The al-Aqsa Metal Detectors Aren’t A Security Measure

 

Israel has been using the pretext of security to quietly continue the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their land.

By Diana Buttu

July 23, 2017 “Information Clearing House” –  Yesterday, thousands of Palestinians came to Jerusalem to perform the most simple, most peaceful act: prayer. Palestinians – Muslims and Christians, women and men, young and old – prayed in the streets after refusing to enter through the new metal detectors and barricades erected by Israel in front of the al-Aqsa compound. Israeli forces, armed with live ammunition, stun grenades, sound bombs, water cannon and tear gas, came prepared to kill.

And they did: by the day’s end Israeli forces and armed settlers had killed three young Palestinian men and injured more than 450 others, some of them very seriously. Israeli forces even raided a Palestinian hospital in an attempt to arrest those injured by their weaponry.

Israel claims that the metal detectors are necessary for Israel’s “security” following an incident last week in which two armed Israeli officers were killed. These metal detectors are not about security, but rather about deliberately attempting to bar Palestinians from their places of worship. Contrast, for example, Israel’s recent stance towards the Temple Mount Faithful – a group of Jewish extremists who have openly announced that they seek the destruction of the al-Aqsa compound in order to build a Jewish temple in its place.

Yet, while openly advocating for the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians and the destruction of Muslim holy sites, the Israeli government continues to allow this group to enter the al-Aqsa compound (including with arms) under the guise of “freedom of religion”.

In 1990, this group attempted to lay a cornerstone for a Jewish temple at the compound triggering protests in which some 20 Palestinians died.

The demand for freedom of religion for Palestinians – the ability to worship without the interference of Israel’s armed forces – is conveniently ignored. The metal detectors must be viewed in their proper context: as another of Israel’s settler-colonial acts of erasing us, the indigenous population, erasing our homes, our culture and our religious sites and replacing us with settlers.

For his part, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu is happy to see Jerusalem erupt in violence. Facing a corruption investigation for a submarine scandal, Netanyahu is refusing to remove the metal detectors so as to ensure that attention is deflected from this deal and instead focused on violence. You see, in Israel, “security” sells – it ensures votes and ensures that corruption charges are deflected.

To be clear, no Palestinian wants to see their holy sites turned into places of armed conflict. But using the guise of “security”, Israel has ensured that we, Palestinians, live as prisoners in our homeland.

In the name of “security,” Israel expropriates Palestinian land. In the name of “security”, Israel builds Israeli-only settlements on stolen Palestinian land. In the name of “security” Israel demolishes Palestinian homes and schools and in the name of “security” Palestinians are besieged in Gaza, forced to live without electricity, adequate medical supplies or water and even barred from accessing the sea.

And, when Palestinians are gunned down by mass murderers, as they were in the 1990s in Hebron by Baruch Goldstein, in the name of “security”, Palestinians – and not Israelis – are subject to increased security restrictions. In short, Israel seeks to turn Jerusalem into Hebron: blocked off from Palestinians, with convenience for Israeli Jews taking precedence over Palestinian rights. So as Israel continues to gun down Palestinians, who will provide security to Palestinians?

This security will not come from the current unelected Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, who spent four days in China as Palestinians were barred from accessing al-Aqsa compound and as Gazans suffered under a siege that he has openly supported. Nor, of course, will it come from a silent international community that only knows how to wring its hands and meekly condemn Israel.

Rather, Palestinians will continue to bravely stand and defend themselves, bowing down only to the God they worship and never to Israeli diktats.

Diana Buttu is a Palestinian lawyer and analyst who served as a legal adviser to the Palestinian negotiating team from 2000 to 2005.

This article was first published by Al Jazeera 

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Information Clearing House.

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Main Violations against Al-Aqsa Mosque

Main Violations against Al-Aqsa Mosque


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22-07-2017 | 13:48

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Balfour’s Shadow – A Century of British Support for Zionism and Israel

A review of the book authored by David Cronin

By Jim Miles GlobalResearch,

July 01, 2017

The Balfour Declaration, currently accepted by many as the founding legal statement for the establishment of Israel is really nothing more than a letter. It was a letter of policy between government personnel and became a major part of foreign policy then, and its shadow effects have continued on rather effectively to now. Balfour’s Shadow is a well written outline of the history of events after the letter: the immediate short term effects on British policy after WW I; the medium range policies that continued until after WW II; up to Britain’s current policy of advocating for and dealing with Israel. It is not a pretty story.

The letter was not necessarily well intended. Balfour himself was anti-Semitic. Yet the letter offered support to the Zionists for the creation of a Jewish national home in Palestine. Several factors accounted for this, one of them being this very anti-Semitism, as many British felt that Jews would never assimilate into their society.

Several other factors came into play: Jewish support in the war effort was considered necessary; the British wanted to protect the Suez Canal as the main route through to its then colonies of south Asia, mainly India; and natural resources, oil, became a major interest after oil was discovered in abundance in the Middle East. A colonial outpost would, Britain believed, help consolidate control of the region against Arab interests in an era when British racism ran rampant throughout its colonial networks.

From that beginning, Cronin highlights the major factors in the relationship between Zionists, Jews, and the British government. He deals specifically with events pertaining to the government, and does not detail all that transpired during Britain’s occupation via the Palestinian Mandate. But the general thread of the history is exposed throughout the work, accessible to both those with a strong background in the history and those just entering into the discovery process of Middle East history. For the latter, Balfour’s Shadow provides enough detail that a reader should be motivated to research more information through other works (of which there are many).

Author David Cronin

(Source: @dvcronin / Twitter)

In general, Cronin reveals that the methods used by the British to control the indigenous population of Palestine laid the foundation for the ethnic cleansing and later suppression of the Palestinian people. Much history has been written about the Haganah, Stern, and Irgun ‘gangs’ fighting against the British, but the general trend of British behaviour was to support the increasing settlement patterns, evictions, and land grabs of the Zionist settlers.

After the nakba, Britain continued to supply Israel with military support ranging from hundreds of tanks, many planes, up to and including nuclear systems, in particular the sale of heavy water through Norway. This period was a transition from British global power to U.S. global power: after the fake war for the Suez Canal and the later pre-emptive war of 1967, the U.S. had clearly taken the lead in supporting Israel. Britain however did not let go.

Indeed, Britain became one of the strongest voices in support of Israel as military trade and financial/corporate interests continued with mostly behind the scenes activities.

Additional information is provided showing how the British worked to sideline the PLO by effectively recruiting Arafat as leader of a recognized PLO ‘government’, leading to the false promises of the Oslo accords and the continued annexation, settlement, and dispossession of the Palestinians.

For contemporary events, Cronin highlights the bizarre career of Tony Blair. At this point in time Blair was truly a “loyal lieutenant” for the U.S., adopting and promulgating U.S. policy for Israel and the Middle East in general. Bringing the work up to current events, “Partners in Crime” outlines the corporate-military ties between Britain, Israel, and the U.S.. Most of the corporate interest is military procurement going both directions – hardware to Israel, spyware and security ware to Britain. As always, these corporations (Ferranti, Affinity, Elbit, Rafael, Rokar, Lockheed-Martin) changed British views – at least of the elites – from tentative support to solidarity. These friendly relations also helped tie Israel into the EU more strongly.

Today, official British policy remains as an ardent supporter of Israel, with a lasting pride in Israel’s founding. The British colonial heritage rages on in the Middle East.

This is an excellent work most specifically for its focus on British attitudes concerning the development of Zionism/Israel, a history of war crimes and apartheid. Kudos to Cronin for his extensive use of many personal diaries and notices and of official records from War and Colonial office files as well as Foreign and Commonwealth files for more recent materials. It is concise and direct, an accessible read that can serve as a prerequisite for Middle East studies/Zionist studies and as a general guide to British policy for Israel. [1]

***

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Title: Balfour’s Shadow – A Century of British Support for Zionism and Israel

Author: David Cronin

Publisher: Pluto Press, London

Click here to order.

Notes

[1] Many books cover the development of Zionism and the creation of Israel. For a more highly detailed development of the historical situation preceding and leading up to the Balfour letter itself, the best I have read is: The Balfour Declaration – The Origins of the Arab-Israeli Conflict. Jonathan Schneer. Anchor (Random House), Canada. 2012.

This review was first published in Palestine Chronicle, June 29, 2017.

Featured image from Book Depository

Pro-Israel Group Is Desperate To Keep You From Watching This Video?

By Peter Beinart

June 24, 2017 “Information Clearing House” –  When it comes to Palestinians, the American Jewish establishment is in the ignorance business. The average American synagogue has never hosted a Palestinian speaker. The average “pro-Israel” activist has never read a book by a Palestinian author. The American Jewish philanthropists who fund Birthright send thousands of young American Jews to Israel each year, on a program that systematically excludes the voices of 50% of the people who live under Israeli control.

But that’s not the worst part. The worst part is that for major American Jewish organizations, ignorance is an export. It is not enough that American Jewish leaders never hear from Palestinians themselves — they do their best to ensure that American politicians don’t, either.

Consider the sequence of events that began on June 8. On that day, an advocacy group called No Way To Treat a Child hosted a panel discussion on Capitol Hill. That’s not unusual. Advocacy organizations hold panel discussions on Capitol Hill all the time; the location makes it easier for congressional staff to attend. What made this one unusual was its subject: the Palestinian experience under Israeli control.

You can watch the panel online. The first speaker was Omar Shakir, the Israel-Palestine director of Human Rights Watch. In dry, rather clinical, terms, Shakir discussed some of the consequences of the fact that West Bank Palestinians are subjects, not citizens, of Israel. He noted, for instance, that in Area C, which encompasses roughly 60% of the West Bank, it is “nearly impossible for Palestinians to obtain a permit to build a home.” When Palestinians build without a permit, the Israeli government often demolishes their homes.

Following him was Brad Parker, a staff attorney at Defense for Children Palestine. Observing that, according to the most recent statistics, Israel holds hundreds of Palestinians between the ages of 12 and 17 in its jails, often for stone throwing, Parker explained that the Israeli military frequently arrests Palestinian children at night. They are often bound, blindfolded and transported to a military installation, where they wait until morning before being interrogated without a lawyer and without their parents knowing where they are. They “essentially disappear for 24, 48, 96 hours.” Then they are generally prosecuted in military courts where the conviction rate approaches 100%. Following Parker was Yazan Meqbil, a young West Bank Palestinian attending college in the United States, who talked about growing up in a house repeatedly slated for demolition. “Every single day,” he said, “I used to wake up hoping my house will not be demolished.” Meqbil ended his remarks by saying: “Palestinians, we all have a dream, to be free, to live like normal human beings. To not be afraid whenever we leave our homes.”

The final speaker was Nadia Ben-Youssef, who works for Adalah–-The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel. She stressed the links between Israel’s treatment of Palestinians in the West Bank and its treatment of Palestinian citizens inside Israel proper. Israel’s Palestinian citizens, she noted, lived under military law until 1966. And even today, she argued, inside the Green Line, Israel privileges Jews over non-Jews in important ways.

I offer this summation to illustrate the shamelessness of the attack that followed. In a video posted June 12, The Israel Project, which is led by former AIPAC spokesman Josh Block, called the event an “anti-Israel hatefest” filled with “hate speech.” Notice the Orwellian turn.

According to The Israel Project, it is not hateful to hold millions of West Bank Palestinians for 50 years as non-citizens, without due process, free movement or the right to vote for the government that controls their lives. It is hateful to criticize Israel for doing so. By that standard, the 2012 documentary “The Gatekeepers,” which featured former heads of the Shin Bet calling Israel’s occupation of the West Bank “brutal,” “colonial” and “unbearable,” was an “anti-Israel hatefest,” too.

Then came the inevitable insinuation of anti-Semitism. As menacing music played in the background, the video declares that while the panel pretended to be “about human rights,” the speakers “couldn’t stop talking about Jews.” Actually, the panel was entirely about human rights. But, as if uncovering a terrible offense, the video noted that panelists had 17 times used the phrases “Jewish,” “Jewish state,” “Jewish people,” “Jewish citizens” or “Jews.” How sinister! I’m sure Josh Block never uses such despicable phrases when speaking about Israel.

In fact, two of Shakir’s uses of the word “Jewish” came from quotations. He quoted the State Department as calling settlement growth “inconsistent with Israel’s future as a Jewish and democratic state,” and President Obama as saying that settlement growth undermines “Israel as both Jewish and a democracy.” Then again, everyone knows that Obama and the State Department are anti-Semitic, too.

Most of the references to Jews came from Nadia Ben-Youssef. The video quoted her as saying that “Israel was established as a Jewish state to privilege the rights of Jewish people,” and referring to “this Jewish state that is premised on the basis that you must have greater rights, so that means more Jewish people than anyone else in that land.” The video never explained what’s incorrect or odious about those statements. Their hatefulness is presumably self-evident.

But both statements are true. Yes, Israel’s Declaration of Independence speaks about ensuring “complete equality of social and political rights… irrespective of religion, race or sex.” And yes, Palestinians inside Israel proper (as opposed to Palestinians in the West Bank) enjoy citizenship and the right to vote. But Israel was also explicitly founded to represent and safeguard the Jewish people, and that inevitably privileges Jews over non-Jews.

Jews who immigrate to Israel, for instance, gain citizenship on day one. For non-Jews who wish to immigrate to Israel, by contrast, including Palestinian refugees born inside Israel’s borders, gaining citizenship is virtually impossible. Israel’s flag contains a Jewish star; its national anthem speaks of “the Jewish soul.” In these symbolic ways, too, Israel privileges Jews over non-Jews. As for Israel’s effort to maintain a Jewish majority so that Jews can control the destiny of the state, that’s hardly a secret. It’s a goal that the Israeli government and mainstream American Jewish organizations proudly endorse.

Israel is not the only country on earth to face a tension between its desire to protect and nurture one ethno-religious community and its commitment to provide equality under the law. Many European democracies have immigration policies that favor a dominant ethnic group. Many have crosses on their flags. The 2003 Palestinian Constitutionstates that “the Palestinian people are part of the Arab nation” and that “the principles of Islamic Shari’a shall be the main source of legislation.” So if a Palestinian state is ever created, it will likely wrestle with the tension between ethnic nationalism and democracy, too.

I believe that in a post-Holocaust world, it’s important to have one country on earth that assumes a special obligation to protect Jewish life. The goal, therefore, should be to minimize the tension between Jewish statehood and liberal democracy as much as possible, while acknowledging that you can never erase it entirely. The challenge, as Martin Buber once put it, is to “do no more injustice to others than we are forced to do in order to exist.”

Zionist thinkers like Chaim Gans and Alexander Yakobson and Amnon Rubinstein have sought to meet that challenge. But doing so honestly requires acknowledging that all forms of Jewish statehood entail some moral costs, and that some are more morally defensible than others.

These are the kinds of debates that the American Jewish establishment fears. It fears them because such debates give Palestinians a voice. Given the influence that American Jewish groups wield in Washington, it’s far easier to simply deny Palestinians a platform. That’s why The Israel Project ends its video by urging people to call Rep. Mark Pocan, who authorized No Way To Treat a Child to use a room on Capitol Hill, and “demand that he condemn the event.” The goal is to scare members of Congress so they don’t facilitate such discussions again.

The deep, dark secret of the American Jewish establishment is that its leaders are not equipped to respond to smart Palestinian critics of Israel. They’re not familiar enough with the realities of Palestinian life under Israeli control. So having built itself a cocoon that shuts out Palestinian voices, the American Jewish establishment insists that Congress live inside that cocoon too. Because if the cocoon cracks, American politicians, and the American public, will realize how intellectually weak the American Jewish establishment actually is.

When it comes to Israel, the organized American Jewish community would rather bully than think. That’s what happens when power corrupts. It doesn’t only make you immoral. It makes you dumb.

Peter Beinart is a Forward senior columnist and contributing editor. Listen to “Fault Lines,” his podcast with Daniel Gordis here or on iTunes.

This article was first published by The Forward

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Information Clearing House.

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Persuading Jews Worldwide to Convert to Zionism

By Rima Najjar

Global Research,

June 23, 2017

Lawfare as used by the Zionist organization The Lawfare Project and others is meant to persuade every Jew in the world (and not just Israeli Jews) that his or her Jewish identity, welfare and security are inextricably related to the continued suppression of justice, equality and freedom of Palestinian Arabs or, in other words, to the Apartheid Zionist Jewish state.

Lawfare is a tool used by Zionist organizations to suppress pro-Palestine activity by conflating anti-Semitism (in its sense of “anti-Jewish animus”) with anti-Zionism, the ideology that perpetuates Israel’s denial of Palestinian rights.  A case in point is the lawsuit against San Francisco State University (SFSU) currently being heard in a U.S. federal court brought by the right-wing Zionist organization The Lawfare Project, which relies on the complete conflation of anti-Jewish animus with criticism of Israel’s denial of Palestinian rights to assert that SFSU violated the constitutional and civil rights of Jewish students and community members. The true intent of the lawsuit is clear: to ensure that advocates for Palestinian rights are punished for standing up for human rights and justice for Palestinians, who have been dispossessed, occupied, and deprived of basic human rights for 70 years.

What The Lawfare Project is doing is simply consolidating the final stage “in the evolutionary method of Zionist policy” in Palestine as described in a long letter (written by Chaim Arlosoroff in 1932) addressed to Chaim Weizmann (an early Zionist born in Belarus) that appeared in the October 1948  Jewish Frontier under the title “Reflections on Zionist Policy”:

… The next “stage” will be attained when the relationship of real forces will be such as to preclude any possibility of the establishment of an Arab state in Palestine, i.e., when the Jews will acquire such additional strength as will automatically block the road for Arab domination. This will be followed by another “ stage” during which the Arabs will be unable to frustrate the constant growth of the Jewish community through … immigration, colonization and the maintenance of peace and order in the country…

The farcical decades-long “Peace Process” notwithstanding, the Zionist movement has so far succeeded in precluding the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state in any part of Palestine, claiming all of it for Jews (the “Hebrew Nation”) worldwide. Having established Israel through the ethnic cleansing of non-Jewish Palestinian Arabs seventy years ago, and occupied the rest of the Palestinian territory a mere nineteen years later, the Zionist movement is today all out to consolidate and build on its achievement using, not only the economic, military and political strength of Israel itself (which is already considerable), but also the worldwide support of Jews (while also cultivating the support of American evangelist Christians).

Whereas the kind of brainwashing in which The Lawfare Project is engaged is standard fare in many synagogues and has been working, with very few exceptions, for decades, recent polls indicate that young Jews no longer buy what Israel packages and sells to them. Predictably, that is only spurring Brand Israel to redouble its efforts:

Brand Israel says that ‘Instead of stating dry facts, professionals must highlight Israel’s decency, morality and the diversity of the Israeli society in general’. This is an act of self-deception. Israel is a society where a plurality of Jews support the physical expulsion of Israel’s Palestinians and where ‘Death to the Arabs’ is the favourite chant of the Right.

Rima Najjar is a Palestinian whose father’s side of the family comes from the forcibly depopulated village of Lifta on the western outskirts of Jerusalem. She is an activist, researcher and retired professor of English literature, Al-Quds University, occupied West Bank.

Featured image: National Vanguard

Christian Zionist Movie Debuts…As Jewish Writer Debunks Myths About Six-Day War

 photo cbnmoviescene_zpsrvuoawtk.jpg

[ Ed. note – A movie produced by CBN, the Christian Zionist broadcast outlet, has just debuted in theaters. Entitled “In Our Hands: The Battle for Jerusalem,” it is touted as a “docudrama” and purports to relate the history of the 1967 Six-Day War, particularly with regard to the capture of East Jerusalem. Christian Zionists, of course, view this as a fulfillment of biblical prophecy, and the photo above is a scene from the film portraying Israeli soldiers praying at the Western Wall following the capture.

The movie’s release obviously was timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Six-Day War. Here is the official trailer:

I have not seen the entire film. My biggest question is whether it makes any mention at all of the Israeli attack upon the USS Liberty. (Rotten Tomatoes has not yet posted a review, at least as of this writing.) Maybe I’ll go see the film just to find out the answer. The assault upon the Liberty occurred June 8, 1967 and resulted in the deaths of 34 US sailors. You can go here to see a list of their names along with their photos and bios. In addition to those killed, 174 were wounded. Israel has always claimed the attack was an accident. Many others, including the survivors, say it was deliberate. If the CBN has made a movie glorifying Israel’s capers in the Six-Day War, without even mentioning the Liberty attack and the deaths of 34 US servicemen that occurred in the same conflict, that would be unfortunate–although “unfortunate” is perhaps not nearly a strong enough word.

In any event, glorifying Israel does appear very much the purpose behind the film. “A story of impossible odds,” the trailer describes it. The official website offers the following elaboration:

For centuries, their nation had been in exile. For a generation, they had been without access to their ancestral city. For six days, surrounded by enemies, Israel stood alone … and changed history.

A considerably less mythical, and more reality-based, perspective on the Six-Day War is offered by Michael Lesher, who says the conquest of East Jerusalem is not something Jews should be proud of. On the contrary, Lesher views the Western Wall as a “place of shame.” Another question: Does the CBN “docudrama” mention that after East Jerusalem was seized, the Israeli Army demolished the homes of some 600 Palestinians in order to clear space next to the Western Wall for a plaza to accommodate tourists? I’m guessing probably not on that one either. But this is discussed by Lesher, who calls the wall and the plaza next to it a “crime scene.”

He also explodes the myth about Israel being “surrounded by enemies” and facing “impossible odds” at the outset of the war. The reality is that “Egypt was not ready for a war, and Nasser did not want a war.” This, at any rate, was the assessment of former Mossad Chief Meir Amit, who Lesher quotes. The additional reality, again getting beyond the myth, is that the Six-Day war was not a case of Israel “defending itself”; it was a war of aggression waged by Israel against its neighbors. Yet “popular mythology dies hard,” as the writer puts it. Indeed. In order to help perpetuate the myth, “Jerusalem Day” has been established as a national holiday in Israel and is now celebrated each year…and now CBN, for its own religious reasons, seems to be trying to further that cause.

Lesher’s article was posted a few days ago at Mondoweiss. ]

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Wall of Shame

By Michael Lesher

It’s not easy for a religious Jew to feel civilized these days. On the streets near occupied Nablus, an Orthodox Jewish settler, earlocks waving, has just been seen handing out candy to celebrate the fatal shooting of an unarmed 23-year-old Palestinian last Thursday–whose apparent crime was getting in the way of another settler’s car. Meanwhile, one of Israel’s top politicians is publicly blaming the young Palestinian for the bullet that killed him: “Any one of us, as a parent, as a citizen, would have acted” as the gunman did, said Education Minister Naftali Bennett, another yarmulke-wearing Jew, while the Orthodox rabbinate looked on in approving silence.

After all, it’s almost “Jerusalem Day”–Israel’s annual orgy of self-congratulation over its seizure of East Jerusalem, and the West Bank, 50 years ago–and in the spirit of the day, “religious” Jews seem determined to prove Bennett’s point. Occupation? No problem. Ethnic cleansing? Fine with us. We’re all settlers now. Savagery has gone mainstream.

So please do not expect any kind words from me over the latest attempt to distract newspaper readers from the advancing flood of Israeli apartheid–I mean, the spat over whether or not Donald Trump thinks the Western Wall is in Israel. Not that The Donald–who has referred to Belgium as “a beautiful city”–is anyone’s idea of an authority on geography. The real question is why anyone would think the retaining wall of the Second Temple complex, built by Herod (not Solomon) as part of an urban renewal project meant to broadcast his own glory, was worth a war.

For that matter, who could imagine that this pile of stones, or anything like it, would ever justify 50 years of military occupation?

I know, I know. I’ve seen and heard all the kitsch there is about that spot–including the impromptu consecration of a war zone by Rabbi Shlomo Goren on June 7, 1967. Is this really supposed to be impressive? Heavily armed Israeli soldiers recited a blessing of thanksgiving when they reached the Western Wall, having just seized another piece of Palestinian property for the Jewish State. Yet the Talmud rules that a Jew who sees that site must tear his clothes in mourning for the ruined Temple–hardly a triumphal gesture. The breathless sentimentality with which Israeli propaganda has invested this bit of stolen architecture is as untraditional as it is vulgar.

Nor did anyone, before the advent of Zionism, consider the Wall a proper place for communal Jewish worship. To quote Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo, “The Kotel was never a synagogue; nor should it ever become one.”

In fact, wondering aloud whether “we Jews” have “gone mad,” that honest Orthodox scholar has argued that we “must free the Western Wall of all denominations and abolish all synagogue services at the site, including bar and bat mitzva celebrations” so that the site can be reserved “solely for individual prayer and meditation, just as our ancestors treated it throughout our long history.”

I say amen; I would only add that, first and foremost, the property should be restored to its rightful owners–the indigenous Palestinian population–honoring the ethical principles that animated those same Jewish ancestors.

Yet popular mythology dies hard. When I wrote a column a year ago critical of “Jerusalem Day” festivities, the Jewish periodical the Forward was kind enough to publish it–for which I am grateful. But without my knowledge the editors rewrote a sentence, softening my insistence that the conquest of East Jerusalem shouldn’t be granted any sort of religious status. “Access to the holy sites is worth celebrating,” the revised passage reads, “but it wasn’t a miracle.”

Indeed it wasn’t. But allow me to add–for this is my actual opinion — that “access to the holy sites” isn’t worth celebrating either, if “access” means military conquest. (As early as April 1949, Jordan agreed to grant access to the religious Jewish sites in East Jerusalem, refusing to implement the agreement only when it became clear that Israel would not repatriate any of the refugees it had driven into Jordan during the war.)

I’m also repelled by the implication that “access to the holy sites” means only Jewish sites, and only access by Jews. Israel’s arbitrary and often brutal curtailment of Palestinian worship at the mosque on the same ground is a matter of record, but evidently this is not supposed to figure in the public discourse about the “reunification of Jerusalem,” as Israel’s continued occupation is typically described in Jewish media.

Speaking of Jewish media, I cannot discuss Jerusalem Day without mentioning the outright fraud that gets recycled at this time each year. In 2015, in honor of the occasion,Times of Israel blog contained this litany of myths-as-facts:

“Forty eight years ago…Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon amassed forces on their borders, getting ready to storm the Jewish State and destroy her for good. Radio broadcasts in Israel and abroad were full of the same grim tidings – cries by Arab leaders for the Jews to be driven into the Mediterranean Sea…and the especially terrifying declaration by Israeli rabanim [rabbis] that every public park in the country would be a graveyard, in an effort to prepare for the bloody onslaught.”

In fact, as scholars like Norman Finkelstein have decisively shown, the two Egyptian divisions in the Sinai (the only ones seriously in question) remained in a defensive posture, as Israel’s Chief of Staff Yitzhak Rabin reported at the time, and in any case “would not have been enough to unleash an offensive.” Mossad chief Meir Amit similarly concluded weeks before Israel’s attack that “Egypt was not ready for a war, and Nasser did not want a war.” Besides, both Israeli and U.S. intelligence experts predicted that even in the unlikely event that several Arab countries attacked in concert, Israel would easily defeat them all within ten days. Israel’s claim that it faced serious danger in 1967 was “a bluff,” according to General Mattityahu Peled, one of the architects of the Israeli assault.

Knowing all this, how can any decent Jew celebrate Jerusalem Day, the anniversary of that violent “bluff”? Or exult at its tragic epicenter, the Western Wall?

For the record, I visited the famous Wall on the first night of my one visit to Israel some years ago. I was unsettled by the theme-park look of the place – the beaming floodlights, the polished stone “plaza” built to accommodate crowds of tourists – and by the proximity of the elevated parapet marking off the Al-Aqsa mosque, where in 1990 Israeli soldiers massacred some 18 unarmed worshipers. Only afterward did I realize that I had literally been standing on a crime scene…

Continued here

A MUST SEE: Father Mmanuel Musallam SPEAKING OUT on Nakba Day Plus ‘Peace” Photo Story

الاب منويل مسلم في ذكرى نكبة فلسطين هذا الخطاب القاه في المنتدى العربي الناصري

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Palestinian Nakba Day ~ Over 700,000 forced to leave Palestine in 1948: nowadays the Zionist colony seals off all the Palestinians, a people of captives in their own home

People across the world are commemorating the Nakba Day which marks the anniversary of the forcible eviction of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homeland by Israelis in 1948.

The Day of Catastrophe is officially marked every year on May 15, but the occasion this year coincides with a hunger strike being observed by more than 1,600 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

Some 750,000 Palestinians were expelled from their homes during the 1948 war. Today, more than 7 million Palestinian refugees are living in exile, while 1.8 million Palestinians are living in the world’s largest open-air prison in the Gaza Strip.

Ahead of the anniversary, the besieged Gaza Strip and several parts of the world witnessed protests against the Israeli oppression and occupation which has continued for decades.

Hani Islayim, a senior Hamas leader, said the march aimed at telling “hypocrites” that “we are staying in Palestine” to end the Israeli occupation.

“On the 69th anniversary, we say that the land is ours, al-Quds (Jerusalem) is ours and Palestine is ours,” he said.

“If some people have forgotten our cause, we say that we haven’t forgotten and the occupation will be forced out of our land soon, God willing, and Palestine will stay Islamic and Arab,” Islayim added.

Jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti urged Palestinians to carry out acts of “civil disobedience” to commemorate the Nakba Day. He also appealed to Fatah and Hamas to enter into a national reconciliation agreement.

Elsewhere across the world, people rallied in Berlin in remembrance of the Nakba Day. Protesters also gathered outside the Israeli consulate in the Canadian city of Toronto in support of the hunger-striking Palestinians in Israeli jails.

‘Israel, UK must apologize for Nakba’

On Sunday, Secretary General of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said Israel must acknowledge that its establishment in 1948 was a “catastrophe” for the Palestinians and apologize for it.

The Nakab Day, he said, “means an ongoing journey of pain, loss, and injustice.”

Erekat also urged Tel Aviv to open all its 1948 archives and show “the truth of what was done to our people, including its ethnic cleansing policies and the policy of shooting to kill Palestinians that attempted to return home.”

The official further urged the UK “to apologize for its role in the Palestinian catastrophe, beginning by the infamous Balfour Declaration and the denial of our national rights.”

The document issued in November 1917 by the then British foreign secretary Arthur Balfour said the UK government “views with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people,” settling the stage for creation of Israel.

Settlers attack Palestinians, Israeli forces stand idly.

In the occupied territories, human rights group Yesh Din released footage showing Israeli forces watching indifferently while Jewish settlers hurled stones at Palestinians in the West Bank.

According to Israeli newspaper Haaretz, the footage was shot on Friday near the village of Burin in the occupied West Bank.

“This is a very serious incident” in which Israeli soldiers “allowed the criminals to throw stones unhindered,” the group said in a statement.

Yesh Din urged the Israeli military to investigate the incident but the army denied its soldiers ignored the attack.

There have been scores of attacks targeting Palestinians in different parts of the West Bank, with most of them largely going uninvestigated by Israeli authorities.

More than half a million Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds. Built on occupied land, the settlements are internationally condemned as illegal.


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The celebration of a ‘Memorial Day’ is only for ‘the chosen people’, not for others. The Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) enforced tough restrictions across the occupied territories as Palestinians mark the 68th anniversary of the Nakba Day. This is the day when hundreds of thousands of Palestinian were expelled from their homes starting from 1947-48 and subsequent years.


Quelli della Memoria…Corta: con la Faccia Tosta d’Imporre una ‘Giornata della Memoria’, Mentre la Negano Agli Altri


SOURCES:
PressTV
TerraSantaLibera
Submitted by SyrianPatriots, Lone Bear, Cem Ertür 
War Press Info Network at :
https://syrianfreepress.wordpress.com/2017/05/15/nakba-day-2017/
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