Junior Israel-lobbyists are diggin one-state idea

Oct 19, 2010

Philip Weis 

Or at least that’s what this flyer for “Israel Fest” at Michigan State University suggests. Thanks to Ali Aqel.

Students for Justice in Palestine responds to the ADL

Oct 18, 2010

Adam Horowitz 

Students for Justice in Palestine responds to its inclusion on the ADL’s “top ten anti-Israel groups” in the U.S. This statement represents over 60 student groups promoting Palestinian freedom across the US:

On October 14th, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) named Students for Justice in Palestine on its list of the “Top 10 Anti-Israel Groups in America,” claiming that “SJP chapters regularly organize activities presenting a biased view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including mock ‘apartheid walls’ and ‘checkpoint’ displays.” As members of several student groups working for justice in Palestine, we affirmatively state that the ADL’s characterization of our campus educational efforts and activism about Israeli injustices against Palestinians as “biased” is a disingenuous and misguided attempt to vilify students that criticize Israel’s occupation, which denies Palestinian human rights and self-determination. In this statement, we clarify our principles and invite the ADL to reconsider its categorical silence on egregious Israeli human rights violations by joining the movement for freedom, equality, and justice in Palestine.

Students for Justice in Palestine groups have developed independently as students across the country seek to raise awareness about the Israeli government’s violations of human rights. Our groups represent constituencies of students, faculty, staff and community members from diverse ethnic, religious, national, and political backgrounds including many Jewish and Israeli members who have been continually ostracized by organizations like the ADL. Our organizations work independently of one another, but collectively, we are united in our belief in justice, freedom and human rights for the Palestinian people. We are unified by our purpose of confronting these wrongs that cause so much death and suffering.

The ADL shields Israeli policy by invoking the “complexity of the conflict” without ever illuminating it. As students we have a definite responsibility to use the tools of knowledge at our disposal to penetrate that complexity; “to speak truth and to expose lies” and “to analyze actions according to their causes and motives and often hidden intentions,” to quote social critic Noam Chomsky. Complexity can never be an excuse for complacency. In that vein, groups like the United Nations Human Rights Council, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International have affirmed in painstaking detail Israel’s deplorable human rights record and systematic intransigency.

By educating ourselves, our campuses and our communities about what the Israeli government inflicts upon the Palestinian people within the occupied territories, inside Israel, and beyond, we can begin to identify the problems that cause this injustice. United States foreign aid to Israel – which numbers in the billions every year – is chief amongst the issues enabling Israel’s continued occupation and racism. As students in America, therefore, our duty is three-fold: to apply our academic rigor to learn the truth, to educate and hold our communities accountable for support given in our name, and to lobby our government to end its diplomatic cover for Israeli injustice.

Palestinians have the right to fight for their freedom and to resist the occupation and colonization of their indigenous lands. Therefore, we are committed to non-violent activism that promotes education, civic and political organization to promote the Palestinian struggle for freedom. Many of our organizations have responded favorably to a 2005 call from over 170 civil society organizations within Palestine for activists to stand in solidarity by promoting the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement. We see this method as an important and practical tool that students can use to express solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for freedom. We also believe it illuminates the behind-the-scenes relationships, economic and otherwise, that enable Israel’s behavior and that can be used to urge our communities to be accountable to the ways in which they may unwittingly support the occupation.

We are inspired by the international movement against South African apartheid—which successfully ended only 16 years ago—and we aim similarly to bring an end to the system imposed by Israel on the Palestinians. As in the South African movement, the BDS call has been endorsed by many conscientious citizens of Israel, including Arabs and Jews, as well as numerous social justice and peace activists around the world. Among the luminaries supporting the call for solidarity are Nobel Peace laureates like Archbishop Desmond Tutu, co-drafter of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights Stephane Hessel, distinguished professors, jurists, authors, intellectuals, and artists.

Ultimately, we locate ourselves in a legacy of social justice movements working at the grassroots for a free and just world. The ADL itself started this way a century ago. We suspect that the ADL, high on its perch among the political elite, has lost sight of its founding values. It opposed the South African anti-apartheid movement and engaged in massive spying on private American citizens. It recently abandoned its belief in religious freedom by condemning Muslim Americans hoping to build an Islamic community center in lower Manhattan. The same day it attacked SJP, the ADL honored Rupert Murdoch, the media mogul who owns Fox News Network, one of the most despicable purveyors of hatred against Muslim, Arab, Latino, Black, and queer communities in our time. These are not the actions of an organization with a moral compass that points in the direction of justice.

We will continue to work for a just peace where Palestinians are free in their homeland and equals to Jewish Israelis. We invite the ADL to reflect and to choose to build this world, rather than to stop it.

Students For Justice in Palestine Group Signatories

Arizona State University, Students for Justice in Palestine

Bard College, International Solidarity Movement

Bates College, Students for Justice in Palestine

Benedictine University, Students for Justice in Palestine

Boston University, Students for Justice in Palestine

Brandeis University, Students for Justice in Palestine

Brown University, Students for Justice in Palestine

Clark University, Students for Palestinian Rights

Columbia University, Students for Justice in Palestine

Cornell University, United for Peace and Justice in Palestine

DePaul University, Students for Justice in Palestine

Florida International University, Miami, Students for Justice in Palestine

George Washington University, Students for Justice in Palestine

Hampshire College- Students for Justice in Palestine

Harvard College- Palestine Solidarity Committee

Harvard University- Alliance for Justice in the Middle East

Illinois Institute of Technology- Students for Justice in Palestine

Loyola University Chicago- Middle East Student Association (MESA)

Macalester College- Macalester Students United for Palestinian Equal Rights

Massachusetts Institute of Technology- Palestine@MIT

New York University- Students for Justice in Palestine

Northeastern Illinois University- Students for Justice in Palestine

Northeastern University- Students for Justice in Palestine

Northwestern University- Students for Justice in Palestine

Ohio State University- Committee for Justice in Palestine

Purdue University- Students for Justice in Palestine

Rutgers University- BAKA: Students United for Middle Eastern Justice

School of the Art Institute of Chicago- Students for Justice in Palestine

St. Xavier University- Students for Justice in Palestine

Suffolk University- Students for Justice in Palestine

Temple University- Students for Justice in Palestine

Texas Christian University- Students for Justice in Palestine

The Pennsylvania State University- University Park, Students for Justice in Palestine

Tufts University- Students for Justice in Palestine

University of Arizona- Students for Justice in Palestine

University of California, Berkeley- Students for Justice in Palestine

University of California, Davis- Students for Justice in Palestine

University of California, Hastings College of the Law- La Raza Law Students Association

University of California, Hastings College of the Law- Middle Eastern Law Students Association

University of California, Los Angeles School of Law- Law Students for Justice in Palestine

University of California, Los Angeles- Students for Justice in Palestine

University of California, Riverside- Students for Justice in Palestine

University of California, San Diego- Students for Justice in Palestine

University of California, Santa Barbara- Students for Justice in Palestine

University of California, Santa Cruz- Committee for Justice in Palestine

University of Chicago- Students for Justice in Palestine

University of Connecticut- International Relations Association

University of Florida, Gainesville- Students for Justice in Palestine

University of Florida- Students for Justice in Palestine

University of Illinois at Chicago- Students for Justice in Palestine

University of Maryland, Baltimore- Students for Justice in Palestine

University of Massachusetts, Boston- Students for Justice in Palestine

University of Michigan- Students Allied for Freedom and Equality

University of Pittsburgh- Students for Justice in Palestine

University of South Florida- Students for Justice in Palestine

University of Southern California- Students for Justice in Palestine

University of Southern California- Students for Justice in Palestine

University of Texas, Austin- Palestine Solidarity Committee

University of Washington, Seattle- Students for Justice in Palestine

Wellesley College- Justice for Palestine

Yale University- Students for Justice in Palestine

‘60 Minutes’ marks the end of the two-state solution

Oct 18, 2010

Adam Horowitz

Last night’s 60 Minutes story on Silwan and the “City of David,” marks the dawning recognition that the two-state solution is no longer possible. Lesley Stahl’s opening was a subtle introduction to the idea that the supposed solutions of the past, no longer fit today’s reality:

The challenge is how to divide [Jerusalem] between the two sides. Back in 2000, then-President Clinton came up with some parameters for how to do it: areas populated mostly by Jews would remain Israeli; those populated mostly by Arabs would become the new Palestinian capital. That meant that for the most part East Jerusalem would go to the Arabs.

Well, it’s not so simple anymore. In the decade that has elapsed, more and more Israeli settlers have moved east into the Arab-populated areas. One place where it has gotten especially complicated – and volatile – is the Arab neighborhood of Silwan.

There will be a lot more to say about the story (both positive and negative), but it’s clear the overall message of the story was that Israel is “digging in” to prevent a Palestinian state. Even if you believe that it’s possible to move the settlers out of the occupied territory, the piece made it abundantly clear that there is absolutely no political will in Israel to do so.

It’s eye-opening to watch Jerusalem mayor Nir Barakat lose his cool over the most gentle questioning from Stahl. His political power, combined with the messianic vision of El’Ad (conveniently funded from the US), is reshaping the map of Israel/Palestine and no one with the power to do so is standing in the way. Stahl’s piece doesn’t look to hold those in power accountable, but rather lay bare the absurdity of what’s happening on the ground while the “peace process” continues its journey into irrelevance.

If anything the story doesn’t really convey the daily life in Silwan, under constant Israeli encroachment and control. Luckily there are still activists on the ground to get that story out. This video was just posted yesterday, maybe around the same time the 60 Minutes piece aired, and it shows Israeli police seizing a rooftop in Silwan from which to control the area, a daily occurrence in the village.


Accommodating Israeli abuse: the Palestinian Authority’s perspective

Oct 18, 2010

Alaa Milbes 

Maen Rashid Areikat, the PLO’s Ambassador to the United States will be at Columbia to speak about the most recent phase of peace negotiations from the “Palestinian Perspective.” However, many Palestinians challenge and criticize Mr. Areikat and the Palestinian Authority (PA) for their participation in “peace talks”. Furthermore, the world has proved time and time again that the opinion of Palestinians is of no significance. Each time Palestinians have participated in these “peace talks” they have lost more control of their land, homes, and everyday life.   

Israel’s 10-month “settlement freeze” expired a few weeks ago and, despite pressure from the Palestinian Authority and the Obama administration, it appears that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will not extend it. Of the occupation, the settlements are the largest obstacle to the two state solution, since they illegally confiscate forty percent of the West Bank while their inhabitants have reigned terror on Palestinians since the beginning of the occupation.

It is simple: If Israel wants a two state solution, then it must put the settlement enterprise in reverse and return the West Bank to the Palestinians. But, as this episode verifies, the Israeli government has no interest in compromising their expansion into what would be the Palestinian state. Yet, they are insistent that Palestinians continue peace talks, Israeli President Netanyahu said, “I call on president Abbas to continue with the good and honest talks we have just embarked upon, in an attempt to reach a historic peace agreement between our two peoples.”

Since the end of the “freeze,” settlers across the West Bank celebrated the end of the so-called freeze (so called because the Israeli group Peace Now documents 600 violations of the freeze, while the Associated Press estimated that construction slowed by only 10%). Settler groups and their supporters released 2,000 balloons as a symbol of the number of houses they plan to build on stolen Palestinian land in the next week.

While there are some Palestinians who benefit from the negotiation process and are willing to continue the farcical negotiations in face of continued colonization of Palestinian land, most Palestinians view the end of the settlement moratorium as proof that a two state solution is impossible. Since the start of the peace process in the 1990s, Palestinian participation in negotiations has only produced increased land confiscation, a worsening occupation, and the persistent denial of Palestinian rights (PDF). If Palestinians continue negotiating while their land is being stolen by the acre, what prospects should they have for an outcome that achieves any of their fundamental needs?

Just last week, the Jerusalem Post reported that Obama sent a letter to Netenyahu asking for a 60 day freeze. In exchange for this, the U.S will not ask for another extension, the U.S would commit to veto any UN Security Council proposals related to Israel, and not request that Israeli military forces leave the Jordan Valley. These are only a few of the several offerings Obama threw at Israel. Nonetheless, Netenyahu declined the White House offer. The opinion of Palestinians was not asked, nor mentioned in his letter.   

With this in mind, it will be interesting to note what the Palestinian Ambassador has to say regarding this issue. Due to the lack of a true partner in peace, Palestinian civil society has adopted the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Campaign (BDS). Rather than attempting to justify the negotiation process, the PA should join mainstream Palestinian society in this new form of resistance which has already shown numerous signs of success.8

Alaa Milbes is a graduate student at Columbia University in the department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African studies, and she is a member of Students for Justice in Palestine. A version of this article originally appeared in the Columbia Spectator.

Congressional chairman to Palestinians who live in the capital of the Jewish people: Drop dead

Oct 18, 2010


U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-NY), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia, issued the following statement today concerning the Israeli construction in Jerusalem. AIPAC is tweeting happily about it.
“Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. It is not a settlement.

“As such, the resumption of construction in Jerusalem is not a justification for a crisis, a showdown, a meltdown or even a hissy fit. Ramot and Pisgat Zeev are going to be part of Israel in any conceivable final status deal and to pretend otherwise is pointless.

“As I have said, those who earlier complained about the inadequacy of Israel’s unilateral and uncompensated settlement freeze, who chose to waste those ten months instead of diving aggressively into direct talks on peace, cannot reasonably now turn around and complain that the end of the freeze and the resumption of Israeli construction in Jerusalem—Israel’s capital, and the singular geographic center of the hopes and aspirations of the Jewish people for three millennia—is either a shock or an insurmountable obstacle to peace.

“Israeli construction in Jerusalem, in two already well-established neighborhoods is neither a show of bad faith, nor a justification for avoiding negotiations aimed at achieving a final status agreement. The legitimate aspirations of the Palestinians are not going to be achieved by violence and they’re not going to be achieved by the equivalent of holding their breath until their lips turn blue. Direct negotiations are sole pathway to their goal and the sooner they recognize this fact, the better.”

Leave no stone unclaimed

Oct 18, 2010

Adam Horowitz 

Lynn Pollack submitted the above photo to the Israel Project’s “Best Shots of Israel” contest along with the note: “I shot this in Nov. 2008, right after the truce broke. Somewhere near Tel Aviv, if I recall correctly. I guess Israel didn’t want to take any chances that a Palestinian might decide to claim this rock. Leave no stone unturned, I guess.”

Morocco gives Israel the cold shoulder and so does food co-op in Rachel Corrie’s home town

Oct 18, 2010


and other news from Today in Palestine:

Settlers/Land, property & resource theft and destruction/Ethnic cleansing

Settlers install new mobile homes in settlement near Jericho
Zionist settlers installed tens of mobile homes in a settlement near Jericho overnight Sunday, eyewitnesses from Jericho city reported.
Harvest of excrement: colonists in Occupied Territories pump sewage on to Palestinian farm land, Philip Weiss
This is important. On Saturday night, the illegal Jewish colony of Gush Etzion in the occupied territories turned on pumps that sent thousands of liters of the colony’s raw sewage on to the farmland of the Palestinian village of Beit Ommar. It is documented above.  I would urge all readers to check out the Palestinian farmers who speak to the camera from 2:10 on or so. Look into their eyes and tell me that they are terrorists or fundamentalists or any of the other racist characterizations we are fed about Palestinians who wish to have political freedom. (No, they are being uprooted from their land. What would that do to you?)
Abbas: “Netanyahu Told Me He Cannot Extend Settlement Freeze”
During a TV Interview with Israel’s Channel 1, Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, stated Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, told him that he cannot extend the freeze on settlement activities in the occupied territories.
Israeli ambassador: we’re a “long way from discussing settlements”,  Josh Rogin
Israel’s ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, who laid down a marker by arguing in Thursday’s New York Times that the Palestinians must recognize Israel as a Jewish state now, met with a host of Arab American leaders the night before to explain recent Israeli decisions regarding the peace process and assure them of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s commitment to the end goal.
Israeli envoy says only peace can halt settlements (AFP)
AFP – Israel will only stop its disputed settlement building when the Palestinians make a peace agreement, its UN ambassador said ahead of new Security Council talks Monday on the Middle East conflict.*
Mousa Slams Israel´s New Construction Plan
Arab League secretary-general, Amro Mousa, slammed the new Israeli plan to construct new settlement units in occupied East Jerusalem.
Activism/Solidarity/Boycott, Sanctions & Divestment

Soldiers Attack Protestors in East Jerusalem
Israeli soldiers attacked on Sunday Palestinian protestors in El Ein and Wadi Hilwa areas, in occupied East Jerusalem.
Soldiers Attack Protestors in East Jerusalem
On Sunday, Israeli soldiers attacked Palestinian protestors in the El Ein and Wadi Hilwa neighborhoods of Silwan in occupied East Jerusalem.

Soldiers Attack Protestors in East Jerusalem

IDF uses disguised troops in anti-fence rallies
(Video) Palestinians document members of security forces hiding behind traditional Arab headdress in Nabi Salih. ‘They seek to oppress the protest at its very beginning,’ villager says.,7340,L-3970768,00.html
Peres cancels Morocco trip after king denies request to meet
Moroccan King Mohammed VI wrote Peres last Friday that such a rendezvous was impossible at the moment; President’s Bureau believes decision was made to protest Israeli policy.
Arab League urges world leaders to boycott OECD conference in Jerusalem
Call issued in light of continued Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank comes after Turkey, Britain and Spain said they would not attend.
#BDS: Five countries boycott tourism conference in Jerusalem
• UK, Sweden, Turkey, South Africa, and Ireland will not attend controversial conference hosted by Israel
• Many countries undecided or set to only send low-level delegations
• OECD General Secretary warns Netanyahu over Israeli Tourism Minister comments
• Palestine Legislative Council appeals for more countries to boycott conference
• Israeli membership of OECD ‘illegal under international law’
#BDS: An Android application for a boycott of Israeli occupation
Buy No Evil is a new free application for Android developed in Israel that helps to know which products from Israeli settlements in the Palestinian area known as the West Bank, so that users can avoid buying and boycott.  The application has been developed by two Israeli bloggers with the open source project Activism, which has the slogan “open source activism.”
#BDS; AUSTRALIAN unions are signing up to an international campaign to boycott Israeli goods
But a fight is brewing over a proposal for the Australian Council of Trade Unions to endorse the movement.  The broad-based divestment and boycott campaign is targeting companies that profit from the Israeli settlements.  The Electrical Trades Union, the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union, the Queensland branch of the Rail Tram and Bus Union and the Finance Sector Union have all passed a resolution supporting the international campaign of “boycott, divestment and sanctions” (BDS) against Israel.  Communications Electrical Plumbing Union national secretary Peter Tighe told The Australian the electrical branch of his union had adopted the resolution and he would now take it to the broader CEPU, then the ACTU.
#BDS: Boycotting apartheid
In July, in Rachel Corrie’s hometown of Olympia, Washington state, the popular Food Co-op announced that no Israeli products would be sold at its two grocery stores. Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a principal endorser of this new Israel Divestment Campaign, issued a statement endorsing the boycott. “The Olympia Food Co-op has joined a growing worldwide movement on the part of citizens and the private sector to support by non-violent tangible acts the Palestinian struggle for justice and self-determination.”
California Attorney General Issues Title and Summary for Divest from Israel Initiative
The Israel Divestment Campaign (IDC) is the first citizens’ effort in the country to appeal directly to voters to hold Israel accountable for violations of international law and human rights.  With the official assignment of a title* and summary to our Initiative by the Attorney General on September 1st, the IDC has begun the process of collecting the signatures of at least 434,000 registered California voters by January 31, 2011.
Budrus: A Palestinian story of non-violent protest
Ayed Morrar addressing demonstrators Ayed Morrar united Palestinians and Israelis in peaceful protests against Israel’s separation barrier.  In the opening sequence of the new documentary film, Budrus, the camera follows a winding road to the home of Palestinian activist, Ayed Morrar.
‘NY Jewish Week’ says progressive Zionists are feeling ‘battered by boycott’,  Philip Weiss
Julie Wiener’s 7 year old daughter “decided” (are 7 year olds autonomous? I dont know; but she surely reflected her mother’s love of Israel) to have an Israel-themed birthday party in New York. At least a couple of people boycotted the party. Weiner sees the boycott movement gaining traction all around us. Her piece is “Battered by Boycotts” for the New York Jewish Week. I have left out her many arguments against BDS (singling out; Abu Ghraib, etc) but her longwindedness and fretful tone show that the South Africa progressive movement is beginning to gather at last. And even “progressive Zionists” are feelin the heat.
This time Ezra Nawi needs our help!
A few weeks ago, human rights activist, Ezra Nawi, was released from jail after serving a month`s sentence following his attempt to prevent a bulldozer from destroying Palestinian homes in the South Hebron Hills. His imprisonment constitutes a relatively small milestone in his dedicated activism, which has continued non-stop for the past decade. For the past ten years, Ezra has traveled to the South Hebron Hills a few times each week and has worked tirelessly against settler violence and the oppression of the Civil Administration in an attempt to preserve the basic rights of the local Palestinian residents. People who have had the chance to met Ezra know that he is a righteous man.
Siege (Gaza & West Bank)/Rights Violations/Restriction of Movement
Industrial Fuel – Needs Vs. Supply – Sep 19 – Oct 16
Goods – Needs Vs. Supply – Sep 19 – Oct 16
The ban on student travel between Gaza and the West Bank: Fatma Sharif’s story
Since 2000, Israel has imposed a sweeping ban on the exit of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip to study at Palestinian universities in the West Bank. Fatma Sharif, a lawyer from the Gaza Strip who wanted to reach her studies in democracy and human rights in the West Bank, is one of those affected by this policy.

Israel to close Bethlehem checkpoint for Jewish holiday
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israel’s Civil Administration said the 300 checkpoint in Bethlehem would be closed to those entering the West Bank on Monday due to a Jewish holiday.  The administration said the closure was scheduled because celebrations would be held at Rachel’s Tomb, adjacent to the checkpoint. The terminal would be open for entry into Israel, however.
Israeli siege affecting Gaza wheelchair maintenance
The Gaza Strip has around 16,000 registered wheelchair users or one per cent of its population.  An aid delivery is the only way for electric wheelchairs to come in. But it’s not enough, and the Israeli embargo also makes it hard to repair them.

Gaza tunnellers turn former lifeline into export channel (AFP)
AFP – The workers herd cows through the dusty tunnels beneath the Gaza border, but this time they are leading them out of the isolated Palestinian enclave and into Egypt.*
In the Name of the Children, Joharah Baker for MIFTAH
Reader comments may often be the best litmus test for public opinion. They are sometimes even more interesting than the article itself because they provoke varying points of view from a wide spectrum of people, many of whom violently clash.  This was certainly true of a recent story and video showing a settler leader in Silwan running down two Palestinian boys with his car. The video, understandably, generated a barrage of comments, some of them shockingly callous.  “Those aren’t mere kids, they had murder in their little hearts,” read one comment about the children captured on film who were later arrested by Israeli authorities. “Lock ’em up”, read another.  One of these children was Omran Mansour, who was released on October 17 after spending nine days in an Israeli detention center. While some reports put the boy as young as eight others have reported him to be 12. In either way, he is a child. After his release, the boy was ordered under house arrest – allowed only to go to school and back with a parent. He was also made to pay a fine of NIS2,000.
Palestinian child abuse
For me, the most spectacular thing about Zionist hasbara has been how they’ve managed to convince most Americans that Palestinian parents “don’t care about their children,” “send them out to blow themselves up,”  and “celebrate the martyrdom of their children.”  They’ve even created a word for any expression of emotion that Palestinians express: “Pallywood Production.”  This hatred that Palestinian parents supposedly have for their children is quite effective propaganda actually.  It plays a large role in most Americans justifying or ignoring the slaughter of Palestinians with their tax dollars.  You see, if Palestinian parents hate their children, then they aren’t really human and if they aren’t really human, then it’s OK to kill them.
US reform rabbis: Loyalty oath undemocratic
American Reform rabbis issue statement condemning amendment to Citizenship Law, saying ‘oxymoronic law’ will strengthen Israel’s enemies. ‘This legislation greatly diminishes Israel’s Jewish character,’ they say.,7340,L-3970731,00.html

20 Palestinians Injured In Jerusalem Clashes
Palestinian medical sources report that at least 20 Palestinians were injured, on Sunday night, during clashes that took place with Israeli soldiers and policemen in the town of Silwan in occupied East Jerusalem.

20 Palestinians Injured In Jerusalem Clashes

Clashes erupt in Silwan
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinians erupted in the flashpoint East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan on Sunday.  Ma’an’s correspondent said large numbers of Israeli forces were deployed in the area, and were firing live ammunition, tear gas canisters, sound grenades and rubber-coated steel bullets at Palestinian youth. No injuries were reported.
Grenade found in Rafah school playground
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A janitor found a grenade in the playground of a boys’ high school in Rafah, close to Gaza’s southern border, police said.  A police statement said officers were called to the scene and evacuated the boys’ school before removing the grenade, suspected to be leftover from a previous Israeli invasion.  The General Attorney opened an investigation into the incident, the report added.
Palestinian dies of wounds sustained in October 7th Israeli airstrike
An Israeli airstrike in Gaza that killed one Palestinian and wounded five has claimed a second victim, as 22-year-old Muhammad Hisham Zaqout succumbed to his wounds in a Gaza City hospital on Sunday.

DCI Report: IOA child arrests on the rise
The Defense for Children International marked a sharp rise this year in Israeli arrests against Palestinian children in Jerusalem and the West Bank.
Israel arrests Hamas MP in West Bank (AFP)
AFP – Israeli security forces arrested a Hamas MP at his home in the occupied West Bank town of Hebron early on Monday, Hamas and the Israeli military said.*
Israeli troops kidnap seven Palestinians in W. Bank
The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at dawn Monday kidnapped seven Palestinian citizens during raids on homes in different West Bank areas.
Israel’s Arab Helpers

PA preventive security transfers prisoner Salhab to hospital due to torture
The family of prisoner Ahmed Salhab reported that its son suffers from a serious medical condition because of his exposure to excruciating torture in the preventive security prison in Al-Khalil city.
Amid media blackout, PA-Israeli officers to question Palestinians in PA jail
The PA intelligence apparatus in Al-Khalil transferred amid media blackout a number of Palestinian detainees in its prison to Jericho jail in order to be interrogated by a joint PA-Israeli committee.
Participants in Lifeline 5 upset at Egypt’s entry ban
The participants in the fifth aid convoy Lifeline for Gaza expressed their dismay at the Egyptian decision to ban 17 of them from entering Egypt and crossing into the besieged Gaza Strip.
War Criminals

B’Tselem testifies before commission on Gaza flotilla
In her testimony before the Turkel Commission, B’Tselem’s director surveyed the serious harm that Israel’s punitive measures cause civilians in Gaza, Israel’s obligations under international law, and Hamas’ breaches of human rights and humanitarian law.

Israeli inquiry calls on flotilla attack witnesses to testify; despite threatening to arrest them
After promising, on multiple occasions, to arrest any participants in the humanitarian aid flotilla to Gaza, Israeli officials have now made an ‘open call’ to those same participants to testify in an inquiry about the Israeli attack on the aid boats that killed 9 aid workers.
Bulldozer driver and ground commander to testify in Corrie trial
The driver of the bulldozer that crushed to death Rachel Corrie in Rafah, Gaza, in March 2003, and the military commander in charge of the unit on the ground that day, are scheduled to testify on Thursday, October 21 in the civil lawsuit filed by Rachel’s family against the state of Israel for her unlawful killing.  Earlier this month, the court granted the State of Israel’s request that soldiers involved in the incident be permitted to testify behind a screen to protect their identity. Lawyers for the Corrie family appealed the decision to the Israeli Supreme Court, requesting that at a minimum the family be allowed to view the soldiers, but the court refused to hear the challenge.
Political Developments

Palestinians unified in shunning Israel
Ramallah: The Palestinian leadership agreed on Saturday that there will be no recognition of Israel beyond the purview of the 1993 Oslo accords.  The unanimous agreement is in response to frequent Israeli demands on Palestinians to recognise it as a Jewish state and aims to leave little room for confusion on the issue.  Bassam Al Salihi, Secretary-General of the Palestinian People’s Party, told Gulf News that Palestinian concurrence on not recognising Israel as a Jewish state under any circumstances was unshakeable.  The Palestinian leadership is in an extended meeting to review prevailing political conditions and available alternatives amid the impasse in direct talks because of Israel’s stand, he said.
Abbas warns against rise in extremism if peace talks fail (AFP)
AFP – Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas warned against a rise in extremism if the ongoing peace process failed, in an interview to Israeli public television.*
With statehood, Palestine ready to end all claims (AP)
AP – The Palestinians are ready to end all historic claims against Israel once they establish their state in the lands Israel occupied in the 1967 Mideast War, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Sunday, addressing a long-standing Israeli demand.*
Abbas rebuffs Syria call to continue Palestinian ‘resistance’
The recent Arab League meeting in Libya was marked by friction between PA President Mahmoud Abbas and Syrian President Bashar Assad over peace talks.
Other News

Ahmadinejad urges West to ‘clarify stance on Israel’s nukes’
Iranian president endorses nuclear talks with international community on Tehran’s nuclear program, but says ignoring alleged Israeli program will prove West ‘supports Zionist regime’s atomic bomb’.,7340,L-3970610,00.html
Erdogan: US is backing Israel’s “state terrorism”
Turkish premier Recep Erdogan has lashed out at the US administration for not denouncing the Israeli “terrorism” against Turkish citizens.
Yosef: Gentiles exist only to serve Jews
The sole purpose of non-Jews is to serve Jews, according to Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the head of Shas’s Council of Torah Sages and a senior Sephardi adjudicator.
Israeli police launch drive to fill ranks with settlers, Jonathan Cook
NAZARETH // As US-sponsored peace talks have stalled over the issue of settlements, Israel’s national police force has revealed that it is turning to the very same illegal communities in its first-ever drive to recruit officers from among the settlers.  The special officer training course, which is chiefly aimed at discharged combat soldiers, includes seven months of religious studies in an extremist West Bank settlement.
Did Canada’s support for Israel cost it a seat on UN Security Council?
United Nations Security Council seat goes to Portugal in secret vote; Islamic states thought to have voted as a bloc against Ottawa.
Top IDF officer warns of new Gaza war if Hamas abducts soldier
Senior IDF officer says Hamas now resembles less a terrorist group than a ‘militia with semi-military order’ that receives help from Iran and Syria.
Edelstein confirms Pollard release discussions underway
High-level discussions in Israel on how to get clemency in the US for Israeli agent; Knesset panel to invite US envoy to hearing on the matter.
Declassified Statement on Jonathan Pollard, Caspar W. Weinberger
I am Caspar W. Weinberger, Secretary of Defense. I offer this declaration to supplement my in camera submission, which detailed the nature and extent of the harm defendant has caused to our national security, and to make known to the Court additional facts which have been brought to my attention. I also wish to address the defendant’s self-serving contentions [.pdf] that his espionage activities were intended only to aid Israel, and the suggestion that his actions should be viewed as mere technical violations of laws intended to keep sensitive information from actual or potential enemies.
Analysis/Opinion/Human Interest

A cycle of retribution / Nancy Kanwisher & Anat Biletzki
For both Israelis and Palestinians, the violence is not arbitrary — Most Israelis see Palestinians as inherently, fundamentally, uncontingently hostile, wishing only to “throw us into the sea.’’ Similarly, Palestinians see Israel as unshakably determined to expel them from their land. Although anecdote and speculation are popular in discussions of the Middle East conflict, we used data and quantitative analysis to determine whether these perceptions are true. One data set was the timeline of Qassam rocket firings, compiled by the Israeli Defense Forces. Another was the day-by-day timeline of killings of Israelis by Palestinians and of killings of Palestinians by Israelis, compiled by the Israeli Human Rights organization B’Tselem. We tested whether the violent behavior of each side occurs in response to violence committed by the other side — or whether it is simply arbitrary.
Gideon Levy / How times have changed at Jenin refugee camp
Recent wedding in the Jenin, Apache helicopters are replaced by twinkling stars, IDF tanks by trucks filled with plastic chairs and musical instruments.
Lies of Bronner: for you, o Israel, As`ad Abukhalil
“I checked with the Japanese Embassy, which proceeded to check with the Japanese government. It got back to me a few minutes later [on Friday afternoon]: Of course it’s a lie: the Japanese government considers the settlements illegal. Poor Bronner, sitting in his Jerusalem office, calling up every consulate in the phone book starting with the A’s trying to find just one other country that considers the settlements as legal. He gets to the J’s, calls Japan, and you know how polite the Japanese are. So, Bronner probably pleads, “Don’t you agree with the United States that the settlements are legal, although OF COURSE they are an obstacle to peace?” And the Japanese are just too considerate to hurt Bronner’s feelings, so they say, “Well, yes, they are an obstacle to peace.” Bronner, thrilled that he’s finally found ONE other country that agrees (sort of) with the U.S. (even if the U.S. judge on the ICJ [International Court of Justice], Thomas Buergenthal, agreed with the other 14 judges on the court that the settlements are illegal) rushes into print that the U.S. AND JAPAN say the settlements are legal. But it ain’t so Ethan. You’ll just have to go back to the phone book and start ringing up more embassies. Here’s a hint: you might have better luck with the N’s, as in…Nauru.”
MJ Rosenberg: The Bogus Demand To Recognize Israel “As A Jewish State”
Israel’s ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, is an old-fashioned right-wing Zionist, which is why he is leading the chorus demanding that Palestinians recognize Israel “as a Jewish state” as a precondition for a settlement freeze and negotiations.  Historically, right-wing Zionism — in contrast to the socialist Zionism of David Ben Gurion, Golda Meir, Yitzhak Rabin and their allies — preferred rhetoric to action. While the old socialists were building the physical infrastructure of the future state and then the state itself, the right-wing Zionists stuck to rhetoric. The left built the army, the roads, the farms (kibbutzim), the air force, the factories, even the nuclear deterrent, while the right issued fiery statements about the need for Israel to expand, rid itself of Arabs, and become purely Jewish.
the morality of Chas Freeman, Max Ajl
Paul Woodward and Phil Weiss have both picked up on a speech that Chas Freeman delivered at Tufts. It is a decent speech in the sense that Freeman seems somewhat aware of the fact that Palestinians, Iraqis, and Afghanis are human beings, a realization that’s tantamount to spiritual transformation for imperial apparatchiks.
Gosh, another American writing for liberal magazine says lowering ‘Arab’ birthrate inside Israel is hunky-dory, Philip Weiss
This is what I don’t understand. Jonathan Tepperman of the “Eurasia group, a global political risk consulting firm,” is I’m guessing Jewish and is doing fine in the U.S. So for him personally, as for me, the structural basis of Zionism– that Jews are endangered in the west– is probably meaningless; and I bet he likes living in a country where a member of a minority gets to be president. But here he is given a platform at the Atlantic to say that Israel is the “refuge for the Jews” and therefore it’s legitimate that it act to limit the population growth of Israeli Palestinians so they don’t threaten the Jewish majority–of a country he has the freedom to move to tomorrow and doesn’t want to.
Neocon says that Khalidi aims to establish Haram-al-Sharif at Columbia U, Philip Weiss
This is repulsive. Martin Kramer, whose blog is appropriately titled the Sandbox, is upset by the new Center for Palestine Studies at Columbia University and has posted a Columbia campus map showing the Noble Sanctuary (in Arabic, the Haram-al-Sharif, for Jews the Temple Mount), as part of the Columbia campus. He says that establishing the Haram at Columbia is the “ambition” of Rashid Khalidi and other proponents of the new center. Remember, the last we heard from Kramer he wanted to cut off pro-natal subsidies to Gaza in an effort to curb its population of “superfluous young men.” Hard to say which is larger, the stupidity, the Islamophobia, or the anti-Palestinian bigotry.
Israel`s right needs perpetual war,  Zeev Sternhell
The facts must be acknowledged: The heads of the rightist parties have a strategic outlook and the ability to take the long view, and they also know how to choose the right tools to carry out their mission.
Susan Abulhawa v. Alan Dershowitz: Novel Approaches
Palestinian author Susan Abulhawa, whose debut novel, Mornings in Jenin, is an international sensation, confronts Zionist bully Alan Dershowitz, known for fictions of a different vareity, at the Boston Book Festival. The discussion is moderated by Director of the Harvard Negotiation project, James Sebenius and sponsored by the Jewish Community Centers of Greater Boston.
AIPAC, a voice for the Israeli Right (updated)
New York, NY – Recently, I met a friend who works with the US office of an Israeli NGO. He told me of a conversation he once had with a top AIPAC official (since it was a private conversation, I won’t disclose the name of the official here).  “We appreciate the work that you are doing in Israel,” the AIPAC guy told my friend. “We often give it as an example to the fact that Israel is indeed a thriving democracy. But you shouldn’t have opened a US office, and you shouldn’t be lobbying on the Hill.”
Why didn’t Dershowitz give up his American citizenship?, Philip Weiss
Tell me if I’m wrong, but Dershowitz seems to get defensive on the dual-loyalty front at the beginning of this conversation with Eliot Spitzer on CNN. He confirms the rumor that Netanyahu “urged” him to be Israel’s UN ambassador, and says he “would have loved to do it” (and namedrops that it would have put him in the company of Einstein as an American proxy for Israel), but says he had to turn Netanyahu down because it would have raised dual loyalty issues, if the American interest and the Israeli interest conflicted.
Still “Looking For Love In All The Wrong Places”: Hussein Ibish Dines With The Israeli Ambassador
Hussein Ibish, Senior Fellow at the American Task Force on Palestine, the unofficial public relations firm of the Vichy regime in occupied Ramallah, had an “interesting and productive” dinner with the Israeli ambassador to Washington, DC, Michael Oren.  Ibish found the dinner, courtesy of Danny Abraham and Robert Wexler, “most helpful.”
doctors in solidarity, doctors helping hasbara, Max Ajl
On October 16, a 4-member team of doctors and nurses from Australia  and Italy completed a 10-day orthopedic mission to the European   Hospital in Khan Younis. Led by surgeon Dr. Tim Keenan, who has led  several past PCRF missions to Nablus, the team included Italian  anesthesiologist Dr. Stefano Donao from Rome, OR nurse  Kassy Keenan  and PT Jaquie Hocking from Perth.  Dozens of poor and needy Palestinians from the besieged Gaza Strip were provided expert care by the team, as well as training and experience for the local doctors. The mission was co-sponsored by Australian NGO Toward’s Hope.  This is  the 2nd orthopedic surgery mission to Gaza in October by the PCRF.
The Elephant in the Room
Excluding Hamas from current and future Palestinian-Israeli peace negotiations is an exercise in futility.  Sidelining Hamas in any process to craft genuine peace between Israelis and Palestinians is a glaring omission tantamount to ignoring an elephant in the room. Whether it is Obama’s or the UN’s negotiating room, pretending something of that size absent is an exercise in futility. Hamas is definitely an elephant with many tales. Telling some of these tales recounts the Islamist movement’s rise to power against all odds.
The Elephant in the Room
The Listening Post – Egypt’s media squeeze
On the Listening Post this week we look at the media squeeze in the lead up to Egypt’s parliamentary elections. We also have a report on media-savvy rebel leaders and how they play the PR game.
Why not a Nobel for Western dissidents?
The Nobel Peace prize has been awarded for many different people and for many different reasons, but there appears to be one area the committee is reluctant to go.

Hizbullah condemns Kalam An-Nas ‘incitement’
BEIRUT: Hizbullah condemned on Saturday the “incitement of hatred” during an episode of the talk show Kalam An-Nas, describing it as a promotion of strife between the Sunni and Shiite communities. The party issued a statement in which it strongly denounced the contents of Thursday’s Kalam An-Nas episode aired on LBC television.
Lebanese civil rights activist speaks of detention
BEIRUT (Ma’an) — A prominent civil rights activist who was detained by Lebanese army investigators for 14 hours has spoken about her experience, accusing authorities of disproportionate action against perceived pro-Palestinian demonstrations. Farah Kobaissy, 23, was accused of seeking to ferment civil unrest after her one-woman protest outside the northern refugee camp of Nahr al-Bared was forcibly stopped by soldiers.
’12 Angry Lebanese’ Touch So Many More
IPS Straddling the hills overlooking the Mediterranean Sea is Roumieh, Lebanon’s largest and most notorious high-security men’s prison. Crowded into its dank and depressing concrete cells are those convicted as religious extremists, murderers, mobsters and spies.

Sunday: 17 Iraqis Killed, 16 Wounded
Another dramatic gold store robbery occurred in Baghdad today. Authorities believe that insurgents are attacking gold and jewelry stores in order to support their activities. At least 17 Iraqis were killed and 16 more were wounded there and across northern Iraq. Also, Awakening Council leaders are denying reports that hundreds of their fighters have defected to al-Qaeda.
Two Iraqi cops killed at checkpoint
Iraqi authorities say gunmen opened fire on a police checkpoint in Anbar province Saturday, killing two officers and wounding two others.
Iraqi prime minister visits Iran
Politically controversial trip comes amid reports in media of direct Iranian help to keep al-Maliki in power.
Iraq PM seeks regional support for new term (Reuters)
Reuters – Iraq’s Shi’ite prime minister is touring capitals in the region, many of which fear he could alienate Iraq’s Sunnis and give Iran too much influence, in search of support for his bid to form a new government.*
Iraqi women have the right to own and drive cabs, government says
The government has rebuffed provincial officials refusing to give women the right to purchase cabs at subsidized prices.  Under a new government program, jobless Iraqis are entitled to purchase cars at lower prices if they used them as taxis. They can pay the government back with almost no interest and at affordable installments.  So far the privilege was confined to male Iraqis without permanent employment.  But a new directive issued by Baghdad Governor Salah Abdulrazzaq, makes it incumbent on the officials to register jobless women, too.  “The project to distribute taxis … must include jobless women. It is not restricted to male Iraqis,” the directive says.\2010-10-16\kurd.htm
Saddam-era firm now making music instead of bombs (AFP)
AFP – Before the 2003 US-led invasion, Iraq’s Al-Shaheed State Company used to make a blast, literally. Now it helps to produce music.*
U.S. Other Mideast/World News

Fox host who said ‘all terrorists are Muslims’ will likely keep job
Fox News host Brian Kilmeade will soon “clarify” his repeated assertion Friday that “all terrorists are Muslim,” but that’s not enough for many critics who argue there’s a media double-standard in the treatment of reporters who make anti-Semitic comments and those who are perceived to slur Muslims.  “Not every Muslim is an extremist, a terrorist, but every terrorist is a Muslim,” Kilmeade said on his radio show. “You can’t avoid that fact. And that is ridiculous that we got to keep defining this — the people that equate Timothy McVeigh with the Al Qaeda terrorist organization, which is growing and a threat that exists.”
Clinton Suggests Conditions on Pakistan Flood Relief
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton suggested European Union leaders should follow the U.S. and withhold further flood-relief funding from Pakistan until Islamabad shows it is doing more to fight corruption and collect tax revenue from its wealthiest citizens.
Troops ‘overwhelmed and cannot defeat Taliban’
THE Taliban have ”overwhelmed” foreign troops and cannot be defeated by military means, one of Australia’s top combat soldiers has warned.
Afghanistan’s aid workers advised to seek permission from Taliban
In a gloomy assessment, the Afghanistan NGO Safety Office says the Taliban are ‘anticipating authority’
Brigade’s strategy: ‘Strike and destroy’
As sordid accounts of the platoon’s activities continue to emerge, critics inside and outside the Army are questioning whether the brigade’s get-tough strategy, which emphasized enemy kills over civilian relations, influenced the behavior of the accused.
Fresh claims US is running secret prison in Afghanistan
Prisoners are being abused at a “secret jail” in the main American military base in Afghanistan, according to a report from a US policy think tank.
“I Wonder, Why Was I Victimized?”
Pakistani victims of U.S. drone strikes speak out in a new report on increasing civilian casualties in the region.
Gen Petraeus turns up the heat on Pakistan, Afghanistan
It’s not just Pakistan where the United States has stepped up air raids against members of  al Qaeda and the Taliban. Last month,  U.S-led NATO planes in Afghanistan conducted 700 missions, more than twice the number for the same month the previous year. It was also one of the highest single-month totals of the nine-year Afghan War, the military-focused Danger Room blog said, citing U.S. Air Force statistics.
David Hicks says Guantanamo was ‘Six Years of Hell’
Australia’s former long-serving Guantanamo Bay inmate David Hicks Saturday broke his silence on life inside the US-run prison, saying he endured deprivation and witnessed brutality in “six years of hell”.
Clinton aide’s idea: Let Iraq shoot down U.S. plane
A new book says a cabinet member proposed letting Saddam kill an American airman as a pretext for war
US court rules on the military’s policy on gay personnel
Robert Gates, the US defense secretary, has criticised a court ruling that would end the ban on gay personnel serving openly in the armed forces.
Turkey may remove Iran from list of ‘threatening nations’
While Iran may be helping Erdogan’s aspirations within his country, it is placing Turkey on a dangerous track toward confrontation with the U.S.
Musharraf’s ‘fish, duck and wine’ lunch with Israeli MPs in London
Former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf is stated to have shared a lunch with a couple of members of Knesset, the Israeli Parliament, at a Chinese restaurant in Kensington area of central London a few days ago.
Servant did not resist fatal assault by Saudi prince, court told
Bandar Abdulaziz was so worn down by abuse that he let prince kill him, prosecutor alleges in closing speech.  A servant allegedly beaten and strangled by a Saudi prince died without putting up a fight, the Old Bailey in London heard today.  Bandar Abdulaziz was so worn down by the sadistic abuse he had suffered that he let the defendant kill him, jurors were told.  Saud Abdulaziz bin Nasser al Saud, 34, denies murdering the 32-year-old in February at the central London hotel room they shared.  Jonathan Laidlaw QC, prosecuting, said they had a master-servant relationship in which the prince abused his aide for his own personal gratification.  Laidlaw said the victim’s injuries showed the assault leading to his murder “was a really terrible, a really brutal attack”.
UAE rules wife ‘discipline’ cannot leave marks
The UAE’s highest judicial body says a man can beat his wife and young children as long as the beating leaves no physical marks.



Oct 18, 2010

Philip Weiss 

Sherine Tadros (@SherineT)
10/18/10 10:23 AM
#Israel‘s tourism minister has invited #Chilean miners to #Israel for #Christmas

About that sticker

Oct 18, 2010

Ali Gharib 

After an excellent string of blog posts and articles from Israel and Palestine, Matthew Yglesias has “come a long way,” Weiss writes. Despite the patronizing language about his younger, blogging colleague, Weiss is right. But, with due respect to an excellent journalist whom I admire, I’d say he hasn’t come all the way just yet.

That last leg, though, is a tough one, raising questions about liberal support for a state that requires one to constantly signal his or her ethnicity and religion in order to be comfortable and have a sense of belonging.

As a point of departure for Yglesias’s journey, Weiss cited an old blogpost from years ago and a recent light-hearted tweet about how Yglesias wants an “I’m Jewish too!” sticker to wear around in Israel.

You see, Yglesias’s last name is, well, Yglesias. It’s not so obviously Jewish. I wonder what incident of perhaps mild discrimination caused him to pine for an outward expression of his belonging in Israel?

Yglesias, despite his public criticisms of Israel and U.S policy toward it, is a member of the club. Not only is he Jewish, but he is a Zionist. Despite his Hispanic last name, Yglesias knows he belongs.

My question is this: What about the rest of us? You see, I am not an avowed Zionist and, far from sounding Jewish, my last name, Gharib, is distinctly Middle Eastern (Iranian, if you must know). I’ve often wondered how I would fare getting into and moving around Israel. What would be the reaction of passport control at Ben Gurion Airport when they see my full name, Ali Gharib? 

That’s where I have a real problem with Yglesias’s tweet. While I respect his work tremendously — especially his recent posts from Israel/Palestine — I do think it’s emblematic of a sort of blind spot for many young Jewish Zionists looking at the Israel-Palestinian conflict. 

Wouldn’t it be nice if Israel was a place where people didn’t need Jewish last names — or “stickers” identifying them — to be able to get around perfectly well? This is not even to say that Israel shouldn’t be a Jewish State, just so long as it can treat the Jewish Zionist Matt Yglesias and the Catholic visitor Carlos Yglesias the same way, not to even mention the Iranian Ali Gharib.

I know it’s just a tweet, and a joke, at that. But imagine a journalist covering the Jim Crow South who, though he was white, had African-American hair. Imagine him quipping that he wishes he had an “I’m white too!” sticker.

Yglesias can afford to joke about these matters — he’s in the Club. But what about those who don’t have the last names and haven’t been born into the “sticker”?

Harvest of excrement: colonists in Occupied Territories pump sewage on to Palestinian farm land

Oct 18, 2010

Philip Weiss 

This is important. On Saturday night, the illegal Jewish colony of Gush Etzion in the occupied territories turned on pumps that sent thousands of liters of the colony’s raw sewage on to the farmland of the Palestinian village of Beit Ommar. It is documented above.

I would urge all readers to check out the Palestinian farmers who speak to the camera from 2:10 on or so. Look into their eyes and tell me that they are terrorists or fundamentalists or any of the other racist characterizations we are fed about Palestinians who wish to have political freedom. (No, they are being uprooted from their land. What would that do to you?)

From the Palestinian Solidarity project:

Thousands of liters of raw sewage from the illegal Gush Etzion settlement flooded over 50 dunams [12 acres] of Palestinian farmland in the village of Beit Ommar last night. The sewage was pumped from a storage unit inside the settlement onto the land of the Sabarna family, flooding trees and submerging a bulldozer.

As of 10 AM [Sunday the 17th] the water is still flooding. Today marks the fourth time this year that the settlement has dumped waste water onto the Sabarna’s land. The settlement emptied sewage onto their land in March, April and June, destroying the crops and costing the farmers thousands of shekels in lost income.

The flooding poses a major health hazard to the village residents. Members of the Awwad family, whose bulldozer was submerged, waded knee deep in the sewage to pull out the bulldozer, and ground soil contamination creates major health risks for local residents.

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