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Israel racism legitimation day April 20

Of course in America now every day is Holocaust Remembrance Day, not just April 20; as more US metropolises erect their own Holocaust museums, and the preponderance of our primary schools fit Holocaust-themed books into every reading or social studies program for every grade, every year. Let's dedicate this April 20 to remembering what was the process that led western nations to conclude that the victimization of the Jewish people alone, not the genocide of the Gypsies, nor the larger Nazi eradication of the Slavs, merited compensation in the form of somebody else's homeland. By coincidence the guilt we commemorate is somebody else's too. How much more appropriate when someday we atone for the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians, in restitution awarding them of their own land, Israel, usurped for a imperial-tourism colony whose apartheid identity a civilized society can no longer condone.

It’s a picture worth a thousand ships

At first the story read like diplomatic sensitivities ruffled by no more than your typical office power feng shui: the Turkish ambassador to Israel was not seated at a height commensurate with his host, the flag of his nation was not displayed, the Israeli deputy minister would not shake his hand. Rather it was Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon himself who called the reporters' attentions to the intentional affronts, lest it was not obvious enough from the photograph. To what do the Turks owe Israel's displeasure? Turkey's PM has been criticizing Israel's crimes in Gaza, to no greater degree than has been confirmed by the UN Goldstone Report. Here's to hoping that Turkish pride will answer appropriately. It's been a traditional role of ambassadors to suffer their host's anger at a perceived provocation. Didn't Ivan the Terrible once send emissaries packing after he'd nailed their hats to their heads? Often in less diplomatic times, envoys were beheaded, to usually ruinous result. In modern times, suffering indignity to foreign dignitaries is enough to send your message. But today too, media images have come to have a greater reach across the world. I'm thinking in particular the Muslim populaces. Let's see what kind of posture of subservience Israel can expect of Turkey. Said one Turkish parliamentarian: "The word scandal is not enough to describe this move." And it seems unlikely that Israel will apologize, Ayalon already responding: "In terms of the diplomatic tactics available, this was the minimum that was warranted given the repeated provocations by political and other players in Turkey." Perhaps Israel was emboldened by Egypt's recent display of obedience to the mission of starving Gaza. Israel's violent repression of the people of Gaza is meeting with growing criticism, and perhaps they expect Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to heel dutifully. What might the minimum of responses be from Turkey, given the sway the US holds over its actions, in light too of its aspiration to rise through the EU? With Egypt's intention to fortify its Gaza border to curtail tunneling, and its announcement to permit no further aid from reaching the besieged Palestinians, the path remains only for someone to reach Gaza by sea. I'm hoping it will be the Turks. Why couldn't a Sea Shepherd Conservation Society type flotilla mount a seaborne rescue of Gaza? I'd bet televising such an adventure would find a bigger audience than Whale Wars. Aid groups have been trying, with sporadic success, to breach Israel's naval blockade of the Gaza coast. Perhaps it's time for a nation to lend some military vessels to the task. Why not? The United Nations considers Israel's embargo of Gaza to be illegal. Why shouldn't a local power sail right before the Israeli warships to escort relief supplies to the Gazans? Let's see whose ships will look down on whose. UPDATE: Here it is, the Free Gaza Movement is putting together a flotilla!

Where is humanitarian airlift for Gaza?

    When the Soviet Union laid siege to West Berlin in 1947, the Western powers mounted a famous airlift to supply the city's inhabitants for ten months until the siege was broken. At its height, the Berlin Airlift hauled almost 9,000 tons per day. By contrast, the Palestinians of the Gaza Strip remain besieged for two and a half years now, where is the humanitarian effort to save them? The West's official abandonment of the Gazans is shameful. Gaza today has a similar population in number and density, also living in post-war squalor. A chief difference is that instead of a conqueror trying to impose a common currency to force assimilation, Palestine's occupier wants to purge the people of the lands it want to absorb. The siege of Gaza represents living conditions made so dire that its victims want only to leave. The recent Viva Palestina aid convoy to Gaza was the third successful effort to supply the people of Gaza. Counting also the attempts to bring supplies by boat, how do these methods compare to the help mobilized for Berlin? At the close of the latest effort, leader George Galloway was ceremoniously banned from returning to Egypt. Some of the convoy's participants still await flights out of Cairo, all of them declared persona non grata. Although Venezuelan upstart Hugo Chavez will reportedly be supporting the next Viva Palestina convoy this summer, Egypt has now declared that no aid effort will be allowed through its border crossing to Gaza. Why will no foreign government support an airlift to Gaza --even if it means parachuting supplies? Or why not a naval convoy to breach the barricade? Israel repeats that Gaza is not occupied. A challenge to Gaza's maritime sovereignty could settle that matter. Upon arrival in Gaza, a participant in the aid convoy summarized his motivation to bring relief supplies to the people of Gaza: "because they deserve it."

Convoy given hero’s welcome in Gaza

VIVA PALESTINA made it to Gaza! See the crush of media awaiting their arrival? None of them from the US or UK.   Though it took all night, the 200 vehicle convoy made the last leg from Al-Arish to Rafah safely. A compromise was reached with Egypt to redirect 59 vehicles to serve refugees in Lebanon, sooner than concede them to Israel. This is the third convoy of what organizers promise will be more until the illegal siege of Gaza is lifted. Reflecting on the delays and difficulties posed by the Egyptians, George Galloway expressed his regret that attention was diverted from the anniversary of Israel's criminal acts which began December 27, 2008. Instead Egypt drew the focus on its own complicity in the continued deprivation of the people of Palestine. Asked why the convoy didn't ask to be let through Israel, if it wanted to confront what's thought to be the principle villain behind the siege of Gaza. Galloway responded: We will never set foot in Israel. We will never ask permission from Israel for anything. We will never recognize Israel as long as there is no Palestine. As long as the Palestinian people are scattered to the four corners of the earth as refugees; as long as Jerusalem is being monstrously, ethnically cleansed with settlements surrounding it, choking the very life and greatness out of it; as long as Gaza is under siege, as long a Palestinians are being assassinated and bombed from the air, as they have been over the last week or so --by the way from both of the main political factions within Palestine, so it's not just Hamas people who are being murdered in front of their wives and children. We will never recognize Israel as long as such a situation exists for the Palestinians. See the interview on this clip from Al Jazeera: Galloway added his usual fighting words: The Palestinians here will never be starved into surrender. Anyone who's counting on that, whether Israel or anybody else, and I mean anybody else, who's counting on that, is making a big mistake. They don't know these people if they think they can starve them into surrender. The clip below features brief interviews of several convoyers as they arrive. The briefest was a passenger on a Derry to Gaza ambulance. The Press TV correspondent greeted him with: "Hello. Welcome to Gaza. How do you feel?" To which he replied, as the vehicle kept moving: Great. Great to be in Gaza. But another from that crew, whom Irish4Palestine identifies as JJ, doubled back on foot to deliver a wonderfully cheerful message: Just like to say hello to all the people of Derry. Um, we've travelled 5,000 miles from Derry in Irelanda. And it's great to finally be here and meet the people. And we've come this far for a reason. Because they deserve it. And more people should do this definitely, because we have to break the siege. And I'd like to thank all the people of Derry. Alright thanks. Good man. All this

Viva Palestina shows Code Pink how solidarity works

Egyptian authorities in El-Arish tried this evening to decapitate the Viva Palestina aid convoy on its final leg toward the Gaza border. This was the successful strategy Egypt used to divide the Gaza Freedom March a week before, but the activists held strong, and it didn't take a referendum for the isolated group of 157 to stick up for the 400 others waylaid in Syria. ReadingPSC tells the story from El-Arish. When the convoy was forced to leave Egypt's Red Sea port to reenter Syria and travel by ferry from Lattakia to Egypt's port at El-Arish, only a minimum number of convoy participants were permitted to stay with the vehicles. The rest learned they could only rejoin the convoy by air. The same plane was to fly repeated trips, carrying one fourth of the number each time. But that's not how it worked out. On the second flight, the plane was forced back to Syria due to engine problems, and now remains grounded. As it stands tonight, 3/4 of Viva Palestina remains in Syria. Meanwhile, the Egyptians tried to compel the first group to depart for Rafah and man the convoy without their comrades, telling them the extra 400 would be denied permission to follow. Of the convoy participants issuing updates, Readings PCS and Derry to Gaza are safely in El-Arish, while York to Gaza et al will fly from Damascus in the morning. If there remain further obstacles for the convoy, Viva Palestina is recommending you contact the Egyptian embassy/consulate available to you, to press Egypt to honor its commitment to let the aid convoy through and help break the siege of Gaza! Reading PSC printed this encouragement from Noam Chomsky: Dear Convoy: a message from Noam Chomsky!… Despite the media blackout, which is a disgrace, this is turning out to be a really spectacular triumph, I think, and it’s hard to express properly my admiration and respect for those who are directly engaged. It has to be a shot in the arm for the people in Gaza, and might stir up some opposition to the dictatorship in Egypt, which is exposing its brutality daily — to everyone except the US media (hope it’s better elsewhere). And I think a lot of people are going to come back home really invigorated. Good luck in what lies ahead.

The Cairo Declaration

Ambitions for a greater Gaza Freedom March have been set aside for another decade, but the hopeful delegates thwarted in Cairo issued the following declaration: End Israeli Apartheid? Cairo Declaration ?January 1, 2010 We, international delegates meeting in Cairo during the Gaza Freedom March 2009 in collective response to an initiative from the South African delegation, state: In view of: * Israel’s ongoing collective punishment of Palestinians through the illegal occupation and siege of Gaza;? * the illegal occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the continued construction of the illegal Apartheid Wall and settlements;? * the new Wall under construction by Egypt and the US which will tighten even further the siege of Gaza;? * the contempt for Palestinian democracy shown by Israel, the US, Canada, the EU and others after the Palestinian elections of 2006;? * the war crimes committed by Israel during the invasion of Gaza one year ago;? * the continuing discrimination and repression faced by Palestinians within Israel;? * and the continuing exile of millions of Palestinian refugees;? * all of which oppressive acts are based ultimately on the Zionist ideology which underpins Israel;? * in the knowledge that our own governments have given Israel direct economic, financial, military and diplomatic support and allowed it to behave with impunity;? * and mindful of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (2007) We reaffirm our commitment to: Palestinian Self-Determination?Ending the Occupation?Equal Rights for All within historic Palestine?The full Right of Return for Palestinian refugees. We therefore reaffirm our commitment to the United Palestinian call of July 2005 for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) to compel Israel to comply with international law. To that end, we call for and wish to help initiate a global mass, democratic anti-apartheid movement to work in full consultation with Palestinian civil society to implement the Palestinian call for BDS. Mindful of the many strong similarities between apartheid Israel and the former apartheid regime in South Africa, we propose: 1) An international speaking tour in the first 6 months of 2010 by Palestinian and South African trade unionists and civil society activists, to be joined by trade unionists and activists committed to this programme within the countries toured, to take mass education on BDS directly to the trade union membership and wider public internationally; 2) Participation in the Israeli Apartheid Week in March 2010; 3) A systematic unified approach to the boycott of Israeli products, involving consumers, workers and their unions in the retail, warehousing, and transportation sectors; 4) Developing the Academic, Cultural and Sports boycott; 5) Campaigns to encourage divestment of trade union and other pension funds from companies directly implicated in the Occupation and/or the Israeli military industries; 6) Legal actions targeting the external recruitment of soldiers to serve in the Israeli military, and the prosecution of Israeli government war criminals; coordination of Citizen’s Arrest Bureaux to identify, campaign and seek to prosecute Israeli war criminals; support for the Goldstone Report and the implementation of its recommendations; 7) Campaigns against charitable status of the Jewish National Fund (JNF). We appeal to organisations and individuals committed to this declaration to sign it and work with us to

Gaza Freedom March update

GFM activists still prevented from leaving Cairo spoiling Rafah rendezvous with demonstrators in Gaza; American citizens undertaking hunger strike after being blocked from the US embassy; the siege of the UN offices has been called off; and the Viva Palestina convoy in Jordan has taken an alternative route. Follow Electronic Intifada's Ali Abunimah and Institute for Public Accuracy's Sam Husseini for minute by minute updates. Official reports from GFM. Photos by Antony Loewenstein. Solidarity actions continue worldwide, including Colorado Springs. Abunimah reports after delegation of three activists were permitted to meet with US embassy staff: USG supports the siege of Gaza, offers excuses & stonewalling. During meeting political officer Greg Logrefo confirmed that US Army Corps of Engineers is providing technical assistance to build underground wall.

Israel reveals Gaza is Palestine Gulag

In so many words. Israel is negotiating for the release of POW Gilad Shalit. Of the 1,000 Palestinian POWs to be exchanged, Israel is demanding that 100 or so be denied return to the West Bank, and instead be exiled or remanded to the Gaza Strip.

Boycott Coca-Cola for India’s water, Colombia’s unions and Israel Apartheid

OK, it's a famously discredited fake-ad to slander Coke. They have no plans to rebrand the Dome of the Rock. But Israel may -- and Coca-Cola is a sponsor. That's why Coloradans For Peace are calling to boycott Coke, to stop supporting Israeli Apartheid.   There are plenty of reasons to boycott the real thing spreading diabetes. At COP15 the Yes Men targeted Coke for their preposterous "Bottle of Hope" campaign which could only refer to Coke's hope to green-wash their culpability for depleting water tables and poisoning India and contracting to kill labor organizers in Colombia. Coke is a bad habit. Since overrunning East Jerusalem in 1967, Israel is trying to settle it in defiance of international sanctions. Israel promises as administrator not to alter the Muslim shrine, but radical Zionists have been making open preparations to restore it as a Jewish temple. Coke is a corporate underwriter of Israeli expansion into the Palestinian Territories. Their Kiryat Gat bottling plant is built on contested land, and Coke has now invested in the Tavor Winery on Palestinian land. Boycotting Coke would send a message that the beverage multinational must redress the injustices it perpetuates. Wouldn't it be an easy thing, really, to pass on all Coca-Cola products? What will you miss? The Yes Men Coke action at COP15 did produce a tongue-in-cheek press conference dubbed Rage Against the Coke Machine, where attendees recited this pledge: “I, [name], with respect for crimes against people and the planet, from this day forward, for the rest of my living days will never, ever, drink Coca-Cola again until the Coca-Cola company ceases and entirely stops stealing the water from communities in India and stops union-busting in Colombia and ceases and desists entirely from relentless and absurd greenwashing like a ‘bottle of hope.’” Absent sadly was mention of Coca-Cola's support of Israeli Apartheid. Let's put it back!

Boycott Israel Apartheid this Christmas

In solidarity with the ONE MILE MARCH to free Gaza, on the one year anniversary of Israel's genocidal incursion into Gaza, let's kick start a Colorado Springs effort to support the Global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement against Israel, to end apartheid and free Palestine. There are many US/Israeli companies who promote or profit from the illegal occupation of Palestine. On December 28, let's target those in the Chapel Hills Mall! L'Oreal, Revlon, Estee Lauder, Ahava, Hanes, Timberland, Teva, Victoria's Secret, and Bath & Body Works. American citizens can feel a vague sense of disconnectedness with respect to US business ties with Israel, or we can trace the responsibility for the injustices suffered in Palestine directly to retailers in our neighborhoods. Let's let these local outlets know we will not tolerate their companies' agenda in Palestine. These are just among the consumer products and retailers which actively support Israel's illegal actions in Palestine. Others you can boycott in town include Home Depot, Starbucks, McDonalds, Coca-Cola, Sara Lee, Danon, Nestle, Johnson & Johnson, Kimberly Clarke, AOL Time Warner, [Fox] News Corp, IBM, Intel, Nokia, Motorola and Caterpillar. The BDS movement against Israel is attempting to recreate the same pressures which ultimately brought down apartheid in South Africa. Academic, cultural and business boycotts are targeted against US and Israeli companies which participate in the settlement industry, the economic exploitation of Palestine and Palestinians, and control of the population.

Who were the 1,415 victims in Gaza?

Americans aren't accustomed to seeing their adversaries as human. The victims of our wars remain faceless and nameless, and maybe as a consequence we accept that our military "doesn't do body counts." Not only do we minimize the number of civilians we kill, but their deaths are commodified as "collateral." Our military proxy in the Middle East does the same. In last year's attack on Gaza, Israel calculated its casualties in three digits. Those killed behind the confines of Gaza may be faceless to Americans and Israelis, but they leave behind loved ones and dependents, and of course, they had names. The IDF dismiss the 1415 victims as Palestinian propaganda. But here are their names. Notice, it is not enough that the dead be identified, but each name is accompanied with their address, and location where the death can be verified. Not only must Palestinian civilians mourn their loved ones, they have to account for them. This list is made available by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights and commemorates "The Dead in the course of the Israeli recent military offensive on the Gaza strip between 27 December 2008 and 18 January 2009." The victims are listed in order of casualty, grouped by date. Each person has a number, for those counting in the West, as well as name, sex, age, vocation, home address, date of attack if different from date of death, location of attack if different from address, and designation as militant if not purely civilian. I can't find fault with those Gazans who took up arms against an indiscriminate incursion into their homes and neighborhoods. ------------------------------------------- PALESTINIAN CENTRE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS ???????? ??????? ?????????? ?????????? DECEMBER 27, 2008 1 Mustafa Khader Saber Abu Ghanima Male 16 Student Tal al-Hawa / Gaza 2 Reziq Jamal Reziq al- Haddad Male 21 Policeman al-Sha'af / Gaza Arafat Police City/ Gaza 3 Ali Mohammed Jamil Abu Riala Male 24 Policeman Al-Shati Refugee Camp / Gaza Arafat Police City/ Gaza 4 Ahmed Mohammed Ahmed Badawi Male 27 Policeman Al-Shati Refugee Camp / Gaza Al-Mashtal Intelligence Outpost/ Gaza 5 Mahmoud Khalil Hassan Abu Harbeed Male 31 Policeman Martyr Bassil Naim Street/ Beit Hanoun Al-Mashtal Intelligence Outpost/ Gaza 6 Fadia Jaber Jabr Hweij Female 22 Student Al-Tufah / Gaza 7 Mohammed Jaber Jabr Hweij Male 19 Student Al-Tufah / Gaza 8 Nu'aman Fadel Salman Hejji Male 56 Jobless Al-Zaytoon / Gaza Tal al-Hawa 9 Riyad Omar Murjan Radi Male 24 Student Yarmouk Street / Gaza Al-Sena’a Street / Gaza 10 Mumtaz Mohammed Ramiz al-Banna Male 37 Policeman Al-Sabra/ Gaza Arafat Police City/ Gaza 11 Ahmed Hamdi Youssef al-Dreimly Male 26 Policeman Al-Sabra/ Gaza Saraya Security Service Compound/ Gaza 12 Fares Isma’il Helmi al-‘Ashy Male 28 Policeman Remal/ Gaza Arafat Police City/ Gaza 13 Naser Mahmoud Mas’oud Hammouda Male 35 Al-Zaytoon / Gaza Wa’ed Society for Prisoners / Gaza Militant 14 Munir Amin Mass’oud Hammouda Male 32 Al-Zaytoon / Gaza

According to media, Israel lawbreaking is criticized, instead of denounced

According to the Western media, Israel's renewed construction of settlements receives criticism from the community of nations. Does that sound like an appropriate framing of the issue? Moving settlers unto occupied land is against international law. Yet Israel's actions are "criticized for endangering peace talks" instead of being denounced for being patently illegal. Imagine if we criticized criminals and debated each time whether what they did was a crime. Nations long ago agreed that wars of aggression were illegal, that seizing land from another was illegal, and certainly displacing one population for another was illegal. Regardless the pretext, because there will always be a pretext. East Jerusalem has been occupied by Israel since the 1967 war. West Jerusalem is itself territory occupied since Israel's war of independence, when the Zionists used Arab resistance to the initial UN land grant to seize areas not given Israel by the UN. Now Israel asserts possession of the whole of Jerusalem, on the usual Zionist pretext, that it is land promised them by G-d.

Palestinians don’t have “right to exist?”

The Palestinian Authority has declared the people of Palestine want statehood on what's left of their land. Mahmoud Abbas plans to seek the support of the UN. Why is the media calling this decision unilateral? I need a bath --the media needn't report if the verdict was or wasn't unilateral. Of course the accusation of Palestine acting "unilaterally" is coming from Israel, a unilateral categorization in itself. Israel is waving its arms that the Palestinians have acted without consulting their occupiers, in the manner King George of England might have when confronted with the American states' Declaration of Independence. How could they? Without asking! Now just like George, the Israelis are threatening to lay claim to the "disputed" territories. The Middle East "Peace Process" has been alleged to be the solitary means by which the original population of Palestine was supposed to achieve self-determination. Where has it got them? It does seem a dubious prospect, jumping through hoops for your occupier, while he confiscates what remains of the reservation land which you'd negotiated in your retreat. Israel is most agitated that Abbas intends to enlist the UN members to vote for Palestinian independence, because the international climate is heavy with sympathy for Palestine. The UN General Assembly just might do it. That's why Israel has preemptively announced that its American partner in the Security Council will veto any such unilateral move. It threatens the peace negotiations, it will erode Israel's goodwill toward the Palestinians. Hmm. Israel was created by a vote of the United Nations. Now the UN can't do it for Palestine? And this time it doesn't even mean carving up somebody else's property to do it. Israel responds to those who question the legitimacy of a For-Jews-only state, that its people a "right to exist." Palestinians who reject the taking of their homeland, are accused of refusing "Israel's right to exist." It's a major sticking point, even while by international law, an occupied people cannot be compelled to legitimize their invader's act. American audiences who've been attending Israel's recent panicked Hasbara blitz have heard the speakers deny there is any such thing as a Palestinian people. Which explains why a reciprocated "right to exist" is not even on the table. Where then were the Israelis really leading the poor Palestinians with their "peace talks?" Now I say it is time for my bath, and I am unanimous in that. Footnotes: Arthur, Are You Being Served?

DEC 28 mile long march for Gaza

Bill and Genie Durland, Colorado Springs' most vocal champions for Palestine, will be among a tidal wave of peace activists converging on Palestine on the first anniversary of Israel's unrestrained attack of Gaza. With a Mile Long March to break Israel's blockade of Gaza, the UN Goldstone Report pushing Israeli IDF commanders inexorably to The Hague, the snowballing Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions campaign supported by Israel's own peace activists, and Israeli professor Shlomo Sand unmasking the Zionist's defrauding of Judaism, the self-righteous death grip on Palestinians will lose its cheerleaders.

Israel sends deputy consul general to CC

The Israel Today event changed the speakers on us, instead of the Israeli Consul General to Los Angeles, it's the Deputy Consul Gil Artzyeli. But the act's still on. Get to Gaylord hall sometime before noon, it's the conference room at the Southeast corner of the Worner Center building. We'll stand outside with our repudiation of Mr. Artzyeli's message, then go inside to assure the discussion steers toward being honest. I found this quote by Artzyeli, addressing the Denver Jewish community earlier this year about the Gaza incursion: "This is not a war for territory ... The first war is to protect the citizens of Israel, the second war is against Iran and the third war is against lies and disinformation." Any takers? My first question, if I'm given the chance: Mr. Artzyeli, are you here only to speak, or will you listen? Cyndy Kulp put together a handout for the occasion: Human Rights Issues in “Israel Today” Israel is a pariah nation condemned by the UN and much of the international community for its multiple violations of international human rights law, including: • Continuing the occupation of the Palestinian people • Building housing settlements on confiscated land • Seizing additional land and property from Palestinians to build “The Wall”, highways for the exclusive use of Israelis, and military areas, etc. • Using extremely disproportionate and indiscriminate force in the invasion of the Gaza Strip during “Operation Cast Lead” in Dec. 2008 • Inflicting heavy casualties on Palestinians, many civilians and children with no way to escape the bombing • Refusing to compensate the 5.8 million Palestinian refugees and their descendants who were displaced from their homes and properties during 1948 Israeli Diplomats, like our speaker today, should not be given a public platform from which to promote their views as long as they refuse to recognize and cooperate with international laws. HERE ARE FURTHER DETAILS: ? In June 1967, the Israeli military invaded the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. These areas of historic Palestine under military control are the "Occupied Territories," comprising some 3.5 million Palestinians, and they are systematically being incorporated into the state of Israel in violation of international law. ? Life under occupation is very harsh. The Palestinians have virtually no human or civil rights. Unemployment is rampant. In order to go about their daily lives, the people in the Occupied Territories must line up and go through multiple checkpoints manned by the Israeli army. Proper paperwork, including Palestinian ID’s, and permits are required to pass through, and many people are denied entry, even into East Jerusalem which is Palestinian territory and home to many hospitals, schools, and employers. ? Israel has built 200+ settlements in the West Bank, and over 400,000 Israelis have moved onto Palestinian land. Many of the settlers are armed and aggressive extremists, and their actions are regularly protected by Israeli Defense Forces. ? Israel has seized a majority of the West Bank land as military bases, settlements, security areas, "land reserves," by-pass roads linking settlements with Israel, and other areas forbidden to Palestinians.

Thief of Jerusalem to speak in Denver

In Israel's continuing PR barrage to elevate US jingoism against Iran, the regime has sent another official to lobby the Denver Jewish community. This time Mayor Hickenlooper and Governor Ritter are welcoming the Israeli mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, to speak at the University of Denver. If you oppose Israel's continued appropriation of occupied Jerusalem, which Barkat calls "the Jewish people's eternal capital," you'll want to join Palestinian activists and the CFP, to protest Israel's ongoing propaganda campaign. Come Tuesday, November 3, to the D.U. Newman Center for Performing Arts, 6PM.

Daily Show censored Palestinian issues

Palestinian rights activists Anna Baltzer and Dr. Mustafa Barghouti were guests Wednesday night on the Daily Show. I know the talk show looks like a live tape, and few question Jon Stewart's ethics, but there were some strange anomalies. For one, for the first time in its 11 years, a heckler was audible from the show's audience. Two, according to the guests, much of their message was excised from the final tape: (1) the US role in aiding Israel, (2) the lack of adequate coverage in mainstream US media, and (3) the Palestinian-led movement for Boycott / Divestment / Sanctions (BDS) to nonviolently pressure Israel to comply with international law. For a limited time only, you can to the Daily Show website to see the full tape of the interview. Check it out. Baltzer reports that the Daily Show staff were very nervous about airing the limited pro-Palestinian voices which it did. She recommends giving them positive feedback, to counter the wrath they are no doubt feeling from the Jewish/Israeli lobby. You can fill out this form: www.comedycentral.com/help/questions, re. Jon Stewart. Remember: boycott, divest, and urge for sanctions against an Israeli regime which ignores UN resolutions and defies international law. To avoid products from Israel, do not buy anything whose bar code begins with sku prefix 729 GS1. And if you feel like pressuring the Zionists Americans who are funding the lobbyists trying to coax the US to war with Iran, boycott the Wexner family holdings: The Limited, Victoria's Secret, Bath & Body Works, Henri Bendel, C. O. Bigelow, The White Barn Candle Company, and La Senza, for starters.

Turkish TV series AYRILIK shows IDF crimes in Gaza, unauthorized portrayal

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has summoned Israel's ambassador in Ankara to complain that a TV series on Turkey's state television station TRT1 is inciting anger at Israeli human rights abuses in Palestine. The drama series AYRILIK ("Farewell") is set in current day Gaza, against a backdrop of the brutality of the occupation and military incursions. Israel most objects to scenes of IDF forces shown killing civilians and children. One might ask, what would you have the IDF shooting? What crimes have not been substantiated by numerous humanitarian groups? Only Israel and the US have been blocking the Goldstone Report at the UN, which urges scrutiny of the 2009 incursion into Gaza.

Picture of Israeli worth 20 Palestinians

At first glance the trade betrayed a racist inequity. This week Israel agreed to release twenty Palestinian women in exchange for one Israeli held captive by Hamas. Not for the release of IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, just for proof that he was still alive. What is the worth of one Israeli? At first his captors demanded the release of all Palestinian women and girls. Later they asked for the release of 1,000 detainees. But the relative values are reversed. Shalit is the lone POW held by Palestine. Israel incarcerates an estimated 11,000, most detained for obstructing the construction of the Apartheid Wall. Exchanging Shalit would represent a trade of 100% for 9%. Don't worry, Israel's occupation forces can always capture more. Gilad Shalit is the first IDF soldier captured by the Palestinians since 1994. Israel on the other hand, with the collaboration of Fatah, can arrest civilians whenever they choose. Shalit's capture is an interesting story. Israel claims to have received warning of the eminent kidnap attempt. The day before, IDF soldiers raided a house belonging to a suspected Hamas militant. They arrested his two sons, a doctor and a lawyer. Their torture allegedly extracted details of a cross-border raid. As a result, technically I suppose you could say, their intelligence officers "received warning." However Israel was unable to thwart the tank operator's capture. Shalit has served as the pretext for many ensuing incursions into Gaza, at a great cost to Palestinian lives. Draw your own conclusions. Israel propagates this story to assert that Gilad Shalit was "kidnapped," invoking a litany of international laws which Israel wields against Hamas. With shameless hypocrisy, Israelis protest the inhumanities suffered by Shalit, ignoring the documentation of thousands of imprisoned Palestinian subjected to worse. The irony of Israel's complaints becomes tedious: lack of International Red Cross access, parental visitation, regular correspondence, information of his exact whereabouts, etc. This in light of Israel's refusal to permit oversight of its Palestinian detainees, or to denounce its tortures. What gall to decry the fate of one soldier, taken prisoner while on duty, with Israel's demonstrated eagerness to expend ordnance and harass Palestinian civilians at whim. Shalit has prompted Israel to launch aerial bombardments, and restrict border checkpoints in the effort to extort his release, or to pit Palestinian sentiments against Hamas, who refuse to release Shalit in spite of the collective punishment meted to its people. The Israelis had reason to doubt that Gilad Shalit, captured by Hamas in 2006, was not dead. After all, the IDF was confident that their January incursion into Gaza had destroyed all known Hamas hiding places.

Ahmadinejad denial downgraded to jibe

Before Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's Al-Quds remarks could be translated, Zionist mouthpieces were fomenting outrage about a new "Holocaust Denial." By the time DC, London, Paris and Berlin were pushed to repudiate the Iranian president's statement, and real transcripts hit the stands, newspapers have had to downgrade it as a Holocaust Jibe. Ahmadinejab didn't deny the Holocaust, he denied the "Holocaust Myth." The part justifying the state of Israel. Official narratives promoted by Holocaust Museums prominently feature the conclusion that Jews can only escape extermination by occupying to the Middle East. At the Al-Quds rally, marking the day of solidarity to support the continuing struggle of the Palestinian people, Ahmadinejad did say: "The very existence of this [Israeli] regime is an insult to the dignity of the people." "They [the Western powers] launched the myth of the Holocaust. They lied, they put on a show and then they support the Jews. "The pretext for establishing the Zionist regime is a lie... a lie which relies on an unreliable claim, a mythical claim, and the occupation of Palestine has nothing to do with the Holocaust." "This claim is corrupt and the pretext is corrupt. This regime's days are numbered and it is on its way to collapse. This regime is dying."

Don’t buy Israeli Apartheid

Interesting counterpoint in Ha'aretz this morning about the Goldstone Report on the recent war crimes committed in Gaza, where the UN commission found grounds to investigate both Hamas and Israel for violations.   Hamas rejects the charges based on population's right to resist illegal occupation. The Israeli administration was indignant with a more complicated rationale. In the face of having inflicted 100 times more casualties, most of them civilian, Amira Hass wrote about The one thing worse than denying the Gaza report, which is to justify the crimes. Ari Shavit took a further tack, arguing that the UN must hold Obama to same standard as Israel. My favorite analysis of the moral predicament Israel finds itself rationalizing, is by Jihad el-Khazen.

Osama on Obama

The usual channels have yielded another video from Osama bin Laden, wherein a still photo of the al-Qaeda godfather accompanies an audio "statement to the American people," purportedly recorded June 4. Here is the full English translation of the 10 minute tape. First, two questions. ONE: I find it interesting that the message echoes what most anti-imperialists already believe. From a Chavez, or Ahmadinejad, this text would be timid. Throw in the unverified nature of this transmission, the mystery of whether Osama lives, or whose interest he really served, and this new tape subverts somebody's message, but whose? For example, in the new tape, Osama bin Laden recommends three books. The NYT is quick to tell us that any recommendation from bin Laden is certainly unwelcome by any author. The books? The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy, Jimmy Carter's Palestine: Peace not Apartheid, and Confessions of an Economic Hit Man. The NYT just as quickly dismissed the titles as well. TWO: Why does no one release the full translation of Osama's message? Newspapers comment on his statements based on interpretations made by US intelligence contractors, who themselves do not release their translations to the public. Are there no Arabic speakers who wish to translate bin Laden's words for the international audience? Why is everyone content to hear what the US government says is Osama's message? Extracts the US media is reprinting of Osama's message: "Reasonable people know that Obama is a powerless man who will not be able to end the war as he promised, but rather, will continue it to the highest point possible." "The bitter truth is that the neoconservatives continue to cast their heavy shadows upon you." "Ask yourselves to determine your position: is your security, your blood, your children, your money, your jobs, your homes, your economy, and your reputation dearer to you than the security of the Israelis, their children and their economy? "If you choose your security and cessation of war … this requires you to work to punish those on your side who play with our security." "The time has come for you to liberate yourselves from fear and the ideological terrorism of neo-conservatives and the Israeli lobby." "The reason for our dispute with you is your support for your ally Israel, occupying our land in Palestine." "If you think about your situation well, you will know that the White House is occupied by pressure groups." "Rather than fighting to liberate Iraq -- as Bush claimed -- it should have been liberated." "If you stop the war, then fine. Otherwise we will have no choice but to continue our war of attrition on every front... If you choose safety and stopping wars, as opinion polls show you do, then we are ready to respond to this." "You have only changed the faces in the White House." The full English translation, courtesy of the NEFA Foundation: “All praise is due to Allah who created [the] creation for His servants and commanded them to justice, and who permitted those who have been unjustly treated

IDF targets al-Jazeera on West Bank

Did you catch it on Democracy Now? Al-Jazeera reporter Jackie Rowland, broadcasting live from the West Bank covering the weekly Palestinian protests of the Israeli Apartheid Wall at Bil'in, was interrupted by the IDF. The protesters were accustomed to being shelled with tear gas, but this time the Israeli soldiers targeted the reporter. While she was on the air, the IDF soldiers repeatedly fired gas canisters, until she could no longer speak, and a cameraman had to come to her rescue with a spare gas mask. Here's the original footage:

Gilad Schalit speaks for Palestinians

The family of Sgt. Gilad Schalit have leaked a letter they received from him in 2006, where he describes his captivity in Palestine as an "intolerable and inhumane nightmare." Israeli analysts have suggested parts of the letter were dictated by his captors. It bore their POV, for example, where Schalit refers to a location by its Arabic name, or when he calls his Gaza captors "Mujahadeen." They do not cite where it is most obvious, describing his confinement in Gaza as "this cold and lonely prison," an "intolerable and inhumane nightmare." This letter surfaces now in advance of a book on the subject of Israel's efforts to free Schalit. His capture was used to rally IDF maneuvers against its foes. But why release a letter written in 2006, shortly after the Israeli soldier's kidnapping, when Schalit's family is in possession of a letter dated October 2008, delivered by former US president Jimmy Carter?

In Israeli Apartheid, you and I are black

Sorta-leftist websites are touting use-to-be-leftist Uri Avnery's weekend article in Ma'an called "Tutu's Prayer." Where, the founder of Israel's Gush Shalom (touted as "fairly far left" as opposed to grandfather- clause'd phony) argues against the BDS boycott of Israel and against comparisons to South African apartheid. And where, Avnery shows himself blind to his own Judeo-centrism. Rejecting the term apartheid, Avnery writes: "It seems that the blacks in South Africa are very different from the Israelis--" Whaaaaat? Israelis see themselves as not the colonists but the natives! Who is it in Israel that has to wear the sunscreen? Avnery relates his conversation with Archbishop Desmond Tutu as reinforcing why a boycott will not work. Oh, Tutu testifies that the boycott worked against the South African regime. But Avnery points out the uniqueness of the Jews, who suffered the Holocaust. All Jews, he explains, believe the whole world is against them. An international boycott will only reinforce that belief. His conclusion: Israel will resist a boycott forever. Ergo, it won't work. Israelis as forever the victims; doesn't that point to why Israelis cannot begin to see why their actions against their neighbors are likened to war crimes? They see themselves as the black of South Africa. They probably see themselves as the Palestinians in the struggle over Gaza. You don't have to explain to the rest of the world, who is oppressing whom in the Middle East. And that's who has the fuller view of Israeli Apartheid. Apartheid in Israel is much simpler than between Israeli Jews and the dispossessed Palestinians. Under Israeli Apartheid, every Jew in the world has the preferential right to the land of the Palestinians. You, if you are a Jew, have a birthright to Israel, to the roads and lands designated for Jews only. You, if you are not a Jew, do not. That is Israeli Apartheid. To Israel, everyone else, you , me, and the Palestinians are the black.

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