Today in Bil’in

Nov 12, 2010

Hamde Abu Rahme 

Today’s demonstration in Bil’in was joined by a large number of Palestinians, Israelis and internationals. Members of the Fatah party were also present.
The protesters walked together towards the Apartheid Wall, carrying posters of Yasser Arafat, in commemoration of the Fatah leader who passed away six years ago. Speeches were held by members of the Fatah movement, while Israeli soldiers were preparing to attack the peaceful demonstrators in the background.
The speakers were Sultan Abu Al Enanan from the Fatah movement, Kays Abu Leyla from the Executive Committee of PLO and the political office of the Democratic Front and Basel Monsur from the Popular Committee in Bil’in. They all promised to stay strong as Arafat would have wanted them to be and to fight the occupation together.
Even before the majority of the protesters were moving forward, the soldiers started firing tear gas from where they had taken position on the road leading to the village. Immediately the area was covered with tear gas, with canisters flying into the crowd from different directions. As a response a few youngsters threw stones to the Israeli soldiers, as a symbolic resistance to their violence. The soldiers moved into the field and continued to fire rounds of gas, and also chasing people back into the village. At one point live ammunition was fired, causing fear and the retreat of the protesters remaining in the area.

Also this Friday the tear gas canister sat fire to the ground several places, and was put out by some protesters before it spread. The demonstration lasted for about two hours.
The Popular Committee and the people of Bil’in thanks their international and Israeli supporters for standing side by side with them in their struggle against Israel’s occupation.

Blogger Sheizaf would rather write about cinema, but he has been called to witness a great crime

Nov 12, 2010

Philip Weiss

On Wednesday, the New York Times did a piece quoting Netanyahu’s speech before the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations in New Orleans and didn’t mention that young Jewish activists repeatedly heckled the PM, even as the disruption was all that anyone was talking about. That night I went to an aliyah event at NYU and a leader of the recruiters of young Jews had been in New Orleans– the demonstrators were the first thing he talked about.

I left that event to hear the Israeli blogger Noam Sheizaf speak a few blocks away at NYU. He also talked about the hecklers and the different media realities:

From my perspective as a social media person, I am less and less interested… in the complicated manuevering between Netanyahu and Abu Mazen. And frankly I think most people got to the point where they are fed up with it, on both sides, and in Washington as well, and I think most of you have read the same stories for years about it. I’m interested in the person who was evacuated from his house in Jerusalem where he lived for 30 years to make way for a settler family last week. That’s what interests me. And these are the social media stories. I would like to make a prediction. I will guess that you will hear more and more [of this type of] stories about Israel soon, and they will become the stories of the mainstream media as well..

Sheizaf (who started Promised Land two years ago, and helped start 972 more recently) was part of a debate sponsored by Rabbis for Human Rights about Israel’s image in the media. (Parts of the exchange are on Youtube here.) His opponent was a former Israeli consulate official, David Saranga, and Sheizaf’s theme was the power of social media to upend the official narrative.

He told us of his own success. Reporters at the New York Times and Politico follow him on twitter; this would have been incomprehensible to him as a young journalist, that he would ever have that type of influence inside the Beltway.

And this is what I wanted, to have a political impact. Blogging is not just reporting, it is engaged reporting. We are engaged in an internal battle in Israel. I’m using these tools of facebook and twitter to push something…

I live-blogged [the flotilla] for four days from the Hebrew media. Traffic to my site went up ten times. [It took the IDF five hours to get out its version of the story.] And those five  hours framed much of how the story was handled and Israel has done damage control since then. And I understand why Hamas has said, the flotilla is better than 10,000 rockets.

Sheizaf’s pieces have been linked by the The Washington Post and The New York Times, but those links are chopped liver next to Glenn Greenwald. “When Glenn Greenwald said, go to this guy on Twitter– Glenn Greenwald is like a mega important person on the net, who is hardly known in the mainstream… Social media changes everything in the game.”

But this was not a careerist panel; and Sheizaf’s presentation was as morally serious as any event I’ve attended in New York in my lifetime. Sheizaf is a friend but I am being objective when I say that he is a future leader. Anyone who meets him sees this in him. He is softspoken, attractive, mature, confident, and thoughtful. He is Tel Aviv elite; and he is also a captain in the IDF reserves who has refused to serve in the Occupied Territories; and his hatred of Palestinian oppression became the theme of the evening.

It was electrifying to hear this young man in a sweater take moral command. Let me just quote things he said. (My emphasis)

The story David is telling about two societies equal in a conflict where everything is about security and good guys and bad guys, and one guy  wants peace and the other guy doesn’t is very compelling, but in the reality the Palestinians are the people under occupation and the people suffering abuse of their human rights, and they are real people, people older than the age of almost everyone in this room, almost, who have never been one day in their life free. Which is something that is hard in today’s society to understand. Never been free one day.

Once you have people who have access to these people who will report their daily troubles, every day, the story will not be about the government….

I live pretty comfortably in Tel Aviv. I prefer Tel Aviv to New York. Going to Tel Aviv and sitting on the beach, and then going to see a film, you might think you are in one of the nicest cities on the Mediterranean.

But 20 minutes away people in Nil’in and Bil’in can’t go into their own fields. And when I go [to demonstrate] there I am violating Israeli laws…

This point about electing one government or the other. The Palestinians have no say in these elections in which Israelis elect a government that is going to do something about settlements or about peace. No say over a government that controls their lives. What if one third of the people in this room had no vote and the other two thirds had a vote over their conditions, would that be a democracy? No.

Sheizaf also spoke with compassion for Israelis and their “tragic situation.” Most Israelis now understand how unsustainable the political situation is, and it makes them “confused, anxious, and very much scared of what the future holds,” but instead of taking action, they are paralyzed.

I’ve taken too long to get to the most exciting part of his talk. Two pro-Israel questioners with American accents kept peppering Sheizaf with flak about how screwed up human rights in Palestine are, say for women and gays. Why is he so concerned with Israeli violations? His answers:

Quite simple. First of all, I’m an Israeli, so I’m more interested in the wrongdoings of my own government…. I’m a captain in the IDF. I go to the West Bank and I see what’s going on there. And that’s something that bothers me deeply. These are the actions of my own government. I can influence them. I have to carry them out myself, and this is something that bothers me deeply.

The fact that Palestinians create injustices to others, it is tragic, but it is their own issue.

The bottom line is this, You don’t step on someone’s head and tell him he should shave at the same time. You don’t tell him he should look nicer. Israel can talk about Palestinian human rights as much as it wants, but as long as it’s done within the context of occupation it’s just PR.

I’ve got to be very clear about this… I don’t want to be involved in the internal questions of Palestinians as long as we are the occupying force. It’s the basic moral positon. You don’t take someone’s entire poltical right and then criticize its society for not being too liberal. They can’t be liberal, because they can’t travel, they don’thave freedom of speech

Woman in audience: Imposed by who?

By Israel.

Woman: In Gaza?

They can’t travel outside Gaza. The thing is this, people from Gaza who study in Bir Zeit university in Ramallah, can’t go to school because Israel won’t allow them, it only allows a few dozen people in emergency medical cases, and I get the sense that it does it for PR purposes. 

This is a moral issue for me, not to tell people how to behave when you’re the one who’s causing the greatest problem they confront.

Sheizaf then dropped a bomb. How would you feel if you found out that in the pre civil war south a white family was questioning the norms of a black people and telling them how to lead their lives.

Any society where one takes the liberties of the other, it’s really questionable where one can lecture to the other, you know you have to be nicer to your women.

When the woman persisted from the audience about kids being trained to be suicide bombers, Sheizaf ended on a stunning point, and for once his voice became emotional. (My taperecorder ran out of juice, some of this is a little imprecise, from notes; and this part isn’t on Youtube yet). 

I am going to say something that may upset people here. Baruch Goldstein was the first suicide attacker, in the tomb of the Patriarchs, and he did it to ruin the peace process in 1994 and a lot of people still idolize him in the West Bank…

Both these societies have their faults.

I’m interested in speaking about Israel. My responsibility is in Israel.

I can’t separate the occupation from anything in Israel. I care more about cinema than politics. But I have to be political now. The occupation is one of the worse crimes in our lifetimes.

I don’t get paid for this work. I do it on my own time. We do it out of a commitment to approach people to tell them what we see. Emotionally and politically I am totally committed to changing this crime being done by my country.

James North often quotes to me the moral leadership of Yonatan Shapira, who refused to carry out “targeted assassinations” in Gaza because he asked his commanding officer if they would carry out such operations if the target was in Tel Aviv, and the superior said no, Jews were living in the neighboring apartments. I think that Sheizaf shows similar clarity and leadership in these comments.


Israeli military invades Palestinian village after settlers attack family

Nov 12, 2010


And more news from Today in Palestine:

Settlers/ Land, Property, Resource Theft & Destruction/Ethnic Cleansing

Lieberman: ‘There won’t be another building moratorium’
During visit to Golan Heights foreign minister adamant that Israel will not be pressured, says pressure must be put on Palestinians.
Israeli military invades Palestinian village after Israeli Settlers attack family
On Thursday morning, in Tiqua village, near Bethlehem, a Palestinian family was attacked by Israeli settlers, which led to a clash between the residents of the village and Israeli forces.
Jewish settlers release waste water on farmlands in Bethlehem
Residents of Bethlehem village said Jews from Beitar settlement recently released waste water on Arab farmlands causing heavy losses and health concerns.
Jewish settler attack two little girls and an elderly woman south of Bethlehem
Two little girls, aged 10 and 11, and an elderly woman were wounded south of Bethlehem city on Thursday morning when an armed Jewish settler from Tekoa settlement savagely threw stones at them.
Troops, settlers clash at outpost
Forces enter yeshiva, violently arrest 15-year-old as video cameras capture their every move.,7340,L-3983394,00.html
The Public Face of Settlers, Palestine Monitor
David Ha’ivri of the Shomron Council is the public face of settlers in the West Bank. A regular on the BBC and CNN his well-spoken and calm demeanour masks a fierce belief in extremist Zionism.
Green extremism threatens Israel’s future in the Negev
Bedouin advocacy organizations and academics, especially from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, are stirring up opposition to Jewish settlement in the Negev for political reasons.
Barghouti: Settlements assasinated peace process
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Israel’s confiscation of Palestinian land has destroyed the peace process, Palestinian National Initiative chief Mustafa Barghouthi said on Thursday.  In a statement the former information minister equated Israel’s theft of Palestinian land is to the actions of “highway robbers and bandits.”  He also said that Israeli authorities encourage settlers to move into West Bank settlements, proving that they are “occupation authorities.”  “These settlements assassinated the peace process,” the statement said. He argued that there is no need to negotiate with the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Jackson Diehl’s Settlement Delusion, Alex Kane
Weeks after an awful October 18 column in the Washington Post which argued that it was President Barack Obama’s fault that the “peace process” is faltering because “insisting on an Israeli freeze” created a “near-insuperable obstacle to the peace process,” neoconservative Jackson Diehl is at it again.  This time, he penned a column that similarly claimed that it was “Obama who first turned the settlement issue from a minor to a major one.”
Activism/Solidarity/Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions

Israel raids Bil’in 5 times in 4 days
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces entered the central West Bank village of Bil’in on Thursday, residents said, and briefly detained a young boy after firing rubber-coated bullets in the air.  According to locals, the noontime raid was the fifth in four days. Most of the incursions into the village, reports said, involved home searches, rubber bullets and intimidation.  An Israeli military spokesman said he was unaware of the latest reported incident. Villagers said two jeeps entered the residential area shortly after 12:30, and chased several young boys who threw rocks at the vehicle, launching tear gas and rubber-coated bullets at the kids. Video here.
Crushing Palestinian non-violent resistance in Bil’in, Joseph Dana
Over the past three days, the small West Bank village of Bil’in has been hit by wave after wave of violent night incursions by the Israeli army. These incursions have disrupted the lives of the farmer population of Bil’in and resulted in blanket of arrests of Palestinians involved in the weekly non-violent and unarmed demonstrations against the placement of Israel’s separation wall in the middle of the village, resulting in the almost complete disconnection between the village and its farmland. The incursions are a part of the Israeli strategy of crushing all non-violent resistance in the West Bank and targeting villages engaged in non-violent resistance for collective punishment. The leaders of the Bil’in popular committee against the wall have recently been given long jail sentences in the occupation legal system. What we are seeing with these Israeli actions is the slow dismantling of Palestinian non-violent resistance and the crushing of individual Palestinian Gandhi’s on a daily basis.
We would not have had to interrupt Netanyahu if the world listened to Palestinian voices, Emily Ratner
There’s no getting around it:  What we did during Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech was shockingly rude.  We interrupted a head of state, repeatedly, shouting from the tops of chairs into a darkened hall of largely like-minded people, who most likely thought their space was safe from the ever-increasing disruptions of “Israel’s delegitimizers,” as some would call us.  Worse still, we did this in my community.  Neighbors, co-workers, professors, and fellow students were in attendance, or they’re otherwise finding out what we’ve done.  My cheeks are still burning at the thought of what’s to come.  And, of course, there’s family.  Family.  Family.
Activism roundup: Netanyahu disrupters tell of “mob mentality”
Activists successfully disrupted a New Orleans speech given by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Meanwhile, Massachusetts voters said yes to equal rights for Palestinian citizens of Israel, Ireland saw the launch of a campaign focusing on Israeli “blood diamonds” and Australia held its first national BDS conference.

Young Jewish activists attract positive press for anti-occupation message / Wendy Elisheva Somerson
The five young Jewish activists who disrupted Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s speech in New Orleans earlier this week shouted familiar criticisms of the Occupation. What was unexpected and new was the way the U.S. and Israeli media portrayed the protest, seeming to hear the critiques with fresh ears and unusual sympathy. /

An open letter to participants in the Arava Institute’s online event “With Earth and Each Other”
Dear Participants in “With Earth and Each Other,” We are writing because we’ve uncovered very troubling new information to add to the information that we have already publicized[1] about Israel’s Arava Institute for Environmental Studies[2] and the online event “With Earth and Each Other: A Rally for a Better Middle East.”[3] We fully understand that many of you are participating in the event from a sincere desire to build “a better Middle East.” Unfortunately, it has become increasingly clear to us that supporting the Arava Institute and this event will actually damage the causes of justice and peace in the Middle East because Arava is a close and seemingly uncritical partner with right-wing institutions that continue to dispossess Palestinians from their homes and communities. Any efforts by Arava and the November 14th event to foster dialogue and improve the environment are just minor sideshows to the larger projects of Palestinian dispossession implemented by Jewish National Fund[4] and the Israeli government that Arava is serving to legitimize. Therefore, the best action that you can take to help create a better Middle East is to withdraw from this event.
Siege/Humanitarian Issues/Rights Violations/Restriction of Movement

Gaza aid shipment off course after row with captain (Reuters)
Reuters – Workers trying to take aid by sea from Libya to Gaza are being held by the ship’s captain against their will along with Libyan police officers, and heading for Greece, their charity and the Libyan coast guard said.*
Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (04.- 10 Nov. 2010)
WHO:  MONTHLY REPORT Referral of Patients from the Gaza Strip October 2010, Summary for October 2010
– A two-year-old girl suffering from leukemia died while waiting for an urgent referral to an Israeli hospital. Since January 2009 a total of 33 patients have died while waiting to access hospitals outside Gaza.
– The percentage of approved patient applications to cross Erez (76.2%) was the lowest in three months.
– 211 patients (21.6%) had their applications to cross Erez delayed. This is the third highest rate in 2010.
PA: Israel closes crossing, stranding 500 travelers
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities suddenly shut down the Allenby Bridge border crossing on Thursday, stranding some 500 Palestinian travelers on the West Bank side of the crossing to Jordan, officials said.  Palestinian Authority officials said the closure was a violation of an agreement dictating that the crossing point is to operate until 9 PM every day except Fridays and Saturdays.

Overdue Accounting: Palestinian Forced Displacement from Kuwait, Toufic Haddad
The story of the Palestinian experience in Kuwait is a microcosm of the Palestinian experience overall in all its tragic footnotes. Yet the truth of what took place there – from the Palestinian experience of playing a formative role in the building this fledgling Arab state, to the ultimate moment the Palestinian community was cruelly forced out – is hardly a well-studied affair. Indeed, in researching this article, only a handful of scholarly articles in English on the subject were found. Of these, many lacked a sense for ‘the bigger picture’ of what was at stake, attempting to isolate these events from the historical and political processes and ideas which frame them, and deepen the signification of the expulsion of Palestinians from Kuwait.
Racism/Discrimination/Israeli Injustice System

Migrant workers’ children win respite against deportation
Court halts the expulsion of 12 kids of foreign workers until their cases can be examined individually.
When Israeli Police Become Criminals, Who Protects Citizens?
In this blog, I focus less on purely internal Israeli politics and more on the bigger picture of Israeli democracy and relations with its Palestinian minority and the Occupation.  But Eyal Clyne has written a riveting, tremendously comprehensive report on a massive pattern of corruption and violence by the police against the entire Israeli public.  The culture of brutality exhibited by the Israeli police can only flourish in a nation obsessed, as Israel is, by security.  It can only flourish in a nation which had made a Faustian bargain with the police and security forces: protect us and we will allow you anything.
Growing Fascism in Israel, Stephen Lendman
Disturbing signs are ominous. On November 8, Israel demolished and ransacked a Negev Bedouin Arab mosque in Rahat, removing it for Jewish development. Professor Yousef Salamah called it “a criminal act,” done on the pretext that it was unlicensed. “These are not new acts but were preceded by many incidents and attacks, when the Israeli authorities demolished dozens of mosques inside Israel, turning some into museums, barns, restaurants, synagogues and parking lots.”
Checkpoint Stabbing Trial Descends Into Farce, Palestine Monitor
The state has charged Karajeh with attempted murder, while her defence argues that Karajeh only attacked the soldier after being harassed by several soldiers, ordering her to give her Quran to them. Karajeh refused their demand because it would have been harram (forbidden) for her to give them the holy book.  Yesterday’s trial focused on the police’s mishandling of evidence. Protocol requires that written documentation accompany every piece of evidence, describing any transfer or treatment of all items. After Karajeh stabbed the soldier, she was immediately detained and all items on her body and present at the scene were taken in as evidence.  However, written documentation of evidence only began on November 3, 2009, signifying that nearly a week lapsed before proper records were kept. Hassan stated, “The evidence is weak because it is incomplete.”
Violence & Aggression

Israeli military helicopters, tanks shell Palestinian house in southern Gaza
Israeli army choppers and tanks shelled a Palestinian house in Abasan Al-Jadida east of Khan Younis, south of the Gaza Strip, on Thursday, local sources reported.
Israel army raids Jenin-area town
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Shooting and firing tear gas, Israeli soldiers raided the town of Jaba, near Jenin in the northern West Bank on Thursday evening, residents said.  Residents of the town barricaded streets in the village and threw stones at the invading soldiers, residents also said. The reason for the incursion was unclear.

Prisoner Speaks Out From Israeli Jail, Mel Frykberg
RAMALLAH, Palestine – Samer Hamdan*, a 26-year-old Palestinian prisoner, recalls being beaten until he bled. Seeing other prisoners covered in blood and screaming is the norm in the Israeli prison, he says. Hamdan is serving a nine-year sentence in Ketziot prison in the Negev desert for membership of an “illegal organization”.
Israel releases professor after 3 years’ imprisonment
NABLUS (Ma’an) — Israel released from prison on Thursday a Palestinian university professor from the West Bank city of Nablus, a local prisoners’ association said.  Ahrar for Prisoners’ Studies and Human Rights said that the Israeli prison authority freed professor Ghaasan Thuqan.  The director of the center, Fuad Al-Khufash, said professor Thuqan, 52, had been held in administrative detention, without charge, for three years.
War Criminals

Video shows Israeli soldiers cheering destruction in Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israeli soldiers appear on camera cheering on the destruction of Palestinian houses in Gaza in a video that surfaced Thursday.  The video, shot with a mobile phone during Israel’s winter attack on Gaza, shows soldiers laughing and exclaiming as they witness a series of explosions destroying three Palestinian houses. Sporadic gunfire is heard in the background.
Video shows Israeli soldiers celebrating the demolition of houses in Gaza. Adam Horowitz
The video above was posted to YouTube by Assaf Kintzer, an Israeli activist with Anarchists Against the Wall. The caption reads, “IOF soldiers celebrating the destruction of houses in Gaza during ‘Cast Lead’.” Kintzer says the video, which was shot using a mobile phone, was sent to him by an anonymous Israeli soldier who served in Gaza.

Palestinian held for Facebook criticism of Islam (AP)
AP – A mysterious blogger who set off an uproar in the Arab world by claiming he was God and hurling insults at the Prophet Muhammad is now behind bars — caught in a sting that used Facebook to track him down.*
Abbas vows to walk in Arafat’s footsteps to Palestine
In Gaza, Hamas bans and disrupts events marking sixth anniversary of former leader’s death; PA president speaks at rally marking Arafat’s death.
MESS Report / Fragile Palestinian unity threatened by Fatah split
President Abbas faces challenges from Fatah inner circle just as ruling movement seems ascendant once again.

Gaza security forces release 30 detained at Arafat events
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Hamas-allied security forces have released 30 people two hours after arresting them at an event in Gaza commemorating the death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, a local rights group said.  The Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights confirmed in a statement in Arabic that security forces had detained the Fatah supporters at an event at the home of Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) member Ashraf Juma’a in Rafah.
Hamas and the Peace Process: Part of the Problem or Part of the Solution?
Khalid Mishal, the head of Hamas’ political wing, announced in an interview with Newsweek on October 14, 2010 that “there is a position and program that all Palestinians share. To accept a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as the capital. With the right of return. And this state would have real sovereignty on the land and on the borders. And with no settlements.” Mishal added that Hamas would accept any agreement with the Israelis upon which the majority of Palestinians agreed, before going on to say that “the American administration should hear from us directly.”
Arab Helpers

Report: Egypt rounds up terror cell plotting attacks on Israel
At least 25 arrested in latest in a series of raids against Islamist groups operating in Sinai Peninsula.
Bush: Mubarak Informed US that Iraq Had Biological Weapons
Former U.S. President George W. Bush says Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak informed the U.S. that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. He also spoke of other people who had influence on his decision to invade Iraq.
Other Political “Developments”

Abbas urges US action on Palestinian state (AFP)
AFP – Mahmud Abbas called on Thursday for concrete US efforts to deliver a Palestinian state, as crowds marked the sixth anniversary of Yasser Arafat’s death.*
Top US Republican meets Netanyahu
WASHINGTON (AFP) – A top US Republican has assured Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the party, which romped in last week’s elections, cherishes the allies’ “special relationship,” the lawmaker’s office said Thursday.  Number-three House Republican Eric Cantor and Netanyahu also discussed Iran and the embattled Middle East peace process during an hour-long meeting late Wednesday in New York, the congressman’s spokesman Brad Dayspring said in a statement.
Lengthy Clinton, Netanyahu meeting fails to revive Mideast peace talks
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton met in New York with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu over a seven-hour period Thursday in an unusually lengthy but apparently unsuccessful attempt to rekindle moribund Middle East peace talks.
Top of agenda at Clinton-Netanyahu meeting: new rift over settlements (The Christian Science Monitor)
The Christian Science Monitor – The Obama administration is once again at odds with the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and once again the issue is construction of Jewish settlements on Arab lands.*
Israel ‘serious’ on peace talks, Netanyahu tells Clinton
PM vows commitment to U.S.-sponsored negotiations despite plans for new Jewish housing in West Bank.
Israeli gov’t concocting plan requiring Arab states to compensate Jews
Israeli foreign ministry announced Thursday a plan requiring Arab states to pay monetary compensation to former Jewish residents who were transported to lands occupied by Israel after 1948 war.
Other News

Palestinians plan first sukuk in 2011 – regulator
RAMALLAH, West Bank: The Palestine Monetary Authority (PMA) plans to issue Islamic bonds to banks in the first quarter of 2011 as a tool for injecting and withdrawing liquidity from the money market. PMA Governor Jihad al-Wazir said late Wednesday the banks would trade the bonds, or sukuk, among themselves.
Anti-terror bureau: Leave Sinai at once
Officials issue grave warning, citing credible terror threat to abduct Israelis in Egyptian peninsula; however, travelers unimpressed by alert, ‘we know Sinai is safer than Israel,’ one tourist says.,7340,L-3983468,00.html
Analysis/Op-ed/Human Interest

Review: “Gaza in Crisis” leaves readers wanting more
The new book Gaza in Crisis: Reflections on Israel’s War Against the Palestinians will surely attract the attention of Palestine solidarity activists because of the implied promise of a collaboration between its prominent co-authors, Noam Chomsky and Ilan Pappé, and because of its highly topical focus on Gaza. Unfortunately, readers will likely be disappointed
Harper on Israel: Is the Prime Minister Mentally Sound?, Murray Dobbin
Watching and listening to Stephen Harper’s bizarre and unnerving speech about anti-Semitism and Israel raises the question as to whether or not the man is mentally fit to be prime minister.
Oedipal issues also killed the two-state solution, Philip Weiss
Netanyahu’s father Ben Zion, a former secretary to Jabotinsky and creator of the Israel lobby here in the 40s, is over 100 years old and people say that Netanyahu himself cannot transgress his father while his father is alive and spitting. The father is also said to have favored the hero eldest son, Jonathan, who died in the Entebbe raid, and described his middle son’s first term as prime minister as a poor performance. I am just saying, this vicious man has some great power over his son.
Would Julius and Ethel be Zionists had they lived?, Philip Weiss
The Nation has an excellent piece by Victor Navasky on the latest chapter in the Rosenberg saga– a new book that fingers Ethel Rosenberg’s brother and sister-in-law the Greenglasses as the spies. I will save you the details, it’s not my cup of tea. But what impressed me about Navasky’s piece was his willingness to look on the Rosenberg saga for what I have always seen it as, a reflection of the Jewish response to modernity.
Bush Didn’t Write No Damn Book, Ahamad Amr
The first lie you’ll encounter in ‘Decision Points’ is the identity of the author; Bush didn’t write no damn book and if I’m wrong about that, I’ll eat the shoe that Iraqi journalist threw at him. ‘Decision Points’ is a hoax as transparent as Clifford Irving’s fake autobiography of Howard Hughes.

Nasrallah: We will not allow arrest of fighters
BEIRUT: Hizbullah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said Thursday the group would “cut off the hand” of anyone who tries to arrest any of its members charged in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL).
Can there be justice as well as stability?
As the UN prepares to announce indictments for a series of murders and assassinations, the mood in Lebanon is getting edgy.

Thursday: 2 Iraqis Wounded, New Government Selected
Updated at 8:42 p.m. EST, Nov. 11, 2010 The long-awaited selection of the new government overshadowed any other news coming out of Iraq today, to the point that only two casualties were reported. Those two occurred in the capital.
A day after Iraq’s political breakthrough, bloc bolts parliament
The walkout by Iyad Allawi’s Iraqiya faction underscores the cloud of uncertainty that looms over the new government despite the accord that formed it.  Just a day after cutting a deal to end a lengthy impasse, Prime Minister Nouri Maliki’s main political rivals walked out of parliament Thursday, illustrating the perils facing a government being built despite a near-complete absence of trust.,0,7995461.story
Tumultuous parliamentary session threatens Iraq’s fragile, new government (The Christian Science Monitor)
The Christian Science Monitor – Iraq’s Parliament ended a political crisis Thursday that left the country without a new government for a record eight months, but the tumultuous first session laid bare the deep divisions with the emerging governing coalition.*
Iraq parliament approves Sunni Nujaifi as speaker
BAGHDAD, Nov 11 (Reuters) – Iraq’s parliament elected Sunni lawmaker Osama al-Nujaifi, a senior leader of the Sunni-backed, cross-sectarian Iraqiya alliance, as speaker on Thursday, a key step toward the formation of a new government.  Iraqi politicians reached agreement late Wednesday on a power-sharing deal that divides the three top government posts among Shi’ite, Kurdish and Sunni factions, a major breakthrough in an eight-month political impasse that followed an inconclusive March election
Iraq Sunnis angry as Shi’ite-led govt takes shape
BAGHDAD, Nov 11 (Reuters) – Some of Iraq’s Sunni minority swore not to vote again after the main political blocs agreed on Thursday to appoint incumbent Nuri al-Maliki, a Shi’ite, to a second term as prime minister.  The country’s main political factions broke an eight-month deadlock and agreed on the country’s top government posts.
France defends reception of wounded Iraqis (AFP)
AFP – France’s immigration minister Thursday defended his decision to bring to France those wounded in an attack at a Baghdad church, after Iraq warned against encouraging Christians to abandon their homeland.*
UN: Iraqi Mandaeans hard to resettle in 1 place (AP)
AP – A United Nations refugee official says no single country wants to take all the Iraqi Mandaean (man-DAY’-an) refugees who seek to resettle, and acknowledges that’s putting the tiny religious group at risk.*
Formation of New Iraqi Govt Hailed – Tentatively – by US,  Jim Lobe
After an agonizing eight-month delay, the first concrete steps toward the formation of a new coalition Iraqi government were greeted by senior U.S. officials here Thursday as a major advance in stabilizing the long-suffering nation.
Braving Iraq
Since the 2003 invasion of Iraq, news about the fate and future of this Middle Eastern country has been at the forefront of our national consciousness, making an impact on our daily lives, appearing in every newspaper and news program, the subject of endless numbers of personal and political discussions. But if you think you’ve heard every imaginable story about life within Iraqi borders, think again. There is at least one major element in this geopolitical drama that the American media has mostly overlooked, and it lies at the cross section of regional politics and the natural environment. NATURE’s Braving Iraq unravels this tale about what was once one of the richest and most important wetlands in the world – from its virtual destruction by a ruthless dictator to its exciting, new prospects for a miraculous recovery.
About that Iranian Influence in Iraq, Ali Gharib
When the Wikileaks document dump came out, many hawks and anti-Iran agitators grumbled that the document “proved” Iran’s nefarious influence in Iraq. I wrote, twice, about the lack of caution in these assessments, based mostly on anonymous conclusions and single-source reports.  Well, now the deputy commander of U.S. operations in Iraq is telling us that Iranian influence appears to be waning and not scaling up, contrary to what Iran hawks would have you believe.
U.S. & Other World News

Pressure rises on Obama to investigate Bush for torture
from Headlines by David Edwards
President Barack Obama is facing new demands that he investigate former President George W. Bush for ordering torture. The former president admitted in his new book Decision Points that he ordered waterboarding of terrorist detainees. Amnesty International, and Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) have both called on the Obama administration to launch an investigation.
Democratic Congressman Nadler: ‘Shameful’ ‘dereliction of duty’ not to prosecute Bush
Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) told MSNBC’s Ed Schultz that United States Attorney General Eric Holder should launch an investigation into former President Bush’s authorization of waterboarding. In his new memoir, titled Decision Points, Bush admits he personally authorized waterboarding to be used on CIA detainees.
Nelson Mandela condemned “small man” George W Bush over Iraq
Nelson Mandela condemned former US President George W Bush as a “small man” who was seeking to dominate the world over his decision to invade Iraq, it has emerged.
Holocaust survivors condemn Glenn Beck’s ‘monstrous’ report on Soros
Rosenberg: ‘Glenn Beck era will likely end sooner than expected’.  Holocaust survivors and prominent Jewish groups are targeting Fox News personality Glenn Beck for his claim that billionaire George Soros helped in the effort to exterminate Jews during World War II.  Some political observers are wondering whether Beck may have gone too far this week with a series on Soros, the billionaire financier and philanthropist of Jewish extraction who survived the Nazi occupation of his native Hungary.
Tennessee Republican lawmaker compares immigrants’ children to ‘multiplying rats’
At a hearing about a Tennessee state health insurance program Tuesday, a state lawmaker compared children born to undocumented immigrants to multiplying rats. Tennessee state Rep. Curry Todd (R) wanted to know if the Cover Kids health-insurance program required “proof that you are here legally before you can get assistance.”
Texas man executed for hair that didn’t belong to him
WASHINGTON — A Texas man was condemned to death and executed in 2000 on the basis of hair that did not belong to him, according to the results of a DNA test released Thursday.  A test by Mitotyping Technologies published by the Texas Observer magazine — which fought a three-year legal battle to gain access to the evidence — showed that Claude Howard Jones was “excluded as the contributor of this questioned hair.”
Does This Google Veterans Day Logo Look Muslim to You?
Boy howdy, Google has done it now! The company’s special Veterans Day logo this year, you see, features a mysterious crescent shape. And you know who loves crescent shapes? The Muslims. Yeah, some people are actually upset about this.
US soldier kills Afghan policeman
A US soldier with the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) shot dead an Afghan policeman in southern Kandahar province Thursday noon, a source revealed.
Afghanistan War: Bulldozing through Kandahar
 The U.S. military has destroyed hundreds of Afghan civilian homes, farm houses, walls, trees and plowed through fields and buildings using explosives and bulldozers in war-torn Zhari district, a practice that has begun to anger Afghan villagers.
France supplied images for Saudi strikes in Yemen
report: Paris began supplying the data following a visit by French President Nicolas Sarkozy to Riyadh in November 2009, the Post said, citing unnamed Saudi officials.
Obama extends emergency regarding Iran
U.S. President Barack Obama said he notified the Federal Register of his decision to continue the state of emergency beyond Sunday.
Egypt arrests Islamist election candidates
CAIRO (AFP) — Egyptian police have arrested dozens of Muslim Brotherhood members, including three candidates for this month’s parliamentary election, security officials and the Islamists said on Thursday.  Brotherhood lawyer Abdel Moneim Abdel Maqsud said 31 members were detained in the port city of Ismailia on Wednesday and Thursday, including three candidates for the district.  “They were taken from their homes. The candidates were arrested on the street,” Abdel Maqsud said, adding that they were detained along with three lawyers on Wednesday.
US and Israel are fans of Mubarak’s repression: more Gaza tunnels to be destroyed
“Egyptian authorities must immediately release blogger Abdel Karim Suleiman, known online as Karim Amer, who completed his four-year prison sentence on November 5, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. CPJ also calls on authorities to investigate and punish a security officer who reportedly assaulted Amer on Tuesday.   The government’s continued imprisonment of Amer reflects its overall abusive treatment of the blogger, who was subjected to repeated instances of harassment and abuse during his detention. Authorities moved Amer last week from Borg al-Arab Prison outside Alexandria to a State Security Investigations facility in the city, where he was to undergo release procedures. The agency has continued to detain Amer without explanation, and he was beaten by a security officer, his lawyer, Rawda Ahmad, told CPJ.”
Egyptians struggle to find affordable homes in growing metropolis
CAIRO: On the outskirts of Cairo, across the street from gated compounds where residents play golf on an 18-hole course, plush apartments sit vacant without buyers.  As their luxury fittings gather sand blown in from the desert, many Egyptians say they cannot afford a home in the city of 20 million, where buildings are huddled so close together the only view is often of their neighbor’s kitchen.
Mexico’s La Familia cartel to government: We’ll disband if you protect citizens
La Familia of Michoacán, one of Mexico’s most violent drug trafficking organizations, allegedly sent a letter to the government saying it will dissolve if authorities ‘promise to take control of the state with force and decision.’|+World%29
British politician arrested over ‘stoning’ tweet
British politician arrested over ‘stoning to death’ tweet apologizes, says he was joking A local politician in England has been arrested after allegedly posting a message on Twitter calling for a journalist to be stoned to death. Police say Birmingham city councilor Gareth Compton was arrested on suspicion of sending an offensive or indecent message.

Brooklyn church crowd goes with the idealists on BDS

Nov 12, 2010

Rob Buchanan 

I went to the ‘Jewish Perspectives on the Boycott/Divestment/Sanctions movement’ event in Park Slope last night. It was at the Church of Gethsemane, an appealingly humble Presbyterian Church on 8th avenue. The lady who’d arranged the event said they’d asked for space at several synagogues and other churches, no luck, then Gethsemane stepped forward. The place was full but not overflowing.

Rebecca Vilkomerson of Jewish Voice for Peace went first. She said the boycott-divest-sanction movement was nonviolent, a good way for individuals to get involved in the issue, a proven strategy in that it had worked before in the South and in South Africa, and had wide support internationally.

Kathleen Peratis of J Street was next. She stood to recite her ‘opening statement.’ She said there were four reasons BDS wouldn’t work: the Israeli economy is booming and it would have zero impact; it would make things worse in Israel by triggering a circle-the-wagons defensiveness; only direct action in the US government and American Jews are capable of effecting a policy change in Israel; and, finally, because it amounts to the progressive left ‘giving up’ on the idea of a Jewish democratic state.

Hannah Mermelstein of Adalah-NY is young, soft-spoken but persistent. She said that the BDS movement was launched in 2005 not by politicians but by Palestinian ‘civil society’–170 civic groups that agreed on three principles: an end to the occupation and the dismantling of the wall, equal rights for Israeli Arabs, and the right of return for all Palestinians. The latter didn’t mean ‘throwing Jews into the sea,’ she argued, but simply an end to ‘anti-democratic practices.’  ‘We’re all Jews,’ she concluded, looking at her fellow panelists, ‘but ultimately this isn’t up to us–it’s a Palestinian movement.’

Gil Kulick is another J Street stalwart, and formerly some kind of deputy counselor to the US consulate in Jerusalem (and former communications director of the New Israel Fund). If we fail to end the occupation, he said, we’ll have a militarized apartheid state. But BDS isn’t the answer. Instead of forcing Israelis to reexamine their policies, it would simply kick them further down the road to right-wing extremism. What is the answer? Obama needs to put the old ‘Clinton parameters’ on the table, he said, and threaten ‘real consequences’ if one side or the other doesn’t sign.

The J Streeters were older and more polished. They had written speeches. They tried to position themselves as pragmatists who were just stating the obvious: ‘we all know the solution; it’s not rocket science’ (Peratis) and ‘everyone knows that the [Palestinian] right of return will have to be relinquished’ (Kulick). Vilkomerson and Mermelstein went the other way, towards idealism, and the crowd went with them. The best exchange of the night came when Peratis asked Mermelstein what she obviously thought was a ‘gotcha’ question: ‘Do you believe a democratic Jewish state is possible?’

‘That was going to be my question to you,’ Mermelstein replied.

And of course that’s what it comes down to. What IS a Jewish democratic state? What makes it better or more desirable than a regular democratic state? And if it’s not better, why would any citizen of this country ultimately believe in it or want to support it?

A perspective on the Jewish Federation General Assembly from its only Palestinian attendee

Nov 12, 2010

Shereen Naser 

My name is Shereen Naser, I am a young Palestinian-American woman, and I attended the 79th General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America. Don’t ask me why, I’m still not entirely sure. I think when I first made the decision to go, I did so confident I would be turned away from registering for the conference. With this confidence I entered the New Orleans hotel hosting the General Assembly and began going through the motions. Step one, find the registration booth and hand over your identification for registration. The young man entering my information into the computer looked at my ID card, marked my last name with his index finger, lifted his eyes to get a good look at me, glanced down at my ID again, and looked back at me perplexed. He asked, not even attempting to curb the confusion in his voice “your LAST name is Naser?” Yes, my last name is Naser, it comes right after my first name, Shereen. This was strangely familiar. He was buying time to size me up- young Iranian Jew maybe? Mizrahim? I agree, man, it is rather confusing, I do not know what mad impulse drove me here either. The night before I had vigorously pumped out signs to protest this very event with the New Orleans Palestine Solidarity group (NOLAPS), filled with every intention to lead chants and march determinedly for a free Palestine alongside my fellow NOLAPS members. However in the morning I found myself actually inside the JFNA General Assembly, estimated to have over 3,000 attendees, of which I feel comfortable saying only one was Palestinian – me.

After I confirmed my last name, my middle name and first name for a third time, I was told there was nothing he could do and was sent somewhere else to try and register. After 45 minutes in the student line, the organizers took one look at me and told me they were sold out and there was nothing they could do. Of course I had heard that they had given out student tickets just that morning but no matter, I could be patient. I would employ the same tactics I have used every time I have attempted to enter Israel. Let them look you over, let them try to guess where you are from, why you are here, and just smile. Hands in front so they can see them. Nod and thank them profusely for sparing you a precious minute. Look, I’m friendly, I might look like all those crazy terrorists on TV but I’m one of the good ones! Only got me so far though. I went through 3 more folks who looked at me funny and sent me back to the first organizer I had talked to. She finally got sick of seeing me and directed me back to the booth where I had originally gone to register. A wave of nostalgia hit me. Add a few more Arabs standing in lines clutching their ID cards, a dash of crying mothers telling harrowing stories of children they have not seen in months as an Israeli officer explains why they have to go to the other line again, and a measure of folks sleeping on the ground for hours waiting to hear if they would be let through and this could be the Allenby bridge crossing from Jordan into the West Bank. An hour and a half later of direction and redirection I was given a pass as a resident of New Orleans. Hey, better than the seven hours it took me to get through Ben Gurion last time I traveled to Israel so I really shouldn’t complain. And I did get in, always a cause for celebration.

Next step, deep breath, time to plunge into the conference. As I entered the exhibition hall I was greeted almost immediately by signs claiming to provide attendees with the truth about Israel, the land of milk, honey and great beach spots. Beach spots my cousins in the West Bank would never enjoy because of the less sunny truths about Israel ignored by these very signs. I picked up pamphlets for later reading, not needing any further provocation at the moment, and plowed my way through the crowd. It became a little more difficult to breathe as I walked by banners touting Israel as a beacon of light in a sea of backward Middle Eastern countries. Smile, Shereen, and move forward. Despite my morning trepidation, I did come here with a focused mission. The night before, post sign making, I had the pleasure of dining with members of Jewish Voice for Peace, an Oakland-based grassroots organization fighting for equality of Palestinians and Israelis. Members had traveled to the GA to make sure that another Jewish voice was heard, a voice critical of Israel. My new friends mentioned that they were planning on attending events during the conference that would explain the rationale for the new Israel Action Network, a $6 million joint initiative of the Jewish Federations of North America and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs aimed at silencing a serious thorn in Israel’s side – the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction Campaign. Started in 2005, the BDS campaign has continually challenged Israel’s racist and apartheid policies through boycotting Israeli goods. The GA conference program guides advertised for sessions that would provide tactics for confronting this “global initiative of NGOs and anti-Israel activists seeking to delegitimize and demonize Israel.” Of course Israel is doing a fairly good job of all that itself. However, I was curious as to what exactly would be presented in these panel discussions, so I planned to attend them and find out.

In order to get myself through the rest of the day, I pretended to be an undercover reporter furiously jotting down notes and juggling a notepad and recorder as I listened to the panelists. One of the first things I noticed in my place as an undercover reporter was that Israel’s beef with the BDS campaign comes from a place of fear. In an article handed out during one of the sessions the BDS campaign was noted as “the second most dangerous threat to Israel, after Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons.” Now, the panelists made it very clear that they were not afraid of the BDS campaigns impact on the economic state of Israel. They laughed at mention of the boycotts ability to cause any damage to companies creating or investing in Israeli goods. However there is one power BDS wields that Israel can no longer ignore and which the panelists made every effort to skirt around. BDS gives the (and I quote) “ordinary person” a way to show their concern for the Palestinian people. But it does much more than that, dear panelists. It provides a voice to the voiceless and alludes to similarities between the struggle of the Palestinians and those of other oppressed groups and blatant violation of their rights. The BDS campaign is more than only, as another panelist put it, “the ignorant led by the malevolent.” The BDS campaign reminds people that just like during the civil rights movement in the United States, or during the struggle against apartheid in South Africa, there is an oppressor balking at the traditional avenues that protect individual human rights and making every effort to undermine them. The protection of democracy has failed the Palestinians. Arab-Israelis do not enjoy full equal rights and Israel continues to impose racist policies. Palestinian-Americans have no voice, as a U.S. politician that dares question Israeli policy is quickly undermined by accusations of being an anti-Semite. International avenues for justice are powerless, Israel continues to violate and ignore hundreds of U.N. resolutions condemning their colonial and discriminatory policies. Palestinians are powerless. They are trapped behind a wall snaking into their cities, unpredictable checkpoint procedures, incarceration procedures, and never knowing when Israel might pull out the white phosphorous again. As I write this, Tamer Nafar of the Palestinian rap group DAM rhymes into my ear the words from his song “Born Free;”

“We’ve been like this more than 50 years
Living as prisoners behind the bars of paragraphs
Of agreements that change nothing
We haven’t seen any light, and if we peek between the bars
We see a blue sky and white clouds
In the center a star reminds me that I’m limited”

As a Palestinian I feel hopeless. As an American I feel hopeless. As an individual who cares about social justice and human rights, I feel hopeless. However, the BDS campaign reminds me that no matter how hopeless I feel, this has been done before. People have successfully fought oppression before. This is what is scary to Israel. The campaign’s rapid growth speaks to the fact people are no longer buying Israel’s false rhetoric of distorted and polluted peace.

At many points during the different sessions I had to shake off a surreal sense of déjà vu. I sat in on sessions titled “Confronting Israel’s Delegitimizers,” and “The Global Assault on Israel’s Legitimacy,” listening to panelists’ concern about the BDS organized agenda giving voice to people who disagree with Israeli policy. This felt strangely like the middle of a dystopian novel plot line. I listened with a measure of awe as panelists presented ways to appeal to “moderates” who are concerned for those poor Palestinians by forging personal relationships with them, and swaying them over to a more civil discourse that includes warm and fluffy statements acknowledging that Israel has its flaws, but what country doesn’t? The entire tone of the panel reeked of condescension towards those idiots thinking that they know anything about the conflict. I think I may have had some bile rise in my throat as panelists hailed the organizers of a counter statement during BDS efforts to protest the 2009 Toronto Film Festival and its cooperation with the Israeli government’s Brand Israel marketing push playing a role in Tel Aviv being chosen in the festivals City-to-City Spotlight. The strategy then is to silence the BDS campaign by blinding people with names of stars like Jerry Seinfeld and Natalie Portman? My favorite part was when the Presbyterian Reverend Katherine Henderson told the audience that instead of boycotting Israeli businesses, the Presbyterian Church should be showing their support of Israel by investing with them, and that anyone in the audience with business proposals should contact her.

It became harder to sit as an undercover reporter, just as when traveling to Israel this method of dissociation only lasts so long. I listened in shock as panelists scrambled to paint a picture of BDS as an extremist organization that manipulated individuals into joining their efforts, while encouraging their own tactics of manipulation. But this will not stand. The people have spoken. They spoke in New Orleans when Jewish Voice for Peace refused to be silent during Netanyahu’s speech, and the New Orleans Palestine Solidarity group protested outside the conference. In fact, BDS represents the uniting of thousands of voices around the world Palestinian, Muslim, Jewish, Christian and everything around and in between saying that Israel’s actions can no longer be tolerated.

Tamer goes on to say;

“My feet are the roots of the olive tree
Keep on prospering, fathering and renewing branches
Every branch
Grown for peace
Every branch
Under the pressure of occupation
Refusing to give up”

I wish the Israel Action Network much luck, because try as you might we are not going anywhere and we will not be silent.

Two-year-old girl dies from leukemia while waiting to leave Gaza for treatment

Nov 12, 2010


From the World Health Organization:  MONTHLY REPORT Referral of Patients from the Gaza Strip October 2010, Summary for October 2010:

  • A two-year-old girl suffering from leukemia died while waiting for an urgent referral to an Israeli hospital. Since January 2009 a total of 33 patients have died while waiting to access hospitals outside Gaza.

  • The percentage of approved patient applications to cross Erez (76.2%) was the lowest in three months.

  • 211 patients (21.6%) had their applications to cross Erez delayed. This is the third highest rate in 2010.

In Haaretz: Young Jews tell Bibi, “Israel is delegitimizing itself”

Nov 12, 2010

Matthew Taylor 

My oped in Haaretz dropped today on the Netanyahu speech disruption. Check it out:

Netanyahu had sharp words for the protesters. “Attempts by our enemies and their misguided fellow travelers to delegitimize the Jewish state must be countered,” he said to thunderous applause.

I’m one of the five who was dragged out, clutching a sign that said, “The occupation delegitimizes Israel.” When I envision Israel ending settlement expansion and living in equality with the Palestinians – while Netanyahu’s government confiscates more Palestinian land and builds more settlements every single day – I wonder who is misguided?

We young Jews won’t back down, our numbers are growing, and we will win. Israel will change its cruel, self-destructive behavior. We won’t rest until Israelis and Palestinians live together in true equality, safety and mutual respect.

Dear reader, please do me a favor… Click through and read the oped, then please post a comment on the Haaretz comment board. Really, please do it right now. Haaretz readers need to hear the voices of Mondoweiss readers. Thank you for your support!


  1. The Republicans are so funny, when the economy is good you say let’s all celebrate “Cinco de Mayo, my brothers” but when the economy is down “it’s all your fault, you damn immigrant”.
    The GOP has went on a nationwide rant in proposing and passing several anti-immigration legislation (that our US Courts continue to strike down) and have continue to blame the immigrant for the flat economy or worse.
    Plus the more radical of the GOP are now attacking our Constitution (with all Amendments), and the Declaration of Independence, in their crazy notion of wanting to take away rights that all of us take for granted in their misguided attempt to garner some much needed votes (how is that working, of course I mean the Senate), they really are fools, and leading the GOP towards obscurity because they are no longer a party of ideas, just of empty suits.
    When most Americans (of Latin America roots) went to the polls this November we all remembered who stood with us, our children, aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters, our parents and grandparents, in one word our families and who stood against us, so trying to make amends now is somewhat funny, but go ahead, you did not change our minds. Your hate made you do it, and you found out that you reap what you have sown. I wonder what Abraham Lincoln would say about todays GOP, he unlike the current GOP was a man of ideas.

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