I Write As Long As Settlers Burn Schools

by James M. Wall

A regular reader wrote recently and asked why I write so often about Palestine and Israel.

It was a good question and after some time for reflection I have an answer for him, inspired by a 1971 Johnny Cash song, “The Man in Black”.

Cash had been asked why he always wore black. He explains that he did so because he identifies with the poor and the hungry, the prisoners, the lonely and the old, and those who are dying in a war in a distant land, at that time, the Vietnam War.

A few years later, after “The Man In Black” became a best-selling album, Cash said:

“With the Vietnam War as painful in my mind as it was in most other Americans’, I wore it ‘in mournin’ for the lives that could have been.’ … Apart from the Vietnam War being over, I don’t see much reason to change my position … The old are still neglected, the poor are still poor, the young are still dying before their time, and we’re not making many moves to make things right. There’s still plenty of darkness to carry off.”

The Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, and our American wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, are today providing “plenty of darkness”. Together, these wars are today’s Vietnam.

I am aware that I cannot sing, or write simple, powerful poetry as Cash has done. But I must write about the darkness that covers our nation as it continues its pursuit of empirical conquest at a tremendous cost at home, under the guise of “fighting terror”. Indeed, “terrorism” is today’s version of the Communism that Nixon and Kissinger used as their excuse for “defending” South Vietnam in the 1960s and 1970s.

Johnny Cash originally recorded “The Man in Black”  before a college audience in May, 1971, one year after the Kent State Massacre when, during a student protest against the invasion of Cambodia, Ohio national guardsmen fired 67 rounds over a period of 13 seconds, killing four students and wounding nine others, one of whom suffered permanent paralysis.

In May, 1971, Richard Nixon and his Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, were still conducting a secret war, the details of which were only fully revealed on June 30, 1971, when the US Supreme Court ruled that the federal government could not prevent the publication of the Pentagon Papers in the New York Times.

The story of how those Papers were finally published in the Times is vividly presented in the 2010 documentary, The Most Dangerous Man in America. The title refers to Daniel Ellsberg, the Harvard professor who courageously risked his freedom to deliver the Pentagon Papers to the Times.

Henry Kissinger, who once taught with Ellsburg at Harvard, bitterly described his former academic colleague as “the most dangerous man in America.”

Ellsberg writes of his experiences in his 2002 book, Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers.

Along with the vast majority of the American public, Johnny Cash was unaware of the Vietnam war narrative which Nixon and Kissinger tried to keep secret, when he wrote the lyrics for  “The Man in Black”. What he did know was that young Americans and many Vietnamese were dying needlessly.

The lyrics are at the end of this post.

Today, with wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the West Bank Bank and Gaza our military forces, and our surrogate Israeli military forces, are involved in an overall war against what a previous American president misnamed as “the global war on terror”.

This 2010 midterm election have essentially ignored the thousands and hundreds of thousands who are dying in distant lands because of our wars. Instead,  public attention is riveted on the craziness of the Tea Party candidates, some of whom may very well end up in the Congress.

The American public does not know about the Israeli settlers who set fire to a Palestinian girls’ school building near Nablus this past week. Juan Cole, whose Informed Comment blog is a flashing light of warning to the American public, tells the story of the attack on the school:

The phrase “ethnic cleansing” conjures up a swift, comprehensive act of expulsion. But in reality, moving a large population off its land is the death of a thousand cuts, a slow, inexorable process of stealing property, harassment, forcing people into a condition of malnutrition.

The Native Americans in the Americas, the Aborigines in Australia, and the Palestinians in Israel/Palestine were only sometimes forced off their land suddenly and en masse. The gradual processes told, in the long run.

The amazing thing about what is being done to the Palestinians in the Palestinian West Bank by Israeli illegal aliens is that it is happening in full view of the world, reported on by wire services, and yet remains invisible to Western publics.

The world reacts in horror when the Taliban in Afghanistan torch girls’ schools. But Israeli squatters just set fire to the store room of a Palestinian girls’ school, and the whole school would have gone up in flames if that warehouse had not been near a water main. The Israeli illegals left behind graffiti saying ‘regards from the hills.’

Cole also reports that earlier in October,

Israeli squatters set fire to a Palestinian mosque in Bethlehem.

[Also this autumn] there is the seasonal vandalism against olive trees in Palestinian orchards, which reached a fever pitch this year. The Israeli authorities prosecute few of these offenses and almost never hand down a punishment to an Israeli squatter.

The 10 million olive trees in the West Bank and Gaza, occupying some 45 percent of the farmland, are the matrix of Palestinian existence. An attack on olive trees is a form of economic warfare of the first water.

The American public knows far more about the fumbling responses of the Republican candidate for Joe Biden’s old Delaware senate seat, than it does about the needless death of a 2-year-old Gaza child who was prevented by the Israeli army from traveling the short distance outside Gaza for specialized treatment. The Palestinian organization, Physicians for Human Rights, has that story on its website:

Nasma Abu Lasheen died on Saturday, October 16, 2010 in Gaza. Israel failed to issue her an urgent entry permit for life-saving medical treatment at Ha-Emek Medical Center in Afula, Israel. She was two years old.

Abu Lasheen, a young resident of Gaza diagnosed with Leukemia, was referred for emergency treatment in Israel on October 6, 2010. When requests to the Israeli Army for an entry permit went unanswered for several days, by way of B’tselem, the family contacted Physicians for Human Rights- Israel (PHR-Israel) for additional help.

That very same day, on October 13, 2010, PHR-Israel contacted the Gaza District Coordination Office (DCO) demanding a permit be issued immediately to the baby and her father to enable their entry into Israel. A military approval was finally granted the next afternoon, October 14, 2010.

Abu Lasheen’s medical condition had been deteriorating rapidly and by the time the permit was received, the treating doctor in Gaza, Dr. Mohammad Abu Sha’aban, said she was too sick to travel. Nasma died in the early morning hours of October 16, 2010.

Ziad Abbas works for the Middle East Children’s Alliance on a project to bring clean water to the children of Palestine. He grew up in Palestine. He writes in Counter Punch, that his work is especially personal to him because of  his own childhood experiences of growing up deprived of water.

Israel controls and uses 89% of the water resources in the West Bank, leaving 11% for the 2.5 million Palestinians. The Israeli Occupation continues to limit Palestinian access to clean water as form of collective punishment by controlling the water resources and distribution and by destroying the water that we are able to get.

During Israeli military incursions, and especially during curfews, when we could not leave our homes, Israeli soldiers would shoot the water storage tanks on our roofs. Our water would pour down the sides of our buildings unused.

During the recent attack on Gaza, Israel targeted the entire water infrastructure including the largest water purification system in Gaza. They also targeted electrical generators that supported water purification and sewage treatment.

I write about these things because American churches are still hung up on not offending their Jewish neighbors, thus choosing interfaith harmony over justice.

I write about these things because major denominational meetings, like this past summer’s General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, USA, dickered and delayed and finally decided to study further how they might best deal with the “problems” in the Middle East.

Since that Presbyterian GA meeting, two-year-old Abu Lasheen died waiting for permission to travel to an Israeli hospital. Since that meeting, Israeli settlers set fire to a Palestinian girls school, leaving behind graffiti on the wall that said, “regards from the hills”. Something about the insensitive arrogance of that graffiti implies there was not enough room on the wall to add, in Clint Eastwoodian fashion, “we’ll be back.”

I write about the American media’s blindness to the narrative of the suffering in Palestine because Tom Friedman continues to fool his liberal readers by pretending to criticize Israel when his criticism always includes the AIPAC approved list of what he insists are “facts”, but which are either outright lies or distortions of reality.

The most recent example was Friedman’s October 20 column which calls on Israel to help President Obama line up world opposition to Iran by reaching a friendly agreement with Palestinian negotiators.

Friedman opens his column with a set of “stubborn facts” which are really just a repeat of the acceptable Israeli narrative which, of course, he assures his readers are “stubborn facts”.  Only, they are not.

Here is the start of Thomas Friedman’s latest  column, followed by corrections:

Say what you want about Israel’s obstinacy at times, it remains the only country in the United Nations that another U.N. member, Iran, has openly expressed the hope that it be wiped off the map. And that same country, Iran, is trying to build a nuclear weapon.

Israel is the only country I know of in the Middle East that has unilaterally withdrawn from territory conquered in war — in Lebanon and Gaza — only to be greeted with unprovoked rocket attacks in return.

Indeed, if you want to talk about spoiled children, there is no group more spoiled by Iran and Syria than Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shiite militia.

Hezbollah started a war against Israel in 2006 that brought death, injury and destruction to thousands of Lebanese — and Hezbollah’s punishment was to be rewarded with thousands more missiles and millions more dollars to do it again. These are stubborn facts.

Friedman’s “stubborn facts” are stubborn, alright. They are falsehoods or distortions he clings to “stubbornly”.

Iran’s President Ahmedinejad never used the phrase, “wipe Israel off the map”. That was an initial mistranslation into English which the media loved and never let go. The media has refused, as Friedman does here, to go back and obtain the original statement by Ahmedinejad in a speech he gave to a Persian audience.

The Iranian president was quoting an ancient statement by Iran’s first Islamist leader, the late Ayatollah Khomeini, when he said that “this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time” just as the Shah’s regime in Iran had vanished.

He was not making a military threat. He was calling for an end to the occupation of Jerusalem at some point in the future. The “page of time” phrase suggests he did not expect it to happen soon. There was no implication that either Khomeini, when he first made the statement, or Ahmadinejad, in repeating it, felt it was imminent, or that Iran would be involved in bringing it about.

Another error: It is true that Israel took its military forces out of Lebanon and Gaza, but it did so because the cost in Israeli lives had become too expensive to maintain the garrisons in those two areas.

The invasions had proved to be a major loss for the vastly superior Israeli forces, a fact Friedman ignores as he praises Israel for its “unilateral withdrawal” from the two countries it had invaded and failed to control.

Friedman writes that “Hezbollah started a war against Israel in 2006 that brought death, injury and destruction to thousands of Lebanese.”

Israel did launch a massive invasion of Lebanon in 2006, but who fired the first shot has been debated. Israeli sources have confirmed that Israel’s invasion plans were already on the drawing board when a border skirmish erupted, giving Israel the excuse it wanted to launch a war that, indeed, “brought death, injury and destruction to thousands of Lebanese.”

Who brought those deaths, injuries and destruction to the Lebanese? Israel, of course.

Careful research would quickly demonstrate to Friedman and every other pro-Israel pundit and politician that Friedman’s “stubborn facts” are either false or distorted.

I will continue to write on Israel and Palestine as long as pundits like Thomas Friedman have access to the pages of the New York Times, and the American public remains ignorant of the actual facts on the ground in Israel and Palestine.

The Man in Black, lyrics by Johnny Cash

Well, you wonder why I always dress in black, Why you never see bright colors on my back,  And why does my appearance always have a somber tone. Well, there’s a reason for the things that I have on.

I wear the black for the poor and the beaten down, Livin’ in the hopeless, hungry side of town, And I wear it for the prisoner who has long paid for his crime, But still is there because he’s a victim of the times.

I wear the black for those who never read, Or listened to the words that Jesus said, About the road to happiness through love and charity, Why, you’d think He’s talking straight to you and me.

Well, we’re doin’ mighty fine, I do suppose, In our streak of lightnin’ cars and fancy clothes, But just so we’re reminded of the ones who are held back, Up front there ought ‘a be a Man In Black.

I wear it for the sick and lonely old, For the reckless ones whose bad trip left them cold, I wear the black in mornin’ for the lives that could have been, Each week we lose a hundred fine young men.

And, I wear it for the thousands who have died, Believen’ that the Lord was on their side, And I wear it for another hundred thousand who have died, Believen’ that we all were on their side.

Well, there’s things that never will be right I know, And things need changin’ everywhere you go, But ’til we start to make a move to make a few things right, You’ll never see me wear a suit of white.

Ah, I’d love to wear a rainbow every day, To tell the world that everything’s OK, But mabe I can carry off a little darkness on my back,

‘Till things are brighter, I’m the Man In Black.

The photo at the top of the page is of two Bedouin girls, in school uniform, returning to their houses after a school day in Abu Farda near the West Bank city of Qalqilia on October 6, 2010. MaanImages/Khaleel Reash.

The Youtube above, and the lyrics by Johnny Cash may be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLkmC2VuXA8.

Posted in Media, Middle East Politics | 16 Comments

Bigoted U.S. Governors Display Ignorance

Atlanta mosque

by James M. Wall

It did not take long for a group of opportunistic U.S. Governors to respond to the horrors of the Paris bombings.

They did so with racist, religiously bigoted responses against Muslims.

Their responses were degrading to their collective state offices, and hateful to a major world religion. They also display a collective naked ignorance of the fact that governors have absolutely nothing to do with U.S. immigration policy.

Time reports the reactions of these governors:

“In the wake of the attacks on Paris, a slew of American governors have expressed opposition to President Obama’s plan to allow 10,000 Syrian refugees to come to the U.S. Some states (like Alabama and Texas) say they would not allow these immigrants into their states; some (like Massachusetts and Nevada) have requested more information from the federal government before they make a decision; and others (like Idaho and North Carolina) land in the middle, saying they oppose the idea but stopping short of refusing to receive refugees. On the other end of the spectrum, a handful of governors have pledged to accept Syrian migrants.”

 Think Progress delivers the ignorance memo to the governors:

“There is no lawful means that permits a state government to dictate immigration policy to the president in this way. As the Supreme Court explained in Hines v. Davidowitz, ‘the supremacy of the national power in the general field of foreign affairs, including power over immigration, naturalization and deportation, is made clear by the Constitution.” States do not get to overrule the federal government on matters such as this one.”

Did the governors miss examining Hines v. Davidowitz in their collective rush to join the anti-Muslim lynch mobs?

Faced with a crucial test of leadership, many of the nation’s governors failed. Take note of their names and determine if this is leadership, or flashbacks to the years of the Ku Klux Klan.

<> on November 14, 2015 in Orlando, Florida.

Among the names is Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who has just withdrawn as a Republican presidential candidate. (Pictured)

Governor Jindal issued an executive order on Monday authorizing his government “to utilize all lawful means” to block Syrian refugees from resettling in the state. He also instructed and authorized state police “to utilize all lawful means to monitor and avert threats within the State of Louisiana” if notified of Syrian refugees already living in the state.

Responses from leaders of states in “the land of the free and the home of the brave” were echoed in this summary from Huffington Post:

Huffington Post reports

“More than half of the nation’s governors have called on the U.S. to stop admitting Syrian refugees, most of them promising to do everything in their power to prevent them from entering their states.

“The governors represent Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin. All are Republicans except for Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, a Democrat.

“While most pledged to block Syrian refugees from entering their states, Florida Gov. Rick Scott said he doesn’t think he has the authority to keep the federal government from resettling them. Hassan called for the U.S. to stop admitting Syrian refugees entirely, but her spokesman said she could not block their resettlement in New Hampshire. Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin similarly said there should be a moratorium on admitting Syrian refugees but stopped short of saying her state would try to reject them.”

“Instead of leading their citizens during an ugly time of suffering and death, these governors chose to take political advantage of a tragic series of events by displaying their own ignorance, bigotry to deceive, knowingly or not, those they were chosen to lead.”

Unfortunately, this isn’t anything new. Only this time the governors have moved to the front of the lynch mobs.

“Muslim-blaming is a now expected reaction to any terrorism attack in the U.S. or abroad. Even though less than 2 percent of all terrorist attacks over the past five years have been “religiously motivated,” and only 6 percent of all terrorism attacks in the U.S. between 1980 and 2005 were committed by Muslims, a few events — 9/11, in particular — have spread a healthy dose of Islamophobia across the country over the past few decades.

“At the same time, the population of Muslims in the U.S. has grown to more than 2.6 million. Many of them arrived in North America hoping to escape the discrimination and hate already brewing in their home country, only to be met with rampant discrimination.”

Islamophobia greets them in their new homeland, whether they have been here for generations, or for a few years.

“Researchers are just beginning to explore the kind of toll that Islamophobia can take on the mental and physical health of Muslim-Americans — and it’s unsurprisingly harsh.

“Studies have shown that many Muslims not only experience religious discrimination in their daily lives, but are fully aware of their devalued position in society,” writes a group of Norwegian psychology professors in a 2012 study. Their own study found that perceived Islamophobia has a “distinct effect on Muslim minorities’ health and identification.”

“Of the few studies on Muslim health that exist, most identified that daily, repetitive harassment as the biggest factor contributing to long-term mental health issues in Muslim populations.”

The governors have allowed the murderous conduct of an organized terror organization to serve as an excuse to condemn all Muslims as a danger.

Bigotry is far reaching into the entrails of a land that has always harbored the disease of racial and religious bigotry.  It is now officially out in the open in the sickening images of governors fighting to join the mob.

Western Muslim communities are fast becoming the target of violent and racist threats.

“The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is investigating several threats against mosques as potential hate crimes, according to the advocacy group the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

“CAIR’s Florida chapter reported two separate calls to mosques in the state over the past several days that threaten to bomb or shoot up the places of worship. For instance, just hours after the attacks in France on Friday night, a mosque in St. Petersburg, Florida received a voicemail from a man who said he planned to shoot Muslims, including children.. . .

“In Orange County, Florida, a Muslim family found three bullet holes on the side of their home this weekend. According to the incident report, they told the police they suspect people are retaliating against them in the aftermath of the Paris attacks. Mahmoud Elmasri and his family were not home at the time because they were “out painting pictures of peace for the victims of the attacks in France,” the Orlando Sentinel reports.

“In Michigan, police have been investigating an individual who posted a threatening message to Muslims on Twitter after news broke that ISIS had claimed responsibility for the violence in France. “Dearborn, MI has the highest Muslim population in the United States. Let’s [expletive] that place up and send a message to ISIS. We’re coming,” the individual tweeted on Saturday night. Cops in Dearborn say the person is ‘no longer a threat’.

“CAIR says these threats ‘fit a pattern of increased hate-motivated crimes and bias incidents nationwide targeting persons and property associated, or perceived to be associated, with Islam and the American Muslim community’.

The Obama administration plans to admit 10,000 Syrian refugees this fiscal year, all of whom will undergo security screenings that typically take 18 to 24 months. 

President Obama has sharply criticized governors and citizens alike for this response to Syrians seeking safety in the U.S., saying it is ‘shameful’ to reject Muslim refugees and noting that Americans “don’t have religious tests to our compassion.”

In the picture above, Imam Suleimaan Hamed, the leader of the Atlanta Masjid of Al Islam mosque, walks through the mosque, in Atlanta. It is an AP photo by Branden Camp. The picture of Governor Jindal is a Getty photo by Joe Raedle. 


Posted in Middle East Politics, Obama, Religious Faith | 6 Comments

20 Years After The Dark Day Rabin Was Killed

mount herzl cem 11:6:95 APby James M. Wall

Twenty years ago, on November 4, 1995, an extremist Jew shot and killed Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Israel’s leader was buried two days later at Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl Cemetery. (AP picture)

Looking back on that dark day, Jewish scholar Avi Shlaim describes its significance: “Rabin’s crime was to conclude a peace agreement with the PLO, hitherto regarded as a terrorist organisation pure and simple. Few political assassinations in history achieved their aim as fully as this one”.

“The assassin’s aim”, Shlaim wrote in the Guardian, “was to derail the Oslo peace process and to halt the transfer of territory on the West Bank to the Palestinians. And this is what happened following the return to power of the rightwing Likud party”.

The killer, Amir Yigal, a law student and Jewish extremist, was tried and given a life sentence. He was 25 at the time of Rabin’s murder. Rabin was 73 when he died.

Shlaim, an Iraqi born British Israeli historian, is emeritus professor of International Relations at the University of Oxford.  Expanding his belief that “few political assassinations in history achieved their aim as fully as this one”, Shlaim wrote in The Guardian: “Rabin’s political legacy, in a nutshell, is that there is no purely military solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians”.

Rabin reached that conclusion after a long military and political career. Shlaim explains:

“When the first Palestinian intifada broke out in 1987, Rabin was defense minister in a national unity government led by the Likud. His initial order to the IDF was to “break the bones” of the demonstrators. Only gradually did it dawn on him that this was in essence a political conflict that could only be resolved by political means.”

After Labor won the 1992 election, Rabin became prime minister. He worked to achieve what became “the Oslo accord of September 13, 1993 and the hesitant handshake with Yasser Arafat on the lawn of the White House.”

The New Yorker called the assassination one of “history’s most effective political murders”.

“Two years earlier, Rabin, setting aside a lifetime of enmity, appeared on the White House lawn with Yasir Arafat, the leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization and a former terrorist, to agree to a framework for limited Palestinian self-rule in the occupied territories; the next year, somewhat less painfully, he returned to the White House, with Jordan’s King Hussein, to officially end a forty-six-year state of war.

“Within months of Rabin’s death, Benjamin Netanyahu was the new Prime Minister and the prospects for a wider-ranging peace in the Middle East, which had seemed in Rabin’s grasp, were dead, too. Twenty years later, Netanyahu is into his fourth term, and the kind of peace that Rabin envisaged seems more distant than ever.”

Looking back, it is now apparent that Rabin’s “hesitant handshake” launched an effort toward peace that demanded an Israeli leader like Rabin who truly wanted to achieve a lasting negotiated agreement.

Instead, Rabin’s assassination led to the rise of successive right-wing Israeli governments that want nothing less than to have their own modern empire from the sea to the river.

It is clear that on this 20th anniversary, the assassin of Rabin achieved his dark and destructive goal. 

The story of Rabin’s assassination is told in the book, Killing a King: The Assassination of Yitzhak Rabin and the Remaking of Israel (Norton), written by Journalist Dan Ephron.

Ephron’s book inevitably raises the question of what might have been. The New Yorker considers that question:

“At the time of his death, Rabin showed every intention of trying to forge a broader peace that would have included ceding most of the occupied territories to the Palestinians, and probably would have resulted in the establishment of an independent state.”

Twenty years later, Israel continues its occupation of the land and people of Palestine, while Palestinians refuse to yield to that occupation.

Israel also continues to reject Rabin’s counsel that “there is no purely military solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians”.

“How long, O Lord, how long.”

Posted in Israel, Middle East, Middle East Politics, Netanyahu, Rabin | 7 Comments

Israel’s False History Is Exposed, Then Embraced


by James M. Wall

MSNBC, the PEP (Progressive Except for Palestine) cable network, stumbled into the glaring light of truth on an October 15 broadcast.

In-house MSNBC guardians of Israel’s false narrative must have been on a coffee break when four maps (see above) were displayed, clearly demonstrating modern Israel’s theft of Palestine land between 1946 and the present.

Caught with their pants down, or to be a bit more delicate, caught in their unrelenting major theft of Palestinian land, not by some earnest blogger laboring in obscurity on the internet, but by MSNBC, a major cable television network, Israeli narrative protectors exploded into action with the bullying anger of operatives from George Orwell’s Ministry of Truth in his dystopian novel, 1984. 

Israel’s false historical narrative is rarely exposed in all its naked falseness under the bright lights of mainline media. The four maps shown above reveal the dramatic disappearance of Palestinian-owned land into the greedy clutches of the colonial invading power which claimed the name, Israel.

Alison Weir, veteran journalist and tireless worker against the false historical Israeli narrative, wrote a clarifying description of what is a familiar experience to anyone who dares question Israel’s manufactured version of history.

What Weir describes in her well-researched, and carefully documented story, demands full attention. (click here for the full story). Backed by the four maps above, Weir explains what happened in real time history.

Weir writes:

“Following an unusually honest report on Israel-Palestine, MSNBC Live backpedaled to Israeli talking points that were both illogical and uninformed. Let us look at what happened.

“During its Thursday, Oct. 15th news broadcast, MSNBC Live broadcast an accurate and revealing image of four maps entitled ‘Palestinian loss of land 1946 – present.’ Host Kate Snow commented that the maps showed ‘that the land where the Palestinians live has grown increasingly smaller.’

“NBC’s longtime correspondent for the area, Martin Fletcher, agreed, saying: ‘Absolutely, this is what it’s all about; it’s about the land. What this map shows you, and it’s pretty shocking when you present it in this way, what it clearly shows is that if there is no peace agreement between Palestinians and Israel, more of those green areas, more of that Palestinian land, will be eaten up by Jewish settlements.’

“There was an immediate onslaught against the show by Israelis and Israel partisans, including Israeli media and such pro-Israel organizations as “Honest Reporting” and Mediate.”

Weir continues her description of what Israel’s Ministry of Truth does not want exposed:

“The maps correctly depict, as the title makes clear, expropriation of Palestinian land.

“In the late 1800s, Arab Muslims and Christians lived on about 99 percent of the land of Palestine. The Jewish population, mostly Arab too, was a largely urban population and owned about 1 percent of the land.

“Over the coming decades, Jews mostly from Europe and the U.S. immigrated to Palestine in a political movement whose goal was to take over the land for an ethnically-exclusive state. (This movement, called political Zionism, was originally opposed by most Jewish people, including those living in Palestine.)

“There were intense efforts to acquire land by any means, and by 1946 Jewish ownership in Palestine was, at most, 8 percent of the land; most historians put it at about 5-6 percent. This 1946 land ownership is accurately depicted in the first map in the series.”

Colonial invaders always, without exception, rewrite history from their dominant perspective. For that history to survive, the rewritten version requires a subservient conquered population, and acquiescent outsiders who will fall in behind the newly-composed historical narrative.

Israel has attempted to follow that colonial playbook.  Unfortunately, from the modern state of Israel’s perspective, the Palestinian people are not subservient, while Israel’s desire to conquer “a land without a people” did not fit the colonial playbook.

The Palestinians Israel thought it could displace were already well established in modernity, well-educated and rooted to their land. Christian missionaries admittedly came to Palestine both to control, and to evangelize. In so doing, they established  schools, hospitals, and other modern institutions.

The colonial playbook has been a failure for Israel since 1946, most recently in the uprisings in Jerusalem, the topic of that October 15 discussion on MSNBC which prompted the display of those accurate maps of Israel’s theft of Palestinian land.

When MSNBC recanted under the predictable Israeli pressure, the respected Martin Fletcher read his recantation script.

Perfect example: A veteran of Middle East reporting, Fletcher still said, “The Jews and the Muslims both believe that God gave them the land. It’s that one piece of land for two peoples. That’s what the conflict’s been about for a very long time.”

After 40 years of reporting, Martin Fletcher has to know that “both believe” is a false statement. Many Jews do claim their modern state was given to them by God.  Muslims make no such claim.

Pause a moment to feel Fletcher’s pain, the pain of lying to his public because that is what Israel’s Ministry of Truth demands he do.

Defending its ongoing land grab, Israel has taught its loyalists that any adjustment to the false, new narrative, is strictly forbidden.

When the false narrative is exposed by facts, the first polite line of defense response is to not report and not show it; otherwise, “some people will find it offensive”.

An example of this polite line appeared in this minute compilation of different scenes taken from episode 10, season 3, which ran in 2002 in the long-running television series, West Wing. In this episode, the President of the United States discovers “some people will find it offensive”.

The Battle of the Maps will continue as long as Israel is determined to conquer all the land between the river and the sea.

Which is why we need writers like Alison Weir to remind the world that there are also “some people who do find it offensive” to displace an entire civilian population from its land.

Posted in Israel, Middle East, Middle East Politics, Palestinians | 8 Comments

Does Israel Need a New Law to Frisk and Search?


by James M. Wall

Israel tells Father America it will pass new laws to “frisk and search” all Palestinians. Why? As a “security measure” for Israeli citizens.

Israel knows as long as it couches all its sins in claims of victimhood, Father America will give Israel whatever Israel deems to be its pleasure.

“Security measures” are a cruel joke on a captive population. “Security measures” are mere window dressing by a so-called democracy where justice prevails only for Jewish citizens.

National Public Radio eagerly rushed to report the good news. “In an effort to curb a rash of deadly stabbings, the Israeli Cabinet authorized the police on Sunday to ‘stop and frisk’ individuals on the street, even if there is no indication they are armed”.

Photo by Ahmad Gharabli:AFP:Getty Images Damascus gate 10:18New laws to stop and frisk individuals? Which individuals? When did Israel need a law for its soldiers to act as they do in the photo above?

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan told the Jerusalem Post, “There is an urgent need to give the police authority to conduct body searches in order to better deal with knife terrorism.”

Gilad Erdan added this reassuring message: “This is another step I am promoting in a series of decisions to strengthen the police and its authority to increase personal security in the streets.”

Al Jazeera found a need for this “security measure” because of a “wave of violence in Israel, occupied East Jerusalem, and the occupied West Bank, that began in early October.”

Any alert middle school student with a computer and a click away from Google, could have reminded Security Minister Gilad Erdan that this current “wave of violence” did not begin in early October, 2015. This particular wave began one year earlier in October, 2014.

After the Israeli slaughter in Gaza in the summer of 2014, it was time for Israel to be the victim again. Home-made rockets were a poor sell to evoke sympathy for victims who had tanks, heavily-armed troops and F-15s.

It was too soon to “mow the grass” in Gaza. Time to stir the victim pot in Jerusalem.

Al Jazeera referenced the “tumultuous ” summer of 2014:

“On October 13, [2014] fresh clashes erupted when hundreds of Israeli police forces raided the al-Aqsa mosque compound and clashed with Palestinian worshippers. 

“Residents of East Jerusalem have fought almost nightly with Israeli security forces. . . . Adding to the tension, though, is a series of provocative moves, mostly by private organizations, aimed at increasing the number of Jewish settlers in East Jerusalem.

“The steps are piecemeal – building a new religious seminary, buying a few dozen homes from Palestinians. They will not significantly alter the city’s demographic balance: In the last two decades, the number of settlers has increased from 1,400 to around 2,600. But they have brought an influx of ideological settlers to the city.”

Who encouraged and condoned those “private organizations” to finance Jewish settlers in East Jerusalem? And what nation provides armed guards for groups of settlers who wish to visit their sacred sites?

In July, 2010, “a New York Times examination of public records in the United States and Israel identified at least 40 American groups that have collected more than $200 million in tax-deductible gifts for Jewish settlement in the West Bank and East Jerusalem over the last decade.”

Under the headline, Are American Donors Helping To Fuel Jerusalem Tensions With Settler Push?, Nathan Guttman writes in the Jewish Forwardthat the non-governmental group, Ateret Cohonim (“Crown of the Priests”), is a major player in the settlement movement.

Behind Ateret Cohonim, Guttman writes“stands scores of American Jewish donors who have for years supported it, and other like-minded organizations, with tens of millions of dollars in tax-deductible U.S. support.”

Ateret Cohonim’s mission statement “makes clear in no uncertain terms how it intends to spend its funds. ‘Purchase and redemption of property in Jerusalem; property management in Jerusalem and specifically in the Old City; providing security for Jewish residents of the Old City.’”

This specific and current “wave of violence” now sweeping through Jerusalem began in 2014, when agitated young Palestinians had good reason to assume Israel planned to “Judaize” the Noble Sanctuary.

Israel’s 2014 piecemeal steps and its support for new Jewish Jerusalem settlements were catalysts that inspired “waves of violence” in this summer and fall of 2015.

All of the crisis moments that strike Israel inevitably emerge from the actions of others. By Israeli standards, “we ain’t done nothing wrong”.

You believe that? Think back to that moment in the movie Bonnie and Clyde after Bonnie and Clyde escape from a small town where they stole money and food. An angry grocery clerk clings to the car. Clyde shoots and kills him. Later, he laments, “Why did he make me do that?”

Or maybe you prefer the victimhood of the man on trial for killing his parents. His plea at his sentencing? He begged for mercy because he was an orphan. 

In full denial of any wrong-doing, Israel has increased its support for groups of Jewish settlers headed to pray at what Jews call The Temple Mount, an ancient sacred spot, so Jews believe, buried deep beneath the Noble Sanctuary.

To protect settlers when they want to pray at what they call The Temple Mount, during prayer time, Israel rules the area off limits to Palestinian Muslims.

Israel’s deliberate provocation continues as Al Jazeera reported: “On Monday [July 27, 2015], chunks of rock still peppered the entrance to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third holiest site.”665003303001_2810533719001_201211248246311734-20

“Volunteers worked to remove shards of glass and metal, but parts of the crimson and gold carpet were charred by stun grenades hurled into the holy site by Israeli forces, who also fired rubber-coated metal bullets at Muslim worshippers.”

“Clashes broke out Sunday when soldiers cleared the way for Israelis, including a cabinet minister, to visit the Al-Aqsa compound on Tisha B’Av, a Jewish holiday marking the destruction of two Biblical temples.

“This has become a reoccurring scene, with ominous implications, which has ignited Palestinian fears of an Israeli takeover of the holy esplanade. Jews call the esplanade the Temple Mount and consider it their holiest site, and Muslims refer to it as the Noble Sanctuary or al-Haram al-Sharif.

“Approximately 30 Palestinians were injured and treated – most for tear gas inhalation, others for injuries sustained from beatings – according to the Islamic Waqf authorities, which administer the affairs of Al-Aqsa Mosque and other religious sites.

“At least three others were reportedly detained. In a statement, Israeli police said they stormed the compound because Palestinian protesters hurled stones at them.

“Masked Palestinians inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque threw rocks at police officers at the Mughrabi [Moroccan] Gate,” said Israeli police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld, adding that a number of police were wounded. “Our police units entered inside the Temple Mount area to deal with the disturbances and quickly took control of the situation.”

Less than a month later, Al Jazeera reported on September 12, 2015: “The Israeli security personnel used tear gas and stun grenades, as they entered the compound to arrest what they called Palestinian ‘stone throwers'”.

Omar Kiswani, the manager of Al-Aqsa Mosque, told Al Jazeera that 80 “Jewish settlers” protected by the Israeli police, attacked the mosque when confronted by Palestinian volunteer guards.

A statement issued by the Israeli police said that “masked protesters who were inside the mosque threw stones and fireworks at police”. A Muslim witness accused police of entering the mosque and causing damage, saying prayer mats were partially burned.

“Clashes later continued outside the mosque complex, with police firing tear gas and stun grenades. Israeli security forces closed the mosque’s compound to worshippers following the clashes that came just hours before the start of the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah.

“. . . . Micky Rosenfeld, a spokesman for Israeli police said, ‘Our police units took the situation under control in 20 to 25 minutes only using stun grenades, non-lethal weapons only to make sure that situation remained calm.”

“Mustafa Barghouti, the secretary-general of the Palestinian National Initiative, was blunt:

“‘The Israeli police are lying, they have lied before and they are lying again,’ he said.

“‘I think what happened today is an act of aggression on the part of the Israeli army,’ he said, adding that ‘right-wing Jewish settlers provoked Palestinians when they entered the mosque.’”

A reading/viewing American public which has its daily media orange juice laced with Israeli hasbara (propaganda) Kool Aid, finds it virtually impossible to grasp all this talk about sacred spaces and who has rights and who does not.

What, exactly, does drinking the Kool Aid mean in this context?

The term derives from an event on November 18, 1978, when Jim Jones and more than 900 members of his People’s Temple committed mass suicide in the jungle of Guyana. They all drank Kool Aid laced with poison because Jones, their charismatic religious leader, told them to.

Since then, the term “drinking the Kool Aid” has come to mean that a person “has given up personal integrity and has succumbed to the prevailing group-think that typifies policymaking today”-

Leave it to Phil Weiss to offer a way through this hasbara miasma of prevailing group-think. He provides antidotes for those Kool Aid-poisoned readers/viewers, exposing mainstream media (MSM) bias delivered to them by hasbara word masters.

The current term now operating in Jerusalem is “lone wolf attacks”, carried out, CNN, would have its listeners believe, with no provocation from Israelis.

On Friday, CNN interviewer Carol Costello badgered Palestinian-American Yousef Munayyer with a stream of hasbara-tainted questions. Munayyer listened, then calmly refuted Costello with facts.

Munayyer is experienced in dealing with such hostile pro-Israeli questioners. He is the executive director of the Washington-based U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.

Costello had received her “talking point memo”. She dutifully asked him about “lone wolf attacks” against Israelis. Munayyer was ready. He was determined to explain the causes of the violence “in a way that Americans should understand it”.

He nailed it. The CNN transcript captures Munayyer’s calm demeanor:

​ MUNAYYER:150929180429-munayyer-yousef-head-shot-medium-plus-169

​ “It would be like reducing the conversation around race riots in the United States simply to condemnations on attacks on store owners without talking about the systematic racism that exists that underlies all of this, causing this kind of political violence.”

​Costello wanted to know why these acts of violence are happening now:


​”​Well, you know, in your introduction to this​,​ you mentioned that seven Israelis have been killed since October 1st. I think it is also important to note that in the same period of time, 30 Palestinians have been killed, around 17 of them in the course of demonstrating against Israeli occupation. Some 1,300 and more have been injured by Israeli fire and 600 have been arrested.

These heavy-handed tactics Israel is using in response, unfortunately only reinforces the very reasons that Palestinian discontent exists. And that’s the inequality and violence, really systematic violence of the Israeli occupation which has persisted now in the occupied territories for nearly half a century.”

On October 14, the video below was released by over 60 leading Black and Palestinian artists and activists. Its purpose is to affirm Black-Palestinian solidarity. The video features Lauryn Hill, Danny Glover, DAM, Omar Barghouti, Alice Walker, Angela Davis, Yousef Erakat, Annemarie Jacir, Boots Riley, Dr. Cornel West, and many others.

Angela Davis testified as to the power of the project: “Mutual expressions of solidarity have helped to generate a vigorous political kinship linking black organizers, scholars, cultural workers and political prisoners in the U.S. with Palestinian activists, academics, political prisoners, and artists.”

Organizations working together on this project include The Dream Defenders, BYP 100, the DC Palestinian Film and Arts Festival, the Institute for Middle East Understanding, Jewish Voice for Peace, and the Arab Studies Institute-Quilting Point Productions.

The solidarity is found in the fact that race riots emerge from systemic racism while street violence emerges from angry, frustrated Palestinians who see no help on the way to release them from bondage to Israel.

Knives are no answer. Guns are no answer. Violence is no answer. Occupation is no answer. The answer is found in solidarity in love with those who keep fighting until we “let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream. (Amos 5:24).

The picture at top of soldiers detailing a Muslim woman is from Jerusalem. It is by Getty. The pictures of young Palestinians being frisked at Damascus Gate, October 18, is by Ahmad Gharabli, from AFP/Getty.

Note to new readers: By clicking on links embedded in highlighted lines and names above, you move immediately to the source of that information. After reading more there, click close and return to the posting. Think of it as a footnote in a book. 

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Dr. Who and The Look of Shame

by James M. WallDr. Who BBC

Missy (the Time Lady formerly known as The Master) asks Clara, “What is that look on the Doctor’s face?” Clara responds, “It is a look of shame.”

This exchange comes in this season’s opening episode of the BBC television series, Doctor Who. The Doctor’s look of shame is derived from something he did, or failed to do, years ago.

That look of shame is the appropriate metaphor for a formidable sea of faces. If you are a tax payer and a voter, a Doctor Who look of shame deserves to be on your drivers’ license, because our tax dollars fund Israel’s arms currently in use to kill protesting Palestinian stone throwers and knife wielders.

The look of shame also deserves to be on the faces of Israeli voters who continually choose political leaders who send their young men and women to kill, not just to deter, angry protesters whose stones and knives are no match for Israeli rifles.

The campaign on U.S. campuses to block efforts to tell the Palestinian story, is a display of shameful, craven and cowardly responses by academic leaders yielding to Zionist pressure. 

The full list of faces that should be shamed is too long to detail here. It must be added however, that those faces that cry out for shame are soothed and encouraged by U.S. religious leaders who prefer ignorance in the face of reality, and even refuse to endorse BDS, a peaceful Palestinian protest movement. 

Also enabling faces that should be shamed, are the U.S. media power brokers whose journalists “report” on the massacre of Palestinians with distorted reporting from Israeli hometown newspapers like the New York Times, which distorts events from Palestine and Israel to soothe readers and advertisers. 

One of many recent examples may be found in a Times story this week which began,

“​Despite an Israeli security crackdown that includes giving the police greater leeway to open fire and mobilizing 1,400 border police reserve officers, Israel is struggling to contain a spasm of violence. Palestinians carried out four attacks against Israelis in Jerusalem on Monday alone.. . .”

Buried deep in the story, the Times strains to pretend its pretentious media “balance” with this:

Al Haq, a Palestinian human rights group, noted that under global standards the use of firearms ‘is permissible as an absolute last resort’ against imminent threat of death or serious injury, and ‘only when other extreme measures are proven insufficient’.

“Sarit Michaeli of the Israeli human rights group B’tselem said, ‘On an immediate level, of course the police have an obligation to protect citizens. But they are expected to do so by using the minimum amount of force.’ If necessary, the police could aim to shoot suspects in the leg, she said’.”

National Public Radio (NPR), the “liberal” public news outlet, reported the deaths in Palestine, with what Philip Weiss describes as gaping holes of fact:

“Today National Public Radio did a piece on the latest violence in Israel and Palestine and referred again and again to events in occupied territory, but never provided that simple fact to readers. Host David Greene began by saying that the latest stabbing took place ‘just outside Jerusalem’s Old City.’

“Yes: it took place in occupied East Jerusalem, at the Damascus Gate. Palestinians who live there can’t even vote for the government that controls their lives.

“NPR’s correspondent Emily Harris reported that the stabbing ‘didn’t come out of nowhere. There are always tensions simmering at some level here, though it does go up and down.’ The ancient enmity idea.

Then she referred to the murderous arson attack in a ‘Palestinian village last summer.’ That July 31 attack was inside the occupied territories, and said to be perpetrated by Israeli colonists. She didn’t say so.

“Harris went on to talk about the dispute over access to the Holy Sanctuary, or Temple Mount, in occupied Jerusalem. Again, not a word about occupation, and religious zealots were made out to be ‘interested’ in equal rights, Jewish groups that are interested in ‘expanding Jewish rights on the Holy site.’

“Harris spoke of Israeli security forces’ efforts to ‘figure out how to respond to’ Palestinian attacks; again, not a word about their being occupiers.”

Meanwhile, describing his own Israeli society in a realistic way never found in any American mainline publication, Ha’aretz columnist Gideon Levy wrote, under the headline, Israel’s Lawless Death Penalty Without Trial Buoyed by Cheers of the Masses:Menahem Kahana:Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

“A spree of extrajudicial killings is sweeping over the land. It’s sickening, barbaric and lawless – and it is buoyed by the cheers of the masses, media incitement and the authorities’ encouragement.

“Now add to the wave of terror attacks the worst kind of damage – Israeli society is losing its image. This society has had savage periods before, but not like this one, in which every stabber or anyone who threatens with a knife, screwdriver or vegetable peeler is executed, even after he has thrown down his weapon, while the killer becomes a hero of the nation.

“Those who wanted the death penalty for terrorists are now receiving a more ignominious version – a death penalty without trial. Fourteen Palestinians have been killed this way in the past week, most of them would not be liable for a death sentence in a state of law. The blood lust, the likes of which is not remembered in these parts, wants more and more blood.”

On one occasion in recent U.S. history, attorney Joseph Welch abruptly ended a senate hearing involving Senator Joseph McCarthy, with a series of phrases from the shame family:

“The army hired Boston lawyer Joseph Welch to make its case. At a session on June 9, 1954, McCarthy charged that one of Welch’s attorneys had ties to a Communist organization. As an amazed television audience looked on, Welch responded with the immortal lines that ultimately ended McCarthy’s career:

“Until this moment, Senator, I think I never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness.” When McCarthy tried to continue his attack, Welch angrily interrupted, ‘Let us not assassinate this lad further, senator. You have done enough. Have you no sense of decency?'”

Israel’s 972 magazine site sums up Israel’s role in the current situation:

“Israelis tend to blame the violence on Palestinian ‘incitement.’ But Israeli society marched directly into the current crisis with eyes wide open, Noam Sheizaf writes, by electing politicians who have done everything in their power to maintain the occupation. Likewise, the ability to improve the situation and prevent the next round of violence is in Israel’s hands alone.

“Cellphone video has been playing an outsized role in the current violence. Shocking clips circulating on social media have shown Israeli police killing suspects in cold blood, and even undercover troops shooting a restrained Palestinian stone thrower at point blank range.”

In the face of this evidence from courageous Israeli journalists, where is our sense of decency? Where is our shame? Must we continue to be “Good Germans” who pretend we not know what is happening? 

Or do we stumble into the future, torn between competing narratives, one invented from biblical traditions, the other lived in current reality? 

The picture of Dr. Who is courtesy of BBC. The picture of the dead Palestinian boy lying on the street in the Pisgat Zeev section of East Jerusalem, is from Menahem Kahana/Agence France-Presse. It is a Getty Image. The boy’s body is surrounded by police officers who shot him. 

Posted in Middle East Politics, Television, Palestinians | 6 Comments

“It Is Very Heavy Here Right Now”

By James M. Wall2MaanImages:Abed al-Rahman Younis)

A personal friend of mine, a mother of three children, wrote from Jerusalem today:

“As I’m sure you are aware, the situation here is not good. I’ve wanted to write to all of you for two days now but have found myself very emotional and unable to properly express what is occurring here. Every morning we wake up to pictures and news of new deaths of young people. Innocent people.

“In the case of Fadi Aloon, murdered for being Palestinian and asking for help. Abed al-Rahman Shadi Obeidallah (above) was murdered at the age of 13. He was from the Aida refugee camp, where we just were, filming an uplifting video. Everywhere you drive there are remnants of the demonstrations from the night before, burned tires, stones, and communities in mourning.

“It is very heavy here right now. Everyone is waiting to see if this will turn into something even larger. The kids and I were caught in the middle of clashes with soldiers this week while returning home from school. It was a bit scary, with shooting and tear gas.”

Another friend from Chicago, AFSC peace activist Jennifer Bing, reports on a recent visit to the Israeli Ofer prison. Her report, Inside Israel’s Kangaroo Courts, Where Children are Held and Sentenced, is on the website AlterNet.

She writes:

“Israel’s Ofer military court provides a singular vantage point from which to observe the human impact of Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories. . .

“I knew the military court was not going to resemble a Law and Order courtroom or be like one of my visits to Chicago’s Cook County courtrooms, but as I saw Ofer’s barbed wire and concrete walls I knew I was stepping into the heart of the occupation.

This was where the state of Israel put children on trial after they were detained by heavily armed soldiers, and it was where Israeli military law allows potential maximum sentences up to 20 years for a charge of stone throwing. A new law enacted recently inside Israeli targets Palestinian youth in East Jerusalem and allows for similarly harsh penalties.”

Bing coordinates the advocacy campaign, Israeli Military Detention: No Way to Treat a Child. 

Jonathan Cook writes from Nazareth:

“Since a boy named David slew the giant Goliath with a slingshot, the stone has served as an enduring symbol of how the weak can defeat an oppressor.

“For the past month Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has tried to rewrite the Bible story by declaring war on what he terms Palestinian “terrorism by stones”.

“There are echoes of Yitzhak Rabin’s response nearly 30 years ago when, as defence minister, he ordered soldiers to “break bones” to stop a Palestinian uprising, often referred to as the “intifada of stones”, against the Israeli occupation.

“Terrified by the symbolism of women and children throwing stones at one of the world’s strongest armies, Rabin hoped broken arms would deprive Palestinians of the power to wield their lowly weapon.

“Now the West Bank and Jerusalem are on fire again, as Palestinian youths clash with the same oppressors. Reports suggest soldiers killed one Palestinian youth and injured more than 100 others on Sunday alone.”

The Palestinian news agency Ma’an, reports on injuries and deaths: 

“At least 39 Palestinians were injured in clashes with Israeli forces in the Ramallah area Tuesday, as tensions remained high across the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem following a spate of killings by Israeli forces and Palestinians.

“The Red Crescent said 25 Palestinians were injured in clashes at Qalandiya military checkpoint, including five with live fire and 10 with rubber-coated steel bullets.

“A 17-year-old Palestinian was shot in the stomach, reportedly with a 0.22 caliber bullet, and underwent surgery to remove a bullet from near his spine, medics said. A Palestinian woman was also critically injured in her neck.

“An Israeli border guard was reportedly injured when a stone was thrown at him.

“A large march had set off from the entrance of Qalandiya refugee camp towards the checkpoint, with youths throwing rocks, empty bottles, and Molotov cocktails at soldiers.

“Clashes also broke out near the Beit El settlement, with dozens of Palestinians injured by rubber-coated steel bullets and excessive tear gas inhalation. Israeli forces reportedly detained a child in a supermarket in northern el-Bireh during the clashes and searched an ambulance carrying the injured to hospitals.

“Earlier, Israeli forces shot and injured three Palestinians as fierce clashes broke out in Bethlehem following the funeral of a 13-year-old boy who was shot dead by Israeli forces the day before.”

An earlier story from Ma’an reported the 13-year-old boy’s death:

“A 13-year-old Palestinian boy was shot and killed by Israeli soldiers during clashes in Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem on Monday, Palestinian medics told Ma’an. Abed al-Rahman Shadi Obeidallah, was shot near the heart by Israeli forces during clashes in the refugee camp.He was taken in a civilian car to Beit Jala hospital where he immediately underwent surgery. However, doctors later pronounced him dead. The child was initially reported to be 12 years old, although medics later confirmed he was 13.”

Like many Israelis, Ha’aretz columnist Gideon Levy knew a third Intifada was inevitable:

“Intifada: The writing was on the wall. The writing has been on the wall because Israel’s conduct, in all its insufferable arrogance and imperviousness, cannot fail to lead to another terrible explosion.

“The West Bank has been quiescent for nearly 10 years, during which time Israel has consistently proven to the Palestinians that quiet will be met only with an intensification of the occupation, settlement expansion, more home demolitions and more mass arrests – including thousands of so-called administrative detainees who are incarcerated without trial, continuing confiscation of land, wholly useless incursions and arrests, and an itchy finger on the trigger resulting in dozens of needless human deaths and countless provocations inflaming Muslim sensibilities regarding al-Aqsa and the Temple Mount. Are Palestinians to assent to all of this in silence?

“To show restraint when the Dawabsheh family is burnt alive in Duma and no one is arrested or brought to trial by Israel, while Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon boasts that Israel knows who perpetrated that shocking crime but, to safeguard its intelligence network, will not arrest them?

“What people could maintain restraint in the face of such a sequence of events, with the entire might of the occupation in the background, without hope, without prospects, with no end in sight. No negotiations are underway, even in secret, the two-state solution is apparently permanently dead and Israel has no alternative to offer – and the Palestinians are to accept all of that and sit still? Nothing like that has ever happened anywhere, nor will it ever.

“While quiet has been sustained on the other side of the Wall for nearly 10 years, Israel has proven that there is no chance it will act as a partner for serious negotiations about the status of the West Bank, and that it has no intention of ending the occupation, with or without terrorism.

“A government that has the president of the United States wound around its little finger, incurring no punishment in return, has become drunk with power toward the Palestinians too. That’s what happens when the world permits Israel to run rampant in Gaza and the West Bank, inflating Israel’s arrogance and intoxication of power beyond all boundaries.”

What will stop this madness?

For an answer, start by looking in the mirror. Wherever you are, there are institutions, religious and secular, that are silent, media that are biased, and politicians who are indifferent to the suffering.

Wake them up before this “intoxication of power beyond all boundaries” dooms us all to permanent grief and sorrow. 

The picture at top is a Maan Image by Abed al-Rahman Younis.

Posted in Middle East Politics, Netanyahu, Palestinians, Israel | 5 Comments

Pope Francis Confronts Right Wing Media Vitriol

by James M. WallPOPE-hp-07-largeHorizontal375

American right-wing media commentators are trying desperately to gang up on the head of the Catholic Church.

A video compilation of some of the venom and hatred which greeted Pope Francis on his first ever Papal trip to the U.S. are a series of false and ignorant hatred rants.  

Pope Francis responded by turning the other cheek. Addressing the U.S. Congress Thursday morning, the Pope:

“challenged Congress and by extension the mightiest nation in history on Thursday to break out of its cycle of polarization and paralysis to finally use its power to heal the “open wounds” of a planet torn by hatred, greed, poverty and pollution.”

Anticipating the Pope’s tone of healing, right wing media fired salvo after salvo of venom at the leader of 1.2 billion Catholics before the Pope even spoke to Congress.

Put together by Media Matters for America, the right-wing clips directed at the Pope offer a series of examples of the racism, hatred and ignorance now pervading elements of our society.

Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman provides a more upbeat report on the Pope’s visit. (Click here to view Goodman’s program.)

She cites one segment of the Pope’s address to the U.S. Congress which highlighted the lives and works of four “great” Americans, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton.

“In these times when social concerns are so important, I cannot fail to mention the Servant of God Dorothy Day, who founded the Catholic Worker Movement,” the pope said. “Her social activism, her passion for justice and for the cause of the oppressed, were inspired by the gospel, her faith and the example of the saints.”

He went on to say, “A nation can be considered great when it defends liberty as Lincoln did, when it fosters a culture which enables people to “dream” of full rights for all their brothers and sisters, as Martin Luther King sought to do; when it strives for justice and the cause of the oppressed, as Dorothy Day did by her tireless work, the fruit of a faith which becomes dialogue and sows peace in the contemplative style of Thomas Merton.” 

Right-wing media failed in its effort to persuade a necessary number of members of Congress to kill President Obama’s historic Iran nuclear deal.

It will fail again to defeat a humble man wearing the mantle of religious power, quietly displaying that spiritual power in the halls of the U.S. Congress.

Right wing media commentators are no match for the Pope’s Four Horsemen of Lincoln, King, Day and Merton.  

The video clips compilation above is from Facebook. Thus far, the posting has reached over 8 million readers.

Posted in Religious Faith | 4 Comments

Israel’s Colonial Creep Has Echoes in Texas

Israeli riot police keep position at Jerusalem's al-Aqsa mosque compound during clashes with Palestinian demonstrators following Friday prayers on March 8, 2013. Palestinians enraged by reports that an Israeli policeman mishandled a Koran battled riot officers at Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque compound with stones and petrol bombs, police and witnesses said. Photo by Mahfouz Abu Turk

By James M. Wall

Israeli riot police are shown above “maintaining peace” at Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque compound. This picture was taken on March 8, 2013, during “clashes” between Palestinian defenders and Jews who claim they only want to pray on land sacred to them. 

These so-called religious clashes erupt when Israeli settlers provocatively arrive at the al-Aqsa compound, especially on Jewish holy days, protected by Israeli police.

The latest incursion of the compound came this week during Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year when repentance is the order of the day.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, speaking at his weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, blamed Palestinians for inciting “the recent uptick in violence on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem”. He called for “harsher measures” against stone throwers. 

Jordan’s King Abdullah reiterated his criticism of Israel’s response to the escalation in violence during a meeting with members of the Joint (Arab) List in Amman. The King asked, “What is Netanyahu trying to achieve with this action; is he trying to cause an explosion?”

The King promised to put the violence in Jerusalem on the agenda of the upcoming UN meeting.

The Palestinian news agency Ma’an went deeper when it reported on a recent paper by Nur Arafeh, a Policy Fellow of  Al Shabaka the Palestinian Policy Network, entitled  “In Jerusalem, ‘Religious War’ Is Used to Cloak Colonialism.”

Nur Arafeh (right) is also a consultant at the Ibrahim Abu-Lughod Institute of nur-e1438722686215International Studies at Birzeit University. The introduction to her paper warns:

“The escalating clashes between Israeli settlers and Jerusalemite Palestinians are the harbingers of a major eruption with incalculable consequences.

Immediately billed as a “religious war” by the media and Israeli right wingers, they are in fact the outcome of longstanding Israeli plans to Judaize the city and empty it of its Palestinian inhabitants.”

Nur Arafeh has recommendations to Palestinian leaders who, she feels, have failed to give adequate support to Palestinian Jerusalemites. “First and foremost”, she writes:

“Palestinians need proactive leadership that will propel the status of Jerusalem to the forefront of government commitment and to the heart of the national struggle as a matter of urgency. It is vital that Palestinians project a clear vision of Jerusalem to counter the prevailing Israeli vision. Information and communication are key tools to counter Israel’s re-writing of history and silencing of the Palestinian narrative.   

“In particular, Palestinian leadership should confront Israeli attempts to frame its colonial policies in religious terms and should remind the world that the core issues are those of occupation, dispossession, and land theft. It is imperative to challenge the power of the Israeli discourse by exposing its shameful record of oppression in Jerusalem and the rest of the occupied territory.”  (emphasis added).

Nur Arafeh ends her paper with this additional warning:

“Without concerted efforts by Palestinians with Arab and international support to uphold Palestinian rights in Jerusalem, the present small fires in the city could turn into a conflagration with permanent damage to Palestinian and Arab heritage in the city and to the Palestinian Jerusalemite presence in the city of their ancestors.”

A significant area of that heritage is the al-Aqsa mosque compound (also known as the al-Haram al-Sharif (holy sanctuary), which contains the al-Aqsa mosque, Islam’s third holiest site, and the Dome of the Rock, where, as Muslims believe, the Prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven.

From the Jewish religious perspective, the compound (known by Jews as the Temple Mount) is seen as a Jewish sacred site, derived from their belief that it was once the location of two ancient Jewish temples.

Acknowledging these conflicting sacred claims, the newly-victorious Israeli government chose to reach a so-called agreement with the newly-defeated Palestinians, by setting up a 1967 status quo understanding under which Jews were forbidden to pray at the al-Aqsa mosque compound.

Keeping the peace in the newly conquered West Bank at that particular moment in Israel’s ambitions in the region, was for Israel a politically sensible move.  They knew there would be time, as Israel’s power in the region was further consolidated, to eventually eliminate that particular status quo agreement.

Israel’s pragmatic choice was imposed on a newly conquered population. There are no “agreements” between the victor and the vanquished.

As a military occupying power facing no serious opposition from an occupied population,  and little interference from its chief sponsor, the American government, Israel has steadily expanded its initial colonial base to encompass the area of what Israel politicians are now openly calling Judea and Samaria.

I had my first “Judea and Samaria” moment during an early 1980s media trip to the region. I displayed my media badge and asked an Israeli official a question about the occupied West Bank.

His snide answer was both revealing and chilling.

“West Bank? I don’t know any West Bank, I do know of a Bank Leumi, but I don’t know of any West Bank.”

Many years after that encounter, Israel’s Bank Leumi is still doing a brisk corporate business. Ha’aretz recently reported, for example, that Bank Leumi had “agreed to pay $400 million to settle two separate investigations into whether it helped its American clients evade U.S. taxes”.

The actual occupied West Bank continues to suffer from the encroachment of Ultra Orthodox Jewish settlers who, aided and abetted by Israel’s secular conservative politicians, have steadily established settlements in “Judea and Samaria”.

What mindset would see “others” as these invasive Ultra Orthodox Jewish settlers see Muslims? Watch the U.S. Republican presidential nomination debates.

Or, check out this Texas mindset reported by The New York Times from Dallas, Texas:

17CLOCK2-master675“Ahmed Mohamed’s homemade alarm clock got him suspended from his suburban Dallas high school and detained and handcuffed by police officers on Monday after school officials accused him of making a fake bomb.”

National figures reacted in a different manner. 

“By Wednesday, Ahmed Mohamed’s clock earned him an invitation to the White House, support from Hillary Rodham Clinton and Mark Zuckerberg, and a moment of head-spinning attention as questions arose whether he had been targeted because of his name and his religion”.

Questions arose? There can be no questions. There can only be lamentations over the conduct of a Texas school system which functions from the same narrow vision as those Ultra Orthodox Jewish settlers living illegally in Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

Media Matters collected right-wing media responses to Ahmed Mohamed’s arrest and found expressions of caution in these “dangerous” times. Here is a sample from Fox News:

“On the September 18 edition of Fox News’ The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson, Fox contributor Mike Gallagher repeatedly compared Ahmed’s homemade clock to a bomb, and suggested that the student should have been more “forthcoming” when he was interrogated by the police.”

Meanwhile, back in Jerusalem, the Israeli settler narrative dutifully swallowed by the media, continues to describe the clash between the invading settler Ultra Orthodox Jews and the Palestinian defenders of al-Aqsa, as an inevitable age-old “religious conflict”.

On the contrary, this is not a “religious conflict”; it is a larcenous seizure of property by Israel’s right-wing government which delivers suffering to Palestinians who are deprived of their freedom and their land. 

As an example of the extremism of the Ultra Orthodox-driven settler movement, Nur Arafeh writes that “on July 27, 2014, extremists among these settlers posted on YouTube, the video below of what a group calling itself the Temple Institute describes as ‘a third temple replacing al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock’.” 

Replacing al-Aqsa with a third Temple would enflame the Islamic world.  Still, if history has taught us anything, it has warned us what happens when politicians gain power on fear instilled in their citizens, coupled with an ugly ignorance of the “other”.

This toxic combinations of fear and ignorance enables politicians to make stupid and disastrous decisions. Messing with the al-Aqsa compound could conceivably be an extreme example of one such decision.

Nur Arafeh’s paper concludes with policy recommendations for the PLO/PA, Palestinian academics and analysts, and the international solidarity movement. 

These policy recommendations to Palestinians are essential, to be sure, but there is also eye-opening wisdom for western readers in Nur Arafeh’s analysis.

Her analysis is a harsh reminder that controlling Palestinian land from the sea to the river has been the below the radar economic and military impetus behind Political Zionism since the late 1800s.

Israel’s creeping colonial movement is but the latest and darkest chapter of that Political Zionist enterprise, a narrowly focused desire to control the many for the benefit of the select few. 

Political Zionism is not a religious movement. It is rather, an heritical corruption of the spiritual power and beauty of the Jewish faith.

When you stop to think about it, Political Zionism operates very much like those Texans officials who love God on Sunday and arrest a Muslim boy during the week. 

The picture of the al-Asqa mosque compound “guarded” by Israel soldiers, was taken by Mahfouz Abu Turk. It is an APA image retrieved from https://al-shabaka.org/briefs/in-jerusalem-religious-war-is-used-to-cloak-colonialism/.jpg. The picture of Nur Arafeh is from the same source. The picture of Ahmed Mohamed is an AP photo from the Dallas Morning Times. The video of the teenagers is from YouTube, posted by The Temple Institute. 

Posted in Israel, Jewish faith and tradition, Judiasm, Media, Middle East, Middle East Politics, Palestinians, Politics in Religion | 2 Comments

A Fly in the Ointment of Colbert’s Opening Show

by James M. Wall

Colbert's Late ShowWhile awaiting the final congressional vote that will confirm that President Obama has defeated the Zionist juggernaut which spent millions to block the Iran Nuclear deal, we must pause to consider a major moment in entertainment television.

The entertainment news has to do with the CBS network arrival of Stephen Colbert, who last week succeeded David Letterman as host of The Late Show (11:30 EST).

Even there, alas, the Zionist juggernaut lurks. You will have to look closely to see it, but there was a fly in the ointment of the otherwise successful launch of the next chapter of Colbert’s career.

Supporters of the BDS movement were quick to identify the fly.

Pretending to hate having to allow Corporate America to interrupt his non-stop comedic attacks on the establishment, Colbert snuck in an ad promoting a dip delicacy called Sabra hummus.

Not content with stealing Palestinian land and locking up its people behind a misnamed “security wall”, Israelis have created Sabra hummus, a name that insults Arabs everywhere by linking “Sabra”, a name for native-born Israeli Jews, with “hummus”, a popular Arab dish that is a combination of chickpeas and tahini.

Plain and simple, hummus is an Arab dish, as this hummus website explains:

“The simple fact is that hummus is an authentic member of the Arab kitchen, and has been so for at least the past few generations – and maybe long before that.

“It’s also pretty clear that hummus first became popular in Israel in cities where there’s a large Palestinian population, such as Haifa, Jerusalem and Acre (Akko).”

When Colbert launched his new network show with an ad for Sabra hummus, it prompted even the New York Times to report:

“A comedic product placement for Sabra hummus near the start of Stephen Colbert’s first episode as host of “The Late Show” on Tuesday night earned him praise from marketing experts, but catcalls from supporters of a movement to boycott Israeli-owned companies.

“In a segment that simultaneously mocked paid endorsements and was one, Mr. Colbert explained to viewers that he had made a deal with a demonic amulet, which gave him the chance to host the show but required “certain regrettable compromises,” like endorsing Sabra-brand hummus” (emphasis added).

The Times, ever sensitive to its Liberal Zionist readers and advertisers, acknowledged that “While most of Mr. Colbert’s viewers were quite likely unaware of any political implications of the tongue-in-cheek endorsement, fans who support a Palestinian-led campaign to pressure Israel through boycotts, divestment and sanctions, or BDS, were dismayed by the gag.”

Sabra hummus is produced in the United States, but it drew a call for boycott from BDS backers because it is produced in a joint venture between the American corporate giant PepsiCo and the Strauss Group, an “Israeli food company that has provided financial support to the Israel Defense Forces’ elite Golani Brigade”.

In a piece written by Ron Friedman five years ago (December 14, 2010), the Jerusalem Post offered this earlier background on the BDS versus Strauss struggle:

“The Strauss Group, one of the country’s foremost food and beverage companies, has returned its website banner in support of the IDF after it was removed following pressure and boycott threats in the US.

Three weeks ago the Post reported that the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement in Philadelphia had initiated a campaign against Sabra and Tribe humous, produced by Strauss under its American logo, the Sabra Dipping Company, purportedly in protest of the company’s public support for the IDF. (note: “hummus” is the Arabic spelling; “humous” is preferred by the Post.)

The Post added that “BDS activists held demonstrations in supermarkets and called on them to stop selling Strauss’s products.”

To further explain the corporate squirming of Strauss, the 2010 Post story continued, “Until recently, the Petah Tikva-based Strauss Group affirmed its support for the IDF on its website under the banner of ‘Corporate Responsibility,’ with a statement that read:

‘Our connection with soldiers goes as far back as the country, and even further. We see a mission and need to continue to provide our soldiers with support, to enhance their quality of life and service conditions, and to sweeten their special moments. We have adopted the Golani reconnaissance platoon for over 30 years and provide them with an ongoing variety of food products for their training or missions, and provide personal care packages for each soldier that completes the path.”

“The Strauss Group dropped the statement from its website when the boycott campaign was launched, but has recently posted a new section with altered text.

“It now reads: “As part of its donations program, the Sales Division of Strauss Israel has made a contribution to the men and women who serve in the Golani Brigade.

“The funds are designated for welfare, cultural and educational activities, such as pocket money for underprivileged soldiers, sports and recreational equipment, care packages, and books and games for the soldiers’ club.”

The struggle over Sabra hummus, parallels a successful BDS campaign to call attention to the presence of a Sodastream plant in the West Bank which led to the plant’s move to Israel. The Guardian reported on September 2. Scarlett-Johansson--011-2

“For the BDS movement, SodaStream’s pullout from the West Bank was part of a domino effect that would see more companies sever interests to spare their bottom line.’This is a clear-cut BDS victory against an odiously complicit Israeli company,’ said Omar Barghouti, a co-founder of the movement.

“He said it would continue to target SodaStream because its new factory is located in an area where Israel has in the past proposed to resettle Bedouin Arabs. The company employs more than 300 Bedouins.

“SodaStream made headlines in 2014 when the actor Scarlett Johansson parted ways with the international charity Oxfam because of a dispute over her work as brand ambassador for the Tel Aviv-based company.”

An inference could be drawn, or perhaps it would be unfair to point out, but the fact of the matter remains, that this same Scarlett Johansson was a featured guest on Stephen Colbert’s second The Late Show program last week.

Nothing was said between them that suggested either Sodastream or Palestine. But Johansson on the program one night after the ad for Sabra hummus? 

We will be watching Stephen Colbert to see where his comedy takes him next.

The picture of Stephen Colbert is from his first program on CBS. The picture of Scarlett Johansson is from the Guardian. It was taken by Rex Rex/REX.

Posted in Advertising, Iran, Israel, Television | 12 Comments

Obama Defeats Netanyahu In Iran Accord Battle

by James M. Wallmondoweiss

Updated: Tuesday, September 8, 2015:

Benjamin Netanyahu’s AIPAC-controlled U.S. minions lost their battle to destroy President Obama’s nuclear accord with Iran and the P1-5 world powers.

A final, crucial vote was announced when Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-Md) became the 34th Democratic Senator to support the carefully constructed firewall needed to sustain a Barack Obama veto.

One day later, Senator Cory A. Booker (D-NJ) padded Obama’s veto-proof party vote with his support of the accord. With Mikulski and Booker on board, Obama now had 35 Senators who will vote to defeat a Republican-backed resolution of disapproval.

On Tuesday, September 8, the Los Angeles Times reported: 

“Three more Democratic senators announced their endorsement of the Iran nuclear pact [Tuesday], creating a 41-vote firewall of support, but it remains unclear if Democrats will use their numbers to filibuster and block a vote on a GOP-backed resolution of disapproval. 

Ron Wyden of Oregon, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Gary Peters of Michigan announced they will back the deal. President Obama has all but locked up support to sustain a veto of the disapproval resolution in both the House and Senate, but the Democratic senators now backing the president could deny opponents the 60-vote threshold needed to advance the measure to the White House.”

In his statement, which echoes other statements made with nervous glances toward AIPAC, Booker said, “Backing away from the nuclear pact at this point would leave the United States and its allies with few options to restrain Iran’s ambitions.”

One by one, as the days dwindled down to a precious few before a final vote in mid-September, Democratic Senators are stepping forward to endorse Obama’s decision to choose diplomacy over military action.

The White House worked with Senate and House Democratic leaders to orchestrate this drip-by-drip destruction of Netanyahu’s plan to control U.S. foreign policy.

The New York Times described a meeting between undecided Democratic Senators and senior diplomats from Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia. The meeting occurred before the Senate left for its August break.

The diplomats delivered a blunt message to the wavering Senators. The nuclear agreement with Iran was the best the Senate could expect.  Furthermore, the five world powers had no intention of returning to the negotiating table.

So much for the AIPAC demand for a “better deal”. The diplomats unanimously agreed in their meeting with the Senators, “this is as good a deal as you could get and we are moving ahead with it.”

Somewhere, President George Washington smiles in appreciation. In his final address in 1796, Washington uttered these prescient words:

“a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils.”

Washington continued: “Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without adequate inducement or justification”.

These are words for reflection by both Democrats and Republicans when the Congressional vote to reject the agreement reaches both chambers before September 17.

In the same week that Prime Minister Netanyahu lost his battle with Obama, Israel received a second serious blow to its already sagging world image. A video of an Israel soldier trying to arrest a 12-year-old Palestinian boy with a cast on his arm during a protest, went viral.

The boy resisted. His family rushed to free him from the soldier’s grip. One teenage girl pounded on the soldier. The soldier was rescued by another soldier who dragged him away.

When media reports swept across international social media, millions of viewers viewed the military occupation in action.  The viewers also saw how furiously Palestinians fight to protect their young.


The Jerusalem pro-government Times of Israel described what happened. 

“Their faces covered in bandanas, a group of adolescent Palestinian boys led the march from the West Bank Palestinian village of Nabi Saleh toward the neighboring Jewish settlement of Halamish. Behind them was a large crowd of villagers — some older and some younger — activists and members of the media. Some were waving Palestinian flags; some were holding gas masks; many had cameras.

Down the road, Israeli Defense Forces soldiers awaited them, as they do every Friday, in an effort to prevent the demonstration from reaching Halamish and the main road.

reutersThis routine protest against settlement construction in Nabi Saleh set the stage for an incident that was caught on video and made news headlines worldwide: Palestinian women and children preventing an IDF soldier from arresting 12-year-old Muhammad Tamimi, who was suspected of stone-throwing. The altercation left the soldier with light wounds, and Israel with a black eye on the world stage.”

An Haaretz editorial expressed its anger and frustration over a scene of an occupation soldier holding a 12-year-old Palestinian child in a chokehold.

“The scene from Nabi Saleh encapsulates all the insanity, injustice, stupidity, purposelessness and pointlessness of the occupation.”

And let the people say, Amen.

The picture of President Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is a Reuters picture from Mondoweiss. The video of the Nabi Saleh encounter is from the Arabic site, www. RoyaNews. The picture of the soldier holding the child appeared in Ha’aretz. It is by Reuters.

Posted in Middle East Politics, Middle East, Media, Obama, Netanyahu, Iran, Palestinians, Israel | 8 Comments