Palestinian Resistance’s Strongest Retaliation since 2014: Barrage of Shells Hit Settlements

May 29, 2018

Palestinian fighters

The Palestinian resistance bombed Tuesday morning the settlements of the so-called “Gaza envelope” with dozens of rocket-propelled grenades in response to Israeli crimes against Palestinians.

The Israeli military confirmed that a barrage of more than 28 mortar shells was fired toward the southern occupied territories. Israeli media said the IOF attacked eastern Gaza with artillery fire.

“Rocket sirens were heard around 7 A.M. in several southern Israeli communities, including Eshkol, Shaar Hanegev and Sdot Negev. Residents in the vicinity reported sounds of explosions. About an hour later, a second round of rocket sirens was heard again in Eshkol. A third round of sirens was heard around 9:30 A.M. in the kibbutzim of Nirim and Ein Hashlosha,” Haaretz reported.

Israeli fire has killed more than 110 unarmed Palestinians, during protests against the Israeli aggression, which climaxed on May 14.

On Sunday, Islamic Jihad resistance movement threatened to respond to an IOF attack on Hamas targets in southern Gaza in which three of its fighters were martyred. “The Zionist enemy cannot dictate a new formula in which it will harm our people without a painful response,” the Al-Quds Brigades, Islamic Jihad’s military wing, threatened.

Source: Websites

 

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Trump To Pick Former Texas Governor Rick Perry as Energy Secretary

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Rick Perry and His De-politicized God

Former Texas Governor Rick Perry apparently is President-elect Donald Trump’s choice to head the Department of Energy–or at least that’s what the New York Times and others are reporting.

The media are making much to do of an on-air gaffe by Perry in 2011 when he was running for the Republican nomination for president (a race he ended up losing to Mitt Romney). At that time, in a televised debate, Perry attempted to name three federal departments he intended to close should he be elected president. The three departments were the departments of Education, Commerce, and Energy (although, ironically, he drew a blank when trying to think of the name of the latter–the very department he apparently will oversee in the Trump administration).

Below is an article I wrote on Perry back during that 2011-2012 campaign season. The article does not deal with his on-air gaffe but rather with a prayer rally he held at Reliant Stadium in Houston in August of 2011. Perry professes himself a Christian, but as I noted in the article, during the prayer rally Jesus was scarcely mentioned at all while God was presented as a deity who overall has no great qualms with America’s wars.

You’ll keep in mind, of course, that at the time I wrote the article, the war in Syria was just getting under way. ISIS had yet to emerge, and widespread killings of Christians had not as yet begun to happen. You might also keep in mind that the policies of Israel and the US have helped to fuel ISIS.

***

The Hypocrite’s Masquerade

By Richard Edmondson

Rick Perry, the exhibitionistic governor of Texas, claims he’s a Christian. On August 6, 2011, in a sports stadium in Houston, Perry held a “prayer and fast rally” which drew some 30,000 people, a day-long affair that had been organized with the aim of praying for a “nation in crisis.” Certainly the U.S. is in a crisis, and as a person of religious faith I obviously think prayer can be a spiritually awakening experience when undertaken from an attitude of genuine and steadfast sincerity and with humility and love for God foremost in one’s mind. But here’s the thing: like all of America’s politicians, Perry is little more than a painted caricature of a human being to whom sincerity seems to be a hazardous chemical compound best discarded and left alone.

In a recent article by Philip Giraldi, we learn that Perry in late June appealed to Attorney General Eric Holder for the prosecution of American citizens who participated in this year’s Gaza Freedom Flotilla. Giraldi observes that the governor, as a potential frontrunner in next year’s presidential campaign, appeared to be “sharpening his foreign policy credentials” and seemed to be doing so “in the traditional way by cozying up to the Israel lobby.” And of course, had Holder undertaken such a prosecution, those who joined this year’s ultimately-thwarted flotilla, as Giraldi correctly notes, could have faced the prospect of “spending the rest of their lives in a federal prison for doing absolutely nothing wrong.”

The governor’s prayer rally was dubbed “The Response,” and in his talk at the event, Perry  professed his love for America, quoted scripture, touted his belief in a “loving God,” his high regard for a “living Christ,” and expressed pointed concern for Americans who have lost jobs and homes:

Our hearts do break for those who suffer, those afflicted by the loss of loved ones, the pain of addiction, the strife that they may find at home, those who have lost jobs, who have lost their homes, people who have lost hope.

It is nice that Perry musters such empathy for out of work Americans, a sad number of whom find themselves coping for the first time in their lives with the experience of living in vehicles or, in worst-case scenarios, directly on the streets. Unmentioned by Perry, quite naturally, is any acknowledgement that this state of affairs came about as a result of decades of public policies favoring the rich over the poor, but of course, such an acknowledgement cannot in any way be made. Why? Because Perry, like many conservative, evangelical Christians, worships a depoliticized god, a god wholly unconcerned with the corrupt practices of those who wield power, even if their decisions result in death, wars, poverty, and widespread misery. As Perry puts it, “His (God’s) agenda is not a political agenda; his agenda is a salvation agenda.” The Texas governor even jokes, somewhat flatly, that God is “wise enough to not be affiliated with any political party.”

In other words, God and politics don’t mix. But such a claim is by its very nature political. If you stand before a crowd and proclaim God’s political neutrality on the multiple wars America is waging in Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, and elsewhere, you have made an inherently political statement. You are saying that God only cares about the individual’s salvation, not mass killings. This in essence is a validation of the status quo, an affirmation of war—the same wars that have bankrupted the country to the point of causing suffering and job loss to the very Americans Perry claims to be praying for. The governor, despite assertions to the contrary, is injecting politics into the religious debate and religion into the political debate.

And what of Jesus? If God is to be depoliticized, what becomes of Christ and of such overtly political statements as “It is easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven”? There doesn’t seem to be much room for them, does there? Is it not odd, that while the Texas governor inserted biblical quotations into his speech—three in all, two from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament book of Ephesians—at no point in his twelve and a half minute oration did he supply a single direct quote from Jesus? Fancy that if you will! No quote from Christ—and at a Christian rally no less! Were Perry a true follower of Jesus, he might well have quoted Christ’s beatitude, “Blessed are the peacemakers,” and issued a call for the wars to end; or perhaps he might have recited the parable of the Good Samaritan as an illustration of why programs to help the needy—programs almost totally gutted in recent years—now, more than ever, need urgently to be restored; or he could have reminded his listeners of Jesus’ uncompromising denunciation of the political leaders of his day—“Woe to you teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!”—and called upon all Christians to follow that preeminent example of standing up and speaking truth to power.

The fact that Perry did none of these things should not surprise us, however. Ten days ago I argued that in the Christian Zionist religion, Jews quite literally replace Jesus as an object of veneration and adoration, and that in reality Christian Zionists worship not Jesus—but Jews. Here in part is what I wrote:

In Christian Zionism, Christ is reduced to a minor, almost inconsequential figure. CZs [Christian Zionists] are quick to point out that Jesus was Jewish, and that’s certainly a point in his favor where they are concerned, but the vast majority of his teachings are discarded. For CZs, the real object of worship is the Jewish people in a collective sense. Let me repeat that: CZs do not worship Christ; they worship Jews.

Extremely steeped in the Old Testament, the theology of Christian Zionism is driven by the belief that Jews are God’s “chosen people”, that they are therefore superior, and that it is the obligation of Gentiles to “bless” them (read: “serve” them) as is commanded in Genesis 12:3. Any concerns about Jesus come secondary to this. CZs view the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948 as nothing short of a miracle of God, and this is a belief they are likely to retain no matter how many mass murders, genocides, war crimes, and crimes against humanity Israel commits. In fact, the more Israel does these things, the more CZs are likely to approve of it, for the Jews of the Old Testament carried out very similar acts.

A depoliticized god who favors Jews and has no qualms about war—it sounds pretty much like the sort of religion Jews would prescribe for Gentiles. And indeed, as I went on to note, this is what Noahidism is all about. Heavily promoted by the Chabad Lubavitch movement, Noahidism in a nutshell is Christian Zionism with Jesus formally, finally, and irrevocably stripped away. Is this what Christian Zionism is gradually evolving into? Will the two religions merge at some point? It’s hard to say, and I don’t have a crystal ball, but certainly no mention of Jesus can be found in Perry’s closing prayer on August 6. The text of the prayer reads as follows:

Father our heart breaks for America. We see discord at home; we see fear in the market place. We see anger in the halls of govt. As a nation, we have forgotten who made us, who protects us, who blesses us, and for that we cry out for your forgiveness. We pray for our nation’s leaders, Lord, for parents, for pastors, for the generals, for governors, that you would inspire them. In these difficult times, Father we pray for our president, that you would impart your wisdom upon him, that you would guard his family. We pray for our military and the families who love them, O Father especially for those special operators who lost their lives yesterday [chokes back a sob] in defending our freedoms. You call us to repent Lord, and this day is our response. We give it all to you, for thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen and amen and amen.

Not surprisingly, the Houston event was attended by busloads of worshippers who had journeyed up from the San Antonio mega-church pastored by Christian Zionist leader John Hagee. One of them, in a curious comment made to David Weigel of Slate, expressed his concern that “Christianity is under attack,” this while at the same time lavishly praising Perry:

“If this is successful here,” he says, “I think other governors, or other politicians, will come out of the closet. Christianity is under attack, and we don’t speak out about it.”

Probably nowhere on earth is Christianity more despised and under attack than in Israel, a fact seemingly lost on Christian Zionists, and we can probably safely assume the irony of the above statement was wholly unrecognized by its speaker. How many Christian Zionists, for instance, are aware that in Israel priests are spat upon or that New Testaments have been burned by mobs of protesters? How many know the extent to which Christ is vilified in the Talmud, or that the Talmud even vilifies him at all? Talmudic treatment of Christ, by the way, is a topic extensively covered in Jesus in the Talmud, by Peter Shäfer, a professor of Jewish studies at Princeton; it is a book few Christian Zionists most likely have bothered picking up. If they did, however, they could read of a loathsome portrayal of Jesus spending eternity in hell boiling in excrement—as well as (rather surprisingly) proud proclamations of Jews being responsible for his death:

On the other hand, we should not forget that it was also the gist of the Baraita’s [non-Mishnaic oral laws’] narrative that the Jews took upon themselves the responsibility for Jesus’ execution. So the later Babylonian discourse may not want to accept the Gospel’s blame for Jesus’ death; rather, like the Baraita but with different reasoning, it may want to convey the message: yes, the Roman governor wanted to set him free, but we did not give in. He was a blasphemer and an idolater, and although the Romans could probably not care less, we insisted that he got what he deserved. We even convinced the Roman governor (or more precisely: forced him to accept) that this heretic and imposter needed to be executed—and we are proud of it.

What we then have here in the Bavli [Babylonian Talmud] is a powerful confirmation of the New Testament passion narrative, a creative reading, however, that not only knows some of its distinct details but proudly proclaims Jewish responsibility for Jesus’ execution. Ultimately and more precisely, therefore, it turns out to be a complete reversal of the New Testament’s message of shame and guilt: we do accept, it argues, responsibility for this heretic’s death, but there is no reason to be ashamed of it and feel guilty for it. We are not the murderers of the Messiah and Son of God, nor of the king of the Jews as Pilate wanted to have it. Rather, we are the rightful executioners of a blasphemer and idolater, who was sentenced according to the full weight, but also the fair procedure, of our law. If this interpretation is correct, we are confronted here with a message that boldly and even aggressively challenges the Christian charges against the Jews as the killers of Christ. For the first time in history we encounter Jews who, instead of reacting defensively, raise their voice and speak out against what would become the perennial story of the triumphant Church. (Jesus in the Talmud, p. 73-740

He needed to be executed—and we are proud of it. Talmudic rabbis are such a pleasant, jocular lot, are they not? And of course these are the “chosen people” to whom the Christian Zionists have pledged their prayerful and unqualified support, Christian Zionists who no doubt, as the one quoted in Slate, voice the occasional fret over Christianity being “under attack.”

At this point we have to ask ourselves is Governor Rick Perry aware of the manner in which Christians are treated on the streets of Jerusalem? Is he aware of how Jesus is depicted in the Talmud? Has he heard? Does he know of these things? Or does he speak in ignorance? Perhaps, most crucially of all, if he did know of these things would it even matter to him? Or would he continue to support Israel? The practice of going about proclaiming themselves followers of Jesus by politicians like Perry is as common as the common flu, yet it is an abomination nonetheless, and Christians need to start recognizing it as such. Followers of Christ would do well to recognize something else as well: that last week’s prayer rally in Houston was a masquerade ball of hypocrites and false prophets preying upon the easily deceived. As Jesus warned, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”

Pink Floyd Reunites in Public Support of Palestine

Posted on October 7, 2016

rwaters_apwall

[ Ed. note – As of this writing, Roger Waters’ post on Facebook, which you can find here, has garnered 5,682 shares and 996 comments. Lots of Zionist trolls of course, spitting mad and swarming like flies on a hot summer day. Interesting comments as well, however:

fbcmnt

I have no idea whether we will see a Pink Floyd concert for Palestine, but of course it is fun to dream. ]

By Jason Lemon

Could Pink Floyd be planning a reunion concert in support of Palestine?

Well, band member Roger Waters took to Facebook yesterday, posting a message that suggests that it’s definitely a possibility.

Roger Waters

on Wednesday

“Pink Floyd reunites to stand with the Women of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla”

David Gilmour, Nick Mason and Roger Waters stand united in support of the Women of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, and deplore their illegal arrest and detention in international waters by the Israeli Defense Force.

23K
1.1K
5.9K

Waters’ post references the recent detention of female activists aboard a boat that attempted to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza, in an effort to deliver aid to the besieged Palestinian area.

This isn’t the first time that Waters has expressed his support for Palestine. The rock star hasaparthisrael long been vocally opposed to Israeli aggression and has consistently expressed his solidarity with the Palestinian people.

“After visiting Israel in 2005 and the West Bank the following year, I was deeply moved and concerned by what I saw, and determined to add my voice to those searching for an equitable and lawful solution to the problem,” Waters wrote in an op-ed for Salon in 2014.

 

He also expressed his full support of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement: “I have determined that the BDS approach is one I can fully support.”

Speaking of Palestine, Waters told The Independent in February: “This is an ancient, brilliant, artistic and very humane civilization that is being destroyed in front of our eyes.”

Earlier this week, Waters also posted a video expressing support for the flotilla heading to Gaza.

In the video, Waters also expressed his support for the fans of the Scottish football team, Celtic, that waived Palestinian flags during a match between the team and an Israeli football club. The Celtic club was fined by the UEFA over the protest, but in response, fans raised more than 130,000 British pounds ($161,748) for Palestinian charities.

Is Erdogan Really Severing Ties with the West?

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A Penitent Sinner or a ‘Viper Who Can’t Be Trusted’?

Is Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan really turning his back on the West? Or is what we’re seeing in the media today all just a charade? And if it’s a charade, what is the purpose of it?

Since the failed Turkish coup, we have seen Erdogan seemingly pivoting away from the US and toward Russia. And as this has been happening, we have also observed certain writers and pundits, including some who in the past have offered reasonable analyses, seemingly begin to reassess their views of the Turkish leader. It is almost as if Erdogan’s support for terrorists who have committed unspeakable horrors in Syria over the past five years is now not worth getting too bothered over–and all because Erdogan now seems to have switched his political alliances.

This is the case in Russian media in particular, but Western commentators have been offering similar views–which is why I wanted to post the following video filmed in Syria shortly after the coup attempt.

The people interviewed are Syrians on the street, who speak of the joy they felt upon first hearing of the coup taking place in Turkey…followed by the disappointment and letdown when news came that it had failed. Well can we understand their feelings. They, more so than anyone, are fully cognizant of the depravities Erdogan has unleashed upon their country.

Clearly these Syrians viewed Erdogan’s potential overthrow as a good thing–as something that could have brought an end to the five-year-long Western-waged proxy war that has plagued their country.

But you can go here and view two analysts interviewed on Press TV, both of them (starting at about 15 minutes into the program) expressing the view that it was a good thing the coup failed; or here to read a Counterpunch article whose author asserts confidently, “The Obama administrations (sic) disregard for the national security interests of its allies, has pushed the Turkish president into Moscow’s camp.” Amazingly, the author of the latter piece completely glosses over atrocities committed in Syria and Erdogan’s support for the terrorists who carried them out.

By contrast, Sheikh Imran Hosein has characterized Turkey as a “Trojan horse.” In a talk given in Kuala Lumpur on July 29 (see video here starting at about 35:38), Hosein gives an analysis of the Turkish coup, offering up the view that “Turkey is being prepared to become the Trojan horse for Russia.” He returns to the subject again at the tail end of the program (1:49:27):

This is not a civil war between Muslims and Muslims. You (Turkey and others who have supported NATO) have left Islam when you joined NATO. And you are proud and happy to be a member of NATO. And now you are becoming NATO’s Trojan horse after the failed coup d’état. He (Erdogan) knew the coup d’état was coming. He knew that Fethullah Gulen was part of it. He knew that NATO was a part of it. He knew all of that. And he knew that the coup was going to fail so that he could have a chance now to wipe out all the opposition there is to him in Turkey, so that Turkey now is strong, without any internal opposition, so that Turkey can now play a strategic role in anticipation of the war against Russia. We are not fools. Erdogan should know we are not fools. And I hope Putin knows that this is a Trojan horse.

Important to note here is that Erdogan is scheduled to visit Russia on August 9 for a meeting with Putin. The Turkish Stream gas pipeline is expected to be one of the topics of conversation. The pipeline would make it possible for the Russian company Gazprom to transport gas to Turkey, via the Black Sea, for export into southern Europe. Talks on the project began in 2014, but were suspended last year after the Turkish downing of a Russian Su-24 jet.

I’m not saying this is absolutely going to happen, but suppose Russia and Turkey were to seal an agreement, and suppose as a result Russia were to invest enormous sums of money into building the pipeline–only to see Turkey, once the pipeline is built, switch its alliance back to NATO and the US?

In the following video, most of the speakers, including the show host Peter Lavelle, take the “penitent sinner” view of Erdogan, seeing him, in other words, as one who has finally seen the error of his ways and who should, provided he meets certain stipulations (like sealing the Turkish-Syrian border to terrorists)  be welcomed back into humanity’s fold. The only member of the panel to take an opposing view is Mark Sleboda, who refers to Erdogan as “a viper who can’t be trusted.”

One of the guests, Dimitry Babich, does make an important point, however, and that is that prior to the outbreak of the Syrian conflict in 2011, Turkey had been well-thought of and Erdogan himself a respected figure on the world stage. Babich is correct in this. In 2009, at a World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Erdogan castigated then-Israeli President Shimon Peres over the Jewish state’s brutal assault upon Gaza (in Operation Cast Lead), and even quoted Gilad Atzmon in his comments! When the event moderator, Washington Post columnist David Ignatius, tried to cut him off, Erdogan angrily got up and walked out of the event.

The episode made international news. Erdogan left Davos and returned home to a hero’s welcome in Turkey. Thousands of people turned out at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul waving Turkish and Palestinian flags. And it wasn’t only people in Turkey who were cheering at that point. A leader of a country–and not just any country, but a member of NATO–had finally told off the Israelis!

The following year, Erdogan’s esteem grew even higher. This was when a Turkish ship, the Mavi Marmara, led a humanitarian effort to break the blockade of Gaza. The Israelis attacked the ship, and killed nine people (a tenth died later), all of them Turks, except for Furkan Dogan, who was Turkish-American.

But starting in 2011, Erdogan changed. He began to align himself with what might conceivably be thought of as the powers of darkness. He gave his support to Zionist attempts at regime change in Syria. In essence it was a declaration of war by Turkey upon its southern neighbor. There was no outward reason for this sudden shift in policy. Relations between Syria and Turkey had been cordial up until this point. Why did Erdogan do it? I don’t know the answer to that, but I am reminded here of the temptation of Christ as told of in the gospels. I’ll quote a bit from the Gospel of Matthew:

Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:

“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
and they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”
Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”

Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’”

Did the Zionists promise Erdogan “the kingdoms of the world and their splendor” if he would cooperate in the regime change effort in Syria?

Did they promise him a newly-reestablished Ottoman empire in a Middle East with redrawn national boundaries?

Or perhaps fabulous wealth from stolen oil? And is that why US leaders had nothing to say when Turkish troops entered northern Iraq in the latter part of last year? Is it why they still have nothing to say about their presence there now?

Is it also possible this is why they had nothing to say about Turkish support for ISIS–even after Russian surveillance exposed ISIS convoys of stolen oil entering Turkey?

And here is  perhaps the most pertinent question of all: Now that Turkey has carried out a policy of treachery against its Syrian neighbors over the past five years, has it at this time begun to plan a further treachery against Russia?

I don’t know the answer to these questions, but I’m inclined to agree with Sleboda when he offers the opinion that Erdogan is “a viper who can’t be trusted.”

Another point worth making is that most of Erdogan’s opposition is now jailed, which, as Hosein points out, gives the Turkish leader a much freer hand. This means that should he commit some outrage, against Russia or another country, Turkish civil society will be much less able to mount any sort of effective opposition.

Zionism’s Ongoing Campaign Against Free Speech

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Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, director of Shurat HaDin, says the fight against BDS must be expanded “dramatically.”

Shurat HaDin, the Israeli legal organization that has used the tactics of “lawfare” to wage battles against Gaza flotillas and others whom Zionists want to put a stop to, is this week holding a training seminar focusing on the BDS movement.

According to the article below, the seminar is being attended by 70 attorneys from around the world, including the US, and will feature workshops on such topics as how to “combat BDS and other anti-Semitic movements.”

Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, director of Shurat HaDin, is quoted as saying that the fight against BDS must be expanded “dramatically.”

So does that mean if I ask a corporation to stop doing business with Israel, or even if I only publicly say, “I support the BDS movement,” that I could be facing a lawsuit?

The first amendment to our constitution is the only reason we haven’t seen holocaust denial laws adopted here in the US–that seems pretty clear. But you know, it occurs to me that it really becomes unnecessary to dismantle the constitution or pass laws banning speech if you can cow enough people into silence.

And one way you can do this is by instilling widespread fears of the prospect of facing a potentially bankrupting lawsuit for expressing your views–for even if you win your case, your legal fees are likely to be astronomical. The sad fact is only the rich can afford civil litigation. When you get sued, you aren’t offered the option of having a court-appointed attorney represent you. That’s one of the major flaws of the American legal system, and back in the nineties they used to call the kind of lawsuits Shurat HaDin seems to be contemplating “SLAPP suits.” (Stratetic Lawsuit Against Public Participation.)

If I publicly declare, “I support the BDS movement,” that is a form of public participation. The BDS movement is a nonviolent movement.  And your right to support it should be guaranteed by the first amendment. You absolutely should not have to worry about having to spend your life savings or mortgaging your house or borrowing money from relatives just to defend yourself against a lawsuit because of it.

People tend to get sorely vexed when they see their free speech rights being trampled upon. This is true pretty much everywhere, but particularly here in the US, where we have a long tradition of speech being protected under the first amendment. How do you suppose the legal antics of Shurat HaDin will factor into this equation? If we start seeing a series of penalizing lawsuits and other legal actions against BDS activists, will it cause the level of “anti-Semitism” to rise even further, possibly even in here America as well?

“Use your legal skills to defend Israel!”

This is how the seminar is promoted on a page at the Shurat HaDin website. The promo additionally describes it as “an intense one week program filled with cutting-edge lectures and workshops taught by accomplished jurists and legal scholars…” In addition to the workshop on BDS, there is also one on how to defend Israeli soldiers against war crimes complaints.

Why such a concern about war crimes charges? Isn’t Israel “the most moral Army in the world”?

The fact, of course, that one of the discussions is on how to “combat BDS and other anti-Semitic movements” would suggest that Shurat HaDin has some concerns about anti-Semitism. If so, are they oblivious to the possibility that intimidating people into silence about Israel is more likely to result in an increase in anti-Semitism than a reduction in it?

If anti-Semitism continues to rise, how will that impact the daily lives of Jews outside Israel, say those living in America, or particularly in Europe? Will it necessitate additional increases in security? Security at Jewish institutions is already pretty high, even in America, and much of it is being paid for out of public funds. How much higher will it need to go?

Perhaps a crucial question US Jews should start asking themselves is whether their continued support for Israel is worth it. Maybe the way to effect substantial change is not by waging a campaign of legal intimidation against the BDS movement; maybe the way to change things is by calling for Israel to dismantle its settlements, lift its blockade of Gaza, and agree to the establishment of a fully sovereign Palestinian state, with international peacekeepers to patrol the border.

This would seem to be a smarter way to bring the anti-Semitism level down. A continuation of Israel’s expansionist policies is almost guaranteed to increase it.

But maybe even better yet would be a complete dismantling of the Jewish state.

And if you happen to be a religious Jew, here is something you might want to consider in that regard.

Think how much more carefree, and less complicated, your life would be had the state of Israel never been founded.


Mossad-Linked Group Holds Anti-BDS Legal Seminar

MEMO

Shurat HaDin, an organisation with links to Israel’s government and security services, is holding a seminar this week in Jerusalem “to train lawyers from abroad to litigate BDS.” The gathering follows a period of intensified attacks by Israeli officials on the Palestinian-led boycott movement, including reports of imminent Justice Ministry-initiated lawsuits.

According to media reports, some 70 lawyers from around the world, including the US, Singapore, the Netherlands, South Africa, Germany, Canada and Belgium, will attend. The goal – to “equip” them with “the tactical tools and broader courtroom strategies they need” to fight BDS.

Continued here

 

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GAZA’S ARK ATTACKED

GA attackedGaza City – GazaAt 3:45 AM Gaza time on April 29th, the night guard on board Gaza’s Ark

received a call to leave the boat because it was going to be attacked.

The guard left, but when nothing happened, he returned after 5 minutes. A few
minutes later, a large explosion rocked the boat causing extensive damage.

The boat sank part way and is now sitting on the shallow sea floor. The guard
was not injured but was taken to hospital for tests.

Mahfouz Kabariti, Gaza’s Ark Project Manager, says: “The extent and nature of
the damage are currently being investigated. We will provide an update when
available.”

“Gaza’s Ark and all our partners in the Freedom Flotilla Coalition are
considering our next move in response to this cowardly act of terrorism, but
our position remains clear: Neither this nor any other attack will stop our
efforts to challenge the blockade of Gaza until it ends,” adds David Heap of
Gaza’s Ark Steering Committee.

“Freedom Flotilla boats have been sabotaged before. This attack comes as we
were almost ready to sail. You can sink a boat but you can’t sink a movement,”
concludes Ehab Lotayef, another member of the Steering Committee.

– 30 –

For information:
Ehab Lotayef +1-514-941-9792
David Heap +1-519-859-3579
Charlie Andreasson +970 (59) 8345327
http://www.gazaark.org
@GazaArk
info@gazaark.org
#GazaArkAttacked

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

"Turkey may have wisely cloaked its narrow retaliatory options in the language of proportionality"


FLC

Syria can deal ‘tit for tat’

[National Interest] “… Turkey’s intelligence-collection capabilities are limited, making target selection difficult and the possibility of air strikes remote. While it could have sent military aircraft to strike Syrian sites, Syria’s capable air defenses complicated the decision. Turkey remembers very well what Syrian air defenses can do to a Turkish fighter jet, and the potential for casualties factored into Turkey’s response.Erdogan and other AKP officials have periodically floated a buffer zone, and in theory, Turkey might have taken advantage of this opportunity to follow through on its oft-repeated threat. Turkey could have argued it needed to invade to push Syrian artillery out of range of Turkish cities and villages. However, deploying ground forces over five civilian deaths would have thrust Turkey even deeper into the Syrian conflict and risked moving too far out in front of its Western and Arab allies. The Erdogan government alone simply could not risk igniting full-scale conflict with Syria, nor could it risk being reined in by the intervention-wary members of NATO. 

The Turkish response likely will continue to be tit-for-tat artillery strikes alongside interventionist rhetoric—feinting to help reestablish deterrence. The response fits neatly into a narrative of proportionality and helps assuage domestic frustration with the AKP’s handling of the crisis. Turkey appears intent on managing tensions with Syria and preventing them from dragging Turkey into Syria’s internal conflict. Thus, Turkey may have wisely cloaked its narrow retaliatory options in the language of proportionality. 

Though the threat of escalation remains remote and the government seems committed to avoiding war, Turkey still faces an impossible situation: its involvement in the Syrian conflict deepens as its policy options fail to broaden. In part, this reflects forces outside Turkey’s control. Within NATO, Turkey invoked Article IV, and the ambassadors released a joint statement condemning Syrian aggression. However, the alliance has shown little appetite for intervention, and Turkey has refrained from invoking Article V, which would obligate NATO to aid in Turkey’s defense, though not necessarily result in a NATO decision to use military force. The United States, for its part, has refused direct Turkish appeals to support the Syrian conflict militarily. 

However, Turkey’s precarious situation stems in part from circumstances of its own making. Caught up in its growing regional stature and increasingly fond of liberal internationalism’s Responsibility to Protect (R2P) doctrine, the AKP government miscalculated deeply in threatening independent action in Syria earlier this year. Such bluster without the considerable tools necessary to carry out its threats constituted a major error in the AKP government’s foreign policy. Turkey’s wisely tempered response to Syria’s brazen downing of the Turkish F-4 merely accentuated the incongruity of its threats and capabilities. Thus, when Syria struck again and killed civilians, Turkey’s unexecuted threats necessitated a response—if only to maintain a shred of credibility. 

Ankara’s options were limited from the outset, but breakdowns in relations with regional neighbors have exacerbated the problem….

Since the Mavi Marmara incident in which Israeli forces clashed with Turkish civilians—killing nine—aboard a ship attempting to break the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip, Turkey has downgraded relations, primarily over Israel’s unwillingness to apologize…… the costs to Turkey have mounted as well. Without access to Israeli military technology, Turkey relies even more heavily on the United States, which contributed minimally in the latest flare-up between Turkey and Syria.
 

… While military confrontation was always unlikely, Assad has appeared unconcerned with Turkish threats on numerous occasions. Damascus quietly dismissed Turkey’s loud proclamations on possible unilateral intervention—eroding the threat of credible action and undermining Ankara’s overall policy objectives. The shelling, therefore, should not be viewed as the precursor to war but as Turkey enacting the most limited means of reprisal….”

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