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Sunday, August 30

Wake up, Christians! Yes, there is a "Christian dimension to the Palestinian cause" that Israel does not want you to see!
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The Muslims are fully awake and hurting badly. The Christians are still slumbering. Not those hurting in Palestine just like their Muslim brothers, but those in the wide world, still ignorant, still unengaged, and those who are lacking in true Christian spirit and unable to be moved by the suffering of Muslim Palestinians.
Will they be moved by the suffering of Christian Palestinians? Most American & Canadian Christians do not even know they exist.
Have they forgotten Jesus’ call, “Let the Little Children Come to Me”?
How does that call superimpose upon these images:

"Israel does not want a Christian dimension to the Palestinian cause:"



Wake up, Christians! Yes, there is a "Christian dimension to the Palestinian cause" that Israel does not want you to see.
You need to know this if your capacity for empathy is conditioned by the religion of the victim.











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2016 Colors from Palestine calendar
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GET YOURS TODAY! Dear Friends
I am writing to inform you that the Resistance Art 13th edition of the fundraising calendar “Colors from Palestine” series (2004-2016) has been published and ready for shipping, we could not have done it without your encouragement.

I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your support; the 2016 calendar is a fundraiser for the “Free All political prisoners” campaign and it feature 12 Palestinian political posters spanning over 50 years.

The Palestine poster genre dates back to around 1900 and, incredibly, more Palestine posters are designed, printed and distributed today than ever before.  The emergence of the Internet has exponentially expanded the genre’s network of creative contributors and amplified the public conversation about contemporary Palestine.

To view and buy the “Colors from Palestine” 2016 calendars please click on the following link:  http://resistanceart.com/2016_Front_Back_Covers.htm

If you prefer to pay with a personal check or over the phone, please see the following links:
International orders: http://resistanceart.com/2016_Order_form_International.rtf
USA and Canada orders:  http://resistanceart.com/2016_Order_form_USA.rtf


For bulk orders special group discounts, please email your request to
cathy@resistanceart.com

Please forward this email to your contacts.
Thank you for your continued support

Cathy
416-890-2331


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Israel Leaves 80 Children at Mercy of August Sun
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In one of its more widespread acts of demolition, the Civil Administration last week left 127 men, women and children without shelter in 42-degree-Celsius heat.

Ha’aretz
Gideon Levy

Hudeifa crawls across the barren, rocky ground. She’s receding into the distance. Every so often, her father goes after her and brings her back to the only bit of shade in view, under the only tree in the area. Sometimes he even ties her leg to the tree trunk, to keep her from crawling away again.

The 1-year-old baby is covered in dust from head to foot. She no longer has a home, a roof, not even a tent. Nor does her father, Ali Hussein Abdullah. Or any of the 24 members of her family, some of whom are also sheltering in the shade of the tree, along with chickens that survived the raid. They have nowhere else to go. Since personnel from the Civil Administration – Israel’s governing body in the West Bank – left their property in ruins last week, they no longer have a home, not even a tent, not even a water container. They sleep on this hard, rocky ground, under the tree.

It was hot this week in the Jordan Rift; 42 degrees Celsius. But last week, when administration forces arrived to demolish and destroy, the valley was broiling hot. That was of no interest to the troops: They were just doing their job. Well, someone has to do the dirty work. Nor was the whole incident of any interest to the commanding officers or to those who dispatched them – the law-and-justice folks, the Civil Administration chiefs. They are part of a brutal and vicious mechanism that leaves no stone unturned in its efforts to uphold the laws of the occupation, and sees to it that every article of them, however minor, is rigorously enforced.

And here’s the result: Hudeifa crawling across the sand under the blazing August sun of the Jordan Rift. A sweet baby who likes to suck her thumb, she has actually been homeless for more than a week. She’s one of 127 people suffering the same plight, 80 of them children and infants, in the two sites of last week’s devastation – in the Jordan Rift and next to the West Bank settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim, close to Jerusalem. Not by chance, of course: These are two of the three sites of Israel’s ethnic-cleansing efforts (the third is in the South Hebron Hills). These sites are meant to be annexed to Israel one day, to come under its sovereignty; until then, they need to be made ready, cleaned out.

The Bedouin population in these areas is the weakest link, so naturally, they were chosen by the administration to bear the brunt of its malicious abuse. It’s all done under the law and by its enforcers, those bureaucrats of the occupation.

The village of Fasayil is divided into three compounds, two of them built up. Between them is an area in which the Civil Administration doesn’t allow permanent homes to be built – so the people live in tents here, although that’s also prohibited. There’s an archaeological site on the other side of the sandstone trail that leads to the compound. To the south is the settlement of Tomer and to the north the settlement of Fasael, the Labor Party’s settlements of so-called consensus and legitimacy (“moshavim,” “kibbutzim”), which are, of course, perfectly legal.

The children of the Abdullah family were still asleep last Tuesday morning when administration personnel rode in on 15 standard and two all-terrain vehicles. Their mission: to eradicate the homes. It took them about an hour. No especially heavy machinery was needed; tractors, their tread marks still visible in the earth, are enough when it comes to wrecking tents. Fourteen of the structures at the site – tents and shacks – were demolished, based on some incomprehensible logic. Why this tent but not that one; everyone here received a demolition order.

Since then, Hudeifa and her family have been living under the tree. Several other families were made homeless, too. There’s a wrecked playpen, smashed black water containers and two refrigerators that survived the raid intact but are now standing useless under the pitiless sun.

The International Red Cross quickly supplied two white tents, but aside from that, the residents here have been abandoned to their fate. Only a few women from the peace organization Machsom Watch, among them the activist Daphne Banai, have visited since the homes were razed. A new blue UNICEF schoolbag, donated ahead of the start of the school year, hangs on a fence.

The father of the family, Ali Hussein, works as a farmhand in the settlers’ fields, earning 70 shekels (about $18) a day – exploitation wages, far below the legal minimum wage. He and his family have never hurt anyone, he says in his defense. “Israel is so strong. Why the abuse? Our life is already so hard.”

Life is hard, too, in the second site of destruction – in Wadi Sneysel, opposite Ma’aleh Adumim – but not quite as bad. Twenty-three Bedouin families from the Jahalin tribe have lived here since 2000, enduring ordeals similar to those experienced by others of their community who have been forced out of the Negev since the 1950s. These residents received demolition orders in May, and last Monday the wrecking crew arrived, nearly 200 people. It took two hours.

In contrast to the Jordan Rift, the people here felt more protected, thanks to the activity of their attorney, Shlomo Lecker, whom they call “our mukhtar” (village headman). But it turned out that the Civil Administration’s reply to a letter from Lecker in an effort to stop the demolition was sent to the wrong address, according to the (peculiar and ridiculous) claim of the administration. One way or the other, even as the correspondence continued, nine structures were destroyed here, some of them tents and the others animal pens and kitchens. A wrecked toilet structure, donated by the European Union, also lies on the hard desert ground.

Yusuf Said, from the nearby community of shepherds, Maskob 2 – where several structures were also demolished last week – speaks in the name of the newly homeless. “What did we explain to the children? We don’t have to explain anything to them. They saw it for themselves. There’s no need to go into it. If I tell my son the exact why and how of the demolition, there will be chaos when he grows up. What I say to my son is that it’s not so terrible, we will rebuild, we will put things back, it’ll be alright.”

The newly homeless sent their children to the tents of neighbors and relatives in the compound, which lies along Highway 1 to Jericho. This is a relatively “advanced site” – it even has running water. There’s a small, verdant vegetable patch next to Said’s home – okra, zucchini and tomatoes are grown here in the desert. There are also some 2,000 sheep and goats, the community’s prime source of income. To help make ends meet, Said works as a night watchman at the Rami Levy supermarket chain in Ma’aleh Adumim.

“Look how we live – for this we have to be chased out?” he says. “Look at the villas of Ma’aleh Adumim. I have nothing against them, but we should be allowed to stay in our place. Is there a law for demolishing people’s homes? In the sun? When they are not bothering anyone? Tell me, who are we bothering?”

But this is area E1, which is meant to split the West Bank and prevent movement of Palestinians between its northern and southern sections. Hence the demolitions.

A spokesperson for the office of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the West Bank said in response, with respect to the two demolitions: “These are illegal structures that were built without a permit in violation of the law, some of them in recent years. The structures were demolished after the process of enforcement was completed and the appropriate orders were issued.”

The tents are planted in a wadi that is hit by floodwaters in winter. A few donkeys take refuge from the sun in small caves that line the valley. The wailing of an infant rises from the encampment of shepherds at Maskob 2, which is separated from Wadi Sneysel by a barren hill. The school year started here on Monday. The heroes of the hour were, of course, the homeless children, who told their friends what had happened to them at the end of the summer vacation.

But the adults are fearful for their future and the fate of their homes. “This is no way to live,” Said says. “You go to sleep at night and think: What will happen tomorrow? Will I have a home tomorrow morning or not? We are in the year 2015, and a person goes to sleep and doesn’t know if he will have a home the next day. This is barely a home to start with – and they destroy even that.”

I can’t get the image of Hudeifa – the baby who hasn’t had a roof over her head for nearly two weeks, crawling across the hot sand – out of my mind.

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Archbishop Hanna Attends Protest over Settlement Plans for Church Compound
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IMEMC : Orthodox Archbishop Atallah Hanna was among a number of political and religious leaders to take part in a march Saturday protesting the purchase, by Israeli settlers, of a Christian church compound in the southern occupied West Bank.

The 38-dunam (9.3 acre) compound, known as Beit al-Baraka, is located to the north of al-Arrub refugee camp in the southern West Bank district of Hebron, according to Ma’an.
An investigative report by Israeli newspaper Haaretz in May alleged that an American millionaire, Irving Moskowitz, purchased the site through a Swedish company in 2012 with the intention of turning it into a settlement outpost.
Popular resistance committees organized Saturday’s march, which was attended by political figures including MP Fayez al-Saqqa and Fatah spokesperson Osama al-Qawasma, in addition to well-known Palestinian popular resistance activists and religious leaders.
The protesters performed a mass prayer led by Attalah Hanna, the archbishop of the Sebastian Greek Orthodox Church, and Father George Awad.
Awad urged Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority to support Beit al-Baraka in its battle against Israeli violations.
Participants said that Israeli forces suppressed the march and prevented them from reaching the church compound.
It was reported in June that Israeli authorities prevented Archbishop Hanna from taking part in another march at the church compound by summoning him to the Russian Compound detention center in Jerusalem.
Haaretz’s investigation earlier this year alleged that a Swedish company established in 2007 had been used to cover up the sale and transfer of Beit al-Baraka in 2012 to a settler organization funded by American millionaire Irving Moskowitz.
A pastor who headed the church that previously owned the compound, Keith Coleman, told Haaretz he thought it had been sold to a Swedish company called Scandinavian Seamen Holy Land Enterprises in March 2008 that would revive its use as a church.
Haaretz discovered however that, “the Swedish group was established in Stockholm in 2007, and seems to have been used as a cover for transferring the ownership of the compound to the settlers. The group does not seem to have any offices.”
The Swedish company registered the purchase with the Israeli Civil Administration in 2012.
The company was then dissolved, with ownership handed over to an American nonprofit organization, American Friends of the Everest Foundation, funded by Irving Moskowitz and working towards the eventual “Judaization” of occupied East Jerusalem.
The church lies in a sensitive location, which when settled, will see Israeli settlements stretch all the way from the Gush Etzion settler block south of Jerusalem to the cluster of settlements around Hebron.

There are more than 500,000 Israelis living in illegal settlements across occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

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Take 40 minutes to watch the videos
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Take 40 minutes to watch the videos!

Nabi Saleh on Friday saw a remarkable confrontation when an Israeli occupation soldier tried to kidnap a child (with arm in cast after an earlier attack on him ended up with a broken arm) but his family came to his aid and freed him. Watch this remarkable video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvJNYjzm9jk
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i227PNKWB1A

This is not the first time family members stick together. Ahed and her younger brother challenged Israeli soldiers who kidnapped their older brother earlier (the other older girl is cousin Marah Tamimi)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oWlxLq-2RQA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bh9pwEPpn0Q

The Tamimi children ofcourse are like any other children interested in living their lives on their land and having access to their water spring things denied to them by a brutal colonial racist occupation.  HERE ARE THE CHILDREN helping us in studying nature and biodiversity in their beautiful village:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=331&v=Qu65JUCU5bk

Yesterday (Saturday) we were protesting with the Palestinian Presbyterian Church, other churches (including Archbishop Atallah Hanna), and activists the illegal “sale” of church property near Al-Aroub. Also yesterday Falastinyat organization held a memorial for Naji Al-Ali in his deethnically cleansed village of Al-Shajara under the tree where he used to play as a child (he is the creator of Handala cartoons).  Today (Sunday) we were protesting in Beit Jala were occupation soldiers used violence and arrested three people who were peacefully protesting. The uprooting of 2000+ year old olive trees to build an apartheid wall and confiscate 3000 dunams of land in Beit Jala is a crime against humanity. These are videos from the scene (please note how some people come merely to be interviewed in the media and the local people pay the price of the resistance):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPreA77cPj8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGMc4q_U05w

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jZqMwy-xJo
http://youtu.be/-YNKvmp4HGg  (my own video, I was knocked down at one point)

Mazin Qumsiyeh
Professor and Director
Palestine Museum of Natural History
Bethlehem University
Palestinenature.org
Tel 972-22773553


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Friday, August 28

Suicide at brothel highlights the status of sex workers in Israel
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JERUSALEM POST – More than 600 people protested in Tel Aviv following the suicide of a woman who lived and worked at a brothel nearby. The woman’s death and the demonstration, a rare sign of support for sex workers, have brought the legally gray area of prostitution in Israel back into the spotlight.

The woman, who has not been officially identified is believed to have been in her 30s and originally from the former Soviet Union. Activists stated that there are more than 200 brothels operating in the city of Tel Aviv alone.

“Selling or purchasing (sex) is legal – well it’s not illegal – but pimping, running or owning a brothel, (or) advertising the sale of sex” is criminal, Michal Leibel, a lawyer and the director of the Task Force on Human Trafficking and Prostitution, an Israeli NGO, told The Media Line.

The Israeli legal system is based on the idea that if something is not forbidden then it is not illegal. This leaves prostitution “not legalized and not regulated,” with the actual act not a crime but most activity surrounding it illegal, Leibel said. This is a similar position to the law in several European countries, as well as England or Canada, the advocate explained.

Many commentators consider there to be three basic models for dealing with the question of how a legal system views the sex trade. Traditional criminalization has been practiced in much of the West in the past and continues to be the norm for law enforcement agencies in many parts of the world. Critics argue that among other problems this unfairly criminalizes the sex workers themselves, pushing them underground and leaving them open to abuse from pimps and customers.

Some countries, most notably Germany and the Netherlands, have taken the opposite approach, deciding that the protection of sex workers is better achieved by allowing them to operate legally. Such policies have led to Amsterdam’s famous Red Light District, where scantily-clad prostitutes stand in windows surrounded by red lightbulbs to offer their wares to customers.

A third option, a compromise of the previous two, is known as the Nordic or Swedish model, and involves legalizing the sale but not the buying of sex. By tackling demand it is hoped that supply will also be reduced. It is this method that the Israeli Task Force on Human Trafficking and Prostitution is advocating. The organization is pushing for the implementation of a change to the law which would allow police to charge an individual found buying or attempting to purchase sex. Several members of the Knesset from across the political spectrum have expressed support for such reforms, including Zehava Gal-On from the dovish Meretz party, and Shuli Moalem Refaeli from the hawkish Bayit Yehudi party, Leibel said.

Legalization has been shown to increase demand for prostitution, as the trade becomes legal and therefore no longer taboo. It also fails in its attempts to improve the lives of sex workers, Leibel argued. Additionally the sale of a person’s body is “degrading (to) human dignity,” she added. Violence and sexual attacks towards prostitutes, and women as a whole across society, may increase in a culture where women can be purchased freely.

“Treating women as a consumer product for sexual consumption embodies the message that it is possible to purchase women (like) any other product. This… reinforces and even increases the inferior status of women,” MK Zehava Gal-On, the chairperson for the Knesset Subcommittee on Trafficking in Women and Prostitution said. But it is unclear how precisely sex work and human trafficking, and other forms of violence against women, are linked.

“Today very few of the women are trafficked… most of (those) in prostitution in Israel are local,” Tali Koral, CEO of Machon Todaa, an awareness center for combating prostitution, told The Media Line. “Israel combated trafficking in women in the early years of the 2000s and did good work on this matter,” Koral explained.  She argued that prostitution was a crime against humanity and as such should never be legalized but other commentators, pointing to a perceived differentiation between sex work and violence against women, have suggested alternative policies.

Such advocates, among them a number of academics and sex workers’ rights organizations, state that traditional feminist arguments against legalization of prostitution completely exclude sex workers’ voices from the debate.

“Many people conflate human trafficking for sexual exploitation with prostitution or, as I would rather call it, with “sex work” (paid sexual or sexualized encounters among consenting adults of all genders),” Sonja Dolinsek, a blogger who focuses on sex workers’ rights wrote in an article for the Council of Europe. By interfering in private consenting sexual encounters between adults the state jeopardizes sex workers’ rights and security, Dolinsek said.

The Nordic model, it has been argued, can have a similar impact on sex workers safety as criminalization. If clients are driven underground by the law then prostitutes servicing them will also have to go out of sight, placing them in danger. A safer model for governments to follow, Dolinsek suggested, is a fourth option known as the Merseyside model.

Following the death of a female sex worker in 2006 the police service in Liverpool, England, implemented a shift in policy by which any crimes committed against a prostitute in the course of her job would be considered as hate-crimes. Accordingly punishments for such crimes would be far harsher, similar to sentencing for crimes motivated by racism or homophobia. Advocates of this policy suggest that sex workers are victims of rape and violence far more commonly that the rest of society, not because they are women, but because they are sex workers – and the law should therefore reflect this.

Since the implementation of the Merseyside model the police force in Liverpool have reported dramatic rises in the conviction rates of attacks against sex workers.



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We are at a critical moment for Palestine Your Support is needed now more then ever!
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We really need your support!


Window into Palestine is a consolidated source for all the news and opinions regarding Palestine & Israel.

It has been a very hard month of trying to get our projects off the ground with videos, still working on publishing a book in regards to this site (with a new domain name coming soon) and more.

We need your thoughts and views about Window into Palestine as well any ideas to help make this better. We have serious debt that we have assumed with our operations here trying to launch projects as well as trying to update and clean up this blog, as well get a new design - we thank those that have have made financial contributions in August and we hope we can can secure enough funds to pay down our debt.

Thanks to everyone for sharing the postings and for your feedback we look forward to more.

Please help with any contribution big or small! 

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Palestinians, Vatican Seek to Raise Flags at UN Before Pope Visit to U.S.
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Supports are betting that the U.S. and other Israel allies won’t block the Palestinian resolution and risk offending the Holy See.

Ha’aretz

AP – In a move likely to upset Israel’s government, the Palestinians and the Vatican are seeking to raise their flags at UN headquarters — just in time for Pope Francis’ visit next month.

Supporters of the idea hope the UN General Assembly will adopt a resolution on the flag-raising shortly before the pope arrives. They’re betting that the United States or other allies of Israel will not block the plan and risk offending the Holy See on Francis’ first U.S. visit.

The Palestinians’ proposal has been tabled, and a draft of the resolution set to be made public Wednesday has been seen by The Associated Press. It would allow non-member observer states — there are only two — to display their flags with the 193 member states.

The United States and Israel oppose recognizing the Palestinian state, arguing that it undermines efforts to negotiate a peace agreement. That process, however, has largely been at a standstill since the deadly conflict in Gaza a year ago.

Many states have shown support for the Palestinians’ pursuit of statehood, including the Holy See.

In May, the Vatican officially recognized the state of Palestine in their first formal, bilateral treaty. Israel’s foreign ministry said it was “disappointed.” During Francis’ 2014 visit to the Holy Land, the Vatican’s official program referred to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as the president of the “state of Palestine.”

In 2012, the Vatican welcomed an overwhelming vote in the General Assembly to upgrade the Palestinians’ status to a UN non-member observer state. Their delegation promptly unfurled the flag in the chamber.

The pope has not been shy about ambitious diplomacy. He helped bring the United States and Cuba together for their historic reestablishment of diplomatic ties. Last year, he invited the Israeli and Palestinian presidents for a day of peace prayers at the Vatican.

Most countries in Western Europe have held off on recognizing a Palestinian state, but some have hinted that their position could change if peace efforts remain deadlocked. Most countries in Africa, Asia and South America have recognized Palestine.

Francis is scheduled to address the General Assembly on September 25, opening a gathering of world leaders to launch a set of development goals aimed at ending both poverty and hunger over the next 15 years.

More than 100 heads of state and government are expected at the gathering, which leads into the annual UN General Assembly of world leaders the following week. President Barack Obama, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani are scheduled to speak on the first morning.


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Who Controls Canadian Elections - Canadian People Or The Israeli Lobby Or Israel Itself?
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New Democratic Party purges candidates over pro-Palestine positions in lead up to Canadian elections 


Canadian governments have a long history of complicity in Palestinian dispossession. As early as 1947, Lester B. Pearson, then Under Secretary of State for External Affairs and future Canadian Prime Minister, played a key role in drafting and passing the United Nations Partition Plan, so much so that Zionist groups dubbed him the “Balfour of Canada”.
Successive governments have carried on this tradition of one-sided support, although often under the pretense of “peacekeeping” and being a “honest broker”. Fast forward to the last decade, which has brought the Conservative government into power under PM Stephen Harper, famous for such comments as “Through Fire and Water, Canada will Stand with You” made during his speech to the Israeli Knesset in January, 2014. Harper has crafted a policy of zero tolerance for everything Palestinian, from BDS to funding for UNRWA, and also upped the ante by trying to make any criticism of Israeli policies “illegal”. Recent examples are the January 18, 2015 Memorandum of Understanding between Canada and Israel that committed to develop  “a coordinated, public diplomacy initiative both bilaterally and in international and multilateral fora to oppose boycotts of Israel, its institutions, and its people within three to six months” and the announcement just last month of the “expansion and modernization” of the Canada Israel Free Trade Agreement. Unfortunately, the other two main national parties, the New Democratic Party (NDP) and the Liberals, are in a frantic race to see who can reach the bottom line first. All three major parties are currently on record as denouncing BDS, condemning Israeli Apartheid week on university campuses and attempting to stifle debate on this issue.
And now, enter the Canadian federal election campaign. Although certainly short by U.S. standards, it still has another 2 months to go and is becoming increasingly nasty. Palestinian activists are either bullied and targeted by our known adversaries or betrayed by our “friends” and told we’re not even allowed to raise our voices. And the pervasive and bludgeoning reach of the Zionist lobby seems to have reached new heights (or lows). The latest round of the brouhaha was instigated by the NDP leadership (who might form the next government) with the purge of several candidates mildly sympathetic to Palestinian rights. The resulting dissent put them in damage control mode, especially since many supporters of the Palestinian people have also historically been involved in some way with the NDP which paints itself as the “party of change”. (Several people were even deleted from various Facebook groups, including Rabble, for refusing to drop the challenges on this issue.) In the past, some high profile veteran MPs from the NDP had a proud history of supporting Palestinian rights; sadly, no longer.
But the issues of censorship and the need to hear the Palestinian voice have refused to go away. On August 20, the Ontario Civil Liberties Association issued a strongly-worded letter defending the freedom of speech of two of the ex-candidates and noting that what one of them said was common parlance in Israel’s mainstream media and included some terminology even used by former Israeli PM Ben-Gurion. The letter went on to state – “The NDP’s stance in barring any criticism of Israel is undemocratic and wrong. Morgan Wheeldon and Jerry Natanine were not breaking confidence with a democratically-determined party policy platform, or engaged in any such mutiny. They have uttered words critical of Israel, in contexts of democratic discourse. Your actions are incompatible with your claim of seeking a balanced approach. A balanced, informed, and tested approach cannot be found by suppressing free expression among potential and actual law makers.”
Of course Palestine is not the only issue in this national election, and Palestinian and Arab Canadians (contrary to some perceptions) are just like everyone else – parents, workers, seniors, disabled etc. with a myriad of concerns . But for supporters of Palestinian rights, the dilemma here is huge. The Zionist lobby are allowed to be “one issue” and have unlimited resources and time to check candidates’ social media accounts going back many years, making any support for Palestine a “red line” issue. And to ask Palestinian-Canadians and their supporters to vote for any party that is clearly complicit in the trampling of human rights, with the faint hope that after the election things will improve, simply will not cut it. Especially not with the current NDP leader, Thomas Mulcair, who proudly pronounced himself an “ardent supporter of Israel”, even before being elected party leader. Does criticizing the NDP (or considering voting for another party, say the Greens) mean you’re supporting Stephen Harper or you don’t want change? Of course not! And frankly, it is arrogant and insulting to everyone’s intelligence to use such fear-mongering tactics.
Palestinians will not be silenced and after 67 years of dispossession they no longer believe in hollow promises. So if the NDP leadership wants to own up and say they’ve thrown the Palestinians under the bus as have the other two major Canadian political parties, then be honest and do so. And engage in that debate as to why Palestinian rights (and even any discussion of them) are expendable and be judged accordingly. All three major federal parties in Canada need to be sent a loud and clear message that Palestinians and their supporters will not be censored and Palestinian rights will not be trampled on so easily. We must all show that there is zero tolerance for hypocrisy and complicity with Israeli war crimes!

Mondoweiss.net
Marion Kawas 


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The Illusion of Unconditional American Support
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Netanyahu believed that he could turn his back on liberal values of Democratic America and still win its automatic support; his dramatic defeat over the Iran deal is a wake-up call.

Ha’aretz

WASHINGTON — For many weeks now, the political arena has been focusing on Chuck Schumer. Both U.S. President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were doing all they could to lobby New York’s senior (Jewish) senator to adopt their positions on the Iran nuclear deal. Both the White House and the Prime Minister’s Office assumed that Schumer’s vote would be a decisive one. It was presumed that whichever way Schumer went, dozens of Democratic members of Congress would follow.

And indeed, two weeks ago Schumer decided. He capitulated to the indirect and sophisticated pressures exerted on him by the Israeli prime minister and came out against the position of the president of the United States.

But to everyone’s great surprise, there was no ensuing “Schumer effect.” Contrary to expectations, masses of Democrats did not stream after the man who is meant to be the future leader of the Senate’s Democrats. On the contrary; one after the other, even hawkish Democrats and Jewish Democrats have been siding with the White House.

Why? Because over the past six years the Israeli government has insisted on turning Israel into another red (Republican) state. Because Netanyahu and his patron, Sheldon Adelson, have forged a dangerous link between Zionist issues and conservatism. Because at the moment of truth, Israel-loving Democrats who feel battered by Israel’s policies (occupation, settlement, exclusion of women and discrimination against minorities) were not prepared to put their political futures at risk for Israel. After Jerusalem turned its back on the liberal values of Democratic America, Democratic America decided to turn its back on Israel’s existential anxiety.

Let’s go back for a minute. Let’s assume that in the spring of 2009, Netanyahu saw the Iranian challenge more clearly than any other world leader. Let’s assume for a moment that Netanyahu at the time was a rational strategist who really believed that all threats to Israel began and ended with Iran. Such a strategist ought to have known that the fate of this existential campaign would be decided by an American president committed to peace and human rights. That same strategist ought to have understood that the fulcrum of such a campaign would be the American Jewish community, most of which is also committed to peace and human rights.

Accordingly, Netanyahu should have understood — if only as a cold calculation made by a farsighted chess player — that it was incumbent upon him to pursue peace, respect human rights and capture the hearts of the new, open and progressive America.

But Netanyahu did exactly the opposite. He believed that he could get away with everything; that he could build settlements, give in to all the religious parties’ demands and still win the automatic support of both Jewish and non-Jewish Democrats. That he could embrace Adelson, insult Obama and still expect Washington to support him.

This was a mistake. Now, at the moment of truth, Washington is simply exhausted by Netanyahu. Even when he’s telling the truth — and Netanyahu is right about many aspects of the Iranian issue — Washington isn’t listening to him. The disgust that many feel for the Israel of Danny Danon is blinding them to the danger posed by Hassan Rohani’s Iran.

The writing is on the wall, in really big print. If Israel seeks life, it’s going to have to redefine itself. If Israel wants a true alliance with the American democracy, it’s going to have to prove that it is truly a democracy. The era of using unconditional American support and unlimited American money to realize the vision of Gush Emunim is over. Gone must be the illusion that America will always be with us, even when our values conflict with its values.

Life on the wrong side of history is getting dangerous. Netanyahu’s dramatic defeat in Washington is a wake-up call.



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Petition to End Gaza Blockade Signed by Over 500,000 in One Day
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Online petition, launched by online activist group Avaaz and backed by some 30 other groups, calls on world leaders to pressure Israel into lifting restrictions on building materials.

Ha’aretz

An online petition urging world leaders to pressure Israel to lift its blockade over the Gaza strip has garnered over 500,000 signatures in one day.

The petition, launched on Wednesday by the online activist group Avaaz and supported by 30 other groups, including Oxfam and ActionAid, calls for an immediate removal of construction material from the list of items restricted from entering the Strip.

The petitions notes that world leaders have pledged $3.5 billion for the reconstruction of the Strip, devastated by the war with Israel in the summer of 2014, but accused Israel of causing “incalculable delays” by restricting building materials’ entry into the Strip.

“Not one of the 19,000 homes destroyed in Gaza has been rebuilt in the last year. As concerned citizens, we urge you to take action to press for an end to these restrictions now,” the petition reads.

The petition is addressed to UN Special Coordinator Mladenov, U.S. President Barack Obama, French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British PM David Cameron, Qatar’s Sheikh Al Thani, EU FM Federica Mogherini, “and all other world leaders.”

According to Al Jazeera, the petition’s organizers hope it would gain 1.8 million signatures, representing the population of the Strip.

The blockade on the Strip, also enforced by Egypt, has been in place since the Islamic militant group Hamas seized Gaza in 2007.

Israel and Egypt say they need to maintain the closure because Hamas, shunned by much of the world as a terror group, poses a security threat. Israel has fought three wars with Hamas in the past six years, in part to try to halt Gaza rocket fire on Israeli towns.

The 2014 war was the most devastating for Gaza’s 1.8 million people, killing more than 2,200 Palestinians, a majority of them civilians, according to UN figures. Seventy-two people were killed on the Israeli side, including 66 soldiers.

According to reports, about 19,000 homes were destroyed or severely damaged in Gaza, while another 134,000 suffered some damage but are fit to live in. About 100,000 people are still displaced, living in UN schools, tents pitched on rubble or rented apartments and storefronts.

In October, donor countries and international organizations pledged $3.5 billion for Gaza. As of April, only $945 million, or 26.8 percent, has been released, a report by the Association of International Development Agencies said.


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Volunteer at PMNH and more
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The “leadership” of the Palestinian authority continues down the same failed path of cronyism, poor action towards liberation, self-aggrandizement, self- enrichment and ignorance of the peoples’ future or wishes. Hence this keeps people energies locked up and millions of Palestinians who could be recruited to give and serve Palestine get a good excuse not to act. But most people continue to survive and even do amazing good deeds despite their “leaders” and their circumstances. Classes resumed at the universities and schools in the occupied territories. It is nice now to hear the national anthem in schools as I drink my morning coffee. People try to adapt and make the best out of a horrible complicated situation under Israeli colonialism and apartheid. Homes are still being demolished, movement restricted, religious and civil liberties regularly violated, political prisoners held without trial and in bad conditions, etc. But we continue to exist, continue to resist. Last Sunday for example we removed gates installed by the occupation authority to prevent access to land in Beit Jala. Our students continue to try to learn and improve themselves under very difficult circumstances (no jobs after graduation, no income of family to help them pay tuition etc).. We continue to do research and clinical services in our laboratories and the natural history museum and botanical garden at Bethlehem University. I sent two of our bright students to Jordan where they learned more about insects and research. We have plans for a major conference on innovation and excellence (I am a member of the higher council for innovation and excellence, see http://www.hcie.ps). I am planning a trip to Rhodes (Greece), to Indonesia, and to Washington DC in October to speak about the Palestinian cause and about our university and build partnerships.

Join us for two events to protest Zionist theft and destruction of Palestinian lands:
Saturday 10 AM in front of Beit Al-Baraka along the road to Hebron (near Arroub Refugee camp)
Sunday 11 AM Area of Bir Oneh in Beit Jala where ancient trees have been uprooted/destroyed
and here are pother ways to act where you are http://qumsiyeh.org/whatyoucando/


Volunteer: We have many volunteer opportunities at the botanical garden and the Palestine Museum of Natural History that will enhance your skills and allow you to be part of a team that is dynamic and energetic and making a difference locally and globally. Our motto is respect (for one self, for fellow human beings, and for the environment). Opportunities to volunteer exist in these areas: Data collection (plants, animals, geology, human history etc), clerical, botanical garden, education (school children from kindergarten to adult), information technology, media, fundraising, bee keeping, exhibit design, and more. Email us at info@palestinenature.org

Haidar Eid: The songs are dedicated to the courage and resistance of the Palestinian people on the journey to justice and freedom. All proceeds from sales of the song will be donated towards the Palestinian boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.
https://electronicintifada.net/content/gaza-blues-hymns-love-death-and-resistance/14801

Newly released documents show US attempts to halt Israeli nuclear weapons program
Gov't papers dating from 1969-72 reveal American discussions about how to convince Israel to abandon pursuit of atomic weapons and to sign the non-proliferation treaty
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4692208,00.html
[note: The major US Jewish organizations still lobby for a war on Iran for Apartheid Israel while claiming to represent Jews and Judaism]

Tear Drop “A Gift From the People of Russia to the USA”. Why were we not told about Tear Drop?
http://gmmuk.com/tear-drop-a-gift-from-the-people-of-russia-to-the-usa-why-were-we-not-told-about-tear-drop/

White House Middle East policy adviser, Gwenyth Todd on how Washington operates under Israeli occupation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLhbXaF5yec

Mazin Qumsiyeh
Professor and Director
Palestine Museum of Natural History
Bethlehem University
Occupied Palestine
http://qumsiyeh.org
http://palestinenature.org


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Stories of 556 Children Killed in Gaza in the Summer of 2014
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Al Mezan and MAP Petition and Video: Stories of 556 Children Killed in Gaza in the Summer of 2014

Al Mezan Center for Human Rights have recorded the stories of the lives of the 556 children killed during Israel’s summer 2014 assault. For some of these children, there is no photograph. In these cases either the entire family has been killed, or all of their possessions destroyed in the attacks, leaving no remaining images of their child.

Though the conflict has ended, many threats to Gaza’s children remain. The illegal blockade prevents construction materials getting in, meaning that reconstruction has barely begun a year later, and tens of thousands remain homeless. Many vital medicines are at zero-stock levels, chronic malnutrition blights many young lives, and hospitals and clinics remain in rubble.

The film can be accessed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uCXTnSYm6Os
The petition that is linked at the end of the film can be accessed at: https://secure.avaaz.org/en/gaza_blockade_loc/?slideshow.

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WHY WE SHOULD BE CONCERNED ABOUT CHRISTIAN ZIONISM
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Christian’s United For Peace:

This is a letter from a Palestinian Christian to the news director and lead 
anchor of EWTN News, the news division of the Eternal Word 
Television Network, a Catholic broadcast network with Zionist leanings.
Dear Raymond Arroyo,
I was watching your world over
 segment last night on EWTN and I had
 some concerns. My name is Mary. I’m a conservative Catholic from 
Bethlehem, Palestine.
I know you didn’t think we existed – 
don’t worry ` you’re not the only one.
Besides, Israel propaganda does
 a great job making sure people think 
Palestinians only consist of mean crazy Muslims fighting the innocent
 virtuous God chosen people.
I couldn’t help but notice
 you were one of them, 
which struck me as very odd considering you work 
for a religious channel 
not political, and even if you yourself had your biases
 it should not be portrayed
 on your show.
Let me clarify some things if 
I may, sir. I have three cousins that 
are priests an uncle who is a Bishop
 look them up Bishop William 
Shomali, Fr. Ibrahim Shomali and Fr.
 Issa Shomali.
My mother lived in Rome for ten years,
 she almost got ordained to become a
 nun.
Yes we are pretty conservative and we are proud of our faith. Growing up 
in occupied Palestine just made our faith even stronger.
Watching on a daily basis Israeli jeeps with huge rifles sticking out from the 
back of the jeep threatening to shoot us at any moment just because we
 happened to live on the wrong side of town.
On the way to my St Joseph all-girls Catholic school I saw them
 making dirty comments, staring me in the face, mocking me.
I saw them shoot little children because they threw rocks at them,
 and sometimes for absolutely no reason.
In my peaceful town of Beit Sahour, mostly Christians, the first boy
 to get killed by Israelis was 16 years old.
He was walking home from the store when Israeli soldiers dropped a huge
 rock on his head from the top of a building and watched him crawl home
 bleeding until he died at the front steps of his home. He was Christian, 
he did nothing to them.
Yet you don’t feel any sympathy for him. The second boy was at home
 in the kitchen watching his mom making fries.
An Israeli settler — you know, those guys who built a home illegally on 
Palestinian land and are armed — shot him through the window and killed 
him in front of his mom.
His name was Salam, it means peace. He was a Christian, not involved in
 anything. Yet you wouldn’t feel any sympathy for him because he’s not Jewish.
I can go on and on and on about how Israel was created, the wars literally
 kicking people out of their homes and moving in them, the massacres.
The times when they would put the whole town on house arrest, which
 means we can’t leave the home or look out the window. It would take
 weeks sometimes.
We are Christians and yet you wouldn’t feel any sympathy for us. 
When they would set us free they would shout in the microphone in their
 jeeps “home arrest is off you dogs and cows and donkeys”. And yet
 it’s all justified.
One time a Christian nurse from my home town took home a young 
boy who was wounded by Israeli soldiers. He was involved in a protest
 against occupation and must have thrown a rock at one of the jeeps 
(oh the horror!)
The soldiers went to her home, and arrested and imprisoned her for
 years for treating a wounded boy; how dare she!!
And when the town had many protests to free her they released her to
 Jordan and she was never allowed back to her home. And yet we are 
the terrorists and you have no sympathy for us.
My ancestors come from that land back in the days when people lived 
in caves even.
What if we are the original Christians that followed Jesus 2000 years ago
 — wouldn’t we have the same right to live there in dignity and yet we have none.
And you don’t care. We will continue to carry the cross proudly on our 
shoulder and suffer, we will continue to pray for our enemy and for peace.
We will not hate, we will only tell the truth. This is what our Bible teaches;
you should try doing the same. Peace be with you my friend.
Love, Mary Alshomaly from the Holy Land of Jesus

Follow Christian’s United For Peace 

Facebook page to learn more about Zionism.



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