Truth, Truthfulness and Palestine

June 11, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

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Talk delivered at Deep Truth-Countering Deep State Lies (online conference)   

Sun 10 June

By Gilad Atzmon

A healthy society doesn’t need a ‘truth movement.’  But we Americans, Brits, French and Germans are far from healthy and our so-called ‘truth movements’ haven’t led us towards any sources of light. The question is: Why?

One possible answer is that ‘truth movements’ are ideal environments for the operators of controlled opposition — those who insist upon vetting any discussion about the truth by claiming to know what ‘the truth’ is, what it comprises and who its enemies are.

Karl Popper posited that since no number of scientific experiments could definitively prove a scientific theory we should utilise a methodology based on falsifiability. While we posses the means to refute a scientific theory or scientific ‘truth,’ we lack the ability to verify a single scientific theory by means of experiments. For instance, if you state that ‘the sun rises in the East’ is a valid scientific truth, a single occasion of the sun popping up early in the morning in the West will refute your theory. “Building Number Seven” may not point at the culprit behind 9/11 but it is thought to refute the official 9/11 narrative. Furthermore, history laws such as Holocaust denial laws in Europe or the Nakba law in Israel exist to defy alteration, refutation or scholarly debate about the past. Instead of helping us to grasp our past, the existence of such laws reveals to us that some parties are desperate to stop anyone from exploring  what really happened.

The French philosopher Jean-François Lyotard observed in his book, ‘Heidegger and The Jews’ that history may claim to tell us what happened, but most of the time ‘history’ is institutionally engaged in concealing our shame. The Americans, for instance, conceal the brutality of slavery, the Brits conceal the crimes of the empire, the Jews suppress any inquiry into Jewish accountability for Jewish history’s chain of disasters and so on. The message here is that instead of simply learning history from historians, we may well benefit from adopting a psychoanalytical approach to try to understand what historians work to conceal. We should ask why does America build a holocaust museum in every city? Why did the Brits make the Imperial Wars Museum into a Holocaust shrine? We may even want to understand how it is possible that on the same day Israel celebrated “the biggest Gay Pride Parade in the region” hundreds of Israeli snipers were deployed on the Gaza border with orders to shoot every Palestinian who might try to break out of the Gaza concentration camp. Israel’s liberal LGBT attitude is basically a pink-wash, an attempt to conceal Israel’s abusive racist policies towards the indigenous people of its land.

But there is reason to be optimistic. Against the odds, and despite the open assault on truthfulness, truth has a unique ability to unveil itself.

In this presentation today we will look at Palestine and Israel in the light of truth and truthfulness and we will find out that by now we are all Palestinians. Like the Palestinians we are not allowed to utter the name of our oppressors.

Trump and Truthfulness

If truth reveals itself however involuntarily, President Trump is a leading vehicle or, perhaps, an arch facilitator, for such process to take place.  Let us, for instance, examine Trump’s decision to move the American embassy to Jerusalem. This cataclysmic political decision was criticised by every reasonable figure globally but it actually provided the opportunity for the truth to unveil itself.

Just a few hours after Trump’s televised announcement, Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas informed Vice President Pence who was at a state visit in the region that he was persona non grata in Ramallah. President Abbas’ reaction to Trump’s Jerusalem move was to declare that America can no longer act as a negotiator, it is a side in the conflict. It was Trump’s Jerusalem move that finally allowed the penny to drop. America hasn’t just taken a side in the conflict, it may as well be an Israeli colony.

Truth Shines on the Jewish Solidarity Spin

Over the last two decades the Palestinian solidarity movement has become a toy for Jewish solidarity. The results of this have been devastating. The core Palestinian plight, namely The Right of Return was practically wiped out and replaced by Israel-friendly terminology such as ‘End of Occupation’ – a set of peaceful sounding bites that in practice legitimise the existence of the pre-1967 Jewish State. New sound bites were attached to the Israeli Palestinian conflict such as: apartheid, colonialism, settler colonialism and even BDS. These misleading terminologies were designed to convey the image that the Israeli Palestinian conflict was not unique, that it had precedents in history. Of course, this is simply wrong and consciously misleading. Zionism is based upon the ludicrous idea that Jews have the right to return to their ‘homeland’ after 2000 years. Who else should enjoy such a ‘universal’ right? Can my Italian drummer claim my house in London as a ‘Roman offspring’?

But Trump’s Jerusalem move reminded the Palestinians that the denial of the Right of Return is at the core of their plight. It is the Right of Return that they should fight for, the Right of Return and nothing but that Right.  Since March we have seen huge protests by Palestinians on the Gaza border. These protests have cost a lot of Palestinian lives. Hundreds were murdered by Israeli snipers, thousands have been injured, but the truth has prevailed. The current resistance by the Palestinians has achieved more of an impact than 20 years of wasted diluted kosher solidarity: Israel is now on the defensive: boycotted culturally and spiritually. PM Netanyahu visited every significant European capitol in the last few days begging for support on Iran. He found closed doors. The Argentinian football team cancelled its visit to Israel. Today I read in the Israeli press that more and more Spanish municipalities ban Israeli cultural events. These measures are a direct reaction to Israeli barbarism in Gaza and beyond.

 Killing From Afar

The Austrian Philosopher Otto Weininger dedicated his valuable text ‘Sex & Character’ to a harsh deconstruction of the ‘female character,’ and then concluded his work by suggesting that the Jewish male is a woman. Weininger killed himself shortly after, he probably couldn’t stand the fact that he himself was an effeminate character as well as a Jew.

Zionism, either consciously or subconsciously took Weininger very seriously. In its early stages Zionism saw itself as an alpha male factory. It brought to life the new Israeli — the Sabra named for the prickly pear.  The  diaspora assimilated Jew, was, in Zionist eyes,  indistinguishable from the outside but calculating and mean on the inside. In contrast, the new Israeli Sabra was to be rough and tough on the outside, yet sweet and humane on the inside.

The Zionists promise was to construct the new Jew, to make him and her into warriors — Combatants that could fight for their cause unlike their Diaspora relatives who were thought to have surrendered like ‘lambs to the slaughter.’

Israeli history suggests that this project seemed successful for a while. In Israel’s early days young Hebrews were willing to fight and die. Indeed, they won a few successive battles (1948, ‘56 and ‘67). I was brought up within this Spartan environment. My peers and I looked forward to sacrificing ourselves on the Jewish nationalist altar. This has clearly changed. The Israeli army is no longer a winning army. Not only does it lack decisive victories, more often it finds itself defeated, withdrawn from the battlefield with its tail between its legs.

What we have seen on the Gaza border in the last two months reveals that Otto Weininger’s observation was indeed prescient. Again the truth has unveiled itself however involuntarily. The Israeli army is an army that kills from afar. It is basically a barbarian criminal outfit dominated by the cowardly nature of its members.

The Israeli military elite has dreaded a March to Jerusalem for decades.  Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians marching back to their lands, homes, cities and villages is something that can’t be easily addressed militarily. Generals are naturally fearful of such incidents because they entail unpredictability. It is impossible to predict how a lone rifleman will react when confronted by thousands of angry Palestinians closing in on him — will he stay to defend his position or will he run for safety?  And what about the air force, can we count on an F-16 pilot to drop a napalm bomb on unarmed Palestinians marching towards Tel Aviv? Seemingly the Israeli generals have found an answer to the above dilemma – they kill from afar.

Israel has deployed thousands of snipers in Gaza. They are ordered to kill from afar. Not exactly the early Zionist heroic image of a face to face warrior who sees the eyeballs of his foe as he fights for his survival. But the snipers are not alone. Israeli pilots also rocket Gaza from a distance while cruising over the Negev or the Sea.  Both the snipers and the pilots are supported by dozens of drones that are controlled by boys and girls who operate in safety and comfort in air-conditioned units.

Otto Weininger’s diagnosis had some merit. Apparently the alpha male transition didn’t work as the early Zionists wished.

We Are All Palestinians

Truth, as we know, is under attack in the West. It doesn’t take a genius to identify the elements that see truth as a threat and seek to suppress truth seeking. The political means that have been designed to suppress truth and truthfulness operate openly. At one stage this online conference was  named  ‘The Left Out Forum.’ It is the platform for scholars and humanists who unveil the shame that  the Left in its current permutation can’t handle. How did it happen to the Left? This is easy to explain – at a certain stage the good old Left was hijacked by the so –called ‘New Left’ — a corrosive set of ‘ideologies’ that are designed to suppress truth and truthfulness.

The New Left assault on truth is facilitated by two means. The first is ID politics – a divisive crude attempt to teach us to speak ‘as a’ (as a woman, as a Jew, as a Lesbian, as a Black, etc.). ID politics has either consciously or not removed us from authenticity and authentic thinking. Instead of pondering for ourselves, we learned to think ‘as a’ in a collective manner (as a Jew, as a Trans, as a Gay, etc.)

The second New Left tactic is so-called ‘Political Correctness.’  PC culture is basically politics that doesn’t allow political opposition. Interestingly enough, this is exactly how we define authoritarian and tyrannical discourse. The truth of the matter is that tyrannical conditions are light in comparison with PC culture because PC is driven by self-suppression. It represses our ability to express ourselves authentically, and even more dangerously PC stops us from thinking independently.

All of this has led me to the conclusion that in the world in which we live, we are all Palestinians. Palestine is not just some far away conflict. It is here all around us: like the Palestinians we are unable to explicitly utter the name of our oppressors. Like the Palestinians, our dissent has been compromised. In Britain, the police will knock on your door as soon as you tweet your thoughts about Israel and its Lobby. America is catching up.   Like the Palestinians, our truth has been hijacked but it has not been murdered.

Truth, as we have seen, is a lasting enduring concept.  Truth is that which unveils itself against all odds. Whether we like it or not, truth will shine upon us as it has shined upon Gaza and Palestine in the last two months. However, the truth may not be where we expect to find it.

Otto Weininger taught us that “in art self- realisation is realisation of the world.” The artist, according to Weininger, hits the truth by means of self-reflection. Trying to universalise Weininger’s insight may suggest that truth happens to unveil itself to us because the truth is in us. Truth is not what you find out while examining the world, it is not in the press or in the media, on CNN, the BBC or the Guardian of the Judea. Truth is not what you find in academia or even in a truth movement’s pamphlets. Truth unveils itself because truth is that which we find within ourselves. Truth is found when we close our eyes in disbelief. It reveals itself when we look inward, when we  learn to attend to our inner voice of reason and ethics.

Truth is not a personal esoteric experience. Quite the opposite, it is that kernel of humanity we all share. It is that which makes us into one, a one that transcends  political affiliation, identity, gender, race, ethnicity  or biology. As in Palestine, sooner rather than later,  we will realise that truth, so to say our truth, that which we share, is the only thing worth fighting for!

To Support Gilad’s Legal Defence Fund


If they want to burn it, you want to read it!

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Being in Time – A Post Political Manifesto, , and  here ( 


PA forces crackdown on Gaza solidarity rally in Ramallah

The Palestinian Authority’s (PA) security forces broke up a rally in support of Gaza, which took place in Ramallah on Wednesday. Riot police used batons, sound grenades and tear gas to disperse the demonstrators. Injuries and arrests were reported at the scene. The protest was held despite a temporary ban on demonstrations issued earlier on Wednesday. Organisers have promised further rallies. Protesters have been calling on PA leader Mahmoud Abbas to drop measures against Gaza, which they believe punish its two million residents.

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This is The March of Return

March 30, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

Despite the relentless efforts of Jewish solidarity groups to derail the Palestinian Right of Return, today in Gaza thousands of peaceful marchers made it to the border. The Israelis are in a state of panic. By the time I post this news item seven Palestinians were murdered and hundreds are wounded by the IDF.  

These photos were found on Israel media outlets (such as Ynet and Times of Israel):


Electronic Intifada probably decided not to cover this story.

Below is a screenshot of EI’s front page  earlier today. I guess that the real intifada is very different from its ‘electronic’ version…

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Only #BDS Can Force israel to Prove It’s a Democracy for Its Arab Citizens Too

Only BDS Can Force Israel to Prove It’s a Democracy for Its Arab Citizens Too

by Dakwar & Sultany

Several commentators and politicians have rushed to utilize the appointment of Professor Michael Karayanni to the deanship of Israel’s Hebrew University’s Law School to bolster the “bridging the gaps” narrative. To them, this appointment is a refutation of the BDS movement. Opposition leader Isaac Herzog, for instance, tweeted that this is a “historic step that breaks another glass ceiling for Israel’s Arabs”.
Yet, Karayanni’s well-deserved appointment does not lend support to these arguments. In fact, it supports the opposite conclusions. Like in previous cases, the prevailing discourse inverts the relation between the exception and the rule — the exception is deployed to conceal the rule rather than to prove it. The achievement itself becomes evidence of the rule, whereas the arduous process Karayanni and Arab citizens go through recedes from view.
Should we not ask: Why did it take so long for an accomplished Arab jurist like Karayanni to become dean of an Israeli law school? Why do so few tenured Arab professors teach in Israeli academia? Are a handful of individual success stories enough to break the ceiling, as Herzog would have it? Will they magically solve inequalities in infrastructure, education, and zoning plans? Will they provide redress to unrecognized villages, discrimination in land allocation, and segregation in housing? Instead of spotlighting exceptional stories and individuals, should not Israeli society address the structural and collective impediments that make those elevating stories the exception, rather than the rule?
Karayanni’s appointment illustrates Israel’s Arab citizens’ double bind more than it does the breaking of any ceiling: every time an individual Arab in Israel secures a professional achievement, she becomes proof of Israel’s goodness (to the moderate right-wing), or its progressive evolution (to the center-left).
In this Israeli self-serving discourse, lack of qualifications explains the absence of Arabs from leading positions. In other words, structural racism has nothing to do with it. If, on the other hand, the individual Arab is successful, it confirms the openness of the system.
It thus proves an already existing thesis: that the system works well by allowing for individual success. The individual’s qualifications become incidental to her success. Either way, this discourse does not seriously question the socio-political system that institutionalizes discrimination against Arab citizens. It does not refute the analogy to South Africa’s apartheid. Karayanni’s success is despite Israel’s system, not because of it.
What are the implications of Karayanni’s appointment to the current debate on the legitimacy of the BDS movement, which includes the boycott of Israeli academic institutions? The BDS movement calls for boycotting institutions, not individuals, due to their complicity and contribution to the oppression of the Palestinian people. This ranges from discriminatory student admissions and staff hiring policies to complicity, and often direct support, to the longest military occupation since World War II.
Karayanni’s appointment should highlight what is missing in the fierce debate about the legitimacy of BDS, namely, the underlying goals of the campaign against Israel. Most BDS discussions are focused on ending the brutal military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. However, this is only one of three goals of BDS. The other goals highlight the denial of the Palestinian refugees’ right of return to their homeland, and ending the institutional discrimination against the Palestinian minority in Israel.
Instead of seriously reflecting on whether and why BDS is necessary or valuable, Israel and its supporters are diverting the conversation by focusing on whether it is legitimate or legal to engage in a form of protest rooted in nonviolence, grassroots organization, and civic mobilization. They obfuscate the issues by outlawing BDS calls, demonizing the movement, and falsely accusing its supporters of anti-Semitism and even terrorism.
The anti-BDS efforts clearly aim to silence any debate concerning Israel and its policies in historic Palestine. They seek to have a chilling effect on the freedom of speech and civil society activism not only in Israel, but now increasingly in North American and European countries. Governor Cuomo of New York’s recent order to blacklist companies and institutions that support BDS is only a recent example. Despite these misguided efforts, the BDS movement has experienced great success in moving the international dialogue and shifting the burden of proof onto Israel to prove that it is a democracy for all its citizens and that it respects the human rights of Palestinians and their right to self-determination.
Ultimately, the prevailing self-serving discourse is as untenable as the general politics of defenders of Israel, a politics grounded in the stubborn denial of facts and realities. It will not be able to credibly reconcile supporters of Israel’s oppressive policies with their complicity in Israel’s crimes and violations of international law indefinitely.
An individual success story cannot justify all of this and erase everyone else’s reality. Karayanni deserves his appointment and that it be an ordinary recognition of an accomplished individual who is treated as an equal to his Jewish peers. Palestinians have the right to end their oppression and to be treated equally and with dignity. Until that happens, we will continue to support BDS.
Jamil Dakwar, is a human rights lawyer and adjunct lecturer at John Jay College, New York. This piece is submitted in his personal capacity and not as an ACLU staff member.
Nimer Sultany, is a lecturer in law in the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies.

A Palestinian Christian Speaks Her Mind

The lady is right. There is nothing Christian about Zionism. American Christians should be standing in solidarity with their Christian brothers and sisters in Palestine. The fact that more aren’t is shameful.

The United Methodist Church’s General Conference opens tomorrow in Portland, Oregon. The conference takes place every four years, and this year, as was the case in 2012, a measure calling for divestment from Israel will be up for consideration.

The divestment measure in 2012 failed by a narrow margin, but what has occurred in the years since, of course, is the Gaza destruction of 2014, in which Israel killed more than 2,100 Palestinians, including 521 children. Be that as it may, a Methodist minister has penned a shameful commentary opposing this latest divestment measure, an article in which he not only gets some of his facts wrong but also, disgracefully, fails to mention the enormous injustice done to Palestinians in 1948, the 2014 bloodletting in Gaza, or the illegal settlement construction and land grabs continuing to this day.

“Pressuring Israel will not end the occupation, because Israel is not capable of making peace unilaterally,” he asserts, implying in essence that Israeli doesn’t have “a partner for peace,” a trope which has been a standard Zionist talking point for a number of years.

Below is an article I wrote back in 2014 about a divestment measure under consideration by the Presbyterian Church at that time. It offers some insight into some of the pressure tactics that likely are being exerted against the Methodists at present.


Do They Worship Jews or Jesus?

By Richard Edmondson | June 7, 2014

Recently Israeli media published a report about a US Christian couple, Chad and Libby McJunkin, who, along with their ten children, converted to Orthodox Judaism. In doing so, they have adopted new names for themselves: instead of Chad and Libby, they now go by Shalom and Nechama, and they are even considering making “aliyah” to Israel.

I am glad the McJunkins have taken the step they have (although I do have some concerns for the McJunkin children, who apparently are being forced to adopt a new lifestyle not of their own choosing), for this is something I’ve been advocating a good while now: Christian Zionists should simply convert to Judaism.

Unlike other Christians, who worship Jesus, Christian Zionists worship Jews. Jesus is secondary, if he even figures into their thinking at all. So if their predominant object of worship, as a collective whole, is the Jewish people, then why not simply become a Jew? It makes enormous sense, especially when you consider that Judaism, stripped of all its trappings, basically is about self-worship. The theology of regarding oneself as “chosen” gives justification to a variety of crimes, including murder, land theft, and even genocide, for after all, if these things are being done by “chosen” ones, then they must have the approval of “God.”

This is the thinking of many Orthodox Jews, and it is also the thinking of Christian Zionists. In fact a quote from McJunkin sums it up rather well:

“When I came in to contact with people who told me about the Hebrew scriptures and I learned about the Torah, I realized there was a conflict between the Five Books of Moses and the New Testament,” McJunkin explained. “One was true and the other was totally false — and it’s obvious which one was false.”

In other words, McJunkin regards Old Testament narratives about conquest and genocide, and of God’s sanctioning such misconduct, to be more believable and worthwhile than the Gospel accounts of a man who came along and told Jews they should instead be loving, merciful and compassionate.

If McJunkin truly feels this way, then I say it is only right and natural for him to convert to Judaism. Moreover, it seems there is some financial incentive in it as well:

So far, the Jewish community has stepped up to help the McJunkins as they embark on their new path. People they had never met hosted their wedding, and others are contributing to a crowdsourcedwedding shower fund to assist them in purchasing new dishes, housewares, appliances, Judaica, and kosher groceries.

“There is a simple mitzvah of showing love to a convert,” said Alexander Rapaport, executive director of the Masbia food kitchen network, who organized the online fund. In the last three days, 221 people have donated $9,335 toward a $20,000 goal.

No doubt about it, $9,300 would come in handy if you’re trying to raise ten kids. And all you have to do is wear a skull cap and say, “I support Israel.”

The reason I bring up the McJunkins’ story is that another divestment-from-Israel measure will be coming up when the Presbyterian Church holds its General Assembly later this month, and as per usual, Jews are planning to descend en masse upon the convention to badger, cajole, and hector the delegates into voting it down.

And also not surprisingly, as these things go, some within the church itself are siding with them. One such individual is Christopher Leighton, and it’s tempting to reach the conclusion that people of this nature would do well to simply follow the lead of the McJunkins.

Leighton is quoted in an article on the divestment measure by the JTA, in a story identifying him as “a Presbyterian minister who is the executive director of the Institute for Jewish and Christian Studies in Baltimore.”

The gist of it is Leighton is deeply concerned this year’s divestment measure will pass (the last one, two years ago, was narrowly defeated by a vote of 333-331), and I’m inclined to believe that ministers like him are one of the main inspirations of Americans dropping out of the church and adopting atheism.

Christian conservatives often like to complain about “moral relativism,” but what could be more ethically “relative” than grappling for some sort of means of justifying what Israel is doing to the Palestinians? I can’t think of any. Yet the problem, as Leighton sees it, is that many of the delegates who’ll be attending this year’s assembly just don’t understand the “complexities” of the Middle East.

“The vast majority of Presbyterians don’t know these issues or the historical religious complexity of the region,” he said. “What they’re bombarded with is ‘Palestinians are suffering terribly. If we don’t do something about it we become complicit in an injustice.’ The arguments put forth traffic in all kinds of stereotypes that require work to undo.”

“Stereotypes”—presumably such as Israel’s abuse of Palestinian child prisoners, or its continued settlement building in contravention of international law. Yes indeed, stereotypes of this nature certainly “require work to undo,” but rest assured, Leighton will get plenty of help from his Jewish allies.

According to the JTA, “Jewish communal officials” are working furiously to “head off” the divestment measure, and a letter opposing it, “signed by more than 1,500 rabbis, cantors and seminary students of all streams of Judaism,” will be presented at the assembly. There also seem to be murmurings of veiled “consequences” the Presbyterian Church may face should the General Assembly approve the measure:

Rabbi Noam Marans, the American Jewish Committee’s director of interreligious relations, said the combined damage of the study guide and the passage of divestment overtures would likely have consequences for Jewish-Presbyterian ties, although he did not want to outline them until the assembly had finished.

The word “consequences” is also used by Dexter Van Zile, an analyst with the pro-Zionist CAMERA group, which seeks to influence media reporting on Israel, and who is quoted also in the story:

“Let the General Assembly decide and the church live with the consequences,” Van Zile said. What consequences? Again, no elaboration. But Van Zile also expresses the view that passage of the measure will amount to “a punch in the nose to the Jewish community.”

The General Assembly will take place June 14-21 in Detroit, and there are at least five separate divestment measures up for consideration. Part of what has Israel supporters so upset is the publication, earlier this year, of Zionism Unsettled, a study guide compiled by the Church’s Israel/Palestine Mission Network which analyzes the roles of Zionism and Christian Zionism in “shaping attitudes and driving historical developments in the Middle East and around the world.”

“The publication of ‘Zionism Unsettled’ by the very voices backing divestment in the PC (U.S.A.) revealed an agenda that is not about church investments,” says Ethan Felson, of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs. “These backers of divestment want to return their church to a place of retrograde anti-Jewish theology, hostility to mainstream Jews and, of course, a blind eye to the responsibility of Hamas and Hezbollah on the Israel-Palestinian conflict and the steps Israelis are forced to take to defend themselves.”

Or in other words, those who support an end to Israeli occupation are terrorist sympathizers, and that will include the Presbyterian Church if it passes the divestment measure. How’s that for Zionist intimidation? And of course, by default they’re also anti-Semites—naturally.

There will also be an effort to demonstrate to the Assembly delegates that “left-leaning and dovish Jews” also oppose divestment. In fact, this is being described as “a pillar of organized Jewish pushback” on the matter, and apparently here J Street is playing a critical role.

Rachel Lerner, J Street’s senior vice president for community relations, who has made the pro-Israel case to church groups in the past, said she had decided not to attend this year’s assembly because of the time commitment. She changed her mind, however, when she read “Zionism Unsettled.”

“It portrays Zionists as pathological and racist and scarred and unable to act in any normal way,” she said. “It ran contrary to everything I think Zionism stands for. I was personally offended by it. I think it says something about the movement, where divestment is coming from and who it is coming from in the church.”

The sad part is Lerner and her fellow Zionists will get plenty of help from inside the church. The JTA makes clear that Leighton isn’t the only one.

“The stakes are very high,” says Rev. Katharine Rhodes Henderson, who also opposes divestment from Israel. She adds that “divestment today may mean full-out BDS tomorrow, and that’s the decision that Presbyterians face.”

It is of course absurd, patently so, to believe that Jesus would have countenanced the infliction of violence, the building of massive walls to divide people, the ongoing subjugation and humiliation of an entire population, along with the assassination of its culture, that are part of day-to-day life for Palestinians under occupation.

Things are changing, however. Mindless, unequivocal support for Israel is becoming, shall we say, “retrograde,” and I profoundly wish that people of this backwards persuasion would simply go—do as the McJunkins did—and convert to Judaism.

For in remaining within the church they seem to be doing their utmost to poison the Body of Christ.

Bike Rides, Marathons, and Tree Plantings for Palestine

A “circular marathon,” you might say, took place today in Palestine. Thankfully, it transpired without any Israeli soldiers coming along and shooting anyone in the head. Maybe they were busy somewhere arresting children. Or perhaps they were preoccupied firing high-velocity tear gas canisters at people for planting trees (see below).

Israel sometimes kind of reminds me of a nest of angry hornets. Hopefully at some point the hornets will go away and the nest will be abandoned. That’s usually how it works in real life. Maybe an image of hornets is what Henry Kissinger had in mind when he said that “in ten years there will be no more Israel.” That statement, keep in mind, was made four years ago. If Henry’s right we have six more years to go.

Here’s another video of the marathon…


And over in merry old England, they have a bike ride planned…

A little bit more about the event:

Welcome to the Big Ride

Raising awareness and solidarity with Palestine.

The Big Ride is an initiative by supporters of the Palestinian people which combines a love of cycling with practical solidarity and awareness raising, especially around the plight of children in Gaza.

In 2015 we were motivated to organise a marathon 450 mile, nine day cycle ride from Edinburgh to London, involving more than 200 participants and supporters which raised £65,898 for the Middle Eastern Children’s Alliance.

Along the length of the route we were greeted by a wave of support and many, many people who wanted to learn more. We highlighted the consequences of the 51-day Israeli bombardment of Gaza in 2014, which killed 547 children under the age 12 and caused trauma to another 400,000 according to the United Nations.


In 2016 we are again setting out on the road for Palestine solidarity. This year we want to focus on the UK arms trade with Israel. There are now no restrictions on arms exports from the UK to Israel. This growing market is seen as business as usual, just another opportunity to make money out of human suffering.

We will organise a series of regional bike rides starting on Saturday 6th August 2016 from.

  • London and the South East
  • Manchester and North West England
  • Sheffield and North East England and
  • Bristol and the West

All roads will lead to Birmingham where Palestine supporters will stage a major public event, with music and other entertainment, food, stalls and speakers from the growing solidarity movement.

The ride will end on Monday with a mass cycle ride of about 18 miles to the final destination in Shenstone, Staffordshire. We’ll be riding to an arms factory called UAV Engines, which is owned by Israeli arms company Elbit Systems. Elbit Systems are Israel’s biggest private arms company, and their factory in Shenstone makes parts for drones which are then exported all over the world. The factory has already been the target of mass protests, and we’ll be holding a rally outside and joining the call to Stop Arming Israel.”


Let us know if you want to get involved in organising or participating in The Big Ride for Palestine.


And finally this…

A tree planting today in Nabi Saleh was a little bit bumpier than the marathon in Bethlehem. And the hornets were swarming in force–swarming and firing a new long-range tear gas canister. The canisters break into three parts during flight and are virtually undetectable as they speed toward you. This from ISM:

On Friday 1st April, Palestinians from the town of Nabi Salih, along with international and Israeli activists, marched together in solidarity to protest the illegal Israeli settlement of Hamalish that has been built on and expanded over time on Palestinian land.

The march started shortly after the noon prayer, around 1:30pm, activists gathered near the entry point of the town. From here they set off and made their way peacefully down the hillside to the main road, at which point they were met by volleys of tear gas by the awaiting Israeli forces.

With sporadic wind changes the initial tear gas spread quickly and caused the demonstrators to be hit hard, feeling strong effects from the gas. Once the first rounds of gas had cleared the demonstrators re-grouped and made their way to the natural spring that was once part of Palestinian land but has been overtaken by settlers and deemed a closed military zone since, allowing only the army and the illegal settlers to use it whilst barring Palestinians from the area.

“I’ve never felt tear gas so badly before, the winds just made it unbearable. I felt as if I was going to pass out…” – Activist on the scene

Once the spring was reached, the activists, led by females from the town of Nabi Salih began to plant small olive trees on land that is rightfully theirs in a peaceful form of resistance to the occupation. This was cut short by the boarder police soldiers who physically grabbed and pushed the women away, throwing tear gas and stun grenades at them also.

Continued here

As I’ve said before, the Israelis don’t seem very fond of trees…

Sarah Colborne – A Solidarity Campaigner Or A Traitor

December 29, 2015  /  Gilad Atzmon

By Gilad Atzmon

PSC Director Sarah Colborne went out of her way to kosherize the UK PSC(Palestinian Solidarity Campaign) but now no longer holds her position in what is left of the diluted solidarity institution. The rumour is that Colborne had to go because evidence of her collaboration with the police against leading Palestinian activists was too embarrassing.

Back on 17 October two men were arrested at a pro-Palestinian demonstration in front of the Israeli embassy in London after they refused to take down a Hezbollah flag they had hoisted on a pole.

Abbas Ali and Antonio Maniscalco, both prominent pro-Palestinian activists had been warned by the PSC that only Palestinian national flags would be welcome at the protest. Shortly after, Ali and Maniscalco were arrested by the police, their homes were raided, their PCs, laptops and memory cards were confiscated. They were questioned by counter-terrorism officers for 15 hours before being released with no charges.

Once free, Abbas Ali told 5Pillars

“we were initially told to take down the flag by people on the podium and by someone at the demonstration (so) we moved across the road. We also told the police that we were in a public place so we saw no reason to take down the flag – we had as much right to protest as anyone else but the police kept hounding us.”

After the event Sarah Colborne admitted that the organisers of the event had made a clear request before the demonstration that only Palestinian flags should be raised. However, Colborne did not confirm or deny that any of the organisers had alerted the police of Mr Ali and Mr Maniscalco’s actions.

In her interview with 5pillars a few days after the arrest, Colborne produced the standard sound-bite outburst of diarrhea:

“we welcome all who stand with us in our opposition to all forms of racism, including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. Supporters of Palestinian rights encompass all faiths and none. Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Atheist, religious and non-religious people all stand together on this protest… We stand with Palestinians in their struggle for a future free of racism, colonialism and apartheid. There is no place for racism in a progressive movement fighting for justice and human rights.”

No secret that PSC under the rule of the ‘progressive’  Sarah Colborne was mainly concerned with anti-Semitism, racism and other Jewish sensitivities. Thequestion remains whether the PSC can resurrect itself, de-kosherize its act and support Palestine for real.  I hope it can but I do not hold my breath.

Letter drafted by IHRC* to the PSC following the 17 October arrest

We the undersigned are deeply concerned about events at last Saturday’s demonstration called by yourselves (17 October 2015).

It is reported that two long-time activists were harassed by other protestors, and ultimately arrested after being told by the police that the organisers and others had complained to them about the flag they were carrying. This came after:

•       organisers had called from the stage for all flags other than Palestinian flags to be lowered;

•       various persons were sent on behalf of the organisers to ask the activists to remove the flag;

•       and some protestors it would seem, emboldened by the organisers’ call, harassed both activists in a manner bordering on violence (one protestor was seen shouting abuse and breaking the flagpole used by one of the men eventually arrested).

The flag in question was the Hizbullah flag. At the time of writing we know that both of the protestors have been bailed pending a decision by the CPS on whether to charge them with supporting a proscribed organisation and encouraging others to support a proscribed organisation. When arrested they were questioned upon arrest by SO15 (the Counter Terrorism Command).

It has also been reported that police were asked by PSC to ask one of the men to remove banners in support of Palestinian prisoners from a previous demonstration.

As you are aware the anti-terrorism laws and regime are not only unjust, they have been used to target Muslims, and demonise some liberation movements, including some associated with the Palestinian struggle.

This vicious curtailment of civil liberties, the removal of Muslims from equality before the law and the demonisation of political causes that run counter to UK foreign policy, are all surely things that PSC should at the very least eschew and at most actively oppose.

If these arrests have come as a result of the organisers’ request to the police, it is a matter of great shame for PSC. Those involved in making those calls from the platform and contacting the police should resign their positions forthwith.

As a note, it is worth recognising that the two men arrested have spent every other week over the last three years holding vigils for Palestinian prisoners. The conditions of their bail – of extraordinary disproportionality – prevent them from contacting each other, forbid them from going to demonstrations and require them to sign at a police station three times a week. It is truly disgusting that such committed pro-Palestinian activists and their activities have been stopped in their tracks. Whilst there is no legal case to charge and convict them under anti-terorrism laws, the threat that hangs over them is a form of harassment that has already had the effect of closing down regular pro-Palestinian protests organised by one of these men. As you are doubtless aware one of these men was one of the pioneers of BDS some fifteen years ago, and has suffered many threats and abuse from pro-Israel groups and individuals.

Both these men should have been supported in their work by the organizers, not targeted. This sorry state of affairs has come through some level of instigtaion by the organizers. At the very least PSC must campaign for these two men. Please advise as to how you will be proceeding.

With deep regret,

•       Massoud Shadjareh, Chair of Islamic Human Rights Commission

•       Les Levidow, Campaign Against Criminalising Communities

•       Francesca Viceconti, visual artist and member of Artisit Against Apartheid (USA)

•       Fateh Party UK

•       Brighton and Hove PSC

•       John Tymon, Football Against Apartheid (Coordinator)

•       Badee Dwaik, Human Rights Defenders – Palestine (Coordinator)

*IHRC- Isalmic Human Right Commission


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