Riaz Haq writes this data-driven blog to provide information, express his opinions and make comments on many topics. Subjects include personal activities, education, South Asia, South Asian community, regional and international affairs and US politics to financial markets. For investors interested in South Asia, Riaz has another blog called South Asia Investor at http://www.southasiainvestor.com and a YouTube video channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkrIDyFbC9N9evXYb9cA_gQ
Monday, May 4, 2009
Gaza Compared With Warsaw's Nazi Concentration Camp
"Gaza is Israel's Warsaw -- a vast concentration camp that confined and blockaded Palestinians. We are witness to a slow-motion process of genocide," says sociology professor William I. Robinson of University of California at Santa Barbara.
As is the norm at universities in America, any criticism of Israel is immediately followed by an orchestrated campaign of attacks and intimidation against the critic. In this case, there has been swift condemnation of professor Robinson, who is Jewish, as being an anti-Semite. Beyond verbal attacks, he is being actively harassed by the well-known actors usually involved in curbing any freedom of expression that involves criticism of the Jewish state.
In addition to its powerful presence in Washington, the Israel lobby has moved into the university campuses in America to ‘take back the campuses’, according to John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt of Harvard university, who have written as follows:
(Following criticism of Israel on campuses after Oslo’s collapse and Sharon’s access to power in 2002) The Lobby moved immediately to ‘take back the campuses’. New groups sprang up, like the Caravan for Democracy, which brought Israeli speakers to US colleges. Established groups like the Jewish Council for Public Affairs and Hillel joined in, and a new group, the Israel on Campus Coalition, was formed to co-ordinate the many bodies that now sought to put Israel’s case. Finally, AIPAC more than tripled its spending on programmes to monitor university activities and to train young advocates, in order to ‘vastly expand the number of students involved on campus . . . in the national pro-Israel effort’.
The Lobby also monitors what professors write and teach. In September 2002, Martin Kramer and Daniel Pipes, two passionately pro-Israel neo-conservatives, established a website (Campus Watch) that posted dossiers on suspect academics and encouraged students to report remarks or behaviour that might be considered hostile to Israel. This transparent attempt to blacklist and intimidate scholars provoked a harsh reaction and Pipes and Kramer later removed the dossiers, but the website still invites students to report ‘anti-Israel’ activity.
Groups within the Lobby put pressure on particular academics and universities. Columbia has been a frequent target, no doubt because of the presence of the late Edward Said on its faculty. ‘One can be sure that any public statement in support of the Palestinian people by the pre-eminent literary critic Edward Said will elicit hundreds of emails, letters and journalistic accounts that call on us to denounce Said and to either sanction or fire him,’ Jonathan Cole, its former provost, reported. When Columbia recruited the historian Rashid Khalidi from Chicago, the same thing happened. It was a problem Princeton also faced a few years later when it considered wooing Khalidi away from Columbia.
A classic illustration of the effort to police academia occurred towards the end of 2004, when the David Project produced a film alleging that faculty members of Columbia’s Middle East Studies programme were anti-semitic and were intimidating Jewish students who stood up for Israel. Columbia was hauled over the coals, but a faculty committee which was assigned to investigate the charges found no evidence of anti-semitism and the only incident possibly worth noting was that one professor had ‘responded heatedly’ to a student’s question. The committee also discovered that the academics in question had themselves been the target of an overt campaign of intimidation.
Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of all this is the efforts Jewish groups have made to push Congress into establishing mechanisms to monitor what professors say. If they manage to get this passed, universities judged to have an anti-Israel bias would be denied federal funding. Their efforts have not yet succeeded, but they are an indication of the importance placed on controlling debate.
A number of Jewish philanthropists have recently established Israel Studies programmes (in addition to the roughly 130 Jewish Studies programmes already in existence) so as to increase the number of Israel-friendly scholars on campus. In May 2003, NYU announced the establishment of the Taub Center for Israel Studies; similar programmes have been set up at Berkeley, Brandeis and Emory. Academic administrators emphasise their pedagogical value, but the truth is that they are intended in large part to promote Israel’s image. Fred Laffer, the head of the Taub Foundation, makes it clear that his foundation funded the NYU centre to help counter the ‘Arabic [sic] point of view’ that he thinks is prevalent in NYU’s Middle East programmes.
Here is the text of the email sent by Professor Robinson:
Subject: [socforum] parallel images of Nazis and Israelis
From: “William I. Robinson” …
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2009 21:00:05
If Martin Luther King were alive on this day of January 19, 2009, there is no doubt that he would be condemning the Israeli aggression against Gaza along with U.S. military and political support for Israeli war crimes, or that he would be standing shoulder to shoulder with the Palestinians. I am forwarding some horrific, parallel images of Nazi atrocities against the Jews and Israeli atrocities against the Palestinians. Perhaps the most frightening are not those providing a graphic depiction of the carnage but that which shows Israeli children writing “with love” on a bomb that will tear apart Palestinian children.
Gaza is Israel’s Warsaw - a vast concentration camp that confined and blockaded Palestinians, subjecting them to the slow death of malnutrition, disease and despair, nearly two years before their subjection to the quick death of Israeli bombs. We are witness to a slow-motion process of genocide (Websters: “the systematic killing of, or a program of action intended to destroy, a whole national or ethnic group”), a process whose objective is not so much to physically eliminate each and every Palestinian than to eliminate the Palestinians as a people in any meaningful sense of the notion of people-hood.
The Israeli army is the fifth most potent military machine in the world and one that is backed by a propaganda machine that rivals and may well surpass that of the U.S., a machine that dares to make the ludicrous and obnoxious claim that opposition to the policies and practices of the Israeli state is anti-Semitism. It should be no surprise that a state founded on the negation of a people was one of the principal backers of the apartheid South African state not to mention of the Latin American military dictatorships until those regimes collapsed under mass protest, and today arms, trains, and advises military and paramilitary forces in Colombia, one of the world’s worst human rights violators.
Here is the latest story about Professor Robinson as reported by Los Angles Times recently:
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."
Pictorial Review of Young Gaza Victims
Israel's Gaza Attack is Criminal, Not Defensive
Is Obama True Friend of Israel?
Who Rules America?
Labels: campuses, Gaza, Israel lobby, Robinson, universities
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Thank you Riaz for this article....I know how easy it is for someone to ignore such grand atrocities while running the clips of a few isolated incidents in the third world...not that we support the later either. Truth shall set you free...
Here are some excerpts from an interesting commentary by Juan Cole on the Khost suicide bombing:
"Although Pakistani troops fighting in South Waziristan had found Arab passports and other effects suggesting a small presence of Arab fighters with the TTP, al-Balawi had clearly joined the movement and given it his allegiance. It seems to me an alarming development, as the Aljazeera anchor also noted, that Arab jihadi volunteers might now be enlisting under the banner of the Pakistani Taliban rather than, as in the past, al-Qaeda or one of the Afghan insurgent groups. The Tehrik-i Taliban Pakistan is only about 7 years old, there never having been Pakistani Taliban until the early 21st century--it was a phenomenon of the Soviet ethnic cleansing of Afghans, which forced 3 million into refugee camps in Pakistan, where many became radicalized. (And were encouraged in that direction by the Reagan administration).
Many intelligence specialists had insisted that the Khost bombing was the work of the Haqqani Network in North Waziristan. But I read al-Balawi's emotionalism about the Mahsuds as a clear indication that he was working for them rather than for the Haqqanis. He must have repeated seven or eight times that Baitullah Mahsud would be avenged. The militant founder of the TTTP was killed by a US drone strike in South Waziristan in August."
"Al-Balawi's sad biography in fact ties together the whole history of Western, including Israeli, attacks on the Middle East. Al-Balawi's family is Palestinians displaced from Beersheba by Zionist immigrants into British Mandate Palestine, who in 1948 ethnically cleansed about 700,000 Palestinians from what became Israel. Most Palestinians in Jordan are bitter about the loss of their homes, for which they never received compensation, and some still live in refugee camps. The British Empire and the United States supported this displacement of the Palestinians and to this day the US government often attempts to criminalize even charitable aid to the suffering Palestinian people."
"The Arabic press is confirming that al-Balawi was further enraged by the Israeli war on poor little Gaza last winter. A physician, he volunteered to be part of a group that intended to go to Gaza to do relief work for the victims of Israel's brutal targeting of civilians and civilian infrastructure. (The Israelis were trying to destroy the fundamentalist Hamas party, which rules Gaza, and gave as their pretext the occasional rockets Hamas fired into Israel, though in fact there had been a truce for much of 2008, a truce of which the Israelis coldly took advantage to plan their war.)
The Jordanian secret police arrested al-Balawi to prevent him from going to Gaza. It may be that he had to agree to work for it as a quid pro quo to regain his freedom."
Israel is a colonial outpost in the Middle East (created in order to control the resource rich area through war generated dictatorships) that has been given a Jewish face for the purpose of maintainability in the area through solidarity building among Jews, by pitting them against Arabs. It has absolutely nothing to do with being a homeland for the Jews, except as manipulation. The same corporations that were helping Hitler eliminate the Jews later wholeheartedly supported the creation of Israel as if they had miraculously discovered God.
This colonial outpost's creation is historically linked to WASPS (the British colonials and later the U.S. power elite). Giving this outpost a Jewish face has served two functions for these elite:
1. Maintainability through Jewish population solidarity for perpetual war against the Arabs, something that an Arab outpost like Kuwait or the UAE could not have achieved because the underlying population would have rebelled, bringing to naught any Arab based colonial outpost that was created.
2. Scapegoating the Jews so that the blow-back of such inhumane policies written in Washington and translated into fact by the Israeli elite are seen by Arabs as being "caused by the Jews", which will have grave consequences for the Jewish population in the long run given how the Arabs are being victimized in the most barbaric and inhumane manner by these elite, now for over half a century.
The conflict has more to do with the political economy of the current world system dominated by the U.S. and not religion per se. However, if a real religious face to the conflict is to be located (given the religious preferences of the perpetrators and victims), the following is the most accurate picture:
A war started and perpetuated by the WASPS (White Anglo Saxon Protestant Christians), scapegoating the Jews and victimizing the Muslims.
Here's a recent piece by Eric Walberg in Countercurrents:
A vital playing field in today’s Great Game is Palestine/Israel, where again there is a tentative meeting of political minds between Russia and Turkey. In defiance of the US and much of Europe, both endorsed the Goldstone report into atrocities committed during Israel's invasion of Gaza in December 2008, where 100 Palestinians died for every Israeli casualty. Neither government is captive to Israel in the way European and US governments are, though they both have important economic relations with Israel.
Israeli dissident writer Israel Shamir commended the Turkish leaders at a conference in Ankara in December: "Your president, Mr Gul, said a few days ago to our president, Mr Peres, that he will not visit Israel while the siege of Gaza continues. Turkey is no longer an American colony. You stopped joint air force exercises with Israel and the US. You expressed your clear anger over the horrors of Gaza. Now you pay more attention to the area where you live; you play an important role already and are destined to play an even greater role. So much depends on you! We feel it every day in Palestine."
He called on Turkey, as inheritor of the Ottoman-era responsibility for Palestine, to follow the lead of the Spanish and British judges who issued arrest warrants for Chilean General Pinochet and Israeli prime minister Tzipi Livni for murder, and issue an arrest warrant for the infamous Captain R, accused of murdering a Palestinian child Iman Al-Hams, but feted in Israel as a hero. "A Turkish warrant for his arrest should await him wherever he goes," just as "according to Israeli law, if a Turk does wrong to a Jew in Turkey, he may be snatched, arrested, tried and punished in Israel. Turkey should introduce a symmetrical law, covering offences against Palestinians who otherwise are not protected by law."
Though unlikely, this would be wildly popular in Turkey. Similarly, unlike brainwashed Westerners fed daily doses of pro-Israeli media, Turks and most Russians have no use for the Zionist project. True, over one million Russians took up the tantalising offer of instant Israeli citizenship in search of a better life, qualifying as Jewish merely via marriage or with as little as one grandparent racially Jewish. But, despite the chauvinism of the Russian-Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, many of these Russian Israelis, too, have no use for the Zionist project, with its innate racism, some even marrying Palestinians. Many are returning to Russia, bitter at the way they are treated by sabra (Jews born in Israel). The natural sympathy of these and non-Jewish Russians is for the Palestinians.
Here's an OpEd by Yosi Sarid in Haaretz about Israeli settlers campaign of terror in occupied Palestine:
Bullets are fired, trees are chopped down, fields are set ablaze, window panes are shattered and houses are subject to pogroms while the representatives of law and order keep themselves safe and at a distance.
By Yossi Sarid
It's impossible to ignore any longer the calming presence of the Shin Bet security service in our lives - from the hummus in Gaza to Noam Chomsky in Bir Zeit.
This hyperactivity demands an explanation: How can we explain that one arm is long and powerful, when it comes to those who wish to destroy us, whereas the other arm is short and delicate, when it comes to those exacting a "price tag."
At the beginning of the week, Aysar Zaban from a village near Ramallah was shot in the back and killed. He was 15 years old and will no longer throw stones at cars. They're looking for the gunman, and there's no chance they will find him.
How do I know? Very simple: Not a single settler has ever been caught. There have been hundreds of "terror-settler" events and all the avengers are still walking about free. There is evidence and there are traces, but there is no justice.
Bullets are fired, trees are chopped down, fields are set ablaze, window panes are shattered and houses are subject to pogroms while the representatives of law and order keep themselves safe and at a distance. Soldiers and policemen already understand the principle; the spirit of the commanders explained it to them.
How does a person dare make such accusations, just after Yaakov (Jack ) Teitel was finally caught? For 12 years he murdered Palestinians and planted explosive devices, and had he not made the foolish mistake of harming Jews as well - even though they were leftists - he would never have been found.
Now it has been ruled that his mental state makes him unfit to stand trial - as if Teitel has suddenly fallen ill with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. The right to go mad like a cow is reserved for Jewish terrorists only.
And if he's so crazy, how was he so cunning as well, managing to deceive the Shin Bet with such sophistication for so long?
It seems that US media spin favoring Israel is working on Americans. A poll indicates 49% of Americans blame "pro-Palestinian" activists (a term deliberately used by America's pro-Israel medua to deny the humanitarian objectives of the peace activists on the Flotilla) for the deaths on the Flotilla inflicted by Israeli commandos.
Here's the Haaretz story on it:
Nearly half - 49 percent - of likely U.S. voters believe that pro-Palestinian activists were to blame for the deaths that occurred when the Israel Defense Forces raided a Gaza-bound aid flotilla last week, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey.
Only 19 percent believe that Israel was to blame. Another 32 percent said they were not sure.
Nine pro-Palestinian activists were killed on May 31 when the IDF intercepted six Gaza-bound aid ships. All the deaths occurred on the Turkish-flagged Mavi Marmara vessel. The IDF said its soldiers opened fire in self-defense after being attacked by activists with knives and other weapons.
51 percent of those surveyed said Israel should allow an international investigation of the incident. 25 percent rejected the idea of an international probe and another 24 percent were undecided.
49 percent of U.S. voters agreed that, generally speaking, most countries are too critical of Israel. 21 percent said countries are not critical enough and 17 percent said neither.
Israel is one of only five countries that a majority of Americans are willing to defend militarily.
70 percent of voters said they have been following news reports about the Gaza flotilla incident at least somewhat closely. 28 percent have not been following closely, if at all.
73 percent of voters think it is unlikely that a lasting peace agreement will be reached between Israel and the Palestinians in the next ten years.
58 percent view Israel as a U.S. ally and two percent as an enemy, with 32 percent saying the country is somewhere in between the two.
By comparison, just 30 percent see the United Nations as an ally of the United States. 16 percent see the UN as America’s enemy, and 49% put it somewhere in between.
The survey was based on interviews with 1,000 likely U.S. voters and had a +/-3 percent sampling error margin.
Here's a revealing piece by Mark Glenn, an American and former high school teacher turned writer and commentator:
Today, while driving through town, I wound up behind a minivan that had a big sticker on the back. The sticker had an Israeli flag in the middle of it, and under it the quotation from the book of Genesis that reads "I will bless those who bless thee."
I would like to take this time to list my own reasons for thanking and blessing Israel, our lone ally in the Middle East, for everything she has done for us, since I am quite sure most Americans are unaware of just what kind of friend she has been to us.
For extorting from me and my fellow Americans $16,000,000,000 (billion) a year for the last 4 decades, we bless thee.
For taking our most sophisticated weapons technology and stealing it for yourself without paying the American patent holders, we bless thee.
For taking that high-tech military technology and selling it to our enemies, such as the Russians and Chinese, thus further endangering us, we bless thee.
For using that weaponry in a sustained attack against a United States ship, the USS Liberty, in an attempt to sink her, thus preventing US servicemen from revealing to the rest of the world information concerning the war crimes they witnessed you commit against Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai Desert during the Six Day War, we bless thee.
For killing 35 and wounding 170 American sailors aboard the USS Liberty, we bless thee.
For bribing the United States government into covering it up, preventing any justice from being done for the benefit of the families of the lost sailors - as well as the American People, we bless thee.
For sending your agents into Egypt and blowing up American buildings for the purpose of blaming the Arabs in an event known as the Lavon Affair, we bless thee.
For sending your agents into Libya during the Reagan administration, and broadcasting radio messages in Arabic that were designed to sound like "terrorist cell planning" so that the US would initiate military strikes against Khadafi, we bless thee.
For withholding information from us concerning the planned attacks against the US Marine barracks in Lebanon, attacks you knew about through your moles in the Islamic world and about which you deliberately refused to warn us in order to further your interests against the Arabs, we bless thee.
For employing Jonathon Pollard, an American serviceman paid to spy for Israel in order to steal even more of our National Security secrets for your parasitic purposes, we bless thee.
For blackmailing President Clinton through one of your intelligence agents, Monica Lewinsky, in order to prevent a coherent peace program from being pushed forward between yourself and the Palestinian people that you have brutalized and murdered for the last 50 years, we bless thee.
For breaking every agreement you have made with your Arab neighbors, stealing their land, displacing, murdering, and treating them like the animals you see them as, we bless thee.
For using your agents within the first Bush administration to involve us in the first Gulf War, causing the deaths of American men and women, and exposing our servicemen to whatever bioweapons were/are responsible that has led to Gulf War Syndrome, we bless thee.
For your role in the September 11 attacks in this country, and for blackmailing and bribing the US government into deporting back to Israel the 100 or more intelligence agents that were arrested after the attacks, we bless thee.
For supressing the information from the American people of your involvement in the September 11 attacks and sending us in the wrong direction in search of answers, we bless thee.
For using one of your agents in the US Army Weapons Lab, Lt Colonel Philip Zack to steal anthrax and distribute it into our mail system, terrorizing US citizens and killing several in order to blame the Arabs, we bless thee.
Mark Glenn Piece Contd:
For supressing the information from the American people of your involvement in the September 11 attacks and sending us in the wrong direction in search of answers, we bless thee.
For using one of your agents in the US Army Weapons Lab, Lt Colonel Philip Zack to steal anthrax and distribute it into our mail system, terrorizing US citizens and killing several in order to blame the Arabs, we bless thee.
For using your agents in the US Government, namely, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle, Abrams, and the rest into initiating this war in the Middle East so that you could bring to heel all the enemies you have made during the last 50 years, we bless thee.
For using your agents in the media to lie to us on a minute by minute basis about the war, how "just" this cause is, and what the real reasons behind it are, we bless thee.
For using your agents in the Christian Evangelical community, such as Falwell, Graham, Swaggert, and the rest who praise you as God's chosen people and further keep Americans in the dark about who you really are, what you have done, and what you are truly about, we bless thee.
For bringing idiots like Limbaugh, Liddy, Hannity, Beck, and Savage to the forefront as paid liars that will support you and further lead Americans astray, we bless thee.
For making America your attack dog, and for sending her sons and daughters to fight and die in all your future wars, we bless thee.
For using your influence in the media to hide the real statistics about the war, the dead and wounded on both sides, we bless thee.
For using us in such a way that not only further inflames the Arab world against us, but as well has succeeded in our alienating ourselves against those nations with whom we have been friendly for over a century, we bless thee.
And finally, for using your influence in our media and academia to flood our minds with pornography and lies, as well as inculcating in us a hatred for our history, religion, and culture, for dividing our nation between races and sexes, and for releasing into our society all of your plagues and filth that have left us a rotted out corpse of a once great nation, oh Israel, our friend,we bless thee.
For further information regarding the above cited events, read either books written by ex- Israeli Intelligence agent Victor Ostrovsky entitled "By Way of Deception" and "The Other Side of Deception".
Egypt is easing Gaza restrictions, according to a report in The Independent:
A declaration by Egypt that it will permanently open its crossing into Gaza to ease the blockade on the territory has fuelled concerns in Israel about the future direction of Cairo's foreign policy.
Nabil al-Araby, Egypt's foreign minister, told Al-Jazeera that his country would take "important steps to help ease the blockade on Gaza in the few days to come", and described Cairo's previous decision to seal the border as "shameful".
Egypt has already eased restrictions on movement across the Gaza border since the fall of the Mubarak regime. But free passage of goods and people into Gaza would be seen as a major security threat by Israel, which has argued that even with Egyptian co-operation on blocking arms shipments, Hamas was able to import weaponry into the territory and would do more without it.
It is not clear how comprehensive the opening of the crossing at Rafah will be, but Mr al-Araby's remarks follow a spate of others indicating a potential shift in foreign policy which is being closely watched in Israel.
A senior Israeli official told The Independent yesterday that the government had raised concerns with Egypt about a series of indications from Cairo that it was softening the more hostile policy maintained by the former president Hosni Mubarak towards Iran and Hamas. Both are seen by Israel as enemies.
The official said that Egypt, which on Wednesday said it had brokered a draft accord between the Palestinian party Fatah and its rival Hamas, had tended to respond by taking "account of public opinion now and some of that opinion is opposed to you [Israel]".
The Israeli official cited a more emollient tone in Egypt's pronouncements about Iran and a new "lenience" towards Hamas, exemplified in part by its apparent unconcern about Hamas prisoners who escaped from Egyptian jails during the uprising in February.
Although a recent poll indicated opposition to the 1979 peace treaty with Israel among a majority of Egyptians there have been no moves to annul it. But Egyptian analysts and officials say that the country is reassuming the pivotal role it once performed in the Arab world which had been hampered by the country's close diplomatic ties to Israel. "We are opening a new page," Menha Bakhoum, a spokeswoman for the foreign ministry told The New York Times. "Egypt is resuming its role that was once abdicated."
#Israel Creates "Secuity" Buffer in #Gaza, Further Shrinking its Land by 40% http://shar.es/L61yJ via @thedailybeast #GazaUnderAttack
BEIT HANOUN, Gaza — This narrow strip of land that used to be called “the Gaza Strip,” already one of the more densely populated places on Earth, is growing dramatically smaller. The Israeli military, relentlessly and methodically, is driving people out of the 3-kilometer (1.8 mile) buffer zone it says it needs to protect against Hamas rockets and tunnels. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the buffer zone eats up about 44 percent of Gaza’s territory.
What that means on the ground is scenes of extraordinary devastation in places like the Al Shajaya district approaching Gaza’s eastern frontier, and Beit Hanoun in the north. These were crowded neighborhoods less than three weeks ago. Now they have been literally depopulated, the residents joining more than 160,000 internally displaced people in refuges and makeshift shelters. Apartment blocks are fields of rubble, and as I move through this hostile landscape the phrase that keeps ringing in my head is “scorched earth.”
It’s not like Israel didn’t plan this. It told tens of thousands of Palestinians to flee so its air force, artillery and tanks could create this uninhabitable no-man’s land of half-standing, burned-out buildings, broken concrete and twisted metal. During a brief humanitarian ceasefire some Gazans were able to come back to get their first glimpse of the destruction this war has brought to their communities, and to sift through their demolished homes to gather clothes or other scattered bits of their past lives. But many were not even able to do that.
When Rania Haels got within 60 feet of the debris that was once her family home in Al Shajaya on Saturday, a machine-gun on top of a nearby Israeli Merkava tank started firing. Probably these were warning shots pumped in her direction, but the 42-year-old mother of seven ran for her life. Now she stays with her family in an overcrowded parking garage in Gaza City and spends her days sitting in a public park full of refugees displaced by the Israeli push. Normally these would be festive times, the end of Ramadan is at hand and celebrations akin in spirit to Christmas festivities are beginning. But holidays have a way of intensifying tragedy. There is no place for Haels’ family to gather to give gifts and eat Palestinian sweets. There is, in fact, no place for them at all.
“We lost our homes and so now we live in the streets,” said Haels, holding a toddler in her arms who clings to her pastel-patterned hejab. “This war has destroyed me.” She says at least she knew where her home was. Some of her neighbors could not find their homes as they walked down streets made unrecognizable by the wreckage and horrifying by the presence of death.
- See more at: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/07/28/as-israel-enforces-its-buffer-zone-gaza-shrinks-by-40-per-cent.html
#Stanford Professor: "Racism is the Foundation of #Israel’s Operation Protective Edge" in #Gaza #GazaUnderAttack http://bit.ly/1xyS2vF
The viciousness of Mordechai Kedar, lecturer in Arabic literature at Bar Ilan University, was even more creative than Shaked and Elitzur’s merely genocidal proposal. “The only thing that can deter terrorists like those who kidnapped the children and killed them,” he said, “is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped.” As a university-based “expert,” Kedar’s heinous suggestion is based on his “understanding” of Arab culture. “It sounds very bad, but that’s the Middle East,” he explained, hastening to add, “I’m not talking about what we should or shouldn’t do. I’m talking about the facts.”
Racism has become a legitimate, indeed an integral, component of Israeli public culture, making assertions like these seem “normal.” The public devaluation of Arab life enables a society that sees itself as “enlightened” and “democratic” to repeatedly send its army to slaughter the largely defenseless population of the Gaza Strip—1.8 million people, mostly descendants of refugees who arrived during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, and have been, to a greater or lesser extent, imprisoned since 1994.
Conciliatory gestures, on the other hand, are scorned. Just two days after Shaked’s Facebook post, Orthodox Jews kidnapped 16-year-old Muhammad Abu Khdeir from the Shu‘afat neighborhood of East Jerusalem and burned him alive in the Jerusalem Forest. Amir Peretz (Hatnua) was the only government minister to visit the grieving family. For this effort he received dozens of posts on his Facebook page threatening to kill him and his family. Meanwhile, vandals twice destroyed memorials erected to Abu Khdeir on the spot of his immolation.
The international community typically sees the manifestations of Israel’s violent racism only when they erupt as assaults on the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, or Lebanon. But Israel’s increasingly poisonous anti-Arab and anti-Muslim public culture prepares the ground of domestic public opinion long before any military operation and immunizes the army from most criticism of its “excesses.” Moreover, Israeli anti-democratic and racist sentiment is increasingly directed against Palestinian citizens of Israel, who comprise 20% of the population.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman of the Yisrael Beytenu (Israel Is Our Home) Party made his political reputation on the slogan “No Loyalty, No Citizenship”—a demand that Palestinian Israelis swear loyalty oaths as a condition of retaining their citizenship. Since 2004 Lieberman has also advocated “transferring” Palestinian-Israelis residing in the Triangle region to a future Palestinian state, while annexing most West Bank settlements to Israel. In November 2011 Haaretz published a partial list of ten “loyalty-citizenship” bills in various stages of legislation designed to “determine certain citizens' rights according to their ‘loyalty’ to the state.”
From Israel's Haaretz:
On September 1, the anniversary of the day that the war of racism, World War II, broke out, Israeli children began their school year. Tens of thousands of excited and curious children started first grade. And how was the excitement of this “least of the flock” greeted in the classroom? It is better not to know.
About half the first-graders defined as Jews were sent to religious and ultra-Orthodox classes, in most of which the teachers drill into them such Talmudic ideas as, “You are called human, but the nations of the world are not called human.”
What about the other half? What did the children in the nonreligious state schools encounter, besides classrooms whose crowding is unparalleled in the West?
The other half does not learn evolution, the theory of relativity, quantum mechanics, philosophy, ethics or scientific theorems. They do not learn the ideas of Spinoza, Kant, Plato, Freud, Marx, Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed, Einstein, Chuang Tzu or Rousseau. Most won’t even learn many of their names.
In that sense, the state-religious and Haredi schools are in better shape. The students on the Ponevezh or Mercaz Harav yeshiva track are introduced from the start to the material taught in the youth and adult yeshivas — age-appropriate, of course, but the names and the language are the same.
For all the efforts to instill “Holocaust awareness,” this does not extend to the Jewish culture that preceded it. The culture that won the hearts of the majority of Jews before the Holocaust — the very culture whose overwhelming accomplishments Nazi racism rose up against — was a culture of passion for knowledge. It was an open, revolutionary, humanist culture. It was a culture that admired the world of Einstein, Freud, Zweig, Marx, Kafka, Schoenberg, Berg and many more. And that is precisely what has been tossed out of the schools.
True, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Jewish state is not identical to the Islamic State (formerly the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), but there is a connection between them, and it has concrete effects. It may be possible to form a regional alliance against messianic racism, but an Israel that moves away from Einstein, metaphorically and in practice, and imprisons itself in a racist educational ghetto sacrifices not only its children’s souls but also the ability to be an influential player in the region. A player that, were it not for its enslavement to racism and the occupation, could have been a partner to the creation of new regional borders, playing a stabilizing role against the extremists.
Anyone looking at the ruins of consciousness brought on by the dizzying spiral of recent weeks should be worried not only by the rightward shift but also by its roots. When the Kahanist organization Lehava succeeded in pushing its agenda, it was above all due to the roots. Jews and non-Jews cannot marry in Israel — yes, like in that state we study so much. It’s the price of trampling humanist science education in Israel.
Hundreds of British academics sign letter vowing to boycott #Israel. Jewish World News #boycottisrael #FreePalestine http://www.haaretz.com/jewish/news/1.682420 …
A letter in support of the Palestinian cause signed by 343 British academics is due to be published as a full page advert in the Guardian newspaper on Tuesday.
Reporting on the letter, the Jewish Chronicle said that the signatories come from 72 institutions, including the prestigious Oxford and Cambridge universities.
"As scholars associated with British universities, we are deeply disturbed by Israel's illegal occupation of Palestinian land, the intolerable human rights violations that it inflicts on all sections of the Palestinian people and its apparent determination to resist any feasible settlement," the academics write in the letter.
The signatories of the letter undertake to reject invitations to visit Israeli academic institutions, to refuse to act as academic referees and to stay away from all conferences "funded, organized or sponsored" by Israeli institutions.
However, they say that they will continue to work with their Israeli colleagues "in their individual capacities."
The letter follows the launch last week of a pro-Israel initiative backed by 150 writers, artists and musicians, including Harry Potter author JK Rowling. That initiative opposes boycotts of Israel.
read more: http://www.haaretz.com/jewish/news/1.682420
#Israeli military chief compares #Israel to #Nazi Germany | Middle East | News | The Independent. #FreePalestine
Major General Yair Golan, the Israel Defence Forces' (IDF) Deputy Chief of Staff, was speaking at a Holocaust memorial service when he made the unexpected statement.
However, following strong criticism of his comments, he has since denied he was attempting to make a direct comparison between Israel, its armed forces and Nazi Germany.
"It's scary to see horrifying developments that took place in Europe begin to unfold here," Maj. Gen. Golan told an audience of politicians and dignitaries.
"Because if there is one thing that is scary in remembering the Holocaust, it is noticing horrific processes which developed in Europe – particularly in Germany – 70, 80, and 90 years ago, and finding remnants of that here among us in the year 2016."
"The Holocaust, in my view, must lead us to deep soul-searching about the nature of man. It must bring us to conduct some soul-searching as to the responsibility of leadership and the quality of our society. It must lead us to fundamentally rethink how we, here and now, behave towards the other."
"There is nothing easier and simpler than in changing the foreigner," the officer said, according to the Jerusalem Post and other reports. "There is nothing easier and simpler than fear-mongering and threatening. There is nothing easier and simpler than in behaving like beasts, becoming morally corrupt, and to act sanctimoniously."
"On Holocaust Remembrance Day, it is worthwhile to ponder our capacity to uproot the first signs of intolerance, violence, and self-destruction that arise on the path to moral degradation," Maj. Gen. Golan said.
In a further striking comment, he also appeared to criticise certain members of the IDF, while defending the organisation’s record for its ability to “investigate severe incidents without hesitation”.
While not directly referencing it, many believed the Major General was referring to the case of 18-year-old Sgt Elor Azaria. The soldier was charged with manslaughter after shooting dead an apparently wounded and unarmed Palestinian attacker. The consequent fallout has polarised Israel.
Story of #Israel's West Bank’s Settlements ‘Wildest, Most Violent’ Young Radical #Jews Preying on #Palestininans
YISHUV HADAAT, West Bank — With shoulder-length hair tumbling from beneath his knit skullcap, Hanamel Dorfman, a radical young Israeli settler, explains matter-of-factly on camera how hilltop settlement outposts like his own will continue to proliferate across the West Bank. From there, he says bluntly, Israelis will cross the Jordan River and start building on the other side.
Reminded that beyond the river there is another sovereign nation, Jordan, Mr. Dorfman says with an unwavering gaze, “Everything is temporary.”
The stunning statement comes in one of the final scenes of “The Settlers,” a documentary by an Israeli-American filmmaker, Shimon Dotan, that opens a rare window into the reclusive and politically explosive “hilltop youth” movement.
The film, which had its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January and was shown for the first time in Israel on Monday evening, suggests that the fringe group of religious hippies is underestimated in its ability to influence Israeli politics and thwart any possibility of peace with the Palestinians.
Mr. Dorfman, now 21, told me that Israel’s government was illegitimate because it did not rule based on the laws of the Torah. “It stays in its place in a pathetic attempt at survival,” he said.
Mr. Dorfman said he had been arrested numerous times, but not for any major attacks on Palestinians. Still, his ideology echoes a manifesto of a new group of extremist Jewish settler youth that Israeli security officials revealed last year.
Mr. Dotan’s film chronicles the germination of the early settler movement after Israel captured the West Bank from Jordan in 1967, including the ideas and religious zeal that fueled it, and explores its latest extreme element: the hilltop youth.
They are but a tiny fraction of the more than 400,000 Israeli Jews living in the occupied West Bank, but the object of mounting concern as they are blamed for extreme violence there, like the arson last summer that killed a toddler and his parents in the village of Duma.
“The Settlers” is one of the first close-up views of the motives and personalities in a group that rarely opens up to outsiders. Though mainstream settler leaders denounce violence and try to distance themselves from the radical youth in the hills, Mr. Dotan sees the hilltop dwellers as a natural outgrowth of the original movement.
“Those who push it forward today are the hilltop youth,” he said. “And it seems to me a very dangerous direction.”
Often depicted as uneducated hooligans, the youth in the film come off as raw but canny — an American like me might call them street smart — using acts of defiance and violence to achieve their aims. There is also an aura of romance: Mr. Dorfman, with his long sidelocks, wispy beard and rimless glasses, seems more like a hard-eyed John Lennon than a backwoods militant.
At one point in the film, a settler with a guitar sings Bob Marley’s “No Woman No Cry” in a mixture of English and Hebrew while sitting at a fire. But there are also expressions of virulent racism, a glorification of violence and a desire to replace the modern state of Israel with a full-scale biblical kingdom that would extend as far as Iraq.
In one scene at Esh Kodesh, Pinhasi Bar-On, 25, speaks playfully with several young children about his legal troubles, asking them if they will come along on his escapades when they get older.
“What will you do with me?” Mr. Bar-On asks, as if teaching a preschool class.
“Beat up Arabs,” one child says.
“Yes,” Mr. Bar-On says approvingly.
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