Dear All,

Yesterday evening at about 8:00 PM Abed, a friend from Kief el-Hares, phoned to inform me that the religious settlers were coming to the graves of Yoshua Bin Nun and his father that night.  Anyone living in the village recognizes the signs that indicate that this event is in the offing, namely Israeli soldiers setting up tables, and coming in force to take over the village.  Villagers are put under curfew during these night visits, which occur several times a year—beginning usually some time after midnight and continuing into the morning.  Apparently last night it went on till about 6 AM. 

According to one newspaper report 5,000 Jews accompanied by a large number(?) of soldiers invaded the village.  According to today’s reshet B Israeli 9:00 AM news, the number was 10,000.  Abed couldn’t tell me how many had come when I spoke to him this morning, but he affirmed that it was one of the largest contingents that the village had seen.  He had not yet surveyed the village or talked to the mayor when I phoned, but he had heard that at least one house had had stones thrown at it, breaking its windows and doors.  These Jewish worshipers tend to be rowdy. Abed lives right across from the tombs, so has a bird’s eye view of what is happening from his window, when he dares to stand at it to look.  Soldiers were apparently plentiful, since from where he was it appeared that there was a soldier every 2 or 3 meters, probably throughout the village.  These tombs in Kief el-Hares, by the way, are sacred to Muslims no less than to Jews. 

Below is first a brief report from ISM about the situation, followed by the only report (3-4 lines) that I found in today’s English electronic editions of the Israeli press.  The latter is what most Israelis get about these night ‘visits,’ if they bother to read about these at all. 

Following the reports on Kief el-Hares are a few brief notes about actions today in the West Bank. 

Concluding this message are 2 additional items—the first an article that has been making the rounds the past few days—Jonathan Cook on why there are no Israelis in Israel.  If you have already received it, I apologize for duplicating.  If you haven’t read it yet, you will undoubtedly find it interesting and informative. It reveals much about what Israel is. 

Lastly, Akiva Eldar writes about the difference between a free press and a press that is gagged by the court.  This of course refers to the Anat Kam and Uri Blau affair, about which you probably have read the past few weeks in the foreign press, and now in the Israeli press.  If you haven’t, you can google it.  There are 2 aspects to it: a young female soldier (Anat Kam) serving in the office of a high ranking IOF officer copies 2000 pieces of classified info on 2 cds (or dvds?), keeps it secret for 3 years, except for giving some (or all?) of the info to a Haaretz reporter (Uri Blau), who in 2008 used some of the classified material in a report about IOF procedure in assassinating ‘wanted men’ after Israel’s High Court had declared exterminations illegal [Uri Blau: “Targeted Assassinations – a License to kill.”  Here are links to the article in case you are interested. 


 original Source: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1041622.html ]  Uri Blau has been in London several months because he fears that he will be abducted by the Shabak should he return to Israel.

All the best,




Orthodox Jews overtake Palestinian village for religious ceremony

8 April 2010

[Please note that transliterating names from one language to another can lead to different spellings.  But the error below in the name of the village is more serious.  One can write it Kifl or Kif el- or Kief el-Haris or Hares, and it will still refer to the same village.  But Kifi, as below, is not the name of the village.  Palestinian friends have informed me that Kief (or Kif) is added to indicate that an important person (a sheikh, for instance) is buried in a village.  Hence there is Hares and there is its neighbor Kief el-Hares, the former without the grave of an important individual, the latter having Kief added to it because of the grave of Joshua (Yoshua) Bin Nun, and his father Kaleb.   Another error below is in location.  Kief el-Hares is not located “a few kilometers from . . . Ariel.”  It is just across the street–exactly opposite the entrance to Ariel, across road 5.  Dorothy]

Kifi Haris, Salfit district, Occupied Palestinian Territories, 8PM – Nearly 200 Orthodox Jews have entered the Palestinian village of Kifi Haris for the celebration of the anniversary of Joshua’s death at his supposed tomb located in the village. Orthodox Jews have begun to set up tables, construct a prayer alter and make general preparations for the ceremony, which is expected to last until 6am and draw over 5,000 Jews. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) entered the village at 8PM and are severely restricting the movement of the residents. The city center has been blocked as well as all roads leading into the village. Soldiers are stationed at the entrance to nearly every home in the village center.

“Residents are not leaving their homes, fearing attack from both Orthodox Jews and the IDF,” according to village mayor, Ahman Bozeih. This celebration has a history of Orthodox Jewish induced violence. In 1989,Mayor Bozeih’s sister, Abtisam Bozeih, age 13, was killed by the Orthodox Jewish participants in the celebration. Live fire was shot through the family’s home, fatally wounding Abtisam. Other commemorations have been marked by Orthodox Jewish perpetrated property destruction including Zionist and anti-Palestinian graffiti.

Kifi Haris is a village of nearly 4,000 residents located in the Salfit district. The village is just a few kilometers from the Apartheid Wall and Ari’el settlement, one of the West Bank’s largest settlements.

 On site media contacts: Kifi Haris Mayor Ahman Bozeih, 0599259820; International volunteer, Marie, 0597317193

Ryan Olander – Media Coordinator

International Solidarity Movement




2.  several brief notes about some of today’s events in the West Bank and East Jerusalem(a) Jerusalem Post update

April 9, 2010 Friday 25 Nisan 5770 18:58 IST  

4 arrested at Sheikh Jarrah protest 




About 150 locals and left-wing protesters gathered on Friday afternoon in Sheikh Jarrah to demonstrate against Jewish presence in the east Jerusalem neighborhood.

According to police, 40 of the protesters entered the Jewish enclave in the neighborhood and refused to leave when security forces ordered them to do so.

Four of those who refused to leave the area were detained, while police used force to return the rest to the site of the central demonstration. 

(b) Ynet electronic update Friday, April 09, 2010



 Leftists: IDF uses teargas during Nabi Salah protest

Left-wing activists in the Ramallah area reported that IDF troops entered the Nabi Salah area and fired dozens of teargas shells at protestors. “The soldiers are currently inside the village spraying water on the houses,” an activist said. IDF elements said that the forces entered the area in order to prevent riots [for ‘riot’ read in order to prevent demonstrating peacefully] and the hurling of stones [were there no IOF soldiers there would be no hurling of stones. D]

It was also reported that IDF soldiers arrested a Palestinian photographer employed by foreign media in Bilin. Also on Friday, some 200 protestors clashed with security forces near Dir Nizam. (Shmulik Grossman and Ali Waked)


Ynet electronic update Friday, April 09, 2010

14:31 , 04.09.10


 Protestors clash with security forces in Bilin, Naalin

Some 200 Palestinians, left-wing activists and foreigners are clashing with security forces near the separation fence in Bilinn and Naalin in the Ramallah area.

The protestors are hurling stones at soldiers who are responding with crowd-dispersal means. (Shmulik Grossman)

[From my experience, it is usually the military and border police who start the violence, to which some Palestinians (particularly youth) respond with rock throwing.  But remember, the purpose of the fence/wall is to steal Palestinian land.  So that the fence/wall itself is a means of violence—something that Israelis never hear.  Compare this report to Israeli ones about the demonstrations in Iran, where the sympathy was with the demonstrators.  Contrarily, Israeli reports about the demonstrations against the theft of village lands invariably favor the Israeli military and border police, presenting the protestors in an unfavorable light.  Israel’s occupation, in other words, is 2-fold: physical and psychological. Steal the land and make it seem as if the Palestinians are at fault for protesting the theft! Dorothy]


3.  April 6, 2010

—– Original Message —–

From: Omar Barghouti2



Why There Are No ‘Israelis’ in the Jewish State

By Jonathan Cook – Nazareth

A group of Jews and Arabs are fighting in the Israeli courts to be recognised as ‘Israelis’, a nationality currently denied them, in a case that officials fear may threaten the country’s self-declared status as a Jewish state.

Israel refused to recognise an Israeli nationality at the country’s establishment in 1948, making an unusual distinction between “citizenship” and “nationality”. Although all Israelis qualify as “citizens of Israel”, the state is defined as belonging to the “Jewish nation”, meaning not only the 5.6 million Israeli Jews but also more than seven million Jews in the diaspora.

Critics say the special status of Jewish nationality has been a way to undermine the citizenship rights of non-Jews in Israel, especially the fifth of the population who are Arab. Some 30 laws in Israel specifically privilege Jews, including in the areas of immigration rights, naturalisation, access to land and employment.

Arab leaders have also long complained that indications of “Arab” nationality on ID cards make it easy for police and government officials to target Arab citizens for harsher treatment.

The interior ministry has adopted more than 130 possible nationalities for Israeli citizens, most of them defined in religious or ethnic terms, with “Jewish” and “Arab” being the main categories.

The group’s legal case is being heard by the supreme court after a district judge rejected their petition two years ago, backing the state’s position that there is no Israeli nation.

The head of the campaign for Israeli nationality, Uzi Ornan, a retired linguistics professor, said: “It is absurd that Israel, which recognises dozens of different nationalities, refuses to recognise the one nationality it is supposed to represent.”

The government opposes the case, claiming that the campaign’s real goal is to “undermine the state’s infrastructure” — a presumed reference to laws and official institutions that ensure Jewish citizens enjoy a privileged status in Israel.

Mr Ornan, 86, said that denying a common Israeli nationality was the linchpin of state-sanctioned discrimination against the Arab population.

“There are even two laws — the Law of Return for Jews and the Citizenship Law for Arabs — that determine how you belong to the state,” he said. “What kind of democracy divides its citizens into two kinds?”

Yoel Harshefi, a lawyer supporting Mr Ornan, said the interior ministry had resorted to creating national groups with no legal recognition outside Israel, such as “Arab” or “unknown”, to avoid recognising an Israeli nationality.

In official documents most Israelis are classified as “Jewish” or “Arab”, but immigrants whose status as Jews is questioned by the Israeli rabbinate, including more than 300,000 arrivals from the former Soviet Union, are typically registered according to their country of origin.

“Imagine the uproar in Jewish communities in the United States, Britain or France, if the authorities there tried to classify their citizens as “Jewish” or “Christian”,” said Mr Ornan.

The professor, who lives close to Haifa, launched his legal action after the interior ministry refused to change his nationality to “Israeli” in 2000. An online petition declaring “I am an Israeli” has attracted several thousand signatures.

Mr Ornan has been joined in his action by 20 other public figures, including former government minister Shulamit Aloni. Several members have been registered with unusual nationalities such as “Russian”, “Buddhist”, “Georgian” and “Burmese”.

Two Arabs are party to the case, including Adel Kadaan, who courted controversy in the 1990s by waging a lengthy legal action to be allowed to live in one of several hundred communities in Israel open only to Jews.

Uri Avnery, a peace activist and former member of the parliament, said the current nationality system gave Jews living abroad a far greater stake in Israel than its 1.3 million Arab citizens.

“The State of Israel cannot recognise an ‘Israeli’ nation because it is the state of the ‘Jewish’ nation … it belongs to the Jews of Brooklyn, Budapest and Buenos Aires, even though these consider themselves as belonging to the American, Hungarian or Argentine nations.”

International Zionist organisations representing the diaspora, such as the Jewish National Fund and the Jewish Agency, are given in Israeli law a special, quasi-governmental role, especially in relation to immigration and control over large areas of Israeli territory for the settlement of Jews only.

Mr Ornan said the lack of a common nationality violated Israel’s Declaration of Independence, which says the state will “uphold the full social and political equality of all its citizens, without distinction of religion, race or sex”.

Indications of nationality on ID cards carried by Israelis made it easy for officials to discriminate against Arab citizens, he added.

The government has countered that the nationality section on ID cards was phased out from 2000 — after the interior ministry, which was run by a religious party at the time, objected to a court order requiring it to identify non-Orthodox Jews as “Jewish” on the cards.

However, Mr Ornan said any official could instantly tell if he was looking at the card of a Jew or Arab because the date of birth on the IDs of Jews was given according to the Hebrew calendar. In addition, the ID of an Arab, unlike a Jew, included the grandfather’s name.

“Flash your ID card and whatever government clerk is sitting across from you immediately knows which ‘clan’ you belong to, and can refer you to those best suited to ‘handle your kind’,” Mr Ornan said.

The distinction between Jewish and Arab nationalities is also shown on interior ministry records used to make important decisions about personal status issues such as marriage, divorce and death, which are dealt with on entirely sectarian terms.

Only Israelis from the same religious group, for example, are allowed to marry inside Israel — otherwise they are forced to wed abroad – and cemeteries are separated according to religious belonging.

Some of those who have joined the campaign complain that it has damaged their business interests. One Druze member, Carmel Wahaba, said he had lost the chance to establish an import-export company in France because officials there refused to accept documents stating his nationality as “Druze” rather than “Israeli”.

The group also said it hoped to expose a verbal sleight of hand that intentionally mistranslates the Hebrew term “Israeli citizenship” on the country’s passports as “Israeli nationality” in English to avoid problems with foreign border officials.

B Michael, a commentator for Yedioth Aharonoth, Israel’s most popular newspaper, has observed: “We are all Israeli nationals — but only abroad.”

The campaign, however, is likely to face an uphill struggle in the courts.

A similar legal suit brought by a Tel Aviv psychologist, George Tamrin, failed in 1970. Shimon Agranat, head of the supreme court at the time, ruled: “There is no Israeli nation separate from the Jewish people. … The Jewish people is composed not only of those residing in Israel but also of diaspora Jewries.”

That view was echoed by the district court in 2008 when it heard Mr Ornan’s case.

The judges in the supreme court, which held the first appeal hearing last month, indicated that they too were likely to be unsympathetic. Justice Uzi Fogelman said: “The question is whether or not the court is the right place to solve this problem.”

Jonathan Cook is a writer and journalist based in Nazareth, Israel. His latest books are “Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East” (Pluto Press) and “Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair” (Zed Books). He contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com. Visit: www.jkcook.net. (A version of this article originally appeared in The National, www.thenational.ae, published in Abu Dhabi.)


4. Haaretz Friday, April 09, 2010

 In Israel, reality hides under a ‘top secret’ stamp 


By Akiva Eldar 

 It was spring 1983, the height of the first Lebanon War. A young officer appeared at my door and placed two documents in my hand that had been stamped “Highly Classified.”

One was an intelligence evaluation that found, unequivocally, that no diplomatic or security purpose was being served by Israeli troops’ continued bloodletting on the mountains around Beirut. The second was a plan for the approaching 35th Independence Day parade in Jerusalem. In a bid to raise the nation’s flagging morale, prime minister Menachem Begin and outgoing defense minister Ariel Sharon were considering spending tens of millions of shekels from state coffers to bring tanks into “unified” Jerusalem.

The young officer said his conscience had brought him to my home, as he hoped to publicize the files’ contents and save precious blood and money.

The label “highly classified” does not automatically turn a document into a security concern, the leaking of which constitutes espionage or treason. In most cases, the designation is intended simply to ensure that the file’s contents do not reach the public’s view. The more highly classified a document, the smaller the list of readers and the higher the penalty for leaking it.

Some of the same prominent politicians and security figures who are today expressing shock at Kam’s alleged misdeeds have, during my decades of journalism, in fact given me material for countless articles related to strategic issues. The difference between the journalist who thrives off of access to classified material and the kind who earns his livelihood printing the statements of spokespeople is akin to the difference between a democratic state and a totalitarian regime. A democratic government does not, as a rule, stem leaks. Nor does it interrogate journalists.

In the summer of 1967, Yeshayahu Leibowitz prophesied that Israel’s occupation would corrupt the country and turn it into “a Shin Bet state.” As early as the first intifada, we understood there is no such thing as an enlightened occupation. One nation cannot rule over another for 43 years without behaving cruelly toward the helpless, without executing people without trial, without embittering the lives of women and children, the sick and elderly.

To manage an occupation, a nation must raise obedient soldiers and officers – the kind who sit quietly while ideas are floated on how to circumvent the rulings of the supposedly leftist High Court, how to keep prying journalists at bay and how to deceive the meddlesome state comptroller. Without collaborators within the establishment, dozens of “legal” settlements wouldn’t be built on “state lands,” nor “unauthorized outposts” on private Palestinian territory.

Right now, hundreds of clerks and officers are sitting in the Defense Ministry, the Foreign Ministry and the army lacking the courage to contact a journalist and divulge that the ministers or commanders in charge are endangering their children’s future.

Some are keeping to themselves the real story behind the big lie peddled by Ehud Barak, Shaul Mofaz and Moshe Ya’alon – the falsehood that “Yasser Arafat planned the intifada,” which gave rise to the disastrous “there is no partner” ideology. The real story, of course, is contained in documents stamped with the words “Top Secret”. 

Additionally, regarding the Anat Kam and Uri Blau issue, see Gideon Levy “Harass the IOF, not alleged whistle blower, Anat Kam”   http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1161847.html

 And other articles on the subject in today’s Haaretz www.haaretz.com


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *