Wednesday, May 27, 2009

13 Million Jews and 1 Billion Muslims

There are 13 million Jews in the world.
There are 325 million Arabs in the world.
There are 1 billion Muslims in the world.

It is a Perfect Storm.

What I can only guess at however, is how many Muslims or Arabs hate Jews or Zionists or the Apartheid policies and War Criminal policies of Israel.
Try as I might, I have been unable to come up with any reason why any Arabs or Muslims should love Jews.

I would be afraid to be hated by a 25 to 1 ratio (Arab to Jew). Or, even worse, I would hate to be hated by a 77 to 1 ration (Muslim to Jew).

I can see why Israel and Jews say they fear Arabs and Muslims. What I see no evidence of, is that supposed fear, actually creating in Jews or Israeli's as a whole, a strong desire, coupled with actions that dramatically lessen the perceived threat.
If I were a Jew, I would be figuring out what pisses them off and both make amends for past offences and stop doing what currently offends.

This brings me to Palestine.
Setting aside the whole "Jews stole Palestine" thing, if I were a Jew, I would be treating the Palestinians as if they were an aggrieved member of my immediate family. I would be bending over backwards to make things right. I would be doing everything in my power to reduce the ratio of people who actually hated me enough to wipe my regime from the pages of history.

But instead they blunder on, seemingly oblivious to the fact that at a signal....every Jew on the planet could be wrestled to the ground by anywhere from 25 to 77 Muslims.
Unfortunately for the Palestinians, the Muslims don't seem to recognize their strength and their ability to help their brothers and sisters who are imprisoned in the largest prison in the world.

This works out well for Israel...
But, Israel also likes having the only bomb in the region. Iran's supposed pursuit of the bomb seems to be a big thing for Israel. I guess it is. It would make it awfully hard for Israel to continue to treat people as badly as they have.

Maybe Israel even feels they have passed the point of no return long ago and there is no way Muslims will let them get away without punishment. So, they have to keep Iran from getting the bomb.
Of course, most of the other Arab nations in the region are puppets of the USA, but once the actual people of these countries saw that Iran could stand up to the bully (Israel and USA), there would be a mass Islamic revolution and those puppet governments would fall and the people would seek revenge.

This is what Israel fears...and they are correct to fear it, because they are doing nothing to stop it. Fighting it won't stop it...just delay the inevitability of their own destruction. Giving in to it is the only possible way for Jews to remain in the middle east.

It is simply a matter of 4 things coming together in a perfect storm:
1. The illegality and crimes of a Rogue state.
2. Overwhelming numbers of opposing forces.
3. Growing awareness of the rest of the world.
4. One activist Muslim country acquiring the bomb.

Once Iran (or the rebels in Pakistan) acquires the bomb, the Muslim world will look to the man or woman who possesses it and ask that person for collective justice.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

USA: The Stoopidist People in the World

Please enjoy this video of American Cavemen and Cavewomen. It might be kind of hard to tell they are Cavepeople, since they are wearing clothing, but you take my word for it.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Commemoration of Palestinian Holocaust or "Al Nakba"

"Al Nakba" means Disaster, Holocaust, Catastrophe, Cataclysm.

For Palestinians in 1948 it meant being driven violently and deceptively from their homes and country by the terroristic forces of the Israeli military.
Much like the "Trail of Tears" in America, many Palestinians never made the journey to safe refuge. Many perished along the way.

Today is the 61st anniversary of an Israeli military terror campaign (Al Nakba) that forced 750,000 Palestinians to be expelled and/or flee Palestine for their lives. These people have never been allowed back into their country or their homes. The primarily live in countries surrounding "Israel", as refugee's. They have few rights...and no respected right to return to their homes...which were all confiscated or destroyed by the Israeli military.

Since that disaster/catastrophe or even "Holocaust, those 750,000 refugee's have grown to 4.9 million. If a Palestinian still living in Gaza or the West Bank leaves Israel to visit a refugee family member, they are not allowed to come back to Israel.

For personal stories on the "Nakba", is a good place to start.

Of course, wikipedia makes an attempt at a fair history as well:

I urge everyone to spend the day in quiet reflection on the families who were separated and never again to be reunited. Think about the brutality of a military occupation...we do have plenty of examples, don't we?
I urge you to spend time looking at the photos of those who were displaced and imagine they are part of your family. Your Mother, your Children, your honored Elders, your Father who can do little to ease your sorrow...because he may have been in an Israeli prison or killed for resisting.

I urge you to reflect on the slaughter of whole villages. Every living thing killed.
Reflect on the barbarity that drove God's "Chosen People" to bulldoze 500 Palestinian villages into dust.

I urge everyone to close your eyes and slip into the shoes of a Palestinian family, walking down a dusty road, lined with Israeli military soldiers.
Walking down a road with their possessions on their back...toward a distant and unknown horizon.

Hopefully, a compassion will form and lodge permanently in your heart. And next time you hear a politician trying to stir your heart or your mind into hate for a fellow human being, you will pause and recall the images you have saved in your soul...and you will refuse to follow that kind of person and instead, reach out a helping hand, to the descendants of those road weary travellers...because instead of 750,000, there are now almost 5 million on that road. And they are still being starved and shot at and bombed and demonized.
They are still being denied hope. Hope for a future.

I have hope for these people, because I know it is against the nature of good people everywhere, to allow a nation of brutal occupiers to flourish for long, on the backs of those they oppress.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Personal Story of Life and Death in Gaza Tunnel

It is best to go to the website at: as this story is written in a prose that may be hard for some to follow. I have edited the article in an attempt to be helpful to my readers who may have a hard time I did.

Student killed working in tunnel

Deprived of basic human needs, a student was student killed working in tunnel, I went into her house (Mothers house), the children were in front of the door... what door?! there was no door!

Rami, my friend also an ex-political prisoner released after the massacre, guided me into the modest space. Umm Mohammad was standing before me. As she looked into my eyes"ahlan wa sahlan" (welcome), she said...comrade George & I went in...

I sat close to Umm Mohammad, as i listened to her speak about her son. Mohammadmohammad abu m'aammar is the eldest of 9 children. He is 20 years old, & is a student at a college in khan younes. "He was obliged to go work in the tunnels, we are deprived of basic human needs...

"Umm mohammad insisted she was against this work from the start... "i told him not to go there! not to join the tunnels, it is a dangerous thing to go into... but, he couldn't see it that his sisters & brothers not be able to wear decent clothes, & eat healthy food"she pointed to a man, shorter than her, who looked as if he was in his late 30s. "this is abu mohammad. he suffered from schizophrenia ever since he was released from the Israeli prisons.

" abu mohammad comes close, his face grim, years of torture inscribed on his expressionless face... umm mohammad, & mohammad's grandmother, began talking to me about mohammad & this young man's insistence to work despite all danger threatening his life" he was not supposed to go in the tunnels. he was supposed to receive things from the opening & take them to respective clients."it was mohammad's first week, last week... & the day the IOF bombed a nearby tunnel was the day he had decided to go through to bring in some goods...

on the 30th of May, 2009Umm Mohammad spoke to me about an incident she encountered with the UNRWA"after the massacre, i went to get a coupon for food. the person managing the information about my household insisted that i had only 9 children & that one was killed during the attacks. but, i insisted otherwise. so, we have been receiving goods for only 9 children with two adults since the attacks... when, there were actually 10 children. mohammad tried his best with them. but, they insisted otherwise, & said they were too busy to check for themselves the accuracy of our sayings. the day mohammad was killed, the UNRWA guy changed our coupon from 9 to 10... how ironic... the day he was killed, when i had to get used to the number 9, he added mohammad in.

"Umm Mohammad's house is but an average room sized block. as you enter, there is no actual threshold, as it coincides with the ground level outside it. she told me how much she suffered from the flooding of the house each time it rained...her ceiling is not a cement ceiling, it is iron plated block tied into the concrete walls perpendicular to it..."

i pleaded with international organizations in the strip to give me a blanket... i was out of blankets during the attacks... i received no blankets! i didn't want money, i wanted to cover my children with a blanket! i found no blanket!"

this family is but a case of many in the extremely poverty stricken strip where around 80% of its inhabitants live under the poverty line according to the ministry of social affairs as a direct result of the siege..."lift up the siege, & the level will go down to below half that number!" an official at the ministry stressed.

the farmers in the strip are shot at as they harvest their crop & the fishermen are subject to IOF gunboats targeting them whilst at sea, fishing (please follow ISM gaza website for regular reportage

no export is allowed for surplus to be sold in export operation as export is not allowed due to the siege & the only export operation allowed druing the siege was in february on valentine's day where over twenty five thousand flower carnations were allowed out as farmers alongside the dutch government applied pressure on the israeli side (I wrote about this here)After twenty two days of intensive attacks on the inhabitants of the strip, over 1400 have been killed & over 5000 wounded accroding to the Palestinian Centre of Human Rights.

However, if you keep noting down the numbers of those who are killed after the attacks in human rights reports, local NGOs & local news agencies, you will notice that the slow motion genocide continues... with minimal mainstream media attention...

We need to build on the solidarity that occured during the attacks into long-term action plans, starting with having civil society organizations, movements & groups begin to endorse the Palestinian call for the boycotting of the state of Israel Also, calls for solidarity & NOT charity with the Palestinians.

Please sign the petition below, have your voice heard if you believe in the right of return & a one secular democratic state for ALL of its citizens disregarding race, colour, religion, gender & ethnicity on the historic land of palestine:

For NGOs & movements to endorse the Boycott Divestments and Sanctions global movement please email endorsements[at]

Thanks to: Natalie and Nader at

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Palestine Has Become a Tropical Paradise

There are several issues that require attention, but when I ran across this beautiful map of Palestine, I had to share it.

Tomorrow: A personal account of the life and death of a young tunnel worker in Palestine.

Monday, May 11, 2009

88% Of Prisoners Held Without Trial

These are the people Obama thinks can help bring justice to the Palestinian people.

Of course, support of the PA to suppress the people is consistent with also aiding Israel with 3 Billion in cash a year and several times that in "indirect" aid, such as the munitions ships recently sent to Israel to replenish the stocks that were used to Massacre Gaza, to the tune of 7000 casualities. Bombs, artillery shells, missles, vehicles, fighter jet the new and deadly white phosphorous and "Dime" weapons.

So, knowingly or unknowingly, Obama supports the war against Palestine on several fronts: Massacres of the Palestinian population in order to kill as many "rebels" as possible, destruction of over 20,000 buildings. Blockage and starvation/deprivation of the population. The jailing without charge is another way to defang the people struggling to be free.

That Obama refuses to speak out about the ongoing seige in Gaza is proof of his priorities.

About 18 months ago, a European Union delegation arrived in the Palestinian Authority to evaluate the condition of prisoners in Palestinian prisons. The delegation, which was attached to the European Union Police Coordinating Office for Palestinian Police Support (Eupol Copps) - a group of European security experts who are involved in the restructuring of the Palestinian police force - was given a clear order: to bring about reforms in the Palestinian judiciary.

One of the astounding conclusions of the legal experts from Europe was that 88 percent of all those in jail were being held without trial, a hearing or any sentencing.

This one fact brought to the fore the reality of the problems in the field of law that the Palestinian Authority is dealing with. At a time when the Palestinian police force is beginning to show impressive signs of improvement, acting with determination to restore order throughout the West Bank, in great part thanks to a reshuffling of the top posts, those arrested are simply thrown in prison without legal proceedings. In an effort to amend the situation, the EU group was renamed the rule of law section.

"We are trying to complete the original task of the team which deals with rehabilitating the police force," said Kristoff Luktis, a 44-year old former Austrian judge who was chosen to head the group. He has been involved in similar work in other parts of the world, where violent conflict has been the norm. He refuses to sound pessimistic when he is asked to describe the situation of the Palestinian legal system. "Everyone can understand that in terms of law and order one needs more than a police force and we have identified many problems," he said. "For example, it has not been clear what to do with a suspect. Many of the suspects that were arrested were held in prison without a trial.
In a year and a half we have succeeded in lowering the numbers and now 'only' 80 percent of those in prison are held without trial. Normal figures are about 50 percent, and in Austria it is 40 percent."

Even before the Hamas takeover in the Gaza Strip in June 2007, the number of European legal experts as part of Eupol Copps was fairly limited, but after Prime Minister Salam Fayyad took over in the Palestinian Authority, the mandate of the group was expanded and the staff was bolstered with legal experts from all over Europe. They are working mostly on legislation in matters of defense of suspects, criminal investigations, regulations for police, etc. However the biggest problem Luktis and his staff face is the sorry state of the courts in the West Bank. Their ability to legislate new laws or to amend existing ones is very limited in view of the absence of a Palestinian legislature.

The parliament has not assembled since June 2007 - when Hamas took over in Gaza - and essentially it is impossible to pass laws. "We can assist and advise on legislation and even formulate laws, but there is no parliament to receive them," Luktis said. "We are sitting here and hoping that one of these days the legislature will resume function, because in the absence of legislation the path toward becoming effective is very limited. There is a possibility of using presidential edicts, but these are a tool for emergencies only. What can be passed are regulations and bylaws that are helpful in resolving complicated problems. We are now trying to build an entire organizational structure: train legal teams - not only judges but also administration staff.

There is also a need for missing equipment and there is still a long way to go." There are 24 courts functioning in the West Bank and of these 14 are reconciliation courts, which do very basic evaluations of cases; eight are "first instance" courts, which are like district courts; and there is a Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court, both in Ramallah. The Supreme Court has a panel of 15 justices.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Worlds Smartest Man Talks Palestine

I stumbled across this youtube video of Stephen Hawking talking commonsense about the Gaza issue, massacre, etc.

I also included a wikipedia link on Palestine and the wiki for Stephen Hawking life and career.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

AIPAC Lobbies To Prevent Peace Talks

AIPAC Launches Campaign to Prevent Peace Talks

The pro-Israeli government lobby group AIPAC has launched a new campaign to prevent the Obama administration from pressuring Israel to engage in peace talks.

AIPAC is urging lawmakers to sign onto a congressional measure that urges Obama not to dictate how Israel negotiates with Palestinian leaders.

The administration says it supports a two-state solution, though it hasn’t called for a full Israeli withdrawal from the Occupied Territories where a Palestinian state would be created.

Israel opposes the two-state solution and wants to retain Jewish-only settlements in the occupied West Bank.

I found this on
I googled everywhere and search the major news sites and found no mention of it.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

United Nations Kneels in Submission to Israel Coercion

The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the Harvey Milquetoast (someone who whines about not getting respect) of the world body, on Tuesday said a damning UN report on Israel's conduct in its recent offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip was not legally binding…and in fact, they just wrote it as an internal exercise in case Israel’s defense forces ever really did anything wrong in the future…they would know how to write one without offending anybody.

The "practice" UN report accuses the Israel Defense Forces of deliberately firing at UN institutions as well as using disproportional force and causing unnecessary harm to civilians. “Death is actually only slightly more serious than an injury”, General Ban said and he “had no intention of seriously insinuating otherwise”.

Israel had rejected the make believe report Tuesday as being "tendentious" and "patently biased." General Ban agreed that 150 Israeli casualties equal 7000 Palestinian casualties because as everyone knows a Palestinian only equals 2% of an Israeli.

An interesting side note to this ratio was a side negotiation about the release of the Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit. The Israeli minister admitted Hamas had agreed to release the soldier based on that ratio, but stated: “We think we can get a better deal if we wait. After all, he is young”.

General Ban got down on his knees and made the comments in the special, kiss ass letter he agreed to attach to the make believe UN report after the humiliating arm twisting by Israeli Foreign Ministry director-general Yossi Gal, who traveled to New York on Monday for coercive meetings with Ban's aides on the matter.

Ban also commended the Israel Defense Forces for its close coordination with the world body during the 3-week operation, as well as the cooperation given by Israel with the report's authors. He said his representatives were holding meetings with the Israeli government so that any future reports would first be submitted to Israel for proper editing and added that he was sorry the Israel minister had been offended by the garlic odor on his breath.

The Israeli Foreign Minister noted that immediately upon the conclusion of Operation Cast Lead, the codename for the operation, Israel carried out independent, behind the closed doors of a dark basement, inquiries into the damage caused to the UN installations.
The secret report concluded that since the size of the Hamas military is estimated at 20,000 men, Israel’s destruction of 22,000 Gaza buildings was well within acceptable perimeters.

Regarding damage to UN installations: It said the findings of those inquiries proved "beyond doubt" that the IDF did not intentionally fire at all of the 50 UN installations in Gaza which suffered extensive damage and in which many children, patients and staff were wounded and killed.

“Contrary to the world’s opinion of the IOF, I mean the IDF, we are among the worst shots in the world.” To paraphrase Donald Rumsfeld, he said: “We just do the best we can with what we have to work with”.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Incredible Journey of Six Year Old Palestinian Girl

Spending time with her dad requires that 6-year-old Jinan (Gee-non) undertake a bizarre and arduous odyssey. Usually she travels alone, but last Monday, the Palestinian girl with the rosebud smile and bouncing energy was accompanied by her younger sisters Dania, 4, and Noor, 2, on the journey to the Israeli prison that holds her father.

At home in the beleaguered West Bank town of Qalqilya (Call-key-a), as her mother dresses her before dawn in an almond-green blouse and jeans, Jinan asks the same question she always does: "Mommy, why does Daddy have to sleep on the Israeli side?" And her mother Salam Nazal comforts her by saying, "Because that's where the best Palestinian men go to sleep, and your father is one of them."

The town, which has elected a Hamas mayor, is known as a center of Palestinian militancy, and Israeli security forces conduct raids there on average five times a week.
Salam cannot accompany her daughters because she is on an Israeli security watch list, although she has never learned why she's on it. Her immediate family lives in Jordan, so she must put the girls on a bus bound for Chattah-Gilboa prison inside Israel and hope that one of the many Palestinian women on board will help Jinan wrangle her sisters. "I'm so worried about having them go without me," says Salam, as she hoists her girls onto the bus, organized by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). "But what can I do? This is their only chance to see their father."

Ali Nazal, 35, who sold clothes from a cart in the streets, is one of more than 10,300 Palestinian detainees currently inside Israeli prisons. Although he has yet to be tried, Nazal has been behind bars for the past two years. He faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted of possessing weapons and harboring a fugitive — charges the family insists are based on false evidence from anonymous informers working for the Israeli security services. Salam says no weapons were found in their home but says the Israeli military demolished it anyway. The Israelis maintain that Ali was an active member of a militant organization and part of a cell that had been planning a terrorist attack.

Under the Fourth Geneva Convention, Ali and his fellow detainees should never have been transferred to prisons outside the occupied territories. But since the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza began in June 1967, more than 650,000 Palestinians have passed through Israeli jails. Nearly every Palestinian family has someone who was locked up in Israel at some point. Prison has become a rite of passage for rebellious teens and, for families seeking to visit detained loved ones, a nightmare of permits, checkpoints and body searches.
It's not an easy journey for an adult, much less three unaccompanied tots carrying their lunch in a Barbie backpack.

Israel refuses to finance or arrange transportation for Palestinians making prison visits, leaving the task to the Red Cross. Every month, says Anne-Sophie Bonefeld, an ICRC spokeswoman in Jerusalem, her organization arranges the bus rides and bureaucratic paperwork that enable more than 20,000 Palestinians to visit relatives inside Israeli prisons. The Palestinian family-visitation program, which has been going on since 1967, is "the largest of its kind anywhere in the world," she says, although the number of visits has dropped slightly since 2007, when Israel barred families from the Hamas-controlled enclave of Gaza from making the trip.

For prisoner Ali, his daughters' visit is a rare treat. He last saw his youngest, Noor, when she was six months old. Now she walks and talks, and her moon-shaped, serene eyes seem to display perpetual bemusement over the whirlwind antics of her two sisters.

Qalqilya (Call-key-a) is encircled by Israel's security barrier, and at a checkpoint, the three girls dismount with the rest of the Palestinian passengers and are herded through a labyrinth of turnstiles, flashing lights, metal detectors and an X-ray machine that swallows up the Barbie backpack. Jinan and her sisters squirm through a turnstile too soon and are stranded in a security no-man's-land and yelled at by the disembodied voices of soldiers watching through closed-circuit cameras. When the girls finally emerge dazed from the checkpoint, Jinan runs over to a field of wildflowers and plucks a stem of Queen Anne's lace for her little sister.

Then the girls clamber aboard another ICRC bus, which is escorted to the prison by Israeli police. Skipping up the aisle, Jinan touches a man's bald head and asks, "What happened to your hair? Mine's soft and pretty." She snatches my cell phone and, within five seconds, has snapped a photo of a napping Palestinian woman and turned it into my screensaver.

Two hours later, the bus arrives at the high walls of Chattah-Gilboa prison. Nearly 1,000 Palestinians have been waiting up to five hours in shrinking shade for the 45 minutes they will spend speaking with their relatives on a telephone from behind thick glass. The glass has small holes that allow the prisoners to touch fingertips with their visitors. Jinan and Dania climb the metal bars of the turnstile as if it were a piece of playground equipment. A buzzer blares, and a light over the turnstile flashes from red to green. A guard calls out a few names, and the eager crowd pushes Jinan and her sisters aside.

Another hour will pass before the girls are let in. By then, Noor is hot and cranky, in tears, crying for her distant mother. Their pretty pink and green clothes are smeared with dirt. I volunteer to escort them inside, but the prison wardens refuse. Instead, a veiled young woman with pale-gray eyes agrees to escort them into the visiting room.

That morning, their mother had shown the girls a photo of their imprisoned father so the younger ones would recognize him. It showed a solemn, heavyset man in a training suit of the Spanish soccer team Real Madrid. "He's been memorizing the Koran. That, and lifting weights," Salam told me.

Jinan assumes her responsibility and grabs the hands of her two sisters. They vanish inside the prison, scared but eager, leaving me to wonder whether Jinan will remember any of the many earnest and loving messages entrusted to her by Salam to pass on to their father.

With so many Palestinians still locked up in Israel, demands for prisoner releases remain at the center of most Israeli-Palestinian political negotiations. Those behind bars are a lost generation of Palestinians, and it's a safe bet that their children, like Jinan and her sisters, will inherit their parents' bitterness toward Israel.

I guess I’m looking for positives in a bag that holds very few, but, I actually think it is a good commentary on the culture of the Palestinian people, that a 6 year old can go on a long journey with a 4 and a 2 year old in tow, with the somewhat hopeful expectation that they will be cared for by the community on the way, and get there safely.

To me, this act flies in the face of those who constantly try to value Arabs less than others. Especially, since I know of no mother or community that would feel it safe to do the same thing in the USA.

I can’t imagine any American reading this story and not feeling an empathy and attraction to that mother, community and culture.

Thanks to Tim MCGirk of Time and Marcy Newman of

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Zionists Attack Academic Freedom of Jewish Professor

A Jewish Professor's comparison of Israelis to Nazis stirs furor.

The UC Santa Barbara sociologist, who is Jewish, sent images from the Holocaust and from Israel's Gaza offensive to students in his class. He has drawn denunciation and support.

Controversy has erupted at UC Santa Barbara over a professor's decision to send his students an e-mail in which he compared graphic images of Jews in the Holocaust to pictures of Palestinians caught up in Israel's recent Gaza offensive.

The e-mail by tenured sociology professor William I. Robinson has triggered a campus investigation and drawn accusations of anti-Semitism from two national Jewish groups, even as many students and faculty members have voiced support for him.

The uproar began in January when Robinson sent his message -- titled "parallel images of Nazis and Israelis" -- to the 80 students in his sociology of globalization class.
The e-mail contained more than two dozen photographs of Jewish victims of the Nazis, including those of dead children, juxtaposed with nearly identical images from the Gaza Strip.

It also included an article critical of Israel's treatment of the Palestinians and a note from Robinson."Gaza is Israel's Warsaw -- a vast concentration camp that confined and blockaded Palestinians," the professor wrote. "We are witness to a slow-motion process of genocide."

Two Jewish students dropped the class, saying they felt intimidated by the professor's message. They contacted the Simon Wiesenthal Center, which advised them to file formal complaints with the university. In their letters, senior Rebecca Joseph and junior Tova Hausman accused Robinson of violating the campus' faculty code of conduct by disseminating personal, political material unrelated to his course."
I was shocked," said Joseph, 22. "He overstepped his boundaries as a professor. He has his own freedom of speech, but he doesn't have the freedom to send his students his own opinion that is so strong."

Robinson, 50, who is Jewish, called the accusations and the campus investigation an attack on academic freedom. He said his former students, the Wiesenthal Center and the Anti-Defamation League had all confused his criticism of Israeli policies with anti-Semitism.
"That's like saying if I condemn the U.S. government for the invasion of Iraq, I'm anti-American," he said. "It's the most absurd, baseless argument."

Robinson said he regularly sends his students voluntary reading material about current events for the global affairs course, and that no one raised questions when he subsequently discussed his e-mail."

The whole nature of academic freedom is to introduce students to controversial material, to provoke students to think and make students uncomfortable," said Robinson, a UC Santa Barbara professor for nine years.

As the dispute over his e-mail plays out, UC Santa Barbara has become the most recent U.S. university to confront campus unrest over issues related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In recent years, Jewish and Muslim groups have quarreled repeatedly at UC Irvine about the Holocaust and Israeli policies toward the Palestinians. Professors and students at Columbia University have also argued over issues of intimidation and academic freedom amid debates on the Mideast.

In Robinson's case, reaction has been strong -- on both sides. Shortly after hearing from the two students in January, the Wiesenthal Center produced a YouTube video titled "Jewish Students Under Siege from Professor at UC Santa Barbara." The clip shows one of Robinson's former students, her face obscured to protect her identity, reading from his e-mail.

The head of the ADL's Santa Barbara region sent Robinson a letter in February calling on him to repudiate his statements about Israel. Last month, the ADL's national director, Abraham Foxman, in a meeting with faculty members at the campus, urged the university to conduct an investigation into Robinson. He was told that an inquiry was already underway.

"You can criticize Israel; you can criticize the war in Gaza," Foxman said. "But to compare what the Israelis are doing in defense of their citizens to what the Nazis did to the Jews is clearly anti-Semitism."

Robinson's supporters say the professor is being maligned for exercising his right to challenge his students to think critically about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Students on campus have formed a group, the Committee to Defend Academic Freedom at UCSB, which is chronicling the saga on its website.

Letters of support also have arrived from academics across the country, including one from California Scholars for Academic Freedom, which says it represents 100 professors at 20 college campuses. The group argues that the allegations have been raised against Robinson to "silence criticism of Israeli policies and practices."

Some UC Santa Barbara faculty members also are speaking up for Robinson. History professor Harold Marcuse, who attended the March meeting with the ADL's Foxman, said the pictures e-mailed by Robinson were "well within the bounds of appropriateness on campus. It's something I could have used in a course."
Marcuse, who is Jewish and teaches about the Holocaust in his world history and German history classes, said he would not have injected his own views into such a message to students, but added: "
I don't think Bill Robinson's e-mail is anti-Semitic in any way. I think criticism of Israel is OK."

One UC Santa Barbara official has already looked into the allegations against Robinson, and a faculty committee is being formed to decide whether to forward the case to UC Santa Barbara Chancellor Henry Yang. A university spokesman declined to comment on the case.

Robinson has hired an attorney, and the student committee supporting him has scheduled a May 14 campus forum on the matter. Joseph and Hausman, the students who filed the original complaints, said they plan to attend. So do Hausman's parents from Los Angeles and Rabbi Aron Hier, director of campus outreach for the Wiesenthal Center."

I just want to bring awareness," said Hausman, 20. "I want people to know that educators shouldn't be sending out something that is so disturbing."

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

World's Longest Held Political Prisoner

Bethlehem – Ma’an – On Friday, 1 May,

Palestinian Nael Barghouthi will become the world’s record-holder as the longest-held political prisoner. Barghouthi will have completed more than 31 years in Israeli custody by May, said Abd An-Nasser Farawna, a Palestinian specialist in prisoners affairs.

On Friday, Barghouthi will break the Guinness World Record, which is currently held by Sa'id Al-Ataba, a Palestinian who was also in Israeli custody. According to Farawna, Barghouthi was detained on 4 April 1978. He became the longest-serving Palestinian prisoner after his fellow prisoner, Sa’id Al-Ataba, was released on 25 August 2008 after efforts made by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Al-Ataba spent 31 years and 26 days in Israeli custody. Barghouthi was born in 1957 in Ramallah in the central West Bank. He was detained on 4 April 1978 at the age of 21, and an Israeli military court later sentenced him to life imprisonment. He has already been in prison ten years longer than he was free.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

2008 Worst Year For Palestine Deaths Since 1948

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) bases in Gaza, issued a report on Saturday revealing that the year 2008 is the bloodiest year for the Palestinians since the Nakba of 1948.

Date: 26 / 04 / 2009 Time: 10:11 Bethlehem – Ma’an/Agencies –

2008 was the deadliest year for Palestinians since the violent creation of Israel in 1948, the Gaza-based Palestinian Center for Human Rights reported (PCHR) on Saturday.

More than 1,000 were killed last year, including 820 killed by Israeli forces in Gaza and 40 in the west Bank. Another 143 Palestinians were killed in inter-Palestinian violence.

Presenting PCHR’s annual report to media in Gaza, the center’s director, director Raji Sourani, said, "2008 was the worst year and the deadliest for the Palestinians ... since 1948," according to AFP.

According to PCHR 1,417 Palestinians, including 926 civilians, were killed in the Israeli military offensive on Gaza in December and January.

Palestinians remember 1948 as the year of The Nakba (The Catastophe), marking the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of people and the massacre of many others from the historic land of Palestine.

The PCHR said that the number of Palestinians killed by the Israeli forces and the settlers in 2008 is 868, 820 (94.5%) of them were killed in the Gaza Strip, and 48 (5.5%) were killed in the West Bank.

The Center added that 414 of the slain Palestinian (47.6%) were civilians, and were killed in situations that did not pose any threat to the lives of Israeli troops.

Dr. Sourani further said that in 2008, Israeli soldiers kidnapped during repeated invasions 2433 Palestinians in the West Bank and 68 in the Gaza Strip. More than 9000 Palestinians are currently imprisoned by Israel.

Israeli Soldiers and settlers carried repeated attacks against Palestinian lands and homes in the West Bank, while the army also expropriated more Palestinian lands for settlement construction and expansion and for the construction of the Annexation Wall.

The PCHR reported that in 2008, Israeli soldiers destroyed 216 homes in the Palestinian territories, including 107 in the West Bank and 109 in the Gaza Strip.

Referring to internal Palestinian violations and unrest, the PCHR stated that 143 Palestinians, including 25 children and 13 women, were killed by Palestinian gunmen, and 411 Palestinians were injured. Two more residents were killed in cases of weapons misuse.

26 Palestinians, including two children, were killed and 170, including 20 children and seven women, were injured by members of the Palestinian security forces in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Candidate for U.S. Envoy Calls for Unilateral WB Withdrawal.

"The only alternative for Israel to save itself as a Jewish state is by unilaterally withdrawing from the West Bank and evacuating most of the settlements."
-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's candidate for Israeli ambassador to Washington, Dr. Michael Oren-

"Peace as a solution is not a question of next week but a generational issue," he said. "One of the lessons that the failed Oslo process has taught us is that peace must be built from the bottom up. We cannot impose peace from the top down, it doesn't percolate from the top down."
This certainly sounds to me like he is saying, it was a mistake to go against the will of the people when they democratically voted Hamas into power.
Earth to Hillary and Obama....

Oren said he does not believe that a solution to the conflict could be achieved at this stage. Instead we should find ways to "better manage the conflict, to relieve tensions and ameliorate the conditions under which people live to ensure against future flare ups."
Wow! This is too much commonsense all at one time.
I expect the Zionist Tar and Feather Brigade is surrounding his house and job, now.

Establishing a Palestinian state would require the evacuation of tens of thousands of Jewish settlers from the West Bank and from holy cities like Hebron, Oren said.
hmmmmm.....10's of thousands is not "most". Most is more like 300,000, isn't it?

To take such a traumatic step most Israelis must be convinced that they would be getting "absolute peace" and the "end of the conflict," he said. we are getting into Tin Foil Hat territory. This suggests that Palestine recognize Israel and that won't happen...on a promise of Israeli pull-out. Too many broken promises.

Full articel here:

Friday, April 17, 2009

Israel Ranked 38th as Flawed Democracy, 85th in Civil Liberties

In 2008, Israel's democracy ranked 38th out of 168 in the world by the Economist Democracy Index...well below countries like Uruguay, Korea, Chile and Estonia.

Israel is defined as a "flawed" democracy, but their Civil Liberties ranking puts them deep into the "Authoritarian" group of countries.

Israel's Civil Liberties rating is 85th out of 168. One notch ahead of the Palestinian Territories...which of course they control.

Israel's Civil Liberties rank puts them in the same class as:
Azerbaijan - 135th
Kazakhstan - 127th
Rwanda - 121st
Mauritania - 118th
Kyrgyz Republic - 114th
Pakistan - 108th
Russia - 107th

The above countries are classified as "Hybrid" or "Authoritarian" regimes.

The Economist is only interested in whether the conditions of a country are conducive to investment, so I assume the figures are fairly devoid of any personal politics.

In 2007, Israel had an overall ranking of 47th. It looks like they jumped 9 places in their 2008 ranking for some reason. No doubt this ranking gain was prior to the Gaza Massacre of December 2008/January 2009...and the continuing siege.

Here is a comparison of Israel's scores for 2007 and 2008:

Rank Overall Score Elect. Proc. Functioning of Govt. Polit. Partic. Pol. Cult. Civ. Lib.
47 7.28 9.17 6.64 7.78 7.50 5.29

38 7.48 8.75 7.50 8.33 7.50 5.29

Unless something dramatically positive happens in 2009, I expect the scores for Israel to drop into the basement. Of course this expectation does not take into account any lobbying pressure Israel may exert on those doing the next ranking.

Aren't numbers grand?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Israeli Army: Most Moral in the World

This is a priceless jab, an eye crossing uppercut and a paralyzing knockout blow to the Israeli governments position that they have the most moral army in the world.

The most moral army in the world. Fact
By Yitzhak Laor

On June 19, 1977, the Sunday Times marked the 10-year anniversary of the occupation with a wide-ranging expose on the torture of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. The report concluded that torture was so widespread and systematic that it was impossible to dismiss these deeds as "'rogue' cops exceeding orders.

It appears to be sanctioned as deliberate policy." Israel's denial was, of course, adamant. No Israeli newspaper addressed the accusations directly.

Our ambassador in London said the morality of the prophets does not permit torture, and therefore these charges were baseless.
It was Menachem Begin of all people, who had just formed his government, who expressed shock and ordered the Shin Bet to cease and desist.

Yet the logic of occupation and the defense establishment were stronger than the shock of the former underground leader. Then came the Bus 300 affair and Izat Nafso, the Circassian Israel Defense Forces officer convicted of espionage in 1984, and it reminded all of us that the Sunday Times report was more accurate than the denials, and was more accurate even than Begin's good intentions.

On the other hand, every Israeli poll about torture or atrocities would reveal, beyond a shadow of a doubt, simple truths: first, this can't be so; second, it is right; third, they started it. Anyone who thinks this logic belongs solely to bizarre internet talkbackers needs to read Ehud Barak's initial reaction to the soldiers' testimonies from Gaza: "The IDF is the most moral army in the world." Fact.

Even the shelling of towns along the Suez Canal during the war of attrition, during bombardments of targets deep within Egyptian territory, included the destruction of a school during the school day and a steel factory during the workday, all under prime minister Golda Meir, and chiefs of staff and generals from the Labor movement.

Not even this changed Israel's self-image by one iota, and it is doubtful whether live Al-Jazeera broadcasts can do so, either. Aided by a carefully crafted narrative (by intellectuals on the Zionist left) we have been built as a nation that makes no room whatsoever for a contradictory private narrative, or at least an argument about sacred cows.

Everyone is marching to the same drummer. The symbols are always ready. Anything that did not fit the "nationalist" template was rejected. Exodus? Good enough for us. The Struma affair? Only for advanced researchers. Deir Yassin? It was not "us" who did it, but "dissidents." The massacre of Sasa, Tiberias or Lod? A non-sequitor. Qibya? Forget about it! Sabra and Chatila? That can be remembered (Christians killing Muslims).

Ehud Barak is right. By all measures, we are the most moral. Because we have no peers.
And yet, perhaps the defense minister is referring to acts committed by the Americans. Their army really committed more horrific atrocities in the last 60 years, from Korea to Vietnam, Panama and Iraq.

But it is in this context that the time has come to address the misdeeds taking place here, those committed by the state and its army against those it rules, including soldiers infected with a vicious virus, all with the approval of a collective unmatched in the democratic world. All the atrocities committed by the IDF always take place under the purview of "the compulsory conscription law," which is not only a law in the sense of income tax or driving on the right side of the road, but is a sanctified commandment.

Only "crazies" do not go to the army, do not dip their hands into the ceremonial blood. This is the supreme, traditional norm of Israeli society, and it covers up everything, both in denial and in acceptance of one's punishment. Not only does the entire system - education, the army, the Shin Bet and of course, the media and literature - rule out any talk of struggle or of being sane and not belonging, it even rejects the possibility that something within it is fundamentally immoral. Thus it is natural for the defense minister to sum up the current round of denial by praising the Military Advocate General: "I am happy that these are the findings, and it turns out once again we are correct when we say the IDF is the most moral army in the world, from the chief of staff to the last soldier."

Yes, this is the reality, one no satire can beat, even the words of Golda in Hanoch Levin's 1970 "Malkat Ha'ambatiya": "I've been examining myself for 71 years and God knows I discovered in myself a justice. And every day I am surprised anew. Right, right, right, and right once again. Once I took a nap in the afternoon and I said to myself, 'What if I do something stupid while napping? So did I do something stupid while napping? I'm the last person who does something stupid while napping!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I'm in Hot Water with Friends and Family over Jews

Be careful in making any statements that could be possibly construed as critical of Jews or Israeli's.

In solidarity with people who support equality for all people, I posted a bumper sticker message that shows up at the end of all my emails.
It simply says: "Boycott APARTHEID Israel" and gives the United Nations definition of Apartheid and invites people to ignore the bumper sticker if it offends them.

Since then, I have received hate phone calls, hate mail, had things thrown at me, received demands to remove the bumper sticker from my email, and take them off my email distribution...personal, political or business and dis-invited to functions by both friends and family. Some refuse to respond to me, refuse to look at me and have either their husbands or wives call me to express their displeasure.

I decided to think about it. I re-read my bumper sticker and thought about it some more.
Here is the response I sent to my friends and family (some former friends and family).

Dear Friend or Family member,
I was very surprised and distressed at learning you felt my email bumper sticker in support of boycotting Israel, in protest of some Israeli policies, was somehow directed toward you, personally. or against Jews or Israeli's, personally.

This is certainly not the case. I made no reference in that regard, in any way.

I was especially distressed at your response, since my every action with you has been as a friend. Whenever you have called and asked my assistance for whatever purpose, I have been there for you. Broken down car, doctors, house sitting, computer help, emergencies, messes or whatever. I’m surprised, that given this history, you would not have called to talk about your concern.

While our some of our politics and our religious beliefs differ greatly, it has never been an issue in our friendship. I am at a loss as to understand why this has changed now. I can only assume it is a misunderstanding, since I have no other information to go on.

I take my activism on the subject of Middle East peace very seriously. I have no loyalty to any religious or ethnic group. My loyalty is to the right of all people to be respected in their culture, religion and country. As this right is regularly violated, I exercise my right to be critical of any action or policy of any party that threatens the right of peaceful existence for any party.

Putting an email bumper sticker at the bottom of all my emails, which gives the United Nations definition of Apartheid, is part of my effort to shine a light on policies that have not produced positive results for either party, in the hope that people of good faith will work for a change we can all believe in. This is part of who I am. This is part of what helps me feel I am doing something worthwhile in my life.

When one makes threats and takes actions against someone, it actually makes the threatening party less safe. When one opposes a policy that threatens one party, that opposition is automatically in solidarity with the threatening party…but not the actions. Israel’s Apartheid policy is a threat to Palestinian people, thus I oppose it. The policy incites a similar response toward Israeli people, thus I oppose it.

Had I been alive in Gandhi’s time, I would have opposed the Apartheid practiced by the British upon India. Had I been alive during the Indian Wars here is the USA, I would have opposed the unjust laws and practices. I was alive during the civil rights struggle in American and opposed USA policies that disadvantaged minorities. I was alive during South Africa Apartheid and actively boycotted their policies. Had I been alive when women in the USA were fighting for voting rights, I would have marched with them. I was alive for the ERA Amendment fight and did take an active part. As I have Gay friends who are subject to injustice, I stand with them. Had I been alive at the time the Jews were reputed to have been slaves in ancient Egypt, I would have been opposed to that oppression…and according to bible stories, the Jews were aided in their quest for freedom, by some of the local people, officials, friends, etc…who were not Jews. Had I been a German, I would have helped my Jewish friends. Opposition to what one sees as unjust policies was seen by our founding fathers as not just a right, but a duty.

Some of you, who are critical of me, are Mormons. That I disagree with Mormons on Prop 8 is irrelevant to your right to practice as you wish, yet some of you do not afford me the same respect.

To be against equality for Palestinians is also to be against the equality of Women, Native Americans, native people of India, Black Americans, Jews…and many other un-named groups.
The policies of the above listed governments and institutions actually did and do damage to the people of the countries and institutions, not just to the people they oppress. Thus, while in opposing bad policy, you can still support the people.

At no time have I ever failed to see the distinction between a government and the governed. Hating a policy enacted by a government has never caused me to hate the race or nationality of the people imposing the policy…or to wish for their genocide. Yet, some of you appear not to accept that distinction.

Unfortunately, with the aid of a media which prostitutes itself for ratings, instead of honest reporting, too many people are victims of polarized conditioning. Because of this, some people assume reacting is the same thing as thinking. This creates a chaotic environment where it is difficult for open minded people to create an orderly process for discovering the truths and the solutions. Too many people mistake the TV commercial or the governments PR department product, for reality…they mistake the TV commercial and PR product as information on which to base their ideologies, actions….and most often: reactions. People who control other people don’t want the people to have all the information and sure don’t want them to learn how to reason. So, they wave the red cape, they wave primitive and instilled fears. They wave disinformation. They incite hate.

My priority is not the truth. My interest is in the integrity of the process. If the process is honest, I will accept whatever truth is discovered…whether it comports with my conditioning, religious beliefs, prejudices, or ideologies.

As you know, I am a member of many groups working for the common good of all peoples in the Middle East. Perhaps, as I am, you also are a member of J Street. A group made up predominantly of Jews, but which also welcomes other thoughtful people. This group accepts Arabs and Muslims as well. As you know, I am also a member of International Solidarity Movement. There are many Jews and Israeli’s in this group also. These people know enough about the policy of Apartheid and the effects it has on both parties, to know it must be opposed…for the good of mankind.

Unfortunately, some people feel Jews, Israeli’s, Arab’s and Muslim’s are monolithic. People who believe this way are easily manipulated by the corporate media, corporate government and special interest groups. These are the same manipulators that try to define Republicans and Democrats as monolithic, so they can keep them polarized and at each other’s throats, so they are unable to see that they have more in common with each other than in opposition.

The manipulators scream the word “anti-Semitism” when anyone criticizes any Israeli or Jewish policy…as if Jews and Israeli’s are the only groups of people on the planet immune from making mistakes. What these people also fail to recognize, is that Arab’s are Semites, too. So using that logic (or more accurately, lack of logic) any criticism of Arab’s or Muslims could be called “anti-Semite” as well. People like this are obviously not ready to be part of any constructive solution. They try to discourage people who desire to find a fair life for both parties. They assail their politics, their activism, they deface their religious places, they try to demonize and silence any and all who think differently. They try to intimidate people from using their right to free speech and action. They burn books. Sounds strikingly like Nazi tactic’s, doesn’t it?

I’m a trivia buff. I’m also a statistics guy. I like numbers…they can tell an interesting story in a few words. It is interesting that out of the 13 million Jews in the world, 6 million live in the USA, 5 million live in Israel. It was also interesting to learn that only 65% of Jews believe in God (to me, that say’s 35% of Jews are smarter than Americans since 91% of Americans believe in God). There are also 500,000 citizens of Israel, who are neither, Arab, Jew or Muslim. Not all Israeli’s are Jews. Not all Arabs are Muslims. Israel also has 1.1 million Israeli citizens…which are Arab. There are also 2.5 million Palestinians who do not have citizenship.

I list this trivia to make the point with facts, that the people of Israel/Palestine are not just one monolithic citizenry. They are as varied in their lives as we are in ours. Unfortunately, 2.5 million Arab people in Israel/Palestine, are not allowed to vote.

If you are interested in learning more about the nature of Apartheid, there is a very good discussion here: In easy to read charts and numbers, one can see some harsh realities that even the most hardened heart cannot justify.

Hopefully, you will find this letter helpful. I hope you will carefully consider it and agree that what you may have at first thought to be offensive was really only a misunderstanding…and in fact, is as supportive as one can be. That it really is supportive of people…all people, but not all people’s policies and actions or reactions. Hopefully, you will reflect on our friendship and find that the strength of it is in not only being there for each other when needed but in our diversity as well as our commonality.

Your friendship is very important to me.


Monday, April 6, 2009

Palestinians and American Indians - Not much Difference

As I have been following the latest seige of Palestine (you know it started on December 27, 2008 and has not stopped yet, right?), I have been awakening to the stark similarities of how the Native American Indian's were ethnically cleansed from their own country.

Following my short bit, I have included noteworthy quotes from well known Americans of the time...some justifying the destruction of a whole people.
I have also included more recent quotes from those who justify taking the land from the Palestinians as well as their justifications for massacring them.
I hope you will also see the similarities in the strategies and tactics.

Anyway, the Indians were pushed further and further west. They were pushed onto reservations (sounds like "camps" right?). White men ran the camps. Allowed or dis-allowed the flow of goods into the camps. Raided the camps. Punished those who resisted the camps. The poor living conditions resulted greatly diminished physiological development.

Soon other white men wanted the land the camps sat on, so they were moved onto other thousand mile marches of death and disease. The new land was even less desireable farther and farther from the land they were born on, their ancestors were born on, the land their ancestors graves were on.

Of course in the press, it was all the Indians fault...the white man was just defending themselves. Of course, who owned the press?

Yes, there were voices in support of the Indians among the white man, but the campaign by the land, railroad, timber, fur and munitions corporations in the halls of Congress and in the FOX News style media outlets of the day, was too great and those voices of opposition soon faded.

Some Indians escaped into exile in other lands...Canada and Mexico, but they were now refugees.

On guarded reservations in the United States, where "all men are created equal", the Indians lost their culture, their will and initiative.

Quotes about American Indians:

I believe in the policy that exterminates the Indians, drives them outside the boundaries of civilization, because you cannot civilize them.Congressman James M. Cavanaugh 1868
No State can achieve proper culture, civilization and progress…as long as Indians are permitted to remain.
U.S. President Martin Van Buren

The most vicious cowboy has more moral principle than the average Indian.... Reckless, revengeful, fiendishly cruel, they rob and murder, not the cowboys, who can take care of themselves, but the defenseless, lone settlers on the plains.
Future President Teddy Roosevelt, January 1886

They have neither the intelligence, the industry, the moral habits, nor the desire of improvement…Established in the midst of another and superior race…they must necessarily yield…and ere long disappear.
U.S. President Andrew Jackson, Message of the President to the Two Houses of Congress, 23rd Congress, 1833

We are not going to let a few thieving, ragged Indians stop and check the progress of the railroad. I regard the railroad as the most important element now in progress to facilitate the military interests of our Frontier....We must act with vindictive earnestness against the Sioux even to their extermination, men, women and children...they must feel the superior power of the Government. General Sherman - letter to General Grant) 1867

Not merely have all attempts to civilize them failed, but also every endeavor to enslave them. Our Indian tribes submit to extermination, rather than wear the yoke under which our Negro slaves fatten and multiply.
Ethnological researcher Josiah C. Nott

Intelligence, activity, ambition, progression, high anatomical development, characterize some races; stupidity, indolence, immobility, savagism, low anatomical development characterize others....our only safety depends upon the total extermination of the Indians. Having wronged them for centuries we had better, in order to protect our civilization, follow it up by one more wrong and wipe these untamed and untameable creatures from the face of the earth. In this lies safety for our settlers and the soldiers who are under incompetent commands. Otherwise, we may expect future years to be as full of trouble with the redskins as those have been in the past.
L. Frank Baum. Author of the Wizard of Oz

All history and honest observation will show that the Red Man is a skulking coward and a windy braggart, who strikes without warning—usually from an ambush or under cover of night, and nearly always bringing a force of about five or six to one against his enemy; kills helpless women and little children, and massacres the men in their beds; and then brags about it as long as he lives, and his son and his grandson and great-grandson after him glorify it among the "heroic deeds of their ancestors".
Mark Twain, 1870

The idea that a handful of wild, half-naked, thieving, plundering, murdering savages should be dignified with the sovereign attributes of nations, enter into solemn treaties, and claim a country 500 miles wide by 1,000 miles long as theirs in fee simple, because they hunted buffalo or antelope over it, might do for a beautiful reading of Hiawatha, but is unsuited to the intelligence and justice of this age, or the natural rights of mankind.
New Mexico Supreme Court, United States v. Lucero, 1 NM S. Ct. 422, 1869

Quotes about Palestinians:

“a Jewish state would not have come into being without the uprooting of 700,000 Palestinians. Therefore it was necessary to uproot them. There was no choice but to expel that population.” Israeli historian Benny Morris.

“We came to this country which was already populated by Arabs, and we are establishing a Hebrew, that is a Jewish state here. In considerable areas of the country [the total area was about 6%] we bought the lands from the Arabs. Jewish Villages were built in place of Arab villages. You do not even know the names of these Arab villages, and I do not blame you, because these geography books no longer exist; not only do the books not exist, the Arab villages are not there either. Nahalal [Dayan’s own village] arose in the place of Mahalal, Gevat– in the place of Jibta, [Kibbutz] Sarid– in the place of Haneifs and Kefar Yehoshua– in the place of Tell Shaman. There is not one place in the country that did not have a former Arab population.” Moshe Dayan

But the native never lost his “last spark of hope”. The spark was not extinguished in 1948, when 750,000 Palestinians were terrorized, uprooted and expelled, several decades after Moshe Sharret announced, “We have not come to an empty land but we have come to conquer a country from people inhabiting it”; several years after David Ben-Gurion declared, “I support compulsory transfer. I do not see anything immoral in it”; and several months after Menachem Begin gloated over “a splendid act of conquest ” the rape and massacre of 254 Palestinians at Deir Yassin. The spark was not extinguished in 1967, when Israel grabbed the remaining 22% of Palestine and began its military occupation as its war hero Moshe Dayan kindly informed the natives, “You shall continue to live like dogs.”
Alam Wolf.

“Negev land is reserved for Jewish citizens whenever and wherever they want. We must expel the Arabs and take their place.” By 1951, fewer than 13,000 inhabitants remained of a community that numbered somewhere between 70,000 and 90,000 in the late 1940s. David Ben Gurion in a letter to his son.

Individual Arabs may perhaps be bought off but this hardly means that all the Arabs in Eretz Israel are willing to sell a patriotism that not even Papuans will trade. Every indigenous people will resist alien settlers as long as they see any hope of ridding themselves of the danger of foreign settlement.
That is what the Arabs in Palestine are doing, and what they will persist in doing as long as there remains a solitary spark of hope that they will be able to prevent the transformation of “Palestine” into the “Land of Israel”.
…they are not a rabble but a nation, perhaps somewhat tattered, but still living. A living people makes such enormous concessions on such fateful questions only when there is no hope left. Only when not a single breach is visible in the iron wall, only then do extreme groups lose their sway, and influence transfers to moderate groups. Only then would these moderate groups come to us with proposals for mutual concessions. And only then will moderates offer suggestions for compromise on practical questions like a guarantee against expulsion, or equality and national autonomy.
The Iron Wall by Vladimir Jabotinski, 1923

“Israel may have the right to put others on trial, but certainly no one has the right to put the Jewish people and the State of Israel on trial.” Ariel Sharon

“I want to tell you something very clear, don’t worry about American pressure on Israel, we, the Jewish people control America, and the Americans know it.”
Ariel Sharon to Shimon Peres, October 3rd, 2001, as reported on Kol Yisrael radio.

“Everybody has to move, run and grab as many (Palestinian) hilltops as they can to enlarge the (Jewish) settlements because everything we take now will stay ours…Everything we don’t grab will go to them.”
Ariel Sharon, Israeli Foreign Minister, addressing a meeting of the Tsomet Party, Agence France Presse, Nov. 15, 1998.

“Spirit the penniless population across the frontier by denying it employment… Both the process of expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discreetly and circumspectly.”
Theodore Herzl, founder of the World Zionist Organization, speaking of the Arabs of Palestine, “Complete Diaries,” June 12, 1895 entry.

“The blood of the Jewish people is loved by the Lord; it is therefore redder and their life is preferable.” Rabbi Yitzhak Ginsberg, head of the Kever Yossev Yeshiva in Nablus

“True, the white man brought great change. But the varied fruits of his civilization, though highly colored and inviting, are sickening and deadening. And if it be the part of civilization to maim, rob, and thwart, then what is progress? I am going to venture that the man who sat on the ground in his tipi meditating on life and its meaning, accepting the kinship of all creatures, and acknowledging unity with the universe of things, was infusing into his being the true essence of civilization…. “
Chief Luther Standing Bear, in his 1933 autobiography

Friday, April 3, 2009

UN picks South African Jew to head Gaza war crimes inquiry

I'm testing my open mind with this post. Judging from the reaction to this news in the blogs I have read, I am not alone in struggling to remember that many Jews and Israeli's have serious problems with Israeli Government actions...and openly protest them...around the world.

I wouldn't be struggling so much if at least one member of the investigating team was also an Arab, or a Muslim or a Palestinian. In fact, given the history of unfairness toward Palestinians, I don't know why I am even required to keep trying...I feel pretty lame for doing so...but, here is the story:

Richard Goldstone, a South African Jewish judge, will head an international fact-finding mission into allegations of war crimes by Israeli soldiers and Palestinian militants in Gaza, the United Nations said on Friday.

The former war crimes prosecutor will head a four-member team whose mandate stems from a resolution adopted by the United Nations Human Rights Council at a special session on January 12.

"It is in the interest of all Palestinians and Israelis that the allegations of war crimes and serious human rights violations related to the recent conflict on all sides be investigated," Goldstone said in a statement.

Goldstone served as chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. Goldstone will investigate conduct by both sides in Israel's 22-day offensive in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

According to a Palestinian rights group, 1,417 people including 926 civilians were killed in the fighting. Israel has disputed Palestinian claims that most of the people killed in the recent offensive in Gaza were civilians, stating that the vast majority of the dead were in fact Hamas militants. Thirteen Israelis were also killed in the hostilities.

"I am confident that the mission will be in a position to assess in an independent and impartial manner all human rights and humanitarian law violations committed in the context of the [Gaza] conflict," the president of the Human Rights Council, Nigerian ambassador Martin Uhomoibhi, said in a statement.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Wiping Countries Off the Face of the Map

Dr. Juan Cole at presents a very interesting article on Israel's new foreign minister.

Avigdor Lieberman, the Moldovan night club bouncer, is now foreign minister of Israel. The world has had a lot of fun laughing at the pronouncements of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who stands falsely accused of threatening to wipe Israel off the face of the map. One of many "proofs" he never said it:

But Ahmadinejad has protested that it would be wrong to kill large numbers of civilians. In contrast, Lieberman has threatened to wipe at least two countries, Egypt and Palestine, off the map. Monstrously, he suggested bombing the Aswan Dam, which would have the effect of murdering all 80 million Egyptians and sweeping them into the Mediterranean in a vast continental African tsunami.

Lieberman promptly announced on assuming office that the Mideast peace process is dead. Well, at least we have an outbreak of frankness.Whereas Ahmadinejad was humiliated by Columbia University president Lee Bollinger on his visit to that university, which provoked public protests, Lieberman's acceptance into the Israeli government has been greeted mildly and he was allowed to come to the Brookings Institution and meet with Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Lieberman is a Central/Eastern European ultra-nationalist in the mold of Slobodan Milosevic and Jorg Haider, and it is shameful that he was allowed into the government and more shameful that this travesty has passed without a peep in the civilized world.

The The Electronic Intifada lists "Some of Avigdor Lieberman's infamous statements":

1. In 1998, Lieberman called for the flooding of Egypt by bombing the Aswan Dam in retaliation for Egyptian support for Yasser Arafat.

2. In 2001, as Minister of National Infrastructure, Lieberman proposed that the West Bank be divided into four cantons, with no central Palestinian government and no possibility for Palestinians to travel between the cantons.

3. In 2002, the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth quoted Lieberman in a Cabinet meeting saying that the Palestinians should be given an ultimatum that "At 8am we'll bomb all the commercial centers ... at noon we'll bomb their gas stations ... at two we'll bomb their banks ..."

4. In 2003, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported that Lieberman called for thousands of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel to be drowned in the Dead Sea and offered to provide the buses to take them there.

5. In May 2004, Lieberman proposed a plan that called for the transfer of Israeli territory with Palestinian populations to the Palestinian Authority. Likewise, Israel would annex the major Jewish settlement blocs on the Palestinian West Bank. If applied, his plan would strip roughly one-third of Israel's Palestinian citizens of their citizenship. A "loyalty test" would be applied to those who desired to remain in Israel. This plan to trade territory with the Palestinian Authority is a revision of Lieberman's earlier calls for the forcible transfer of Palestinian citizens of Israel from their land. Lieberman stated in April 2002 that there was "nothing undemocratic about transfer."

6. Also in May 2004, he said that 90 percent of Israel's 1.2 million Palestinian citizens would "have to find a new Arab entity" in which to live beyond Israel's borders. "They have no place here. They can take their bundles and get lost," he said.

7. In May 2006, Lieberman called for the killing of Arab members of Knesset who meet with members of the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority.'

People are under the mistaken impression that Jews are the only semites in the middle east.
If one offers any comment even remotely critical of Israeli laws and policies, Israeli's or Jews, one is called an anti-semite. If one simply calls for more information on aspects of the Holocaust, one is shouted down, drummed out of office, job and country. If one simply asks that a rational discussion be held on the plight of occupied Palestine, one is banned from entering Israel...and in some cases, the United States.

Well, Arabs are also Semites. Palestinians are Semites.
Certainly the comments and actions by Lieberman qualify him as an anti-semite.
Yet, we hear only silence from those who seem to be so finely tuned to identify anti-semitism.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Gaza: Dead People Walking

From Natalie Abou Shakra and International Solidarity Movement and Free Gaza volunteer, who lives in Gaza and places herself between Palestinians and Racist Israeli bullets: She tells of a generation of they think...some of their motivations...and how they live...with very little hope.

"The famers told us that during their harvesting on the field yesterday and the day before that, they had been shot at and were obliged to stop working and be shot at as one ploughs their lentils on their fields .. if ones house was constantly under fire... if it was decorated with bullet shots rather than artistic portraits... is usually the case that most of whom i meet, or have met, is either a refugee, or an ex-political prisoner... and sometimes even both...

...ultimate alienation... continuous frustration... anger... helplessness... great potentials with limited resources... non-existent oppurtunities... imprisonment... perpetual killings of beloved ones... unwavering resistance... tragedy... cynical reality... nervous laughter, out of fear, in defiance of unaccomplished aims... eyes looking everywhere, on guard... no future, death expected any second... children walking, indifferent, unaware-an F16 might bomb soon... no traffic, minimal cars... foreigners that ask too much... journalists that take statements that are not read... no change occurs... same promises, no outcome... working, endlessly, a life's achievements devastated in a second... don't build a home, they might bomb it soon... don't buy a car, it will be targeted... hurry to the store, buy bread, war coming unexpectedly... let's go to a fancy restaurant, it might be our last dinner... pray continuously, you might be dead soon... have more children, you will be losing some of them anyway... news, news, news.. lies, killings, injustice, ignorance, hatred- yalla, yalla, yalla!"

I looked up the meaning of "Yalla" and it means to "Hurry up!" or to "Come on!"
If you are able to make a small contribution or send words of encouragement, please visit her website. I have linked it below.


Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Strong Arab Woman Elected to Israeli Knesset

Maybe it's because I don't know where to look or maybe because most of what this woman says is mostly in Arabic, but I haven't heard of her before, but I love her already.

In my opinion, the West has a hard time hearing a clearly defined and commonsense voice from the Arab side in Palestine. Haneen appears to be this voice and a very courageous one at that.

I hope to hear more from her.
A Palestinian voice that drips commonsense in a way that America can understand, will soon have a huge, sympathetic following...and be able to sell the Palestinian cause.

Palestine needs a real leader. Could she be one?

"Haneen Zuabi, the first woman to be elected to the Knesset as a representative of an Arab party, has welcomed Iran's growing influence on Palestinian affairs and praised Iran's quest for a nuclear weapon as a means of offsetting Israel's regional military edge. Having Israel as the region's sole nuclear power, she said, was "dangerous to the world."

"She said Iran's role in Palestinian affairs was "more useful" than that of regimes like Jordan and Egypt, in that Iran stood more firmly "against occupation than a lot of the Arab countries. This is our interest."

"Zuabi was asked if she felt worried, living among Jews, that Iran was getting close to acquiring a nuclear weapon. She replied: "No, I am not." Indeed, she said was "more afraid from the Israeli nuclear [weapons]."

Israel is thought to have between 150 and 300 nuclear warheads.

"When asked if she thought that Israel would use nuclear weapons, she replied, "The Israelis? I think yes… And I am afraid from real risk rather than from potential risk."

"Every day the Israeli [army] uses its violence, army violence."
"The Israeli violence of the army is an outcome of Israel's convenient feeling that no one will restrict her, that no Arab country will really declare a war against [Israel]."

"She added: "I believe that [Israel] would respect its use of power if she's afraid of others. The fact that [Israel]is not afraid of Arab countries, the fact that [Israel]is not afraid of a potential declaration of our Arab world to declare war against Israel, makes Israel more violent. You understand me?"

"Asked whether an Iranian bomb would make America nervous and lead to more US pressure on Israel, and whether that would be good from her point of view, Zuabi replied: "Exactly."

"Zuabi declared that the very concept of a Jewish state was "inherently racist", saying that Israel must be turned into a "state of all its citizens," which would eliminate its Jewish or Zionist nature. "

"When you agree with the 'Jewish state' idea, you necessarily agree with the idea of loyalty to this state. Rejecting the 'Jewish state' concept will block the road for anyone who demands our loyalty to such a state. There is no logic in demanding that I be loyal to an idea to which I do not agree to begin with, especially since I am proposing an alternative and fighting for it… The language of democracy does not speak of loyalty. This is a language of fascism, just like Lieberman. The language of democracy speaks of rights, equality, and values."

Full article:

Monday, March 30, 2009

Gaza Holocaust Never Happened - ITF

The IDF/IOF (Israeli Occupation Forces)/ITF (Israeli Terrorist Forces) said today that stories of abuse of Palestinians by Israeli soldiers were just rumours and they closed the investigation.

Here are some rumours:

The rest of the newspaper story:

IDF ends Gaza war crimes probe, says claims are 'rumors'
By Anshel Pfeffer and
Amos Harel, Haaretz Correspondents

Military Advocate General Brig. Gen. Avichai Mendelblit on Monday instructed the Military Police Investigation unit to close the investigation into soldiers' accounts of alleged misconduct and serious violations of the army's rules of engagement during Operation Cast Lead. In a press release issued Monday the army said that the preliminary Military Police investigation into the testimonies revealed that they "were based on rumors and not first-hand experience." However, the Military Advocate General's announcement does not address testimonies published by the Associated Press on Friday that corroborate soldiers' accounts with testimonies given by Palestinians.

The probe was launched earlier this month after IDF soldiers were quoted as telling a military cadet academy that combat troops in Gaza fired at unarmed Palestinian civilians and vandalized property during Operation Cast Lead.

The army has barred those soldiers from speaking to the press. The testimonies include a description by an infantry squad leader of an incident where an IDF sharpshooter mistakenly shot a Palestinian mother and her two children. "There was a house with a family inside .... We put them in a room. Later we left the house and another platoon entered it, and a few days after that there was an order to release the family. They had set up positions upstairs. There was a sniper position on the roof," the soldier said. Another squad leader from the same brigade told of an incident where the company commander ordered that an elderly Palestinian woman be shot and killed; she was walking on a road about 100 meters from a house the company had commandeered.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Boycott APARTHEID Israel!

The evidence is overwhelming. Israel is an Apartheid State and practices Institutionalized Genocide and Anti-Semitism against the People of Palestine.

"Several homes visited by the AP this week still had graffiti in Hebrew scribbled on the walls. "Death to the Arabs," read one inscription in a house near where Mahdiyeh Ayyad's body was found.

"The eternal people have no fear," read another. "Long live the Jewish people," was scrawled elsewhere, alongside Stars of David and four-letter English words describing Hamas and Gaza. Crude holes for snipers were covered with plastic sheeting or stuffed with cloth."

Israeli soldiers told of vandalizing homes they seized to use as army posts, as well as relaxed rules of engagement, including hasty shooting at civilians.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Gaza Offensive Purpose: Expel All Non-Jews

Israeli Soldiers say Military Rabbi's said purpose of Israeli Offensive in Gaza was to Expel all Non-Jews.

The winter assault on the Gaza Strip was officially portrayed in Israel as an attempt to quell rocket fire by militants of Hamas. But some soldiers say they also were lectured about a more ambitious aim: to banish non-Jews from the biblical land of Israel.

This rabbi comes to us and says the fight is between the children of light and the children of darkness,` a reserve sergeant said, recalling a training camp encounter. His message was clear: `This is a war against an entire people, not against specific terrorists.` The whole thing was turned into something very religious and messianic.

As armies elsewhere use chaplains, the Israeli military inducts rabbis to serve religious soldiers. Their traditional tasks include ensuring that kitchens are kosher and religious services are available.

But soldiers now going public with allegations of misconduct in Gaza portray the military rabbinate as a corps of self-appointed holy warriors whose sermons and writings demonized Palestinians.

The army itself is a battleground of conflicting ideals in Israeli Jewish society, said Avi Sagi, a Bar-Ilan University philosophy professor who in the 1990s was a co-author of the military`s code of ethics, which obliges soldiers to avoid killing innocents.

On one side, he said, are universal values that call for respecting all human life equally and are largely shared by Jews who seek accommodation with the Palestinians. On the other side are more nationalistic passages of the Torah, cited by religious thinkers who liken the Palestinians to Old Testament invaders and place a premium on Jewish life.

In the Gaza conflict, the argument has focused on how to fight Islamic militants who for years have fired rockets indiscriminately at Israeli communities, causing scores of civilian casualties.

Maj. Avital Leibovich, a military spokeswoman, denied that the military rabbinate takes sides. Army rabbis violated a directive to `stay away from politics` in Gaza, she said, but they were few in number and acted on their own.

Well organized

In testimony reported by Israeli news media and in interviews with The Times, Gaza veterans said rabbis advised army units to show the enemy no mercy and called for resettlement of the Palestinian enclave by Jews.

The rabbis were all over, in every unit, said Yehuda Shaul, a retired army officer whose human rights group, Breaking the Silence, has taken testimony from dozens of Gaza veterans. `It was quite well organized.

The army, which conscripts almost every Israeli Jew at 18, has been dominated for most of its history by secular officers. But over the last 15 years, as secular Israelis have soured on the occupation of Palestinian territory, religious nationalists have taken over senior positions in elite combat brigades.

With them have come hundreds of volunteer rabbis, who teach at pre-military academies for religious youths and serve side by side with the troops.

The rabbis` role in Gaza came into focus last week along with testimony from soldiers who said that loose rules of war led to unwarranted civilian deaths and property destruction.

The testimony reported by two Israeli newspapers was the first such criticism to surface from within the army since the assault ended Jan. 18, leaving an estimated 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis dead. Most Palestinian casualties were listed as civilians.

The army chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, said Monday that he did not believe soldiers shot Gaza civilians `in cold blood.` He added that `isolated cases` of misconduct, if proved, `will be dealt with individually.`

Responding to newspaper photos, the army also condemned soldiers who wore T-shirts depicting a pregnant woman in a rifle`s cross hairs with the slogan `1 Shot 2 Kills.`

During the Gaza offensive, critics contend, rabbinical propaganda was part of a broader effort to legitimize Israel`s decision to use overwhelming force.

Legal opinion

Before the assault, the army`s legal office issued an opinion saying that Israel was entitled to use artillery against civilian neighborhoods from which Hamas was launching rockets.

And after the 22-day operation, a Tel Aviv University philosophy professor with close ties to the military, Asa Kasher, said the decision to shell Gaza`s cities stemmed from an anti-terrorism doctrine he had helped draft a few years ago. It stated that in Gaza, as in other areas the army does not control, there is no justification for endangering soldiers` lives in order to avoid killing civilians in the proximity of targeted militants.

That doctrine appears to be at odds with the military code, which obliges the army to avoid civilian casualties, and it was never formally adopted. However, it was echoed in religious terms in literature distributed in Gaza by military rabbis.

`Our ancestors did not always fight with a sword and at times preferred to use a bow and arrow from a distance,` one text read.

Actions must be taken from a distance in order to spare our soldiers` lives.

The reserve sergeant, an observant Jew who spoke to The Times on condition of anonymity, said that he and a fellow soldier in his 15-man unit were troubled by the children of darkness` sermon, but that other troops seemed receptive.

In one of several postwar testimonies given at a left-leaning military institute, a squad commander identified only as Ram complained that army rabbis tried to press what he called a `religious mission` on his men.

The military rabbinate brought in a lot of booklets and articles and their message was very clear: We are the Jewish people, we came to this land by a miracle, God brought us back to this land and now we need to fight to expel the non-Jews who are interfering with our conquest of this holy land,` Ram said.

As a commander, he said, he tried to explain to his men that `not everyone in Gaza is Hamas [and] wants to vanquish us [and] that this war is not a war for the sanctification of the holy name, but rather one to stop the Kassams` -- a type of rocket fired from Gaza.

Danny Zamir, director of the institute that elicited the testimonies and leaked them to Israeli papers, was quoted in a transcript as voicing dismay that Israeli nationalists, like their Hamas enemies, are using faith to justify violence.

If clerics are anointing us with oil and sticking holy books in our hands, and if the soldiers in these units aren`t representative of the whole spectrum of the Jewish people, but rather of certain segments of the population, what can we expect?he said.

Ofer Shelah, military correspondent for the newspaper Maariv, said the rising profile of religious nationalists in the army has helped them in two showdowns with the high command.

After Israel withdrew its settlers and soldiers from Gaza in 2005, graduates of two pre-military academies associated with the settler movement said they would refuse to obey future orders to disband West Bank settlements. The army threatened to cancel its certification of the schools, then backed down.

During the Gaza assault, the chief military rabbi, Brig. Gen. Avichai Rontzki, was called in to answer criticism that his department was distributing war propaganda. He denied knowledge of it, and a subordinate was given `a slap on the wrist` by the Defense Ministry, Shelah said.

Rabbi David Hartman, a leading Jewish philosopher who has lectured thousands of officers at his Shalom Hartman Institute, said the religious nationalist belief in holy war is still a minority view in the army.

But it has to be fought with a rational religious ideology that takes into account the living reality of two peoples,` he said. Otherwise, he added, `you have these rabbis volunteering in the army, and it`s not necessarily the people the army wants. There`s a vacuum, and it gets filled by crackpots.`