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Todays Lead NY Times Article on the Gaza Massacre Is a Model of Dishonesty


US Politics & Gov't  (tags: Gaza, 14 May, death toll, IDF, Israeli military, snipers, impunity, Non-violent demonstration, resistance, US embassy move, Israeli provocation, occupation, blockade, atrocities, U.S.media-coverage-world news-NYT, bias, truth and accountability, facts on the ground )

Fly
- 127 days ago - mondoweiss.net
Todays main New York Times article on Israels massacre of Gazan demonstrators the lead front-page story in the print edition is a masterpiece of deceit



   

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fly bird (26)
Tuesday May 15, 2018, 10:15 am
Today’s lead ‘NY Times’ article on the Gaza massacre is a model of dishonesty.
May 15, 2018

Today’s main New York Times article on Israel’s massacre of Gazan demonstrators — the lead front-page story in the print edition — is a masterpiece of deceit. The article, by David Halbfinger, employs the time tested tools of distortion, including classic Orientalism, dueling narratives, one-sided use of sources, and hiding the perpetrators behind passive sentences, topped off by outright dishonesty.

The distortion starts in the first sentence. “Across the Gaza Strip on Monday morning, loudspeakers on minarets urged Palestinians to rush the fence bordering Israel. . .” An Orientalist gem, insinuating that Gazan protesters are motivated by religious primitivism, instead of Israel’s crushing blockade and regular armed attacks.

“. . where they [the Gazans] were met by army snipers.” “Met” is hardly the appropriate word here, especially after another Times correspondent, Declan Walsh, has already described how far off Israeli snipers shot a woman in the stomach right in front of him on Sunday night.

“At least 58 were killed and thousands injured. . .” Passive voice; conceal the killers.

In paragraph 4, Halbfinger turns explicitly to dueling narratives. “For generations, both sides of the conflict have been locked in competing mutually negating narratives. . .” The implicit question: Who knows which side is right? This is post-modernism gone lethal, a view favored by Western liberals who sense something is terribly wrong but who are too cowardly to criticize Israel. Sometimes, one side of a dueling narrative is fundamentally true, and the other is a pack of lies.

Lower in the article are 4 short paragraphs reported from the standpoint of the Gazan demonstrators themselves.

But then immediately, a reverent respect for the Israeli military’s point of view. For 7 paragraphs, Halbfinger took dictation from the army’s mouthpiece, Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, who asserted that the Gazans were: “planting or hurling explosives”; flying flaming kites into Israel; trying to slip armed fighters into Israel to “wreak havoc”; launching an armed attack on the border fence; and firing “numerous shots” at Israeli soldiers — all of which amounted to an “unprecedented level of violence.”

Next, stenographer Halbfinger writes that “Israel responded with gunfire and tear gas, and Israeli jets struck five targets in a Hamas military training facility. . .” This is Orwellian. Lt. Col. Conricus makes up or grossly exaggerates Gazan actions, and Halbfinger then calls Israel’s vicious attacks a ‘response’ to things that never happened.

Conricus also alleges that “one Israeli soldier was wounded by shrapnel from what was believed to be an explosive device.” Halbfinger fails to report that if true, this would be the very first injury to any Israeli whatsoever, whether soldier or civilian, in nearly 7 weeks of protest during which Israel has killed 107 Palestinians and injured another 13,000.

You have to pause to see what is happening here. Israel has just committed the biggest single massacre since its 2014 invasion of Gaza. The Times has 3 correspondents in Gaza, including the aforementioned Walsh, Iyad Abuheweila and Ibrahim El-Mughrabi — all of them doubtless risking their lives to report from amid the mass killing, and their shorter secondary article in today’s Times is helpful. But the paper’s main report gives them 4 puny paragraphs and devotes twice as much space to unsubstantiated claims from the proven liars of the Israeli military. This is truly taking “dueling narratives” to ugly ends.

Halbfinger does not quote a single human rights group, not even the respected Israeli organization B’Tselem, which has implored Israel’s soldiers not to fire at the Gazan demonstrators. Palestinians are dying by the dozens and being grievously wounded by the hundreds — Medicines Sans Frontieres said sniper bullets are leaving exit wounds the size of a fist — but Halbfinger did not let the Palestinians speak.

David Halbfinger is a skilled reporter and he must know exactly how he is distorting what is really happening in Gaza. We suspect he is under tremendous pressure — from the Israeli government, from his editors, from some of his readers. Until the pressure to tell the truth increases, he (and his colleagues) will continue to whitewash.

http://mondoweiss.net/2018/05/article-massacre-dishonesty/
 

fly bird (26)
Tuesday May 15, 2018, 10:41 am
Why Palestine Matters.

International law, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and general historical background.

Palestine Through the Lens of Colonialism and Intersectionality.

An Intersectional Approach to Justice.

https://whypalestinematters.org/videos-for-chapters

https://whypalestinematters.org/
 

fly bird (26)
Tuesday May 15, 2018, 10:45 am
Nakba Day Tuesday. Commemorating Palestine’s “Catastrophe”.

Stephen Lendman
May 15, 2018

May 15 is the 70th Nakba Day, reflecting endless Palestinian suffering since 1948 – under a ruthless occupier since 1967.

A displaced Palestinian earlier shared his heart-rendering memories, saying:
“I cannot forget three horror-filled days in July of 1948. The pain sears my memory, and I cannot rid myself of it no matter how hard I try.”

“First, Israeli soldiers forced thousands of Palestinians from their homes near the Mediterranean coast, even though some families had lived in the same houses for centuries.”

“My family had been in the town of Lydda in Palestine at least 1,600 years. Then, without water, we stumbled into the hills and continued for three deadly days.”

“The Jewish soldiers followed, occasionally shooting over our heads to scare us and keep us moving. Terror filled my eleven-year-old mind as I wondered what would happen.”

“I remembered overhearing my father and his friends express alarm about recent massacres by Jewish terrorists. Would they kill us, too?”

“We did not know what to do, except to follow orders and stumble blindly up the rocky hills. I walked hand in hand with my grandfather, who carried our only remaining possessions-a small tin of sugar and some milk for my aunt’s two-year-old son, sick with typhoid.”

Survivors remember Deir Yassin. On April 9, 1948, Israeli soldiers entered the village violently -machine-gunned houses randomly, many inside slaughtered.

Image result for Deir Yassin

1948 Deir Yassin massacre (Source: IMEMC News)

Remaining villagers were rounded up and murdered in cold blood. Among them were children, infants, the elderly and women – first raped before killed. Around 120 Palestinians were massacred that day.

An eyewitness said
“I was (there) when the Jews attacked…(They) closed on the village amid exchanges of fire with us.”

“Once they entered the village, fighting became very heavy in the eastern side and later it spread to other parts, to the quarry, to the village center until it reached the western edge.”

“The Jews used all sorts of automatic weapons, tanks, missiles, cannons. They enter(ed) houses and kill(ed) women and children indiscriminately. The (village) youths…fought bravely.”

They were no match against brutality committed on them. Israeli high crimes continued from then to now.

Nakba survivors recall the horror of that time – Arabs shot in cold blood, women raped, other atrocities committed, hundreds of thousands displaced, hoping one day to return, they and descendants still waiting, enduring ruthless militarized occupation.

On Nakba day eve, the Global BDS movement for freedom, justice and equality in Occupied Palestine said the following:
On May 15, “Palestinians commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Nakba, or ‘Catastrophe,’ marking the systematic mass expulsion of indigenous Palestinians from their homes to establish a Jewish-majority state.”

“In Gaza, where most Palestinians are refugees, thousands will participate in Great Return March demonstrations, calling for the right of refugees to return to the lands from which they were forcibly expelled.”

“These demonstrations are expected to be the largest since they began over seven weeks ago.”

“Between 1947 and 1949, Zionist paramilitaries, and then the Israeli military, made 750,000 to one million indigenous Palestinians into refugees, massacred Palestinian civilians, and destroyed hundreds of Palestinian communities.”

“Israel used force to prevent Palestinian families from returning to their homes, and continues to deny Palestinian refugees their UN-sanctioned right of return.”

“A key Palestinian demand, prominently expressed by demonstrators in Gaza…is for a comprehensive military embargo on Israel, similar to the one that was imposed on apartheid South Africa to end its egregious violations of human rights.”

Gaza-based community organizer/BDS National Committee member Abdulrahman Abunahel said the following:

“For us Palestinians, the Nakba is not just a crime of the past. It’s ongoing. It has never ended.”

“My grandparents were violently expelled from their village in 1948 and forced to live as refugees in the Gaza Strip.”

“Their beautiful village, called Barbara, is only 10 miles away. I can almost see it, but I have no way to reach it.”

“The ongoing Nakba is why I’ve grown up as a refugee living under Israeli military rule. It’s why I live in what many of us call a suffocating, open-air prison crammed with two million people, denied my basic rights, including freedom of movement.”

“Israel will not even allow me to leave Gaza temporarily to receive important medical care. My hardships are not exceptional. Tens of Palestinians died last year, just waiting for Israel to grant them permits to seek life-saving medical care outside Gaza, and thousands couldn’t make their medical appointments.”

“The ongoing Nakba is why I participate in the Great Return March and support the BDS movement.”

“I simply want the right to live in the land where I am from, in freedom, in peace and with dignity. I was born a refugee. I do not want to die as one.”

BDS co-founder Omar Barghouti (image on the right) said the following:
“The Trump administration’s decision to open the US embassy in Jerusalem as Palestinians commemorate 70 painful years of displacement signals that it’s giving Israel freer reign than ever to try to push us out of our homeland.”

“The Trump-Netanyahu far-right alliance is wreaking havoc in Palestine and, by extension, the world.”

“In Jerusalem, Israel has long destroyed Palestinian homes, revoked the right of the indigenous Palestinians to live in their city, and encouraged illegal Israeli settlers to evict Palestinian families and openly steal their homes.”

“The Trump administration is now not just an enabler, but also a full partner in Israel’s accelerating ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in Jerusalem and beyond.”

“Still, I have hope in popular, creative Palestinian resistance, now invigorated by the Great Return March.”

“I have hope because growing numbers of people around the world are seeing the connection between our struggle for freedom, justice and equality, and their own justice struggles.”

“This is why they are increasingly supporting the Palestinian-led BDS movement.”

“This growing international alliance of progressive communities working to defeat the hateful agenda of the far-right is what gives me hope that we can, and shall, eventually end the ongoing Nakba, end the ongoing destruction of Palestinian life, and create a better world for all.”

Millions of Palestinians are prisoners in their historic homeland – held hostage by Israeli viciousness, besieged Gazans suffering most of all.

Bloody Nakba Day Tuesday almost surely will follow bloody Monday, the worst carnage in Gaza since Israel’s summer 2014 aggression – 59 dead, around 2,700 injured, the death toll sure to rise.

The number of Gazan deaths since March 30 Great March of Return Friday is around 105 and rising, many thousands wounded, hundreds seriously, countless numbers with disabling injuries – the world community doing nothing to relieve the suffering of the Palestinian people.

Being Muslim under oppressive Jewish occupation is a horrendous cross no one should have to bear.

A May 14 White House statement called the opening of Washington’s embassy in Jerusalem a “milestone” – an intolerable millstone for long-suffering Palestinians.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/nakba-day-tuesday-commemorating-palestines-catastrophe/
 

fly bird (26)
Tuesday May 15, 2018, 11:31 am
Events for May 15 2018

Window Rock: Nakba: Diné Solidarity with Great Return March
Across France: Protests against the Massacre in Gaza
Houston: Emergency Protest for Palestine
Cape Town: National Protest for the #GreatReturnMarch and Against Israeli Apartheid
Olympia: Commemoration of 70 Years of Nakba
Orlando: Stand in Solidarity with Palestine
Edinburgh: National Nakba Commemoration Scotland
Brussels and Throughout Belgium: Silent Circles to Remember the Nakba
Vancouver: Mark Nakba70 – End Canadian Complicity
Washington, DC: Nakba Teach-In at Schumer’s Office – Free Gaza, Free Palestine
Ankara: 70 Years of Nakba
Johannesburg: Palestine Picket at the US Consulate
Amsterdam: Remember the Nakba – Stand for the Right of Return
San Francisco: 70 Years of Palestinian Resistance and Resilience
Copenhagen: Nakba=Catastrophe
Chicago: Emergency Rally – Reject US Embassy Move & Israeli Massacres
Winnipeg: Al-Nakba 70 – Hope Lives in Remembrance
Tucson: Nakba Day Vigil
Boston: Remember and Resist – 70 Years of Ethnic Cleansing in Palestine
15 May, Odense: Commemoration of al-Nakba
Aalborg: We will never forget al-Nakba!
Washington DC: 70 Years too Long – Nakba Vigil and Storytelling
Oslo: Marking the Nakba, 70 Years of Exile
Helsinki: Protest 70 Years of Nakba
Gothenburg: Demonstration for Palestine
London: Gaza – Stop the Massacre, Emergency Protest
Buenos Aires: Stop the Genocide of the Palestinian People
Rome: Solidarity Demonstration for Palestine
Stockholm: 70 years of displacement – Rally for a Free Palestine
London: Nakba Candlelight Vigil 1948-2018
Athens: 70 Years of Nakba, the struggle continues until the liberation of Palestine
Berlin: 70 Years of Nakba – Solidarity Demonstration for Palestine
Adana: 70 Years of Nakba
Albertville: 70th Anniversary of the Nakba
Brussels: Stop the Gaza Massacre! Protest for Gaza
Dublin: Nakba Day Vigil – in Solidarity with the #GreatReturnMarch
Paris: Rally against the Massacre in Gaza
Calgary: Emergency protest for Gaza – Palestine
Sydney: Protest for Palestine – 70 Years of Nakba
Malmo: Film and Conversation – Al Nakba, 70 Years of Exile
Manchester: Solidarity with Student Prisoners! Resist political detention!
Montevideo: 70 Years of Al-Nakba, 70 Years of Resistance
Istanbul: 70 Years of Nakba
Edmonton: Emergency Rally for Gaza Palestine
Bologna: Enough with the Israeli crimes!
Sevilla: Nakba – 70 years of the occupation of Palestine
Santiago: 70 Years Resisting the Nakba – Manifestation for Palestine
Valladolid: Rally to commemorate Al-Nakba
Barcelona: 70 Years of Resistance in Palestine, 1948-2018

http://samidoun.net/events/2018-05-15/

Events for 16 May 2018

Paris: Rally against the Massacre in Gaza
Stains: Solidarity with the Palestinian People
Lille: Stop the Massacre in Gaza!
Toulouse: All to Capitole for Gaza and Jerusalem

http://samidoun.net/events/2018-05-16/

Events for 17 May 2018

Saint-Etienne: Rally in support of the Palestinian People

http://samidoun.net/events/2018-05-17/

Events for 18 May 2018

NYC: Nakba Day 2018 – Rally and March for 70 Years of Resistance
May 18 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Times Square, Times Square
New York, NY United States

Cleveland: Nakba70 – Gaza – Jerusalem
May 18 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Public Square, Public Square
Cleveland, OH United States

http://samidoun.net/events/2018-05-18/

http://samidoun.net/events/
 

fly bird (26)
Tuesday May 15, 2018, 11:55 am
Events for 19 May 2018

Bonn: 70 years of expulsion and occupation are enough!
Clermont-Farrand: Nakba – Gaza – BDS Demonstration
Montpellier: Stand with Gaza – Protest the Massacre
Florence: Protest to support Palestine and its resistance

http://samidoun.net/events/2018-05-19/
 

Evelyn B (61)
Tuesday May 15, 2018, 12:25 pm
Even worse, Israeli authorities have clearly indicated their intention to keep up the killing:

Israeli minister: ‘Palestinian killing not enough, restart leadership assassinations’

Israel officials double down on Palestinian killings as local news dominated by embassy opening
 

Colleen L (3)
Tuesday May 15, 2018, 9:34 pm
Despicable. Thanks Fly
 

fly bird (26)
Tuesday May 15, 2018, 11:48 pm
US, British lawmakers condemn Israel’s “horrific” massacre in Gaza.
15 May 2018

Members of the US Congress are making some of their strongest statements ever condemning Israel after its massacre of dozens of unarmed civilians in the occupied Gaza Strip on Monday.

This comes amid growing international disquiet over the bloodshed.

“I am deeply saddened by the horrific slaughter of at least 52 Palestinian protesters and injuries to thousands more by Israeli forces,” John Yarmuth, a Democratic House member from Kentucky, wrote on Facebook.

“No doubt this will spark claims that Israel has a right to defend itself – and it does. But this has nothing to do with defense,” Yarmuth added. “We are witnessing the use of unabated brutality and force against civilians to stifle civil unrest. America must expect and demand more from its close allies.”

Yarmuth went on to claim that the “disingenuousness” of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s assertion that the opening of the new US embassy in Jerusalem is part of a “pursuit of peace” is “exposed by the Israeli soldiers meeting expected protesters onsite with gunfire at close range.”

Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy issued a statement laying some blame on “both sides,” but made a rare call for Israel to be held to account.

“Shooting protesters, many of whom were reportedly unarmed or throwing rocks which did not justify such a disproportionate response, is deplorable,” Leahy said. “It should be thoroughly investigated and anyone responsible, including those who gave the orders, held accountable.”

Leahy urged that the State Department apply to Israel the US laws that prohibit aid or training to foreign military units found to be responsible for human rights violations.

Very few US lawmakers have spoken out at all since Israel’s first massacre of Great March of Return protesters on 30 March.

But those who are breaking the near silence are being more forthright than ever.

House member Betty McCollum wrote this week on Twitter that the opening of the embassy and the “killing of dozens of Gaza protesters advances Netanyahu’s agenda of occupation and oppression of Palestinians.”

The Minnesota Democrat has been an increasingly vocal supporter of Palestinian rights who last year introduced an unprecedented bill to bar the use of US military aid for Israel’s detention, abuse and torture of Palestinian children.

Danny Davis, a veteran of the civil rights struggle and a Democratic House member from Illinois, called the latest massacre in Gaza a “human rights catastrophe.”

“Fifty-two Palestinians killed, and Netanyahu describes it as a ‘glorious day,’” California Democrat Ro Khanna tweeted. “Even the staunchest supporters of Israel would be appalled by the moral obtuseness of that statement.”

And five more Democrats issued a joint statement expressing how they were “shocked and dismayed by the lethal force used by Israeli troops against mostly unarmed protesters.”

The lawmakers – Keith Ellison of Minnesota, Mark Pocan of Wisconsin, Pramila Jayapal of Washingon, Raul Grijalva of Arizona and Henry “Hank” Johnson of Georgia – also reiterate the statement four of them signed last month backing Israeli human rights groups that have urged soldiers stationed near the Gaza boundary to defy illegal orders to open fire on unarmed civilians.

Bernie Sanders decried the “staggering toll” to Palestinians from weeks of Israeli gunfire against civilians. “Hamas violence does not justify Israel firing on unarmed protesters,” the Vermont senator added in a Facebook post.

California Senator Dianne Feinstein called the death toll in Gaza “heartbreaking.”

“The humanitarian situation in Gaza is desperate,” the Democrat added. “Instead of cutting aid, the Trump administration must restore our leadership role and do what it can to alleviate the Palestinians’ suffering.”

Feinstein also criticized the embassy move, stating that it “should have been resolved as part of peace negotiations where both sides benefit, not just one side.”

Meanwhile, Israel’s propaganda is aggressively blaming Palestinians in Gaza for their own deaths, a message eagerly pushed by the Trump administration.

But even Israel’s staunchest supporters in Congress remain unwilling to publicly toe this line.

A search of congressional social media accounts on Monday turned up no statements of support for Israel’s violence, although a handful of lawmakers expressed delight at the moving of the US embassy to Jerusalem.

And this front page in New York’s Daily News suggests that traditional US media taboos on criticizing Israel may be crumbling – a possible Trump effect.

Ambassadors summoned.

On Tuesday, Ireland and Belgium summoned Israel’s ambassadors to express concern over the killings in Gaza and to call for an international inquiry.

This followed decisions by South Africa and Turkey to withdraw their envoys from Tel Aviv.

The Palestinian human rights group Al-Haq welcomed these steps as “significant diplomatic gestures [to] reaffirm states’ condemnation of the crimes committed by the Israeli occupying forces in the besieged Gaza Strip.”

But while these moves reflect slightly stronger rhetoric, there is still no indication of concrete measures to hold Israel accountable, through, say, sanctions or moves to prosecute war crimes.

Separately, Al-Haq wrote to EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini denouncing her statement calling for “proportionality” in Israel’s use of force – in other words justifying Israeli violence.

“Rather than emboldening Israel, the European Union must stand united in its renouncement of Israeli suppression of demonstrations and the unjustified killing and injury of Palestinians,” the letter states.

Al-Haq calls on the EU to sever its trade and military agreements with Israel that effectively reward and encourage its crimes.

Corbyn’s caution

In the UK, opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn described the slaughter in Gaza as “an outrage that demands not just international condemnation, but action to hold those responsible to account.”

He faulted the response from Western governments including the UK as “wholly inadequate.”

Corbyn urged the lifting of the blockade of Gaza and affirmed that “Labour is committed to reviewing UK arms sales to Israel while these violations continue.”

But that fell well short of Palestinian demands for an immediate two-way arms embargo on Israel.

Corbyn, a long-time campaigner for Palestinian rights, has been under constant assault from Israel lobby groups over bogus claims that anti-Semitism is rife in the Labour Party.

This campaign has been aimed at discrediting Corbyn and silencing, smearing and expelling from the party supporters of Palestinian rights.

Corbyn’s initial reaction to Israel’s 30 March killings of protesters in Gaza was notably lacking in any call for action – a sign that the assault by Israel lobby groups had forced him into a defensive crouch.

Meanwhile, one of the Israel lobby groups involved in the smear campaign against Corbyn, the Board of Deputies of British Jews, has continued to blatantly push Israel’s talking points blaming Palestinians for their own deaths:

Despite such propaganda, dozens of British lawmakers joined protests against the killings in Gaza or expressed their condemnation on social media:

https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/us-british-lawmakers-condemn-israels-horrific-massacre-gaza
 

fly bird (26)
Wednesday May 16, 2018, 2:39 am
U.S. Media Whitewashes Gaza Massacre
May 14, 2018

As Israel killed more than 50 Palestinians in cold blood protesting the American embassy move on Monday, U.S. corporate media failed to accurately report what happened in Gaza, once again meekly protecting the government line, argues Joe Lauria.

By Joe Lauria Special to Consortium News

Typical of the mindset of corporate media reporting on what happened in Gaza on Monday as Israeli soldiers killed more than 50 protesting Palestinians, is this tweet from CNN. It says: “Death toll rises to at least 52 people during clashes along the border fence between Israel and Gaza, Palestinian officials say. More than 2,400 people have been injured.” CNN’s new slogan is “#FactsFirst.”

Adam Johnson, who writes for the media watchdog Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, responded to CNN with a tweet of his own:

“This one’s got it all:
•‘death toll rises’ — no one was killed and no one specific party did the killing, the death toll just mysteriously ‘rises’
•‘clashes’ — launders all power asymmetry
•‘2,400 people have been injured’ — all 2,400 are Palestinian but lets go with ‘people’.”

Craig Murray, a former British ambassador to Uzbekistan, said on his blog that he did a Google News search for the word “massacre” and found not one reference to Gaza.

A New York Times headline on Monday said: “Dozens of Palestinians have died in protests as the U.S. prepares to open its Jerusalem Embassy.” Journalist Glenn Greenwald responded: “Most western media outlets have become quite skilled – through years of practice – at writing headlines and describing Israeli massacres using the passive tense so as to hide the culprit. But the all-time champion has long been, and remains, the New York Times.#HaveDied.”

[Perhaps because of pressure from Greenwald and others, the Times on Monday night changed its headline to “Israel Kills Dozens at Gaza Border as U.S. Embassy Opens in Jerusalem.”]

Yet another CNN headline simply read: “Dozens die in Gaza.” Journalist Max Blumenthal responded: “Maybe they were old. Perhaps they were very sick. They just up and died! Who will solve the mystery behind these deaths?”

Blumenthal later offered a possible solution to the mystery: “According to the White House, Khhamas launched 41 protesters into unsuspecting Israeli bullets.”

Projecting

Deflecting blame from Israel is one thing. But projecting it onto the victim is quite another. Israel’s UN Ambassador Danny Danon on Monday called for the U.N. Security Council to, “Condemn Hamas for their war crimes,” because “every casualty on the border is a direct victim of Hamas.”

He said in a statement released by Israel’s U.N. mission:

“Condemn Hamas for the war crimes they commit. Not only does Hamas incite tens of thousands of Palestinians to breach the border and hurt Israeli civilians, but Hamas also deliberately endangers Palestinian civilians. The murder of Israeli civilians or deaths of the people of Gaza – each one of them is a desirable outcome for Hamas. Every casualty on the border is a victim of Hamas’ war crimes, every death is a result of Hamas’ terror activity, and these casualties are solely Hamas’ responsibility.”

That’s one way to wash the Israeli government’s (blood-soaked) hands of the matter. Especially if you fear Israel will be accused of war crimes itself for its actions on Monday. Danon mentioned “breaching the border.” But it is virtually impossible to get in or out of Gaza without Israeli permission. Burning kites lofted over the barrier that pens in nearly two million Gazans subject to an internationally unrecognized economic blockade, supposedly constitutes “breaching,” in Danon’s mind.

He would do well to consider the words of Moshe Dayan, one of the Israel’s Founding Fathers, who said in 1956:

“What cause have we to complain about their fierce hatred to us? For eight years now, they sit in their refugee camps in Gaza, and before their eyes we turn into our homestead the land and villages in which they and their forefathers have lived.” He went on: “We are a generation of settlers, and without the steel helmet and gun barrel, we shall not be able to plant a tree or build a house. . . . Let us not be afraid to see the hatred that accompanies and consumes the lives of hundreds of thousands of Arabs who sit all around us and wait for the moment when their hands will be able to reach our blood.”

So on the day, 61 years later, when the United States declared Jerusalem/Al Quds as the capital of Israel by moving its embassy there, rather than leaving its status to negotiation, people still trapped in Gaza protested at the gate fencing them in while Israeli military snipers picked off more than 50 of them and wounded thousands more for protesting their entrapment.

U.S. Parrots Israel, Media Parrots U.S.

Danon’s position was callously promoted by the White House on Monday. Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah was asked several times to condemn Israel’s military response. “We believe Hamas is responsible for these tragic deaths,” he said. “Their rather cynical exploitation of the situation is what’s leading to these deaths and we want it stopped.” He later blamed Hamas for a “gruesome and unfortunate propaganda attempt.”

Unsurprisingly, Congress also lined up behind the Jewish State, mostly ignoring what went on in Gaza.

At the ceremony opening the embassy, Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, called Monday “a monumental day in United States-Israel relations.” Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, who was among four senators and 10 members of the House of Representatives present, incredulously said moving the embassy “furthers the chances of peace in the Middle East by demonstrating that America’s support for Israel is unconditional and will not be bullied by global media opinion.”

Back in Washington, Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, proclaimed: “Every nation should have the right to choose its capital. I sponsored legislation to do this two decades ago, and I applaud President Trump for doing it.”

Ajamu Baraka, the Green Party vice presidential candidate in 2016, tweeted: “Where are the democrats condemning the slaughter in Gaza? If this was Assad they would be joining the republicans calling for military action pretending like they cared for Arab life.”

Handful of Democrats Speak Out

Bernie Sanders of Vermont mildly criticized Israel’s murderous response. “Hamas violence does not justify Israel firing on unarmed protesters,” he said. “The United States must play an aggressive role in bringing Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Egypt and the international community together to address Gaza’s humanitarian crisis and stop this escalating violence.”

Senator Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat from California, was more critical: “It’s just heartbreaking. The humanitarian situation in Gaza is desperate. Instead of cutting aid, the Trump administration must restore our leadership role and do what it can to alleviate the Palestinians’ suffering. The location of the embassy is a final-status issue that should have been resolved as part of peace negotiations where both sides benefit, not just one side. Israel will only know true security when it is at peace with its neighbors.”

Representative Betty McCollum, a Democrat from Minnesota, tweeted: “Today’s @USEmbassyIsrael opening in Jerusalem & killing of dozens of Gaza protesters advances @netanyahu agenda of occupation & oppression of Palestinians. @realDonaldTrump policies are fueling conflict, abandoning diplomatic efforts to achieve peace.”

Pressure to support Israel on The Hill is infamously intense. But what is the media’s excuse for being afraid to simply report facts, such as that Israeli soldiers “killed” Palestinians on Monday. They didn’t just simply die.

Just because U.S. government figures are apologists for Israel, does not mean the media must be too. But that would require the U.S. having an independent mainstream media.

When control of powerful mainstream communications breeds self-aggrandizement and adherence to a line pushed for so long because it got you where you are in the pecking order of media culture, it seems virtually impossible to shift gears and take another look at what you are reporting.

https://consortiumnews.com/2018/05/14/u-s-media-whitewashes-gaza-massacre/
 

fly bird (26)
Wednesday May 16, 2018, 2:56 am
Ben Gurion ’48 letter barred return to Haifa.
27 May 2015

Over many decades, Israel’s self-serving deceptions about the Nakba in 1948 have been exposed for the lies Palestinians already knew them to be.

It was long accepted in the west that, as Israel claimed, Palestinians left their homes because they had been ordered to do so by neighbouring Arab leaders. The lie usefully distracted diplomats and scholars from the much more pertinent question of why Israel had refused to allow 750,000 Palestinian refugees to return to their homes after the war finished, as international law demanded.

The myth about the Arab leaders’ order, which had been steadily undermined by the work of the “new historians” of the late 1980s, was decisively punctured two years ago by an Israeli scholar who was given the wrong file by Israeli army archivists. It showed the story of the Arab leaders’ order was concocted by Israeli officials.

The same files should also have ended an equally diverting and lengthy debate about how many Palestinian villages Israel ethnically cleansed in 1948. Most Palestinian scholars were agreed it was well over 500; Israeli experts variously claimed it was between 300 and 400. Not that hundreds of ethnically cleansed villages was not bad enough, but Israel was happy to engage in a debate designed to make Palestinians look like inveterate exaggerators. Again, Israel’s archives confirmed the Palestinian account, with 530 villages razed.

Now another, related deception has been exposed. For decades Israel’s supporters have been arguing that Haifa, one of Palestine’s most important cities, was not ethnically cleansed of its population. The tens of thousands of Palestinians who fled under Israeli attack in April 1948 were later urged to return, according to Israel’s supporters, but they chose not to. Further proof, it seemed, that the Palestinians had only themselves to blame for losing their homeland. They chose to stay away.

Strangely, none of Israel’s propagandists ever seriously tried to suggest that the other 700,00 or so Palestinian refugees had been invited back home. It seemed as if the welcome supposedly extended in Haifa was reason enough for all Palestinians in exile to put aside their fears of Israel’s shoot-to-kill policy at its new borders and make the journey home.

But now a letter signed by David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister and the engineer of its ethnic cleansing policy in 1948, shows that, far from Haifa’s doors being thrown open, Ben Gurion ordered that the refugees be barred from returning.

Written on 2 June 1948, the letter was sent to Abba Khoushy, soon to become Haifa’s mayor. It states: “I hear that Mr. Marriot [Cyril Marriot, the British consul in Haifa] is working to return the Arabs to Haifa. I don’t know how it is his business, but until the war is over we don’t want a return of the enemy. And all institutions should act accordingly.”

Of course, that policy was not reversed after the war, as Ben Gurion hinted it might be. And one can wonder how much more specific his orders were to his army commanders if this was what he was telling civilian administrators.

The myth about Haifa was encouraged by Golda Meir, who wrote in her autobiography that Ben Gurion told her: “I want you to immediately go to Haifa and see to it that the Arabs who remain in Haifa are treated appropriately. I also want you to try and persuade the Arabs who are already on the beach to return home. You have to get it into their heads that they have nothing to fear.”

Meir added: “I went immediately. I sat on the beach there and begged them to return home… I pleaded with them until I was exhausted but it didn’t work.”

Heartbreaking – if only it were true.

How much longer must we wait to explode all the other myths associated with the Nakba, and much of Israel’s history ever since?

www.haaretz.com/news/features/.premium-1.658179

https://www.jonathan-cook.net/blog/2015-05-27/ben-gurion-48-letter-barred-return-to-haifa/
 

fly bird (26)
Wednesday May 16, 2018, 3:18 am
The West’s pampering of Israel will lead to the next Gaza massacre.
15 May 2018

The contrasting images coming out of Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories on Monday could not have been starker – or more disturbing.

Faced with protests at the perimeter fence in Gaza, Israeli snipers killed dozens of unarmed Palestinians and wounded more than 2,000 others, including children, women, journalists and paramedics, in a hail of live fire. Amnesty, the international human rights organisation, rightly called it a “horror show”.

Such horror is now so routine that TV anchors could only headline the news as the worst day of bloodshed in Gaza in four years, when Israel massacred civilians in its last major military assault.

Already gasping from the chokehold of Israel’s decade-long blockade of Gaza, local hospitals are now collapsing from the weight of casualties.

A few kilometres away, meanwhile, Israelis were partying.

So-called “liberal” Tel Aviv was busy “chicken dancing” with Netta, who had just won the Eurovision Song Contest and gave a free open-air performance to celebrate.

And in Jerusalem, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu was glad-handing a bevy of US officials, including Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and policy adviser. They were there to beam for the cameras as the US opened its embassy in the occupied city.

The move pre-empts negotiations over the city’s fate and sabotages Palestinian ambitions for East Jerusalem to become the capital of a future Palestinian state.

Netanyahu’s grin said it all. As he mouthed platitudes about “Middle Eastern peace”, he finally had Washington’s blessing for all of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. And next year Europe will give its implicit blessing too by hosting the Eurovision Song Contest there.

But amid the euphoria, a few Israeli commentators understood that politics is about more than power – it’s about imagery too. The champagne-quaffing in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem while Gaza drowned in blood left a profoundly sour taste in the mouth.

There was more than a whiff of hypocrisy too in statements about “defending borders” from a state that has refused to declare its borders since its creation exactly 70 years ago – as well as from a Netanyahu government currently trying to establish a Greater Israel over the Palestinian territories.

But the hypocrisy was not restricted to Israel and Washington, which parroted Mr Netanyahu’s talking points.

There was an ugly equivocation from other western leaders. They spoke of “regret”, “tragedy” and “concern at the loss of life”, as though an act of God had struck Gaza, not an order from Israeli commanders to quell the Palestinian urge for freedom with live ammunition.

Equally dishonest was talk of the “need for restraint from both sides” and “clashes”, as though the protesters had been tussling with Israeli soldiers in hand-to-hand combat rather than being coldly picked off through telescopic sights.

Israeli politicians and media have desperately searched for a moral justification for these executions. They have talked of “kite terrorism” and a supposed stone-throwing threat to soldiers positioned hundreds of yards away.

While thousands of Palestinians have been executed or maimed, how many Israelis have been harmed in the past six weeks of Gaza’s protests? Precisely none.

This is a strange kind of terror.

The reality is that tiny Gaza is becoming rapidly uninhabitable, as the United Nations has repeatedly warned. For more than a decade Israel has blockaded it from land, air and sea, while intermittently pummelling the enclave with missiles and military invasions.

A senior New York Times correspondent tweeted on Monday that Gaza’s Palestinians looked as though they had a “death wish”. But two million Palestinians – a population rapidly growing – are inmates in what is effectively a shrinking prison, whose store rooms are almost bare.

Tens of thousands of them have shown they are prepared to risk their lives not for some death cult but to win freedom, the most precious human impulse of all.

And they have preferred confrontational, non-violent resistance as a way to shame Israel and the world into recognising their plight.

And yet instead, Israel has stripped them of all agency by falsely claiming that they are pawns in a game by Hamas to pressure Israel.

But in so far as Hamas is trying to influence Israel, what is its aim?

Last week, a gloating Israeli media reported that Hamas was quietly appealing for a long-term truce with Israel, effectively renouncing the Palestinians’ right to violently resist Israel’s occupation.

It would not be the first time. But whereas once Hamas sought a truce in return for a two-state solution, now it is said to have requested simply an end to the blockade and a chance to rebuild Gaza.

Even this minimal concession is rejected by Israel. Instead an Israeli minister responded to Monday’s slaughter by proposing that Israel assassinate the Hamas leadership.

Israel may be without remorse, but are western leaders feeling shamed?

Apart from South Africa and Turkey, none has so far withdrawn an ambassador. There are no calls for embargos on sales of arms, no demands for war crimes investigations, no threats of trade sanctions.

And no plans, of course, for the kind of “humanitarian intervention” western governments have keenly promoted in other parts of the Middle East where civilians are under threat.

For seven decades, the west has pampered Israel at every turn. The lack of any meaningful punishment for violating Palestinian rights led directly to Monday’s massacre.

And the failure to inflict a price on Israel for this massacre – in fact, the reverse: visible rewards with a relocated US embassy and the chance to host the Eurovision Song Contest – will lead to the next massacre, and the one after.

Handwringing is not enough. It is time for anyone with a conscience to act.

https://www.jonathan-cook.net/2018-05-16/gaza-protests-israel-massacre/
 

fly bird (26)
Wednesday May 16, 2018, 11:34 am
The Failures Of Western Reporting in Gaza. (Please share.)
April 03, 2018
Daily Hampshire Gazette

If a Palestinian is killed by an Israeli soldier, the most appropriate thing to do is to call it a “clash.”

If you are a Western journalist and you have to report from Gaza, the best thing to do is to treat the Palestinians as a threat.

Their bodies are weapons, their existence is dangerous. If a Palestinian is killed by an Israeli soldier, the most appropriate thing to do is to call it a “clash.” Clashes take place when two armed forces confront each other.

Unarmed Palestinians are armed by the fact of their existence. If Israeli soldiers shoot to death 15 unarmed Palestinians, then the best way to tell that story is to say that “deadly clashes” took place in Gaza (“Deadly clashes in Gaza mark start of Palestinian campaign,” March 31).

If you are a Western journalist and you have to report from Gaza, don’t talk to any Palestinian officials. Talk only to the Israeli military and to the Israeli government. When the Israeli military says that the Palestinians began the “clash” with rocks and “burning tires,” repeat that as the origin for the Israeli use of tear gas and live fire.

Don’t bother to report what you have seen with your own eyes, or to watch videos on YouTube shot from both sides of the perimeter fence. No need to see that video of unarmed men kneeling down to prayer and then Israeli snipers picking them off one by one. Better to be a stenographer for the Israeli army than to be a journalist of the facts.

If you are a Western journalist and you have to report from Gaza, talk to a few Palestinians who say that they will never give up, that they “have nothing to lose.” Offer no context for these statements, nothing to make these statements of futility make sense. Or to appear sympathetic.

Don’t write about the permanent siege on Gaza – its land and sea borders closed by Israeli authorities. Don’t bother with the documentation from the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, based in Gaza City.

If you read their weekly reports, you will find that the Israeli navy repeatedly has been bombing the Gaza coastline over the past several weeks — including regular attacks on Palestinian fishing boats off al-Sudaniya. There you will find reports of Israeli warplanes striking the Beit Hanoun Services Club stadium in northern Gaza. You will find evidence that the Israeli soldiers have been repeatedly shooting at shepherds in the eastern part of Gaza Valley. Israel will not let international human rights agencies to enter Gaza. Israel does not want this context.

If you are a Western journalist and you have to report from Gaza, don’t ask the Palestinian political groups about the planned six weeks of unarmed protests at the perimeter fence. Don’t bother to report that this is a peaceful protest, something that liberals have often demanded of the Palestinians. Don’t bother to ask why the Palestinian leadership has urged people to be peaceful and why they have asked for this gathering at the fence.

Why mention that March 30 is the anniversary of the 1976 Land Day events in the Galilee, when Palestinians fought to defend their way of life in northern Israel?

Why mention that there is a politics at work here and not merely the instinct of an encaged people?

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2018/04/03/failures-western-reporting-gaza

( Seeing this post, it brought to mind how often I had seen the misuse of the word "clash', by some parties ... to distort facts on the ground, and mislead..)
 

fly bird (26)
Wednesday May 16, 2018, 11:46 am
No More U.S. Weapons to Israel.

Sign this petition to the U.S. government:

End the provision of free weapons to the government of Israel.

https://act.rootsaction.org/p/dia/action4/common/public/?action_KEY=13358
 

fly bird (26)
Wednesday May 16, 2018, 2:57 pm
Ethnic cleansing: British activists mark the Nakba in solidarity with Palestinian refugees .
May 15, 2018

In the late 1940s, Zionist paramilitary forces drove 700,000 Palestinians from their homes while establishing the state of Israel. A series of events will take place across Britain in the coming days to commemorate the anniversary.

The ethnic cleansing was exacerbated further in 1967, when Israeli soldiers occupied the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, displacing hundreds of thousands of Palestinians.

Human rights activists and pro-Palestine campaigners will hold a series of events in London, Ipswich, Bristol, Brighton, Birmingham and elsewhere to mark the brutal tragedy.

Commonly referred to as the Nakba (catastrophe), they warn the process of ethnic cleansing continues today.

READ MORE: 'Like spilled blood': 1st ever Gaza film festival rolls out red carpet among ruins

Sixty-six years later, an overwhelming majority of expelled Palestinian refugees have been unable to return to their villages. Instead, they have been forced to raise generations in refugee camps.

In excess of 5 million Palestinian refugees are battling for the simple right to return to their homes, a right Israel persists in denying them.

A further 1.6 million Palestinians face grueling discrimination in Israel and are forced to live under oppression as second class citizens. In excess of 50 Israeli laws have been implemented since 1948 that discriminate against indigenous Palestinians who managed to remain in their homes in the wake of the Nakba.

Almost two million Palestinians are living under a military siege in Gaza maintained by Israeli forces. Palestinians living under occupation in Gaza are denied a series of fundamental rights, including the freedom to move, access to clean water, food, medicine and electricity.

Over 1.7 million Palestinians also live under occupation in the West Bank, imprisoned by an Israeli wall critics and human rights advocates warn violates international law. In addition to this, Israel continues to annex Palestinian settlements in this region.

According to UK social justice group War on Want, almost 6,000 Palestinians are detained as “political prisoners” in Israeli jails and detention facilities, where torture is common. Many of these prisoners are detained in the absence of charges or a trial.

READ MORE: ICC prosecutor rejects Israel’s fears of bias in war crimes investigation

In the face of these struggles, Palestinians continue to fight for justice, calling upon grassroots campaigns worldwide to boycott Israeli goods and services until the Israeli government obeys international law.

Gazans are also highly vulnerable to military assaults conducted by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). In the summer of 2014, more than 2,000 Palestinian men, women and children lost their lives during Israel’s military bombardment of the coastal strip.

Events across the UK organized to commemorate the Nakba and the crisis of displaced Palestinians include a war memorial in Brighton and a Palestine Museum in Bristol. Both events, set to occur on Friday, have been organized by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC).

The campaign is also involved in organizing a special day of commemoration in Kensington Gardens, Central London and another on Upper Hanover Street in Sheffield on Saturday.

Since 2011, Israeli law has made commemorating the Nakba in public difficult for Palestinians and Israelis. The “Nakba Law” empowers Israel’s finance minister to retract funding from organizations that reject Israel as a “Jewish state” or mark Israel’s Independence Day by holding events relating to the tragedy.

Although this legislation is yet to be implemented, human rights groups and campaigners say it has been designed to intimidate Palestinians who view the founding of the state of Israel as a catastrophe.

https://www.rt.com/uk/258973-commemoration-nakba-events-britain/
 

fly bird (26)
Wednesday May 16, 2018, 6:21 pm
80+ INGOs demand accountability for Israel’s unlawful killing of demonstrators in Gaza strip.

AIDA, a network of more than 80 INGOs operating in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), on Tuesday condemned Israel’s unlawful killing of demonstrators at the border of the Gaza Strip on 14 May 2018. So far, 61 Palestinians have been killed, including one medic and eight children, and over 2,700 others have been injured, the majority by live ammunition fired at protesters by Israeli security forces, according to the Ministry of Health in Gaza. The casualties occurred in the context of protests near the fence with Israel.

“Israel’s continued use of lethal and excessive live-ammunition against protestors is not only deplorable, but also in sharp contravention of international law,” said William Bell, Head of Middle East Policy and Advocacy, Christian Aid.

Monday’s demonstration is a culmination of a sequence of protests organized since 30 March 2018 to mark 70 years since the expulsion of more than 750,000 Palestinians from their homes in 1948. More than 70 % of Gaza’s population are refugees, living under dire circumstances in the besieged Strip.

“The Gaza Strip is on the verge of a humanitarian disaster as a result of 11 years of blockade, which has crippled Gaza’s economy and increased aid dependency, with some 84 % dependent on humanitarian assistance, and an unemployment rate which stands at a staggering 45 %. Gaza is an open air prison for 2 million women, men, boys and girls, living under air, sea and land blockade. People are losing hope that the untenable situation they find themselves in will ever be resolved”, said Chris Eijkemans, Country Director for Oxfam in the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel.

Since 30 March, more than 100 Palestinians have been killed, and another 12,271 injured, including hundreds of children. In addition, medical personnel and facilities have also come under fire, resulting in the injury of 211 medical staff and damage sustained to 25 ambulances, according to WHO. Hospitals are at the brink of collapse, unable to deal with the vast number of injured as a result of a decade-long blockade and insufficient electricity and medical supplies and equipment. Due to the near impossibility of obtaining a medical referral for surgery outside of the Gaza Strip, 21 Palestinians injured during demonstrations have so far had limb amputations since 30 March.

According to international law, lethal fire may only be used in circumstances where threat to life is imminent. Israeli forces are obliged to exercise restraint and refrain from excessive use of force, and respect Palestinians’ right to life, health and freedom of assembly. Targeting medical personnel is a breach of IHL and is considered a War Crime under the Rome Statute. Preventing injured persons from accessing treatment is a violation of their right to health, and amounts to collective punishment.

AIDA called on third states to condemn Israel’s unlawful killings and to step up their pressure on Israel to immediately halt its practice of using live ammunition against unarmed demonstrators, which runs contrary to Israel’s obligations under international law, and to lift its unlawful blockade of the Gaza Strip. Echoing the words of UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, AIDA urges third states to demand independent and credible investigations into the incidents, and for those responsible to be held to account.

http://english.pnn.ps/2018/05/16/80-ingos-demand-accountability-for-israels-unlawful-killing-of-demonstrators-in-gaza-strip/
 

fly bird (26)
Wednesday May 16, 2018, 10:03 pm
Deconstructed with Mehdi Hasan

The Killing Fields of Gaza.

Israeli activists speak out on the occupation of Gaza.

https://theintercept.com/2018/04/30/israel-palestine-netanyahu-idf-gaza/
 

fly bird (26)
Thursday May 17, 2018, 8:49 am
Events for 17 May 2018

Pensacola: Pensacola Stands for Palestine!
May 17 @ 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Martin Luther King Jr Memorial Plaza, N Palafox St
Pensacola, FL United States

Regina: Emergency Rally for Gaza
May 17 @ 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
Victoria Park, Victoria Park
Regina, Canada

Milan: Protest for Palestine outside the RAI
May 17 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
RAI office, Corso Sempione
Milan, Italy

Siena: Rally in Solidarity with the Palestinian People
May 17 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Piazza del Duomo, Piazza del Duomo
Siena, Italy

Cologne: 70 Years of Nakba – Solidarity with the Palestinian people
May 17 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Hauptbahnhof – Köln, Hauptbahnhof
Cologne, Germany

Saint-Etienne: Rally in support of the Palestinian People
May 17 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Place d’Hotel de Ville, place d'Hotel de Ville
Saint-Etienne, France

http://samidoun.net/events/2018-05-17/


Events for 18 May 2018

Toronto: Emergency Action for Palestine at Chrystia Freeland’s Office
May 18 @ 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Chrystia Freeland’s Office, 344 Bloor St W
Toronto, Canada

Venice: Mobilization Against the Giro d’Italia
May 18 @ 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Via Brigata Aosta and Via Zateri, Via Brigata Aosta and Via Zateri
Nervesa della Battaglia, Italy

NYC: Nakba Day 2018 – Rally and March for 70 Years of Resistance
May 18 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Times Square, Times Square
New York, NY United States

Cleveland: Nakba70 – Gaza – Jerusalem
May 18 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Public Square, Public Square
Cleveland, OH United States

Chicago: Jan Schakowsky – Justice for Palestinian Protesters
May 18 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Jan Schakowsky’s Office, 5533 N Broadway St
Chicago, IL United States

Rome: Rally for Palestine at the US Embassy
May 18 @ 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Piazza Barberini, Piazza Barberini
Rome, Italy

Nottingham: Gaza – Stop the Massacre
May 18 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Brian Clough Statue, King Street
Nottingham, United Kingdom

Tampa: Emergency Rally to Reject US Embassy Move and Israeli Massacres
May 18 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
N 56th St and East Fowler Ave, N 56th St and East Fowler Ave
Temple Terrace, FL United States

http://samidoun.net/events/2018-05-17/

Events for 18 May 2018

NYC: Nakba Day 2018 – Rally and March for 70 Years of Resistance
May 18 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Times Square, Times Square
New York, NY United States

Cleveland: Nakba70 – Gaza – Jerusalem
May 18 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Public Square, Public Square
Cleveland, OH United States

http://samidoun.net/events/2018-05-18/

Events for 19 May 2018

Glasgow: End Israel’s Bloody Massacre in Gaza
May 19 @ 11:30 am - 1:00 pm
Buchanan Steps, Buchanan Steps
Glasgow, United Kingdom

London: End British Support for Israel! Solidarity with Gaza!
May 19 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Barclays Bank London, Tottenham Court Road 190
London, United Kingdom

Cardiff: Gaza – Stop the Massacre
May 19 @ 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm
Nye Bevan Statue, Queen Street
Cardiff, United Kingdom

Bonn: 70 years of expulsion and occupation are enough!
May 19 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Münsterplatz, Münsterplatz
Bonn, Germany

Clermont-Farrand: Nakba – Gaza – BDS Demonstration
May 19 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Place de Jaude, Place de Jaude
Clermont-Farrand, France

Montpellier: Stand with Gaza – Protest the Massacre
May 19 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Place de la Comedie, Place de la Comedie
Lyon, France

Florence: Protest to support Palestine and its resistance
May 19 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Piazza di San Marco, Piazza di San Marco
Florence, Italy

Hamburg: Freedom for Palestine – Stop the Massacre in Gaza!
May 19 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Hamburg Hauptbahnhof, Hachmannplatz
Hamburg, Germany

Milan: March in support of Palestinian Resistance
May 19 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Piazza San Babila, Piazza San Babila
Milan, Italy

http://samidoun.net/events/2018-05-19/

Events for 20 May 2018

Anaheim: Nakba 70 and the Great March of Return
May 20 @ 12:30 pm - 2:30 pm
611 S Brookhurst St, 611 S Brookhurst St
Anaheim, CA United States

Boston: Commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Nakba in Palestine
May 20 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
City School, 614 Columbia Road
Dorchester, MA United States

http://samidoun.net/events/2018-05-20/

http://samidoun.net/events/
 

fly bird (26)
Thursday May 17, 2018, 9:03 am
Why Do So Many Denounce Authoritarianism From Trump and Putin — but Not Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu?

We hear a great deal from liberals in the West these days about the rise of authoritarian and illiberal governments across the world: from Putin’s Russia to Orbán’s Hungary; from Trump’s America to Erdogan’s Turkey; from Modi’s India to Duterte’s Philippines.

We don’t hear so much about Netanyahu’s Israel — despite the fact that the country, as former Israeli Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben-Ami has conceded, “is succumbing to its deepest ethnocentric impulses” and is “now well on its way to joining the growing club of illiberal democracies, and it has Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to thank.”

Some might say “on its way” is an understatement. According to Hagai El-Ad, executive director of B’Tselem, the Israel Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, the Jewish state could be considered a founding member of that particular club because it has enjoyed a “significant head start” on the rest. For example, the practice of “describing the opposition and specifically human rights organizations as traitors, and then also calling for their criminal investigation … may sound familiar to listeners from various countries … in which authoritarian governments are on the rise,” he tells me on the latest episode of Deconstructed, “but, hey, Israel has been there way before.”

Consider the array of “anti-democratic” laws that have been passed by the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, over the past decade; laws which have had a chilling effect on freedom of speech and expression. In 2011, there was the “Boycott Law,” which made any Israeli individual or organization that calls for a boycott against Israel liable to be sued for damages. There was also the “Nakba Law,” which authorized the Israeli finance ministry to cut state funding from institutions that reject Israel’s character as a “Jewish” state or mark the country’s Independence Day as a “day of mourning.” In 2015, there was the “NGO Law,” which targets foreign-funded human rights organizations inside Israel and was described by Meretz politician Mossi Raz as a “semi-fascistic law that harms democracy and silences dissent in a way that is reminiscent of Putin’s Russia.” (Of 27 organizations threatened by this law, 25 of them are left-wing or human rights groups.)

Then there is Israeli public opinion, in which the shift to the authoritarian and racist right has been remarkable in recent decades. According to polling by Pew, nearly half (48 percent) of Israeli Jews now support expelling Arabs from Israel, while the vast majority of them (79 percent) believe that they are entitled to deserve “preferential treatment” over non-Jewish minorities in Israel.

On Deconstructed, I also spoke to Avner Gvaryahu, a former paratrooper in the Israel Defense Forces who now serves as executive director of Breaking the Silence, an Israeli NGO that is “particularly reviled among right-wing Israelis” because it collects anonymous testimonies from Israeli army veterans about abuses they either committed or witnessed during their service in the Occupied Territories. According to Gvaryahu, the Israeli right has created “a toxic environment that I think will backlash in the future, but at this point, it’s pretty much destroying what’s left of the liberal values in our country.”

For making such provocative claims and exposing possible war crimes perpetrated by the IDF in the Occupied Territories, Gvaryahu, El-Ad, and their fellow human rights activists in Israel have not only been targeted by anti-democratic laws, but they have also been subjected to verbal abuse, harassment, and death threats. Senior members of the Israeli government have piled in, too. You think Donald Trump calling CNN “fake news” is bad? Netanyahu has attacked Breaking the Silence for spreading “lies and slanders [against] our soldiers around the world.” Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman has accused members of B’Tselem and Breaking the Silence of being “complete traitors” who are funded by “those same foundations that fund Hamas.”

I asked Gvaryahu how he reacts to such vicious and personal attacks from the most senior officials in his country. “We sort of joke about this … amongst the members of Breaking the Silence: At what point did we become traitors? Was it … the first time we read a left-wing blogger as soldiers? Was it when we read … some book when we were guarding [Palestinian prisoners] that this idea popped into our head, and we started questioning what we’re doing — were we traitors then as well? When we shared our experiences coming back home, speaking to some of our family members — were we traitors then? Or did we only become traitors once we … [began] breaking our silence publicly?”

In recent weeks, IDF snipers have come under heavy criticism for shooting and killing dozens of unarmed Palestinian protesters, including children and journalists, at the border with Gaza. For Gvaryahu, “the truth of the matter is that there are soldiers who are probably on the border now who will be part of Breaking the Silence in the future. Are they already traitorous at this point?”

El-Ad says he is isn’t surprised by the hostile rhetoric. “For 50 years, we’ve been defining any Palestinian opposition to the occupation as incitement. Then why wouldn’t we start defining Israeli opposition to the occupation as incitement and gradually closing the gap between the two sides of the Green Line — but in the wrong direction?”

With El-Ad, Gvaryahu, and their organizations under constant attack from right-wing Israeli officials and news outlets, isn’t it shameful that leading liberals in the West aren’t speaking out in loud support of them? That they are so keen to denounce the illiberal and authoritarian behaviors of Trump or Vladimir Putin, but so willing to give Netanyahu a pass?

This current Israeli government — the most right-wing, anti-peace government in living memory — is bent on demonizing and delegitimizing its domestic critics, especially human rights activists and civil society groups. Freedom of speech and expression be damned!

Why? Because Jewish criticism of the Jewish state has always been harder to dismiss or ignore. Whether it was Albert Einstein and Hannah Arendt in the 1940s … or Natalie Portman earlier this month. The Israeli-American actress provoked uproar in Israel after refusing to attend an awards ceremony in Tel Aviv because she said she “did not want to appear as endorsing Benjamin Netanyahu” and objected to the “mistreatment of those suffering from today’s atrocities” in Israel. And what was the response from the Israeli government? Cabinet Minister Yuval Steinitz claimed Portman’s boycott “bordered on anti-Semitism.”

Anyone who speaks out against the Israeli government’s repressive behavior, both inside and across the Green Line, must be silenced. That is now the authoritarian and ultranationalistic mentality that dominates not just inside the Netanyahu cabinet, but in the Knesset, too. Earlier this year, Israeli legislators gave initial approval to an amendment allowing the education ministry to ban organizations critical of the IDF from entering schools. Members of the Knesset explicitly singled out Breaking the Silence while debating the amendment.

Gvaryahu believes such a sweeping and draconian measure would be difficult to defend in the courts. “But more interestingly,” he tells me, “is even though this has been in discussion and there is pushback on schools that invite us, we’re still invited. We had this pretty amazing experience a few months ago where high school students invited us, and their principals were actually scared from the pushback. And they decided to cancel.”

Nevertheless, the Breaking the Silence boss continues, “the students themselves said, ‘You know what? We’re going to meet them in our own time, in our own home’ — 17-, 18-year-olds! Like, how do you motivate 17-, 18-year-olds in this time and age to do anything? And they, on their own time, out of school, said, ‘We’ll invite you.’”

Gvaryahu, therefore, says he is an optimist and has no plans to give up his campaign against Israel’s illegal occupation or human rights abuses anytime soon — no matter how much pressure is applied from above, and no matter how little support he gets from liberals in the West. The former soldier believes that he and his fellow activists can continue “breaking the silence” in front of more and more Israelis, especially younger ones. “They’re closing a door,” he tells me, “we’re going in through the window.”

Deconstructed with Mehdi Hasan

The Killing Fields of Gaza.

Israeli activists speak out on the occupation of Gaza.

https://theintercept.com/2018/04/30/israel-palestine-netanyahu-idf-gaza/
 

fly bird (26)
Friday May 18, 2018, 7:21 pm
‘Killing Gaza’: A New Documentary on Palestinians Under Siege. 23:15
May 18, 2018

In their new film “Killing Gaza,” journalists Dan Cohen and Max Blumenthal capture the harrowing stories of Palestinians who survived the 2014 Israeli assault, and their struggles to recover and persist under a crippling blockade. Watch video.

https://therealnews.com/stories/killing-gaza-a-new-documentary-on-palestinians-under-siege

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5VwKdNGkvl4

http://www.care2.com/news/member/124335883/4104387
 

fly bird (26)
Monday May 21, 2018, 6:00 pm
The Day of Shame.
by Uri Avnery

May 21, 2018

On Bloody Monday, when the number of Palestinian killed and wounded was rising by the hour, I asked myself: what would I have done if I had been a youngster of 15 in the Gaza Strip?

My answer was, without hesitation: I would have stood near the border fence and demonstrated, risking my life and limbs every minute.

How am I so sure?

Simple: I did the same when I was 15.

I was a member of the National Military Organization (the “Irgun”), an armed underground group labeled “terrorist”.

Palestine was at the time under British occupation (called “mandate”). In May 1939, the British enacted a law limiting the right of Jews to acquire land. I received an order to be at a certain time at a certain spot near the sea shore of Tel Aviv in order to take part in a demonstration. I was to wait for a trumpet signal.

The trumpet sounded and we started the march down Allenby Road, then the city’s main street. Near the main synagogue, somebody climbed the stairs and delivered an inflammatory speech. Then we marched on, to the end of the street, where the offices of the British administration were located. There we sang the national anthem, “Hatikvah”, while some adult members set fire to the offices.

Suddenly several lorries carrying British soldiers screeched to a halt, and a salvo of shots rang out. The British fired over our heads, and we ran away.

Remembering this event 79 years later, it crossed my mind that the boys of Gaza are greater heroes then we were then. They did not run away. They stood their ground for hours, while the death toll rose to 61 and the number of those wounded by live ammunition to some 1500, in addition to 1000 affected by gas.

On that day, most TV stations in Israel and abroad split their screen. On the right, the events in Gaza. On the left, the inauguration of the US Embassy in Jerusalem.

In the 136th year of the Zionist-Palestinian war, that split screen is the picture of reality: the celebration in Jerusalem and the bloodbath in Gaza. Not on two different planets, not in two different continents, but hardly an hour’s drive apart.

The celebration in Jerusalem started as a silly event. A bunch of suited males, inflated with self-importance, celebrating – what, exactly? The symbolic movement of an office from one town to another.

Jerusalem is a major bone of contention. Everybody knows that there will be no peace, not now, not ever, without a compromise there. For every Palestinian, every Arab, every Muslim throughout the world, it is unthinkable to give up Jerusalem. It is from there, according to Muslim tradition, that the Prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven, after tying his horse to the rock that is now the center of the holy places. After Mecca and Medina, Jerusalem is the third holiest place of Islam.

For the Jews, of course, Jerusalem means the place where, some 2000 years ago, there stood the temple built by King Herod, a cruel half-Jew. A remnant of an outer wall still stands there and is revered as the “Western Wall”. It used to be called the “Wailing Wall”, and is the holiest place of the Jews.

Statesmen have tried to square the circle and find a solution. The 1947 United Nations committee that decreed the partition of Palestine into an Arab and a Jewish state – a solution enthusiastically endorsed by the Jewish leadership – suggested separating Jerusalem from both states and constituting it as a separate unit within what was supposed to be in fact a kind of confederation.

The war of 1948 resulted in a divided city, the Eastern part was occupied by the Arab side (the Kingdom of Jordan) and the Western part became the capital of Israel. (My modest part was to fight in the battle for the road.)

No one liked the division of the city. So my friends and I devised a third solution, which by now has become a world consensus: keep the city united on the municipal level and divide it politically: the West as capital of the State of Israel, the East as capital of the State of Palestine. The leader of the local Palestinians, Faisal al-Husseini, the scion of a most distinguished local Palestinian family and the son of a national hero who was killed not far from my position in the same battle, endorsed this formula publicly. Yasser Arafat gave me his tacit consent.

If President Donald Trump had declared West Jerusalem the capital of Israel and moved his embassy there, almost nobody would have got excited. By omitting the word “West”, Trump ignited a fire. Perhaps without realizing what he was doing, and probably not giving a damn.

For me, the moving of the US embassy means nothing. It is a symbolic act that does not change reality. If and when peace does come, no one will care about some stupid act of a half-forgotten US president. Inshallah.

So there they were, this bunch of self-important nobodies, Israelis, Americans and those in-between, having their little festival, while rivers of blood were flowing in Gaza. Human beings were killed by the dozen and wounded by the thousand.

The ceremony started as a cynical meeting, which quickly became grotesque, and ended in being sinister. Nero fiddling while Rome was burning.

When the last hug was exchanged and the last compliment paid (especially to the graceful Ivanka), Gaza remained what it was – a huge concentration camp with severely overcrowded hospitals, lacking medicines and food, drinkable water and electricity.

A ridiculous world-wide propaganda campaign was let loose to counter the world-wide condemnation. For example: the story that the terrorist Hamas had compelled the Gazans to go and demonstrate – as if anyone could be compelled to risk their life in a demonstration.

Or: the story that Hamas paid every demonstrator 50 dollars. Would you risk your life for 50 dollars? Would anybody?

Or: The soldiers had no choice but to kill them, because they were storming the border fence. Actually, no one did so – the huge concentration of Israeli army brigades would have easily prevented it without shooting.

Almost forgotten was a small news item from the days before: Hamas had discreetly offered a Hudna for ten years. A Hudna is a sacred armistice, never to be broken. The Crusaders, our remote predecessors, had many Hudnas with their Arab enemies during their 200-year stay here.

Israeli leaders immediately rejected the offer.

So why were the soldiers ordered to kill? It is the same logic that has animated countless occupation regimes throughout history: make the “natives” so afraid that they will give up. Alas, the results have almost always been the very opposite: the oppressed have become more hardened, more resolute. This is happening now.

Bloody Monday may well be seen in future as the day when the Palestinians regained their national pride, their will to stand up and fight for their independence.

Strangely, the next day – the main day of the planned protest, Naqba Day – only two demonstrators were killed. Israeli diplomats abroad, facing world-wide indignation, had probably sent home SOS messages. Clearly the Israeli army had changed its orders. Non-lethal means were used and sufficed.

My conscience does not allow me to conclude this without some self-criticism.

I would have expected that all of Israel’s renowned writers would publish a thundering joint condemnation while the shooting was still going on. It did not happen.

The political “opposition” was contemptible. No word from the Labor party. No word from Ya’ir Lapid. The new leader of the Meretz party, Esther Sandberg, did at least boycott the Jerusalem celebration. Labor and Lapid did not even do that.

I would have expected that the dozens of our brave peace organizations would unite in a dramatic act of condemnation, an act that would arouse the world. It did not happen. Perhaps they were in a state of shock.

The next day, the excellent boys and girls of the peace groups demonstrated opposite the Likud office in Tel Aviv. Some 500 took part. Far, far from the hundreds of thousands who demonstrated some years ago against the price of cottage cheese.

In short: we did not do our duty. I accuse myself as much as I accuse everybody else.

We must prepare at once for the next atrocity. We must organize for mass action now!

But what topped everything was the huge machine of brain-washing that was set in motion. For many years I have not experienced anything like it.

Almost all the so-called “military correspondents” acted like army propaganda agents. Day by day they helped the army to spread lies and falsifications. The public had no alternative but to believe every word. Nobody told them otherwise.

The same is true for almost all other means of communication, program presenters, announcers and correspondents. They willingly became government liars. Probably many of them were ordered to do so by their bosses. Not a glorious chapter.

After the day of blood, when the army was faced with world condemnation and had to stop shooting (“only” killing two unarmed demonstrators) all Israeli media were united in declaring this a great Israeli victory.

Israel had to open the crossings and send food and medicines to Gaza. Egypt had to open its Gaza crossing and accept many hundreds of wounded for operations and other treatment.

The Day of Shame has passed. Until the next time.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/05/21/the-day-of-shame/
 
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