Confessions of a terrorist sympathiser

By Richard Jackson
Source: richardjacksonterrorismblog

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I confess that I am a terrorist sympathiser. Of course, it is a profanity, a kind of blasphemy, to admit to such a thing, perhaps the greatest blasphemy in our society at the present time. Some may also consider that this is not the right time to make this confession and all that it entails. It will be said that in the immediate aftermath of an attack, condemnation and standing united against the enemies of freedom is the only ethically-defensible stance. But, for reasons I hope will become clear, I believe that this is exactly the right time to claim the ignominious label of terrorist sympathiser, and that sympathy for the terrorist is what is most needed right now if we are to break the current international cycle of violence and find more ethical and peaceful ways of responding to the challenge of contemporary political violence.

I am a terrorist sympathiser because I can understand how a young woman from Gaza might consider that she has no real future, nothing but daily humiliations, the continued threat of being shot by an Israeli soldier or firebombed by a settler, or being arrested and tortured by the police. I can understand that she might have had a family member, or a friend, killed in one of the periodic ritualised Israeli invasions of Palestinian territory. I can understand how living under a callous, apartheid-like regime could ignite into a smouldering sense of rage, humiliation, and powerlessness. I can understand how an intelligent, sensitive woman like that might feel that hitting back at her oppressor, that sacrificing her life for her community, that choosing the time and place of her own death, might seem like a way to reclaim her shattered sense of self-worth and self-respect, her agency, her sense of purpose, and in the end, advance the struggle for a free Palestinian state. Read more »

Escalating number of Palestinian women prisoners in Israeli jails: profiles and information

Source: Samidoun

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The largest number of Palestinian women political prisoners since the Wafa al-Ahrar prisoner exchange in 2011 is currently imprisoned in Israeli jails. They are from the West Bank, Jerusalem, and Palestinians from occupied Palestine ’48 (citizens of Israel).

Hasharon prison, which imprisons most women prisoners is now “overcrowded;” three Palestinian girls – Jihan Ereikat, Marah Bakri and Istabraq Nour – are now being held in Asqelan prison, which is primarily a men’s prison; some Palestinian boys are held there as well. They have demanded their immediate transfer to a women’s prison.

Six of the Palestinian women prisoners have injuries from Israeli soldier and settler bullets: Shurouq Dwayyat, Hilweh Darwish Hamamreh, Israa Ja’abis, Marah Bakri, Istabraq Nour and Amal Taqatqa. Read more »

UN rights experts express deep concern about ongoing bloodletting in the Occupied Palestinian Territory

UN Human Rights Council Office of the High Commissioner

Abdallah Azzam Al-Shalada, 25, killed in cold blood by Israeli agents in Al Ahli Hospital, Hebron

Abdallah Azzam Al-Shalada, 25, killed in cold blood by Israeli agents in Al Ahli Hospital, Hebron

Two United Nations Special Rapporteurs today expressed grave concern over the continuing violence in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) and Israel since the beginning of October, in which over 80 Palestinians and around 15 Israelis have reportedly been killed. In addition, thousands of Palestinians and more than 100 Israelis have been injured.

The human rights experts’ call for an end to the violence by all and strict compliance with international law comes following allegations of the killing of a Palestinian shot dead by Israeli forces during an undercover arrest operation in a Hebron hospital on Thursday last week. Further fatalities, Israeli and Palestinian, were reported last Friday and over the weekend.

“Cases of excessive use of force by Israeli forces against Palestinians, including some which appear to amount to summary executions, continue to be reported and some have been captured on video,” said the UN Special Rapporteurs on the situation of human rights in the OPT, Makarim Wibisono, and on summary executions, Christof Heyns. Read more »



Our association, CAPJPO-EuroPalestine naturally condemns the barbarous attacks perpetrated by the terrorists claiming to belong to Daesh, and shares the emotion and sadness of the friends and relatives of the 128 victims of these horrific killings, also the hundreds of men and women wounded during the Friday evening massacres in Paris.

All the same, we protest against the declarations and the policies of a government which is far from protecting the population and exposes it to the risks of new attacks.

In reality, we do not see how the measures which are only related to “security” could represent efficient protection. It is impossible to watch over everyone everywhere. More police, more cameras will not stop determined killers.

Not to tackle the causes, that is the propaganda about the “clash of civilisations” and the war led by France against countries and people who have never attacked us, this is dramatic.

How could we have imagined how it was possible to get away with bombing Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria? Read more »

Barakat: Heinous crime in Paris is the responsibility of imperialism, colonialism and reactionary forces


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Responsibility for the heinous massacre that took place in Paris last night, claiming the lives of at least 120 innocent people, lies primarily with colonialism, imperialism, and the murderous criminal takfiri forces, and particularly with the United States, the French state and their reactionary tools in the region, said Comrade Khaled Barakat, coordinator of the international Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa’adat.

In an interview with the PFLP information department, Barakat said that “the fascist right wing and the Zionist enemy are the sole beneficiaries of this heinous crime, which is a net profit for them. Arabs, and in particular Palestinians, are and will pay the price of both the attacks that took place in Bourj al-Barajneh in south Beirut against innocent people, and those in Paris, also against civilians.” Barakat pointed to “a wave of racism that some are trying to incite in Lebanon against our Palestinian people, which is even more severe in colonial France, where we are witnessing rising waves of racism and hatred against migrants, refugees and poor citizens, particularly Arabs and Africans in Europe.”

Barakat pointed out that “France’s bloody colonial history in Algeria, Syria, Lebanon and elsewhere in the Arab world is still fresh in the Arab popular memory, while France continues to this day to support the racist Zionist state and the reactionary Arab regimes with arms supplies and deals. The French state is hostile to the right of the Palestinian and Arab peoples to self-determination and liberation, while inside France, multiple forms of racism and oppression are practiced against poor and working-class Arabs and Muslims. All of these factors weaken Arab solidarity and can distort the image of the reality of this crime.” Read more »

Paris: The turn of the screw

by Julie Webb-Pullman

The Paris attacks are atrocities, and I send deepest condolences and sympathy to the families and victims – and to those of the recent murderous attacks in Palestine, Baghdad, Beirut, and Yemen.

Sadly, it seems that to the mainstream media, the dead in the west are more newsworthy. Western civilian targets are more deserving of our horror and outrage.

Consider: what would be the response if a Parisian hospital treating the victims is also raided by undercover ‘terrorists’ abducting patients and murdering visitors, as happened in Al Ahli Hospital in Palestine on November 12? Is bombed, like the Kunduz hospital in Afghanistan?

The United Nations is sure to act promptly – after all, it is now one of the members of the Security Council under attack, one of their own.

Under attack by weapons produced by their own, sold by their own – and provided by their own to the people committing these horrendous acts.

One could almost call Paris poetic justice, if it weren’t for the fact that the victims are innocent civilians, not the red-handed arms manufacturers, dealers and intellectual authors of these atrocities, whose identities are known, and impunity renowned.

One could almost call it the inevitable consequence of the military industrial complex on which western capitalism is now predicated, and which has increasingly insinuated itself into, or been embraced by, putative Islamic societies.

The Qu’ran says:

“…whosoever kills an innocent human being, it shall be as if he has killed all mankind, and whosoever saves the life of one, it shall be as if he saved the life of all mankind.” (5:32)

The 1.6 billion Muslims in the world must not only stand strong in these tenets of their faith, but also stand up to this insidious undermining of Islam from outside and from within – and prepare for the Paris backlash, which has already begun.

Realigning EU Policy in Palestine: Towards a Viable State Economy and Restored Dignity

Sami Abdel-Shafi
Source: Chatham House

While EU policy towards Palestinian economic development has long been subordinate to a stalled and dysfunctional peace process, this paper argues that the EU should rethink its policy and decouple economic development from the political process.

A Palestinian boy carries strawberries in a strawberry field in Beit Lahia, Gaza, December 2014. Photo: Getty Images.

A Palestinian boy carries strawberries in a strawberry field in Beit Lahia, Gaza, December 2014. Photo: Getty Images.

Executive Summary

(The full REPORT can be read HERE) Read more »

Hamas: Armed resistance a strategic choice against occupation


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The Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas reaffirmed its position from resistance, including armed resistance, as the strategic choice toward deterring the occupation and restoring Palestinian rights.

In a press statement in the 98th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, Hamas called Britain responsible for the unjust and void declaration in which lord Balfour bestowed what was not rightfully his upon those unworthy of it.

Hamas confirmed that forcing the Zionist entity through expulsion cannot change the facts of history and geography, stressing that the Palestinian people will never give up their rightful claim to the land of Palestine.

Hamas stressed the importance of backing Jerusalem’s intifada, renewing its call for a united Palestinian front to stop the Israeli attack against Al-Aqsa.

The movement called on the international community to protect and support Palestinian refugees, especially in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq, and to spare them from the dangers of internal conflicts and help them have a dignified life.

Hamas called on leaders of the free world to assume their roles in helping Palestinians achieve liberation and restore their lands and sanctuaries.

Links that Kill: International military cooperation with Israel

Palestinian BDS National Committee

“I endorse this call for an arms embargo because we desire peace and justice for Palestinians and Israelis through non-violent ways.” Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

“This much-deserved military embargo is a crucial step towards ending Israel’s impunity.” Naomi Klein

Israeli arms factories across the world have been blockaded and occupied

Israeli arms factories across the world have been blockaded and occupied

Tens of thousands of mostly young Palestinians have participated since the beginning of October in protests against Israel’s intensifying repression, forcible displacement of communities, particularly in Jerusalem, the Jordan Valley and Naqab (Negev), and ongoing attempts to colonize occupied East Jerusalem, especially the Old City. The tools of repression, whether drones, vehicles, surveillance systems, teargas, IT systems, bullets, “skunk water” or other creations are all produced or imported from other countries by a vast Israeli military-industrial complex that is at the heart of Israel’s regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid.

The functioning of this system depends on the willingness of governments and companies around the world to cooperate with Israel’s military, weapons industry and military research institutions. Read more »

Changing the ‘status quo’ of Al-Aqsa?

Afro-Middle East Centre

Israeli forces occupying the courtyard of Al-Aqsa Mosque

Israeli forces occupying the courtyard of Al-Aqsa Mosque

The recent uprising in East Jerusalem and the Palestinian West Bank points to a clear disillusionment among Palestinian youth, largely caused by Israel’s occupation, its Judaisation of Jerusalem, and the complicity of certain Palestinian political parties.

The intensification of the conflict since the beginning of October, which has caused the deaths of over sixty Palestinians and ten Israelis, was ignited by increased Israeli government sanctioning of visits of nationalist, religious Jews to the Aqsa Mosque, many of whom seek the compound’s destruction. Israel has also severely restricted Muslims access to Al-Aqsa, and increased its monitoring of Muslim groups operating at the compound. In late August and September, Israeli police prevented Palestinian women and men under fifty from visiting the mosque before noon, and in September the Murabitun and Murabitat, informal groups of men and women who offer religious classes and attempt to ensure the ban on Jewish prayer is observed, were declared illegal.

These measures have contravened the ‘status quo’, a situation that has been in place since the eighteenth century, Read more »

Echoing Nazi Tactics, IDF Patrol Threatens to Exterminate Palestinian Refugee Camp with “Gas”

Richard Silverstein
Source: Tikun Olam-תיקון עולם

I first heard about this astonishing video yesterday and spent the entire day attempting to verify its authenticity (for reasons I’ll explain). But this morning, Middle East Eye and Maan published stories definitively authenticating the video’s provenance. Aside from the reporting of the story at MEE and Maan, there’s one further critical aspect of this video which wasn’t mentioned.

The IDF soldier speaking through a loudspeaker to the Aida camp residents threatens to use “gas” to kill them all. In other words, he’s not speaking about tear gas, which is the usual method used to disperse crowds (and which was later used copiously). He’s attempting to escalate the conventional tactics by frightening them into believing the army would actually exterminate all the residents of the camp, a deliberate echo of tactics used by the Nazis in the Holocaust:

“Inhabitants of Aida, we are the Israeli occupation forces, if you throw stones we will hit you with gas until you die. The children, the youth, and the old people, all of you – we won’t spare any of you”. Read more »

Open letter to NZ ambassador to UN re draft Palestine resolution

Dr Vacy Vlazna

Ambassador Gerard van Bohemen
New Zealand Permanent Mission to the UN

Mr Ambassador

The reprehensible draft ‘resolution‘ circulated by New Zealand is so blatantly biased against the Palestinian people that it proffers, in this instance, the correct diplomatic protocol that NZ minds it’s own business given it is an apologist and morally blind supporter of Israel by its repeated mantra that “Israel has a right to defend itself.”

In the ‘resolution’, NZ, like all western governments, obsequiously parrots zionist propaganda:

NZ normalises Israeli atrocities by presenting Israel and Palestine as equal perpetrators and equal victims and by pushing the demand that Palestine gives up its endeavour for justice in the International Criminal Court thus letting Israel off scott free for its monstrous war crimes and crimes against humanity.

While NZ demands that Israel freezes its settlement expansion, it absurdly promotes the farce of negotiations that expand settlements. There is no demand by NZ that the zionist infiltrators leave the present settlements that have illegally expropriated half of the remaining Palestinian West Bank.

NZ obediently keeps up the pretence of a two state solution when Netanyahu has repeatedly ruled out Palestinian sovereignty:

“At the height of the 2014 Gaza war, Netanyahu revealed that he doesn’t envision Palestinian sovereignty in the West Bank any time soon. “I think the Israeli people understand now what I always say: that there cannot be a situation, under any agreement, in which we relinquish security control of the territory west of the River Jordan,” he said at a press conference in Jerusalem. In other words: no withdrawal and no Palestinian sovereignty, which means no state of Palestine.

A few months later, Netanyahu said, in a much quoted interview on the eve of the March 17 election, that, “indeed,” no Palestinian state would be created under his leadership.”

And to add extra ridicule to the ridiculous, NZ calls on the same incompetent clowns “the Quartet (United States, Russia, United Nations and European Union), Security Council members and Arab states” to maintain the posturing of the nihilistic negotiations.

So what can the people of Palestine expect from a flunkey state that belongs to the Impunity- for- Israel’s- War- Crimes Club?

…the same old, same old betrayal of Palestinian families and the betrayal of NZ’s own obligations as a High Contracting Party to the Geneva Conventions to protect and uphold Palestinian political and human rights.

This dishonourable ‘resolution’ comes at a time when Palestinian children and youth are being extrajudicially executed in the street for their courageous efforts to uphold their rights while NZ lets them down and, in doing so, shames the decency of the people of New Zealand.


Dr Vacy Vlazna


Khalil Omar Othman, 15, killed near the Gaza border

Khalil Omar Othman, 15, killed in Gaza by direct fire from Israeli soldiers firing across the border

Haniya calls for national strategy to protect Jerusalem’s Uprising

Press Statement

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Vice chairman of Hamas political bureau Ismail Haniya called for a national strategy to protect and escalate the Jerusalem uprising, in order to achieve its goals of Palestinian liberation and independence.

In a speech at a Hamas-organized public festival in Lebanese Sidon on Sunday, Haniya stressed the need to heighten spirit of resistance, adding that Hamas is ready to engage in any project that adopts Palestinian constants and the route of resistance.

“We are ready for unity on all levels, political and in the field, and to agree on a national strategy to protect the uprising and restore Palestinian rights and national constants,” Haniya said.

Stressing the importance of national unity among all Palestinian factions, Haniya warned of US and international attempts to abort the Jerusalem uprising, noting that no power on earth can quell the uprising set on achieving dignity, freedom and liberation. Read more »

John Berger renames Beethoven concerto “Concerto for piano and orchestra n. 5, the Intifada”

John Berger, the British writer, painter and art critic, (in short: one of the most important European intellectuals), last Sunday sent an email to friends near and far. Here it is:

“The Ludwig van Beethoven’s Concerto for Piano and Orchestra no. 5 evokes a happiness that is almost without limits and that, for this reason, neither he nor we can have. The concert was called the Emperor. It leads us to a horizon of happiness that we cannot cross.

Today I send it to the Palestinian students who are demonstrating at the checkpoint of Beit El, at the entrance to Ramallah. They, too, are inspired by a vision of happiness that in their lives are not in a position to know.

I send them the concert so that they will use it as a weapon in the fight against the Israelis who occupy and colonize their land.

Beethoven approves. Politics is close to his heart. His third symphony, the Eroica, was inspired by Napoleon when he was a freedom fighter and before he became a tyrant.

For one day, let’s change the name to the Emperor and call it:Concerto for piano and orchestra n. 5, the Intifada.”

Hamas slams Ki-Moon over biased remarks


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Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri stated Wednesday that UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon’s remarks are prejudiced in favour of the Israeli occupation and are at odds with international law.

In a facebook statement Abu Zuhri said that Ki-Moon equates murderous settlers with Palestinians who are defending themselves, and called on Palestinians to continue their intifada, saying they should not fall for attempts to thwart their uprising.

In a meeting with the occupation’s PM Netanyahu on Tuesday, Ban Ki-Moon stated that he deplores what he said were “random terror attacks against Israeli civilians.” His remarks were met by anger from Palestinians, who said they overlooked their suffering and ignored the root causes of the situation.

Blood donation drive in Gaza to support uprising in West Bank and Jerusalem

Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine


The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in Khan Younis, Gaza, organized a blood donation drive at its office in the governorate under the slogan: “One body, one blood, intifada until the end of occupation,” in support of the Palestinian people of the West Bank, Jerusalem, and occupied Palestine ’48 on October 20.

Members of the party, cadres of the Front participated in the even as did members of the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees.

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Comrade Hani Thawabteh, member of the Central Committee of the PFLP, said that the blood donation campaign was being conducted to support the growing intifada of our Palestinian people in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Occupied Palestine ’48, and to affirm the unity of the Palestinian people in confronting the occupation war machine together.


Making Palestinian Third Intifada Victorious

Muneer Shafiq

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There is no doubt that the third Palestinian Intifada has broken out. The context of this Intifada is different from that of the first and second Intifadas and it is wrong to compare this Intifada to other Intifadas.

The third Palestinian Intifada has three main features. First, Israel is politically isolated and weaker than any time before. Second, the Palestinian Authority is still tied to security coordination with Israel. Third, the turmoil in the world that made the U.S unable to play its role as a major role in the region.

The three Intifadas share one thing: the popular sympathy in the Arab world as well as Europe, which helps tighten the grip around the Israeli government’s neck. The Israeli government tried to impose spatial and temporal division of Alaqsa, so the goal of this Intifada should be defeating this Israeli plan. Achieving this goal will also help achieve other goals such as freeing prisoners and lifting siege imposed on Gaza.

This Intifada should not be a merely a wave of anger and it should lead to a victory to the Palestinians. The current situation is suitable to bring about a victory. This is the only language the Israeli occupation understands.

Edited and Translated by CPDS

Euro-Med Monitor report: Israeli brutalities caught on camera

EuroMed Monitor

Releasing the Report at the Geneva Conference

Releasing the Report at the Geneva Conference

A new report, “Israel’s Arbitrary Killings and its System of Structural Violence,” was released by the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor in a press conference in Geneva.

The report summarizes the results of Euro-Med’s investigations into recent Israeli human rights abuses in the occupied Palestinian Territories. Featured at the press conference were video footage and photos illustrating the harassment and killing of Palestinian civilians involved in political protests during the last two weeks.

While the Israeli government has to date escaped serious accountability for repeated human rights violations, “citizen journalism”—in which excessive acts of force are caught on camera—now is making it more difficult for the acts to be obscured or brushed aside, says the report.

“Thanks to the courageous acts of activists, family members and bystanders, Euro-Med has collected video footage and eyewitness testimonies documenting numerous, egregious abuses by Israeli soldiers during the last few weeks, which we believe is only the tip of the iceberg,” says Daniela Dönges. “In our report, we name eight of them, because they are not just numbers. They are human beings with stories that must be told.” Read more »

UN expert expresses grave concern at “extremely volatile situation across the Occupied Palestinian Territory”

UN Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Makarim Wibisono, expressed grave concern and deep sadness at this month’s intensification of violence across the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and in Gaza.

“Too many Palestinian and Israeli lives have been lost in the context of violent attacks and clashes,” Mr. Wibisono said, noting also the hundreds of injured. “In the face of growing violence, I urge Israel to exercise restraint and to recognise that all, including Palestinians, have equal right to respect for their human rights and their dignity.”

The number of reported Palestinian deaths, including children, is steadily rising. There are concerns of excessive use of force against Palestinians by Israeli security forces in the context of clashes, and cases of suspected Palestinian assailants shot and killed rather than arrested following attacks on Israelis, have been reported. Read more »

Ismail Haniyeh praises fighters in “Jerusalem’s intifada”

Julie Webb-Pullman

Ismail Haniyeh at Shifa Hospital with Ahmed Areer, 15, shot in the neck by Israeli military

Ismail Haniyeh at Shifa Hospital with Ahmed Areer, 15, shot in the neck by Israeli military

During a new year visit to Gaza’s Shifa Hospital patients injured in recent border clashes, Ismail Haniyeh on Thursday congratulated the Palestinian people for succeeding in resisting Israeli attempts to take over Jerusalem and the Al Aqsa Mosque, and gave special praise to the fighters in the streets and on the borders.

“We have seen a martyr fighting to the last – he knew he was about to die but he kept fighting until his very last breath,” he said. “Our people will not cease to defend our land, and Al Quds.”

Haniyeh spoke with most of the 25 patients still lying in Shifa Hospital beds with smashed limbs, gross abdominal explosive injuries, and head and neck wounds from direct Israeli fire over the past few weeks.

The other hospitals in the Gaza Strip are also dealing with the casualties of Israeli exceptionalism and impunity – and new forms of brutality. The latest Israeli trend is firing at the groin, resulting in devastating injuries – Al Aqsa Hospital received a young man this week whose penis and testicles had been shot off.

Nine Gazan youth have already lost their lives this month: the eldest only 22 years old, and three young boys under 16.

“Gaza is with those resisting for Al Aqsa,” Haniyeh said at the press conference following his visit to the surgical wing. “The message from our wounded is that Gaza, despite the distance and its deep suffering due to the siege and war, still stands behind the battle of Jerusalem, and that Gaza is in the heart of Jerusalem’s Intifada.”

Haniyeh also praised the medical staff, police and media for their exceptional work in treating, helping and covering these events.