Saturday, 13 March 2010

Nazzal: Palestinian resistance will stay at the vanguard defending holy sites

Nazzal: Palestinian resistance will stay at the vanguard defending holy sites

[ 13/03/2010 - 02:22 PM ]

CAIRO, (PIC)-- Senior Hamas official Mohamed Nazzal stated Friday that the Palestinian resistance would remain at the vanguard of the Muslim nation defending their holy sites and confronting tribulations and conspiracies.

This came in a speech delivered by him over the telephone in a conference on the protection of Islamic holy sites in Palestine held in the Egyptian governorate of Gharbia.

Nazzal called on the Egyptian people to assume their religious duty towards the Palestinian people and continue their spiritual and financial support for the resistance.

The Hamas official also hailed the honorable positions of the Egyptian people towards Palestine and their role in supporting the Palestinian cause and the Islamic holy sites.

In Yemen, Al-Quds international institution – Yemen branch held on Thursday evening a symposium entitled “The Zionist violations against the Aqsa Mosque and the Ibrahimi Mosque".

Hamas representative in Yemen Abdelmuti Zakut highlighted during the symposium the Islamic identity of Palestinian cause, saying it is the Muslims’ first cause regardless of some attempts to turn it from an Islamic issue into an inter-Palestinian or Arab issue.

Zakut added that the recent frenzied Israeli escalation against the Islamic holy sites, atop of them is the Aqsa Mosque, is the latest in a string of attacks that kept taking place in the occupied city of Jerusalem before the emergence of the "Zionist entity".

“The Muslim nation has refused all attempts to install the Zionist entity in its midst despite the passage of more than 60 years since this strange entity came to the surface; they [Israelis], as their ill-fated president Peres said, are still fighting for independence, which they have not got so far and will never get until their coming demise,” the Hamas official underscored.

The official also strongly denounced the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah and its negotiators for renouncing the right of return, which he described as a “sacred right,” and the essence of the Palestinian cause.

He called on the upcoming Arab summit to be held in Libya to reconsider the Arab peace initiative, freeze it or withdraw it forever since it achieved nothing and encouraged the Israeli occupation to escalate its violations against the Palestinian people and their holy sites.

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click on above to enlarge or read THIS report

Child’s testimony incriminates soldiers

Indictments issued Thursday against two soldiers who fought in Operation Cast Lead for allegedly forcing child to open bags suspected of being booby trapped. Ynet reveals full testimony of child, Majd that lays out alleged events of that day. The war through the eyes of a nine-year-old boy Anat Shalev

“I thought they would kill me. I became very scared and wet my pants. I could not shout or say anything because I was too afraid… He pushed me towards the small corridor in front of the bathrooms. He began shouting at me and speaking a language I did not understand… There were two bags in front of me. I grabbed the first one as he stood one and a half meters away. I opened the bag as he pointed his weapon directly at me. I emptied the bag on the floor. It contained money and papers. I looked at him and he was laughing. I grabbed the second bag to open it but I could not. I tried many times but it was useless, so he shouted at me. He grabbed my hair and slapped me very hard across the face.”
Location: The Tel al-Hawa neighborhood in Gaza City
Date: January 15, 2009
Time: 5:00 am
Witness: Majd R., a Palestinian boy, 9 years old

On this morning, IDF soldiers stormed the ground floor of a residential building in the neighborhood, while firing live ammunition. The soldiers separated the men from the women and children and ordered the men to strip before leading them one by one outside the building. A soldier approached Majd, who was hiding behind his mother in fear – and motioned for him to step forward.

Rubble in Gaza. Operation Cast Lead (Photo: AP)

What took place from here is the basis for an indictment issued against two Givati soldiers for overstepping their authority to the point of endangering life or health and unfit behavior. The soldiers, according to the indictment issued by the Military Prosecutor, asked Majd to open bags suspected of being booby trapped.

This is the second indictment filed against soldiers for their conduct during Operation Cast Lead, and additional indictments, much more serious, are already underway.

Investigation of this incident was initiated in June 2009 after the IDF was made aware of it by the UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict and by the Israeli branch of Defense for Children International. Members of the organization were the ones who took the child’s testimony on March 30, 2009.

That testimony is printed here in near entirety.

40 people in a storage room

“I live in the Tel Hawa neighborhood in a residential building on the sixth floor,” Majd told Defense for Children International.

“On the night of January 14, the bombing increased and explosions were heard every few minutes. So, we decided, my family and I, to go down to the ground floor where we stored water tanks. There, my brother said, it would safer for all of us. We were 40 people in the storage room with all the neighbors – men, women, and children.”

An IDF tank entering Gaza (Photo: AFP)

“At 5:00 am, I heard doors being broken. I heard heavy fire and bullets entered the windows of the warehouse. We had no electricity; the only light came from my brother N.’s torch that was placed on a concrete pillar inside the warehouse, and our vision was limited.

“Around 40 people were inside. Everybody was standing because there was no place to sit. We stood for about 10 minutes, during which the sound of explosions grew bigger. We heard Israeli soldiers shouting nearby, and the sound of gunfire entering the warehouse. I then heard the door of the warehouse being broken and Israeli soldiers shouting in a language that I later learned was Hebrew.

The soldiers entered the warehouse firing everywhere. I saw small red lights moving everywhere inside the warehouse. I saw the shadows of around 30 soldiers on the wall in front of us. At this point, A. S. shouted at us “Say katan…katan; a word in Hebrew meaning small.” He was telling everyone, including the children, to say this. Everyone shouted but I did not because I was scared if they heard me they would shoot me. I then learned that katan means children. After the shouting stopped, the shooting also stopped.

‘He shouted at me, but I didn’t understand’ (Photo: AP)

“I saw two soldiers standing by the door of the bathrooms where I was hiding behind my mother. One of them lit a torch he held in his hand and said in broken Arabic “Come on, get out, one by one.” My brother N. was the first to get out. Once he got out, the soldiers shot at him. I thought they killed him but then I saw him; he was still standing. He began taking off his clothes. A.S. and his sons, I do not know their names, got out and the other men followed them. The soldiers took them and forced them to lie down on the floor on the eastern side of the warehouse. My mother, sisters, and the other women and children got out as well.

At this moment, I saw a large number of soldiers standing in the warehouse. They were carrying weapons and wearing green caps. Their faces were painted with the same color I see in action movies on television. A soldier spoke to us in broken Arabic that was difficult to understand. He told us to go to the southwestern corner of the warehouse. My mother, the other women, children, and I went to the southwestern corner as he said. I was very scared thinking they would shoot me. I was grabbing my mother’s hands and hiding behind her. We stood for about 10 minutes as the soldiers walked through the warehouse searching the men and forcing them to strip down to their underwear.

‘He grabbed my hair and slapped me across the face’

“At this moment, a soldier came and stood two meters away from us. “Come here,” he said while pointing at us. “Me?” my mother asked. “No, him,” he said in broken Arabic as he pointed at me. He approached me and grabbed my shirt from my neck and dragged me away. “He’s a child,” my mother began shouting. I thought they would kill me. I became very scared and wet my pants. I could not shout or say anything because I was too afraid.

The soldier dragged me towards the bathrooms, 20 metres away. He pushed me towards the small corridor in front of the bathrooms. He began shouting at me and speaking a language I did not understand. I was very scared by the way he looked. He was very tall and his face was painted black, green, and other colors. He was wearing a cap. Everything about him scared me. He lit a torch he was carrying in his hand and I saw his face very well. He pointed his weapon at me. He was shouting at me and I did not understand him, so he grabbed me and pushed me against the wall.
He then started motioning with his hand and I figured out he wanted me to open the bags; small bags that the residents brought down with them containing their personal effects and money. The bags were similar to the bags used by soccer players. I understood from his hand gestures that he wanted me to open the bags.
“There were two bags in front of me. I grabbed the first one as he stood one-and-a-half meters away. I opened the bag as he pointed his weapon directly at me. I emptied the bag on the floor. It contained money and papers. I looked at him and he was laughing.

“I grabbed the second bag to open it but I could not. I tried many times but it was useless, so he shouted at me. He grabbed my hair and slapped me very hard across the face. I did not shout or cry, but I was very scared. He dragged me away from the bags and forced me to stand against the wall, as he stood about one and a half meters behind me. He then shot at the bag that I could not open. I thought he shot at me, so I shouted and put my hands on my head. He then pulled me through the corridor.

“‘Go to your mother,’ said another soldier who spoke Arabic well, but was dressed like them and was carrying a weapon. I ran to my mother and hid in her arms. ‘I wet my pants,’ I said to her. ‘It’s fine,’ she said. I then saw the soldiers drag the men to the southern side of the warehouses near the water tanks.

‘The soldier yelled ‘Boom, boom’ and laughed’

Majd said the soldiers forced them to sit on the floor.

“I understood later that they asked who spoke English and my sister-in-law M. talked to them. She asked us to sit on the mattresses on the floor. The mattresses and blankets were burnt from the gun fire. She then told us that the soldiers wanted us to sit in a circle with our backs facing each other. We did what they said. I was sitting next to my mother. A soldier then came and brought a chair, which was already in the warehouse, and placed it in the middle of the circle. I thought they would ask us to sit on this chair and then shoot us.

“I became very scared but could not do anything. However, the soldier sat on it and would shout now and then ‘Boom. Boom,’ like the sound of an explosion. We would all put our hands on our heads, and the soldier would laugh loudly. He repeated this about five times.

“He then went and sat about five meters away from us. Four other soldiers sat next to him. The soldiers pointed their weapons at us, and I would get scared. I could see the red light moving over my body and on my siblings and mother. There was a thin red light coming from their weapons. Whenever I saw them lifting their weapons or the red light, I thought they would shoot us. I relaxed a little whenever they lowered their weapons.

“The soldiers then took out chocolates and biscuits and began eating. I was very hungry. The soldiers looked at us and lifted their chocolate bars. I thought they would give us some. One of them then pointed at me to sit down, while another placed his hand against his neck, as if he was telling us they would slaughter us. I was scared to death and focused my eyes on the ground so that he would not see me. We stayed like this for about five hours.

‘I’m ashamed to talk about it’

At around 3:00 pm, a soldier came and told M. as I understood to ‘hold a white flag and head to the Red Crescent.’ My mother took off her white headscarf and we all left the warehouse and headed west to the Red Crescent, about 150 meters away. The men remained in the warehouse and did not come with us. I did not see them when we left the warehouse. M. walked in front, holding the white flag. I was holding my mother and siblings’ hands.

“I saw a tank positioned at the front door of the tower, while other tanks were on the street that leads to the Red Crescent.. We walked over the rubble until we reached the Red Crescent. M. brought us biscuits and water. We then heard extensive fire and the sound of explosions grew bigger. The bombardment and shelling also intensified. The situation remained like this for several hours.

‘M. walked ahead with a white flag, I held my mother’s hand’ (Photo: AFP)

“At around 8:00 pm, I heard the doctors and some people shouting ‘Get out, the hospital is on fire.” I grabbed my mother’s hand tightly. My siblings were with us. My mother gave us white napkins and said, ‘Lift them and let’s get out.’ I lifted it and ran out to the street. I saw many people outside. I think they got out of the hospital just like we did. We quickly headed north to the main street. I saw black smoke rising from the hospital, especially from the top floor. At this moment, I heard a woman shouting ‘Come, come.’ She was in an ambulance. I looked at her and saw it was M. We went inside the ambulance and it quickly drove away.

“On the street, I saw patients on hospital beds accompanied by doctors fleeing the area. I also saw something strange. There was a patient lying on a bed with a generator hanging from it. Another person was pushing the bed. The people were shouting loudly. Everyone in the street was shouting. The ambulance drove us to some relatives living in Sheikh Radwan neighborhood. We spent the night there. We were less scared than before. There, my mother did laundry. She also asked me to take a shower. I took some clothes from my relatives and changed my dirty clothes. I slept in my mother’s arms that night and I did not leave her.
“At school, I am afraid of remembering and talking about what happened. Some people from different organizations came to the school and talked to us about the events and all the dead and injured people. I am sometimes ashamed to talk about things in detail with people I do not know. I am also afraid to tell people about the difficult situation I experienced, which I do not like to remember. I don’t even talk about it with my mother. I prefer to forget, and sometimes I cry when I remember. I talked to you only because you said you are from an organization that is devoted to helping children.”

‘We hope soldiers be held accountable’

Isabelle Guitard, the Defense for Children International lawyer assigned to Majd’s case, expressed her satisfaction with the indictment issued against the soldiers.

“We praise the development in the investigation of the complaint and hope the responsible soldiers will be held accountable in a way that will recognize the gravity of the documented actions,” said Gittar in a conversation with Ynet. “Majd was only nine, and he suffers from a severe trauma from the event.”
According to her, “The indictment must create a precedent for other instances of using children as human shields.”

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Hamas: Israel Wants Renewal of Shalit Talks divert attention from Israel's efforts to build 50,000

Hamas: Israel Wants Renewal of Shalit Talks

13/03/2010 A Hamas source says Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has asked Egypt to renew its efforts for the release of captured Israeli occupation soldier Gilad Shalit.

The source told the Qatari Al-Sharq Saturday that the request was conveyed by Netanyahu's national security advisor, Uzi Arad, who visited Cairo on Thursday.

The Hamas official said Israel was interested in spurring talks on the matter for two reasons: "In order to decrease the pressure on the prime minister on the home front from those who demand that he release Shalit, and to divert attention from Israel's efforts to build 50,000 housing units in the West Bank to be used as a barrier between Hebron and the rest of the area."

He said Cairo had not yet appealed to Hamas to renew the indirect talks on the captive soldier, but stressed that negotiations between the organization and Egypt were still ongoing.

The official added that Hamas had not altered his demands since they were declared when the talks began, and that it would not be reasonable to expect that after four years of demanding the release of 450 detainees the organization would withdraw its demands and agree to a deal he called "more of a deportation deal than a prisoner swap deal".

The Palestinian Al-Quds reported Friday that during Arad's short visit to Cairo he met with a number of Egyptian officials on matters including the prisoner swap with Hamas.

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March 13, 2010 at 1:19 pm (Gaza, Occupation, Palestine, Photography, War Crimes, zionist harassment)

Palestinians mark 1000 days of the siege


Palestinians mark 1000 days of the siege. Palestinians in Gaza have held a candlelit vigil to mark the 1000th day of the siege of Gaza. Hundreds of people gathered at the “Square of the Unknown Soldier” in Gaza City on 11 March to remind the world of the immoral blockade imposed by Israel, with Egyptian support.

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March 13, 2010 at 11:41 am (Activism, Ethnic Cleansing, Illegal Evictions, Illegal Settlements, Israel, Occupation, Palestine, Police Brutality, Settler Violence, Soldier Brutality, zionist harassment)


Israel will continue to do what it does despite what American officials say…. the checks will continue to arrive each month, that’s all that matters!

Below you can read a report that appeared in the New York Times Review of Books, dealing with settlement issues right here in Jerusalem. It is followed by a video showing the police brutality at a demonstration held yesterday.
Oh….. forgot to mention, the salary of those cops is also paid for by the USA…..

David Shulman on Sheikh Jarrah, Gaza and in the Israeli Peace Movement in the NYRB

Writing in the New York Review of Books Blog:

The legal situation in Sheikh Jarrah is ambiguous: Israeli courts have recently ruled that Jewish claims to ownership of land and houses in the neighborhood, from long before 1948, are valid and constitute a basis for evicting the Palestinian residents, all of whom received these lands from the Jordanian government in the 1950s in exchange for their UNRWA cards (thus relinquishing their status as refugees). But the issue is not really a legal one. The government, the municipality, and the settlers want to take over yet another Palestinian neighborhood—another 26 homes are scheduled for eviction, in addition to the three that have already been evacuated—and, of course, to prevent any future compromise in Jerusalem.

As a result, hundreds of Israelis, many of them young people joining the struggle for the first time, take off Friday afternoons to march through town and then demonstrate, courting arrest and harassment, in Sheikh Jarrah; the clumsy attempts by the Jerusalem police to suppress the protest violently have only added to our numbers. The demonstrations have a festive character, with drummers, acrobats, and clowns (the police arrested the clowns). Rumors about the demise of the Israeli peace movement are, it seems, premature.
Taken from

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'Secret' Security Accord between US, Lebanon Raises Concerns

Hussein Assi

12/03/2010 Once again, the name of Fouad Saniora imposes itself in Lebanon…

This time, the story is not related to Saniora's refusal of including the word 'resistance' in any official statement…

It's also not related to the former PM's "passion" to reject "national unity" and impose instead "national disagreement"…

In fact, the new story is an "old" one, but, surprisingly, was "hidden" for many years…

It's a security agreement not like others that was signed during the unconstitutional government of Fouad Saniora of 2006, the government in which a major group of Lebanese was not represented…

This unconstitutional government actually signed a "secret" security agreement with the US embassy in Lebanon, giving it absolute rights to "classify" Lebanese and to "spy" on Lebanese…

Thus, once again, the Lebanese disagreed on concepts of "sovereignty, freedom and independence" from the "gate" of the "security agreement" that was signed during the "national disagreement" cabinet of Fouad Saniora…

And because the story comes from the days of the "division," politicians returned to their old "positions". The "opposition" bloc was charged with assailing the agreement while the old "loyalty" was charged with the "defense"…

According to the first group, the agreement constitutes a "flagrant violation" to the national sovereignty, and therefore, is not acceptable. Furthermore, it's very dangerous according to Speaker Nabih Berri who told Al-Manar that the issue could lead to serious repercussions.

Yet, and according to Internal Security Forces Director General Major General Achraf Rifi, the whole issue is nothing but a void political campaign. Rifi told pan-Arab daily As-Sarq Al-Awsat that the agreement is related to a training topic, not more. He noted that all clauses mentioned in the agreement were present in all agreements signed by Americans everywhere.

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Peace Process is Dead, Indirect talks with Israel is a national crime

13/03/2010 Hamas and Palestinian resistance factions organized rallies in Gaza to support the Al-Aqsa Mosque and other holy sites believed to be under Israeli threat, a representative said on Friday.

Demonstrators gathered at mosques throughout Gaza City, walking toward the Field of Palestine Part, then on to the ruins of the Palestinian Legislative Council.

Speaking in front of the PLC building, Islamic Jihad leader Muhammad Al-Hindi called on the Arab world "not to give a cover to those who want to give up Palestine," and withdraw their support for US-sponsored "proximity talks."

The Palestinian officials who participated in negotiations in past years must be exposed, Al-Hindi said demanding a declaration of the failure of the peace process.

Hamas leader Khalil Al-Hayya addressed the crowd after Al-Hindi, saying "It’s time for the Arab and Islamic nations to rise up to protect Al-Aqsa and the holy sites."

Addressing comments to his rival Fatah party, Al-Hayya said, "It’s time to launch the resistance in the West Bank, let us unite on the bases of resistance," and called on Palestinians across the country to rise up in defense of Al-Aqsa.

Hamas: The PA intent to engage in talks with Israel is a national crime

[ 13/03/2010 - 08:00 AM ]

GAZA, (PIC)-- The Movement of Hamas said that the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah’s intention to resume peace talks with the Israeli occupation is a national crime and confers legitimacy to settlement expansion and Judaization activities.

In a press statement to the Palestinian information center (PIC) on Friday, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri stated that in light of the Israeli escalation against the Islamic holy sites, any engagement in peace talks with the occupation would raise questions about the role of the PA and Fatah faction at this stage.

Spokesman Abu Zuhri pointed out that Mahmoud Abbas’s remarks about his intention not to participate in negotiation with Israel in light of the settlement expansion have no credibility because Abbas’s actions are always the opposite of what he states.

He also said that if the Israeli premier’s remarks were true about starting the peace negotiations with the Palestinians next week, it would be a dangerous indication of the involvement of Abbas’s authority in the Israeli schemes against the Palestinian people and their holy sites.

Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu affirmed on Friday that the indirect talks with the PA would be launched as scheduled earlier next week despite the crisis with the US administration about the construction of new housing units in occupied Jerusalem.

For its part, the Ha'aretz newspaper said that the US administration gave Israel a green light to expand its settlements in Jerusalem, pointing out that vice president Joe Biden was only angry with the timing of announcing the establishment of new settlement units.

The newspaper added that Israel was supposed to respect the presence of Biden in the region and declare the construction of new housing units after the US officials leave or before they come.

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Gazans mark 1000 days of siege: Enough siege

Gazans mark 1000 days of siege

[ 12/03/2010 - 08:31 PM ]

GAZA, (PIC)-- MP Jamal al-Khudari, chairman of the Popular Committee Against the Siege (PCAS), and thousands of Palestinians and foreign sympathisers on Thursday evening lit a thousand candles to mark a thousand days of siege on the Gaza Strip.

Thousands of Gazans participated in the rally which took place at unknown soldier square in Gaza city, the candles formed the figure (1000), while many participants carried pictures of victims of the siege.

Children of "Baladna Centre" performing plays about the siege and its effects, especially on children.

Khudari, for his part, said: "After a thousand days of siege, a thousand days of perseverance .. we light a thousand candles in the face of a thousand days of darkness," stressing that each day of siege on Gaza was equivalent to a thousand days of suffering of patients, farmers, labourers, fishermen and students, men, women and children across the social strata.

He added that when Palestinians light candles, it is an expression of hope and to urge the world to move to protect Gaza from the ongoing aggression.

He called for a change of the European official position on the siege and for European countries to pressure Israeli into lifting the oppressive siege.

He expressed gratitude to all those behind popular and parliamentary efforts to end the siege on the Gaza Strip.

PCAS is also organising a big rally on Sunday opposite the Beit Hanoun crossing in the northern Gaza Strip.

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Hauzer: Building in Jerusalem will not stop


[ 13/03/2010 - 07:41 AM ]

OCCUPIED JERUSASLEM, (PIC)-- The Israeli occupation government has underlined that construction in all areas of Jerusalem would continue unabated similar to any other city.

The Israeli government's secretary Tzvi Hauzer said in a radio statement on Friday that it was important to assert that Israel was building in Jerusalem and would continue to do so.

He said that Israel had clearly stated that the settlement freeze did not include Jerusalem, whether in its western or eastern areas, and "this position is known to all including the Americans".

Jerusalem should expand to accommodate its inhabitants and meet the demand on housing, Hauzer said, adding that his government would do what is necessary to meet the needs in this sector.

The secretary's statement came in the wake of a report published by Hebrew daily Ha'aretz on Thursday quoting planning officials that said: "Some 50,000 new housing units in Jerusalem neighborhoods beyond the Green Line are in various stages of planning and approval."

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Christians are fed up with filthy Jews spitting at them

Capital Anglos mobilize against practice of spitting at Christians

Shocked by growing reports about Ultra-Orthodox Jews spitting at Christians in Jerusalem's Old City, a group of Anglo residents is now mobilizing against this ugly practice. Although such incidents reportedly have decreased since a council of Haredi rabbis issued an official condemnation in January in response to the public outcry, Christian and Jewish activists agree the problem is unlikely to disappear anytime soon.

"I felt I had to protest," said Andrea Katz, 57, who is planning several events within Jerusalem's liberal Orthodox Yedidya congregation to show solidarity with the Christian community and educate the English-speaking Jewish public about their Christian neighbors. "I don't think that all of a sudden the Haredi world is going to say: Oh my Gosh, we did so wrong, let's stop this. But somehow I had to do something; I just couldn't sit around and do nothing."

For years, there have been incidents of Haredi youths spitting at Christian clergymen in the Old City and near the Mea She'arim neighborhood, according to several Jewish and Christian residents of Jerusalem. One cleric said told a European news site that the spitting was "almost a daily experience."

In late 2009 such incidents started to mount, provoking a growing number of complaints and increasing press coverage. The Haredi Community Tribunal of Justice subsequently published a statement condemning such acts, calling them a "desecration of God's name." Christian leaders met in January with Foreign Ministry staff and representatives of the Jerusalem municipality and the Haredi community to tackle the problem.

Over the last two months the number of spitting incidents declined somewhat, according to Archbishop Aris Shirvanian, of Jerusalem's Armenian Patriarchate, who says that in the 12 years he has lived in Jerusalem has been spat on about 50 times. "It's good to see the reduction of this phenomenon, but to eradicate it completely may take time. I don't think it will be stopped in a fortnight or so," he told Anglo File. He praised the Baka-based Yedidya community for its efforts to raise awareness but added the events planned failed to reach the perpetrators within the Haredi community. "It's a good step forward, but more has to be done."

Yedidya, which was founded in 1980 by a group of British and American immigrants, currently plans three events. The first, a lecture, is scheduled for March 15 and will take place in the synagogue. Besides Katz and Shirvanian, the panelists include the director of the Jerusalem Center for Jewish-Christian Relations, Daniel Rossing; the head of the Interreligious Coordinating Council in Israel, Rabbi Dr. Ron Kronish; religion professor Yiska Harani; Fr. Athanasius Makora, of the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land; and Dr. Debbie Weissman, who heads the International Council of Christians and Jews.

The shul also plans to organize visits to Jerusalem's Christian communities. "The majority of congregants - even if we're from abroad - is certainly ignorant of the Eastern and Orthodox churches that are here," Katz said. "In order for people to sympathize they have to know whom they are sympathizing with."

Around Easter, Katz is hoping to create what she calls a "human corridor." Marching with the Armenian community while they carry a Cross would be inappropriate for an Orthodox congregation, the Buffalo, New York, native explained. Rather, she'd like her community to "simply stand, to make a corridor - no words, no speeches - so that they [the Armenian clerics] can walk from [the Church of] St. James to [the Church of] the Holy Sepulchre. Nothing big, just to show there are people who care and don't find this kind of behavior acceptable."

Katz said she felt the need to become active when she hosted a group of officials from the U.S.-based Jewish Council for Public Affairs. They wanted to learn more about the phenomenon of Jews spitting at Christians - something she had never heard of. "They were from an organization abroad, and they knew about something that was going on that I found horrifying and I didn't know about. I live in this city since 1974, and I had no idea."

Wondering what could bring religious people to commit such ugly acts, Katz surmised that some Jews might not have learned yet what it means to be the majority in a country.

"It's still very new for us," she said. "We're taking our experiences from the Diaspora and acting and reacting in way that would befit a powerless minority. Now that we do have power simply because Jews are 'in control,' we are not protecting the minorities and allowing the Christian or the Muslim minority to practice freely what they want to practice.... We haven't got our heads around the fact that our job is now to protect them."

Kronish, of the Interreligious Coordinating Council, said the spitting is rooted in "penned-up anger" about the long history of Christian anti-Semitism. "The Haredim give their children a distorted education, which is conducive to such behavior," he said. Despite the recent decline in spitting incidents, he asserts the "underlying fear and ignorance is still there" and can only be combated if people learn about the other.

"People fear the unknown," he explains. "The unknown is the Christians and the reasons we're doing this educational event with Yedidya is because people felt: Gee, we really don't know who these Christians are over there in the Old City. We don't know anything about them - we live here in Baka, they live over there behind those walls. It's time for us to know more about them."



Well I have to hand it to Israel for this one. Not ONLY is this a "Hasbara Mission Extraordinaire" to help repair the horrendous image of Israel, but at the SAME time Israel gets paid for it, by America of course....

As if America is not already entrenched up to their eyeballs, what with AIPAC, ADL, Israeli Spies, Illegal Organ Trading Rabbis ripping off Americans, and yet more Rabbis, this time from inside Israel, where they were swindling elderly Americans out of their money in a fake lottery scam.

If that's not enough, now Israel wants to start entering into US healthcare. Pretty soon, your wee granny will be under the care of Israel:
link The CEO of the Hebrew Home at Riverdale, a prominent New York nursing home, visited Israel last month in hopes of including local companies in a business venture he thinks will ultimately benefit Israel’s public image.

The Hebrew Home, which has been awarded special legislation by the state of New York to carry out a new cost-savings health-care project as part of the state’s Managed Long-Term Care, is hoping to make Israeli companies the focal point.

Dan Reingold, CEO of the Hebrew Home, met with leading technology companies and government officials in an attempt to utilize Israeli innovations for the project, whose goal is to make use of a state grant of $3,600 per month per resident to provide for health-care needs

“This is an opportunity not only to create or modify existing technology, but also to make sure that people in the U.S. know about the humanitarian side of Israel,” Reingold said.

“As Zionists,” he said, “we start with the humanitarian side; we took the mission to Haiti for granted because we knew Israel would be there.

Among the ideas discussed at the meetings were a joint venture to develop and invest in young Israeli entrepreneurs working in research and development of tele-medical care, and a partnership with the Israeli government to conduct an international health-care conference

Posted by Irish4Palestine at 10:07 PM Links to this post  
america swindled by zionists|hasbara mission|israel enters US healthcare|US money to israel|zionism is evil|
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Mass demonstrations in Gaza and Jordan as Pharoah arrest tens of "Muslim brothers" demonstrator and IOF bar worshipers from reaching the Aqsa Mosque

Israeli occupation bar worshipers from reaching the Aqsa Mosque

[ 12/03/2010 - 03:39 PM ]

Bashed on the head for attempting to attend the Friday prayers at the Aqsa Mosque

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)-- IOF troops closed on Friday the gates leading to the Aqsa Mosque in the occupied city of Jerusalem, allowing through only men over 50 years of age.

Only a few hundred out of around 30,000 worshipers managed to reach the Aqsa Mosque for the Friday noon prayers, this is not taking account of worshipers from the rest of the West Bank who could not enter Jerusalem.

At Bab al-Amoud, a young man was beaten by IOF troops because he argued with them when they stopped him from entering the gate on his way to the Mosque. The beating resulted in head injuries and he was taken to hospital, according to local sources.

Eyewitnesses said that IOF troops confiscated ID cards at the gates of the Aqsa Mosque compound causing worshipers to scuffle with the IOF troops. The scuffles developed into confrontations between the worshipers who were not allowed in and the IOF troops, especially at the gates of Asbat, Hitta and Saherah. The clashes resulted in a number of casualties amongst the worshipers.

Locals also said that a number of worshipers sustained injuries at Hitta gate when IOF troops physically assaulted them with truncheons.

Meanwhile, the Israeli occupation police declared that an operations room was setup at the Buraq wall police station under the direct supervision of the commander of the Jerusalem brigade Major-General Aharon Franco.

The Israeli occupation police also used a surveillance balloon as well as helicopters over the old city.

Israeli radio had announced that the Israeli police will only allow those who are over fifty with blue ID cards (Jerusalem residents) to enter the Mosque.

Mass demonstrations in Gaza in support of the Aqsa and other holy places

[ 12/03/2010 - 05:53 PM ]

GAZA, (PIC)-- Tens of thousands of people participated in demonstrations in the Gaza Strip in support of Islamic holy places coming under Israeli occupation attack in the West Bank.

In Gaza city worshipers took to the streets from various mosques after the Friday prayers and converged on the Palestinian Legislative Council square in the city.

Member of the Hamas political bureau, Dr. Khalil al-Hayya, said that today's rally was unique because all Palestinian factions participated in it including Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Struggle Front, Saeka, General Command, Popular Resistance Committees and others.

He stressed that the rally was an expression of unity in support of holy places and said that Palestinian factions have more in common than differences, pointing out that the demonstrators chose to raise the Palestinian flag rather than any factional flags.

"It is not strange to see such unity in support of holy places. We have come out to demonstrate united raising the Palestinian flag to say that there is more to unite us than to divide us and that our holy places, our refugees, our state, our nation everywhere embody the cause, hope, unity and return God willing," said Hayya.

He criticised the return of Fatah to negotiations asking who are they negotiating on behalf when they are isolated from their people and their concerns?

He pointed out the Israelis are using Fatah's return to negotiations as cover for the Judaization of Jerusalem and accelerated settlement expansion in the West Bank.

He called on the Palestinian people to rise up in the face of Israeli attempts to Judaize Islamic holy places.

He called on Fatah to free resistance fighters of all Palestinian factions in the West Bank and called for unity on the option of resistance until liberation.

Meanwhile, Islamic Jihad leader, Muhammad al-Hindi, called for holding to the option of resistance and unity to face Israeli occupation schemes.

Egyptian security arrest tens of "Muslim brothers" who demonstrated for Aqsa

[ 12/03/2010 - 09:05 PM ]

CAIRO, (PIC)-- Egyptian police arrested around fifty members of the Muslim Brotherhood movement in five districts as they participated in demonstrations in support of the Aqsa Mosque after the Friday prayers.

The Muslim Brotherhood called for demonstrations after the Friday prayers in support of the Aqsa and to protest the Israeli occupation decision to include the Ibrahimi Mosque in al-khalil and the Bilal Mosque in Bethlehem on the list of Jewish heritage sites.

The demonstrators condemned the Israeli occupation measures and the official Arab silence towards those measures.

The Muslim Brotherhood's lawyer, Salah Abdel-Maqsud, said in a statement published by the Muslim Brotherhood website that a number of those arrested were ex-members of the Egyptian People's Council and that the arrests targeted persons likely to run for election the Shura Council (second chamber of the Egyptian parliament) slated for next May.

Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood: Holy places can be protected by force only

[ 12/03/2010 - 09:52 PM ]

AMMAN, (PIC)-- Thousands of Jordanians participated in a huge rally in support of the Aqsa Mosque and other holy places which was organised by the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan.

The rally was held at the border with Palestine near the tomb of the renown companion of Prophet Mushammad (SAWS), Abu Obeida Amer Ben al-Jarrah.

Participants called on Arab and Islamic countries to move fast to save the Aqsa Mosque warning that silence encourages the Israeli occupation to carry out its schemes against the Aqsa Mosque and expand the settlements.

Dr. Hammam Said, the leader of the MB called on the Muslim masses to defend the Aqsa Mosque.

He rejected the return to negotiations with the Israeli occupation because such negotiations only serve to give the occupation cover to continue with its Judaization of Jerusalem and stressed that the language of force alone can give results, restore rights and protect holy places.

He condemned the stand of the US Vice president Joe Biden for being biased against Arab and Islamic rights.

He called on religious scholars to lead the people in the battle of liberating the Aqsa Mosque and called on Islamic and Arab regimes to stand in the face of systematic Zionist Judaization measures.

Sheikh Hamza Mansour, chairman of the Shura council of the Islamic Action Front, called on the Jordanian government to close down the Israeli embassy in Amman and renounce the Wadi Araba Accord.

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 Uprooted Palestinian

It's All About OUR Stuff NOT Yours!


As if we didn't already know why Israel just tried to STEAL two Holy sites that belong to other people in another country, claiming that Israel could take "better" care of the sites. And according to the report below Israel has plans to "take care of them"...............literally
link US report accuses Israel of neglecting mosques, churches

Annual State Department human rights survey blames Israel of protecting Jewish holy sites only, leaving Christian, Muslim houses of worship under threat;(SURPRISE!!)

The report notes that the 1967 Protection of Holy Sites Law is implemented on 137 Jewish sites only, leaving Christian and Muslim sites " neglected, inaccessible, or threatened by property development."

"The Church of the Holy Sepulchre and other well-known sites have de facto protection as a result of their international importance; however, community mosques, churches, and shrines faced threats from developers and municipalities that Jewish sites did not face," the report stated.

The survey further noted that "Christian pilgrimage sites around the Sea of Galilee faced regular threats of encroachment from government planners who wanted to use parts of the properties for recreational areas."
See? told you it's always all about "Their Stuff" everyone else can just P-off..........that includes Christians and Muslms alike.

Posted by Irish4Palestine at 10:06 PM Links to this post  
It's All About OUR Stuff NOT Yours!
israel destroys christian and muslim holy sites|israel steals holy sites|stealing land|zionism is evil|
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Palestinians in Holland condemn the world’s silence towards Gaza siege

Palestinians in Holland condemn the world’s silence towards Gaza siege

[ 12/03/2010 - 08:06 PM ]

AMSTERDAM, (PIC)-- The Palestinian forum in Holland on Thursday condemned the unjust international silence towards the Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip that left nearly 1.5 million people living there in extremely harsh conditions.

In a statement it issued in this regard and published by Quds Press, the forum said that the passage of 1,000 days on the siege on Gaza constitutes flagrant evidence of the international community regression on its humanitarian covenants and agreements.

It added that the international criminal court (ICC) defined war crimes as the behavior that imposes living conditions on certain people that would partially and fully destroy their lives, explaining further that article eight of the basic charter defined war crimes as “intentionally starving human beings or blocking food from reaching to them.

“Indeed, ethnic cleansing and war crimes were committed [by the Israelis] against the people of Gaza but the countries that signed those covenants remained passive as the siege killed around 500 Palestinian patients who could not travel abroad for medical treatment”, the forum said in the statement.

Furthermore, the forum called on the Egyptian leadership to carryout its national and Arab duties in saving the people of Gaza who are threatened by the nightmare of death everyday the siege remained imposed.

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 Uprooted Palestinian

Flouting its own laws, EU accommodates "Made in Israel"

The Electronic Intifada,

David Cronin, The Electronic Intifada, 12 March 2010

Historians looking back on November 2008 might record it as a time when normally astute commentators succumbed to a fantasy. In the same week that Barack Obama became America's first black president, some governments on the other side of the Atlantic tried to chime with the message of hope his public relations machine had honed to near-perfection. The highest echelons of Britain's ruling Labor party even tried to rekindle a modicum of the magic that many sensed when it came to power 11 long years earlier. Although Tony Blair and Gordon Brown had until then been cheerleaders for Israeli aggression, their ministers suddenly transformed themselves into champions of Palestinian rights.

This sleight of hand was performed with the aid of a terse document dispatched from London to Brussels. In it, Britain expressed concern about how goods originating from Israeli settlements in the West Bank may be benefiting illegally from European Union trade preferences that theoretically only apply to businesses within Israel's internationally-recognized borders. The one-page note stated that the British customs authorities were conducting spot checks on imports claiming to be "Made in Israel" and would forward the findings to the European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union (EU).

Leaked ahead of a meeting of EU foreign ministers, the note garnered the kind of fawning media coverage that the spin doctors who became synonymous with Blair and Brown often worked hard to manufacture. "Britain is taking the lead in pressing the EU to curb imports from Israeli producers in the occupied West Bank as a practical step towards halting the steady increase in the construction of Jewish settlements," Donald Macintyre, Jerusalem correspondent with the London-based Independent, reported.

More than a year later, observers have been asking: where is this combination of leadership and practicality now? Despite the clear promise to present evidence to the Commission, officials working with that institution say that nothing has been formally transmitted to them from Britain or any other EU government since then that would enable them to take action against Israel over its abuse of trade preferences.

This is partly explained by the inability of inspectors to detect abuses. A spokesman for the British customs authorities told me that during 2009, just one "labeling irregularity" had been identified when fruit and vegetables purporting to be from Israel were examined. In that case, the documents accompanying a consignment of food said that it had originated in Israel but a perusal of its packaging revealed it was actually from the Jordan Valley, according to the spokesman.

The low number of "irregularities" found does not mean that Israeli exporters are generally playing by the rules set out in the association agreement between the EU and Israel, which came into force in 2000. Under it, goods from within Israel's pre-1967 boundaries can generally enter the EU without being subject to customs duties but this privilege does not extend to goods from Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT).

Phyllis Starkey, a conscientious Labor Party Member of Parliament, noted recently that the total amount that Britain raised on customs duties levied on goods from Israeli settlements in 2009 amounted to less than #22,000. By contrast, the annual sum gathered on goods from the settlements in the 2005-08 period was #110,0000. Starkey estimates that as much as 80 percent of all exports to Britain from the settlements are shipped under false pretenses. Britain is Israel's third-largest trading partner.

EU officials should not be allowed to shirk their responsibilities to investigate these matters further. In 2005, following complaints that goods from the settlements were routinely labeled as "Made in Israel," the EU introduced guidelines ("technical arrangements," in diplomatic parlance) designed to help customs officials distinguish between a bona fide Israeli good and one from the OPT or the occupied Golan Heights. But these rules -- which essentially involve checking postcodes -- have proven notoriously easy to circumvent. The Israeli business magazine Globes has advised how to do so: "You invent an address within the Green Line [the internationally-recognized boundary between Israel and the occupied West Bank] and operate using this address. In this way you do not have to pay the customs fees that apply to products exported from across the Green Line. The method works, but not for those whose company carries a name that gives away the true location -- such as Golan Height Wineries."

Some Israeli firms brag openly about how they can sell goods from the settlements abroad without paying duties. Cosmetics-maker Ahava uses Dead Sea mud extracted from the occupied Jordan Valley in its products. When quizzed about this by the BBC, the company's representatives admitted that they give the address of their headquarters and not the site of production when exporting. Thus, they can avail -- fraudulently -- EU preferences.

The relaxed attitude of civil servants to how European and international law is being flouted by Israel -- Britain's 2008 initiative notwithstanding -- is in stark contrast to the courage displayed by numerous ordinary people. Supermarkets in several EU countries have been flooded with complaints from customers outraged at how they are stocking herbs or oranges from illegal settlements.

In response to this burgeoning grassroots awareness, Britain's Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has published recommendations to retailers on how to differentiate between food originating from Israeli settlements, that from within Israel, and that grown by Palestinian farmers (several anti-poverty organizations sell Palestinian olive oil and other produce using a "Fair Trade" label). The interpretation of these recommendations has meant that shoppers can encounter confusing and clumsily-phrased notices while searching for groceries. The Morrisons supermarket chain has displayed the following instructions beside its stocks of "Best Medjool" dates: "Please note product labeled 'Produce of Jordon [sic] Valley' is produced in the West Bank (Israeli settlement) and produce of Israel is not from the occupied territories."

Betty Hunter from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign described the guidance to retailers as "absolutely inadequate" as she believes that no goods from Israeli settlements should be sold in Europe, regardless of whether they have been subject to customs duties. Activists from her group plan to attend the annual shareholder meetings of Britain's main supermarkets later this year and to advocate a complete ban on such goods. (The campaign is also committed to a wider boycott of Israeli goods.)

John Hilary, director of the organization War on Want, concurs. "It is quite clear that the settlements are illegal under international law," he said. "For us, there is no justification for goods from the settlements to be allowed in any European country at all."

Yet EU officials have not only failed to defend international law, they have accommodated Israel's abuse of it. Last month, the European Court of Justice ruled that goods from illegal settlements are not eligible for preferential treatment from the EU. The verdict related to the activities of Brita, a German manufacturer of water filters, which buys accessories and syrups from Soda-Club, a company based in the Mishor Adumim industrial zone located near Maale Adumim, one of the largest Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Charles Shamas from the Mattin Group, a Ramallah-based organization that monitors the EU's relations with Israel, followed the court proceedings vigilantly. During the final stages of the proceedings in the autumn of last year, he revealed how the Commission's lawyers told the court that the whole issue could be resolved if the Palestinian Authority issued certificates for the goods, rather than Israel. "This was a fallacious argument," Shamas said. "The Commission did not want to tell the court that these operators [in Israeli settlements] should be frozen out of any preferential treatment with the European Union."

Maysa Zorob, Brussels representative with the Palestinian human rights group Al-Haq, said that exports from Israeli settlements are a "very inconvenient issue" for Europe. "I doubt that the EU's member states will be excited about implementing the ruling of the European Court of Justice," she added. "The EU has a big economic interest in supporting these products and granting them tax-free status would mean there would be a lot more trade. A lot of big companies manufacture in the settlements and give the postcodes of Israel proper when exporting. The problem is that Israel has quite a big margin for fraud."

Another signal of how the EU is eager to develop closer ties with Israeli firms, including those known to operate in the settlements, came in late 2009, when both sides agreed to liberalize agricultural trade between them even more fully. As a result, 80 percent of Israel's fresh produce and 95 percent of its processed foods can be exported to the EU free of customs duties.

Theoretically, food and drink companies in Israeli settlements will not benefit from this latest deal. But in practice they will. Agrexco, one of the leading Israeli exporters of agricultural goods, is known to mix goods from within Israel with those from the settlements in its depots and label the whole lot as Israeli. This firm alone is estimated to control more than 60 percent of all exports of settlement produce.

The EU's weak response on this issue can be traced to those heady days of November 2008. Within a fortnight of the UK's declaration on mislabeling of Israeli exports, Peter Mandelson, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, was sharing a platform with Israeli President Shimon Peres and voicing hopes that the value of British trade with "our firm friend" Israel would jump from its 2007 level of #2.3 billion to more than #3 billion by 2012.

"Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously and accepting both of them," George Orwell wrote in Nineteen Eighty-Four. That is the kind of duplicity Britain tries to get away with by embracing the very same Israeli firms whose theft of Palestinian land it professes to disdain.

David Cronin's book Europe's Alliance with Israel: Aiding the Occupation will be published later this year by Pluto Press.

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 Uprooted Palestinian

Hillary, Mitchell & Feltman work the phones ...

Via Friday-Lunch-Club

In the CABLE/ here

  • Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke with Netanyahu this morning "to make clear the United States considered the announcement a deeply negative signal about Israel's approach to the bilateral relationship and counter to the spirit of the vice president's trip, and to reinforce that this action had undermined trust and confidence in the peace process and in America's interests."
  • "The secretary said she could not understand how this happened, particularly in light of the United States' strong commitment to Israel's security, and she made clear that the Israeli government needed to demonstrate not just through words but through specific actions that they committed to this relationship and to the peace process," Crowley said, later adding, "We accept what Prime Minister Netanyahu has said. By the same token, he is the head of the Israeli government and ultimately is responsible for the actions of that government."
  • Meanwhile, Assistant Secretary Jeffrey Feltman and Special Envoy George Mitchell have been working the phones hard, trying to save the initiative for "proximity talks." They spoke with President Abbas, Foreign Minister Aboul Gheitof Egypt, Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh of Jordan, Qatari Prime Minister Hamad bin Jasim bin Jabir al-Thani, UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and Arab League Secretary-General Amre Moussa....
Posted by G, Z, or B at 6:38 PM
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