Saturday, 16 October 2010

Top 10 anti-Israel groups in US

On October 14, 2010 – One of the US most powerful pro-Israel Jewish Lobby groups, Anti-Defamation League (watch video below) published its list of the 10 most active and influential anti-Israel groups in United States.

“While there are hundreds of groups that organize and participate in various anti-Israel activities, we have identified the largest and most well-coordinated anti-Israel groups. These groups are not promoting peace, they are spreading propaganda to assault Israel’s legitimacy. We want to Americans to know who these groups are and what it is they really stand for, which is to delegitimize the Jewish state,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director.

Abraham Foxman in his book “Never Again? The Threat of the New Anti-Semitism” had claimed that the Christian Bible, The New Testament (NT) is ‘anti-Semitic’ and its teaching fueled the Holocaust during WW II. In other words, Abe Foxman, too believe that the 150,000 Grman Jews who took active part in the Nazi Army, had studied NT instead of their Holy Talmud which loaths Christianity.

The ADL has honored the following 10 groups:

1. The Jewish Voice for Peace.
2. The Muslim American Society.
3. The Christian Friends of Sabeel – North America
4. The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.
5. The Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER).
6. The If American Knew.
7. The Al-Awada. A group campaigning for the Palestinians’ right to return to their homes from where their ancestors were driven out by the European Jew terrorists in the 1948-49.
8. The Council on American-Islamic Relations, country’s largest Muslim-rights group.
9. The International Solidarity Movement, which preaches non-violence resistance against the illegal Jewish occupation of Palestine.
10. The Students for Justice in Palestine.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Erdogan: US is backing Israel's "state terrorism"

Erdogan: US is backing Israel's "state terrorism"

[ 16/10/2010 - 03:07 PM ]

ISLAMABAD, (PIC)-- Turkish premier Recep Erdogan has lashed out at the US administration for not denouncing the Israeli "terrorism" against Turkish citizens.

He said that such a position meant that the US was backing the "international terrorism" that killed the Turkish citizens in international waters.

The premier explained that his government supplied the US and the European Union with photos of the victims including one who was hit with 21 bullets.

Erdogan, speaking in a press interview during his visit to Pakistan, said that the Israeli government should apologize and compensate victims of its state terrorism in the Mediterranean. "Otherwise it would remain isolated in the Middle East", he added.

Israeli piracy at sea killed nine Turkish civilians and wounded many others who were carrying relief material to the besieged Gaza Strip late last May.

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Via My catbird Seat

- 16. Oct, 2010
By James

Eighteen months ago, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Jason Kenney blocked then-British MP George Galloway from Canada, labeling him a terror supporter and a national security risk. At the time, Galloway was scheduled to appear in four Canadian cities on a speaking tour called “Resisting War: from Gaza to Afghanistan.”

Galloway and his supporters protested, saying the move was a crass political attempt to silence criticism of Canadian foreign policy on Afghanistan and Palestine. Weeks before the ban, Galloway had led a humanitarian aid convoy to Gaza as part of an international campaign to break Israel’s illegal blockade.

This week, after Federal Court Justice Richard Mosley issued his 60-page decision on the matter, Galloway and his supporters were fully vindicated.

But you wouldn’t know it from reading the mainstream media’s response to the decision. Most headlines declared that Galloway “lost” his appeal because the judge dismissed the case. Justice Mosley ruled that, since Galloway had not been denied entry into Canada at the border, a final decision on his admissibility had not been made. This meant that Justice Mosley had no decision to overturn. Consequently, Justice Mosley dismissed the case, but not before agreeing with every other claim made by Galloway and his supporters. This is what most mainstream media seems to have missed.

The ruling is a victory for three reasons:

First, it exposes and documents the Conservatives’ ham-fisted attacks on Canadians’ free-speech rights. Galloway and his supporters argued that Kenney’s decision was purely a political one that had nothing to do with national security. Justice Mosley agrees:

“[T]he evidence is that the government wished to prevent Mr. Galloway from expounding his views on Canadian soil. I agree with the applicants that based on the evidence of the e-mails and public statements in the record, the concern with Galloway’s anticipated presence in Canada related solely to the content of the messages that the respondents [the government] expected him to deliver.”

Justice Mosley also acknowledges that the “highest levels of government” tried to influence the outcome of a potential admissibility assessment by the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) at a Canadian port of entry:

“It is also clear that the preliminary assessment was prepared with the intention that it be used to justify a CBSA officer’s determination that Mr. Galloway was inadmissible should he appear at the border.”

This vindicates Galloway’s concerns that he would be deemed inadmissible at the border — which is what he was told in a letter from the Canadian High Commission before he left the UK. Galloway was right to worry about the possibility of being detained indefinitely at the Canadian border or, worse, being returned to the United States (where he was conducting a speaking tour at the time) for being a “national security risk” in Canada — an event that would have jeopardized his status on American soil.

Justice Mosley anticipates such a scenario in his ruling:

“Had Galloway actually been found inadmissible by a visa officer relying on the preliminary assessment and the alerts sent to the border points, I would have had little difficulty in concluding that the officer’s discretion had been fettered by the process followed in this case and that the e-mails and statements to the press raised a reasonable apprehension of bias.”

This leads to the second reason the ruling is a victory for Galloway: it paves the way for his return to Canada. Should Galloway turn up at a Canadian point of entry — something that Galloway is expected to do very soon — a CBSA officer will have to rule on his admissibility. In light of the decision, it will be impossible for an officer to deem Galloway inadmissible based on the politically compromised preliminary assessment. The ruling should be seen as a warning to the government to end its political interference to block Galloway’s entry to Canada.“The assessment is not reasonable, in my view, as it overreaches in its interpretation of the facts, errs in its application of the law and fundamentally fails to take into

The third reason the ruling is a victory for Galloway is that it unequivocally dismisses the government’s claims that Galloway is a national security threat or a supporter of terrorism. Justice Mosley writes:

“From the evidence on the record, the question of Galloway’s admissibility was never an issue of national security. As indicated above, CSIS was consulted prior to the writing of the CBSA assessment and had no national security concerns about his visit.”

During the Federal Court hearing, it became clear that Jason Kenney’s Director of Communications — Alykhan Velshi, the staffer who set the ban in motion — did not include CSIS’s findings in the preliminary assessment.
Justice Mosley also slams how the government made its assessment:

“It is also clear that the preliminary assessment was prepared with the intention that it be used to justify a CBSA officer’s determination that Mr. Galloway was inadmissible should he appear at the border.”

This last sentence anticipates Galloway’s likely return, a scenario in which the CBSA will have to make a ruling on Galloway’s admissibility. The decision is so clear in its language that it should help ease Galloway’s entry into Canada should he appear at the border.

In addition, Justice Mosley dismisses the government’s familiar refrain that Galloway’s humanitarian support for the people of Gaza is the same as support for terrorism. Justice Mosley writes:

“To suggest, however, that contributions to Hamas for such purposes makes the donor a party to any terrorist crimes committed by the organization goes beyond the parliamentary intent and the legislative language. The purpose to which the funds are donated must be to enhance the ability of the organization to facilitate or carry out a terrorist activity. Absent such a purpose, the mere assertion that material support was provided to such an organization is not sufficient. To hold otherwise could ensnare innocent Canadians who make donations to organizations they believe, in good faith, to be engaged in humanitarian works.”

The last sentence is critical: it makes clear that similar initiatives by Canadians — think of the Canadian Boat to Gaza — cannot be labeled as support for terrorism. They are humanitarian in nature.

By these criteria, even though the application was ultimately dismissed, the ruling sides overwhelmingly with Galloway and his supporters. The government and its backers in the press may try to spin it as a defeat for Galloway, but they really have nothing to cheer about: the government’s political interference has been exposed and condemned, the door is now open for Galloway to return to Canada this weekend, and the government’s unfounded allegations against Galloway have been dismissed.

But the ruling also raises some very troubling questions.

The most alarming concern is the way in which the government continues to exploit Canada’s so-called anti-terror legislation to stifle dissent. This is a long-standing criticism of Canada’s post-9/11 restrictions on civil liberties. Legal experts have pointed to the vague and undefined language of anti-terror laws that allows for the broadest possible interpretations of “terrorism.”

Justice Mosley makes a similar point:

“As there is no evidence of Galloway actually participating in a terrorist activity, complicity is the only basis upon which it can be asserted that he could fall within the scope of paragraph 34(1) (c) as ‘engaging in terrorism’, assuming that this extension of the complicity principle is warranted. Again, I think that it is overreaching on the facts of this case and the law to suggest that Galloway is complicit in the terrorist activities of Hamas.”

This is significant for civil liberties campaigners and legal experts who criticize Canada’s anti-terror laws: the ruling raises questions about their constitutionality and opens the door to further legal challenges.

Justice Mosley seems to anticipate this by identifying the way in which the government’s political interference undermined Canadians’ free speech rights. He writes:

“In the result, I agree with the applicants that the activity for which they seek s. 2 (b) protection is a form of expression. I also agree with the applicants that the main reason why the respondents sought to prevent Mr. Galloway from entering Canada was that they disagreed with his political views. If the respondents’ purpose was to restrict the content of the expression in order to control access by others to the meaning being conveyed, it limits freedom of expression…”

If the Galloway ban were an isolated incident, it would be serious enough on its own to raise concerns about the state of free speech in Canada. Sadly, it is part of a much wider pattern of government-led repression against critical voices in Canadian civil society. In the last few years, the Conservative government led by Stephen Harper has exercised its political power to attack and smear its political opponents.

The list of its targets is long:
  • Canadian diplomat Richard Colvin who blew the whistle on the torture of Afghan detainees.
  • MPs who requested access to secret files about the involvement of Canadian troops in the torture scandal.
  • New Democratic leader Jack Layton, who was labeled “Taliban Jack” for suggesting a negotiated settlement to the war in Afghanistan.
  • The Canadian Arab Federation, whose funding was cut following its criticism of Canada’s support for Israel’s war on Gaza.
  • KAIROS, a human rights organization representing 11 of Canada’s largest Christian churches, which was labeled “anti-Semitic” following its criticism of Israel’s occupation.
  • Rights and Democracy, government-supported human rights body whose leadership was stacked with conservative ideologues.
  • The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which was smeared as having “terrorist” links.
  • Independent Palestinian MP, Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, whose speaking tour in Canada was delayed because the government held up his visa.
  • Students involved in Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) and other Palestine solidarity campaigns.
  • Maternal health and women’s organizations which were told to “shut the fuck up” on abortion to preserve their funding.
  • And hundreds of G20 demonstrators and ordinary citizens swept up in the largest mass arrest in Canadian history.
The list goes on. These attacks have contributed to a McCarthy-like atmosphere in Canada where critics of government policy can expect state-led retribution for expressing their views. The significance of the Galloway ruling is that it exposes how the government organizes these attacks: the court record that documents the minute-by-minute chronology of the Galloway ban is instructive.

The Galloway ruling also contradicts Kenney’s statements to the media and in the House of Commons in which he either denies involvement in the ban or avoids answering questions about it.

See Kenney’s response to Olivia Chow, New Democratic Party critic for Citizenship and Immigration, who questions Kenney in Parliament about his government’s double-standard in welcoming hate-monger Ann Coulter to Canada while blocking Galloway.
The sharp contrast between Kenney’s public claims and the court records raises questions about the credibility of his comments in the House of Commons. This alone should justify Kenney’s dismissal from cabinet.

But who will hold Kenney to account for his role in attempting to ban Galloway? What about Alykhan Velshi? Will Kenney stand by his statement that ministers must take responsibility for the actions of their staff?

In May 2010, Kenney stated on CTV’s Power Play with Tom Clark:

“The principle is a very simple one: that ministers are accountable to Parliament for the conduct of their ministries and their offices… The political staff of ministers are there to serve the minister. The minister answers for their conduct, is responsible for their conduct to Parliament… They’re not accountable to Parliament; their boss is. We’re saying it’s the bosses who should be answering for their conduct and that of their office. And that underscores the principle of parliamentary responsibility.”

See the full statement here.

And what will opposition MPs say about the ruling? Will they demand that Kenney be censured or forced to step down as minister? How much more blatant does a government-led attack on civil liberties have to be to merit serious and sustained criticism from the Opposition? Aside from a few lone voices like those of Olivia Chow, very few MPs have made this an issue.

As a consequence, the responsibility to hold Kenney and the Conservative government to account falls largely to ordinary people and the social movements. Activists must mobilize in greater and greater numbers to defend any semblance of democracy and accountability in Canada, and to push their elected representatives to express the public’s outrage.

In the coming days, Galloway is returning to Canada, to deliver the message he was prevented from delivering in person 18 months ago. His return will be a test of all of us who support free speech, free expression, and civil liberties.

It is up to us to hold Kenney to account for this most recent abuse of government power. Let’s not miss this opportunity.

To download the full decision of the Federal Court, please click here.

To read highlights of the decision, please click here.

James Clark is a member of the Toronto Coalition to Stop the War and an applicant in the case brought by supporters of George Galloway against the Government of Canada.

Editor’s update: Former British MP George Galloway will now arrive in Toronto on Saturday, Oct. 2, to resume his pan-Canada speaking tour after being prevented from entering the country in March 2009. A welcome rally will assemble at 5 p.m. at the Terminal 1 arrivals gate at Lester B. Pearson International Airport, where Galloway will hold a 15-minute press conference.
On Sunday, Oct. 3, at 3 p.m., Galloway will address a public meeting at Trinity-St. Paul’s United Church, 427 Bloor Street, in downtown Toronto. This event is sponsored by, and will be livestreamed on rabbleTV.

Must watch:

George Galloway thanks Canadian supporters who defeated political ban by Harper government

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'European Jewish communities are in serious danger'

Via This is Zionisn

European Jewish Congress calls on governments to launch campaign against intolerance, anti-Semitism to remember "Never Again" concept.

The European Jewish Congress (EJC) claimed that certain European Jewish communities are in serious danger after a recent wave of anti-Semitism, according to a statement released by the organization Thursday.

The statement gave a recent example of a respected and government-funded Catholic school in Antwerp that hosted a ‘Palestine Day’, which was replete with anti-Semitic references and activities for youngsters.

One stall at the event was titled “Throw the soldiers into the sea” where children were invited to throw replicas of Jewish and Israeli soldiers into two large tanks, the organization highlighted.

The EJC, which is the democratically elected representative umbrella organization of European Jewry, is calling on European governments and the European Union to launch a campaign against intolerance and anti-Semitism, so to remind European citizens that the new Europe was established after the Second World War on the concept of “Never Again.”

A number of examples of anti-Semitsm in Europe were highlighted by the EJC in an attempt to bring the issue to the attention of decison makers in Europe.

Another one of the examples highlighted by the organization involved anti-Semitism experienced in the Malmo Jewish community. An event organized for children of the Jewish community was disrupted after gang of thugs shouted “Heil Hitler” and “Jewish pigs.”

Newly elected mayor of the Swedish city, Ilmar Reepalu, considered the rise in anti-Semitsm an understandable consequence of the Israel-Palestine conflict and claimed “we accept neither Zionism nor anti-Semitism,” equating Jewish national self-determination with hate and racism.

In response to the rise in anti-Semitsm Dr. Moshe Kantor, President of the EJC said “small Jewish communities are facing a situation where they are being physically, verbally and psychologically threatened by fundamentalist elements and their extreme left-wing cohorts on one side and the far-right neo-Nazis on the other.”

“If they can’t receive protection or respite from mainstream officials then we are entering a very dark period for the Jews in Europe,” Kantor continued.

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Sayyed Nasrallah Offers Ahmadinejad Israeli Rifle from 2006 War

15/10/2010 The Iranian President ended a historical two-day visit to Lebanon after meeting with Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah who offered Mahmoud Ahmadinejad an Israeli rifle captured during the 2006 July War as an appreciation for Iran’s support to the Islamic resistance in Lebanon.

The overnight meeting took place at the Iranian embassy in Beirut's Bir Hasan neighborhood where both leaders discussed the general situation and the outcome of the historic visit of President Ahmadinejad at various levels.

Ahmadinejad visited the presidential palace in Baabda Thursday night (10:00 PM Beirut Timing) in a farewell meeting with President Michel Suleiman.

He was greeted by President Suleiman at the entrance of the palace to hold the meeting in the hall of the ambassadors where they assessed the results of the visit at all levels. They agreed to follow up the agreements and memoranda of understanding signed between Lebanon and Iran.

President Suleiman renewed his greeting to his guest. Ahmadinejad thanked the President for the warm hospitality and reiterated Iran's readiness to help Lebanon in everything and once again extended an invitation to President Suleiman to visit Iran.


Before the late Thursday meeting, Ahmadinejad promised the demise of the Israeli enemy to thunderous applause before a frenzied crowd in Bint Jbeil, only four kilometers (2 miles) from the Zionist entity.

Israel’s Channel 2 Television said echoes of Ahmadinejad's welcoming ceremony were audible on the Israeli side minutes before he arrived.

“The world should know that eventually the Zionists will be forced to go and will not last long. They are enemies of humanity and will have no choice but to surrender. Palestine will be liberated through the force of faith,” Ahmadinejad said.

The Iranian leader also visited Qana, which suffered numerous violent Israeli attacks in 1996 and 2006 where many civilians and children were martyred under the watching of the United Nations' UNIFIL. “You are victorious and your enemies are defeated,” Ahmadinejad said.

As Ahmadinejad’s visit to Lebanon ended, Israel remains wary of the strengthening ties with Tehran.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday that, “Unfortunately, Lebanon is rapidly turning into a satellite of the ayatollahs' regime. This is tragic for Lebanon, but Israel will know how to defend itself against such developments.” Netanyahu chose to respond to Ahmadinejad from the hall in Tel Aviv where Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, declared the creation of the Zionist entity in 1948.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told ABC television on Thursday that “Ahmadinejad coming [to Beirut], being so volatile and using language that is inflammatory is just true to form”.

“Lebanon itself has constructed a very delicate balance over the years where the Sunni and Shia populations and the Christian populations try to accommodate each other so that each can live in peace,” Clinton said.

Meanwhile, A Hamas official in Gaza, Dr. Khalil Abu Layla told Iranian news agency Fars that the Hamas government hoped Ahmadinejad visits Gaza, just as he visited Lebanon.

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Deepening crisis

Deepening crisis

The bleak mood in Ramallah that preceded the Sirte Arab Summit in Libya became even more sombre as Palestinian Authority (PA) leader Mahmoud Abbas discovered that the Arab leaders whose help he was seeking were themselves helpless and could do next to nothing in terms of helping the Palestinians at this crucial juncture in their struggle.

Having engaged in some acrimonious exchanges with Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad in Sirte, and with the Arab League failing miserably to take a decisive stand with regard to Israel's determination to steal additional Palestinian land, and in broad daylight, the Palestinian leader appeared in despair. A reliable source in Ramallah spoke of "a certain propensity" on the part of the PA leader "to go it alone".

"The president thinks that many Arab leaders are quite detached from the Palestinian reality and are trying to settle old accounts with the Palestinian leadership more than they are interested in helping the Palestinian cause." The source, who requested anonymity, described the Sirte meeting as "another monumental failure because everyone wants to use the Palestinians as cannon fodder." "The Arabs want us to confront Israel and the United States alone, but when we ask them why they don't do the same, they shut up and tell us that they have their own interests to protect and care about."

The Sirte meeting gave the Obama administration 30 days to get Israel to adhere to the basics of the peace process, including pressuring Israel to renew the freeze on Jewish settlement activities. However, it is widely thought that this one-month hiatus is aimed more at unburdening the Obama administration of the task of confronting Israel during the upcoming election season rather than seeing any concrete results from any renewed American efforts at reactivating an exhausted and unpromising peace process.

For its part, Israel has paid very little attention to message from Sirte as an all-out settlement expansion campaign is underway all over the West Bank. In fact, settler groups have been so euphoric about the fresh settlement campaign that the rabbi of Kiryat Arba, Dov Lior, suggested, jokingly or half- jokingly, to another settler leader that he should become the "next mayor of Nablus". "I know you can overcome the problem in one month, even in one day," said the rabbi, alluding to ethnically cleansing the city's 200,000 Arab inhabitants.

The official stance of the Israeli government has been a cessation of settlement activities for a month or two months in exchange for solemn Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state. Netanyahu said his "condition" was not negotiable, adding that "the right of the Jewish people to live in Palestine [is] the heart and soul of the conflict." This came hours after the Israeli government approved a controversial law obliging non-Jews aspiring to become Israeli citizens to pledge allegiance to Israel as a "Jewish state".

Visibly insulted by the Israeli "proposal", Palestinian officials said there was no way Palestinians could recognise Israel as a Jewish state. PA negotiator Saeb Ereikat said the issue was a distraction: "This has nothing to do with the peace process or with the obligations that Israel has not implemented. This is completely rejected." Abbas has on numerous occasions rejected the incessant Israeli demand, arguing that the religious nature of Israel was none of the business of Palestinians.

Most observers of the Arab-Israeli conflict see the driving motive behind Israeli demands for Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state as linked to the enduring Zionist desire to expel most or all Arabs who have Israeli citizenship and who constitute around 25 per cent of Israel's overall population. On several occasions, Israeli leaders representing various political and ideological orientations declared that Israeli Arabs would have to seek national fulfilment elsewhere, probably in a prospective Palestinian state on parts of the West Bank.

With its horizons getting narrower, it appears increasingly likely that the Palestinian leadership will employ new strategies to save the two-state solution from imminent collapse. This could include going, again, to the UN General Assembly and the Security Council for recognition of an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank based on 1967 borders. However, such a move would have to be coordinated first with the United States, which is likely to veto any move that Israel opposes.

It has been reported that the Obama administration has given Israel a set of far- reaching guarantees, including vetoing any Arab-sponsored resolutions at the UN requesting recognition of a Palestinian state without Israeli consent. Were this scenario thwarted by the US and Israel, the PA might contemplate dismantling itself and abandoning the two-state strategy completely. This might also involve the resignation of President Abbas.

Such speculation abounds in the Palestinian street. Abbas was due to deliver a speech to the Palestinian people last week in which it was rumoured he would announce his resignation. The Obama administration reportedly asked the Palestinian leader to postpone the speech pending more favourable circumstances in the peace process. Some Palestinian officials have suggested that the Obama administration has tacitly asked the Palestinian leadership to "put everything in the freezer" for at least one month -- at least until US congressional elections, held on 2 November, are over.

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Alan Hart Seconding Yasser Abed Rabbo's Call: Yes indeed, show us all the map!

On september, 2010, Mr. hart called the Saudi King to follow the advise of Thomas L. Friedman: "King Abdullah should invite Mr. Netanyahu to Riyadh and present it to him personally.”

Today, Mr. Hart praised and seconded Yesser Abd Yasser (Abd Abbas now) challenge addressed to Netanyaho: show us all the map!

"Better late than never," Mr. Hart wrote "a very senior Palestinian official in Ramallah, Yasser Abed Rabbo, found the right way to challenge Israel and the U.S."

I wonder if Mr. Hart, in his next book, would call Yasser the second, the Second "Father Palestine"

Yesterday, I corrected Dr. Saeb Shaath's, arabic piece, where he claimed that Yesser was managing Habash office until he left and PFLP and joined DFLP. I knew him, a student at American University of Cairo over the period from 1965 - 1968. He left to Jordan without finishing his degree. I met him in Jordan in 1969, wearing 2 Guns like American cowboys. I knew him in Lebanon over the the period from 1977 to 1982.
Most likely, Mr. Hart is aware, that Arafat used to have so many linkmen, Adib Abd Rabo(the real Name of Yasser Abd Rabo) was Arafat's linkman with the American Ambassador in Tunis, and is a close friend of Peres.

After telling us the Ezer Weizman's story about Sharon's BlOOd OATH, Alan concluded "there won’t be a Jewish civil war because no Israeli prime minister is ever going to risk provoking it. So there will be no map....Yasser Abed Rabbo knew that when he put the demand into words.

So what was the point of his challenge?"

I don't see any challange, All I can see is a plea: We recognized israel, call it whatever you like, Jewish state, Chinese State, but please show us the map.

I claim, Mr. Hart deliberately, ignored Yesser's acceptance Netanyahu's call for recognizing Israel as a Jewish state i.e accepted ethnic cleansing of Arab 48.

For God Sake, the Map is already drawn on ground, by the racist apartheid wall, settlements and roads network, and Israel is doing ethnic cleansing drills.

Which map he is talkng about??
We know our MAP. Its from River to Sea

As for settlers and settlement, and Civil war, I am sure Alan knows that there were settlements in Sinai, there were settlements in Gaza, and there is still settlements in Golan Heights, that should be removed to achieve peace with Syria.

However, as Allan said, next day Yasser got the answer: Go to hell
Sure he will, In Geneva he betrayed Excilled Palestiniana, sold the their right of return, and now he betrayed the best Palestinians, their right to stay for a red carpet and VIP card.

Bahar condemns Abbas calling Jewish state recognition ‘international affair’

Yes indeed, show us all the map!

By Alan Hart

Better late than never, a very senior Palestinian official in Ramallah, Yasser Abed Rabbo, found the right way to challenge Israel and the U.S. As reported by AFP on 13 October, he said, "We officially demand that the US administration and the Israeli government provide a map of the borders of the state of Israel which they want us to recognise."

That’s a completely logical and totally reasonable demand.

IF Israel was interested in peace on terms virtually all Palestinians and most other Arabs and Muslims everywhere could accept, the map provided would show Israel with borders as they were on the eve of the 1967 war. An accompanying note would say that, subject to agreement in final negotiations, Israel seeks minor border adjustments here and there. The note would also propose that Jerusalem should be an open, undivided city and the capital of two states.

If such a map with the note as above was presented, it would open the door to peace.

But the implementation of such land-for-peace deal would require the IDF to confront and forcibly remove illegal Jewish settlers who refused to leave; and that would open the door to a Jewish civil war - the price Israel’s Jews would have to pay for 62 years of contempt for and defiance of international law.

Of course it won’t happen. As I reveal in my book Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews (, why not was explained to me as far back as I980 by Shimon Peres. At the time he was the leader of the Labour Party, the main opposition to Prime Minister Menachem Begin’s Likud-led coalition. Peres was hoping to win Israel’s next election and deny Begin a second term in office. (President Carter was hoping and possibly praying for such an outcome). My purpose in talking with Peres in private was to establish whether or not he was interested in me acting as the linkman in a secret, exploratory dialogue between himself and PLO Chairman Arafat. Peres was interested but before I went off to Beirut to seek Arafat’s agreement to participate in a little conspiracy for peace, he said to me, “I fear it’s already too late”.

I asked Peres what he meant and this was his answer:

“Every day that passes sees new bricks on new settlements. Begin knows exactly what he’s doing. He’s stuffing the West Bank with settlers to create the conditions for a Jewish civil war. He knows that no Israeli prime minister is going down in history as the one who gave the order to the Jewish army to shoot Jews out of the West Bank”. Pause. “I’m not.”

When Peres spoke those words to me there were 70,000 illegal Jewish settlers on the occupied West Bank. If it was “too late” then, in 1980, how much more too late is it today when the number of illegal Jewish settlers is in excess of 500,000 and rising on a daily basis?

Some weeks after that conversation with Peres, I had reason to talk in private with Ezer Weizman, then serving as Defense Minister in Begin’s first-term government. He gave me extraordinary and frightening insight into why any future Israeli prime minister would not and possibly could not order the IDF to remove settlers from the West Bank by whatever force was necessary. At a point in our conversation he said the following, very slowly and with quiet emphasis:

“This lunchtime Sharon convened a secret meeting of some of our generals and other top military and security people. They signed in blood an oath which commits them to join with the settlers and fight to the death to prevent any government of Israel withdrawing from the West Bank.” Pause. “I know that’s what happened at the meeting because I’ve checked it out and that’s why I was late for this appointment with you.” (I tell the full story of this conversation with Weizman in The Blood Oath, Chapter 12 of Volume Three of the American edition of Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews).

So no, there won’t be a Jewish civil war because no Israeli prime minister is ever going to risk provoking it.

So there will be no map. (I mean not one that could come even close to satisfying the Palestinian demand and need). Yasser Abed Rabbo knew that when he put the demand into words.

So what was the point of his challenge?

I presume he was hoping that Israel’s refusal to come up with a map based on more or less pre-June 1967 borders will help to convince more and more people, Americans especially, that Israel simply is not interested in peace on terms virtually all Palestinians and most other Arabs and Muslims everywhere could accept, and for which there is universal support (minus only the opposition of the Zionists and the mad, fundamentalist Christians who support them right or wrong, an opposition which in numbers of people is only a tiny, almost invisible fraction of the global whole).

If it does that, the challenge will not have been made in vain.


The day after Yasser Abed Rabbo issued the challenge, Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman had the gall (chutzpah) to say that Israel “has already made many gestures to the Palestinian Authority to facilitate restarting direct negotiations,” and now “the other side must show goodwill”. In one sense Liberman was right. Israel has made many gestures to the Palestinians. But all of them have been of the “Go to hell” type.

Resheq calls on Abbas to fire Abd Rabbo
IOA expands 19 settlements in Al-Khalil
IOA to build hundreds of housing units in OJ
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AOHR accuses PA security of torturing families of slain resistance fighters

[ 16/10/2010 - 08:45 AM ]

LONDON, (PIC)-- The Arab organization for human rights (AOHR) in Britain accused the Palestinian Authority's security apparatuses of harassing and torturing families of slain resistance fighters Nashat Al-Karmi and Mamoun Al-Natsha and demanded their immediate release.

This accusation came in a press release issued on Thursday by the organization under the title "The intelligence and preventive security apparatuses take turns in torturing members of Natsha and Karmi families."

"Mr. Tayseer Al-Natsha filed a complaint with the Arab organization for human rights in Britain in which he said that following the armed operation which led to the killing of settlers on 31/08/2010, the intelligence apparatus along with the preventive security stormed and ransacked the house of the family in search of Mamoun Al-Natsha," AOHR stated.

"When they did not find him, they arrested Tayseer Al-Natsha, the father of Mamoun, where he was detained by the intelligence apparatus for two days; they also arrested [Mamoun's four] brothers. . . . The two aforementioned apparatuses arrested as well his cousins Waheeb Yaser Al-Natsha, 23, and Salah Yaser Al-Natsha, 23, and all of them are still in detention," it added.

According to AOHR, two other cousins and one brother of Mamoun were arrested and released later, and all of them affirmed they were interrogated about the whereabouts of Mamoun Al-Natsha and Nashat Karmi and the armed resistance operation in which a number of settlers were killed in Al-Khalil city last month.

The released members of Natsha family also said that their cousins and brothers, who are still in prison, are being exposed to the worst kinds of torture, especially Mua'tasim Al-Natsha, one of Mamoun's brothers, who was transferred to hospital three times because of his exposure to excruciating torture at the hands of the PA intelligence officers.

"Even my wife Umm Jaafar, an elderly woman aged 60, was interrogated by the intelligence men who came on 29/09/2010 to take her statement on Mamoun. After interrogation they left, but in the next day, a large force of intelligence and police officers surrounded the house and asked Umm Jaafar to surrender herself; the family rejected the intelligence's request and the neighborhood residents gathered and prevented them from carrying out the arrest," the father of Mamoun said in his complaint.

AOHR noted that about 400 members of Natsha family were arrested by the PA security apparatuses. The same thing happened to the family of Nashat Al-Karmi whose members were arrested, tortured and humiliated.

It pointed out that following the Israeli military operation that happened in Jabal Joher on 08/10/2010 and led to the killing of Mamoun and Nashat, the PA security apparatuses refused to release members of the two families who were arrested before the operation.

"The price which these families have paid as a result of the security coordination between the Palestinian Authority's security apparatuses and the Israeli occupation was very high. If it had not been for the investigations which the Palestinian Authority's security apparatuses were leading, the Israeli army would not have been able to reach the victims (martyrs)," AOHR concluded its statement.

In another context, the independent commission for human rights (ombudsman) said on Wednesday in its monthly report that the PA security apparatuses are still flouting the release decisions issued by courts in the West Bank, arbitrarily issue dismissal from jobs against civil servants and assault the immunity of Palestinian lawmakers.

The commission stated in its report that it received last month 30 complaints against different security apparatuses related to their refusal to comply with decisions issued by West Bank courts on the release of prisoners in their jails. It also received 463 complaints related to arbitrary dismissal from the civil service.

In a separate incident, 40 Palestinian citizens affiliated with Hamas Movement were referred to military courts and will stand trial early next month, according to sources close to the families of those detainees.
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What is the US trying to do?

Via Friday-Lunch-Club

Rami Khouri:
"...One of the important lessons that Obama and his team should have learned by now is that the United States fights these battles with one hand tied behind its back. The US is severely handicapped by a significant lack of credibility that is a direct consequence of its own foreign policy incompetence in the Middle East in the past several decades, especially the past decade. Most people and political movements, and a few governments, in the Middle East neither respect nor fear the US. More and more of them routinely defy the US, or actively resist it when it suits their purposes. At one point the US found itself facing defiance and pushback simultaneously from Arabs, Israelis, Turks and Iranians, all of whom for their own reasons refused to comply with certain American requests, suggestions, threats or demands. The US has a massive military machine that it can use at will in the region, especially via remote controlled drones and missiles; but it has a seriously degraded and limited ability to accomplish any clear goals using old-fashioned diplomacy, soft power, and engagement with the locals across sectors like economics, security, diplomacy, civil society, education and science and technology.
So the priority for the US in the first instance, Obama may have calculated, was to restore its full toolbox of diplomatic and political tools and options, so that it has real capabilities and impact when addressing substantive issues. It may be that its brisk, high-level and sustained work on mediating Arab-Israeli peace-making is designed not to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict in the short run, but to restore the perception of the US in the region as a credible, even-handed mediator and political actor. It may be that all we have witnessed in the past 20 months has aimed primarily to revive the role and capability of the US as a serious diplomatic actor, after it had allowed itself to lapse into irrelevance or impotence. In that respect, it is succeeding. We shall soon see if its procedural advances will be followed up soon by substantive advances."
Posted by G, Z, or B at 10:35 AM
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Night clashes erupt in Jerusalem Shuf’at camp, dozens wounded

[ 16/10/2010 - 09:18 AM ]

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)-- Dozens of Palestinians sustained breathing difficulties after inhaling tear gas during clashes that erupted Friday night between Palestinian youths and Israeli occupation forces in the vicinity of a military checkpoint near the Shu’fat refugee camp in central Jerusalem.

Locals reported that violent clashes broke out when the youths hurled stones and empty bottles at the IOF soldiers stationed at a provocative checkpoint located at the camp’s entrance.

Sources added that soldiers proceeded to close off and comb the area and block traffic at the point for hours without report of arrest. Israeli special military units were intensively deployed in the camp’s alleys throughout the night to provoke residents.

On his part, Palestinian Legislative Council Secretary Mahmoud Al Ramahi said the direct reason for attacks and violations by the IOF troops and settlers against Palestinians and their property in Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip are the futile and unsolicited negotiations with Israel, and the positions and irresponsibility on the part of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and its spokesmen.

“Israel, which judaizes Jerusalem and the holy sites and excavates the land in the West Bank and continues its unjust blockade on the Gaza Strip, has taken the decision to return to negotiations as a legal cover, in addition to its security coordination with the PA’s security establishment in the West Bank, and its targeting of the resistance [movement] and its men, whether through arrests, torture, or physical liquidation,” Ramahi said.

On another note, Ramahi condemned a crackdown by the Israeli prisons authority in the Nafha prison Saturday morning, assuring that Hamas representatives will stand by the side of Palestinian POWs and their just cause.

Dozens of marchers injured during West Bank marches against wall

[ 16/10/2010 - 07:40 AM ]

RAMALLAH, (PIC)-- Dozens of Palestinians and foreign activists sustained injuries after Israeli soldiers assaulted them Friday during a weekly march against the separation wall and settlement activity in the Bil’in and Ma’sara villages.

The Ma’sara village south of Bethlehem saw a mass rally against the apartheid separation wall setting out from the village’s high school.

When reaching the separation wall after roaming local streets, marchers were met by dozens of Israeli occupation soldiers armed with batons, who obstructed the march’s progression, forcing demonstrators to form a sit-in at their place

Mohammed Barijiya, the spokesman for the popular campaign against settlement activity, addressed the crowd in Arabic and Jum’a Zawahira in English discussing the recent increase of settler attacks against Palestinian farmers while harvesting. They also stressed that negotiations with the Israelis were pointless, as Israeli policies on the ground undermine peace efforts.

Amid the talks, Israeli soldiers attacked the protesters, throwing a barrage of tear gas at them, causing dozens of them to faint and become nauseous.

An American activist received wounds to the head after a sound bomb collided with it. He was transported to the hospital with blood dripping over his face.

In another incident, dozens of protesters sustained breathing difficulties after inhaling tear gas after Israeli soldiers suppressed a weekly march in Bil’in, west of Ramallah.

Before the march, delegations from Germany and France met with members from the Popular Committee to Resist the Wall and Settlement activity in the International Solidarity Movement headquarters in Bil’in, and listened to a detailed explanation from the committee on the experiences of Bil’in in the poplar peaceful resistance in the last five and a half years, its achievements, and the role international activists play in it.

Marchers headed towards the wall where a military force was hiding behind cement blocks behind the wall. When the demonstrators tried to cross to the land behind the fence, which is owned by local residents, soldiers began firing stun grenades, rubber-coated bullets, and gas grenades at them from all directions. Dozens of marchers sustained breathing difficulties in the incident.

15 injured in Silwan in Jerusalem

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The Tide Has Changed!!!: Robert Wyatt and Gilad Atzmon in Haaretz

DateFriday, October 15, 2010 at 3:35PM AuthorGilad Atzmon

Haaretz published today a massive interview with Robert Wyatt and myself. It is a very interesting piece. I may also mention that the Israeli paper didn't censor me. It let me say it all (Jews, Judaism, Jewishness, Jewish left, Zionism, Israeli collective barbarism etc')

Haunted by ghosts

Self-proclaimed anti-Israeli saxophonist Gilad Atzmon and prog rock legend Robert Wyatt have joined forces to make musical magic and "political noise"

By Yaron Frid

In 1963 a baby was born in Israel. In 1972 a man fell from the third floor (or the fourth - views are divided ) in England in the middle of the night. Both of them took off on the wings of music, and life would one day organize a surprising encounter between them.

Ghosts within by Gilad Atzmon

This is a sad story with a jolting soundtrack made of the howl of a saxophone and the wail of a clarinet. It's a story of displaced persons who have no other country, featuring war criminals, Nazi-hunters and God in a cameo role, tempered by large daubs of irony and a few crumbs of hope.

Morning. Rain. Rail strike. Soho, London. Who is the huge chuckling fellow in the Italian cafe who is polishing off a schnitzel sandwich (washed down with tea ) and welcomes me with comments like "There is no light at the end of the Israeli tunnel"? Or, "I think there is something untenable, simply untenable in the fact that the Jews, who suffered so much racial discrimination, should establish a state that is founded on race laws." And, topping the charts, "I am dead against the existence of the Jewish state." It's still early in the morning, let me remind you. I-am-dead-against-the-existence-of-the-Jewish-state-and-pass-the-sweetener-please. Good morning to you, too, Gilad Atzmon.

The fact that the cafe is across from Ronnie Scott's famous jazz club offers a subtle hint about Atzmon's identity. He is one of the most acclaimed and in-demand jazz musicians in the world and he only enhances his glory - or totally destroys it, it depends whom you ask - when his mouth isn't otherwise occupied with a saxophone (or a schnitzel ).

Atzmon says he is dealing not with politics, but with ethics. Maybe in his case it really isn't just a matter of semantics. Or cosmetics. But we're here to talk about music. And about beauty. "This beauty which simply spills out of you," he says, "effortlessly, unconsciously, in the most wonderful moments of creativity, and when that happens you understand that you are only the carrier of the spirit, of something bigger than you, over which you have absolutely no control. I have no connection with that beauty, I just eat schnitzels. I am only the messenger. I don't look for the beauty, the beauty finds me and through me finds its way into the world."

And plenty of beauty finds its way into the world in "For the Ghosts Within," the new album by Atzmon and his musical partners, which has already earned rave reviews in the British music press, with praise such as "the surprise of the year" and ecstatic descriptions of angels entering the listener's heart. On the album Atzmon joins forces, as performer, composer, arranger and musical producer, with Ros Stephen and Robert Wyatt.

This is the great Robert Wyatt himself. Cult figure, one of the fathers and pioneers of progressive rock. The one calls the other a genius ("We have a mutual genius pact," Atzmon chuckles ), while Wyatt says, "It's a huge honor for me and not at all self-evident that Gilad agreed to work with me. He is an amazing musician, amazing." But judging by the people Wyatt has worked with - Jimi Hendrix, Mike Oldfield, David Gilmour, Paul Weller, Syd Barrett, Brian Eno, Bjork (a "heavenly creature," Wyatt sighed ) among others - it's clear that the honor is also definitely Atzmon's. He has performed with Paul McCartney, but the collaboration with Wyatt, 65, a unique object of admiration who cuts across tastes, generations and categories (just ask Radiohead's Thom Yorke ), is something of a step up and a certificate of honor that further cements Atzmon's status in the British music industry.

Wyatt is the hippie enfant terrible who became a white-bearded guru, a kind of secret national treasure, a genuine survivor who is almost unclassifiable. A drummer in Soft Machine (from which he was thrown out - to this day he maintains "there is nothing worse in life than humiliation" ) and in Matching Mole, he was reborn as a singer-songwriter after falling out of that London window during a drinking binge that lurched out of control. (Pink Floyd immediately rallied to the cause and organized a benefit concert for him. ) The fall left him in a wheelchair for life.

Few musicians have done all he has done - psychedelic, punk, post-punk, avant-garde, fusion and now "clean" jazz with his own twists.

Wyatt is married to Alfreda (Alfie ) Benge, who came to England from Poland as a childhood war refugee. She does the artwork for his album covers, once wrote a searing song about his alcoholism (he has since kicked the habit, or maybe not ) and calls him an "overgrown baby," while he calls her "the dark side of my moon." He records his albums, which are like nothing else and are always received as an "event," in a studio in his home. He has a distinctive tremulous voice (a kind of trademark ), which the composer and musician Ryuichi Sakamoto called "the saddest sound in the world." Wyatt has survived periods of bottomless, suicidal depression, and for entire decades avoided performing live. ("I think it's stage fright," Atzmon says. )

In an interview with the Guardian in June 2009, Wyatt selected Atzmon as the "greatest living artist" and noted that he was "born in Israel, which I prefer to call occupied Palestine." Atzmon, for his part, says Wyatt is "a genius of the kind that Kant described so well - a genius who seemingly has no part in his own genius, who creates beauty as though ex nihilo. Everything he touches sounds new and completely different and utterly his own. He is totally transparent and through him you see the light."

Tranquillity of the storm

Their love story began "about 10 years ago," Atzmon says. "At some festival, a woman named Alfie came over and said her husband is a musician but is very shy and loves my music and would like to talk to me. 'Sure, no problem,' I said. Robert approached, said he was an amateur musician or a crappy musician, something like that, he's very modest, and gave me his card. I had no idea it was him and I put the card in my pocket without looking. Afterward someone asked me what I'd talked about with Robert Wyatt and I said, 'Fuck! That was Robert Wyatt? I grew up on his music!'"

They invited each other to guest on their respective albums, including Wyatt's acclaimed "Cuckooland" (2003 ) and "For the Ghosts Within." (The song "The Ghosts Within" contains more than a hint to Palestinians sitting under olive trees, awaiting redemption, on the banks of the River of Shame. ) The album is on the trendy Domino label - its bands include Arctic Monkeys. Wyatt takes the role of the house singer, performing thrilling covers of jazz standards such as "In a Sentimental Mood" together with new material written and arranged by Atzmon and the violinist Ros Stephen. The result is almost a family affair (Gilad's wife, Tali, sings a marvelous solo, Bob's wife, Alfie, wrote powerful lyrics and Ros's partner is one of the musicians ). Tender and melancholy, the album is only part of the panoply of illusive and elusive contradictions of Atzmon, who is haunted by ghosts and demons, filled with gentleness and rage, naivete and depth, stubbornness and openness, storminess and tranquillity.
"The first time I invited him to play on an album of mine," Wyatt recalls, "Gilad warned me that it could be trouble. I don't think he deliberately looks for trouble, it finds him. That didn't scare me. I have been called a 'Stalinist' and a 'traitor' and worse, simply because I didn't agree with the British government's foreign policy. But that's nothing compared to the systematic character assassination being done on Gilad. He takes so many risks with his remarks, most of which are then taken out of context or presented in a twisted way so that his true intention isn't understood correctly.

"I sometimes feel a need to protect him," Wyatt continues, "an almost paternal instinct - after all, he's my son's age. The friendship with him is one of the most important and meaningful things that have happened to me in life. I truly love him. And I admire his courage. Some will call it reckless or uninhibited, but he dares to say things that no one else would. I would die of fright. He gets threats to his life, but I hope they are not serious. He doesn't enjoy the manifestations of hatred toward him but he doesn't care if he causes grief or anguish, because that's his truth, and contrary to politicians or diplomats he is committed to his truth. He's so sweet, really, he wouldn't hurt a fly, and I like his chutzpah, I think it's fantastic. There's something about him from the tradition of the great Jewish comics, like Lenny Bruce, who were never afraid to make people angry."

It would be a big mistake to assume that Atzmon's music is marginal and negligible compared with all the other noise he manages to make nonstop as a popular and prominent pro-Palestinian, anti-Zionist activist. The music is important, superb, surpassingly sublime and acknowledged as such by international awards.

"My shows are always sold out, wherever I appear in the world," says the busiest jazz artist in Britain, almost drily. But in the same breath, who are we kidding? Even when Robert Wyatt sings "At Last I Am Free" on the new album, not to mention the Arabic rap ("People dying of thirst / People are dying of hunger / We haven't forgotten / And we won't forget until the day we return" ) which leaves no room for doubt, or the "Palestinian shepherd's flute," one of the instruments Atzmon plays on the album according to the liner notes, the noise always penetrates, if not through the door then through the window - not that Atzmon goes out of his way to expel it.

Pathetic and absurd

Gilad Atzmon was born in Tel Aviv in 1963 and grew up in Jerusalem. "It was a regular secular childhood," he says, "with a right-wing Jabotinskyite grandfather. I wasn't ashamed of him, no way. I understood where he was coming from. I understood where I was coming from." Most of his military service was spent in the Air Force orchestra, after a stint as a combat medic.

"In the first week of the Lebanon war in 1982 I saw a lot of wounded soldiers, but contrary to the rumors, that was not the turning point in my life. I think the big change actually started in the orchestra, when we went to Ansar, that concentration camp" - a prison built by the Israeli army in Lebanon - "and then I realized that I was in the wrong army."

In Israel he played and was a musical producer with the singers Yardena Arazi - talk about diversity: chapter one Arazi, chapter two Wyatt - Si Himan and Yehuda Poliker, among others.

"Poliker opened my ears to Greek music and influenced me musically. My music is popular in Greece - more than his, I'd say - but Greece, like the whole world, is falling apart, so it doesn't help me very much."

In 1994 Atzmon planned to study abroad, in New York or Chicago, but in the end found a university in England with an interesting program combining psychoanalysis, philosophy and art history. "I didn't have some five-year plan to leave the country or anything like that," he recalls. "The truth is that I was worn out from everything: from the country, from music, from life. Everything wore me out. I didn't want to play or produce anymore. I thought of starting a new career as a commercial pilot. I wanted to be like the El Al pilots, who bow to the applauding passengers after landing [he chuckles]. I liked flying planes but I wasn't good enough at it.

"I was 30, and thought I would focus on an academic career. But then I fell in love with London, which was like a small village - it has changed completely since, and not for the better - and the local music scene gave me so much love. So I said to myself: We'll play jazz for the jazz, we'll live for art. We don't need a lot of money, we have everything we need. So we'll stay. And we stayed."

"We" is Atzmon and his wife, Tali, a fine singer and a stage actress with a burgeoning career. They met - we promised you irony, we deliver - at the Hasidic Song Festival in Israel.

"I didn't like Israel and what was happening there but I wasn't politically involved in any way. I also didn't understand the Palestinian idea, the true story. Somehow things happened and I started to speak and write in all kinds of forums, and suddenly I was all over the place. I was a private person with all kinds of private opinions who suddenly became public because people wanted to hear what I had to say. I think people feel that I am telling the truth, that I am not rewriting facts for anyone, that I don't have to lie because I am not part of any political body. I am Gilad Atzmon who represents Gilad Atzmon and that's all. At first I was seen as a nice Jew who was badmouthing Israel, which the goyim liked. But it didn't take me long to understand that I am not a nice Jew, because I don't want to be a Jew, because Jewish values don't really turn me on and all this 'Pour out Thy wrath on the nations' stuff doesn't impress me."

So you are pouring out your wrath on the Jews.

"I saw 'Metzitzim' a few days ago. You know where Uri Zohar is today [Zohar, the director, actor and screenwriter, is now an ultra-Orthodox rabbi and teacher], and he was the ultimate secular person, the absolute ultimate. Why are secular Israelis afraid of Uri Zohar? Because he left them alone in the dark to cope with questions like Why am I here? Why do I live on lands that are not mine, the plundered lands of another people whose owners want to return to them but cannot? Why do I send my children to kill and be killed, after I myself was a soldier, too? Why do I believe all this bullshit about 'because it's the land of our forefathers' and 'our patrimony' if I am not even religious? What the fuck? That is something the secular Jews simply cannot cope with. They are deathly afraid of those questions. I see more truth among the settlers than among the biggest secular Jews in the country.

"The Israelis can put an end to the conflict in two fucking minutes. Netanyahu gets up tomorrow morning, returns to the Palestinians the lands that belong to them, their fields and houses, and that's it. The refugees will come home and the Jews will also finally be liberated: They will be free in their country and will be able to be like all the nations, get on with their lives and even salvage the bad reputation they have brought on themselves in the past 2,000 years. But for Netanyahu and the Israelis to do that, they have to undergo de-Judaization and accept the fact that they are like all peoples and are not the chosen people. So, in my analysis this is not a political, sociopolitical or socioeconomic issue but something basic that has to do with Jewish identity.

"Think for a minute about the dialectics of Jewish identity, about 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' Who is your neighbor? Another Jew, of course. In other words, from the moment you were chosen to be the 'chosen people' you lost all respect for other peoples and for the other as such.

"Take, for example, the way gays are treated in Israel. It smacks so much of 'Look how liberal we are, we have homosexuals in Israel.' Max Nordau [Zionist leader, 1849-1923] wrote about the emancipation of the Jews, about how the Europeans don't really like Jews but like themselves for supposedly liking Jews. I find a lot of similarity between Jews and gays as separatist, marginal philosophies. It's very interesting.

"There are interesting values in Judaism, and the proof is that the Palestinians' greatest supporters are the Jews of the Torah, Neturei Karta [an ultra-Orthodox sect].

Our problem - and it took me time to understand this - lies with the secular Jews, and even more with the left-wing Jews. The idea of left-wing Jews is fundamentally sickening. Totally. It contains an absolute internal contradiction. If you are leftists it doesn't matter whether you're Jewish or not, so on principle when you present yourselves as leftist Jews you are accepting the idea of national socialism. Nazism. That is pathetic. That is why the Israeli left has never succeeded in doing anything for the Palestinians. The absolute absurdity is that it's actually the right wing that is leading toward a one-state solution and a final-status agreement."

Illogic and wonder

Atzmon played into the hands of politicians such as Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who in a debate with President Shimon Peres quoted Atzmon by name, to the effect that "Israeli barbarism is greater than [regular] cruelty." Atzmon has been accused from every possible platform of disseminating vitriol against Jews. He, though, maintains that he "hates everyone in equal measure." He's also been accused of self-hatred, but he is the first to admit this, and in comparison with Otto Weininger - the Austrian Jewish philosopher who converted to Christianity and of whom Hitler said, "There was one good Jew in Germany, and he killed himself" - he is even proud. "Otto and I are good friends."

Seriously, though?

"What seriously? I am married to a Jew, I work and play in a band with Jews. I have adopted a Palestinian identity, true, but to accuse me of anti-Semitism is ridiculous. Part of my success derives from the recognition that I am 'from there.' I do not try to hide that or blur it or deny it. I look, speak and behave like someone from there."

I address him in Hebrew and he replies in English with a distinctly Israeli accent, interspersed with Hebrew. He is sometimes amazed at some of the excellent Hebrew words he comes out with.
The hybrid language is intermittently amusing. Asked, for example, if he misses Israel, he replies, "I don't miss the medina [the state], I miss the eretz [the land/country], and elaborates: "When I started missing the soil, the landscapes, the scents, I understood that what I actually miss is Palestine. Palestine is the land and Israel is the state. It took me time to realize that Israel was never my home, but only a fantasy saturated in blood and sweat."

He speaks of "sweat" but really means "tears." It's a sad story, as we noted.

His children, Mai, 14, and Yan, 10, have no Jewish friends. Yan was not circumcised and bar or bat mitzvahs are out of the question. Atzmon's computer does not have Hebrew. He says he writes, thinks and dreams in English. He will not set foot in Israel until it is again Palestine.

Doesn't it hurt to cut yourself off like that? To burn all the bridges?

"No, but maybe it's true what all my girlfriends before Tal said when they dumped me."

What did they say?

"That I'm an emotional cripple."

Is that true?

"Maybe, but I didn't dump myself. I live at peace with myself." He apparently reserves his emotional intelligence for his art. There are no cripples of any sort in "For the Ghosts Within." In the music, they all fly to the highest places possible, perhaps touching the divine. Genuine talent, like passion, can't be faked. The problem is, then, only the grating noises - that's how they sound to many people - that the man haunted by ghosts and demons produces outside the recording studio.

Wyatt, playing the Dalai Lama, expresses amazement at "Gilad's struggle against racism and oppression of all kinds, and in his life's work, the search for the meaning of Jewish identity. Gilad is a traumatic but optimistic example of a widespread phenomenon of migrants who try to push aside their tribal circumstances and try to reconnect to the world and to humanity. That is what the Jews in the Diaspora have always done. Look at their contribution to world culture. Ronnie Scott was from a Jewish immigrant family from Russia, and there are also the Gershwin brothers and Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen and Noam Chomsky and Naomi Klein, not to mention Jesus and Karl Marx, two nice Jews who made a bit of a mess in the world.

"Gilad's point of departure is humanitarian, not real estate. Thanks to him I learned to be more tolerant of religion, every religion, and show it respect. Thanks to him, for example, I have no problem with the fact that Evyatar Banai, a terrific musician whom I met a few years ago, became religiously observant, just as I hope he has no problem with my political opinions. Gilad believes that religion is a spiritual affair and not a license to plunder olive groves from someone else, and that is something I can connect to.

"The problem," Wyatt continues, "arises when religion's illogic becomes the basis for politics. Religion is based on illogical legends: Jesus' mother was a virgin and Father Christmas comes down the chimney bringing toys. That's all very nice but it cannot be a serious foundation for politics that is supposed to make the real world run. It is unthinkable to take lands that are not yours only because it's written in the Bible - meaning the Old Testament, which is based on tribal mercilessness - that God said they are yours. And what about the other peoples? What were they told? Which God distributed what land to them? And what if they read a different book? There's no way out of it.

"People use every excuse to screw the Middle East, visit colonialist guilt feelings on the Palestinians and compare them to Nazis, which is outrageous. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the toughest knot to undo that there is, but people like Gilad are truly dreaming of a solution and fighting to realize it in their lifetime."

You once called him "Don Quixote." Do you think he is fighting a lost battle?

"I called him Don Quixote in humor, and he has a great sense of humor. I knew he wouldn't take offense. Possibly his battle is lost, but the war on crime, for example, is also lost, yet I still want the police to go on fighting it. Gilad is an artist who is trying to find meaning in a chaotic and insane world. For him, as for me, politics is the most personal thing there is. He and I cannot remain silent in the face of wrongs, injustice and inequality. Not all artists feel a need to express themselves or act politically, and you can't force anyone to do that. During the Second World War, Picasso chose to sound his voice and Matisse chose to remain silent and disappear, and both were and remain great artists who enriched the world. Gilad likes to shock and surprise in everything he does, and his very existence enriches the world."

And that world, however broken and ruined and complicated, is the same world that stars in the song that ends "For the Ghosts Within" as well as Atzmon's concerts: "What a Wonderful World."
"The newscasts report only disasters and wars, and that's natural," Wyatt notes. "I was born at the end of the Second World War, and since then the world has not stopped fighting and falling apart before our eyes. But if we forget the existence of beauty and joy and love and all the rest, what's the point of staying alive at all? To say that the world is only screwed up is an insult to those who go to work every day and build homes for their children and cook meals for their friends. It's important to sing this song with full intentionality and seriousness. I can't sing it any other way. To sing it is to remember what we're actually doing here."

In praise of the spark

Atzmon, who has appeared and recorded with artists such as Sinead O'Connor, Ian Dury and Robbie Williams, this month is also launching "The Tide Has Changed," the latest album by his jazz group, the Orient House Ensemble, now celebrating its 10th anniversary. (The other members are Frank Harrison, Eddie Hick and Yaron Stavi, the son of Zissi Stavi, the legendary former editor of Yedioth Ahronoth's literary supplement ). Among the instrumental tracks are "London Gaza" and "We Lament." Surprised?
Atzmon has even been accused of Holocaust denial.

"That is very imprecise," he says. "But I am fighting against all the disgusting laws and persecutions of those so-called Holocaust deniers - a categorization I don't accept. I think the Holocaust, like any historical episode, must be open to research, to examination, to discussion and debate. I am sorry that Hitler did not live to write a summary of the events in his own words. And I am not sorry that people throw eggs at the war criminal Tony Blair, who in the Nuremberg trials of the Iraq war will be brought to trial, inshallah, along with all those who fostered and financed that benighted and unnecessary war. And at the same opportunity, it might be a good thing if the Nazi hunters hunt down [Shaul] Mofaz and [Ehud] Barak, for example, and not all kinds of 96-year-olds who are barely alive. It's pathetic."

Atzmon can be sharp, focused and trenchant, and at the same time nonsensical and diffuse, so much "pro" but also so much "con" - coarse and refined, raucous and subdued, pedantic and professional to an extreme, making declarations like "I never did homework. I wrote my two books in two weeks each, vomited them onto the page, and the first one began as a joke."

The novels - "A Guide to the Perplexed" (2001; set in 2052, in the Palestinian state that has succeeded Israel ) and "My One and Only Love" (2005; about a trumpeter who chooses to play one note only and also about Nazi-hunters; spot the obsession ?) - have been translated into 27 languages. There is something childlike, if not childish, in the guide for the perplexed being someone who is himself occasionally perplexed, who radiates personal charm, frequently chuckles and acts the smart aleck and the provocateur, with a proven ability to electrify and to hypnotize an audience.

"There is a spark in Gilad, a passion and a natural joy of the kind found in children," Robert Wyatt sums up. "His joy of creation is utterly pure. Picasso said that he tried his whole life to paint the way he painted as a child. Gilad hasn't lost that, I think. He remains filled with curiosity and filled with life in the most positive and delightful way."

"Let me make it perfectly clear," says Atzmon. "There is a war of liberation of the Palestinian people and I support it unreservedly. I also have guilt feelings. I tried to communicate with Israelis and I failed, and it's important for that to be said. I no longer know how to communicate with Israelis."

For someone who is so cut-off, Atzmon ("I'm a voluntary exile, but also a DP and a refugee from my homeland" ) sounds quite connected. Never mind "Metzitzim"; he also heard, for example, that Poliker came out of the closet and that Miri Aloni is busking on the street (though he'd like to know whether for ideological reasons or "only for the money" ).

Why don't you make a distinction between individuals and governments? For example, what happened with the Gaza flotilla was not "us."

"It was you."

It's not me.

"It is you. Unequivocally. When you live in a democracy, every crime committed by your government is a crime committed by you."

Even if I didn't vote for that government?

"Absolutely. In a dictatorship the dictator takes responsibility, in a democracy all citizens bear equal responsibility."

So what do we do? How do we fix it?

"That's the big question."

What do you want me to do, shoot Netanyahu?

"You said it, not me. And by the way, Netanyahu is a lot better for the Palestinians than Barak or Peres. I, too, as a British citizen, share in the crime of the Iraq war. But the British public at least expressed opposition to the war all along, whereas in Israel 94 percent of the nation supported Operation Cast Lead. On the one hand, you want to behave like a post-enlightenment state and talk to me about individualism, but on the other hand you surround yourselves with a wall and remain attached to a tribal identity. That's a cake you can't eat and have, too. There is a price to be paid and everyone is paying it, including me."

The price includes loss of work in the United States and the cancelation of concerts in Europe because of his views, under pressure from muscular Jewish organizations. But Atzmon, who has been crowned successor to Charlie Parker, doesn't dwell on that.

"Sometimes I ask myself what I need all these headaches for. And Tali says she married a musician and now she has a prime minister in her home."

You might not be sad that you lost us, but I'm sad that we lost you.

"That's all right, there's a place in the world for sentimental people. I know I have many readers in Israel and they know how to contact me."

I think about Gilad Atzmon the way that Arik Einstein thought about the girl he saw on her way to school in the iconic song: that to us, he is lost. Israeli public diplomacy lost someone who could have been one of its finest voices: articulate, charismatic, brilliant. The score, for now: 1-0, Palestine leading.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian