Israeli Human Rights Violations in Palestine Weekly Update (07- 13 April 2022)

 April 14, 2022

Violation of right to life and bodily integrity:

Eight Palestinians, including 2 children and 2 women, were killed, and 48 others, including 6 children, a girl and 2 who lost their eyes, were wounded by Israeli occupation forces’ (IOF) fire while tens of others suffocated and sustained bruises in separate incidents in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. 

On 10 April 2022, a Palestinian woman was shot dead by IOF near an Israeli checkpoint in Husan, western Bethlehem.  More information available here.  On the same afternoon, IOF killed another woman in Hebron, claiming she stabbed an Israeli soldier near the Ibrahimi Mosque and killed another Palestinian after directly targeting him in al-Khader village, Bethlehem, claiming he threw  stones and Molotov Cocktails.  More information available here. 

On 11 April 2022, a child succumbed to wounds he sustained a day earlier in Jenin.  More information available  here.

On 13 April 2022, IOF killed a lawyer without justification while their troops withdrew from Nablus after conducting a widescale incursion in the city, wounding 3 Palestinians, including a child.  More details available here. In the afternoon, IOF killed a Palestinian and wounded 6 others during clashes when IOF withdrew from Silwad village in Ramallah.  During the incursion, IOF surrounded 2 houses; one was uninhabited, and opened fire at them, detaining the residents inside and then beating and arresting 3 of them. On the same afternoon, IOF opened fire and killed a child with several bullets in Husan village, western Bethlehem.  They detained his body and took him with them but few hours later his body was delivered.  IOF claimed that the child was targeted after he was seen trying to throw Molotov Cocktails at a military checkpoint in the area.

Most of them were victims of excessive use of force that accompanied suppression of peaceful protests and gatherings and they were as follows:

07 April: 4 fishermen were wounded with rubber bullets and then arrested by IOF when the latter chased 2 fishing boats sailing within the allowed fishing area (8 nautical miles ) off Rafah shore, southern Gaza Strip.  They were released the next day, but their boats were

confiscated.  Another chase recurred in the same area and IOF arrested 3 other fishermen and confiscated their boat.  A child sustained teargas canister shrapnel wounds in his hand, and another Palestinian was arrested in clashes erupted during IOF’s incursion into al-Am’ari refugee camp in Ramallah.  In the afternoon, IOF again suppressed Palestinians gathered in Bab al-‘Amoud in occupied East Jerusalem and arrested 3 of them, including a child, after assaulting them.  This recurred the next day after setters gathered and chanted slogans against Arabs and Muslim; during which, IOF arrested and severely beat up a Palestinian.

08 April: 3 Palestinians were wounded, including 2 children, with rubber bullets during IOF’s suppression of Kafr Qaddoum weekly protest in Qalqilya.  A Palestinian child lost his eye when IOF directly targeted him with a rubber bullet during their suppression of protesters in northern East Jerusalem.  More details available here.  IOF wounded 3 Palestinians near Gate 104 near the annexation wall, northern Tulkarm, during their attempt to enter Israel for work.  In the afternoon, a Palestinian was wounded with a rubber bullet in his foot and 2 others were arrested, including a child, during clashes with IOF in Kafr Malek village in Ramallah.

09 April: 13 Palestinians, including a child and a girl, were wounded; 2 sustained serious wounds in clashes during IOF’s incursion into Jenin refugee camp to surround the house of the Palestinian who carried out the shooting in Tel Aviv in Jenin.  The area witnessed clashes between IOF and members of Palestinian armed groups; as a result, one of the latter was killed.  IOF arrested 2 Palestinians; one of them was wounded, and later withdrew. 

10 April: a Palestinian was wounded with a bullet in his waist and others suffocated in clashes during IOF’s incursion into Yabad village, Jenin.  IOF arrested 8 Palestinians after raiding their houses and 3 shops, damaging their contents, and later withdrew. A Palestinian also sustained bullet shrapnel wounds in his hand and 3 others were arrested in similar circumstances in the eastern neighborhood in Jenin.  Another Palestinian was wounded with a bullet in the right thigh in clashes during IOF’s incursion into al-Bireh, northern Ramallah.  Moreover, two Palestinians were arrested in clashes during IOF’s incursion into ‘Aqabet Jaber refugee camp in Jericho.

11 April: a child was wounded with a bullet in his right leg, and 9 Palestinians were arrested, including a national security officer, during IOF’s incursion into Kafr Qalil village and the down suburb adjacent to the village, eastern Nablus.

12 April: IOF wounded 4 Palestinian university students after raiding Khadouri University’s campus in Tulkarm.  In the next day, an Israeli Special Force raided the university in a civilian car and opened fire at a student, visitor, and a security officer whom they arrested after wounding him.  Further information available here.

13 April: 7 Palestinians were wounded, including one in critical condition and another lost his eye by a rubber bullet that penetrated his eye in clashes during IOF’s incursion into Bita village, southeastern Nablus. Also, IOF wounded a Palestinian near the annexation wall, southern Tulkarm, when they targeted workers in their attempt to infiltrate in order to work in Israel.  In the afternoon, a young man was wounded in his chest with shrapnel of a sound bomb fired by IOF in their incursion into Kobar village, Ramallah.  IOF arrested 4 Palestinians and later withdrew.

In the Gaza Strip, IOF opened fire 3 times at agricultural lands in access restricted areas, eastern Khan Younis. Also, five IOF shootings were reported on fishing boats mostly off the northern, southern, and western Gaza shores.

So far in 2022, IOF attacks killed 28 Palestinians, including 7 children and 2 women, and wounded 235 others, including 45 children, 2 women, 2 paramedics and 10 journalists: all in the West Bank, except 5 fishermen in the Gaza Strip.

Settler-attacks on Palestinian civilians and their properties:

This week, settlers carried out 9 attacks in the West Bank, wounding 6 Palestinians, including 2 with bullets, and damaging many vehicles. The details were as follows:

07 April: setters from “Beit El” settlement, northern al-Bireh, threw stones at the Palestinian car traveling on the main street adjacent to the settlement and leading to al-Jalazone refugee camp.  No injuries were reported.  On the same day, settlers from “Shiloh” settlement, eastern Ramallah, threw stones at the Palestinian cars traveling on Ramallah-Nablus main street.  no injuries were reported.

08 April: 2 Palestinians were wounded with bullets when settlers opened fire at the Palestinian vehicles in Tarmesi’yah village, Ramallah.  IOF’s patrols arrived and took the wounded to an Israeli hospital.  On the same day, a Palestinian vehicle sustained damages after settlers threw stones near Ras Karkar intersection, western Ramallah.  Also, settlers sneaked into Sinjil village, eastern Ramallah, and opened fire at a house.  No injuries were reported.

09 April:  a Palestinian sustained wounds in his face when he was working in a kindergarten near his house in the closed Martyrs Street neighborhood in H2 area in Hebron.  Settlers from “al-Daboya” settlement outpost threw a stone at him.  in the afternoon, settlers beat up an elderly when the latter was herding his sheep in al-Hafasi pastoral areas surrounding ‘Inab settlement, eastern Tulkarm.  Also, settlers stormed agricultural lands in ‘Anabta

village, eastern Tulkarm, and raised the Israeli flag on the roof an agricultural room.  Settlers also threw stones and sprayed pepper gas at a Palestinian and his wife in an agricultural room in Kafr al-Deek, western Salfit.

So far this year, settlers carried out 95 attacks on Palestinians and their properties in the West Bank.

Land razing, demolitions, and notices

On 10 April, IOF confiscated a bulldozer and a truck for Palestinians in Tarmesi’yah village, Ramallah.

On 12 April, IOF uprooted 2 tents; one is residential and the other is for grazing sheep in Kafr Malek in Ramallah, under the pretext of building in an archeological area and within Area C.

Since the beginning of 2022, IOF made 40 families homeless, a total of 244 persons, including 47 women and 113 children. This was the outcome of IOF demolition of 50 houses and 5 residential tents. IOF also demolished 29 other civilian objects, razed 174 dunums and delivered 49 notices of demolition, cease-construction, and evacuation.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians:

 IOF carried out 210 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids and searches of civilian houses and facilities and establishment of checkpoints. During this week’s incursions, 131 Palestinians were arrested, including 7 children. 

So far in 2022, IOF conducted 2260 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, during which 1360 Palestinians were arrested, including 153 children and 14 women. IOF also conducted 12 limited incursions into eastern Gaza Strip and arrested 27 Palestinians, including 14 fishermen, 11 infiltrators, and 2 travelers via Beit Hanoun “Erez” Crossing.

Israeli collective punishment and closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:

On 09 April 2022, Major General Ghassan Alian, head of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), announced collective punitive measures against Jenin, northern West Bank, following the shooting in Tel Aviv carried out by one of the city’s residents. 

The announcement published on ‘Alian’s Facebook page says: “following the latest incidents in Jenin and upon the Israeli Defense Minister’s decision: businessmen from Jenin are not allowed to enter Israel, and Arabs in Israel are not allowed (neither in cars nor on feet) to enter or exit via al-Jalbou’a and Barta’a crossings.  Also, the rock rubble will not be transferred via DTD at crossings in Jenin, and due to security concerns, family visitations to Palestinians in Jenin will not be allowed (within the 5000 approved permits)                                                                          

The Israeli occupation maintains its illegal and inhuman 15-year closure on the Gaza Strip. Details available in PCHR’s February monthly update on the Gaza crossings.

 In the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, IOF continues to impose restrictions on the freedom of movement. On top of its 108 permanent checkpoints, IOF established 93 temporary military checkpoints this week and arrested Palestinians at those checkpoints. The majority of the checkpoints were in Hebron (39) and Bethlehem (17).  Jerusalem also witnessed many restrictions on freedom of movement in Ramadan,

So far in 2022, IOF established at least 1056 checkpoints and arrested 59 Palestinians at those checkpoints.

“Israel” or the wolf disguised as a sheep

29 Mar 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen

Mikhael Marzuqa 

“Israel” tried to disguise itself as an honest mediator between Russia and Ukraine, but honesty is a trait that is hard to come by once the occupation’s history is full of atrocities and war crimes.

Chile and other Latin-American countries that subscribe to the UN Charter and its resolutions, as well as international law organizations, including the ICJ, must commit themselves to their own actions

The Russian-Ukrainian conflict comes to revalue the need for the rule of International Law and a renewal of the commitment of the entire international community to subscribe to it.

The defense of the sovereignty of Ukraine revives the neglected relevance of promoting the sovereignty of Palestine based mainly on:

– The withdrawal of the Israeli army from the Palestinian territories declared in resolution 181 of the UN General Assembly of November 29, 1947, that “recommended” the partition of Palestine into two States, but without “Israel” allowing the consolidation of the Palestinian State.

– Allow the return of Palestinian refugees expelled from their homes by “Israel”, according to resolutions 194 of December 11, 1948, and 3236 of November 22, 1974, recognizing the right of self-determination of the Palestinian people.

– Israeli withdrawal from Occupied Palestine, including the Eastern part of occupied al-Quds, is based on Resolution 2334 of December 23, 2016, of the UN Security Council, which emanates from this body and is binding.

– End of colonialism and Israeli apartheid considered a form of racial discrimination according to Resolution 3379 of the UN General Assembly in 1975.

– End of the colonial expansion based on settlements of settlers brought from other nations to Palestine, based on Resolutions 446 of March 22, 1979 and 2334 of December 23, 2016 of the UN Security Council (both binding resolutions).

– Demolition of the Separation Wall or “Shame” that penetrates into Palestinian territory expropriating more territories, declared illegal by the International Court of Justice on July 9, 2004

Since 1948, and even before, with the action of the Zionist terrorist organizations, which later became the Israeli army, “Israel” has systematically invaded Palestine, expelling its original population, periodically bombing and committing crimes against the civilian population, selectively assassinating the political leaders of the Palestinian people including their former president Yasser Arafat, demolished their homes and farm fields, seized water sources, turned the West Bank into a huge concentration camp, violently expelled the residents of al-Quds and other Palestinian cities, changed the names and in general the legal status of the territory, prohibited free expression and the operation of NGOs for the defense of Human Rights, converted Gaza into the largest extermination camp and, ultimately, undermined the possibilities of installing a Free and democratic Palestinian state as declared by the national charter of the Organization for the Liberation of Palestine.

It is ironic to see how “Israel” first offered itself as the venue for negotiations between Russia and Ukraine and currently offers itself as a mediator since it is the state most condemned by the UN and international human rights organizations and one of the key suppliers of weapons to Ukraine. Therefore, ending this international hypocrisy is imperative today, since we run the risk of widening the lock gates of more flagrant inconsistencies and violations of the norms that regulate coexistence among peoples.

Chile and other Latin-American countries that subscribe to the UN Charter and its resolutions, as well as international law organizations, including the ICJ, must commit themselves to their own actions, as well as promote in the regional economic and political organizations of Latin America and The Caribbean, initiatives that lead to oblige “Israel” to cease its violations, respect international laws and adopt UN resolutions without conditions.

It is appropriate that those who have an international tradition to respect and promote international human rights. Along these lines, they are compelled to adhere to the reports of Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International and promote the existence of all the facilities for the investigation of the International Criminal Court on war crimes committed by “Israel”.
It is important that the Latin American countries deploy a diplomatic crusade at the international level so that the United States, Great Britain and the European Union, mainly, are consistent between their speech and their international action so that, just as they have deployed innumerable and forceful sanctions against Russia, similarly condemn and promote condemnation and similar sanctions against the Israeli regime so that it respects international law. It is pertinent that governments that set themselves up as defenders of democracy, do not jeopardize their declared values ​​of respect for peace, justice, sovereignty, and self-determination, that they assume the moral obligation of consequence between their words and actions and honor the reputation of the states those they represent so as not to be condemned by history as only defenders of interests of power and hegemony.

Promoting the peaceful and respectful coexistence of the legality that the international community has imposed on itself is today transcendent for the world that we are bequeathing to future generations.

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

Iraq: Biggest crime you’ve never heard of: when US and UK killed half a million children

Biggest crime you’ve never heard of: when US and UK killed half a million children

No country had ever been subjected to more comprehensive economic sanctions than Iraq, enforced mainly by US and UK.

Iraqi child dying of malnutrition

In 1999, United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) estimated that over 500,000 Iraqi children under the age of five had died as a result of sanctions.

They must have known, mustn’t they? How could they not? Perhaps they chose not to know. With the world commemorating the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the nazi-run death camps the question of what ordinary Germans knew (and did) about the genocide their government was perpetrating has once again been in the news.

Of course, the assumption behind much of the coverage of the liberation of Belsen and other camps is that we, living enlightened lives in contemporary Britain, are lucky to live in a society where horrendous crimes do not happen. And if they did, they would be quickly reported by our free and stroppy media and quickly halted.

But what if our own government has been responsible for genocide-level suffering, without the media raising the alarm and therefore leaving the general public in a state of ignorance?

What would this say about our political class? What would it say about the media? And what would it say about us?

Unfortunately this isn’t a hypothetical debate but the cold, brutal reality.

To understand this distressing fact we need to return to February 1991 when the US-led coalition kicked Iraq out of Kuwait, which it had illegally invaded in August 1990.

According to John Hoskins, a Canadian doctor leading a Harvard study team, the US-led air assault “effectively terminated everything vital to human survival in Iraq — electricity, water, sewage systems, agriculture, industry and healthcare.” Purportedly to compel Saddam Hussein’s government to give up its weapons of mass destruction (WMD), the UN imposed economic sanctions on Iraq, which lasted until the 2003 invasion. The sanctions regime was enforced by the US and Britain which took the toughest line on compliance.

“No country had ever been subjected to more comprehensive economic sanctions by the United Nations than Iraq,” notes Hans Von Sponeck, the former UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, in his 2006 book A Different Kind of War.

“Communicable diseases in the 1980s not considered public health hazards, such as measles, polio, cholera, typhoid, marasmus and kwashiorkor, reappeared on epidemic scales.”

In 1999 the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) estimated that over 500,000 Iraqi children under the age of five had died because of a lack of medication, food or safe water supplies.

To counter some of the worst effects of sanctions, in 1996 the UN set up the Oil-For-Food Programme, which allowed Iraq to sell oil in exchange for food, medicine and other goods.

However, the programme was far from adequate. “At no time during the years of comprehensive economic sanctions were there adequate resources to meet minimum needs for human physical or mental survival either before, or during, the Oil-For-Food Programme”, Von Sponeck notes in his book.

In 1998/99, each Iraqi received a food allocation of $49 (£32) — 27 (19p) cents a day – for a six month period. In contrast, the dogs the UN used to help de-mine Iraq each received a food allocation of $160.

In protest at what 70 members of the US congress called “infanticide masquerading as policy,” Denis Halliday, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq who ran the sanctions regime, resigned in 1998. Noting the sanctions were causing the deaths of up to 5,000 children a month, Halliday bluntly stated: “We are in the process of destroying an entire society. It is as simple and terrifying as that. It is illegal and immoral.”

Speaking to journalist John Pilger, Halliday later explained: “I was instructed to implement a policy that satisfies the definition of genocide — a deliberate policy that has effectively killed well over a million individuals, children and adults.”

Halliday’s successor Von Sponeck resigned in protest two years later, asking in his resignation letter: “How long should the civilian population of Iraq be exposed to such punishment for something they have never done?” Later he told Pilger: “I have not in the past wanted to use the word genocide, but now it is unavoidable.”

Making a hat-trick, Jutta Burghardt, head of the UN World Food Programme in Iraq, resigned two days after Von Sponeck, describing the sanctions regime as “a true humanitarian tragedy.”

With a few honourable exceptions such as Pilger, Tony Benn and George Galloway, the response of the British political class and media was either to ignore or dismiss the fact sanctions were killing Iraqis on a mass scale.

According to the media watchdog Media Lens, in 2003 Halliday was mentioned in just two of the 12,366 Guardian and Observer articles mentioning Iraq. Von Sponeck was mentioned a grand total of five times in the same year. Von Sponeck’s book on the sanctions has never been reviewed in the British press, and has been mentioned just once — by the veteran Middle East correspondent Robert Fisk.

Echoing the denials of new Labour ministers such as Peter Hain and Robin Cook, in 2002 Observer Editor Roger Alton responded to a reader challenging him about the sanctions, stating: “It’s Saddam who’s killing all the bloody children, not sanctions. Sorry.” The highly respected Middle East specialist Professor Fred Halliday was equally dismissive, rubbishing “claims that Iraq still lacks the means to provide a basic supply of food” in a book review in the Independent in 1999.

The governing elite, assisted by a pliant media and the silence of much of academia, have carried out a magic trick of epic, sinister proportions. In a world of 24-hour news culture they have effectively managed to bury the bodies of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who died as a direct result of British foreign policy.

The lack of coverage, concern or discussion today about the sanctions shows how shockingly successful they have been in this endeavour.

As Harold Pinter sarcastically noted in his Nobel Peace Prize speech, “It never happened. Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening it wasn’t happening. It didn’t matter. It was of no interest.”

No conspiracy is needed. “The sinister fact about literary censorship in England is that it is largely voluntary. Unpopular ideas can be silenced, and inconvenient facts kept dark, without the need for any official ban,” George Orwell argued in his censored preface to Animal Farm.

He provides two reasons for thought control in democratic society — first, the owners of the British press, socially, politically and economically part of the governing elite, “have every motive to be dishonest on certain important topics.” And second, he explains: “At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas which it is assumed that all right-thinking people will accept without question. It is not exactly forbidden to say this, that or the other, but it is ‘not done’ to say it”.

As always, it’s up to those who care about the lives of people regardless of their nationality or skin colour, who care about truth, who take their responsibility as world citizens seriously, to raise their voice and remember this moral and historical outrage.

  • Ian Sinclair is the author of The March That Shook Blair: An Oral History of 15 February 2003, published by Peace News Press. He tweets @IanJSinclair.

West Bank Village Struggles to Survive

by Stephen Lendman

Batir is special. Its heritage is longstanding. It’s been that way for centuries. It’s one of Palestine’s most beautiful villages.

It’s built around natural spring water. It’s dotted by wells and reservoirs. Traditional agriculture is its way of life. Villagers want it kept that way.

Spring water irrigates Batir’s gardens. They made village produce famous. Preserving it is vital. It’s too important to lose.

In 1948, Batir was on the front line of Israel’s War of Independence.

Green Line separation divides its ancestral lands. Its residents were the only Palestinians allowed to cultivate them inside its post-war border.

For decades it struggled to survive. Israeli land theft and development threaten it.

Israel’s Separation Wall is Exhibit A. Constructing it threatens traditional Batir agriculture. Its route isn’t yet finalized. If built as planned, Batir’s way of life will end.

One farmer spoke for others, saying:

“It is a tragedy for all farmers and all the residents of Batir village. Most of the residents are farmers and depend on these green lands.”

“They depend on farming the Batir eggplant which is famous in the Palestinian lands. Also we have other vegetables such as beans, cauliflower, and pepper.”

Israel’s Separation Wall “affects us. If only you knew how much it will destroy our lives and land. We do not know how we will live afterwards.”

“Our life is attached to this land. It is the source of our honor. We will never give it away no matter what happens.”

Israel’s Nature and Parks Authority CEO Shaul Goldstein agrees. He opposes Israel’s plan.
Samedi 10 Novembre 2012  Le partage de l'information à propos du village de BATTIR se prolonge au-delà du programme du FIG 2012. Il s'agit à la fois de suivre le travail d'observation élaboré par le groupe de paysagistes dont le travail a été présenté lors du Café-carto du Samedi 13 octobre 2012, au Bureau, à St-Dié-des-Vosges - et de suivre l'impact de l'entretien des vallées de Battir sur les enjeux de son avenir...  Les travaux de restauration des paysages de Battir, réalisés ces derniers mois, ont offert de nouvelles occasions d'expliquer ces enjeux : c'est M. Hassan Muamer qui les a dirigés, qui a bien voulu répondre à mon invitation - nous devons tous le remercier très sincèrement, depuis Battir jusqu'ici, d'avoir accepté de partager avec nous ses Paysages, tout ce mois d'octobre, depuis le FIG, puis à Rouen, jusqu'à l'Université de Besançon.  Les publications vont être diffusées ces prochains mois... Et j'espère que l'avenir de ce merveilleux village saura préserver les richesses de son passé.  Thank you so much, and thank you to share.“Israel has the right to defend itself,” he said. “We think we can do it with electronic devices, closed circuit cameras, and radars, not by a physical barrier, not a fence, not a wall, nothing.”

“We need it open for the public. We need it open for nature.”

Area around Batir provides an ecological corridor. Destroying it by wall or fence construction would be tragic, he added.

He stressed two main points. One is the ecological corridor. It provides animals different climate areas.

Batir landscape is the other. It’s too beautiful and historic to destroy. It’s unique and picturesque. It’s on a hillside south of Jerusalem.

Farmland is arranged by traditional terraces. Natural springs irrigate it.

According to engineer Raed Samara:

“The damage that will happen if the wall is built will never be solved. There will be environmental damage.”

“There will be increase in rats and harmful animals. The animals who are living in this area will not be able to move around, such as gazelles.”

Since 2005, villagers waged legal battles. They petitioned Israel’s High Court. They did so through through Israeli environmental organizations, Friends of the Earth of Middle East, and Israel’s Nature and Parks Authority.

Last October, Israel’s High Court ruled. It issued an injunction. It banned Wall construction. Justice Uzi Vogelman gave Israeli authorities 14 days to respond.

Surtout ne manquez pas cette rencontre avec la vie - la vie qui tient en quelques mots : équilibre, douceur, beauté, volonté... le résultat d'un travail acharné, du fil des siècles à celui des saisons... C'est ici, en Palestine, dans les vallées de Battir - là où notre regard, celui de tous, est impératif, indispensable.  Above all, don't miss this meeting with the life - the life that takes in a few words: balance, sweetness, beauty, will... the result of a hard work, the wire of the centuries and of the seasons... It is here, in Palestine, in the valleys of Battir - where our attention, from each of us, is imperative, essential.Villagers proposed an alternate Wall route. Doing so leaves their land intact. Part of Batir lies inside the Green Line. Israeli construction so far hasn’t violated it.

Attorney Kais Nasser represents villagers. “According to (Israel’s) plan,” he said, (village) lands will remain behind the fence, which will drastically change the status quo in the area and lead to the breaking of an international agreement between the parties.”

It existed since 1948/49. Nasser rejects Israeli claims. Saying Wall construction protects Israeli security doesn’t wash. It’s the land, stupid.

Israel wants it. It wants all valued Judea and Samaria areas. It wants Jewish development only. It wants Palestinians ethnically cleansed. It’s longstanding policy.

In 2011, UNESCO awarded Batir $15,000. It did so for “Safeguarding and Management of Cultural Landscapes.” Its care for ancient terraces and traditional irrigation were highlighted.

Palestinian Authority officials want Batir declared a World Heritage site. Ahead of Israel’s High Court injunction, they petitioned UNESCO to do so. They want ancient Batir terraces protected.
“We hope that UNESCO which gave Batir the first award for protecting the environment. We hope this award will help to stop building the wall and will return life to Batir,” said Samara.

Last October, UNESCO gave Palestine full member status. It did so despite intense US and Israeli opposition. PA officials submitted an emergency petition. It requested swift resolution. It wants Batir protected. It said in part:

“(T)he nominated property is currently at risk because of the Separation Barrier currently being constructed by the Government of Israel. The Batir Village Council brought this case to the Israeli Supreme Court.”

“The court case aims at preventing the construction of the ‘Barrier’ in a historically sensitive area such as the ‘jenan’ or ‘gardens’ where a millenary irrigation system is still in use to water the vegetable gardens of Batir.”

“The Israeli Supreme Court is expected to issue its decision in the near future, which justifies the submission of this dossier to be processed on an emergency basis, in order to protect an area of ‘Outstanding Universal Value’ and prevent its irreversible destruction.”

“Since 1967, intensive Israeli activities of settlement expansion are threatening the property and its surrounding villages.”

“The increasing construction of housing units, infrastructures, roads and other various kinds of services for the exclusive use of Israeli settlers, has resulted in the progressive enclavisation of both the territorial area and the inhabitants of the nominated property, severely threatening the integrity of its landscape and the sustainability of its ecological and environmental equilibrium.”

If Israel’s Wall is built as planned, it’ll separate villagers from 740 acres of their land. Doing so will violate 1948/49 armistice agreements. Subsequent oral ones will end.

Traditional agriculture won’t survive. Batir’s entire terrace system may collapse. “It’s like a net,” said one farmer. “You can’t cut it down in the middle without it being destroyed.”

Perhaps Israel has that in mind. It wouldn’t be the first time. Targeting Palestine’s way of life is longstanding.

Batir is one of its last untouched areas. Villagers prioritize preserving it. Wall construction destroyed adjacent Walaja village.

Good Water Neighbors at Friends of the Earth Middle East’s Michal Sagiv said:
“On the Israeli side, (Walaja) terraces ceased to be used for agriculture and are remnants. Here it’s still a living system.” Batir villages want it kept that way.

On February 17, Haaretz headlined “Palestinians reject Israel’s compromise for West Bank fence: Stop rail traffic instead of building on our land.”

In response to villagers’ High Court petition, Israeli officials “suggested building a fence, rather than a wall….”

They lied. They said doing so would minimize environmental damage. They stressed non-existent security concerns.

Palestinians reject them for good reason. They understand Israel’s real aims. Land theft is prioritized. So is settlement construction and other Jewish development.

Doing so requires displacing Palestinians. It’s been ongoing for decades. It shows no signs of stopping.

In rejecting Israel’s “compromise,” villagers “quoted landscape conservation experts who said that a fence would cause as much damage as a wall – both through direct damage to the terraces on which it would be built and by interrupting the contiguity of cultivated land.”

They said construction will impede villagers’ access to their land. Israel plans it. Concerns raised are subterfuge for its real aims.

The struggle to preserve Batir continues. Hope springs eternal. Israel plans returning 1,200 dunums of Jordan Valley land.

According to its Lands Administration (ILA), its Kibbutz Merav mistakenly got it. It’s inside the Green Line.

ILA officials admitted a 30-year old error. Doing so was perhaps a one-off. What Israel steals it keeps. Rare exceptions prove the rule.

In January 2012, Israel told kibbutz officials what happened. The land’s not theirs was explained. It’s still being cultivated.

It’s private Palestinian land. It’s legal owners were excluded for decades. They still are despite ILA’s ruling.

Making it was historic. It remains to be seen what follows. Anything positive perhaps bodes well for Batir. The struggle to preserve it continues.

About the Author: Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
His new book is titled “How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War”

Visit his blog site at and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

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 this Blog!

Ten Years After This Wall

Ten Years After This Wall

My view of The Wall from a rooftop in Bethlehem,
Aida Refugee Camp

Ten Years After This Wall
<!– /* Font Definitions */ @font-face {font-family:Arial; panose-1:2 11 6 4 2 2 2 2 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:3 0 0 0 1 0;} @font-face {font-family:Cambria; panose-1:2 4 5 3 5 4 6 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:3 0 0 0 1 0;} @font-face {font-family:"Trebuchet MS"; panose-1:2 11 6 3 2 2 2 2 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:3 0 0 0 1 0;} /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:""; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ascii-font-family:Arial; mso-fareast-font-family:Cambria; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Arial; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} –>
In Cold Irons Bound, The Walls of pride are high and wide, Can’t see over to the other side.-Bob Dylan

Ten years ago, Israel began construction of its 490-mile mostly cold concrete barrier without any agreement with the Palestinian Authority about borders.
Over 80% of Israel’s Wall has been built on legally owned Palestinian property because it lies beyond the Green Line.
The Wall has cost over $1 billion so far and it continues to grow:

“Financed with U.S. aid at a cost of $1.5 million per mile, the Israeli wall prevents residents from receiving health care and emergency medical services. In other areas, the barrier separates farmers from their olive groves which have been their families’ sole livelihood for generations.” [Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, Page 43, Jan/Feb. 2007]
In Hebrew The Wall is called “Michshol Hafrada” which translates to “The Separation Wall” in English and “Apartheid Wall” in Afrikaans.
The Israeli spin has been repeated ad nauseam by US Media and Politicians who claim The Wall is against terrorist attacks. <!– /* Font Definitions */ @font-face {font-family:Arial; panose-1:2 11 6 4 2 2 2 2 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:3 0 0 0 1 0;} @font-face {font-family:Cambria; panose-1:2 4 5 3 5 4 6 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:3 0 0 0 1 0;} @font-face {font-family:"Trebuchet MS"; panose-1:2 11 6 3 2 2 2 2 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:3 0 0 0 1 0;} /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:""; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ascii-font-family:Arial; mso-fareast-font-family:Cambria; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Arial; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} –>
Reality is that in the ‘holy’ name of SECURITY, the Holy Land is in pieces-enclaves-Bantustans!

The Jewish only settlements are in reality colonies that divide
Palestinian neighborhoods throughout the occupied territories.

<font face=”Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif”> &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;!– /* Font Definitions */ @font-face {font-family:Arial; panose-1:2 11 6 4 2 2 2 2 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:3 0 0 0 1 0;} @font-face {font-family:Cambria; panose-1:2 4 5 3 5 4 6 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:3 0 0 0 1 0;} @font-face {font-family:&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;quot;Trebuchet MS&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;quot;; panose-1:2 11 6 3 2 2 2 2 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:3 0 0 0 1 0;} /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;quot;&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;quot;; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;quot;Times New Roman&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;quot;; mso-ascii-font-family:Arial; mso-fareast-font-family:Cambria; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Arial; mso-bidi-font-family:&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;quot;Times New Roman&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;quot;; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} –&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt; </font> According to international law, every settlement is illegal as is Israel’s Wall– unless it is built on the Israeli side of the Green Line.
Israel’s Wall traps over 100,000 indigenous Palestinians and the over 600 checkpoints deny them access to their aquifers, land, jobs, families and holy sites.
In 2003, the UN General Assembly voted 144– 4 to condemn the barrier, but the US vetoed that Security Council resolution.
In 2004, an International Court of Justice advisory opinion called The Wall “contrary to international law” and ruled that where ever it did not follow the Green Line it must be removed and reparations paid to the Palestinians whose land was confiscated and property destroyed.
Over one million fruit bearing trees have been destroyed by Israel’s Wall depriving the agricultural based Palestinian economy of money as well as food to feed their families.
The Israeli government and a misinformed America contend that the West Bank is not occupied territory because it was never previously an independent, recognized sovereign state.
Up until the Establishment of Israel-whose very statehood was contingent upon upholding the UN UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS, the British occupied Palestine beginning in 1920 after the fall of the Ottoman Empire, which had ruled from the 14thcentury.
When Israel became a state in 1948, they promised:

“On the day of the termination of the British mandate and on the strength of the United Nations General Assembly declare The State of Israel will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel: it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion it will guarantee freedom of religion [and] conscience and will be faithful to the Charter of the United Nations.” May 14, 1948. The Declaration of the Establishment of Israel

Up until the Six-Day War in 1967, the West Bank had been under Jordan administration, but ever since the Israeli Military Occupy’s it.

Professor Reece Jones, author of Border Walls: Security and the War on Terror in the United States, India, and Israelpublished by Zed Books, wrote:

“Despite the official Israeli position that the wall is a temporary barrier against terrorism, its political consequences cannot be ignored…Arguably the most significant consequence is that the wall physically separates Jerusalem and its important religious sites from the rest of the West Bank.

“In January 2012, Palestinian officials reported that in closed door talks Israeli negotiators abandoned the position that the wall was temporary and proposed the wall route itself as the final political border between Israel and a new Palestinian state.

“In late May, Israeli Defense Secretary Ehud Barak stated publicly that Israel should consider unilaterally establishing a border between the two states. If the wall does become the final border, it will substantially expand the territory of Israel at the expense of longstanding Palestinian property rights and religious connections to the land. It will also demonstrate the power of walls to crystallize and formalize claims to territory by physically excluding other people from the land. Finally, it will undermine the international consensus against the annexation of territory gained through expansionary wars.

“Rather than setting this dangerous precedent, ten years after construction began the United States and the international community should reaffirm that the Green Line, rather than the route of the wall, as the starting point for any future talks about a border between Israel and Palestine. The territorial conflict should be resolved through a negotiation that respects the rights and concerns of both Israelis and Palestinians, not through the unilateral construction of a separation wall.” [read more-link here]

In February 2003, Claire Anastas and her family of fourteen -whose three story home with a gift shop on the first floor that had been the closest shop to Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem- were informed by the Palestinian Authority that The Wall would be coming to their neighborhood.
Eileen Fleming at ‘Claire’s Tomb’
photo copyright Meir Vanunu

The family had moved into their home in 1967, and their back yard garden once had a view of open green space.

The family is now encircled on three sides by thirty-feet high slabs of cold concrete which has imprisoned them from the rest of the Little Town of Bethlehem: which is Occupied Territory.

For months the family helplessly observed the preparation work all around them, and then one week before Christmas 2003, Claire’s children went to school and came home to discover that every view from every window was of the concrete monster.

The once economically thriving and vibrant main street in Bethlehem is now a ghost town and Rachel’s Tomb and ‘Claire’s Tomb’ are divided by the concrete barrier which is topped by guard towers and patrolled by soldiers in battle gear.

In 2003, Dr. Jad Issac, the director general of the Applied Research Institute examined a satellite photograph of the area and stated, “Bethlehem is the Bethlehem ghetto now…rather than seeking to ensure freedom of religion, Israel was pushing Bethlehem’s Christian Palestinians to pack up and leave. About 360 Palestinians would be left on the Israeli side and once they get rid of the Christians, then they will label the rest as terrorists.”

Dr. Shmuel Berkovitz, an expert on Jerusalem and Jewish holy places, said The Wall effectively annexed Rachel’s Tomb to Jerusalem from Bethlehem “as a matter of technical separation, without an official declaration. Right now, you can’t see any romantic place there; you can see it only as a military position.”

Rachel’s Tomb is a small stone building with a dome, which was built during the Ottoman rule, but is now completely enclosed by Israel’s cold iron fortifications, built in 1996 and 1997.

During my first of three visits to Claire’s home, she told me, “Six years ago when the Israeli army blocked the main street in Bethlehem we hoped it would be temporary. We could not imagine anyone could block another human being and isolate them like they have done to us. A week before last Christmas my children went to school and when they returned they were faced with the concrete wall in front of them. They cried and cried and wanted to know how could such a thing be done to them? We are living in a tomb, we are buried alive. My children suffer and their mother and father can do nothing.

“In another ten years there will be no more Christians in Bethlehem if things do not change soon. Everyone is leaving, we need work, and we need to feed our children. Jesus was born here but we are dying. My children suffer, they are angry and shout because nobody comes to visit us anymore and the children must stay inside after school.

“We use to enjoy being out in our garden watching the people, the trees, the cars that would pass by, but now we only see concrete walls. Our lives have been stolen!

“Do Americans understand what happens to children when they are buried alive?

“When Hillary Clinton visited Jerusalem and said the wall was not against the Palestinian people, she killed us too! Christians who do not care kill us too!”

A few weeks after his Freedom of Speech Trial began in 2006, Israel’s Nuclear Whistle Blower, Mordechai Vanunu sent this invitation to Hillary Clinton and US Christians:

I do believe that man made walls can fall in a day, but the walls in hearts and minds must fall first.

I do believe The Truth Will Set US All Free but first must come the education that leads to compassion which is the way to bring in the change all people of conscience want to see:

A Holy Land that is Whole indeed! &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;!– /* Font Definitions */ @font-face {font-family:Arial; panose-1:2 11 6 4 2 2 2 2 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:3 0 0 0 1 0;} @font-face {font-family:Cambria; panose-1:2 4 5 3 5 4 6 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:3 0 0 0 1 0;} @font-face {font-family:&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;quot;Trebuchet MS&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;quot;; panose-1:2 11 6 3 2 2 2 2 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:3 0 0 0 1 0;} /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;quot;&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;quot;; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;quot;Times New Roman&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;quot;; mso-ascii-font-family:Arial; mso-fareast-font-family:Cambria; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Arial; mso-bidi-font-family:&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;quot;Times New Roman&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;quot;; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} a:link, span.MsoHyperlink {color:blue; text-decoration:underline; text-underline:single;} a:visited, span.MsoHyperlinkFollowed {mso-style-noshow:yes; color:purple; text-decoration:underline; text-underline:single;} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} –&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;


&lt;!– /* Font Definitions */ @font-face {font-family:Arial; panose-1:2 11 6 4 2 2 2 2 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:3 0 0 0 1 0;} @font-face {font-family:Cambria; panose-1:2 4 5 3 5 4 6 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:3 0 0 0 1 0;} @font-face {font-family:&quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;; panose-1:2 11 6 3 2 2 2 2 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:3 0 0 0 1 0;} /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:&quot;&quot;; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-ascii-font-family:Arial; mso-fareast-font-family:Cambria; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Arial; mso-bidi-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} a:link, span.MsoHyperlink {mso-style-noshow:yes; color:blue; text-decoration:underline; text-underline:single;} a:visited, span.MsoHyperlinkFollowed {mso-style-noshow:yes; color:purple; text-decoration:underline; text-underline:single;} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} –&gt;


BEYOND NUCLEAR: Mordechai Vanunu's Freedom of Speech Trial

I am Eileen Fleming and I approve of all of my messages.

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 this Blog!

Lebanon Wants Israel Stop Erecting Wall for Violating Sovereignty

Lebanon has asked the leadership of the international forces in the south to demand that Israeli occupation stop working on the separation wall near Metulla settlement pending verification of the breach to Lebanese sovereignty by Israel.

Working on separation wallThe Israeli occupation had extended the wall opposite to Kfar Kila to a distance longer than agreed upon something the Lebanese authorities rejected.

Lebanon had objected to the excavation, arguing that at several points it was between 30 and 65 centimeters closer to the pavement on the Lebanese side of the border than originally agreed upon.

Lebanese officers were given topographical maps by the U.N. in order to follow the construction of the wall to ensure that it follows the agreement.

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 this Blog!

From Tribalism to Humanism

The Path to Freedom

A journey from the narrowness of egotism to the splendour of Universalism

In his new book “The wandering Who”, Gilad Atzmon reflects on his transforming journey from an IDF “Israeli”, a racist tribalist, self-ghettoized Zionist, with exclusionist mentality, who was greatly influenced as a child by his “veteran Zionist terrorist” grandfather, into simply a Universalist and Humanist.

A courageous and enthralling journey that began in the most unexpected places, in one of the suburbs of occupied Jerusalem, Al Quds, and by no other tool than a musical instrument, a saxophone!

A journey that he didn’t choose initially, rather, he stumbled upon. He came to discover that in the world out there, where gentile live, raw talents, daring intelligence and breathtaking beauty not only exist but also thrive. This realization took him by surprise; it contradicted his basic supposition of his own and his people’s superiority as Jews. This revelation pressed on him by necessity to take a good look in the mirror, the inner mirror of the self.

Gilad describes how he fell in love and became fascinated with Afro-American music; it was that love that opened the door of escape for him and enabled him to flee the narrowness of the Ghetto of tribalism to the wide world of humanism. As he discovered the brilliance and the captivating beauty of the music played not by Jews, but by gentiles, moreover, most of those musicians were actually black, Atzmon explains: “… it was kind of a revelation. In my world, it was only Jews who were associated with anything good”.

Thus was the beginning of the young Gilad’s voyage.

Gilad’s long journey started as he explains by asking himself serious questions about his own identity. With all the frankness, dignity and courage, Gilad admits to himself and later to his readers, that he did not like what he saw. He was hit with the fact that he as Jew, might not be the fairest-one-of-all after all, as he was brought up to believe. What he realized is in fact other human beings, who are not Jews but gentiles, might be just as good! This was the first revelation in Gilad’s journey of self discovery.

Gilad reflects on how they learned -as young Jews – to view Palestinian as workers and providers of cheap labour, those nameless, faceless people who roam around:

We never socialised with them. We didn’t really understand who they were and what they stood for. Supremacy was brewed in our souls, we gazed at the world through racist chauvinistic binoculars. And we felt no shame about it either

The breaking point of his attachment was his visit to Ansar prison camp in South Lebanon in 1994. His IDF orchestra team was invited to visit. Gilad describes how did this journey affected him and changed him forever: “As we continued past the barbed wire I continued gazing at the inmates and arrived at an unbearable truth: I was walking on the other side, in Israeli military uniform. The place was a concentration camp. The inmates were the “Jews” and I was nothing but a “Nazi”“.

He then goes on to tell the tale of the last straw that broke the camel’s back: “while I contemplated the resonance of my uniform, trying to deal with the great sense of shame in me, we came to a large, flat ground at the centre of the camp. The officer guiding us offered more platitudes about the current war to defend our Jewish haven. While he was boring us to death with these irrelevant Hasbara (propaganda) lies, I noticed that we were surrounded by two dozen concrete blocks each around 1m² in are and 1.3m high, with small metal doors as entrances. I was horrified at the thought that my army was locking guard dogs into these boxes for the night. Putting my Israeli chutzpah into action, I confronted the officer about these horrible concrete dog cubes. He was quick to reply: “these are our solitary confinement blocks; after two days in one of these, you become a devoted Zionist!”. This was enough for me. I realized that my affair with the Israel state and with Zionism was over

Gilad then goes on to say: “it took me another ten years before I could leave Israel for good. During that time, however, I began to learn about the Israel-Palestine conflict, and to accept that I was actually living on someone else’s land. I took in the devastating fact that in 1948 the Palestinians hadn’t abandoned their homes willingly –as we were told in school- but had been brutally ethnically cleansed by my grandfather and his ilk.”

Discovering these exterior realities around him helped him to understand the atrocious role his people -including his much admired grandfather- played in creating the catastrophe of the Palestinian people.

Then came the time when young Gilad thirsted for answers and needed to dive deeper in his own self; he began to reflect upon the question of identity, and what it means to him to be defined as a Jew.

Years of observation and reflection he came to notice that those who call themselves Jews could be divided into three main categories:

  1. Those who follow Judaism.
  2. Those who regard themselves as human beings that happen to be of Jewish origin.
  3. Those who put their Jewish-ness over and above all of other traits.

Atzmon is more puzzled and concerned with people in the third category, as the first two are pretty self evident.

Gilad view is that the people in the third category are the manifestation of what early Zionists have defined and envisaged. Chaim Weizmann, a prominent early Zionist said “There are no English, French, German or American Jews, but only Jews living in England, France, Germany or America” Gilad explains: “In just a few words, Weizmann managed to categorically define the essence of Jewish-ness. It is basically a “primary quality”. You maybe a Jew who dwells in England, a Jew who plays the violin, or even a Jew against Zionism, but above all else you are a Jew.

This definition takes me personally a few years back, when I was intrigued by the fact that some of our Jewish supporters in the solidarity movement were atheists, yet they also defined themselves as Jews. No matter how much I turned this in my head, it just didn’t make sense; how can one be an atheist Jew?

So I asked one of my Jewish friends one day: “what do you mean when you say you are Jewish? Since you reject faith and disbelieve in Judaism as a religion, and since your culture is more Western-European than it is African-Jewish or Middle-Eastern-Jewish or any other Jewish culture, you are not Jewish by race, as there is no such a thing as Jewish race or Jewish genes, there is no unified Jewish history, and even your language is English not Hebrew? So what is it that makes you still define yourself as Jewish”?

My friend was taken aback by the question, he paused for some time, then he said something I would never forget, he said: “ I don’t know, I don’t know how to explain it, it’s just something you know, something you feel inside you”!

Perhaps if my friend and other Jews who define themselves as atheist Jews, if they would allow themselves the freedom to reflect upon and to explore such question and search deep inside them as Gilad did, maybe they would understand why are we -who ask these questions, are so perplexed by their definition.
From an outsider perspective, the word atheist Jew does not correspond to any logic, common sense or rationality, unless of course, one see him/herself as exclusively different as defined by Ultra Orthodox Chabad; i.e having a distinctive Neshama “Jewish soul”, or special Jewish genes, which surely is not the case of our atheist friends!

Gilad was brave enough to put himself on trial and to ask the daring questions, who am I? why am I defined as a Jew? and what does it really mean to be a Jew?

By asking these questions, one would not expect to find answers in any books of course. The answer can only be found deep within. It requires an inner journey.

Gilad pondered and wondered, he asked the questions then he pursued the answer, “The Wondering Who” is a summary of his journey; of spiritual reflection and of intellectual discovery and endeavour .

His book is a profound testimony of the resilience, strength and beauty of human spirit and the boundless aptitude of human potential.

Despite the many years of indoctrination, Gilad dared to ask questions that many of us do not dare to ask. Instead of looking outside to find explanations and answers, he looked within, he tried to identify that which might be problematic and harmful. He came to admit before the world that his own grandfather, whom he admired and who had “tremendous influence” on him as a young person, is actually a terrorist and murderer. He came to discover and then to admit that his own people whom he thought were the best in the world and whom he was taught it’s only them “who were associated with any thing good“, were in fact people who committed crimes of theft, terrorism and ethnic cleansing against another people.

He came to discover and admit that many of the people who call themselves Jews, who live in many countries of the world, and who blindly support an entity that engages in acts of terrorism and war crimes are also implicated.

Telling the truth can be daunting sometimes, and indeed it can expose the truth teller to all sorts of harmful attacks, however, facing the truth is far more excruciating, agonizing and life shattering experience.

It requires the embarking on an overwhelming inner journey of self discovery. If we find the courage within ourselves to take up the challenge, the outcome would be spectacular… and life would become a magnificent abode of bliss and contentment.

Through his gripping experience Gilad revealed that the change we seek and desire in order to improve our conditions begins with making the change within us. Change is possible, attainable, straightforward and available to all. It begins by being open and honest with ourselves, to allow ourselves to explore our inner core, and in particular facing that which is ugly; arrogance, ego, selfishness. . . within each and every one of us.

Through his fascinating and extraordinary journey Gilad came face to face with the Qur’anic statement of truth:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ لا يُغَيِّرُ مَا بِقَوْمٍ حَتَّى يُغَيِّرُوا مَا بِأَنْفُسِهِمْ

“Verily never will God change the condition of a people until they change themselves (what is within their own souls)” (Qur’an; 43:11)

Gilad realized that one cannot be a tribalist and a humanist simultaneously, so he chose humanism and universal values. He severed his ties with racism and supremacy, he departed from loyalty to the tribe, he refused to be a sayan at the expence and suffering of others. He offered his loyalty to the whole of humanity. The high values of equality, justice and humanism became his passion.

By doing so, Gilad came to affirm and to live by, yet again, another Qur’anic statement of truth:

“Ye who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to God, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor: for God can best protect both. Follow not the desires (of your hearts) (4:135)

“God commands justice, the doing of good, and kindness to kith and kin, and He forbids all shameful deeds, and injustice and antagonism: He advices you, that ye may be reminded.” (16-90)

One can and must love and show kindness to his kin and clan, but one should NEVER put his sentiments above JUSTICE and HUMANISM.

For his honesty and integrity, for telling the truth even when it hurts, and for siding with justice even against his own clan, Gilad was vilified by Zionists and anti-Zionists alike. For them, he has committed the worst sin of all, he is a mosser.

Instead of looking at his journey with curiosity and open-mindedness, instead of listening to his universal message of equality, and instead of examining his work that points at the ills within, his adversaries look at it through the eyes of vindictiveness, hatefulness and bottomless animosity.

Gilad’s adversaries exhibit more understanding, rationality, courtesy and civility even when dealing with Zionists, soft and hard core.
As we know, Zionists and soft Zionist are often invited and welcomed to some of the anti-Zionists activities and events -under the pretext of reaching out to the Jewish community. As we know also, some of those Zionists who attend such events might actually be IDF members who trained to commit murder. Unlike them Gilad has no weapons except his words and saxophone, yet he -not the hard core militant British Zionists, is the one who is ostracized, chased and chastised by some self claimed “friends of Palestine”.

He is portrayed as the worst “enemy of the Jewish people” rather than the one who offers his honest voice to help and heal through his experience and sincerity.
He was followed around the globe, with pickets, leaflets, deluge emails and sinister phone calls trying to discredit him, trying to prevent people from listening to him and trying to smother his voice of liberation, that calls for the tearing down of the self erected ghetto walls of mind and soul.

From an Islamic perspective, Gilad’s journey is what Muslims call the “Greater Jihad”, the inner journey that one embarks upon to examine one’s purpose in life, one’s identity, one’s thoughts, one’s intentions, and one’s inner most hidden harmful characteristics. Such perpetual reflection helps us to identify and face our dark side, contain our ego, curtail our greed, and work with awareness to replace or transform such ills into a more constructive, caring, compassionate and generous qualities.

It is my personal feeling that Gilad, a Humanist of Jewish ancestry, by imposing self exile and by uprooting himself from his place of birth, through his journey of self discovery, and through the hard questioning of his identity, his morality and his intentions, had earned his redemption as an X- IDF occupier.

From my modest perspective as an exiled Palestinian and activist, Gilad had washed away his sins of being a member of IDF in the past, he has cleansed his conscience by choosing who he wants to be not by who he found himself being.

I welcome Gilad as a brother in humanity, and as a Palestinian-born visionary.

I hope and pray that his chosen exile and my forced exile would both end one day by our return back home to our beloved and liberated Palestine, and with us all those millions of refugees, and those good Jewish Palestinians like Gilad who chose to extract themselves rather than being part of a criminal and illegitimate entity.

Welcome brother Gilad, welcome brother “Jihad” to the family of humanity, and welcome a dear son of Palestine.

Buried Alive (Documentary about The Segregation Wall)

Posted on October 17, 2011 by mohamadyousef

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

A New Video about the Annexation wall

Introduction by Gilad Atzmon: This important video explores the brutal reality inflicted by the neo-ghetto ideology and the walls it surrounded itself with. Zionism was there to drift the Jew away from the Ghetto but Israel has managed to relocate the Jew behind the Ghetto wall. Israel has managed to separate its people from land and its indigenous people i.e. the Palestinians.

The monstrous wall is a clearly true reflection of the failure of the Jewish national project. The Annexation wall is, in fact, a devastating glimpse into Israeli collective phobia.

You can now order Gilad Atzmon’s New Book on or

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Budrus Trailer

Thursday, June 2, 2011 at 5:32PM Gilad Atzmon
Learn about the Israeli Wall

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Book review: Palestine brought to life in "Behind the Wall"

Marcy Newman, The Electronic Intifada, 5 August 2010

“Buried alive,” Bethlehem. (Rich Wiles)
Anyone familiar with the work of the Palestinian youth center Lajee in Aida refugee camp in the occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem has probably encountered photographer Rich Wiles’ work. Wiles’ foray into publishing began with a series of books (Dreams of Home, Flying Home, and Our Eyes) produced by the youth of Aida camp, collaborative projects that he facilitated. Behind the Wall: Life, Love, and Struggle in Palestine is his first book published as a solo venture, or at least that is how the book may appear at first glance. However, true to Wiles’ collaborative methodology, this is not about his story of living and working in Palestine, but a story about the lives of people he has encountered over the course of the last seven years living in Palestine.

The book is broken down into seven thematically-oriented sections: Memories of Exile, The Wall, The Spirit of Resistance, Purity and Love, Land of Palestine, Strength and Sumoud, and Dreams of Return. The chapters within each section are like snapshots of Palestinians, most of whom are refugees living in the West Bank; interspersed between each section are Wiles’ moving photographs, which amplify the feeling of experiencing close-up images of Palestine. The Palestinians’ stories, told directly to the reader in their own words, are exhibited within Wiles’ frame that provides readers with a context. Little by little one gets a clearer sense of the current situation in Palestine and its ties to history and the fight for political rights, most importantly the right of return as enshrined in United Nations Resolution 194.

To set the narrative, Wiles opens with five historically-grounded stories that connect Palestinian refugees to their original villages in 1948 Palestine and the history of their expulsion in 1948 (referred to by Palestinians as the Nakba, or catastrophe) and 1967. In a chapter appropriately entitled “War Crimes and Picnics,” Wiles illustrates the ongoing Nakba by describing a photograph taken in the 1960s of a school in Imwas village. The choice of Imwas is important given the history laid out in the chapter of its villagers’ ability to repel Zionist forces in 1948. Villager Abu Gaush helps Wiles offer a more personal account of the ethnic cleansing of Imwas in 1967:

“My family fled to the mountains as we were frightened that 1948 was happening all over again … The soldiers emptied all the houses in the villages and forced everyone out onto the streets. The only direction left clear was to Ramallah, and they told us to go there. Other soldiers were saying, ‘Go to Jeddah [in Saudi Arabia] — all land before there is ours — and if you stop before Jeddah, we will kill you!'” (18).

Abu Gaush’s narrative is not only significant because it intertwines with memories of destruction during the Nakba, but it involves the Jewish National Fund (JNF) which constructed Canada Park on the remains of Imwas and the surrounding villages with the help of the Canadian government. Wiles builds on this story to explain what the JNF has done, weaving together history, orature and an analysis of its ramifications to provide readers with a way to understand how Palestinians experience the ongoing dispossession.

“Strength,” Aida refugee camp. (Rich Wiles)

The construction of Israel’s wall in the West Bank, buttressed against Aida refugee camp where Wiles resides, is one of the themes in his book that also illustrates how Palestinians are faced with the ongoing Nakba. Given the way in which the wall incarcerates Palestinians in the West Bank and separates them from friends, family and land on the other side of the wall, the subject of imprisonment is a prominent one in this second section of the book.

To highlight the effects of the wall in one particular chapter Wiles uses first-person narrative of his experience following four Palestinian laborers and two 27-year-old Palestinian women through dark and foul-smelling sewage tunnels to evade occupation soldiers in an attempt to cross from one Palestinian neighborhood to another. Wiles’ account sheds light on how Palestinians in the West Bank are cooped up in ways that beg comparison to the elaborate tunnel system between Gaza and Egypt.

The use of sewage tunnels to access another part of Palestine is one way Wiles portrays a form of daily Palestinian resistance. In the section “The Spirit of Palestinian Resistance,” he shares additional ways in which Palestinians resist the colonization of their land: a youth who throws stones, a student active in armed resistance, a man writing in underground newspapers and a man breaking a curfew to bring food to his besieged neighbors. Wiles sketches the contours of their lives to help readers understand why it is important for Palestinians to resist the military occupation. Many of the people he describes pay a heavy price for their resistance, especially the youth, many of whose stories also entail torture and imprisonment in Israeli jails.

But as the subtitle of Wiles’ book indicates, Palestinian life is not only about the struggle, but also about love. His sections “Purity and Love” and “Strength and Sumoud” focus on the steadfastness of Palestinian families, many of whom are separated because so many are locked up in Israeli prisons or cut off by the wall. Wiles weaves together the political context of the 11,000 Palestinian prisoners by focusing predominantly on the youth behind bars — children such as Mahmoud from Aida refugee camp, who was only ten years old when he was first disappeared to a detention center where children are allowed to exercise only in what Mahmoud describes as a “large cage” whose roof soldiers covered to block the children from even seeing the sun.

Wiles writes of betrothed lovers Mahadi and Susu, separated by the wall. On the lengths they must go to be together, Mahadi says of Susu, “‘It made her so sad that we couldn’t be like normal engaged couples. I just wanted to drink tea that was made by her hands'” (101). Such simple desires help readers to render Palestinian humanity visible because Wiles’ narration is so powerful.

Love of family and love of land are important dimensions of “Land of Palestine,” where Wiles gives readers a sense of other kinds of separation from their families as a result of forced exile from their land because of the ongoing colonial expansion in the West Bank. Palestinians who have been pushed off their land or who have little access to their own water, despite the fact that most of the aquifers lie in the West Bank, recount their difficulties obtaining water or harvesting their crops. Other stories detail how uprooted olive trees affect Palestinian families, communities and the land itself.

Indeed it is the land and Palestinian ties to it that keeps their struggle alive after 62 years. Wiles’ chapters throughout the volume remind us of the heart and soul of the struggle: the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their original villages. The final stories in the book in “Dreams of Return” give a sense of Wiles’ broader work with refugees at Lajee Center and his trips with refugee youth to their original villages. Their photographs and stories are represented in many of Lajee’s publications and readers will get a glimpse of them here. These chapters are especially rich with stories from the youth about their experiences seeing their land for the first time and the orature of their grandparents about the history of their villages. The stories come full circle as we see the youth develop a stronger bond with the physical elements — soil, water, stones — of their land. The emotions that emerge when one encounters these stories are solidified by the symbolic and powerful final close-up image of the book: a grandfather handing down the key to his original home to his grandson.

Ultimately the themes and narratives emphasized in Wiles’ book are made meaningful by his images and his prose. His tone is deeply respectful and humble, offering writers a model discourse. When taken together these chapters illuminate the ongoing Nakba facing so many Palestinians while also presenting activists with a sense of the centrality of the right of return.

Marcy Newman is a professor of literature at Amman Ahliyya University and a member of the organizing committee for the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel.

Related Links
Purchase Behind the Wall: Life, Love, and Struggle in Palestine on

Wall , Oh wall !!….where is that Mirror ?

Frustrated Arab’s Diary
Mirrors ,show us always the truth.

The indigenous houses behind the Wall
while a brand new settlement is in front of it

The Truth hidden behind that Wall
while arrogance is parading in front of it

Human rights dumped behind that Wall
while the right of might has build it

Semites thrown over behind the Wall
while the Ashkenazim and the Slavonic’s in front.

Wall oh wall !!
where is that Mirror ??

Show us ,  oh Mirror
“the ugliest of them all

 Princess-Palestine has survived
but, among the dwarfs.

Eng. Moustafa  Roosenbloomfairy-tales-up-dater
Posted by Тлакскала at 12:12 AM

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Apartheid With a Twist

By Joharah Baker

Soon, the West Bank will be full of criminals – virtually thousands of them. Before anyone’s imagination runs wild, this is not because the mafia has decided to set up headquarters in Ramallah or a South American drug kingpin has moved residence to Nablus and brought his entire cartel with him. No, the same old Palestinian residents of the West Bank, most of whom have been living peacefully in their homes for years, will find themselves in the most unenviable position of “infiltrator” as of tomorrow, April 13 by virtue of two Israeli military orders.

According to the two orders, which were signed in October, 2009 and go into effect six months later, anyone who does not have “legal” justification for residing in the West Bank will be liable to deportation or a prison sentence of up to seven years. The orders are a rewording of a 1969 order instated mainly to keep out Arabs and Palestinians entering from “hostile” countries. In practical terms, this will mean that thousands of Palestinians, either those who are registered in the Gaza Strip or foreign passport bearing spouses of Palestinians will be automatically categorized as criminal offenders. According to the Haaretz article that broke the story, the order, which is loosely worded, will also include the children of Gazan parents who have made their homes in the West Bank. Add to that the thousands of international activists who come to the Palestinian territories each year to show their solidarity with the Palestinian people. They will also be penalized for unlawfully entering the West Bank. Palestinian residents of Jerusalem are also not immune to the order, many of whom are married to West Bank residents and who have made their homes on the other side of the fence for practical and economic purposes. While this group of Palestinians is already under Israeli scrutiny because of their own precarious status as permanent residents of Jerusalem not living within the self-proclaimed Israeli municipal borders, this new military order for “Judea and Samaria” (the Hebrew term for the West Bank) will only make matters even worse.

Mesh these sub-groups together and you have a big chunk of the already dwindling number of Palestinians allowed to live peacefully in their own homes. On the surface, the new order seems merely insane – criminalizing Palestinians for living in Palestinian territory. Scratch that surface and Israel’s racist and expansionist agenda rears its ugly head. This is not about “legality” or “security” of whatever bogus pretext Israel may offer to justify its draconian measures on the Palestinians. This is about Israel’s long term goals, its greed for Palestinian land and its Machiavellian attitude that the end always justifies the means.

Like almost everything Israeli, the process is slow. Barring the actual occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem in 1967 which took all of six days, the last 42 years have been an accumulative Israeli effort to make Palestinian life as difficult as possible if not impossible altogether. Today, Jerusalem is completely isolated from the West Bank, Palestinians only allowed entry into the city by way of the rare Israeli-issued day permit. Gaza is even more isolated, its 1.5 million people cut off from the outside world and from their own Palestinian environment. Furthermore, travel within the West Bank is hardly a piece of cake either, with the 600 or so Israeli checkpoints interrupting the geographical continuity of this space along with the serpentine Israeli wall which, in some areas, separates Palestinians from Palestinians.

So, the plan has been in place for years, its implementation piecemeal and insidiously subtle so as not to sound off any alarm bells. According to the Oslo Accords, signed in 1993, the West Bank and Gaza are considered one “a single territorial unit”. In his lifetime, late President Yasser Arafat insisted on one thing when negotiations were underway, which was never to separate the two parts of the future Palestinian state, reportedly holding out until “Jericho” was added to the “Gaza-Jericho First” agreement before giving his okay.

Unfortunately, this was not enough. Since Oslo, Israel has continuously and systematically breached the accords, settlement growth first and foremost. However, the new/old practice of the deportation of Palestinians was revived a few years ago and may now be implemented with a vengeance. Everyone has heard of the turning back of pro-Palestinian internationals at Israel’s border crossings, people Israel deems as a “threat to its security.” Israel does not like the young westerners and Israelis who travel to Bilin and Nilin every week to protest Israel’s separation wall there, or those who stand outside the Hanoun and Ghawi homes in Sheikh Jarrah in solidarity with these Palestinian families who were kicked out of their homes by Jewish settlers and who now sleep on the street. With this newest military order, these foreigners would have committed a criminal offense by residing in the West Bank without the proper “permission slips” which we all know are not handed out at the door.

For the Palestinians, this spells disaster for God knows how many families. “Mixed marriages” between Jerusalemites and West Bankers pose enough obstacles as is, what with family reunification procedures and maintaining a “center of life” in Jerusalem in order to preserve residency status. However, what about all those families with one spouse from Gaza? Or Gazan students who study at West Bank universities? Once this order goes into effect, Israel will have the “legal standing” to send them all packing, back to the open-air prison known as the Gaza Strip. Never mind that they have families, children and jobs here in the West Bank. That means nothing when you are branded as a criminal.

Israel has already started these procedures. Berlanty Azzam made headlines a few months ago when she was handcuffed and arrested at a Bethlehem checkpoint and deported back to the Gaza Strip with only one semester left at Bethlehem University. A husband and children in the West Bank town of Qalqilya are living without their mother who was deported back to Gaza in July 2007 and who has not seen her children since. Palestinians with foreign passports have been barred from reentering the country and have been separated from their families as a result. Now, as of tomorrow, all those Gazans living in the West Bank or foreigners married to Palestinians who have made it under the radar this far will now be automatically branded as criminals, infiltrators in their own homes.

It goes without saying that the order does not apply to the hundreds of thousands of illegal Jewish settlers living on confiscated West Bank land. They can come and go as they please, without the trouble of checkpoints, separation walls or racist orders branding them as criminals for living in their own homes. On the contrary, the less Palestinians, the more space to build even more settlements. Palestinians, on the other hand, who have lived on this land for centuries are barred from their original homes in pre-1948 Palestine, from Jerusalem and now even from the West Bank. Cruel and ironic? Apartheid-like? Without a doubt.

Joharah Baker is a Writer for the Media and Information Department at the Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy (MIFTAH). She can be contacted at

River to Sea
 Uprooted Palestinian

A big thank you


Ilan Pappe, The Electronic Intifada, 4 September 2009

Israel’s wall as seen from Ramallah in the occupied West Bank. (Fadi Arouri/MaanImages)

3 September 2009

Today was a unique day in the history of media coverage and discussion in Israel. All the electronic agencies, radio and television alike, discussed the occupation and the oppression of the Palestinians and more importantly, the possible price tag attached to it. It lasted only for 12 hours and tomorrow the obedient Israeli media will return to parrot the governmental new message to the masses that the “conflict” has ended and is about to be solved. On the one hand, you already have happy-go-lucky Palestinians in the West Bank (see the latest reports by Thomas Friedman in The New York Times and Ari Shavit in Haaretz). And on the other, alas, those who opted out from the blissful new reality: the oppressed Palestinians who still live under Hamas’ dictatorship in the Gaza Strip.

Tomorrow we all will go back to the dismal reality in which Palestinian students are imprisoned daily without trial in Nablus, Palestinian children are killed near Ramallah, as also happened today. We will return to the reality of house demolitions as occurred two weeks ago in Jerusalem, of the continued strangulation of the Gaza Strip and the overall dispossession of Palestinians, wherever they are. But today of all days, those of us who happened to be here on the ground saw a light, a very powerful light, illuminating for a very short moment, the horizon of a different reality of peace and reconciliation.

And it was all due to the decision of the Norwegian government to withdraw its investments in the Israeli hi-tech company Elbit (due to the latter’s involvement in the construction and maintenance of the apartheid wall). We have to keep a proportional view on this: only one section of Elbit, Elbit Systems, was affected. But the significance is not about who was targeted, but rather who took the decision: the Norwegian ministry of finance through its ethical council. No less important was the manner in which it was taken: the minister herself announced the move in a press conference. This is what transformed for a short while the media scene in the Zionist state.

Usually matters of foreign or military relevance are discussed in the Israeli media by generals or recruited political scientists from the local academia who provide the interviewers with what they want to hear as commentary. In this case, as one could gather from the questions they have posed to the individuals they invited, they wished to hear that the Muslim minority in Norway is behind this. Or that traditional anti-Semitism explains it and that the newly formed Elders of anti-Zion, with the new recruits — the Iranian and Libyan governments — concocted it. But since the target was a hi-tech company, the commentators invited to the live bulletins were either experts on economy and finance, such as the economic correspondents of the local dailies or captains of the local industry and hi-tech companies. The views of these commentators are a far cry from those usually expressed here in this and similar venues. But they do deal with economic realities and facts of life, and less with mythology and ideological fabrications. And they explained, on prime time, that it is actually the Norwegian sensitivity to human rights that begot this last action and quite likely similar actions will be taken in the future. For the readers of this site, this may sound boring or too elementary, but the average listener and viewer in Israel has not been exposed to such a clear deduction in the mainstream media by mainstream journalists and personalities for a very long time.

The significance of this alas, short lived exposure of what lies behind the apartheid wall and the fences that encircle the West Bank and the Gaza Strip stems from the seniority of Kristin Halvorsen, the Norwegian finance minister who herself announced the decision to divest. It is the first official act of this kind by a Western government. It is reminiscent of the first day when governments heeded the pressures of their societies in the West to act against apartheid South Africa. We were all moved, and rightly so, when brave trade unions took such decisions against Israel; we were all very hopeful when the International Court of Justice ruled against the wall and when courageous individuals, the last one being the filmmaker Ken Loach, took a firm stand against participating in anything which officially represents Israel. But now there is an evolution, a quantum leap forward and a momentum we have to keep and maintain!

This is a clear message for all the good people in the West looking for ways of helping the Palestinians in their moment of nadir. They want to march and sail peacefully to Gaza, they wish to facilitate more meetings between Israelis and Palestinians and are adamant despite all the hurdles to volunteer in the occupied territories. These are all noble actions but changing the public opinion in the West, is what people in the West can do best. And if one government has already shifted significantly the name and the rules of the game — be it in a very minor decision that may still be revised under the tidal Zionist reaction, others will surely follow. For the time being all we can say is a huge thank you to a brave politician that will enter the pages of history as someone who paved the way to a better future for everyone in Israel and Palestine.

Ilan Pappe is chair in the Department of History at the University of Exeter.

Bil’in: A Symbol of Palestinian Resistance


Residents of Bilin demonstrate against nightly invasions by the Israeli army, 29 July 2009. (Oren Ziv/ActiveStills)

A Night In Bilin

Jody McIntyre writing from Bilin, occupied West Bank, Live from Palestine

Over the last few weeks, the residents of Bilin have been subjected to constant night raids by the Israeli military, in retaliation to their weekly nonviolent demonstrations, now in their fifth year, against the Apartheid Wall, which has stolen over half of their land. So far, 17 youths have been arrested, some as young as 16 years of age, usually for their participation in the demonstrations. Many of the boys will not see their family again for months. With the situation getting critical, local activists of the Bilin Popular Committee called for a night demonstration to protest against the raids.

The village has become somewhat of a symbol of the Palestinian resistance, but they have often paid a heavy price for their spirit and resolve — the Israeli army respond to their non-violent actions with brutal force; tear gas, rubber-coated bullets, and live ammunition, in April of this year resulting in the death of Bassem Abu Rahma, a local resident.

(Thanks to Grim Reaper)

Mohammed Khatib, a member of the Committee, explained the motivation behind the decision to have a demonstration at night, stating that, “No-one goes to sleep before four or five in the morning.” He added that, “We stay awake all night, observing the movements of the Israeli military, fearing that we may be the next person to be kidnapped and thrown in jail. Now it is time for us to seize the initiative.”

As we gathered in the center of the village, with the clock approaching midnight, there was a perceptible atmosphere of tension. This was the first attempt at a night demonstration, and I for one do not trust a teenage Israeli soldier with his finger on the trigger shooting in the dark. Nevertheless, we were determined to make our message clear — the night raids must end.

“We don’t want confrontation with the army… this is a peaceful demonstration!” announced Abdullah Abu Rahma, another member of the Popular Committee.

With a group of around 120 Palestinian, Israeli and international activists waving torches in the air, making our presence clear, we marched down toward the Wall, turning left before we reached it in order to avoid provoking the military. All the way chanting:

“No, no to the Wall!”

From there, the path got tougher, my wheelchair grinding over gravel as we continued forging our way through the dark. The whole time we had one eye over our shoulder — considering the tear gas, sound bombs and other weapons we are usually greeted with, God knows how they would respond to this new development.

We reached an open area, and climbed up onto the grassy bank, looking down at the soldiers now frantically patrolling the Wall. We proudly waved our Palestinian flags, and lit bonfires to mimic the “camp-fires” the Israeli army set up every night, presumably to keep the people of Bilin on edge.

Sarah, an Egyptian activist attending the demonstration, told me about the affect of the raids on family life. She explained that, “It’s terrible… even the children can’t sleep. They are being deprived of one of their most fundamental human rights.”

As we stood around our make-shift fires, I was filled with feelings of both relief, that we had not been shot at, and of achievement, that we had managed to seize the initiative from the occupying forces. After many sleepless nights waiting and searching for invading soldiers, it was a great release of frustration to show that we would not stand for this injustice any longer.

The army clearly didn’t have a clue how to respond, firing flares into the sky to get a better look at our activities. The result was magnificent views of incredible beauty — you could see for miles!

“Thank you very much,” said Haitham al-Katib, Bilin’s resident film-maker.

The people of Bilin responded with trademark humor, a nearby family firing flares of their own, as an impromptu firework display emanated from the house, prompting cheers all round.

After more uphill marching, by which time my wheelchair was struggling but assisted by the pushing of Palestinian friends, we returned to the village unscathed.

Everyone agreed that the action was a success — we had really turned the tables on the Israeli army, and we vowed to integrate the new tactic into our ongoing campaign of nonviolent resistance.

So it looks like there will be more sleepless nights for Bilin, but for a completely different reason.

Jody McIntyre is a journalist from the United Kingdom, currently living in the occupied West Bank village of Bilin. Jody has cerebral palsy, and travels in a wheelchair. He writes a blog for Ctrl.Alt.Shift, entitled “Life on Wheels,” which can be found at He can be reached at jody.mcintyre [at] gmail [dot] com.


Posted by JNOUBIYEH at 11:17 AM

Labels: , , ,



Part of the Warsaw Ghetto Wall today

Arthur Topham explores the reasons for the apartheid wall, and reveals that the Pharisees never really went away.
by Arthur Topham
April 14, 2009.
“What is called “Western civilization” cannot be conceived without Christianity… Its greatest improvement was in the field of the spirit and of man’s behaviour towards man.

The West established men’s right to public charge and open trial, or release, (a right which was again in jeopardy in the Twentieth Century) and this was the greatest advance in the entire history of man; on the survival or destruction of this achievement depends his future.” – Douglas Reed, The Controversy of Zion

The old query about the half full or half empty glass is one that might aptly be applied to the massive concrete wall that now divides Palestinian lands into two respective ghettos ~ one for the Palestinians and, yes, one for the Jews. Current collective wisdom would suggest the wall was designed by the Zionist government of Israel for the simple purpose of maintaining control over stolen Arab territory as well as for ‘security’ reasons but this proposition I suggest is much too simple and too misleading.

Internationally renowned street artist Banksey
calls the wall the greatest canvas he
wish for but would prefer to see it torn down.

Deception of the non-Jewish masses, the guiding principle of the Mossad and the Jewish state, demands that one look much deeper into such a surface explanation. For Israel to convince a world now extremely skeptical of its modus operandi, that its legitimacy as a nation and its actions toward the Palestinians are in fact justified, it must retain within its own arbitrarily chosen and illegal captured territories a populace that will support and promote its racist, expansionist agenda.

The recent polls taken during the slaughter and destruction of Gaza over the Christmas season which registered a 94% approval rate for Israel’s military crimes is a poignant example of just how crucial and effective this process of indoctrination really is. In order to have accomplished such a high degree of agreement for genociding a defenseless ghetto of starving refugees, there has to be something in place that goes beyond the normal apparatus of democratic structures.Because of the inherent contradictions imbued throughout Israel’s racist, delusive ideology ~ ones upon which the state was initially founded ~ the Talmudic leaders of this supposedly secularized “democratic” state have exhibited something that most commentators tend to overlook and that is the age old technique of building a fence or a wall around their chosen brethren in order to maintain a tight, rigid doctrinal control over the minds of those within; a critical prerequisite to sustaining the irrational tenets necessary to justify their otherwise fraudulent, immoral and illegal existence.

The technique of maintaining such control of its citizenry was perfected prior to the birth of Jesus Christ and as the famed British journalist Douglas Reed shows us in his classic on the subject, The Controversy of Zionism, even before Jerusalem fell to the Romans in 70 AD there were two different “bands of travelers” already passing through its gates.

In Reed’s words, “The disciples bore a new message to mankind, for Christianity had been born. The Pharisees, foreseeing the fate which they had brought on Jerusalem, removed to a new headquarters from which (as from Babylon of yore) the ruling sect might exercise command over “the Jews” wherever in the world they lived.
These two small groups of travelers were the vanguard of parties of light and of darkness which, like a man and his shadow, have gone ever since through the centuries, and ever westward. The crisis of “the West” today traces directly back to that departure from doomed Jerusalem nineteen centuries ago, for the two groups bore into the West ideas that could never be reconciled.One had to prevail over the other, sooner or later, and the great bid for victory of the destructive idea is being witnessed in our generation. In the centuries between, the story of the West was always, in essentials, that of the struggle between the two ideas.

When “the Law” according to the Levites and Pharisees was in the ascendant, the West made slaves of men, brought heretics before an inquisition, put apostates to death, and yielded to primitive visions of master-racehood; thus the Twentieth Century was the time of the worst backsliding in the West.

When the West made men and nations free, established justice between them, set up the right of fair and open trial, repudiated master-racehood and acknowledged the universal fatherhood of God, it followed the teaching of him who had come to ‘fulfill the Law’.”

The Wall of the Warsaw Ghetto

These prophetic words written in the mid-1950s predicted that the second half of the century would be but a continuation of this struggle between the forces of darkness and light, one culminating in either of the two being victorious.

Prior to the sacking and destruction of Jerusalem, the Pharisees had already skipped town and relocated in a new headquarters called Jamnia, still in Palestine. It was from there that they began to reassess the new kid on the block so to speak and work out a plan to rid the world of his seemingly enduring presence.

To their longstanding power and control over their Jewish brethren this new sect known as Christians were a direct threat to their power and influence. Here they were (the new ones) claiming that the Messiah had finally arrived and that he was proclaiming that the God of Abraham and Isaac and Israel was the God of all the people, Gentiles included and not just the god of the self-chosen Judahites.Such chutzpah on the part of this young Galilean upstart was anathema to the Pharisees and their Priesthood. They couldn’t, as Reed suggested, permit such a creed to gain prominence, especially one whose ruling tenet was “love your enemies” when that of the Pharisees was the polar opposite, stated the Jews should “hate” their enemies and destroy them down to the very last child.

As we saw in the Gaza example last December/January the deliberate shooting of defenseless women and children was living proof that their methodology has not changed in over two millennia. After Jerusalem’s destruction the Jewish Nation was broken up and dispersed throughout the world but the Pharisees at Jamnia continued on with their claims that they and only they possessed the true, oral “Law” purportedly secretly passed down from the God of Abraham into their hot waiting hands and retained by them and them alone ever since.

This of course flew in the face of all that Jesus Christ had taught throughout his ministry where he constantly berated the Pharisees and Scribes for claiming exclusive right to God and using that supposed occult knowledge for their own selfish purposes.The New Testament is full of such chastisements by the Messiah where he exposes the fallacies and falsehoods of this exclusionary, “self-chosen” tribal group. Nevertheless the Pharisees, being a tenacious, determined lot, persisted in maintaining that their secret, orally transmitted laws were the exclusive domain of their particular sect and no other, including the rest of the eleven tribes that had originally made up the bulk of what was once the true 12 Tribes of Israel.

Over the next few hundred years these oral laws would be formulated into what eventually became the Babylonian Talmud, a complex system of rules and regulations and rituals and superstitions compiled with the intent to create an atmosphere of perplexing, confining laws designed to captivate the tribe and breed an eternal hatred for the Messiah Jesus Christ and his followers who, because of the message that was spoken and believed in, posed a direct threat to their own power and design.
The Talmudic Pharisee’s method was to maintain a mental stranglehold over their fellow tribal members by, “interposing a fence between the Jews and the forces of integration released by Christianity.”

The ghetto thus became the traditional form of maintaining control over the intervening centuries and succeeded in keeping the majority of the Jews held in a cohesive amalgam right up until the 19th Century when conditions in the West, especially the new West of North America where freedom and liberty were the watchwords, began to draw the introverted, ghettoized Jews out and away from their confining, separatist dogmas and into a new world of integration with the rest of America’s immigrant population.This became a temptation too great to resist. It was during the 19th Century that the Talmudic powers began to realize the threat to their control posed by this new trend toward integration and liberty and thus set about organizing a more comprehensive plan to ensure their control over the ghettos remained intact.

Thus was born the nationalistic phase projected into the minds of Jews around the world. It was a fencing project to outdo any others before it and by the end of the 19th Century the plans were in place, spearheaded by Theodor Herzl and the Ashkenazi Jews from eastern Europe who gathered in Basel, Switzerland to form the World Zionist Organization in 1897. It’s objective the creation of “spiritual” homeland in the heart of the ancient Arab territory of Palestine.Probably the modern world’s first major heart transplant designed to gain the Zionist faction of World Jewry a long sought after foothold in the Middle East. Political Zionism in that sense became then the thought form which would, after fifty years and more of consistent lobbying and terrorizing of the Palestinian people, eventually precipitate down and manifest within the finite world of global politics into what became, in 1948, the entity known as the state of Israel.

A misnomer from the start the nation should have been called the state of Judah but in true form to its guiding principle of deception it stole its name from the true Israelites, like it stole its territory from the true Arabs. Since the establishment of this Talmudic state of Judahites in 1948, preparation began in earnest to re-create a new ghetto population that would be guaranteed to remain loyal to and complicit with whatever acts of terrorism the state chose to employ in their quest for greater and greater territorial gains.Finally, after close to sixty years of violence and endless broken treaties and continuous acts of terrorism against the Arab people of the region, the outcry from the rest of the world at the obvious injustices being committed, spurred the Talmudic masters of “Israel” to materially actualize their ancient mind-control methods to the point where they began creating in truly concrete form their mendacious techniques for ensuring control over their tribal members.

The world reacted in horror to these walls and automatically assumed that they were being built to create barriers to keep the Palestinians out of their sacred Talmudic territories. But while this was ostensibly a part of their rational the walls were more an attempt to increase the ghettoization of the Jews themselves so that their later actions, particularly the more brutal and insane attacks upon Gaza could somehow be justified and given a sense of actual legitimacy by the perpetrators of these most heinous of genocidal crimes.All the while the rest of the civilized world was forced to witness their evil intent whenever they turn on their television sets and watched the Zionist news broadcasts or pick up their Zionist newspapers and read about the latest atrocity being committed by these so-called “persecuted” and “victimized” members of the Talmudic tribe of Judea.

Now as if things weren’t bad enough already, all of these efforts by the Pharisees to keep their members trapped in a cult of hatred toward Christians, was only exacerbated six centuries later by the birth of Muhammad and another new religious faith that, like Christianity, also maintained there was but one God, Allah, and He was a God of all peoples just as the Christian God was.This new religion taught love for everyone and hatred for no other religions, especially the Christian religion and its Messiah Jesus Christ. Unlike the Talmud which heaped profanities and abuse upon Jesus and his Mother Mary, Muhammad held Christ in the greatest of reverence and recognized him as one of the great prophets in the lineage of Abraham.

Now the Talmudic Pharisees had a second religion that they needed to include in their plans for destruction, and as we can witness today, they’re doing their utmost to create hatred and dissension amongst the Christians for the followers of Islam in order to start another major war between two religions whose founders were in accord with everything that the Talmudic Jews despised and held in the deepest of contempt.

The final point brought that needs to be stated here is the fact that down through history and right up until the 20th Century, the most astute observers of civilized development in the West continually questioned and criticized the actions and motives of the Babylonian Talmudic tribe of Pharisees whenever they began to meddle to deeply in the affairs of other nation states.

But beginning with the take-over of the majority of the media in the West around the turn of the century, this practice began to cease and in its place began the efforts on the part of the Zionist Jews to attack any and all critics of their ideology with the endless epithets of “anti-Semite” and “racist” and “Jew Hater”, an enterprise that has today reached such epidemic proportions, that critics of present day Zionism lay wasting away in dungeons and website owners, university professors, researchers and critics everywhere are being accused of “hate crimes” throughout most if not all western nations.
All of these negative, dark designs by the Talmudic tyrants who control the state of “Israel” and the global institutions of media, money and manufacturing ,compose what is now the shadow thrown upon the world by a wall of deception that soon must be torn down if the world is to ever again know peace and harmony.

Posted by Barbara L at 2:57 AM Links to this post

Some content on this page was disabled on February 22, 2016 as a result of a DMCA takedown notice from Ben Heine. You can learn more about the DMCA here:
Some content on this page was disabled on February 24, 2016 as a result of a DMCA takedown notice from Ben Heine. You can learn more about the DMCA here:

Joshua and the Walls of Jericho….


Yesterday on National Geographic Channel
was an interesting historical-biblical -documentary.

It seems that when Joshua was playing loudly
his trumpets outside the city Jericho….. ..
Jericho was not build , yet.

And 280 years later ,
when Jericho was finally built ,
it has never had any walls !!!

So what do we learn here ??

1- Joshua and Jericho never met .

2- there were no Walls outside Jericho-city

3- the Old-Testament, the ” Torah”
is a very inaccurate-propaganda-book
which Jesus never mentioned
nor ever approved of !!

Thank you ! National Geographic Channel !!

Raja Chemayel
Sherlock Hommos
Eng. Moustafa Roosenbloom


December 24, 2008 at 6:51 am (Gaza, Holidays, Israel, Occupation, Palestine, Religion)

Ben Heine © Cartoons)

by Mohammed Omer

GAZA CITY – “Santa Claus is empty-handed this year … insolvent,” says Father Manuel Musallam, head of the Holy Family School in Gaza City.

“All forms of celebration are absent,” he says, raising his empty palms skyward. “We Christians and Muslims all live in fear and instability. The Israeli tanks, bulldozers, and warplanes have laid siege on us all.”

His school, which has both Muslim and Christian students, likes to celebrate including all, but this year few celebrations were planned, for fewer children.

The Sunday school headmaster of the Greek Orthodox Church, Jaber al-Jilda, echoes his Catholic colleague’s sentiments. “This year’s celebrations are mainly religious,” he says. “We want to celebrate, but our hearts are full of pain and grief. We cannot celebrate and at the same time watch as the funeral of another killed by Israeli occupation passes in front of our church.”

On Friday the building where he teaches is a mosque. On Sunday, it is a church.

“I don’t feel like celebrating Christmas,” says 16-year-old Merkiana Tarazi. “Without safety and peace, even if I wear new clothes, I won’t be happy.”

Like many in Gaza who have family members in Israel, Jordan, or the West Bank, Merkiana is cut off from much of her family. Her elder sister attending Birzeit University in the West Bank cannot come home for Christmas “because of the Israeli siege.”

In the past, even under occupation, Gaza’s Christian community celebrated Christmas, though without the commercialism and grandeur of the West. Before the second Palestinian uprising, the Intifada, began in 2000, Christians and Muslims would gather at Gaza’s main square on Christmas Day. A giant Christmas tree was set up in the square, and a Santa Claus handed out gifts to people on the street. Today, the municipality cannot afford a tree.

“We used to offer chocolate to our children at the school,” Father Musallam said. “But now because of the Israeli siege, no chocolate is available.”

The Christmas decorations are gone, too. “Paper and drawing materials are scarce. And if we happen to find supplies in the market, we cannot afford them. Even clothes or just the basic ingredients needed to make a Christmas cake are not available here.”

But the conditions have still not killed spirits; in place of chocolate, Father Manuel’s school arranged strawberries. Strawberries grown in Gaza were one of the products destined for Europe this year, but Israel stopped the export. That made them some hope at Christmas.

Jilda too has found his own substitutes. For Christmas gifts he is offering religious books instead of chocolates, dresses, and more traditional gifts.

Christmas comes this year amid stories that continue to surface in Western media accusing the Hamas government or Muslims in general of persecuting Christians in Gaza or Palestine. Not many Christians in Gaza say that.

“Hamas has never done that,” Jilda says emphatically. “They send representatives from Hamas to our celebrations. Last year, as the year before, they came and offered Christmas greetings at our church to the entire congregation.”

In the absence of much else, the Christian leaders offer words of hope.

“Christmas is about forgiveness and peace,” says Father Musallam. “It begins with a child. If we each plant a tree of happiness in our children’s hearts, the fruit produced will be peace. I send my love and respect to the world at a time when our people live in hope, and in despair.”

The above was written a year ago by our Gaza Brother….NOTHING HAS CHANGED SINCE.




John Pilger returns to the Occupied Territories of the West Bank and Gaza where, in 1974, he filmed a documentary with the same title about the same issues, a nation of people – the Palestinians – forced off their land and later subjected to a military occupation by Israel. This was an occupation condemned by the United Nations and almost every country in the world, including Britain. But Israel is backed by a very powerful friend, the United States. Pilger finds that 25 years later the basic problems remain unchanged: a desperate, destitute people whose homeland is illegally occupied by the world’s fourth biggest military power. What has changed is that the Palestinians have fought back. Stateless and humiliated for so long, they’ve risen up against Israel’s huge military machine, although they themselves have no arms, no tanks, no American planes and gun ships or missiles.

He hears extraordinary stories from Palestinians, though most of his interviews are with Israelis whose voices are seldom heard, including the remarkable witness of a man who lost his daughter in a suicide bombing. But for Palestinians, the overriding, routine terror, day after day, has been the ruthless control of almost every aspect of their lives, as if they live in an open prison. This film is about the Palestinians and a group of courageous Israelis united in the oldest human struggle – to be free.

%d bloggers like this: