Saturday, December 25, 2010
Dec. 15, a debate occurred at Princeton over the BDS movement. Max Blumenthal & Jewish Voices for Peace executive director Rebecca Vilkormerson argued for BDS, & J Street U director Daniel May and Princeton student Dan May argued against.
Friday, December 17, 2010
Activists representing CODEPINK Women for Peace, American Friends Service Committee, US Boat to Gaza, Students for Justice in Palestine, Queers Undoing Israeli Terror and Don't Buy Into Apartheid spent this Christmas season protesting the Occupation, such as this action Dec. 13 in Oakland at an AIPAC dinner.
Now basically the same thing has happened with Kenneth O'Keefe, the ex-US Marine who was on the Mavi Marmara. I was warned by the moderator about using him on Daily Kos, which is the step before being banned. Again, the story seems to be that some commentators on DKos will do anything to keep news about Gaza from being available, but in this case, there is more substance to the accusation. There is this quote from the Baltimore Chronicle & Sentinel:
The world is full of illusions that are used by the rich and powerful to manipulate and control the people. The greatest illusion, and the one with the most devastating consequences, is that the American people and the Israeli, and the British, and numerous others, vote in their governments and hold them to account. Those who really control the governments are those powerful few who control the banking systems, the major multi-national corporations and, of course, the mass media. If you look beyond the faces of the presidents, prime ministers and politicians you will see that these governments' policies remain virtually the same, no matter who is 'leading' these countries. These 'leaders' do not answer to the people they have pledged to serve; they answer to those who remain behind the scenes.
These powerful people and entities have key strategic needs in order to maintain power:
1. They must keep the people ignorant and disempowered.
2. They must keep the people divided. They conquer by dividing the people, never giving people the chance to unite; constantly fostering war by pitting the masses against each other
This system has been controlled by the same families for millennia, and people have been manipulated into a collective state of insanity throughout. Over the course of this tragic situation, empires have come and gone, each one giving way to the next. America is simply the latest in that repeating pattern, and it will fall like all empires do. However, the powers behind it, those controlling the banking, the governments and the propaganda, they will remain in place and prop up the next empire and the pattern will repeat.
We are constantly looking at the faces that these powers present to us, the puppets in effect. The powers themselves remain hidden, with many layers of separation between themselves and the people, and an intricate and complex legal system to protect and hide them. In the west this conspiracy has been called a theory, and everything is done to try and marginalize and ridicule the people who speak correctly about the way the world works. Until this system and those behind it are exposed, we will continue our cycle of self-destruction and continue marching towards a nuclear Armageddon. The most powerful weapon we have is the truth, and until we yield its full power, we will never have justice and peace in this world.
That, is borderline antisemitic. So there is just cause for banning him from Daily Kos. I think, though, that the straw that broke the camel's back was this video put out by someone calling themselves otraverdad. All the imagery of ZOG (Zionist Occupation Government, an Aryan Nation term) otraverdad added in was what inflamed many commentators on DKos. Which is a shame. O'Keefe does appear to embrace the wildest of 9/11 conspiracy theories, but the way he presents himself isn't that of the white supremacist. Look at his websites Aloha Palestine & World Citizen Ken O'Keefe. I've contacted O'Keefe & he replied, saying that since he is married to a semitic woman & has a semitic son, he can't be an antisemite. I don't know what to think. I think I'll post his videos for now, but will stop.
Friday, December 10, 2010
In the same plot of land near the settlement Mitzpe Yair last Sunday, activists helping a Palestinian farmer are confronted by the same settler, soon joined by others, including the son of the leader, Mordechai Deutsch. The IDF & police show up & again say the land is a closed military zone. The activists leave.
As mentioned by Richard Silverstein on his blog, rabbis who are employed by towns in Israel have ruled Jews shouldn't sell homes or rent to Arabs. They have been denounced by peace activists, intellectuals, the Left in Israel and by PM Netanyahu. GangreenTV, an anarchist group, has issued a video posting the rabbis' faces & phone numbers. Looking at the photos, the thought pops into my head: what a bunch of old hippies. Cool hats, though.
Kevin O'Keefe is still in Gaza, in Gaza City, & posts this video about an Israeli jet bombing the city. He doesn't know what is going on. It turns out the bombing was one of four bombings by the Israeli air force in retaliation for militants firing mortar shells & a rocket into southern Israel.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
[Video made private, so not available.]
More from the Alternative Information Center:
The Hebron Fund event was organized as a Hudson River cruise and entitled the "Hebron Aid Flotilla" in an apparent attempt to mock the international Freedom Flotilla that sailed last spring to break the illegal Israeli blockade of Gaza. The Israeli military attacked the flotilla in international waters, killing nine passengers, including an American citizen, and injuring an additional 58 passengers. The Hebron Fund announcement for the event stated that "settlements are legal," and claimed that "the tax deductible status of the meager donations to Hebron’s Jews comes under repeated scrutiny - for no good reason except for racism and anti-Semitism." The Hebron Fund’s keynote speaker, Caroline Glick, a former adviser to Benjamin Netanyahu, has written in the Jerusalem Post that President Obama is "treating Israel like an enemy."
According to all major human rights organizations, the UN, the International Court of Justice, and governments worldwide, all Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem violate the Fourth Geneva Convention. In 1979, the US State Department’s legal adviser also issued a legal opinion that has never been revised stating that the establishment of Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territories "is inconsistent with international law," according to The Washington Post.
This is the third consecutive year in which the Brooklyn-based Hebron Fund’s annual fundraising dinner in New York has faced protests. The Hebron Fund is one of a number of US nonprofits that fund Israeli settlements. Others include Friends of Ir David, American Friends of the Ateret Cohanim, and The Central Fund for Israel. According to the Washington Post, "A search of IRS records identified 28 U.S. charitable groups that made a total of $33.4 million in tax-exempt contributions to settlements and related organizations between 2004 and 2007." A recent New York Times report on these US settlement nonprofits quoted a senior US State Department official saying, "It’s a problem. It’s unhelpful to the efforts that we’re trying to make."
This next video maybe the highpoint of this diary. Seven Israeli activists went with a Palestinian shepherd to pump water from a well on his land. While they are doing this, a settler from the outpost of Mitzpe Yair shows up. He is alone, but keeps trying and trying to pull out the hose from the well. The activists could have hit him in the head with a rock, could just jump him & tie him up, but don't. Finally, more settlers & the IDF show up. The soldiers pull the guy away, & show the shepherd & activists an order declaring the land a closed military zone. They have to leave. By the way, the settler outpost has had a military demolition order on it since 2002.
Thursday, 30 activists again accompanied farmers to their land in Saffa near Beit Ommar. The IDF detained the activists & took them to a police station at a nearby settlement. They had been burning brush to clear the land, & the settlers accused them of burning olive trees in order to accuse settlers of the arson.
Young Jews Disrupt Netanyahu at Jewish General Assembly
Several of the protesters explain their actions here,
here, here, and here.
Ezra Nawi, who is on probation for assaulting a soldier when a house was demolished (he beat the soldier's fist with his face), has been arrested again in the hills of Hebron, along with fellow activist Amiel Vardi. They were helping a Palestinian family work on their vineyard, when the IDF showed up & stated the land was in a closed military zone. Everyone left the land, when the soldiers started to hassle an elderly Arab woman who had wandered onto the land to pee. Nawi started yelling at the soldiers to stop harassing the old lady, & the soldiers called him over to explain to her in Arabic the situation. Once Ezra reached the old lady, other soldiers came over & arrested him. Vardi was arrested when he ran over to protest the arrest.
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is an organization not too many people have heard of. On its' website, it has the motto 'For a stronger, cleaner, fairer world economy.' Its' members consist of the US, EU, Mexico, Canada, Chile, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Australia, Turkey, Iceland, and now Israel. Protesters in Jerusalem tried to show delegates to a OECD tourism meeting what it was like for Palestinians in the Occupied Territories.
The Netanyahu Government has proposed a law that would require new Israeli citizens to swear an oath of citizenship that calls Israel a 'Jewish and democratic' state. Jewish and Arab Israelis demonstrated against this in Tel Aviv last Saturday. At the 2:27 mark, we catch a glimpse of Uri Avnery of Gush Shalom (the man with white hair & beard.)
The Jewish National Fund, a non-profit organization that buys land for Jews in Israel & plants trees, held this year's national meeting In Atlanta GA. They were met by Palestinian & Jewish demonstrators from the Movement to End Israeli Apartheid-Georgia (MEIAG.)
This video has been making the rounds as an example of IDF humiliation of Palestinians. Richard Silverstein on his blog has identified the participants. The woman is Ihsan Dababseh, who served 22 months in a Israeli jail for being a member of Islamic Jihad. The dancing man is Avi Yakobov, whose last known whereabouts is at a bartenders convention in Berlin. Really.
Gareth Porter talks about the the UN Human Rights Commission report on the Mavi Marmara, which he notes showed forensic evidence that American citizen Furkan Dogan was shot at point blank range in the head. Porter also notes that no mainstream media outlet has written a story about this evidence (go Google 'OHCHR Furkan Dogan'.)
Likewise in Bili'in. You may want to turn down the sound for the first 20 seconds; for some reason, there is a very loud & annoying news report being played.
There were Palestinian,Israeli, Japanese, & Irish marchers. Careful with those Irish Republican songs, I think you freaked out the IDF.
Things seem to be heating up, both in the West Bank as Tom J has noted in his diary, and in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan.
A security guard for Jewish settlers in Silwan shot dead 32 year old Samer Sarhan, a father of five. His funeral led to rioting by Palestinians. Daniel Argo talks here about the situation.
You never know what kind of a day you’ve woken up to in this city. Will it be a lazy and serene day, the first day of a vacation that I’ve waited so long for, or a day where the entire city turns into a Kafkaesque story. But perhaps it’s not the city – but the people who live here. So here’s the story: it’s about murder; the police; detainees; missing people; hate; lies and loads of stupidity and folly. In short a typical day in East Jerusalem.
In Bil'in, Palestinians, Israelis & ISM members protested against the Wall, & the continued imprisonment of Abdullah and Adeb Abu-Rahma, Ibrahim Burnat and other political prisoners from Bil'in. The footage at the beginning of the video is of Abdullah Abu-Rahma at his hearing ( I think.)
Next we have the story of Miriam Abu Khalid, a Palestinian who is also black.
Mondoweiss has the back story on this video. Mustafa Staiti, the producer, was supposed to get a US visa along with Ms. Abu Khalid to enter the USA & visit the Lincoln Center in New York. But the US consulate is in East Jerusalem, & Israeli border control denied them a visa to travel there from Jenin.
The Palestine Center has just published a report called When Settlers Attack.
70% of the attacks consist of trespassing, stone throwing, assault, property damage, & arson. The rest consisted of abduction, harassment, seizures of land/housing, raids, theft, shootings & vehicular assault. Most attacks take place in Areas B & C, where the IDF & Israeli police provide security. The settlements where most of the attacks come from (when the settlement is know) are Bat Ayin, Bracha, Halmish, Havat Gilad, Keddumim, Kiryat Arba, & Yitzhar. Villages near Israeli-only roads are very vulnerable to attacks. Analyzing the attacks, the reports note they increase when settlers think the Israeli government threatens them or acts against settlements. There has been an increase of attacks & casualities in recent years. Finally, the report notes the attacks are consistent & systematic, occurring all over the West Bank, in 280 villages & locations.
The Palestine Center is an independent think-tank committed to communicating reliable
and objective information about the Palestinian political experience to American policy makers, journalists,
students and the general public. Established in 1991, it is the educational program of the Jerusalem Fund for
Education and Community Development.
The Palestine Center brings together people and resources within the American and Palestinian communities
to educate about Palestine and the Palestinian people's ongoing quest for sovereignty on their land, civil and
political rights and an end to Israeli occupation.
Last week, Pres. Obama & Secretary of State Clinton had the Israelis & Palestinian Authority in Washington for negotiations. They have negotiated a series of talks, the next to occur around Sept. 26 in Ramallah. Al Jazeera's Empire asks three commenters what they think. This is interesting because two Palestinians appear in this broadcast: an ex-negotiator with the PA, & the moderator, an Israeli Palestinian.
Next we have a video showing five Israeli activists arrested at Silwan in Jerusalem in court. According to Electronic Intifada
Meanwhile, in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan on 1 September, hundreds of demonstrators, including Palestinian residents of Silwan and Israeli and international activists, confronted attendees of a conference aimed at promoting "archeological" interests in the neighborhood.
An increasing number of Israeli settlers have regularly taken over Palestinian homes in Silwan, under the cover of an Israeli archaeological institution, Elad, which has led the charge to push Palestinians out of the area and re-brand Silwan as the "City of David." Elad was the sponsor of Wednesday's conference in Silwan.
Journalist Joseph Dana reported on his website that Israeli border police and special forces, called Yasam, "were deployed and allowed to use physical violence to prohibit the protesters from getting close to the entrance."
The activists were released without charges.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Israel has twice demolished the West Bank village of Al Farasiya in the Jordan Valley. Under the Oslo Accords, all of the Jordan Valley except for Jericho was designated as Area C or an IDF military zone. According to Wikipedia
Israel initially planned to construct an eastern barrier extension as part of the Israeli West Bank barrier, thus separating the Jordan Valley from the rest of the West Bank. Plans were abandoned following international criticism of the route of the barrier as a whole, and the High Court of Justice's decision of June 2004. Instead, a regime of permits and restrictions on the movement of Palestinians has been instituted in the Jordan Valley. B'tselem, an Israeli human rights group states: "These acts have served as a substitute for the construction of a physical barrier, creating a situation in the Jordan Valley almost identical to that of the 'seam zone' between the Israeli West Bank barrier and the Green Line."
The Oslo Accords were supposed to lead to a two-state solution.
In Bil'in, there was another demo against the Wall & in commemoration of Abu Ali Mustafa, the head of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. He had been admitted by order of the Prime Minister of Israel to the West Bank, and then was assassinated with Apache helicopters in 2001. He was a member of the Palestinian Authority's Executive Committee.
Israel has been called an apartheid state. According to journalist Jonathan Cook, there are thirty different laws in Israel that discriminate against non-Jews in Israel. Israeli human rights lawyer Michael Sfard backs away from saying apartheid occurs in Israel proper, but demonstrates it occurs in the occupied West Bank.
In the West Bank itself, local industry among Palestinians is faltering, because of the occupation & Israel's embrace of free trade. The Herbawi Textile factory was founded in Hebron in 1961 to manufacture keffiyehs, the traditional Palestinian scarf worn as head gear.
[This video has been removed, probably because the user is Israeli & outing someone who served in the Shin Bet is proscribed by law in Israel.]
Anyone who speaks Hebrew, can you tell us in the comments what they are saying? Thanks.
Another flotilla is almost upon us.
TRIPOLI: A Lebanese ship carrying aid and women activists hoping to break Israel’s Gaza blockade will set sail Sunday from Lebanon despite warnings that they will not be allowed to make it past Cyprus, organizers said Thursday.Maybe they could find another port. Maybe in Northern Cyprus? The Turkish part?
The ship cannot travel directly to Gaza from Lebanon because Beirut is still technically at war with Israel, forcing the vessel to pass through a third country – in this case, Cyprus – before heading for the blockaded Palestinian territory.
But on Thursday, the Cypriot ambassador to Lebanon told the Associated Press that the boat, the Mariam, will be turned back when it reaches Cyprus.
We start off with a satire video from Minor Demographic Threat. WARNING: this video ends with Glen Beck (for all those allergic to Glen Beck.)
The part of the video showing someone who looks like Bin Laden snorting cocaine is based on the allegations that Al Qaeda, Hamas, & Hezbollah are involved in drug smuggling to fund terrorism. Of course, Hamas just this week burned confiscated alcohol & drugs because it's un-Islamic. Christ, what a bunch of repressed a-holes. And yes, after Glen, you are rickrolled by . . Rick Astley.
Next, we have today's demo in Bilin.
From the YouTube page:
The Bil'in Popular Committee Against the Wall yet again led the weekly civilian demonstration against the apartheid wall, after local Palestinians prayed Jummah on the first Friday of Ramadan. Fifty international supporters along with Israeli activists joined non-violent Palestinian demonstrators to protest the Israeli occupation. Together, they marched with Palestinian flags and posters of political prisoners from the village, many arrested through night raids. These prisoners have mostly been arrested for the sole "crime" of being active organizers in the non-violent popular struggle.
As the demonstrators marched towards the apartheid fence, they chanted phrases to stop the construction of the wall that is annexing land from Bi'iln in order for Israel to build illegal settlements. When the demonstrators reached the apartheid fence, large numbers of Israeli soldiers were waiting armed with weapon and riot gear. After protestors and the Israeli army met face to face, the soldiers began shooting tear gas and sound bombs into the crowd. They continued to shoot tear gas up on the hill where spectators thought they were in safe range. Eventually, the IDF ran into part of the crowd and began shooting rubber coated steel bullets. One Israeli woman was hit by a tear gas canister in her leg. Dozens suffered from tear gas inhalation as soldiers attempted to arrest demonstrators. However, nobody was arrested. The demonstration lasted about two hours, and huge success considering multiple protestors were fasting for Ramadan.
The guy in the black tee lecturing the IDF is with Anarchists Against the Wall. I wonder who the guy in the motorized wheel chair is?
Update:Heathlander (Daily Kos poster & commenter) tells me below (In diary's comments) he is Jody McIntyre.
We have several stories: a movie theater opens in Jenin; the UN organizes the largest kite flying event in Gaza; Hamas organizes a 450 couple wedding; Shir Hever, an economist, talks more about the BDS campaign in three videos; and UK & US rappers go to a demo in Bil'in.
Marcus Vetter certainly speaks English better than I can speak German. Doesn't Bianca Jagger look good? Now, residents in Jenin will have a place to take their dates to and make out.
However, Juan Cole reports at his website that the Qadhafi Foundation has claimed to have gotten several concessions from Israel, such as expediting travel abroad for sick Palestinians from Gaza, & allowing reconstruction projects in Gaza. Israel's record of making promises it doesn't keep makes this assertion dubious.
Shir Hever in these videos asserts it is an unwritten policy of Israel to suppress & destroy all attempts by Palestinians to be be economically viable in Israel & the occupied territories. The Gaza siege is just the latest example of this. As he notes, all economic aid given to the Palestinian Authority has been countered by blockades & even shelling by the IDF.
(WARNING: Graphic violence)
The story is based on a recurring nightmare Netanyahu has.
But doesn't he want to live in Eshkol Heights?