israelis Just Keep Killing People, Stealing Land

Israelis Just Keep Killing People, Stealing Land

 by Uri Avnery

One can look at events in Gaza through the left or through the right eye. One can condemn them as inhuman, cruel and mistaken, or justify them as necessary and unavoidable.

But there is one adjective that is beyond question: They are stupid.

If the late Barbara Tuchman were still alive, she might be tempted to add another chapter to her groundbreaking opus “The March of Folly”: a chapter titled “Eyeless in Gaza”.

The latest episode in this epic started a few months ago, when independent activists in the Gaza Strip called for a march to the Israeli border, which Hamas supported. It was called “The Great March of Return”, a symbolic gesture for the more than a million Arab residents who fled or were evicted from their homes in the land that became the State of Israel.

The Israeli authorities pretended to take this seriously. A frightening picture was painted for the Israeli public: 1.8 million Arabs, men, women and children, would throw themselves on the border fence, break through in many places, and storm Israel’s cities and villages. Terrifying.

Israeli sharpshooters were posted along the border and ordered to shoot anyone who looked like a “ringleader”. On several succeeding Fridays (the weekly Muslim holy day) more than 150 unarmed protesters, including many children, were shot dead, and many hundreds more severely wounded by gunfire, apart from those hurt by tear gas.

The Israeli argument was that the victims were shot while trying to “storm the fences”. Actually, not a single such attempt was photographed, though hundreds of photographers were posted on both sides of the fence.

Facing a worldwide protest, the army changed its orders and now only rarely kills unarmed protesters. The Palestinians also changed their tactics: the main effort now is to fly children’s kites with burning tails and set Israeli fields near the Strip on fire.

Since the wind almost always blows from the West to the East, that is an easy way to hurt Israel. Children can do it, and do. Now the Minister of Education demands that the air force bomb the children. The Chief of Staff refuses, arguing that this is “against the values of the Israeli army”.

At present, half of our newspapers and TV newscasts are concerned with Gaza. Everybody seems to agree that sooner or later a full-fledged war will break out there.

The main feature of this exercise is its utter stupidity.

Every military action must have a political aim. As the German military thinker, Carl von Clausewitz, famously said: “War is but a continuation of politics by other means.”

The Strip is 41 km long and 6 to 12 km wide. It is one of the most overcrowded places on earth. Nominally it belongs to the largely theoretical State of Palestine, like the West Bank, which is Israeli occupied. The Strip is in fact governed by the radical Muslim Hamas party.

In the past, masses of Palestinian workers from Gaza streamed into Israel every day. But since Hamas assumed power in the Strip, the Israeli government has imposed an almost total blockade on land and sea. The Egyptian dictatorship, a close ally of Israel and a deadly enemy of radical Islam, cooperates with Israel.

So what does Israel want? The preferred solution is to sink the entire strip and its population into the sea. Failing that, what can be done?

The last thing Israel wants is to annex the Strip with its huge population, which cannot be driven out. Also, Israel does not want to put up settlements in the Strip (the few which were set up were withdrawn by Ariel Sharon, who thought that it was not worthwhile to keep and defend them).

The real policy is to make life in Gaza so miserable, that the Gazans themselves will rise and throw the Hamas authorities out. With this in mind, the water supply is reduced to two hours a day, electricity the same. Employment hovers around 50%, wages beneath the minimum. It is a picture of total misery.

Since everything that reaches Gaza must come through Israel (or Egypt), supplies are often cut off completely for days as “punishment”.

Alas, history shows that such methods seldom succeed. They only deepen the enmity. So what can be done?

The answer is incredibly simple: sit down, talk and come to an agreement.

Yes, but how can you sit down with a mortal enemy, whose official ideology totally rejects a Jewish State?

Islam, which (like every religion) has an answer to everything, recognizes something called a “Hudna”, which is a lasting armistice. This can go on for many decades and is (religiously) kept.

For several years now, Hamas has been almost openly hinting that it is ready for a long Hudna. Egypt has volunteered to mediate. Our government has totally ignored the offer. A Hudna with the enemy? Out of the question! God forbid! Would be terribly unpopular politically!

But it would be the sensible thing to do. Stop all hostile acts from both sides, say for 50 years. Abolish the blockade. Build a real harbor in Gaza city. Allow free trade under some kind of military inspection. Same for an airport. Allow workers to find employment in Israel, instead of importing workers from China and Romania. Turn Gaza into a second Singapore. Allow free travel between Gaza and the West Bank by a bridge or an extraterritorial highway. Help to restore unity between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

Why not? The very idea is rejected by an ordinary Israeli on sight.

A deal with Hamas? Impossible!!! Hamas wants to destroy Israel. Everybody knows that.

I hear this many times, and always wonder about the stupidity of people who repeat this.

How does a group of a few hundred thousand “destroy” one of the worlds most heavily armed states, a state that possesses nuclear bombs and submarines to deliver them? How? With kites?

Both Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin pay us homage, the world’s fascist dictators and liberal presidents come to visit. How can Hamas pose a mortal danger?

Why doesn’t Hamas stop hostilities by itself? Hamas has competitors, which are even more radical. It does not dare to show any sign of weakness.

Some decades ago the Arab world, on the initiative of Saudi Arabia, offered Israel peace under several conditions, all of them acceptable. Successive Israel governments have not only not accepted it, they have ignored it altogether.

There was some logic in this. The Israeli government wants to annex the West Bank. It wants to get the Arab population out, and replace them with Jewish settlers. It conducts this policy slowly, cautiously, but consistently.

It is a cruel policy, a detestable policy, yet it has some logic in it. If you really want to achieve this abominable aim, the methods may be adequate. But this does not apply to the Gaza Strip, which no one wants to annex. There, the methods are sheer folly.

This does not mean that the overall Israeli policy towards the Palestinians is any more wise. It is not.

Binyamin Netanyahu and his hand-picked stupid ministers have no policy. Or so it seems. In fact they do have an undeclared one: creeping annexation of the West Bank.

This is now going on at a quicker pace than before. The daily news gives the impression that the entire government machine is now concentrating on this project.

This will lead directly to an apartheid-style state, where a large Jewish minority will dominate an Arab majority.

For how long? One generation? Two? Three?

It has been said that a clever person is able to extricate himself from a trap into which a wise person would not have fallen in the first place.

Stupid people do not extricate themselves. They are not even aware of the trap.

Uri Avnery is a peace activist, journalist, writer, and former member of the Israeli Knesset. Read other articles by Uri, or visit Uri’s website.

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israel, Land Of (fake) Miracles

Israel, Land Of Miracles
By Gideon Levy

The days of kites abound with miracles here. The fact that more Israelis were scratched while shaving in recent months than from kite fires is attributed entirely to miracles

A great miracle occurred on Moshav Tkuma. A cinder carried by a paper kite from Gaza landed in a kindergarten yard. The kindergarten teacher called what she saw in the sky a finger-size glowing ember. She was the first to detect it and rushed to get all the children into the protected area. A small boy wearing a large kippa said a miracle had happened.

The reporter of Kan 11 TV in the south, Itzik Zoaretz, did not miss the opportunity to explain the proportions of the averted disaster: The cinder landed a few meters away from a jute roof in the yard. Jute is flammable material. If the jute had caught fire, all the kindergarten children would have burned to death. Maybe the fire would have spread, destroying all the moshav’s homes. Maybe it would have consumed the entire south, and from there the way to destroying the country would have been very short. Almost-Treblinka in Tkuma, and it was all prevented thanks to the miracle.

The tiny stain in the sand, slightly abashed, seemingly caused by a thrown match, was somewhat contradictory to the reporter’s apocalyptic description, which was a war correspondent’s dramatization in a kindergarten sandbox, but that’s how it is with miracles and wonders.

The days of kites abound with miracles. The fact that more people were scratched while shaving in recent months than from kite fires is attributed entirely to miracles. Not a day goes by without an emotional report by one of the indistinguishable reporters in the field about a disaster that was miraculously avoided. The Qassam rocket that fell nearby, the kite that went out at the last moment – that’s how to conduct the well-timed campaign when you need to finally start the war we crave so much. Meanwhile, a state that describes its establishment as a miraculous event continues to live on its miracles, even when it’s a regional power.

The miracles intensify the danger. That’s good for everyone. If a cinder that hasn’t hit anyone is a flying miracle, then it’s clear that if not for the miracle, a disaster would have occurred. Clearly the cinder has the power to sow death, so we must wage war on it. But the fact is that no kite or balloon, not even a “helium balloon,” the latest advance by Gaza’s military industries, has harmed anyone. The chance of this happening is negligible. The kites harm the environment and agriculture – it’s a huge hazard and distress, but not a cause for war. Ever. There has never been a just war that was started over a kite.

The reports of miracles are meant to change this. Don’t think of that flying cinder as a cinder. It might as well be a cruise missile. Only by miracle is it not a cruise missile. That’s why we have to bludgeon Gaza.

The culture of miracles takes us back to the divine promise, the rock of our existence here, and don’t belittle it. Miracles don’t happen in Gaza. Over there our snipers, pilots, drones, bombs and shells strike and kill, with no miracle discounts for the targets. Miracles are only for the chosen people.

The miracles also take us back to the lie of the make-believe war between the almost equal sides, Gaza and Israel. If not for a miracle, Hamas might have destroyed us already.

Under cover of the lie of the almost equal sides, we can bomb and shell them without restraint and say that that’s war. But the IDF’s assaults on Gaza were never a war, because nothing close to an army has ever faced them. It wasn’t miracles that prevented disaster for Israel, only the pitiful destitution of the other side. Gaza has no army, no weapons, certainly not the kind that can threaten the IDF in any way, not in the wildest imagination.

The fires in the south are distressing. Life in the south is hard. No military strike can solve life’s hardships on either side of the fence, and no miracle can extract Israel from the need to change direction dramatically, to move from arrogance and aggression to humanity and compassion. That is something Israel has no intention of doing. Until then we’ll live from miracle to miracle, from attack to attack on bleeding, beaten Gaza, where miracles like ours never happen, only death and destruction.

This article was originally published by “Haaretz

israeli Knesset Passes “Breaking The Silence” Bill

Israeli Knesset Passes “Breaking The Silence” Bill

 

 

17 Jul
12:33 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Israeli Knesset approved, on Monday night, the “Breaking The Silence” bill, granting the Minister of Education the power to prevent peace activists from the organization “Breaking the Silence” from entering schools, or to talking to students about their organization.

The approved bill passed with 43 Knesset members voting in favor, while 24 opposed it; in the wording of the bill, it describes Breaking the Silence members, former Israeli soldiers who decided to speak out against the ongoing military violations against the Palestinian people, as “external elements that act against the Israeli military, and the educational system.”

The Maan News Agency quoted Breaking The Silence as stating that Israel is now taking action to silence the activists, after using other means to try to stop them from speaking out against the Israeli occupation and its illegal practices.

The new Israeli law, although naming Breaking The Silence, is also meant to prevent any organization or group that opposes the Israeli military occupation of Palestine from entering schools and talking to the students.

In their statement in response to the new law, Breaking the Silence stated that the passage of the bill shows that Education Minister Naftali Bennet, “is so terrified by Breaking the Silence, that he would go so far as to pass a law meant simply to silence us.”

The group said that Bennet wants to present only his agenda to students in Israel. Bennet’s curricula include justification for the killing of Palestinian children, while at the same time refusing any eviction of colonialist Israeli settlers from the occupied West Bank.

It is worth mentioning that Bennet commented in the vote stating that “the reality in which organizations could harm Israel’s legitimacy, and the reputation of its soldiers in front of school students, has come to an end.”

He added that, as long as, “Breaking the Silence remain active against the state of Israel and its army, in the country or abroad, but I will not allow them to be active in our educational system; if they want to be active in their homes, so be it, but not in our schools, where we shape the future generation, such voices will not be allowed.”

Breaking the Silence is a group made up of former Israeli soldiers who served in the Occupied Palestinian Territories of the West Bank and Gaza, but felt remorse for their actions and the atrocities they witnessed or participated in.

These former soldiers share their personal accounts of what they experienced, including stories of being ordered to brutalize children, terrorize families, and shoot unarmed civilians. The main purpose of the group is to share the accounts of these soldiers to show the reality of the Israeli military occupation of Palestinian land to an Israeli public that has hidden this reality behind a Wall.

How can israel pretend to be a democracy when all of its citizens are not treated equally?

‘You Cannot Be a Democracy and Not a State of All Its Citizens’: Jamal Zahalka on the ‘State of All Its Citizens’ Bill

 

Last month, the Presidium of the Israeli Knesset voted to disqualify a proposed bill that called for Israel “to be defined as a state of all its citizens” before it even reached the Knesset floor for deliberation.

The bill, entitled “Basic Law: A Country of All Its Citizens,” was submitted by MKs Jamal Zahalka, Haneen Zoabi and Joumah Azbarg of the Balad party of the Joint List political bloc.

It called for the state of Israel to treat its Jewish and Palestinian citizens equally, and to recognize the rights of its Arab minority as equal to the Jewish majority.

Israeli media outlets, and the Knesset itself, noted that the move was “highly unusual,” in that it marked the first time proposed legislation had been disqualified before being discussed in the plenum during the past two Knesset terms.

Despite the loss, the Balad MKs have stepped up their campaign for the bill and are increasing efforts to raise awareness on what they say is a dangerous decision with severe implications for Israeli society and the future of the state.

MK Zahalka spoke to Mondoweiss about the party’s motivation behind proposing the bill, its significance in the current Israeli political climate, and the consequences of the outright rejection of the bill and what it represents.

Mondoweiss: Tell us about this proposal. What are the basic tenets of the bill?

Zahalka: Our party, Balad, since its establishment in 1996, presented the idea of a “state of all its citizens” as the major position of our identity. If you ask someone “What is balad?” they will say “It is the state of all its citizens.”

We entered into the Knesset on this platform decades ago. It’s not something new that we are bringing to the table. This law speaks about the basic premise that the state is for all its citizens, and is not a state for only part of its citizens.

The law stresses that the state should be for all its citizens, taking into account that it has two nationalities in the country, not just one. The bill proposed that there be two official languages, Arabic and Hebrew. It speaks about the recognition of the cultural and religious rights of every group in the country. It speaks about separation between religion and state, which does not exist in Israel, and that people’s civic rights should be upheld according to international law and universal values.

Mondoweiss: Why is necessary to propose such a bill in Israel today?

Zahalka: The question of equal treatment of citizens is not a question in most countries in the world. There should be no question that the state belongs to all the citizens, not just to one group of the citizens, in this case, the Jewish population of Israel.

The bill is simply based on the the principle of equality, and not hierarchy — that people are equal, not superior or inferior. It’s important to note that this doesn’t mean that each group does not have its collective rights; they do. Each person has a right to belong to a cultural or religious group of their choosing. We recognize that collective rights are a part of individual rights.

The bill says that the state should be a democratic state, the regime should be democratic, this is the main article of the bill. You cannot be a democracy and not a state of all its citizens.

Mondoweiss: Were you surprised when the bill was banned from even being discussed?

Zahalka: I wasn’t surprised at all. In 2003, there was a decision of the Knesset election committee to ban Balad, my party, because of the idea of the state of all citizens. The state took the position that “Balad wants 100% equality in Israel, and this is in direct conflict with the fact that this is a Jewish state for Jews, and this will take away Jewish privilege in the country.”

Eventually the High Court ruled in our favor, saying that we cannot be banned for proposing a democratic position. But this legal battle, over a decade ago, showed everyone the state’s true stance on democracy and equality. And their position has clearly not waivered.

Mondoweiss: What motivated Balad to propose this bill now?

Zahalka: Our bill was proposed in the context of discussions around the right-wing “Nation State bill,” which talks about establishing towns for Jews only, and we said, this is the exact definition of apartheid, living separately, not living in the same place, Jews and Arabs.

We oppose this law strongly, because this law officially would legitimize the already existing discrimination against our community, and officially establishes two statuses of citizenship: first-tier citizenship for Jews, and second-tier for Arabs.

Mondoweiss: Many Palestinian citizens of Israel say that this system of discrimination, and being treated as second-class citizens already exists.

Zahalka: Yes, that is true. Let’s say if we want to go live in a Jewish area in the Galilee, we will face many discriminations and problems along the way, but legally, we still can. This law would change that. It would enshrine and legalize this discrimination, and put our communities at even more risk.

Today, the right-wing might say “there are too many Arabs in Jewish cities.” But tomorrow, the second step might be to say “let us forcibly transfer Arab citizens out of Jewish towns.”

The government does not want us to live in Jewish cities, but they also refuse to build cities for Arabs. Since 1948, Israel has developed over 600 new Jewish towns. Meanwhile, not a single new Arab town or village has been built. Zero.

So, yes, this discrimination already exists. But this “Nation State” law will make that discrimination legitimate, and will open the door for new discriminations.

Mondoweiss: Critics of your bill have said it “denies the existence of the State of Israel,” and that is the reason it why it was banned. What is your response to that?

Zahalka: We do not deny Israel or its right to exist as a home for Jews. We are simply saying that we want to base the existence of the state not on the preference of Jews, but on the basics of equality.

We don’t say that the state is not for Jews. We say it is for Jews and Arabs, but they want it to be only for the Jews.  The state should exist in the framework of equality, and not in the framework of preference and superiority.

Mondoweiss: What are the consequences for Israel and its lawmakers when they ban the discussion of a bill like this?

Zahalka: The current political climate in the country is extremely volatile under the right-wing government. At the end of the day, the “state for all its citizens” bill is extremely important in the current political climate, because it is the only secular project in the government.

When Israel says it is a Jewish state, and does not allow for any discussion on the topic, it chooses religion over democracy. If we want to live in a true state of equality, we have to move towards being a secular government.

Israel has to decide, if they want a Jewish or a democratic state. They cannot have both. When you speak about the current so-called Israeli democracy, the term democracy itself misleading.  The state was established on the crime of expulsion and the crime of transfer. Israel changed the demography of the country, expelled most of the Palestinians, created an artificial Jewish majority, and then they made elections to declare it a Jewish state.

From Holocaust Industry to Judicial Industry

From Holocaust Industry to Judicial Industry

Gideon Falter 5feaf

For decades Palestinians insisted that whatever European Jews suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime, they should not be made to pay for it.

That of course fell on deaf ears while generation of Zionist Jews continued to milk the horrors of the Second World War in order to justify to world opinion Israel’s genocidal policies in Palestine.

In 2000, American academic Norman Finkelstein produced a book that would eventually shed light on Zionist methods used to reap much financial as well as political capital out of the concentration camps.

Since then it has been revealed that much of the literature was often faked, exaggerated or imagined. These embarrassing revelations would come to light but rapidly swept under the carpet as long as Holocaust survivors were still alive and able to be wheeled out at any given opportunity to inflate Israel and Zionist organisations’ coffers.

Perhaps the most mystifying and tragic-comical is the heart-wrenching Anne Frank’s diary. Described for years as the account of a young teenage girl forced to live in hiding because of her Jewish faith, it emerged once the copyrights on the book came to an end that the story had in fact been written by her father thus extending by some thirty years the monetary potential of this work whose authenticity is now difficult to ascertain.

Never the less, with all the Chutzpah Israel’s advocates are known for, the Diary we are told still represents an accurate depiction of life for the Franks during WW2. Except that its entire premise is now proved to be wrong and that those who exposed it in the past were accused of the dubious ‘absence of belief’ otherwise known as Holocaust denial. The most pressing case that comes to mind is that of French philosopher and resistance fighter Roger Garaudy who was accused of that very crime for noting that the original manuscript written in ball point pen could not have been genuine since those pens were introduced in the 50’s years after the alleged demise of little Anne in Bergen Belsen.

His crime was considered such that when he died in 2012 his family were forced to cremate his remains, despite it being contrary to his religious beliefs, because the Jewish Defence League had promised to come and unearth his body and desecrate his grave.

Needless to say no action was taken against this group in France despite their threat against a deceased war hero who fought the Nazis.

Today of course Holocaust survivors are harder to come-by. Nature being what it is, these victims or supposed victims of Nazi crimes, are meeting their natural ending forcing Israel and its supporters to look for new ways to make money and increase the Israel sympathy capital.

That however is an increasing hard sell as more and more people come to the realisation that while Israel claims to be a victim, it is the one responsible of the occupying, destroying, slaughtering and subjugating of the Palestinian people.

A new era, a new financial plan

In recent years it has been more obvious that falling foul of the pro-Israel thought police is a career-jeopardising if not career-breaking move. This is why even the most notorious bigots, famed for spewing out hatred for all and sundry, are careful not to cross the ‘Jewish’ line.

Katie Hopkins well-known for her extreme views which included comparing drowned black children to cockroaches has always been very careful to broadcast her love for Judeo-Zionism. Often tweeting about her admiration for Israel and how Netanyahu is a brilliant leader. Yet even she fell foul of the ‘tribe’ when she called for a ‘final solution’ for Muslims. That vocabulary, viewed as exclusive to Jewish suffering lead to her consequent dismissal from her radio-hosting job which had up until then remained safe despite her outrageous outbursts.

In the context of dying Holocaust survivors coupled with young generations no longer interested in the WW2 narrative, new forms of funding have to be unearthed. For the Zionist lobby a new opportunity offering generous financial return has appeared: the Judicial sector.

Hiding, as ever, behind the dubious claim of Antisemitism, Zionist organisations have taken it upon themselves to sue left right and centre anyone breathing in the opposite direction of Tel Aviv, or should it be Jerusalem?

With anti-Semitism increasingly difficult to define Zionists in the UK have discovered a new lucrative project. Thanks to an ever favourable pro-complainant British legal system, Zio milk-maids have found a new cash cow with a near-endless supply udder. Irrespective of the value of the complaint, these organisations will make money whatever the outcome.

Forget the Holocaust industry and make way for the Judicial industry: a way to extract money from journalists, activists, authors and even comedians for saying something that Israel supporting Jews will claim is anti-Semitic in a bid to favour a Zionist narrative of world events i.e.: if Jews suffer from anti-Semitism than the existence of Israel and supporting it –even when it commits endless crimes- is justified.

This financial planning has obviously been made easy by a complicit political class and media that has allowed the most dubious of definitions to apply to allegations of Antisemitism.

In today’s world claiming there is no anti-Semitism is anti-Semitic. Criticising the gunning down of 20 year old nurses is anti-Semitic, drawing a cartoon of Israeli premier is anti-Semitic actually even defending yourself from claims of anti-Semitism is well anti-Semitic. The buck –or should I say shekel- stops with Zionists and whoever says otherwise is an…you get the picture.

Looked at thoroughly some claims are truly ridiculous except that to Israel supporters they are anything but.

In recent years they have successfully brought charges against a plethora of free-thinkers and have made a great deal of money doing it.

When in 2014, the Israeli army was pounding yet again civilians in Gaza, a group of UK Zionist Jews decided that the most civilised response to this latest onslaught was to set up an organisation that would tackle anti-Semitism. The idea behind this latest Zionist endeavour is that criticism of excessive use of force against a people that have no army or navy and are living under siege is offensive to Jews.

Some would argue that it’s the mass slaughter of innocent men and women that should offend Jews as well as Christians, Muslims, Taoists, atheists, deists, agnostics, Sikhs etc…but it is apparently an affront to Britain’s Jewish population to report accurately on what happens in Gaza.

With that in mind the Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) was founded in a bid to expose and counter ‘anti-Semitism through education and zero-tolerance enforcement of the law.’

Having identified a new source of financial reward, the CAA went about scowling for any tweet any paragraph any t-shirt that could be construed as anti-Semitic that could therefore offer monetary returns.

The principle is simple. This organisation that operates as a British charity and thus benefits of charitable status, appeals for donations in order to take those it considers guilty to court.

Irrespective of the sheer absurdity of the claim, the CAA will force the accused to launch a costly defence with the added potential of earning dividends on the sideline.

The CAA, whose motto aptly calls for a ‘pursuit’ of justice, manages a dual tour de force of ruining financially or professionally someone and then making money out of his or her misfortune.

Ultimately it’s a win-win for outfits such as the CAA whose methods are slowly but surely shutting down debate.

Last month it was Israeli-born musician and author Gilad Atzmon who fell foul of the organisation headed by Gideon Falter.

Atzmon who also studied mathematics undertook the task the British media has failed to address and decided to look into the figures put forward by the CAA.

The figures, he wrote in a blog, didn’t add up and went on to say that these exaggerated claims are causing unnecessary fear mongering among Jews who interpret these as a return to more worrying times when in fact life in Britain is perfectly safe for them and that very few will have experienced acts of hostility towards their faith or group.

While the essence of the blog was not scrutinised, a judge ruled that Atzmon had somewhat claimed Falter acted fraudulently and ruled in favour of the CAA.

Falter made £7.5k in the process while other relevant fees would swell lawyer’s accounts.

Falter is of course well-known to British courts. In 2009 he claimed to have over-heard a British Foreign Office official say ‘Fuck Jews’ in a gym. Rowan Laxton was said to be watching a report of an elderly Palestinian shot dead by Israeli soldiers when he uttered those fateful words.

While the official denied he said those exact words he was arrested, forced out of his job and sentenced to pay a fine and apologise for his alleged remark.

He appealed and consequently won when it emerged Falter could not have heard that or indeed any other outburst.

Rowan Laxton was reinstated and now serves as British high commissioner to Cameroon.

There is no report as to what happened to Falter after this. Did Falter hear the damning comments in which case how could Laxton win on appeal? If he was too far to hear anything Laxton said did Falter invent the incident or perhaps modify the wording of the outburst to suit his case? We shall never know, either way Mr Falter has a way of unearthing anti-Semitism few other British Jews could recognise.

Antisemitism? What anti-Semitism?

LSE professor Jonathan Rosenhead left the Labour party during the Blair years in disgust at the Iraq war, he returned after the much maligned Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader. Asked if he had ever experienced anti-Semitism, Rosenhead now in his autumn years insisted that he had never experienced any such animosity towards his faith but was far less reluctant to share his anti-Israel views with certain fellow Jews who’d proved to be far less tolerant of his political inclinations.

It would be difficult if not impossible to meet a black or Asian man of the same generation who had never experienced racism yet for all the glaring examples of bigotry towards visible minorities, it is allegations of anti-Semitism that get the most headlines.

This two-tier approach to bigotry is worrying and seems to imply that Jews are worthy of special attention thus re-enforcing the far right narrative that Jews are different.

In pursuing this hugely divisive and dangerous route for the health of democracy and freedom of speech in this country, organisations such as the CAA are willing to jeopardise the safety of those they claim to support in order to justify their ‘raison d’être.’

After all if there is no anti-Semitism, what would Falter, who studied law but does not practise –for reasons that remain unknown- do of his days?

Help the fight against poverty perhaps? Is there potential for ruining activists in that process and boost Israel’s narrative? No there isn’t.

Antisemitism it will have to be then!

#israel– In the “only democracy” in the Middle East, military censors are working overtime to control the content of reporting and hide facts from the public

Report: IDF Censorship of Israeli Press Averages One Redaction Every Four Hours

A recent report found that over the course of the past year, 271 articles were prohibited by Israel’s military censor and an additional 2,358 were partially or fully redacted.

TEL AVIV – In the “only democracy” in the Middle East, military censors are working overtime to control the content of reporting and keep certain stories hidden from the public. According to a recent report by Israeli journalist Haggai Matar for online magazine +972, Israel’s military censor has notably increased the percentage of articles it partially or fully redacted in the Israeli press over the past year, a trend unlikely to decline as Israel prepares for potential war with Gaza, Lebanon and Syria.The report, which used government figures obtained via freedom of information request, found that over the course of the past year 271 articles were prohibited by the military censor and an additional 2,358 were partially or fully redacted. On average, Israel’s military censor made a redaction in a story once every four hours and completely censored a story an average of five times a week.

Despite promoting its media environment as “lively, pluralistic and generally respectful of press freedom,” the censorship of Israeli press – long a reality in the country – has been steadily growing worse.

Thanks to a permanent state of emergency in effect since Israel’s founding in 1948, newspapers and other traditional news outlets in Israel have long been required to submit all articles which relate to national security and/or foreign relations to the censor of the Israel Defense Forces for review prior to publication. As +972 noted, “Israel is the only [democracy] where journalists and publications are legally required to submit their reporting for review prior to publication, and the only one where censorship can be criminally enforced.” The Israel Defense Forces also have the authority to censor books and other print publications.

In recent years, the censor has sought to bring online publications under its control but has not been entirely successful in doing so. The proliferation of online news in Israel, and internationally, may be in part responsible for another surprising finding of the report, which noted that the number of articles submitted to the censor for review dropped to a seven-year-low in 2017.

The decline in submitted articles is likely due in part to the close relationship between the IDF and Israeli publishers. Indeed, Chief IDF Censor Brig. Gen. Ariela Ben Avraham noted that the military rarely pursues violations of the censorship laws as news publishers in Israel “[show] responsibility when addressing matters of national security.” Such an atmosphere likely leads to self-censorship as publishers and journalists are less likely to write stories that they know will be outright rejected by the military censor.

An uptick in Israeli press censorship is common preceding and during times of war.  Instances of censorship jumped noticeably during Israel’s 2014 war against the Gaza strip.  Given the high probability of another Israel-Gaza war later this year and Israel’s violent response to Palestinian unrest as it moves to formally annex the West Bank, censorship in the name of Israel’s ‘national security’ is likely to increase even more over the course of 2018.

Top Photo | Israeli troops arrest Associated Press photographer Nasser Shiyoukhi while he was covering a protest in Palestinian West Bank town of Yatta. AP Photo

Whitney Webb is a staff writer for MintPress News and a contributor to Ben Swann’s Truth in Media. Her work has appeared on Global Research, the Ron Paul Institute and 21st Century Wire, among others. She has also made radio and TV appearances on RT and Sputnik. She currently lives with her family in southern Chile.

israeli Navy Stops Gaza Boat From Evacuating Wounded Protesters for Treatment and then tries to blames Hamas

Israel Stops Gaza Boat From Evacuating Wounded

Israeli military accuses Hamas of taking advantage of injured people

The Israeli Navy was dispatched Tuesday to stop a boat which departed the Gaza Strip, and which was carrying injured Palestinian civilians. The boat intended to take the injured civilians from border protests to Cyprus for medical treatment.

The Navy stopped the boat, surrounding it and towing it to an Israeli naval base at Ashdod. The military’s statement claimed that injured people on board are being treated by the Israeli military’s medical personnel.

The military statement condemned Hamas, claiming the group was behind the “provocation on sea,” and was trying to “take advantage of injured and handicapped people.” Not mentioned in the statement was that the wounded Palestinians were wounded by Israeli crackdowns on protests.

Israeli officials are arguing that the capture of the ship was legal because they consider their naval blockade of the Gaza Strip legal. Putting aside that question, the blockade was imposed to try to prevent ships reaching Gaza with goods, and is now being interpreted as forbidding people from fleeing the strip, even just to receive medical treatment.

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