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Another Israeli swimming pool caught refusing entry to Arab citizens

by Ali Abunimah, EI

An Israeli swimming pool in the southern city of Bir al-Saba (Beer Sheva) refused entry to a Palestinian citizen of Israel, in the latest documented example of blatant racism in public accommodations.

Tahir Marisat, a teacher in one of the unrecognized Bedouin villages in the Naqab (Negev)region, went to the Beer Sheva Country Club with a friend and asked to buy a ticket.

Marisat was told by the clerk that the pool was only for residents of the city. Marisat, who studied in Bir al-Saba and has lived there for 11 years, is originally from the town of Tamra in the north of the country, but has not changed the address on his identity card.

After being refused entry the first time, Marisat went back a second time and recorded on video the exchange of him being again denied entry. Marisat is told firmly “go home” and that the local residents only policy was “new.”

That exchange, in Hebrew, can be seen in the Channel 10 report at the top of this post.

“A specific population”

The “Orly and Guy” program on Israel’s Channel 10 sent an undercover investigative reporter to the club to test whether it does indeed discriminate between Jews and Arabs.

The Jewish reporter was able to buy a ticket even though his place of residence was Netanya, a northern city far from Bir al-Saba. When the reporter asked about the policy of only selling tickets to local residents he was told by the desk clerk that the policy only applied to a “specific population.”

The video of the Channel 10 report included audio of this exchange recorded by the undercover reporter as he purchased a ticket. It is translated from the original Hebrew:

Undercover reporter: “How much is it?”
Pool clerk: “Seventy-five. Are you a soldier?”
Undercover reporter: “Uh – no. Is there any problem with me not being from Beer Sheva ?”
Pool clerk: “No.”
Undercover reporter: “No?”
Pool clerk: “It’s not aimed at you.”
Undercover reporter: “It’s not aimed at me? What does that mean?”
Pool clerk: “It’s for a specific population.”
Undercover reporter: “Do lots of Bedouins come here?”
Pool clerk: “Yes.”
Undercover reporter: “OK, thank you very much.”

Family turned away for being Arab

Marisat told Channel 10, “When I was there a woman came, with her children, with her husband, to come into the pool. An Arab woman, with her husband, and they didn’t let her in. She went back and her children started asking ‘why aren’t we going in?’”

After being caught red-handed implementing a blatantly racist policy, the club told Channel 10 that it “permits entry to any person who purchased an annual subscription, with no difference of color, sex, and religion.”

When it comes to day passes, of the type Marisat and the undercover reporter sought to purchase, the club claimed “entry is permitted only to Beer Sheva residents, regardless of their ethnic origins.”

To this, program host Orly Vilnai commented, “we saw that this was untrue.” And her co-host Guy Maroz observed, “They’re blaming the lowest ranking person!”

The program also noted that the mayor of Bir al-Saba did not respond to a request for comment even though the club is a municipal pool.

The exposure of segregation at the Beer Sheva Country Club follows other similar incidents in recent months including:

With thanks to Dena Shunra for translation and analysis.

Big Racists vs Little Racists: How Israeli apartheid is coming unstuck

by Jonathan Cook, source

NAZARETH — One incident of racism, though small in relation to the decades of massive, institutionalised discrimination exercised by Israel against its Palestinian Arab citizens, has triggered an uncharacteristic bout of Israeli soul-searching.

Superland, a large amusement park near Tel Aviv, refused to accept a booking from an Arab school on its preferred date in late May. When a staff member called back impersonating a Jew, Superland approved the booking immediately.

As the story went viral on social media, the park’s managers hurriedly offered an excuse: they provided separate days for Jewish and Arab children to keep them apart and prevent friction.

Government ministers led an outpouring of revulsion. Tzipi Livni, the justice minister, called the incident a “symptom of a sick democracy”. Defence minister Moshe Yaalon was “ashamed”. Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu demanded that the “racist” policy be halted immediately.

Such sensitivity appears to be a reaction to an explosion of popular racism over the past few months against the one in five Israelis who belong to the country’s Palestinian Arab minority. Some Israeli Jews have started to find the endless parade of bigotry disturbing.

Israeli TV recently revealed, for example, that a group of children with cancer who had been offered a free day at a swimming pool were refused entry once managers discovered that they were Bedouin.

According to another TV investigation, Israel’s banks have a secret policy of rejecting Arab customers who try to transfer their accounts to a branch in a Jewish community, even though this violates banking regulations.

The settlers, whose violence was once restricted to setting fire to the crops of Palestinians or rampaging through their villages in the West Bank, are now as likely to attack Arab communities inside Israel. Torched mosques, offensive graffiti on churches and cars set ablaze in so-called “price-tag” attacks have become commonplace.

Similarly, reports of vicious attacks on Arab citizens are rapidly becoming a news staple. Recent incidents have included the near-fatal beating of a street cleaner, and a bus driver who held his gun to an Arab passenger’s head, threatening to pull the trigger unless the man showed his ID.

Also going viral were troubling mobile-phone photos of a young Arab woman surrounded by a mob of respectable-looking commuters amd shoppers while she waited for a train. As they hit her and pulled off her hijab, station guards looked on impassively.

However welcome official denunciations of these events are, the government’s professed outrage does not wash.

While Netanyahu and his allies on the far right were castigating Superland for its racism, they were busy backing a grossly discriminatory piece of legislation the Haaretz newspaper called “one of the most dangerous” measures ever to come before the parliament.

The bill will give Israelis who have served in the army a whole raft of extra rights in land and housing, employment, salaries, and the provision of public and private services. The catch is that almost all of the country’s 1.5 million Palestinian citizens are excluded from military service. In practice, the benefits will be reserved for Jews only.

Superland’s offence pales to insignificance when compared to that, or to the decades of state-planned and officially sanctioned discrimination against the country’s Palestinian minority.

An editorial in Haaretz this month observed that Israel was really “two separate states, one Arab and one Jewish. … This is the gap between the Jewish state of Israel, which is a developed Western nation, and the Arab state of Israel, which is no more than a Third World country.”

Segregation is enforced in all the main spheres of life: land allocation and housing, citizenship rights, education, and employment.

None of this is accidental. It was intended this way to guarantee Israel’s future as a Jewish state. Legal groups have identified 57 laws that overtly discriminate between Jewish and Palestinian citizens, with a dozen more heading towards the statute books.

Less visible but just as damaging is the covert discrimination Palestinian citizens face every day when dealing with state institutions, whose administrative practices find their rationale in the entrenchment of Jewish privilege.

This week a report identified precisely this kind of institutional racism when it found that students from the country’s Palestinian minority were confronted by a series of 14 obstacles not faced by their Jewish compatriots that contributed to denying them places in higher education.

The wave of popular prejudice and racist violence is no accident either. Paradoxically, it has been unleashed by the increasingly inflammatory rhetoric of right-wing politicians like Netanyahu, whose constant fearmongering casts Palestinian citizens as disloyal, a fifth column and a demographic threat to the state’s Jewishness.

So why if the state is so committed to subjugating and excluding Palestinian citizens, and Netanyahu and his ministers so determined to increase the weight of discriminatory legislation, are they decrying the racism of Superland?

To make sense of this, one has to understand how desperately Israel has sought to distinguish itself from apartheid South Africa.

Israel cultivates, as South Africa once did, what scholars term “grand apartheid”. This is segregation, largely covert and often often justified by security or cultural differences, to ensure that control of resources remains exclusively in the hands of the privileged community.

At the same time, Israel long shied away from what some call South Africa’s model of “petty apartheid” – the overt, symbolic, but far less significant segregation of park benches, buses and toilets.

The avoidance of petty apartheid has been the key to Israel’s success in obscuring from the world’s view its grand apartheid, most obviously in the occupied territories but also inside Israel itself.

This month South Africa’s departing ambassador to Israel, Ismail Coovadia, warned that Israel was a “replication of apartheid”. The idea that the world may soon wake up to this comparison deeply unnerves Netanyahu and the right, all the more so as they risk being identified as the party refusing to make concessions towards peace.

The threat posed by what happened at Superland is that such incidents of unofficial and improvised racism may one day unmask the much more sinister and organised campaign of “grand apartheid” that Israel’s leaders have overseen for decades.

- See more at: http://dissidentvoice.org/2013/06/big-racists-vs-little-racists/#sthash.FAlPyuSq.dpuf

Palestine: Zionist conference on dividing Aqsa,1518 children were killed since 2nd intifada & more land confiscated

Zionists hold conference in J’lem on dividing Aqsa Mosque

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– In a step described as extremely serious, Zionist speakers unanimously agreed during a conference held on Sunday evening in occupied Jerusalem on the idea of dividing the Aqsa Mosque between Muslims and Jews

The conference was organized by the Zionist society Ir Amim in cooperation with the center for the protection of democracy – Keshev.

The conferees discussed the growing religious activities carried out by the Jews at the Aqsa Mosque, which they claim to be the temple mount.

Among the attendees were Yehuda Glick, head of the temple mount heritage fund, and noted ultra-orthodox rabbis as well as Zionist political analysts, researchers, journalists and settlers.

During the conference, they discussed the status of their alleged temple and the political fallout of the accelerating events that happen there, especially after the Jews stepped up lately their attempts to perform Talmudic rituals in the courtyard of the Aqsa Mosque.

Glick said in his speech that the situation at the temple (the Aqsa Mosque) is very serious and need for a Jewish uprising to consolidate the Israeli presence inside it.

A few speakers, however, opined that any Israeli move to divide the Aqsa Mosque would be dangerous, and only one of them warned of a third world war if any step was taken against the holy Mosque of the Muslims in Jerusalem.

In this regard, the Aqsa foundation for endowment and heritage said that this conference vindicated further that the Aqsa Mosque is exposed to extreme danger and that the Israeli occupation regime uses religious allegations to achieve political goals.

The foundation also stressed the need for an Islamic awakening putting an end to all Zionist conspiracies against the Aqsa Mosque.

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1518 Palestinian children were killed since 2nd intifada

RAMALLAH, (PIC)– Nearly 1518 Palestinian children were killed since the second Palestinian Intifada (uprising) in 2000, according to a Palestinian official report.

The report, issued by the Ministry of Information on Monday, affirmed that six thousand children were injured since the beginning of the Al-Aqsa Intifada 13 years ago.

The report came to mark the International Day for the Protection of Children in light of the Israeli brutal daily practices against Palestinian children.

The report confirmed that 9000 children under 18 were arrested since the 2nd uprising, including 881 children in 2012.

The Ministry said that 246 children under 18 are currently held in Israeli jails, including 47 children under 16.

The report stated that the children under 18 constitute 47.6 per cent of the total population.

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IOF rounded up 38 Palestinian boys in last two weeks of May

RAMALLAH, (PIC)– The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) rounded up 38 Palestinian boys in the West Bank and occupied Jerusalem over the last two weeks of the past month of May.

A report by the child department in Ramallah on Monday said that the IOF had recently escalated its targeting of Palestinian kids.

Official statistics indicated that 246 Palestinian children are held in Israeli occupation jails with 47 of them under 16 years old.

The report noted that dozens of Palestinian children were wounded during peace marches at the hands of IOF troops and Jewish settlers.

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IOF plans to confiscate 400 dunums of Nablus land

NABLUS, (PIC)– Israeli occupation forces (IOF) informed inhabitants of Awarta village, near Nablus, that 400 dunums of their land would be confiscated.

Ghassan Daghlas, monitoring Israeli settlement activity north of the West Bank, said on Monday that the dunums stretch between Awarta and Rujaib villages.

He said that the land is cultivated and is vital for citizens in both villages, adding that the notification was handed to the chairman of the municipal council in Awarta.

The confiscation comes only few days after Jewish settlers in Etamar settlement, established on lands of Orta and nearby villages, chopped down 600 olive trees in a bid to expand the settlement.

Sami Awad, the chairman of the municipality in Awarta, denounced the confiscation in a statement to the PIC, adding that the step is meant to force citizens to abandon their land.

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600 housing units built in May

RAMALLAH, (PIC)– In its monthly report, the Settlement and Wall Information Center said that May has witnessed an Israeli escalation in settlement building, demolition processes, and settlers’ attacks.

Nealy 600 housing units were established in May, in addition to the demolition of 50 Palestinian facilities, the burning of about one thousand dunums, and 148 assaults on Mosques, the report said.

The report also referred to the Israeli continued Judaization projects in occupied Jerusalem including the monorail project that will facilitate the arrival of thousands of settlers to the Buraq Wall and the excavation process at Umayyad palaces south of al-Aqsa mosque as a prelude to establish the so-called house Strauss Jewish center.

Israeli raids into al-Aqsa mosque and settlers’ attacks on Islamic and Christian religious sites have escalated during May, according to the report.

The report documented 50 demolition cases, where 17 houses were demolished in Jenin, 16 other facilities were demolished in occupied Jerusalem, 8 others in Jericho and 6 in al-Khalil, in addition to 3 demolished houses in Bethlehem. The report also noted that 69 houses are threatened with demolition.

The monthly report confirmed that the Israeli government approved the establishment of nearly 600 housing units including 296 housing units in Beit Eil settlement built on Ramallah land, 121 housing units in Givat Ze’ev built on Jerusalem lands, in addition to other settlement projects in Tukarem and al-Khalil.

The center affirmed in the report that 977 dunums in Ramallah, Nablus and Qalqilya were burned in addition to damaging 2,988 trees in Nablus, Ramallah and al-Khalil by the Israeli settlers who escalated their attacks against Palestinian farmers where 45 of them were injured.

The report also stated that many peace activists and journalists were injured during the the repression of peaceful marches against the wall and settlements in Nabi Saleh, Bil’in, Kafr Qadum, Maasara, and Beit Ummar villages.

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“Israel” to send African migrants to third country

Press TV

The Israeli regime has decided to send thousands of African migrants to an undisclosed country in an attempt to stem the influx of migrants.

According to a court document made public on Monday, an Israeli lawyer said that a deal was reached with an unidentified country to absorb the migrants. The lawyer stated that the absorption of the migrants would be “gradual.”

Tally Kritzman-Amir, an immigration law expert at the Academic Center for Law and Business in Tel Aviv, said, “It is possible to transfer the migrants to a third country,” adding, “but the primary responsibility to the rights of the refugees still lies with Israel.”

Later on Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “We have stopped the infiltration phenomenon into Israel. Last month only two infiltrators entered Israel, compared to more than 2,000 a year ago. Now we are focused on the infiltrators leaving.”

Over the past eight years, some 60,000 African migrants, mostly from Eritrea or Sudan, have entered Israel via Egypt.

Israel has built a fence along the border with Egypt to prevent the influx of migrants. Last year, it offered cash to the migrants to leave voluntarily.

Children with cancer barred from Israeli swimming pool for being Arab & mass demolition as “Israel” ethnically cleanses Naqab desert

by Ali Abunimah, EI

An Israeli public swimming pool has refused entry to a group of children with cancer because the children are Arab.

The subtitled video report above from Israel’s Channel 2 says that Dr. Gali Zohar, wanted to surprise a group of 20 Bedouin children with cancer with a fun day at the pool at Mabu’im village in the south of the country.

Zohar called the pool ahead of time and managers agreed to admit the children free of charge. Everything was fine until the managers realized the children were Arab and then specifically said that allowing Bedouin children in would be a “problem.”

Bedouins in the south of historic Palestine are ostensibly citizens of Israel but face the imminent threat of further mass expulsions from their traditional lands as part of Israel’s racist “Judaization” policies.

The Channel 2 report includes an audio recording of a telephone call in which a pool manager specifies that the facility will not let in children from the Arab “sector.” The report added that Ben-Gurion University agreed to allow the children to use its facilities.

Racism at public facilities in “Israel”

This shocking incident came to light just days after it emerged that another Israeli facility, the theme park Superland, segregates Jewish and Arab students on separate days.

While Arab and Jewish children in Israel attend separate and unequal schools, racial segregation in public facilities like parks or pools is not mandated by law as it was in apartheid South Africa or the United States. But Palestinian citizens of Israel have habitually faced discrimination.

As for millions more Palestinians living under occupation and siege in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Israel’s strict closures, sieges and permit system effectively bar them from most recreational facilities, parks and beaches in historic Palestine.

In recent years, Palestinian and Israeli women have challenged these draconian movement restrictions by going on “illegal” trips to the beach together.

The latest cases of swimming pool racism are reminiscent of an incident caught on video last year when Palestinian families were turned away from a resort near the Dead Sea as Europeans, Israelis and dogs were allowed to enter freely.

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Further crimes against Bedouins (click to read): Mass demolition as Israel ethnically cleanses Naqab desert

“Israel’s” new generation of racists

Did “Israel” violate the Genocide Convention by forcing contraceptives on Ethiopian women?

by Ali Abunimah, EI

*view all links in original source

After initial denials, Israel has admitted that medical authorities have been giving Ethiopian women long-term contraceptive drugs and it has been alleged that this was done without the women’s consent.

If the allegations are proven, this practice may fit the legal definition of genocide.

The government has now ordered clinics not to renew prescriptions for the long-acting injectable contraceptive drug Depo-Provera “for women of Ethiopian origin if for any reason there is concern that they might not understand the ramifications of the treatment.”

Allegations of coercion and threats

In some cases, the drugs were reportedly administered to women waiting in transit camps for permission to emigrate to Israel. The women’s allegations, reported by Haaretz are shocking:

“We said we won’t have the shot. They told us, if you don’t you won’t go to Israel And also you won’t be allowed into the Joint (American Joint Distribution Committee) office, you won’t get aid or medical care. We were afraid… We didn’t have a choice. Without them and their aid we couldn’t leave there. So we accepted the injection. It was only with their permission that we were allowed to leave,” recounted Emawayish, who immigrated from Ethiopia eight years ago. She was one of 35 women, whose stories were recorded by Sebba Reuven, that relate how they were coaxed and threatened into agreeing to receive the injectable birth control drug.

Dramatic decline in Ethiopian birthrate

The journalistic investigation was prompted by a precipitious decline in the birth rate among Ethiopian women in Israel:

About six weeks ago, on an Educational Television program journalist Gal Gabbay revealed the results of interviews with 35 Ethiopian immigrants. The women’s testimony could help explain the almost 50-percent decline over the past 10 years in the birth rate of Israel’s Ethiopian community.

The Genocide convention

From The Independent:

Sharona Eliahu Chai, a lawyer for the Association of Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), said: “Findings from investigations into the use of Depo Provera are extremely worrisome, raising concerns of harmful health policies with racist implications in violation of medical ethics. The Ministry of Health’s director-general was right to act quickly and put forth new guidelines.”

But if indeed the goal of those who administered the program was to target Ethiopian women, and to reduce the number of births they have, then the policy may be a crime under Article II(d) of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

Reasonable suspicion

If the coercive contraception program were administered against women in general, it would be unethical and abhorrent, but it can only be genocidal if it is done “with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such.”

In this case, there is no allegation that the policy was employed against anyone except Ethiopian women. That would be one indication of targeting.

These Ethiopian women emigrated to Israel under the “Law of Return,” Israel’s racist policy to only allow those it considers Jews into the country, while keeping out indigenous Palestinians.

But remember, Israeli officials and state rabbis long delayed or denied entry to tens of thousands of Ethiopians whose Jewishness did not meet official standards.

In the early 1990s, Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir accused thousands of Ethiopians of secretly being Christians.

Ethiopians, even those who came under the Law of Return and are recognized as Jews, have faced a long, documented history of state and societal discrimination including being forced to attend segregated schools.

Anti-African incitement from the top

The forced contraception has also come to light at a time when anti-African incitement and violence, stoked by Israeli leaders, has reached unprecedented proportions.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has also served as health minister throughout his term of office, and is therefore personally accountable for the policy, stated last year that African migrants “threaten our existence as a Jewish and democratic state.”

So the atmosphere in Israel is one in which hatred and incitement targeting Africans in general is rife and encouraged by authorities.

“Israel” unlikely to discourage Jewish births in general

It would also be illogical that Israel would institute a general birth control policy for women it recognizes as Jewish. Israel has no interest in decreasing childbirths by Jewish women in general, and due its obsession with demography, anxiously hopes that the Jewish birthrate will accelerate and non-Jewish birthrates will slow down.

Israel’s two chief government rabbis also recently endorsed an organization that specifically opposes abortions by Jewish women and whose stated goal is “to increase the Jewish birthrate in Israel.”

But given the racism against Africans as Africans, whether Jewish or not, it is plausible that the policy was meant to target Ethiopian women.

Even if it is proven that the policy targeted Ethiopian women and was intended to prevent births among Ethiopians, Israel could argue that the policy had other goals than “intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such.” That would require knowing the motivations of those who planned and implemented the policy.

To put it mildly, Israel does not have a strong history of investigating itself, and while genocide is a crime that any state can pursue, it is doubtful that signatories to the Convention will challenge Israel’s impunity and investigate this case.

Racism pervades Israeli electoral campaign

(Fence with Egypt to prevent immigration- file photo)

by Yusuf Fernandez, source

The last electoral campaign in Israel has been dominated by racism. It is not just racism against Arabs, which is as old as the existence of the Zionist entity, but also racism against Black people, whose life is becoming more and more miserable in Israel.

According to the statistics, there are currently about 60,000 African immigrants in the Zionist entity. Most of them come from South Sudan, Eritrea, Ivory Coast, Congo and other countries.

The situation of Africans in Israel, both Jews and non-Jews, is actually desperate. Some thousands have low-quality jobs where they are unscrupulously exploited by Israeli employers. Others are homeless and are begging on the streets of Israeli cities to survive. In spite of claims of rampant crime in the suburbs of South Tel Aviv where most Africans live, a senior police commander, David Gez, was quoted as saying the level of crime among this population was actually relatively low.

The last episode of anti-Black racism was a recent video made by the religious Shas party – which represents Sephardi Jews, who ironically have also been historically subjected to discrimination by Jews of European-origin (Ashkenazis). The five-minute video sought to fuel fear of Africans and increase support for the Shas’s anti-immigration platform ahead of the January 22 parliamentary elections.

The message of the video was that only the leader of the Shas party, Eli Yishai, who is also currently interior minister, can successfully fight against the “threat” allegedly posed by African immigrants, whom Yishai and other Israeli politicians repeatedly refer to as “infiltrators.” In an interview with Ynet, Yishai said “the threat from infiltrators is no less severe than the Iranian nuclear threat.”

In May, Yishai told Maariv that in the previous months dozens of Israeli women had been raped by “infiltrators” in South Tel Aviv but they had decided not to report the attacks so that people would not think they had “contracted AIDS.”

The content of the video was not different to other similar ones made by far-right European parties. There were in it remarks by local residents who express their fear for their safety and anger over a housing shortage – all allegedly due to the African immigrants. According to Times of Israel, one woman says that “it is their fault that there are no apartments. It is their fault that housing is very expensive.” A man complains that “tomorrow the Sudanese will keep on walking around here, continue to beat (people) up, continue to stab and continue to rape our women.”

The narrator says that the Black “infiltrators” “control neighborhoods in South Tel Aviv, Eilat, Ashdod, and other cities,” and pose a “social, religious and security threat.” He goes on to assert that the “greatest threat of all is the demographic threat.” The video also claims that the majority of African migrants are Muslim, and that they therefore “do not believe in the State of Israel’s right to exist.”

Ironically, the Shas has also denounced the racial bias of the other Israeli parties. Recently, Aryeh Deri, the number three of the party, accused the Likud-Yisraeli Beitenu party of “being a party of Russians and whites” and having ostensible bias against Sephardi Jews, who have been considered second-class citizens in the Zionist entity, where the power has been traditionally in the hands of Ashkenazi Jews, who mostly came from Eastern Europe.

For his part, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced that he wants to expel tens of thousands of African undocumented immigrants and that the inflow into Israel from Egypt has been brought to a halt due to the new barrier. “Our aim is to repatriate tens of thousands of infiltrators now in Israel to their countries of origin,” he said, adding Israel was in contact with some governments from Africa “to solve this problem.”

On May 23, 2012, Likud leading members took part in a demonstration in Tel Aviv’s impoverished suburb of Hatikva to protest against the presence of Africans in Israel. Miri Regev of Likud addressed the rally to which more than 1,000 people attended. There, she described the Africans as a “cancer in our body” and pledged to do everything she could “in order to bring them back to where they belong.” She attacked human rights and “left-wing” groups aiding the immigrants.

Danny Danon, another leader of Likud, said that the only solution to the issue of the “infiltrators” would be to “start to talk about their expulsion.” “We must expel the infiltrators from Israel. We should not be afraid to say the words ‘expulsion now,’” he said.

Violent attacks

Shortly after the speeches, violent incidents broke out. Demonstrators smashed shops, properties and cars belonging to the African immigrants and beat up men and women while chanting “Blacks out.”

In April 2012, apartments where Africans lived as well as a kindergarten were attacked with Molotov cocktails in Shapira in south Tel Aviv.

On July 12, 2012, an Eritrean man was badly burned and his pregnant wife suffered smoke inhalation after attackers tried to burn down their apartment in central al-Quds (Jerusalem). The incident, the second arson attack on African immigrants in the city within six weeks, took place near the city’s Mahane Yehuda market, AFP quoted a police source as saying.

The Israeli government has refused to condemn these attacks on African immigrants and instead used them as an excuse to promote its anti-migrant agenda, which included a new law allowing the authorities to keep undocumented Africans imprisoned for three years and jail those who help them for up to 15 years. According to recent polls, one in three Israelis supports those attacks.

Even “left-leaning” parties, such as the Labor, support racist policies. The Labor leader, Shelly Yachimovich, accused recently the government of “having failed… and let the slums be flooded by migrant workers and refugees, thereby helping to kindle wild passions” and claimed the need to “protect the country from facing a huge mass of migrant workers.”

In March 2012, Israel started to build a huge prison camp, the world’s largest, in the Negev desert. Such a facility is situated near the Ketziot prison, where thousands of Palestinian prisoners have been jailed. The camp will be run by the prison service and thousands of Africans will be locked there. A spokesperson for the Israeli ministry of interior confirmed that Yishai wanted to eventually jail all of the thousands of undocumented African immigrants currently in the Zionist entity.

Other immigrants have already started to be expelled. On June 10, the immigration police began a mass roundup operation, which was initially focused on South Sudanese nationals but was then expanded to include those from the Ivory Coast. Hundreds of these Africans were detained and around 240 were sent to Juba, capital of South Sudan.

There is no doubt that racism and xenophobia are being fueled by the current Israeli government and nearly all the Zionist parties. Their main goal is to divert growing outrage over the decline of living standards and rising social problems by promoting racist claims and demands to preserve the “Jewish identity” of the Zionist entity at a time when the latter is getting weaker and more internationally isolated due to its settlement policies.

Interfaith dialogue no answer to “Israel’s” racism

(Attack on church by Israelis-file photo)

by Stuart Littlewood, source

So the Albuquerque Episcopalians got jumpy and ‘disinvited’ the Friends of Sabeel who had booked their cathedral for a conference.

Sabeel is an international peace movement which calls itself the Voice of Palestinian Christians.

Why would one Christian group snub another? The excuse for turning away the conference was concocted by the Dean of the Cathedral, the Very Rev. J. Mark Goodman. “We said our prayers and deliberated thoughtfully and purposefully,” he explained.

It seems he and his Episcopalian colleagues didn’t like the way the conference would be dealing with “a political issue that has polarized people in ways that we felt were unhelpful. We did not want to introduce a polarized issue into the life of the Cathedral that would have the potential to divide rather than unite. Our decision was not based upon anti-Palestinian positions. In fact, many on the Vestry [i.e. the church directors] are very sympathetic to the plight of the Palestinian people, yet they were concerned about the rhetoric of the literature from Sabeel.”

He denied they were put under pressure from Zionists. Nevertheless they had invited a local rabbi to come and speak to the Vestry, a rather odd thing to do when, presumably, they were all acquainted with the endless crimes committed by the Jewish State against the Christian communities in the Holy Land. Do they usually turn to rabbis for advice?

Goodman also said Vestry members had attended his recent Forum classes, after which they had misgivings about serving as conference hosts.

“This summer at General Convention, I served on a committee that dealt in a focused way with resolutions about the conflict between Israel and Palestinians,” he went on. “It was my personal prayer that we would craft resolutions that were balanced and offered a way forward with positive engagement with each side, seeking a way forward that would bring security, dignity and peace to a region that has known strife for too long. I believe we succeeded.”

Note the reliance on “positive engagement”. What exactly does that mean – more interfaith dialogue? “We succeeded”, he says. But how does he measure success? And why is he not pressing for the enforcement of international and humanitarian law and the implementation of UN resolutions, the only route to justice? The Episcopalian approach implies that some sort of equivalence, or level playing field, already exists between the powerful aggressor and the weak victim, the robber and the robbed, the armed occupier and his unarmed dispossessed prisoner.

How did these churchmen, far removed from the rotten reality, become experts on “security, dignity and peace” in the Palestinians’ struggle for freedom? Have they been there, rolled up their sleeves and immersed themselves in the snakepit that the Holy Land has been allowed to become? What makes him and his mates think they’ve found a way forward while Palestine remains under brutal occupation?

The mission statement provided by Goodman’s church says: “The Cathedral continues to honor its responsibility to be a good steward and shepherd in the community and the world.” A huge and worthy commitment indeed. However, the cathedral’s own relatively peaceful community and inconsequential little world have been rudely rocked by scandal following claims that it was headed for bankruptcy and members were deserting. The cathedral accountant blew the whistle and allegations were made about the misuse of collection money, liberal imbibing of expensive wine and Vestry members “trashing the cathedral’s endowment by $2 million through complacency, and of not disciplining the dean”.

The regional bishop moved quickly to hush it up in an operation that local church workers said was “like a quiet version of the Spanish Inquisition”.

If only this sort of tomfoolery were all that Christian churches in the Holy Land had to worry about. Unfortunately the Episcopalians seem pretty confused, or downright ignorant, about the depths of evil to which the Israeli occupation has sunk. This is from their official report ‘Israel-Palestine: Convention supports positive investment – Bishops agree to postpone indefinitely debate on corporate engagement’,

“Bishop John Tarrant of South Dakota urged opposition to Resolution C060 [which calls on the church to engage “in corporate social responsibility by more vigorous and public corporate engagement with companies in the church’s investment portfolio that contribute to the infrastructure of the Occupation”]. He spoke about the town of Rawabi, currently under construction north of Ramallah in the West Bank, that will provide opportunities for affordable home ownership, employment and education. Tarrant said that the project, envisioned by a group of Palestinian businessmen, would inject about $80 million into the Israeli economy.

“‘It gave me the sense that there are Palestinians that understand the importance of mutuality if the two states are going to exist side by side,’ he said.

“He reminded the house of Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori’s charge for Episcopalians ‘to go as emissaries…to go into the world of God’s dream’. ‘I believe there are Palestinians and Israelis now that are going into the world with God’s dream.’”

Has Bishop Schori been to the world of God’s dream and seen what’s there?

And why would Bishop Tarrant want to inject all those $millions into the Israeli economy when Israel has been strangling the Palestinian economy to death, seizing its land and water and withholding Palestine’s tax revenues?

Bishop Charles Bennison of Pennsylvania said the movement to support boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel was unwise. “We need more, not fewer, economic ties to Israel. The more isolated Israel becomes the more dangerous the situation becomes.”

It turns out that Episcopalians are against boycott and divestment. Instead the bishops have supported a resolution on positive investment in the Palestinian Territories, as if that will do the slightest good while the illegal occupation and blockade continue. Meanwhile they agreed to postpone indefinitely the conversation on corporate engagement.

To them, it seems, going as emissaries into God’s dream involves kicking the can down the road like the rest of wretched Christendom (with a few honourable exceptions). Was anybody at the Convention truly concerned with right versus wrong, good versus evil, the rule of international law versus the rule of the gun-butt, the F-16, the helicopter gun-ship, the tank shell, illegal detention and the hard-to-get permit to go anywhere.

Their Own Bishop Victim of Israel’s Apartheid Policies

The Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem himself is a classic victim of the machinations of the cruel occupation. Suheil Dawani is Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Jerusalem, which is a part of the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and The Middle East. This covers Israel, the Palestinian territories, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. He was installed in April 2007, but in March 2011 Israel cancelled his residency permit making it well nigh impossible for him to carry out his duties. As a non-Israeli he needs a temporary residence permit. The Israelis played fast and loose, granting a permit initially then turning him down.

Here’s the explanation: “The bishop is a native of the Holy Land and has spent most of his life and ministry there, but cannot obtain either citizenship or legal residence in Israel, since he was born in Nablus, in the West Bank, which has been under Israeli occupation since 1967, but has not been annexed to Israel. East Jerusalem, on the other hand, where the Anglican Cathedral and Diocesan offices are situated, was also occupied at the same time, but Israel annexed it and considers it part of its national territory (although no other country in the world recognizes this annexation). Therefore, Bishop Dawani is considered by Israel to be a foreigner who can only visit – let alone live in – East Jerusalem with a special permit, which the Israeli authorities can either grant or deny at their sole discretion.”

Get it?

There’s a religious war going on in the Holy Land and Dawani was wide open to this sort of dirty trick. After six months of aggravation and international pressure, during which Israel’s Interior Ministry accused him of “improper” land dealings on behalf of the church and the Palestinian Authority, the illegal occupiers granted residency permits to the bishop and his family.

But here’s the catch… those permits will have to be renewed when they expire, whenever that may be or whenever the Israelis choose.

So the Israelis have the bishop’s – in a vice. Keep quiet Dawani and all you Anglicans/Episcopalians while we carry on with our ethnic cleansing. Keep quiet while we trash the Palestinian economy, confiscate their lands and water resources, continue the blockade, erase their culture and humiliate their families, drive out the Christians and Muslims and disrupt the religious life of those who stubbornly remain.

Keep quiet or we’ll revoke your permit again.

The Catholics similarly walk on eggshells and are mercilessly bullied in their homeland. Their priests are harassed and obstructed and often prevented from going about their pastoral duties. Many are ‘imprisoned’ in their parish – if they leave it to visit relatives or holiday in another part of the Occupied Territories or in neighbouring countries like Jordan and Lebanon, the Israelis may not let them back in.

So imagine what it’s like for the Muslims.

The simple truth is that the Jewish State is the world leader in rampant lawlessness and interfaith bullying, while the wet and wimpish Anglicans respond with their clapped-out formula of interfaith dialogue and other verbal diarrhoea. For 64 years it has got us and our Palestinian brothers and sisters precisely nowhere.

The good folks of Sabeel must now be wondering what they’ve done to deserve same-faith friends like the Albuquerque Episcopalians.

“I picture a dead Arab”: In disturbing video, Israeli children’s words echo indoctrination

Israeli girls write messages on shells ready to be fire by a mobile artillery unit toward Lebanon on 17 July 2006 (Pedro Ugarte / AFP/Newscom)

by Ali Abunimah, EI

How did it feel to imagine killing Arabs? “I felt happy” one girl answers.

She was one of several children who spoke about committing acts of violence in this video shot at the Israeli army museum by Israeli satirical filmmaker Itamar Rose.

But the children’s answers – in Hebrew and subtitled in English – are serious. As they climb all over tanks, sit at machine-guns positions, or explain how to use a hand-grenade, Rose asks them their views.

Without hesitation, the children express their readiness to kill. Asked what he imagined when he was sitting in a tank, one boy answers, “I picture a dead Arab.”

Of course, these children are no more ready to kill than any other children, nor can they be any more capable of understanding the import of their words, at least not yet.

The children in Rose’s film bring to mind the notorious image of Israeli schoogirls writing messages on artillery shells about to be fired into Lebanon during Israel’s 2006 assault that killed more than 1,200 Lebanese civilians and devastated much of the country.

Indoctrination

All these children are victims of Israel’s militaristic, settler-colonial culture. As Nurit Peled-Elhanan documents in her important new book Palestine in Israeli School Books, recently reviewed by The Electronic Intifada, Israeli schoolchildren are indoctrinated with negative stereotypes and outright hatred of Palestinians and Arabs from an early age.

Moreover, according to Peled-Elhanan, Israeli textbooks, “present Israeli-Jewish culture as superior to the Arab-Palestinian one, Israeli-Jewish concepts of progress as superior to Palestinian-Arab way of life and Israeli-Jewish behavior as aligning with universal values.”

Education is only one aspect; Israeli children grow up in a highly militarized settler-colonial culture where most know they are destined for the army where they will be ordered to occupy and kill. Indoctrination at an early age must be an important part of ensuring that only very few will refuse to undertake such tasks.

Palestinian children in Israeli propaganda

Ironically, a staple of Israeli hasbara has long been that Palestinian children are ‘taught to hate’ in their schools – a claim long-ago completely debunked.

Pro-Israel propaganda sites often revel in images of Palestinian children posing with weapons, as if such images prove that Palestinian children are indeed uniquely vicious, or deserve no sympathy or justice when killed.

This type of propaganda reflects what Joseph Massad has called Arabopaedophobia – the Israeli and Western fear, hatred and dehumanization of Arab children.

Children live with the consequences of Israel’s violent occupation and oppression of the Palestinian people, whether it is Israeli children indoctrinated to continue this oppression as adults, or Palestinian children brutalized and traumatized by the organized violence of occupation, colonialism and apartheid that pervades their lives.

This is never a reflection on the children, but on the adults who subject them to such ugliness.

Lynching in Jerusalem: Where impunity and “Israel’s” unchecked racial hatred lead

by Ali Abunimah, EI

A horrifying report in Haaretz today:

Dozens of Jewish youths attacked three young Palestinians in Jerusalem’s Zion Square early on Friday morning, in what one witness described as “a lynch” on Facebook.

One of the Palestinians was seriously wounded and hospitalized in intensive care in Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Karem. Acting Jerusalem police chief General Menachem Yitzhaki has set up a special team to investigate the incident and detain the suspects.

The three were allegedly attacked by youths shouting “Death to the Arabs” at them, as well as other racial slurs. One of them fell on the floor, and his attackers continued to beat him until he lost consciousness. They subsequently fled from the scene.

Within a short period of time rescue volunteers and Magen David Adom rescue services arrived on the scene and found the victim with no pulse and not breathing. After a lengthy resuscitation attempt, he was transferred to the hospital.

A witness described what she saw on Facebook:

“But today I saw a lynch with my own eyes, in Zion Square, the center of the city of Jerusalem ….. and shouts of ‘A Jew is a soul and Arab is a son of a –,’ were shouted loudly and dozens (!!) of youths ran and gathered and started to really beat to death three Arab youths who were walking quietly in the Ben Yehuda street.”

Not isolated incidents

Much remains unknown at present, including the identities and condition of the victims. What we do know however is that such racist attacks by Israelis are not exceptional. They are frighteningly common and the incitement and permissive atmosphere that fosters them comes from the very top of Israeli society.

Yesterday, 6 Palestinians were injured in a firebombing by suspected “Jewish extremists” in the occupied West Bank.

In recent months there have been frequent reports of violent attacks and hate rallies against African migrants and refugees often led or incited by Israeli politicians.

In March there was the mob attack by Jewish youths shouting “Death to the Arabs” on Arab workers at Malha Mall in southern Jerusalem. That mob attack was caught on video (below).

Israeli police did nothing in the wake of that incident. Instead, Israel’s hasbara machinery jumped into action, denying there was a pervasive problem with racism. The Jewish Agency’s online hasbara chief Avi Mayer even mounted a publicity stunt where he went to Malha Mall to distribute candy. That didn’t solve the problem, did it?

We do not know it, but it is now a fair question to ask if any of the youths who were allowed to get away with the violence at Malha Mall in March were in “Zion Square” last night.

Getting away with murder

While Palestinians are often held in Israeli jails for years without charge or trial, the Israeli “justice” system is notoriously easy on Israeli Jews who murder Palestinians whether in hate crimes or war crimes.

Just last week two Israeli soldiers were given sentences of 45 days in jail for killing Rayah and Majda Abu Hajaj, a mother and her daughter, who were waving white flags during Israel’s 2008-2009 attack on Gaza.

In July, an Israeli youth was given a short sentence of 8 years for the brutal, unprovoked racially motivated killing of Hussam Rawidi.

Then there is Ziad Jilani, was shot and killed by Israeli border police officers on an East Jerusalem street in broad daylight two years ago without any reason. His American wife Moira, the mother of their two young children, spoke to The Electronic Intifada in May about her so far fruitless effort to bring Ziad’s killers to justice.

Such tolerance has a long history in Israel, symbolized by the notorious case of Colonel Issachar Shadmi who commanded the troops who murdered 48 Palestinian civilians in the unprovoked massacre at Kafr Qasim in 1956. Shadmi was fined just one penny.

These are just a few cases. There are thousands more cases of Palestinians killed or injured, where no investigation is ever opened, and no justice is available for the victims.

Is it any wonder that there is so much racist violence when Israeli leaders constantly spew hatred, racist crimes and war crimes go unpunished, and Israeli children are taught to view Palestinians and Arabs as less than human from the very earliest age?

Palestine: New legislation in courts, warnings against Israeli plan to take over Al-Aqsa, more land theft & arrests

(File photo)

A racist regulation bars Palestinians from going to Israeli courts

NAZARETH, (PIC)– Israel’s Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman signed a new regulation which prevents Palestinians and immigrants who do not carry Israeli IDs or passports from filing lawsuits in Israeli courts.

Haaretz newspaper reported on Monday that under the new amendments and regulations, signed by Neeman, Palestinians, being harmed whether by Israeli army or settlers, will be unable to file a complaint before the Israeli courts to demand compensation.

Oded Feller, a lawyer for the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, said the new regulation, which will take effect on September 1, will mainly affect Palestinians who file hundreds of compensation lawsuits annually against the Israeli army.

He added that he sent a letter to Israel’s Justice Minister warning him that the new regulation will affect many people, noting that “the right to file lawsuits in Israeli courts is a fundamental right in the Israeli judiciary”.

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Aqsa Foundation warns against Israeli plan to take over Al-Aqsa

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– The Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage (AFEH) has warned against the Likud MK and coalition chairman Ze’ev Elkin’s statements that called for preventing Muslims from accessing the Aqsa mosque in Jewish holidays similar to the Ibrahimi Mosque.

The Foundation said that the Israeli occupation authority aims at implementing this scheme in mid-September in conjunction with the Jewish New Year festival.

AFEH called on the Arab and Muslim world to intervene immediately to stop the implementation of such serious scheme, demanding the Jerusalemite and West Bank people to intensify their presence in the Aqsa Mosque.

The Foundation pointed out that it has long warned against the Israeli schemes to split the Aqsa mosque between Muslims and Jews, considering the settlers’ repeated storming of the mosque as a prelude to further escalation.

Meanwhile, the Foundation stated in a separate statement that a palm tree planted near the Aqsa mosque suddenly fell on Sunday evening.

The Foundation said that Israeli excavations under the Aqsa mosque or spraying unknown substances on trees are the reason for the fall of that tree, adding that it has monitored the loss of several trees in the area in recent months.

AFEH said that Israeli forces and settlers have in the past sprayed unknown substances on trees, which resulted in their loss. Israel has placed a substantial number of security cameras on the roof of the western wall of the Aqsa mosque and the trees could be an impediment before those cameras, it added.

The Foundation has proposed formation of a committee of Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim engineers and agronomists to examine professionally and scientifically such cases.

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Expansion of settlement south of Bethlehem

BETHLEHEM, (PIC)– Israeli occupation forces (IOF) expanded the boundaries of Nevi Daniel settlement built on land of El-Khader village, south of Bethlehem, where they confiscated new Palestinian land and blocked access before its owners.

The coordinator of the Counter-Segregation Wall Committee, Ahmed Salah, said that a military barricade erected on Daniel’s settlement has been moved 400 meters deep into Palestinian lands while a security control room was built on the new entrance.

At least 300 acres of Palestinian lands have been annexed as a result of this procedure which means that Palestinian landlords cannot have access to their land unless they obtain Israeli entry permits, he explained.

He added that these procedures come as part of occupation plans aimed at the construction of a large tourism project in the district including construction of hotels and parks.

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IOF soldiers arrest six Palestinians including two children

AL-KHALIL, (PIC)– Israeli occupation forces (IOF) rounded up six Palestinians in Al-Khalil and Bethlehem at dawn Monday including two children, local sources said.

The sources said that the soldiers arrested a 27-year-old man and two children in the Old City of Al-Khalil.

They said that Mohammed Atef, 14, and his brother Mahmoud, 13, were detained at a roadblock near the Ibrahimi mosque then taken in an Israeli police car, which is always parked near the mosque, to an unknown location.

The sources pointed out that soldiers stormed four villages in the province along with a number of suburbs in Al-Khalil city and paralyzed traffic after stopping vehicles for search. They said that a citizen was arrested in Doura town.

In Bethlehem, IOF soldiers nabbed two Palestinian youths in Taku village to the east of Bethlehem city while walking in the street.

Walls being built on all sides of Fortress “Israel”

(Lebanon-File photo)

by Jillian Kestler-D’Amours, EI

JERUSALEM (IPS) – As Israel continues to build walls and fences, analysts say the country’s isolationist policies and unwillingness to deal with the Palestinians and other Arab neighbors through anything other than forceful means spells disaster.

“On the one hand, we’re walling the Palestinians in but, on the other hand, if you kind of zoom out and look at the Middle East, you’ll see that Israel is the one that’s walled in. It’s this island that is losing touch with its neighbors,” said Israeli academic and author Neve Gordon. Israel’s eight-meter high wall in the West Bank is now in its tenth year of construction. As of April 2012, 434 kilometers, or almost 62 percent of the total length of the wall, had been completed.

In June, Israel announced that construction would resume on a section of the wall in the Gush Etzion settlement bloc near Bethlehem. Building of the section around Maale Adumim, one of the largest Israeli settlements in the West Bank, is expected to start next year.

“Whatever is on the other side of the wall is a monster, is an unknown, is something you fear. So it does definitely increase the level of animosity, hate and so forth because it is an unknown and it’s a frightening unknown,” Gordon said.

The Israeli government promotes the wall as a way to protect Israeli civilians from Palestinian violence. Palestinians say that the wall, which cuts deep into the occupied West Bank, is a means for Israel to seize more Palestinian land.

When finished, the wall is expected to annex 530 square kilometers of Palestinian land, equivalent to the area of Chicago, the United States’ third largest city, according to the Palestinian human rights group Al Haq.

Keeping Africans out

But Israel’s push to erect walls and fences around itself doesn’t end in the West Bank; construction of a 230-kilometer fence along Israel’s southern boundary with Egypt is moving forward at a frantic pace, in an attempt to keep African asylum seekers out.

Ironically, asylum seekers in Israel who now number approximately 60,000 are themselves involved in the building of the fence and its infrastructure. Most of them have reached Israel through the Egyptian Sinai desert.

“I feel like I’m doing something against myself,” said 29-year-old Mohammad Anur Adam, a refugee from Darfur in western Sudan, who spent eight months building a road that the Israeli military and police will use to patrol the fence.

“There is no work, that’s why,” Adam said from his home in Eilat, Israel’s southernmost city, only a few kilometers from Egypt.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the fence is necessary to maintain peaceful relations with Egypt. “To continue the peace, there must be security and to this end a fence is necessary,” he has said. “Its rapid construction is important for both peace and security.”

Netanyahu announced early this year that once the fence along Israel’s boundary with Egypt is completed, Israel would build one along the boundary with Jordan.

Even before this announcement, Jordanian King Abdullah II said in interview with The Wall Street Journal in September last year that “Israel has to decide; does it want to be part of the neighborhood or does it want to be fortress Israel?”

Desire to be gated

Israeli historian Ilan Pappe said Israel’s “fortress” mentality is nothing new, and is a product of early Zionist thinking.

“The main Zionist and later Israeli impulse was not to be part of the Middle East but to belong to Europe,” Pappe said. “Whether they have real or imaginary enemies in their own state or on the state’s borders, the Israeli Jewish society voluntarily wishes to be gated so as not blend with the ‘primitive’ Palestinian or Arab environment.”

Pappe believes the Israeli siege mentality forces the state to deal with its neighbors only through force, which in turn isolates it even more from the larger Middle East.

“Breaking down the real and imaginary walls can only be done when Israel, absurdly the strongest military power in the region, will be courageous enough to give up some of its privileges and make Israel and Palestine a more equal state and accept that it is part of the Middle East, its problems and solutions.”

In June, the Israeli authorities completed construction of a seven-meter high wall separating the country from Lebanon. The wall — equipped with cameras and motion detection sensors — covers approximately 1,200 meters.

Palestine: Hundreds of olive trees destroyed, incursions and confrontations in Jenin & arrests

IOF troops destroy hundreds of olive trees

BETHLEHEM, (PIC)– Israeli occupation forces (IOF) protected huge bulldozers that went on a destruction spree of hundreds of olive trees in Juba village to the south west of Bethlehem on Thursday morning.

Local sources said that big numbers of IOF troops, policemen, and staffers of the civil administration escorted the bulldozers.

They recalled that IOF soldiers uprooted 400 olive trees in that same area a year ago, adding that the inhabitants and land owners planted them anew but the IOF arrived again for another destruction streak.

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Incursions and confrontations in Jenin

JININ,(PIC)– Zionist occupation forces launched at dawn on Thursday raid and search campaign in Jenin and its refugee camp, accompanied with clashes in the vicinity of the Jenin refugee camp.

Eyewitnesses said the violent clashes erupted between dozens of Palestinian youths and the occupation forces who stormed the city and the camp under cover of heavy fire and they took position in the vicinity of Dr. Khalil Suleiman Hospital on the outskirts of Jenin refugee camp.

The sources said that the youths confronted the soldiers and threw stones and empty bottles. The clashes continued for about an hour during which occupation forces fired tear gas and sound bombs.

The occupying forces also stormed the town of Kafr Khoud west of Jenin, where they launched combing operations, fired flares at dawn, and set up ambushes between the olive groves.

It was also reported that occupation forces conducted night landing operations south of Jenin in the Sanur plain during which large numbers of soldiers of the occupation were deployed until late at night.

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IOF soldiers nab four Palestinians

RAMALLAH, (PIC)– Israeli occupation forces (IOF) nabbed four Palestinians during raids in several West Bank provinces at dawn Thursday.

The Hebrew radio said that IOF soldiers arrested four “wanted” suspects who were transferred to detention centers for interrogation.

Local sources said that IOF soldiers stormed a number of areas and took away four citizens for questionings.

Locals in Al-Khalil said that a 35-year-old citizen was taken from his home near the Ibrahimi mosque in the city.

They said that four IOF patrols barged into Beit Kahel village, north of Al-Khalil, and launched a “savage” search campaign in many houses before retreating without arrests.

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Built-in racism: Israeli real estate article lauds “desirable” Arab-free neighborhood (click link to read)

Palestine: “Israel” demolishes historic Islamic sites In Al-Quds, Israelis storm Al-Aqsa, water supply denied, demolitions & arrests

“Israel” Demolishes Historic Islamic Sites In Al-Quds, Its Navy Roams Al-Aqsa

Moqawama

Al-Aqsa Foundation for Waqf and Heritage issued a press release, on Monday, revealing that “Israeli” in Occupied al-Quds.

The Foundation uncovered that the so-called “Israel’s” Archeological Authority has been destroying and burying ancient Islamic sites over the last five years during excavations in Al-Boraq area, 100 meters west of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
The area is part of the Al-Magharba neighborhood that was demolished by “Israel” on June 11, 1967, after “Israel” occupied the West Bank and East of al-Quds.

It said that “the occupation is demolishing ancient sites, Islamic historic sites and structures, and claiming that it found Archeological Jewish sites underneath”, and added that “Israel is planning to build a huge Jewish Center, including five underground floors”.
“The excavations were conducted in Ash-Sharaf neighborhood, that was taken over in 1967, and most of its ancient Arabic and Islamic buildings were demolished before Islamic constructed the Jewish Neighborhood”, the Foundation said.

It further noted that “”Israel” also demolished ancient Islamic archeological sites, residencies and public structures, including a mosque and the Al-Afdaliyya School”.

The demolished structures were built in the later stages of the Omayyad era, and during the Abbasid era, the Mamlooky era, the Ayyoubi era, and the Ottoman era.

‘”Israel” is trying to void the Islamic culture, history and archeology, that extended for 1400 year”, the Foundation said, “Israel is trying to void an Arabic history that dates back to thousands of years, during the Canaanite and Yabousy eras”.

The Foundation stated that what “Israel” is doing is a “massacre targeting the Arab and Islamic history and culture in occupied al-Quds, especially in the area adjacent to the al-Aqsa Mosque.”

It strongly denounced the silence of Arab and International institutions that are failing to intervene in stopping the “Israeli” violations against the Arab and Islamic archeological sites in al-Quds.

Meanwhile, “Israeli” occupation police admitted that “57 members of its navy and a member of the Knesset took a tour in al-Aqsa mosque’s yards.”

The head of the Islamic Awqaf department in al-Quds, Azzam al-Khatib, said “the soldiers spread out in the mosques’ yards and roamed around while in their military uniform.”

“These tours are always repeated, as groups from the different “Israeli” forces and settlers enter the mosque and do provocative tours inside its yards,” al-Khatib explained.

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Dozens of Jewish settlers barge into Aqsa mosque

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– Dozens of Jewish settlers entered the Aqsa mosque on Tuesday morning escorted by special police forces, local sources said.

They said that the settlers and foreign tourists entered the Aqsa in groups via the Maghareba gate, walked in its plazas, hoisted the Israeli flag, and took group photos.

A big number of Israeli soldiers on Monday broke into the Aqsa plazas and raised the Israeli flag in front of the Dome of the Rock.

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“Israel” uses water as a weapon against the indigenous population

NAZARETH,(PIC)– A local Palestinian official in the Negev desert, south of Palestine occupied in 1948, accused the occupation of using water as a weapon in order to displace people of Negev aiming to take control of their lands.

The head of Regional Council for Unrecognized Villages (RCUV), Ibrahim Alwakili, said that Israel deliberately denies water supply to the Arab Bedouins in the Negev causing daily suffering for more than 70 thousand people.

Hundreds of unrecognized Palestinian villagers in the Negev, demonstrated, on Sunday, outside the Israeli water company “Mekorot” in Beersheba protesting against the raising of water prices in these villages, and for not providing a regular supply of water.

Alwakili told Quds press that only one or two out of one hundred requests filed by Arab citizens in the Negev to get water are accepted for racial reasons.

He also pointed out that the occupation authorities “sell water to the Jewish citizen at prices much lower compared with the high prices they sell it to the Palestinian people in the Negev.”

He also confirmed that denying water to Arabs is not due to the water shortage but due to the Israeli racist measures because water mains pass under those Arab villages and next to them, for the benefit of Israeli settlements, but Arab villages are deprived regular water supply even when mains pass meters away from Arab homes.

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IOF soldiers launch large-scale demolition spree of Bedouin homes

JORDAN VALLEY, (PIC)– Israeli occupation forces (IOF) went on a demolition spree of Bedouin homes in Khirbat Al-Mayta area in Wadi Al-Maleh in the northern Jordan Valley.

Locals said that the IOF soldiers also continued to confiscate water tanks to force the inhabitants to abandon the area.

They said that IOF bulldozers razed a big number of tents and tin houses without allowing the citizens to salvage their belongings and told them to leave the area.

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IOF soldiers storm Al-Khalil village, beat up young man

AL-KHALIL, (PIC)– Israeli occupation forces (IOF) fiercely beat up a Palestinian young man while on his way to prayers in his village of Samu, south of Al-Khalil, at dawn Wednesday.

Local sources said that IOF soldiers stormed the village at dawn and detained Mohammed Abu Awad for an hour during which they beat him with their rifle butts and batons.

Other IOF infantry patrols stormed the village of Raihiya and Fawar refugee camp in Al-Khalil, installed roadblocks, and obstructed traffic, locals said.

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Israeli court turns down appeal of detained journalist

AL-KHALIL, (PIC)– An Israeli court in the Negev has turned down an appeal by lawyer of journalist Amer Abu Arafa against his administrative detention.

Abu Arafa, a correspondent for the Shihab news agency, told the PIC from his Negev prison on Monday that the court in the jail claimed that there were new “secret” information against him.

He said that his six-month administrative custody thus remained in force without decrease.

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Jerusalemite sentenced to 18 months for throwing stones on light rail

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– An Israeli court sentenced a 19-year-old Jerusalemite youth to one and a half years in jail for throwing stones at a light rail in occupied Jerusalem.

A spokeswoman for the Israeli police claimed that the youth, Mousa Abu Khadir, from Shufat refugee camp confessed to throwing stones along with his friends.

She said that the light rail was slightly damaged on its right side in the incident that occurred while passing in Shufat refugee camp.

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Rabbi who called for slaughter of a million Palestinians is to supervise “Israel’s” ‘Red Cross’

“Israel’s” ‘price tag’ terrorism has tactical political goals

(File photo)

by Jonathan Cook, source

Violent, so-called “price tag” attacks by Jewish settlers have become a staple of life for Palestinian communities over the past few months. The latest is the torching this week of a mosque in the village of Jaba, close to the city of Ramallah.

Palestinians in areas of the West Bank under Israeli control live with settler neighbours who beat and shoot them, set alight fields, poison wells, kill livestock and steal crops. These acts of terror have begun to spread elsewhere: homes, cars, cemeteries, mosques and churches are now targets in East Jerusalem and Israel too. Earlier this month a school and several cars were vandalised in Neve Shalom, the only genuinely mixed Jewish-Arab community in Israel.

Invariably the “price” invoked by the settlers is unrelated to any Palestinian action. Instead Palestinians are punished indiscriminately for the smallest concession the settlers fear Israel might make in the diplomatic arena.

Superficially, the settlers’ behaviour looks like a particularly vicious form of tantrum-throwing, but there are tangible benefits to be gained from the trail of destruction they leave behind.

They provided a clue to their reasoning, as they always do in “price-tag” attacks, on the walls of Jaba’s mosque. In black spray-paint, they spelt out their grievance: “Ulpana”.

Ulpana, also near Ramallah and home to 30 Jewish families, is a settler “outpost” – one of more than 100 such settlements-in-the-making that are scattered across the West Bank. Unlike a similar number of much larger and more established settlements, which are illegal under international law, the outposts violate Israeli law too.

After years of petitions from human-rights groups, Israel’s Supreme Court has reluctantly ruled recently that Ulpana must be removed. D-Day for the settlers, July 1, is rapidly approaching.

The torching of the mosque – the settlers’ trump card – was intended chiefly as a reminder to Israel’s right-wing government, led by Benjamin Netanyahu, that any move against them risks triggering a round of intensified violence that will further damage Israel’s image with the international community.

But it was also designed to dampen the enthusiasm of the courts for further costly run-ins with settlers. The Supreme Court, settlers hope, will be in no hurry to enforce the destruction of future Ulpanas.

Following the torching of Jaba’s mosque, Mr Netanyahu made the usual formulaic nods towards enforcing the rule of law. Dan Halutz, a former military chief of staff, was more candid, admitting there was no will to stop such attacks. “If we wanted, we could catch them [the perpetrators], and when we want to, we will,” he told Army Radio.

There are no signs a change of heart from the army is imminent. In fact, quite the reverse: for the past two decades the settlers have been strenuously working to take over the military’s combat units and its top ranks. What was once the Israeli people’s army is now very much the preserve of the settlers. The resulting collusion has been amply on display in recent weeks as a stream of embarrassing “occupation videos” have surfaced.

A few weeks ago, for example, Shalom Eisner, one of the new breed of settlers turned army commander, was caught on film smashing his rifle butt into the face of a Danish peace activist in the Jordan Valley. Mr Eisner’s only remorse, after the video was aired on Israeli TV, was to concede: “Maybe it was a professional mistake to use the gun when there were cameras around.”

And last month Palestinians in Asira Al Qibliya, near Nablus, filmed soldiers abetting armed settlers as they attacked the village. While villagers threw stones to repel the invaders, settlers opened fire, seriously injuring a youth. All the while, the soldiers could be seen guarding the settlers, clearly neither in danger from the Palestinians nor interested in stopping the shooting.

Israelis have not asked why, in cases such as the Asira video, where the faces of the lawbreaking settlers and soldiers are clearly visible, there have been no arrests.

Nor are they questioning Mr Netanyahu’s response to the Ulpana ruling. He has adopted the modus operandi of the settlers, inflicting his own price tag, this time on the courts: at the latest count, 60 new homes are to be built in a relocated Ulpana settlement for every one targeted by the judges.

But his pandering to the settlers has gone even further. He has effectively declared Ulpana’s existing five apartment blocks sacred territory, vowing, despite the enormous cost, to “saw” them: that is, to move them wholesale to the new site in the West Bank. In this way, he has sanctioned the very zealotry that finds its perfect justification and expression in the price tag attacks.

Ordinary Israelis are likewise adopting a mood that chimes with that of the settlers. The mounting documentary evidence of the settlers’ brutality, difficult for Israelis to ignore or deny, is rapidly hardening public opinion.

This toughening of public emotion leaves Israelis both indifferent to the suffering of Palestinians and in a mood for violence and vengeance towards any non-Jews who share their state, including not only 1.5 million Palestinian citizens but also migrant workers and now African asylum-seekers.

Once Israelis longed to believe in their own mythical slogans of ethical superiority: they had the “most moral army in the world” and their soldiers, as Golda Meir famously observed, suffered uniquely from an oversensitivity syndrome termed “shoot and cry”.

Nowadays, even the pretence of soul-searching is gone. If Israelis have a current motto, it is “shoot and shrug your shoulders”.

Jonathan Cook is a journalist based in Nazareth

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