Zionism: the Zionist Victims

How could 94% of Israeli Jews have supported the massacre in Gaza? How is it that many Israeli Jews quite genuinely see themselves as the victims, even when the death count is one Israeli to a hundred Palestinians, even when their ethnically-cleansed enemy starves in refugee camps? An incredible statistic: 40 percent of Israeli Jews are unaware that at the end of the 19th century, the Arabs were an absolute majority in Palestine. Having just watched Norman Finkelstein’s thought-provoking lecture on the use of Ghandian tactics to change Israeli Jewish as well as international opinion on Palestine, I find the below article, in which the great Israeli journalist Akiva Eldar throws some light on the indoctrination of Israeli Jews, to be particularly interesting. We have to work to educate Israelis as much as anyone else.

A new study of Jewish Israelis shows that most accept the ‘official version’ of the history of the conflict with the Palestinians. Is it any wonder, then, that the same public also buys the establishment explanation of the operation in Gaza?

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A Challenge to Blood and Soil

Joshua Holland considers the impact in Israel of Shlomo Zand’s bestselling “When and How was the Jewish People Invented?” Zand’s thesis – that Palestinian Arabs are closer descendants of ancient Israelites and Judeans than are contemporary Jews – certainly challenges the blood and soil aspect of Zionist mythology. The implications for the right of return, and for a one state solution, are, at least in cultural terms, profound. When the book is translated into English, could I ask American friends to post copies to their nearest Christian-Zionist church.

What if the Palestinian Arabs who have lived for decades under the heel of the modern Israeli state are in fact descended from the very same “children of Israel” described in the Old Testament?

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Israeli army “subcontracted” by extremist settlers

An excellent piece by Jonathan Cook on the increasing proliferation of extreme right-wing elements, spurred on by fanatical rabbis, within the IDF.

An Israeli soldier inspects a wall of a mosque desecrated by suspected Jewish settlers, reading "Muhammad is a pig," West Bank city of Qalqiliya, December 2008. (Khaleel Reash/MaanImages)

Extremist rabbis and their followers, bent on waging holy war against the Palestinians, are taking over the Israeli army by stealth, according to critics.

In a process one military historian has termed the rapid “theologization” of the Israeli army, there are now entire units of religious combat soldiers, many of them based in West Bank settlements. They answer to hardline rabbis who call for the establishment of a Greater Israel that includes the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Their influence in shaping the army’s goals and methods is starting to be felt, say observers, as more and more graduates from officer courses are also drawn from Israel’s religious extremist population.

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Israeli ‘Justice’ for Cameraman James Miller

180px-james_miller_bbcThe family of James Miller, a UK journalist murdered by the IDF, have accepted damages of £1.5 million saying it was as close to an admission of guilt from Israel as they were ever likely to get.  The military said the officer involved would be disciplined for breaking the rules of engagement and also for changing his account of the incident but he was exonerated.

Another British family had a similarly unpleasant experience of Israeli “justice” when their son, Tom Hurndall,  was murdered by the IDF in Gaza.   Mr Hurndall’s father described a “culture of impunity” saying “they just lied continuously … it was a case of them shooting civilians and then making up a story. And they were not used to being challenged.”

It is within this culture of impunity that an Israel officer murdered in cold blood a Palestinian girl, Iman al-Hams, aged 13, shooting her 17 times, and afterwards commented that he was right to kill her and would have killed her even if she was three years old. A military investigation by the officer responsible for the Gaza strip subsequently concluded that the captain had “not acted unethically”.

After complaints of a cover up, the military police did get involved and the killer was  charged with illegal use of his weapon, conduct unbecoming an officer and other relatively minor infractions.  He was later found not guilty.

Needless to say Iman’s family and other Palestinian families like them will never see justice or £1.5 million in compensation.

Israel has paid £1.5m in damages to the family of James Miller, the British cameraman shot by an Israeli soldier while filming a documentary in Gaza in 2003.

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Dennis Brutus encourages solidarity action

Najwan Darwish (Jerusalem), Dennis Brutus, Muhammad Idrees Ahmad (PULSE co-founder), Somaya Al Susi (Gaza), Salim Al Nafar (Gaza)
Dennis Brutus after the Palestinian poetry night. Left to right: Najwan Darwish (Jerusalem), Dennis Brutus, Muhammad Idrees Ahmad (PULSE co-founder), Somaya Al Susi (Gaza), Salim Al Nafar (Gaza)

We have been flooded with messages of support and encouragement from across the world since our recent successful action at the University of Strathclyde. Of all the wonderful messages we have received there is none more meaningful than the one from Dennis Brutus, the great South African poet and anti-Apartheid campaigner who pushed to get South Africa suspended from the Olympics which eventually lead to the country’s expulsion from the games in 1970. He once took a bullet for his convictions and was incarcerated along with Mandela on Robben Island. Back in 2005, I had the pleasure of meeting this great man at the G8 Alternatives summit, and today I was delighted to see Prof. Brutus’s message of solidarity.

He also added: ‘we need solidarity action from scottish workers – especiallly scottish dockworker ; also from students in britain – they were great at anti-apartheid actions – especially in Aberdeen, Edinburgh Falkirk and Glasgow; we marched together, as I well remember’.

University of Manchester Student Occupation Continues

Next to the successful occupation of Strathclyde University, more than a hundred students of the University of Manchester are going into their fourth day of occupying their university in a demand for a stronger and more proactive position from the university on the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza.3253334209_1f9419b971

Over 500 students attended an emergency general meeting of the students union to discuss a motion on the issue. This democratic meeting was sabotaged and ultimately destroyed by pro-Israeli Zionist students who were desperate to shield Israel from criticism and couldn’t stomach the thought of their university helping to stop the suffering in Palestine. These students employed both bureaucratic and thuggish tactics to stop the meeting from taking place. There are countless reports from students who wanted to get in but were physically prevented. When the chair of the meeting refused to hear students’ complaints at the blockade and dissolved the meeting, several hundred students marched on University administration headquarters, the John Owens Building.

Latest Updates:

– “After being threatened with disciplinary measures by the vice-chancellor the students have decided to continue and expand the occupation of Manchester University. We are now occupying another space at the Simon Building on Oxford Road. ”

– An open letter written by the occupying students has been sent to Vice-Chancellor of the University, Alan Gilbert, who has so far refused to even discuss the students’ demands.

– “We are calling a demonstration outside our building for 2pm tomorrow in support of the people of Palestine and the student occupation in Manchester. We invite all pro-Palestinians to come along and to publicise it.”

Time: Saturday – 07 Feb – 2pm
Location: Outside the Simon Building, Oxford Road, Manchester. Look for the Palestinian flags

For more info and updates, the students have set up a blog and a facebook page from inside the occupation.

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Security in Iraq: Relatively Speaking

Relative security.
Despite security gains in Iraq, civilians still struggle to gain some sense of normalcy. (Photo: Getty Images)

Our dear friend Dahr Jamail, winner of the 2008 Martha Gellhorn Prize, is back in Iraq and here are his impressions.  He writes, ‘yes, one could say security is better if one is clear that it is better in comparison not to downtown Houston but to Fallujah 2004’.  As for employment, Dahr reports that the line of work with highest job security is that of the grave digger.

If there is to be any degree of honesty in our communication, we must begin to acknowledge that the lexicon of words that describes the human condition is no longer universally applicable.

I am in Iraq after four years away.

Most Iraqis I talked with on the eve of the first provincial elections being held after 2005 told me “security is better.”

I myself was lulled into a false sense of security upon my arrival a week ago. Indeed, security is “better,” compared to my last trip here, when the number of attacks per month against the occupation forces and Iraqi collaborators used to be around 6,000. Today, we barely have one American soldier being killed every other day and only a score injured weekly. Casualties among Iraqi security forces are just ten times that number.

But yes, one could say security is better if one is clear that it is better in comparison not to downtown Houston but to Fallujah 2004.

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Strathclyde Students Win Agreement

Students at the University of Strathclyde have just scored another victory for Palestine. After an overnight occupation of the Administration building (photos here) and following a rally earlier today the University has finally agreed to the following four demands:

  1. The university will no longer place any further orders with Eden Springs.
  2. Scholarships: The university will fund 1-3 students from Gaza.
  3. The DEC appeal will be posted all across the University and also on the University’s website.
  4. The University will issue a press release reiterating Strathclyde University’s longstanding relationship with the Islamic University of Gaza.
  5. The University denies that it has any links with BAE systems beyond the company funding one student to the sum of £5000 in the engineering department. Whether this is true or not remains to be seen, and we shall investigate this further.

Here is a photo of the actual handwritten, signed agreement

Shoe hurled at Israeli ambassador

Before long shoes will be banned as a security threat by ever-paranoid Israeli Ambassadors giving lectures … and dodging war crimes arrests.

A woman has thrown a shoe at the Israeli ambassador to Sweden as he was giving a lecture on Israel’s forthcoming elections.

The shoe hit Benny Dagan in the chest during a seminar held at the University of Stockholm on Wednesday, a local police official said.

Ylva Kornheffer, a board member of the Stockholm Association of Foreign Affairs, the student association which organised the seminar, said she was “sitting in the front row and suddenly a shoe was flying over my head”.

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Strathclyde Student Occupation in Pictures


Further to our previous post there has been positive feedback from the occupation, a facebook group has been set up as well as a wordpress blog.

Continue reading “Strathclyde Student Occupation in Pictures”

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