Dorothy Online Newsletter


Most international news papers have reports and/or commentaries on the attempted lynch in Jerusalem.  I found none sufficiently interesting to transmit.  Other than that, Syria continues to hold first place in international news.
As for the items below:
Item 1 is about tensions between two neighboring communities: Modi’in and Modi’in Ilit.  What is particularly interesting about one of the villages is omitted from this report: Modi’in Ilit happens to have been built on land stolen from Bil’in, a village now cut off from Mod’in Ilit by the wall.
Item 2 reports that Israeli prison services are now denying visits to asylum seekers.
Item 3 reveals that Palestinian citizens of Israel (more proper identification than that in the article, “Arab Israelis”) have no place to seek shelter should war break out.  This is true also for a good many Israeli Jews, but very likely worse for Palestinians.
Item 4 reports that a few Israelis went to visit the family and the boy who was so badly injured, but that no government official had contacted the family or apologized.
In item 5 Bradley Burston argues that what will finish Israel is Islamophobia not Islam.
Item 6 is, finally, positive—the Islamophobic ads on SF Muni buses are getting a face lifting that do not reflect their sponsor‘s intentions.  Good for whoever is turning them in the right direction!  Good for them, indeed.!
That’s it for today.
1 Haaretz
August 21, 2012
Modi’in threatens to ban ultra-Orthodox from park, after nearby town bars seculars from heritage site
Mayor of mostly secular Modi’in threatens to close city park to ultra-Orthodox visitors if Modi’in Ilit doesn’t reverse decision on national heritage site.
By Yair Ettinger
Aug.21, 2012
Haredim walking around Modi’in’s Anava Park, April 11, 2012. Photo by Gil Cohen-Magen
The archaeological site Modi’in Ilit. Photo by Gil Cohen Magen
Modi’in Ilit Mayor Yaakov Gutterman’s statement that the archeological site in the city will only be open to ultra-Orthodox visitors is drawing fire from the neighboring city of Modi’in.
Modi’in Mayor Haim Bibas threatened Tuesday morning to close his city’s central park to ultra-Orthodox visitors if Gutterman doesn’t take back his statement to the Haredi newspaper Yated Neeman.
Gutterman said last week that the site believed to have been an agricultural village from the Second Temple period and is currently being developed by the government “will operate according to the doctrines of our forefathers, according to the Jewish historical sources presented by the Bible, the Gemara and ancient Jewish sages only. The site will be open only to the ultra-Orthodox public, which will keep it a proper place for them to visit and connect to their Jewish roots, without the distortions and disruptions of other places, where there is fear of hearing false opinions.”
The archeological site, Khirbet Bad-Issa, was proclaimed a national heritage site by the government in 2011.The government announced the site was to serve the ultra-Orthodox community.
In a letter Bibas sent Gutterman Tuesday morning, he wrote: “National heritage sites are places central to the history of the Jewish people and should be open to everyone, whatever their worldview or religious affiliation may be.”
“As you know,” Bibas wrote. “Two years ago, we inaugurated the Aneba Park in Modi’in – the city’s central park. Since it opened, thousands of Modi’in Ilit-Kiryat Sefer residents have visited it, since your city doesn’t provide adequate family recreation facilities. Up to now, I have refrained from discriminating between ultra-Orthodox and secular visitors, despite the multitude of petitions by Modi’in residents complaining that the park is being taken from them.”
Bibas finished his letter with a threat: “If the municipality you head doesn’t reverse its decision and will in fact bar secular visitors, the city of Modi’in will bar residents of your municipality entrance to Aneba Park.”
2  Haaretz
August 21, 2012
Israel Prison Services denying visits to asylum seekers, rights group claims
In petition to Supreme Court, the Hotline for Migrant Workers claims prison officials decision prevents migrants from receiving legal support.
By Talila Nesher
Saharonim Prison.
The Hotline for Migrant Workers human rights organization has filed a petition in Israel’s High Court of Justice against the Israel Prison Service, claiming that prison officials have ceased allowing the organization’s workers and volunteers to visit asylum seekers being held at the Saharonim and Ketziot prisons.
The HMW contends that by forbidding such visits, the prison service is denying asylum seekers their right to representation, liberty and due process of law.
The group also claimed that the decision to ban visits was made without prior warning, despite a written commitment signed by the prison service in 2008 that not only permitted such visits, but also allowed HMW staff to serve as legal representatives for asylum seekers during prison administrative tribunal hearings.
The decision to bar visits makes it impossible to inform asylum seekers of their rights and what they can expect to experience, as well as hindering the identification of possible medical or social welfare problems and the verification of humane prison conditions, the group says. HMW workers also claim that they are unable to assist victims of human trafficking and to offer ongoing assistance for individuals who have filed formal requests for asylum.
The prison service decision is also inconsistent with Israeli law, which clearly recognizes the rights of individuals detained for breaking the laws of entry into Israel and allows them to be legally represented by persons who are not lawyers, while stipulating that all representation must be free of charge (a service that HMW provides).
“The detention of individuals and their concealment from public view, the attempts to prevent public criticism and acts preventing this group of people from receiving support are actions that have no place in a democratic society that values life,” said attorney Reut Michaeli, HMW’s executive director.
“It seems we’ve learned nothing from history. The government must not ignore imprisoned asylum seekers, but rather guarantee their basic rights as human beings, specifically their right to freedom and due process, and allow those imprisoned to receive the proper support required to file requests for asylum, according to international conventions,” Michaeli said.
The Israel Prison Service has yet to comment.
3  Ynet
August 21, 2012
Shelter in Jisr al-Zarqa Photo: Hassan Shaalan
Arab Israelis ‘have nowhere to hide’ if war breaks out
Shortage of shelters in Arab communities throughout Israel concerns residents amid reports of possible strike in Iran; some say will flee to relatives in territories if missiles fall,7340,L-4271224,00.html
Hassan Shaalan
Israel’s Arabs are extremely concerned by the mounting tensions between Israel and Iran and claim that the lack of shelters in their cities will leave them exposed in case a war erupts.
According to data obtained by Ynet, nearly half of Israel’s Arabs do not own gas masks, and most of them would have nowhere to hide in case Israel is attacked.
“I won’t be able to remain here if a war breaks out. I’ve informed relatives in Nablus that in case anything happens our family will be staying with them because there are no secure areas in our city,” said Ahmed Masarwa, a father of three from Baqa al-Gharbiya.
“We won’t be able to stay here if a war erupts. I don’t want to be a victim of a failed war initiated by a prime minister who cares only for his own interests,” Ahmed told Ynet this week.
The parents of Kafr Qara resident Aliya Atamna live in the territories. “I want to protect my children, so I’ve decided that in the event of a war we’ll stay with my parents in the Palestinian Authority,” she said.
Shelter in Arara (Photo: Hassan Shaalan)
“It is a scandal that there are no shelters or secure rooms in Arab Israeli communities. The most disappointing thing is that the leaders only take an interest in us before elections.”
A tour of Israel’s Arab towns paints a bleak picture. The situation is particularly grim in the schools, most of which are old and rundown. Even in those towns where there are shelters, the residents have converted them into storage rooms.
Arara shelter converted into computer classroom (Photo: Hassan Shaalan)
“The Arab sector is not prepared for a war or an earthquake. If, God forbid, a missile falls in one of the Arab communities many students will be killed because there are no shelters,” said Assam Omar, Parents’ Committee secretary for the Arab sector.
“Even the Arab Knesset members are not doing anything about it and prefer to deal with other matters that are not related to the sector,” he claimed. “I urge parents not to send their children to school should a war break out.”
The head of the parents’ committee at the elementary school in the village of Arara said the IDF Home Front Command informed him that the construction of shelters is the responsibility of the local authorities. “The school is old and poses a danger to the students. It would be better if it were rebuilt,” Assam Younes said.
Zemer Local Council head Samir Darwish said he has informed the government of the urgent need to build shelters in the Arab sector, “but I was told that there is no budget for it.
“More than 50% of Israeli Arabs do not own gas masks, because they are distributed in distant shopping malls and families have a hard time reaching them,” he claimed.
Sami Ali, head of Jisr al-Zarqa’s residents committee, where shelters were converted into classes, offices or storage rooms told Ynet “The village, like the entire Arab sector, has long since been discriminated against by the State and its institutions. The village has almost no public shelters, and those we do have lack the necessary equipment. Two of our eight schools do not have shelters, meaning that if a war breaks out some 1,400 students will be in danger.”
4  Haaretz
August 21, 2012
Palestinian victims of violent attacks get a surprise visit
Four Israeli activists venture to Hadassah Ein Karem to pay their respects to 18-year-old Jamal Joulani, who was severely beaten by Jewish teens in West Jerusalem over the weekend, and to the six West Bank residents wounded when an explosive was thrown at their car.
By Yuval Ben-Ami
Weissart reading the Facebook greetings to Joulani and his family.
Photo by Yuval Ben-Ami
“Scores attacked, as hundreds looked on,” read the headline in the free daily Israel Hayom on Monday. A man read the newspaper while eating frozen yogurt at a tiny shopping mall adjacent to Jerusalem’s Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Karem.
Nearby, a young woman bought a tray of sliced fruit: mango, passion fruit and prickly pear. “I am nervous,” she said. “I never visited the victim of a hate crime before.”
The crime in question is the one to which the headline referred. On the night of Friday, August 17, a horde of Jewish Israeli youths on Jerusalem’s Ben-Yehuda Street began chanting hate slogans directed at Palestinians and attacked a group of Palestinian passersby.
They kicked one of them, 18-year-old Jamal Joulani of the Ras Al-Amoud neighborhood in East Jerusalem, in the head, which resulted in him lying in a coma for the next two two days. While it’s not uncommon to hear about settlers attacking Palestinians in the West Bank, an event such as this in West Jerusalem is almost unprecedented.
The victim, Jamal, awakened on Sunday morning, inspiring a small group of Israelis to pay him and his family a visit the following day, as a show of support and solidarity. Guy Tamar, a 39-year-old social worker specializing in children with attention disorders in the town of Modi’in, planned the hospital visit with his Jerusalemite friends Elnatan Weissert, instructor of Assyryology at the Hebrew University, and Gideon Lifshitz, a high school history teacher. Michal Kfir, a Tel-Aviv based activist and the one who bought the sliced fruit, joined the group for the visit despite not knowing the other activists.
After the group finished shopping for treats, the tiny delegation headed for the surgical ward, where Joulani is hospitalized. They did not make advance preparations with Joulani’s family, and while they didn’t fear rejection, they felt pangs of anxiety and tension as they entered the ward.
In the room, Jamal was surrounded by his parents, Soubhi and Nariman, as well as two friends who were also present at the site of the attack but escaped harm. The Palestinians welcomed the Israelis, who began by cautiously asking about Jamal’s health. “He has no memory of the attack itself,” Soubhi explained. “He does remember prior events, but one hour after you leave, he will remember none of this.”
“We came to say that we are sorry,” Weissart explained. “And we are not the only ones. We asked our friends on Facebook to send good wishes, and they did.” He proceeded to read the messages from his smartphone, but soon realized how many of them had accumulated in recent hours. “There are a hundred or more,” he said. “It would take the entire day to read them all.”
“Did anyone write [anything] against Jamal?” Soubhi asked.
“People who harbor such feelings are not our friends on Facebook, nor in real life,” Tamar said.
Social media soon proved to be instrumental in overcoming the awkwardness of the encounter. The Israelis befriended Joulani on Facebook, so that they could forward him the messages of goodwill. The teen, speaking only little, smiled broadly, as did his parents. Yet their very joy made a painful understanding clear to the Israelis.
“Their lack of anger makes this all the more difficult,” Tamar said upon leaving the room. “They act as if nothing special happened.”
Besides police investigators and Jamal’s employer at a summer job, the four activists (and the other) were the only Israelis to have visited the Joulanis to date. No official representatives from the state or city have come to visit the victim of an attempted ethnic lynch in downtown Jerusalem. Nor did they venture to the plastic surgery ward or burns unit, just one floor up, to support victims of another violent attack that occurred the same weekend.
On the Thursday preceding the Jerusalem attack, an explosive was thrown at a Palestinian taxi driving south of Bethlehem – yet another example of mounting violence directed at Palestinians by Ideological settlers. Six of the passengers, including a 5-year-old boy, sustained severe burns to their bodies and faces, and no perpetrator has been caught.
The Israelis who visited Joulani, at first unsure of whether they were prepared for this encounter, which was bound to be more trying, made their way to the ward and met Adel Ghayatha, whose brother, Bassam, drove the taxi that was torched. In fluent Hebrew, Ghayatha, a resident of Nahhalin in the West Bank, invited the four to meet the wounded — except for Ayman Hassan, the young boy’s father, whose condition is so critical he must be kept in an induced coma.
“We spent the entire [Eid al-Fitr] holiday here,” said Ghayatha. “Look at the kids, they had no holiday.” He shared no further thoughts of the family’s fate and made no political statements. Here, too, amid extremely difficult sights of suffering and irreversible damage, hurt seemed to be expressed matter-of-factly, as just a part of life.
But life also dishes up some surprises. While showing the group around, Ghayatha received a phone call from a Jewish settler in the West Bank. Meir “Meron” Yehoshua, a resident of Kfar Etzion, not far from Nahhalin, contacted the families as soon as news of the attack broke. He volunteered to drive family members across the checkpoints to the hospital, facilitating their passage, and he has been actively helping ever since.
“He calls maybe 20 times a day, this Meron,” said Ghayatha. “This man is solid gold.”
5  The Electronic Intifada
More Islamophobic hate ads “remixed” on San Francisco buses
Submitted by nora
Over the weekend, more alterations and “remixes” of Islamophobic ads on MUNI buses appeared across San Francisco as the community continues to take action to denounce the racist hate speech.
The original ads read: “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel … Defeat jihad.” As The Electronic Intifada reported on Friday, anonymous activists had added an image of a hand and a stamp with the words “HATE SPEECH” across placards with the ads, which are paid for by notorious anti-Muslim inciter Pamela Geller and her group, the American Freedom Defense Initiative.
More alterations of the ad have been spotted in San Francisco. On Sunday, an anonymous person posted a photo on Indybay with a comment that reads, ”Ads on three more buses were revised today.” The sign was remixed to read “In any war between the colonizer and the colonized, support the oppressed. Support the Palestinian right of return … Defeat racism.”
Here is that photo:
The newest remix of the Islamophobic ad. (Photographer unknown)
6  Haaretz
August 21, 2012
A Special Place in Hell A Special Place in Hell by Bradley Burston
Islamophobia, not Islam, will be the end of Israel
Israel has elaborate defense systems against military attack and terrorism. Its defenses against its extremists, such as professional bigot Pamela Geller, are much more porous.
By Bradley Burston
A child standing among men kneeling in prayer as Muslims gather on the last day of Ramadan at John D’Amato Field in New Dorp Park, Staten Island, N.Y., Aug. 19, 2012. Photo by AP
Screen shot of Pamela Geller on The O’Reilly Show, Fox News in 2010.
SAN FRANCISCO – Everyone knows how it works. Everyone knows what it sounds like. Everyone knows how easy it is to get away with it.
Everyone knows, deep down, that hatred feeds on tolerance. That however well-intentioned, a society’s forbearance for the toxic slur, for the poison of ethnic or religious or racial prejudice, does hatred invaluable service.
No one knows this better than professional bigots. People like Pamela Geller, who pass themselves off as supporters of a worthy cause even as their hatred and prejudice stain and undermine anything and everything worthy about that cause.
For years, in the guise of supporting Israel, Geller has engaged in promoting hatred of Islam. In recent weeks, in a campaign timed to coincide with Muslims’ observance of the sacred month of Ramadan, her American Freedom Defense Initiative has run caustic, self-styled “pro-Israel” advertisements on the sides of public transit buses in San Francisco.
“In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man,” the ads begin, white letters on black. Below it, in blue letters flanked by Stars of David, it read “Support Israel” and below that, in red, “Defeat Jihad.”
Last year, when Geller’s group tried to place the ads on public buses in New York, the city’s Metropolitan Transit Authority rejected them as violating its prohibition on messages that demean individuals or groups. But in July, a federal judge in Manhattan ruled that the Geller group had been denied First Amendment guarantees of free speech. That same day, the ads went up in San Francisco.
Geller told ABC News that the purpose of the ads was to counter “fallacious and dangerous” ads on San Francisco area transit trains a year ago, urging cuts in U.S. aid to Israel. “If I had my way, the (“support Israel” ads) would be in every city in the United States of America, and if I can get the funding, that’s exactly what’s going to happen.”
To its credit, Muni, the San Francisco transit agency, did more than simply mount Geller’s message. It condemned the ads. Alongside them. In bus ads of its own.
In a move without precedent, Muni said in the new ads that its policy “prohibits discrimination based on national origin, religion, and other characteristics, and condemns statements that describe any group as ‘savages.'”
Muni spokesman Paul Rose said that while Muni is bound by the First Amendment, “Obviously we think the [Geller-sponsored] ads in place right now are repulsive and they definitely cross the line.”
Of late, in tandem with anti-Palestinian and anti-Arab attacks by radical settlers and Arab-hating Jewish youths in Israel and the territories (“He’s an Arab. He deserves to die,” a 14-year-old assault suspect told a court on Monday), there are troubling signs in America of a tendency to conflate hatred of Muslims with support for a Jewish state.
“The Arabs are one of the least developed cultures,” a “pro-Israel” NGO called the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights quotes Geller’s ideological inspiration as having said in a 1974 speech. “Their culture is primitive, and they resent Israel because it’s the sole beachhead of modern science and civilization on their continent. When you have civilized men fighting savages, you support the civilized men, no matter who they are.”
In this light, Bay Area Jews are to be especially commended for denouncing Geller and her works. J., the community newspaper, said that “any right-thinking person, Jewish or not, must oppose these ads.” The Anti-Defamation League called the ads “highly offensive and inflammatory,” and the Jewish Community Relations Council and the American Jewish Committee issued a similar denunciation.
At root, this is what Geller denies: Israel can only exist as a democracy if it continually acts to foster and equalize the rights of its Arab citizens, not abrogate and dismiss them. It can only exist as a democracy if it actively works to end the unperson status of the Palestinians of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. A true democracy cannot treat bigotry with understanding. It has to fight it, or its sense of democracy has no meaning.
At root, the Geller and pro-Kahane brand of “support of Israel,” is little more than a slash and burn Arab–hate that, if left unanswered, will tear apart the Israel and the Jewish community from within. It blinds people to solutions. It convinces people that there are no solutions. It persuades people that there are no options apart from violence, both of word and deed.
Israel has elaborate defense systems against military attack and terrorism. Its defenses against its own extremists are much more porous.
The Gellers and Kahanists attack Israel at the root. An Israel torn apart from within doesn’t need an external enemy to destroy it. The enemy is right here.

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