Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Christian PM’s receive a catch up by Palestinian Hater Itamar Marcus ~ by @abuPessoptimist

Originally posted by Occupied Palestine at http://bit.ly/xjenDb

Director Itamar Marcus of Palestinian Media Watch together with the hysterica Pamela Geller (blog: Atlas shrugs) at a conference of leading Islamophobes and haters of Palestinians (including Dutch politician  Wilders) in 2008 in Israel
It is increasingly clear that we have a representative seated in the Second Chamber  in The Hague, or maybe more than one, of Christians for Israel. The group of Christian Zionists in the Netherlands, whol deliver bulbs of flowers as a sign of friendship to the worst criminals in Israeli settlers. Who are in support of the Israeli settlement program and are against any form of Palestinian resistance – including nonviolent resistance, including boycott of goods from the settlements and even denounce Israeli injustice against Palestinian civilians – which they regards as Palestinian incitement, if not Palestinian ‘antisemitism’.
How does that become clear? For example by the following invitation sent by MP Voordewind (ChristenUie) on Jan 24, 2012 to a number of members of the Committee on Foreign Affairs:
On behalf of Joel Voordewind I invite you to come for discussion on the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the glorification of terrorism. The reason for this is twofold. Firstly we would like to discuss the motion adopted van der Staaij / Voordewind on the Palestinian Authority and the glorification of terrorism. A good example is the continuing payments from the PA to convicted terrorists in Israeli jails. During the budget debate we tried – in vain – to move  Minister Rosenthal  to move the PA to stop these payments. Secondly, Itamar Marcus of Palestinian Media Watch came to the Netherlands especially for the event for the presentation of his book ‘Deception’. The meeting will take place on Wednesday, February 1st from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m
For those who do not know who Itamar Marcus: he is primarily a settler. He lives in Efrat settlement built on land that was taken away from the (predominantly Christian) Palestinian village of Al-Khadr, near Bethlehem. He is a former employee of the Israeli security service Shin Bet, and former associate of Netanyahu, but above all the director of Palestinian Media Watch (PMW-PalWatch) that he founded in 1996. PMW has since been responsible for a stream of videos and publications which suppose to show proof of the unreliable, lying, murderous anti-Semitic character of Palestinians. And not to forget their glorification of terrorism, a common used expression by the PMW, who unthinkingly is being adopted by the Christians for Israel among our MPs.

Not so long ago I wrote under the title ” A life in service of slandering the Palestinians “ a long piece about Itamar Marcus. In this post I stated that Mark is not only extremely biased, but totally unreliable. For exmaple he  keeps beating the drums about school textbooks in the Palestinian territories with which  anything would be wrong. In reality, a number of years ago, a whole new curriculum has been drafted, even including with help of the Dutch government, on which absolutely nothing is to criticize about. He gives numerous examples of aid that the Palestinian Authority grants to “terrorists” in Israeli captivity, in which he not only recalls  unreliable numbers (see the answers to recent parliamentary questions by Minister Rosenthal) but completely ignores the fact that all these ‘terrorists’ have been trialed by Israeli military courts based on laws which are totally unrelated to an acceptable legal system, so actually their punishment in many cases, do not pass the test of criticism they might  encounter.

It is of no use to repeat my piece as mentioned above. The bottom line is: There are definitely occasions in which some faults of Palestinian expressions (just as it is almost daily the case with Israeli acts against Palestinians). But Itamar Marcus intended goal is to make the Palestinians as black as possible and his openly Islamophobic attitude, is a totally unreliable and even morally unacceptable source.

But there are still two additions to give on what I wrote earlier. These include major sponsors of PMW. One is them is the Michael Cherney Foundation , named after its chairman, the in Uzbekistan born Israeli Michael Cherney. Cheney is wanted by Interpol  for involvement in large-scale money laundering operations in Spain. Wikipedia gives a long list of evidence that Cheey (also known Chenoy) was involved , and presumably also in affairs of the Russian mafia. Aside from this his name is mentioned in the case Israeli judiciary prepares against  Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. He allegedly would have bribed Lieberman, who is a friend of his.  (Perhaps it is possible the Christian Union makes some inquiries on these issues with Marcus? Or perhaps to ask  parliamentary questions?)

The other sponsor is the Central Fund for Israel, which includes projects (including security projects, whereby we must think of armed guards, electrified fences and perhaps even specially trained attack dogs) in the Israeli settlements funds and, according to an article in the New York Times, also is used by Israeli settlers to flow out tax free  money which by detour is being refunded to them again.
And by this man, MPs (including Minister Rosenthal, see my previous article about PMW) allow themselves to be guided.  Worth mentioning:  Marcus gives a lecture for Christians for Israel in Nijkerk tomorrow.
Related: Search warrant Cherney at the Interpol Webite: (click to enlarge)

Shocking Clip: Israeli Checkpoint Cruelty

Originally posted by excitedsynapses at http://youtu.be/QorJMPtz1Fw via YouTube
Found via the Flotilla Hyves blog at http://flotilla.hyves.nl/blog/39378371/CROSSINGS_CHECKPOINTS/IRXo/?pageid=2JNJGO2CXHYCGC4CS 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Documenting scores of #Palestinian books, Nakba’s lesser-known victims

Some 70,000 Palestinian books were seized from homes left empty by Palestinians who fled in 1948. The books, some of which are now in Israel’s National Library, attest to an attempt at the destruction of an entire culture.
By Karina Goulordava
June 1948: Israeli soldiers advance in an affluent Arab neighborhood, now almost deserted, in western Jerusalem. The soldiers are followed by several librarians from the national library. Sporadic gunfire is heard. The men cling against the walls as they arrive in a street lined with empty, affluent houses, their occupants having left in haste. Breaking into house after house, the librarians “collect” entire libraries into boxes that are loaded onto trucks. Similar scenes are repeated throughout the Arab neighborhoods of western Jerusalem, and later on in Haifa, Jaffa, Nazareth and elsewhere. In total, 70,000 Palestinian books were “collected” in this manner.
In 1948, after the Arab rejection of the UN partition resolution of November 1947, the new state of Israel used its military power to conquer as much land – initially designated for an Arab state –  as it could, and to cleanse the newly occupied territories from their Arabs inhabitants. At the time, the book plunder was a mere sideshow of the main events of the war. But seen through a wider historical perspective, the looting of the books, together with the destruction of Palestinian urban centers, constitute the destruction of an entire culture and an important outcome of the 1948 war.
Thousands of the books were recycled into paper while others were absorbed into National Library of Israel’s general collection, making it impossible to trace them today. Some 6,000 of these books were eventually categorized as foreign and placed in the Eastern Studies Department of the National Library, although they are technically still owned by the Custodian of Absentee Property. The fate of these books is much like that of the Palestinian people: unlawfully removed from their homes, expelled and made foreign in their own land. Each book beares the label “AP” (abandoned property).
These books are the focal point of the multifaceted project, “The Great Book Robbery.” In 1997, Benny Brunner became the first director to produce a documentary unveiling the story of the Nakba, Arabic for “catastrophe” – the word used to describe the destruction and exile Palestinians experienced in 1948. Today, he is the first to make a documentary about the systematic looting of 70,000 Palestinian books during the war of 1948. Just as the Nakba became part of the international discourse on Palestine, the importance of Palestinian cultural preservation is crucial to the discussion. In the film’s teaser, Nasser Eddin Nashashibi, one of the rightful owners of the books, describes what the loss meant to him. “I witnessed this with great…grief. A piece of poetry, a painting, a rare copy of the Koran, written by hand, decorated by gold. How could you bring these back?!”
Nashashibi’s personal inscriptions can still be found in a book that today sits on one of the cold, sterile shelves in the National Library. The digital library is a translation of the “collected” Palestinian books as they appear on Israel’s National Library online catalog. It documents 500 books with their titles, authors and owners’ names translated from Arabic into English. The ultimate goal is to list all 6,000 books, in an effort to acknowledge and record their true origins. Finally, the website serves as a space for information and discussion; its “Forum” offers a space for academics, librarians, students, journalists, filmmakers and others to share views on cultural preservation.
In 2006, PhD student Gish Amit was the first to discover documents attesting to the looting of the books. Amit researched the 6,000 AP books and their placement in the Eastern Studies Department of the National Library. Drawing on Edward Said’s theory of Orientalism, Gish states that these books were “orientalized,” forced into the constructed notion of the orient. This project aims to reveal not only the plunder that took place, but the true identity of the books. By exposing this narrative, the project reveals a new aspect of the Nakba.
In the summers of 2010 and 2011, I traveled to Palestine and Israel, hoping to learn about the conflict first hand. Driving through Israel, I saw the hidden village ruins that are remnants of the Nakba. Walking through Jaffa, I noticed buildings with arched windows, a sign of Arab architecture, now Israeli homes. Similar events repeated themselves in Jerusalem. However, having always focusing on the reoccupation of homes and the displacement of people, I hadn’t been aware of the looting of tens of thousands of books that took place here and hadn’t considered the importance of preserving Palestinian national culture in the face of Israel’s occupation. The Great Book Robbery attempts to do just that.
Karina Goulordava is the Communications Manager for The Great Book Robbery project, which directed by Benny Brunner. The film The Great Book Robbery is due to be released in May 2012. Aljazeera English Network will broadcast the film.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

We will not be intimidated: Video with Cindy Corrie backs Olympia Food Co-op fight against anti-boycott lawsuit by @AliAbunimah

Originally posted by the Electronic Intifada at http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/we-will-not-be-intimidated-video-cindy-corrie-backs-olympia-food-co-op-fight

Cindy Corrie is among several people appearing in a short video calling for solidarity with the Olympia Food Co-op in Olympia, Washington and condemning a lawsuit seeking to overturn the Co-op’s boycott of Israeli goods.
The video and accompanying statement call on those who filed the lawsuit to use existing democratic procedures to get their way, rather than an “aggressive lawsuit which seriously threatens the well-being of a cornerstone of the Olympia community.” It also affirms, “we will not be intimidated or silenced.”
In addition to Corrie, the mother of Rachel Corrie, the activist who was killed by Israeli occupation forces in Gaza in 2004, the video also features Elizabeth Moore of Olympia Jewish Voice for Peace, Fabi Romero an artist and former Co-op staff member and Jean Eberhardt of Bridges Not Walls.
The full statement, which organizations are invited to endorse, appears on the website of Olympia BDS:
We, the undersigned, stand in solidarity with the Olympia Food Co-op, and condemn the lawsuit filed against the Co-op in an attempt to undermine the Co-op’s commitment to social justice by way of legal and financial intimidation. We call on the plaintiffs to exercise the Co-op’s democratic option – bringing the boycott of Israeli goods to a member vote – instead of launching an aggressive lawsuit which seriously threatens the well-being of a cornerstone of the Olympia community. Lawsuits intended to silence and intimidate those who speak out against injustice should have no place in a democratic society.

For over three decades, the Co-op has enriched the Olympia community by striving to provide healthy, local, and sustainable food, and has rightly understood food sovereignty as one piece of the larger project of building a better world. From its emphasis on cooperative self-management, to its unswerving support for the local sustainable agriculture movement, to its persistent refusal to carry goods produced in ways that conflict with its core values, social justice has always been integral to the Co-op’s mission. The lawsuit against the Co-op is an attack on this commitment to social justice, and, by extension, on all of us who raise our voices against injustice and in the hope of creating a better world. For, as the author James Baldwin once wrote to wrongfully imprisoned Angela Davis, “if they take you in the morning, they will be coming for us that night.”

We therefore stand in solidarity with Olympia Food Co-op, and say to those who have brought this lawsuit: we will not be intimidated or silenced!

~ Sofia Smith 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Bedouin community near settlement faces expulsion

Video and text originally posted by btselem at http://youtu.be/uhlrG2z2ccw

January 2012: Israel's Civil Administration is planning to relocate some 27,000 Bedouins living in Area C in the West Bank. At first, some 2,300 people will be expelled from their homes near the Ma'ale Adummim settlement and relocated to a site next to the Abu Dis garbage dump, east of Jerusalem. Members of the Khan al-Ahmar community explain how the move will affect them.

~ Sofia  Smith

Some day #Israelis will remember with great shame...

Some day Israelis will remember with great shame what they allowed to happen to Palestinian children!

Someday Israelis will remember with shame that what they allowed to happen to Palestinians is not so different from what happened during the holocaust!

This is Israel: regular violations of the UN convention on the rights of the child, collective punishment, ghettoization of Palestinians, pre-emptive attacks on a civilian population that did NOTHING to deserve this! Unwarranted incarceration of minors and adults, torture and murder!

Right, there is still land theft, colonization and God knows what to add to that list! I have news for you Israel! Arab lives matter!

So here is what it all burns down to! All life is of equal value. All children are to be cherished and protected! Colonization, murder, Apartheid make Israel into the pariah state that it is! And it will END! Sooner hopefully rather than later, but it will END! It has to!

Because all life is of equal value - no matter whose life. And children are to be cherished and protected. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

#Palestinians reopen East Jerusalem road to protest land-grab

Last week, the Israel Nature and Parks Authority (INPA) began work on its plan to construct a new “national park” in the middle of Issawiya, a Palestinian neighborhood in East Jerusalem adjacent to Hebrew University. Israeli activists joined Palestinian residents to unblock the road sealed off by Israeli authorities earlier this week.
Israelis and Palestinians unblocking road in Issawiya on Friday January 20, 2012 (photo: Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity)
By Moriel Rothman
Issawiya, East Jerusalem- On Friday morning, around thirty Israeli Jews joined Palestinian residents of Issawiya in an attempt to clear a road leading out of Issawiya that was blocked last week by the Israel Nature and Parks Authority. Together, we worked with shovels, picks, and bare hands to break down the pile of rubble blocking the path.
Following a petition submitted by the Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity Movement to the Jerusalem Municipality, the construction work was frozen, but much of the damage has already been done. The INPA, a governmental body charged with the protection of nature, landscape and heritage in Israel, destroyed a road and piled the rubble in a way that would prevent the residents of that part of Issawiya to travel on this road.
“They destroyed and blocked off a road, we will reopen it.”
Clearly, the INPA has the advantage of powerful tools and the backing of a state whose mechanisms explicitly favor Jewish settlement over the basic rights of Palestinian residents. But as we stood there, struggling to move the pile of rubble with our hands and shovels, it was clear that we also have an advantage: the advantage of being right.
Moriel Rothman is an American-Israeli writer and activist. He lives in Jerusalem, and is active with Rabbis for Human Rights.

~ reposted by Sofia Smith

Three Arab Israelis arrested after calling for boycott of Peres lecture

Three Palestinian citizens of Israel who study at the Jerusalem College of Engineering (JCE) were arrested on Wednesday for allegedly threatening other students planning to attend a lecture by Israeli President Shimon Peres.
While they themselves openly boycotted the lecture, their arrests were made as a result of a complaint filed against them for making threats and incitement. They however claim that they were arrested for calling for the boycott of the lecture itself.
They have been placed under house arrest by a local court and expelled from Jerusalem for one week so as to prevent them talking to other students. The names of two of the three students were released: Khalil Gharra from Jit and Rafat Shaban from Majd Al Koroum.
According to both Arab news sites and Ynet, the three students wrote on the college’s Facebook page that they would not attend the lecture – in fact, according to reports, not a single Arab student attended the event. Other students commented that this was a blatant violation of their basic right to freedom of expression and implied this was a consequence of the “Boycott Law,” which went into effect last July.
The Boycott Prohibition Law makes it a civil offense to openly call for a boycott of any Israeli business or institution, whether inside the 1967 borders or the occupied West Bank. It allows all those who feel they have been harmed by a boycott, whether against Israel or an Israeli institution or territory to sue the person or organization who publicly called for it, without proving any damages.
Since it passed last year and sparked outrage not only by Israeli leftists and human rights organizations but also by the American Jewish community, there have been no reports of any breach of the law or suits filed.
One cannot be arrested for calling for boycott, and the Jerusalem District Police claim they only made the arrests after a complaint was made that the students were threatening other students. Still, this story appears to reek of the spirit of the “Boycott Law,” since it is not yet clear what the students did to warrant the charge of threats and incitement. It is also not clear who filed the complaint.

~reposted by Sofia Smith