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And the price of existence of a “Jewish State”?

Arnon Soffer predicted Gaza slaughter a decade ago: “If we want to remain alive, we will have to kill and kill and kill. All day, every day.” ELECTRONICINTIFADA.NET

I am not trying to vilify the State of Israel by this post. Nor do I want to go into discussions about whether it should exist.

What I want at this point is the application of international law and UN resolutions.

I am trying to understand how the Israeli government and its people, can have the policies that they do.

Because when I (and many you have the same experience) was a kid and read about the holocaust (and again I am not comparing Gaza to the holocaust simply because the comparison is too easy and is not useful), I remember thinking;

‘how could that happen?’ ‘how could they do those things?’ ‘didn’t they know these were people just like them?’, ‘how could the world let it happen?’.

So I am trying to understand, now, in our day and age, how certain things can happen, and I believe it is in part because Israeli citizens are raised to be fearful of foreigners (not just Palestinians/ Arabs), of their future, of others, and to dehumanize others.

And it is great that many Israelis are speaking out against this, because they can more easily break through to their compatriots.

So we should not hate Israelis, nor spread hate against them, because that would make us equally racist.

And they are people just like us, and we should feel sorry they have been subjected to psychological abuse and trauma from their leaders and parents, but call on them to stand up to their government policies.

Here is just a small illustration of how academics and leaders instil violence and fear in the national psyche. I wish I could put the quotes in bold type.

Arnon Soffer was an adviser to Ariel Sharon, and a demographer Haifa University. He cautioned of the ‘demographic threat of the births of Palestinians’ and in a 2004 interview, especially with Gaza being closed off, he cautioned that this would lead to a “human catastrophe” and

“…if we want to remain alive, we will have to kill and kill and kill. All day, every day.”

but even HE knew that this would psychologically damage israelis: “The only thing that concerns me is how to ensure that the boys and men who are going to have to do the killing will be able to return home to their families and be normal human beings.”

Note 1: Everyday, Israel detains administratively for months dozen of Palestinian youth. A tactic to humiliate and instil fear in them

Note 2: Every day, Israel destroy homes in the occupied territory on the lame excuse of Not having permission to build that never is forthcoming. Israel demolished 60,000 homes since 1968. Yesterday, it demolished 12 homes for the 108th time in an Aqaba town

Note 3: Every day, Israel expand their settlement in occupied territory.

Note 4: Israel built the Wall of Shame to deny Israeli to see the reality in face, and mingle with Palestinians

Note 5: Israel installed hundreds of road blocks in barriers in the occupied territory to increase the feeling of indignity in the Palestinian and delay their travel and movement.

Note 6: Israel constructed parallel roads for Israeli only in order Not to cross into Palestinian towns.

http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/gaza-massacre-price-jewish-state and http://www.jpost.com/Features/I-didnt-suggest-we-kill-Palestinians

Democrats try to bury Palestine in middle of the night

In the early morning hours of 25 June, while many Americans were asleep, Hillary Clinton allies on the Democratic Party’s platform drafting committee blocked a motion that called for an end to Israel’s military occupation and illegal settlement enterprise.

The vote came after several grueling hours of bickering between members named to the committee by Clinton and Democratic National Committee chairwoman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, on the one hand, and those appointed by Senator Bernie Sanders, on the other.

The video above shows highlights of the heated exchanges surrounding the vote.

Deeper struggles over Israel taking place within the party have been brought into the open since Sanders named prominent supporters of Palestinian rights to the committee that is writing the party’s general election platform.

Clinton, who appears likely to clinch the party’s presidential nomination after a hard-fought primary battle with Sanders, named members who back her staunch pro-Israel lin

Andrew Bossone shared this link

Despite the tragedy of the other guy winning, this is the platform of the presumptive democratic nominee:
“Clinton surrogates shot down motions endorsing universal health care, a carbon tax, stronger support for raising the minimum wage, forceful opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and a moratorium on fracking.”
That’s Not even addressing the debate among delegates on calling the occupation of Palestine what it is.
Cornel West abstains from voting to support the platform, and drops the mic with “That’s how I roll.”

Sanders reps make passionate pleas, but are outvoted by Clinton surrogates.
electronicintifada.net 

Dark of night

Throughout the day, Clinton surrogates shot down motions endorsing universal health care, a carbon tax, stronger support for raising the minimum wage, forceful opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and a moratorium on fracking.

While these defeats took place during the day, committee organizers waited until the dead of night to deliberate on issues related to Israel’s violations of Palestinian rights.

The vote appeared to be deliberately timed to garner as little attention as possible.

It was the very last section raised and by then it was nearly 1am.

Ironically, holding votes in the middle of the night has been a Republican tactic for passing right-wing measures with as little public scrutiny as possible.

But if the purpose in this case was to suppress public debate over Israel, it doesn’t seem to be working.

End the occupation

Arab American Institute president James Zogby, a Sanders appointee, introduced an amendment to revise the language in the Israel/Palestine section of the platform.

Zogby proposed deleting a drafted pledge to oppose so-called delegitimization of Israel at the United Nations or by the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.

He also proposed removing a reference to Jerusalem as Israel’s “undivided” capital.

Zogby pushed for wording that called for

1.  “an end to occupation and illegal settlements so that [Palestinians] may live in independence, sovereignty and dignity,”

2.  “an international effort to rebuild Gaza which the UN warns could be uninhabitable by 2020” and

3. recognition that Palestinians, like Israelis, “deserve security, recognition and a normal life free from violence, terror and incitement.”

Sanders “had direct input” in crafting the amendment, Zogby said, arguing, “the term occupation shouldn’t be controversial.”

Indeed, there was nothing radical about the amendment, which left the pledged US commitment to subsidizing Israel’s military machine and the reference to Israel as a “Jewish and democratic state” intact.

Even the supposedly liberal pro-Israel lobby group J Street did not object to the word occupation. Although the memo it circulated to members of the platform committee urged them to adopt language opposing BDS.

Champions of occupation

Clinton appointee Wendy Sherman, a lobbyist who effectively sells access to government officials, accused BDS and the UN of “creat[ing] anti-Semitism.”

Former congressman turned lobbyist Howard Berman framed opposition to Israel’s occupation as “one-sided” and suggested that Palestinians bear some responsibility for Israel’s illegal conduct.

Bonnie Schaefer, former joint-CEO of the jewelry chain Claire’s Stores, didn’t even bother addressing the issues raised in the amendment. Instead, she engaged in pinkwashing.

“As a gay Jewish Zionist, Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East, as we all know, the only place in the Middle East that I can walk down the street with my wife hand in hand and not be afraid,” Schaefer said.

A Clinton supporter and major donor to the Democratic Party, Schaefer was named to the committee by the DNC.

“Tell the truth”

Zogby fired back, while “you can go and walk down the street of Tel Aviv holding the hand of your wife, I can’t get in the airport without 7 hours of harassment because I’m of Arab descent.”

“We have to be able to call it what it is. It’s an occupation that humiliates people, that breeds contempt, that breeds anger and despair and hopelessness, that leads to violence,” Zogby added.

Civil rights activist and celebrated public intellectual Cornel West, an outspoken supporter of BDS appointed by Sanders, expressed outrage.

“When the IDF [Israeli army] kills innocent people, over 500 babies in 51 days, no matter how many shields they say Hamas uses, it’s wrong,” said West, referring to Israel’s summer 2014 attack on Gaza.

The “Democratic Party must tell the truth,” West implored. “We can never fully respect the Palestinians unless we can name … the boot on their necks.”

“I come from a people who’ve been hated,” West added, drawing an analogy between the long history of denying the horrors inflicted on African Americans and the refusal to recognize the oppression of Palestinians.

The motion was nonetheless defeated in an 8-5 vote, with Sanders’ representatives being the only committee members to back it.

That vote, combined with other defeats throughout the day, prompted West to abstain from approving the platform altogether.

“[If] we can’t say a word about [Trans-Pacific Partnership], if we can’t talk about Medicare for all explicitly, if the greatest prophetic voice dealing with impending ecological catastrophe can hardly win a vote and if we can’t even acknowledge occupation as something that’s real in the lives of a slice of humanity … it just seems to me there’s no way in good conscience I can say take it to the next stage,” West said.

“I have to abstain. I have no other moral option, it would be a violation of my own limited sense of moral integrity and spiritual conscience,” he added. “That’s how I roll.”

West’s and Zogby’s advocacy for Palestinian rights has been so insistent that the Clinton wing of the party has attempted to neutralize them through the most cynical form of identity politicking.

“Concerned that Zogby and West’s viewpoint may be gaining traction at least in the public narrative, Bakari Sellers, a former South Carolina representative and now a CNN commentator, sent a letter signed by 60 African American politicians around the country to the co-chairs of the platform committee last week urging them to stick to the traditional language on Israel,” CNN reported.

This move was meant as a “counterpoint to West, a prominent member of the Black community.”

Fundamental disconnect

“Even though ending Israeli military occupation and settlement building have been explicit US policy goals since the early days of the George W. Bush administration, and even though Hillary Clinton as President Obama’s Secretary of State tried to advance these goals, Clinton appointees to the Democratic National Committee’s platform drafting committee outvoted Sanders appointees to exclude these very same goals from the Democratic platform,” Josh Ruebner, policy director of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, told The Electronic Intifada.

“As Dr. Jim Zogby, a Sanders appointee, noted in the debate last night there is a fundamental disconnect between official US policy and the unwillingness of the Democratic Party to back it,” Ruebner added.

The US Campaign is calling on activists to urge both the Republican and Democratic parties to support Palestinian rights in their platforms.

Israeli occupation, colonization at root of violence

A couple of days ago, two young Palestinians fabricated home-made “machine guns” and crossed all the dozens of barriers and check points and the Wall of Shame  and targeted Israeli soldiers in Tel Aviv, killing 4 and injuring half a dozens.
One of the assailants got angry as his makeshift gun “jammed” and he grabbed a knife on the table of the restaurant  and started to stab. A retired colonel was among the dead.
Tonnie Ch shared this link

“As Israeli leaders vowed revenge and began to impose collective punishment on the occupied Palestinian civilian population, Tel Aviv mayor Ron Huldai was the most high profile figure pointing squarely back at Israel’s occupation as the root cause of violence.

Israel is “maybe the only country in which another people is under occupation and in which these people have no rights,” Huldai told army radio.

“We can’t keep these people in a reality in which they are occupied and [expect] them to reach the conclusion that everything is alright and that they can continue living this way,” Huldai added, in reference to the Palestinians.

In an even more extraordinary statement, the father of Ido Ben Ari, one of the four victims of the shooting attack allegedly carried out by two Palestinian cousins at a Tel Aviv cafe, accused the Israeli government of making the situation worse.

“Last night, after the attack, the prime minister and two of his ministers arrived and yet another security cabinet issued decrees – not to return corpses, to put up barriers, to destroy houses, and to make lives harder,” the father said at his son’s funeral.

“These solutions create suffering, hatred, despair and [lead] to more people joining the circle of terror,” he added. “What’s needed is a solution rather than saying all the time that there’s nobody to make peace with.””

See More

Ali Abunimah debates two former Israeli government advisors on Al Jazeera, following Tel Aviv attack.
electronicintifada.net
The Israeli government has committed a collective punishment, Not only on the people in the town from which are the assailants and who didn’t live there, but also on the entire West Bank. The PM has declared that the homes of the martyrs will be blown up, as usual.
In the meantime, as every Saturday, the police force protect settlers who enters the Muslim Grand Mosque to pray, and prevent males over 45 from coming to pray in their mosque on Friday.
 

 

Stephen Hawking’s boycott hits Israel where it hurts: science

What really winds up Israel is that this rejection comes from a famous scientist, and it is science that drives its economy, prestige and military strength
Posted by and  on May 13, 2013
Stephen Hawking mystery

Hawking’s boycott threatens to open a floodgate with more and more scientists coming to regard Israel as a pariah state’. Photograph: PA

Stephen Hawking‘s decision to boycott the Israeli president’s conference has gone viral.

Over 100,000 Facebook shares of the Guardian report at last count.

Whatever the subsequent fuss, Hawking’s letter is unequivocal. His refusal was made because of requests from Palestinian academics.

Witness the speed with which the pro-Israel lobby seized on Cambridge University’s initial false claim that he had withdrawn on health grounds to denounce the boycott movement, and their embarrassment when within a few hours the university shamefacedly corrected itself.

Hawking also made it clear that if he had gone he would have used the occasion to criticise Israel’s policies towards the Palestinians.

While journalists named him “the poster boy of the academic boycott” and supporters of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement celebrated, Ha’aretz, the most progressive of the Israeli press, drew attention to the inflammatory language used by the conference organisers, who described themselves as “outraged” rather than that they “regretted” Hawking’s decision.

That the world’s most famous scientist had recognised the justice of the Palestinian cause is potentially a turning point for the BDS campaign.

And that Hawking ‘s stand was approved by a majority of two to one in the Guardian poll that followed his announcement shows just how far public opinion has turned against Israel’s relentless land-grabbing and oppression.

Hawking’s public refusal follows that of prominent singers, artists and writers, from Brian Eno to Mike Leigh, Alice Walker and Adrienne Rich, all of whom have publicly rejected invitations to perform in Israel.

But what winds Israel up is the fact that this rejection is by a famous scientist and that science and technology drive its economy. Hawking’s decision threatens to open a floodgate with more and more scientists coming to regard Israel as a pariah state. Its research ties with European and American scientists must be protected.

That Israel, a Middle East country, has managed to secure membership of the European Research Area and the many collaborative links with European labs underlines the importance of these links.

When European parliamentarians challenged its membership on the grounds of Israel’s numerous breaches of UN resolutions and of the European Human Rights conventions, the European Commission responded to the effect that research trumped human rights.

Israel’s science and technology are not just a source of prestige and technological innovation, but underpin its military strength.

It was an Israeli engineer who developed the drones that the US now employs in quantity.

Israeli home-produced chemical weapons minimally match those of Syria, and Israeli universities amply supply the Israel Defence Forces with the sociological, psychological and technological methods it employs to suppress Palestinian protests against the occupation.

The complicity of Israeli academia in Israeli state policy is incontrovertible.

However, this is the first time that a scientist of Hawking’s status has taken so public a stand – and the hyperventilating response of the Jerusalem conference organisers (it is worth noting that the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where the conference Hawking refused to attend was to be held, is built on illegally annexed Palestinian land) has only added to its public impact.

Lastly it has been the very public debates over the rights and wrongs of an academic boycott that have drawn attention to the subservience of the Israeli universities to the state.

Until the boycott began internal critics were few and far between, and some of the sharpest such as Ilan Pappé were forced out. However, this subservience is beginning to yield.

When in 2012 the education minister attempted to close the politics department at Ben Gurion on “academic grounds”, it was immediately recognised as a political attack on one of the very few departments where academics were willing to name Israel as an apartheid state.

Prof Gilad Haran from the Weizmann Institute launched a petition stating “We sense that academic freedom in Israel’s higher education system is in severe danger.” The department remains open – one small victory.

CNN’s footage offers further clear proof that Israeli authorities are lying about…
electronicintifada.net

adonis49

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