Israel’s version of peaceful coexistence: extermination of Palestinians without resistance

Palestinian shot dead & IDF guys

Apologies for the gruesome photo of this incident when a young Palestinian man was executed by Israeli “police” (in full military gear) after allegedly attempting to stab a “paramilitary policeman” at the entrance to the Old City in occupied East Jerusalem.
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It’s seems like a masterstroke of Israeli propaganda that British writer JK Rowling has signed on with Culture For Coexistence (CFC), a newly-formed group in the UK who just issued a letter opposing BDS for “singling out Israel” in a “divisive & discriminatory” way & ‘delegitimizing’ Israel. They propose “peaceful coexistence” between Israelis & Palestinians to promote a two-state solution.

That song & dance must have appealed to Rowling who is renowned for a charitable heart if not for the cogency of her politics. But even the Guardian-UK which is publishing CFC appeals had to fess up that most of the 150 signatories on the letter were well-known figures in Zionist circles in the UK & not disinterested human rights advocates. Several of the signers are associated with Conservative Friends of Israel & Labour Friends of Israel. A little vetting of the other signers would turn up a whole raft of such associations.

What the Guardian didn’t mention is that the organizer of the initiative is Neil Blair who is Rowling’s literary agent. He is also director of her digital Harry Potter project (Pottermore) which stands to make her a bundle; director of her East European children’s charity (Lumos)–& most apropos, a key figure in Friends of the Abraham Fund Initiative, a Zionist front group that markets itself as advocates for peaceful coexistence between Israeli Jews & Israeli “Arabs” & at no time refers to Israeli Palestinians. Abraham Fund sponsors include Israeli corporations, the US State Department, & many Zionist organizations. It is of interest to many that Working Assets/CREDO Fund, the cell phone company pitching itself as progressive, is a sponsor.

Culture For Coexistence (CFC) is like the Hollywood group called Creative Community for Peace (CCFP) formed in 2011 as a pro-Israel, anti-BDS group of music executives, agents, performers. Both groups have the same politics. CCFP played a public role during the Israeli carpet bombing siege of Gaza in 2014 by pushing their propaganda in trade journals. The talents of both CFC & CCFP are in their promotional skills, access to media, & ability to bully or sweet-talk high profile celebrities into signing on to oppose BDS & render legitimacy to Israel. Their weakness is that they’re peddling rubbish & lies.

This gruesome photo exposes Israel’s real vision of peaceful coexistence: one of the best armed militaries in the world against unarmed Palestinians–including summary execution. Israel will bury this young man in secret & deny his family burial rights.

We call out that peaceful coexistence crap for what it is: a call for Palestinians to surrender to apartheid & ethnic cleansing & to accept extermination. Our response is that if it takes such deceits & intrigues to counter BDS, then it must be effective & we redouble our efforts to build it.

We honor this man as a freedom fighter who would not accept apartheid & colonialism. May he RIP.

(Photo from Reuters)

Israeli occupation of Al-Ram near Jerusalem

Israeli soldier & Pal shop keeper (Majdi Mohammed:AP) Oct 23 2015

The caption to this photo read: “A Palestinian man closes his shop during clashes between Israeli troops & Palestinian protesters in the West Bank town of al-Ram, north of Jerusalem. Ten Israelis have been killed over the last month, mainly in stabbing attacks. On the Palestinian side, 48 people have been killed.” So let’s fill in the blanks in a narrative where the omissions matter more than what is said. You’re not writing a book when you caption a photo but you ought to include the relevant.

Al-Ram is a Palestinian town adjacent to East Jerusalem & located between Jerusalem & Ramallah, now under Israeli military occupation along with East Jerusalem, the West Bank, & Gaza since the 1967 war. During the occupation, Israel has confiscated Palestinian lands to construct illegal housing settlements, three military bases which surround the town, an industrial zone, military checkpoints, Israeli bypass roads, & the apartheid wall.

According to Palestinian residents, occupation forces block the main roads to town with large cement blocks, Israeli surveillance aircraft continuously circle the area overhead, & snipers are stationed in the town’s cemetery to shoot Palestinian protesters.

The apartheid wall splits Al-Ram, isolating residents from neighboring Palestinian towns & from Jerusalem city. All shops that were once on the main road now front a 10-meter high segregation wall with no access to either Jerusalem or Ramallah except through a backroad.

No attempts are made in media to explain the immense disparity in fatalities between Israelis allegedly stabbed & Palestinians shot by Israeli soldiers. That thing about half the Palestinian fatalities being knife assailants is wearing out its credibility. But Palestinians have a right to demand forensic verification of the charges; & they have a right to demand the bodies of their loved ones be returned to them for respectful burial. Israel’s so called “terrorists” are Palestinian freedom fighters.

To support Palestinians, build the hell out of BDS, the economic, cultural, & academic boycott of Israel & continue protest rallies demanding no aid of any kind of apartheid Israel, stop the violence, end the occupation.

(Photo by Majdi Mohammed/AP)

A communist & a monarchist get into a golden carriage….

Betty and the Chinese pres (Matt Dunham:AP) Oct 23 2015

That guy from communist China hanging out with Betty is enjoying feudalism far too much. How ever will this play in Chinese media when people there are living in underground cages & working in sweatshops?

This is what happens when you go backward in history & take up capitalism in its barbaric phase while everybody else is trying to get rid of it. A socialist would have taken a cab. And there’d be no £40 billion worth of business deals.

When asked about China’s deplorable human rights problems, Xi Jinping (the president) answered there “was always room for improvement.” You could say that–when speaking your mind gets you hung. Cameron whistled his way through that brief discussion since why should barbaric human rights practices interfere with business? And he didn’t want anybody bringing up England’s wars.

Whither China? We await the day its working people rise up again en masse to set things right.

(Photo is Chinese president Xi Jinping with Betty Windsor by Matt Dunham/AP)

CBS news on Israeli settlements in West Bank: lies, lies, & more shameless lies

CBS news coverage tonight of the West Bank focused on the Israeli settlement in Hebron which they portrayed romantically & as besieged by Palestinians. Not even a hint about the aggressive history of that settlement, the encroachments on Palestinian lands & rights, apartheid divisions in Hebron, or the inescapable reality that the damn thing is illegal under international law. Under the Fourth Geneva Convention, establishing settlements in occupied territory is illegal.

We have our work cut out for us to build solidarity against the mountain of shameless lies. Not to be daunted! Just build the hell out of BDS. (Barcode beginning 729)

Ban Ki-moon & Abbas: two stooges for Israeli apartheid

Ban Ki-moon and Abbas (EPA:ALAA BADARNEH) Oct 22 2015

After exposés about the UN role in Haiti, the DR Congo, & in Gaza, nothing lowdown surprises us about the character of the UN. All that world peace talk just so much baloney. In a flurry of diplomatic grandstanding, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met yesterday with Netanyahu in Jerusalem & then dashed off to hold a press conference with Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah.

At the press conference Ban denounced “hateful discourse” on both sides & said Israel’s response to Palestinian knife attacks added to the “already difficult challenges of restoring calm” & building a two-state solution. Like Abbas before him, Ban warned of the dangers of the conflict escalating into a religious war. Sounding like a Presbyterian minister who just landed from Mars, he “urged Palestinians to stop knife attacks & violent protests” & asked Israel to stop demolishing homes & erecting walls. Since when did protests demanding the end of occupation, civil liberties, & that Israel stop demolishing whole villages become “violent”? Just because Palestinians are the ones marching?

Are Ban & Abbas really that stupid or is that the kind of nonsense you talk when you’re running interference for Israel & US interests in the region & trying to pretend you’re a disinterested diplomat brokering peace? Or the president of Palestine when you haven’t been elected?

In discussions with Abbas, Ban said he was deeply concerned about “repeated provocations at the holy sites in Jerusalem which have fueled the current outbreak of violence.” Why the hell is he talking to Abbas about that? Why isn’t he screaming bloody murder to Netanyahu about Israel’s military siege of Al-Aqsa mosque?

Ban also expressed concern about statements from Hamas & Islamic Jihad praising “such heinous attacks” with inflammatory rhetoric. “Such heinous attacks” presumably means the alleged stabbings by Palestinians. So why’s he talking to Abbas about it? More importantly, why isn’t he raising hell about Israel’s occupation of Palestine; the blockade & repeated bombing attacks on Gaza; the calls by Israel for vigilante terrorism by its civilians; the military occupation of the Noble Sanctuary; Israel refusing to return the bodies of Palestinians they shot down to their families for burial; demolishing Palestinian homes; & martial law & new apartheid walls in East Jerusalem? What’s more heinous–defending yourself with a slingshot & knife or attacking unarmed people with tanks, bulldozers, tear gas, grenades, & AK-47s?

The role Israel plays as a military fortress against democracy in the Middle East & in maintaining US economic & political control means they’re pulling out the big guns militarily & for propaganda. Our man Ban & his cohort Abbas are there to serve Israel, not world peace, & they should both be escorted out of the West Bank on a rail.

There’s only one way to counter all this melodramatic rubbish & that is to build the economic, cultural, & academic boycott of Israel & continue to hold rallies demanding no aid of any kind to apartheid Israel, end the occupation, lift the blockade of Gaza.

(Photo by Alaa Badarneh/EPA)

Upper caste violence against Dalits in India: two babies burned to death

Dalit babies burned (Vijay Kumar:AP) Oct 22 2015

Is incoherence & inconsistency in media only a problem when they report on violence against the oppressed? This photo is family members carrying the bodies of a 2½-year-old toddler & 9-month-old baby who were burned to death in an arson attack in Faridabad near New Delhi, India. Both were of the Dalit caste & the accused arsonists from the upper-caste Rajput community. Their mother Rekha Kumar suffered serious burn injuries as did their father Jitender Kumar while trying to save his family.

Some media reports say the arson & murders were caused by a dispute over a cell phone–the description of which is entirely mangled. Other accounts say it was an act of vengeance for the murder of three Rajputs by Dalits last year. Jitender Kumar, the victim, claimed it was due to Rajput resentment over the election of a Dalit as the sarpanch (head) of the village. The Rajputs said an “internal family feud” led to the attack. Shouldn’t media try to figure out which version is actually true? They could begin by asking why the Kumar family had police security stationed at their home & why that security detail was not present when the torching took place.

Officials in the state “reacted cautiously to the possibility of a caste angle behind the attack.” One state official insisted the torching was because of a rivalry between two families & couldn’t be termed a clash between two castes. What’s with the timidity when the area has a history of violence against Dalits by the Rajput, Jat, & Ror upper-caste communities? Dalits are about a quarter of the state’s population but are most often on the receiving end of brutal attacks.

Some of the more egregious incidents include the 2011 torching of 15 Dalit houses by upper-caste Jats; the victims were forced to flee for their lives. A physically disabled girl & her father were burned to death. In 2013 a mob of 500 people from the upper-caste Ror community attacked Dalits to protest an intercaste marriage between a Dalit man & a Ror woman. The couple was forced to seek police protection & 200 Dalit families were forced to leave the area to escape death. Some of the Ror men allegedly harassed & molested Dalit women & girls & vandalized Dalit property. So once again, why the timidity in suspecting caste violence rather than a damn cell phone?

Former Indian army chief & minister of state for external affairs, General VK Singh would strongly suggest “the possibility of a caste angle” when he hatefully said about the death of the two children that ‘the central government cannot be held responsible if someone stones a dog’.

Our fullest solidarity with the Dalits of Faridabad & all of India in their struggle to end the oppressive & violent caste system. May the two babies Rest In Peace.

(Photo by Vijay Kumar/AP)

It’s not a new Intifada but the same struggle against Israeli pogroms of extermination

Where is that speculation coming from asking if a new Intifada is beginning among Palestinians? It suggests the violence is initiated by Palestinians & Israel is responding–an idea that plays right into the hands of Israeli propaganda.

If Intifada means self-defense against Israeli violence & resistance against oppression & colonialism, then Intifada began for Palestinians in 1948 & has never ended. When the term is used to connote increased & spontaneous aggression & violence among Palestinians against Israel, that is an adroit manipulation.

Palestinians have a right to defend themselves by any means necessary & their struggle demands the fullest solidarity from men & women of good will all around the world. Long live Intifada!

Israel institutes more repressive & barbaric measures against Palestinians

Three Israeli soldiers firing (Jaafar Ashtiyeh:AFP:Getty Images) Oct 21 2015

The Israeli rampage against Palestinians, which began with the siege of Al-Aqsa mosque, is a turning point in the Palestinian struggle for justice. The pogrom escalates ethnic cleansing of Palestinians & strengthens military occupation of East Jerusalem while holding the destruction of BDS & international solidarity in the crosshairs.

Netanyahu adamantly denies Israel is trying to destroy or ‘change the status quo’ at Al-Aqsa mosque & actually has the effrontery to accuse Palestinians of inciting violence at the mosque. Media operates as the Greek chorus for Israeli propaganda & peddles this rubbish as the gospel truth.

Israel has in fact instituted several new repressive measures that directly change the status quo at Al-Aqsa. For months, men under 50 years-old were denied freedom of religion & could not pray in the mosque but had to kneel in the public streets; Israeli soldiers militarily occupied the Noble Sanctuary compound where the mosque is & ushered extremist vandals into the mosque for “touring.” These were violations not only of the agreement between Israel & the Jordanian trust governing the mosque but a denial of religious freedom to Palestinians.

Now, East Jerusalem, where the mosque is located, is under martial law & on lockdown. That means Palestinians from the West Bank won’t be allowed to enter the area in order to worship at the mosque. Israel also built a 15-foot wall between Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem & newly constructed Zionist settlements; Palestinians will have to show identification to leave their own neighborhoods. There are hundreds of Israeli police prowling the streets hunting down Palestinians & dozens of new military checkpoints. For media to parrot Netanyahu that these are not ‘changes to the status quo’ at Al-Aqsa is to mock the intelligence of the public.

Certainly one of the most despicable & dangerous of the new repressive measures is Israel’s decision that the bodies of alleged Palestinian assailants shot dead by Israeli forces will be buried in secret & will no longer be returned to their families for burial. Consider the possibilities for Israeli criminality! For summarily executing unarmed Palestinians; for leaving no forensic evidence of what actually happened; for depriving families of the right to mourn & honor their own.

These are Israeli soldiers in the occupied West Bank directing fire at unarmed Palestinian protesters. The caption to this photo read “Jews armed themselves with everything from guns to broomsticks, rattled by a wave of Palestinian attacks that have shaken the country.” The cynicism of that caption appalls. What’s with the broomsticks when Netanyahu is urging them to arm themselves & when they’re backed up with firepower from one of the best armed militaries in the world?

This is no time to be daunted. Build the economic, cultural, & academic boycott of Israel & demand no aid of any kind to apartheid Israel. To stand in solidarity with Palestinians, international solidarity will have to double down in our activities. We have an immense task to counter media lies.

(Photo by Jaafar Ashtiyeh/AFP/Getty Images)

Unarmed Palestinian charges Israeli bulldozer

Pal protester and bulldozer (Mohammed Abed:AFP:Getty Images) Oct 20 2015

We expected the caption to this photo to read: ‘Palestinian terrorist charges Israeli bulldozer with knife” but that must have seemed a little over the top even to the Guardian-UK. Yahoo might still try to pull it off.

What the caption does say is that the activist is running toward the bulldozer when the dust cloud clearly shows the damn thing is moving against him. That doesn’t require a dust pattern expert to detect. It describes this encounter as coming after the activist & fellow protesters tore down a section of the apartheid fence between Israel & Gaza. In one of its peculiar non sequiturs (trying to pack as many lies into one caption as it can), it says Israel has set up more military checkpoints in occupied East Jerusalem. Those alleged stabbers have the city on edge. And military occupation is calming who?

Along with the widespread military pogrom against Palestinians, there is a media onslaught to regain control of the narrative about Palestinians & apartheid Israel. BDS has made such significant inroads in the past ten years that over a million people marched in solidarity with Gaza during Israel’s carpet bombing siege in summer 2014 & tens of thousands are protesting now. Social media brings the Palestinian victims of Israeli ethnic cleansing up close & personal to millions.

This is a direct threat to the Israeli colonial project & must be forcefully countered because the military fortress called Israel is a lynchpin for US hegemony in the Middle East & in warding off democracy in the feudal & military regimes of the region. Mighty military & political forces stand arrayed against Palestinians.

So we can expect media to go whole-hog peddling Israeli propaganda as though it were the gospel truth. Media will overplay the drama, whipping up pro-Israel hysteria. There is no need to panic or be daunted because there’s nothing new about that. That’s what Palestinians have been up against for 67 years & it never stopped their resistance. It only means we need to be more assertive, creative, & consistent in building the boycott of Israel & active solidarity with Palestinians. Against the forces of tyranny, we array the international forces of solidarity.

Stand firm with the Palestinians & build the economic, cultural, & academic boycott of Israel & demand no aid of any kind to apartheid Israel.

(Photo by Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images)

Media will not allow truth about Palestinians & Israel

After the reporter for the CBS affiliate gave such positive coverage of the Palestinian solidarity rally (last Saturday) & Palestinian struggle, I emailed the news producer to commend their coverage. They responded that unfortunately she had made “factual errors that need to be corrected.” Tonight their news coverage of Palestine was as rabid as it gets, emphasizing of course the alleged Palestinian stabbing binge & neglecting to report the Israeli pogrom.

Lessons learned? Flattery will get you nowhere in politics; building BDS remains primary.

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