Friday, May 29, 2009

Israel’s Little Hitler

There is always fresh evidence justifying the Israeli-Nazi analogy. In recent days and weeks, a number of Israeli officials and lawmakers proposed “draft laws” that would effectively formalize Israel’s de facto racism and seriously restrict the human and civil rights of Israel’s non-Jewish citizens.

One of the proposals being discussed would criminalize the commemoration of Nakba by Palestinians holding the Israeli citizenship. Predictably, the brazenly racist proposal has infuriated Israel’s 1.5-million- strong Palestinian community.

One Israeli Palestinian parliamentarian compared the proposed law with an imagined promulgation by Germany of a law banning all Jewish activities commemorating the holocaust.

The lawmaker’s remarks are not far-fetched. After all, the Nakba or catastrophe is the Palestinian holocaust, whether we like or not. True, the scope may not be identical in both cases. However, it is also true that Zionists have wrested the Palestinian people historical homeland form its rightful native inhabitants, destroyed their homes and towns, and expelled them to the four corners of the globe.

More to the point, the Palestinians are the longest-suffering people in modern history. They are still being haphazardly killed in the hundreds and thousands by a Gestapo-like army which claims to be the “most moral army in the world.” Palestinian homes are still being demolished, Palestinian land is still being stolen on a daily basis, and millions of Palestinians in the West Bank and especially Gaza Strip are still being hounded, starved, tormented, savaged and terrorized by the very country that shamelessly claims to be the only true democracy in the Middle East.

Aryeh Eldad

One of the most thuggish Israeli leaders who has been promoting Israel’s manifestly racist discourse against non-Jews in general and Palestinians in particular is Aryeh Eldad of the Nazi-like Ichud Leumi, or National Union.

This party holds more or less the same ideas and perceptions toward the Palestinian people that the German Nazis held against the Jews and other “untermenschen.” It advocates genocide, ethnic cleansing, discriminatory treatment of non-Jews as well as wanton home demolitions and land confiscation of land owned by Palestinians.

Some of the party’s associates have called for “wiping off the goyem (non-Jews) from ‘the Land of Israel pursuant Biblical methods.”

The term “Biblical methods” refer to the genocidal wars the ancient Israelites waged against the Canaanite tribes in Palestine as recorded in the Bible.

A few days ago, Eldad proposed that Jordan be “transformed” into a Palestinian state and that Palestinians in the West Bank be granted the Jordanian citizenship.

The proposal would impose the Israeli sovereignty on “all mandatory Palestine” from the River Jordan to the Mediterranean and prepare the psychological and legal ground for the ultimate deportation of the estimated 5.1 million Palestinians from their ancestral homeland.

Interestingly, many Israeli leaders from various political parties have expressed keen interest in the diabolical proposal. Indeed, those who voiced reservations about the proposal did so on the ground that it was “unrealistic” and “impractical” not immoral and criminal.

In fact, even Labor party lawmakers in the Likud-led government voted in favor of referring the proposal to further discussion by the Knesset.

Eldad has a long history of making bluntly-fascist and racist provocations against the Palestinians on both sides of the Green Line as well as against Islam and Muslims.

Nearly six months ago, he hosted in West Jerusalem a virulently anti-Islam “seminar” in which a number of fascist-minded speakers from Israel and abroad took part.

The one-day seminar was addressed by notorious Islamophobes such as Daniel Pipes, an American-Jewish supremacist, Dutch Legislator Greet Wilders and Eldad himself.

After making characteristically venomous remarks against Islam, the Quran and Muslims, Wilders received a standing ovation.

A few years ago Eldad suggested that non-Jews were not true human beings.

He was quoted as saying during a protest against the eviction by the Israeli army of a small settler outpost in the West Bank that “it was sad that the army was treating real human beings as if they were Arabs.”

Eldad has also been a focal advocate of ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in East Jerusalem where successive Israeli governments have been trying to besiege Arab demographic presence while actively encouraging Jewish settlement activities in and around the occupied Arab city.

Arab Knesset member Ahmed Teibi has described Eldad and likeminded Jewish leaders as “representing and embodying the ugly face of racism and fascism.”

“If Eldad and his ilk were living in any European country, they would be thrown behind bars immediately. The fact that they are thriving in Israel speaks volumes about the poisoned political environment in this country.”

Teibi said the roots of Palestinians in occupied Palestine were deeper, much deeper, than the shallow roots of most Israeli Jews.

“Every honest person in this world can attest that every Jewish town or village is built on the ruins of an Arab town and village.”

I believe that honest people around the world are morally obligated to call the spade a spade, irrespective of whose hands the shovel happens to be.

Today, the ugly face of fascism is rising in Israel, and a Jewish Third Reich must never be allowed to evolve and prosper into a full-fledged Hitlerian monster at the hands of the very people who have made the epithet “Nazi” one of the ugliest words in all languages of the world.

Hence, the entire humanity is urged to combat and defeat the new Nazism now thriving in Israel. The fact that this Nazism is having a Jewish garment is totally irrelevant. Evil doesn’t become kosher or innocuous when done by Jews.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Israel destroying Gaza’s farmlands

May 22, 2009

On the morning of 4 May 2009, Israeli troops set fire to Palestinian crops along Gaza’s eastern border with Israel. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) reported that 200,000 square meters of crops were destroyed, including wheat and barley ready for harvest, as well as vegetables, olive and pomegranate trees.

Local farmers report that the blaze carried over a four-kilometer stretch on the Palestinian side of the eastern border land. Ibrahim Hassan Safadi, 49, from one of the farming families whose crops were destroyed by the blaze, said that the fires were smoldering until early evening, despite efforts by the fire brigades to extinguish them.

Safadi says he was present when Israeli soldiers fired small bombs into his field, which soon after caught ablaze. He explained that “The Israeli soldiers fired from their jeeps, causing a fire to break out on the land. They burned the wheat, burned the pomegranate trees … The fire spread across the valley. We called the fire brigades. They came to the area and put out the fire. But in some places the fire started again.” According to Safadi, he lost 30,000 square meters to the blaze, including 300 pomegranate trees, 150 olive trees, and wheat.

In the border areas it has long since become nearly impossible to work on the land due to almost daily shooting from the Israeli soldiers. The crops that were burned on 4 May were dried and ready to harvest, meaning that they were extremely flammable.

“It took only three minutes for the fire to destroy 65,000 square meters,” said Nahed Jaber Abu Said, whose farmland lies a few kilometers down the road from Safadi. He added that “It was nearly 9am. I was here when the Israeli jeeps came. An Israeli soldier at the fence shot an explosive into our field of wheat. It went up in flames immediately.”

Safadi said that the arson attack was the third major time his farm has suffered from an Israeli attack. In previous attacks over the last decade, he explained, Israeli soldiers bulldozed his land, razing his lemon, olive and clementine trees as well as demolishing greenhouses.

“We’ve suffered great losses. The Israeli soldiers have destroyed so much of our land, trees and equipment. They’ve cost us a lot of money,” he said, citing cumulative losses of $330,000 since 2000 when the heightened invasions began. In the last attack, Safadi said that $130,000 worth of crops, trees and irrigation piping was destroyed.

A wheat field destroyed by fire.

On top of the destruction, Safadi complains of not being able to replace destroyed items like the plastic hosing used to irrigate his fields. These, along with fertilizers and machinery replacement parts, are banned from entering Gaza due to the Israeli-led and internationally-backed whole-scale siege of the territory.

Abu Said reports losses of $2,000 on one patch of his land alone. “This isn’t including the land closest to the border fence,” he said. “I’m so sad now, what can I do?”

His experiences also extend beyond the 4 May attacks, and beyond the loss of land. In 2008, Israeli soldiers shot and killed 11 of his sheep and seriously injured a 15-year-old cousin, Jaber, by shooting him in the mouth.

Attacks by Israeli soldiers occur on a near-daily basis along Gaza’s borders with Israel. Nearly a decade ago, Israel unilaterally imposed a “buffer” or “no-go” zone solely on the Gaza side of their shared borders. According to the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and the Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committee, the initial 100-meter “off-limits” area has now extended to one kilometer across much of Gaza’s eastern border and two kilometers along the Strip’s northern border. FAO further reports that roughly one-third of Gaza’s agricultural land lies within the confines of the “buffer zone.”

Since the 18 January ceasefire, three Palestinian civilians, including one child, have been killed in the “buffer zone” area from shooting and shelling by Israeli forces. Another 12 Palestinians have been injured, including three children and two women, due to Israeli fire along the border.

In addition to the physical threat and the destruction of agricultural land and equipment, Gaza’s farming sector is further devastated by the destruction of what is believed to be hundreds of wells and sources of water and the contamination of farmland due to Israel’s invasion of Gaza at the beginning of the year. As reported by the Guardian newspaper in February 2009, these attacks have left nearly 60 percent of Gaza’s agricultural land useless.

The consequences of the active destruction of Gaza’s farming sector are amplified within the context of Israel’s siege and the stagnant state of rebuilding efforts since the ceasefire. With only a trickle of aid entering Gaza and poverty and malnutrition rates soaring, the ability to produce food is all the more vital to Palestinians in Gaza.

All images by Eva Bartlett.

Eva Bartlett is a Canadian human rights advocate and freelancer who arrived in Gaza in November 2008 on the third Free Gaza Movement boat. She has been volunteering with the International Solidarity Movement and documenting Israel’s ongoing attacks on Palestinians in Gaza. During Israel’s recent assault on Gaza, she and other ISM volunteers accompanied ambulances and documenting the Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip.

Settlers burn barley harvest belonging to Nablus-area farmer

May 22, 2009

Nablus – Ma’an – Israeli settlers from the illegal Yitzhar settlement south of Nablus set fire to bales of harvested barley in a large field owned by a Nablus farmer Friday morning.

The owner, 37-year-old Muhammad Rida, had harvested half the crop on Thursday and stacked the grains to dry in the field near Khallat As-Siwar south of Nablus.

When he arrived to the field Friday morning to finish harvesting the crop he saw dozens of settlers setting fire to the bales.

“This is not the first time they have done this,” Rida commented. The entire crop was burned.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Even Crayons Are Banned

The few items merchants are allowed to trade in are divided into three categories: food, medicine and detergent. Everything else is forbidden - including building materials (which are necessary to rehabilitate Gaza's ruins and rebuild its infrastructure), electric appliances such as refrigerators and washing machines, spare machine and car parts, fabrics, threads, needles, light bulbs, candles, matches, books, musical instruments, crayons, clothing, shoes, mattresses, sheets, blankets, cutlery, crockery, cups, glasses and animals. Many of the banned products are imported through the tunnels and can be found in Gaza's markets.

Pasta, which had been forbidden in the past, is now allowed, after U.S. Senator John Kerry expressed his astonishment at the ban during a visit to Gaza in February. But tea, coffee, sausages, semolina, milk products in large packages and most baking products are forbidden. So are industrial commodities for manufacturing food products, chocolate, sesame seeds and nuts. Israel does allow importing fruit, milk products in small packages and frozen food products as well as limited amounts of industrial fuel.

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported that during the first week of May, 2.2 million liters of industrial fuel - some 70 percent of the weekly supply required to operate the power station - was allowed into Gaza. UNRWA receives petrol and diesel supplies separately. A daily 270-300 tons of cooking gas - 54 percent of the required amount - is allowed.

Petrol and diesel for private cars and public transportation have not been imported from Israel since November 2, 2008, except for a small amount for UNRWA. The union of Gaza's gas station owners estimates that some 100,000 liters of diesel and 70,000 liters of petrol are brought through the tunnels daily.

Egypt, which in the past two months has been restricting the trade movement through the tunnels, does not limit the supply of gas and fuel. But since Egyptian fuel is heavier than Israeli fuel, it damages the newer cars in Gaza and causes malfunctions.

In the past, Israel allowed wood for home furnishings to be brought into Gaza for some time, but not wood for windows and doors. Now Israel has resumed the ban on wood for furniture.

The ban on toilet paper, diapers and sanitary napkins was lifted three months ago. A little more than a month ago, following a long ban, Israel permitted the import of detergents and soaps into Gaza. Even shampoo was allowed. But one merchant discovered that the bottles of shampoo he had ordered were sent back because they included conditioner, which was not on the list.

Five weeks ago Israel allowed margarine, salt and artificial sweetener to be brought into Gaza. Legumes have been allowed for the past two months and yeast for the past two weeks. Contrary to rumors, Israel has not banned sugar.

COGAT commented that, "The policy of bringing commodities derives from and is coordinated with Israel's policy toward the Gaza Strip, as determined by the cabinet decision on September 19, 2007."

A COGAT forum convenes with representatives of international organizations weekly to address special requests of the international community regarding humanitarian equipment and the changing needs of the Palestinian population, the statement says.

Police attack, kidnap students marking the Nakba in Jerusalem

Eyewitnesses reported that the Israeli police and soldiers attacked more than 1000 students, and abducted some of them.

Most of the protestors are students of the Al Qalam Academic Foundation, and the Al Aqsa Islamic Society.

The protestors, determined to mark the Nakba, continued their nonviolent activity in the Old City of Jerusalem, and the Al Aqsa Mosque, in addition to a number of towns in the suburbs of East Jerusalem, illegally annexed by Israel after the war in 1967.

Head of the media department of the Islamic Movement in Israel, and spokesperson of Al Aqsa Foundation, Khalid Mhanna, slammed the attack and the arrests, and added that this is just one example of the systematic Israeli policies of oppression and aggression against the Palestinian people.

Mhanna added that despite the attacks against them, the protestors helped in cleaning cemeteries in Jerusalem, and visited Palestinian villages surrounding the Old City.

Occupied Jerusalem Is Being Suffocated

AL-QUDS — Besieged by settlement blocs and strangled by a towering separation wall, Al-Quds (occupied East Jerusalem) is suffocating under the Israeli occupation that aims at isolating the holy city from its Palestinian context and displacing its people.

“They want as few Arabs in Al-Quds as possibly,” Khalil Tufakji, an official of the Arab Cartography Department in Al-Quds, told

“This is why they are trying to strangle Arab demography in Al-Quds by surrounding the Arab areas with Jewish colonies from all directions,” added Tufakji, a prominent expert on Jewish settlements schemes in the holy city.

According to the Cartography Department, Israel has confiscated more than 34 percent of the city for what it describes as “public benefits”. It has designated further 43 percent as a “green space.”

Nearly 10 percent of the city is seized for building additional Jewish settlements, leaving only 13 percent of the original area for the city’s 450, 000 Palestinian inhabitants.

One of the most ambitious settlement plans Israel is contemplating is to build tens of thousands of settlement housing units throughout the remaining area.

Last week, it announced plans to confiscate large swathes of Arab lands near Ma’ali Adomim settlements, east of Al-Quds, in order to merge the large colony with a smaller one nearby the city known as Kedar.

The Israeli group Peace Now has also revealed that Tel Aviv was planning to build more than 73,000 units in the occupied West Bank, many of them in and around Al-Quds.

Israel captured and occupied Al-Quds in the six-day 1967 war, then annexed it in a move not recognized by the world community or UN resolutions.

Greater Jerusalem

“They [the Israelis] are trying to decapitate Arab existence in Al-Quds step by step, home by home and neighborhood by neighborhood,” says Husseini.
The Palestinian cartographer asserts that Israel is planning to expand the boundaries of what it calls “Greater Jerusalem” to the northern suburbs of Al-Khalil (Hebron) in the south, Ramallah in the north and the western slopes of Ariha (Jericho) in the east.

In this case, Greater Jerusalem would devour nearly one fifth of the West Bank area and would cut off entire cities like Al-Khalil and Bethlehem.

Tufakji, himself a resident of Al-Quds, added that Israel also plans to build a ring road around Al-Quds to connect settlements outside the city’s municipal boundaries.

“The purpose of this planned road is to reduce Arab neighborhoods into isolated and miserable ghettos without any real possibility for future expansion or growth.”

Al-Quds is home to Al-Haram Al-Sharif, which includes Islam’s third holiest shrine Al-Aqsa Mosque, and represents the heart of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Palestinians insist the city will be the capital of their future independent state.

Stealing Future

Israel’s plan to create new demographic realities in Al-Quds has seen further restrictions chocking the holy city and turning life unbearable for its original residents.

“Israel’s ultimate goal is to narrow our horizons, make our daily life unbearable and eventually force us to leave,” says Tufakji.

One of Israel’s major tools to achieve this scheme is through the systematic demolition of Palestinian homes under the pretext of not possessing building permits.

According to the Al-Quds Center for Economic and Social Rights, Israel issued in the first four months of 2009 a thousand demolition orders against homes owned by Arab citizens.

In addition, there are 15,000-20,000 homes already threatened to be torn down at any time, some of which dating back hundreds of years ago.

Last year, the Israeli interior ministry said it was planning to destroy dozens of Arab homes in the Arab Silwan neighborhood in order to create a “park” for Jewish settlers in the area.

“They are indulged in ethnic cleansing in broad daylight,” Rafiq al Husseini, a senior aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, told IOL.

“They are chasing Palestinians out of their homes; they are trying to decapitate Arab existence in Al-Quds, step by step, home by home and neighborhood by neighborhood, while they continue to lie about their desire for peace.”

Tufakji, the cartographer, agrees that Israel is killing every hope for a future Palestinian state.

“They are stealing not only our past and present, but our future as well.”

Friday, May 15, 2009

Mossad Blows Up Israeli Embassies

911blogger: In Yuri Felshtinsky’s new book, he shows that the KGB/FSB have engaged in False Flag terror to demonize Muslims in Chechnya. Recently, it was revealed in the New York Times, and elsewhere, that the Mossad recruited and ran a cousin of one of the alleged 9/11 hijackers as an asset. Can you cite some other examples of other nation’s intelligence agencies engaging in this practice?

Machon: Certainly. The classic example is the Israeli Embassy bombing in London in 1994. In this case, two innocent Palestinians studying in London, Samar Alami and Jawed Botmeh, were befriended by someone called Reda Moghrabi, who then asked for help in buying a second-hand car. That car subsequently exploded outside the embassy, and Alami and Botmeh were convicted of conspiring to cause a terrorist attack and sentenced to 20 years each. Moghrabi was never traced. MI5’s official assessment of this attack, after reviewing all the evidence and all the intelligence, was that Mossad had attacked their own embassy in a controlled explosion. They did this for two reasons: first to gain enhanced security around Israeli interests in London, and secondly to shatter a fast-growing Palestinian support network in which Alami and Botmeh happened to be active. This was one of the cases we blew the whistle on. You would think that there would have been an immediate retrial, but the government managed to avoid this as it would have justified the whistleblowing, and two innocent people continue to languish in prison. Additionally, there was a similar attack in Buenos Aires in 1994. A few years ago, the government there DID order a judicial enquiry, and this revealed that Mossad had carried out that attack too.

Full interview HERE

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Israelis jailed for Hebron teenage death in 2002

April 28, 2009

An Israeli court has sentenced two border guards over the unlawful killing of a Palestinian teenager in the West Bank town of Hebron seven years ago. Imran Abu Hamdieh died after the two men, Shahar Botbeka and Denis Alhazov, pushed him from the back of a military vehicle travelling at 50mph (80km/h).

Botbeka was jailed for eight-and-a-half years and Alhazov for five-and-a-half. Botbeka's jail term for the 2002 killing is thought to be the longest for such a case in Israeli history.The sentences were handed down by Jerusalem District Court on Monday. The judge said Botbeka was the ringleader in the incident, but he noted that he had already been under house arrest for five years and was in poor mental health.

Two other border policemen have had previously been convicted and sentenced to imprisonment over the incident, one for eight-and-a-half years, the other for four-and-a-half years.

'Rare instance'

The four men seized Imran Abu Hamdieh from outside his home in Hebron on 30 December 2002 and beat him. He suffered serious head injuries when members of the border police unit - celebrating the end of their posting in Hebron - tried to make him to jump from the jeep as it sped through the streets. He refused, but as the vehicle reached up to 50mph (80km/h), the policemen managed to prise his grip loose and they pushed him out of the vehicle.

Although the sentence reportedly sets a precedent in Israel, the Israeli human rights group B'tselem said the gravity of the offense ought to have merited an even harsher punishment. "As a rule, the authorities refrain from enforcing the law on soldiers and police officers who commit crimes of violence against Palestinians," the organisation said in a written statement.

It described this verdict as a "rare instance" of Israeli security forces being held to account, as many cases were not properly investigated. In 2005, a former Israeli soldier was jailed for eight years over the death of British peace activist Tom Hurndall.