Archive for the 'Palestine' Category

Netanyahu and Trump

Mazin Qumsiyeh
Opinion

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Benjamin Netanyahu just met Donald Trump and they are very friendly. Both are liars. War criminal Netanyahu’s prerequisites for peace are that:
1) Palestinians recognize the colonial state as a Jewish state – which is like South Africa saying the prerequisite for peace is to recognize it as a white state; and
2) the “Jewish state” retain control over the whole area – again, like the white South African government saying that they want to control the whole area.

Trump said that Palestinians are taught to hate and must stop hating Israelis. Netanyahu claimed that just like Chinese come from China, Jews come from Judea and so are not colonizers!

He also claims Iran writes on their missiles in Hebrew that Israel must be destroyed!

These two lies – and many more – are typical of congenital liars like Netanyahu.

Sorry, but “The Jews” (nor “The Christian” or “The Muslims”) do NOT come from our country (Palestine is its geographic name, for those who do not know). The myth that they do is a myth of “Jewish biology” that is actually based on Nazi racist myths, themselves stoked by Zionist myths.

A minority of people from those religions actually originate from Palestine – less than 3% of each adherent of any of these religions come from here, including Netanyahu himself. Read more »

Israel’s Legalizes Settlement Options as a Prelude to the Netanyahu Visit to Trumpland

Richard Falk

Cartoon: Amos Biderman

Cartoon: Amos Biderman

Responses to four questions posed by Rodrigo Craveiro, a journalist from the Brazilian newspaper Correio Braziliense

1- How do you see the decision of the Knesset taken last night about legalizing settlement outposts and what are the likely consequences of this legislative initiative?

It is one more act of defiance by Israel that is both a repudiation of international law relating to settlements in Occupied Palestine and of the UNSC, which in December passed Resolution 2334 condemning settlement expansion and reaffirming their illegality. Whether Israel experiences adverse consequences depends especially on the reaction of European governments and of civil society. Israel expects that Trump’s presidency will insulate the country from any show of real pressure at the UN or via sanctions, but there are mixed signals as usual emanating from the White House. The Knesset’s provocative move of legalizing the 50 or so settlement ‘outposts’ that were previously illegal even under Israeli law, an internationally controversial move that may in due course be nullified by Israel’s judiciary. Actually, the move was not so radical as the Israel state had long accommodated the outposts by providing them with subsidies and security, and overlooking their formally unlawful status in domestic law.

2– Do you believe Israel is interested in annexing West Bank? Why?
Read more »

PHROC Calls for Immediate Action by International Community on Israel’s “Regularization” Law

PRESS RELEASE
Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council

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The Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council (PHROC) strongly condemns the Israeli Knesset’s passage of the “Regularization Law,” which legalizes 4,000 housing units in 55 colonial outposts, built on private Palestinian land. While Israel’s appropriation of Palestinian land has been a cornerstone of government policy since the beginning of the occupation in 1967, the law is another brazen tool for Israel to confiscate privately held and registered Palestinian property for its illegal settlement enterprise. Read more »

Over 250 European organisations call for end of European complicity in occupation of Palestine

PRESS STATEMENT
Justice for Palestine

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Justice for Palestine now – end EUROPEAN complicity!

A call from organizations throughout Europe.

2017 marks:

– 100 years since the « Balfour Declaration » of 1917, through which the British government unilaterally promised the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine;

– 70 years since the partition plan of Palestine, adopted by the UN in 1947, which resulted in the 1948 Nakba, the demolition of more than 530 Palestinian villages and the expulsion of 750 000 Palestinians from their homeland, thus a process of ethnic cleansing;

– 50 years since the beginning of Israel’s occupation in 1967 of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights, and an ongoing process of colonization and prolonged occupation by the State of Israel.

The continued dispossession of Palestinians of their land and their livelihood, including house demolition, land confiscation and apartheid wall; the denial of their culture and memory; the ten-year Gaza blockade creating severe inhuman conditions along with the recurrent military attacks on its population; the constant repression, resulting presently in over 7000 prisoners including more than 400 children held in military detention; the disastrous plight of Palestinian refugees further worsened by the war in Syria; and the draconian discriminatory laws in Israel itself: these facts, the fruits of over 100 years of denial of the rights of the Palestinian people, can no longer be accepted.

The anniversaries marked by the year 2017 remind us of the degree to which the colonial mindset, the denial of the rights of the Palestinian people, and the refusal to apply international law and UN resolutions lead to disaster. Read more »

Work for the future

Mazin Qumsiyeh

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First the positive news: Large demonstrations last Monday in front of 10 Downing street for the Theresa May-Benjamin Netanuyahu visit. The demonstration was a mixture of people of all religions, skin colors, and backgrounds.

By contrast, the much smaller group of paid Zionist elites was very homogeneous (Jewish white Ashkenazi). Let us hope for an even larger demonstration for Netanyahu’s visit to Trump on February 15.

Locally, Israel is proceeding with more colonial settlements hoping that if they saturate the landscape, we native Palestinians will leave and they can have their racist Jewish state. But people are not leaving and much of the world now sees that there was never a “two state solution” to a colonial anti-coloniial struggle.

The best scenario forward is like in most postcolonial countries, such as South and Central America and much of SE Asia.

We are working on that with Jewish, Christian, Muslim, and other colleagues here – some of them also hold “Israeli” citizenship.

We are collectively building things on the ground, not leaving, and resisting daily (yes sometimes injured, sometimes killed, sometimes jailed, sometimes arrested…). Read more »

2017: Palestine’s Three Dark Commemorations

Richard Falk

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Increasingly, Palestinians seem doomed to become subjects, or at best second-class citizens, in their homeland. Israeli expansionism, United States unconditional support, and UN impotence. These factors are combining to create dismal prospects for Palestinian self-determination and for a negotiated peace that is sensitive to the rights and grievances of both Palestinians and Jews.

Recalling three notable commemorations to be observed in 2017 may help us understand better how this distressing Palestinian narrative unfolded over the course of the past hundred years. Perhaps, such remembrances might even encourage the rectification of past failures, and encourage flagging national and international efforts to find a way forward even at this belated hour. The most promising initiatives are now associated with a growing global solidarity movement dedicated to achieving a just peace for both peoples. For now, neither the United Nations nor traditional diplomacy seem to have much leverage over the play of social and political forces that lies at the core of the Palestinian struggle. Only the nonviolent resistance of Palestinians to their prolonged ordeal of occupation and transnational civil society militancy seem to have any capacity to exert positive leverage over the status quo and to sustain hope. Read more »

Israeli delegation of Intellectuals, former Ambassadors submit “Petition of 1200,” Call To Recognize Palestine Now

Press Release
Policy Working Group
Peace NGO Forum

On Thursday January 12, 2017 a delegation of Israeli intellectuals and former ambassadors will meet with Helene Le Gal, Ambassador of France to Israel, in order to present a petition of support for the French initiative to organize a Peace Conference in Paris on Sunday January 15.

In recent days, some 1200 Israeli citizens signed that petition in support of the French Initiative. The conference aims to provide a broad international base of support for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

The conference will convene on Sunday, 15 January 2017. Foreign ministers from approximately 70 countries are expected to attend. The conference will signal that the world expects to see an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement based on two states for two peoples – Israel and Palestine – that will maintain mutual relations based on peace and security. Read more »

ConSiences of Humanity

Mazin Qumsiyeh

Photo: AP

Photo: AP

John Kerry is delusional if he thinks he can temporarily curb the appetite of those who believe in an ideology of conquest, subjugation and exceptionalism (“chosen people”) to save “Zionism”.

His claim that Shimon Peres told him that 78% of Palestine is enough, and that they should let the Palestinians have the other 22%, is simply not believable. Shimon Peres never changed his views from his youth as a disciple of Ben Gurion (Rabin and the two of them masterminded the ethnic cleansing and destruction of 500 towns and villages between 1948 and 1950).

To his last breath Peres was a racist, a bigot, and an unrepentant war criminal – not to mention his build-up of Israel’s arsenal of WMD. He always believed Jews are smarter, chosen, and are entitled to rule over greater Israel and like his mentor, he thought a two-state support is mostly for propaganda. Read more »

UN rights experts: Human rights defenders under growing legal pressure in the OPT

PRESS STATEMENT
UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Photo: Electronic Intifada

Photo: Electronic Intifada

GENEVA (16 December 2016) – Human rights activists working in the Occupied Palestinian Territory face daily violations of some of the most fundamental protections afforded by international human rights and humanitarian laws, two United Nations independent experts said today.

“We have received a worrying number of complaints in recent months regarding human rights defenders who are arrested and, in many cases, arbitrarily detained, often apparently as a direct result of their important work in their communities,” said the UN Special Rapporteur on the OPT, Michael Lynk, and the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders, Michel Forst.

“Human rights work is critical to creating a just society and maintaining peace and security. These are the goals all parties ultimately share,” the experts stressed. “However, it appears that rights defenders are facing ever greater challenges in the OPT.”

The Special Rapporteurs drew special attention to the cases against Issa Amro, founder of the Hebron-based group Youth Against Settlements, and Farid al-Atrash, a lawyer from Hebron, who were arrested due to their participation in a peaceful protest in February of this year. Mr. Amro is currently facing trial in an Israeli military court on 18 charges dating back to 2010, including participation in a rally without a permit. Read more »

Shabaka Roundtable: Palestinian Democracy Denied

Mouin Rabbani, Basem Ezbidi, Tariq Dana, Amal Ahmad

APA Images

APA Images

Overview

The potential of Palestinian democracy has been greatly weakened by Israel and its military occupation, Palestinian actors such as Fatah and Hamas, and key members of the donor community. Such a situation sustains the dysfunctional nature of the Palestinian political system and the unelected, unrepresentative status of the political actors who dominate the lives of the Palestinian people. The recent, heavily politicized failure of the attempt to conduct elections for local councils in the occupied West Bank and Gaza and the just concluded Fatah conference, which largely reaffirmed a moribund status quo, are cases in point.

In this roundtable, Al-Shabaka analysts examine the notion of democracy under occupation so as to understand what it entails and how it can be expressed. All agree that democracy is severely curtailed under the present circumstances. Mouin Rabbani argues that Palestinian elections since Oslo have contributed to the fragmentation of the Palestinian people and the Palestinian political system, shoring up a status quo in which Israel retains indefinite control. Basem Ezbidi, through the lens of the 1996, 2005, and 2006 elections, explores this detrimental fragmentation. Tariq Dana writes of the problem of divisions within the Palestinian National Movement, while Amal Ahmad highlights constraints on democracy caused by the economic conditions of occupation. Al-Shabaka Program Director Alaa Tartir facilitated the roundtable. Read more »

Holiday message from Palestine Museum of Natural History

Mazin, Jessie, Elias, Mohammad N, Mohammad A, Zuhair, Manal, Khawla, Reena, Mubarak, and all other volunteers
Palestine Museum of Natural History

The Palestine Museum of Natural History (PMNH) and Palestine Institute of Biodiversity and Sustainability (PIBS) at Bethlehem University wish you a great holiday season and wishing you and yours a wonderful new year. May 2017 be a year of progress towards peace and sustainability for our planet.

Thanks to your partnership and donations, PMNH/PIBS had a tremendous success in 2016 fulfilling our mission to research, educate about, and conserve our natural world, culture and heritage and use knowledge to promote responsible human interactions with our environment. We are now going to a higher level and ask you for your
donations, in-kind support, and volunteerism. Visit this link to donate, and this link to volunteer.

With your support, we did much already:

a) Published two dozen papers in areas ranging from taxonomic studies to biodiversity to environmental pollution to museology
b) Held workshops and other educational events that benefited over 3,000 individuals.
c) Developed a webpage and social media accounts and reached out via the internet to tens of thousands of people
d) Established mobile conservation projects in remote and underprivileged communities.
e) Improved science education at both school and university level benefiting hundreds of students via hands-on workshops and creation of environmental clubs.
f) Developed an environmental impact assessment (EIA) unit and contributed to a management plan for the first OPT protected area.
g) Provided consultancy services to the nascent Palestinian governmental agencies (e.g. Ministry of Health, Environmental Quality Authority, Ministry of Tourism, and Ministry of Agriculture).
h) Transformed a neglected 12 dunum area (part of the Bethlehem University Mar Andrea Campus) into a nascent botanical garden and permaculture facility (including bee-keeping, aquaponics, and aquaculture). This site was used to develop ideas which are now being transferred to farmers and other members of the community (e.g. green walls and composting). Read more »

Proposed Israel law “gives green light to theft of Palestinian land” – UN expert

Press Release
United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Amona outpost. (Picture: Noam Moskowitz/Flash90)

Amona outpost. (Picture: Noam Moskowitz/Flash90)

GENEVA (21 November 2016) – A proposed Israeli law enabling the confiscation of privately owned Palestinian land would deal another severe blow to hopes of a lasting peace, a United Nations human rights expert has warned.

Special Rapporteur Michael Lynk said he was deeply concerned at the proposal to legalize more than 100 illegal outposts in the occupied West Bank, which passed its first reading in the Knesset on 16 November.

“Unauthorized outposts, most of which have been established on private Palestinian land and are located deep within the occupied West Bank are considered illegal under Israeli domestic law. Their retroactive ‘legalization’ will be another nail in the coffin for the two-state solution,” said Mr. Lynk.

“These outposts undermine the Palestinian right to self-determination, violate their rights to property, freedom of movement and development, and continue to confine the Palestinians into smaller and smaller cantons of non-contiguous lands within their own territory.” Read more »

The Balfour and Cambon Declarations

Mazin Qumsiyeh
From: Sharing the Land of Canaan: Human Rights and the Israeli-Palestinian Struggle (2004)

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The events leading up to the support of Britain and France for Zionist aspirations have received little historical discussion. In examining historical documents of powerful nations like France and Britain, we find these nations issuing declarations to support the Zionist aspirations. This came in France first with a letter sent from Jules Cambon, Secretary General of the French Foreign Ministry to Nahum Sokolow (at the time head of the political wing of the World Zionist Organization based in London) dated June 4, 1917: Read more »

Palestine-Israel: Obama’s Final Days

Tareq Baconi
Al-Shabaka Policy Briefing

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American presidents have more than once used their final days in office to make crucial decisions regarding Israel/Palestine. Ronald Reagan recognized the PLO in 1988. Bill Clinton issued the Clinton Parameters in 2000.

If President Barack Obama intends to salvage some of his legacy as power transitions from the Democrats to the Republicans, he has a number of options.

The simplest, most powerful, and least destructive measure would be an explicit reaffirmation of the illegality of any form of Israeli sovereignty beyond the 1967 line, including East Jerusalem. Read more »

President-Elect Donald Trump must ensure continued efforts toward a Palestinian state

American Muslims for Palestine
Press Release

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(WASHINGTON DC 11/10/2016) – The American Muslims for Palestine, a national education organization advocating for Palestinian human rights, expresses deep concern over President-Elect Trump’s potential plans for U.S. policy in the Middle East. Though it is still unclear what Mr. Trump will do as president, AMP’s concerns stem from comments and promises he made during his campaign.

Specifically, AMP asserts the status of Jerusalem has not been resolved and supports Palestinians’ rights to Jerusalem as the capital of a future state. AMP rejects the promises Mr. Trump made to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in September to declare Jerusalem as the “undivided capital of Israel.” AMP strongly opposes moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and also is deeply troubled by comments suggesting a Trump administration would forgo the idea of a Palestinian state. Read more »

Meshaal: no stability in the area without Palestinians getting their rights

Hamas

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Chairman of Hamas political bureau Khaled Meshaal has urged the president-elect of the United States Donald Trump to revise his country’s foreign policy and bring U.S. support of the Israeli occupation to an end.

“The Palestinian people have been wronged by the biased U.S. policies that favor Israel,” Meshaal said in a speech he delivered during the 11th Youth for Jerusalem Conference in Istanbul on Thursday, stressing that there will not be stability in the area without the Palestinians getting their rights.

He asserted the Palestinians’ total adherence to the liberation of Jerusalem and the entire land of Palestine.

“Jerusalem is the icon and heart of Palestine’s struggle and we will not cede an inch of it,” he said.

“Jerusalem is the key to war and peace in the region,” he added, calling on Arab states to assume their roles towards protecting the holy city from Israel’s schemes.

The Infamy of the Palestinian Elites: An Imminent Split within Fatah?

Ramzy Baroud
Source: Counterpunch

Picture: Press TV

Picture: Press TV

The Fatah movement is involved in a massive tug-of-war that will ultimately define its future. Though the conflict is between current Palestinian Authority President, Mahmoud Abbas, and once Gaza strongman, Mohammed Dahlan, is in no way motivated by ending the Israeli Occupation, their war will likely determine the future political landscape of Palestine.

The issue cannot be taken lightly, nor can it be dismissed as an internal Fatah conflict. The latter is one of the two largest Palestinian factions, the largest within the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and has single-handedly pushed Palestinians into the abyss of the ‘peace process’ and the great Oslo Accords gamble, which has come at great cost and no benefits. Read more »

Massacres, BDS, and more

Mazin Qumsiyeh
Opinion

Photo: http://justsayin.online/tag/massacre/

Photo: http://justsayin.online/tag/massacre/

I just returned to Palestine from the Basque Country, a European country that is partly under French and partly under Spanish rule (sort of like the Kurdish region). It was great to see the mountains and to see open roads without checkpoints (it was not always like this as the fight for Basque independence meant much similar conditions just a few years ago before political agreements were reached).

I return willingly to a jailed community under an apartheid system and daily assaults (home demolitions, displacement, judaization). It is exactly where we find ourselves most needed and most alive. The staff and volunteers at the Palestine Museum of Natural History – Bethlehem University have done an excellent job in my absence of one week. My luggage hopefully will catch up with me and it has many books I acquired for the museum. Please join us and help (donating time and/or money would be good).

Now for some collected items related to human rights:

Today is the anniversary of Duwaima massacre (29 Octber 1948), one of over 40 massacres committed by the Zionist colonial forces to drive native Palestinians out of our country. Read more »

PFLP responds positively to initiative by Islamic Jihad for national unity

PFLP
Press Release

Islamic Jihad rally in Gaza City, October 2016

Islamic Jihad rally in Gaza City, October 2016

In response to the 10-point initiative presented by the General Secretary of the Islamic Jihad Movement, Ramadan Shallah, at the anniversary event of the movement, Comrade Kayed al-Ghoul, of the Political Bureau of the PFLP, said that the initiative intersects to a large degree with the positions of the Front and several initiatives brought forward.

Al-Ghoul expressed his support for the initiative of the Islamic Jihad Movement in an effort to rebuild Palestinian unity on the basis of a national liberation strategy suitable to the phase in which we live, emphasizing that the Palestinian people are engaged in a comprehensive conflict with the Zionist enemy at all levels and that there is a necessity for the full rehabilitation of all Palestinian national rights through cutting the path of Oslo and all related agreements, while supporting the steadfastness of the Palestinian masses.

He urged the movement to continue its efforts to follow up with all forces for a comprehensive national dialogue for this initiative.

Ramadan Shallah announced the 10-point initiative for an escape from the Palestinian predicament, which includes the following: Read more »

Israel and the World Vision Crime Sham

Vacy Vlazna

Mohammed El Halabi, World Vision's Area Development Programme Manager in Gaza, meets with children displaced by the violence during the brief ceasefire. Photo by Mohammad Awed

Mohammed El Halabi, World Vision’s Area Development Programme Manager in Gaza, meets with children displaced by the violence during the brief ceasefire. Photo by Mohammad Awed

The crackpot Israeli Hasbara* Circus featuring the four clowns of the truth apocalypse, Shin Bet, the Israel government, Shurat HaDin and the mainstream media fools, has, yet again, hit the world stage with the usual lame show of fact contortions, tight rope slander and smoke and mirrors fantasies.

Taking a leaf from the Bush-Blair weapons of mass destruction hoax, Israel is going all out to divert anti-Israel opinion on its monumental humanitarian disaster to a fictitious crime allegedly perpetrated by the very victims of said humanitarian disaster- Israel’s wars on Gaza -by concocting an elaborate false crime of embezzlement and terrorism by Mohammed el-Halabi, the dedicated zonal manager for World Vision in the West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza.

Mohammed el-Halabi

El-Halabi, a family man and ‘trusted colleague’ has worked tirelessly for World Vision for a decade. On World Humanitarian Day 2014, celebrating aid workers, el-Halabi was profiled by the UN as a Humanitarian Hero – a truly well deserved honour when one considers the horrors Palestinian families face, and particularly aid workers at the emergency front of the carnage, destruction and suffering. Read more »

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