Adonis Diaries

Archive for the ‘Jews/Israel/Palestine’ Category

Why this tradition to wear distinctive signs?

Il y a tout genre d’auteurs, Juifs ou pas, qui enflamment leurs imaginations sur Israel en se basant sur des idees comme:

“La honte d’avoir ete’ epargnee par le malheur”

” De se sentir pauvre et borne’ d’ etre incapable de se lamenter

“Cette terre tourmentee de collines et de plaines seches, de crevasses arides et de mers mortes”

“Cette terre qui n’ avait engendre’ ni luxe ni opulance” (Les Palestininien ont en engendre’, meme dans cette terre aride)

“Cetter terre ou on ne pouvait y survivre que par un sens rugueux du repos qui ne se distingue pas du perpetuel effort, le sens su sacre’…”

Mais ce sont les Palestiniens qui ont survecu sur cette terre sacre’ depuis des millenaires.

Les juifs venus de l’ Orient, de l’ Afrique, des generations qui ont fui L’ Espagne de l’ Inquisition… ressemblent physiquement aux Palestiniens.

Les juifs d’ Israel furent forces de porter la kippa sur leur tete pour se distinguer des Palestiniens, comme ils ont porter le signe jaune sur leur poitrine pour se distinguer des Allemands durant la periode Nazi.

Israel n’ est autre qu’ une autre horde barbare de coloniaux, avec la meme ideology de transfer, de vole et d’ humiliation, d’aparteid de ” la force a toujours raison et absout toutes les indignations”

Note: Jews were desert tribes who barely mingled within cities and never visited the seashore. They inhabited part of Jerusalem for short periods. They never left any artifacts or anything to prove their existence, even during Babylonian or Assyrian periods

 

 

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A story of a transferred Palestinian since 1948 and other essays

A Palestinian living in New York:

“My grandmother witnessed the following events:

– she lived during the British mandate of Palestine and its turmoil
– the 1948 war and Nakba (Transfer to neighboring States of Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria)
– the 1956 Israeli invasion of Gaza
– the 1967 six days war and Israeli occupation of Jerusalem, Gaza and the West Bank
– the 1973 war

Then she moved with my grandfather to Lebanon to witness:
– the 1978 Israeli invasion of Lebanon
– Lebanon civil war that started in April 1975
– the 1982 Israel massive invasion of Lebanon and entering the capital Beirut and shipping of Palestinian fighters

Then she returned to Gaza to witness:
– the 1987 first intifada (Mass disobedience movement. It was Not the first: 1935 to 38 against the British mandated power and England had to dispatch 100, 000 soldiers to tame it, along with the latest torture techniques)
– the Oslo peace agreement
– the 2000 second intifada
– the 2006 Israeli operation against Lebanon and the victory of Hezbollah after 33 days of war
– Israel cast lead operation 2008/2009 on Gaza
– Israel pillar of cloud operation of 2012 on Gaza
– Israel protective edge operation 2014 on Gaza

Last time I called her she asked me to take care of myself and to focus on my studies- hoping for a better future.

My grandmother’a calendar is full of war and bloodshed. She is in Gaza now and I’m in New York unable to go see her or see my family and beloved.

Since 1948 when she hears the drums of war, she gets dressed and prepares her papers and precious stuff getting ready to become forth, fifth, or sixth time refugee in her country.

Freedom is precious guys, if you live in freedom and dignity you never need to complain….”

Krys Ta wrote:

I kind of feel sorry for holders of passports that could get them practically anywhere. They never get to experience ‘doing an exam’ every couple of months, waiting for results, nailing your interview questions, perfecting your bank account statements, showing up on time, scheduling appointments months ahead, waiting in line for your number…

It’s horrible what they do experience.

They just go to the country of destination? For us at least when you get the visa you feel like you succeeded. You might not want to travel anymore even.

Khalas (finally) you succeeded in that extremely hard test of perfecting your visa application results that you were worthy.

Worthy enough to get granted access to another country where you will spend YOUR money and help thrive their economy.

In a way, we are heros.

Yalla bye. #fuckBorders #قوم_بقا

The Outrageously Racist
The Stereotypical Sexist
The ‘I don’t care about traffic lights’
The Truly Kind & Wise
The Intellectual 
The Hardworker But ‘There’s no more hope for Lebanon’
The Smart/Skilled But ‘there’s no more hope for anything in life’
The ‘There’s no place better than Lebanon’
The ‘Any place is better than Lebanon’

Chapters from a book I could write about my daily encounters with Taxi drivers in Lebanon this summer.

ISRAEL’S NEW LEGALIZATION LAW

Cathy Sultan blog

Israel’s new Legalization Law legitimizes under Israeli law dozens of so-called settlement “outposts” that were built without official approval from Israeli authorities but were tacitly supported by successive Israeli governments as part of an effort to colonize as much Palestinian land as possible.

This new law follows Israel’s approval of 6,000 new settlement units in just the last two weeks and the announcement that Israel plans to build its first entirely new settlement on occupied Palestinian land in more than two decades.

According to Jonathan Cook writing in The National on February 8, 2017, the Legalization Law was the right’s forceful response to the eviction in early February of 40 families from a settlement “outpost” called Amona.

The eviction of these families was transformed into an expensive piece of political theatre, costing an estimated $40 million. It was choreographed as a national trauma to ensure such an event is never repeated.

As the evicted families clashed with police, sending several dozen to the hospital, Naftali Bennett, the Education Minister and leader of the settler party Jewish Home called Amona’s families “heroes.” Netanyahu added: “We all understand the extent of their pain,” and promised them an enlarged replacement settlement along with monetary compensation.

The real prize for Bennett and his far right party was the legalization law itself. It reverses a restriction imposed in the 1970s and designed to prevent a free-for-all by the settlers. International law is clear that an occupying force can take land only for military needs.

Israel committed a war crime in transferring more than 600,000 Jewish civilians into the Occupied Territories. (Millions of Palestinians were forced transferred after each war)

Israel’s Attorney General has refused to defend the law should it be brought before Israel’s Supreme Court. Very belatedly the lower courts drew the line in land confiscation in Amona and demanded that the land be returned to its Palestinian owners.

This new law overrules the judges in the lower courts, allowing private land stolen from Palestinians to be laundered as Israeli state property.

In practice there has never been a serious limit on theft of Palestinian land but now government support for the plunder will be explicit in law. It will be impossible to blame the outposts on “rogue” settlers or claim that Israel is trying to safeguard Palestinian property rights.

I saw this injustice for the first time in March 2002 when my Palestinian guide, Naim, on our way to Bethlehem, stopped his car and pointed off to the left.

“My family used to live here,” he said, and began to tell me his story. One of the things which upset me was the part about the ancient olive grove. No one knew how old the hundreds of trees really were. Some of the old-timers swore the olive grove was 300 years old or perhaps even older. The trees probably didn’t need irrigation because they’d been there so long. Their roots intermingled with the rich, dark dirt and delved deeply into the earth. A small village nearby had an olive press and every day during the season the villagers brought their freshly-picked crop to be pressed for oil.

Naim still remembered the exact location of his house, what time the sun shone through the kitchen window, and where each tree was planted. He remembered because he was the one who scurried up the trees and shook the branches at harvest time, carefully aiming for the sheet spread around the base of each tree to catch the olives as they fell.

Now there is no sign of a Palestinian presence. The villagers, if not already dead, have been dispersed to one of the many refugee camps. As for the ancient olive grove, it was uprooted to make way for Har Homa, a massive Israeli settlement. It sits atop Abu Ghnaim Mountain, once a forest of some 60,000 pine trees and a refuge for wild animals and plants.

One the southwest edge of Bethlehem, this entire area was stripped bare to build 7,000 identical red-roofed, multi-storied square housing units, arranged in layers some two kilometers in circumference. When completed, the project looked from afar like asymmetrical Lego blocks. Gilo, another Israeli settlement, dominates the eastern perimeter of Bethlehem, sandwiching the Christian village between these two Israeli colossi. These and other stories can be found in Israeli and Palestinian Voices: A Dialogue with both Sides.

As opposition leader Isaac Herzog said: “The train departing from here has only one stop–the Hague, home of the International Criminal Court. If ICC judges take their duties seriously, we could see Prime Minister Netanyahu tried for complicity in the war crime of establishing illegal settlements on stolen Palestinian land.

This book is available for purchase here: Amazon

Post-Holocaust trauma? Extending to fourth generation?

Naomi Wolf posted on FB this July 27, 2014

A lot of our reactions emerge out of post-Holocaust trauma.

(Of any trauma, period. I read a genetic paper that many traces of trauma of grand parents are inherited by the next generations. The all kinds of trauma experienced by Palestinians will last a long time: All these forced transfers, the body destroyed in any second, houses demolished, the waiting and indignities at every check point, the administrative detention that last months…)

It does not mean they are right but it explains that when we think Hamas will exterminate us given the chance, it makes peace impossible and leads to the justification of aggression. (Not just Hamas. They claim everyone is after extermination mentality)

Peter Cohen: “This is the problem. Many Jews have an existential connection to the idea of Israel as a refuge against the next holocaust. It is a deeply emotive – not rational – need for an imagined safe haven from the threat of persecution by the “Other.” 

(And I say the Palestinian cause is existential. And there will be no peace until the current apartheid practices of “only-Jewish” villages and cities are abolished and all villages shared by Palestinians everywhere in Palestine).

It is a phenomenon ultimately based on fear. And the search for “security” too often at the expense of the Other, leads to the absurdities we are seeing today.

It has become clear to me that, for many Jewish people like Aaron, the issue of a Jewish State is non-negotiable.

It is value they place above virtually all else, including the sanctity of life.

Now that the realization of this dream has caused so much wrong and suffering, it is time to reexamine this value and ask ourselves if it is really even necessary to – or compatible with – the making of a better world.”

Note: Last week, Naomi walked out of the synagogue because she was saddened of the lack of any mention of Gaza (‘where is God if not in caring for others?’ she asked…She looks into her book in an attempt to understand and grasp it all, below is what she shares.

I was challenged below: “Read the Bible! God gave the land of Israel to the Jewish people.”

I may get crucified for this but I have started to say it — most recently (terrified, trembling) to warm welcome in a synagogue in LA: Actually if you read Genesis Exodus and Deuteronomy in Hebrew — as I do — you see that God did not “give” Israel to the Jews/Israelites.

We as Jews are raised with the creed that “God gave us the land of Israel” in Genesis — and that ethnically ‘we are the chosen people.”

I could not believe my eyes when I saw this, I checked my reading with major scholars and they confirmed it — actually God’s “covenant” in Genesis, Exodus and Deuteronomy with the Jewish people is NOT ABOUT AN ETHNICITY AND NOT ABOUT A CONTRACT. IT IS ABOUT A WAY OF BEHAVING.

Again and again in the “covenant” language He never says: “I will give you, ethnic Israelites, the land of Israel.”

Rather He says something far more radical – far more subversive — far more Godlike in my view. 

God says: IF you visit those imprisoned…act mercifully to the widow and the orphan…welcome the stranger in your midst…tend the sick…do justice and love mercy ….and perform various other tasks…THEN YOU WILL BE MY PEOPLE AND THIS LAND WILL BE YOUR LAND.

So “my people” is not ethnic — it is transactional. We are God’s people not by birth but by a way of behaving, that is ethical, kind and just.

And we STOP being “God’s people” when we are not ethical, kind and just. And ANYONE who is ethical, kind and just is, according to God in Genesis, “God’s people.”

And the “contract” to “give” us Israel is conditional — we can live in God’s land IF we are “God’s people” in this way — just, merciful, compassionate. AND — it never ever says, it is ONLY your land.

Even when passages spell out geographical “boundaries” as if God does such a thing, it never says this is exclusively your land. It never says I will give this land JUST to you.

Remember these were homeless nomads who had left slavery in Egypt and were wandering around in the desert. (They never lived in Egypt and were nomadic people who kept away from cities and the sea shore)

At most these passages say, settle here, but they do not say, settle here exclusively.

Indeed again it talks about welcoming “zarim” — translated as “strangers” but can also be translated as “people/tribes who are not you” — in your midst. Blew my mind, hope it blows yours.

Note: It blows my mind when people still refer to Books as spelled out by a God or a messenger of a God.

Non, l’antisionisme n’est pas un antisémitisme réinventé

SYLVAIN CYPEL > 19 JUILLET 2017

« Nous ne céderons rien aux messages de haine, à l’antisionisme parce qu’il est la forme réinventée de l’antisémitisme ». (The ultra sionist French President Emmanuel Macron)

On ne sait si, par ces mots, le président Emmanuel Macron a simplement espéré gagner opportunément les faveurs de Benyamin Nétanyahou, qu’il accueillait aux cérémonies de commémoration de la déportation des juifs parisiens en juillet 1942, ou s’il a énoncé une conviction plus profonde.

Mais dans les deux cas, il a eu tort.

Espérer séduire Nétanyahou en cédant à son verbe n’est qu’un leurre — demandez à Barack Obama ce qu’il en pense.

Quant au fond, l’assimilation de l’antisionisme à une nouvelle mouture de l’antisémitisme est une erreur funeste.

Cette assertion est l’une des clefs de voûte depuis des décennies de la hasbara, la communication israélienne. Et plus Israël s’enfonce dans la domination coloniale d’un autre peuple, les Palestiniens, plus l’assertion « antisionisme égal antisémitisme » est répétée pour stigmatiser quiconque critique cette domination.

En soi, la méthode consistant à délégitimer la critique en démonisant son auteur est vieille comme la politique.

Ainsi Joseph Staline et ses émules assimilaient-ils toute critique du communisme soviétique à du « fascisme ». Si les fascistes étaient viscéralement anticommunistes, cela ne faisait pas de tous les contempteurs du régime soviétique des fascistes.

Mais les staliniens continuaient à vilipender leurs adversaires, sans distinction, sous ce vocable infamant.

Aujourd’hui, un Robert Mugabe, au Zimbabwe, qualifie régulièrement ses adversaires de « défenseurs de l’apartheid ». Que des racistes patentés figurent parmi les dénonciateurs de l’autocrate zimbabwéen est évident. Mais que tous soient des nostalgiques de la ségrégation raciale est une accusation dérisoire. On pourrait multiplier les exemples.

Il en va de même de l’idée selon laquelle l’antisionisme serait la version moderne de l’antisémitisme.

D’abord parce que l’antisionisme n’est pas une idéologie très définie. Historiquement, il a consisté à récuser l’idée d’une solution nationaliste à la question juive.

Aujourd’hui, il y a en Israël des gens qui se disent antisionistes par simple hostilité à une occupation des Palestiniens menée au nom même du sionisme.

D’autres se disent « post-sionistes » parce qu’à leurs yeux, l’ambition du sionisme étant la constitution d’un État juif, son existence annule d’autorité la nécessité du sionisme.

Je connais enfin des Israéliens tout à fait sionistes qui sont si révulsés par la politique de Nétanyahou qu’ils se disent honorés d’être traités d’« antisionistes » par un gouvernement d’extrême droite raciste et colonialiste.

Ces derniers remplissent par exemple les rangs d’une ONG comme Breaking the Silence, qui regroupe des soldats dénonçant les crimes commis par leur armée contre des Palestiniens et dont plusieurs des dirigeants sont des officiers et aussi des juifs pieux. Ils ne sont pas antisémites. Ils sont même l’honneur d’Israël.

Quant à moi, je considère le sionisme comme une question philosophiquement désuète. En revanche, si le sionisme, comme le prône Nétanyahou, consiste à exiger la reconnaissance d’Israël pour mieux empêcher le droit des Palestiniens à l’autodétermination, alors je suis antisioniste. Serais-je donc antisémite ?

Bref, que l’on trouve parmi les antisionistes d’aujourd’hui des gens projetant sur Israël leur antisémitisme atavique ou récent ne fait aucun doute. Mais que l’antisionisme soit en tant que tel une idéologie antisémite est une idée infamante et erronée.

Et puis, il y a plus grave. Il y a chez Nétanyahou non seulement cette utilisation abusive de l’accusation d’antisémitisme, mais aussi cette sidérante propension à s’entendre avec de vrais antisémites lorsque ça l’arrange. Au moment où vous-même, M. le Président, cautionniez sa thèse, le New York Times publiait un article d’opinion d’une journaliste et traductrice israélienne, Mairav Zonszein, accusant ouvertement son premier ministre de collusion avec celui de la Hongrie, Viktor Orban, un homme qui laisse proliférer l’antisémitisme parmi ses partisans.

Et de fait, de Paris, Nétanyahou a rejoint Budapest.

Depuis des années, le gouvernement israélien raffermit ses relations avec les gouvernements les plus réactionnaires d’Europe centrale.

Il a soutenu avec une grande compréhension l’attitude du régime hongrois dans la récente crise des réfugiés syriens. Nétanyahou soutient aussi la campagne lancée par Orban contre le financier américain George Soros, dont la fondation favorise les initiatives démocratiques.

Cette campagne est menée à l’aide d’arguments fleurant l’antisémitisme : Orban accuse Soros d’user de « l’argent étranger » pour nuire à son pays. Quant aux graffitis hostiles qui prolifèrent en Hongrie contre le magnat américain, beaucoup sont sans équivoque antisémites.

Ce lien entre la droite coloniale israélienne que Nétanyahou incarne — même si désormais on trouve plus radical que lui en Israël — et des organisations exsudant un antisémitisme plus ou moins manifeste n’est pas neuf.

Aux États-Unis, un polémiste d’extrême droite comme Glenn Beck, qui avait lui aussi insulté George Soros avec des relents antisémites, était venu se refaire une virginité en 2011 en visitant des colonies religieuses israéliennes extrémistes. Il y fut accueilli en héros (Beck est avant tout islamophobe).

Quant à l’invité d’honneur du dernier diner de la Zionist Organisation of America (ZOA), une formation américaine qui regroupe les soutiens à la droite israélienne radicale, il se nommait Steve Bannon, proche conseiller de Donald Trump accusé entre autres par son ex-femme de propos antisémites.

Le tollé fut tel dans la communauté juive américaine qu’il renonça à venir. Mais la ZOA afficha sa solidarité avec lui.

On assiste aujourd’hui à un phénomène ahurissant dans cette dérive israélienne.

À double détente, l’accusation d’antisémitisme y est désormais soumise aux intérêts contingents.

Un : les antisionistes sont tous des antisémites.

Deux : les prosionistes sont tous bienvenus, y compris quand ils sont antisémites.

Si vous défendez les droits humains en Palestine, vous êtes antisémite. Si vous êtes islamophobe, que vous soyez aussi antisémite revêt peu d’importance.

Le prix à payer à l’avenir pour cette folie risque d’être très élevé. Et l’avaliser aura été, selon l’adage, plus qu’une erreur : une faute.

Israel’s (24-7) War on Palestine Rights Movement Advances Anti-boycott Legislation, Torpedoes Events

By Alison Weir. July 14, 2017

An Israeli newspaper reports that a special office in Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs is advancing anti-boycott, pro-Israel legislation around the world.

Israel’s Ynet News reports: “The State of Israel is waging one of its most important and difficult battles: The war on delegitimization and on the boycott movement.”

The Ministry has mapped 150 entities and has implemented what it calls a “combat doctrine” against them.

According to Ynet, the ministry has created a $70 million unit that works “24-7” to monitor and counter activism in support of Palestinian rights.

The unit, named “The Battle,” has worked to advance legislation, torpedo events, block bank accounts, thwart funding, and organize counter protests. It has also placed agents in Israeli embassies around the world.

The Ministry’s Director-General Sima Vaknin-Gil says that in order to win, Israel must “must use tricks and craftiness.”

According to Ynet, the office monitors “all protests, conferences, publications calling for an anti-Israel boycott and international bodies’ boycott initiatives. It then transfers the information to the relevant people to provide a proper response to these activities, whether through a counter-protest or through moves to thwart the initiative behind the scenes.”

Israel’s justice department has agreed to exclude the unit from Israel’s Freedom of Information Law.

Gilad Erdan, Minister of Public Security, Strategic Affairs and Information, states:

“Since the ministry began leading the war on the boycott movement, boycott organizations have been under constant pressure.

“Legislation is being advanced in Israel and in the world, the organizations are under financial pressure which includes closing bank accounts and thwarting donations, and the hypocrisy of bodies disguised as ‘human rights organizations’ is being exposed.

My policy of moving from the defense to the offense has proved itself, but there’s a lot more to be done.”

Numerous anti-boycott, pro-Israel bills are making their way through U.S. governmental bodies.

The U.S. Congress passed anti-boycott legislation in 2015, at least 22 state legislatures throughout the country have enacted anti-boycott bills, and anti-boycott legislation in other states is in process.

In addition, legislation calling criticism of Israel “anti-Semitic” is being advanced at both the federal and state levels, and similar regulations are being adopted on college campuses. Related laws and resolutions are also being promoted internationally.

Israel’s 24-7 ‘War’ on Palestine Rights Movement Advances Anti-boycott Legislation, Torpedoes Events

The 29th floor of Tel Aviv’s Champion Tower is the nerve center of a 24-7 ‘war’ against Palestinian rights supporters around the world. Israeli agents working behind the scenes advance legislation, torpedo events, organize counter-protests, close bank accounts.

The Director says: ‘In order to win we must use tricks and craftiness.’


Alison Weir is executive director of If Americans Knew, president of the Council for the National Interest, and author of Against Our Better Judgment: The Hidden History of How the U.S. Was Used to Create Israel

Israeli efforts to influence events in the U.S. are not new. In 1994 a former Mossad agent described on C-Span how the Mossad used pro-Israel organizations to plant claims that individuals critical of Israel are “antisemitic.”

In 1963 Senator William Fulbright discovered that Israel had given more than $5 million ($40 million in today’s dollars ) to organizations and individuals in the U.S. to influence public opinion in favor of Israel.


Alison Weir is executive director of If Americans Knew, president of the Council for the National Interest, and author of Against Our Better Judgment: The Hidden History of How the U.S. Was Used to Create Israel

UN: Israel Killed 15 Journalists in Summer 2014, “Purposefully” Targeting Many

This article is published in Mondoweiss.

The story of the 7 January 2015 storming of the offices of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical French publication with a history of racist, anti-Muslim caricatures, has inundated the Western media.

The attack, tragically leaving at least 12 dead, has been touted as a “free speech” issue by the first government in the world to ban pro-Palestinian demonstrations.

(This framing has distorted the fact that it was torture at Abu Ghraib and the US war on Iraq that left 100,000s of civilians dead, not cartoons, that radicalized the impoverished shooters, sons of émigrés from Algeria, a country that was a French colony until the end of a bloody war of independence in 1962.)

The subsequent taking of hostages in a Parisian kosher supermarket by an acquaintance of the shooters was an even more despicable act, leading to the deaths of at least four. Both incidents are horrific tragedies, and deserve harsh condemnation.

Yet they have exponentially overshadowed equally tragic recent attacks on journalists.

In its November 2012 attack on Gaza, “Operation Pillar of Defense,” the Israeli government admitted that it was targeting journalists. This trend was revisited only months ago in Israel’s summer 2014 assault, “Operation Protective Edge,” an incursion that left 2,310 dead—over 1,500 of whom were civilians, including at least 500 children—and 10,626 wounded.

While the Western media has scrupulously tracked the Charlie Hebdo attack and subsequent hostage crisis for the scantest of updates, and while the calamity dominates discussions on social media—and also while the Fourth Estate ceaselessly speaks of ISIS’ heinous killings of Western journalists—both the press and popular culture continue to ignore August 2014 UN documents that inculpate Israel for engaging in very similar acts of terror.

The Press Emblem Campaign (PEC), a Geneva-based independent non-governmental organization aimed “at strengthening the legal protection and safety of journalists in zones of conflict and civil unrest or in dangerous missions,” carries special consultative UN status, conducting investigations on behalf of the body.

In its 28 August report, “90 journalists killed so far in 2014: a new step is required by the UN in order to combat impunity,” it notes that:

Israel and the Occupied Territory of the State of Palestine:

in the context of the operation “Protective Edge” launched by the Israeli forces on 8 July 2014 on the Gaza Strip, 15 journalists have been killed (some of them being purposely targeted), many others have been injured because of the shelling of their homes, 16 Palestinian journalists have lost their homes as a result of Israeli bombing and shelling, 8 media outlets have been destroyed, in addition the Israeli army deliberately disturbed the broadcasting of 7 radio and TV stations and websites (l), many journalists have been arrested by the Israeli forces.

Al-Aqsa radio, Sawt Al-Quds radio, Sawat Al-Sha’eb, Filistin Il-Yom TV and website, Al-Ra’ei website

In a more detailed document from the day before, “15 journalists and media workers killed during operation “Protective Edge”: the responsible have to be held accountable,” the PEC and the UN indicate that the houses of 16 journalists that were destroyed in Israeli attacks were “often purposely targeted.”

They also reveal that, of the eight Gaza media outlets Israel destroyed, five were deliberately bombed. Israeli forces shelled three headquarters of Al-Aqsa TV, where 325 employees worked, and “deliberately disturbed the broadcasting of 7 radio and TV stations and websites, and used these stations to broadcast inciting messages against the Palestinian resistance, as they did in their previous attacks on the Gaza Strip.”

Deliberate Attacks

The PEC states that the “Israeli violations against Palestinian journalists are the most dangerous, life threatening, and the most frequent” and asserts that it “denounces the harassment against journalists and media workers as well as the smear campaign of the Israeli diplomacy against foreign journalists falsely accused to work for Hamas that leads to a sneaky form of self-censorship.”

Most of the murdered journalists were in their twenties, with ages ranging from 21 to 59. All except for one, an Italian, were Palestinian.

The majority worked for local Palestinian media networks, although two Associated Press reporters were killed, including the only foreign reporter killed.

Some were wearing vests clearly marked “Press”; others were in media vehicles with “TV” plainly printed on the hood. In one case, a 21-year-old Palestinian photojournalist was taking pictures in the Al-Jineene neighborhood in Rafah when an Israeli drone shot him.

“The large number of targets and the way in which media organizations and journalists have been attacked by” Israeli forces, the UN statement reads, “suggest that a strategy has been finalized at the highest levels of the State of Israel. Targeting non-combatants is itself a war crime that, as such, must not enjoy impunity.”

The PEC concludes calling upon the UN to investigate “the violation of the fundamental freedoms and rights of journalists and media workers, with a particular attention on the violation of the rights of women journalists” and the UN Human Rights Council’s independent, international commission of inquiry “to investigate and identify those responsible for the crimes committed against media outlet, journalists and media workers.”

“Constant Pressures” on Journalists

In a footnote to this statement, the PEC draws attention to a French-language Algerian Huffington Post article that went completely ignored by the Western media (all translations mine): “TVE [Spanish Television] Journalist Yolanda Alvarez Attacked by Israel, Spanish Journalists Protest.”

The story notes that the “Spanish press is unanimous in supporting Yolanda Alvarez, TVE correspondent in Jerusalem, victim of virulent attacks by the Israeli embassy in Madrid.” It also stated that Alvarez’ Twitter page was “full of tweets of support coming from journalists or associations of journalists that spoke of the intimidation and the threats from the Israeli embassy.”

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said that, according “to the testimonies of other journalists and media, the Israeli embassy in Israel maintains an attitude of permanent intimidation of Spanish journalists.” RSF denounced the “constant pressures” Israel put on journalists, and asked that Israel stop using “its diplomats as agents of pressure and propaganda.”

US media networks also pressured their own journalists not to present Israel’s attack in a negative light.

NBC went so far as to pull Ayman Mohyeldin from Gaza, a veteran reporter who garnered international praise as one of the only two foreign journalists who had been in Gaza during Israel’s 2008-2009 assault on Gaza, Operation Cast Lead, in which Israel barred journalists from entering Gaza as it, in the words of Human Rights Watch, “repeatedly exploded white phosphorus munitions in the air over populated areas, killing and injuring civilians, and damaging civilian structures, including a school, a market, a humanitarian aid warehouse and a hospital.”

Institute for Policy Studies analyst Phyllis Bennis pointed out the irony that, as Israeli tanks rolled into Gaza, NBC “pulled the reporter who has done more than any other to show the human costs of the conflict there.” Because of popular pressure, Mohyeldin was eventually reinstated, yet there were numerous other incidents of the same forms of censorship and pressure occurring.

The Second-Worst Year for Journalists

In its 2014 census on jailed journalists, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) revealed that 2014 was the second-worst year for jailed journalists since it began the annual census in 1990. Internationally, over 220 journalists are imprisoned, 60% of whom are held on anti-state charges of terrorism or subversion.

This comes in a close second to 2012, in which 232 journalists were imprisoned—although the 2014 figure may actually be higher, as the report excludes journalists being detained by nonstate actors such as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

CPJ deputy director Robert Mahoney warned the “targeting of journalists has been increasing to alarming proportions,” indicating that journalists “are now losing the protected observer status that they had, and now they’ve become the story rather than being the witness to the story to some groups.”

Only some of the stories about these persecuted journalists are told, nonetheless. Much of the Western media is speaking of the Charlie Hebdo shooting as a “Free Speech” issue, yet ignores Israel’s persistent .

Explicit violent repression of journalists is not new behavior for Israel. In 2008, Israeli forces killed 23-year-old cameraman Fadel Subhi Shana’a. In the same year, Israel arrested award-winning journalist Mohammed Omer and brutally tortured him—a common practice. In 2004, Israeli occupation forces killed 22-year-old journalist Mohammed Abu Halima.

There are countless more of such stories, of such tragedies. Yet these tragic stories are not told in the Western media. The countless nameless faces of the now forgotten journalists are only nameless and forgotten because they were ignored.

UPDATE, 27 January 2015:

Journalist Dan Cohen tweeted a picture of a poster in Gaza commemorating the journalists killed in Gaza in Israel’s Operation “Protective Edge.” (Some sources have reported that 17 journalists were killed, yet the UN report left it at 15, so I used that figure in this piece.)


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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