Pls
ballistic capability grows.
The Jewish state is a matter for Historians,
its future is doomed.” Gilad Atzmon
Around a third of the way down this stretch, the barrier joins the infamous huge steel-and-concrete West Bank wall. This runs along or inside the 1949 armistice line, swallowing up tracts of Palestinian agricultural land, slicing through communities and separating farmers from their fields and olive trees. As with its other 18 walls and barriers, the Zionist regime claims it is simply a security measure, but many believe it marks the boundaries of a future Palestinian state, consuming an additional 12% of the West Bank.
Approximately two-thirds of its 465-mile length is complete, mostly as a steel fence with wide exclusion zones on either side. According to the current route, 8.5 percent of the West Bank territory and 27,520Palestinians are on the “Israeli” side of the barrier. Another 3.4percent of the area (with 247,800 inhabitants) is completely or partially surrounded by the barrier.

Two similar barriers, the Israeli Gaza Strip barrier and the Israeli-built 7-9 meter (23 –30 ft) wall separating Gaza from Egypt (temporarily breached on January 23,2008), which is currently under Egyptian control, are also widely condemned by the international community.
Returning to the subject of latest wall project, increasingly the Zionist regime opposes discussions, hearings, visits, expressions of solidarity with Palestinians, and even the viewing its garrison state from south Lebanon. Cutting off a view that people throughout history have marveled at represents a continuation of its isolation and xenophobia.

Following the joint meeting at Kkar Kila noted above, UNIFIL Major-General Serra said:

“The meeting was called to assist Israel in putting in place additional security measures along the “Blue Line in the Kafr Kila area in order to minimize the scope for sporadic tensions or any misunderstandings that could lead to escalation of the situation.”

In fact, the opposite with likely happen. In a recent visit to Ahmad Jibril’s Palestinian camp in the Bekaa Valley, and in discussion with salafist groups in Saida, its plain the wall will likely become an object of target practice and strain further UNIFIL and Hezbollah efforts to keep the border calm.

In a scathing commentary in Yedioth Ahronoth, Israel’s biggest-selling newspaper, defense analyst Alex Fishman recently wrote:

“We have become a nation that imprisons itself behind fences, which huddles terrified behind defensive shields.” It has become, he said, a “national mental illness”.

Franklin LambFranklin Lamb is doing research in Lebanon. He is reachable c\o

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Israel Plans More Walls

by Stephen Lendman

My Photo 

Instead of peace, reconciliation, equity and justice, Israel plans settlement expansions and more Walls. More on them below.


At the same time, Abbas broke his pledge about no peace talks unless settlement expansions stop. Chief negotiators Saeb Erekat and Yitzhak Molcho are meeting in Amman, Jordan. They’re joined by Quartet representatives.


Netanyahu’s spokesman Mark Regev claims “talks are intended to move forward to negotiations.”


PLO spokesman Xavier Abu Eid said, “We are just trying to create the right environment for talks.” Chief negotiator Saeb Erekat sidestepped controversy, saying “I would not make a big deal out of it.”


According to Abbas:


The meeting “was a response to a noble initiative by the brothers in Jordan in an attempt to push forward the peace process and to bridge gaps.”


“God willing, results of this meeting will be revealed in the coming two days, and based on that we will set the suitable grounds for resuming negotiations. This would be positive, and we hope Jordan will succeed.”


In fact, Abbas and other PLO leaders know decades of peace talks proved fruitless. Israel doesn’t negotiate. It demands. Settlement construction won’t stop. Neither will Israel’s Separation Wall and others on three borders – Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan. More on them below.


Claiming meeting in Amman doesn’t begin new talks is duplicitous, even though what follows is uncertain. Hamas denounced them. Spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri wants them boycotted, saying they replicate a “failed policy.”


The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) calls them an affront, a clear setback, and “severe political mistake,” benefitting Israel alone. The Palestinian Democratic Union (FIDA) opposes them while land theft, home demolitions, and settlement expansions continue.


They benefit Israel at the expense of Palestine. Notably, as talks began, Israel’s Housing Ministry announced 300 new East Jerusalem housing units on stolen Palestinian land. They’re part of 500 units announced in mid-December.


At the time, Housing Minister Ariel Atias said it’s “clear that in any future agreement, these neighborhoods will stay under Israel’s sovereignty,” as well as others yet to be announced.


According to the NGO Ir Amim:


“By releasing (tenders) at this time, Israel is slapping the face of King Abdullah and the entire international community, morbidly injuring the already low chances of peace talks to be renewed,” and eliminating success if initiated.


Israel’s Agenda: Settlement Construction and Walls, not Peace


Stop the (STW) is a “Palestinian movement against the (Separation) Wall.” It wants it dismantled and Palestine liberated.


“The Wall is an integral part of the Zionist project to remove Palestinians from Palestine.”
“The Palestinian struggle is, at its core, a basic human instinct and drive for self-determination. It is a fight against expulsion and subjugation under Occupation.”


It wants Wall construction stopped, portions built dismantled, all confiscated lands returned, and compensation paid victims for lost homes, businesses, farmland, orchards, olive groves, and other property.


Projected to exceed 800 km when completed, its route is largely within the Green Line. It’s not for security. It’s land theft plain and simple, around 12% of Palestine, with:

  • 34 fortified checkpoints, including three main terminals, nine commercial ones, and 22 others for cars and workers to control Palestinian movement; 
  • 44 tunnels, connecting 22 “small ghettos inside 3 main ghettos (West Bank’s north, central and south);” 
  • 634 checkpoints or other military obstructions, including trenches, roadblocks, and metal gates; and 
  • 1,661 km of Jews-only roads, connecting settlements and accompanying blocs, complementing the Wall.


Combined with settlements, military zones, parks, commercial developments, other closed areas, and open spaces, nearly half the West Bank will be annexed. Perhaps more eventually as land theft continues unabated.


Villages are being destroyed. Others are isolated. Israel’s scheme involves cantonizing and ghettoizing the territory, imprisoning its people, denying them basic services, controlling its water and other resources, restricting free movement, and preventing a viable two-state solution.


At an estimated $2.1 billion cost, construction involves eight meter-high Wall sections (double the Berlin Wall’s height), watchtowers, and a 30 – 100 meter-wide buffer zone for electric fences, trenches, cameras, sensors, and military patrols.


Other portions consist of razor wire topped fences, patrol roads, sand paths to trace footprints, ditches, and surveillance cameras. Communities are being encircled. Others are between the Wall and Green Line in the so-called Seam Zone. Landowners and residents need permits to access homes and farmland.


The effect is devastating. Thousands are separated from property and means of subsistence. Others lose out altogether, dispossessed to facilitate construction.


Hundreds of thousands in dozens communities are affected, including over 200,000 East Jerusalemites. They’ll be totally isolated from other West Bank communities.


At issue is lost homes, land, and livelihoods. Also the ability to access health care, education, religious sites, and other West Bank communities easily or at all.


It’s a massive land grab, a settlement expansion scheme, and plan to seize all valued land, dispossess tens of thousands, entirely Judaize East Jerusalem, and enforce police state harshness.


Through summer 2010, nearly two-thirds of construction was completed. Through December, Jerusalem projects took precedence. In Bethlehem, construction resumed in Walaja village and remains ongoing in Beit Jala.


Nearly the entire Jordan Valley is isolated as a closed military zone.


Given Wall protection, settlement expansions continue unimpeded. More than 500,000 settlers occupy confiscated land, including over 200,000 in East Jerusalem. Many more will follow. Thousands more Palestinians will lose land, homes, livelihoods and futures.


Gaza’s already surrounded by walls and razor wire. It extends 55 km from northwest Beit Lahia to Rafah. It includes 300 – 600 meter buffer zones. They prohibit Palestinians from accessing valued farmlands. Around 25% of Gaza’s most fertile areas are affected and 15% of farmers unable to work. Anyone trying to use it is shot, including children.


Israel confronts anti-Wall resisters with violence. Since 2002, thousands were injured, others killed. Thousands more were arrested, including an estimated 750 in East Jerusalem in 2010 alone. At issue is defending their villages, land and rights.


More Walls, Less Peace


Reports suggest new Israeli Walls along three borders – Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan.


Along Israel’s northern border with Lebanon, a five-meter high/one km Wall will be equipped with alarms and surveillance cameras. It will separate Israel’s al-Matala kibbutz from Lebanon’s Kafr Kala village. Construction’s expected to start early in 2012.


Currently underway is a 240 km Wall from Rafah to Ein Netafim along Egypt’s border. It will end 14 km north of Eilat. It’s five meters high, equipped with radar, surveillance cameras, and watch towers. Allegedly, it’s to deter security threats and stop infiltrators, including migrants wanting work and asylum seekers.


When completed around end of 2012, another along Jordan’s border will follow for the same purpose. Fortress Israel is walling itself in along three borders.


Ilan Pappe believes the Zionist project involves constructing, then defending “a Western/’white’ fortress in the Arab/’dark’ world.”


It resembles Crusaders in Islamic lands. They’re encircling themselves within Walls and electric fences. “Most important, the Zionist belief in Fortress Israel guarantees the perpetuation of the conflict with the Palestinians, their Arab neighbors and Muslim societies as far away as South-East Asia.”


Like America, Israel needs conflict and violence to defend belligerence, repression and occupation.


At issue is how much longer by policies creating more enemies than friends and Palestinians determined to live free.


Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
Also visit his blog site at and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.                               

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

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