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November 9, 2010

Barbara Dane-It isn’t nice

Night raid in Bil’in

Nov 09, 2010 12:04 am | Hamde Abu Rahme


IMG 9301
(Photo: Hamde Abu Rahme)

Today, November 9 at about 3:00 in the morning, the Israeli army entered the village of Bil’in. About 50 soldiers entered the village by jeep and foot. When they arrived at the two targeted houses, they ran and took positions outside while a number of soldiers entered the house.

IMG 9308
(Photo: Hamde Abu Rahme)

At first the soldiers were hammering on the door of one house, demanding to see 30-year old Ashraf al-Khatib. It turned out they went to the wrong house. They then went to another house – forcing one of Ashraf’s brothers to show them where Ashraf lives. Soldiers then entered that house, and his brother’s family’s house, and again they woke up the family, asking for Ashraf al-Khatib. His brother, Haytham al-Khatib, is a journalist from the human right’s group B’tselem and was of the ones woken up by the army. Even though they entered a house where their target didn’t  live, they stayed there for about one and a half hours, searching all the rooms.

Haytham al-Khatib told me about his 6-year-old son’s reaction to waking up to see dozens of soldiers in his house, “he asked me to close the door, because he didn’t want to see them.” Haytham himself was prevented when he wanted to record the raid in his family’s houses – the soldiers simply locked him in a room for more than an hour, away from his children and wife. The children in the houses are ages 1,5 and 8 years old, and this is not the first time they have seen their homes raided at night.

However, after 1.5 hours of searching for the target in three houses, two of which he doesn’t reside in, Ashraf al-Khatib was not found. Five weeks ago Ashraf was shot in his leg with live ammunition by an Israeli soldier during a demonstration in Bil’in. The bullet went through his leg, breaking the bone. Even though he was heavily injured and in major pain, the soldiers tried to arrest him. Luckily he was brought to safety, and then taken to a hospital for surgery by fellow protesters. Tonight the army decided to come and take him in front of his wife and 1.5 year old daughter instead.

The soldiers finally retreated from the targeted houses by foot, walking toward the military road that follows the illegal segregation fence in Bil’in, at about 4.30 AM. The village of Bil’in has suffered from frequent night raids over the last few years, and a number of villagers have been taken for interrogation and imprisoned for their non-violent resistance to the occupation and segregation wall on Bil’in’s land.

IMG 9324
(Photo: Hamde Abu Rahme)


Gilad Atzmon: The Anti-Semitic Side of Zionism (must watch)

Nov 082010
DateMonday, November 8, 2010 at 9:39AM AuthorGilad Atzmon

If you are interested in Jewish political power and Zionist morbidity you must find the time to watch the first forty minutes of this incredible Israeli documentary. The film outlines what early Zionists thought of their Diaspora Jewish brothers, Jewish wealth, Jewish war mongering and Jewish power.

I do not know much at all about the people behind this film, except that they belong to the Israeli Ultra Orthodox sector. The film is there to expose the inherent anti Jewish discrimination within the Zionist discourse.

It is there to prove that Zionism is deeply anti- Semitic. The film is well made and very well researched, and the shocking quotes it outlines are all genuine.

In case you fail to realise the role of Jewish wealth, the impact of AIPAC, Lord Cash point Levy, the Conservative Friends of Israel, and other relentless Jewish lobbies, Benjamin Ze’ev Herzl (the founder of modern political Zionism) doesn’t seem to mince his words.

Just five minutes into the documentary, Herzl is quoted as saying: “The wealthy Jews control the world…In their hands lies the fate of government and nations” (4:59)

But it isn’t just money the founder of Zionism is concerned with: Herzl was also very unhappy with what he saw as the role of Jews in setting off wars and world conflicts. Needless to say of course, Herzl  couldn’t know about what else was to come, decades later — He didn’t know about Neo-conservatism; he didn’t know about Paul Wolfowitz and Scooter Libby setting the USA’s doctrine of moral interventionism; Herzl couldn’t  know that it would be the Labour Friends of Israel who would contribute funds to the Labour Government in 2003; and Herzl couldn’t foresee that people like Jewish Chronicle writers David Aaronivitch and Nick Cohen would rally within the British press for further aggression in the Middle East, namely, the Iraq War.

But somehow Herzl was observant enough to suggest that  “They (the Jews) set governments one against the other and by their decree governments make peace” (5:07)

Herzl indeed, appeared to despise Jewish Power. “When the wealthy Jews play, the nations and the rulers dance”, he wrote with contempt.

Pre Zionist writings  by Herzl suggest that  the promising Viennese Journalist  was  convinced that Anti-Semitism was actually good for the Jews : He thought that it would mount pressure that would lead Jews eventually to “adapt” and transform into Goyim by means of conversion (5:49).

Later, when Herzl, changed his mind, and decided that Zionism was the ‘way forward’, he still thought that anti Semitism was a good thing, since it could only push Jews more urgently towards establishing the future Jewish State.

And it seems that Zionism still benefits from anti Semitism. Apparently, Herzl’s paradigm is still in place.

Bravely, the film elaborates on the similarities between Herzl and Hitler. It is rather clear that — at least ideologically — the two political thinkers shared a deep aversion towards Jews.

Zionism was there to erect a ‘new Jew’: It promised to transform the Jews into “civilized people”.  The documentary exposes the level of loathing early Zionists felt towards their Diaspora brothers.

In 1919, the Zionist socialist, Josef Haim Brenner, insisted that “Jewish national character has been at fault since time immemorial. We (Jews) have never been a creative people. We’ve always lived lives of gypsies and dogs.” Brenner continues, “what do you expect from the anti Semites?” (25:10). To a certain extent they were right to hate us all.  “The Jews,” says Zionist Brenner,  “are Gypsies, contagion, slop and decay, a rotten egg..   We are remotely humane… scum of mankind”

David Ben Gurion, the first Israeli Prime Minister, and probably the ultimate Zionist pragmatist, agreed that   “transforming humanoid raw material (the Diaspora Jews) into a cultural nation is not an easy task.”

The Israeli documentary discloses the Zionists’ conscious dismissal of European Jews’ tragedy during The Second World War –In 1943, as European Jews suffered the ultimate form of oppression,  Itzhak Greenbaum (the Zionist leader in charge of the rescue efforts) wrote, “when they ask me, can you not use funds to rescue Jews in the Diaspora? I said No and I repeat No! “

Greenbaum then insists that the struggle for Zionist redemption is more important than any efforts to save Diaspora Jews. (31:00)

In 1937 Chaim Weizmann, the leader of the Zionist Organisation and later the first Israeli President, declared “The hope of six million[1] Jews is focused on rising up from the depth of tragedy. I wish to save two million youth. The elderly will perish and await their final destiny.  They are, economically and ethically –sub human-in cruel world.” (32:18)

David ben Gurion repeated more or less the same line of thought: “If I should be able to save all the children of Germany via transport to England, and merely half of them via transport to Israel, I will choose the latter”

The film goes on to review the Zionists’ total betrayal of, and failure to assist European Jews at the time of World War Two.

It also exposes the total political and legal abuse of Yemenite, Arab Jews and the Orthodox community in Israel.

It is important also to note that — as much as this film protests against anti Jewish discrimination in Israel — it hardly mentions the Palestinians or their plight. It totally neglects the crimes committed day by day against the Palestinian people.

As one expects — universal ethics hardly comes into play in Hebrew; not even in a film about Zionist discrimination and human rights abuse.

[1] Note the number (6.000.000) and the year (1937)


Israeli Tolerance (video)

Israel controls the West

Not very recent but unfortunately still very true

Five young Jews disrupt Netanyahu speech with call for new Jewish identity


From Mondoweiss

News from the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations in New Orleans, a press release from Jewish Voice for Peace. Note the inspiring statements from the young disrupters:

A group of young Jews with the Young Leadership Institute of Jewish Voice for Peace has traveled to the largest gathering of Jewish leaders in the US, the Jewish Federation General Assembly, to confront leaders on an approach to saving Israel’s reputation and building young Jewish identity they say actually turns young Jews away.

Five of the young adults, including 3 Israelis and Israeli–Americans, disrupted a speech this morning by Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu with banners that said: and and one of the below-

The Settlements Delegitimize Israel
The Occupation Delegitimizes Israel
The Siege of Gaza Delegitimizes Israel
The Loyalty Oath Delegitimizes Israel
Silencing Dissent Delegitimizes Israel

and The Settlements Betray Jewish Values
(and in hebrew:) Justice justice you shall pursue – Deuteronomy 16:20.

The young Jews faced a violent backlash from some audience members. Some audience members attempted to hit and gag Rae Abileah, a young Jewish protestor. 3 of the young Jews- Matan Cohen, Matthew Taylor and Emily Ratner were temporarily detained, but not before they interrupted Netanyahu’s speech five times with chants, and forced him to address them directly.

Two of them were captured on the conference live TV feed as they were removed from the crowd. Flipcam footage will be available later.

The young Jews’ website,,  presents the group’s Young Jewish Declaration, a compelling vision of collective identity, purpose and values written as an invitation and call to action for  peers who care about Israel and Palestine. It is also a strong challenge to elders. [“We are young Jews, and we get to decide what that means.”]

These actions are in part a protest of the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) and Jewish Public Affairs Council (JCPA) newly announced $6 million dollar program to target campus, church, peace and human rights groups that are working to end Israel’s human rights violations through nonviolent Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions pressure campaigns. The Federations and JCPA are calling this initiative the “Israel Action Network.”  Critics say it is a “Shoot the Messenger” approach.

“We’re here to call out the elephant in the middle of the room. Israel continues to expropriate Palestinian land for Jewish-only communities, passes increasingly racist laws in the Knesset, the foreign minister wants to strip Palestinian citizens of their citizenship — these are the reasons Israel is becoming a pariah in the world, NOT the human rights groups that are using nonviolent economic pressure to hold Israel accountable. We would be dismissing the values we were raised on if we did not speak up.”
Eitan Issacson, Israeli-American, Seattle

“The Jewish establishment thinks that all we want are free trips to Israel and feel-good service projects. That is in insult to our intelligence and to the Jewish values we were brought up on. What we want is for the American Jewish community to stand up and say that Israel’s ongoing violations of Palestinian human rights are wrong and that we will not continue to support it with our dollars, our political strength and our moral abilities. We are the next generation of American Jews, proud of our heritage, strongly committed to Jewish life. We live our Jewish values in opposing Israel’s human rights violations and we invite – no, implore –all Jews to join in this urgent struggle.”
Hanna King, Swarthmore College, Philadelphia

“We were surprised by how many other young Jews were enthusiastic about the perspective that we brought to the General Assembly. It was scary to ask questions of sometimes hostile panelists, but in fact many people our age were supportive and even asked their own critical questions. We realized this is a terrific opportunity to organize.” Antonia House, graduate student, NYU

“Right now, the choice for those of us who care about the future of Israel and Palestine is between the status quo— which includes continued settlement expansion, the siege of Gaza, and the racist Israeli foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman– or Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions. Given that choice, Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions will win every time.”  Matan Cohen, Israeli, Hampshire College

The students also announced the creation of a spoof Birthright Trip called Taglit-Lekulanu , Birthright for All, open to Palestinian and Jewish-Americans which they followed up with a spoof denial. The goal of the spoof was to highlight the one-sided narrative that Birthright presents, the ways it renders Palestinians invisible. The rebuttal laid bare the problematic assumptions underlying Birthright such as the emphasis on marrying Jews and procreating.

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Free palestine oktober 2 2010 paradeplatz zurich, switzerland


Action organised by Free Palestine in Zurich.

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