Mahmoud Darwish and the Jews

August 9th marks the ninth anniversary of the death of the great Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish. Poems that eloquently capture the essence and spirit of the Palestinian struggle for independence–this is what Darwish gave to the world.

Born on March 13, 1941 in the village of Al-Birwa, Darwish published his first book of poetry at the age of 19. His home village, Al-Birwa, no longer exists, by the way. Located in western Galilee near the border with Lebanon, it was destroyed in 1948. Darwish was seven years old at the time. He and his family and other villagers were forced to flee. A kibbutz and the Jewish town of Ahihud occupy the land today.

A week ago I put up a post entitled Solzhenitsyn and the Jews, the purpose of which was to mark the ninth anniversary of the death of the famed Russian writer, Alexander Solzhenitsyn. The parallels between Solzhenitsyn and Darwish are striking. For one thing, both men died within a week of each other–Solzhenitsyn on August 3, 2008, and Darwish on August 9, 2008. Both of course were also great writers. But perhaps most striking of all is both spent a major portion of their lives living under a brutal system of government imposed by Jews–and in both cases the experience powerfully shaped their writing.

Here is what I wrote in my article on Solzhenitsyn:

The Soviet Union, at least in its earlier years, seems very much to have been an example of Jewish power gone berserk.

The same of course can be said of Israel.

You can kind of sense that power gone berserk in what follows. It’s one of Darwish’s most famous poems–“I Come from There.”

I Come From There

I come from there and I have memories
Born as mortals are, I have a mother
And a house with many windows,
I have brothers, friends,
And a prison cell with a cold window.
Mine is the wave, snatched by sea-gulls,
I have my own view,
And an extra blade of grass.
Mine is the moon at the far edge of the words,
And the bounty of birds,
And the immortal olive tree.
I walked this land before the swords
Turned its living body into a laden table.
I come from there. I render the sky unto her mother
When the sky weeps for her mother.
And I weep to make myself known
To a returning cloud.
I learnt all the words worthy of the court of blood
So that I could break the rule.
I learnt all the words and broke them up
To make a single word: Homeland…..

On June 8, 1987, Darwish published an essay entitled, “The Cruelest of Months.” The essay marked the twentieth anniversary of the 1967 war, a war in which Israel, in addition to bombing the USS Liberty, further extended its control over Palestinian land, capturing East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

In his essay, Darwish employs the rhetorical device of repetition, repeating the words “June is the cruelest of months,” throughout the piece. He may have intended it as a literary allusion to T.S. Eliot’s “The Wasteland,” whose  opening line consists of the immortal words, “April is the cruelest month.” At any rate, the piece jumps straight into the poet’s portrayal of June’s agony:

No one is safe from the pain of memories, or from psychological collapse. June is the cruelest of months. June is an abyss which tries to ascend from its own depths to improve the conditions within it. A strained hand is raised to prevent the wall from collapsing and a strained cry rings out: let whatever is collapsing collapse–let our internal pain complete its twentieth year. The passing of twenty years startles us as we ponder what time can and cannot do. Twenty years of pain that we try to forget, but which pursues us. Whoever was born then, in June, is now twenty years old–children familiar with rocks and small rockets, with prisons, children who have lived abnormal lives. We see to what extent we have been further scattered and to what extent the homeland has narrowed. Twenty seasons of burned wheat.

And as we bid the years farewell, the ideas of youth fade. They would have remained young if night had not been confounded with day. June is the cruelest of months. Because we are witnesses of the event. And turning back to that part of this age which has already ended, this age which defies proper description, does not enable us to escape the fever or to ascertain its origins: is it the past that has taken with it the memory of the defeat and gone away; or is it the present, incapable of separating itself from the spectacle of the defeat and its history so that the past remains capable of repeating itself as long as the reality of the defeat is present in the form of the occupation?

The line about night being “confounded” by day is perhaps the most powerful of all. In an obscene world of cruelty and madness, darkness is preferable to the light of day. Darkness at least brings us a sense of respite from the murderous depravities.

The essay also addresses Israel’s tiresome and incessant demands from one and all–including the very people it has displaced–for recognition of its “right to exist.” And there is also a backhanded slap at Arab governments which, in exchange for cordial relations with the Zionist state, have all but abandoned the Palestinian struggle (other than the payment of occasional lip service).

Here a June question arises: if the decision to make war was an Arab decision, why should the decision to make peace be based on a Palestinian agreement to absent himself? Here the Greek tragedy and the Shakespearean tragedy are completed: the Palestinian is expected to absent himself from his homeland, from his problem, from his case, and from himself. He is requested to appear on  stage only once. He who is absent is asked to appear to witness that he is absent, invisible; he is supposed to come only to recognize Israel’s existence, Israel which is present only on the condition that the Palestinian is absent. Then the Palestinian is supposed to disappear. He is also supposed to present himself before the Arab ruler to acknowledge that he does not represent himself, to admit that he is absent from the stage in the presence of the one who has requested him to attend once for the sake of permanent absence.

But Darwish foresaw, even then, way back in 1987, that the Palestinians were not going to give up, that the struggle for justice would go on:

We must realize again that June did not come from outside as much as it sprang from within. Is June still alive within us? We have witnessed twenty years of occupation. But also twenty years of steadfastness of a people surrounded and besieged by occupation. Twenty years of embers springing from the ashes. Twenty years of the crystallization of the Palestinian national identity. Twenty years of shaping the miracle.

That essay, as I say, was published in June of 1987. Six months later, in December of 1987, the first intifada broke out.

A tribute to Darwish has been published at the website Palestine Square. The article tells a little of his personal story and also provides links to a number of writings–these consist of Darwish’s own writings as well as articles that have been written about him. One of the articles linked to is a commentary Darwish himself wrote on the 9/11 attack. Here is a brief excerpt from it:

No cause, not even a just cause, can make legitimate the killing of innocent civilians, no matter how long the list of accusations and the register of grievances. Terror never paves the way to justice but leads down the shortest path to hell. We deplore this horrendous crime and condemn its planners and perpetrators with all the terms of revulsion and condemnation in our lexicon. We do this not only as our moral duty, but also in order to reassert our commitment to our own humanity and our faith in human values that do not differentiate between one people and another. Our sympathy with the victims and their families and with the American people in these trying times is thus an expression of our deep commitment to the unity of human destiny. For a victim is a victim, and terrorism is terrorism, here or there; it knows no boundaries nor nationalities and does not lack the rhetoric of killing.

A Palestinian girl lights candles in tribute to Darwish.

That article, condemning the horrendous attacks, was published in a Palestinian newspaper on September 17, 2001. As was the case with most people in the world at that time, it obviously had not occurred to Darwish that 9/11 may well have been a false flag, with Israel as the possible principle perpetrator. In any event, the marked sympathy he shows for Americans should be noted–it is a distinctly humanist perspective, coming from one of the leading intellectuals in Palestinian society, this despite America’s ongoing support for Israel.

In 2001, America truly had the sympathy of the entire world. We managed to squander it. Our response to 9/11 was to bomb and invade one country after another–in wars that were relentlessly advocated by Jewish neocons and the Zionist-owned media.

***

Remembering Mahmoud Darwish

Palestine Square

It is difficult to overstate the legacy of Mahmoud Darwish, Palestine’s iconic poet, whose passing on 9 August 2008 has left behind a literary treasure. His was a voice that touched every Palestinian, and with it, Darwish delivered the Palestinian experience to a global audience. His poems have been translated into more than 20 languages, and continue to ring true for many Palestinians who long to return home. Indeed, exile was the central thread of Darwish’s poetic journey. And, while exile is often regarded as a political reality, Darwish’s experience reveals a far broader concept. As he said in a 1996 landmark interview featured in this month’s Special Focus below, “Exile is a very broad concept and very relative. There is exile in society, exile in family, exile in love, exile within yourself.” It began with an exile from his natal village in the Galilee, where Darwish lived under military rule along with 150,000 other Palestinians after Israel’s establishment in 1948. Then, came Moscow, Paris, Cairo, Tunis, Beirut, Amman, and finally Ramallah, where he was buried. This fragmented living resonated with a broader Palestinian experience of displacement and dispersion.

Yet, for all his collective significance, Darwish was often reserved and his poetry was born from very personal experiences. For instance, he grew up convinced he was unloved by his family, especially his mother. But, when he was jailed in Israeli prison in 1956, he wrote “I Long For My Mother’s Bread,” which has become a Palestinian classic in the voice of Marcel Khalife.

“I wanted to atone for my feelings of guilt toward my mother for thinking she hated me—as a poem of national longing. I didn’t expect that millions would sing it,” Darwish said. Indeed, for countless Palestinians estranged from place and family, this particular poem was embraced as a national resistance poem, where the mother symbolizes Palestine.

Continued here

You can follow the link to access the full tribute to Darwish. At the bottom of the article you will find the links to the other articles. These include a link to the essay, “The Cruelest of Months.” Take note, however, that the articles are in PDF format and will only be available for the duration of the month of August. So if you wish to read them, do so now.

Israeli Soldier Elor Azaria Enters Military Prison

Posted on August 9, 2017

You can kind of tell from the smile on his face in this video that Elor Azaria is convinced he’s a hero. And of course he has been hailed as such in Israel. Not that shooting a bullet into the head of a semi-conscious man as he lay wounded on a city street required any great amount of courage. It didn’t. But Jews in Israel seem to measure “heroism” by different standards than most people. Apparently the more Palestinians you kill, the more highly you’re thought of and admired. I’m guessing the Talmud has a lot to do with instilling this sort of thinking into the body politic.

So in the video above we have the “hero” embarking off for prison with a big smile on his face and his mommy at his side. The same woman appears in a good many of the news photos of Azaria that have been published. It is his mother. She seems to be in love with him–and seems always to clutch at him, much as if he’s her lover rather than her son.

azaryasentenced

The “hero” was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 18 months in prison. I’m sure the cell they give him will have all the comforts of  home, and his mommy will visit him often. And maybe after he gets out of prison, Elor the Hero will get a job as a pundit for mainstream media, offering commentary on Middle East issues. Perhaps we’ll even see him on TV sometime telling us Americans why we should bomb Iran.

Israeli Court Upholds Soldier’s 18-Month Sentence; House Arrest to Continue for Now

An Israeli appeals court has upheld the manslaughter conviction of Elor Azarya, the Israeli soldier whose brutal execution-style slaying of a wounded Palestinian was captured live on video. The court reportedly also has upheld his 18-month sentence.

The ruling was handed down on Sunday. According to Ma’an News:

The judges voted three to two in favor of upholding the sentence.“The punishment is on the lower edge of appropriate sentencing,” the judges noted, while lamenting that “such an excelling soldier committed such a terrible error.”

The decision is being widely reported in the mainstream media. The New York Times, CNN, and others are carrying stories on it, and one might suppose Zionist trolls may start posting thousands of comments on websites touting it as proof that Israel is “the only democracy in the Middle East” with a model justice system fair to one and all and second to none.

But of course, what the video shows would probably not be viewed as an act of “manslaughter” by most of us. And oh yes, by the way, manslaughter is defined as:

the unlawful killing of another person without premeditation or so-called “malice aforethought” (an evil intent prior to the killing). It is distinguished from murder (which brings greater penalties) by lack of any prior intention to kill anyone or create a deadly situation.

The presumed absence of premeditation and “malice aforethought” would seem to be almost ludicrously undermined by the testimony of witnesses, for as we read in the Ma’an report:

Al-Sharif was shot and seriously wounded after allegedly stabbing another Israeli soldier, and after he was left bleeding on the ground for some ten minutes, Azarya shot him in the head, with a number of witnesses quoting him as saying “This dog is still alive,” and “This terrorist deserves to die” before he pulled the trigger.

Do such statements as “the dog is still alive” and “the terrorist deserves to die” really point to a lack of malice? Hardly. And indeed, the report goes on to note that some people, including human rights groups, have described the killing as an “extrajudicial execution.”

Moreover, the comment by the judges that “the punishment is on the lower edge of appropriate sentencing” would thus seem to be an almost phantasmal understatement.

But of course, the Israeli court system only found Azarya guilty of manslaughter, so I guess we can’t legally call him a murderer. Technically speaking, he’s only a “manslaughterer.”

Is it possible the “lower edge of appropriate sentencing” and the conclusion that the defendant had committed nothing more than a “terrible error” had anything to do with the fact that Azarya is Jewish and his victim was Palestinian? Perish the thought, the trolls will probably tell us.

The manslaughterer’s lethal bullet was fired directly into the head of 21-year-old Abdul Sharif. On the day in question, Sharif and a companion, Ramsi Qasrawi, also 21, allegedly stabbed another Israeli soldier, causing minor injury. Both were shot on the spot. Qasrawi died instantly, but Sharif was left alive, though lying in the street in a pool of blood. It was at this point that Azaria stepped forward, cocked his weapon, and fired.

The New York Times article on the court ruling quotes one of the judges, a Major-General Doron Piles.

“The I.D.F. is the organized military of a country that operates according to law,” Piles said. “Soldiers must not settle accounts with terrorists after the danger from them has passed.”

The major-general obviously believes Sharif and Qasrawi were “terrorists,” and that’s probably the consensus of most Israelis, the New York Times, and much of the rest of the media as well. But of course, we should keep in mind that this shooting took place in Hebron.

Hebron is located in the West Bank, which is internationally recognized as occupied territory.

Under international law, people have a right to resist occupation. So is it “terrorism” when two young men living under an illegal occupation carry out a stabbing of an occupation soldier–or is it an act of resistance? Don’t ask the Israeli court system, the New York Times, or the trolls for that matter. I doubt any of them are capable of giving an impartial and judicious ruling on that matter.

Several days ago, I put up a post reporting that Azarya was to be transferred to house arrest. Under the terms of this transfer he he would be “required to remain at his parents’ home in Ramle in central Israel and can attend Shabbat services in a synagogue on Friday night and Saturday if he is accompanied by a family member,” as a news report I quoted put it.

A little bit more on the house arrest can also be found in the Ma’an News report:

The court highlighted that Azarya, who was transferred to house arrest earlier this month to wait out the appeals process, had “never expressed remorse or questioned his actions” as one of the main reasons for not lowering his sentence.

Israeli newspaper Haaretz said that Azarya, who has only served nine days behind bars and has spent most of his detention confined to a military base, was expected to be transferred to military prison if the sentence was upheld.

However, Haaretz reported that Azarya’s legal team could take a number of further steps to seek to evade the sentencing.

Azarya’s lawyers could take the case to the Israeli Supreme Court to request that the former soldier’s sentence be postponed for a second time, seek a sentence reduction from the Israeli army chief of staff — a move which would only be available if Azarya publicly took responsibility for his actions, or request a pardon from Israeli President Reuven Rivlin.

So in other words, the manslaughterer will presumably remain under house arrest until the appeals process is exhausted.

Additionally, the New York Times informs us that a pardon may be in the offing as well:

Mr. Azaria could try to pursue a further appeal to Israel’s Supreme Court.

But Israel’s hard-line defense minister, Avigdor Lieberman, urged the Azaria family instead to request a pardon from the chief of staff of the military, Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot, “in order to bring this episode to an end as quickly as possible for the good of Elor, the family and Israel.”

General Eisenkot said Sunday that if Mr. Azaria chose to file a request to lighten his sentence, he would give it “careful consideration.”

Perhaps Eisenkot, in giving “careful consideration” to the matter, will reach the conclusion that the law, perhaps because of the release of the video, was selectively enforced in Azarya’s case. Interestingly, the defense put forward just that argument–that Azarya had been unfairly targeted and as a result he had become a victim of “selective enforcement of the law.” It would seem to be a true statement. Many have of course talked of a “culture of impunity” that seems to pervade the Israeli forces, and Ma’an notes that in the year 2016, Azarya was the only Israeli soldier to be charged with killing a Palestinian–a year in which 109 Palestinians were killed by either Israeli forces or settlers.

Whatever else may be its deficiencies, there doesn’t seem to be a shortage of manslaughterers in the self-proclaimed Jewish state.

I’ll close here with an assortment of tweets that have been posted in the last 24 hours or so. WYSIWYG. I can’t offer much information about them other than that, but some of the videos are rather interesting, and I most assuredly doremember Huda, the young Palestinian girl whose father and other members of her family were killed on a Gaza beach a number of years ago.

 forces attack demonstrators with live ammo in , assault children/journalists. Full video: http://bit.ly/2u9ABa5 

IOF deliberately shot a gas grande at a 3-yr-old Palestinian boy eating watermelon on balcony b/c ‘he was collecting intelligence on us”

View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter

 Israeli Jewish activist are in Jordan Valley helping Palestinian Villagers clean & restore wells that were destroyed by Squatters & Israel

Dutch activist says: Israel will never stop its cruelty towards Palestinians til the world says: enough is enough

These are the israeli leaders who want to destroy al-Aqsa

Source

Temple Institute head Yisrael Ariel, who has called for the destruction of churches and mosques and the mass slaughter of those who refuse to accept his extreme version of Judaism, at the al-Aqsa mosque compound in June. (via Facebook)

Since the gun battle at the al-Aqsa compound on 14 July that ended in the deaths of three Palestinian citizens of Israel and two Israeli police, Israeli media have largely focused on outrage that anyone would carry out an attack at a holy site, while praising Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s collective punishment against the Palestinian population.

“They are the strife mongers,” Yedioth Ahronot columnist Ben-Dror Yemini wrote. “They are harming the justified struggle for equality. They are spreading lies and nurturing incitement. For our sake, for their sake, Israel’s Arabs should also get rid of this nuisance.”

“Netanyahu and [PA leader Mahmoud] Abbas both acted responsibly to prevent a holy war; but the Arab world’s condemnation of Israel is a reason for concern,” read the subheading of an analysis by Haaretz’s Barak Ravid.

Missing from commentaries across the board has been any acknowledgment of the role played by fanatical settlers intent on wresting control of the al-Aqsa compound in occupied East Jerusalem and eventually destroying it as part of an apocalyptic vision.

The compound, known to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif and to Jews as Temple Mount, includes the al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock. It is one of the holiest shrines for Muslims all over the world, as well as a touchstone of Palestinian identity.

Game changer”

Temple movement leader Yehuda Glick, right, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (via Facebook)

Israelis who seek to take over al-Aqsa see the 14 July attack and subsequent violence as an opportunity to advance this agenda. Immediately after the incident, the Temple movement’s official body released a statement calling to expel Palestinians from the compound: “We must liberate the Temple Mount from the murderous Islam and return it to the people of Israel.”

“Looking forward to building the Temple this year and hope that you will soon see the face of our righteous Messiah,” Baruch Marzel one of the most extreme leaders among Israel’s West Bank settlers, wrote last week in an open letter to the mufti of Jerusalem – the top Muslim official in the city.

Bezalel Smotrich, a Jewish Home party lawmaker, does not want to wait that long. “I would set up a synagogue on the Temple Mount today, this morning,” he said on Monday.

Under Israeli military protection, these settlers and extremists tour the grounds on a daily basis, hoping to provoke violent reactions from Palestinian worshippers by shouting and singing nationalistic anthems.

This then provides occupation forces with the necessary pretext to enact harsh measures, with the eventual goal of cleansing non-Jews and replacing the Muslim holy sites there with a Jewish temple, thus triggering a civilizational clash with Islam.

Yehuda Glick, a longtime leader of the Temple movement, now a Likud Party lawmaker, last week welcomed Israel’s ban on Muslims entering the al-Aqsa compound in the days following the shootings.

“This is an enormous game changer,” he said. “Everything is part of the redemption process but the things that happen on the Temple Mount are especially so.”

“Radical Muslims who desecrate with blood the holiness of the Temple Mount, the holiest place to the Jewish people, have no right to be there,” Glick and the Jewish Home party’s Shuli Moalem-Refaeli said.

Last week, Glick held a Temple movement emergency session in the Knesset building, Israel’s parliament. Attendees included genocide advocate Rabbi Yisrael Ariel and Bentzi Gopstein, leader of the anti-miscegenation youth movement Lehava.

Genocidal ideology

Yisrael Ariel, the chief rabbi of the Temple movement, articulated an apocalyptic end times scenario in 2015.

“[God] is the one who commanded us to go from city to city conquering them, and to impose the seven laws [of the Sons of Noah] throughout the world,” Ariel said.

Ariel added that if Muslims and Christians “raise the flag of [surrender] and say, ‘From now on, there is no more Christianity and no more Islam,’ and the mosques and Christian spires come down,” then they would be allowed to live. “If not,” he warned, “you kill all of their males by sword. You leave only the women.”

“We will conquer Iraq, Turkey [and] we will get to Iran too,” Ariel proclaimed.

Ariel is the founder and head of the Temple Institute, the government-funded group that has published detailed blueprints and a computer animation of what the Temple, to be built over the ruins of al-Aqsa, will look like.

The Temple Institute has received funding from Israel’s education ministry to develop a curriculum to instill “longing for the Temple” in children as young as those attending kindergarten. In 2013, Israel’s mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, presented Ariel with an award for his organization’s work.

This genocidal ideology is rooted in religious Zionism and its political wing is represented by the Jewish Home party.

In 2012, Zevulun Orlev, one of the party’s lawmakers in the Knesset, called for the construction of a temple at the compound, saying that removing the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa mosque would mean that the “billion-strong Muslim world would surely launch a world war.”

This messianic extremism has taken hold in the Likud Party of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as well.

In 2014, Likud’s Moshe Feiglin, then deputy speaker of the Knesset, explained the fanatical worldview. “We are in the major front of the fight for the free world against the evil forces of the most extreme Islam,” Feiglin asserted. “Behind the violence, there is a spiritual battle, and the core of that battle is that place – the Temple Mount.”

Pretext of “religious freedom”

Many other Israeli politicians are following the Temple movement’s lead.

A Likud Party website has launched a petition to “raise the Israeli flag on the Temple Mount.”

“The Temple Mount is not in our hands,” the petition declares. “We must change this absurdity.”

Transport minister Yisrael Katz has vowed that Israel “will not cede sovereignty” over al-Aqsa.

“We need to close the Temple Mount to Muslims for an extended period of time,” Jewish Home lawmaker Moti Yogev said.

Incitement from Israeli officials has become commonplace in recent years. Dozens of Knesset members have given verbal, and even material, support to the Temple movement.

While their statements occasionally elicit a headline, they are rarely taken into consideration in analysis of the explosive situation at the al-Aqsa compound.

This incitement is often couched in calls for Israel to unilaterally change the status quo and allow Jewish prayer at al-Aqsa, citing a lack of religious freedom at the occupied holy site.

But Israel’s official chief rabbis have long formally prohibited prayer by Jews at the compound for theological reasons – out of concern that Jews could inadvertently desecrate places that must remain ritually pure.

In keeping with this tradition, leaders in Israel’s Orthodox Jewish community blame those who insist on going to the al-Aqsa compound for the resulting bloodshed. The prohibition on visiting the Temple Mount is firmly upheld by leading Orthodox rabbis.

“Those who visit the Temple Mount are turning the Israeli-Arab conflict into a religious conflict,” the Eidah Chareidis, a major anti-Zionist Orthodox Jewish organization in Jerusalem, has warned.

“The true story”

However, as Feiglin revealed at a Knesset session in 2013, the call for Jews to be allowed to pray at the compound is a pretext for an Israeli seizure of the site.

“Let’s be truthful. The struggle here in not about prayer,” Feiglin admitted. “Arabs don’t mind that Jews pray to God. Why should they care? We all believe in God. The struggle is about sovereignty. That’s the true story here. The story is about one thing only: sovereignty.”

To make the job of journalists covering events at the al-Aqsa compound easier, I have compiled below this article a list of current and former Knesset members and ministers who have supported the Temple movement’s apocalyptic goals in varying degrees.

Some of the Israeli politicians identify with the movement themselves, while others understand it is politically expedient to make public statements in support of Israeli sovereignty at al-Aqsa.

Likud lawmaker Avi Dichter, for example, is a former head of Israel’s Shin Bet secret police. Dichter appeared in the 2012 documentary The Gatekeepers, which marketed him and five other former Shin Bet chiefs as tough but pragmatic security types who have become “doves.”

Israeli lawmaker and former Shin Bet head Avi Dichter posted this photo of himself at the al-Aqsa compound with a call to open it to Jewish prayer. (via Facebook

But last week, Dichter posted on Facebook a photo of himself in front of the Dome of the Rock with text reading, “Open the Temple Mount for Jews.”

Provocation and bloodshed

Given the level of incitement regarding the most sensitive site in the country – on top of the climate of desperation created by Israel’s deadly siege of Gaza, expanding colonies in the occupied West Bank including Jerusalem and the erosion of rights of Palestinian citizens of Israel – attacks like the one on 14 July should come as no surprise to informed observers.

As Dichter said in 2013 when he was public security minister – before embracing the Temple movement’s agenda – Jewish prayer at al-Aqsa, “will serve as a provocation, resulting in disorder, with a near certain likelihood of subsequent bloodshed.”

That may be precisely what many Israelis hope for. Following a stabbing attack by a Palestinian on Friday that left three Israelis in the illegal settlement of Halamish dead, Tzachi Hanegbi, a senior Likud minister and close ally of Netanyahu, threatened Palestinians with a “third Nakba” – a reference to Israel’s mass expulsions and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in 1948 and 1967.

Another former public security minister, Hanegbi promised back in 2003 that Jews “soon, very soon” would be able to pray at the al-Aqsa compound.

Israeli leaders and politicians who support the Temple movement

Eli Ben-Dahan

Deputy defense minister Eli Ben-Dahan of Jewish Home personally donated $12,000 to the Temple Institute, which spearheads efforts to replace the Muslim holy sites with a Jewish temple.

“We have to call upon the government and Knesset to permit Jewish prayer, to make Jewish prayer something normal and permitted,” Ben-Dahan told a conference in the Knesset last November.

Ben-Dahan has previously described Palestinians as “beasts” who “aren’t human.”

Tzipi Hotovely

In a recent speech to supporters of the Temple movement, deputy foreign minister Tzipi Hotovely of Likud called on Jews to go to the al-Aqsa compound.

In 2015, Hotovely made headlines when she said her dream was to see an Israeli flag over the Temple Mount and insisted Jews be able to pray there.

Zeev Elkin

Jerusalem affairs minister Zeev Elkin of Likud has said that a full takeover of the compound should be Israel’s national goal.

“It is important to remove it [the Temple Mount] from the purview of the wild-eyed religious,” Elkin stated. “We must explain to broad swathes of the people that without this place, our national liberty is incomplete.”

Oren Hazan

Likud lawmaker Oren Hazan told the “Students for the Temple Mount” group that he would build the temple if he became prime minister.

When asked by this reporter how he would carry out the demolitions, he responded, “It would not be responsible at this point in time to tell you how we would do it, but I will say it clear and loud: when I have the opportunity to do it, I will.”

Yuli Edelstein

Knesset speaker Yuli Edelstein of Likud said in 2012, “My job is to deal with the daily process, connecting and building the people of Israel, which leads to the Temple.”

Miri Regev

Culture minister Miri Regev of Likud proposed a bill to implement something similar at Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa compound to what Israel has imposed in Hebron.

Following the 1994 massacre by an American Jewish settler of 29 Palestinian worshippers at Hebron’s Ibrahimi mosque – another site sacred to Muslims and Jews – Israeli forces partitioned the mosque and turned the Old City into a ghost town.

Regev again called for a new arrangement immediately following the 14 July attack.

Ayelet Shaked

Justice minister Ayelet Shaked of Jewish Home, who published a genocidal call to kill Palestinian mothers just before the 2014 offensive on Gaza, has also called for unilaterally changing the status quo to allow Jews to pray at the al-Aqsa compound.

Uri Ariel

Agriculture minister Uri Ariel of Jewish Home is a leading figure in the Temple movement and has repeatedly called for the construction of a Jewish temple.

“We’ve built many little, little temples,” Ariel has said, “but we need to build a real temple on the Temple Mount.”

Gilad Erdan

Public security minister Gilad Erdan of Likud has also lent his support to this effort. “In my opinion, our right to the Temple Mount is unshakeable,” Erdan said at the Seekers of Zion conference in the Knesset in November.

Erdan is also in charge of Israel’s effort to fight the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.

Danny Danon

Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, former deputy defense minister Danny Danon of Likud, has called to allow Jewish prayer at al-Aqsa.

Yitzhak Aharonovitch

A former public security minister, Yitzhak Aharonovitch of the Yisrael Beitenu party also came out in support in 2014. “It is important to open the [Temple Mount] to Jews, tens of thousands of worshippers come here,” he said.

Yehiel Hilik Bar

Deputy Knesset speaker and a former secretary-general of the nominally leftist Labor Party Yehiel Hilik Bar initially co-sponsored a bill with Miri Regev altering the status quo at al-Aqsa, however he pulled his backing after receiving criticism.

Bar said that he and the Labor party “are part of the Zionist center-left that sees our holy sites as the basis of our existence and the essence of our history.”

David Tzur, a former lawmaker for the ostensibly “dovish” Hatnua party, led by Tzipi Livni, has also called for Jewish prayer at the al-Aqsa compound.

Michael Ben-Ari

Among those who have led Israeli incursions into the compound is former lawmaker Michael Ben-Ari, a leading inciter against Africans and Palestinians who once destroyed a copy of the New Testament on video.

Build Temple “as soon as possible”

Other lawmakers who have demanded that Jews be able to pray at the al-Aqsa compound include former Knesset member Zvulun Kalfa of Jewish Home and Likud’s Ofir Akunis, who serves as science minister.

Smotrich, Shuli Muallem-Refaeli and Nissan Slomiansky of Jewish Home, and Miki Zohar, Avraham Neguise and Hazan of Likud signed a bill supporting Jewish prayer at al-Aqsa.

Yinon Magal of Jewish Home told the Knesset that Jews must be able to pray at the al-Aqsa compound and that a temple must be built as soon as possible.

Tourism minister Yariv Levin of Likud said, “It seems to me that when Jews for so many years sat in exile and prayed for a return to Zion, they did not mean Tel Aviv, but Jerusalem. They did not dream of returning to the Knesset building and the Prime Minister’s office, but to someplace else – to the Temple Mount.”

Minister for social equality Gila Gamliel of Likud has said, “the Temple is the ID card of the people of Israel.”

Lawmaker Arieh Eldad has gone up to al-Aqsa in demonstration of Israeli control.

A host of other lawmakers, including Amir Ohana and Anat Berko of Likud, have participated in conferences in support of the Temple Movement.

Dan Cohen is an independent journalist and filmmaker.

New Evidence Emerges in USS Liberty Attack

“The reason is apparently that the Americans have findings that show our pilots were in fact aware the ship was American.”

[ Ed. note – If you’re a Zionist or an Israeli (or both), then I guess the word that might come most immediately to your mind here would be “Oooops!”

Imagine this: a long-suppressed Israeli Foreign Ministry document comes to light. It consists of a communication sent from New York to Jerusalem, apparently shortly after the attack on the USS Liberty, which took place on June 8, 1967. The communique conveys the message that an Israeli official has reached a somewhat unsettling conclusion–that US officials just may “have findings that show our pilots were in fact aware the ship was American.”

This is what we have in the article below posted by Alison Weir. The Israeli historian who discovered the document doesn’t believe it amounts to a “smoking gun,” but smoking guns are very much like beauty: both are in the eyes of the beholder. If you were sitting on a jury and this evidence was presented by a prosecutor, which way would you vote? Would you find the Israelis who ordered and carried out the attack on the Liberty guilty of deliberately murdering Americans…or not?

Apparently, judging from the evidence presented here, the Israelis at the time felt they had reason to be worried. ]

***

Israeli Documents on USS Liberty: ‘Americans have Findings Showing Our Pilots Were Aware the Ship was American’

If Americans Knew Blog

Recently discovered documents show Israeli leaders were worried that evidence would come out that Israel’s 1967 attack on the USS Liberty was intentional.

The Liberty was a Navy electronics surveillance ship operating in international waters during the Six-Day War. Israeli forces perpetrated an extended air and sea assault on the ship that killed 34 Americans, injured 175, and damaged the ship beyond repair. Afterward, Israel claimed the assault was an accident and provided $6 million in compensation for the loss of the $40 million ship. (More information here.)

According to the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz, Israeli historian Adam Raz recently examined hundreds of documents related to the Liberty that had been posted by Israeli State Archives.

(Raz is author of The Battle Over the Bomb,” available only in Hebrew. He also is reported to have written “a fascinating article about Israel’s nuclear secrets in last week’s Hebrew Haaretzsupplement.”)

Ha’aretz reports that Raz is “fully aware of the fact that the ‘smoking gun’ won’t be found in the papers in the State Archives, because if Israel really had intended to hit the ship, that would have been known only to a handful of people.”

One of the documents Raz did find is an Israeli Foreign Ministry communication sent from New York to Jerusalem. Ha’aretz quotes the document:

“Menashe [apparently an Israeli official] informed us we had better be very careful… The reason is apparently that the Americans have findings that show our pilots were in fact aware the ship was American.”

And later: “Menashe believes there is a recording on the ship of the conversations between the ship and our pilots, in which the ship’s crew said the ship is American. Menashe says that, in his opinion, our only chance of getting out of the crisis is to punish someone for negligence.”

In another document, the Israeli Embassy in Washington writes to the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem under the heading “Urgent.”

Continued here

Israeli Official Plays ‘Blame the Victim’ Game

Posted on July 3, 2017

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Filed under: Choseness, IOF, Israeli Aggression, Jewish Crimes, Jewish Deception, Jewish Propaganda, Nazi Israel, Palestine, Supremacism, victimhood | Comments Off on Israeli Official Plays ‘Blame the Victim’ Game

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

Posted on by indigoblue76

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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