Archive for Palestine

Yitzhar Settlers Torch Palestinian’s Car in Nablus

Posted in Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 18, 2012 by loonwatch

Settlers from Yitzhar torched a car in Einabus village in the Nablus district.

Fanatical religious settlers who believe God gave them the land have been attacking Palestinians who they hope to intimidate into moving away.

Settlers Torch Car in Nablus

NABLUS (Ma’an) — A group of settlers on Thursday set fire to a car in Nablus, a PA official said.

Three settlers from Yitzhar settlement set fire to the car in Einabus village, PA official Ghassan Daghlas told Ma’an.

The owner, Zain Mustafa Allan, said the car was parked outside his home when the attack took place.

Earlier, settlers threw rocks at Palestinian cars driving near Yitzhar settlement, Daghlas said.

The Nablus district experienced the majority of settler violence in 2011, The Palestine Center says.

In 2011, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported that settler attacks had increased by 50 percent on the previous year.

Settler violence against local Palestinian communities is widespread, but figures compiled by Israeli rights group Yesh Din have repeatedly shown that nine out of 10 police investigations about settler crimes fail to lead to a prosecution.

Jewish Settlers Torch 250 Olive Trees in Nablus

Posted in Loon People, Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 9, 2012 by loonwatch

Palestine_Olive_Trees_torched

Uprooted trees

This is a recurring thing, in which extremist settlers, who believe that God gave them the land attempt to intimidate and terrorize Palestinian landowners in the hope that they will leave and then the settlers can annex the land. (h/t: Musa)

NABLUS (Ma’an) — Israeli settlers on Wednesday set fire to hundreds of trees in Nablus in the northern West Bank, a Fatah official said.

Ghassan Doughlas said residents of Tappuah settlement chopped down and torched around 250 olive trees in Jammain village. The settlement is built on land belonging to the village.

Settlers also chopped down 17 trees in nearby village Burin and forced shepherds off their pastures in Aqraba and Yanun, also in Nablus, Doughlas said.

I’am not sure if the following is a report of the same incident, but it was reported a week ago, and reports that the settlers came from Etamar rather than Tappuah (via. Occupied-Palestine):

NABLUS, (PIC)– Jewish settlers uprooted 200 olive trees near Aqraba village, Nablus, on Wednesday morning, local sources said.

Hamza Deiriya, a member of the committee for the defense of Aqraba land, said that the settlers came from Etamar settlement and chopped off the trees planted in an area of six dunums.

He noted that the settlers were attacking this same area for the sixth time, recalling that olive trees and water wells in it were destroyed at their hands.

He charged that the Jewish settlers want to terrorize the Palestinian landowners and to annex their land.

Itamar Gelbman: Israeli Candidate Running for Congress in Texas Pledges to ‘stop Islamization of America’

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , on May 7, 2012 by loonwatch

Itamar Gelbman

He grew up in Israel, served in the IDF as a lieutenant and is running for Congress, one of his main goals is to ‘stop the Islamization of America.’

What if a Turk who was born in the US but grew up in Istanbul came to America and said one of his primary goals was to end US funding to Israel? You can bet that he would be accused of stealth jihad and Islamization of the US:

Israeli candidate running for Congress in Texas pledges to ‘stop Islamization of America’

(Islamophobia-Watch.com)

Itamar Gelbman was born in New York 30 years ago and as a child moved with his parents to Herzliya, where he was raised. He studied business management and computer science at Tel Aviv University and served as an undercover reserve officer in the Tel Aviv Police District.

After graduation, Gelbman joined the IDF where he was a lieutenant in what he calls the “army special forces.” He said he could not be more specific about what he did in the army but that he received multiple awards, including a commendation from the IDF chief of staff.

Eight years ago, he moved to Texas. After US President Barack Obama was elected in 2008, Gelbman decided to get involved in politics.

Gelbman is running in the May 29 Republican Primary in Texas’s Sixth Congressional District, which is outside Dallas. “I’m the only candidate for the seat who is pro-Israel,” Gelbman said.

Gelbman said he believes American politicians need to give Israel the benefit of the doubt. He does not believe the US should involve itself in the settlement issue and he would work to block foreign aid to Islamic countries that act against Israel and the United States.

“I would defend Israel and be their voice in the House,” he said. “Israel should be allowed to do whatever it needs to do. The Palestinians need to change their education system and accept Israel as a Jewish state with Jerusalem as its capital.” Gelbman said he would work to make sure a law requiring the US to move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem would be enforced.

He received national attention when Muslims in his district were offended by his campaign flyer in which vowed to “fight the Islamization of America.”

Gelbman recently came to Israel to spend Passover with family. While he was in the country, he met with MK Danny Danon and other Likud politicians.

Jerusalem Post, 7 May 2012

Not so sure about the “national attention” bit. The only report I can find of Gelbman antagonising the Muslim community is by a local TV station.

Bob Simon Lays the Smack Down on Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , on April 23, 2012 by loonwatch

A follow up to our story on the Christians of Palestine. We mentioned that Bob Simon of 60 Minutes was going to do a report on Christians in the Holy Land and I have to say he did a pretty good job.

He covered the plight of Christians in the Holy Land and how there has been a slow exodus over the past few decades due to Israeli occupation policies. He also covered the Kairos initiative and how that is making inroads within Palestinian society.

Most intriguingly, Bob Simon lays the smack down on Israeli Ambassador to the US, Michael Oren at the 11 minute mark. Oren also does some blame shifting, saying that it is Muslims who are persecuting Christians not Israelis:
http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7406228n
Veteran CBS News correspondent Bob Simon experienced something while reporting a “60 Minutes” piece last night, that he’d never before. His story was on Christian residents leaving the Holy Land and the causes behind it: Islamic extremism? Israeli occupation? or something more? Simon interviewed clerics from the Orthodox, Catholic and Lutheran faiths, also Palestinian residents of the West Bank, and Israel’s ambassador to the U.S., Dr.Michael Oren. But Oren didn’t like the premise of the story and called Simon’s boss, CBS News chairman and “60 Minutes” EP Jeff Fager long before it story aired.

“Mr. Ambassador, I’ve been doing this a long time and I’ve received lots of reactions from just about everyone I’ve done stories about. But I’ve never gotten a reaction before from a story that hasn’t been broadcast yet,” said Simon. “Well, there’s a first time for everything, Bob,” said the ambassador.

Christians for Palestine

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon Pastors with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 22, 2012 by loonwatch

 

Jerusalem Church

“Jesus was the first Palestinian martyr.” –Yasser Arafat

A few months back Israel’s Ambassador to the US, Michael Oren penned an article titled, “Israel and the plight of Palestinian Christians,” in which he attempted to manipulate the reality of Christians in the Holy Land. Oren’s article came on the heels of an Islamophobic screed by Ayaan H. Ali in Newsweek titled, “The War on Christians.”

Also, today, Bob Simon of 60 minutes will be reporting on the “slow exodus of Christians from the Holy Land.”

As the birthplace of Christianity, Palestine is home to the oldest Christian populations in the world. But after centuries of continuous presence in the Holy Land, the creation of modern-day Israel in 1948 precipitated a quiet exodus of native Christians.

Although Christian opinion on the Arab-Israeli conflict has always been mixed in Western countries, many evangelicals have been blind to the plight of  Palestinians in favor of Israeli hardliners. Though their unconditional support for Israel can be attributed to many factors, the phenomenon of “Christian Zionism” can at least in part be traced to concerted outreach efforts on behalf of Israel–bolstered by negative portrayals of the Palestinian people, and an absence of their narrative.

Christian Palestinian groups like Sabeel Center and Al-Bushra have had an on-line presence for years, but they were not widely known outside the Middle East. Recently, Palestinian Christians reached out to the global community with the launch of the Kairos Palestine Document, modeled after the South African Kairos Document published in 1985 as part of a successful effort to abolish Apartheid:

This document is the Christian Palestinians’ word to the world about what is happening in Palestine. It is written at this time when we wanted to see the Glory of the grace of God in this land and in the sufferings of its people. In this spirit the document requests the international community to stand by the Palestinian people who have faced oppression, displacement, suffering and clear apartheid for more than six decades. The suffering continues while the international community silently looks on at the occupying State, Israel. Our word is a cry of hope, with love, prayer and faith in God.

We address it first of all to ourselves and then to all the churches and Christians in the world, asking them to stand against injustice and apartheid, urging them to work for a just peace in our region, calling on them to revisit theologies that justify crimes perpetrated against our people and the dispossession of the land.

Also, last month in the West Bank city of  Christ’s birth, the Bethlehem Bible College  held an annual conference under the banner, “Christ at the Checkpoint.” Hundreds of Christians from around the world attended, and organizers hailed the event as, ”a major breakthrough in the evangelical world.”

While Palestinian Christians have so far reached only a small minority of their Western counterparts, their apparent success has captured the attention of Israel’s increasingly worried supporters.

Christians for Palestine

By Lee SmithTablet

For most American Jews and Israelis, evangelical Christians are synonymous with zealous, biblically inspired support of the Jewish state—so zealous, in fact, that it makes some Jews uneasy. But the days when Israel could count on unconditional support from evangelicals may be coming to an end.

Last month, a conference convened in Bethlehem by Palestinian activists and Christian clergy long at odds with the Jewish state managed to bring a number of leading lights from the evangelical community in North America and Europe to the Holy Land. Many of the speeches at the conference touched on themes that one would commonly hear at a BDS teach-in, like blaming the entire Middle East conflict on Israel’s occupation and the settlements.

Indeed, the name of the conference, Christ at the Checkpoint, is indicative of the different direction this segment of the evangelical movement is heading toward. The idea is that evangelicals should rethink their support for a state that occupies another people and oppresses them. Once they get the full story, conference organizers hope, Western evangelicals may find they have more in common with the downtrodden Palestinians than with the Israelis.

To pro-Israel evangelicals and Zionists who were paying attention, Christ at the Checkpoint was a wake-up call. The larger trend, which for want of a better phrase might be called the pro-Palestinian evangelical movement and is indeed spearheaded by Palestinian Christians, is already changing minds. Giving them momentum are money raised in the United States, theology, and perhaps most important of all, a movie. The documentary film With God on Our Side is leaving many former pro-Israel evangelicals wondering why they never heard the Palestinian side of the story.

Many friends of Israel, as well as Israelis, have long been concerned that evangelical support is premised largely on self-interest of an especially macabre nature. Israel, in this reading, is ground zero for the apocalypse: Before Christ can return to Earth, the Jews must return to Israel and the Temple must be restored, ushering in first a time of tribulation and then a reign of peace.

Of course, the apocalypse and Christ’s return is not the only justification for Christian support of Israel. Indeed, this end-time scenario embarrasses some evangelicals whose support is premised on the idea that God keeps his promises, not only to Christians but also to Jews, to whom God pledged the land of Israel. This conviction is further buttressed by a sense of historical responsibility, specifically to stand with the Jews and atone for the failure of Christians during the Holocaust to save the nation that gave them their savior.

Though the vast majority of evangelicals still maintain that support, for the first time since the establishment of Israel in 1948, there is an increasingly heated debate in the evangelical community that may augur a shift in the political winds. And if the Christ at the Checkpoint camp wins out, the pro-Israel Jewish community that once looked warily upon evangelical support may come to regard that movement with nostalgia.

***

“The debate in the Jewish community should not be about whether or not to be comfortable with Christian support for Israel,” David Brog, executive director of Christians United for Israel, told me last week. “Christians are going to be involved in the issue whether we are comfortable or not. The question is whether they’re going to be on Israel’s side or not.”

Christians United for Israel is the United States’ largest and best-known Christian Zionist organization. Founded in 2006 by John Hagee, pastor of the CornerStone Church in San Antonio, Texas, CUFI boasts over a million members. Hagee has found himself in the middle of political controversy in the past—most recently during John McCain’s unsuccessful 2008 presidential campaign when his statements regarding the Holocaust were misinterpreted and McCain rejected his support. (Hagee declined to comment for this article.)

John Hagee
John Hagee

Hagee and other figures base support for the Jewish state on biblical foundations, specifically on Genesis 12:3, where God tells Abraham, “I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee.” The message is clear: Those who support Israel will be rewarded by God. But pro-Israel evangelicals have sent their flock out into the field vulnerable—that is, without an account of the conflict that besets the citizens of the present-day homeland of the Jews. Armed only with a biblical defense of the Jewish state, evangelicals are unprepared to justify it on political grounds.

This gap has made room for people across the cultural and ideological spectrum—whose motivations run the gamut from genuine compassion for Palestinians to anti-Semitism—to fill the space with their own interpretations of contemporary Middle East history. Not surprisingly, many of these narratives tend to be drawn from precincts of the left, like the BDS movement, that are known for their hostility to the Jewish state. What is peculiar is that these accounts are being entertained and sometimes embraced in evangelical churches, Bible schools, and Christian colleges that are not typically known for their progressive politics.

It wasn’t difficult for these Christian critics of Israel to find a weak link in the Christian Zionist narrative—it’s the ethical morass inherent in the formulation of Genesis 12:3. The children of the Bible, Christians as well as Jews, believe that all people are created in God’s image and are therefore born with individual dignity. But if people of faith are supposed to bless Israel because they’ll be blessed in return, then they are treating others, Jews and Arabs, not as individuals but rather as instruments in their own spiritual drama.

You can’t treat people as chess pieces, says Porter Speakman Jr., the 40-year-old director of With God on Our Side. This 82-minute-long documentary, which premiered in 2010 and is now being shown at churches and college campuses, has had a major role in tilting evangelical opinion, especially among young people, against Israel. Speakman told me in a phone interview that isn’t aim isn’t to “delegitimize Israel, but to be critical of policies that are having an effect on real people’s lives.”

“I grew up in a Christian home in the south, where not to support Israel was to go against God,” Speakman told me. He said he made the film in order to explore a question that he thinks has been missing from the conversation in the evangelical community. That is: “What are the consequences of my beliefs and my theology for real people living on the ground?”

With God on Our Side follows the intellectual odyssey of Christopher Harrell, a twenty-something recent film-school graduate, who is trying to come to grips with the reality of the Arab-Israeli conflict. This is a very different story from the Bible-based injunctions that formed his spiritual life as a child. The film’s narrative trajectory starts with Harrell’s parents, who he recalls once celebrated Passover—“I’m not sure why we did that. We’re not Jewish. We’re just this normal American Midwestern family”—and who support Israel because that’s “just what everyone did.” The film moves then to a series of interviews with figures in the evangelical community known for their animus toward Zionism, like Gary Burge and Stephen Sizer, and writers outside the evangelical milieu whose reputation rests on their hostility to Israel, like Ilan Pappé and Norman Finkelstein.

These interviews challenge the mainstream evangelical narrative with well-worn accusations typical of BDSers. For instance, the Israeli occupation, says one South African evangelical, is “apartheid on steroids.”

“Growing up,” Speakman said of his childhood, “there was never a choice, you were supposed to love and support Israel. That meant following Genesis 12 as well as a fulfillment of endtime prophecies. But does supporting Israel mean supporting all of Israel’s geopolitical decisions?”

Speakman, who lived in Israel with his wife from 1998 until 2003, said that he thinks the role of Christians is to support both Jews and Arabs in their search for a solution. But some critics of his documentary think that the film goes much further. They see it as making the case that evangelicals have taken the wrong side—favoring a nation inhabited by those who rejected Jesus as their savior rather than the Christian communities that have existed in the Holy Land since the time of Christ. The issue is that key segments of the Palestinian Christian community have a vested political interest in delegitimizing Zionism—a fact that Speakman and other Western activists in the evangelical community may or may not be aware of.

Among the Palestinian outfits leading the campaign critical of Israel is the Bethlehem Bible College, which organized Christ at the Checkpoint, for which Speakman served as a media coordinator. The most prominent and active organization is the Jerusalem-based Sabeel, headed by a Palestinian Anglican priest, Rev. Naim Ateek. Its American branch, Friends of Sabeel North America, is based in Portland, Ore., and raises money for its Jerusalem affiliate.

“Sabeel is nakedly hostile to Israel,” Dexter Van Zile, Christian media analyst for CAMERA, told me in an interview. In an article on Sabeel and Ateek published last week, Van Zile quotes the clergyman at length, including this peculiar admission: “From my perspective as a Palestinian Christian, Zionism is a step backward in the development of Judaism.”

***

According to Randy Neal, Western Regional Coordinator of CUFI, the ideological foundations of the pro-Palestinian Christian movement are grounded in both liberation theology and replacement theology. The first is a politicized doctrine that requires a continual mindset of victimhood, in order to solicit political sympathy and action on behalf of the “oppressed” against the “oppressors.” The latter holds that the church has replaced Jews as God’s chosen and become the real Israel.

“It’s not just that church has replaced Israel,” said Neal, but for many of the Palestinian Christian clergy and their activist sympathizers, “the Palestinian church is the real church. Jesus, on this reading, was an underdog, who came to champion the underdog. He was oppressed by the Romans, so if you are Christ-like, you are also oppressed, like the Palestinians. This increasingly includes the idea that Jesus was a Palestinian. It’s an adopted narrative that is believed to have started with Yasser Arafat, but to some people it’s become a gospel fact.”

In other words, it’s a narrative that denies Jesus’ Jewish identity. “It is a very ugly expression of Christian anti-Semitism,” Neal said.

But Brog, Neal’s colleague, disagrees: “anti-Semitism is not the driving force.” Rather, he said, the impetus comes from a combination of two ideological streams. “There’s the anti-Israel perspective, which comes from the Palestinian Christians, who are using theology to preach a politically anti-Israel message. And then there are the Christians based in North America and Europe who are allowing liberal politics to trump Christian beliefs.”

The unpleasant reality is that Christian anti-Semitism has as much, if not more, theological justification as Christian support for Israel. Compared to two millennia of Christian anti-Semitism culminating with the Holocaust, one biblical verse is a pretty thin thread on which to hang support of the Jewish state.

Neal says that he believes Christian love of Israel is premised on Genesis 12:3 and on Joel 3:2: “I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will enter into judgement with them there for my people, my heritage Israel.”

“We are supposed to love what God loves,” Neal said. “We consider ourselves ambassadors of Christ. For centuries, Christians abused and abandoned the apple of God’s eye, and we are not going to let that happen again on our watch.”

But as CUFI pushes Genesis and Joel, the Christ at the Checkpoint crowd is focused exclusively on Palestinians’ distress and apparently ignoring history. CAMERA’s Van Zile, who attended last month’s conference, noted that nowhere in the pro-Palestinian evangelical narrative is there any account of Jewish persecution. “I’ve heard moving testimony about Palestinian suffering. But they don’t acknowledge Muslim anti-Semitism. They don’t talk about Palestinian leadership, or how it’s abused the Palestinian community. There’s no account of Hamas in their story about Israel.”

********

John Hagee of the rabid Zionist Christians United for Israel, trying to drag the US into a war with Iran:

David Ha’ivri: Blatant Anti-Muslim/Anti-Arab Racism on YNetNews

Posted in Loon Media, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 12, 2012 by loonwatch

 

David_Haivri

David Ha’ivri

We have linked several times in the past to articles on YNetNews, a popular Israeli online news source. I am unaware of their “op-ed” policy, but today they published an article by David Ha’ivri titled, The Arab-Muslim Narrative.

Ha’ivri is the “director of the Shomron Liaison Office. He and his wife Mollie live in Kfar Tapuach.” Ha’ivri’s op-ed is racist tripe and generalizes both Arabs and Muslims.

I can understand such an op-ed being published on Arutz Sheva, or the The Israel Times Online but on YNetNews, a leading Israeli online site read by hundreds of thousands daily?

Here are some of the most egregious quotes:

This conversation was a great help to me in understanding the Muslim Arab mindset and culture. Facts are not really so important to them. They can be made up or even changed as needed.

Muslim people celebrate detachment from reality as part of their worship:

Understand that we are dealing with people who celebrate being detached from reality as part of their worship of Allah.

And perhaps the most racist and ridiculous of them all:

It is unrealistic, in my opinion, to believe that we can turn the Arabs into a society that truly embraces western concepts and values – like facts and sticking to truth. It makes much more sense to understand that fantasy and stretching the truth are very deeply embedded in the mindset of the Muslim and Arab culture. I do not mean to say this as an insult, but to suggest that we accept it as a fact, take it as it is and move on.

Tolerance of Whom?

Posted in Loon People, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 11, 2012 by loonwatch

Mamilla cemetery in Jerusalem, where Israel has approved the start of work on a controversial Museum of Tolerance, Ahmad Gharabli / AFP / Getty Images

Mamilla cemetery in Jerusalem, where Israel has approved the start of work on a controversial Museum of Tolerance, Ahmad Gharabli / AFP / Getty Images

(h/t BA)

Tolerance of Whom?

by 

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is planning to build a Museum of Tolerance on the Muslim Mamilla cemetery. This project is a grotesque attempt to erase the well-established history of a continuous Muslim presence in the city that dates back over a millennium.

For over six centuries, many of my ancestors have been buried in an historic cemetery that holds the remains of some of the most prominent public figures and military leaders ever to live inside the Holy City of Jerusalem.  The Mamilla cemetery is said to contain the remains of Muslims who walked alongside the Prophet Muhammad, fought in the Crusades, and influenced the city over many centuries.  It is one of the most important remaining Muslim heritage sites in the Holy Land.

In recent years, however, I and surviving members of many of Jerusalem’s oldest families have witnessed the desecration of the cemetery. The efforts of the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center to build a “Museum of Tolerance” on the site have already tarnished the cemetery and damaged its integrity.

Hundreds of sets of remains have been disinterred and carted off for disposal in unmarked mass graves in unknown locations, or worse. The Jerusalem municipality has enabled this effort with the approval of the Israeli Antiquities Authority. This project is a grotesque attempt to erase the well-established history of a continuous Muslim presence in the city that dates back over a millennium.

Last month, new images surfaced that confirm excavations in the ancient Cemetery continue in secret, proving false the repeated claims of the Wiesenthal Center that there would be no further digging on the historic site. Footage made public by the Center for Constitutional Rights shows new power equipment and electrical supply within a fenced-off and covered pit, that borders an as-yet undisturbed portion of the cemetery.  As an American from New York who can trace the burial of my own ancestors at Mamilla back to the 14th century, I can only hope that the news of likely additions to the hundreds of remains already wrongfully disposed of increases the urgent calls to stop this abuse of the dead before the site is entirely desecrated.

Since the plans to construct the Museum of Tolerance on Mamilla Cemetery began in 2004, nearly 60 other descendants of those buried at the cemetery and I have made repeated appeals to try and stop the disinterring and destruction of the remains of our ancestors.  We have appealed directly to the Wiesenthal Center’s Rabbi Marvin Hier, to the Jerusalem Municipality, and to the UN. We have received the support of over 80 prominent archaeologists from Israel and around the world, who have petitioned for the preservation of the site, while others have filed legal appeals in Israeli courts.

Israeli courts have not provided a remedy, and our suggestions of compromise, including relocating the Museum to a new location—a move that would showcase genuine tolerance—have been met with silence.  Meanwhile, the Wiesenthal Center has skirted responsibility, initially disavowing knowledge of the graves, and now clinging to a flimsy defense that the sanctity of the site has long since diminished.

To show that these claims are patently false, one need only look to the Israeli Religious Affairs Ministry’s 1948 declaration of Mamilla  as “one of the most prominent Muslim cemeteries, where seventy thousand Muslim warriors of [Saladin’s] armies are interred along with many Muslim scholars… Israel will always know to protect and respect this site.”  As recently as 1986, in response to a UNESCO investigation regarding Israel’s development projects on the site, the Israeli government stated that “no project exists for the deconsecration of the site… the site and its tombs are to be safeguarded.”

There is no justification for these desecrations. If they were occurring in any other place on earth, the outcry would be deafening.  Unfortunately, the treatment of Mamilla is not an anomaly; Muslim and Christian sites of cultural, religious and historical significance continue to be systematically disrespected by Israeli authorities.  The Protection of Holy Sites Law in Israel now covers 137 sites.  Not one of these is Christian or Muslim.

At a time when Americans are engaged in a national dialogue about division along racial and cultural lines, a time when discrimination and the marginalization of minorities are subjects of public protest, it is disheartening to see  some individuals and institutions exporting and abetting division elsewhere.  The Wiesenthal Center’s mission statement says its goal is to promote human rights and dignity.  People of conscience everywhere must press the respected and influential Rabbi Hier, and the Simon Wiesenthal Center to adhere to those goals, and to allow the thousands still buried at Mamilla cemetery to rest in peace.

Like The Daily Beast on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for updates all day long.

Rashid Khalidi is the Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies at Columbia University and a former advisor to Palestinian negotiators. Khalidi is the author numerous books, including Palestinian Identity and The Iron Cage: The Story of the Palestinian Struggle for Statehood. He currently serves as the editor of theJournal of Palestine Studies.

For inquiries, please contact The Daily Beast at editorial@thedailybeast.com.

Where is the Palestinian Nelson Mandela?

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , on April 3, 2012 by loonwatch
Marwan BarghoutiA supporter of jailed Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti hangs his posters in Ramallah in 2004. Photograph: Muhammed Muheisen/AP

Where is the Palestinian Nelson Mandela?

It seems he’s in an Israeli prison–and has been recently banished to solitary confinement.

After a decade of imprisonment, Marwan Barghouti at last called for an end to fruitless negotiations with Israel, non-violent popular resistance, and appeals to the international community.

For decades, Israel has played a game of “Let’s negotiate over how we divide the pizza while I eat the pizza,” carrying on the charade of a “peace process” while relentlessly building illegal settlements in the Occupied Territories. And why not?

Israel enjoys nearly unconditional support from the United States, and wherever huge settlement blocks are built,  Palestinian “leaders”ultimately agree to cede them to Israel as part of a final peace settlement. Often built on the choicest land, the settlements cut deep into the West Bank, carving a Medusa-like border and leaving dim prospects for a viable Palestinian state.

Meanwhile, the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip languish in the world’s largest open air prison camp as the “international community” looks on, largely indifferent. According to an article published on Muslim Matters, the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem has concluded that Israel:

 ”..has created a system of legally sanctioned separation based on discrimination that has, perhaps, no parallel any where in the world since the apartheid regime of South Africa.

A recently released report from the United Nations also said Israel’s policies in the Palestinian territories “exhibit features of colonialism and apartheid.”

Last September, Palestinians appealed to the UN, submitting a bid for statehood. The US immediately threatened to veto any vote to recognize Palestine as a state, and the bid remains stalled. When one agency, UNESCO, recently voted to accept Palestine as a member, the US continued its pattern of bullying the international body on behalf of Israel by cutting off funding, convincing many observers there is little hope of achieving the two-state solution enshrined in international law.

Prominent Palestinian philosopher Sari Nusseibeh has not only lost hope of an independent Palestinian state, but is s equally pessimistic about the prospects of a achieving a single, democratic state for both Palestinians and Israelis on all of the land in question. He has urged Palestinians to do the unthinkable and ignore their political rights in favor of securing basic human rights, because he believes there is no other option in the foreseeable future.

Yet despite this grim reality, Marwan Barghouti seems to have achieved the impossible from his prison cell in Israel: He has won the support of Palestine’s rival political factions, Fatah and Hamas, and both groups have publicly endorsed his recent statement. Barghouti also enjoys widespread support among the Palestinian people, and for many, he has become a national icon.

He should also be lauded for his commitment to non-violence. Instead, in a desperate move that is likely to backfire, Israel has responded to this latest “threat of peace” by banishing Palestine’s Nelson Mandela to solitary confinement.

Marwan Barghouti calls for popular uprising for statehood. Israel puts him in solitary confinement

by , Mondweiss

A week ago on March 26th Marwan Barghouti, the Palestinian leader who has been imprisoned for ten years, called for a Third Intifada: a mass nonviolent uprising officially ending the charade of “peace negotiations,” and ending “all coordination with Israel” and turning “to the UN General Assembly and the rest of its agencies” to further Palestine’s bid for statehood.

Barghouti’s letter, read aloud during a rally in Ramallah, directly challenges the policy of Abbas and the Palestinian Authority for maintaining the occupation through their cooperation with Israel.

Yesterday the state of Israel punished Marwan Barghouti by placing him in solitary confinement.

Uri Avnery wrote The New Mandela on the eve of Land Day 2012. I urge everyone to read the entire article.

When the Oslo process died with the assassinations of Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat, Marwan and his organization became targets. Successive Israeli leaders – Binyamin Netanyahu, Ehud Barak and Ariel Sharon – decided to put an end to the two-state agenda. In the brutal “Defensive Shield operation (launched by Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, the new leader of the Kadima Party) the Palestinian Authority was attacked, its services destroyed and many of its activists arrested.

Marwan Barghouti was put on trial. It was alleged that, as the leader of Tanzim, he was responsible for several “terrorist” attacks in Israel. His trial was a mockery, resembling a Roman gladiatorial arena more than a judicial process. The hall was packed with howling rightists, presenting themselves as “victims of terrorism”. Members of Gush Shalom protested against the trial inside the court building but we were not allowed anywhere near the accused.

Marwan was sentenced to five life sentences. The picture of him raising his shackled hands above his head has become a Palestinian national icon. When I visited his family in Ramallah, it was hanging in the living room.

He calls for a Third Intifada, a non-violent mass uprising in the spirit of the Arab Spring.

His manifesto is a clear rejection of the policy of Mahmoud Abbas, who maintains limited but all-important cooperation with the Israeli occupation authorities. Marwan calls for a total rupture of all forms of cooperation, whether economic, military or other.

A focal point of this cooperation is the day-to-day collaboration of the American-trained Palestinian security services with the Israeli occupation forces. This arrangement has effectively stopped violent Palestinian attacks in the occupied territories and in Israel proper. It guarantees, In practice, the security of the growing Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

Marwan also calls for a total boycott of Israel, Israeli institutions and products in the Palestinian territories and throughout the world. Israeli products should disappear from West Bank shops, Palestinian products should be promoted.

At the same time, Marwan advocates an official end to the charade called “peace negotiations”. This term, by the way, is never heard anymore in Israel. First it was replaced with “peace process”, then “political process”, and lately “the political matter”. The simple word “peace” has become taboo among rightists and most “leftists” alike. It’s political poison.

Marwan proposes to make the absence of peace negotiations official. No more international talk about “reviving the peace process”, no more rushing around of ridiculous people like Tony Blair, no more hollow announcements by Hillary Clinton and Catherine Ashton, no more empty declarations of the “Quartet”. Since the Israeli government clearly has abandoned the two-state solution – which it never really accepted in the first place – keeping up the pretense just harms the Palestinian struggle.

Instead of this hypocrisy, Marwan proposes to renew the battle in the UN. First, apply again to the Security Council for the acceptance of Palestine as a member state, challenging the US to use its solitary veto openly against practically the whole world. After the expected rejection of the Palestinian request by the Council as a result of the veto, request a decision by the General Assembly, where the vast majority would vote in favor. Though this would not be binding, it would demonstrate that the freedom of Palestine enjoys the overwhelming support of the family of nations, and isolate Israel (and the US) even more.

Parallel to this course of action, Marwan insists on Palestinian unity, using his considerable moral force to put pressure on both Fatah and Hamas.

To summarize, Marwan Barghouti has given up all hope of achieving Palestinian freedom through cooperation with Israel, or even Israeli opposition forces. The Israeli peace movement is not mentioned anymore. “Normalization” has become a dirty word.

Guardian  April 2, 2012 

Prisons Authority spokeswoman Sivan Weizman said Barghouti “has been placed in isolation for a week and denied visits and access to the inmates’ canteen for a month” as a punishment for issuing the statement.

AFP

“I call on the Palestinian Authority to end all forms of coordination, security and economic, with the occupation,” wrote Barghouti…..

“The job of the Palestinian security services is to provide security and protection to Palestinian citizens, not to protect the occupation,” said the man widely recognised as the driving force behind the second Palestinian intifada, or uprising, and who still commands great respect among Palestinians.

The letter also called on Abbas to “stop marketing the illusion that it is possible to end the occupation through these negotiations.”

……….

“We must affirm the absolute right of our people to resist occupation in all ways, and in the way appropriate to the situation — and at this stage, popular resistance serves our people,” he said.

Marking the tenth anniversary of his imprisonment, this is the first time Marwan Barghouti has called for a complete halt in ‘peace negotiations’.

Forward.com: Christians Called to Serve Jewish Settlers

Posted in Loon Pastors, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 26, 2012 by loonwatch

Christians helping Jewish settlers cultivate stolen land

Evangelical Christians are heeding the call to help Jewish settlers occupying Palestinian land harvest  crops. They are doing so because the “Bible” says so.

So the Bible legitimates the confiscation of other people’s land, driving them out and then aiding the occupiers and initiators of violence in reaping the harvest from land that they stole?:

Christians Called To Serve Jewish Settlers

(Forward.com)

PSAGOT, WEST BANK — It is a typical, even stereotypical, West Bank settlement scene: bearded young men pruning vines while enthusing about the Chosen People’s God-given right to this region. But in this case it is Jesus, and not Jewish identity, that animates these tillers.

For years, Westerners have flocked to the Israeli-occupied West Bank to help Palestinians with their olive harvest, as part of left-wing activist groups like the International Solidarity Movement. Among other things, the activists seek to resist efforts by settlers to disrupt the Palestinians’ reaping.

Now, the settlers have international harvest help of their own. The young Christians working in the Psagot Winery’s vineyards near Ramallah in mid-March were members of HaYovel. Last year, this Tennessee-based evangelical ministry started a large-scale operation to bring volunteers to tend and harvest settler grapes. They attach epic importance to their work.

God’s Work: Volunteers come to the West Bank to further a Biblical mission.

NATHAN JEFFAY
God’s Work: Volunteers come to the West Bank to further a Biblical mission.

“When you see prophecy taking place, you have the option to do nothing or become a vessel to it,” said volunteer pruner Blake Smith, a 20-year-old farmer from Virginia.

HaYovel preaches the old-school ideology of Religious Zionist settlers with one innovation: a sacred role for Christians.

The group’s members believe that the establishment of the State of Israel, its subsequent conquering of East Jerusalem and the West Bank, and specifically the flourishing of agriculture in the occupied areas are fulfillments of biblical prophecies. Like many settlers, HaYovel cites a prophecy by Jeremiah that refers to the Samaria region of the West Bank: “Again you shall plant vines on the mountains of Samaria.” And like them, HaYovel believes that the settlement movement will help to bring the Messiah to Jerusalem — the only difference being that the volunteers anticipate a second coming.

But these Christians also focus on a prophecy rarely cited by settlers, who tend to place ideological value on using only avoda ivrit, or “Hebrew labor,” whenever possible. “And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and foreigners shall be your plowmen and your vine-dressers,” Isaiah prophesized to the Israelites.

Basing itself on this verse, HaYovel — which takes its name from the Bible’s twice-a-century agricultural jubilee — has made reverence of settlers into a central religious virtue.

“Being here, we just want to serve — and to bless the Jewish people in building up the land,” said Joshua Waller, a HaYovel ministry leader and one of the 11 children of Tommy Waller, the group’s founder and spiritual head. During a lunch break, a settler with yarmulke and sidelocks came to address volunteers. They keenly asked him to explain why the international community is wrong and the West Bank is not really occupied, and seemed prepared to accept what they were told. “We are not here to teach anything, just to learn,” Joshua Waller said shortly before the talk began.

To some of the volunteers, becoming settler laborers is a way of righting a historical Christian wrong. “This is a crazy time,” said Joe Trad Jr., a 23-year-old college dropout from Missouri. Over 2,000 years of contention, he said, “we saw Constantine and the Holocaust. Yet today, in this spot of the world, you have Christians and Jews for the first time with the same goal.”

The volunteers are a mix of people who, like Smith, had a mainstream Christian upbringing and were drawn to HaYovel out of curiosity; people from families that gave up the organized church to develop their own brand of religion, one they see as closer to Judaism, and some people who are emerging from personal crises.

Trad, a former alcoholic and cocaine addict, went through rehab and became a Christian two years ago. He described his volunteering as a way of giving thanks “for what the Lord has done for me in my life by freeing me from these addictions.”

Aaron Hood, a 21-year-old HaYovel staff employee, comes from a Tennessee family of 14 children that gave up on any organized church and started observing the New Testament and the Hebrew Bible according to its own understanding. The family observes Saturday, not Sunday, as a rest day.

University of North Carolina students walk out on David Horowitz as he compares Muslims to Nazis

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 19, 2012 by loonwatch

University of North Carolina students walk out on David Horowitz as he compares Muslims to Nazis

About 20 minutes after David Horowitz began speaking Monday, nearly all the students in attendance walked out of Hamilton Hall in protest. The action came in response to what participants said were slanderous remarks about Muslims and members of Arab nations.

Committee for a Better Carolina, along with Christians United for Israel, sponsored Horowitz to speak at UNC in a lecture titled “Why Israel is the Victim in the Middle East.”

Horowitz is a pro-Israel activist who has been the subject of controversy in the past for buying anti-Palestine ads in college newspapers. In Monday’s lecture, Horowitz argued that Palestine is trying to destroy Israel and that Israel fights back only in self-defense.

Horowitz criticized groups like the Muslim Students Association, linking them to various terrorist groups. He also compared Muslims to Nazis. “There are good Muslims and there are bad Muslims,” he said. “But there were good Germans too, and in the end they didn’t make a damn difference.”

Daily Tar Heel, 14 March 2012

See also “UNC Hillel won’t stand for vilification of Muslim students”, Daily Tar Heel, 12 March 2012

The Daily Show: Why Did the USA Cut All Funding to UNESCO?

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 18, 2012 by loonwatch

Jon Stewart

Can anyone guess why?

America’s Problem with UNESCO – Pt. 1

http://media.mtvnservices.com/embed/mgid:cms:video:thedailyshow.com:410705

The Daily Show
Get More: Daily Show Full Episodes,Political Humor & Satire Blog,The Daily Show on Facebook

Israel Really Isn’t All That Friendly to Its Christians

Posted in Loon Politics, Loon Violence, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 18, 2012 by loonwatch

The shameless Israeli ambassador to the US, Michael Oren, attempted to manipulate Christian reality to score points in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Some well informed commenters responded to Oren with facts:

Israel Really Isn’t All That Friendly to Its Christians

(Wall Street Journal)

Regarding Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren’s “Israel and the Plight of Mideast Christians” (op-ed, March 9): No doubt, his piece will be compelling for many readers. Christians in North America are generally sympathetic to Christians who suffer elsewhere. More negatively, many respond well when blame for that suffering is placed on Muslims. The biggest problem with Mr. Oren’s analysis, however, is that it stands in sharp disagreement with the perspectives shared by those he presumably wants to protect. Mr. Oren seeks to speak for Palestinian Christians before he has spoken with them.

Palestinian Christians have produced major studies of Palestinian Christian demographic trends. Difficulties created by Israeli occupation policies far outweigh pressure from Muslim neighbors as reasons for Christian migration from the West Bank. According to a study by the Bethlehem-based Diyar Consortium, “most of those who choose to emigrate” are “aggravated by the lack of freedom and security.” At “the bottom of the scale,” they found, “are family reunification, fleeing religious extremism and finding a spouse.”

It is irresponsible for Amb. Oren to make political points among some segments of the U.S. population by intentionally disregarding factors contributing to Palestinian Christian migration away from their homeland. By blaming their condition on Muslims alone, while ignoring the negative effects of Israeli occupation policies, including the debilitating economic effects of the separation barrier, Mr. Oren is using anti-Muslim sentiments among some Americans to hide the effects of Israeli policy. This cynical political rhetoric fuels extremism and does not promote peace.

The Rev. Robert O. Smith

Chicago

 

I am a Palestinian Christian, and the numbers and facts given by Mr. Oren are erroneous and misleading. With the creation of the state of Israel, 80% of Palestinian Christians were forced into exile. The number of Christians in Jerusalem dropped dramatically since the occupation of the city in 1967, and Palestinian Christians are denied access to Jerusalem. To pretend that their numbers greatly increased contradicts all statistics, including Israeli statistics. Allowing “holiday access to Jerusalem’s churches to Christians from both the West Bank and Gaza” is denying free access, and those permits are given selectively, in small numbers and revoked often with the “closure” of the occupied territories. Pretending to defend the interests of the Christians contradicts facts on the ground, where Christians suffer the same consequences of military occupation as all Palestinians. Most of the land belonging to Christians in Bethlehem is being confiscated with the building of the separation wall. Is that the “respect and appreciation” the Christian community receives from the Jewish state?

Fr. Jamal Khader, D.D.

Dean of the Faculty of Arts

Bethlehem University

Bethlehem

 

I am one of those Palestinian Christians that Mr. Oren refers to, who live inside Israel. At no time in my life have I ever felt the “respect and appreciation” by the Jewish state which Mr. Oren so glowingly refers to in his last paragraph. Israel’s Christian minority is marginalized in much the same manner as its Muslim one, or at best, quietly tolerated. We suffer the same discrimination when we try to find a job, when we go to hospitals, when we apply for bank loans and when we get on the bus. In my daily dealings with the state, all I have felt is rudeness and overt contempt.

Fida Jiryis

Fassuta, Israel

 

Amb. Michael Oren presents a distorted and inaccurate account of Christians in Palestine. He conveniently omits gross Israeli violations against the Palestinian Christian community, such as Israel’s revocation of residency rights to many whose birthplace was Jerusalem, or the fact that it restricts their right to worship in their holy sites by imposing an onerous permit system to access the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem or the baptism site on the River Jordan. Even family visitations between Gaza, the West Bank and Jerusalem are heavily restricted.

It doesn’t stop at that. Recently there has been a spate of attacks by Jewish extremists vandalizing Christian properties and spray-painting slogans denouncing Jesus and Mary and attacking Christianity.

Finally, Palestinian Christians are a vibrant component of Palestine’s social, cultural and religious fabric. Many of our most prominent figures in politics, academia and the arts are Christian. This is the case precisely because of a long history and deeply rooted culture of tolerance and integration in Palestine.

Ambassador Maen Rashid Areikat

General Delegation
of the PLO to the U.S.

Washington

Forward: Israel Fails To Rein In Jewish Extremists

Posted in Loon Violence, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , on March 15, 2012 by loonwatch

Israeli settlers attack Palestinians daily

Israeli settlers attack Palestinians daily

Something tells me the below numbers are very conservative:

Israel Fails To Rein In Jewish Extremists: Report

by JTA (Forward)

Israel is not doing enough to stop the large increase in attacks on Palestinians by Jewish extremists, according to an internal European Union report.

The report by the 22 heads of mission of EU countries’ ambassadors in Ramallah said there were 411 assaults in 2011, compared to 266 in 2010 and 132 in 2009, according to Euobserver.com, which saw the report. The Netherlands was the lone country that refused to endorse the report.

The attacks ranged from throwing stones to gunfire, and uprooting olive trees to burning mosques. Three Palestinians were reported dead and 183 injured by the attacks.

Eight Jewish settlers, including five members of the Fogel family, were killed and 37 injured.

The report said that a small “hard-core” group of Jewish settlers carried out the attacks, according to Euobserver. But the diplomats also called the settler attacks part of a broader Israeli campaign to get rid of the Palestinians, saying they “effectively force a withdrawal of the Palestinian population away from the vicinity of settlements, thereby increasing the scope for settlement expansion.”

The EU report said that more than 90 percent of complaints filed by Palestinians ended with no indictment.

Israel has set up a police task force to stop settler attacks and Israeli leaders have roundly condemned such attacks, an Israeli official told Euobserver. The EU report also acknowledged that Israeli soldiers helped prevent attacks during the Palestinian olive harvest last year.

Read more: http://www.forward.com/articles/153021/israel-fails-to-rein-in-jewish-extremists-report/#ixzz1pDnjTTRV

Who’s Afraid of a Bedouin?: The Extent of Islamophobia in Beer Shiva

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , on March 14, 2012 by loonwatch

How can you convert a mosque into an Islamic Culture Museum but then not mention “Islam” at all?

The battle for a mosque continues in Beer Shiva:

Who’s afraid of a Bedouin?

by Charlene Silverman (Electronic Intifada)

Last June, Israel’s Supreme Court reached a ruling that some saw as a compromise to a legal battle that had lasted nearly a decade.  Beer Sheva’s Big Mosque that has been closed to prayer since 1948 would be converted into a museum of Islamic culture.

The decision disappointed thousands of Muslim citizens who wished to re-open the Ottoman-built mosque as a place of worship, thereby fulfilling a gaping need: there is currently no public space for Muslims to worship in Beer Sheva.

This month the Big Mosque tried out its new mantle as a museum, but visitors will not find one mention of Islam. Instead passersby can see figurines wearing the military fatigues of the British and Israeli armies, and pictures of Mandate-era governmental buildings in an exhibit titled, “History of Be’er Sheva: From 1900 – 2011.”

According to an Adalah press release, “The building’s signs and pamphlets distributed at the entrance reveal that the Big Mosque has been turned into an architectural museum, recording construction in Beer el-Sabe from the British Mandate until today.”

Nuri al-Uqbi, the director of the Association for the Support and Protection of the Rights of the Bedouin in Israel, told Adalah:

“I went yesterday, on 5 March, on a trip to the Big Mosque, and I felt horrified and furious at this violation of the mosque’s sanctity. In the mosque there are plastic dolls and models wearing British and Israeli uniforms, some of them in shorts, among other exhibits that are irrelevant to Arab-Islamic culture or tradition.”

The Big Mosque was originally built in 1906, and was used accordingly until the Nakbah in 1948. From 1948 until 1953, the newly created State of Israel imposed military rule on its remaining Palestinian population, and used the building as a courthouse and prison. Since 1991, the mosque had been closed for public use of any kind and has subsequently fallen into disrepair.

In August 2002, Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, the Islamic Committee in the Naqab, and 23 Palestinian citizens of Israel from Beer Sheva petitioned the High Court of Justice to re-open the Big Mosque for prayer.

Arguing against the petition, the Beer Sheva municipality claimed that allowing worship in the mosque would disturb the peace, and argued it should be used as a “general museum” instead.

Justice Miriam Naor, who sided with Beer Sheva’s municipality, said a general museum for all religions and ethnic groups would promote “multiculturalism and coexistence rather than disrupting it.”

A city that refuses to grant its large Muslim population with any place to worship does not appear to care much for “multiculturalism.”

But why does the municipality fear the existence of a single mosque in Beer Sheva? Or an Islamic museum? Is it so insecure with its own identity in the “Jewish State” that it must deny the historical lineage that connects Muslims and Arabs to the land?

Israel consistently denies its Arab and Muslim population with equal rights in what appears to be an anxious effort to assert Jewish supremacy in a land it took by force.

It looks like Israel is once again displaying its neurosis to the world.

Adalah has submitted a pre-petition to the Attorney General, to immediately remove the current exhibition.

The Haunting of Daniel Pipes by Poe’s “Tell Tale Heart”

Posted in Loon People, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , on March 10, 2012 by loonwatch
GazaA Palestinian boy sits on rubble in an area that was destroyed during Israel’s January 2009 Gaza offensive, in the Jebaliya refugee camp, northern Gaza Strip. Hatem Moussa / AP

“We must do everything to ensure they [the Palestinians] never do return … The old will die and the young will forget,said David Ben-Gurion, the first Prime Minister of Israel, in 1949.

The old are dying, the young are dying, but no one has forgotten.

Despite rabid anti-Arab, anti-Muslim Daniel Pipes’ wishful thinking, the Palestinians are not a “defeated people.” They  continue to demand their rights, and support for their cause is steadily growing worldwide. That trend will continue as it becomes increasingly difficult to obscure Israel’s rejectionist stance and continued illegal settlement building in the Occupied Territories.

The Arab Peace Initiative, proposed in 2002 and re-endorsed in 2007, offered full normalization with the entire Arab world in exchange for the two-state solution with the Palestinians. In 2003, Israeli and Palestinian negotiators proposed the Geneva Accord, which also offered Israel a comprehensive peace agreement, also based on the two-state solution enshrined in international law.

Israel rejected both peace proposals.

Last year, 1,600 confidential Palestinian records of negotiations with Israel from 1999 to 2010 were leaked to al-Jazeera. The Palestine Papers showed Palestinian negotiator’s shameless acquiescence to an unjust “peace” agreement that savaged Palestinian rights in favor of Israel.

Israel nevertheless rejected the settlement.

Last September, Palestinian leaders requested UN membership for a Palestinian state. The proposal is once again based on the two-state solution, but is opposed by both the US and Israel. If the Palestinians achieve recognition, the United States has vowed to veto the decision.

In the meantime, Palestinians on the West Bank and Gaza Strip continue to be refugees in their own land, stubbornly refusing to appease Daniel Pipes and his ilk by dying off or disappearing.  Mr. Pipes doesn’t seem to grasp that refugees who remain unsettled remain refugees, a status which is inherited by their children, hence his hysterical predictions.

What solution does Pipes have in mind for solving the problem?  Stall the so-called “peace process” indefinitely, and ultimately, “population transfer” (ethnic cleansing) of the unwanted Palestinian population of “Greater Israel.”

The “problem” is the Palestinian peace offensive is gaining support, and that apparently has Pipes fuming and waxing paranoid.

The Haunting of Daniel Pipes by Poe’s “Tell Tale Heart”

by Franklin Lamb, Foreign Policy Journal

BEIRUT — Daniel Pipes, the anti-Arab Islamophobe, is reportedly spooked these days. “Actually he has become an almost terrified man”; so says a colleague at Pipes’ Islamophobic Middle East Forum (MEF) and the McCarthyesque Campus Watch (CW) organization.

MEF was founded by Pipes in 1986, and the witch hunting anti-Arab McCarthyesque Campus Watch in 2001. CW’s function is to hound and intimidate faculty and students at colleges who are critical of the Zionist occupation of Palestine. Pipes and CW create “dossiers” on professors, students and university administrations thought hostile to Israel. Under civic pressure from Americans who opposed his tactics and insisted on having their own names added to his personal “terrorist list,” Pipes withdrew his dossiers from the CW website, but he still circulates them to scores of “select and executive subscribers” and other hate groups in order to get the word out about academics and others who support Palestine or criticize Israel.

Pipes increasingly exposed racist views are carried by journals like the National Review as well as pro-Zionist Islamophobic internet outlets. In 1990, Pipes wrote in the National Review that:

Western societies are unprepared for the massive immigration of brown-skinned peoples cooking strange foods and maintaining different standards of hygiene…. All immigrants bring exotic customs and attitudes, but Muslim customs are more troublesome than most.

Having briefly written anti-Muslim screeds for Rudy Giuliani’s failed White House quest in 2008, Pipes claims he liked the job and seeks to do the same for Mitt Romney (Pipes has labeled Mormonism “a cult”) or even Rick Santorum (Pipes has referred to Rick as “one of those kook dispensationalist Christians”). Daniel told a copy editor at the Washington Times (who edited his recent article noted below) that he would prefer to work for Newt Gingrich if he gets the nomination since they share the same views of Palestinians as “an invented people”.

The two also agree on moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to occupied Jerusalem, increasing aid to Israel, and the evitable necessity of transferring most of the remaining Palestinians out of “Eretz Israel” in order to stop once and for all the demographic and existential threat and pressure for a one state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict which Pipes and Gingrich consider, if not reversed soon will lead to the collapse of Israel.

Pipes makes his fears plain to readers what has unnerved him in his recent 2012 Republican presidential candidates “application for a position as Middle East adviser”, which he launched in the Washington Times on February 21, but which was first presented in occupied Jerusalem at a recent MEF seminar.

Pipes chose the low hanging fruit of the underfunded and over stretched UNRWA to target Palestinian refugees and to promote himself and his thesis. But even from the sarcastic title of his article, “Eventually, All Humans Will Be Palestine Refugees!”, to his bizarre conclusions, Pipes demonstrates a preference for Arab bashing over truth. Pipes maintains that UNRWA has conspiratorially inflated the number of Palestinian refugees by including the children of the original nearly 800,000 (UNWRA uses a lower 750,000 figure) who were ethnically cleansed in 1948 (the “Nakba”, or “catastrophe”) and adding Palestinians ethnically cleansed in 1967. Both groups absolutely should be included on Palestinian refugee’s lists, since they are also victims of the original and continuing ethnic cleansing.

Pipes writes: “In contrast all other refugee populations have diminished in number as people ‘settle down’ or die.”

By Palestinians “settling down”, one guesses Pipes means sardine-canned into squalid refugee camps, while Jews from Brooklyn or anywhere else can live on their lands, move into new housing financed partly from US taxes, and enjoy swimming pools while nearby Palestinian orchards and crops are destroyed by drought, bulldozers, or psychotic settlers.

Pipes laments to Washington Times readers that the second thing that should have happened is that “almost all of the real 1948 refugees should have died by now” but for sure the last one will be dead in a few years. Instead, Pipes warns that rather than disappearing as they were supposed to, “the Palestine refugee population has dramatically grown over time.” Pipes, claiming to be a historian, calls this apparently unanticipated unwillingness of the Palestinian refugees to forget their country and the Nakba a “bizarre historical phenomenon.”

Considering his “application-article” title about all humans being Palestinian refugees, Pipes is well aware that many human rights organizations, when it comes to the right and responsibility to resist the Zionist occupation of Palestine and to liberate their stolen land and homes, we are indeed all Palestinians.

We are all Palestinians because all people of good will who seek justice and the full right of return for those who were ethnically cleansed during the 1948 Nakba identify with those brutally ethnically cleansed over the past 64 years.

Until Palestine is liberated and its refugees return, as Nelson Mandala has repeatedly instructed us, none of us is truly free. We are all Palestinians as we increasingly support international law’s rejection of any settlement or any colonist on any part of occupied Palestine.

What haunts Pipes also is Ben Gurion’s failed boast to fellow Zionist terrorists in Palestine during the Nakba. The Palestinian holocaust that saw the ethnic cleansing of 531 villages in Palestine by more than 62,000 well armed troops, many WWII veterans predictably decimated the approximately 2,500 Palestinian defenders scattered, approximately 25-30 per village across Palestine who were at a hopeless military disadvantage with largely Ottoman-era rusting rifles and very little ammunition.

Given the above noted reality, the Zionist leaders worked arduously so that roughly one-half of the villages and approximately 50% of the population would not be discovered by the west, and Ben Gurion’s words that “in any event, the old will die and the young will forget” were more than wishful thinking. Pipes and his associates in the “Israel-first” culture have realized that not only was Ben Gurion fundamentally mistaken, but also that the 19th Century Zionists fundamentally erred in their calculations and hasbara.

Pipes’ basis for panic appears straight out of Edgar Allen Poe’s Novel, “The Tell Tale Heart”, where Poe’s character committed a savage crime and then was haunted because the evidence of this crime could not be hidden. The victim’s heart kept beating louder and louder and would not stop informing the world of the crime. Try as he might, the evil perpetrator could not get the heart to stop proving the crime and it drove the criminal more deeply into suicidal insanity.

In some aspects, Poe’s telltale heart appears a microcosm of the 19th Century Zionist colonial crimes which continue to this day in Palestine. The current efforts being made by Israel-firsters like Pipes include keeping Palestinian refugees invisible. They were to be erased by now, but instead the global community, and younger generations are increasingly taking up their cause and joining the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) and other non-violent campaigns against their Zionist occupiers.

Pipes argues in his Washington Times article, “Were the Palestine refugee status a healthy one this infinite expansion would hardly matter. But the status has destructive implications for Israel which suffers from the ‘depredations’ of a category of persons whose lives are truncated and distorted by an impossible dream of return to their great-grandparents’ houses; and the ‘refugees’ themselves, whose status implies a culture of dependency, grievance, rage, and futility.” Pipes continues: “All other refugees from the World War II era (including my own parents ) have been long settled and the Palestine refugee status has already endured too long and needs to be narrowed down to actual refugees before it does further damage to Israel.”

Pipes and his ilk, who appear to tally on a daily basis the Nakba refugees and their families, are horrified that Palestinian victims have refused to die off or forget the Nakba crimes committed against their families while at the same time the global community is beginning to support the Palestinians right to return.

Even many American taxpayers, long intimidated by Zionist hasbara and fears of being labeled “anti-Semitic” or “self-hating Jews” but who have long opposed Israel’s occupation of the political power centers in Washington DC, are outing themselves. Increasingly they are calling publicly for their government to break with Israel and its intensely promoted and sometimes engineered US wars in the region, and bring our troops home, and  heal and repair America while reclaiming American values.

This last remaining 19th Century colonial enterprise, which brutally implanted Israel in the heart of Palestine, has created more than six million refugees, each of whom has the separate, personal, and inalienable right and responsibility to return home.

One remarkable quality of the Palestinian refugees which Pipes keeps from his readers is that in the main they, unlike the European colonists who continue to ethnically cleanse them from their homes, may be willing to share their lands with any Jew who will agree to live as equals in a democratic one person one-vote governed country without religious preferences or a foreign “chosen colonial people” imposing an Apartheid regime.

Franklin Lamb, a former Assistant Counsel of the US House Judiciary Committee at the US Congress and Professor of International Law at Northwestern College of Law in Oregon, earned his Law Degree at Boston University and his LLM, M.Phil, and PhD degrees at the London School of Economics.

Nour Samaha: Revenge of the Settlers

Posted in Loon Politics, Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 6, 2012 by loonwatch

Israeli settlers attack Palestinians daily

Israeli settlers attack Palestinians daily

Revenge of the settlers

Nour Samaha (AlJazeera English)

Fadi Quran is little different from any other Palestinian living in the West Bank, where violence from Israeli settlers is part of daily life. Hailing from the town of Al-Bireh, less than one kilometre from the settlement of Psagot, the 23-year-old Master’s degree student has been forced to deal with attacks and harassment for years.

“Settler violence is a daily occurrence,” he told Al Jazeera. On one occasion, he was playing football with friends when they came under fire from settlers with machine guns. In another altercation, settlers threw stones at him while he was driving. Their guns discouraged him from stopping. “I’m telling you my story, but there are literally hundreds of thousands of other cases that are much worse.”

Last week, Quran was arrested after attending a non-violent protest in Hebron which demanded the re-opening of a street in the centre of the city. The Israeli army had made it a settler-only road 11 years previously, despite the presence of Palestinian families still living there.

Following a verbal dispute, Israeli soldiers pepper-sprayed him, beat him, arrested him, blindfolded him and took him to an interrogation centre at a nearby settlement. Once there, he discovered the arresting soldiers were actually from one of the area’s settlements.

“I asked where they were from and they told me: ‘Kiryat Arba’,” he said. “One of them then asked me if I knew Baruch Goldstein [an Israeli settler who, in 1994, opened fire inside a mosque in the West Bank, killing 29 and wounding over 125 others]. They said he was a hero and they would do the same thing.”

Quran was charged with attacking ten soldiers. In court a few days later, the judge stated there was no proof that Quran did not attack them. The hearing was postponed until the following day, by which point a video capturing the events leading up to Quran’s arrest had gone viral. After the video was presented to the judge (which clearly showed Quran had not attacked troops), he was released on bail.

Settler violence has been forcing people to significantly change their lives, Quran said: “There are communities who don’t use main roads because they are afraid they will be murdered. Many farmers can’t farm anymore because their lands are being burned or vandalised, so they have to find another job.”

report published in January by the Washington-based Palestine Center revealed a 39 per cent increase in the number of settler attacks – from stone-throwing to arson and shootings – between 2010 and 2011.

Furthermore, in the five-year period between 2007 and 2011, the occupied West Bank has witnessed a 315 per cent increase in settler attacks – while, over the same period, there has been a 95 per cent decrease in Palestinian violence against Israeli settlements and settlers.

The report found ”over 90 per cent of all the Palestinian villages which have experienced multiple instances of Israeli settler violence are in areas which fall under Israeli security jurisdiction”.

The report revealed a geographical shift in violent acts; previously settler violence was concentrated in the southern West Bank city of Hebron and its environs. Over the past few years, the Nablus governorate, in the northern West Bank, has also been on the receiving end of a large proportion of the documented settler violence.

This shift to the north, “where rural villages are predominantly targets, suggested that settlers are exploiting unfettered access to isolated Palestinian villages to perpetrate violence more than ever before”.

‘Open hunting season’

“What we have here is a complete failure to enforce the law and uphold the obligations to protect Palestinians,” Yousef Mounayer, director of the Palestine Center, told Al Jazeera.

“The Israelis really need to uphold their own obligations, otherwise we will continue to see violence and it will be open hunting season for settlers to attack Palestinians.”

International law states that occupying powers have a duty to protect local populations, while maintaining security and ensuring public order.

Issa Amro, a Palestinian from Hebron who heads the Youth Against Settlements activist movement, was forced with his family to leave his home – now designated a “closed military area” – after years of attacks from settlers.

“Every time settlers attack a Palestinian house, they are escorted by the army who protect them,” he explained. “I have filed dozens of cases and complaints, and not one time has anyone gone to court.”

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), more than 90 per cent of monitored complaints filed by Palestinians have been closed without indictment.

“I have death threats against me, and I’ve been attacked many times by settlers,” said Amro. “[The settlers] say to me ‘I hope God erases your name’, and they say this to me in front of the army and the police, who stand by and do nothing.”

‘They are there to protect the settlers’

Ezra Nawi, an Israeli activist who has been working with Palestinians against settler violence for the past decade, said the Israeli military in the West Bank was complicit through inaction.

“Settlers attack Palestinians, but the army has orders preventing them from arresting or stopping them,” he said. “They are simply there to protect the settlers.”

Nawi is no stranger to settler violence, with his work frequently making him a target. He said the attacks “serve the state’s interests”.

“The violence scares the Palestinians into not moving around or using their land for farming and agriculture,” he said.

Further OCHA statistics also state approximately 10,000 Palestinian-owned trees were damaged or destroyed by settlers in 2011, while 139 Palestinians were displaced due to settler attacks.

The UN group also found that “80 communities with a combined population of nearly 250,000 Palestinians are vulnerable to settler violence, including 76,000 who are at high-risk”.

“Every day there are attacks by settlers,” said Amro. “What is new is that they have started burning mosques.”

Sarit Michaeli, spokesperson for B’Tselem, an Israeli group which documents violence in the West Bank, told Al Jazeera that increasing violence was a result of a lack of law enforcement.

“The Israeli authorities have an obligation under international law to protect both settlers and Palestinians,” she said. “While they fulfill their obligation to protect the settlers, with the Palestinians, we see a systematic failure to protect them from attacks.”

“It is worth noting that Palestinians who are arrested by the Israeli army are prosecuted and charged through the military court system, which is very low in terms of protection of their rights, while settlers, if they get arrested, are held and tried in the civilian court system, which offers greater protection of their rights,” she added.

‘It’s actually calmer now’

Yet not everyone agrees with the assertions made. David Ha’ivri, spokesperson for the settlement council covering the northern West Bank region, told Al Jazeera he felt the area “is over-exposed in the media in comparison to other areas in the world”.

“I’ve lived here for many years and we have experienced violence, but that is not the situation currently,” he said. “It is strange that someone is saying that there is an increase, while we’ve experienced a decrease in the violence. It’s actually calmer now than in the past.”

Dani Dayan, chairman of the Yesha Council, reiterated Ha’ivri’s assertion, saying the levels of violence had decreased in the past two years, and that media had a tendency to “inflate and exaggerate things like the price-tag attacks“.

“Life in Judea and Samaria [the Biblical term for the West Bank] is normal,” he told Al Jazeera. “I don’t think violence during the last year has been a crucial problem, not for Jews and not for Arabs.

“Let’s not forget that the numbers provided are actually the other way around,” he added. “There have been at least 12 settlers who were murdered by Arabs in the last 24 months.”

According to B’Tselem statistics 13 Israelis have been killed by Palestinians in the West Bank over the past two years, while four Palestinians were killed by Israeli civilians, and a further 22 Palestinians were killed by the Israeli army. In Gaza, 173 Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli military during the past two years.

Both Ha’ivri and Dayan state the Israeli authorities were doing what was required of them in terms of protecting civilians and arresting perpetrators.

“I don’t think there is less accountability, the state and the police are very serious about enforcing the law on both sides,” said Ha’ivri. “For example, there are individuals in some communities in Samaria who have been arrested, or banished from living in this area.”

“If the Arabs feel there is less accountability then they are not aware of the facts.”

While Dayan agreed the authorities were performing their duties, he acknowledged flaws in the judicial system.

“There are very few indictments, if at all, presented to the courts,” he said. “I do not have an explanation as to why there are so few indictments, and it is not my place to provide an explanation, but it does create problems, leading some to believe one side has a sense of immunity and can get off without punishment.”

“I do know the government and police have a high interest in the public opinion, so I don’t think they lack the motivation,” said Dayan. “It’s not a question of leniency, but maybe one of capability.”

‘They want Palestine’

The analysis of the Palestine Center’s Mounayer focused on causes of settler violence and whether it was responsorial (a reaction to either Palestinian violence and/or Israeli government actions), or structural (a product of demographics and security arrangements).

“What we found actually is that instances of Palestinian violence trigger a decrease in settler violence,” said Mounayer. “Palestinian violence tends to receive an official response from the Israeli army, so in these instances the settlers don’t intervene.

“We also found that some of it is motivated by Israeli government actions, but … it doesn’t necessarily have to be provoked by anything. As settlers can get away with it at any given time, they will continue.

“The message the settlers are receiving is that ‘this is okay, and the state is not going to stop them’.”

B’Tselem’s Michaeli, however, was keen to emphasise that violence was not something the majority of the settler community participated in. “The mainstream leaders in settler politics have denounced these attacks,” she said, adding that settler violence and clashes with local Palestinians dated back to the 1970s.

“Having said that, the settlement community as a whole in an occupied area is violent,” she said, referring to the illegal nature of the expanding settlements in the West Bank, frequently condemned by the international community.

Ha’ivri said that in most cases, when there is violence, it happens as a response to attacks on settlers. “I don’t think it happens on a daily basis. All acts of violence that have occurred are isolated on both sides,” he said. “I don’t think either side is going out and actively looking for targets.”

For Israeli activist Nawi, the motivations of settlers are much more straightforward.

“Most of the settlers are motivated by religious ideas; that the Arabs are unwelcome people and they need to leave,” he said. “It is not an argument you can reason with.”

“They want Palestine.”

Follow Nour Samaha on Twitter: @samahanour

Jerusalem SOS

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , , on February 16, 2012 by loonwatch
West Bank Wall
A graffiti depicting a way toward peace on the wall in Bethlehem on the edge of the West Bank shows hope and a wish for reconciliation. Image: Delayed Gratification Flickr

Undividing the Muslim Jewish experience by ignoring difference

by Dr. Ms. Mehnaz Afridi – Women’s News Network

(WNN/CGN): NY, NEW YORK: As I listen to sound bites of news, a swarm of words sting me: Iran, Israel, nuclear, Palestine-Israel at a standstill, Muslims kill Jews, and Jews kill Muslims. As a Muslim woman who teaches classes about the Holocaust at a Catholic college, I am constantly frustrated by the media coverage of the Middle East which overwhelmingly serves to highlight and entrench national and religious tensions, prejudice and conflict.

A recently-aired documentary by filmmaker Karen Ghitis, on Al Jazeera, was an extremely heartening exception to the rule. The film, Jerusalem SOS, showed Jews and Muslims saving each other’s lives.

The documentary, which aired last month, portrayed Arabs wearing orange vests printed with the red Star of David teamed up with haredi (or ultra-Orthodox) Jews with side curls, black skullcaps and tzitziot (knotted ritual fringes on their garments). And both groups have only praise for each other. Working as volunteer paramedics for the Orthodox Jewish organisation United Hatzalah (UH), these Jews and Muslims are taking note of the most important aspects of their faiths: preserving human lives and justice.

I was reminded of the Qur’anic injunction that states that “on that account We ordained for the Children of Isra`il that if any one slew a person … it would be as if he slew the whole humanity: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the whole humanity” (5:32).

Likewise, the Talmud (a repository of the ancient Jewish oral law and wisdom) states, “whoever destroys a soul, it is considered as if he destroyed an entire world. And whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world.” (Babylonian Talmud, 22a).

In the documentary the UH-trained Palestinian paramedics note that there are often delays in ambulances reaching the sick and wounded in East Jerusalem because Israeli ambulances are not permitted to enter Palestinian neighbourhoods without being accompanied by a police or military escort. Moreover, some of the homes have no addresses. Because the UH paramedics know the area well and drive ambucycles (ambulances on motorcycles), they are the first to arrive at the scene.

The film shows the rescue team transcending physical and political borders in order to save lives. Members of both faiths help each other provide for their communities on their respective holy days: Muslims come to the rescue of Jews on the Jewish Sabbath, and Jews help Muslims in emergencies on Fridays, as well as during Ramadan.

Eli Be’er, the founder of UH, was quoted in the Jerusalem Post as saying: “Jews and Muslims do not oppose working together, despite the invisible boundaries and suspicions that separate their communities. In the beginning, I met a few who were surprised about working together, but after they saw that they are great people and really professional, they all like it.”

These Muslim and Jewish paramedics have embraced the spiritual richness of their faiths and ignored the superficial boundaries of difference. Media outlets should try and take a cue from their story, and focus more attention on hope and cooperation.

Another heartening interfaith story from some months ago comes to mind. On 5 June, ABC News reported that “One Israeli man dying of a failing heart learned today that he would live, thanks to a Palestinian family who donated the heart of one of its members slain in the escalating violence wracking Israel.”

The Israeli who received the heart commented on how their hearts were the same, and ultimately they were the same inside.

Even though the rancour of negative media surrounds us, it is important to acknowledge that grassroots initiatives by organisations like UH, or the personal initiative of the Palestinian family who donated a loved one’s heart, are the key to building understanding between Jews and Muslims.

It is therefore crucial that Jews and Muslims tune into the many positive stories of life and death, faith and justice that occur on a daily basis on the ground.

I am always in search of such heartfelt stories that illuminate the commonalities of our faiths and demonstrate social justice. In the three monotheistic religions we are commanded not to bear false witness. After all, we are all children of God and it is through our actions and perseverance that we affirm our shared values and commitments to one another – irrespective of religious differences.

***************************************

Witness: Jerusalem SOS

Israelis Celebrate Death of Palestinian Children Killed in Accident

Posted in Feature, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 16, 2012 by loonwatch

If these revelers of the death of children were Palestinian or Muslim you can rest assured that Islam would be blamed!

If one were to employ the cynical and faulty methodology of Islamophobes one could easily find verses in the Bible justifying their happiness with the tragic deaths of the Palestinian Children, “happy is he who dashes children on the stones.”

Israelis celebrate death of Palestinian children killed in accident

(Al-Akhbar English)

Ten Palestinian children were killed and at least 20 were wounded on Thursday morning after an Israeli truck carrying a fuel tank crashed into the school bus transporting the kindergarten children near the Qalandia checkpoint in Ramallah.

Israelis on Facebook were celebrating the deaths of the Palestinian children, writing derogatory statements on a wall of a news post regarding the accident.

The bus carrying the children collided with the truck at an intersection in Jaba’a, overturned, and caught on fire.

The children immediately died, while a further eight remain in a critical condition, according to medical officials with the Palestinian Red Cross.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has declared three days of mourning.

Ramallah-based journalist Diana Alzeer said the collision was likely an accident due to wet weather, and not politically motivated.

In Bethlehem, a 15-year-old boy died this morning after a truck skidded on a slippery road and ran the boy over.

A statement released by the police said they have opened an investigation and confirmed that the boy died on the spot. Emergency crews arrived to the scene and transferred the boy’s body to a hospital in Beit Jala.

The Israeli comments have gone viral on Twitter, shocking users into disbelief at the level of racism and hatred directed towards the deceased Palestinian children.

Israel maintains a military occupation of the West Bank and Jerusalem, imposing harsh restrictions on indigenous Palestinians while providing privileges to illegal Jewish settlers.

Palestinians are frequently attacked and harassed by settlers as well as the Israeli military, often with impunity.

(Al-Akhbar, Wafa)

IDF Soldier Linked to ‘Price Tag’ Attack in West Bank Palestinian village

Posted in Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , on February 13, 2012 by loonwatch

Inscription 'Muhammad is a pig' painted on a Jerusalem mosque, Dec. 14, 2011.

Inscription ‘Muhammad is a pig’ painted on a Jerusalem mosque, Dec. 14, 2011.

These attacks continue. When will it come to an end?

IDF soldier linked to ‘price tag’ attack in West Bank Palestinian village 

An Israel Defense Forces soldier is suspected of perpetrating a so-called “price tag” attack in a Palestinian West Bank village, Haaretz learned on Friday, following recently intercepted security camera footage.

The Golani Brigade soldier and resident of the Itamar settlement was arrested along with two young women after footage indicated the three vandalizing the Palestinian village of Luban al-Sharqiya near Nablus.

According to a preliminary investigation, the three are suspected of entering the West Bank village on 1:30 A.M. Tuesday, where they sprayed the caption “Muhammad is a pig” on one of the walls and sabotaged a construction materials shop.

Security camera footage provided by Israeli NGO B’Tselem shows one of the young women stabbing sacks of building material piled up near the shop.

Later, a confrontation ensued between the three and local residents who woke up following the ruckus, during which the IDF soldier threatened the Palestinians with his rifle, causing them to flee the scene.

Suspects linked to the case were arrested on Thursday, with their arrest remanded until Monday.

The solder admitted to the act and is scheduled to be detained until Monday.

In addition, Orien Nizri from Jerusalem, known for her West Bank activism, and Sarah Goldberg from the settlement of Tapuach were arrested over suspicion that they were the young women in the car.

The young women are to be detained until Tuesday following a remand hearing in a Jerusalem magistrate’s court.

Haaretz, 10 February 2012

Yehuda Bauer: Israel’s Genocidal Nationalists

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 12, 2012 by loonwatch

Yehuda Bauer

Yehuda Bauer

An important insight into Israeli society.

Yehuda Bauer: Israel’s genocidal nationalists

(AlJazeera English)
http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1&isUI=1

As tensions grow between ultra-Orthodox Jews and the Israeli state, the scholar discusses Jewish identity and extremism.

When ultra-Orthodox Jewish protesters recently clashed with Israeli government officials over gender segregation in public places, many of the demonstrators played on a link between Israel and Nazism by dressing up as Nazi concentration camp inmates.

Such clashes have become more frequent in recent years, as ultra-Orthodox Jews, who make up 10 per cent of the country’s population, are said to be growing increasingly aggressive in their attempts to impose their conservative ways on others. So is the religious divide in Israel growing? And is there a link between the Holocaust and the existence of the state of Israel?

Earlier last year, before the recent demonstrations, Talk to Al Jazeera met Yehuda Bauer, a prominent Holocaust scholar at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, who says that the foundation of the state of Israel and its link to the Holocaust is weak. In fact, he says, the Holocaust almost prevented the establishment of the state by destroying much of the population the Zionist movement had expected to move to Israel.

On the question of how to achieve peace with the Palestinians as Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, stands firm on his demand that the Palestinians must recognise Israel as a Jewish state, Bauer says: “I think that is proof of his [Netanyahu’s] internal insecurity. If you are secure in your Jewish identity you do not need Abu Mazen or Saeb Erekat to tell you that you are a Jew. Do they need me to fortify their belief that they are Palestinian?”

Bauer believes Palestinians and all other minorities living on Israeli soil should be given equal rights to Israelis, because a national state “should grant absolutely equal rights, not just formal rights, to the minorities that are within it”.

On this episode of Talk to Al Jazeera, Yehuda Bauer talks to Teymoor Nabili about being a historian in a region where there are as many versions of history as there are people telling them, Jewish identity and extremism and navigating between conservative Jews and Palestinians.

“There is a certain closeness in attitudes, in outlooks, in social psychology …. We are cousins. Cousins very often quarrel in a very unpleasant way, but I think that we could arrive at an arrangement where live and let live could become a viable option – it is not now, obviously, but it could become that. There is a danger of a violent Jewish radical, genocidal nationalism with a minority of Israeli Jews. There is such a minority, it’s very dangerous, I think we have to exert great pressure on these people to limit that, and finally to conquer it. This group of radical Jewish nationalists, genocidal radical Jewish nationalists, are a mirror image of radical Islam that wants to annihilate all the Jews in the world. But on both sides there is a danger. Here it is a minority, but that could change ….”

Yehuda Bauer