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Posts Tagged ‘Max Blumenthal

Israel High Court: Genocide Of Christian And Muslim Babies Is Legal

THE BOOK IS A VIRTUAL MANUAL FOR JEWISH EXTREMIST TERROR DESIGNED TO JUSTIFY THE MASS SLAUGHTER OF CIVILIANS.

 Feb 10, 2018

A book published by Rabbis Yitzhak Shapira and Yosef Elitzu in 2009 states that it is legal under Jewish law to kill Gentiles (Christians and Muslims) and in certain cases, the babies of Gentiles.

In a ruling on whether these statements are genocidal and a call to incitement, Israel’s High Court of Justice decided that:

THERE IS NO BASIS TO INDICT THE AUTHORS OF THE BOOK TORAT HAMELECH (“THE KING’S TORAH”) FOR INCITEMENT.

Israel’s  Attorney- General,  Yehuda Weinstein, said that Torat Hamelech was written in a general matter and does not constitute incitement. However, American author and activist Max Blumenthal disagrees. In his research of the book, Blumenthal concluded:

WHAT APPEARED WAS JEWISH EXCLUSIVISM IN ITS MOST EXTREME FORM, WITH NON-JEWS DEEMED PERMISSIBLE TO KILL, OR RODEF, FOR THE MOST INCONSEQUENTIAL OF WARTIME ACTS, INCLUDING PROVIDING MORAL SUPPORT TO GENTILE ARMIES. THE BOOK IS A VIRTUAL MANUAL FOR JEWISH EXTREMIST TERROR DESIGNED TO JUSTIFY THE MASS SLAUGHTER OF CIVILIANS.

This belief has been constant in Israel.

The killing of Palestinian civilians is a daily occurrence in the Occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. In 2014, Israel attacked Gaza and killed over 2,000 civilians, destroyed tens of thousands of homes, and left hundreds of thousands of civilians homeless.

Today the Gaza Strip, which is home to hundreds of thousands of the descendants of refugees who were ethnically cleansed from Israel following its creation, live in an open air prison.

What’s even more disturbing is the authors’ call for the genocide of infants:

WHEN DISCUSSING THE KILLING OF BABIES AND CHILDREN – WHY ON THE ONE HAND, WE SEE THEM AS COMPLETE INNOCENTS, AS THEY HAVE NO KNOWLEDGE, AND THEREFORE ARE NOT TO BE SENTENCED FOR HAVING VIOLATED THE SEVEN LAWS, AND THEY ARE NOT TO BE ASCRIBED EVIL INTENT. BUT ON THE OTHER SIDE, THERE IS GREAT FEAR OF THEIR ACTIONS WHEN THEY GROW UP… IN ANY EVENT, WE LEARN THAT THERE IS AN OPINION THAT IT IS RIGHT TO HURT INFANTS IF IT IS CLEAR THAT THEY WILL GROW UP TO HARM US, AND IN SUCH A SITUATION THE DAMAGE WILL BE DIRECTED SPECIFICALLY AT THEM.

In July of 2015, Israeli settlers torched the home of the Dawabsheh family, incinerating  18-month-old Ali Saad to death. His parents later died as a result of the attack, leaving their four-year-old son an orphan with burns over most of his body.

Despite repeated calls for Israel to end its occupation of Palestine, the Israeli government and its settlers continue killing and stealing from the Palestinians, justifying their atrocities to warped interpretations of religion.

Assaad Zakka shared a link20 hrs · 
A book published by Rabbis Yitzhak Shapira and Yosef Elitzu in 2009 states that it is legal under Jewish law to kill Gentiles (Christians and Muslims) and in certain…
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Syria – The Alternet Grayzone Of Smug Turncoats – Blumenthal, Norton, Khalek

Alternative Report. NO MSM BIAS. JUST REAL NEWS. Posted by on July 10, 2017 9:00 pm

This post was originally published on this site
Max Blumenthal is a well connected and known author who has done work on the Palestinian cause from a somewhat leftish perspective.

Blumenthal currently edits the Alternet Grayzone project.

In their recent writings he and his co-writers profess to dislike the al-Qaeda led opposition in Syria. Yet it is exactly the same opposition they earlier vehemently supported.

Yesterday the Real News Network interviewed Blumethal on his recent piece about CNN‘s al-Qaeda promotion. The headline: Max Blumenthal on How the Media Covers Syria.

During the interview Blumenthal laments the failure of progressive media on Syria:

In my opinion, they have abrogated their mission, which should be to challenge mainstream narratives and particularly imperial narratives on issues like Syria. I understand there are massive human rights abuses by the Syrian government, but that’s not reason enough to not explore what the West’s agenda, the Gulf agenda is for that country, what the consequences are, to actually get into the geopolitical issues. Instead, we’ve seen Democracy Now propagate a regime change narrative.

I don’t believe they actually have a line on Syria. It’s more a fear of actually taking on the official line. I haven’t found a single article in the Intercept challenging the regime change line on Syria.

Blumenthal is outraged that “progressive” media peddle the Syria conflict along “the official line”.

Yet in 2012 Max Blumenthal resigned as columnist from the Lebanese paper Al Akhbar English because the paper did not write along “the official line”. He publicly (also here) smeared and accused his Al Akhbar collegues for taking a cautious or even anti-opposition position on Syria.

The Al Akhbar writers challenged the mainstream narratives while Blumenthal, with his resignation and his writing about it, solidly aligned with the imperial project.

Back then he himself went along “the official line”. Then as now the Real News Network helped him along:

I noticed that it was publishing op-eds by people like Amal Saad-Ghorayeb, who were just openly apologetic of the Assad regime, if not cheerleading Assad as this kind of subaltern freedom fighter leading what she called a front-line resisting state, or Sharmine Narwani, the blogger who was nickel-and-diming civilian casualty counts, [..]

This just was really too much for me.

My problem was that the opinions at Al-Akhbar’s website in support of the Assad regime, which I’ve identified specifically by Amal Saad-Ghorayeb and Sharmine Narwani and by the editor-in-chief, Ibrahim al-Amin, were not based on any journalistic fieldwork.

They’re based on poring over YouTube clips, looking at textbooks, or really disturbing citations by Amin of anonymous regime sources, including documents that he cited which he referred to as investigations of people detained for trafficking weapons.

At that time Max Blumenthal was sitting in the U.S. stenographing Syrian opposition propaganda.

Yet he accused Sharmine Narwani and other writers living in Lebanon and Syria of lack of journalistic fieldwork and of “poring over YouTube clips”.

Narwani wasn’t amused by his ignorance:

I have made two trips to Syria in the past six months – the first to interview a wide range of domestic opposition figures, most of whom have spent years languishing in Syrian prisons; the second just a week ago, to spend time with the UN Observer team and learn about the changed military landscape throughout the country.

No journalistic fieldwork? How would Max know? He has done none on Syria, yet he presumes to condemn the dogged pursuit of truth by others.

Al Akhbar early on recognized the foreign sponsored insurgency in Syria for what it is. Max Blumenthal took the easy route of joining the anti-Syrian propaganda train. Even worse – he publicly smeared the writers at Al Akhbarwho were searching for the least harmful solution for Syria.

Now Max Blumenthal has found an outlet that pays him for writing along the very line he condemned when he resigned from Al Akhbar. Nowhere do I find an explanation by Blumenthal for his change of position. No public apology for smearing his former colleagues has been issued by him.

Max Blumenthal’s sidekick and often co-author at the Grayzone project is Ben Norton.

In his own latest piece Norton blames various pundits and main stream media for pushing for regime change in Syria. Conveniently he does not mention that he himself wrote along that line.

In January 2015 Norton accused the Syrian government of besieging Palestinian refugees in a suburb of Damascus: ‘No to martyrdom by hunger in Yarmouk camp’: Palestinian refugees protest Assad’s siege.

Norton had never set a step inside of Syria. His reporting was solely based on opposition talk and videos.

Others did fieldwork.

Three month before Norton published his piece Sharmine Narwani had written about her recent visit to Yarmouk:

At the entrance of the camp, I was greeted by armed Palestinians who are part of a 14-group ‘volunteer force’ formed for the purpose of protecting Yarmouk and ejecting the rebel fighters deep inside the camp.

The stories these fighters tell me is nothing I have read in English, or in any mainstream publication outside Syria. Theirs is a story that is black-and-white. Thousands of Islamist fighters invaded and occupied Yarmouk on December 17, 2012, and Palestinians and Syrians alike fled the camp, literally beginning the next day.

The Syrian government wasn’t besieging hungry Palestinian refugees in Yarmouk. Most of those had long moved away from the camp. It was isolating al-Qaeda  groups who had taken control of the camp by force. Professor As’ad AbuKhalil accused Norton of lying about the real situation:

Ben Norton on Yarmouk camp
This article seems to reproduce word-for-word the talking points of the Syrian exile opposition. In the case of the Yarmouk camp, there are two killers: the Syrian regime and the Nusrah front and other Bin Ladenites on the other side. The residents are victims of both sides. Norton does not mention the role of the rebels in using the camp for their won ends, and in shooting at aid convoys.

There was plenty of information available that the Yarmouk camp was an al-Qaeda occupied zone. Ben Norton ignored it and instead parroted opposition propaganda.

Norton is now accusing other media of doing what he himself did over several years of the Syria conflict: falsely attributing every calamity in Syria to the government while repeating the taking points of the head-chopping Takfiris and the forces behind them. Nowhere have I found an apology or explanation by Norton for his change of sides.

Another author at the Alternet Grayzone project is Rania Khalek. She lately had some trouble for taking a stand against the armed insurgency in Syria. It came after her own turn on the issue.

Last month Khalek lambasted the media for ignoring the misdeeds of the opposition: Ignored By Western Media, Syrians Describe the Nightmare the Armed Opposition Brought Them

American media outlets from right to left seem to imagine that there is a democratic mass movement living in Al Qaeda’s Idlib.

Or they insist that the uprising was always moderate and democratic until Assad’s bombs transformed protesters into armed and radical insurgents, a common talking point that permeates any discussion of Syria.

Yet in late April 2011 the same Rania Khalek wrote (also here) along the “common talking point” she now condemns. She (falsely) accused the media of missing the alleged misdeeds of the government against the “protesters”. She pushed the “common talking point”. Her witness of the media missing the news were the same media she accused of missing it:

Dear Media:

I thought I would take it upon myself to fill you in on the less newsworthy items that you missed.

Syria’s Bashar al-Assad has stepped up his deadly crackdown on protesters as well, by unleashing the army along with snipers and tanks to open fire at demonstrators.

In her rant about the media missing the news, Khalek links to an Associated Press news piece reproduced at the Guardian site. In it an anonymous witness makes the government-is-shooting claim. It seems to me that the one who missed the really newsworthy issue, the anti-Syrian propaganda campaign, was Khalek herself.

Max Blumenthal’s original screed against Al Akhbar at MaxBlumthal.com is no longer available as his site has been “suspended”. Some tweets by Blumenthal,Norton and Khalek, later deleted by their authors, have been archived here. Norton made claims along the line “Assad empowered ISIS”, Blumenthal propagandized the “barrel bomb” myth, Khaled feared being poisoned by the “regime” while invited to eat with Syrian soldiers and other journalists.

Blumenthal had also propagandized against the Libyan government under Ghaddafi. The war against Libya was waged by then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Blumenthal’s father Sid works for Clinton and had hoped to profit from the war on Libya. Max Blumenthal spread the myth that an anti-Islam movie was the cause for the killing of the U.S. ambassador in Benghazi. The real reason was a quarrel about CIA controlled weapon shipments from Libya to Takfiri Syrian insurgents.

Norton deleted many of his anti-Syrian blog posts and tweets when he turned from fevered insurgence supporter into a “Grayzone” critic of the U.S. war on Syria. Some of his writings smeared public supporters of the Syrian government as mostly anti-Semites and Nazis. Like here colleagues Khalek deleted older tweets when those were no longer consistent with the new editorial line she now follows.

Even in the first days of protests in Syria the Saudi financing behind the exile opposition and the “protests” was already well documented. On April 9 2011 12 soldiers were killed and 23 wounded in a confirmed ambush in Banyas, Latakia. This was freely available neutrally sourced information. The “resistance” in Syria was obviously not peaceful or spontaneous but well financed by sectarian outside forces. It was organized, violent, militarized. It flashed up at the borders in Latakia near Turkey in the north and Deraa near Jordan in the south well before it migrating further into the country. A sure sign that cross border support and supplies played a significant role.

It was also quite clear how the situation was going to develop. As I predicted on April 25 2011:

The most likely scenario is massive sectarian strife with salafi-Sunni attacks on minority Christians and Alawites.

Unlike in Egypt there is no sign that the army will abandon the ruling government. […] There is no sign that a majority or even significant minority of Syrians has any interest in violent regime change.

My current assessment is therefor that the regime will now put up a bit of a fight and, if it can stomach to do that harshly enough, it will win this fight.

The evidence that outside forces pushed an organized armed insurrection under the disguise of “peaceful protests” was there for everyone to see.

It was possible to anticipate where this would lead to. Yet Blumenthal, Norton and Khalek did not care to look for facts. They were fiercely on the side of the opposition even as the opposition killed random people and government followers left and right. Now, as the fates of the sides have turned, they sanctimoniously oppose their former favorites. Now they lambast other writers for repeating the sorry propaganda they themselves proffered for years.

In his recent RNN interview Max Blumenthal proclaims:

[The other side of the narrative] hasn’t happened in progressive media. It’s why we’re pushing, why we’re trying to fill the void at the Grayzone project at AlterNet and provide a critical perspective on what the U.S. and its allies have been doing in Syria and what the consequences could be. I think we’re probably the only progressive outlet that’s consistently doing that.

Oh – f*** you Max.

The BlackAgendaReport 21centurywireShermine Narwani and many, many other outlets, including Moon of Alabama, have consistently written on Syria since day one. They immediately recognized the sectarian insurgency for the imperial project that it was and never fell for the “peaceful demonstrator” scam Blumenthal and his fellow hacks propagandized.

Blumenthal knows this well. His piece about the “White Helmets” for Alternet Grayzone was obviously sourced (if not plagiarized) from earlier work by Vanessa Beeley and other authors at the above sites. To then market Alternet Grayzone, which only exists a year or so, as “the only progressive outlet that’s consistently” “provide[s] a critical perspective” is worse than marketing talk. It is an outrageous lie.

Any writer, me included, can err in the evaluation of the available facts. One can learn of new facts and one’s opinion can turn out to be wrong and change. But one obligation to readers is to stay honest, to admit when one went wrong and to explain why ones opinion has changed. A certain humbleness is an essential ingredient of good writing.

Yet none of that can been seen in the output of Blumenthal and his fellow writers. No apology has been issued by him to the colleagues at Al Akhbar who he publicly smeared and accused. Neither Norton nor Khalek have explained their change of position. Blumenthal now publishes pieces based on the archive material of those progressive outlets which have long had a critical view on the Syria issue. Yet he claims that no such outlets exit.

If they are helpful for the cause Max Blumenthal, Ben Norton and Rania Khalek are welcome to join those writers who all along published against the imperial designs for Syria.

It would feel much better through if their newly discovered “progressiveness” on Syria would not have the distinct stink of mere opportunism.

“Indirect victims of Holocaust”? Palestinians were colonized since 1869

When Gaza was attacked during the summer, Angela Merkel promised to “stand by the side of Israel.”

The German chancellor has done much more than offer verbal support for Israel’s crimes. Under her leadership, the Berlin government has been equipping Israel with submarines that reportedly carry nuclear weapons.

France built the 6 submarines and Germany provided the finance from German taxpayers’ pockets’.

France was the only supporter for colonizing and partitioning Palestine before WWI and the main power after WWII to delivering sophisticated weapons and nuclear plants.

The first settlement was established in 1869 in a land donated by the Ottoman Sultan close to Jaffa.

Beginning 1882, Edmond de Rothschild invested $100 million over the next 17 years to purchase land and build colonies.

Lord Balfour acknowledge the partition of Palestine in 1917. A year later, both France and the US president ratified Balfour declaration. The western powers had already set their mind in partitioning Palestine before WWI ended.

During its mandate over Palestine, England cracked down on the countless Palestinians uprising and civil disobedience (Intifada) using extreme forms of violence and torture techniques. England refrained from persecuting the extremist terrorist Jewish factions such as Jabotenski, Begin, Shamir, Irgun…

At the start of WWII, England trained thousands of Jews in Palestine on how to demolish bridges, plant bombs and execute assassination… The Palestinians were denied enlisting in the army.

Merkel may sympathize with Israel on account of the Nazi behaviour, but she and Max Blumenthal are not to ignore the fact that Palestine was already planned to be partitioned long time ago and have to desist throwing sands in the eyes of the world community.

Emran Feroz in The Electronic Intifada this November 14, 2014

Germany made Palestinians “indirect victims of Holocaust,” says author Max Blumenthal

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The German chancellor and the Israeli prime minister met with their respective cabinets in Jerusalem in February. (Saeed Qaq / APA images)

Some German politicians have tried to muzzle debate about Israel by denouncing its critics as “anti-Semites.”

The American journalist Max Blumenthal — author of Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel — faced such a smear on a recent speaking tour in Germany.

A number of elected politicians alleged that a scheduled talk by Blumenthal and his colleague David Sheen in a Berlin theater would serve “to promote anti-Semitic prejudice.”

This was deeply ironic: both Blumenthal and Sheen are themselves Jewish. The politicians denouncing them failed to produce any evidence that they are hostile towards fellow Jews.

Blumenthal spoke to Emran Feroz in Stuttgart.

Emran Feroz: You recently witnessed the destruction caused by Israel in Gaza. What scenes had the most effect on you?

Max Blumenthal: Emergency operations had to be performed in dentist chairs, while the bodies of dead children had to be laid in ice boxes, which were originally designed for ice cream. Those were probably the most shocking testimonies I heard.

EF: Not long after your trip to Gaza, you started using the hashtag #JSIL (Jewish State of Israel in the Levant) on Twitter. Making this kind of comparison between the group Islamic State and Israel is taboo in Germany. Why did you dare to do this?

MB: It is strange that you equate, in Germany, IS with Hamas or describe the entire Palestinian national movement as “heirs of the Nazis,” while there is such an outrage regarding my comparison. It was not a direct one-to-one comparison, but I wanted to point out the hypocrisy behind supporting one religiously exclusive state that forces minorities out of its territory while attacking another.

EF: But by using this hashtag, you must be suggesting that Israel and IS are somehow similar.

MB: Sure, they are. The “Jewish state” has no internationally recognized borders. The same relates to the “Islamic State.”

Both constructs have emerged after the original indigenous population were partly expelled and ethnically cleansed.

In the case of Israel it was the Palestinian indigenous population; in the case of the IS [they] are the Christians, Yazidis, Shiite Muslims (and even Sunni Muslims).

Both “countries” rely on a religious exclusivity in the Levant.

And both think they represent all Muslims and Jews worldwide and thereby help inspire Islamophobic and anti-Semitic sentiments.

Both the Jewish state and the Islamic State recruit confused young men from around the world as foreign fighters to engage in atrocities.

When Israel’s defenders failed to address the comparisons on their merits, they simply attempted to hijack the #JSIL hashtag by declaring it stands for the “Jewish State of Israel Lives.”

EF: IS fighters behead their victims and then spread the videos of the beheadings through YouTube and social media. Do Israeli soldiers also make such videos?

MB: During the last attack on Gaza, the Israeli army killed civilians via drones and Jewish Israeli citizens celebrated the killings on Facebook. Some Israeli citizens gathered on a hill in the border town of Sderot and celebrated the bombing of the military with chips and beer. I find that this is not less macabre and disgusting. (How about pouring gasoline in the mouth and setting a Palestinian youth on fire?)

EF: How present is religious extremism inside the Israeli military?

MB: It is very present. A major figure of the last military operation in the Gaza Strip was commander Ofer Winter, who was celebrated as a national hero. Prior to the mission Winter said to his troops, that the Palestinians had sinned against God and therefore all must be punished.

So he declared a literal “holy war” against the Palestinian people. This is not the only way Winter has expressed the religious extremism that is rising in Israeli society.

In one instance, an Israeli woman singer wanted to perform in front of [Winter’s] soldiers. He refused [permission] to do so and said that a woman is not allowed to do that.

EF: Many women are part of the Israeli army. This is celebrated in what are effectively promotional campaigns for Israel. How can there be misogyny in the Israeli military if it has many female members?

MB: What is not mentioned is the fact that it is more likely that these women are assaulted by their male counterparts in the army than by Palestinians. I think that only imperialist feminists argue that women can be emancipated in an army like the Israeli one.

Good examples of this type of feminism are political figures like Samantha Power or Angela Merkel or Tzipi Livni because their peculiar brand of feminism goes hand in hand with the imperialistic interests of the western powers who are so invested in majority Muslim countries, where the population is portrayed as culturally backwards and in need of “liberation.”

EF: During the last attack on Gaza, the family of Ibrahim Kilani — who are German citizens — were killed. His son Ramsis, who lives in Germany, said that up to today nobody has apologized to him. The German government has not called him a single time. How can you explain this behavior?

MB: The behavior of the German government shows not only the lack of interest in the rights of the Palestinians, but also the very lives of them. The life of these people is practically non-existent in Germany. They are the new “un-people.”

The German foreign minister issued condolences for the families of those German citizens killed on an airliner over eastern Ukraine, possibly by Russian separatists. But they’ve said nothing to the Kilani family.

The negation of Palestinian lives has been German policy since the days of Konrad Adenauer [chancellor of West Germany from 1949 to 1963].

In those days Israel had no problem to negotiate on Holocaust reparations with the head of the chancellery, Hans Globke, who was a known Nazi in the Third Reich. This cash flow from Germany went directly to the Israeli occupation machine that has made the Palestinians indirect victims of the Holocaust.

The current bloodshed is a result of this policy and every German should ask himself: how does this policy honor the Holocaust?

EF: Your willingness to make such statements probably explains why some German politicians do not want to see you here in Germany. What happened to you exactly?

MB: Some politicians, such as Volker Beck, a parliamentarian from Germany’s Green Party, had launched a campaign to silence us — me and the journalist David Sheen. The reason for this is the fact that they do not want to know of another version of Judaism and they certainly do not want to hear about the facts on the ground.

Their attitude actually promotes anti-Semitism.

It is simply anti-Semitic to equate Zionism with Judaism and to limit Jewish identity to the narrow confines of Israeli nationalism. For a gentile politician to do it is beyond disgusting.

EF: The Gaza Strip remains destroyed. And, according to some media outlets, a third intifada (actually the fourth if you don’t forget 1936 that lasted 4 years) is going to happen in the occupied West Bank. Is this really the case or is it just scaremongering?

MB: Last year the al-Aqsa mosque [in Jerusalem] was stormed “only” eight times by Israeli soldiers. This year this happened 76 times. Radical religious elements have announced that they want to demolish the mosque to build a Jewish temple. If this happens, the situation will take on global implications that will be approach the apocalyptic.

The whole conflict is taking on a religious dimension, which is devastating for all involved, and, as I said, will promote radicalization around the globe. I think the third intifada actually is at the door.

However, I believe that this word — intifada — does not adequately describe the situation. It is not effective enough to describe what is actually going on. At that time — in the case of the first and second intifadas — this term was appropriate.

Now with so many Palestinian political leaders in prison or dead and such a complex matrix of control imposed on them, a nationwide revolt cannot take place. What we are seeing is creative resistance with limited means occurring on a national level but at sporadic moments.

And it will continue and intensify as long as the status quo is in place. It is that deadly status quo that German foreign policy protects and promotes.

Emran Feroz is a Germany-based freelance journalist, blogger and activist. He is also the founder of Drone Memorial, a website listing victims of drone attacks. His Twitter account is @Emran_Feroz

 

Testimonies of atrocities in Gaza from the Russell Tribunal

Watch these testimonies

The Russell Tribunal on Palestine convened an emergency session in Brussels last month to examine whether Israel committed war crimes in the besieged Gaza Strip during “Operation Protective Edge,” the summertime military assault that killed more than 2,100 Palestinians, including more than 500 children, injured more than 11,000 and left Gaza in ruins.

Israeli soldiers were ordered to execute any Palestinian witness who could understand the criminal orders of the officers?

After hearing testimony from journalists, eyewitnesses, legal scholars and physicians present during the onslaught, the twelve-member jury, made up of world-renowned intellectuals and international law experts, found Israel guilty of “war crimes, crimes against humanity, crimes of murder, extermination and persecution and also incitement to genocide.”

Though it was virtually ignored by both mainstream and progressive media outlets, the tribunal was significant in that it did what the so-called international community has time and again refused to do.

The Russell Tribunal put Israel on trial for its crimes against Palestinians.

Incitement to Genocide

Journalist David Sheen delivered a horrifying presentation on incitement to genocide within Israeli society, which was consumed by genocidal rhetoric from top Israeli government officials to the lynch mobs barreling down the streets of Jerusalem shouting “death to Arabs.”

Sheen’s testimony stunned the jury, concluding that absent outside intervention and accountability, the potential for genocide is likely.

“In light of the clear escalation in the physical and rhetorical violence deployed in respect of Gaza in the summer of 2014, the tribunal emphasizes the obligation of all states parties to the 1948 Genocide Conventionto take such action under the Charter of the United Nations as they consider appropriate for the prevention and suppression of acts of genocide,” the judges implore in their final ruling.

“It is recognized that in a situation where patterns of crimes against humanity are perpetrated with impunity, and where direct and public incitement to genocide is manifest throughout society, it is very conceivable that individuals or the state may choose to exploit the conditions in order to perpetrate the crime of genocide,” they warn.

And  adding, “We [sic] have a genuine fear that in an environment of impunity and an absence of sanction for serious and repeated criminality, the lessons from Rwanda and other mass atrocities may once again go unheeded.”

Grisly executions

Journalist Max Blumenthal delivered powerful testimony on evidence of war crimes he gathered while in Gaza following a five-day ceasefire in mid-August.

Blumenthal described in vivid detail the grisly executions he documented of civilians, paramedics and fighters carried out by invading Israeli soldiers.

He also highlighted several instances of Israeli soldiers summarily executing older men in Gaza after learning they spoke Hebrew, leading to speculation that soldiers were ordered to eliminate anyone capable of understanding their commands. (The soldiers were to execute witnesses who could understand the criminal orders of the officers?)

Blumenthal posted a transcript of his testimony here.

Kidnappings and human shields

Gaza-based journalist Mohammed Omer described to the jury the crimes he witnessed and reported on in Gaza as well as the hardships of daily life under siege (see video of his testimony at the top of this post).

He cited summary executions, kidnappings of Palestinian men at gunpoint and the use of Palestinian civilians as human shields by invading Israeli soldiers in the now obliterated farming community of Khuzaa.

Omer was the only Palestinian eyewitness that made it out of Gaza to attend the session.

Raji Sourani, director of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, and filmmaker Ashraf Mashharawi were scheduled to testify but the Egyptian military regime prevented them from leaving through the Rafah crossing.

Deliberate and systematic

Renowned Norwegian doctor Mads Gilbert presented the jury with descriptions and photos of the gruesome injuries he witnessed while working at the overwhelmed al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City at the peak of Israel’s latest bombing campaign, which marked the fourth time since 2006 that Gilbert has operated in Gaza during an Israeli military attack.

Outlining the devastation inflicted on Gaza’s health sector, Gilbert emphasized his admiration for the medical workers who risk their lives repairing the bodily damage caused by Israel’s “deliberate, systematic attack on the Palestinian civilian society.”

Taken together, the testimonies presented at the Russell Tribunal (all of which can be viewed here) demonstrate a clear pattern of intentional destruction of Gaza and its people by an increasingly extreme settler-colonial state “primed for genocide,” as Max Blumenthal put it.

Genocide does not happen overnight or in a vacuum.

There are warning signs, many of which were raised at the Russell Tribunal.

Israel has been destroying and erasing Palestine for more than six decades in an effort to consolidate and maintain a demographically engineered Jewish majority in an area that is historically Palestinian.

As long as countries including the United States continue to unconditionally shower Israel with weapons while shielding its leaders from accountability on the international stage, Israel’s destruction of Palestine will not only continue, it will intensify.

So the question becomes, how bad do the atrocities need to get before the world puts a stop this madness?

Children in Israel: On a sure path of militarization mentality

Ali Abunimah submitted this May 7, 2014

Disturbing photos show militarization of Israeli children

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An Israeli boy wearing a military vest throws a mock grenade during a traditional military weapon display to mark the 66th anniversary of Israel’s “independence” at the occupied West Bank settlement of Efrat on 6 May 2014.

(Gali Tibbongali / AFP)

On 6 May, Israelis celebrated their “independence day,” which they mark according to the Jewish lunar calendar.

Traditionally Israeli Jews hold public celebrations and picnics, especially in “national parks” typically built over the ruins of ethnically cleansed and destroyed Palestinian villages.

Meanwhile, with broad support from the Israeli Jewish public, Palestinian public commemorations of the Nakba – the ethnic cleansing of Palestine – can be punished by law.

Many of the Israeli festivities are celebrations of the so-called “Israel Defense Forces,” better known to Palestinians as the army that occupies them, arrests and kills their children with impunity and helps settlers to steal their land.

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An Israeli child holds a rocket launcher as another holds her doll during a traditional military weapon display to mark the 66th anniversary of Israel’s “independence” at the occupied West Bank settlement of Efrat on 6 May 2014.

(Gali Tibbongali / AFP)

Some of these disturbing images of Israeli children being put through military-style training displays at Efrat, an illegal Israeli colony in the occupied West Bank, have been circulating widely online and were published in Haaretz and other media.

A repeated theme of pro-Israeli, anti-Palestinian propaganda is to circulate images of Palestinian children taking part in such militarized displays in order to advance the belief that Palestinian culture is inherently violent and “teaches children hate” and that therefore Israeli violence is a justified defensive response.

But these pictures are remarkable because they reveal the extent to which Israeli culture has been militarized and how Israeli children are not immune to this – a key theme in Max Blumenthal’s book Goliath.

There is no doubt that both Israeli and Palestinian children have been subjected to this kind of brutalization by adults.

It is horrifying whenever children are given guns and encouraged to imagine themselves as killers.

Such activities are arguably in violation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which states that member countries “shall refrain from recruiting any person who has not attained the age of 15 into their armed forces.”

As I wrote on a previous occasion when such disturbing images of Israeli children appeared:

Children live with the consequences of Israel’s violent occupation and oppression of the Palestinian people, whether it is Israeli children indoctrinated to continue this oppression as adults, or Palestinian children brutalized and traumatized by the organized violence of occupation, colonialism and apartheid that pervades their lives.

This is never a reflection on the children, but on the adults who subject them to such ugliness.

afplivefive782736.jpg

An Israeli boy wearing a military vest crawls on the sand during a traditional military weapon display to mark the 66th anniversary of Israel’s “independence” at the occupied West Bank settlement of Efrat on 6 May 2014.

(Gali Tibbongali / AFP)

afplivefive782729.jpg

An Israeli man shows his son how to work a machine-gun during a traditional military weapon display to mark the 66th anniversary of Israel’s “independence” at the occupied West Bank settlement of Efrat on 6 May 2014.  (Gali Tibbongali / AFP)

Indoctrinating children

Rela Mazali is the founder of New Profile (newprofile.org), an Israeli organization that supports conscientious objection and advocates for individual refusers.

 

In this video with The Real NewsLia Tarachansky, she explains how Israeli culture normalizes military conscription so that people do not even regard militarization as a policy choice but rather as a natural feature of life.

The report also includes an interview with refuser Alex Cohn who discusses how Israeli Jewish children are indoctrinated through popular media to look forward to their conscription into the army and to disparage skepticism and refusal.

Mazali also discusses sexual violence in the Israeli military and how the culture has managed to make sexual harassment and assault invisible to its victims

Israeli racism on Video

Regular readers of The Electronic Intifada are familiar with the shocking and escalating racism in Israel against people from countries in Africa.

Our extensive coverage of the incitement and attacks on Africans, thanks in large part to the work of David Sheen, demonstrates that this phenomenon is not marginal, but is incited by Israel’s top political leadership.

When Israeli government ministers incite angry mobs, calling Africans “cancer,” they are simply expressing another face of the racism that Palestinians have always experienced.

Ali Abunimah posted on The Electronic Intifada this Oct. 18, 2013

Watch the video on Israeli racism The New York Times didn’t want you to see

The video was Solicited, then rejected by The New York Times

Yet rarely does this knowledge make it into mainstream media.

The example of the video above, Israel’s New Racism: The Persecution of African Migrants in the Holy Land, produced by David Sheen and Max Blumenthal, helps us to understand why.

Blumenthal explained to Consortium News how The New York Times commissioned the 11-minute video, but after the paper’s editors saw it, refused to publish it:

I was asked to submit something by The New York Times op docs, a new section on the website that published short video documentaries. I am known for short video documentaries about the right wing in the US, and extremism in Israel. They solicited a video from me, and when I didn’t produce it in time, they called me for it, saying they wanted it. So I sent them a video I produced with my colleague, David Sheen, an Israeli journalist who is covering the situation of non-Jewish Africans in Israel more extensively than any journalist in the world.

We put together some shocking footage of pogroms against African communities in Tel Aviv, and interviews with human rights activists. I thought it was a well-done documentary about a situation very few Americans were familiar with. We included analysis. We tailored it to their style, and of course it was rejected without an explanation after being solicited. I sent it to some other major websites and they have not even responded to me, when they had often solicited articles from me in the past.

Eventually, The Nation – which has also typically been quite timid in airing criticism of Israel – agreed to publish it.

While some of the footage in the video has already appeared on The Electronic Intifada, Sheen’s commentary is a good primer for those unfamiliar with the topic.

There is also a previously unseen interview with Michael Ben-Ari, one of Israel’s most notorious anti-African racists and a former member of Israel’s parliament, the Knesset.

Ben-Ari also has a long history of inciting racism and hatred against Palestinians and Christians.

In the same Consortium News interview Blumenthal, author of the bestselling and widely promoted 2009 book Republican Gomorrah, also spoke about the difficulty he has had getting any mainstream media attention for his new book Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel.

Just like this video, Blumenthal’s new book offers an unflinching look at the racist reality of Israel that America’s establishment media simply does not have the guts to confront.

Pnina Tamano-Shata, a Jewish Ethiopian woman who did her military service in Israel, is refused to give blood by Israel (Red Cross) Magen David Adom, on ground of special blood…

“J’ai 32 ans, je suis arrivée à l’âge de trois ans en Israël, j’ai effectué mon service militaire et j’ai deux enfants, il n’y aucune raison de me traiter de la sorte”, s’est indignée Pnina Tamano-Shata une députée noire juive israelienne d’origine éthiopienne .

Selon les directives du ministère de la Santé… “il n’est pas possible d’accepter le sang spécial d’origine juive éthiopienne” a declare le Magen David Adom, l’équivalent de la Croix Rouge israélienne…. à l’occasion d’une opération de don organisée dans l’enceinte du Parlement israelien…”

Another video on the same topic.

Read more: https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2012/05/30/anti-immigration-riots-hit-african-neighbourhood-of-tel-avivisrael/

Israel’s New Racism: The Persecution of African Migrants in the Holy Land

About 60,000 African migrants have arrived in Israel since 2006, fleeing unrest in their home countries. But upon arrival in the ostensibly democratic country, the migrants have faced intense persecution and have been branded as “infiltrators” by right-wing politicians and activists. –   October 19, 13

Washington Post’s new Jerusalem correspondent married to pro-Israel propagandist. Isn’t this appointment a Conflict of Interest?

Ruth Eglash, the Washington Post’s recently hired Jerusalem correspondent, has what could be a serious conflict of interest – her husband’s political and business ties to the Israeli government and its overseas propaganda apparatus…

The Washington Post’s conflict of interest policy states:

This newspaper is pledged to avoid conflict of interest or the appearance of conflict of interest, wherever and whenever possible. We have adopted stringent policies on these issues, conscious that they may be more restrictive than is customary in the world of private business.

Relatives cannot fairly be made subject to Post rules, but it should be recognized that their employment or their involvement in causes can at least appear to compromise our integrity. The business and professional ties of traditional family members or other members of your household must be disclosed to department heads.

Ali Abunimah submitted in The Electronic Intifada on Sept. 18, 2013.

The newspaper refuses to say if Eglash disclosed her husband’s activities to her bosses as company policy demands.

Ruth own reporting and activities indicate that Eglash has difficulties providing fair and dispassionate coverage regarding Palestinians.

Eglash, who joined the Washington Post in April, was previously deputy managing editor of the far right-wing Jerusalem Post.

Ruth Eglash at the 2010 United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) Rio Forum (Flickr)

Close ties to Israeli government, army and anti-Palestinian propaganda

The husband Michael Eglash is president of the marketing firm Upstart Ideas.

Michael Eglash, who hails from Milwaukee, has been deeply involved in efforts to promote Israel and Israeli government policy for years and this is now his main business.

His firm lists among its past and present clients and close partners numerous Israeli government and Israeli-government backed entities including the the Ministry of Tourism, Taglit-Birthright Israel and the Jewish National Fund (JNF).

The JNF is deeply involved in the ongoing forced removals of Palestinian Bedouins from their ancestral lands in the Naqab (Negev) region.

Eglash’s company provides “marketing analysis, strategic recommendations and full service implementation of marketing campaign and recruitment strategy for a range of Israel programs,” according to its website.

Upstart Ideas says that it “helped to establish the wildly successful ‘Hasbara Fellowships’ organization and … worked extensively with JNF’s Caravan for Democracy, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Jewish Agency for Israel and Hillel.”

The company also claims that “Our marketing strategies have turned small Israel-based educational tour organizers into the biggest players with the Taglit-Birthright Israel market.”

Taglit-Birthright, partly funded by the Israeli government, gives free trips to young North American Jews, to bolster their support for Israel and encourage them to move there.

Eglash was also co-founder of the advocacy group Upstart Activist, which appears to be an earlier incarnation of the work he now does through Upstart Ideas.

According to its website:

Upstart Activist’s speakers have delivered hundreds of lectures, workshops, and seminars on over 50 North American campuses and in communities since 2001. Upstart Activist speakers have been sponsored by Caravan for Democracy, Hillel groups, AIPAC chapters, Hasbara Fellowships, Hadassah groups, synagogues and Jewish Federations.

The speakers in Upstart Activist’s roster include members of the Israeli army, among them representatives of its propaganda wing, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit.

Ruth Eglash herself has been on speaking gigs sponsored by her husband’s clients or partners although there’s no indication that the appearances were brokered by him.

She is listed as a member of the speakers bureau of the Jewish National Fund.

Last year, she spoke in Milwaukee at an event sponsored by the Milwaukee chapter of Hadassah, the Jewish Community Relations Council and the Israel Center of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation – a member of the Jewish Federations of North America.

Several of these sponsors are members of theIsrael Action Network,” a multi-million dollar initiative set up specifically to counter the growing movement for Palestinian rights.

The Jewish Federations of North America, chief sponsor of the Israel Action Network, is also listed as one of Upstart Ideas’ clients.

Washington Post conflict of interest policy

There is no doubt whatsoever that Michael Eglash has been personally committed to promoting the cause of Israel for all of his adult life, and has helped establish and works closely with official entities dedicated to that cause.

There is also no doubt that the commercial interests of Eglash’s marketing firm, and therefore his livelihood, depend on favorable portrayals of Israel and negative portrayals of Palestinian rights advocates, especially for such clients as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Tourism or Taglit-Birthright.

Washington Post’s response

I wrote to Washington Post foreign editor Douglas Jehl to ask two questions:

1. did Ruth Eglash disclose her husband’s professional and business activities; and

2. did the newspaper believe that these activities could at least appear to compromise the newspaper’s integrity?

Jehl did not respond to either question, but sent the following statement by email, copied to the newspaper’s Jerusalem bureau chief William Booth and deputy foreign editor Griffe Witte:

The Post is committed to its stringent policy on avoiding conflict of interest, which cover the entire newspaper, including foreign bureaus and among the contract employees who work for the foreign staff.

Ruth Eglash’s apparent biases

This response is less than satisfactory, especially given the indications from Ruth Eglash’s own work and activities.

On 4 March, soon before joining the Washington Post, Ruth Eglash appeared on a panel titled “Telling Israel’s Story,” alongside Jewish Agency social media director Avi Mayer and Israeli army spokesperson Avital Leibovitch.

The panel was chaired by Aryeh Green, a former advisor to the Israeli government, but the panel included no one known to be critical of Israel’s policies toward Palestinians who could provide a balancing viewpoint.

Criticisms of Zionism are “sick”

Last year Ruth Eglash wrote an outraged Huffington Post column condemning a YouTube video called “Shit Zionists Say” – part of a spate of such spoofs with such titles as “Shit Girls Say,” “Shit Arab Girls Say,” and “Shit Gay Guys Say.”

The lighthearted video featured numerous persons associated with the Palestine solidarity movement, including Rae Abileah, Dalit Baum, Anna Baltzer, Abraham Greenhouse, Jesse Bacon, Sherry Wolf, Max Blumenthal and myself.

Eglash refused to include a link to the video, claiming:

Shit Zionists Say, (does not deserve a link) is a clip made by a group calling itself “Existence is Resistance.” Disturbingly, they have turned a creative and entertaining genre into a very unfunny and failed attempt to make an extreme political point about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Their video does not feature one single Zionist, but a stream of anti-Zionist individuals expounding deep hatred in sick and very unconstructive way [sic].

While the video is highly offensive, it also does nothing to promote the very real and serious need for Israelis to recognize the rights of Palestinian people as human beings and the need for everyone in the region to work towards peace.

Anyone watching the video would see that it is a spoof of arguments and statements that Palestinians and Palestine solidarity activists hear from Zionists on a daily basis, although often expressed in violent, Islamophobic and racist terms that were absent from the spoof.

Eglash’s intolerance of even this sort of mild satire of Zionism, and her characterization of people engaged in solidarity work in such sweeping terms — imputing to them “deep hatred” and “sick” language — suggests she is incapable of dispassionate reporting.

Biases in The Washington Post

Biases are also clearly visible in The Washington Post.

In a recent article on Israel’s efforts to impose its curriculum on children in occupied East Jerusalem, Eglash and her colleague William Booth wrote:

Israel has declared Jerusalem its undivided capital. Yet East Jerusalem is sought by the Palestine Liberation Organization as the capital of a future state. There are about 360,000 Palestinians living in East Jerusalem. A large but unknown number consider themselves Palestinian residents of “Occupied East Jerusalem,” others choose the term “permanent residents,” and a small but growing number are seeking Israeli citizenship.

This euphemistic passage fails to point out that eastern Jerusalem is considered occupied territory under international law, and Israel’s annexation is universally considered illegal.

No country in the world, not even the United States, recognizes Israel’s claims to Jerusalem.

Yet Eglash places “Occupied East Jerusalem” in quotation marks, demoting these incontrovertible facts to the mere opinion of an “unknown number” of Palestinians.

It is not Palestinians who deem themselves “permanent residents.” Rather it is the Israeli occupation that treats Palestinian Jerusalemites as if they were immigrants in their own city, often using this as a pretext to withdraw or deny their residency cards, effectively expelling them from their native city.

Such skewed reporting ought to be deeply worrying to anyone who wishes to turn to the Washington Post as a reliable source on the situation in Palestine.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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