THE ISRAEL FILES: WIKILEAKS DOCS SHOW TOP HOLLYWOOD PRODUCERS WORKING WITH ISRAEL TO DEFEND ITS WAR CRIMES

SEPTEMBER 23RD, 2022

Source

THE ISRAEL FILES IS A NEW MINTPRESS SERIES EXPLORING AND HIGHLIGHTING THE MANY REVELATIONS ABOUT THE ISRAELI OCCUPATION OF PALESTINE THAT WIKILEAKS DOCUMENTS DISCLOSED. IT HOPES TO SHED LIGHT ON MANY OF THE MOST IMPORTANT AND UNDERREPORTED REVELATIONS THE PUBLISHING GROUP EXPOSED. 

By Alan Macleod

As Israel was launching a deadly assault on Gaza, killing thousands of civilians and displacing more than 100,000 people, many of America’s top TV, music and film producers were organizing to protect the apartheid state’s reputation from widespread international condemnation.

Together, the Sony Archive – a cache of emails published by Wikileaks – prove that influential entertainment magnates attempted to whitewash Israeli crimes and present the situation as defending itself from an impending “genocide”, liaised with Israeli military and government officials in order to coordinate their message, attempted to cancel those who spoke out against the injustice, and put financial and social pressure on institutions who hosted artists criticizing the apartheid government’s actions.

AS ISRAEL ATTACKS, HOLLYWOOD PLAYS DEFENSE

“[Israel’s message] Must be repeated ad infinitum until the people get it,” wrote Hollywood lawyer and producer Glenn D. Feig, in an email chain to many of Tinsel Town’s most influential executives. This was in response to the unprovoked 2014 Israeli attack on Gaza, one of the bloodiest chapters in over half a century of occupation.

Named “Operation Protective Edge”, the Israeli military engaged in seven weeks of near-constant bombing of the densely populated coastal strip. According to the United Nations, over 2,000 people were killed – a quarter of them children. 18,000 houses were destroyed, leaving more than 100,000 people homeless.

The Israeli military deliberately targeted civilian infrastructure, knocking out Gaza’s only power plant and shutting down its water treatment plants, leading to economic, social and ecological devastation in an area Human Rights Watch has labeled the world’s largest “open air prison”.

Many in Hollywood expressed deep concern. “We must make sure that never happens again”, insisted producer Ron Rotholz. Rotholz, however, was not referring to the death and destruction Israel imposed on Gaza, but to the fact that many of the entertainment world’s biggest stars, including celebrity power couple, Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem, had condemned Israel’s actions, labeling them tantamount to “genocide.”

“Change must start from the top down. It should be unheard of and unacceptable for any Academy Award-winning actor to call the legitimate armed defense of one’s territory…genocide” he continued, worrying that the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement – a worldwide campaign to put economic pressure on Israel in an attempt to push it to meet its obligations under international law – was gaining steam in the world of the arts. Israel’s legitimacy rests upon political and military support from the U.S. Therefore, maintaining support among the American public is crucial to the long term viability of its settler colonial project.

Rotholz then attempted to organize a silent, worldwide pressure campaign on arts venues and organizations, including the Motion Picture Academy in Hollywood and the Sundance and Cannes Film Festivals, to stamp out BDS, writing,

What we can do is urge the leaders of major film, TV and theater organisations, festivals, markets and potentially the heads of media corporations to issue official statements condemning any form of cultural or economic boycotts against Israel.”

Others agreed that they had to develop a “game plan” for opposing BDS.

Of course, when influential producers, festivals and heads of media corporations release statements condemning a certain position or practice, this is, in effect, a threat: stop taking these positions or suffer the professional consequences.

LOACH ON THE BRAIN

The Sony emails also reveal a near obsession with British filmmaker and social activist Ken Loach. The celebrated director’s film, “Jimmy’s Hall” had recently been nominated for the prestigious Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, and in the wake of Israel’s assault on Gaza, he had publicly called for a cultural and sporting boycott of the apartheid state.

This outraged many in Hollywood. Ryan Kavanaugh, CEO of Relativity Media, a film producing company responsible for financing more than 200 movies, demanded that not only Loach, but the whole Cannes Film Festival be cancelled. “The studios and networks alike must join together and boycott cannes,” he wrote. “If we don’t we are sending a message that another holocaust is fine with Hollywood as long as it is business as usual,” he added, framing the Israeli attack on a near-defenseless civilian population as a Palestinian genocide of Israelis.

Others agreed. Ben Silverman, former co-chairman of NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios and producer of shows such as “The Office”, “The Biggest Loser” and Ugly Betty” said that the industry should “boycott the boycotters”. Rotholz, meanwhile, wrote to the head of the Cannes Film Festival, demanding that he take action against Loach for his comments. “There is no place for [Loach’s intolerant and hateful remarks] in the global world of film and filmmakers”, he insisted.

.

Others came up with another way of countering Loach. “How about we all club together and make a documentary about the rise of new anti-Semitism in Europe,” suggested British film producer Cassian Elwes, adding,

I would be willing to contribute and put time into it if others here would do the same. Between all of us I’m sure we could figure out a way to distribute it and get it into places like Cannes so we could have a response to guys like Loach. Perhaps we try to use it to rally support from film communities in Europe to help us distribute it there”.

“I love it,” replied publishing oligarch Jason Binn, “And I will promote it in a major way to all 3.2 million magazine subscribers across all on and offline platforms. I can even leverage Gilt’s 9 million members,” he added, referring to the shopping and lifestyle website he managed.

“Me too,” said Amy Pascal, the Co-Chairperson of Sony Pictures Entertainment. Meanwhile, Mark Canton, producer of movies such as “Get Carter”, “Immortals” and “300” busied himself drumming up more Hollywood support for the idea. “Adding Carmi Zlotnik to this growing list”, he replied, referencing the TV executive.

This whole correspondence was from an email chain of dozens of high-powered entertainment figures entitled “Happy New Year. Too bad Germany is now a no travel zone for Jews,” which ludicrously claimed that the European country had become a Muslim-controlled Islamic theocracy.

“It is horrible. But in the end, it is no surprise, because apologists for Israel’s oppression of the Palestinians will go to any length to prevent the people opposing them,” Mr. Loach said, when asked for comment by MintPress. “We shouldn’t underestimate the hatred of those who cannot tolerate the idea that Palestinians have human rights, that Palestine is a state; and they have their country,” he added.

SHUTTING DOWN FREE EXPRESSION

The pro-Israel group in Hollywood also put serious pressure on American institutions to crack down on support for Palestinian human rights. Silverman revealed that he had written to Peter Gelb, the general manager of the New York Metropolitan Opera, in an effort to shut down a performance of “The Death of Klinghoffer”, an opera that tells the story of the 1985 hijacking of an airliner by the Palestine Liberation Front. “I suggest though that we each call him on Monday at his office at the Met and your point about the Met’s donors’ leverage is important,” he advised the other entertainment oligarchs, thereby shining a light on how the powerful move in secret to silence speech they do not approve of, and how they use their financial clout to coerce and strong-arm others into toeing their line. A lot of pressure was necessary, because, as Silverman explained, “as members of the artistic community it is very hard to be pro free speech only some of the time and not all of the time.”

Ultimately, the performance did go ahead, but not without a large and coordinated protest both inside and outside the Lincoln Center for Performing Arts, as individuals attempted to shut down the performance, claiming it was “antisemitic.”

LIAISING WITH THE IDF

The email conversations of many of Hollywood’s most influential individuals show that they believe they are on the verge of a worldwide extermination of Jews, and that Israel – and themselves – are the only things standing in the way of this impending fate. As Kavanaugh wrote, “It’s our job to keep another Holocaust from happening. Many of you may think that can’t happen, that is extreme…[but] If you pull newspapers from pre Holocaust it seems eerily close to our world today.”

Rotholz was of a similar opinion, writing that,

It is imperative that leading figures in the LA/NY film, tv, media, digital and theater communities who support a strong and potent Jewish state develop a strategy for liasing with colleagues in London and Europe and also with the creative communities here and in Europe to promote and explain the Israeli cause.”

The Sony Archive emails also show that, not only were Tinsel Town’s top brass coordinating strategies to silence critics of Israel, but that they were also closely liaising with the Israeli government and its military.

Producer George Perez, for example, messaged his colleagues in the chain email to introduce them to an IDF colonel, stating (emphasis added),

Everyone please use this “reply all” list from here on.  I have included Kobi Marom a retired commander in the Israeli army. Kobi was kind enough to give my family and I a jeep tour of the Golan Heights during our June trip to Israel.  He also took us to visit an army base on the border of Israel and Syria, an area which has been in the news lately.  Hard to imagine that the “kids” that we met at the base are most likely engaged in combat with our enemies.”

Seeing as the large majority of those who died were Palestinian civilians, it is unclear whether he considers all Palestinians or just Hamas as enemies of Hollywood. Perez also noted that “Kobi works closely with the Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces (FIDF) who are in need of donations,” and advised that Hollywood needed to “dig deep to help in the constant struggle for the survival of Israel.”

Hollywood celebrities including famed producer Haim Saban and actress Fran Drescher, pose with IDF soldiers at the FIDF Western Region Gala

The group also attempted to recruit Israeli-American movie star Natalie Portman into their ranks. But the Academy Award-winning actress appeared more concerned that her personal details were being shared. “How did I get on this list? Also Ryan Seacrest?” she replied, before directly addressing Kavanaugh, writing,

[C]an you please remove me from this email list? you should not be copying me publicly so that 20 people i don’t know have my personal info. i will have to change my email address now.  thank you”.

While Portman’s open contempt for the group of rabidly pro-Israel producers is notable, more so was Kavanaugh’s response, which revealed how close the connection between the Israeli state and Hollywood is. Kavanaugh wrote back,

Sorry. You are right Jews being slaughtered for their beliefs and Cannes members calling for the boycott of anything Israel or Jewish is much much less important than your email address being shared with 20 of our peers who are trying to make a difference. my deepest apologies…I had lunch yesterday with Israel consulate general who brought J street up to me. He was so perplexed confused and concerned when he heard you supported them that he begged me to connect you two.”

Thus, the leaked emails prove beyond any doubt that both the Israeli government and the IDF liaise with some of the most powerful people in the entertainment world in order to push forward a pro-Israel message and stamp out any deviance from that line.

HIP HOPPERS FOR APARTHEID

While their efforts at recruiting Portman fell flat, one star who responded enthusiastically was hip hop mega producer Russell Simmons, founder of Def Jam Records and the brother of Joseph “Rev.Run” Simmons, one third of Run DMC. Simmons has recently been the subject of controversy, after 20 women have come forward, charging him with rape or other sexual misconduct.

The emails reveal that promoting engagement with Israel within the African-American community is one of Simmons’ primary interests. When asked if he had any ideas how to improve Israel’s image, he said, “Simple messaging from non Jews specifically from Muslims promoting peace and Israel’s right to exist…We have resources and the desire to win rather than lose the hearts of young Muslims and Jews.”

What these resources were, he explained,

We have hundreds of collaboration programs between Imams Rabbis and their congregations We have many respected imams who would join former chief rabbi metzker (spelling) rabbi Schneier and non Jews in promoting the Saudi peace plan”.

“Through this campaign we will be helping Israel,” he concluded.

TURNING THE TIDE

Despite the best efforts of Simmons and others, however, American public opinion has, in recent years, begun to turn against Israel. Young Americans, in particular, are more likely to sympathize with the plight of the Palestinian people and support an independent Palestinian state.

Much of this has to do with the rise of social media and a new generation of activists breaking through the barriers to highlight injustices being carried out by their government. Today, Americans are more likely to see first-hand, unvarnished accounts of Israeli brutality on social media platforms. As veteran political scientist Noam Chomsky explained to MintPress last year, “The veil of intense propaganda [is] being lifted slowly, [and] crucial U.S. participation in Israeli crimes is also coming more clearly into view. With committed activism, that could have salutary effects.”

Despite the best efforts of Simmons and others, however, American public opinion has, in recent years, begun to turn against Israel. Young Americans, in particular, are more likely to sympathize with the plight of the Palestinian people and support an independent Palestinian state.

Much of this has to do with the rise of social media and a new generation of activists breaking through the barriers to highlight injustices being carried out by their government. Today, Americans are more likely to see first-hand, unvarnished accounts of Israeli brutality on social media platforms. As veteran political scientist Noam Chomsky explained to MintPress last year, “The veil of intense propaganda [is] being lifted slowly, [and] crucial U.S. participation in Israeli crimes is also coming more clearly into view. With committed activism, that could have salutary effects.”

Nevertheless, U.S. government support for Israel continues to rise. Between 2019 and 2028, it is scheduled to send nearly $40 billion in aid, almost all of it military, meaning that American taxpayer funds are contributing to Palestinian oppression and displacement.

Loach was even more upbeat on the issue, telling us that those who stand in the way of justice will be judged poorly by history, stating,

The denial of human rights of the Palestinians is one of the great crimes [of the modern era] and Palestinian rights is one of the great causes of last century and this century. We should all support the Palestinians. If you have any care for human rights, there is no question: the Palestinians have to be supported. And these people who oppose them, in the end, will fade away. Because history will show this was a terrible crime. Palestinians suffered ethnic cleansing of their homeland. We have to support the Palestinians, full stop.”

Those people, however, have no intention of “fading away”, and continue to organize on behalf of the Israeli government. Thanks to the leaked documents, those who care about Palestinian self-determination have a clearer understanding of how they operate.

Dismantling ‘Israel’

20 Sep 2022 23:52 

Source: Al Mayadeen English

Liberal Zionists, unhappy with the fascist brand, already working on a post-apartheid regime is clear proof that the dismantling of Apartheid “Israel” may come sooner than expected.

Tim Anderson 

Director of the Sydney-based Centre for Counter Hegemonic Studies.

The future of the Apartheid Israeli regime in Palestine is often seen as either (1) maintenance of the racist “state”, with more than half the population excluded and brutally repressed or (2) complete collapse of the regime and Palestinian liberation – a simple dichotomy. 

However, tensions among Zionist elites and the historic unraveling of previous racist regimes suggest that the dismantling of Apartheid “Israel” may come sooner than expected but in a more complicated manner. Racist states have often been dismantled with serious compromises. 

The combined forces of steadfast Palestinian Resistance and the plummeting “international legitimacy of Israel” are certainly powerful agents working toward a democratic Palestine. Yet, liberal Zionists, unhappy with the fascist brand, are already working on a post-apartheid regime. This group does not currently have the upper hand in occupied Palestine, but they do have greater say with the colony’s chief sponsor, the USA. 

Meanwhile, the disunity of Palestinian factions – actively encouraged by the Zionist regime – undermines their bargaining position. That leaves the door open for dirty deals.

Let’s remember that the ‘abolition’ of mass slavery in the USA was followed by another century of brutal ‘Jim Crow’ racial discrimination, a system which has often been called ‘slavery by another name’. This next stage racist system was given a legal blessing by the ‘separate but equal’ Supreme Court decision in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), a decision not overturned until Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka decision (1954). So ‘abolition’ did not mean emancipation.

Correctly pointing to parallels with the dismantling of apartheid in South Africa, Omar Barghouti calls for an increase in boycott and sanction initiatives against “Israel”. Yet, he does not refer to the compromises involved in the South African transitional process, which led to extreme economic inequality and post-apartheid South Africa becoming one of the most unequal countries on earth.

Perhaps even more relevant are the compromises made when the racial regime in Zimbabwe (formerly ‘Rhodesia’) was dismantled at the end of the 1970s. Talks hosted in Britain led to the ‘Lancaster House Accords’ with the following features.

First ‘equal citizenship’ was created, but it was accompanied by several protective provisions. A ‘white roll’ was created to maintain ten (of 40) ‘white’ senators and 20 (of 100) ‘white’ reps in the Assembly. There were then requirements for a 70% parliamentary agreement for constitutional changes. A unanimous requirement to change “the separate representation of the white minority in parliament” gave that group veto power. 

Second, under the “freedom from deprivation of property” provisions, the compulsory acquisition of property was banned and consensual compensation provisions were required. Protective provisions to privilege white minority representation and ban state acquisition of land could, for a period of ten years, only be carried out “by the unanimous vote of the House of Assembly”. That ‘froze’ white colonist control of most of the country’s arable land.

Nevertheless, the Lancaster House agreement went on to claim that “the question of majority rule … has been resolved”. Britain promised to provide capital for land buyouts but failed to do so. Twenty years after independence, as the Mugabe government attempted to ‘fast track’ land reforms, Britain and the USA imposed coercive ‘sanctions’ on the country. 

The land question is particularly important in Palestine, where steady land grabs, house thefts, and demolitions committed by “Israel” have economically marginalized the indigenous population, and in the process exposed the seven-decade-long myth of the ‘two states’. 

Yet, the cost of destroying that myth, for the Zionists, is the naked reality of apartheid, now recognized by six independent reports. Two former Israeli leaders, both of the ‘liberal zionist’ faction, have warned of the existential threat the apartheid brand poses to their dream of a ‘Jewish state’. In 2007, Ehud Olmert warned that “Israel” faces an “apartheid-like struggle” if the “two-state” myth collapses. Similarly, in 2017, Ehud Barak warned that his “state” was “on a slippery slope” toward apartheid.

This matter is of less concern for the more openly fascist Zionists, who dominate the regime these days. However liberal Zionists, with greater influence in the USA, have not been sitting on their hands. They are alarmed at the damage to the reputation of their ‘Jewish state’, by being labeled an apartheid regime and therefore, by the 1973 UN Convention, a crime against humanity and a regime that must be dismantled. 

For these reasons, we see influential former liberal Zionists openly agitating against the apartheid regime. They are not prepared to live with that “shame” and are looking for their own type of restructure. For example, former Israeli negotiator Daniel Levy, now President of the US-based Middle East Project, told the United Nations Security Council that the notion of an ‘Arab state’ was dead and that apartheid in Palestine was a reality. Similarly, Peter Beinart, an editor at Jewish Currents and contributor to The Atlantic and CNNwrote in the New York Times about fake Zionist claims of ‘anti-Semitism’. He said that Zionist groups were “abandoning a traditional commitment to human rights out of blind support for Israel”. 

These developments have important implications for the dismantling of the Zionist regime. The liberal Zionists will use their influence with Washington and London to get sponsorship for talks over a deal with compliant and property-owning elements of the Palestinian community. Almost certainly, the emerging deal will involve the protection of ‘settler rights’, Zionist privileges, and a freeze on property relations. The ‘right to return’ will also be subject to a deal.

Palestinian collaborators in this will not be the small-time agents who acted as informants and later sought refuge in “Tel Aviv” with temporary residence permits which do not allow them to work or get health benefits. Washington and “Tel Aviv” will abandon them.

The likely Palestinian collaborators for a ‘New Israel’ will be those linked to the Arab monarchies, with both property and embedded interests in the Palestinian Authority, which has long functioned as a municipality of the Apartheid “regime”. Religion will be no barrier, as secular collaborators will be joined by those who threw in their hands with the Muslim Brotherhood players, notably Qatar and Turkey, leading ‘false friends’ of the Palestinian cause. 

The Palestinian Resistance and its allies face new challenges. There is a real risk that a coalition of Washington, liberal Zionists, and Palestinian collaborators will begin to cut a deal behind closed doors, regardless of the legacy of Palestinian sacrifice and resistance. Such struggles are often betrayed at the last moment. 

That deal could include a last-minute grab for land, the freezing of property relations, and transitional provisions to protect the colonists. If deep divisions persist among Palestinian resistance factions, that deal will be easier to sell to an unsuspecting Palestinian and world audience. The dismantling of the ‘Old Israel’ will be so dramatic that few will pay attention to key details of the ‘New Israel’. But those details will be very important for the long-suffering Palestinian population.

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

Battle of Naalan mountain: one town’s fight against the full might of the Israeli settler project

SEPTEMBER 16, 2022 

The small town of Mazraa Qabaliya in the northern West Bank is fighting the Israeli military and armed settlers to protect a resource that is both revered and essential to their community — Naalan mountain.
JAAFAR LADADWEH, 55 AND YOUSEF ALI LOOKING AT THE SETTLEMENTS ACROSS FROM NAALAN, SEPTEMBER 2022. (PHOTO: MARIAM BARGHOUTI/MONDOWEISS)

Source

By Mariam Barghouti

On October 26, 2018, the small town of Mazraa Qabaliya just 11 km northwest of Ramallah witnessed a brutal assault by Israeli settlers and their military vanguard. 

As Palestinian men gathered for Friday prayers under a cluster of brown and green leadtrees, they were met with teargas from the Israeli military in tandem with an organized attack by armed Israeli settlers. Youth responded by hurling stones back at the settlers and soldiers.

“It was a bloodbath that day,” Jaafar Ladadweh, 55, recalled to Mondoweiss almost four years later on the same Naalan mountaintop where two men were fatally shot.

Two Palestinians from the village were shot — Othman Ahmad Ladadweh, 33, was hit in the thigh and died that Friday evening, while Mohammad Ibrahim Shreiteh, 28, was shot in the head, succumbing to his wounds almost two weeks later, on November 10, 2018. More than a dozen were injured with live bullets while dozens more were injured with teargas and rubber bullets.

The view from Naalan mountain overlooking Israeli settlements in the north of the West Bank. (Photo: Mariam Barghouti/Mondoweiss)
The view from Naalan mountain overlooking Israeli settlements in the north of the West Bank. (Photo: Mariam Barghouti/Mondoweiss)THE VIEW FROM NAALAN MOUNTAIN OVERLOOKING ISRAELI SETTLEMENTS IN THE NORTH OF THE WEST BANK. (PHOTO: MARIAM BARGHOUTI/MONDOWEISS)

Guardians of the mountain: ‘we must keep the light on’

The confrontations in Naalan would intensify in 2018. Protests were being held in tandem with the Great March of Return in Gaza, where Palestinians marched every Friday in the thousands to protest the Gaza siege and its population of 2 million people. 

Like the Israeli military response to Palestinian unarmed protest in Gaza, the youth and residents of Mazraa were met with lethal force — mostly live ammunition. 

Four years later, the sunset from the top of Naalan mountain is calm and the air is crisp, with a breeze reminiscent of Ramallah’s windy evenings. The contrast of the dying colors of orange, red, yellow, and purple blue with a darker sky and almost yellow full moon commands appreciation. 

Under September’s full harvest moon, a group of 11 men gather on plastic chairs and wooden benches they have set up over the years, to revive the mountain and maintain it.

“We all take turns making sure there is electricity extended and that the lights on this mountain are on at all times, to make sure there is a sign of life here” Ahmad Obeid, 62, says with a smile. 

Eager and passionate about sharing their story of successfully holding on to their homes, Obeid points at one of the flickering lights hanging from a treehouse they had built months ago to encourage visitors to come and help protect the mountain from settler takeover.

“We must keep the light on,” Obeid said, his tone passionate. “We must keep the light on here on the mountain at all times. Once it’s off, know that something is wrong, that there has been an attack,” he said to Mondoweiss. 

Image of two martyrs hanging in the community office on Naalan Mountain (Photo: Mariam Barghouti/Mondoweiss)
POSTER WITH THE IMAGES OF TWO MARTYRS KILLED DURING MILITARY AND SETTLER ATTACKS ON OCTOBER 26, 2018, HANGING IN THE COMMUNITY OFFICE AT THE TOP OF NAALAN MOUNTAIN. MOHAMMAD SHREITEH, 28, ON THE LEFT, AND OTHMAN LADADWEH, 33, ON THE RIGHT. (PHOTO: MARIAM BARGHOUTI/MONDOWEISS)

Abandoned by parties and actors that are supposedly responsible, including the Palestinian Authority (PA), the mountain was nurtured and developed through the power of community initiatives and youth volunteers. 

Through collective conversations, the village of Mazraa Qabaliya organized itself into committees to renovate, preserve, and document the archeological artifacts that sprawl across and inside the mountain. 

“When we pray here, you would find settlers coming to also pray,” Ali Shreiteh, 54, told Mondoweiss. Shreiteh had been documenting the historical significance and archeological richness that is hidden across the mountain top, from Roman wells to centuries-old antiques. 

Over the past four years, organized settler visits and attacks on the site in coordination with Israeli army have intensified. These visits seek to establish a presence on the land, which in turn would create a justification for the annexation and forcible takeover of Palestinian lands by judicial decree. 

Yet, these sinister practices do not occur in isolation. They are embedded in, and enforced through, broader Israeli policies denying Palestinians ability to use their resources and lands for growth and building of healthy and unified communities.

Israeli forces arrest an unarmed Palestinian during confrontations in 2018. (Photo: Mohammad Shreiteh)
Israeli forces arrest an unarmed Palestinian during confrontations in 2018. (Photo: Mohammad Shreiteh)ISRAELI FORCES ARREST AN UNARMED PALESTINIAN DURING CONFRONTATIONS IN 2018. (PHOTO: MOHAMMAD SHREITEH)

Greenlighting ethnic cleansing in Area B

Naalan mountain is located in Mazraa Qabaliya, a town known for its agricultural produce and capacity for sustainable water infrastructure. 

Mazraa Qabaliya and its Naalan mountain are also categorized as “Area B” under the Oslo Accords, which places them under the civic and administrative control of the PA and military control of Israeli army. This power vacuum, combined with the lack of foreign support, has meant that the town residents have had to take it upon themselves to counter the continuous impunity for armed Israeli aggressions and organized settler crimes.

Since the growth of settlement expansion to Areas B in 2017, added to the peak in settler violence in 2018, the townspeople have directed their efforts to ensure that Naalan mountain remains vibrant and accessible to Palestinians. This has largely only been possible through constant confrontation whereby Palestinians must face armed settlers and soldiers with either their voice, their bodies, or the hurling of stones — a crime punishable by up to 10 years under Israeli military regulations.

“They want to take this mountain by any means, even if it is fabricating a historical association with it,” Yousef Ali, 45, told Mondoweiss. 

Naalan mountain, 2018 (Photo: Mohammad Shreiteh)
Naalan mountain, 2018 (Photo: Mohammad Shreiteh)NAALAN MOUNTAIN, 2018 (PHOTO: MOHAMMAD SHREITEH)

ccording to the Oslo Accords, settlers expanding to Area B are not only in violation of international law, but also Israeli law. The clandestine manner in which Israel takes over lands has been well-documented, but with little repercussions. In 2018, former US president Barack Obama was reportedly “shocked” at the systemic nature of Israeli settlements and their fragmentation of Palestinians from one another. 

This settler expansion has been devastating to Palestinian farmers. Already economically deprived of more than 63% of the most fertile and grazing land as well as agricultural resources in Area C, farmers in Mazraa Qabaliya and the rest of Area B are restricted by Israeli veto power over building and constructing water wells and drilling into reservoirs or springs.  

The wells around the Naalan mountain top could provide the community with the resources that would allow for sustainability and income generation in the face of the economic depression plaguing Palestinian communities.  In fact, the families and communities near Naalan have renovated some old wells, but the energies of the townspeople continue to be occupied mainly with surviving and confronting Israeli efforts to takeover their lands for the purpose of expanding illegal settlements.

In this way, not only are settlements furthering Israeli theft and abuse of natural resources, but are also impeding Palestinian capacities to develop what resources they have.

Israeli settlers marching with military protection on Naalan mountain. (Photo: Mohammad Shreiteh)
ISRAELI SETTLERS MARCHING WITH MILITARY PROTECTION ON NAALAN MOUNTAIN. (PHOTO: SHREITEHPHOTO)

In contrast, illegal Israeli settlers are not only provided with Israeli court-ordered military force as protection, but also governmental financial support from the “Settlement Division” of the World Zionist Organization (WZO) to help link agricultural and natural resource networks with a growing physical settler infrastructure..

In June and July of this year, the WZO declared plans to invest additional $ 8.5 million USD in connecting and legitimizing illegal outposts in the West Bank, a policy pushed forward by former Prime Minister, Naftali Bennet. And not only are settlements expanding but they are even creeping towards Area B of the West Bank also in violation of the Oslo Accords.

What this adds up to is that Palestinian communities lack nearly any form of financial, legal, emotional, or logistical support in their efforts to defend their land while Israeli settlers are provided with international impunity, constant and growing economic funding, as well as protection from its military, one of the most advanced in the world. 

Call for solidarity

With what little remains, Palestinian towns and villages are constantly attempting to salvage what they have been able to hold onto in the face of a increasingly emboldened settler population, which maintains a strong hold on military power and international public opinion.

As Palestinian communities attempt to safeguard their communities from settler attacks, they are calling on supporters to join them in ensuring that Palestinian lands remain alive with Palestinian lives. “Just come be with us, build with us, bring nothing but will and joy,” Ladadweh says as the evening fades into darkness, as an LED lightbulb flickers behind him. 

In that moment, words from earlier in the evening seemed to hang in the air and resonate with the 11 men firmly planted at the top of Naalan mountain: “the light must stay on.”

A guide to the AngloEuroZionist Establishment Lexicon

September 17, 2022

Source

by Eric Arthur Blair

Neoliberal economics:

Establishment version: modern free market freedom, practised by freedom loving people, to freely create freedomaceous wealth everywhere! Woohoo!

Real World Translation: rigged system to funnel wealth from the poor to the rich by imposition of slave wages and debt servitude = economic enslavement of the 99%

Disinformation:

Establishment version: anything contrary to the “truthiness” narrative espoused by Western Mainstream Media Patriots. Is Israel an apartheid state? That’s disinformation!

Real World Translation: anything which portrays the AngoEuroZionist Empire in a bad light and their enemies du jour (Russia, China, Iran etc) in a neutral or favourable light. Absolutely nothing to do with truth or facts.

National Endowment for Democracy:

Establishment version: benevolent fund by the USA to promote rule by, for and of the ordinary people in foreign countries. Yay!

Real World Translation: CIA cutout to finance astroturf campaigns to destabilise foreign governments that do not bend to the US will, in order to install US puppet regimes that will funnel wealth to the USA.

US invasion of Iraq in 2003:

Establishment version: act of “liberation” to save the world from Saddam’s WMDs and bring democracy to the Iraqi people.

Real World Translation: WMD story was a fucking LIE, invasion was done to preserve the US petrodollar and control Iraqi oil assets and give massive contracts to US corporations. Killed more than a million Iraqis by 2010, so I guess you could say those Iraqis were “liberated” (from life).

Russian invasion of Ukraine:

Establishment version: unprovoked aggression by Russian dictator Vlad-the-Impaler Putin on 24 Feb 2022 because he is just plain crazy (also a vampire). So naturally the West needed to ban Russian cats and Tchaikovsky in response.

Real World Translation: belated response by Russian Duma (democratic parliament) to relentless aggression by the US/NATO since 2014 – including the murder of 14,000 civilians in Donbass, ie Russia was forced to intervene to protect Russian speaking Ukrainians from genocide by the US proxies. Also more than 30 bio-pathogen labs funded by the USA (by Victoria Nuland’s own admission) were discovered in Ukraine, so there WERE WMDs in-the-making in Ukraine.

International “Rules based order”:

Establishment version: even the USA cannot properly define WTF this crapulent term means.

Real World Translation: USA makes up their one-sided rules (to always benefit itself) and orders everybody else about, otherwise foreigners face sanctions or coups or assassination of their leaders or invasion. Nothing to do with United Nations International Law.

Far too many Newspeak and Doublethink terms to itemise here!!

Commenters can think of many more!!

WAR IS PEACE

FREEDOM IS SLAVERY

IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

  • Speaking Truth is an act of Treason in an Empire of Lies.
  • Putin called the USA an Empire of Lies.
  • Who is the most prominent Truth speaker in the Empire?
  • Julian Assange – who is now being suitably punished for such Treason.

EAB.

Time to end Apartheid Israel’s genocidal oppression of Gaza

 SEPTEMBER 11, 2022 

PROTESTOR HOLDS SIGNS SUPPORTING BDS, THE MOVEMENT FOR BOYCOTTS, DIVESTMENT AND SANCTIONS AGAINST ISRAEL, AT ‘TEL AVIV SUR SEINE’ IN PARIS, AUGUST 13, 2015. (PHOTO: KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

Source

By Haider Eid

“If only it (Gaza) would just sink into the sea
– Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, 1992

In 2008 Gaza was bombed by Israeli Apache helicopters and American-made F16 fighter planes for 22 days, ultimately causing the deaths of more than 1,400 civilians. Israel, with the impunity it has enjoyed since its establishment, decided to come back into Gaza four times since then and repeat the same crimes by launching areal strikes, killing more than 4000 civilians, including hundreds of children, women, elderly, and injuring thousands. In fact, over the past 15 months alone, apartheid Israel has carried out two extensive military assaults on Gaza, killing hundreds, including more than 80 children, and injuring thousands, destroying vital infrastructure, while maintaining its 15-year illegal siege on the 2.4 million Palestinians here.

Israel’s airstrikes which always damage essential infrastructure and terrify the civilian population are a form of collective punishment against the Palestinian people and are war crimes which are forbidden under international humanitarian law, especially the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prescribes the manner in which armies must treat civilians during times of conflict. 

But Israel continues to get away with these war crimes and crimes against humanity. The “international community” does not seem seriously interested in the suffering of the native Palestinians. Neither does it even try to show concrete sympathy with those children who get killed in broad day light. After all, they are not Ukrainians, i.e., white.  In fact, while the American president apparently thinks that while “Israel has the right to defend itself,” the same right does not apply to Palestinians. This is in spite of the multi-tiered oppression of Palestinians by Israel, from apartheid to military occupation and colonization, and in spite of the deadly, hermetic siege imposed on Gaza for more than 15 years, so much so that Israel has even been using ‘calorie count’ to limit Gaza food during the blockade. 

This, however, has been Israel’s policy for a long time. In 1992, the late Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin wished that Gaza “would just sink into the sea.” The Oslo Accords, signed by Rabin, brought more misery into the lives of the 2 million inhabitants of this besieged, impoverished, occupied, small strip of land. The fact that Gazans are not born to Jewish mothers is enough reason to deprive them of their right to live equally with the citizens of the state of Israel. Hence, the Israeli logic goes, like the Black natives of South Africa, they should be isolated in a Bantustan, in accordance with the Oslo terms, without calling it so; and if they show any resistance to this plan, they must get punished severely by transforming the entire strip into an “open-air prison.” 

Both the US and the European Union display ignorance in the face of the brutal reality caused by Israel to GazaAs a result of Israel’s blockade on most imports and exports and other policies designed to punish Gazans, about 70% of Gaza’s workforce is now unemployed or without pay, according to the United Nations, and about 80% of its residents live in grinding poverty. About 1.2 million of them are now dependent for their day-to-day survival on food handouts from U.N. or international agencies; an increasing number of Palestinian families in Gaza are unable to offer their children more than one meager meal a day, often little more than rice and boiled lentils. Fresh fruit and vegetables are beyond the reach of many families. Meat and chicken are impossibly expensive. And fish is unavailable in its markets because the Israeli navy has curtailed the movements of Gaza ‘s fishermen. No wonder, a report by the UN predicted that by 2020, Gaza would become “unlivable.” 

We are left with one option: people’s power. This remains the only power capable of counteracting the massive power imbalance between the oppressed Palestinians and their Israeli oppressors.

The UN, EU and the international community by and large have remained silent in the face of atrocities committed by Apartheid Israel. The corpses of hundreds of dead children and women have failed to convince them to act. We are, therefore, left with one option; an option that does not wait for the United Nations Security Council, namely, the option of people’s power. This remains the only power capable of counteracting the massive power imbalance between the oppressed Palestinians and their Israeli oppressors.

The horror of the racist apartheid regime in South Africa was challenged with a sustained campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions initiated in 1958 and given new urgency in 1976 Soweto Uprising. This campaign ultimately contributed to the collapse of white rule in 1994 and the establishment of a multi-racial, democratic state.

Similarly, the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions has been gathering momentum since 2005. Gaza, like Soweto and Sharpeville, cannot be ignored: it demands a response from all who believe in a common humanity. Now is the time to boycott the apartheid Israeli state, to divest and to impose sanctions against it until it complies with international law. Like black South Africans, Palestinians deserve freedom, justice and equality.  Time to end Apartheid Israel’s genocidal oppression of Gaza

IOF Attack Palestinians in Occupied Nablus, Injure 37

September 10, 2022

By Staff, Agencies

At least 37 Palestinian protesters have been injured when “Israeli” Occupation Forces [IOF] troops attacked the town of Beita and the village of Beit Dajan in the occupied West Bank province of Nablus.

The Palestinian Red Crescent on Friday confirmed the occupation forces injured the Palestinians participating in the weekly peaceful protests against the apartheid regime.

The IOF fired rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs, live ammunition and tear gas canisters to disperse the Palestinians.

“Israeli” troops have recently stepped up deadly violence and suppression against the Palestinians taking part in peaceful protests.

The Tel Aviv regime faces growing resistance over its land-grab policy and demolition drive as anti-settlement sentiments run high in the occupied territories

In late August, IOF troops attacked protesters in several towns and villages near Qalqilia and Nablus. They also fired tear gas at anti-settlement protesters.

Between 600,000 and 750,000 “Israelis” occupy over 250 illegal settlements that have been built across the West Bank since the 1967 occupation. The settlements are all illegal under international law. The UN Security Council has in several resolutions condemned the Tel Aviv regime’s illegal settlement projects in the occupied Palestinian lands.

Contemporary Zionism pursues its assigned role as an advanced military and intelligence base of Anglo-American, European imperialism – Part II

28 Jul 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen English

Niloufer Bhagwat 

The Partition of Palestine to establish a Zionist Military Base in the Arab world; the Partition of Korea and the Partition of the Indian Subcontinent are an extension of the same strategy to set back National Liberation Movements in these regions.

Contemporary Zionism pursues it assigned role as an advanced military and intelligence base of Anglo-American, European imperialism – Part II

To read Part I, click here. (Wrong Link)

The Zionist Israeli colonial-settler, apartheid, military and Intelligence project, was part of the new strategy for control of resource-rich regions of the world, implemented through British, American, and European policy, even as National Liberation Movements in Asia, Africa, and in the Arab world began freeing their countries from British, French and European colonial rule. The establishment of a Zionist military outpost in the Middle East to control adjacent regions was part of the new strategy for continuing colonial exploitation and occupation of several parts of the world by erstwhile colonial powers in collaboration with the United States, by partitioning countries they had earlier colonized, before their withdrawal, to establish proxy governments in various regions of the world, a different strategy to direct colonial rule. At the same time, the Indian Subcontinent was partitioned by the British collaborating with the pro-British comprador classes of different religious groups in India: Muslim, and Hindu, and a new country Pakistan created from this partition, another British project to establish theocratic states, immediately integrated into an Anglo-American Military pact against the Arab world, West Asia, the former USSR, and India. General Zia Ul Haq, then a brigadier in the Pakistan Army (later military dictator and President of Pakistan after a military coup) led a military expedition of Pakistan in 1970 to the Kingdom of Jordan allied with Britain, during what was known as ‘Black September’, to put down by military force the ‘Palestinian uprising’ in the West Bank of Palestine, leading to a massacre of Palestinians. In the Far East, Korea was partitioned by the United States, after the Korean war during which US forces used bio-weapons against the Korean people and its allies the Chinese Peoples’ Liberation Army, all cities of North Korea were destroyed. Thereafter a proxy government of the United States was placed in power in South Korea, a colonial adjunct of the United States in the region, and a US military base to dominate and control the Far East, apart from the US military bases in Japan, which exist till date, including for stationing of nuclear weapons platforms of the United States.

The latest example of the establishment of a US military base and colonization of a country in East Europe is Ukraine, after Victoria Nuland, then-Assistant Secretary of State under the administration of President Obama (presently Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs), led the United States ‘Maidan’ coup of 2014 in Ukraine, which was another Anglo-American- Zionist and NATO project to control the resources of the region, to destroy both Ukraine and the Russian Federation and economically setback Europe, by deliberately inciting war on Europe’s Eastern periphery by initiating genocidal attacks on Eastern and Southern Ukraine’s predominantly Russian population, and attempting to destroy their language and culture and encouraging Ukraine and concerned European governments to renege on the Minsk Agreement signed with Russia. Thereafter an all-out economic war was declared on the Russian Federation, with sanctions imposed on Russia’s oil and gas resources, on Russian shipping, banking, and all its financial institution, to financially strangulate the Russian Federation, to control Russia’s trade in energy resources, in food and other commodities; the key to control several economies, the whole of Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America; and if necessary expand this into a Third World War for the Imperialist restructuring of the world, as earlier by the Second World War. Zionism is a global Imperial Military project integrated with Anglo-American Imperialism and NATO’s wars of aggression and internal subversion in Palestine, in the Arab world,  in Iran, and worldwide, including in Ukraine.

The second reason for the failure by Jurists with exceptions, to examine the real nature of Zionism and the Zionist project of “Israel”, was the touching faith of many jurists in the United Nations and its resolutions, including of the Security Council and General Assembly and other organizations, instead of an objective and critical approach to resolutions and decisions of all UN bodies and instrumentalities. No institution national or international can be above scrutiny or is infallible. This approach led to the flawed academic tendency to accept decisions of all United Nations organizations as ‘gospel’ or ‘divine’ truth. Consequently, there was an ideological disinclination to examine the validity of the United Nations Palestine Partition Resolution of 1947 which led to the establishment of the Zionist entity of “Israel” in 1948, controlled by the financial and banking elite of the Anglo-Saxon-Zionist world, in their own interests. The 1947 Partition of Palestine Resolution was a violation of International Law. Palestinian territory was forcibly seized from the people of Palestine by Jewish European settlers, facilitated through the instrumentality of the British Mandate over Palestine, in reality, British colonial occupation. The Palestine Partition Resolution of 1947 was a violation of the right of Self-Determination of the Palestinian Arab people and a violation of General Assembly Resolutions on National Liberation Movements and anti-Colonial struggles of the people of Asia, Africa and South America among other regions. From the legal and political perspective, there was no basis for the 1947 Partition Resolution. The British Mandate over Palestine was ending and in accordance with International Law and De-colonization, it was necessary for Palestine to revert to the political control of the Indigenous Arab people of Palestine, subjugated by British occupation and colonial rule. For the United Nations to give legitimacy to the European Zionist Jewish Settler project, was a decision promoting European-settler colonization in Palestine, in violation of declared International Law on De-colonization and National Self-Determination, and to repeat in Palestine, what had taken place in past centuries in the United States of America, in Canada, in Australia, in New Zealand, in South Africa, in South West Africa, in South America, among other regions of the world; where ‘neo-Europes’ and European civilization were forcibly transplanted into alien soil, to perpetuate European occupation and colonization and the seizure of land and resources of vast continents exterminating the Indigenous people in a colonial holocaust not of 6 million, but of hundreds of millions worldwide including in India and China, with no reparation till date.

The United Nations Charter is an International Treaty. The United Nations was not established as per its declared objectives to perpetuate a Zionist European Jewish Colonial-Settler and a ‘Racist and Apartheid’ Israeli Regime, massacring Palestinians, and waging a continuous war both on the people of Palestine in the West Bank, Gaza, and other Palestinian territories occupied by “Israel”, and expansionist wars of aggression on its Arab neighbors, to achieve the Zionist objective of dominating the region and seizing all resources, including land and water reservoirs of Palestine and river waters of neighboring states of Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon, including in the Syrian Golan Heights, the Jordan river and Sea of Galilee; with no other justification than the Zionist self-propagated Racist theory of a superior or ‘Chosen People ’, causing widespread ecological devastation from the overuse of waters of the region. “Israel’s” policy is a continuous project for militarization and weaponization of the region against Palestinians, all “Israel’s” neighbors, and beyond against other countries in the wider region and adjacent continents; and includes a covert nuclear weapons program, while destroying peaceful nuclear energy projects of neighboring Arab states of Iraq and Syria; threatening the Iranian Nuclear Energy program, assassinating Iranian scientists, generals and military officers in Iran and in Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon, that is in countries who have military co-operation agreements with Iran. “Israel” has stealthily infected Iranian facilities with the ‘Stuxnet Virus’ or computer worm to disrupt operations, and resisted all proposals for a ‘Nuclear –Free Zone’ for this entire region including for “Israel”. In a new Quad has been established for the Middle East, of the USA, India, “Israel” and the UAE, a so-called “Indo-Abrahamic” Bloc similar to the Quad of the ‘Indo-Pacific’ a strategic alliance of the US, Japan, India and Australia to counter China which is unlikely to be welcomed by the Arab street, which sees such an alliance which includes the United States and “Israel”, as a threat to the military and economic sovereignty of the Arab world and its energy resources, as this West Asia Quad in its statement refers to focus on joint investments in the region, in” water, energy, transportation, space, health and food security, etc. directly related to economic sovereignty of governments and the people of the region . President Joe Biden of the United States and Prime Minister Yair Lapid of “Israel” also signed a joint declaration on the state of the ‘strategic partnership’ between the two countries, which is in fact a military and strategic pact targeting Iran, purportedly to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. In reality, there is a military pact to threaten Iran as a possible prelude to incite a wider war in the region like in Ukraine in furtherance of NATO economic and military hegemony against the Multi-polar world order emerging.

The ongoing genocide of the Palestinian people, the US-UK led Coalition’s repeated wars of aggression on Iraq, to which Ukraine contributed a military contingent as part of the coalition after the invasion of 2003; the US and NATO-led ISIS/Daesh/Jabhat Al-Nusra and their front organizations’ attacks in Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon; the successive Israeli wars of aggression on Syria and Lebanon, and earlier on Jordan and Egypt; Israeli military advisers directing and participating in the war of aggression waged on Yemen are all the direct consequence of the powerful Zionist and Israeli lobbies of the United States, UK, France, among other NATO countries, controlling resources of the region, assisting in the expansionist military objectives of the state of “Israel”, the military and intelligence outpost of NATO.

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

‘PAINFUL MARCH FOR FREEDOM’: THE TRIUMPHANT LEGACY OF PALESTINIAN PRISONERS

SEPTEMBER 8TH, 2022

Source

By Ramzy Baroud

As soon as I left prison, I went to Nael’s grave. It is adorned with the colors of the Palestinian flag and verses from the Holy Quran. I told my little brother how much I loved and appreciated him, and that, one day, we would meet again in paradise.

The above is part of a testimony given to me by a former Palestinian prisoner, Jalal Lutfi Saqr. It was published two years ago in the volume ‘These Chains Will Be Broken’.

As a Palestinian, born and raised in a refugee camp in Gaza, I was always familiar with the political discourse of, and concerning, political prisoners. My neighborhood, like every neighborhood in Gaza, is populated with a large number of former prisoners, or families whose members have experienced imprisonment in the past or present.

However, starting in 2016, my relationship with the subject took on, for the lack of a better term,  a more ‘academic’ approach. Since then, and up to now, I have interviewed scores of former prisoners and members of their families. Some were imprisoned by Israel, others by the Palestinian Authority. I even spoke to prisoners who experienced the brutality of Middle Eastern prisons, from Iraq, to Syria, to Egypt and Lebanon. A few particularly unlucky ones have endured multiple prison experiences and were tortured by men speaking different languages.

Gruesome Details Emerge of Israel’s Torture of Palestinian Prisoners
New allegations reveal the gruesome details of the torture of Palestinian detainees by Israel, specifically its intel agency Shin bet.

Some prisoners, now quite old, were imprisoned by the British army, which colonized Palestine between 1920 and 1948. They were held according to the 1945 so-called Defense (Emergency) Regulations, an arbitrary legal code that allowed the British to hold as many rebelling Palestinian Arabs without having to provide a cause or engage in due process.

This system remains in effect to this day, as it was adopted by Israel following the end of the British Mandate. Following minor amendments in 1979, and the renaming of the law into the “Israeli Law on Authority in States of Emergency”, this is essentially today’s so-called ‘Administrative Detention’. It allows Israel to incarcerate Palestinians, practically indefinitely, based on ‘secret evidence’ that is not revealed, even to the defense attorney.

These ‘emergency’ laws remain in place, simply because Palestinians never ceased resisting. Thousands of Palestinians were held without evidence or trial during the First Palestinian Intifada, the uprising of 1987. Most of them were kept in horrific living conditions, in tent cities in the Naqab Desert.

According to the Palestinian Commission on Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs, around one million Palestinians were imprisoned between 1967 and 2021. Currently, hundreds of Palestinian ‘administrative detainees’ are held in Israeli prisons, an act that violates international law on various counts – holding prisoners without trial or due process, and transferring prisoners to enemy territories, the latter being a stark violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949.

Of course, respecting international law has never been Israel’s strongest suit. In fact, Israel continues to deliberately ignore international law in numerous aspects of its illegal military occupation of Palestine, rationalizing such actions on ‘security’ grounds.

Palestinians are also doing what they do best, resist, under the harshest circumstances and by every means available to them. Tellingly, the strongest of such resistance takes place inside prison walls, by gaunt looking, and often dying hunger strikers.

Khalil Awawdeh, a 40-year-old Palestinian from a village near Al-Khalil (Hebron) is the latest prisoner hunger striker to make history, by simply refraining from eating for 180 days. His weight has dropped to 38 kilograms, after losing over 40 kilograms while on hunger strike. The images of his half-naked, skeletal body have been deemed ‘graphic’ and ‘offensive’ to some social media users, and were removed as soon as they were shared. At the end, he could only whisper a few words. Though barely audible, they were filled with courage.

Khalil Awawdeh
Khalil Awawdeh in bed at Asaf Harofeh Hospital in Be’er Ya’akov, Israel, Aug. 24, 2022. Mahmoud Illean | AP

On August 31, Awawdeh ended his hunger strike, after reaching a deal with the Israeli prison administration to release him on October 2. His first words after that agreement were hardly those of a dying man, but of a triumphant leader: “This resounding victory extends the series of great victories achieved by the mighty and honorable people of this nation.”

These words, however, were not unique. They carried the same sentiment communicated to me by every single freed prisoner I have interviewed in recent years. None have any regrets, even those who spent most of their lives in dark cells and in shackles; even those who lost loved ones; even those who left prison with chronic diseases, to die soon after their release. Their message is always that of defiance, of courage, and of hope.

Awawdeh is neither the first, nor the last prisoner to undergo these life-threatening hunger strikes. The strategy may be explained, and understandably so, as the last resort or as acts of desperation by individuals who are left without alternatives. But for Palestinians, these are acts of resistance that demonstrate the power of the Palestinian people: even in prison, handcuffed to a hospital bed, denied every basic human right, a Palestinian can fight, and win. Awawdeh did.

When Jalal Lutfi Saqr learned that his brother Nael was killed by the Israeli army in Gaza, he was a prisoner in Israel. He told me that the first thing he did when he learned of his brother’s death was kneeling down and praying. The following day, Jalal spoke to the mourners in his Gaza refugee camp using a smuggled cell phone by telling them, “Ours is a long and painful march for freedom.

“Some of us are in prison; others are underground, but we will never cease our fight for our people. We must remain committed to the legacy of our forefathers and our martyrs. We are all brothers, in blood, in the struggle and in faith, so let’s remain united as one people, as brothers and sisters, and carry on, despite the heavy losses and tremendous sacrifices.”

Jalal’s call on his people was made twenty years ago. It remains as relevant today, as it was then.

UNDERNEATH ISRAELI TOURIST RESORTS LIE THE REMAINS OF ONCE-THRIVING PALESTINIAN TOWNS

AUGUST 24TH, 2022

Source

By Miko Peled

Between the two historic Palestinian port towns of Haifa and Akka – both occupied since 1948 – there exists a lovely bay called the Bay of Haifa. The cities were subjected to a heavy ethnic cleansing campaign, and now they consist of a majority Jewish Israeli population. Several Zionist colonies were established across the Bay of Haifa over the years, and even though this is prime beachfront real estate, housing was constructed largely for new, poor immigrants.

One of the colonies built on Haifa Bay is the city of Kiryat Yam. It sits right on the Mediterranean coast, but the area is considered less favorable because it is still largely an immigrant community and suffers from a high rate of crime. Every morning, retired Russian immigrants who live in Kiryat Yam go walking, swimming in the sea, or just sit around and look at the beautiful scenery.

The only language one hears on the beach – or anywhere in the city for that matter – is Russian. The beach is lovely, well-kept, with chairs and plenty of shaded areas. Looking at the people on the beach, one might think this was a resort on the Black Sea. But it isn’t. These are not tourists, they are European colonizers, and this is not the Black Sea; it is the coast of Palestine.

WHERE ARE THE ARABS?

There are no Arabic names for any of the towns along the bay between Haifa and Akka, two Palestinian-Arab cities that were brought to prominence by Daher Al-Umar, the eighteenth-century Palestinian leader who is also known as the King of Galilee. Kiryat Yam – which is a Hebrew name – sits on what used to be the village of Arab Al-Ghawarina. The village was occupied, depopulated and destroyed in May 1948.

Today, even though both Akka and Haifa still have large Palestinian residents, in the towns throughout the Bay of Haifa and on the beach they are practically invisible. Certainly, in the world of the Russian immigrants who enjoy the lovely beaches and warm water of the Mediterranean, the Palestinians do not exist.

This is true in the city of Tel Aviv, much of which used to be Yafa, in all of West Jerusalem (which was predominantly Palestinians prior to 1948), and many of the new neighborhoods built in East Jerusalem after 1967. It is also true in places like Tabariya, Safad, and other cities that were exclusively Palestinian prior to the catastrophic events of 1948.

The Jewish Colonizers line up on a pier awaiting settlement in nearby Haifa, March 13, 1947. Right: Palestinians wait to flee Haifa on April 28, 1948, following a large attack by Jewish forces on the port. Photos: AP

The disappearance of Palestinians from the landscape is also evident in large settlement blocks in 1948 Palestine. In newly built towns, cities and neighborhoods throughout the country, shiny new developments pop up everywhere, but the homes are for Jews only. One excellent example is the settlement of Kochav Yair. This pristine little town of ten thousand people was built exclusively for Jews on lands that belong to the Palestinian towns of Taybeh, Tira and Qalansawe, also known as the Triangle. These Palestinian towns, like so many others, have severe shortages of housing. This is partially because the housing units in the city are not available to Palestinians.

When Palestinians try to apply to purchase an apartment in any of these are turned down, sometimes this is done directly, other times by plainly lying and saying the residential projects are sold out.

UNIMAGINABLE CONDITIONS

A Palestinian living in an unrecognized neighborhood in the city of El-Lyd tried to apply for an apartment where the developers said units will be made available on a first come, first served basis. “I was the first person to put down his name on the list,” he told me. When he had not heard back, he called and was told that they were sold out.

Another Palestinian, also from El-Lyd, told me a similar story. In his case, he drove with a Jewish friend. “I went in to sign up for an apartment and I was told they were sold out. Then, my boss who is Jewish went in and was offered several apartments from which he could choose. “Why did you tell my Palestinian employee you are sold out?” he asked. “If word gets out that we start selling to Arabs, we will lose all of our business here,” they answered.

El-Lyd used to be exclusively Palestinian. Prior to 1948, it was a city that had an international airport and a large central railway station. In fact, before the airport was named after Ben-Gurion, it was called El-Lyd Airport. Then, in 1948, after a series of war crimes and a massacre, the residents of the city were forcibly removed and it was flooded with poor Jewish immigrants. According to local politician Fida Shehade, currently the official number of Palestinians in the city stands at around thirty percent.

While the Jewish settlers receive incentives to move into the city, the main incentive being affordable, newly built, modern housing, the Palestinian citizens suffer from a severe housing crisis. The Palestinians in El-Lyd are forced to live in conditions that the Jewish residents of the city would not and probably could not even imagine. Forget garbage collection, electricity, roads or water supply. They are also subjected to violent crime and general negligence by the authorities.

Palestinian children play in what is left of a section of an Arab neighborhood in Lyd circa 2012. Oded Balilty | AP

MOVING FORWARD

The acceptable code for letting things get worse for Palestinians and do nothing about it is, “it’s too complicated,” or “justice and equality are utopian and will never happen.” Both are true in a sense, but allowing this reality to go on uninterrupted is in itself a crime that should not be tolerated.

The litmus test for Israelis who see themselves as liberals is the legitimacy of Israel itself. They will not budge unless they can be comforted and told that they too have legitimacy. I had a conversation about this with Bassem Tamimi from the village of Nabi Saleh. He told me a joke to illustrate this mentality that is so typical to Israelis. The joke is about a man in Egypt, but it can be told about any person from any place on Earth. A man goes to Alexandria and steals eight Egyptian pounds. He takes a train to Cairo and on the way, he says to every person he sees, “these are my eight pounds, they are mine, I never stole them!”

Israel is like that man, but it stole more than eight pounds. Israel stole and is now demanding legitimacy of its “ownership” of Palestine and its riches. Some of these riches are at this very moment being enjoyed by Jewish immigrants from Russia who came to Palestine over the last thirty years. They speak only Russian, their shops carry imported goods from Russia, and like my own grandparents who arrived one hundred years ago, they know little and care even less about Palestine and its people. They enjoy affordable beachfront housing, stipends and health care and yes, they enjoy the warm Mediterranean water in the bay between Haifa and Akka.

GIVING VOICE TO THE VOICELESS: TALES FROM THE PARENTS OF TORTURED PALESTINIAN CHILDREN

AUGUST 26TH, 2022

Source

By Miko Peled

BEIT HANINA, OCCUPIED JERUSALEM – The United States House of Representatives submission to Israel and Zionism is both pathetic and enraging. This total submission to the will and interests of the Zionist movement and the State of Israel does not serve the interests of the American people, and only goes to support a state that has been recognized as a racist, violent apartheid regime. As one Palestinian said to me recently, U.S. foreign aid for Israel goes towards my oppression and the killing of my people.

Nowhere is Congress’ blind support for Israel more heinous, more horrifying and more outrageous than the lack of support for the bill proposed by Representative Betty McCollum and known as, “Defending The Human Rights Of Palestinian Children And Families Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act”, or HR 2590.

When I asked the now defeated Representative Andy Levin about this issue, he said to me that, “no Jewish member of congress will sign the bill,” and when I asked why, he said that it was “anti-Israel.” His response was indicative of the problem. Knowing how Israel treats children makes it imperative to sign any bill that is, as he put it, “anti-Israel.” Why he feels that Jewish members of congress should express loyalty to Israel at all, and on this issue in particular, is another question, and one that needs to be explored. Many Jewish people in America resent the fact that they are somehow expected to be loyal and even held accountable for the actions of a country that wrongly declares itself to be the “Jewish State.”

TWO MOTHERS

Anyone who has been to Palestine and has taken the time to speak to Palestinian parents knows what they must endure when Israeli authorities take away their children. There is no law, no court, no human rights organization in the world that can protect Palestinian children from Israel. What these parents know and are unable to understand is the fact that the United States can protect their children, but elects not to do so.

Mourners pray over the bodies of six Palestinians, including children, killed by Israeli airstrikes in Jebaliya refugee camp, northern Gaza, Aug. 6, 2022. Abdel Kareem Hana | AP

Just a few days prior to writing these words, I had met with two Palestinian mothers on two separate occasions. One in the village of Nabi Saleh, and the other in Beit Hanina, Jerusalem. No parent with a beating heart can listen to their stories and refrain from crying. No person with a conscience can sit idly by as Israel tortures both children and parents on an ongoing basis and not want to raise their voice.

NABI SALEH

More has been written and said about the village of Nabi Saleh than one would expect for such a small place. Tucked in one of the most beautiful sports in Palestine, Nabi Saleh has about five hundred residents, all part of the Tamimi clan, one of the largest clans in Palestine. However, as they say, it’s not the size of the person, or in this case the village, in the fight, but the size of the fight in the person. Well, never has this been more true than in the case of Nabi Saleh. It is a small village with the heart and a fighting spirit larger than one hundred villages put together.

Probably the most famous fighter in Nabi Saleh is Ahed Tamimi, the daughter of my friends Bassem and Nariman whose home is like a second home to me. Bassem and Nariman have known their share of sorrow and pain with their own experiences and those of their children being taken by the occupying enemy. However, this particular story is about their cousins Osama and Hamada, as it was told to me by their mother Manal Tamimi.

All Palestinians know that interrogation by the Israeli authorities means torture. In this particular case, both the older sons of Manal and Bilal were taken at the same time. Osama was 19 years old and Hamada was about 17. Their interrogation lasted over three weeks, during which Osama had to be taken to the hospital twice. “We were not able to visit him in the hospital, nor did they tell us why he was taken to the hospital,” Manal told me. When the enemy occupier takes your children, you assume the worst.

Ahed Tamimi is brought to a courtroom inside the Ofer military prison near occupied Jerusalem, Jan. 15, 2018. (AP/Mahmoud Illean)
Ahed Tamimi is brought to a courtroom inside the Ofer military prison near occupied Jerusalem, Jan. 15, 2018. Mahmoud Illean | AP

“I used to sleep in their beds at night just to feel close to them. One night in Osama’s bed and one in Hamada’s,” Manal said. Knowing your child is being tortured, exposed to the elements, being treated so severely that he has to be taken to the hospital and having no ability to be there with him is more than any parent should have to endure. “The sensitivity to extreme light and loud noises remained with Hamada even after he was released,” she added.

Hamada, who is the younger of the two, spent twenty-two months in an Israeli prison. Osama was held for about a year. Manal and Bilal had to pay thousands of dollars, as all parents of Palestinian children have to do, before the authorities released them.

AHMAD MANASRA

I ran into Ahmad Manasra’s lawyer, Khaled Zbarka, in El-Lyd. We were there at a vigil commemorating the murder of Musa Hassuna at the hands of settlers in May 2021. I was introduced to Khaled by El-Lyd city councilwoman Fida Shehade. She suggested that I meet with Khaled and Amhad Manasra’s parents in Jerusalem, where they reside. As things turned out, Khaled was not available, and I went to meet Ahmad’s parents without him.

The story of Ahmad Manasra is well documented, and the latest development is that on August 16 the Israeli court in Bi’r Saba held a hearing regarding his extended isolation in solitary confinement. “He sits there in that cell with nothing but the four walls surrounding him,” his father, Abu-Ahmed, said to me over and over again. The Israeli court rejected the request to end isolation and the recommendation by several mental health experts and international human rights organizations to release him to a mental health care facility where he could receive the urgent care he requires.

Ahmad was badly injured when he was arrested. He had been beaten, run over, and suffered from bleeding and internal injuries. This was seven years ago: he was thirteen years old at the time. His mother thought he was dead at first. Only after a day was she told that he was still alive. Ahmad was handcuffed to a bed at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem. His parents were still not permitted to see him. One can hardly imagine the pain of a parent whose child is in hospital but is not allowed to comfort them.

When he was released from the hospital, he was sent to an institution for young offenders. Only after two months of horrifying experiences there were his parents permitted to see their child.

“We were told our boy was involved in a terror attack!” His mother, Umm Ahmad, told me, still in shock by the absurd notion that her sweet, sensitive son could be accused of something like that. His cousin, fifteen, who was also there, was shot on the scene by bystanders. “At thirteen they accused him of terrorism,” Abu Ahmad said over and over. “Thirteen years old a terrorist? Who can accuse a child or terrorism?”

Visits are limited to forty-five minutes once a month. “When he is in the hospital, which often happens for Ahmad, they are not permitted to see him. “He was moved between prisons about ten times,” Abu Ahmad said. I mentioned that this is a violation of international law. His reply was, “Ahmad’s entire case is a violation of international laws. Imagine that: at the age of thirteen, he was interrogated without the presence of a parent or a lawyer.” When the parents plan a visit, very often they receive a message two days before they leave. “They will notify us that he was moved and so the visit is postponed and we cannot see him for another month,” Abu Ahmad told me.

PRESSURE

The text of the bill to defend Palestinian children can be found here, and the list of co-sponsors, here. Anyone who is eligible to vote in the upcoming midterm election needs to demand that their candidate commit to adding their name to this bill. No consideration should come before the well being of a child.

Iran’s UN Envoy Slams “Israel” Refusal to Join NPT, Urges Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in ME

August 27, 2022

By Staff, Agencies

A senior Iranian diplomat has denounced the “Israeli” entity’s continued refusal to join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty [NPT], stressing that establishing a Middle East region free of nuclear weapons is of utmost importance.

Iran’s ambassador and permanent representative to the United Nations, Majid Takht-Ravanchi, made the remarks while speaking to reporters on Friday on the sidelines of the Tenth Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons held at the UN headquarters in New York.

“The issue of the Middle East as a region free of nuclear weapons is one of the important discussions… because the ‘Israeli’ regime, as the only possessor of hundreds of nuclear warheads, is not ready to join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and place its nuclear facilities under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency,” he said.

He added that the “Israeli” entity’s refusal to join the NPT comes as some countries are cooperating with the regime and have always supported it.

The Iranian delegation attending the tenth NPT review conference played a constructive role in highlighting the significance of a Middle East region free of weapons of mass destruction, he said

As documents relating to the NPT review conferences in 1995, 2000, and 2010 have explicitly announced that the apartheid “Israeli” regime must join the treaty, the Iranian team emphasized that the issue should also be included in the final statement of the 10th NPT review meeting, Takht-Ravanchi added.

He emphasized that during the current conference, the Islamic Republic clearly announced that it would not back down from its stance on the importance of a Middle East without any weapons of mass destruction.

“We said that this issue is one of the red lines of the Islamic Republic of Iran and if they want to act honestly and constructively, the literature used in the statements of previous conferences should also be used in this conference in order to move towards a Middle East without nuclear weapons,” the senior Iranian diplomat pointed out.

He noted that Iran seeks to reach a consensus with the participants at the current NPT review conference but it has principles and certain measures must be carried out.

In a Monday address to the Tenth Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, Takht-Ravanchi expressed concern over the lack of progress in the implementation of the 1995 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty [NPT] resolution and the 2010 action plan on the Middle East, saying the “Israeli” regime must eliminate its stockpile of nuclear weapons.

Takht-Ravanchi also slammed the US double standards, saying the entity’s accession to the NPT “without precondition and further delay” and the placement of all of its nuclear activities and facilities under the comprehensive IAEA safeguards are “essential in realizing the goal of universal adherence to the Treaty in the Middle East and the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East.”

The “Israeli” entity, which pursues a policy of deliberate ambiguity about its nuclear weapons, is estimated to possess 200 to 400 nuclear warheads in its arsenal, making it the sole possessor of non-conventional arms in West Asia.

The illegitimate entity has, however, refused to either allow inspections of its military nuclear facilities or sign the NPT.

What has emboldened Tel Aviv to accelerate its nuclear activities, according to observers, is the support from the US and Europe, the two countries most critical of Iran’s peaceful nuclear program.

The regime has assassinated at least seven Iranian nuclear scientists and conducted a series of sabotage operations against the Islamic Republic’s nuclear facilities.

Mexican duo Rodrigo y Gabriela cancel controversial ‘Tel Aviv’ concert

August 12, 2022

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen English 

In a series of concert cancellations, Rodrigo y Gabriela has become one of many artists to terminate their show in “Tel Aviv” following an uproar from human rights activists.

Rodrigo y Gabriela (Guitar.com)

Various artists and musicians have been joining hands in canceling shows in apartheid “Israel”, especially in light of the 2021 and 2022 Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip and after a massive global uproar from fans and human rights defenders. 

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), a founding member of the BDS movement, welcomed the decision of the Mexican band, Rodrigo y Gabriela, who announced the termination of their upcoming show hours before it was due to take place in the Tel Aviv Culture Center, just a short drive from where the Israeli occupation killed 48 Palestinians including 19 children and injured 360 more.

Chain of cancellations by global musicians 

Even before the attacks on Gaza, Rodrigo y Gabriela had privately told the Palestinian group Le Trio Joubran that they had ditched the Tel Aviv concert. Le Trio Joubran, renowned oud marvels, had appealed last month to the Mexican band to cancel their appearance by urging on social media: “Please Rod and Gabi, take the right decision”.

During the band’s show at the Esperanzah festival in Belgium, fans waved the Palestinian flags and keffiyehs and urged Rodrigo y Gabriela to cancel the concert in the occupied territories. 

Irish actor Steve Wall also appealed to the band, joined by Mexican and Irish human rights defenders. Rodrigo y Gabriela spent eight years living and working in Dublin, after originating in Mexico and becoming known for heavy metal, nuevo flamenco, and rock. 

While the duo did not publicly address their cancellation of the concert in apartheid “Israel”, they posted a tweet two days before it had been due to take place that their tour was now over – now the third apartheid “Tel Aviv” concert to be canceled this summer. 

Another was US band Big Thief who apologized to their fans in June for their announcement of two shows in apartheid “Israel”, and voiced their opposition to “the systematic oppression of the Palestinian people”. That did not sit well with the venue Barby in which they were supposed to play, calling the band a “bunch of miserable, spineless musicians”.

Read more: South Africans call to cancel Justin Bieber’s concert in “Israel”

Canadian group BADBADNOTGOOD followed suit and announced the cancellation of their concert at Barby as well, as a result of appeals from fans and activists which were privately verified. 

The PACBI urged all artists to reject offers from “Israel’s” cultural sector that is complicit in apartheid and to refuse to “art-wash” “Israel’s” massacres. 

CROWDFUNDING COLONIALISM: WHO IS BANKROLLING ISRAEL’S LATEST EXCURSION INTO THE WEST BANK?

JULY 22ND, 2022

Source

By Jessica Buxbaum

OCCUPIED WEST BANK — On Wednesday, thousands of Israeli settlers from the Nachala settler group — along with Israeli lawmakers — flocked to the occupied West Bank and established seven illegal outposts in a land grab operation propelled by a massive fundraising campaign.

By Thursday evening, Israeli forces evacuated the day-old outposts and detained and later released 11 settlers. Despite the evictions, Nachala remains determined to continue building on land they claim is only reserved for Jews, with plans to set up new outposts as early as next week.

Nachala, the group responsible for the infamous Evyatar outpost erected last year, has been preparing since April to establish outposts en masse in July. Initially, the plan was to build 28 new outposts throughout the West Bank, but that number was scaled back in recent days. Settlements are legal under Israeli law, but illegal according to international law. Outposts, makeshift encampments built by settlers, are illegal under both Israeli and international law, but some have been retroactively authorized by the Israeli government.

Despite outposts being illegal, Nachala widely advertised its plan on social media and in news outlets. The Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz, the Israeli army, and Israel Police all issued statements on Tuesday saying security forces will be deployed to thwart any action.

This particular outpost operation was made possible through Nachala’s fundraising efforts, specifically, a crowdfunding campaign that raised over 5 million shekels (or $1.5 million) so far.

Several left-wing organizations have denounced Nachala’s efforts, including Israeli human rights group, Yesh Din, and activist organizations, Peace Now and Looking the Occupation in the Eye. On Wednesday, activists confronted Nachala settlers at several sites throughout the West Bank.

Guy Hirschfeld, an activist with Looking the Occupation in the Eye, told MintPress News the group contacted the Israel Police, Israel Tax Authority, and Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz before Nachala’s operation was carried out, but still, nothing was done to prevent Nachala’s plans from being executed, saying,

It’s all by the state and its part of the big plan of ethnic cleansing of Palestine.”

THE MONEY BEHIND THE MOVEMENT

Nachala is funded in a myriad of ways. The settlement movement receives money through its financial arm, Geula Titnu La’aretz (in English: “the land shall be redeemed”), a registered non-profit in Israel’s Registrar of Associations, through its public benefit company, Hakupah Haleumit Lebinyan Eretz Yisrael or “The National Fund for the Building of the Land of Israel Ltd.,” and through donations. A spokesperson for Nachala did not respond to requests for comment on the organization’s funding and settlement operation tactics.

Similar to how Nachala raised money to build the Evyatar outpost, the settler group has again used the fundraising site Charidy for its recent settlement-building operation. Charidy is an Israeli subsidiary of the American company of the same name. Charidy did not respond to requests for comment on its platform being used to fund illegal activity.

The largest donation was for 1 million shekels (about $290,000) from an anonymous donor. Other significant donations came from Friends of Nachala Toronto and Beit Midrash for the Torah of the Land of Israel, a Jewish study center in the Israeli city of Petah Tikva.

Israeli settlers
Jewish Settlers march in the hills of the Palestinian West Bank to build a new colony outside the settlement of Barkan, July 20, 2022. Ilia Yefimovich | dpa | AP

The Nachala movement also supports itself through Geula Titnu La’aretz and Hakupah Haleumit Lebinyan Eretz Yisrael, both of which act as real estate companies. Hakupah Haleumit Lebinyan Eretz Yisrael was set up in 2017 to buy privately-owned Palestinian land. Geula Titnu La’aretz has also engaged in real estate deals, although it remains unclear if their land purchases have materialized.

Geula Titnu La’aretz didn’t file annual reports with the Israeli registrar in the last two years, and therefore lost its certification of compliance this year. The latest financial data states it received nearly $140,000 in 2019 — all domestic contributions. Hakupah Haleumit Lebinyan Eretz Yisrael received nearly $200,000 in 2020, according to its recent filings. The majority of that sum — about $150,000 — came from abroad. Neither organization’s registrar files provide information on where these donations are from.

While organizations listed in the Israeli registrar are required to report financial data, they do not have to detail where the specific contributions originated. In 2016, Israel passed an amendment to the Transparency Law requiring all non-profit organizations that receive 50% or more of their funding from foreign government entities to disclose these grants. Critics argue this piece of legislation unfairly targets left-wing organizations, specifically human rights groups, which receive a majority of their funding from foreign governments, compared to right-wing groups which receive most of their monies from private entities.

Hirschfeld described how this lack of transparency helps keep Israeli settlement funding a secret. “The right wing doesn’t have to declare where the money is from,” he said.

There is a lot of evangelist money, fascist money from Europe and the state, and things like this, but they don’t have to publish it, so it’s difficult to follow the money of the right-wing organizations.”

Like other Israeli organizations, Nachala has a U.S. wing entitled Friends of Nachala Israel. However, Friends of Nachala Israel does not have a website nor is the organization registered with the Internal Revenue Services, so information on its director or funding isn’t known.

BACKED BY THE STATE

The Nachala movement has received significant backing from Israeli society. Several politicians and prominent rabbis have endorsed Nachala’s operations, including Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked and Israeli members of parliament, Bezalel Smotrich, Simcha Rothman, May Golan, and Orit Strouk.

While Israeli right-wing organizations have been promoting Nachala’s activity, in particular the American non-profit, Americans For A Safe Israel, has openly supported Nachala’s activity online. The group’s followers have also reportedly donated to the Evyatar outpost last year, according to AFSI’s director.

And while Israeli authorities worked to dismantle the outposts, activists assert the Nachala group is supported by the Israeli state, specifically through settlement municipalities. “This plan is being promoted by more than 20 Israeli right-wing movements and bodies led by the Nachala Settlement Movement, with active involvement and support from settlements and regional and local municipalities.” Yesh Din’s executive director, Ziv Stahl, wrote in a letter to the U.S. ambassador to Israel, Thomas R. Nides.

As evidenced on Nachala’s Charidy site, several settlements donated to its campaign, including Gush Etzion, Kedumim, Bet El, and Mateh Binyamin Regional Council, which governs 46 settlements and outposts in the West Bank.

“These settlement municipalities are strongly cooperating with [Nachala],” Dror Etkes, an anti-settlement activist and founder of Israeli land research organization, Kerem Navot, told MintPress News.

Etkes detailed that through local and regional settlement councils, Nachala is provided with road access, electricity, water, building contractors, and other equipment.

“[Nachala’s operation] cannot work without governmental money. It cannot work without consent of the governmental bodies, military, police, and the Civil Administration,” Etkes said, describing how Nachala settlers were surveying the land for weeks prior to building the recent string of outposts. “Not only did the military not stop them, but they actually helped.”

With Israel’s current interim government, Nachala’s plans may not come fully into fruition, given their outposts were torn down in a day. But if a right-wing extremist coalition takes power in November, then Nachala may gain the political reality needed to execute their land grab fantasies.

THE SHAMEFUL UN ‘LIST OF SHAME’: EQUATING BETWEEN THE ISRAELI PERPETRATOR AND THE PALESTINIAN VICTIM

JULY 20TH, 2022

Source

By Ramzy Baroud

We regret we failed to protect you. This was part of a statement issued by United Nations human rights experts on July 14, urging the Israeli government to release Palestinian prisoner Ahmad Manasra. Only 14 years old at the time of his arrest and torture by Israeli forces, Manasra is now 20 years old. His case is a representation of Israel’s overall inhumane treatment of Palestinian children.

The experts’ statement was forceful and heartfelt. It accused Israel of depriving young Manasra “of his childhood, family environment, protection and all the rights he should have been guaranteed as a child.” It referred to the case as ‘haunting’, considering Manasra’s “deteriorating mental conditions”. The statement went further, declaring that “this case … is a stain on all of us as part of the international human rights community”.

Condemning Israel for its ill-treatment of Palestinian children, whether those under siege in war-stricken Gaza, or under military occupation and apartheid in the rest of the occupied territories in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, is commonplace.

Yet, somehow, Israel was still spared a spot on the unflattering list, issued annually by the United Nations Secretary-General, naming and shaming governments and groups that commit grave violations against children and minors anywhere in the world.

Oddly, the report does recognize Israel’s horrific record of violating children’s rights in Palestine. It details some of these violations, which UN workers have directly verified. This includes “2,934 grave violations against 1,208 Palestinian children” in the year 2021 alone. However, the report equates between Israel’s record, one of the most dismal in the world, and that of Palestinians, namely the fact that 9 Israeli children were impacted by Palestinian violence in that whole year.

Though the deliberate harming of a single child is regrettable regardless of the circumstances or the perpetrator, it is mind-boggling that the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres found it appropriate to equate the systematic violations carried out by the Israeli military as a matter of course and the 9 Israeli minors harmed by Palestinian armed groups, whether intentionally or not.

To deal with the obvious discrepancy between Palestinian and Israeli child victims, the UN report lumped together all categories to distract from the identity of the perpetrator, thus lessening the focus on the Israeli crimes. For example, the report states that a total of 88 children were killed throughout Palestine, of whom 69 were killed in Gaza and 17 in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. However, the report breaks down these murders in such a way that conflates Palestinian and Israeli children as if purposely trying to confuse the reader. When read carefully, one discovers that all of these killings were carried out by Israeli forces, except for two.

More, the report uses the same logic to break down the number of children maimed in the conflict, though of the 1,128 maimed children, only 7 were Israelis. Of the remainder, 661 were maimed in Gaza and 464 in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

The report goes on to blame “armed Palestinian groups” for some of the Palestinian casualties, who were allegedly injured as a result of “accidents involving children who were near to military training exercises”. Assuming that this is the case, accidents of this nature cannot be considered “grave violations” as they are, by the UN’s own definition, accidental.

The confusing breakdown of these numbers, however, was itself not accidental, as it allowed Guterres the space to declare that “should the situation repeat itself in 2022, without meaningful improvement, Israel should be listed.”

Worse, Guterres’ report went further to reassure the Israelis that they are on the right track by stating that “so far this year, we have not witnessed a similar number of violations”, as if to suggest that the right-wing Israeli government of Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid has purposely changed its policies regarding the targeting of Palestinian children. Of course, there is no evidence of this whatsoever.

On June 27, Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCIP) reported that Israel “had been intensifying its aggression” against children in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since the beginning of 2022. DCIP confirmed that as many as 15 Palestinian children were killed by Israeli forces in the first six months of 2022, almost the same number killed in the same regions throughout the entirety of the previous year. This number includes 5 children in the occupied city of Jenin alone. Israel even targeted journalists who attempted to report on these violations, including Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was killed on May 11, and Ali Samoudi, who was shot in the back on the very same day.

Much more can be said, of course, about the besiegement of hundreds of thousands of children in the Gaza Strip, known as the ‘world’s largest open-air prison’, and many more in the occupied West Bank. The lack of basic human rights, including life-saving medicine and, in the case of Gaza, clean water, hardly suggests any measurable improvement in Israel’s track record as far as Palestinian children’s rights are concerned.

If you think that the UN report is a step in the right direction, think again. 2014 was one of the most tragic years for Palestinian children where, according to a previous UN report, 557 children were killed and 4,249 were injured, the vast majority of whom were targeted during the Israeli war on Gaza. Human Rights Watch stated that the number of killed Palestinians “was the third-highest in the world that year”. Still, Israel was not blacklisted on the UN ‘List of Shame’. The clear message here is that Israel may target Palestinian children as it pleases, as there will be no legal, political or moral accountability for its actions.

This is not what Palestinians are expecting from the United Nations, an organization that supposedly exists to end armed conflicts and bring about peace and security for all. For now, the message emanating from the world’s largest international institution to Manasra and the rest of Palestine’s children will remain unchanged: “We regret we failed to protect you.”

CHOMSKY ON ISRAELI APARTHEID, CELEBRITY ACTIVISTS, BDS AND THE ONE-STATE SOLUTION

Chomsky believes that calling Israeli policies towards Palestinians “apartheid” is actually a “gift to Israel”, at least, if by apartheid one refers to the South-African style apartheid.

JULY 5TH, 2022

RAMZY BAROUD

This is, according to the Italian socialist Antonio Gramsci, the ‘interregnum’- the rare and seismic moment in history when great transitions occur, when empires collapse and others rise, and when new conflicts and struggles ensue.

The Gramscian ‘interregnum, however, is not a smooth transition, for these profound changes often embody a ‘crisis,’ which “consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born”.

“In this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear,” the anti-fascist intellectual wrote in his famous “Prison Notebooks”.

Even before the Russia-Ukraine war and the subsequent deepening of the Russia-NATO crisis, the world was clearly experiencing an interregnum of sorts – the Iraq war, the Afghanistan war, the global recession, the rising inequality, the destabilization of the Middle East, the ‘Arab Spring’, the refugee crisis, the new ‘scramble for Africa’, the US attempt at weakening China, the US’ own political instability, the war on democracy and decline of the American empire ..

Recent events, however, have finally given these earth-shattering changes greater clarity, with Russia making its move against NATO expansion, and with China and other rising economies – BRICS nations – refusing to toe the American line.

To reflect on all of these changes, and more, we spoke with the world’s ‘most cited’ and respected intellectual, MIT Professor Noam Chomsky.

The main objective of our interview was to examine the challenges and opportunities facing the Palestinian struggle during this ongoing ‘interregnum’. Chomsky shared with us his views about the war in Ukraine and its actual root causes.

The interview, however, largely focused on Palestine, Chomsky’s views of the language, the tactics and solutions affiliated with the Palestinian struggle and the Palestinian discourse. Below are some of Chomsky’s thoughts on these issues, taken from a longer conversation that can be viewed here.

CHOMSKY ON ISRAELI APARTHEID

Chomsky believes that calling Israeli policies towards Palestinians “apartheid” is actually a “gift to Israel”, at least, if by apartheid one refers to the South-African style apartheid.

“I have held for a long time that the Occupied Territories are much worse than South Africa. South Africa needed its black population, it relied on them,” Chomsky said, adding: “The black population was 85% of the population. It was the workforce; the country couldn’t function without that population and, as a result, they tried to make their situation more or less tolerable to the international community. (…) They were hoping for international recognition, which they didn’t get.”

So, if the Bantustans were, in Chomsky’s opinion, “more or less livable,” the same “is not true for the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories. Israel just wants to get rid of the people, doesn’t want them. And its policies for the last 50 years, with not much variation, have been just somehow making life unlivable, so you will go somewhere else.”

These repressive policies apply in the entirety of the Palestinian territory: “In Gaza, (they) just destroy them,” Chomsky said. “There’s over two million people now living in hideous conditions, barely survivable. International law organizations say that they are not likely to even be able to survive in a couple of years. (…) In the Occupied Territories, in the West Bank, atrocities (take place) every day.”

Chomsky also thinks that Israel, unlike South Africa, is not seeking the international community’s approval. “The brazenness of Israeli actions is pretty striking. They do what they want, knowing the United States will support them. Well, this is much worse than what happened in South Africa; it’s not an effort to somehow accommodate the Palestinian population as a suppressed workforce, it’s just to get rid of them.”

CHOMSKY ON THE NEW PALESTINIAN UNITY

The events of May 2021 and the popular unity among Palestinians are “a very positive change”, in Chomsky’s opinion. “For one thing, what has severely impeded the Palestinian struggle is the conflict between Hamas and the PLO. If it’s not resolved, it’s a great gift to Israel.”

Palestinians also managed to overcome the territorial fragmentation, according to Chomsky: “Also, the split between the legal boundaries” separating Israel from “the expanded area of greater Palestine” was always a hindrance to Palestinian unity. That is now being overcome, as the Palestinian struggle “is turning into the same struggle. Palestinians are all in it together.”

“B’tselem and Human Rights Watch’s description of the whole region as a region of apartheid – though I don’t entirely agree with it for the reasons I mentioned, because I think it’s not harsh enough – nevertheless, it is a step towards recognizing that there is something crucially in common between all this area.”

“So, I think this is a positive step. It is wise and promising for Palestinians to recognize ‘we’re all in it together’, and that includes the diaspora communities. Yes, it’s a common struggle,” Chomsky concluded.

CHOMSKY ON ONE STATE, TWO STATES

Though support for a one state has grown exponentially in recent years, to the extent that a recent public opinion poll conducted by the Jerusalem Media and Communication Center (JMCC), concluded that a majority of Palestinians in the West Bank now supports the one-state solution, Chomsky warns against discussions that don’t prioritize the more urgent conversation of Tel Aviv’s colonial quest for a “greater Israel.”

“We should not be deluded into thinking that events are developing towards a one-state outcome or towards a confederation, as it’s now being discussed by some of the Israeli left. It’s not moving in that direction, that’s not even an option for now. Israel will never accept it as long as it has the option of greater Israel. And, furthermore, there is no support for it in the international community, none. Not even the African states.”

“The two-states, well, we can talk about it but you have to recognize that we have to struggle against the ongoing live option of a greater Israel.” Indeed, according to Chomsky, “much of the discussion of this topic seems to me misplaced.”

“It is mostly a debate between two states and one state that eliminates the most important option, the live option, the one that’s being pursued, namely greater Israel. Establishing a greater Israel, where Israel takes over whatever it wants in the West Bank, crushes Gaza, and annexes – illegally – the Syrian Golan Heights .., just takes what it wants, avoids the Palestinian population concentrations, so, it doesn’t incorporate them. They don’t want the Palestinians because of what is called the democratic Jewish state, the pretense of a democratic Jewish state in which the state is the sovereign state of the Jewish people. So, my state, but not the state of some Palestinian villager.”

Chomsky continues, “To maintain that pretense, you have to keep a large Jewish majority, then you can somehow pretend it’s not repressive. But so the policy is a greater Israel, in which you won’t have any demographic problem. The main concentrations of Palestinians are excluded in other areas, they are basically being expelled.”

CHOMSKY ON BDS, INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY

We also asked Chomsky about the growing solidarity with Palestinians on the international stage, on social media, and the support for the Palestinian struggle among many public personalities and celebrities.

“I don’t think mainstream celebrities mean that much. What matters is what is happening among the general population in the United States. In Israel, unfortunately, the population is moving to the right. It is one of the few countries I know, maybe the only one, where younger people are more reactionary than older ones.”

“The United States is going in the opposite direction,” Chomsky continued, as “young people are more critical of Israel, more and more supportive of Palestinian rights.”

Regarding the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS), Chomsky acknowledged the significant role played by the global grassroots movement, though he noted that BDS “has a mixed record”. The movement should become “more flexible (and) more thoughtful about the effects of actions”, Chomsky noted.

“The groundwork is there,” Chomsky concluded. “It is necessary to think carefully about how to carry it forward.”

Feature photo | Graphic by MintPress News

Dr. Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of six books. His latest book, co-edited with Ilan Pappé, is “Our Vision for Liberation: Engaged Palestinian Leaders and Intellectuals Speak out”. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA). His website is www.ramzybaroud.net

Romana Rubeo is an Italian writer and the managing editor of The Palestine Chronicle. Her articles appeared in many online newspapers and academic journals. She holds a Master’s Degree in Foreign Languages and Literature and specializes in audio-visual and journalism translation.

Stories published in our Daily Digests section are chosen based on the interest of our readers. They are republished from a number of sources, and are not produced by MintPress News. The views expressed in these articles are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect MintPress News editorial policy.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect MintPress News editorial policy.

PALESTINIANS ‘ARE NOT ANIMALS IN A ZOO’: REDEFINING THE ROLE OF THE ‘VICTIM INTELLECTUAL’

JULY 1ST, 2022

Source

by Ramzy Baroud

DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF GHASSAN KANAFANI, AN ICONIC PALESTINIAN LEADER AND ENGAGED INTELLECTUAL WHO WAS ASSASSINATED BY THE ISRAELI MOSSAD ON JULY 8, 1972.

Years before the United States invaded Iraq in 2003, U.S. media introduced many new characters, promoting them as “experts” who helped ratchet up propaganda, ultimately allowing the U.S. government to secure enough popular support for the war.

Though enthusiasm for war began dwindling in later years, the invasion began with a relatively strong popular mandate that allowed President George W. Bush to claim the role of liberator of Iraq, the fighter of “terrorism” and the champion of U.S. global interests. According to a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll published on March 24, 2003 – just a few days after the invasion – 72% of Americans were in favor of the war.

Only now are we beginning to fully appreciate the massive edifice of lies, deceit, and forgery involved in shaping the war narrative, and the sinister role played by mainstream media in demonizing Iraq and its people. Future historians will continue with the task of unpacking the war conspiracy for years to come.

Consequently, it is also important to acknowledge the role played by Iraq’s own “native informants”, a group that the late professor Edward Said labeled as “willing servant[s] of imperialism”.

Thanks to the various American invasions and military interventions, these “informants” have grown in number and usefulness to the extent that, in various Western intellectual and media circles, they define what is erroneously viewed as “facts” concerning most Arab and Muslim countries. From Afghanistan to Iran, Syria, Palestine, Libya, and, of course, Iraq, these “experts” are constantly parroting messages that are tailored to fit Western agendas.

These native informants are often depicted as political dissidents. They are recruited – whether officially via government-funded think tanks or otherwise – to provide a convenient depiction of the “realities” in the Middle East and elsewhere as a rational, political or moral justification for war and various other forms of intervention.

VICTIM INTELLECTUALS

Though this phenomenon is widely understood – especially as its dangerous consequences became too apparent in the cases of Iraq and Afghanistan – another phenomenon rarely receives the necessary attention. In the second scenario, the “intellectual” is not necessarily an “informant”, but a victim, whose message is entirely shaped by his sense of self-pity and victimhood. In the process of communicating that collective victimhood, this intellectual does their people a disfavor by presenting them as hapless and having no human agency whatsoever.

Palestine is a case in point. The Palestine “victim intellectual” is not an intellectual in any classic definition. Said refers to the intellectual as “an individual endowed with a faculty for representing, embodying, articulating a message, a view, an attitude, philosophy or opinion”.  Gramsci argued that intellectuals are those who “sustain, modify and alter modes of thinking and behavior of the masses. They are purveyors of consciousness”. The “victim intellectual” is none of these.

In the case of Palestine, this phenomenon was not accidental. Due to the limited spaces available to Palestinian thinkers to speak openly and truly about Israeli crimes and about Palestinian resistance to military occupation and Apartheid, some have strategically chosen to use whatever available margins to communicate any kind of messaging that could be nominally accepted by Western media and audiences.

In other words, in order for Palestinian intellectuals to be able to operate within the margins of mainstream western society, or even within the space allocated by certain pro-Palestinian groups, they can only be “allowed to narrate” as “purveyors” of victimhood. Nothing more.

Those familiar with the Palestinian intellectual discourse, in general, especially following the first major Israeli war on Gaza in 2008-9, must have noticed how accepted Palestinian narratives regarding the war rarely deviate from the decontextualized and depoliticized Palestinian victim discourse. While understanding the depravity of Israel and the horrondousness of its war crimes is critical, Palestinian voices that are given a stage to address these crimes are frequently denied the chance to present their narratives in the form of strong political or geopolitical analyses, let alone denounce Israel’s Zionist ideology or proudly defend Palestinian resistance.

Much has been written about the hypocrisy of the West in handling the aftermath of the Russia-Ukraine war, especially when compared to the decades-long Israeli occupation of Palestine or the genocidal Israeli wars in Gaza. But little has been said about the nature of the Ukrainian messaging as compared to those of Palestinians: the former is demanding and entitled, while the latter mostly passive and bashful.

While top Ukrainian officials often tweet statements instructing Western officials to “go f**k yourselves” or similar, their Palestinian equivalents are constantly begging and pleading. The irony is that Ukrainian officials are attacking the very nations that have supplied them with billions of dollars of arms, while Palestinian officials are careful not to offend the same nations that support Israel with the very weapons used to kill Palestinian civilians.

One may argue that Palestinians are tailoring their language to accommodate whichever political and media spaces that are available to them. This, however, hardly explains why many Palestinians, even within “friendly” political and academic environments, can only see their people as victims and nothing else.

NOT JUST VICTIMS

This is hardly a new phenomenon. It goes back to the early years of the Israeli war on the Palestinian people. Leftist Palestinian intellectual Ghassan Kanafani, like others, was aware of this dichotomy. Kanafani contributed to the intellectual awareness among various revolutionary societies in the Global South during a critical era for national liberation struggles worldwide. He was the posthumous recipient of the Afro-Asian Writers’ Conferences Lotus Prize for Literature in 1975, three years after he was assassinated by Israel in Beirut, in July 1972.

Like others in his generation, Kanafani was adamant in presenting Palestinian victimization as part and parcel of a complex political reality of Israeli military occupation, Western colonialism and U.S.-led imperialism. A famous story is often told about how he met his wife, Anni in South Lebanon. When Anni, a Danish journalist, arrived in Lebanon in 1961, she asked Kanafani if she could visit the Palestinian refugee camps. “My people are not animals in a zoo,” Kanafani replied, adding, “You must have a good background about them before you go and visit.” The same logic can be applied to Gaza, to Sheikh Jarrah and Jenin.

The Palestinian struggle cannot be reduced to a conversation about poverty or the horrors of war, but must be expanded to include wider political contexts that led to the current tragedies in the first place. The role of the Palestinian intellectual cannot stop at conveying the victimization of the people of Palestine, leaving the much more consequential and intellectually demanding role of unpacking historical, political and geopolitical facts to others, some of whom often speak on behalf of Palestinians.

It is quite uplifting and rewarding to finally see more Palestinian voices included in the discussion about Palestine. In some cases, Palestinians are even taking center stage in these conversations. However, for the Palestinian narrative to be truly relevant, Palestinians must assume the role of the Gramscian intellectual, as “purveyors of consciousness” and abandon the role of the “victim intellectual” altogether. The Palestinian people are indeed not animals in a zoo, but a nation with political agency, capable of articulating, resisting, and, ultimately, winning their freedom, as part of a much greater fight for justice and liberation throughout the world.

AHMAD MANASRA AND THE CRIME OF EXISTING WHILE PALESTINIAN

JULY 1ST, 2022

By Miko Peled

Source

Conversations with Palestinians both young and old almost always end with them saying to me, “you [a Jewish Israeli] can say these things, but if we were to say them we would be excluded from all spaces and we would be called anti-semitic.” A young Palestinian interning in Washington, D.C. told me she felt that she needed an Israeli beside her to give her legitimacy. Not in her own eyes, but in the eyes of the D.C. establishment. Sadly, she is probably correct; in the anti-Arab, and particularly anti-Palestinian atmosphere in Washington, this is very likely true.

About ten years ago my very good friend Bassem Tamimi from Nabi Saleh told me the following story: He was in the United States for a speaking tour and on a certain occasion, an American activist came up and warmly shook his hand. He said to Bassem that since he, Bassem, is a friend of mine, then he too welcomes him. This was the same kind of skewed reality whereby people feel an Israeli is the barometer by which a Palestinian is to be measured. Bassem proceeded to tell the man that although it is true that he and I are friends, and that I slept at his house many times, he does not accept that anyone will judge him on the basis of his friendship with me. That was the end of that conversation and Bassem walked away from this person.

Bassem mentioned this story many, many times during our years of friendship, and he continues to do so, particularly when there are people around who may be thinking the way the man in the story does. I told this young Palestinian the story about Bassem and said that had he not had that kind of integrity, he and I could never have become friends.

A CHASM

There exists a chasm between the reality in Palestine and the way that reality is perceived by the “establishment” in Washington, D.C. Palestinians’ existence in their own country is tantamount to a living hell. Certainly, there are Palestinians who managed to secure a relatively comfortable life within the parameters set for them by Israel, but that does not mean it is any less of a living hell.

The Amnesty International report on Apartheid in Palestine speaks to this issue as well. Just because there are Palestinians who do live well and can survive and work and raise their children somewhat normally within the system of oppression, does not make the system less oppressive or the crime of Apartheid less violent.

One example of this violence is Israel’s administrative detention and torture of Palestinians. Amnesty International published a report about child prisoner Ahmed Manasra, stating that,

Israel continues to perpetrate widespread as well as systematic human rights violations against Palestinians, including children, against a backdrop of decades of state-sponsored discrimination, segregation and persecution.

Had he not been a Palestinian held by Isreal, the entire world would have stood up for Ahmed. Mansara was arrested when he was only 13 years old and was interrogated with no lawyer or parent present. A disturbing video showing his arrest and interrogation went viral.

The Amnesty International report states in no uncertain terms that his arrest and the conditions in which he has been held are tantamount to, “a flagrant violation of international law.” Amnesty goes on to say, “There is evidence that the treatment of Ahmed Manasra fits a wider pattern of discrimination against Palestinian children in the Israeli criminal justice system.” Manasra is, “still in prison despite worsening mental health.”

Amnesty demanded that the Israeli authorities release Manasra and immediately provide him with the medical and mental health care that he needs. Much of the deterioration of his mental health care is directly related to the manner in which both prison authorities and the Shabak – Israel’s secret police – treated him. These include prolonged periods of solitary confinement.

Again, from the Amnesty report:

Ahmad Manasra has been held in prolonged solitary confinement since the beginning of November 2021, in violation of the absolute prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment.

There is no surprise – much less an outcry – that Israel regularly uses solitary confinement, as does the United States, as a tool for punishing inmates. Amnesty goes on to report that,

The Israel Prison Service asked to renew Ahmad’s solitary confinement for a further six months on 17 April 2022. A hearing that was scheduled to be held on 15 June 2022 with regards to his solitary confinement was postponed to a later date.

Ahmad Manasra’s mental health worsened during his incarceration to a point where there is a concern for his life. In October 2021, an independent Israeli clinical psychologist working with Physicians for Human Rights diagnosed him with severe psychiatric conditions and stated these had developed since his incarceration.

AN ABSURD REALITY

The vicious crimes perpetrated by Israel against Palestinians are well documented by credible agencies with no affiliation to either Israel or the Palestinians, such as Amnesty and Human Rights Watch. However, when Israel is mentioned in the halls of power in Washington, D.C., there seems to be a sense of awe and admiration. This is also true in many churches and other non-governmental organizations.

Palestinians are far less welcome and when they are invited, they need to be sponsored – if not physically accompanied by an organization that includes Israelis or at least the blessing of Israelis. As was mentioned earlier, while many Palestinians reject this reality, others feel they cannot otherwise have their voice heard.

Perhaps this is a good time to speak of Palestinian generosity. For nearly a century, Palestinians by and large have been trying to make peace with the fact their country was taken and they have been forced to live as refugees or second-class citizens. Palestine, a country that was widely known had all of a sudden become a footnote to Israel. Israelis who consider themselves “progressives” are willing to “give” Palestinians a small portion of Palestine in order to have their own state. However, the real generosity is that Palestinians (in general) agree to the creation of a single democracy with equal rights in all of historic Palestine. Not to confine the Jewish settler-colonizers in small areas within Palestine, but full equality with the very people who killed and tortured them, stole their homes, and deprived them of their land and their rights.

Indeed, it makes more sense that if representatives of Israel are ever welcome anywhere, it should be only when sanctioned by Palestinians. To that end, we must all adopt and demand that sanctions and boycotts be placed on Israel, and without delay.

EVERY BULLET HAS A NAME: IMPUNITY FOR ISRAELI CRIMES AGAINST PALESTINIAN HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS

JULY 1ST, 2022

Source

By Miko Peled

When Ahed Tamimi tried to defend herself and her home from an armed Israeli officer she became an international heroine. Images of her were plastered everywhere and she was named a “Lioness.” As she candidly admits in her soon to be published memoir (co-written with Dena Takruri) she did not want, nor did she seek this fame. She just wanted to go to school and play soccer.

What Ahed’s story demonstrates is that we have forsaken the Palestinian people. Even Palestinian children are left alone to defend themselves with their bare hands against a vicious occupation force that sends soldiers and officers who are armed to the teeth to attack Palestinians in their homes and are never held accountable for their crimes.

WHO DEFENDS PALESTINIANS?

The answer is no one. When Palestinians risk their lives as they do regularly in their heroic efforts to stay alive and resist oppression, there is no one that stands between them and the Israeli war machine. Ahed Tamimi was recently targeted again. However, the bullet intended for her hit her cousin, who was standing next to her. The soldiers actually called her by name.

Then we saw the same thing in the case of Shireen Abu Akleh, a well-known and respected journalist. Shireen was assassinated in broad daylight. There was no accountability at all, from the shooters to the decision makers who gave the orders. We have come to learn that when Palestinians are targeted we can expect no arrests or serious investigation.

Noted activist Issa Amro is another example. He is thankfully still alive, but there is no certainty that he will be tomorrow. In the city of Hebron where Issa lives and works, soldiers and settlers surround him as he stands in the front line trying to free himself, his city and indeed his country from their brutality. The Old City of Hebron is perhaps one of the most dangerous places to be a Palestinian. Issa is well known for his commitment and dedication to resistance, albeit a dedicatedly unarmed resistance. The soldiers and the settlers recognize him and he is in constant danger.

Issa has been detained, arrested, beaten and dragged to military court enough times to fill the pages of a thick memoir. A new escalation in his persecution seems to have begun in the summer of 2022. In a matter of weeks, his house has been raided several times and he was detained and harassed by soldiers who handcuffed and blindfolded him, keeping him like that for hours.

DEFENDING THE DEFENDERS

People often use the term “for no reason,” when speaking about their unjust harassment, detention, arrest and killing by Israeli forces. However, this term is misleading. In the case of Issa Amro, as in the case of Shireen Abu Akleh, Ahed Tamimi and countless others, there is an excellent reason. The motive for the killing of Shireen and the constant brutal assault on people like Issa is that they have a voice that is heard around the world. Israel is terrified and when an armed bully is scared, it reacts with violence.

Another aspect of Issa Amro’s case is that he was designated a “human rights defender” by the United Nations in 2010. The U.S. State Department followed suit in 2011, as did the European Union in 2013. A 2016 Amnesty International report entitled “Israeli Government Must Cease Intimidation of Human Rights Defenders, Protect Them From Attacks,” lists Issa and several others as human rights defenders and details the ways in which the Israeli government regularly harasses them. Since the report came out, six years have passed and nothing is being done to see to it that these defenders are protected. The question that needs to be answered without delay is, who defends the defenders when they are attacked brutally and with impunity by Israel?

EVERY BULLET HAS A NAME

How far back do we need to go in order to demonstrate how Israel gets away with murder? From its very founding moment, Israeli forces have been murdering Palestinians with impunity. Raids on homes and arrests and detention of political activists have been part of the daily life of Palestinians from the very beginning of the Apartheid regime in 1948.

Israel targets people and then executes its plan whether it is to detain, arrest, or otherwise harass them. In some cases, their targets are shot and killed. When they kill a well-known Palestinian, we hear about it, talk about it and then move on until we hear of another name. Each one of these Palestinians had a bullet with their name on it and it was just a question of time until that bullet found its mark. Unless the supply of bullets to Israel is brought to an end, the killing of Palestinians will continue uninterrupted.

International organizations that claim to stand for the rights of the oppressed need to have their feet on the ground. Like soldiers, they must have people there to stand in the midst so that Palestinians are protected. With all due respect, the designation of a human rights defender may help but it does not guarantee the lives or even the safety of those who carry it. Any organization, governmental or non-governmental that claims to have the interests of the oppressed on its agenda needs to stand in front of Israeli soldiers as they harass and endanger the lives of Palestinians.

NOT ALL SOLDIERS WEAR A UNIFORM

Indeed, some soldiers wear suits. In capitals around the world, representatives of the state of Israel walk around in suits. But they are no less violent and racist than the soldiers in uniform in Hebron or the settlers in El-Lyd or the Yoav unit of the Israeli police that operate in the Naqab. They are all equally dedicated to the destruction of Palestine and to the preservation at all costs of the Apartheid regime.

The soldiers in suits walk through the halls of governments, the offices of big corporations, and the headquarters of NGOs to ensure that the Apartheid regime’s interests are protected. So far the evidence shows that their work is rewarded and their interests are protected.

What is also clear is that the lives of Palestinians, be they unarmed activists or fighters, be they children, women, men, or the elderly, are only worth the price of the bullet that carries their name. And while we will talk and write about the next Palestinian who is killed for a few days, their children will remain orphans for life.

Al-Qassam Brigades reveal deterioration of health of IOF soldier

June 28, 2022

Source: Agencies + Al Mayadeen Net

By Al Mayadeen English 

Al-Qassam Brigades will soon publish information that confirms the deterioration of the health condition of one Israeli prisoner held by the Palestinian Resistance.

Al-Qassam Brigades’ military Spokesperson, Abu Obeida

Al-Qassam Brigades’ military Spokesperson, Abu Obeida, announced Monday that the health condition of one Israeli prisoner held by the Palestinian Resistance has deteriorated.

In a post on Telegram, Abu Obeida pointed out that Al-Qassam Brigades will publish information that confirms this announcement in the coming hours.

في تصريح صحفي.. الناطق باسم كـتـــائــب القــسّــــام، أبــو عـــبــيدة: “تدهور طرأ على صحة أحد أسرى العدو لدينا، وسننشر خلال الساعاتِ القادمة ما يؤكد ذلك”.#فلسطين pic.twitter.com/VK7tuV5thc— شبكة قدس الإخبارية (@qudsn) June 27, 2022

It is noteworthy that Al-Qassam Brigades captured four IOF soldiers.

Israeli media reported that the assessment inside the Israeli occupation is that Hamas’ statement about the deteriorating health condition of an Israeli prisoner is a provocation.

AS MORE STUDENTS, FACULTY BACK BDS, AMERICAN UNIVERSITIES MAINTAIN APARTHEID TIES

MAY 31ST, 2022

A poster on a closed shop shows an Israeli milk carton and Arabic in red reads: “boycott,” during a general strike, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Tuesday, May 18, 2021. Palestinians across Israel and the occupied territories are on strike in a rare collective action against Israel’s policies, as the war, now in its second week, showed no signs of abating. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

JESSICA BUXBAUM

TEL AVIV, ISRAEL — This month, City University of New York’s (CUNY) law school faculty unanimously passed a resolution endorsing the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement, joining a chorus of American universities advocating for Palestinian rights. Harvard University’s Crimson newspaper endorsed the movement earlier this year, with 50 of the school’s faculty members supporting the decision. And in March, the Middle East Studies Association also voted to endorse the BDS movement.

As college campuses across the U.S. grow in their support for Palestine, their administrations – many still having relations with major Israeli universities complicit in Israel’s occupation of Palestine – appear less likely to agree. With that in mind, BDS activists urge supporters to boycott Israeli academic institutions.

HOW ISRAELI UNIVERSITIES ARE COMPLICIT

As illustrated by Visualizing Palestine, a data-driven project crafting graphics on the Palestine-Israel issue, several notable Israeli universities assist the state in maintaining its oppression of Palestinians. Tel Aviv University, Hebrew University, Ariel University, Haifa University, Bar-Ilan University, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, and the Technion Institute of Technology all contribute to ongoing colonial violence.

Israeli academic Aparthied

Credit | VisualizingImpact

Israeli academic Aparthied

Credit | VisualizingImpact

For instance, Tel Aviv University invites weapon manufacturers like Elbit Systems to its annual Technology Employment Fair and invites students to Elbit Systems events for the purpose of recruitment. The school has also played a role in establishing the Israeli army’s military doctrines and ethical codes and training students to provide legal defense through its army reserve program. The school’s Greenberg National Institute of Forensic Medicine is currently keeping 63 Palestinian corpses in a medical lab freezer as part of Israel’s policy of withholding bodies to use as bargaining chips in future negotiations.

Technion also works with arms developers, partnering with Elbit Systems and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems on research projects. Technion, Ben-Gurion, and Bar-Ilan all participated in building a humanoid robot with funding provided by the Israeli and U.S. defense departments. Bar-Ilan and Technion also collaborate with the Israeli military to develop equipment used in executing home demolitions.

Hebrew University coordinates with the Israeli police in harassing and surveilling nearby Palestinian communities. Haifa University hosts a program training students on how to become “digital advocates for Israel.” And Tel Aviv University, Hebrew University, Ben-Gurion, and Haifa University offered benefits and scholarships to students who participated in the military assault on Gaza in 2014.

These universities are deeply entwined in Israel’s apartheid, making their American partners also indirectly complicit.

AMERICAN ACADEMIA AND ISRAELI APARTHEID

Despite growing calls from student activists for their schools to support the BDS movement, American universities continue to collaborate with Israel.

“The university is putting itself at risk of importing the racist policies of the Israeli state into university campuses because of the collaboration that’s required,” Nasreen Abd Elal, information designer at Visualizing Palestine, told MintPress News. Abd Elal was referring to Columbia University’s dual degree program with Tel Aviv University, which was launched in 2020. She was involved in the student campaign against it at Columbia.

Columbia isn’t the only American school linked to complicit Israeli universities, though. Many of the U.S.’ leading universities coordinate with Israeli institutions. The following schools have study-abroad exchange programs or research partnerships with Tel Aviv University, in addition to Columbia and CUNY:

Technion and Cornell partnered together to create the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute in 2011. Washington University of St. Louis partners with Technion through its McDonnell International Scholars Academy. The University of Illinois partners with both Tel Aviv and Hebrew University through its research center, Discovery Partners Institute. In 2019 Ariel University, which is located in an illegal Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank, announced a partnership with Florida Atlantic University.

Many of these academic institutions are also heavily invested in Israeli companies, including ColumbiaTuftsUNC, and Urbana-Champaign. Harvard grabbed headlines in April when its newspaper endorsed the BDS movement, but the school maintains investments in several companies listed on the UN’s database of companies involved in Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise. These include Bookings Holdings, Expedia, General Mills, and Motorola.

While BDS campaigns across college campuses have gained momentum, to this day no American university has actually divested from Israel.

NOT JUST ACADEMIA

Schools aren’t the only ones associating with Israeli universities. Several American companies also have ties.

Technion has partnered with American corporations Google, IBM, Intel, Nvidia, KLA, Amazon, Medtronic, Cisco, Marvell, and Cadence Design Systems. IBM has also participated in events with Ariel University, according to the research center Who Profits from the OccupationSoftware company PTC began collaborating with Technion on a research and development center in 2021.

BGN Technologies, Ben-Gurion’s technology transfer company, established its Advanced Technologies Park. The park’s tenants include American firms dbMotion and Oracle. BGN Technologies also works with American entities the Georgia Institute of Technology, Nexant, Delek US, Duquesne Light Company, Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, and the MITRE Corporation, through its joint consortium related to developing cyber protection infrastructure.

And the Cleveland Clinic Foundation entered into an academic cooperation agreement with the Hebrew University in 2017.

SUPPRESSING PALESTINIAN ACADEMIC FREEDOM

BDS resolutions in academia aren’t passing at a record or even significant rate, but Abd Elal says the administrative reaction to those that have passed demonstrates the movement is working:

The instinctual response of administrators tends to come out swinging in opposition saying, “We’ll never commit to divestment.“ But the fact they feel obliged to respond is provoking that confrontation. Students and faculty are seeing how the university will throw out the democratic mandate because of their interest in maintaining good relationships with their investors.”

Abd Elal added that these campaigns have managed to garner a groundswell of support, and that, in itself, is powerful. “There have been significant strides made in building solidarity on campus and getting people to commit to not going to these institutions and putting pressure on the administration to end [the agreements],” she said.

The call for an academic boycott goes beyond the institutional level, however. “The Israeli state and occupation marginalize Palestinian students and universities and restrict access of international scholars and students to Palestinian universities, which is a significant threat to academic freedom,” Abd Elal said.

In February, the Israeli Defense Ministry’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGATpublished new instructions on foreign entry into the West Bank. These guidelines included a swath of new restrictions for individuals wishing to learn or work at Palestinian universities. Foreign lecturers must hold a doctorate and can only teach in certain fields. COGAT will permit only 150 foreign students at Palestinian universities each year and can limit the fields of study open to them.

As detailed above, many American universities have academic agreements with Israeli universities. Yet promoting a free exchange of ideas between Israeli and American academics tends to ignore the crippling hold Israel has on Palestinian education.

Abd Elal explained that Visualizing Palestine’s graphic wasn’t meant to just describe how Israeli universities are complicit in apartheid, but also how the Israeli state has an interest in suppressing Palestinian academic freedom. “The occupation really cuts off Palestinians from the academic community,” she said. “So for that reason, the academic boycott is a key way of standing in solidarity with our academic peers.”

Feature photo | Nasser Nasser | AP

Jessica Buxbaum is a Jerusalem-based journalist for MintPress News covering Palestine, Israel, and Syria. Her work has been featured in Middle East Eye, The New Arab and Gulf News.

%d bloggers like this: