A Friendly Conversation with the Shabak

Yonatan Shapira

Activist Yonatan Shapira (you may know him from actions such as The Pilots’ Letter, Tutu Disruption, and The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising) was summoned to a “friendly talk” with the Shabak [translation via Promised Land]:

Yesterday Rona from the Shabak called me and asked me to come talk to meet her in the police station on Dizengof st. (Tel Aviv). She refused to tell me what was it about, but made it clear I wasn’t going to be arrested, and that this is just an acquaintance or “a friendly talk”…

At five o’clock I got to the Dizengof police station and was sent to the second floor of the rear building, where a guy who presented himself as Rona’s security guard waited for me. I was taken to a room and subjected to a pretty intimate search to make sure I didn’t install any recording device on my testicles. After I was found clean I was let into Rona’s room. She was a nice looking girl, apparently from a Yemeni origin, in her early thirties.

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The Carnival at Novara and Unmasking of a Racist Regime

by Huma Dar

The police, in the northern Italian town of Novara, fined a 26-year-old Tunisian woman for wearing a black niqab; she was going to a mosque for the Friday prayers.  According to the New York Times she was fined about $650 under a regulation introduced in January 2010.  Apparently, Novara — a bastion of the xenophobic Northern League — “bans clothing in public that prevents identification by the police.”

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With Brothers Like This

This Memorial eve, culture in Israel took a turn to the right. Highly respected artist, Amir Bennayun, has written a song that can only described as messianic hateful state incitement and propaganda. Here it is in all its disgusting glory [lyrics below limited by my translation]:

I Am Your Brother

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Europe’s Endangered Muslims

Last Thursday the Islamic Relief charity shop in Glasgow was badly damaged in an arson attack. Over in Germany, 32-year-old Egyptian mother Marwa Sherbini was stabbed to death by her assailant — in a courtroom! — for wearing the hijab. And now this: “Bomb seizures spark far-right terror plot fear“, reports David Leppard of Times.

Islamic Relief charity shop badly damaged in arson attack
Islamic Relief charity shop badly damaged in arson attack (H Yusuf)

A network of suspected far-right extremists with access to 300 weapons and 80 bombs has been uncovered by counter-terrorism detectives.Thirty-two people have been questioned in a police operation that raises the prospect of a right-wing bombing campaign against mosques. Police are said to have recovered a British National party membership card and other right-wing literature during a raid on the home of one suspect charged under the Terrorism Act.

In England’s largest seizure of a suspected terrorist arsenal since the IRA mainland bombings of the early 1990s, rocket launchers, grenades, pipe bombs and dozens of firearms have been recovered in the past six weeks during raids on more than 20 properties. Several people have been charged and more arrests are imminent. Current police activity is linked to arrests in Europe, New Zealand and Australia.

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‘Israel is West’s first line of defense’

Geert Wilders

The Dutch crypto-fascist MP Geert Wilders, who has been recently banned from the UK with the Home Office viewing his presence as a “threat to one of the fundamental interests of society, says that the sequel to his first movie Fitna will focus on “how the forces of Islamization are specifically targeting Israel in a fight against all free societies.” In an interview with Haaretz, he not only commended Avigdor Liberman for his electoral succes and said he is “proud” of the similarities between his own Party for Freedom and Yisrael Beiteinu but calls the “two-state solution is an internal Israeli matter“. His “personal belief is that there is a two state solution for the Palestinians. One of those states is called Jordan.” Whilst such statements are nothing new from Wilders, the fact that he seized 15% (2nd place) of the vote in the Dutch European Parliament elections means that he’s becoming a political force to be reckoned with.

Israel will be a major part of Geert Wilders’ next film on Islam, the rightist Dutch legislator said last week in an interview for Haaretz. He praised Avigdor Lieberman, observing “similarities” between Yisrael Beiteinu and the Party for Freedom – a small movement which has grown to become Holland’s second most popular.

Wilders, a controversial anti-immigration politician, rose to international fame last year when he released a 14-minute film entitled Fitna, which attempts to portray what he considers as Islam’s “violent nature.” The film, which has been viewed by millions online, provoked mass protests throughout the Muslim world.

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‘These colours don’t run’

From Colombian painter Francisco Boteros series depicting US abuse of Iraqi detainees.
From Colombian painter Fernando Botero's series depicting US abuse of Iraqi detainees.

Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, and Bagram are well known. Less so the police detention centers where the innocents caught in the ‘war on terror’ dragnet were subjected to similar abuses. Inigo Thomas reveals:

In his remarks to the American Enterprise Institute last week, Dick Cheney said that inmates at Guantánamo should remain imprisoned on Cuba because they are too dangerous to be incarcerated in American jails. What about the Americans arrested and jailed under the terms of the war on terror? Should they be incarcerated on Cuba, or does Cheney suppose that Americans are, regardless of what they have done, inherently less dangerous than other people and therefore don’t need to be jailed at Guantánamo?

Nor – surely – can Cheney have forgotten that immediately after 9/11, hundreds of men were rounded up by the FBI and other police forces in the US and imprisoned in high security American jails: 760 in total, 184 of whom were considered especially interesting by the authorities. Just over half of them were interred at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, a former warehouse on the waterfront overlooking the harbour and the Statue of Liberty. The story was covered by the New York Times, but it was treated, mostly, as local news and carried in the ‘New York Region’ section of the paper.

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Breaking News: Armed soldiers, police, attempt to shut down Palestine Festival of Literature

Israeli stormtrooper threatens the media
Israeli stormtrooper threatens the media

Israeli stormtroopers have tried to shut down the Palestine Festival of Literature according to Al Jazeera and Ma’an News Agency. Fellow PULSE contributor Robin Yassin-Kassab is one of the featured writers at this year’s event. Unfortunately there is nothing new about this type of contemptible behavior, it’s Israel’s stock-in-trade. So next time you hear an Obama or a Brown speak about ‘our shared values’, ask them if burning books and gagging writers are part of them. See also Marcy Newman who is there at the Festival and writes at the excellent Body On The Line.

Israeli police and armed border officials shut down the Palestinian National Theater in East Jerusalem on Saturday, in an effort to quash the Palestine Festival of Literature and prevent international writer and poets from addressing Palestinians.

The weeklong festival, sponsored in part by the British Council and UNESCO, was scheduled to begin at 6:30 with two panel discussions by authors from Canada, Britain, South Africa and Australia. The second annual festival will travel around Palestine and decided to begin and end events in Jerusalem in honor of Al-Quds Capital of Culture 2009.

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