city:tel aviv

  • Washington, Tel Aviv et Londres préparent-ils des bombardements contre l’Iran ? (Sputnik)

    Israël se préparerait à des activités militaires contre l’Iran. La presse israélienne évoque des projets de raids communs au-dessus de la Syrie et de l’Iran avec des chasseurs-bombardiers de 5e génération F-35 de l’aviation américaine, israélienne et britannique.

    Les avions d’Israël, des Etats-Unis et de la Grande-Bretagne s’entraînent actuellement à interagir en conditions de guerre, écrit le quotidien Nezavissimaïa gazeta. Le Pentagone a projeté 12 F-22 sur sa base d’Al Oudeid au Qatar. Jérusalem a accusé les militaires russes d’utiliser des moyens de guerre électronique empêchant la navigation aérienne dans la région. Damas se dit « totalement prêt » à utiliser le système antiaérien S-300 fourni par la Russie fin 2018. Moscou ne nie pas l’éventualité de livrer des S-400 à (...)

  • Burying the Nakba: How Israel systematically hides evidence of 1948 expulsion of Arabs
    By Hagar Shezaf Jul 05, 2019 - Israel News -

    International forces overseeing the evacuation of Iraq al-Manshiyya, near today’s Kiryat Gat, in March, 1949. Collection of Benno Rothenberg/Israel State Archives

    Four years ago, historian Tamar Novick was jolted by a document she found in the file of Yosef Vashitz, from the Arab Department of the left-wing Mapam Party, in the Yad Yaari archive at Givat Haviva. The document, which seemed to describe events that took place during the 1948 war, began:

    “Safsaf [former Palestinian village near Safed] – 52 men were caught, tied them to one another, dug a pit and shot them. 10 were still twitching. Women came, begged for mercy. Found bodies of 6 elderly men. There were 61 bodies. 3 cases of rape, one east of from Safed, girl of 14, 4 men shot and killed. From one they cut off his fingers with a knife to take the ring.”

    The writer goes on to describe additional massacres, looting and abuse perpetrated by Israeli forces in Israel’s War of Independence. “There’s no name on the document and it’s not clear who’s behind it,” Dr. Novick tells Haaretz. “It also breaks off in the middle. I found it very disturbing. I knew that finding a document like this made me responsible for clarifying what happened.”

    The Upper Galilee village of Safsaf was captured by the Israel Defense Forces in Operation Hiram toward the end of 1948. Moshav Safsufa was established on its ruins. Allegations were made over the years that the Seventh Brigade committed war crimes in the village. Those charges are supported by the document Novick found, which was not previously known to scholars. It could also constitute additional evidence that the Israeli top brass knew about what was going on in real time.

    Novick decided to consult with other historians about the document. Benny Morris, whose books are basic texts in the study of the Nakba – the “calamity,” as the Palestinians refer to the mass emigration of Arabs from the country during the 1948 war – told her that he, too, had come across similar documentation in the past. He was referring to notes made by Mapam Central Committee member Aharon Cohen on the basis of a briefing given in November 1948 by Israel Galili, the former chief of staff of the Haganah militia, which became the IDF. Cohen’s notes in this instance, which Morris published, stated: “Safsaf 52 men tied with a rope. Dropped into a pit and shot. 10 were killed. Women pleaded for mercy. [There were] 3 cases of rape. Caught and released. A girl of 14 was raped. Another 4 were killed. Rings of knives.”

    Morris’ footnote (in his seminal “The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947-1949”) states that this document was also found in the Yad Yaari Archive. But when Novick returned to examine the document, she was surprised to discover that it was no longer there.

    Palestine refugees initially displaced to Gaza board boats to Lebanon or Egypt, in 1949. Hrant Nakashian/1949 UN Archives

    “At first I thought that maybe Morris hadn’t been accurate in his footnote, that perhaps he had made a mistake,” Novick recalls. “It took me time to consider the possibility that the document had simply disappeared.” When she asked those in charge where the document was, she was told that it had been placed behind lock and key at Yad Yaari – by order of the Ministry of Defense.

    Since the start of the last decade, Defense Ministry teams have been scouring Israel’s archives and removing historic documents. But it’s not just papers relating to Israel’s nuclear project or to the country’s foreign relations that are being transferred to vaults: Hundreds of documents have been concealed as part of a systematic effort to hide evidence of the Nakba.

    The phenomenon was first detected by the Akevot Institute for Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Research. According to a report drawn up by the institute, the operation is being spearheaded by Malmab, the Defense Ministry’s secretive security department (the name is a Hebrew acronym for “director of security of the defense establishment”), whose activities and budget are classified. The report asserts that Malmab removed historical documentation illegally and with no authority, and at least in some cases has sealed documents that had previously been cleared for publication by the military censor. Some of the documents that were placed in vaults had already been published.
    An investigative report by Haaretz found that Malmab has concealed testimony from IDF generals about the killing of civilians and the demolition of villages, as well as documentation of the expulsion of Bedouin during the first decade of statehood. Conversations conducted by Haaretz with directors of public and private archives alike revealed that staff of the security department had treated the archives as their property, in some cases threatening the directors themselves.

    Yehiel Horev, who headed Malmab for two decades, until 2007, acknowledged to Haaretz that he launched the project, which is still ongoing. He maintains that it makes sense to conceal the events of 1948, because uncovering them could generate unrest among the country’s Arab population. Asked what the point is of removing documents that have already been published, he explained that the objective is to undermine the credibility of studies about the history of the refugee problem. In Horev’s view, an allegation made by a researcher that’s backed up by an original document is not the same as an allegation that cannot be proved or refuted.

    The document Novick was looking for might have reinforced Morris’ work. During the investigation, Haaretz was in fact able to find the Aharon Cohen memo, which sums up a meeting of Mapam’s Political Committee on the subject of massacres and expulsions in 1948. Participants in the meeting called for cooperation with a commission of inquiry that would investigate the events. One case the committee discussed concerned “grave actions” carried out in the village of Al-Dawayima, east of Kiryat Gat. One participant mentioned the then-disbanded Lehi underground militia in this connection. Acts of looting were also reported: “Lod and Ramle, Be’er Sheva, there isn’t [an Arab] store that hasn’t been broken into. 9th Brigade says 7, 7th Brigade says 8.”
    “The party,” the document states near the end, “is against expulsion if there is no military necessity for it. There are different approaches concerning the evaluation of necessity. And further clarification is best. What happened in Galilee – those are Nazi acts! Every one of our members must report what he knows.”

    The Israeli version
    One of the most fascinating documents about the origin of the Palestinian refugee problem was written by an officer in Shai, the precursor to the Shin Bet security service. It discusses why the country was emptied of so many of its Arab inhabitants, dwelling on the circumstances of each village. Compiled in late June 1948, it was titled “The Emigration of the Arabs of Palestine.”

    Read a translation of the document here (1)

    This document was the basis for an article that Benny Morris published in 1986. After the article appeared, the document was removed from the archive and rendered inaccessible to researchers. Years later, the Malmab team reexamined the document, and ordered that it remain classified. They could not have known that a few years later researchers from Akevot would find a copy of the text and run it past the military censors – who authorized its publication unconditionally. Now, after years of concealment, the gist of the document is being revealed here.

    The 25-page document begins with an introduction that unabashedly approves of the evacuation of the Arab villages. According to the author, the month of April “excelled in an increase of emigration,” while May “was blessed with the evacuation of maximum places.” The report then addresses “the causes of the Arab emigration.” According to the Israeli narrative that was disseminated over the years, responsibility for the exodus from Israel rests with Arab politicians who encouraged the population to leave. However, according to the document, 70 percent of the Arabs left as a result of Jewish military operations.

    Palestinian children awaiting distribution of milk by UNICEF at the Nazareth Franciscan Sisters’ convent, on January 1, 1950. AW / UN Photo

    The unnamed author of the text ranks the reasons for the Arabs’ departure in order of importance. The first reason: “Direct Jewish acts of hostility against Arab places of settlement.” The second reason was the impact of those actions on neighboring villages. Third in importance came “operations by the breakaways,” namely the Irgun and Lehi undergrounds. The fourth reason for the Arab exodus was orders issued by Arab institutions and “gangs” (as the document refers to all Arab fighting groups); fifth was “Jewish ’whispering operations’ to induce the Arab inhabitants to flee”; and the sixth factor was “evacuation ultimatums.”

    The author asserts that, “without a doubt, the hostile operations were the main cause of the movement of the population.” In addition, “Loudspeakers in the Arabic language proved their effectiveness on the occasions when they were utilized properly.” As for Irgun and Lehi operations, the report observes that “many in the villages of central Galilee started to flee following the abduction of the notables of Sheikh Muwannis [a village north of Tel Aviv]. The Arab learned that it is not enough to forge an agreement with the Haganah and that there are other Jews [i.e., the breakaway militias] to beware of.”

    The author notes that ultimatums to leave were especially employed in central Galilee, less so in the Mount Gilboa region. “Naturally, the act of this ultimatum, like the effect of the ’friendly advice,’ came after a certain preparing of the ground by means of hostile actions in the area.”
    An appendix to the document describes the specific causes of the exodus from each of scores of Arab locales: Ein Zeitun – “our destruction of the village”; Qeitiya – “harassment, threat of action”; Almaniya – “our action, many killed”; Tira – “friendly Jewish advice”; Al’Amarir – “after robbery and murder carried out by the breakaways”; Sumsum – “our ultimatum”; Bir Salim – “attack on the orphanage”; and Zarnuga – “conquest and expulsion.”

    Short fuse
    In the early 2000s, the Yitzhak Rabin Center conducted a series of interviews with former public and military figures as part of a project to document their activity in the service of the state. The long arm of Malmab seized on these interviews, too. Haaretz, which obtained the original texts of several of the interviews, compared them to the versions that are now available to the public, after large swaths of them were declared classified.

    These included, for example, sections of the testimony of Brig. Gen. (res.) Aryeh Shalev about the expulsion across the border of the residents of a village he called “Sabra.” Later in the interview, the following sentences were deleted: “There was a very serious problem in the valley. There were refugees who wanted to return to the valley, to the Triangle [a concentration of Arab towns and villages in eastern Israel]. We expelled them. I met with them to persuade them not to want that. I have papers about it.”

    In another case, Malmab decided to conceal the following segment from an interview that historian Boaz Lev Tov conducted with Maj. Gen. (res.) Elad Peled:
    Lev Tov: “We’re talking about a population – women and children?”
    Peled: “All, all. Yes.”
    Lev Tov: “Don’t you distinguish between them?”
    Peled: “The problem is very simple. The war is between two populations. They come out of their home.”
    Lev Tov: “If the home exists, they have somewhere to return to?”
    Peled: “It’s not armies yet, it’s gangs. We’re also actually gangs. We come out of the house and return to the house. They come out of the house and return to the house. It’s either their house or our house.”
    Lev Tov: “Qualms belong to the more recent generation?”
    Peled: “Yes, today. When I sit in an armchair here and think about what happened, all kinds of thoughts come to mind.”
    Lev Tov: “Wasn’t that the case then?”
    Peled: “Look, let me tell you something even less nice and cruel, about the big raid in Sasa [Palestinian village in Upper Galilee]. The goal was actually to deter them, to tell them, ‘Dear friends, the Palmach [the Haganah “shock troops”] can reach every place, you are not immune.’ That was the heart of the Arab settlement. But what did we do? My platoon blew up 20 homes with everything that was there.”
    Lev Tov: “While people were sleeping there?”
    Peled: “I suppose so. What happened there, we came, we entered the village, planted a bomb next to every house, and afterward Homesh blew on a trumpet, because we didn’t have radios, and that was the signal [for our forces] to leave. We’re running in reverse, the sappers stay, they pull, it’s all primitive. They light the fuse or pull the detonator and all those houses are gone.”

    IDF soldiers guarding Palestinians in Ramle, in 1948. Collection of Benno Rothenberg/The IDF and Defense Establishment Archives

    Another passage that the Defense Ministry wanted to keep from the public came from Dr. Lev Tov’s conversation with Maj. Gen. Avraham Tamir:
    Tamir: “I was under Chera [Maj. Gen. Tzvi Tzur, later IDF chief of staff], and I had excellent working relations with him. He gave me freedom of action – don’t ask – and I happened to be in charge of staff and operations work during two developments deriving from [Prime Minister David] Ben-Gurion’s policy. One development was when reports arrived about marches of refugees from Jordan toward the abandoned villages [in Israel]. And then Ben-Gurion lays down as policy that we have to demolish [the villages] so they won’t have anywhere to return to. That is, all the Arab villages, most of which were in [the area covered by] Central Command, most of them.”
    Lev Tov: “The ones that were still standing?”
    Tamir: “The ones that weren’t yet inhabited by Israelis. There were places where we had already settled Israelis, like Zakariyya and others. But most of them were still abandoned villages.”
    Lev Tov: “That were standing?”
    Tamir: “Standing. It was necessary for there to be no place for them to return to, so I mobilized all the engineering battalions of Central Command, and within 48 hours I knocked all those villages to the ground. Period. There’s no place to return to.”
    Lev Tov: “Without hesitation, I imagine.”
    Tamir: “Without hesitation. That was the policy. I mobilized, I carried it out and I did it.”

    Crates in vaults
    The vault of the Yad Yaari Research and Documentation Center is one floor below ground level. In the vault, which is actually a small, well-secured room, are stacks of crates containing classified documents. The archive houses the materials of the Hashomer Hatzair movement, the Kibbutz Ha’artzi kibbutz movement, Mapam, Meretz and other bodies, such as Peace Now.
    The archive’s director is Dudu Amitai, who is also chairman of the Association of Israel Archivists. According to Amitai, Malmab personnel visited the archive regularly between 2009 and 2011. Staff of the archive relate that security department teams – two Defense Ministry retirees with no archival training – would show up two or three times a week. They searched for documents according to such keywords as “nuclear,” “security” and “censorship,” and also devoted considerable time to the War of Independence and the fate of the pre-1948 Arab villages.
    “In the end, they submitted a summary to us, saying that they had located a few dozen sensitive documents,” Amitai says. “We don’t usually take apart files, so dozens of files, in their entirety, found their way into our vault and were removed from the public catalog.” A file might contain more than 100 documents.
    One of the files that was sealed deals with the military government that controlled the lives of Israel’s Arab citizens from 1948 until 1966. For years, the documents were stored in the same vault, inaccessible to scholars. Recently, in the wake of a request by Prof. Gadi Algazi, a historian from Tel Aviv University, Amitai examined the file himself and ruled that there was no reason not to unseal it, Malmab’s opinion notwithstanding.

    According to Algazi, there could be several reasons for Malmab’s decision to keep the file classified. One of them has to do with a secret annex it contains to a report by a committee that examined the operation of the military government. The report deals almost entirely with land-ownership battles between the state and Arab citizens, and barely touches on security matters.

    Another possibility is a 1958 report by the ministerial committee that oversaw the military government. In one of the report’s secret appendixes, Col. Mishael Shaham, a senior officer in the military government, explains that one reason for not dismantling the martial law apparatus is the need to restrict Arab citizens’ access to the labor market and to prevent the reestablishment of destroyed villages.
    A third possible explanation for hiding the file concerns previously unpublished historical testimony about the expulsion of Bedouin. On the eve of Israel’s establishment, nearly 100,000 Bedouin lived in the Negev. Three years later, their number was down to 13,000. In the years during and after the independence war, a number of expulsion operations were carried out in the country’s south. In one case, United Nations observers reported that Israel had expelled 400 Bedouin from the Azazma tribe and cited testimonies of tents being burned. The letter that appears in the classified file describes a similar expulsion carried out as late as 1956, as related by geologist Avraham Parnes:

    The evacuation of Iraq al-Manshiyya, near today’s Kiryat Gat, in March, 1949. Collection of Benno Rothenberg/The IDF and Defense Establishment Archives

    “A month ago we toured Ramon [crater]. The Bedouin in the Mohila area came to us with their flocks and their families and asked us to break bread with them. I replied that we had a great deal of work to do and didn’t have time. In our visit this week, we headed toward Mohila again. Instead of the Bedouin and their flocks, there was deathly silence. Scores of camel carcasses were scattered in the area. We learned that three days earlier the IDF had ‘screwed’ the Bedouin, and their flocks were destroyed – the camels by shooting, the sheep with grenades. One of the Bedouin, who started to complain, was killed, the rest fled.”

    The testimony continued, “Two weeks earlier, they’d been ordered to stay where they were for the time being, afterward they were ordered to leave, and to speed things up 500 head were slaughtered.... The expulsion was executed ‘efficiently.’” The letter goes on to quote what one of the soldiers said to Parnes, according to his testimony: “They won’t go unless we’ve screwed their flocks. A young girl of about 16 approached us. She had a beaded necklace of brass snakes. We tore the necklace and each of us took a bead for a souvenir.”

    The letter was originally sent to MK Yaakov Uri, from Mapai (forerunner of Labor), who passed it on to Development Minister Mordechai Bentov (Mapam). “His letter shocked me,” Uri wrote Bentov. The latter circulated the letter among all the cabinet ministers, writing, “It is my opinion that the government cannot simply ignore the facts related in the letter.” Bentov added that, in light of the appalling contents of the letter, he asked security experts to check its credibility. They had confirmed that the contents “do in fact generally conform to the truth.”

    Nuclear excuse
    It was during the tenure of historian Tuvia Friling as Israel’s chief archivist, from 2001 to 2004, that Malmab carried out its first archival incursions. What began as an operation to prevent the leakage of nuclear secrets, he says, became, in time, a large-scale censorship project.
    “I resigned after three years, and that was one of the reasons,” Prof. Friling says. “The classification placed on the document about the Arabs’ emigration in 1948 is precisely an example of what I was apprehensive about. The storage and archival system is not an arm of the state’s public relations. If there’s something you don’t like – well, that’s life. A healthy society also learns from its mistakes.”

    Why did Friling allow the Defense Ministry to have access the archives? The reason, he says, was the intention to give the public access to archival material via the internet. In discussions about the implications of digitizing the material, concern was expressed that references in the documents to a “certain topic” would be made public by mistake. The topic, of course, is Israel’s nuclear project. Friling insists that the only authorization Malmab received was to search for documents on that subject.

    But Malmab’s activity is only one example of a broader problem, Friling notes: “In 1998, the confidentiality of the [oldest documents in the] Shin Bet and Mossad archives expired. For years those two institutions disdained the chief archivist. When I took over, they requested that the confidentiality of all the material be extended [from 50] to 70 years, which is ridiculous – most of the material can be opened.”

    In 2010, the confidentiality period was extended to 70 years; last February it was extended again, to 90 years, despite the opposition of the Supreme Council of Archives. “The state may impose confidentiality on some of its documentation,” Friling says. “The question is whether the issue of security doesn’t act as a kind of cover. In many cases, it’s already become a joke.”
    In the view of Yad Yaari’s Dudu Amitai, the confidentiality imposed by the Defense Ministry must be challenged. In his period at the helm, he says, one of the documents placed in the vault was an order issued by an IDF general, during a truce in the War of Independence, for his troops to refrain from rape and looting. Amitai now intends to go over the documents that were deposited in the vault, especially 1948 documents, and open whatever is possible. “We’ll do it cautiously and responsibly, but recognizing that the State of Israel has to learn how to cope with the less pleasant aspects of its history.”
    In contrast to Yad Yaari, where ministry personnel no longer visit, they are continuing to peruse documents at Yad Tabenkin, the research and documentation center of the United Kibbutz Movement. The director, Aharon Azati, reached an agreement with the Malmab teams under which documents will be transferred to the vault only if he is convinced that this is justified. But in Yad Tabenkin, too, Malmab has broadened its searches beyond the realm of nuclear project to encompass interviews conducted by archival staff with former members of the Palmach, and has even perused material about the history of the settlements in the occupied territories.

    Malmab has, for example, shown interest in the Hebrew-language book “A Decade of Discretion: Settlement Policy in the Territories 1967-1977,” published by Yad Tabenkin in 1992, and written by Yehiel Admoni, director of the Jewish Agency’s Settlement Department during the decade he writes about. The book mentions a plan to settle Palestinian refugees in the Jordan Valley and to the uprooting of 1,540 Bedouin families from the Rafah area of the Gaza Strip in 1972, including an operation that included the sealing of wells by the IDF. Ironically, in the case of the Bedouin, Admoni quotes former Justice Minister Yaakov Shimshon Shapira as saying, “It is not necessary to stretch the security rationale too far. The whole Bedouin episode is not a glorious chapter of the State of Israel.”

    Palestinian refugees leaving their village, unknown location, 1948. UNRWA

    According to Azati, “We are moving increasingly to a tightening of the ranks. Although this is an era of openness and transparency, there are apparently forces that are pulling in the opposite direction.”
    Unauthorized secrecy
    About a year ago, the legal adviser to the State Archives, attorney Naomi Aldouby, wrote an opinion titled “Files Closed Without Authorization in Public Archives.” According to her, the accessibility policy of public archives is the exclusive purview of the director of each institution.
    Despite Aldouby’s opinion, however, in the vast majority of cases, archivists who encountered unreasonable decisions by Malmab did not raise objections – that is, until 2014, when Defense Ministry personnel arrived at the archive of the Harry S. Truman Research Institute at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. To the visitors’ surprise, their request to examine the archive – which contains collections of former minister and diplomat Abba Eban and Maj. Gen. (res.) Shlomo Gazit – was turned down by its then director, Menahem Blondheim.

    According to Blondheim, “I told them that the documents in question were decades old, and that I could not imagine that there was any security problem that would warrant restricting their access to researchers. In response, they said, ‘And let’s say there is testimony here that wells were poisoned in the War of Independence?’ I replied, ‘Fine, those people should be brought to trial.’”
    Blondheim’s refusal led to a meeting with a more senior ministry official, only this time the attitude he encountered was different and explicit threats were made. Finally the two sides reached an accommodation.
    Benny Morris is not surprised at Malmab’s activity. “I knew about it,” he says “Not officially, no one informed me, but I encountered it when I discovered that documents I had seen in the past are now sealed. There were documents from the IDF Archive that I used for an article about Deir Yassin, and which are now sealed. When I came to the archive, I was no longer allowed to see the original, so I pointed out in a footnote [in the article] that the State Archive had denied access to documents that I had published 15 years earlier.”
    The Malmab case is only one example of the battle being waged for access to archives in Israel. According to the executive director of the Akevot Institute, Lior Yavne, “The IDF Archive, which is the largest archive in Israel, is sealed almost hermetically. About 1 percent of the material is open. The Shin Bet archive, which contains materials of immense importance [to scholars], is totally closed apart from a handful of documents.”

    A report written by Yaacov Lozowick, the previous chief archivist at the State Archives, upon his retirement, refers to the defense establishment’s grip on the country’s archival materials. In it, he writes, “A democracy must not conceal information because it is liable to embarrass the state. In practice, the security establishment in Israel, and to a certain extent that of foreign relations as well, are interfering with the [public] discussion.”

    Advocates of concealment put forward several arguments, Lozowick notes: “The uncovering of the facts could provide our enemies with a battering ram against us and weaken the determination of our friends; it’s liable to stir up the Arab population; it could enfeeble the state’s arguments in courts of law; and what is revealed could be interpreted as Israeli war crimes.” However, he says, “All these arguments must be rejected. This is an attempt to hide part of the historical truth in order to construct a more convenient version.”

    What Malmab says
    Yehiel Horev was the keeper of the security establishment’s secrets for more than two decades. He headed the Defense Ministry’s security department from 1986 until 2007 and naturally kept out of the limelight. To his credit, he now agreed to talk forthrightly to Haaretz about the archives project.
    “I don’t remember when it began,” Horev says, “but I do know that I started it. If I’m not mistaken, it started when people wanted to publish documents from the archives. We had to set up teams to examine all outgoing material.”
    From conversations with archive directors, it’s clear that a good deal of the documents on which confidentiality was imposed relate to the War of Independence. Is concealing the events of 1948 part of the purpose of Malmab?

    Palestinian refugees in the Ramle area, 1948. Boris Carmi / The IDF and Defense Establishment Archives

    “What does ‘part of the purpose’ mean? The subject is examined based on an approach of whether it could harm Israel’s foreign relations and the defense establishment. Those are the criteria. I think it’s still relevant. There has not been peace since 1948. I may be wrong, but to the best of my knowledge the Arab-Israeli conflict has not been resolved. So yes, it could be that problematic subjects remain.”

    Asked in what way such documents might be problematic, Horev speaks of the possibility of agitation among the country’s Arab citizens. From his point of view, every document must be perused and every case decided on its merits.

    If the events of 1948 weren’t known, we could argue about whether this approach is the right one. That is not the case. Many testimonies and studies have appeared about the history of the refugee problem. What’s the point of hiding things?
    “The question is whether it can do harm or not. It’s a very sensitive matter. Not everything has been published about the refugee issue, and there are all kinds of narratives. Some say there was no flight at all, only expulsion. Others say there was flight. It’s not black-and-white. There’s a difference between flight and those who say they were forcibly expelled. It’s a different picture. I can’t say now if it merits total confidentiality, but it’s a subject that definitely has to be discussed before a decision is made about what to publish.”

    For years, the Defense Ministry has imposed confidentiality on a detailed document that describes the reasons for the departure of those who became refugees. Benny Morris has already written about the document, so what’s the logic of keeping it hidden?
    “I don’t remember the document you’re referring to, but if he quoted from it and the document itself is not there [i.e., where Morris says it is], then his facts aren’t strong. If he says, ‘Yes, I have the document,’ I can’t argue with that. But if he says that it’s written there, that could be right and it could be wrong. If the document were already outside and were sealed in the archive, I would say that that’s folly. But if someone quoted from it – there’s a difference of day and night in terms of the validity of the evidence he cited.”

    In this case, we’re talking about the most quoted scholar when it comes to the Palestinian refugees.
    “The fact that you say ‘scholar’ makes no impression on me. I know people in academia who spout nonsense about subjects that I know from A to Z. When the state imposes confidentiality, the published work is weakened, because he doesn’t have the document.”

    But isn’t concealing documents based on footnotes in books an attempt to lock the barn door after the horses have bolted?
    “I gave you an example that this needn’t be the case. If someone writes that the horse is black, if the horse isn’t outside the barn, you can’t prove that it’s really black.”

    There are legal opinions stating that Malmab’s activity in the archives is illegal and unauthorized.
    “If I know that an archive contains classified material, I am empowered to tell the police to go there and confiscate the material. I can also utilize the courts. I don’t need the archivist’s authorization. If there is classified material, I have the authority to act. Look, there’s policy. Documents aren’t sealed for no reason. And despite it all, I won’t say to you that everything that’s sealed is 100 percent justified [in being sealed].”

    The Defense Ministry refused to respond to specific questions regarding the findings of this investigative report and made do with the following response: “The director of security of the defense establishment operates by virtue of his responsibility to protect the state’s secrets and its security assets. The Malmab does not provide details about its mode of activity or its missions.”

    Lee Rotbart assisted in providing visual research for this article.


  • Nouvelle journée de #manifestations après la mort d’un Israélien d’origine éthiopienne

    Des manifestations ont eu lieu mercredi à Tel-Aviv et dans le nord d’#Israël pour la troisième journée consécutive, après le décès d’un jeune Israélien d’origine éthiopienne, tué par un policier, la communauté éthiopienne dénonçant un crime raciste.

    #Solomon_Teka, âgé de 19 ans, a été tué dimanche soir par un policier qui n’était pas en service au moment des faits, à Kiryat Haim, une ville proche du port de Haïfa, dans le nord d’Israël.

    Des dizaines de policiers ont été déployés mercredi dans la ville de Kiryat Ata, non loin de Kiryat Haim. Des manifestants tentant de bloquer une route ont été dispersés par la police.

    Malgré des appels au calme lancés par les autorités, des jeunes se sont aussi à nouveau rassemblés à Tel-Aviv. Une centaine de personnes ont défié la police en bloquant une route avant d’être dispersées.

    En trois jours, 140 personnes ont été arrêtées et 111 policiers blessés par des jets de pierres, bouteilles et bombes incendiaires lors des manifestations dans le pays, selon un nouveau bilan de la police.

    Les embouteillages et les images de voitures en feu ont fait la une des médias.

    Le Premier ministre Benjamin Netanyahu et le président israélien Reuven Rivlin ont appelé au calme, tout en reconnaissant que les problèmes auxquels était confrontée la communauté israélo-éthiopienne devaient être traités.

    – ’Tragédie’-

    « La mort de Solomon Teka est une immense tragédie », a dit le Premier ministre. « Des leçons seront tirées. Mais une chose est claire : nous ne pouvons tolérer les violences que nous avons connues hier », a-t-il déclaré mercredi lors d’une réunion du comité ministériel sur l’intégration de la communauté éthiopienne.

    « Nous ne pouvons pas voir de routes bloquées, ni de cocktails Molotov, ni d’attaques contre des policiers, des citoyens et des propriétés privées », a-t-il ajouté.

    Le ministre de la Sécurité publique, Gilad Erdan, et le commissaire de la police, Moti Cohen, ont rencontré des représentants de la communauté israélo-éthiopienne, selon un communiqué de la police.

    La police a rapporté que le policier ayant tué le jeune homme avait tenté de s’interposer lors d’une bagarre entre jeunes. Après avoir expliqué qu’il était un agent des forces de l’ordre, des jeunes lui auraient alors lancé des pierres. L’homme aurait ouvert le feu après s’être senti menacé.

    Mais d’autres jeunes présents et un passant interrogés par les médias israéliens ont assuré que le policier n’avait pas été agressé.

    L’agent a été assigné à résidence et une enquête a été ouverte, a indiqué le porte-parole de la police.

    En janvier, des milliers de juifs éthiopiens étaient déjà descendus dans la rue à Tel-Aviv après la mort d’un jeune de leur communauté tué par un policier.

    Ils affirment vivre dans la crainte d’être la cible de la police. La communauté juive éthiopienne en Israël compte environ 140.000 personnes, dont plus de 50.000 sont nées dans le pays. Elle se plaint souvent de racisme institutionnalisé à son égard.
    #discriminations #racisme #xénophobie #décès #violences_policières #police #éthiopiens

    • Ethiopian-Israelis Protest for 3rd Day After Fatal Police Shooting

      Ethiopian-Israelis and their supporters took to the streets across the country on Wednesday for a third day of protests in an outpouring of rage after an off-duty police officer fatally shot a black youth, and the Israeli police turned out in force to try to keep the main roads open.

      The mostly young demonstrators have blocked major roads and junctions, paralyzing traffic during the evening rush hour, with disturbances extending into the night, protesting what community activists describe as deeply ingrained racism and discrimination in Israeli society.

      Scores have been injured — among them many police officers, according to the emergency services — and dozens of protesters have been detained, most of them briefly. Israeli leaders called for calm; fewer protesters turned out on Wednesday.

      “We must stop, I repeat, stop and think together how we go on from here,” President Reuven Rivlin said on Wednesday. “None of us have blood that is thicker than anyone else’s, and the lives of our brothers and sisters will never be forfeit.”
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      On Tuesday night, rioters threw stones and firebombs at the police and overturned and set fire to cars in chaotic scenes rarely witnessed in the center of Tel Aviv and other Israeli cities.

      After initially holding back, the police fired stun grenades, tear gas and hard sponge bullets and sent in officers on horseback, prompting demonstrators to accuse them of the kind of police brutality that they had turned out to protest in the first place.

      The man who was killed, Solomon Tekah, 18, arrived from Ethiopia with his family seven years ago. On Sunday night, he was with friends in the northern port city of Haifa, outside a youth center he attended. An altercation broke out, and a police officer, who was out with his wife and children, intervened.

      The officer said that the youths had thrown stones that struck him and that he believed that he was in a life-threatening situation. He drew his gun and said he fired toward the ground, according to Micky Rosenfeld, a police spokesman.

      Mr. Tekah’s friends said that they were just trying to get away after the officer began harassing them. Whether the bullet ricocheted or was fired directly at Mr. Tekah, it hit him in the chest, killing him.

      “He was one of the favorites,” said Avshalom Zohar-Sal, 22, a youth leader at the center, Beit Yatziv, which offers educational enrichment and tries to keep underprivileged youth out of trouble. Mr. Zohar-Sal, who was not there at the time of the shooting, said that another youth leader had tried to resuscitate Mr. Tekah.

      The police officer who shot Mr. Tekah is under investigation by the Justice Ministry. His rapid release to house arrest has further inflamed passions around what Mr. Tekah’s supporters call his murder.

      In a televised statement on Tuesday as violence raged, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that all Israel embraced the family of the dead youth and the Ethiopian community in general. But he added: “We are a nation of law; we will not tolerate the blocking of roads. I ask you, let us solve the problems together while upholding the law.”

      Many other Israelis said that while they were sympathetic to the Ethiopian-Israelis’ cause — especially after the death of Mr. Tekah — the protesters had “lost them” because of the ensuing violence and vandalism.

      Reflecting a gulf of disaffection, Ethiopian-Israeli activists said that they believed that the rest of Israeli society had never really supported them.

      “When were they with us? When?” asked Eyal Gato, 33, an Ethiopian-born activist who came to Israel in 1991 in the airlift known as Operation Solomon, which brought 14,000 Ethiopian Jews to Israel within 36 hours.

      The airlift was a cause of national celebration at the time, and many of the immigrants bent down to kiss the tarmac. But integration has since proved difficult for many, with rates of truancy, suicide, divorce and domestic violence higher than in the rest of Israeli society.

      Mr. Gato, a postgraduate student of sociology who works for an immigrant organization called Olim Beyahad, noted that the largely poor Ethiopian-Israeli community of about 150,000, which is less than 2 percent of the population, had little electoral or economic clout.

      He compared their situation to African-Americans in Chicago or Ferguson, Mo., but said that the Israeli iteration of “Black Lives Matter” had no organized movement behind it, and that the current protests had been spontaneous.

      Recalling his own experiences — such as being pulled over by the police a couple of years ago when he was driving a Toyota from work in a well-to-do part of Rehovot, in central Israel, and being asked what he was doing there in that car — Mr. Gato said he had to carry his identity card with him at all times “to prove I’m not a criminal.”

      The last Ethiopian protests broke out in 2015, after a soldier of Ethiopian descent was beaten by two Israeli police officers as he headed home in uniform in a seemingly unprovoked assault that was caught on video. At the time, Mr. Gato said, 40 percent of the inmates of Israel’s main youth detention center had an Ethiopian background. Since 1997, he said, a dozen young Ethiopian-Israelis have died in encounters with the police.

      A government committee set up after that episode to stamp out racism against Ethiopian-Israelis acknowledged the existence of institutional racism in areas such as employment, military enlistment and the police, and recommended that officers wear body cameras.

      “Ethiopians are seen as having brought their values of modesty and humility with them,” Mr. Gato said. “They expect us to continue to be nice and to demonstrate quietly.”

      But the second generation of the Ethiopian immigration has proved less passive than their parents, who were grateful for being brought to Israel.

      The grievances go back at least to the mid-1990s. Then, Ethiopian immigrants exploded in rage when reports emerged that Israel was secretly dumping the blood they donated for fear that it was contaminated with H.I.V., the virus that causes AIDS.

      “The community is frustrated and in pain,” said one protester, Rachel Malada, 23, from Rehovot, who was born in Gondar Province in Ethiopia and who was brought to Israel at the age of 2 months.

      “This takes us out to the streets, because we must act up,” she said. “Our parents cannot do this, but we must.”

  • Tractations entre Riyad et Tel Aviv sur un aéroport militaire israélien en Arabie ? – Site de la chaîne AlManar-Liban

    Selon des sources arabes citées par le site d’informations en ligne Khalij on line, cet aérodrome devrait être destiné à accueillir ses avions militaires, à les approvisionner en carburant et y héberger ses soldats. Il serait même question d’y installer des radars et des appareils de surveillance et d’espionnage spécialement conçus pour les aéroports militaires.

    La demande israélienne a déjà été présentée aux autorités saoudiennes depuis plusieurs mois, indiquent les sources arabes selon lesquelles les tractations ont été entamées pour louer une portion de terre pour une longue durée.

    Elle pourrait se situer non loin de l’aéroport de l’émir Sultane ben Abdel Aziz à deux kilomètres de la ville de Tabouk, dans le nord du royaume.
    Cette région hautement sensible revêt son importance stratégique et militaire du fait qu’elle se situe dans une zone censée être la plus proche de la Palestine occupée.


  • Israël tente-t-il de dissimuler des exportations d’armes aux milices néonazies en Ukraine ?
    Par Shuki Taussig – 19 juin 2019 – +972/Seventh Eye | Traduction : JPP pour l’Agence Média Palestine

    Israël vend-il sciemment des armes aux milices néonazies d’Ukraine ? En juin dernier, un groupe de militants israéliens pour les droits de l’homme a déposé une requête auprès du tribunal de district de Tel Aviv pour demander que le gouvernement cesse d’exporter des armes vers ce pays où des groupes armés se sont engagés depuis ces cinq dernières années.

    En réponse, l’État a demandé que le tribunal rende une ordonnance d’obligation au secret sur les procédures judiciaires relatives à la vente prétendue d’armes et de compétences militaires aux combattants néonazis d’Ukraine, et il a demandé au tribunal de tenir son audience à huis clos et d’exposer ses arguments lors d’une audience ex parte (sans que la partie intimée en soit informée – ndt). (...)

  • Renault et Nissan inaugurent un laboratoire conjoint en Israël
    Reuters10 juin 2019

    TEL AVIV (Reuters) - Renault et Nissan, dont les relations sont actuellement tendues, ont inauguré lundi à Tel Aviv un laboratoire d’innovation conjoint censé permettre à leur alliance de développer des projets avec des start-up israéliennes.

    Ce laboratoire, qui bénéficie d’un partenariat exclusif avec l’autorité israélienne de l’innovation, sera dédié au développement de capteurs pour véhicules autonomes, à la cybersécurité et au « big data », l’analyse de données.

  • Reporters sans frontières : le crime paie Théophraste R. - 3 Juin 2019 - LGS

    Le 21 octobre 2000, le journaliste Jacques-Marie Bourget (1) se trouvait sur une place publique à Ramallah (Palestine). Tout était calme, les cafés étaient ouverts quand un tireur d’élite israélien «  non identifié  » lui a perforé le poumon d’une balle de son fusil d’assaut américain « M16 ». Alors même que le pronostic vital était engagé, il a fallu l’intervention personnelle de Jacques Chirac pour qu’Israël autorise l’évacuation du journaliste. La victime miraculée nous dira prochainement sur ce site tout ce qu’elle ne doit pas à Reporters sans Frontières.

    C’était hier, c’est encore aujourd’hui. Le 28 février 2019, une commission d’enquête indépendante de l’ONU a révélé que des tireurs d’élite israéliens tirent intentionnellement sur des journalistes (2).
    En novembre 2007, Maxime Vivas publiait un livre-enquête sur l’organisation Reporters sans Frontières et sur son secrétaire général Robert Ménard, alors intouchable et coqueluche des médias, toutes tendances confondues (Ménard fut invité à la fête de l’Huma). Mettant de côté son amour pour la liberté d’expression, le secrétaire général de RSF menaça à 4 reprises de traduire l’impertinent auteur devant un tribunal.

    Le 19 mai 2019, Christophe Deloire, actuel secrétaire général de Reporters sans frontières a reçu le prix de la « défense de la démocratie » (sic) lors d’une cérémonie à Tel Aviv en présence du président israélien Reuven Rivlin.

    Théophraste R. Auteur du proverbe : «  RSF est à la liberté d’expression ce que Monsanto est à l’écologie, Ségolène Royal au socialisme et BHL à la philosophie  ».

    (1) Grand reporter et écrivain, Jacques-Marie Bourget a publié 95 articles sur le site d’information alternative Le Grand Soir. Il a commencé sa carrière chez Gallimard à la NRF puis il a enchaîné à l’ORTF, l’Aurore, le Canard Enchainé, l’Express, VSD, le Sunday Times, Paris-Match et Bakchich. En 1986 a obtenu le Prix Scoop pour avoir révélé l’affaire Greenpeace.

    (2) Gaza 2018 : «  La Commission a constaté que les forces de sécurité israéliennes avaient tué 183 […] manifestants avec des balles réelles, dont 35 enfants, trois ambulanciers paramédicaux et deux des journalistes, clairement identifiés.  »

    #crimes_de_guerre #israel #israël #gaza #occupation #colonisation #rsf #reporters_sans_frontières #robert_ménard #christophe_deloire

  • Israël aurait largement compté sur la #NSA pendant la #guerre du #Liban de 2006 | The Times of Israël

    Israël a largement compté sur les renseignements américains lors de la guerre du Liban de 2006, et a demandé, à de nombreuses reprises, de l’aide pour localiser des terroristes du #Hezbollah en vue d’assassinats ciblés, selon les derniers documents classifiés ayant fuité par l’intermédiaire du lanceur d’alerte américain Edward Snowden.

    Les deux documents divulgués mercredi ont révélé que même si l’Agence de sécurité nationale (NSA) n’avait pas l’autorisation légale de partager des informations en vue d’assassinats ciblés, la pression israélienne a conduit à la création d’un nouveau cadre de travail pour faciliter le partage de renseignements entre les deux pays.

    L’un des documents rendu public cette semaine, par The Intercept, était un article de 2006 paru dans la newsletter interne de la NSA, SIDToday, écrit par un officiel anonyme de la NSA à Tel Aviv qui officiait comme agent de liaison avec des officiels israéliens pendant le conflit de 2006.


    Le rapport explique que la guerre de 2006 a poussé l’ISNU [l’unité israélienne SIGINT de renseignements militaires] dans ses « limites techniques et de moyens », et des officiels israéliens se sont tournés vers leurs homologues américains à la NSA pour obtenir un grand soutien et de nombreuses informations sur des cibles du Hezbollah.

    #états-unis #agression #guerre_des_33_jours

  • Eurovision : Une danseuse de Madonna interrogée en Israël pour avoir porté le drapeau palestinien sur scène
    Huffington Post Maghreb, le 21 mai 2019

    Un argument qu’on oublie parfois de donner aux artistes (et surtout aux groupes d’artistes) qui se rendent en israel, c’est qu’ils vont faire face à la douane israélienne et à son racisme, qui sera en particulier sans pitié si l’un des membres du groupe a un nom à consonance arabe, ou une couleur de peau un peu trop foncée... C’est ce qui est arrivé à la danseuse d’origine marocaine de la troupe de Madonna. A mon avis, le fait que ce soit elle qui portait le drapeau palestinien sur son costume n’est qu’une circonstance aggravante :

    Au moment de l’enregistrement à l’aéroport de Tel Aviv, son passeport est en effet consulté par plusieurs personnes, dit-elle. “Puis j’ai été détenue pour un interrogatoire d’une heure et demie ! J’ai dû leur raconter ma vie, les raisons pour lesquelles j’ai voyagé dans des pays arabes, ma relation à la religion, ma situation familiale, montrer l’emploi du temps détaillé de mon séjour, et expliquer exactement ce que je faisais et où je suis allée la dernière fois que je suis venue à Jerusalem il y a trois ans”.

    Si le motif justifiant l’interrogatoire ne lui a pas été dévoilé, la danseuse établit un lien entre la prestation scénique délivrée samedi soir et cette expérience “intense” qui l’a menée à âtre interrogée par les autorités israéliennes : “Tout ça probablement parce que j’ai porté un drapeau dans le cadre d’une performance faisant référence à un conflit actuel, pour promouvoir la paix, l’unité et la liberté. Je ne peux même pas imaginer la surveillance et la répression auxquelles le peuple palestinien est confronté quotidiennement.”

    NB : en 2008, le seul danseur noir de la troupe d’Alvin Ailey (son prénom était aussi Abdur-Rahim) avait été interrogé pendant des heures, et forcé de danser dans l’aéroport pour prouver qu’il était véritablement un danseur...

    #Palestine #Eurovision #Madonna #Alvin_Ailey #danse #Frontière #Douane #Aéroport #Racisme #Musique #Musique_et_politique #BDS #Boycott_culturel

    Sur ce sujet, une liste d’expulsions aux frontières israéliennes ici :

  • Des manifestants haredi dispersés à Jérusalem par des femmes en soutien-gorge | The Times of Israël

    Des femmes se dévétissent durant une manifestation par des ultra-orthodoxes à Jérusalem le 18 mai 2019.
    (Capture d’écran)

    Les ultra-orthodoxes manifestaient contre la « profanation » du Shabbat par l’Eurovision ; ils ont préféré quitter les rues que de rester face à des femmes dévêtues

    Des dizaines de policiers à Jérusalem aidés par la police montée, qui tentaient de disperser une émeute ultra-orthodoxes samedi, a reçu de l’aide d’un intervenant inattendu : des femmes qui ont retiré leur haut, dispersant tous les manifestants, qui n’ont pas le droit, selon la loi religieuse, de les regarder.

    Des centaines d’hommes et de jeunes garçons ultra-orthodoxes ont affronté la police samedi après-midi, bloquant la circulation et attaquant les policiers durant une manifestation contre la profanation du Shabbat par les employés qui préparaient l’Eurovision à Tel Aviv lors du jour du repos du Shabbat.

    Alors que les protestants bloquaient les routes d’un quartier ultra-orthodoxe, au centre de la ville, au moins quatre femmes se sont dévêtues pour rester en soutien-gorge, obligeant ainsi les manifestants à quitter les rues, étant donné qu’il leur est interdit de regarder des femmes jugées impudiques.

  • Un drapeau palestinien brandi par le groupe islandais, la prestation de Madonna : les polémiques de l’Eurovision en vidéos
    AFP - Publié à 08h35

    La finale de l’Eurovision, résolument apolitique mais précédée par les appels au boycott de la part des défenseurs des Palestiniens, n’a pas échappé entièrement à la controverse. Selon les médias israéliens, deux des danseurs de Madonna, annoncée comme la grande invitée vedette de la soirée, arboraient dans le dos des drapeaux israélien et palestinien. Ce qui pouvait être interprété comme un message de fraternité.

    Plus polémique, au moment de l’annonce des résultats, les membres du groupe islandais Hatari, connu pour leur opposition déclarée à l’occupation israélienne des Territoires palestiniens, ont déployé des banderoles aux couleurs palestiniennes, suscitant des sifflets dans le public.

    L’Union européenne de Radio-télévision (UER), organisatrice, a souligné dans un communiqué que la référence politique faite par les danseurs de Madonna ne figurait pas dans les répétitions telles que l’UER les avait approuvées. L’Eurovision « est un évènement apolitique et Madonna en avait été informée », a-t-elle dit.

    Quant à Hatari, leurs agissements « contreviennent directement » aux règles du concours, et « les conséquences (en) seront discutées » par la direction de la compétition, a-t-elle dit. (...)

    PACBI :

    Palestinian civil society overwhelmingly rejects fig-leaf gestures of solidarity from international artists crossing our peaceful picket line #Hatari

    Even @Madonna had to raise a Palestinian flag in her complicit #Eurovision performance- testament to growing support for Palestinian rights globally. Still, entertaining apartheid Tel Aviv for $1M serves an immoral political agenda. #BoycottEurovision2019 #ESF19 #DareToDream

  • Eurovision 2019 : dernier appel de Gaza | Agence Media Palestine
    Qu’est-ce que cela fait de chanter si près de tant de misère humaine et de tant de souffrance ?
    Par Haidar Eid, 17 mai 2019

    Un chanteur palestinien joue pendant un événement appelant au boycott de l’Eurovision sur les décombres d’un immeuble récemment détruit par les raids aériens israéliens sur Gaza le 14 mai [Reuters/Mohammed Salem]

    Chère Madonna, chers concurrents de l’Eurovision 2019,

    Vous avez jusqu’à présent décidé d’ignorer plusieurs demandes de respecter le piquet de grève palestinien. Le 9 mai, des organisations culturelles et des artistes de Gaza ont lancé un appel fort demandant de boycotter la compétition par respect pour les deux bébés et les deux femmes enceintes tués avec 23 autres Palestiniens dans le dernier assaut violent d’Israël sur la Bande de Gaza.

    En plus des appels répétés des Palestiniens et de leur mouvement de Boycott, désinvestissement, sanctions (BDS), des dizaines de milliers de personnes en Europe et dans le monde entier ont signé des pétitions réitérant l’appel à #BoycottEurovision2019 à Tel Aviv et vous ont demandé d’arrêter de blanchir l’occupation et l’apartheid par votre art. Mais tout ceci est tombé dans les oreilles de sourds !

    Il est possible que vous vous en moquiez, il est possible que vous croyiez en la propagande d’Israël selon laquelle nous sommes tous des terroristes et les attaques sur Gaza des « opérations de sécurité ». Certains d’entre vous ont évoqué vouloir soutenir la paix, mais si vous le faisiez vraiment, alors vous ne seriez pas en train de chanter en Israël.

    Laissez moi vous dire ce que soutenir la paix signifie réellement. (...)

  • #Facebook busts Israeli campaign to disrupt #elections in African, Asian and Latin American nations - Israel News -

    Dozens of accounts, pages and groups operated by private firm peddling #fake_news were deleted, tech giant says


    Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy, told reporters that the tech giant had purged 65 Israeli accounts, 161 pages, dozens of groups and four Instagram accounts. Many were linked to the Archimedes Group, a Tel Aviv-based political consulting and #lobbying firm that boasts of its social media skills and ability to “change reality.”

  • L’Eurovision en Israël : « Oser rêver » sauf si l’on est enfermé à Gaza par Abier Almasri

    Les Palestiniens vivant dans la bande de Gaza aspirent pourtant aussi à la liberté et à l’égalité

    Ces jours-ci, Israël accueille à Tel Aviv le concours Eurovision de la chanson, sous le slogan « Osez rêver » (« Dare to dream »). De nombreux Européens ont parcouru plusieurs centaines de kilomètres pour se rendre en Israël afin d’assister aux festivités. Mais en tant que résidente de Gaza, je n’ai moi-même pas le droit de faire ce voyage, alors qu’il durerait moins d’une heure en voiture.

    En coordination avec l’Égypte, Israël a transformé Gaza en une prison à ciel ouvert, renfermant deux millions de Palestiniens sur une petite superficie. Depuis près de 12 ans, les autorités israéliennes ont sévèrement restreint la possibilité de traverser la frontière, essentiellement réservée à des « cas humanitaires exceptionnels ». Ceci équivaut à une interdiction généralisée de voyager qui est illégale, et ne repose sur aucune évaluation individuelle de risques sécuritaires. En 2018, le nombre de personnes autorisées à traverser le pont d’Erez pour sortir de Gaza ne représentait plus qu’environ 1 % du nombre enregistré en septembre 2000, avant l’imposition du blocus.

    Malgré cette dure réalité, j’ai longtemps « osé rêver » de pouvoir voyager et de voir le monde, et même simplement de visiter Jérusalem, non loin de Gaza. L’année dernière, l’armée israélienne m’a enfin permis de quitter Gaza pour la première fois de ma vie, à l’âge de 31 ans, afin d’assister à des réunions au siège de Human Rights Watch à New York. J’ai par la suite été autorisée à me rendre en Israël et en Cisjordanie pour la première fois. J’ai savouré chaque instant, sachant que ce serait peut-être la dernière fois.

    Je sais aussi que j’ai plus de chance que la plupart des habitants de Gaza, dont 80 % dépendent d’aide humanitaire et plus de la moitié sont sans emploi.

    Je souhaiterais que des spectateurs de l’Eurovision viennent aussi ici à Gaza et prennent connaissance de notre propre réalité, comme les longues et fréquentes coupures de courant, et le supplice psychologique de se sentir piégé et interdit de voyage.

    En tant que Palestiniennes et Palestiniens de Gaza, nous ne sommes pas en mesure d’assister sans entrave à l’Eurovision, mais nous ne cesserons jamais d’oser rêver de liberté.

  • L’interview de Michael Oren, ancien ambassadeur d’Israël aux États-Unis (2009-2013), se termine mal :
    – toute la Palestine m’appartient, c’est mon héritage biblique depuis 3000 ans
    – pourtant vous êtes né à New York ?
    – je n’aime pas vos questions, cette interview est terminée…

    Michael Oren Cuts Short a Conversation About Israel

    Where did you get that right?

    It’s my heritage for three thousand years. It’s the same exact right I have from where I am talking to you. I am talking to you from Jaffa. I live in Jaffa. The same right I have to live in Jaffa I have in [the settlement] Beit El or Efrat, or in Hebron. Exact same right. Take away one right, the other right makes no sense. By the way, P.S., most of the lands of pre-1967 Israel are not even in the Bible. Haifa is not in the Bible; Tel Aviv is not in the Bible.

    O.K., I just want to understand this because I don’t want to misunderstand it. You are saying there are Palestinians living in various areas of the West Bank right now—

    There are, indeed.

    —which may or may not at some point become a state. But you are saying that, wherever they are living, they have less right to be there than you as a Jew born in New York.

    I didn’t say that. Don’t impute words to me I didn’t say.

    I’m sorry, I thought you just said that.

    No, I did not say that in any way. Listen, I don’t think I want to continue this interview. I don’t think this is a constructive interview.

  • BDS = Beautiful, Diverse, Sensational: Israel fights Eurovision boycott campaign using Google ads
    The new PR campaign attempts to counter BDS by putting up ads that use the same acronym but lead to a website exalting Israel
    Reuters - May 10, 2019 5:46 PM

    File photo: Demonstrators boycott Eurovision Song Contest and call for Denmark to withdraw from the contest hosted in Israel this year, in Herning, Denmark, February 23, 2019. Reuters

    Israel has launched a PR campaign to counter calls for a boycott of the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest final in Tel Aviv, using Google ads which refer to the boycott but lead to a glossy website extolling Israel.

    The international boycott, divestment, sanctions (BDS) movement dismissed the tactic as “crude propaganda”.

    BDS has called on artists, music fans and broadcasters to avoid the 2019 contest, arguing that it amounts to “whitewashing” Israel’s policies towards Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. Israel calls international boycotts discriminatory and anti-Semitic.

    Internet advertisements on Google featuring the words “boycott” and “Eurovision” encourage searchers to click on a link that, in fact, leads them to a pro-Israel website which - in a play on the BDS initials - extols Israel as “Beautiful, Diverse, Sensational”.


  • The symphony when the devil plays for the participants in Eurovision in Tel Aviv
    By: Dr. Nasser Laham

    To all the artists participating in the Eurovision song contest in Tel Aviv. This is not the beautiful Tel Aviv that they have told you about, this is the Palestinian city of Yaffa, the one that Zionists occupied in 1948, the one where Israel killed another nation and took its land by force. Israel, the one that imposed a siege on Gaza. Israel, the one that bans Palestinians from singing, dancing, and celebrating.

    Have you heard about famous Palestinian artists? Muhammad Assaf from Gaza? Have you heard of Reem Banna from Nazareth? Or any other name for any Palestinian artist singing inside the walls of an Israeli prison? Has anyone ever translated the words of Palestinian songs to you?

    As you sing, look at the faces in the audience, are there any Arabs? Is there any Palestinian allowed to enter the hall and listen to your songs? (...)

  • Gaza a fait son choix : toujours elle résistera !
    Et aucune accumulation de propagande israélienne ni réhabilitation par l’Eurovision ne peuvent effacer la légitimité de son droit à le faire.

    Haidar Eid - 6 mai 2019 – Al Jazeera – traduction : JPP pour l’Agence Média Palestine

    Un garçon palestinien blessé évacué lors d’une manifestation à la barrière Israël-Gaza, dans le sud de la bande de Gaza, le 3 mai 2019 [Reuters / Ibraheem Abu Mustafa]

    (...) Dans le cas présent, le gouvernement israélien est impatient de calmer Gaza avant la généreuse opportunité que lui ont offert les pays européens de blanchir ses crimes de guerre par l’accueil du concours Eurovision de la chanson à Tel Aviv, à une heure de route de la bande de Gaza.

    Comme par le passé, les Palestiniens sont à présent censés accepter, et avec gratitude, une « période de calme » où les bombes israéliennes ne pleuvront pas sur leurs maisons, et où le blocus continuera d’étrangler Gaza.

    En fait, ce qu’on exige régulièrement des Palestiniens, c’est qu’ils se conduisent comme des « Palestiniens domestiques », et qu’ils soient reconnaissants envers leurs maîtres ashkénazes blancspour les miettes de pain qu’ils leur laissent pour à peine survivre.

    Ils doivent se laisser aller à une mort lente, mourir comme des cafards, ne manifester aucune forme de rébellion, et accepter que s’ils meurent en résistant, eh bien que ce soit de leur propre faute.

    Mais trop c’est trop ! (...)


  • Encore des victoires de BDS aux Etats-Unis :

    BDS universitaire à la New-York University :

    Le département d’analyse sociale et culturelle de l’université de New York (#NYU) met fin à toute relation officielle avec le campus de Tel Aviv
    Jenni Fink, Newsweek, le 2 mai 2019

    Une conférence prévue à la fac à côté de Boston, avec #Linda_Sarsour et #Roger_Waters, était menacée d’annulation. Un juge l’a autorisée :

    Judge OKs pro-Palestinian event on UMass Amherst campus
    Rick Sobey, Boston Herald, le 2 mai 2019

    A mettre avec l’évolution de la situation aux États-Unis vis à vis de la Palestine :

    #Palestine #USA #BDS #Boycott_universitaire

  • Spain’s Far-right Vox Received Almost $1M from ’Marxist-Islamist’ Iranian Exiles: Report | News | teleSUR English

    It is unlikely that Vox’s hyper-nationalist voters know that their party scored a significant presence in Spain’s parliament mostly thanks to Zionists, Islamists and foreigners.

    With the April 28 general elections in Spain over, the far-right party Vox gained about 10 percent of parliamentary seats, marking the far-right’s rising comeback into politics four decades after Francisco Franco’s dictatorship. While a less alarmist reading would say that the far-right was always there, hidden in the conservative People’s Party (PP), the fact that they are out in the open strengthens Europe’s wave of far-right xenophobic and anti-European advance.

    The party appealed to voters in one of Spain’s most contested elections since its return to democracy, mostly basing its arguments against leftists politics, social liberals, migrants, charged mainly with an Islamophobic narrative. Emphasizing the return of a long lost Spain and pushing to fight what they refer to as an “Islamist invasion,” which is the “enemy of Europe.” One could summarize it as an Iberian version of “Make Spain Great Again.”

    Yet while this definitely appealed to almost two million voters, many are unaware of where their party’s initial funding came from. Back in January 2019, an investigation made by the newspaper El Pais revealed, through leaked documents, that almost one million euros - approximately 80 percent of its 2014 campaign funding - donated to Vox between its founding in December 2013 and the European Parliament elections in May 2014 came via the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), a self-declared “Marxist” organization and an Islamist group made up of Iranian exiles.

    However, this is where things get complicated. The NCRI is based in France and was founded in 1981 by Massoud Rajavi and Abolhassan Banisadr, nowadays its president-elect is Maryam Rajavi (Massoud’s wife). The Rajavis are also the leaders of the Mojahedin-e-Khalq (MEK). A reason for many to believe that the NCRI is just a front for the MEK, which over the past few decades has managed to create a complicated web of anti-Iranian, pro-Israel and right-wing government support from all over the world.

    To understand MEK, it’s necessary to review the 1953 U.S. and British-backed coup which ousted democratically elected prime minister of Iran Mohammad Mosaddegh and instituted a monarchical dictatorship led by Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

    The oppression carried out by the Pahlavi royal family led to the creation of many radical groups, one which was MEK, whose ideology combined Marxism and Islamism. Its original anti-west, especially anti-U.S. sentiment pushed for the killing of six U.S citizens in Iran in the 1970s. While in 1979, they enthusiastically cheered the seizure of the U.S. embassy in Tehran. After the Iranian Revolution, its young leaders, including Rajavi, pushed for endorsement from the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, but were denied.

    So Rajavi, allied with the winner of the country’s first presidential election, Abolhassan Banisadr, who was not an ally of Khomeini, either. Soon Banisadr and MEK became some of Khomeini’s main opposition figures and had fled to Iraq and later to France.

    In the neighboring country, MEK allied with Sadam Hussein to rage war against Iran. In a RAND report, allegations of the group’s complicity with Saddam are corroborated by press reports that quote Maryam Rajavi encouraging MEK members to “take the Kurds under your tanks, and save your bullets for the Iranian Revolutionary Guards."

    The organization was deemed a terrorist organization by the U.S. and European Union for the better part of the 1990s, but things changed after the U.S. invasion to Iraq in 2003. This is when the U.S. neoconservative strategist leading the Department of State and the intelligence agencies saw MEK as an asset rather than a liability. Put simply in words they applied the dictum of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

    The U.S.’s dismissal of past crimes reinvigorated MEK’s intense lobbying campaign to have itself removed from terrorist lists in the U.S. and the European Union. MEK, which by the beginning of the 21 century had morphed into a cult-like group according to many testimonies from dissidents, moved from Camp Ashraf to the U.S-created Camp Liberty outside of Baghdad. And that’s when things rapidly changed.

    According to the Guardian, between 2007 and 2012, a number of Iranian nuclear scientists were attacked. In 2012, NBC News, citing two unnamed U.S. officials, reported that the attacks were planned by Israel’s Mossad and executed by MEK operatives inside Iran. By 2009 and 2012, the EU and the U.S. respectively took it out of its terrorist organizations list.

    Soon after it gained support from U.S. politicians like Rudy Giuliani and current National Security Advisor John Bolton, who now call MEK a legitimate opposition to the current Iranian government. As the U.S. neocon forefathers did before, MEK shed its “Marxism.” After the U.S.’s official withdrawal from Iraq, they built MEK a safe have in Albania, near Tirana, where the trail of money can be followed once again.

    Hassan Heyrani, a former member of MEK’s political department who defected in 2018, and handled parts of the organization’s finances in Iraq, when asked by Foreign Policy where he thought the money for MEK came from, he answered: “Saudi Arabia. Without a doubt.” For another former MEK member, Saadalah Saafi, the organization’s money definitely comes from wealthy Arab states that oppose Iran’s government.

    “Mojahedin [MEK] are the tool, not the funders. They aren’t that big. They facilitate,” Massoud Khodabandeh, who once served in the MEK’s security department told Foreign Policy. “You look at it and say, ‘Oh, Mojahedin are funding [Vox].’ No, they are not. The ones that are funding that party are funding Mojahedin as well.”

    Meanwhile, Danny Yatom, the former head of the Mossad, told the Jersulamen Post that Israel can implement some of its anti-Iran plans through MEK if a war were to break out. Saudi Arabia’s state-run television channels have given friendly coverage to the MEK, and Prince Turki al-Faisal, Saudi Arabia’s former intelligence chief, even appeared in July 2016 at a MEK rally in Paris.

    With Israel and Saudi Arabia backing MEK, the question of why a far-right movement would take money from an Islamist organization clears up a bit. Israel’s support of European far-right parties has been public. In 2010, a sizeable delegation arrived in Tel Aviv, consisting of some 30 leaders of the European Alliance for Freedom, gathering leaders such as Geert Wilders of the Netherlands, Philip Dewinter from Belgium and Jorg Haider’s successor, Heinz-Christian Strache, from Austria.

    Yet for the U.S., Israel, and Saudi Arabia, MEK represents an anti-Iranian voice that they so desperately need, and that on the surface didn’t come from them directly. It is unlikely that Vox’s hyper-nationalist voters know that their party scored a significant presence in Spain’s parliament mostly thanks to Zionists, Islamists and foreigners.

    #Espagne #extrême_droite #Israël #Iran #Arabie_Saoudite #OMPI #Albanie

  • Dans une nouvelle vidéo, Imperial Girl, la chanteuse Danielle Alma Ravitsky, chanteuse israélienne vivant à New York, recommande à Madonna de ne pas participer au festival Eurovision de blanchiment de l’apartheid à Tel Aviv, entre le 14 et le 18 mai prochain :

    Dans le même genre, en Angleterre :

    Eurodivision - Cultural Boycott

    Slovo - Not My Kinda Party

    #Palestine #Musique #Musique_et_politique #Eurovision #Boycott #BDS #Boycott_culturel #Danielle_Alma_Ravitsky #Slovo #USA #UK

  • Décès d’un Palestinien blessé par des balles israéliennes - L’Orient-Le Jour - AFP - 28/04/2019

    Un Palestinien blessé par des balles israéliennes le 20 avril lors d’une tentative d’attaque contre des officiers selon la police, a succombé, a annoncé dimanche le ministère palestinien de la Santé. Omar Awny Younés, 20 ans, originaire du village de Saniria, dans le nord de la Cisjordanie occupée, est décédé samedi soir dans un hôpital israélien près de Tel Aviv, selon un communiqué du ministère.

    Le 20 avril, la police israélienne avait déclaré que le Palestinien s’était « approché des policiers avec un couteau » près d’un poste de contrôle militaire près de Naplouse, en Cisjordanie occupée. « Le terroriste a été blessé par balle », mais aucun policier n’a été touché, avait-elle ajouté.

    Palestinian Dies From Serious Wounds Suffered A Week Earlier Near Nablus
    April 27, 2019 9:38 PM | IMEMC News

    The Palestinian Health Ministry has reported that a young Palestinian man died, on Saturday evening, from serious wounds he suffered a week earlier, after Israeli soldiers shot him at a military roadblock in northern West Bank.

    The Health Ministry said the young man, Omar ‘Awni Abdul-Karim Younis , 20, died at the Israeli Beilinson Israeli medical center.

    The soldiers, stationed at Za’tara military roadblock, north of Nablus, shot the young man with several rounds of live ammunition, reportedly after he attempted to stab them, and prevented Palestinian medics from approaching him.

    The Palestinian was from Sanniriya town, south of Qalqilia, in the northern part of the occupied West Bank. No soldiers were injured in the reported incident.


    • Israel Transfers Corpses Of Two Slain Palestinians To Their Families
      September 21, 2019 8:13 AM

      Israeli soldiers transferred, on Friday evening, the corpses of two Palestinians who were killed by army fire in August and April of this year, back to their families for burial.

      The Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) said its teams received the corpse of Nassim Abu Roumi, from al-‘Ezariyya town, east of occupied East Jerusalem.

      It added that it also received the corpse of Omar Younis at Elyahu military roadblock, south of the northern West Bank city of Qalqilia.

      It is worth mentioning Nassim Abu Roumi, 14, was shot and killed by Israeli police, on August 15, 2019, near the al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem, after an alleged stabbing of an Israeli police officer that resulted in a light injury.

      Meanwhile, Omar Younis, 20, died on April 27 209, from serious wounds he suffered a week earlier, after Israeli soldiers shot him at a Za’tara military roadblock in northern West Bank, reportedly after he attempted to stab them.

  • U.S. denies entry to BDS founder Omar Barghouti
    Noa Landau | Apr 11, 2019 7:22 PM |

    The U.S. government denied entry to co-founder of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement Omar Barghouti on Thursday.

    Airline staff at Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport informed Barghouti that he could not fly to the United States, despite holding valid travel documents. He was told that U.S. immigration officials ordered the American consul in Tel Aviv to deny him permission to board the flight.

    Barghouti was told that it is an “immigration matter,” according to a statement by the Arab American Institute, a Washington-based advocacy group. They added that Barghouti often faces travel restrictions from Israel, but not from the United States.

    Barghouti was set to attend his daughter’s wedding, who lives in the United States. He was also set to speak at Harvard, New York University and a Philidelphia bookstore owned by Marc Lemont Hill, whose contract at CNN was terminated last year over his support for Palestinian rights. (...)

    #expulsions #renvois

  • Quand l’histoire tourne au polar avec Shlomo Sand

    Shlomo Sand , professeur émérite d’Histoire à l’Université de Tel Aviv, est invité pour son premier roman noir : « La mort du Khazar rouge »,
    aux éditions Le Seuil.
    Leïla Shahid - Shlomo Sand : Le cinéma peut-il se jouer de la guerre ?

    Face à la guerre, le cinéma est-il plus puissant que la diplomatie ? Shlomo Sand, historien israëlien, et Leïla Shahid , anciennement ambassadrice de Palestine, seront les invités de cette Grande table à l’occasion du 14ème panorama des cinémas du Maghreb et du Moyen-Orient (du 2 au 20 avril 2019).

  • « تل أبيب ع نار » للفلسطيني سامح زعبي : السلاح يغير السيناريو لا الحمص | القدس العربي

    Ne vous jetez pas sur un traducteur en ligne si vous avez envie de savoir pourquoi le hoummous/khoummous est un personnage essentiel de Tel Aviv on fire (تل أبيب ع نار), le second film de Sameh Zoabi, un Palestinien de 48 qui considère "qu’au Moyen-Orient le feuilleton est une chose sérieuse". Un must à ne manquer sous aucun prétexte. (Au fait, certains experts de la région vont être déçus : pas une seule allusion à l’islam, même pas un petit appel à la prière !)

    في الفيلم يأمر الضابط سلام بالقدوم بصحن حمص، كلما مرّ بالحاجز كي «يساعده» في إعادة كتابة السيناريو. سلام الذي لا يأكل الحمص منذ الصغر بسبب عقدة سببها حصار الجيش لبيت أهله في الانتفاضة الأولى، ولم يكن لديهم غير الحمص لأكله، اشترى مرة حمصا معلبا وأعده للضابط الذي أكله بشهية. لاحقا، في مطعم حمص فلسطيني، يقول الضابط لسلام إن الأحمق فقط من يأكل الحمص المعلب، عاجزا عن التمييز بين المعلب والطازج.
    وإن استطاع الضابط إحداث تغييرات في السيناريو الفلسطيني، بالسلاح، ليلائم الإسرائيلي، في الصراع بين الروايتين/الحكايتين وأصحابهما، يبقى هذا القادم الطارئ على البلاد عاجزا عن التمييز بين الحمص الطازج والحمص المعلب، وله روايته الكاذبة عن «ملكية الحمص»، ولنا روايتنا، وهذا ما لا يستطيع تغييره بالسلاح.

    #palestine #zoabi