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October 21, 2010

Viva Palestina convoy reaches Gaza

Pro-Palestinian activists enter Gaza through Rafah crossing with $5m of aid for residents of Israeli-blockaded strip.
Hundreds of peace activists have arrived in Gaza carrying humanitarian supplies [Reuters]

Pro-Palestinian activists in more than 100 cars and trucks have crossed into the Israeli-blockaded Gaza Strip through Egypt’s Rafah crossing with aid worth nearly $5m.

The multinational “Viva Palestina” ship arrived at Egypt’s port city of al-Arish from Lattakia, Syria, earlier on Thursday.

About 300 activists then flew into al-Arish airport and converged with the ship’s passengers before entering Gaza.

The activists had initially joined up in Syria from Turkey, Algeria, Morocco, Jordan, and more than two dozen other countries.

The convoy, which was organised by George Galloway, a British politician, originally departed from London on September 18 and arrived in Syria two weeks later.

The activists then waited for over two weeks in Lattakia for permission from the Egyptian authorities for the shipment, which includes medical supplies and school equipment, to be allowed to enter al-Arish port.

The aid does not include any building materials, which the Egyptian authorities did not allow, as part of the agreement permitting the activists to enter Gaza for three days.

Israel has kept Gaza under a blockade since 2007, saying it is a necessary step to stop arms reaching the Hamas group running the strip.

Several dozen survivors from the Israeli attack on May 31 on the Turkish aid ship the Mavi Marmara were among those in the “Viva Palestina” convoy.

‘Summary executions’

Israeli commandos killed nine pro-Palestinian Turkish activists when they boarded the Mavi Marmara, the main vessel in a ‘Freedom Flotilla’ also attempting to deliver aid to Gaza.

Israel’s leaders said their troops opened fire in self-defence after being set upon by activists.

However, a UN inquiry last month found that Israeli troops broke international law by boarding the flotilla and found that the killings of activists on-board were comparable to “summary executions”.

After an international outcry over the Mavi Marmara raid, Israel relaxed its embargo but construction materials remain restricted.

Gazans have limited freedom of movement and Israel still enforces its naval blockade.

Viva Palestina 5 vehicles boarding ship to Egypt

The Top Ten Of the ADL

-Brings tremendous prestige

– And envy as well.

In activist circles

The groups try their best

To get to the Top Ten.

They’re greatly distressed

If, despite all their efforts

The League has the gall

To simply ignore them with

No mention at all.

The usual hard workers

are there, it is true,

The US Campaign,

If Americans Knew,

JVP and Sabeel,

And Al-Awda too.

Before the List’s published

The groups are so fraught,

Oscars and Nobels

And Emmies are naught

Compared to winning

A place on The Ten.

Gossip runs rife till

The List’s out, and then

Those failing to make it

Feel put out and jealous,

They think that their work

Has been equally zealous

As those on the List

So how can it be

They’re omitted?

They feel really pissed.

“We’ve worked, oh, so hard

To expose the Apartheid

And cruel Occupation

by Israel” they cried.

“We’re not on the list

But it’s our firm belief

That we should be;

It’s causing us grief!”

Meanwhile Abe Foxman

Complains and asks why

We all criticize Israel;

Yet he really won’t try

To open his eyes

And see the oppression

Of Arabs is now

An Israeli obsession.

Occupation, sheer cruelty,

And Apartheid – no less,

Is why all the groups

Now support BDS.

The evil of Zionism’s

Apartheid is great.

Israel is clearly

A Terrorist State.

“Anti-Semites!” cries Foxman

God – what an old trick!

Can he really not come up

With something more slick?

What he’s yet to discover

–         it will give him the blues –

that many who oppose this Apartheid

are Jews.

– a humble activist.

Dedicated to the memory of the Turks and of Farrakhan Dogan, Turkish-American citizen murdered by Israel, May 31st 2010.


The Top 10 Anti-Israel Groups, as identified by ADL, are:

· Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER)

· Al-Awda

· Council on American-Islamic Relations

· Friends of Sabeel-North America

· If Americans Knew

· International Solidarity Movement

· Jewish Voice for Peace

· Muslim American Society

· Students for Justice in Palestine

· US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation

Major rabbi says non-Jews are donkeys, created to serve Jews

Non-Jews were born only to serve us. Without that, they have no place in the world-only to serve the People of Israel.”

From Khalid  Amayreh in occupied  East Jerusalem

A major Jewish religious figure in Israel has likened non-Jews to donkeys and beasts of burden,  saying  the main  reason for their very existence is to serve Jews.


Rabbi Ovadia  Yosef,  spiritual mentor of the religious  fundamentalist  party, Shas,  which represents Middle Eastern Jews, reportedly said during  a Sabbath homily earlier  this week that “the sole  purpose of non-Jews is to  serve Jews.”

Yosef is considered a major religious  leader in  Israel who enjoys the allegiance of hundreds of thousands of followers.


Shas is a  chief coalition partner in  the current Israeli government,


Yosef, also a former Chief Rabbi of Israel,  was quoted by the right-wing newspaper, the Jerusalem  Post, as saying  that the basic function of a goy, a derogatory word for a gentile, was to serve Jews.


“Non-Jews were born only to serve us. Without that, they have no place in the world-only to serve the People of Israel,” Yosef said in his weekly Saturday night sermon which was devoted to laws regarding actions non-Jews are permitted to perform on the Sabbath.


Yosef also reportedly said that the lives of non-Jews in Israel are preserved by God  in order to prevent losses to Jews.


Yosef,  widely considered a prominent  Torah sage and authority on the interpretation of  Talmud, a basic Jewish scripture, held a comparison  between animals of burden and non-Jews.


“In Israel,  death has no dominion  over them…With gentiles, it  will be like any person-They need to die, but God will  give them  longevity. Why? Imagine that one’s  donkey would die, they’d lose their money.


“This is his servant…That’s why he  gets a long life,  to work  well for this Jew.”


Yosef further  elucidated his  ideas about the servitude of gentiles to Jews, asking “why are gentiles needed? They will work, they will  plow, they will reap; and  we will sit like an effendi and eat.”


“That is why gentiles were created.”


The concept of gentiles being infra-human beings or  quasi-animals is well-established in Orthodox Judaism.


For example, rabbis affiliated with the Chabad movement, a supremacist but influential  Jewish sect, teach openly that at the spiritual level, non-Jews have the status of animals.


Abraham Kook, the religious mentor of the settler movement, was quoted as saying that the difference between a Jew and a gentile was greater and deeper than the difference between humans and animals.


“The difference between a Jewish soul and souls of nonJews — all of them in all different levels — is greater and deeper than the difference between a human soul and the souls of cattle.”


Some of Kook’s manifestly racist  ideas are taught in the Talmudic college, Merkaz H’arav, in Jerusalem. The college is  named after Kook.


In his book, Jewish History, Jewish  Religion: The Weight of Three Thousand Years,  the late Israeli writer and intellectual Israel Shahak argued that whenever Orthodox rabbis use the word “human,” they normally didn’t  refer to all humans, but  only to Jews, since non-Jews are not considered humans according to Halacha of Jewish law.


A few years ago, a member of the Israeli Knesset, castigated Israeli soldiers for “treating human beings as if they were Arabs.”  The Knesset member, Aryeh Eldad, was commenting on the evacuation by the Israeli army of a settler outpost in the West Bank.


Faced with the negative effect  of certain  Biblical and Talmudic teachings on inter-religious relations,  some Christian leaders in Europe have called on the Jewish religious establishment to reform the traditional  Halacha perceptions of  non-Jews.


However, while the Reform and Conservative sects of Judaism, have related  positively to such calls, most Orthodox Jews have totally rejected the calls, arguing  that the Bible is God’s word which can’t be altered under any circumstances.


The Bible says that non-Jews  living under  Jewish rule must serve as “water carriers and wood hewers” for the master  race.


In Joshua (9:27),  we read ” That day, Joshua made the Gibeonites woodcutters and water carriers for the community and for the altar of the Lord at the Place the Lord would choose. And that is what they are to this days.”


Elsewhere in the Bible, Israelites are strongly urged to treat “strangers living in your midst” humanely “because you yourselves were strangers in Egypt.”





The Rageh Omaar Report – Turkey’s new visionary

For text see here

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