Reflections On The Israeli Holocaust In Gaza

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Israeli Intelligence Agents Blow The Whistle

Post by fish5133 »

"for we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against rulers of the darkness of this world, against wicked spirits in high places " Eph.6 v 12
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Post by outsider »

Attacks on Al Aqsa compound proof Israel not interested in peace:

(CHICAGO 10/13/2014) – The American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) is outraged that Israeli forces today fired tear gas, stun grenades and rubber-coated steel bullets at Palestinians inside Al Aqsa mosque, disrupting the holy site’s sanctity and safety. The Palestinians were taking refuge from aggressive Israeli settlers, who, with increasing frequency, have been harassing Palestinian worshipers at Islam’s holiest site in Palestine and third holiest place overall.

After dawn prayer today, extreme right settler groups, protected by Israeli soldiers and police, entered the Al Aqsa mosque compound for the second time in less than one week. At the same time, most Palestinian men under 50 and nearly all women were banned from offering prayers in the mosque, in contravention of international law.

Israeli attacks against Al Aqsa are not new. For instance, in 1967, immediately after the end of the Six Day War, “the Israeli army chief rabbi, General Shlomo Goren, tried to convince a commander of the conquering forces, Uzi Narkis, to blow up the mosque ‘once and for all,’” according to published historical accounts.

What’s changed is the frequency of settler incursions into the Muslim holy site, coupled with discussions in the Israeli Knesset about dividing Al Aqsa in the manner of the Ibrahimi mosque in Hebron, which apportioned two-thirds of the mosque for Jews, prohibiting the area to Palestinians. The Jerusalem Municipality also is discussing plans to turn the courtyard area between the Dome of the Rock mosque and Al Aqsa into a public park. Israeli authorities already have given the extremist settler group Elad the right to create an oversized ‘visitor center’ that will abut the mosque compound, further cutting off Palestinians from their historical religious site. UNESCO is so concerned about recent ‘Judaization’ developments in Jerusalem it dispatched a fact-finding committee to study the issue in April.

All these actions come at a time when Israeli settlers have forcibly moved into Palestinian homes and the creation of new settlements in East Jerusalem are planned.

“Israel has no intention whatsoever of allowing Palestinians sovereignty over anything, even their religious sites,” said AMP Chairman Dr. Hatem Bazian. “While these attacks on Palestinians at Aqsa are reprehensible, they are only symptomatic of the larger problem here, the Zionist colonial desire for all of Palestine and Israel’s desire to annex all of Jerusalem, thereby negating any hope for peace.”

AMP calls upon President Barak Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry to unequivocally call upon Israel to immediately cease all hostilities at Al Aqsa mosque compound and to respect Palestinians – both Muslims and Christians – the right to worship in peace and security.


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Post by outsider »

Case dropped against protesters who cost Elbit drone parts factory $280,000: ... ory-280000

'Criminal charges against against nine Palestine solidarity activists who shut down a UK drone engines factory for two days last summer were dropped at the end of January.

The case had been due to go to trial next week. But the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), pulled out at the last minute, after company managers mysteriously decided to go back on previous commitments to testify against the nine.

One of the protesters Adie Mormech told The Electronic Intifada today that this was a “green light for further action” by activists against the factory.

Ewa Jasiewicz, another of the nine, said that UAV Engines Limited was now a “prime target” for nonviolent action to shut the factory down. UAV Engines is owned by Israeli arms firm Elbit Systems.

Jasiewicz said the group accused the factory of making engines for drones used in Israeli attacks against Palestinians. Everything the factory says should be treated with skepticism, she said: “The most decisive evidence, we feel, is that they dropped the charges.” In other words, they let the activists get away with it rather then let the truth come out in court.

The nine published an opinion piece at Mondoweiss today calling for more direct action and are part of London Palestine Action.

Disclosures avoided

Scaling the roof of the factory on 5 August last year, the nine protesters locked the front gate of the factory, locked themselves down to the roof, unfurled a banner and bunked down for the night, saying they had enough supplies to last them a week.

At the height of Israel’s killings of civilians in the Gaza Strip that summer, the protesters were drawing attention to the UK’s arms trade with Israel, and called for a comprehensive two-way arms ban. Their banner read “UK: Stop Arming Israel.”

Lawyers for the defendants say the case collapsed after either Elbit or the UK government decided they did not want to disclose details about licenses for arms exports to Israel.

The activists had pleaded not guilty to charges of “preventing lawful activity,” on the basis that the Staffordshire factory was aiding and abetting war crimes and that its regular business was therefore illegal.

The group argued in pre-trial hearings and statements that they acted “to prevent the inevitable death, injury and suffering of Palestinian civilians in Gaza.”

Elbit “running scared”

The CPS told The Independent on Friday that the case was dropped after two witnesses from the company were no longer prepared to give evidence, and that documentation would not be forthcoming. “We deemed that there was no longer a realistic prospect of conviction,” the CPS said.

Based on police reports and witness statements examined by The Electronic Intifada, these two witnesses are thought to be David Cliff and Jody Yates, two managers at UAV Engines named as key witnesses for the prosecution along with fourteen police officers.

The defendants’ legal team asked for disclosure of documents relating to UAV Engines’ export licences, as well as documents on any checks done by the government to ensure that parts produced by the factory were not being used by Israel in its attacks on Gaza.

Jessica Nero, one of the defendants, said in a press release that the group had mixed feelings about the case being dropped: “This news is bittersweet for us, as Elbit and the UK government have run scared from having their role in Israeli war crimes put on trial.”

Elbit’s drones played a key role in Israel’s killings of more than 2,200 Palestinians in Gaza last summer, Nero noted. “UN bodies and international human rights organizations have accused Israel of war crimes during its recent Gaza massacre,” she added. “What will it take for the UK government to impose a two-way military embargo on Israel and hold it accountable for its crimes against humanity?”

The UK has authorized £49 million ($73.6 million) worth of arms sales to Israel since 2010. Figures from the Campaign Against the Arms Trade show that the UK exported £7 million ($10.5 million) of weapons in the six months leading up to the summer 2014 war on Gaza, including components for drones.

Direct action

The dropping of the case by UK prosecutors leaves many unanswered questions. But what seems in little doubt now is that the UAV Engines factory now may now be exposed to similar protests in future.

According to general manager David Cliff in a written police statement, seen by The Electronic Intifada, direct labor costs to the company of the protest amounted to between £10,000 and £11,000 (between $15,000 and $16,500). Workers had to be sent home for the duration.

Cliff also wrote that: “The value of lost production for the two days we were forced to close amounted to £186,000” – almost $280,000.

In his statement, Cliff also confirmed that UAV Engines “is owned by Elbit Systems which is based in Israel” and that it made drone engines.

In one bizarre sentence, Cliff describes the rooftop protesters “as vagrant youths.” He claimed there was “a safety concern with the staff as we don’t know what the protesters are capable of.”

But in one tellingly defensive line, Cliff claimed: “We are a legitimate company that supply engines all over the world but we do not supply to Israel. [sic] for use in Israel.”

This section of the handwritten statement has a period between “we do not supply to Israel” and “for use in Israel.” This makes it seem like the latter statement was an afterthought, perhaps dictated by a company lawyer.

Jasiewicz said the company was playing a “semantic game” to obscure its material support for Israeli war crimes.'

(Pictures in original)

Other articles from 'The Other Israel' newsletter:

Bethlehem mayor recruiting pope to intervene on West Bank barrier
and Lauren Gelfond Feldinger - Palestinians argue that the wall, in any of the locations Israel has proposed, would either separate the school from the town where the students live, or block off access to the only green area near Bethlehem

New Israel Fund blacklisted - anti-Zionists everywhere
Americans for Peace Now
- News Nosh daily review of Israeli media - Rightist Israeli politicians boycott democracy conference over NGO backing - Politicians from Likud and Habayit Hayehudi announced they would not participate in a conference initiated by Haaretz because of `funding by an anti-Zionist body,` the New Israel Fund. (Haaretz and Israel Hayom) [bz]

U.N. Gaza war inquiry to pursue work despite resignation
Allyn Fisher-Ilan and Stephanie Nebehay - Reuters
- The report will be produced on time next month despite the resignation of its chairman, officials of the United Nations inquiry said on Tuesday, brushing aside a demand from Israel`s prime minister to shelve it. [bz]

Raids, arrests, new roadblocks and the case of Osama Qabaha
IMEMC & Agencies
- On Monday, the Salem Israeli Military Court sentenced university student Osama Qabaha, 22, to a ten-month imprisonment, and a 3000 New Israeli Shekels fine. He had been arrested May 28 2014 and since then kept behind bars. [Judging from the relatively light sentence, he seems not to be considered a security threat-bz]

Israel to continue withholding PA tax money
- Netanyahu gave orders to withhold $100 million the PA was supposed to receive as tax revenues for January. Israel was already withholding another $100 million of PA tax revenue for December. The PA government uses the tax revenues to pay its employees. On Sunday, Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah urged government employees to be patient and promised to issue a partial payment of salaries "soon." [bz]

IDF suspends plan to minimize nighttime arrests of children
Gerard Horton
- +972 - The program was announced by Israel’s military authorities in February 2014, and called for issueing written summonses instead of arresting children during night raids in the West Bank. The announcement followed concerns raised in the UK, The Netherlands and Australia. [bz]

Head of UN inquiry into Gaza conflict to quit
Reuters -
Ynet - In a law journal article of December 2010, Schabas wrote that Netanyahu could be considered "the single individual most likely to threaten the survival of Israel." William Schabas says is resigning "to prevent overshadowing the report and its findings over Israeli allegations of bias." [bz]

`Rivlin is not welcome in Hebron` - Palestinians protest Israeli president`s visit to Hebron settlers
Middle East Eye
- Rivlin said that Hebron bore witness to Jewish presence in Palestine for "thousands of years." Members of Israel`s leftist Meretz movement said that the visit was meant for electoral propaganda for the right-wing Likud Party. [bz]

Netanyahu calls Schumer / The saga continues; the plot thickens.
Marwan Bishara - Al Jazeera
- Increasingly isolated, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu turns to US Senator Chuck Schumer, Israel`s leading friend, to enlist the support of this Democrat against President Barack Obama. Bishara describes how the conversation may have been. [bz]

Selection of earlier days:

Israeli soldiers open fire at Palestinian protesters at Gaza border
Ma`an News Agency
- "A spokesman for the Gaza Committee to Break the Siege, Adham Abu Salmiya, told Ma`an that march was in protest against the continued Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and the Israeli refusal to allow reconstruction materials into Gaza." [ry]

Black Flag: The legal and moral implications of the policy of attacking residential buildings in the Gaza Strip, summer 2014
- “On 8 July 2014, another round of hostilities broke out in Gaza. It was dubbed Operation Protective Edge. About 50 days later, the fighting ended in a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas. During the fighting, which included an incursion by ground forces, the Israeli military launched strikes from the air, sea and land against thousands of targets. More than 2,200 Palestinians were killed, including hundreds of children. About 18,000 homes were destroyed or badly damaged and more than 100,000 Palestinians were rendered homeless” [ry]

Child Detainees Tortured and Abused by Israeli Interrogators
Saed Bannoura - IMEMC News
- "Hiba Masalha, a lawyer with the Palestinian Detainees Committee, managed to meet a number of Palestinian children imprisoned by Israel, who described to her the horrific torture and abuse they had experienced at the hands of the Israeli interrogators, and by the soldiers who kidnapped them" [ry]

Pelosi vs. Netanyahu`s Congress speech: If he wants to talk Iran, he can go on TV
Barak Ravid - Haaretz - Criticism in the Democratic Party over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu`s planned Congress address is refusing to die down. Despite marathon phone calls between Netanyahu and senior Democrats in an effort to convince them to tone down their objections to the speech, the underlying message relayed by the Democratic representatives in the House and the Senate is that Netanyahu ought to cancel it. The most direct statement yet was issued by Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Friday, who did not rule out the possibility that many Democratic lawmakers would boycott Netanyahu`s speech on March 3. dn

Israel Takes New Step to Expand West Bank Housing
- Israel on Friday published bids for the building of 450 new housing units in West Bank settlements, deepening Palestinian anger and eliciting blunt criticism from the United States, which called the move illegitimate, counterproductive and likely to worsen Israel`s isolation. dn

Hezbollah, Israel and the old deterrence equation
John Bell
--Neither side wants war, the cost will be too high for both - but such logic may not prevail. dn

Bombing Homes in Gaza: "It was supposed to be their shelter"
Samer Badawi
- +972 "“Even if the Israeli cabinet thought this policy would bring an end to attacks on Israeli communities, it should not have implemented it because of its foreseeable, horrifying consequences as well as because of the black flag of illegality flying over it.” Of course, B’Tselem’s report coincides with the recent Palestinian decision to sign the Rome Statute, a precondition for leveling war crimes charges against Israeli leaders at the International Criminal Court. B’Tselem, though, stops short of naming Israel’s actions “crimes” under international humanitarian law, or IHL. It concludes instead that, “at least in some cases, the military’s actions ran contrary to IHL provisions and, in other cases, there is grave concern that they did so.” ca

Israel Destroys Water Lines Feeding Palestinian Areas in Jordan Valley
Ma`an News Agency
- " Israeli forces on Thursday destroyed a water network which feeds Palestinian villages and Bedouin dwellings in the northern Jordan Valley, the head of the village council of al-Maleh and its surrounding Bedouin dwellings said.Arif Daraghmah told Ma`an that Israeli troops escorted excavators which destroyed a 2,000-meter-long water pipeline near the village of al-Atuf. The pipeline, he said, was funded by the Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees." ca

UNRWA Forced to Suspend Gaza Assistance Due to Lack of Funds
"Gaza, 27 January 2015: UNRWA has been forced to suspend its cash assistance programme in Gaza to tens of thousands of people for repairs to damaged and destroyed homes and for rental subsidies to the homeless... It is easy to look at these numbers and lose sight of the fact that we are talking about thousands of families who continue to suffer through this cold winter with inadequate shelter. People are literally sleeping amongst the rubble, children have died of hypothermia”. USD 5.4 billion was pledged at the Cairo conference last October and virtually none of it has reached Gaza. This is distressing and unacceptable.” ca

Water Crisis in East Jerusalem Continues
- "Update: Following the court hearing, the Justices gave the parties 14 days to meet to begin outlining a plan for upgrading water infrastructure in East Jerusalem. The plan must be submitted to the court within 60 days...Israeli planning authorities have never conducted urban planning for the neighborhoods of Ras Khamis, Ras Shahada, Dahyat a-Salam, and the Shu’afat Refugee Camp, located in North-East Jerusalem and within the city’s municipal boundaries for 48 years...The prolonged water crisis is just one example of the chaos and neglect suffered by Jerusalem residents living beyond the separation barrier." ca

Drones have forever changed us
Neve Gordon - Aljazeera
- drones change our conception of war because it becomes, in Chamayou`s words, a priori impossible to die as one kills. One air force officer formulated this basic benefit in the following manner: "The real advantage of unmanned aerial systems is that they allow you to protect power without projecting vulnerability."-rh

Palestinian political unity welcomed for Israeli elections
Daoud Kuttab - Al-Monitor
- The unprecedented success of Palestinians in Israel agreeing to a joint list is in fact likely to create the fourth-largest bloc in the 120-member Israeli Knesset provided the public comes out to vote. Palestinians in the occupied territories generally welcomed the unity of their compatriots in Israel, and some leaders of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) have even taken partial credit for the list. In a phone interview with Al-Monitor, Yaser Abed Rabbo, secretary-general of the PLO’s Executive Committee, expressed his pride in the PLO’s contribution.-rh

The Truth About The Fight Against `Anti-Semitism`
Ludwig Watzal - Countercurrents
- The Israeli movie maker Yoav Shamir documents in the film "Defamation" the fight of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) against "anti-Semitism". This "fight" has little to do with "anti-Semitism" but much with muzzling Israel critic. "Anti-Semitism" serves as a pretext to immunize the State of Israel against criticism. The Israeli peace activist Uri Avnery said about the fight of ADL. "None of them fights anti-Semitism. They fight criticism of Israel".-rh

Occupier’s justice: heads and tails you lose
Jonathan Cook - Mondoweiss
- now that the settlers have a piece of paper with the court’s decision stating that the land belongs to Kiryat Arba, they can bill the Palestinian family for years of arrears on property taxes amounting to $22,000 – more than the family earns in several years. If they don’t pay, the settlers will seize the land and sell it.-rh

Settlement funding: Likud betrays the poor
Akiva Eldar - Al Monitor
- "The Likud Party has turned its back on the weaker sectors of society and on the residents of the periphery; those who brought it to power in 1977." - id

Village in Focus: As Sawiya
International Solidarity Movement
- ISM - "Seven mountains surround the village; much of the land is occupied by three illegal Israeli settlements – Eli, Rechelim, and Ma´ale Levona. As Sawiya suffers many injustices under Israeli occupation, including military and settler violence against the village’s residents, lands, homes, and schools." - id

MP Holds Longest Administrative Imprisonment Record: 134 Months
PNN - Palestine News Network - "The Ahrar Center for Detainees Studies and Human Rights said that the kidnapped prisoner MP Hatem Qafisha (57) holds the record for the longest period of administrative imprisonment in Israeli prisons." - id

Gaza-West Bank split divides lovers
Asmaa al-Ghoul - Al-Monitor - "The couple talks over Skype, Viber and Facebook and whatever other technology allows them to be closer to each other. But nothing compares to getting married and living under the same roof, in the house that Rashed bought on a mountain in Nablus." - id
'And he (the devil) said to him: To thee will I give all this power, and the glory of them; for to me they are delivered, and to whom I will, I give them'. Luke IV 5-7.
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Post by TonyGosling »

'We Palestinian Christians say Allahu Akbar'

Nadezhda Kevorkova is a war correspondent who has covered the events of the Arab Spring, military and religious conflicts around the world, and the anti-globalization movement. ... an-bishop/
Published time: January 30, 2015 15:16

The only Palestinian Orthodox Christian bishop in the Holy Land speaking about the suffering of Palestinian Christians, their unity with Muslims in the Palestinian struggle, about Orthodox Christian martyrs, and Ukraine.

Archbishop Sebastia Theodosios (Atallah Hanna), 49, is the only Orthodox Christian archbishop from Palestine stationed in Jerusalem and the Holy Land, while all other bishops of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem are Greeks. The Israeli authorities had detained him several times, or stopped him at the border, and taken away his passport. Among all Jerusalem clergymen he is the only one who has no privilege of passing through the VIP gate in the airport – because of his nationality. “For the Israeli authorities, I am not a bishop, but rather a Palestinian,” explains his Beatitude. When talking on the phone he says a lot of words you would normally hear from a Muslim: “Alhamdulillah, Insha’Allah, Masha’Allah”. He speaks Arabic, and the Arabic for ‘god’ is Allah, whether you are a Christian or a Muslim.

Your Beatitude, what’s it like being the Palestinian bishop in the Holy Land?

Firstly, I’d like to confirm that I am the only Palestinian bishop in the Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem. A fellow bishop is serving in the city of Irbid in the north of Jordan; and there are also several Palestinian priests.

I take pride in belonging to this great religious institution that’s over 2,000 years old.

My church has been protecting the Christian presence in the Holy Land and the sacred items related to the life of Christ and Christian Church history.

I am proud of my religion and nationality, I am proud to belong to my fatherland. I am a Palestinian, and I belong to this religious people who are fighting for the sake of their freedom and dignity to implement their dreams and national rights.

I support Palestinians and share their cause and their issues. We the Palestinian Orthodox Christians are not detached from their hardships.

The Palestinian issue is a problem that concerns all of us, Christians and Muslims alike. It’s a problem of every free intellectual individual aspiring for justice and freedom in this world.

We the Palestinian Christians suffer along with the rest of Palestinians from occupation and hardships of our economic situation. Muslims and Christians suffer equally, as there is no difference in suffering for any of us. We are all living in the same complicated circumstances, and overcoming the same difficulties.

As a church and as individuals we protect this people, and we hope a day will come when Palestinians get their freedom and dignity.

A Christian pilgrim holds a cross as he dips in the water after a ceremony at the baptismal site known as Qasr el-Yahud on the banks of the Jordan River near the West Bank city of Jericho January 18, 2015. (Reuters/Mohamad Torokman)

For those coming to visit the Holy Land there are few opportunities to see how hard the Palestinians’ situation is. What would you like to say to those wishing to understand better the Palestinian problem?

The Israel authorities treat the Palestinian people in a way we can never accept or approve, first and foremost because Israel treats Palestinians as foreigners, as if we were strangers in our land.

Palestinians have never been strangers either to Jerusalem or to the entire homeland. Israel is an occupation force which treats us as visitors or some temporary residents. But we are the native people of this land. We didn’t come here, we have always been here. In contrast, Israel appeared out of the blue.

They are treating us as if we came here from elsewhere, as if we accidentally and recently strayed into this land. But we are the rightful owners of this land. We didn’t intrude into Israel. Israel intruded into our lives in 1948, and in 1967 it occupied Eastern Jerusalem. We have been here long before Israel. By the time Israel came here, our forefathers had been living here for many centuries.

This is why we cannot accept Israel treating us like strangers to our own homeland. I shall be honest and say it over again: both Christians and Muslims suffer the same from the Israeli authorities.

Is visiting Jerusalem as difficult to a Christian Palestinian from the West Bank as for a Muslim?

They don’t ask if a person arriving from Beit Jala or Ramallah to Jerusalem is a Christian or a Muslim. They only ask one question, “Do you have a permit to enter Jerusalem or not?”

The pass allowing a Palestinian to enter Jerusalem is issued by Israel. No one can come through without one. In pursuing its racist policy towards the Palestinian people Israel disregards different confessions. We are all targeted just the same. It all depends on getting a pass, whether you’re a Christian or a Muslim.

We all are their targets.

On top of that, Israel took control of a lot of property of the Orthodox Christian Church and is interfering with the internal affairs of the Church. They put pressure on the Palestinian Christians in all sorts of ways trying to force them to leave.

There is only one cause of suffering for both Christians and Muslims in the Holy Land.

The recent attack on the French satirical magazine triggered a wave of anti-Muslim marches in Europe. Netanyahu walked in the front row of such a march. What it your attitude to what happened?

We denounce the attacks in Paris which were committed by the people allegedly representing a particular religion.

But they do not represent any religion – they are murderers.

This attack was committed by the people, who claimed to have faith, but they definitely don’t represent Islam and cannot act on behalf of Islam, they only do harm and hurt the image of Islam through what they do.

At the same time, we denounce just as much terrorist operations in Syria and Iraq as we denounce the terrorist attacks in Paris.

Those who committed the terror attack in Paris and elsewhere, belong to the same groups that are engaged in terrorism in Syria and Iraq and attack sacred places, desecrate churches and kidnap religious leaders.

They attack women and children in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq.

We were witnesses of the terror act in Lebanon’s Tripoli just days ago which killed dozens of innocent people who were at a café.

We condemn the terror attacks in Paris and we equally condemn any such attacks in any part of the world. We strongly oppose the idea of connecting these attacks to Islam.

We are currently preparing for an international conference that religious figures – Christian, Muslim and Judaist – from many countries will take part in to assert that we, the representatives of the three monotheistic religions, are against terror, fanaticism and violence used under religious slogans. The conference might take place in Amman, Jordan.

To a Western mind, Allahu Akbar sounds like a threat. What do Christians of the Holy Land think about them?

We Christians also say Allahu Akbar. This is an expression of our understanding that the Creator is great. We don’t want this phrase to be related to terrorism and crimes.

We refuse to associate these words with massacres and murders.

We speak against using this phrase in this context. Those who do, they insult our religion and our religious values.

Those using these words while taking some unreligious, unspiritual, uncivilized actions are harming the religion.

Allahu Akbar is an expression of our faith.

One must not use these words for non-religion-related purposes in order to justify violence and terror.

Christian priests hold a Christmas Midnight Mass at the Church of the Nativity in the West Bank town of Bethlehem December 25, 2014. (Reuters/Ammar Awad)

Do people say Allahu Akbar in church?

Of course.

For us, Allah is not an Islamic term. This is a word used in Arabic to indicate the Creator who’s made the world we are living in. So when we say Allah in our prayers we mean the Creator of this world.

In our prayers and pleas, in our Orthodox Christian religious ceremonies we use exactly this word. We say, glory be to Allah in all times. We say Allah a lot during our liturgy. It’s erroneous to think that the word Allah is only used by Muslims.

We the Arab Christians say Allah in our Arabic language as a way to identify and address the Creator in our prayers.

Is this all about Christ? Was he the one to provoke a religious split in the Holy Land? Christians and Muslims recognize that Jesus Christ had been born, and they are awaiting his second coming, and the judgment day. Jews deny this however, and await their Messiah.

We Christians believe that Jesus has already come. We have recently celebrated Christmas as a reminder that Jesus came into this world, that he was born in Bethlehem, and began his road here in the Holy Land for the sake of all mankind, and for the salvation of the world.

So as far as we are concerned, Jesus has already come.

Jews believe that he hasn’t come yet, and await his coming. This is the main disagreement between Jews and us. We believe that Jesus has already come, whereas they don’t.

Despite this fact, we are not at war with Jews. We do not express aggression against Jews or anyone else in the world, despite any differences in our beliefs.

We pray for those who disagree with us.

When Jesus came into this world he didn’t tell us to hate, ignore, or be at war with one or the other; he didn’t tell us to kill this one or that one. He gave us one very simple instruction: to love one another. When Jesus told us to love one another this love wasn’t conditioned by what a person was like, or what he was doing. If we are indeed true Christians it is our debt to love all people, and to treat them with positivity, and with love.

When we see someone who’s sinful, lost, and distant from Allah and from faith, someone who acts wrongly, then it is our duty to pray for him although he might be different from us and our religion. When we have religious disagreements with people we pray that Allah would guide them the right way. Hatred, anger, and accusations of having a wrong faith are not a part of our ethics as Christians. This is the key disagreement and difference between the Jewish religion and ours. The Jewish religion that had existed before Christ is the religion of people who were awaiting Jesus’ coming. Many Jews followed him, yet there were those who didn’t believe in him, and rejected him.

We know that Jesus was persecuted, and so were the early Christians. For instance, Herod the King killed thousands of babies in Bethlehem thinking that Jesus would be among them. The book of the Acts of the Apostles, as well as sacred tradition, talk about numerous instances of persecution of early Christians.

Despite that, we see each person who disagrees with us on religion as our brother, our fellow human. Allah created all of us, he gave us life, therefore it is our duty to love each person, and to pray for those who are mistaken or are misunderstanding, so that Allah would guide them the right way.

Is that why Christians and Muslims are persecuted?

We don’t divide the Palestinian people based on who is Christian and who is Muslim, who is religious and who isn’t, who is left or what party they are a member of. We don’t divide the people based on convictions and religion.

For the resistance it doesn’t matter whether they are Muslim or Christian.

Regardless of what their political views may be, all Palestinians actively support the idea that the Palestinian people should be able to exercise their rights and achieve their dream.

Yes, a number Christians have been killed since 1948 to this day. Some Christians have been driven away from their houses. Some Christian villages have been completely destroyed, and now there’s not a single house or resident there, for example, Al Galil in the Golan Heights.

Many churches have been attacked in Jerusalem; there have been attempts to seize their property and lands.

There are Christians in Israeli prisons – not as many as Muslims, but there are some. The Christian community is smaller in general, but we have our own martyrs who were killed and prisoners who spent years and years behind bars.

Christians suffer under the Israeli occupation just the same as Muslims – the entire Palestinian population suffers under it. They don’t distinguish between us.

Are there any special aspects when it comes to Christians living in the Holy Land?

Here’s one of the many examples, connected to the Russian Orthodox Church.

The Holy Trinity Cathedral located in the western part of Jerusalem belonged to the Russian Orthodox Church, but after 1948 Israel used the situation in Russia to its advantage and seized some of the buildings around the Cathedral, using them as police quarters and a prison with torture practices.

When someone says “moskobiya”, referring to something connected to the Moscow Patriarchate, something holy and spiritual, the first thing that comes to the mind of a Palestinian living in Jerusalem is torture, police, interrogation and prison.

In Nazareth, for example, the word “moskobiya” is associated exclusively with the old Russian school where the Palestinian cultural elite, scientists and politicians studied. Although it was closed after the 1917 Revolution in Russia, its fame lives on.

So it’s only for the Palestinians in Jerusalem.

What do Palestinian Christians, I mean Orthodox Christians first of all, think of the Ukraine crisis?

Overall, we are deeply concerned with the divide in Ukraine. We still believe all Ukrainian Christians must stay within the fold of the Mother Church that is the Moscow Patriarchate.

I wish the Ukraine crisis would resolve through dialogue so that we see reconciliation and an end to violence and bloodshed.

Christians do not need wars, killings and massacres. This political crisis must be resolved in a peaceful way. The Church must work hard to ensure that the divisions are bridged and overcome.

The Orthodox Church in Ukraine is strong because most of the people preach Orthodox Christianity.

Divisions must be healed. We really hope that the efforts by the Moscow Patriarchate and the Patriarchate of Constantinople will help to re-unite the Ukrainian Church.

I believe the split can be reversed and those who broke away could come back. But in order for that to happen we need humility, belief and strong will.

We pray for the Orthodox Church in Ukraine.
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Post by TonyGosling »

Israel rejects UN call for international presence in East Jerusalem

Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor issued a new report on Friday, saying that the Israeli military has used excessive force and committed arbitrary killings in the Palestinian territories.

In a press conference in Geneva, human rights expert Daniela Donges said regarding the latest escalation in violence: "The Israeli government believes it can violate the human rights of the Palestinians it controls with impunity. And who can blame them? It indeed has gotten away with apartheid and brazen war crimes for decades. If anything, it has been rewarded, with millions of dollars of so-called aid and weaponry from the United States and preferred trade status by Europe."

The report focused on the escalation over the past few weeks, as Israeli soldiers deployed on the border with the Gaza Strip and in the occupied West Bank.

It investigated the case of 13-year-old Ahmed Manasra in Jerusalem, whose video clip went viral on social media after he was left bleeding while an Israeli was cursing him and wishing him death. The report collected eyewitness accounts stating that Manasra “was beaten with sticks and metal pipes in the town of Hezma, north Jerusalem.

Meanwhile, an Israeli police spokesperson said that Manasra was shot when he attempted to stab an Israeli. Euro-Med reported that has been admitted to the Israeli hospital Hadassah Ein Kerem with serious injuries, under continued detention.

Among the other many cases that the report showed in a press conference is Israa Abed, 29, a Palestinian holding an Israeli ID.

Abed "is another example of Israel’s deliberate targeting and arbitrary killing of civilians," the report said.

"Like the others, Israeli authorities claimed Abed attempted to stab an Israeli soldier. However, video recordings from surveillance cameras in the central train station of the city of Afula, where the incident took place, documented Israeli authorities’ reckless disregard for life.”

Dr. Rami Abdu, chairman of Euro-Med Monitor, says his team has collected evidence from eyewitnesses accounts that Abed was terrified when she found herself surrounded by Israeli soldiers pointing weapons at her.

“The soldiers shouted at her to remove her headscarf and drop her bag. The young woman refused to remove her hijab, but raised her hands and begged the officers not to shoot. Nonetheless, the soldiers shot her with four live bullets in the upper part of her body”. ... -414665801
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Post by TonyGosling »

40 Dead, 5,511 Wounded: UN Releases Figures on Palestinian Casualties in Gaza's Mass Protests on Israel Border
Hamas says the protests will continue even after Nakba Day on May 15 ... -1.6030556
Jack Khoury Apr 25, 2018 9:33 PM

Forty Palestinians have been killed and 5,511 were wounded in the mass protests along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel since March 30, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported on Tuesday. The protests have been held every Friday since then.
The information on the casualties is broken down by date, nature of the injury, gender and age, as well as where the person was treated.
To really understand the Middle East - subscribe to Haaretz
Palestinian casualties in border demonstrations
Of the injured, 2,596 people were hospitalized in government hospitals, 773 in nongovernment hospitals and the rest were treated in the field. Of those in government hospitals, 1,499 were hit by live ammunition, 107 by sponge-tipped bullets, 408 suffered gas inhalation and 582 suffered other injuries; 2,142 were adults and 454 were minors.
“Gaza's health sector is struggling to cope with the mass influx of casualties, due to years of blockade, internal divide and a chronic energy crisis, which have left essential services in Gaza barely able to function,” stated the report.
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>> Hamas hijacked the Gaza protests | Analysis ■ Killing of Gaza protesters undermines Israel's claims of self-defense | Analysis
The information is based on figures from the Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza and OCHA says the data is a preliminary snapshot only and further information is pending.
On Wednesday, the Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza reported the death of Ahmed Abu Hassin, a press photographer who was shot two weeks ago during the protests.
The protests will continue even after May 15, the day the Palestinians mark the Nakba (Catastrophe) – the founding of Israel – said Ismail Haniyeh, the head of the Hamas political bureau, on Wednesday. “The Palestinian people will demonstrate throughout Ramadan to deal with the many challenges facing us, and first of all the peace plan promoted by U.S. President Donald Trump, called the ‘Deal of the Century,’” said Haniyeh.
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Post by Whitehall_Bin_Men »

Condemned By Their Own Words 218
23 Apr, 2018 in Uncategorized by craig ... own-words/

This transcript of an Israeli General on an Israeli radio station (begins 6.52 in) defending the latest killing by Israeli army snipers of a 14 year old boy who posed no threat of any kind, is much more powerful if you just read it than any analysis I can give.

Brigadier-General (Res.) Zvika Fogel interviewed on the Yoman Hashevua program of Israel’s Kan radio, 21 April 2018.

Ron Nesiel: Greetings Brigadier General (Res.) Zvika Fogel. Should the IDF [Israeli army] rethink its use of snipers? There’s the impression that maybe someone lowered the bar for using live fire, and this may be the result?

Zvika Fogel: Ron, let’s maybe look at this matter on three levels. At the tactical level that we all love dealing with, the local one, also at the level of values, and with your permission, we will also rise up to the strategic level. At the tactical level, any person who gets close to the fence, anyone who could be a future threat to the border of the State of Israel and its residents, should bear a price for that violation. If this child or anyone else gets close to the fence in order to hide an explosive device or check if there are any dead zones there or to cut the fence so someone could infiltrate the territory of the State of Israel to kill us …

Nesiel: Then, then his punishment is death?

Fogel: His punishment is death. As far as I’m concerned then yes, if you can only shoot him to stop him, in the leg or arm – great. But if it’s more than that then, yes, you want to check with me whose blood is thicker, ours or theirs. It is clear to you that if one such person will manage to cross the fence or hide an explosive device there …

Nesiel: But we were taught that live fire is only used when the soldiers face immediate danger.

Fogel: Come, let’s move over to the level of values. Assuming that we understood the tactical level, as we cannot tolerate a crossing of our border or a violation of our border, let’s proceed to the level of values. I am not Ahmad Tibi, I am Zvika Fogel. I know how these orders are given. I know how a sniper does the shooting. I know how many authorizations he needs before he receives an authorization to open fire. It is not the whim of one or the other sniper who identifies the small body of a child now and decides he’ll shoot. Someone marks the target for him very well and tells him exactly why one has to shoot and what the threat is from that individual. And to my great sorrow, sometimes when you shoot at a small body and you intended to hit his arm or shoulder it goes even higher. The picture is not a pretty picture. But if that’s the price that we have to pay to preserve the safety and quality of life of the residents of the State of Israel, then that’s the price. But now, with your permission, let us go up one level and look at the overview. It is clear to you that Hamas is fighting for consciousness at the moment. It is clear to you and to me …

Nesiel: Is it hard for them to do? Aren’t we providing them with sufficient ammunition in this battle?

Fogel: We’re providing them but …

Nesiel: Because it does not do all that well for us, those pictures that are distributed around the world.

Fogel: Look, Ron, we’re even terrible at it. There’s nothing to be done, David always looks better against Goliath. And in this case, we are the Goliath. Not the David. That is entirely clear to me. But let’s look at it at the strategic level: you and I and a large part of the listeners are clear that this will not end up in demonstrations. It is clear to us that Hamas can’t continue to tolerate the fact that its rockets are not managing to hurt us, its tunnels are eroding …

Nesiel: Yes.

Fogel: And it doesn’t have too many suicide bombers who continue to believe the fairytale about the virgins waiting up there. It will drag us into a war. I do not want to be on the side that gets dragged. I want to be on the side that initiates things. I do not want to wait for the moment where it finds a weak spot and attacks me there. If tomorrow morning it gets into a military base or a kibbutz and kills people there and takes prisoners of war or hostages, call it as you like, we’re in a whole new script. I want the leaders of Hamas to wake up tomorrow morning and for the last time in their life see the smiling faces of the IDF. That’s what I want to have happen. But we are dragged along. So we’re putting snipers up because we want to preserve the values we were educated by. We can’t always take a single picture and put it before the whole world. We have soldiers there, our children, who were sent out and receive very accurate instructions about whom to shoot to protect us. Let’s back them up.

Nesiel: Brigadier-General (Res.) Zvika Fogel, formerly Head of the Southern Command Staff, thank you for your words.

Fogel: May you only hear good news. Thank you.

There is no room to doubt the evil nature of the expansionist apartheid state that Israel has now become. Nor the moral vacuity of its apologists in the western media.

Translation by Dena Shunra.

'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
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Post by Whitehall_Bin_Men »

I heard the Israeli Ambassador interviewed on LBC this morning regarding yesterdays massacre of 52 peaceful Palestinian protesters in Gaza. ... estinians/
'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
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Post by Whitehall_Bin_Men »

[HumanRights] Why are you in the US?
General information about this mailing list is at:

Mazin Qumsiyeh mazin at
Mon Jun 11 08:33:08 PDT 2018
Previous message: [HumanRights] Jordanian protests , Razan, undeclared Nuclear weapons and more

Officer doing the extra special security inspection upon my arrival in
Washington DC: so what is the purpose of your trip to the US?
Me: Doing lectures but the reason you are troubling me as a US citizen is
that you are obeying orders that come down to you from Tel Aviv
Officer (puzzled): What are you talking about
Me: I have gone through this many times and wrote to homeland security and
will likely sue them for continued harassment on behest of Israel. Here is
the letter I received from them with a redress number. Basically,
Washington is being forced by a Zionist lobby to do things on behest of
Israel and that is not good for the US or its taxpayers like you and I
Officer: So what do you lecture about?
Me: various topics from environmental conservation to environmental justice
to human rights and how the colonial apartheid state of Israel uses our US
tax money to ethically cleanse fellow Palestinians… can check my
website for details. By the way why do you have Fox news on TV monitors at
the airport (do you know it is Zionist to the core and thus

And so this conversation went on for almost 40 minutes as two officers
ruffled through all my belongings and even took personal some papers to
copy. I was tired after a hard 40 hours on the road and in airplanes with
extra time for extra inspection in Frankfort before boarding flight to DC.
We Palestinians have to go through Jordan as the Zionist regime prevents us
from using our own Airport (Lod airport was built by Palestinians but then
stolen like most of the country and became an airport for Israel). But
second is my being subjected to extra special “security” checks both in
airport in Frankfurt (almost causing me to miss the flight) and upon
arrival in Washington DC. As usual I take it as an opportunity to educate
fellow human beings on how they ended up doing the bid of the Israeli
government to harass people like me. We talk about the lobbies, about the
attack on the USS Liberty, and about our taxes being used to support
genocide and ethnic cleansing.

But anyway, such harassment is a price one pays for activism and if one
wants to serve fellow human beings. I am now at the National Geographic
Society headquarters. Meeting over 150 fellow explorers. Talking nature
(and politics). To watch the explorer festival live, go to ... -festival/

As noted in last week’s email I will also have public lectures in
Washington DC, Maryland, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New York and
these are posted at

Israel’s Attack on the USS Liberty: A Half Century Later, Still No Justice ... o-justice/

Was Anthony Bourdain Murdered for Humanising Palestinians? ... estinians/

Freedom Flotilla to Gaza Website ... -palestine
Video- view from The Freedom

Stay Human

Mazin Qumsiyeh
A bedouin in cyberspace, a villager at home
Professor, Founder, and (volunteer) Director
Palestine Museum of Natural History
Palestine Institute of Biodiversity and Sustainability
Bethlehem University
Occupied Palestine
Join me on facebook
'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
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Post by outsider »

Not in Gaza this time, but in Lod:
'‘Ali is on the grill!’ Israeli settlers celebrate burning of Palestinian baby': ... lestinian/

'There’s something particularly disturbing about celebrating the burning alive of a baby.

This is precisely what Israeli Jewish settlers were doing yesterday, outside the court in Lod. “’Ali was burned, where is Ali? Ali is on the grill!”, they chanted, in reference to the 18-month old baby Ali Dawbsheh, who was burnt alive by Jewish terrorists in the West Bank town of Duma in 2015. Ali’s mother Riham and father Saad died of their wounds a few weeks later. Of the family of four, only 5-year-old Ahmad survived the arson with severe burns.

The terror-supporters were actually taunting Ali’s grandfather, Hussein Dawabshe, who was attending a preliminary hearing at which the court decided to indict one adult suspect who confessed to the murders, as well as a minor who was an accomplice. Hussein was accompanied by Palestinian-Israeli lawmakers Ayman Odeh and Ahmed Tibi. Tibi posted the video of the chanting, with policemen standing by doing nothing, and wrote:

“Where’s Ali? There’s no Ali. Ali is burned. On the fire. Ali is on the grill” – all this was thrown at our face – including at the grandfather Dawbsheh concerning his 18-month-old grandson by the riff raff of ‘price tag’. In front of us stood policemen and officers and did nothing. No words…....'

If anyone questions that behaviour, they are obviously 'anti-Semitic'.
'And he (the devil) said to him: To thee will I give all this power, and the glory of them; for to me they are delivered, and to whom I will, I give them'. Luke IV 5-7.
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Post by Whitehall_Bin_Men »

via Facebook
Jeremy Corbyn has never contributed to anybody's death.
Benjamin Netanyahu.........???!!!
Here's a list of past Israeli PM's who are guilty of terrorism:-

Levi Eshkol — #2 — Eshkol presided over the ethnic cleansing of another 250,000 Palestinians.
Menachem Begin — #3 — Begin was the preeminent terrorist in the Middle East, murdering Arabs, Englishmen and Jews ... until Ben-Gurion and Eshkol surpassed him.
Ariel Sharon — #4 — A murderous war hawk, Sharon was responsible for massacres of civilians at Qibya, Sabra and Shatila.
Benjamin Netanyahu — #5 — "Bibi" caused the deaths and mutilations of thousands of children during Operations "Cast Lead," "Pillar of Defense" and "Protective Edge."
Yitzhak Shamir — #6 — Shamir had British and Swedish nobles murdered for seeking to have Palestinian Arabs treated as equals of Israeli Jews!
Ehud Barak — #7 — A cross-dressing assassin, Barak participated in death squads that killed women, policemen and a poet known as "The Conscience."
Golda Meir — #8 — Meir threatened to destroy the world with nukes during a BBC interview and more than once insisted that Palestinians "did not exist" as a people.
Shimon Peres — #9 — Peres aggressively pursued nuclear weapons and succeeded in delivering them.
Yitzhak Rabin — #10 — Rabin signed an order for the children of Lydda to be ethnically cleansed "quickly, without attention to age."
Yigal Allon — #11 — Allon served in Special Night Squads which tortured and killed "without compunction."
Ehud Olmert — #12 — Olmert presided over the 2006 invasion of Lebanon, which killed 1,300 people and displaced more than a million others.
Moshe Sharett — #13 — Sharett was a staunch proponent of compulsory population transfer (ethnic cleansing).
'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
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Post by TonyGosling »

kbo234 wrote:Understanding the Gaza Catastrophe

Richard Falk

United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories

Posted January 2, 2009

For eighteen months the entire 1.5 million people of Gaza experienced a punishing blockade imposed by Israel, and a variety of traumatizing challenges to the normalcy of daily life. A flicker of hope emerged some six months ago when an Egyptian arranged truce produced an effective ceasefire that cut Israeli casualties to zero despite the cross-border periodic firing of homemade rockets that fell harmlessly on nearby Israeli territory, and undoubtedly caused anxiety in the border town of Sderot. During the ceasefire the Hamas leadership in Gaza repeatedly offered to extend the truce, even proposing a ten-year period and claimed a receptivity to a political solution based on acceptance of Israel's 1967 borders. Israel ignored these diplomatic initiatives, and failed to carry out its side of the ceasefire agreement that involved some easing of the blockade that had been restricting the entry to Gaza of food, medicine, and fuel to a trickle.

Israel also refused exit permits to students with foreign fellowship awards and to Gazan journalists and respected NGO representatives. At the same time, it made it increasingly difficult for journalists to enter, and I was myself expelled from Israel a couple of weeks ago when I tried to enter to carry out my UN job of monitoring respect for human rights in occupied Palestine, that is, in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, as well as Gaza. Clearly, prior to the current crisis, Israel used its authority to prevent credible observers from giving accurate and truthful accounts of the dire humanitarian situation that had been already documented as producing severe declines in the physical condition and mental health of the Gazan population, especially noting malnutrition among children and the absence of treatment facilities for those suffering from a variety of diseases. The Israeli attacks were directed against a society already in grave condition after a blockade maintained during the prior 18 months.

As always in relation to the underlying conflict, some facts bearing on this latest crisis are murky and contested, although the American public in particular gets 99% of its information filtered through an exceedingly pro-Israeli media lens. Hamas is blamed for the breakdown of the truce by its supposed unwillingness to renew it, and by the alleged increased incidence of rocket attacks. But the reality is more clouded. There was no substantial rocket fire from Gaza during the ceasefire until Israel launched an attack last November 4th directed at what it claimed were Palestinian militants in Gaza, killing several Palestinians. It was at this point that rocket fire from Gaza intensified. Also, it was Hamas that on numerous public occasions called for extending the truce, with its calls never acknowledged, much less acted upon, by Israeli officialdom. Beyond this, attributing all the rockets to Hamas is not convincing either. A variety of independent militia groups operate in Gaza, some such as the Fatah-backed al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade are anti-Hamas, and may even be sending rockets to provoke or justify Israeli retaliation. It is well confirmed that when US-supported Fatah controlled Gaza's governing structure it was unable to stop rocket attacks despite a concerted effort to do so.

What this background suggests strongly is that Israel launched its devastating attacks, starting on December 27, not simply to stop the rockets or in retaliation, but also for a series of unacknowledged reasons. It was evident for several weeks prior to the Israeli attacks that the Israeli military and political leaders were preparing the public for large-scale military operations against the Hamas. The timing of the attacks seemed prompted by a series of considerations: most of all, the interest of political contenders, the Defense Minister Ehud Barak and the Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, in demonstrating their toughness prior to national elections scheduled for February, but now possibly postponed until military operations cease. Such Israeli shows of force have been a feature of past Israeli election campaigns, and on this occasion especially, the current government was being successfully challenged by Israel's notoriously militarist politician, Benjamin Netanyahu, for its supposed failures to uphold security. Reinforcing these electoral motivations was the little concealed pressure from the Israeli military commanders to seize the opportunity in Gaza to erase the memories of their failure to destroy Hezbollah in the devastating Lebanon War of 2006 that both tarnished Israel's reputation as a military power and led to widespread international condemnation of Israel for the heavy bombardment of undefended Lebanese villages, disproportionate force, and extensive use of cluster bombs against heavily populated areas.

Respected and conservative Israeli commentators go further. For instance, the prominent historian, Benny Morris writing in the New York Times a few days ago, relates the campaign in Gaza to a deeper set of forebodings in Israel that he compares to the dark mood of the public that preceded the 1967 War when Israelis felt deeply threatened by Arab mobilizations on their borders. Morris insists that despite Israeli prosperity of recent years, and relative security, several factors have led Israel to act boldly in Gaza: the perceived continuing refusal of the Arab world to accept the existence of Israel as an established reality; the inflammatory threats voiced by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad together with Iran's supposed push to acquire nuclear weapons, the fading memory of the Holocaust combined with growing sympathy in the West with the Palestinian plight, and the radicalization of political movements on Israel's borders in the form of Hezbollah and Hamas. In effect, Morris argues that Israel is trying via the crushing of Hamas in Gaza to send a wider message to the region that it will stop at nothing to uphold its claims of sovereignty and security.

There are two conclusions that emerge: the people of Gaza are being severely victimized for reasons remote from the rockets and border security concerns, but seemingly to improve election prospects of current leaders now facing defeat, and to warn others in the region that Israel will use overwhelming force whenever its interests are at stake.

That such a human catastrophe can happen with minimal outside interference also shows the weakness of international law and the United Nations, as well as the geopolitical priorities of the important players. The passive support of the United States government for whatever Israel does is again the critical factor, as it was in 2006 when it launched its aggressive war against Lebanon. What is less evident is that the main Arab neighbors, Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia, with their extreme hostility toward Hamas that is viewed as backed by Iran, their main regional rival, were also willing to stand aside while Gaza was being so brutally attacked, with some Arab diplomats even blaming the attacks on Palestinian disunity or on the refusal of Hamas to accept the leadership of Mamoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority.

The people of Gaza are victims of geopolitics at its inhumane worst: producing what Israel itself calls a 'total war' against an essentially defenseless society that lacks any defensive military capability whatsoever and is completely vulnerable to Israeli attacks mounted by F-16 bombers and Apache helicopters. What this also means is that the flagrant violation of international humanitarian law, as set forth in the Geneva Conventions, is quietly set aside while the carnage continues and the bodies pile up. It additionally means that the UN is once more revealed to be impotent when its main members deprive it of the political will to protect a people subject to unlawful uses of force on a large scale. Finally, this means that the public can shriek and march all over the world, but that the killing will go on as if nothing is happening. The picture being painted day by day in Gaza is one that begs for renewed commitment to international law and the authority of the UN Charter, starting here in the United States, especially with a new leadership that promised its citizens change, including a less militarist approach to diplomatic leadership.
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Post by TonyGosling »

Mark Gobell wrote:Israel Has No Intention of Granting a Palestinian State

If Hamas Did Not Exist


Let us get one thing perfectly straight. If the wholesale mutilation and degradation of the Gaza Strip is going to continue; if Israel’s will is at one with that of the United States; if the European Union, Russia, the United Nations and all the international legal agencies and organizations spread across the globe are going to continue to sit by like hollow mannequins doing nothing but making repeated “calls” for a “ceasefire” on “both sides”; if the cowardly, obsequious and supine Arab States are going to stand by watching their brethren get slaughtered by the hour while the world’s bullying Superpower eyes them threateningly from Washington lest they say something a little to their disliking; then let us at least tell the truth why this hell on earth is taking place.

The state terror unleashed from the skies and on the ground against the Gaza Strip as we speak has nothing to do with Hamas. It has nothing to do with “Terror”. It has nothing to do with the long-term “security” of the Jewish State or with Hizbullah or Syria or Iran except insofar as it is aggravating the conditions that have led up to this crisis today. It has nothing to do with some conjured-up “war” – a cynical and overused euphemism that amounts to little more the wholesale enslavement of any nation that dares claim its sovereign rights; that dares assert that its resources are its own; that doesn’t want one of the Empire’s obscene military bases sitting on its cherished land.

This crisis has nothing to do with freedom, democracy, justice or peace. It is not about Mahmoud Zahhar or Khalid Mash’al or Ismail Haniyeh. It is not about Hassan Nasrallah or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. These are all circumstantial players who have gained a role in the current tempest only now that the situation has been allowed for 61 years to develop into the catastrophe that it is today. The Islamist factor has colored and will continue to color the atmosphere of the crisis; it has enlisted the current leaders and mobilized wide sectors of the world’s population. The primary symbols today are Islamic – the mosques, the Qur’an, the references to the Prophet Muhammad and to Jihad. But these symbols could disappear and the impasse would continue.

There was a time when Fatah and the PFLP held the day; when few Palestinians wanted anything to do with Islamist policies and politics. Such politics have nothing to do with primitive rockets being fired over the border, or smuggling tunnels and black-market weapons; just as Arafat’s Fatah had little to do with stones and suicide bombings. The associations are coincidental; the creations of a given political environment. They are the result of something entirely different than what the lying politicians and their analysts are telling you. They have become part of the landscape of human events in the modern Middle East today; but incidentals wholly as lethal, or as recalcitrant, deadly, angry or incorrigible could just as soon have been in their places.

Strip away the clichés and the vacuous newspeak blaring out across the servile media and its pathetic corps of voluntary state servants in the Western world and what you will find is the naked desire for hegemony; for power over the weak and dominion over the world’s wealth. Worse yet you will find that the selfishness, the hatred and indifference, the racism and bigotry, the egotism and hedonism that we try so hard to cover up with our sophisticated jargon, our refined academic theories and models actually help to guide our basest and ugliest desires. The callousness with which we in indulge in them all are endemic to our very culture; thriving here like flies on a corpse.

Strip away the current symbols and language of the victims of our selfish and devastating whims and you will find the simple, impassioned and unaffected cries of the downtrodden; of the ‘wretched of the earth’ begging you to cease your cold aggression against their children and their homes; their families and their villages; begging you to leave them alone to have their fish and their bread, their oranges, their olives and their thyme; asking you first politely and then with increasing disbelief why you cannot let them live undisturbed on the land of their ancestors; unexploited, free of the fear of expulsion; of ravishment and devastation; free of permits and roadblocks and checkpoints and crossings; of monstrous concrete walls, guard towers, concrete bunkers, and barbed wire; of tanks and prisons and torture and death. Why is life without these policies and instruments of hell impossible?

The answer is because Israel has no intention of allowing a viable, sovereign Palestinian state on its borders. It had no intention of allowing it in 1948 when it grabbed 24 per cent more land than what it was allotted legally, if unfairly, by UN Resolution 181. It had no intention of allowing it throughout the massacres and ploys of the 1950s. It had no intention of allowing two states when it conquered the remaining 22 per cent of historic Palestine in 1967 and reinterpreted UN Security Council Resolution 248 to its own liking despite the overwhelming international consensus stating that Israel would receive full international recognition within secure and recognized borders if it withdrew from the lands it had only recently occupied.

It had no intention of acknowledging Palestinian national rights at the United Nations in 1974, when –alone with the United States—it voted against a two-state solution. It had no intention of allowing a comprehensive peace settlement when Egypt stood ready to deliver but received, and obediently accepted, a separate peace exclusive of the rights of Palestinians and the remaining peoples of the region. It had no intention of working toward a just two-state solution in 1978 or 1982 when it invaded, fire-bombed, blasted and bulldozed Beirut so that it might annex the West Bank without hassle. It had no intention of granting a Palestinian state in 1987 when the first Intifada spread across occupied Palestine, into the Diaspora and the into the spirits of the global dispossessed, or when Israel deliberately aided the newly formed Hamas movement so that it might undermine the strength of the more secular-nationalist factions.

Israel had no intention of granting a Palestinian state at Madrid or at Oslo where the PLO was superseded by the quivering, quisling Palestinian Authority, too many of whose cronies grasped at the wealth and prestige it gave them at the expense of their own kin. As Israel beamed into the world’s satellites and microphones its desire for peace and a two-state solution, it more than doubled the number of illegal Jewish settlements on the ground in the West Bank and around East Jerusalem, annexing them as it built and continues to build a superstructure of bypass roads and highways over the remaining, severed cities and villages of earthly Palestine. It has annexed the Jordan valley, the international border of Jordan, expelling any ‘locals’ inhabiting that land. It speaks with a viper’s tongue over the multiple amputee of Palestine whose head shall soon be severed from its body in the name of justice, peace and security.

Through the home demolitions, the assaults on civil society that attempted to cast Palestinian history and culture into a chasm of oblivion; through the unspeakable destruction of the refugee camp sieges and infrastructure bombardments of the second Intifada, through assassinations and summary executions, past the grandiose farce of disengagement and up to the nullification of free, fair and democratic Palestinian elections Israel has made its view known again and again in the strongest possible language, the language of military might, of threats, intimidation, harassment, defamation and degradation.

Israel, with the unconditional and approving support of the United States, has made it dramatically clear to the entire world over and over and over again, repeating in action after action that it will accept no viable Palestinian state next to its borders. What will it take for the rest of us to hear? What will it take to end the criminal silence of the ‘international community’? What will it take to see past the lies and indoctrination to what is taking place before us day after day in full view of the eyes of the world? The more horrific the actions on the ground, the more insistent are the words of peace. To listen and watch without hearing or seeing allows the indifference, the ignorance and complicity to continue and deepens with each grave our collective shame.

The destruction of Gaza has nothing to do with Hamas. Israel will accept no authority in the Palestinian territories that it does not ultimately control. Any individual, leader, faction or movement that fails to accede to Israel’s demands or that seeks genuine sovereignty and the equality of all nations in the region; any government or popular movement that demands the applicability of international humanitarian law and of the universal declaration of human rights for its own people will be unacceptable for the Jewish State. Those dreaming of one state must be forced to ask themselves what Israel would do to a population of 4 million Palestinians within its borders when it commits on a daily, if not hourly basis, crimes against their collective humanity while they live alongside its borders? What will suddenly make the raison d’etre, the self-proclaimed purpose of Israel’s reason for being change if the Palestinian territories are annexed to it outright?

The lifeblood of the Palestinian National Movement flows through the streets of Gaza today. Every drop that falls waters the soil of vengeance, bitterness and hatred not only in Palestine but across the Middle East and much of the world. We do have a choice over whether or not this should continue. Now is the time to make it.

Jennifer Loewenstein is the Associate Director of the Middle East Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She can be reached at

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Post by TonyGosling »

Palestine and Israel: Mapping an annexation ... 24100.html

What will the maps of Palestine and Israel look like if Israel illegally annexes the Jordan Valley on July 1?
Mohammed Haddad | 26 Jun 2020 14:40 GMT | Palestine, Infographic, Middle East, Israel, Gaza

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The current map of Palestine is often described as resembling "Swiss cheese". Over the past century it has been carved up, walled-in and filled with hundreds of illegal Israeli settlements and military checkpoints.

Now, in the latest round of Israel's ongoing occupation and policy of land-grabs this map could become even more disjointed. On July 1, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to announce Israel's annexation of the Jordan Valley and northern Dead Sea.

Annexation is a term used when a state unilaterally incorporates another territory within its borders. Annexing the Jordan Valley would mean that Israel would officially consider it part of the state of Israel.

"International law is very clear: annexation and territorial conquest are forbidden by the Charter of the United Nations," said Michael Lynk, the UN independent expert on human rights in the Palestinian territories.

To understand what annexation will look like on the ground and how we got here, Al Jazeera has compiled a collection of historic and present-day maps for you to explore.

Click on any of the links to jump straight to that section:

Historic maps:
1917 - Pre-British Mandate Palestine
1918-1947 - Jewish immigration from Europe
Chart: 1920-1946 - Jewish immigration to Palestine
1947 - Proposed UN Partition Plan (Resolution 181)
1948 - Palestinians expelled
1967 - Israel occupies Gaza and the West Bank
1993 & 1995 Oslo Accords
Present-day maps:
How big are Palestine and Israel?
Occupied Palestinian territories
Israeli settlements
Chart: Israeli settler growth
Separation wall
Israeli checkpoints
Palestinian refugee camps
Israel's history of annexations
Jerusalem, the divided city
The Old City of Jerusalem
Al-Aqsa Mosque
Occupied Golan Heights
Jordan Valley
Israel's annexation of the Jordan Valley
Trump's conceptual map
Jordan Valley annexation: Trump vs Netanyahu
Blockade of the Gaza Strip
Where are the Palestinians today?
Where are the Jews today?
International recognition
Historic maps:
1. 1917 - Pre-British Mandate Palestine
During World War I, Britain made several conflicting agreements to gain the support of various groups in the Middle East. Most notably was the Balfour Declaration - a public pledge promising the "establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people".

On October 31, 1917, British forces conquered Palestine from the Ottoman-Turks, ending 1,400 years of Islamic rule over the region. In 1920, it began its 28-year rule over British Mandate Palestine.

Before the British Mandate in Palestine, Jews made up around six percent of the total population.

Palestine British Mandate
2. 1918-1947 - Jewish immigration from Europe
The British Mandate facilitated Jewish immigration from Europe to Palestine in the 1920s and 1930s. The Jewish population in Palestine increased from 6 percent (1918) to 33 percent (1947).

Jewish immigration into Palestine
3. 1920-1946 - Jewish immigration to Palestine
A total of 376,415 Jewish immigrants, mostly from Europe, arrived in Palestine between 1920 and 1946 according to British records. At its peak in 1935, 61,854 Jews immigrated to Palestine. A detailed breakdown of these records is available here - Stanford BJPA (Page 185) and here - Atlas of Palestine (Page 21).

Jewish immigration into Palestine

This 1935 animated map produced by March of Time shows where many of Germany's Jews fled to following the rise of Hitler's Nazi party / Getty Images.
4. 1947 - Proposed UN Partition Plan
Following the end of WWII, the newly formed United Nations proposed a plan that would grant 55 percent of historic Palestine to a Jewish state and 45 percent to a non-contiguous Arab one. Jerusalem would remain under international control.

Palestinians rejected the proposal because it stripped away much of the land that was under their control. At the time, they owned 94 percent of historic Palestine and comprised 67 percent of the population. This plan was never implemented on the ground.

UN partition plan of 1947
5. 1948 - Palestinians expelled
On May 14, 1948, the British Mandate expired triggering the first Arab-Israeli war. Zionist military forces expelled at least 750,000 Palestinians and captured 78 percent of historic Palestine. The remaining 22 percent was divided into the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The fighting continued until January 1949 when an armistice agreement between Israel and Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria was forged. The 1949 Armistice Line is also known as the Green Line and is the generally recognised boundary between Israel and the West Bank. The Green Line is also referred to as the (pre-) 1967 borders, before Israel occupied the remaining Palestinian territories during the June 1967 war.

1948 Nakba map
1948 Nakba
Palestinians, carrying possessions on their heads, flee from an village in Galilee (1948) / Getty Images.
6. 1967 - Israel occupies Gaza and the West Bank
During the June 1967 War, Israel occupied all of historic Palestine and expelled a further 300,000 Palestinians from their homes. Israel also captured the Syrian Golan Heights in the north and the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula in the south. In 1978, Egypt and Israel signed a peace treaty which led to Israel withdrawing from the Egypian territory.

1967 Naksa map
7. 1993 & 1995 Oslo Accords
The Oslo Accords represented the first direct Palestinian-Israeli peace agreement. This led to the formation of the Palestinian Authority (PA) - an administrative body that would govern Palestinian internal security, administration and civilian affairs in areas of self-rule, for a five-year interim period.

On the ground, the occupied West Bank was divided into three areas - A, B and C.

Area A initially comprised three percent of the West Bank and grew to 18 percent by 1999. In Area A, the PA controls most affairs.

Area B represents about 22 percent of the West Bank. In both areas, while the PA is in charge of education, health and the economy, the Israelis have full control of external security, meaning they retain the right to enter at any time.

Area C represents 60 percent of the West Bank. Under the Oslo Accords, control of this area was supposed to be handed over to the PA. Instead, Israel retains total control over all matters, including security, planning and construction. The transfer of control to the PA has never happened.

1995 Oslo Map
Present-day maps
8. How big are Palestine and Israel?
Combined, the areas of Palestine and Israel make up 26,790 km2. That is about the size of the US state of Hawaii (28,313 km2), the Caribbean island of Haiti (27,750 km2) or Albania in Europe (28,748 km2).

On the Palestinian side, the occupied territories which include Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem have a surface area of 6020 km2

Israel has a surface area of 20,770 km2 based on the internationally recognised Green Line boundaries.

How big is Palestine and Israel
9. Occupied Palestinian territories
The occupied Palestinian territories have been under Israeli military control since 1967. This makes it the longest occupation in modern history. The segmented territories include Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The Gaza Strip is a small coastal area bordering Egypt to the south. This region is home to two million Palestinians.

The West Bank is the kidney bean-shaped area to the east. It lies west of the banks of the Jordan River from where it gets its name. East Jerusalem is located on the Palestinian side of the 1949 Green Line. Three million Palestinians live in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Occupied Palestinian Territories
10. Israeli settlements
Israeli settlements are Jewish communities built on Palestinian land. There are between 600,000 - 750,000 Israeli settlers living in at least 250 settlements (130 official , 120 unofficial) in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Israeli settlements are illegal under international law as they violate the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits an occupying power from transferring its population to the area it occupies.

In 2019, under the presidency of Donald Trump, the US declared that Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land were "not necessarily illegal", a dramatic break from decades of US policy.

Israeli settlements
Israeli settlements
11. Israeli settler growth
The population of Israeli settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem is growing at a faster rate than the population of Israel. Roughly 10 percent of Israel's 6.8 million Jewish population lives in these occupied Palestinian territories.

Despite being outside of Israel proper, these settlers are granted Israeli citizenship and receive government subsidies that significantly lower their cost of living.

As of 2020, there were 463,535 recorded settlers living in the West Bank and 220,200 in East Jerusalem.

Israeli settlers chart
12. Separation wall
Since 2002, Israel has been constructing a wall that stretches for more than 700 kilometres.

Israel says that the wall is for security purposes. However, rather than following the internationally-recognised 1967 boundary, known as the Green Line, 85 percent of the wall falls within the West Bank.

This severely limits the freedom of movement for Palestinians.

Israel separation wall

A section of Israel's separation wall in occupied East Jerusalem (2019) Al Jazeera. See more videos in this interactive project: Divided Jerusalem.
13. Israeli checkpoints
There are more than 700 road obstacles across the West Bank including 140 checkpoints. These checkpoints further limit Palestinian movement. About 70,000 Palestinians with Israeli work permits cross these checkpoints in their daily commute.

Israeli Checkpoints
Israeli Checkpoints
Checkpoint 300 blocks the road between Bethlehem and Jerusalem (ActiveStills / Al Jazeera). See more photos of Israel's military checkpoints.
14. Palestinian refugee camps
There are 1.5 million Palestinian refugees living in 58 official UN camps located throughout Palestine and neighbouring countries. In total, there are more than five million registered Palestinian refugees mostly living outside of these camps. The plight of Palestinian refugees is the longest, unresolved refugee problem in the world.

Palestinian refugee camps
15. Israel's history of annexation
Israel has unilaterally annexed two territories in the past.

East Jerusalem (1980)

Israel occupied East Jerusalem at the end of the 1967 War. In 1980, it passed a law making its annexation of East Jerusalem explicit.

Golan Heights (1981)

Israel unilaterally annexed the Syrian Golan Heights in 1981.

Israel uses the term "applying Israeli sovereignty" over areas it has annexed. Annexation and territorial conquest are illegal under international law. In 2019 The US recognised Israel's annexation of the Golan heights. It is the only country around the world to do so.

Israel history of annexations
Annexation of East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights
16. Jerusalem - the divided city
According to the international standards, Jerusalem is a divided city. West Jerusalem has been Israeli territory since 1948, and Jews are in the majority. East Jerusalem has a Palestinian majority and was occupied by Israel in 1967. Since its annexation in 1980, Israel has considered the entire city of Jerusalem a part of its territory. This is not internationally recognised. For this reason, Israeli maps do not show East Jerusalem being a part of the occupied West Bank.

Jerusalem the divided city
17. The Old City of Jerusalem
The Old City, located in East Jerusalem, is home to some of the holiest sites in Islam, Judaism and Christianity. In 1981, it was designated a World Heritage site by the United Nations.

The area, which is smaller than one-square kilometre (0.6 miles), is home to the Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound, the Western Wall, St James Cathedral and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre among others.

Old City of Jerusalem
18. Al-Aqsa Mosque
Al-Aqsa mosque is the entire compound containing al-Qibli Mosque (grey dome) and the Dome of the Rock (golden dome).

The compound is known to Muslims as al-Haram al-Sharif and to Jews as Temple Mount. The compound is similar in size to 20 football fields.

Al Aqsa mosque compound

Inside al-Aqsa: A 360° tour of Jerusalem's holiest mosque (2017), Al Jazeera.
19. Occupied Golan Heights
In 1967, Israel captured 70 percent of the Syrian Golan Heights and has occupied it ever since. In 1974, a UN observer force was created to maintain a ceasefire between Israel and Syria. In 1981, Israel unilaterally annexed the territory.

In 2019, the US became the only country to recognise Israel's annexation of the land.

Syrian Golan heights
20. Jordan Valley
The Jordan Valley makes up 30 percent of the West Bank and constitutes half of its agricultural land.

The 105km fertile strip of land connects the West Bank with Jordan. The Jordan Valley is the lowest point on Earth. It includes the Dead Sea, which is 790 metres below sea level.

The valley is home to 65,000 Palestinians and 11,000 illegal Israeli settlers.

Jordan Valley map

The Jordan Valley drone shot (2014). See more drone footage on Palestine Remix.
21. Israel's annexation of the Jordan Valley
Netanyahu's July 1 expected annexation of the Jordan Valley is significant for a number of reasons:

1. Would completely surround the Palestinians

The West Bank's only international border is with Jordan. If Israel annexes the Jordan Valley the entire West Bank would be completely surrounded by Israel. For Palestinians there cannot be a Palestinian state without the Jordan Valley.

2. Cuts off water and agricultural resources

Israeli settlers in the Jordan Valley receive 18 times more water on average than Palestinian residents in the West Bank. Most Palestinian farmers are not connected to the water grid and have to rely on buying water from tankers. Annexation would mean that Palestinians would be physically cut off from the Jordan River.

3. Speeds up the construction of settlements

Currently, any new zoning or building in the West Bank requires the approval of Israel's defence minister and prime minister. This can take months or years. Following annexation, Israel would consider the Jordan Valley part of its territory and so any construction would become a local matter.

According to a map presented by Netanyahu in 2019, the areas to be annexed would comprise 95 percent of the Jordan Valley which makes up at least 22 percent of the West Bank.

Jordan Valley Annexation Map
22. Trump's conceptual map
On January 28, 2020, US President Donald Trump formally announced his Middle East Plan to resolve the seven-decade Israeli–Palestinian conflict. He hailed it as "the deal of the century".

As part of the plan, he presented a conceptual map that would allow Israel to annex huge parts of the occupied West Bank and give Palestinians control of only 15 percent of historical Palestine.

Trump 2020 map

23. Jordan Valley annexation: Trump vs Netanyahu
According to Israeli settlement watchdog Peace Now, the area that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is planning to seize from the Jordan Valley is larger than the area presented in Trump's 2020 plan.

Based on their calculations, Israel would seize around 1236km2 of land from the Jordan Valley. According to Trump's conceptual map presented in January, 2020, Israel was to to annex a smaller part of the Jordan Valley, around 964km2.

Trump vs Netanyahu
24. Blockade of the Gaza Strip
The Gaza Strip has been under an Israeli sea and air blockade since 2007. Since 2008, Israel has waged three wars on the Palestinian territory, killing thousands of people, mostly civilians.

In 1948, the Gaza Strip had a population of less than 100,000 people. Today it is home to two million, 64 percent of whom are refugees.

Gaza Strip blockade

One of the largest neighbourhoods in Gaza City, Shujayeh (2014). See more drone footage on Palestine Remix.
25. Where are the Palestinians today?
There are about 13 million Palestinians today, according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics. Around half of the Palestinian population lives in historic Palestine which includes three million in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, two million in Gaza and 1.9 million Palestinian citizens of Israel. A further 5.6 million Palestinians live in Arab countries with the remaining 700,000 living in other countries around the world.

Map: Where are the Palestinians living today
26. Where are the Jews today?
According to Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics there are about 14.7 million Jews around the world today. Of these, 6.7 million live in Israel, 5.7 million in the US, 450,000 in France, 329,000 in Canada, 292,000 in the UK, 180,000 in Argentina and 165,000 in Russia.

Map: Where are the Jews living today?
27. International recognition
The United Nations has 193 member states. Of those, 162 (84 percent) recognise Israel and 138 (72 percent) recognise the State of Palestine.

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Source: Al Jazeera

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Post by Whitehall_Bin_Men »

Disabled man in wheelchair attacked by racist Israeli soldiers
'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
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Post by TonyGosling »

Over the past week, Israeli forces and armed settlers have attacked Palestinians who are refusing to be forcibly uprooted from their homes, stormed the Al-Aqsa mosque during Ramadan prayers, and beaten and arrested people indiscriminately – includiing Maryam Al-Afifi, a young Palestinian woman who is a member of the Palestinian Youth Orchestra. And in response to crude rocket fire from the Gaza Strip protesting the treatment of their fellow Palestinians, Israel has launched bombs into Gaza and killed at least 20 people. 9 of them were children.

The mainstream media is talking about the events in Jerusalem as “clashesâ€� between two sides, but this misrepresents what is happening: an attempt by the Israeli state to push indigenous people out of their homes, from land that is already recognised by the UN and the international community as belonging to Palestinians. This is a war crime under international law, and part of Israel’s broader efforts to entrench a system of rule intended to oppress Palestinians – in other words, apartheid.

We also know that this is part of a broader policy to take over Palestinian land. Israel publicly stated its plans for Jerusalem in its 2020 Master Plan: to ensure “a solid Jewish majorityâ€� by pushing Palestinians out of their homes and into the street. This is part of an ongoing deliberate and systematic attempt that has been taking place for decades to displace Palestinians from their land – in other words, ethnic cleansing.

As supporters of freedom, justice and equality for Palestinians, our job is to ensure that the reality on the ground is accurately portrayed, and that people have the context and facts they need to understand what is happening and to know how to talk about it.

To learn more about what’s happening in Sheikh Jarrah and Jerusalem and how to talk about it, check out and share these resources:

Middle East Eye – Israel-Palestine: A Glossary of Problematic Media Language
Al Jazeera - Ines Abdel Razek on reframing the narrative
Makan – What’s Happening in Jerusalem?
Middle East Eye – Sheikh Jarrah: Israeli Eviction Push Explained
IMEU –“ What is Happening in Sheikh Jarrah?
Visualizing Palestine – Jerusalem: A City For All?

To take action in support of Sheikh Jarrah, you can sign this petition from the Palestinian Institute for Public Diplomacy (PIPD) to stop the expulsion of Palestinian families from Sheikh Jarrah.

To get direct updates from the Palestinian community in Sheikh Jarrah, follow Mohammed El-Kurd on social media, and listen to him speak on CNN about the forced displacement of his own family.
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Post by TonyGosling »

Israel is Deliberately Obliterating Media Buildings in Gaza to Cover up The War Crimes That Will Follow ... ill-Follow

Eva Bartlett
Sat, 15 May 2021 13:27 UTC
Gaza israel airstrike

Israel 'surgically removing terrorists from Gaza'.
The destruction of two important Gaza buildings housing 20 media outlets was both shocking and predictable. History shows that if the media aren't around to document Israel's war crimes, it's a lot easier for it to commit them.

On Tuesday, Israel bombed the 10-storey Al-Jawhara Tower, causing it to collapse. Before doing so, it had 'benevolently' warned that the airstrikes were coming. The following day, it bombed the 14-storey Al-Shorouk Tower, also giving warning it was going to do so.

Most reports have the buildings as evacuated before being levelled. But without these media offices, reporting on Israel's other war crimes will be left largely to what little media remain and citizen journalists.

The buildings were significant. A statement by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) noted the Al-Jawhara building housed the offices of 13 media institutions and NGOs. And an advisory by the Committee to Protect Journalists noted that the Al-Shorouk building housed at least seven media outlets.

A further statement by the same committee said that the Israeli military had defended its bombing of the building via email, bizarrely claiming it had "acted within international law," alleging the Al-Jawhara building housed Hamas' intelligence and military offices, and saying the Al-Shorouk building was a base for Hamas' military intelligence offices and "infrastructure to communicate tactical-military information."

Just minutes after the Al-Shorouk building was destroyed, I spoke by phone with Shadi Ali, a producer who had worked there for ten years and was understandably devastated at what had happened. He told me of previous occasions when Israel had bombed the building, in 2009, 2012, and 2014.

"I was there in 2012. My office was on the 14th floor when it was hit at 6am. I was sleeping; I had only slept for one-and-a-half hours when it was hit by two missiles on the top floor," he told me. "When it was bombed in 2014, we had taken precautions and left it already. They struck the 15th floor, destroying it completely. Our floor became the top floor after that."

The building was on a main Gaza street, Omar Mukhtar, surrounded by residential apartment buildings. I asked whether he knew if there had been casualties this time. He replied, "We're waiting, because often they'll strike again soon after, knowing that people have come to search for casualties."

I've witnessed this tactic with my own eyes. In January 2009, while I was accompanying Palestinian Red Crescent medics, one of the bodies the medics retrieved was that of a Kiffah Lum Towwak, 35, killed by an Israeli missile strike in her backyard in Jabaliya, just minutes after a strike which killed a family member living in the same house.

The same month, I was inside the now-destroyed Al-Shorouk building, having just finished an interview with RT about what I'd seen while riding in ambulances in the extremely dangerous areas of Gaza's north. Shortly after concluding the interview, Israel shelled the building at least seven times. Thankfully, the tank shelling didn't destroy the building, and we were able to run down the stairs to "safety" (although in reality nowhere was safe).

The Al-Shorouk building was again bombed a week after this. Reporters Without Borders and the Committee to Protect Journalists condemned the bombing and noted that the Israeli military had contacted Reuters (which had an office inside) "minutes before the attack to confirm the location of its Gaza office," and had explained it would not be targeted.

In November 2012, I reported from a hospital in Deir al-Balah, central Gaza, after Israeli attacks, and documented the destruction of bridges and other infrastructure as well as visiting the media buildings which had been targeted. I wrote at the time, "At least three Palestinian journalists were killed in the November 2012 Israeli attacks on Gaza, and at least 12 reported injured. The Sharook building suffered damage on its upper floors from a number of bombings including drone and possibly Apache helicopter missiles. The building housing Aqsa TV and various other media offices likewise suffered major damage on its upper floors."

The CPJ reported, "A series of airstrikes beginning early Sunday and continuing today targeted two buildings, Al-Shawa and Housari Tower and Al-Shuruq Tower, which are well-known for housing numerous international and local news organizations, news reports said. At least seven journalists were injured in the first attack. Khader al-Zahhar, a cameraman for Al-Quds TV, lost his right leg."

Having journalists on the ground in a place like this is critical. In previous wars on Gaza, Israel has committed a litany of war crimes, including in 2009 targeting with a flechette bomb and killing a uniformed Palestinian medic as he worked to save injured civilians; firing more dart bombs on mourners the following day, killing six, including a pregnant woman; targeting with sniper fire two medics I was with, during ceasefire hours; assassinating children and infants; drone-striking a 14-year-old during ceasefire hours; raining white phosphorous down heavily on civilian areas throughout Gaza; bombing a school sheltering the displaced; bombing hospitals and repeatedly shelling a home Israeli soldiers had forced 60 members of an extended family into, killing 26, including 10 children and seven women.

And that was only in 2009. In 2012 and 2014, Israel again committed more unspeakable crimes of war, destroying entire neighbourhoods and massacring the residents, shelling children on a beach, and drone-striking a teen hours before ceasefire, among many others.

And now, after a few days of Israeli bombardment, horrific reports are emanating from Gaza, including accounts of Palestinians killed by what is believed to be toxic gas, and Israeli precision bombings killing entire families. As of May 14, Gaza's health ministry reports at least 119 killed, including 31 children.

Meanwhile, across occupied Palestine, Israelis are calling for Palestinians' deaths, with a rabbi allegedly saying, "I call on you to kill all Arabs!" and others using Facebook and Telegram to organize attack mobs. And it was recently reported, "Israel's defense minister Benny Gantz threatened more destruction than he ordered in Gaza in 2014. At that time, he was Israel's chief of staff commanding the 51-day assault that killed more than 2,200 Palestinians, including 551 children."

Also reported is an Israeli MP's call for the Israeli army to "flatten the Strip." That is nothing new. As I wrote in 2014, "During the eight days of slaughter, Israeli figures called to 'blow Gaza back to the Middle Ages, destroying all the infrastructure including roads and water,' and to 'Flatten all of Gaza. There should be no electricity in Gaza, no gasoline or moving vehicles, nothing,' said the deputy Israeli Prime Minister Eli Yishai and Gilad Sharon respectively."

Israel's bombing spree of media targets has been rightly condemned. The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate stated that, "the targeting of media headquarters in the brutal bombardment of Gaza is part of the full-fledged war crimes committed by the Israeli occupation authorities against the Palestinian people," and called for the United Nations and the Red Cross "to provide urgent protection to journalists and the media, and to activate Security Council resolution 2222 (which includes the protection of journalists) and oblige the occupation to fulfil [sic] this."

The CPJ stated, "It is utterly unacceptable for Israel to bomb and destroy the offices of media outlets and endanger the lives of journalists, especially since Israeli authorities know where those media outlets are housed." And the International Federation of Journalists said, "The international community cannot turn a blind eye to the systematic violations of human rights and the deliberate targeting of media and journalists. Urgent actions must be taken to hold those responsible for these crimes internationally accountable".

However, while journalist protection committees have condemned the recent Israeli bombings of media buildings in Gaza, Western corporate media generally haven't. Imagine, though, if this was taking place in Syria: if Syrian or Russian planes premeditatedly bombed and levelled media buildings there. That would be front page news for days, if not weeks.

I would go back to Gaza to report on this horror if I could enter, but that's impossible: Israel would not let me in, and is not allowing journalists in in general.

In December 2008, RWB reported, Israel declared the Gaza Strip a "closed military zone" and denied access to journalists working for international media. And now, as Shadi Ali told me the other day, Israel knows there are not many foreigners in Gaza to report what is going on. There is a media blockade, on top of the brutal siege of Gaza and Israel's bombardment.

"Israel will commit so many crimes in Gaza, while foreign media are not present," Ali predicted. And he's right. As Israel threatens to invade by land, the protection of media buildings and journalists becomes all the more important, because Israel will commit more war crimes. They've already pledged to make Gaza burn.
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Post by TonyGosling »

UK spends millions training security forces to control Palestinians in West Bank and Lebanon
By Matt Kennard, Mark Curtis and Phil Miller• 20 May 2021 ... d-lebanon/

Palestinian Authority police undergo riot training. (Photo: Abid Katib / Getty Images) Less

British aid projects supporting Palestinian security forces appear to be as much about helping to stop threats to Israel, the occupying power, as they are about enhancing Palestinian state-building.
Matt Kennard, Mark Curtis and Phil Miller
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Declassified reveals the UK has seven army and air force personnel in the West Bank, training Palestinian security forces
Palestinian protesters face British-trained security units in the West Bank, Jordan and Lebanon
Lebanese authorities receive UK-funded training to prevent ‘flash points’ among ‘volatile communities’ in Palestinian refugee camps
Jordanian riot police squad at last week’s West Bank border protest was UK-trained
The UK is running a multimillion-pound aid project in the Israeli-occupied West Bank to develop “more capable” Palestinian security forces who can prevent the “potential overspill of violence into Israel”.

The project, which is managed jointly by the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and the Foreign Office and lasts until 2022, aims to “deal with threats to Israel originating in the West Bank”.

It also intends to build the capacity of Palestinian security forces to promote “security cooperation with Israel”.

The project — the Capability, Accountability, Sustainability and Inclusivity Programme — provides support to the internal security forces of the Palestinian Authority (PA), the interim government in the West Bank which was created in 1994 as part of the Oslo Accords. It cost £3.3-million last year.

While the PA is seen as legitimate by some Palestinians, it is criticised by many for acting as a security subcontractor for the Israeli occupation. Mahmoud Abbas, the leader of the PA since 2005, previously said collaboration with Israeli security forces is “sacred”.

The PA’s security forces have often tried to block demonstrations at Israeli checkpoints or settlements in the West Bank, and have cracked down on Abbas’ political rivals — in the past with guidance from British intelligence agency MI6.

Palestinian special police fire tear gas in Ramallah at a pro-Gaza protest during Ramadan in 2018. (Photo: Shadi Hatem / EPA-EFE)
Last Friday, The Times of Israel wrote that despite planned evictions of Palestinians in Jerusalem and Israeli military action in Gaza, “The West Bank has yet to see a full-scale uprising. Part of this is due to Israeli and Palestinian Authority cooperation, as both sides are working closely to keep the situation under control.”

When hundreds of demonstrators gathered in West Bank cities last week, PA security forces were seen attempting to disperse protesters in Jenin.

Britain’s project, which is funded from its official aid programme, aims to improve the PA’s image amongst Palestinians by tackling “perceptions of corruption” and bolstering its “legitimacy and ability to govern”.

The project has enabled PA security forces to learn “skills required to deliver and oversee delivery of security services”, as well as facilitated their “capability to develop, manage and deliver training for security sector personnel”.

It has also promoted “effective coordination” between PA security forces and the “local community”. The UK says it wants “a more capable, accountable, sustainable and inclusive PA security sector”.

However, Human Rights Watch has called on the international community to suspend its support for certain PA security units, which it repeatedly accuses of detaining journalists and torturing activists.

The British programme is funded through the £1.3-billion cross-government Conflict, Security and Stability Fund (CSSF), which a parliamentary committee has compared to a “slush fund” for financing projects that do not “meet the needs of UK national security”.

A funding breakdown of the programme shows the MOD received £2.3-million in 2017-18 for the “British Support Team” based in Ramallah in the West Bank, through which the training of Palestinian forces is organised.

A freedom of information request by Declassified found the team consists of seven British military personnel drawn from the army and air force and is led by a brigadier.

A freedom of information response from the UK Ministry of Defence details its deployment to Ramallah, together with job titles and ranks. (Photo: Declassified UK)
‘Consequences for stability’

A related British aid project which involves £138-million in spending, focuses on improving the PA’s capacity to “help reduce the potential for extremist groups to capitalise on a security and/or service delivery vacuum”.

The UK government notes that “improving government services are an important factor in countering the rhetoric of extremist elements who accuse the PA of poor performance and service delivery”.

It adds: “Much of Hamas’ political support was built on its provision of health care and social welfare to Palestinians”.

Hamas, the main opposition group to Israel in Gaza, has run the territory since winning elections in 2006 before expelling rival political factions in a near civil war. Its military wing has been proscribed as a terrorist organisation by the UK government and its police are alleged to have tortured people in custody.

The UK project documents warned of a “significant decline in the PA’s authority and capability” if its aid programme did not go ahead. This “would have serious consequences for stability”, it added.

The British projects are all based on the government’s declared support for a “two-state solution” that would see a Palestinian state alongside Israel.

“The UK supports Palestinian security sector reform because a capable PASF [Palestinian Authority Security Forces] is a pre-requisite for a two state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict”, programme literature notes.

However, increasing Israeli settlement building in the West Bank has made a Palestinian state increasingly unlikely. Many analysts argue the two-state “solution” has long been unviable.

British support for Palestinian security forces has been in place for at least 17 years and, according to one document, also aims to “address causes of the conflict to reduce potential security threats to the UK”.

‘Volatile communities’

Another potential challenge to the Israeli occupation comes from Palestinian refugees in Jordan crossing the West Bank border to return to their land, as hundreds attempted last Friday.

Jordanian police responded with tear gas and firing into the air. Photos from the demonstration show Jordan’s Gendarmerie (or Darak in Arabic) was deployed to quell the protest. From 2016-20, the Darak received UK-funded training on intelligence and “protection of critical infrastructure” through another CSSF scheme worth around £5-millon a year.

Armoured vehicles for the Darak have been manufactured in Jordan through a joint venture with Jankel, a British arms company based in Surrey. Some of the same vehicles have been supplied to PA security forces.

Jordan’s Darak prevent pro-Palestine protesters from crossing the border into the West Bank on 14 May 2021. (Photo: Mohammad Ali / EPA-EFE)
The UK is also spending at least £18.5-million on “security” and “stability” programmes in Lebanon in part to instil “responsibility amongst those living within the Palestinian camps” which are described as “volatile communities”.

Close to 300,000 Palestinian refugees live in Lebanon, many in dire poverty.

The “security programme” in Lebanon, again run by the MOD and Foreign Office, has the stated aim of delivering “internal and external security”. It promotes this by “equipping, training and mentoring” the Lebanese armed forces while improving the “service” provided by the Internal Security Forces (ISF), a militarised police unit.

One project focuses on “the prevention of violence and violent extremism in flash point areas (including Palestinian camps)” and “increasing resilience of volatile communities (including Palestinians refugees)”.

Some of the “community policing” training for the Lebanese security forces has been delivered by Northern Ireland Co-operation Overseas (NI-CO), a state-owned company with access to officers from the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

UK ambassador to Lebanon Hugh Shorter meets the commander of Beirut police at the Internal Security Forces headquarters in 2016. (Photo: Twitter)
Since this training, Human Rights Watch has repeatedly accused the ISF of using excessive force against anti-austerity protesters in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, most recently last August when more than 700 people were injured by live ammunition and birdshot.

The Lebanese political and military group Hezbollah is popular among the Palestinian refugee population of the country, and Western funding for Lebanese security forces is partly intended to counter Hezbollah’s influence.

In the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Islamist group was widely seen as the victor. Hezbollah was in 2019 added to the UK government’s list of proscribed terrorist groups.

The UK programme literature notes that “the threat from terrorist groups has evolved and increasingly comes from within Lebanese vulnerable communities, including Palestinian refugee camps”.

In a separate project running from 2016-19, the UK Foreign Office spent £3.6-million annually to address tensions between the Palestinian and Lebanese communities in the country. The aim was “increased social cohesion, participation and responsibility amongst those living within the Palestinian camps”.

One project focused on Palestinian youth sought to “enhance social stability in Palestinian camps and gatherings [in Lebanon]” through coaching and mentoring, while engaging “religious leaders in conflict resolution activities”.

It was “targeted” at at-risk youth and aimed at “reducing the appeal of violent extremist organisations.” It sought to ensure “youth in Palestinian camps in Lebanon… shift their mentality from interest or involvement in violent extremism towards becoming a constructive force”. DM

Matt Kennard is head of Investigations, Mark Curtis is editor and Phil Miller is staff reporter, at Declassified UK, an investigative journalism organisation that covers the UK’s role in the world.

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