country:palestinian territories

  • Reminder: Israel is still holding a Palestinian lawmaker as political prisoner indefinitely
    Haaretz.com - Palestinian lawmaker Khalida Jarrar has been incarcerated in an Israeli jail without a trial for 20 months. Another period of ‘administrative detention’ will soon expire. Will she come home?
    Gideon Levy and Alex Levac Feb 14, 2019 5:20 PM
    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-reminder-israel-is-holding-palestinian-lawmaker-as-political-priso

    Ghassan Jarrar, the husband of Khalida Jarrar, holds a portrait of her on April 2, 2015 at their home in the West Bank city of Ramallah.AFP PHOTO / ABBAS MOMANI

    Ghassan Jarrar says his life is meaningless without Khalida. In his office at the children’s toys and furniture factory he owns in Beit Furik, east of Nablus, its chairs upholstered with red fake fur, the face of the grass widower lights up whenever he talks about his wife. She’s been incarcerated in an Israeli prison for 20 months, without trial, without being charged, without evidence, without anything. In two weeks, however, she could be released, at long last. Ghassan is already busy preparing himself: He knows he’s liable to be disappointed again, for the fourth successive time.

    Khalida Jarrar is Israel’s No. 1 female political prisoner, the leader of the inmates in Damon Prison, on Mt. Carmel, and the most senior Palestinian woman Israel has jailed, without her ever having been convicted of any offense.

    The public struggle for her release has been long and frustrating, with more resonance abroad than in Israel. Here it encounters the implacable walls of the occupation authorities and the startling indifference of Israeli public opinion: People here don’t care that they’re living under a regime in which there are political prisoners. There is also the silence of the female MKs and the muteness of the women’s organizations.

    Haaretz has devoted no fewer than five editorials demanding either that evidence against her be presented or that she be released immediately. To no avail: Jarrar is still in detention and she still hasn’t been charged.

    She’s been placed in administrative detention – that is, incarceration without charges or a trial – a number of times: She was arrested for the first time on April 15, 2015 and sentenced to 15 months in jail, which she served. Some 13 months after she was released from that term, she was again put under administrative detention, which kept getting extended, for 20 consecutive months, starting in mid-2017: two stints of six months each, and two of four months each.

    The latest arbitrary extension of her detention is set to end on February 28. As usual, until that day no one will know whether she is going to be freed or whether her imprisonment will be extended once again, without explanation. A military prosecutor promised at the time of the previous extension that it would be the last, but there’s no way to know. Typical of the occupation and its arbitrariness.

    In any event, Ghassan is repainting their house, replacing air conditioners and the water heater, hanging new curtains, planting flowers in window boxes, ordering food and sweets in commercial quantities, and organizing a reception at one checkpoint and cars to await her at two other checkpoints – you can never know where exactly she will be released. A big celebration will take place in the Catholic church of Ramallah, which Ghassan has rented for three days on the last weekend of the month. Still, it’s all very much a matter of if and when.

    Reminder: On April 2, 2015, troops of the Israel Defense Forces raided the Jarrar family’s home in El Bireh, adjacent to Ramallah, and abducted Khalida, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council.

    She was placed in administrative detention. In the wake of international protests over Israel’s arrest without charges of a lawmaker who was elected democratically, the occupation authorities decided to try her. She was indicted on 12 counts, all of them utterly grotesque, including suspicion of visiting the homes of prisoners’ families, suspicion of attending a book fair and suspicion of calling for the release of Ahmad Saadat, a leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine who has been in prison for years.

    The charge sheet against Jarrar – an opponent of the occupation, a determined feminist and a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s executive committee – will one day serve as the crushing proof that there is not even the slightest connection between “military justice” and actual law and justice.

    We saw her in the military court at Ofer base in the summer of 2015, proud and impressive, as her two daughters, Yafa and Suha, who returned from their studies in Canada after their mother’s arrest, wept bitterly with their father on the back benches of the courtroom. No one remained indifferent when the guards allowed the two daughters to approach and embrace their mother, in a rare moment of grace and humanity, as their father continued to cry in the back. It was a scene not easily forgotten.

    Three months ago, she was transferred, along with the other 65 female Palestinian prisoners, from the Sharon detention facility where she’d been incarcerated to Damon, where the conditions are tougher: The authorities in Damon aren’t experienced in dealing with women and their special needs, Ghassan says. The showers are separate from the cells, and when a prisoner is menstruating, the red fluid flows into the yard and embarrasses the women. But at the same time, he says, the prison authorities are treating Khalida’s health situation well: She suffers from a blood-clotting problem and needs weekly medications and tests, which she receives regularly in her cell.

    “You are my sweetheart” is inscribed on some of the synthetic-fur toys in the production room in Beit Furik. There are dolls of Mickey Mouse and of other characters from the cartoon world, sporting bold colors, along with padded rocking chairs and lamps for children’s rooms, all designed by Ghassan and all bespeaking sweet innocence and creativity. He’s devoted much less time to his factory since his wife’s incarceration. Of the 19 employees he had, only seven remain, one of whom, a deaf woman, is his outstanding worker. It’s a carpentry shop, an upholstery center and a sewing workshop all under one roof. Ghassan sells most of his products to Israel, although he’s been denied entry to the country for years.

    Now his mind is focused on his wife’s release. The last time he visited her in prison was a month ago, 45 minutes on a phone through armor-plated glass. During her months in prison, Jarrar became an official examiner of matriculation exams for the Palestinian Education Ministry. The exam papers are brought to the prison by the International Red Cross. Among others that she has graded were Ahed Tamimi and her mother, Nariman. Ahed called Ghassan this week to ask when Khalida’s release was expected. She calls her “my aunt.”

    The clock on the wall of Ghassan’s office has stopped. “Everything is meaningless for me without Khalida,” he says. “Life has no meaning without Khalida. Time stopped when Khalida was arrested. Khalida is not only my wife. She is my father, my mother, my sister and my friend. I breathe Khalida instead of air. Twenty months without meaning. My work is also meaningless.”

    A business call interrupts this love poem, which is manifestly sincere and painful. What will happen if she’s not released, again? “I will wait another four months. Nothing will break me. I don’t let anything break me. That is my philosophy in life. It has always helped me.”

    Ghassan spent 10 years of his life in an Israeli prison, too. Like his wife, he was accused of being active in the PFLP.

    In the meantime, their older daughter, Yafa, 33, completed her Ph.D. in law at the University of Ottawa, and is clerking in a Canadian law firm. Suha, 28, returned from Canada, after completing, there and in Britain, undergraduate and master’s degrees in environmental studies. She’s working for the Ramallah-based human rights organization Al-Haq, and living with her father.

    Both daughters are mobilized in the public campaign to free their mother, particularly by means of the social networks. Khalida was in jail when Yafa married a Canadian lawyer; Ghassan invited the whole family and their friends to watch the wedding ceremony in Canada on a large screen live via the Internet. Ghassan himself is prohibited from going abroad.

    During Khalida’s last arrest, recalls her husband, IDF soldiers and Shin Bet security service agents burst into the house by force in the dead of night. They entered Suha’s room and woke her up. He remembers how she shouted, panic-stricken at the sight of the rifles being brandished by strange men in her bedroom wearing black masks, and how the soldiers handcuffed her from behind. As Ghassan replays the scene in his mind and remembers his daughter’s shouts, he grows distraught, as if it had happened this week.

    Not knowing know what the soldiers were doing to her there, and only hearing her shouts, he tried to come to his daughter’s rescue, he recalls. He says he was almost killed by the soldiers for trying to force his way into Suha’s bedroom.

    After the soldiers took Khalida, preventing Ghassan from even kissing her goodbye, despite his request – he discovered his daughter, bound by plastic handcuffs. After he released her, she wanted to rush into the street to follow the soldiers and her captive mother. He blocked her, and she went to the balcony of the house and screamed at them hysterically, cries of unfettered fury.

    Last Saturday was Khalida’s 56th birthday. It wasn’t the first birthday she’d spent in prison, maybe not the last, either. Ghassan’s face positively glows when he talks about his wife’s birthday. He belongs to a WhatsApp group called “Best Friends” that is devoted to Khalida, where they posted his favorite photograph of her, wearing a purple blouse and raising her arms high in the courtroom of the Ofer facility. The members of the group congratulated him. Umar quoted a poem about a prisoner who is sitting in his cell in complete darkness, unable even to see his own shadow. Hidaya wrote something about freedom. Khamis wrote a traditional birthday greeting, and Ghassan summed up, “You are the bride of Palestine, renewing yourself every year. You are the crown on my head, al-Khalida, eternal one.”

    #Khalida_Jarrar


  • Netherlands recognize Gaza, West Bank as official Palestinian birthplaces
    Feb. 10, 2019 3:30 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 10, 2019 3:51 P.M.)
    http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?ID=782505

    BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Palestinians living in the Netherlands will be allowed to register the Gaza Strip and the West Bank as their official place of birth, Dutch State Secretary Raymond Knops told the House of Representatives in The Hague.

    The Netherlands, which does not recognize Palestine as a sovereign state, currently offers Palestinians two options when specifying their birthplace at the Dutch civil registry, the two options are Israel or “unknown.”

    Knops wrote a letter to the House of Representatives, saying that he intends to add the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem to a list of official states used by the Dutch civil registry.

    The new category will be available to Palestinians born after May 15th 1948, the day the British Mandate was officially terminated and Israel became a recognized state.

    In the letter, Knops stated that the new category is in accordance with “the Dutch viewpoint that Israel has no sovereignty over these areas,” as well as the Netherlands’ refusal to recognize Palestine as a state.

    Knops added that the new category was named based on the Oslo Accords and United Nations Security Council resolutions.
    While the UN General Assembly and at least 136 countries have recognized Palestine as a sovereign state, most of the European Union has refrained from recognition until such status is established peace agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians. (...)


  • US court throws out lawsuit against academic boycott of Israel | The Electronic Intifada

    https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/us-court-throws-out-lawsuit-against-academic-boycott-israel

    A federal judge in Washington, DC, on Monday dismissed a lawsuit against the American Studies Association over its decision to support the boycott of Israeli academic institutions.

    The ruling is a significant blow to efforts by Israel lobby groups to use courts to harass, intimidate and silence supporters of Palestinian rights in US universities – a tactic known as lawfare.

    In April 2016, several current and former members of the ASA filed the lawsuit against the group over its 2013 resolution backing the academic boycott.

    In his 20-page ruling, US District Judge Rudolph Contreras wrote that the plaintiffs had no standing to file a lawsuit seeking damages on behalf of the ASA, and that their individual damage claims came nowhere near the $75,000 minimum required for them to seek relief in federal court.

    At most, the individual plaintiffs could seek damages of a few hundred dollars to cover membership dues they allege were misappropriated, but they would have to find some other venue to pursue their claims, the judge found.

    “The court basically said, in no uncertain words, that the plaintiffs suing ASA lied when they claimed to have ‘suffered significant economic and reputational damage.’” Radhika Sainath, senior attorney with the civil rights group Palestine Legal, told The Electronic Intifada. “But, as the court explained, ‘nowhere’ in the lawsuit could the plaintiffs explain what that damage was. It didn’t pass the smell test.”


  • » Palestinian Succumbs to Wounds in Gaza
    IMEMC News - February 4, 2019 8:42 AM
    http://imemc.org/article/palestinian-succumbs-to-wounds-in-gaza

    A Palestinian man succumbed, Sunday, to critical wounds he sustained last week, as Israeli forces attacked the “Great Return March” protests along Gaza’s borders

    Ahmad Ghazi Abu Jabal , 30, died of critical wounds he sustained last week, after being shot by Israeli forces offshore the town of Beit Lahia, north of Gaza.

    Abu Jabal, from the Sheja’eyya neighborhood east of Gaza city, was shot and seriously injured, on January 29 2019, during a naval procession along Beit Lahia Sea and shore, in northern Gaza.

    The soldiers who shot him with live fire were stationed at the Zikim military base, near Gaza’s northern border.

    The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) issued a statement mourning his death, and declaring that he was one of its members.

    #Palestine_assassinée #marchecôtière


  • » Human Rights Watch Film Festival to Feature Palestinian Film ‘Screwdriver’ (Trailer)
    IMEMC News - February 2, 2019
    http://imemc.org/article/human-rights-watch-film-festival-to-feature-palestinian-film-screwdriver

    The Human Rights Watch Film Festival will be presented in London from March 13-22, 2019, featuring 15 award-winning documentary and feature films, Human Rights Watch said today. The international line-up of films from Venezuela, South Africa, Palestine, Thailand, and more offer critical insight into local and global human rights concerns impacting people around the world today, PNN reports.

    Many filmmakers, protagonists, Human Rights Watch researchers, and activists will take part in in-depth post-screening Q&A and panel discussions at the Barbican, BFI Southbank, and Regent Street Cinema.

    The festival will open at the Barbican on March 14, with Hans Pool’s Bellingcat – Truth in a Post-Truth World, which follows the revolutionary rise of the “citizen investigative journalist” collective known as Bellingcat, dedicated to redefining breaking news by exploring the promise of open source investigation. The screening will be followed by an in-depth discussion with Hans Pool and Bellingcat founder Eliot Higgins.

    “At its heart, the work of Human Rights Watch is front-line investigations by expert researchers who check and cross-check facts,” said John Biaggi, director of the Human Rights Watch Film Festival. “In this so-called ‘post-truth era’, it is particularly relevant for us to open the 23rd edition of the festival with a film that considers the possibilities and implications of citizen journalism. We are excited to open with ‘Bellingcat – Truth in a Post-Truth World,’ a compelling look at the methods and means of this media disrupter”.

    (...)

    Shot entirely on location in the West Bank with a largely Palestinian crew, the award-winning director Bassam Jarbawi’s debut feature Screwdriver highlights the universal trauma of reintegration after incarceration. Ziad returns home after 15 years in an Israeli jail. Hailed as a hero, with high expectations to settle back quickly into work and love, he is lost in a world he barely recognizes. Effectively capturing this unsettling inability to distinguish reality from hallucination and the haunting of memory, the film immerses viewers in a distinctly Palestinian story.

    This year’s Human Rights Watch benefit gala and reception will take place on March 13 at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), screening Hans Block and Moritz Riesewieck’s documentary The Cleaners, which raises essential questions over internet control and the life-threatening erasure of entire resistance movements from the world’s sight.

    Audiences also have an opportunity to watch selected festival titles online thanks to the continuing partnership with MUBI mubi.com/humanrightswatch.


  • Palestinian teen hiking with friends was killed in Israeli army ambush. He posed no danger
    Gideon Levy, Alex Levac | Feb. 1, 2019
    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-palestinian-teen-hiking-with-friends-was-killed-in-idf-ambush-he-p

    The soldiers hid behind the tallest oak tree in the valley. That’s where the six teenagers were headed, as they descended from their town, Silwad, northeast of Ramallah, into the deep, steep valley to hang out together on that Friday afternoon. On the way, they bought potato chips, sunflower seeds and chocolate, and they planned to boil water for tea over a campfire. Suddenly, without warning, a gunshot rang out. The teens had no idea where it came from. Ayman collapsed, rolling over and landing on his back. A bullet had sliced through his chest from the left, below his neck, and exited from his hip. When Mohammed tried to approach, to pull him out of the line of fire, another shot rang out. Mohammed was hit in the arm and ran for his life.

    Ayman lay on the ground, dying.

    The firing grew more intense. The shooters emerged from the ambush site behind the oak tree. They were joined by two more soldiers who came out of an Isuzu jeep parked on the other side of Highway 60. Bursts of automatic gunfire, aimed at the teens who were fleeing for their lives, echoed through the valley. The group rushed up the hill on which Silwad – meaning “above the wadi” in Arabic – is perched.

    That evening, the Israel Defense Forces returned Ayman Hamad ’s body to his family. He was 17 years old and was buried the next day in the town.

    Not far away, on that same day, last Saturday, January 26, settlers from the outpost of Adei Ad, and/or soldiers who joined them – it is still not clear – killed Hamdi Na’asan , 38, as he was plowing his field next to his village, Al-Mughayyir. Last weekend was particularly lethal for the Palestinians. Four of them were killed by Israelis, in the Gaza Strip, Jerusalem and the West Bank.

    It was raining when we visited Silwad on Monday, and the killing field in the valley that separates the town from Highway 60 was draped in thick fog. Through the fog a stunning view could be made out – of olive trees, the towering oak and the verdant valley. The last house in town, on the wadi’s edge, belongs to Qadura Fares, head of the Palestinian Prisoners Club, a former cabinet minister and prisoner. Fares, fluent in Hebrew, is one of the more impressive leaders in the Palestinian Authority, an associate and good friend of the jailed Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti.

    The Silwad community center – above which looms the turret of the local mosque that locals say is the tallest in Palestine – had been turned into a venue of mourning and condolences. The dead teenager was a relative of Fares’, who, in an elegant wool coat, was among those welcoming the guests who had come to comfort the family. Next to him was the bereaved father, Ahmed Hamad, 44, a metalworker who once had four daughters and two sons. Now, he has four daughters and one son.

    According to the dead teen’s history teacher, Aouni Fares, Ayman, a high-school senior, was well-informed and knew a lot about the Nakba, the Palestinians’ suffering and the history of the occupation that began in 1967. Ahmed Hamad says his son promised him that he would always be proud of him. Ayman’s uncle Mohammed Othman was the first fatal casualty in Silwad during the first intifada; two other uncles, Akram Hamad and Rifat Hamad, are serving life sentences in Israeli prisons.

    Last Friday morning, Ayman had coffee with his father and then attended prayers in the mosque. At midday the family drove to its olive grove in the valley for a picnic, not far from the place where their firstborn would be killed a few hours later. The weather was ideal, under the winter sun, and Ayman was in high spirits, the mourners recall. The family ate stuffed vegetables prepared by the mother, Inas; Ayman cleared away the dishes.

    When they got home, around 2:30 P.M., Ayman asked his father, who was driving to the nearby village of Rammun to shop, for money to buy snacks; he was given 20 shekels ($5.60). At the end of the day, two shekels would be found in the teen’s cellphone case.

    Almost every Friday they would head out to the valley, Ayman and his buddies, all of them about the same age. There, amid the olive trees, about a kilometer or two from their homes, is the local gathering place.

    When they arrived, the group split up. Ayman and two friends went on ahead, the other three stayed behind for some reason. Later on some of the eyewitnesses, among them the wounded Mohammed Hamad, would say that the group did not throw any stones, although one authoritative source admitted that they had. Iyad Hadad, a field researcher for the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem, noted that Ayman was shot at around 4:30 that afternoon – almost Shabbat – so there were certainly no religious settlers’ cars on Highway 60 at the time. Candle-lighting time in the nearby settlements was 4:31 P.M. in Beit El, 4:40 P.M. in Shiloh and 4:49 P.M. in Ofra.

    Many questions remain about what happened this week, and they are very disturbing – even if stones were thrown. The Israel Defense Forces soldiers shot Ayman Hamad from a distance of between 50 and 100 meters, from which he could not have posed any threat. When he was shot, he was also more than 100 meters from the highway, again a distance from which no stone could have hurt anyone traveling on the road. The soldiers fired live ammunition from an ambush with no prior warning, hitting him directly in the chest. They shot to kill, of that there’s no doubt. A teenager, a high-school student, who maybe did throw stones (which hurt no one), or maybe didn’t throw stones, was executed. The soldiers went on shooting even after they had hit him. Fortunately, they didn’t kill anyone else.

    The IDF Spokesman’s Unit made do with a laconic, dry response to Haaretz’s query, one that only raises additional questions: “A Military Police investigation has been launched into the matter, and at its conclusion the findings will be conveyed for further examination to the office of the military advocate general.” We’re unlikely to hear any more about this incident – either about the conclusion of the “investigation” or about a trial of those deemed responsible for the killing of the teen from Silwad.

    After the incident, the wounded Mohammed Hamad made his way into town, where he was taken to the local clinic and from there by ambulance to the Government Hospital in Ramallah. Ayman was still on the ground, with the soldiers gathered around him. A Palestinian ambulance driver who happened to pass by and saw what was going on offered to evacuate Ayman, but the soldiers told him to leave. It’s not clear whether Ayman was still alive at that point. Mohammed said he saw him take a few heavy breaths before he himself fled the scene, as did the third one in their group. The other teens were far off and didn’t see what was going on.

    After almost an hour, after an Israeli ambulance evacuated Ayman, the soldiers left the site. The boy was taken to a military guard tower next to the nearby village of Ein Yabroud, where an intensive care ambulance arrived, lingered for about 10 minutes and then drove off, according to the testimonies. Ayman was apparently already dead.

    In the meantime, one of the friends phoned Ayman’s father to report that his son had been wounded and was with the soldiers. A few minutes later, he called back to say that Ayman had not been wounded, only arrested. Then Qadura Fares phoned to tell Ahmed to drop everything in Rammun and get back to Silwad fast. When Ahmed reached Fares’ house, he saw the crowd that had gathered there, among them his brother, Suheil, who was weeping bitterly, and he realized what had happened.

    Fares meanwhile contacted the District Coordination and Liaison unit in order to get Ayman’s body back; at about 7:30 that evening, the family were instructed to go to the military base at Beit El to retrieve the body. At the Government Hospital in Ramallah, where they brought the body, Ahmed saw the bullet’s entry hole in his son’s chest and the exit wound in the hip.

    While we are visiting, Mohammed Hamad, the survivor of the shooting, enters the community center. His entire arm is bandaged. This is his first encounter with Ahmed since the incident. The teenager had undergone surgery in the Government Hospital shortly after arriving there, but walked out the next day, against his doctors’ instructions, to attend Ayman’s funeral.

    Mohammed is clearly still in a state of shock. Ayman, he relates, walked about 30 meters ahead of the rest of the group toward his family’s olive grove. He denies that they threw stones. After Ayman collapsed on the ground, Mohammed says he saw that he was still moving his fingers, even as blood spilled out of his chest, but doesn’t remember anything else because he was then shot himself. At first, he didn’t feel anything as he was fleeing for his life, with bullets whistling around him. He didn’t feel any pain until a few minutes later. Now he tells us he’ll have to return to the hospital in a few days for additional surgery.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/755175
    #Palestine_assassinée


  • Israel just admitted arming anti-Assad Syrian rebels. Big mistake - Middle East News
    Haaretz.com - Daniel J. Levy Jan 30, 2019 5:03 PM
    https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/.premium-israel-just-admitted-arming-anti-assad-syrian-rebels-big-mistake-1

    In his final days as the Israel Defense Forces’ Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Gadi Eisenkot confirmed, on the record, that Israel had directly supported anti-Assad Syrian rebel factions in the Golan Heights by arming them.

    This revelation marks a direct break from Israel’s previous media policy on such matters. Until now, Israel has insisted it has only provided humanitarian aid to civilians (through field hospitals on the Golan Heights and in permanent healthcare facilities in northern Israel), and has consistently denied or refused to comment on any other assistance.

    In short, none other than Israel’s most (until recently) senior serving soldier has admitted that up until his statement, his country’s officially stated position on the Syrian civil war was built on the lie of non-intervention.

    As uncomfortable as this may initially seem, though, it is unsurprising. Israel has a long history of conducting unconventional warfare. That form of combat is defined by the U.S. government’s National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 as “activities conducted to enable a resistance movement or insurgency to coerce, disrupt or overthrow an occupying power or government by operating through or with an underground, auxiliary or guerrilla force in a denied area” in the pursuit of various security-related strategic objectives.

    While the United States and Iran are both practitioners of unconventional warfare par excellence, they primarily tend to do so with obvious and longer-term strategic allies, i.e. the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance fighters in Afghanistan, and various Shia militias in post-2003 Iraq.

    In contrast, Israel has always shown a remarkable willingness to form short-term tactical partnerships with forces and entities explicitly hostile to its very existence, as long as that alliance is able to offer some kind of security-related benefits.

    The best example of this is Israel’s decision to arm Tehran during the Iran-Iraq War, despite the Islamic Republic of Iran’s strong anti-Zionist rhetoric and foreign policy. During the 1980s, Iraq remained Jerusalem’s primary conventional (and arguably existential) military threat. Aiding Tehran to continue fighting an attritional war against Baghdad reduced the risk the latter posed against Israel.

    Similarly, throughout the civil war in Yemen in the 1960s, Israel covertly supported the royalist Houthi forces fighting Egyptian-backed republicans. Given Egypt’s very heavy military footprint in Yemen at the time (as many as a third of all Egyptian troops were deployed to the country during this period), Israelis reasoned that this military attrition would undermine their fighting capacity closer to home, which was arguably proven by Egypt’s lacklustre performance in the Six Day War.

    Although technically not unconventional warfare, Israel long and openly backed the South Lebanon Army, giving it years of experience in arming, training, and mentoring a partner indigenous force.

    More recently, though, Israel’s policy of supporting certain anti-Assad rebel groups remains consistent with past precedents of with whom and why it engages in unconventional warfare. Israel’s most pressing strategic concern and potential threat in Syria is an Iranian encroachment onto its northern border, either directly, or through an experienced and dangerous proxy such as Hezbollah, key to the Assad regime’s survival.

    For a number of reasons, Israel committing troops to overt large-scale operations in Syria to prevent this is simply unfeasible. To this end, identifying and subsequently supporting a local partner capable of helping Israel achieve this strategic goal is far more sensible, and realistic.

    Open source details of Israel’s project to support anti-Assad rebel groups are sparse, and have been since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war.

    Reports of this first arose towards the end of 2014, and one described how United Nations officials had witnessed Syrian rebels transferring injured patients to Israel, as well as “IDF soldiers on the Israeli side handing over two boxes to armed Syrian opposition members on the Syrian side.” The same report also stated that UN observers said they saw “two IDF soldiers on the eastern side of the border fence opening the gate and letting two people enter Israel.”

    Since then, a steady stream of similar reports continued to detail Israeli contacts with the Syrian rebels, with the best being written and researched by Elizabeth Tsurkov. In February, 2014 she wrote an outstanding feature for War On The Rocks, where she identified Liwaa’ Fursan al-Jolan and Firqat Ahrar Nawa as two groups benefiting from Israeli support, named Iyad Moro as “Israel’s contact person in Beit Jann,” and stated that weaponry, munitions, and cash were Israel’s main form of military aid.

    She also describes how Israel has supported its allied groups in fighting local affiliates of Islamic State with drone strikes and high-precision missile attacks, strongly suggesting, in my view, the presence of embedded Israeli liaison officers of some kind.

    A 2017 report published by the United Nations describes how IDF personnel were observed passing supplies over the Syrian border to unidentified armed individuals approaching them with convoys of mules, and although Israel claims that these engagements were humanitarian in nature, this fails to explain the presence of weaponry amongst the unidentified individuals receiving supplies from them.

    Writing for Foreign Policy in September 2018, Tsurkov again detailed how Israel was supporting the Syrian rebel factions, stating that material support came in the form of “assault rifles, machine guns, mortar launchers and transport vehicles,” which were delivered “through three gates connecting the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights to Syria - the same crossings Israel used to deliver humanitarian aid to residents of southern Syria suffering from years of civil war.” She also dates this support to have begun way back in 2013.

    The one part of Israel’s involvement in the Syrian Civil War which has been enthusiastically publicised, though, has been its ongoing humanitarian operations in the Golan. Dubbed “Operation Good Neighbor,” this was established in June 2016, and its stated aim is to “provide humanitarian aid to as many people as possible while maintaining Israel’s policy of non-involvement in the conflict.”

    Quite clearly, this is - at least in parts - a lie, as even since before its official commencement, Israel was seemingly engaging with and supporting various anti-Assad factions.

    Although Operation Good Neighbor patently did undertake significant humanitarian efforts in southern Syria for desperate Syrian civilians (including providing free medical treatment, infrastructure support, and civilian aid such as food and fuel), it has long been my personal belief that it was primarily a smokescreen for Israel’s covert unconventional warfare efforts in the country.

    Although it may be argued that deniability was initially necessary to protect Israel’s Syrian beneficiaries who could not be seen to be working with Jerusalem for any number of reasons (such as the likely detrimental impact this would have on their local reputation if not lives), this does not justify Israel’s outright lying on the subject. Instead, it could have mimicked the altogether more sensible approach of the British government towards United Kingdom Special Forces, which is simply to restate their position of not commenting, confirming, or denying any potentially relevant information or assertions.

    Israel is generous in its provision of humanitarian aid to the less fortunate, but I find it impossible to believe that its efforts in Syria were primarily guided by altruism when a strategic objective as important as preventing Iran and its proxies gaining a toehold on its northern border was at stake.

    Its timing is interesting and telling as well. Operation Good Neighbor was formally put in place just months after the Assad regime began its Russian-backed counter-offensive against the rebel factions, and ceased when the rebels were pushed out of southern Syria in September 2018.

    But it’s not as if that September there were no longer civilians who could benefit from Israeli humanitarian aid, but an absence of partners to whom Israel could feasibly directly dispatch arms and other supplies. Although Israel did participate in the rescue of a number of White Helmets, this was done in a relatively passive manner (allowing their convoy to drive to Jordan through Israeli territory), and also artfully avoided escalating any kind of conflict with the Assad’s forces and associated foreign allies.

    Popular opinion - both in Israel and amongst Diaspora Jews - was loud and clear about the ethical necessity of protecting Syrian civilians (especially from historically-resonant gas attacks). But it’s unlikely this pressure swung Israel to intervene in Syria. Israel already had a strong interest in keeping Iran and its proxies out southern Syria, and that would have remained the case, irrespective of gas attacks against civilians.

    Although Israel has gone to great lengths to conceal its efforts at unconventional warfare within the Syrian civil war, it need not have. Its activities are consistent with its previous efforts at promoting strategic objectives through sometimes unlikely, if not counter-intuitive, regional partners.

    Perhaps the reason why Eisenkot admitted that this support was taking place was because he knew that it could not be concealed forever, not least since the fall of the smokescreen provided by Operation Good Neighbor. But the manner in which Israel operated may have longer-term consequences.

    Israel is unlikely to change how it operates in the future, but may very well find future potential tactical partners less than willing to cooperate with it. In both southern Lebanon and now Syria, Israel’s former partners have found themselves exposed to dangers borne out of collaboration, and seemingly abandoned.

    With that kind of history and record, it is likely that unless they find themselves in desperate straits, future potential partners will think twice before accepting support from, and working with, Israel.

    For years, Israel has religiously adhered to the official party line that the country’s policy was non-intervention, and this has now been exposed as a lie. Such a loss of public credibility may significantly inhibit its abilities to conduct influence operations in the future.

    Daniel J. Levy is a graduate of the Universities of Leeds and Oxford, where his academic research focused on Iranian proxies in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Palestine. He lives in the UK and is the Founding Director of The Ortakoy Security Group. Twitter: @danielhalevy

    #IsraelSyrie


  • Munther Isaac, Twitter, le 25 janvier 2019
    https://twitter.com/MuntherIsaac/status/1088822481920688133

    Dear @realDonaldTrump We have a wall here in Palestine, and we will be more than happy to offer you this wall as a gift. We will include the graffiti with it. Transportation cost not included in the offer. Actually, you guys already paid for this wall.

    #Palestine #USA #Mur #Wall #Humour #Donald_Trump #graffiti


  • The sadists who destroyed a decades-old Palestinian olive grove can rest easy
    Another Palestinian village joins the popular protest, its inhabitants no longer able to bear attacks by settlers. Vandals have butchered a grove of 35-year-old olive trees in the village. The tracks led to a nearby settler outpost
    Gideon Levy and Alex Levac Jan 24, 2019
    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/the-sadists-who-destroyed-a-decades-old-palestinian-olive-grove-can-rest-ea

    Vandalism in an olive grove in the West Bank village of Al-Mughayyir. Credit Alex Levac

    Who are the human scum who last Friday drove all-terrain vehicles down to the magnificent olive grove owned by Abed al Hai Na’asan, in the West Bank village of Al-Mughayyir, chose the oldest and biggest row, and with electric saws felled 25 trees, one after another? Who are the human scum who are capable of fomenting such an outrage on the soil, the earth, the trees and of course on the farmer, who’s been working his land for decades? Who are the human scum who fled like cowards, knowing that no one would bring them to justice for the evil they had wrought?

    We’re unlikely ever to get the answers. The police are investigating, but at the wild outposts of the Shiloh Valley, and Mevo Shiloh in particular, where the perpetrators’ tracks led, they can go on sleeping in peace. No one will be arrested, no one will be interrogated, no one will be punished. That’s the lesson of past experience in this violent, lawless, settlers’ country.

    The story itself makes one’s blood boil, but only the sight of the violated grove brings home the scale of the atrocity, the pathological sadism of the perpetrators, the depth of the farmer’s pain upon seeing that his own God’s little acre was assaulted by the Jewish, Israeli, settlers, believers, destroyers – just three days before Tu B’Shvat, the Jewish Arbor Day, the holiday of the trees celebrated by the same people who destroyed his grove. This is how they express their love for the land, this is a reflection of the encroacher’s fondness for the earth and for nature.

    And on a boulder at the far end of the grove they left their calling card, smeared on a rock: a Star of David smeared in red, shamefaced, shameful, a Mark of Cain that stigmatizes everything it stands for, and next to it, the word “Revenge.” Revenge for what?

    The 25 felled trees lie like corpses after a massacre on the fertile brown, plowed earth. Twenty-five thick trunks stand bare and decapitated, their roots still deep in the earth, their tops gone, the work of a malicious hand – now mere dead lumber after years of having been tended, cultivated and irrigated. It was the most impressive row of trees in the grove; the destroyers moved along it with satanic deliberateness, sawing mercilessly. When, walking amid the stumps in the grove, the distraught owner Na’asan said that for him the act was tantamount to murder, his words made perfect sense. When we were just arriving there, his wife had phoned and begged him not to visit the grove, for fear he would not be able to abide the sight. Na’asan has cancer.

    In the briefcase of documents he always carries with him is a copy of the official complaint he submitted to the Binyamin district station of the Israel Police, despite the fact that he knows nothing will ever come of it, that it will be buried like every such complaint. Anyone who wanted to apprehend the rampagers could have done it that same day: Mevo Shiloh, where the tracks of the all-terrain vehicles led, is a small settler outpost – violent and brazen.

    The way to Al-Mughayyir, located south of Jenin, passes through the affluent town of Turmus Ayya, many of whose residents live most of the year in the United States, only visiting their splendid homes in the summer. The village, with a population of 3,500, is separated from the town by pasture land where sheep are now grazing. Everything is lushly green.

    Abed al Hai Na’asan, with a butchered olive tree. The people of Al-Mughayyir say their problems have never been with the army, only with the settlers. Credit : Alex Levac

    In the center of Al-Mughayyir, a few men are standing next to an official vehicle of the Palestinian Authority. Personnel from the Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture have arrived to assess the damage suffered by the farmers; at best the ministry gives them a symbolic amount of compensation. Such is the deceptive semblance of a government that supposedly protects helpless farmers.

    Everyone in the village knows that the PA can do nothing. So, about two months ago, the residents launched a popular protest, just as citizens of other villages before them have done – from Kaddoum, Nabi Saleh, Bil’in, Na’alin and others. Every Friday, they gather on their land, which lies on the eastern side of the Allon Road, and are confronted by a large number of army and Border Police forces, who disperse them with great quantities of tear gas that hangs like a pall over Al-Mughayyir, and with rubber bullets, rounds of “tutu” bullets (live 0.22-caliber bullets). Then come the nighttime arrests. Overnight this past Sunday, the troops arrested another seven villagers who took part in the demonstrations; 35 locals are currently in detention. This is the method Israel uses to suppress every popular protest in the territories.

    According to the villagers, their sole demand is removal of the Mevo Shiloh outpost, which was established without a permit on a half-abandoned Israel Defense Forces base that overlooks their fields. The settlers burn the Palestininans’ fields, allow their sheep to graze on their land without permission, chase away the villagers’ flocks and perpetrate various “price tag” operations – hate crimes – against them.

    In the previous such assault, on November 25, eight cars were damaged. The graffiti, documented by Iyad Hadad, a field researcher for the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem, leave little to the imagination: “Death to the Arabs,” “Enough administrative orders,” “Revenge,” “Price Tag” – and also the unfathomable “Regards to Nachman Rodan.”

    The people of Al-Mughayyir say their problems have never been with the army, only with the settlers. Here the war is for control of the land. It is a primeval, despairing war in which law, property rights and ownership play no part – what counts is the violence that can be perpetrated, under the aegis of the occupation authorities. When, one day, these people are forced to give up their land in the wake of the violence, the settlers will chalk up yet another impressive achievement in their effort to chop up the West Bank into separate and disconnected slices of territory. This week, when we drove across village land toward Mevo Shiloh, the villagers who rode with us begged us to turn around at once. So great is their fear of the settlers, that even when they crossed their fields in a car with Israeli plates, accompanied by Israelis, they were seized by dread.

    The home of Amin Abu Aaliya, head of the village council, is perched atop a high hill, overlooking all the houses in his village and the fertile valley where his lands lie. In the winter sun that shines on the holiday of the trees, he serves a local pastry stuffed with leaves of green za’atar (wild hyssop), baked by his wife, who doesn’t join us. When we ask him to “Tell her it was delicious,” he replies, “She mustn’t get a swelled head.”

    The view from the roof of his elegant home is indeed stunning. Scratchy music that blares from an old Citroen Berlingo down below heralds the arrival in the village of a vendor selling the sweet cotton candy known here as “girls’ hair.” In the middle of the village, young people are decorating one of the houses with flags of Fatah and Palestine: A resident of the village is due to return home today after serving two years in an Israeli prison, and a festive welcome is being prepared for him.

    The Allon Road, which was paved in the 1970s and runs north to south in the eastern part of the West Bank, with the aim of severing its territories from the Kingdom of Jordan, also separated Al-Mughayyir from most of its land, about 30,000 dunams (7,500 acres), located east of the road. The villagers grew used to that over the years. They also forgave the expropriation of land for the road and afterward for its widening. There is no safe place for them to cross the Allon Road with their herds, to access their land but they grew used to that, too. Sometimes the army blocks the dirt road that leads from the village to their land and they are cut off from it, unless they decide to take a long bypass route there. A matter of routine.

    The people of Al-Mughayyir also learned how to live with the former existence of the military base of Mevo Shiloh, which dominated their land. They even came to terms with the Adei Ad outpost, whose members also assaulted them. But then the IDF evacuated the base and the settlers seized it. An internet search reveals that the settlers were ostensibly removed from this outpost a few years ago. But mobile homes sprout from the high hill that overlooks the village’s fields, and alongside them, large structures used for farming. Mevo Shiloh is alive and kicking.

    The villagers say that the Civil Administration, a branch of the military government, promised them in the past that the outpost would be evacuated, but that didn’t happen. Lacking the funds to wage a legal battle, and not believing it would produce results anyway, they embarked on their Friday demonstrations.

    I asked whether they had first consulted with other locales that have waged similar struggles. “There was no need to,” the council head said. “You don’t need consultation when you are in the right. We feel unsafe on our own land. How are we to protect ourselves and our lands? It’s a natural reaction: Either to turn to violence or to popular protest. We chose the path of popular protest.”

    The dirt path that leads east from the village toward the Allon Road reflects the events here in the past two months. Empty canisters of the tear gas fired at the demonstrators hang from electrical cables, the ground is strewn with the remnants of scorched tires and with stone barriers. During the Friday protest two weeks ago, 30 villagers were wounded by rubber-coated metal bullets. The troops film the demonstrators and raid the village at night to arrest them – standard procedure in the villages of the struggle. Close to 100 residents have been detained during the past two months.

    A dense cloud of tear gas hangs over Al-Mughayyir during the demonstrations and, according to council head Aaliya, even wafts upward to his house high on the hill. In some cases the settlers join the security forces to disperse the demonstrations, throwing stones at the protesters.

    Na’asan, whose trees were ravaged, arrives at Aaliya’s house and shows him a copy of the complaint he filed with the Binyamin police: “Confirmation of submission of complaint.” The space for the details of the incident is empty. The space for the place of the event contains the following, word for word: “Magir RM in the forest, nursery, grove, field.” The charge: “Damage to property maliciously.” Hebrew only, of course. “File No. 31237.”

    The police arrived at the grove last Friday, two hours after Na’asan discovered what had happened and reported it to the Palestinian Coordination and Liaison office. They said the ATV tracks seemed to lead to Mevo Shiloh. According to Na’asan, while the police were in the grove, a few settlers stood on the hill opposite and watched. The police are now investigating.

    About 20 members of Na’asan’s extended family subsist thanks to this grove, which before the attack boasted a total of 80 trees of different ages, all meticulously cultivated. Standing here now, he says he’ll have to clear away those that were felled and bandage the stumps against the cold. That’s the only way they will perhaps sprout new branches, which he will have to tend. It will take another 35 years for the grove to return to its former state. Na’asan is 62. This grove grew together with his children, he says. He knows there’s little chance he’ll be around to see it recover.


  • About | Medical Review Auschwitz
    https://www.mp.pl/auschwitz/auschwitz/172694,about


    L’actualité d’Auschwitz n’a rien à faire avec les problèmes de l’état hébreux. Au contraire les pentecôtistes et autres chrétiens étatuniens pensent que les juifs occupent une place importante dans l’expansion de l’apocalypse qui d’après eux serait en train de se propager à partir de la Palestine. Pour eux les êtres humains à purger sont tous les infidèles et ceux que dieu aime moins que ses fidèles dont le signe de sa bénédiction est leur succès économique. Voici la véritable raison pourquoi les Bush, Trump et Bolsonaro ne s’intéressent pas à la catastrophe climatique imminente et accélèrent plutôt les pas vers le grand collapsus tout en tirant le maximum de profit de leurs « Ètats SS ».

    Medical Review – Auschwitz (Przegląd Lekarski – Oświęcim) was an academic journal of the Kraków Medical Society (Towarzystwo Lekarskie Krakowskie) published in Polish between 1961 and 1991. It investigated the medical, psychological and social consequences of Nazi persecution in concentration camps. Medical Review – Auschwitz is a unique publication worldwide. Spanning over 10,000 pages, or over 1000 articles, the documentation is based on detailed examinations of a few thousands of former concentration camp prisoners. Medical Review – Auschwitz is a collective work of 477 authors, which to this day remains one of the most significant sources of knowledge on the pathology of war and concentration camps.

    Medical Review – Auschwitz was started thanks to the efforts of two physicians and former concentration camp prisoners: Antoni Kępiński (1918–1972, prisoner of the concentration camp at Miranda de Ebro in Spain) and Stanisław Kłodziński (1918–1990, prisoner of Auschwitz-Birkenau).
    ...
    The project has been developed with the aim of sharing all 31 volumes of Medical Review – Auschwitz with the international community by making the articles available free of charge online. Apart from the original volumes of Medical Review – Auschwitz, the website also hosts a selection of articles translated into English, a German anthology Die Auschwitz-Hefte and the 1962 volume in 3 language versions (German, French and Russian).

    « Anus mundi » | Medical Review Auschwitz
    https://www.mp.pl/auschwitz/translations/english/192366,anus-mundi


    Prinz-Albrecht-Palais, Berlin, Wilhelmstraße,1837

    Les Georgia Guidestones révèlent leur véritable caractère à travers les observations suivantes.

    On y retrouve l’idée de la nécessite de purger le monde des être en surnombre et de profiter de l’occasion pour en sélectionner les meilleurs. A la différence des nazis les instigateurs étatsuniens ont l’intention prévoient de laisser les guerres et catastrophes naturelles faire leur travail et d’organiser la sélection en amont par la concurrence capitaliste. Voici un élément qui renforce mon opinion que les efforts des innovateurs de la #silicon_valley sont pour une bonne part les héritiers des enthousiastes technophiles au #Reichssicherheitshauptamt.

    In a conversation with the SS physician J. P. Kremer, his colleague Dr Heinz Thilo, a member of the SS staff of Auschwitz, called Auschwitz the anus mundi (the world’s anus – quotation after Sehn). We may infer that this trenchant epithet was an expression on the one hand of the revulsion and horror this concentration camp evoked in anyone who saw it, and on the other hand justified its existence by the need to purge the world. Catharsis, the motif of cleansing, so important in the life of every human individual, appears to play a salient role in the life of whole societies.

    On comprend que les élites sont en train de transformer la terre entière an #anus_mundi .

    #Pologne #médecine #Auschwitz #sélection #holocauste #shoa #shoah #nazis


  • Incroyable, encore une fois, le New-York Times va à l’encontre de ses positions sioniste (peut-être est-ce que c’est fait pour faire chier Trump ?) et publie cette tribune :

    Time to Break the Silence on Palestine
    Michelle Alexander, The New-York Times, le 19 janvier 2019
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/19/opinion/sunday/martin-luther-king-palestine-israel.html

    And so, if we are to honor King’s message and not merely the man, we must condemn Israel’s actions: unrelenting violations of international law, continued occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza, home demolitions and land confiscations. We must cry out at the treatment of Palestinians at checkpoints, the routine searches of their homes and restrictions on their movements, and the severely limited access to decent housing, schools, food, hospitals and water that many of them face.

    We must not tolerate Israel’s refusal even to discuss the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes, as prescribed by United Nations resolutions, and we ought to question the U.S. government funds that have supported multiple hostilities and thousands of civilian casualties in Gaza, as well as the $38 billion the U.S. government has pledged in military support to Israel.

    And finally, we must, with as much courage and conviction as we can muster, speak out against the system of legal discrimination that exists inside Israel, a system complete with, according to Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, more than 50 laws that discriminate against Palestinians — such as the new nation-state law that says explicitly that only Jewish Israelis have the right of self-determination in Israel, ignoring the rights of the Arab minority that makes up 21 percent of the population.

    Michelle Alexander est une avocate, professeure, spécialiste du racisme aux Etats-Unis. En 2017, elle a reçu le Prix Martin Luther King de l’Université de l’Ohio. Dans cet article elle revient justement sur Martin Luther King qui eut le courage de dénoncer la guerre du Vietnam, pour dire qu’il est temps aujourd’hui de dénoncer la situation en Palestine...

    #Palestine #USA #Michelle_Alexander #Guerre #Martin_Luther_King #Occupation #Droit_au_retour #Apartheid #BDS #New-York_Times


  • Every day brings another sign that Democrats are dividing over Israel
    Mondoweiss – Philip Weiss on January 17, 2019
    https://mondoweiss.net/2019/01/another-democrats-dividing

    Every day brings another sign that there is at last going to be a wide-open debate about American support for Israel in US politics, as the old Democratic Party consensus disintegrates.

    We chronicled the efforts of Senate Republicans to push anti-boycott legislation and paint the Democrats as the anti-Israel party. The Women’s March is now riven by the Israel issue, with the Democratic establishment distancing itself from the organizers.

    The Democratic leadership is also plainly stunned that two new congresswomen, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, are both BDS supporters, and that star NY Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is critical of Israel. Tlaib tells the Intercept today that she wants to withhold American aid to Israel so long as it denies equality and dignity to her grandmother in Palestine.

    Several mainstream figures are warning the Democratic Party not to let Israel divide them. Though Nancy Pelosi pooh-poohs the anti’s as a mere fringe: Don’t pay “attention to a few people who may want to go their own way,” she said last month.

    A couple more signs. Buzzfeed has an article up by Emily Tamkin and Alexis Levinson titled, “Israel Will Be The Great Foreign Policy Debate Of The Democratic Primary.” It begins bracingly. (...)


  • Are U.S. newspapers biased against Palestinians? Analysis of 100,000 headlines in top dailies says, Yes – Mondoweiss

    https://mondoweiss.net/2019/01/newspapers-palestinians-headlines

    A study released last month by 416Labs, a Toronto-based consulting and research firm, supports the view that mainstream U.S. newspapers consistently portray Palestine in a more negative light than Israel, privilege Israeli sources, and omit key facts helpful to understanding the Israeli occupation, including those expressed by Palestinian sources.

    The largest of its kind, the study is based on a sentiment and n-gram analysis of nearly a hundred thousand headlines in five mainstream newspapers dating to 1967. The newspapers are the top five U.S. dailies, The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, and the Los Angeles Times.

    Headlines spanning five decades were put into two datasets, one comprising 17,492 Palestinian-centric headlines, and another comprising 82,102 Israeli-centric headlines. Using Natural Language Processing techniques, authors of the study assessed the degree to which the sentiment of the headlines could be classified as positive, negative, or neutral. They also examined the frequency of using certain words that evoke a particular view or perception.

    Key findings of the study are:

    Since 1967, use of the word “occupation” has declined by 85% in the Israeli dataset of headlines, and by 65% in the Palestinian dataset;
    Since 1967, mentions of Palestinian refugees have declined by an overall 93%;
    Israeli sources are nearly 250% more likely to be quoted as Palestinians;
    The number of headlines centering Israel were published four times more than those centering Palestine;
    Words connoting violence such as “terror” appear three times as much as the word “occupation” in the Palestinian dataset;
    Explicit recognition that Israeli settlements and settlers are illegal rarely appears in both datasets;
    Since 1967, mentions of “East Jerusalem,” distinguishing that part of the city occupied by Israel in 1967 from the rest of the city, appeared only a total of 132 times;
    The Los Angeles Times has portrayed Palestinians most negatively, followed by The Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, and lastly The New York Times;
    Coverage of the conflict has reduced dramatically in the second half of the fifty-year period.


  • PALESTINE OPEN MAPS | Dar El-Nimer
    https://www.darelnimer.org/en/events/palestine-open-maps

    This talk will introduce Palestine Open Maps (palopenmaps.org), an online platform for interacting with historic and present-day maps of Palestine. It will include a discussion of how the project came about, the process by which the maps and associated data were digitized and made available, and a preview of some of the future plans for the platform.

    Cartographes, des choses pour vous dans cette excellente fondation culturelle palestinienne à Beyrouth...
    https://www.darelnimer.org/en/exhibitions/a-national-monument

    #liban #cartographie


  • Rare Photos: European Refugee Camps in Syria — At The Height of World War II

    The whole world is aware that Europe is buckled under the biggest refugee crisis since World War II, with millions of people fleeing civil war and oppression in the Middle East, North Africa, and Western Asia, and landing on the continent’s shores by land and by sea. The UN estimates that more people have been displaced than at any time since the Second World War — there are close to 60 million war refugees, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

    While there is no denying the fact that the current humanitarian crisis is the worst refugee crisis of our generation; with continuous comparison to World War II, it is imperative that we share a small yet important fact with you: at the height of World War II, the Middle East Relief and Refugee Administration (MERRA) operated camps in Syria, Egypt and Palestine, where tens of thousands of people from across Europe sought refuge.

    Yes, you read it right. Refugees crossed the same passageways [which the Syrians, the Africans, and the Asians are taking to reach Europe TODAY] 70 years ago — BUT they were the Europeans (largely from Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Turkey and Yugoslavia) trying to find solace in the Middle East.

    How The Refugees Entered The Camps:

    According to the International Social Service records, refugees from Europe had to register at one of several camps in Egypt, Palestine and Syria and obtain camp-issued identification cards, which contained their full name, gender, marital status, passport number, and their educational and work history.

    After registration, they had to undergo a refugee medical examination at makeshift hospital facilities — where they took off their clothes, their shoes and were washed until officials believed they were sufficiently disinfected. When they were declared fit enough to join the refugee camp, they were divided into living quarters for families, unaccompanied children, single men and single women.

    How They Survived:

    Refugees in MERRA camps received a half portion of Army rations each day; sometimes supplemented with foods that reflected refugees’ national customs and religious practices. ‘Rich’ refugees could buy beans, olives, oil, fruit, tea, coffee and other staples from camp canteens. On the rare occasion, during supervised visits to local shops, they could buy soap, razor blades, pencils, paper, stamps and other items. Some camps provided space for refugees to prepare meals; one camp in Aleppo reserved a room for women so they could make macaroni with flour, which they received from camp officials.

    How They Found Work & Developed Skills:

    Some, but not all, camps required refugees to work — though they were not forced to earn to make ends meet. GlobalPost reports:

    In Aleppo, refugees were encouraged, but not required, to work as cooks, cleaners and cobblers. Labor wasn’t mandatory in Nuseirat, either, but camp officials did try to create opportunities for refugees to use their skills in carpentry, painting, shoe making and wool spinning so that they could stay occupied and earn a little income from other refugees who could afford their services. At Moses Wells, all able-bodied, physically fit refugees worked as shopkeepers, cleaners, seamstresses, apprentices, masons, carpenters or plumbers, while “exceptionally qualified persons” served as school masters or labor foremen. Women performed additional domestic work like sewing, laundry, and preparing food on top of any other work they had.

    How They Acquired Knowledge:

    Margaret G. Arnstein, a prominent nurse practitioner notes that students in a few camps at El Shatt and Moses Wells were taught practical nursing, anatomy, physiology, first aid, obstetrics, pediatrics, as well as the military rules and regulations that governed wartime refugee camps.

    How They Entertained Themselves:

    In their free time, the men played handball, football and socialized over cigarettes, beer and wine in camp canteens. In their free time, children played with swings, slides and seesaws.

    How They Prepared For A Brighter Future:

    Education was a crucial part of camp routines. GlobalPost writes:

    Classrooms in Middle Eastern refugee camps had too few teachers and too many students, inadequate supplies and suffered from overcrowding. Yet not all the camps were so hard pressed. In Nuseirat, for example, a refugee who was an artist completed many paintings and posted them all over the walls of a kindergarten inside the camp, making the classrooms “bright and cheerful.” Well-to-do people in the area donated toys, games, and dolls to the kindergarten, causing a camp official to remark that it “compared favorably with many in the United States.”

    https://anonhq.com/rare-photos-european-refugee-camps-syria-height-world-war-ii

    #quand_eux_c'était_nous #réfugiés_européens #histoire #syrie #camps_de_réfugiés #WWII #seconde_guerre_mondiale #photographie #deuxième_guerre_moniale
    ping @albertocampiphoto @philippe_de_jonckheere


  • Une déclaration d’Angela Davis - [UJFP]
    http://www.ujfp.org/spip.php?article6872

    Une déclaration d’Angela Davis
    mercredi 9 janvier 2019 par Angela Davis

    Nous publions ci-dessous, la traduction française de la déclaration d’Angela Y. Davis, à la suite de la décision du BCRI (Birmingham Civil Rights Institute) de revenir sur sa décision et de ne pas lui accorder le prix Fred Shuttlesworth, vraisemblablement en raison de son soutien pour la justice en Palestine.

    L’UJFP, comme bien d’autres associations juives dans le monde est révoltée par l’instrumentalisation systématique aujourd’hui de l’antisémitisme comme arme majeure pour bâillonner toute parole sur la situation du peuple palestinien.

    Angela Davis militante antiraciste reçoit tout notre soutien et notre solidarité. (...)

    • Birmingham Civil Rights Institute Reinstates Award for Angela Davis
      January 27, 2019 8:44 PM
      http://imemc.org/article/birmingham-civil-rights-institute-invites-angela-davis-to-receive-award

      Academic and civil rights activist, Angela Davis was nominated for the Fred Shuttlesworth Award in early January, by the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BCRI), but soon after, the award was rescinded due to Professor Davis’ outspoken support of Palestinian equal rights.

      The decision was reversed on January 25th, when the board issued a statement stating it has “voted to reaffirm Dr. Davis as the recipient (of the Fred Shuttlesworth Award),”, inviting Dr. Davis to come to Birmingham to receive the award. It is not yet known whether Dr. Davis will accept the invitation. (...)


  • Source of pro-Israel guerrilla warriors on social media exposed – Middle East Monitor

    poursuite des révélations sur le financement des trolls antipalestiniens aux Etats-Unis.
    En profiter pour voir https://orientxxi.info/magazine/un-documentaire-interdit-sur-le-lobby-pro-israelien-aux-etats-unis,2715

    https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20190105-source-of-pro-israel-guerrilla-warriors-on-social-media-

    A number of prominent Jewish-American leaders are funding covert, anonymous campaigns targeting pro-Palestinian student activists, The Forward has found. The Jewish daily newspaper, which has been publishing valuable information concerning the source of funding for these hyper-aggressive and shadowy groups – which spearhead coordinated hate campaigns against critics of the Zionist state – has uncovered the identities of those behind hidden social media accounts.

    Community heads and prominent Jewish organisations with a carefully-crafted, respectable public profile have donated millions to fund secret projects targeting students and lecturers, the report has found. On a number of occasions, their blind support for Israel has seen them bankroll far-right and anti-Muslim hate groups.

    The latest pro-Israeli group to be exposed by The Forward is the campaign targeting the pro-Palestinian campus network Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP). SJP is said to be the most well-known advocate of the Palestinian cause on US campuses. It has been the target of a pro-Israel group known as SJP Uncovered, which anonymously attacks student activists affiliated with SJP across the country. With more than 100,000 followers on Facebook, SJP Uncovered has gone after pro-Palestinian students by maintaining a veil of anonymity that is said to be all-but impenetrable.

    Until now, the source of funding for SJP Uncovered had been a mystery. The Forward has now been able to shed light on the organisation to reveal that the site is a secret project of the Israel on Campus Coalition (ICC), a Washington DC-based pro-Israel organisation tied to most mainstream funders and organisations in the Jewish community.


  • 116th Congress: #TweetYourThobe, Rashida Tlaib wears Palestinian thobe at swearing in - INSIDER
    https://www.thisisinsider.com/116th-congress-tweetyourthobe-rashida-tlaib-wears-palestinian-thobe-a

    Democratic members of the House of Representatives takes their oath on the opening day of the 116th Congress as the Democrats take the majority from the GOP, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019. On the top row are, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., left, and Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., middle row, Rep. Joe Morelle, D-N.Y., left, and Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., and on the bottom row, Rep. Deb Haaland, D-N.M., the first Native American woman elected to Congress. They are joined by children and family members, a tradition on the first day of the new session. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

    Women are tweeting images of their thobes — traditional Palestinian dresses adorned with elaborate embroidery — inspired by freshman Rep. Rashida Tlaib.
    Rep. Tlaib, who was elected in November to represent the 13th District in Michigan, was sworn into the 116th Congress on Thursday.
    The congresswoman is one of the first two Muslim-American women elected to Congress, and during her swearing-in Rep. Tlaib wore a thobe.
    The #TweetYourThobe movement was started by Palestinian-American novelist Susan Muaddi Darraj, The New York Times reported, as a way to show support for Tlaib.

    #palestine


  • The roundabout revolutions

    The history of these banal, utilitarian instruments of traffic management has become entangled with that of political uprising, #Eyal_Weizman argues in his latest book

    This project started with a photograph. It was one of the most arresting images depicting the May 1980 #Gwangju uprising, recognised now as the first step in the eventual overthrow of the military dictatorship in South Korea. The photograph (above) depicts a large crowd of people occupying a roundabout in the city center. Atop a disused fountain in the middle of the roundabout a few protestors have unfurled a South Korean flag. The roundabout organised the protest in concentric circles, a geometric order that exposed the crowd to itself, helping a political collective in becoming.

    It had an uncanny resonance with events that had just unfolded: in the previous year a series of popular uprisings spread through Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, #Oman, Yemen, Libya, and Syria. These events shared with Gwangju not only the historical circumstances – they too were popular protests against military dictatorships – but, remarkably, an urban-architectural setting: many of them similarly erupted on roundabouts in downtown areas. The history of these roundabouts is entangled with the revolutions that rose from them.

    The photograph of the roundabout—now the symbol of the “liberated republic” – was taken by #Na_Kyung-taek from the roof of the occupied Provincial Hall, looking toward Geumnam-ro, only a few hours before the fall of the “#Gwangju_Republic”. In the early morning hours of the following day, the Gwangju uprising was overwhelmed by military force employing tanks and other armed vehicles. The last stand took place at the roundabout.

    The scene immediately resonates with the well-known photographs of people gathering in #Tahrir_Square in early 2011. Taken from different high-rise buildings around the square, a distinct feature in these images is the traffic circle visible by the way it organises bodies and objects in space. These images became the symbol of the revolution that led to the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak in February 2011 – an event described by urban historian Nezar AlSayyad as “Cairo’s roundabout revolution”. But the Gwangju photograph also connects to images of other roundabouts that erupted in dissent in fast succession throughout the Middle East. Before Tahrir, as Jonathan Liu noted in his essay Roundabouts and Revolutions, it was the main roundabout in the capital of Tunisia – subsequently renamed Place du 14 Janvier 2011 after the date on which President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali was forced to flee the country. Thousands of protesters gathered at the roundabout in Tunis and filled the city’s main boulevard.

    A main roundabout in Bahrain’s capital Manama erupted in protests shortly after the overthrow of Mubarak in Egypt. Its central traffic island became the site of popular protests against the government and the first decisive act of military repression: the protests were violently broken up and the roundabout itself destroyed and replaced with a traffic intersection. In solidarity with the Tahrir protests, the roundabouts in the small al-Manara Square in Ramallah and the immense Azadi Square in Tehran also filled with protesters. These events, too, were violently suppressed.

    The roundabouts in Tehran and Ramallah had also been the scenes of previous revolts. In 2009 the Azadi roundabout in Iran’s capital was the site of the main protests of the Green Movement contesting President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s reelection. Hamid Dabashi, a literature professor at Columbia University and one of the most outspoken public intellectuals on these revolutions, claims that the Green Movement was inspirational for the subsequent revolutionary wave in the Arab world. In Palestine, revolt was a permanent consequence of life under occupation, and the al-Manara roundabout was a frequent site of clashes between Palestinian youth and the Israeli military. The sequence of roundabout revolutions evolved as acts of imitation, each building on its predecessor, each helping propel the next.

    Roundabouts were of course not only exhilarating sites of protest and experiments in popular democracy, but moreover they were places where people gathered and risked their life. The Gwangju uprising is, thus, the first of the roundabout revolutions. Liu wrote: “In all these cases, the symbolism is almost jokingly obvious: what better place to stage a revolution, after all, then one built for turning around?” What better way to show solidarity across national borders than to stage protests in analogous places?

    Why roundabouts? After all, they are banal, utilitarian instruments of traffic management, certainly not prone to induce revolutionary feeling. Other kinds of sites – squares, boulevards, favelas, refugee camps – have served throughout history as the setting for political protest and revolt. Each alignment of a roundabout and a revolution has a specific context and diverse causes, but the curious repetition of this phenomenon might give rise to several speculations. Urban roundabouts are the intersection points of large axes, which also puts them at the start or end of processions.

    Occupying a roundabout demonstrates the power of tactical acupuncture: it blocks off all routes going in and out. Congestion moves outward like a wave, flowing down avenues and streets through large parts of the city. By pressuring a single pivotal point within a networked infrastructure, an entire city can be put under siege (a contemporary contradistinction to the medieval technique of surrounding the entire perimeter of a city wall). Unlike public squares, which are designed as sites for people to gather (therefore not interrupting the flow of vehicular traffic) and are usually monitored and policed, roundabout islands are designed to keep people away. The continuous flow of traffic around them creates a wall of speeding vehicles that prohibits access. While providing open spaces (in some cities the only available open spaces) these islands are meant to be seen but not used.

    Another possible explanation is their symbolic power: they often contain monuments that represent the existing regime. The roundabouts of recent revolutions had emblematic names – Place du 7 Novembre 1987, the date the previous regime took power in Tunisia; “Liberty” (Azadi), referring to the 1979 Iranian Revolution; or “Liberation” (Tahrir), referring to the 1952 revolutions in Egypt. Roundabout islands often had statues, both figurative and abstract, representing the symbolic order of regimes. Leaders might have wished to believe that circular movement around their monuments was akin to a form of worship or consent. While roundabouts exercise a centripetal force, pulling protestors into the city center, the police seek to generate movement in the opposite direction, out and away from the center, and to break a collective into controllable individuals that can be handled and dispersed.

    The most common of all centrifugal forces of urban disorganisation during protests is tear gas, a formless cloud that drifts through space to disperse crowds. From Gwangju to Cairo, Manama to Ramallah, hundreds of tear-gas canisters were used largely exceeding permitted levels in an attempt to evict protesters from public spaces. The bodily sensation of the gas forms part of the affective dimension of the roundabout revolution. When tear gas is inhaled, the pain is abrupt, sharp, and isolating. The eyes shut involuntary, generating a sense of disorientation and disempowerment.

    Protestors have found ways to mitigate the toxic effects of this weapon. Online advice is shared between activists from Palestine through Cairo to Ferguson. The best protection is offered by proper gas masks. Improvised masks made of mineral water bottles cut in half and equipped with a filter of wet towels also work, according to online manuals. Some activists wear swim goggles and place wet bandanas or kaffiyehs over their mouths. To mitigate some of the adverse effects, these improvised filters can be soaked in water, lemon juice, vinegar, toothpaste, or wrapped around an onion. When nothing else is at hand, breathe the air from inside your shirt and run upwind onto higher ground. When you have a chance, blow your nose, rinse your mouth, cough, and spit.


    https://www.iconeye.com/opinion/comment/item/12093-the-roundabout-revolutions
    #révolution #résistance #giratoire #carrefour #rond-point #routes #infrastructure_routière #soulèvement_politique #Corée_du_Sud #printemps_arabe #Egypte #Tunisie #Bahreïni #Yémen #Libye #Syrie #Tahrir

    Du coup : #gilets_jaunes ?

    @albertocampiphoto & @philippe_de_jonckheere

    This project started with a photograph. It was one of the most arresting images depicting the May 1980 #Gwangju uprising, recognised now as the first step in the eventual overthrow of the military dictatorship in South Korea. The photograph (above) depicts a large crowd of people occupying a roundabout in the city center. Atop a disused fountain in the middle of the roundabout a few protestors have unfurled a South Korean flag. The roundabout organised the protest in concentric circles, a geometric order that exposed the crowd to itself, helping a political collective in becoming.

    –-> le pouvoir d’une #photographie...

    signalé par @isskein

    ping @reka


  • Palestine Under Occupation : One Village’s Resistance - YouTube

    Très bons reportages sur l’occupation israélienne de la Palestine, autour de la famille Tamini

    PART 1

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPhPAHaY82U

    PART 2

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJqH7_xYKi4

    Night raids, child arrests and open fire. Welcome to daily life in this tiny village in the occupied West Bank, home to Palestinian teen icon Ahed Tamimi. Collected form AJ+

    #palestine #ocupation #démolition #colonisation #résistance #tamini


  • A Day, a Life: When a Medic Was Killed in Gaza, Was It an Accident?
    The New York Times - By David M. Halbfinger - Dec. 30, 2018
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/30/world/middleeast/gaza-medic-israel-shooting.html

    KHUZAA, Gaza Strip — A young medic in a head scarf runs into danger, her only protection a white lab coat. Through a haze of tear gas and black smoke, she tries to reach a man sprawled on the ground along the Gaza border. Israeli soldiers, their weapons leveled, watch warily from the other side.

    Minutes later, a rifle shot rips through the din, and the Israeli-Palestinian drama has its newest tragic figure.

    For a few days in June, the world took notice of the death of 20-year-old Rouzan al-Najjar, killed while treating the wounded at protests against Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip. Even as she was buried, she became a symbol of the conflict, with both sides staking out competing and mutually exclusive narratives.

    To the Palestinians, she was an innocent martyr killed in cold blood, an example of Israel’s disregard for Palestinian life. To the Israelis, she was part of a violent protest aimed at destroying their country, to which lethal force is a legitimate response as a last resort.

    Palestinian witnesses embellished their initial accounts, saying she was shot while raising her hands in the air. The Israeli military tweeted a tendentiously edited video that made it sound like she was offering herself as a human shield for terrorists.

    In each version, Ms. Najjar was little more than a cardboard cutout.

    An investigation by The New York Times found that Ms. Najjar, and what happened on the evening of June 1, were far more complicated than either narrative allowed. Charismatic and committed, she defied the expectations of both sides. Her death was a poignant illustration of the cost of Israel’s use of battlefield weapons to control the protests, a policy that has taken the lives of nearly 200 Palestinians.

    It also shows how each side is locked into a seemingly unending and insolvable cycle of violence. The Palestinians trying to tear down the fence are risking their lives to make a point, knowing that the protests amount to little more than a public relations stunt for Hamas, the militant movement that rules Gaza. And Israel, the far stronger party, continues to focus on containment rather than finding a solution.

    In life, Ms. Najjar was a natural leader whose uncommon bravery struck some peers as foolhardy. She was a capable young medic, but one who was largely self-taught and lied about her lack of education. She was a feminist, by Gaza standards, shattering traditional gender rules, but also a daughter who doted on her father, was particular about her appearance and was slowly assembling a trousseau. She inspired others with her outward jauntiness, while privately she was consumed with dread in her final days.

    The bullet that killed her, The Times found, was fired by an Israeli sniper into a crowd that included white-coated medics in plain view. A detailed reconstruction, stitched together from hundreds of crowd-sourced videos and photographs, shows that neither the medics nor anyone around them posed any apparent threat of violence to Israeli personnel. Though Israel later admitted her killing was unintentional, the shooting appears to have been reckless at best, and possibly a war crime, for which no one has yet been punished. (...)

    Rouzan al-Najjar, 20, was killed by an Israeli sniper on June 1 while she was treating the wounded at protests at the Gaza border.CreditIbraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters
    #Razan_al-Najjar


  • Un intéressant éditorial du New York Times contre les tentatives du Sénat américain de criminaliser BDS

    Opinion | Curbing Speech in the Name of Helping Israel - The New York Times

    A Senate bill aims to punish those who boycott Israel over its settlement policy. There are better solutions.

    By The Editorial Board
    The editorial board represents the opinions of the board, its editor and the publisher. It is separate from the newsroom and the Op-Ed section.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/18/opinion/editorials/israel-bds.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

    One of the more contentious issues involving Israel in recent years is now before Congress, testing America’s bedrock principles of freedom of speech and political dissent.

    It is a legislative proposal that would impose civil and criminal penalties on American companies and organizations that participate in boycotts supporting Palestinian rights and opposing Israel’s occupation of the West Bank.

    The aim is to cripple the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement known as B.D.S., which has gathered steam in recent years despite bitter opposition from the Israeli government and its supporters around the world.

    The proposal’s chief sponsors, Senator Ben Cardin, a Maryland Democrat, and Senator Rob Portman, an Ohio Republican, want to attach it to the package of spending bills that Congress needs to pass before midnight Friday to keep the government fully funded.
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    The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a leading pro-Israel lobby group, strongly favors the measure.

    J Street, a progressive American pro-Israel group that is often at odds with Aipac and that supports a two-state peace solution, fears that the legislation could have a harmful effect, in part by implicitly treating the settlements and Israel the same, instead of as distinct entities. Much of the world considers the settlements, built on land that Israel captured in the 1967 war, to be a violation of international law.

    Although the Senate sponsors vigorously disagree, the legislation, known as the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, is clearly part of a widening attempt to silence one side of the debate. That is not in the interests of Israel, the United States or their shared democratic traditions.

    Critics of the legislation, including the American Civil Liberties Union and several Palestinian rights organizations, say the bill would violate the First Amendment and penalize political speech.

    The hard-line policies of Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, including expanding settlements and an obvious unwillingness to seriously pursue a peace solution that would allow Palestinians their own state, have provoked a backlash and are fueling the boycott movement.
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    It’s not just Israel’s adversaries who find the movement appealing. Many devoted supporters of Israel, including many American Jews, oppose the occupation of the West Bank and refuse to buy products of the settlements in occupied territories. Their right to protest in this way must be vigorously defended.

    The same is true of Palestinians. They are criticized when they resort to violence, and rightly so. Should they be deprived of nonviolent economic protest as well? The United States frequently employs sanctions as a political tool, including against North Korea, Iran and Russia.

    Mr. Cardin and Mr. Portman say their legislation merely builds on an existing law, the Export Control Reform Act, which bars participation in the Arab League boycott of Israel, and is needed to protect American companies from “unsanctioned foreign boycotts.”

    They are especially concerned that the United Nations Human Rights Council is compiling a database of companies doing business in the occupied territories and East Jerusalem, a tactic Senate aides say parallels the Arab League boycott.

    But there are problems with their arguments, critics say. The existing law aimed to protect American companies from the Arab League boycott because it was coercive, requiring companies to boycott Israel as a condition of doing business with Arab League member states. A company’s motivation for engaging in that boycott was economic — continued trade relations — not exercising free speech rights.

    By contrast, the Cardin-Portman legislation would extend the existing prohibition to cover boycotts against Israel and other countries friendly to the United States when the boycotts are called for by an international government organization, like the United Nations or the European Union.

    Neither of those organizations has called for a boycott, but supporters of Israel apparently fear that the Human Rights Council database is a step in that direction.
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    Civil rights advocates, on the other hand, say that anyone who joins a boycott would be acting voluntarily — neither the United Nations nor the European Union has the authority to compel such action — and the decision would be an exercise of political expression in opposition to Israeli policies.

    Responding to criticism, the senators amended their original proposal to explicitly state that none of the provisions shall infringe upon any First Amendment right and to penalize violators with fines rather than jail time.

    But the American Civil Liberties Union says the First Amendment wording is nonbinding and “leaves intact key provisions which would impose civil and criminal penalties on companies, small business owners, nonprofits and even people acting on their behalf who engage in or otherwise support certain political boycotts.”

    While the sponsors say their bill is narrowly targeted at commercial activity, “such assurances ring hollow in light of the bill’s intended purpose, which is to suppress voluntary participation in disfavored political boycotts,” the A.C.L.U. said in a letter to lawmakers.

    Even the Anti-Defamation League, which has lobbied for the proposal, seems to agree. A 2016 internal ADL memo, disclosed by The Forward last week, calls anti-B.D.S. laws “ineffective, unworkable, unconstitutional and bad for the Jewish community.”

    In a properly functioning Congress, a matter of such moment would be openly debated. Instead, Mr. Cardin and Mr. Portman are trying to tack the B.D.S. provision onto the lame-duck spending bill, meaning it could by enacted into law in the 11th-hour crush to keep the government fully open.

    The anti-B.D.S. initiative began in 2014 at the state level before shifting to Congress and is part of a larger, ominous trend in which the political space for opposing Israel is shrinking. After ignoring the B.D.S. movement, Israel is now aggressively pushing against it, including branding it anti-Semitic and adopting a law barring foreigners who support it from entering that country.
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    One United States case shows how counterproductive the effort is. It involves Bahia Amawi, an American citizen of Palestinian descent who was told she could no longer work as an elementary school speech pathologist in Austin, Tex., because she refused to sign a state-imposed oath that she “does not” and “will not” engage in a boycott of Israel. She filed a lawsuit this week in federal court, arguing that the Texas law “chills constitutionally protected political advocacy in support of Palestine.”

    Any anti-boycott legislation enacted by Congress is also likely to face a court challenge. It would be more constructive if political leaders would focus on the injustice and finding viable solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict rather than reinforcing divisions between the two parties and promoting legislation that raises free speech concerns.


  • Americans Are Increasingly Critical of Israel – Foreign Policy
    https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/12/11/americans-are-increasingly-critical-of-israel

    The firing of Professor Marc Lamont Hill as a CNN contributor after his speech at a United Nations event commemorating the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People has generated considerable debate about free speech that goes beyond the case itself—what is legitimate criticism of Israel, and what constitutes anti-Semitism. A recent University of Maryland public-opinion poll indicates that many aspects of Hill’s views are widely shared among the American public—and that these views are not reflective of anti-Semitic attitudes, or even of hostility toward Israel as such. On these issues, there is a gap between the mainstream media and U.S. politicians on the one hand, and the American public on the other.

    While many issues were raised about Hill, the part of his speech that received the most criticism was his call for a “free Palestine from the river to the sea,” which was seen by some as calling for the end of Israel. Hill himself clarified almost immediately that “my reference to ‘river to the sea’ was not a call to destroy anything or anyone. It was a call for justice, both in Israel and in the West Bank/Gaza.” In an op-ed he penned later, he acknowledged that the language he chose may have contributed to the misperception that he was advocating violence against Jewish people—and apologized for that.

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    But, perceptions aside, are Professor Hill’s views exceptional?

    The first issue to consider is advocacy for a one-state solution, from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, with equal citizenship for all, which would in effect threaten Israel’s status as a Jewish-majority state, as Arabs might soon outnumber Jews on that territory. In fact, this solution has considerable support among the American public, as revealed in a University of Maryland Critical Issues Poll, fielded by Nielson Scarborough, which was conducted in September and October among a nationally representative sample of 2,352 Americans, with a 2 percent margin of error. When asked what outcome they want U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration to seek in mediating the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Americans are split between one state with equal citizenship and two states coexisting side by side: 35 percent say they want a one-state solution outright, while 36 percent advocate a two-state solution, 11 percent support maintaining the occupation, and 8 percent back annexation without equal citizenship. Among those between 18 and 34 years old, support for one state climbs to 42 percent.

    Furthermore, most of those who advocate a two-state solution tend to choose one state with equal citizenship if the two-state solution were no longer possible; the last time the survey asked this question, in November 2017, 55 percent of two-state solution backers said they would switch to one state in such circumstances. Bolstering this result is Americans’ views on the Jewishness and democracy of Israel: If the two-state solution were no longer possible, 64 percent of Americans would choose the democracy of Israel, even if it meant that Israel would cease to be a politically Jewish state, over the Jewishness of Israel, if the latter meant that Palestinians would not be fully equal.

    When one considers that many Israelis and Palestinians, as well as many Middle East experts, already believe that a two-state solution is no longer possible, especially given the large expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, it’s not hard to see why more people would be drawn to a one-state solution—or see the advocacy for two states as legitimizing the unjust status quo through the promise of something unattainable.

    Second, while most Americans have probably never heard of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement that Hill backs, our poll shows that a large number of Americans support imposing sanctions or more serious measures if Israeli settlements in the West Bank continue to expand: 40 percent of Americans support such measures, including a majority of Democrats (56 percent). This comes as senators, including Democrats, are proposing, despite continued ACLU opposition, to delegitimize and criminalize voluntary boycotts of Israel or settlements through the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, while not differentiating between Israeli settlements in the West Bank from those in Israel proper.

    Third, there is a growing sense that the Israeli government has “too much influence” on U.S. politics and policies: 38 percent of all Americans (including 55 percent of Democrats, and 44 percent of those under 35 years old), say the Israeli government has too much influence on the U.S. government, compared with 9 percent who say it has “too little influence” and 48 percent who say it has “about the right level of influence.” While the number of Jewish participants in the sample (115) is too small to generalize with confidence, it is notable that their views fall along the same lines of the national trend: 37 percent say Israel has too much influence, 54 percent say it has the right level, and 7 percent say it has too little influence.

    These results indicate neither a rise in anti-Semitism nor even a rise in hostility toward Israel as such. As analysis of previous polls has shown, many who espouse these opinions base them on a principled worldview that emphasizes human rights and international law.

    Keep in mind that, in a polarized America with deep political antagonism, it’s hardly surprising that Americans would have sharply divided views on Israelis and Palestinians. What many read as a rising anti-Israeli sentiment among Democrats is mischaracterized; it reflects anger toward Israeli policies—and increasingly, with the values projected by the current Israeli government.

    On the question of whether Americans want the Trump administration to lean toward Israel, toward the Palestinians, or toward neither side, there is a vast difference between Republicans and Democrats in the new poll: While a majority of Republicans want Washington to lean toward Israel outright (57 percent), a substantial majority of Democrats (82 percent) want it to lean toward neither side, with 8 percent wanting it to lean toward the Palestinians and 7 percent toward Israel. Still, it’s inaccurate to label the Democrats’ even-handedness as “anti-Israel.”


  • Paris demande la levée du blocus israélien imposé à Gaza -
    AFP
    https://www.lorientlejour.com/article/1147300/paris-demande-la-levee-du-blocus-israelien-impose-a-gaza.html

    Le Premier ministre français Edouard Philippe a appelé vendredi à la « levée du blocus israélien » imposé à la bande de Gaza ainsi qu’à la réconciliation des deux mouvements palestiniens rivaux. « Il n’y aura pas de paix sans une solution durable pour Gaza, qui passe par la réconciliation interpalestinienne et par la levée du blocus israélien », a-t-il déclaré à l’issue d’un entretien avec le Premier ministre palestinien Rami Hamdallah. (...)

    • Palestine signs 10 cooperation agreements with France
      Dec. 8, 2018 11:01 A.M. (Updated: Dec. 8, 2018 12:27 P.M.)
      http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=782013

      RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Palestine and France signed 10 cooperation agreements, on Friday, during a visit by Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah to Paris and his meeting with his French counterpart, Edouard Philippe.

      Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki, along with his French counterpart, Jean-Yves Le Drian, signed 10 cooperation agreements in education, budget, local governance, civil defense, environment, water, agriculture and developing the private sector.

      Meanwhile, Hamdallah attended a joint press conference with Philippe, where he thanked France for its support for Palestine and its support for the two-state solution.

      Hamdallah said, "As I expressed in our discussions with Prime Minister Philippe today, we are grateful for the French positions which demonstrate strong commitments to deepen and develop our partnership and cooperation and I would like to emphasize that this is also our commitment.”

      He said that the meeting of the joint French-Palestinian ministerial committee in Paris is important for promoting cooperation between their two countries and its peoples.

      Hamdallah said that French support was vital for developing the Palestinian economy and strengthening government institutions through capacity building, particularly in areas such as health, education, agricultural and water, among others.


  • Rashida Tlaib Plans to Lead Delegation to Palestine
    Alex Kane, Lee Fang | December 3 2018
    https://theintercept.com/2018/12/03/rashida-tlaib-palestine-israel-aipac-congress-trip

    Rashida Tlaib, a Democratic representative-elect from Michigan, belongs to a cohort of incoming members of Congress who’ve vowed to upend the status quo — even on third-rail issues in Washington like the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. To that end, Tlaib is planning to lead a congressional delegation to the Israeli-occupied West Bank, she told The Intercept. Her planned trip is a swift rebuke of a decades-old tradition for newly elected members: a junket to Israel sponsored by the education arm of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, known as AIPAC, the powerful pro-Israel lobby group.

    The AIPAC trips are among the lesser-known traditions for freshman members of Congress. They’re typically scheduled during the first August recess in every legislative session and feature a weeklong tour of Israel and meetings with leading Israeli figures in business, government, and the military. Both critics and proponents of the AIPAC freshmen trip say the endeavor is incredibly influential, providing House members with a distinctly pro-Israel viewpoint on complex controversies in the region. In recent years, the Democratic tour has been led by incoming Majority Leader Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md. Incoming Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., traditionally leads the Republican trip. (...)

    #Rashida_Tlaib

    • Et affiche son soutien au mouvement BDS :

      Tlaib’s challenge to AIPAC isn’t limited to leading a separate trip to the region. In her interview with The Intercept, she for the first time came out in support of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions, the movement known as BDS that seeks to punish Israel over its human rights abuses.

      “I personally support the BDS movement,” said Tlaib. She added that economic boycotts are a way to bring attention to “issues like the racism and the international human rights violations by Israel right now.”