Inside the hotbeds of Israeli settler terror

8 Dec


VIDEO: The Empire Files – A recent two part documentary by Abby Martin for teleSUR English.

Part one: The Empire Files: Home Demolitions for Illegal Settlements Surging

The demolition of Palestinian homes for Israeli settlements reached a ten-year high in 2016. While this activity led by the fanatical settler movement is illegal under international law, it is completely aided and abetted by the Israeli government.

With hundreds on notice to be evicted and their homes destroyed, Abby Martin goes on-the-ground throughout the West Bank investigating this dire human rights situation. She speaks to residents living under regular settler attacks from encroaching settlements and outposts illegal even under Israeli law, and sees first-hand how this crisis is worsening.



Part two: Inside the hotbeds of Israeli settler terror

Abby Martin goes on-the-ground to the epicenters of state-backed settler terrorism in Palestine’s West Bank, in Part II of her report on illegal Israeli settlements and home demolitions.

This installment visits both the rural countryside of Duma—interviewing the surviving members of the Dawabsheh family, victims of a horrific arson attack that left three dead—and the urban centre of Hebron, a glaring example of Israeli apartheid under intense military occupation.


‘Occupation is not my Judaism’

1 Dec

‘Occupation is not my Judaism’: Dozens of Jews from around the world come to practice civil disobedience in 10 days of direct action alongside Palestinian partners struggling against Israel’s 50-year military occupation.

VIDEO: +972 Magazine, 30 November 2016. Video by Lia Tarachansky and Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man

What happens when dozens of Jewish American activists come to Palestine to practice civil disobedience alongside Palestinians struggling against the occupation?

In the summer of 2016, dozens of Jews from the U.S. and other countries came to Palestine, at the request of Palestinian activists, to use nonviolence, civil disobedience, and their privilege as Jews to help oppose the Israeli occupation. Under the banner of “Occupation is not my Judaism,” the activists helped rebuild homes demolished by the Israeli army, facilitated an entire displaced Palestinian village’s return to to its former homes, and put their bodies on the line to challenge the Israeli military regime of segregation and settlement in Hebron.

+972 Magazine joined the Center for Jewish Nonviolence (CJNV) to see what they were doing, what drove them to stand side-by-side with the Palestinian people, and what they think they can accomplish by leveraging their privilege as American Jews in doing so. How would the Israeli army react to dozens of American Jews practicing civil disobedience, willing to be arrested alongside Palestinian activists in the West Bank?

“It’s been very easy for many of us in the liberal or progressive Zionist world to rationalize away that Israel is really an oppressor, that it is literally oppressing another people,” Rabbi Brant Rosen, a member of the CJNV delegation told +972. “This [direct action] isn’t working in a soup kitchen. This is in service of a larger goal of ending the infrastructural oppression of the occupation.”

Part of the advantage of being a self-identified Jewish group, explained CJNV executive director Ilana Sumka is its members’ ability to influence their diaspora Jewish communities back home. “The more the American Jewish community can shift its understanding about why it’s so urgent for the occupation to end,” Sumka said. “I think that will have a ripple effect in the broader American political spectrum.”

For many of the CJNV members with whom +972 spoke, that strategy is inextricably linked to personal Jewish identity. “My activism comes from a sense that there’s a strong [Jewish] imperative and obligation to treat other people well, that there are specific ways in which we have to treat the other people with whom we live — I think it’s very clear in the Torah,” explained CJNV member and Princeton student Maya Rosen. “The way that our traditions and texts have been co-opted by a specific political agenda makes me very angry. Creating separate legal systems seems to be very much against what the Torah would command.”

Israel attacks UN Official for wearing Palestine’s flag

1 Dec

peter_thomson_flagPeter Thomson’s speech marked the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. (Photo: via Twitter)

The Palestine Chronicle, 30 November 2016

Israeli media has unleashed a smearing campaign against Peter Thomson, President of the 71st Session of the General Assembly, after he wore a Palestinian flag during a GA session to mark the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people, marked by the GA on 29 November.

Danny Danon, Israel’s representative at the United Nations (declared that) “The appearance of Thomson with a Palestinian flag aims at attacking Israel and destroying its image and reputation, and is a real example of discrimination and intentional defamation instead of adopting neutral positions.”

The Israeli Daily Newspaper, Yadiot Ahranot, cited previous remarks made by Thomson, in which he accused Israel of committing ethnic cleansing against Palestinians, and other remarks which the newspaper judged to be ‘antisemitic.’

The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People is marked by the United Nations of November 29 each year, which also marks the division of Palestine plan issued by the UN in 1947.


Ramzy Baroud: Redefining solidarity

30 Nov


Palestinians come from various political, ideological and religious backgrounds but are united by two main factors: their perpetuated suffering and their continuing resolve and resistance [Mohamad Torokman/Reuters]

By Ramzy Baroud, Al Jazeera, 30 November 2016

Redefining solidarity

Any solidarity with the Palestinian people that deviates from their current aspirations is not a true solidarity.

Although November 29 has galvanised pro-Palestinian communities around the world for decades [as International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People] a few facts and problems about this day must be acknowledged and redressed.

To start with, the history behind that specific date is quite an ominous one. Palestine was partitioned, unjustly, on November 29, 1947. There was no moral or legal basis for that partition, as communicated in UN resolution 181 (II), into a “Jewish State” and an “Arab State”.

Jewish immigrants were granted 55 percent of the total size of historic Palestine and the “Arab State”, which never actualised, was accorded the rest.

Jerusalem was to be given a special legal and political status, known in Latin as corpus separatum, and was to be governed through an international regime.

A few months after that unwarranted partition, well-trained Zionist militias moved from several fronts to “secure” the borders of their promised state, only to take over half of what was designated for the future of the Palestinian state, leaving the indigenous Palestinian Arab population of that land with 22 percent of historic Palestine.

In June 1967, the Israeli army conquered whatever remained of Palestine. As a direct result of both military campaigns, millions of Palestinians became refugees.

The “Arab State” granted by UN Resolution 181 was a mere pretext to create a “Jewish State”, and there were no earnest attempts to bring about an independent Palestine. A Jewish one was established upon the ruins of historic Palestine.

That date can only be remembered in infamy, not as a fond memory worthy of commemoration.

The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People was designated to be a day of solidarity almost exactly 30 years after the partition plan took place. It was announced in successive resolutions, firstly in December 1977 (Res. 32/40 B) and, secondly, more substance to that resolution was added in December 1979 (Res. 34/65 D).

These resolutions crowned 30 years of unmitigated failure on the part of the international community to aid in the establishment of a Palestinian state, which was even unsuccessful in imposing any form of punishment on the 30-year-old “Jewish State” for repeatedly violating international law and every legal principle upon which it was established.

One cannot deny the role of the numerous friendly nations, mostly from the South, that stood by Palestine’s side at every turn and, at times, faced the wrath of the US and Western governments for their unfaltering solidarity.

However, the nature and the timing of these resolutions were seen as mere tokens, symbolic gestures at best, to show solidarity in words only and not action.

According to a UN document relevant to the day of solidarity, the purpose of November 29 is to provide the “opportunity for the international community to focus its attention on the fact that the question of Palestine remained unresolved and that the Palestinian people are yet to attain their inalienable rights as defined by the General Assembly, namely, the right to self-determination without external interference, the right to national independence and sovereignty, and the right to return to their homes and property from which they had been displaced”.

While the rights of the Palestinians highlighted above are poignant and unmistakable, little has been done in the past 39 years to implement any one of them, either partially or wholly.

No practical mechanism has been set forth. No legal apparatus has been introduced to aid Palestinians in their efforts to achieve meaningful independence, or to reprimand those who deny the Palestinian people their legal rights and political aspirations.

Any such recommendations for meaningful interference on behalf of occupied, oppressed Palestinians were thwarted, repeatedly: obstructed by the United States’ vetoes at the UN, hindered in myriad ways by Israel and its Western allies.

Such valiant efforts as those by UN human rights envoys, the likes of Richard Falk and John Dugard, or recommendations to investigate suspected Israeli war criminals put forth by Richard Goldstone were brazenly defeated.

Since the original partition resolution passed in 1947, and to this day, the Palestinian cause has been feeding on symbolism – symbolic solidarity, symbolic victories and so on.

Al-Nakba – Episode 1, Al Jazeera video documentary. “The tragedy in Palestine is not just a local one; it is a tragedy for the world, because it is an injustice that is a menace to the world’s peace”‘ Arnold Toynbee, British Historian.

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Israeli soldiers crush Palestinian worker in gate

25 Nov


VIDEO: Middle East Monitor, 24 November 2016

The Israeli soldiers allowed the Palestinian through the gate, then immediately closed it, crushing him, leaving him unconscious.

Days of Palestine report, 24 November 2016.

Footage has emerged of Israeli soldiers laughing as they crush Palestinian worker in a gate in occupied Jerusalem.

A video of the event, which took place at the Atarot Industrial Zone in occupied Jerusalem, was uploaded onto social media on Wednesday.

The footage, which went viral on social media, shows a Palestinian worker walking through a small gap in the gate only for it to be closed on him.

After he was crushed, the Israeli soldiers opened the gate and the man falls onto the ground as he has lost consciousness.

Soldiers watching the incident on a screen of a CCTV camera can be heard laughing at the Palestinian worker.

While laughing loudly, one of the Zionist Israeli soldiers is heard saying: “It crushed him. This guy is stupid.”

The short clip shows the Palestinian coming to and being helped by another Israeli soldier.



Palestinians show the true meaning of religious tolerance

22 Nov

1-sxyrgmayd5niidoaqz061gPalestinian Nablus residents recite the Islamic call to prayer in protest of the Israeli law which banned the call in Jerusalem on November 2016 []

The Palestine Project, 21 November 2016

Protesting against the Israeli ban on the Muslim call to prayer, hundreds of Muslims, Christians and Jewish Samaritans yesterday raised the Muslim call to prayer together in Nablus’ main square, the Safa news agency reported.

Residents, representatives of Palestinian factions and followers and representatives of all three monotheistic religions attended the protest, under the slogan “minarets will never be silenced”. All of the participants raised the athan (or Adan, call to prayer) together.

Activist Mazen Al-Danbak, who called for organising the protest a week ago, said: “This protest sends a message to the Israeli occupation telling it to stop playing with our holy sites, as well as sending a message to the world asking it where it is regarding these flagrant violations against holy sites.”

“We tell the occupation to leave our land and we insist that it will not be able to silence the minarets and will not stop them calling Allahu Akbar.”

Nablus Governor Akram Al-Rajoub said that the protest sent a message to the Israeli occupation that it “will not be able to dominate mosques and churches”.

Mufti of the Palestinian city Sheikh Ahmed Shobas said: “Raising the athan is religious rite guaranteed for followers of all different religions.”

Bishop of the Catholic Church in Nablus Yousef Sa’ada condemned the Israeli attempt to silence the athan, noting this is a “sign of the [Israeli] occupation’s ethical, moral and political bankruptcy.”

“The Palestinian followers of all religions are united against this [Israeli] bill. This is a proof that Israel has started the stage of collapse and it is fading.”

Secretary of the Samaritans, a Jewish sect in Nablus, condemned the Israeli measure. “There will not be safety or security until followers of all religions are able to practice their religious rituals freely.”

“As long as Allahu akbar is calling five times a day and bells of churches are ringing every Sunday, we, the Sumerians, feel safe and secure.

[See the previous post on for more on this issue. Ed]

Israel fails to silence call to prayer as defiance spreads

22 Nov

aqsa_mosque_soldiers_cookIsraeli vengeance surpassed the realm of media rhetoric into aggressive action. (Photo: File)

VIDEO: Watch the frenzied reaction as Arab-Israeli MK Talab Abu Arar recites the Athan (Islamic call to prayer) at the Israeli parliament in protest at a bill backed by Netanyahu to ban the call. [Video: Middle East Eye]

The Palestine Chronicle, 21 November, 2016

Israeli Authorities Punish Mosque over Prayer Call as Crisis Escalates

The Israeli authorities in the city of Lod, which has a large Palestinian community, have imposed a $US200 fine on a mosque after the Imam has recited the Sunset Prayer Call. The fine is the first following passing a law in the Israeli Knesset the bans Muslim call to prayer claiming its ‘noise pollution.’

The Israeli Knesset has passed the first draft of a legislation that imposes restrictions on the Muslim call to prayer.

The authorities said the call to prayer has “disturbed Jews living in the surrounding area of the mosque.”

Many experts believe that the Israeli law to ban Muslim call to prayer is part of a series of measures and laws that aim to change the cultural and religious character of Palestine by removing Islamic and Christian symbols and replacing them with Jewish ones.

The law has stirred outrage across the region. Palestinian churches have responded to the Israeli plan by reciting the Muslim call to prayer using the loudspeakers of churches.

Palestinians took to the roofs of their houses reciting the call to prayer. Protests were organized to stop the Israeli law. And most recently, footballs fans in Jordan have recited the call to prayer in refusal of the Israeli law, which they call racist.

[See below for two other articles on this issue. Ed]

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