Saturday, March 31, 2012

[Palestinian MK Hanin] Zoabi: “We Did Not Invade Anybody’s Land”

Mk Hanin Zoabi - Arabs48

Israeli Ynet News quoted Zoabi stated that “Israel is resuming what it did not finish in the Nabka of 1948, by continuing the systematic expulsion and transfer of the Arab population”.

“Israel is still conducting its illegal 63-year-old policy”, Zoabi said, “We see that as a declaration of war against us”.

“We did not invade anybody’s land, or country, we did not steal the land of any Jewish person”, she stated, “We did not raid homes, I am not a settler, am indigenous, I want to live in my home, in my homeland”.

Palestinian Land Day in Seattle -- March to Bed Bath/Beyond & Nordstrom to Demand Boycott of Sodastream & Ahava!

Afghan My Lai — Robert Bales was not alone -- Yalda Hakim for Australia’s SBS Dateline

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Deal reached to free hunger striker Hana Shalabi - Israel to deport her to Gaza

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- A deal to release Palestinian hunger-striker Hana Shalabi to the Gaza Strip temporarily was reached late Thursday, officials with knowledge of the negotiations told Ma'an.

The officials say Shalabi will be sent to Gaza for three years in exchange for giving up a 43-day strike against Israel's policy of holding detainees without charge.

The Palestinian prisoners society confirmed the deal in a statement praising Shalabi's resolve. It expressed its appreciation for her efforts to bring attention to Israel's policies toward prisoners.

Qadoura Fares of the prisoners society said Shalabi agreed to the deal "in return for ending her strike and being freed. ... We reject deportation, but this is her decision and her own life," Fares said.

Shalabi's lawyer, Jawwad Boulous, also confirmed the agreement.

According to a high-ranking Palestinian source, the deal was reached after Palestinian officials and Red Cross intervened to confirm that Shalabi approved.

The Palestinian Authority minister of civil affairs, Hussein al-Sheikh, said the leadership in Ramallah was not involved in the negotiations as it rejects Israel's deportation policy.

The deal apparently followed talks between Shalabi and the Israeli government, he said.

Al-Sheikh added that Israel is responsible for the hunger-striker's well-being and should instead release Shalabi unconditionally to her home and family in the West Bank, not to Gaza.

An Israeli official said: "I am aware there were negotiations of that sort." The official did not immediately elaborate, Reuters reported.

Israel had previously held Shalabi for 25 months but released her in October under a prisoner swap with Hamas, which controls Gaza.

Israeli authorities say Shalabi remains an active member of Islamic Jihad, but her father, Yehia, said that since the exchange his daughter had not been active in the group.

An Islamic Jihad spokesman, Daoud Shihab, denied knowledge of the deal. If it exists, he said, the agreement would have been made without his group's involvement as it rejects deportation.

Israel struck a deal last month with Khader Adnan, an Islamic Jihad member, persuading him to end his 66-day strike after assuring him that he would be released in April from his detention without trial.

Human rights groups have condemned Israel's detention without trial of some 300 Palestinians.

Reuters contributed to this report.

Dancing Dabke in Palestine on Land Day! Join Us Tomorrow for Land Day in Seattle

On March 30, 2012, Seattle-area citizens will take to the streets to commemorate Palestinian Land Day.  This event is coordinated by members of the NW Regional BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) Coalition, including members from Voices of Palestine, Jewish Voice for Peace-Seattle, and The Rachel Corrie Foundation.

Our event marks the day in 1976 when Israel’s government announced plans to take land from Palestinian villages thus cleansing the Galilee of its Palestinian majority and Judaizing the territory. In response, Palestinians all over Israel, the West Bank, Gaza, and the Diaspora protested peacefully via general strikes and marches. The Israeli government and police responded violently. Unarmed demonstrators were wounded and killed and many people were arrested.

The NW Regional BDS Coalition’s aim is to call attention to the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine and the Israeli apartheid system. We will march through downtown Seattle with music, dancing, and street theater, visiting selected stores where Israeli products are sold.  We call on Seattle shopkeepers and consumers to stop purchasing products that benefit the Israeli occupation and apartheid system.

Please join us to march at 5pm at Westlake Mall, on March 30, 2012.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Exposing the "Humanitarian" War Lie - Pepe Escobar

Brandeis University Students for Justice in Palestine Disrupt Town-Hall Meeting with Israeli Knesset Members

Newton, MA – On Monday, March 26th 2012, members of Brandeis Students for Justice in Palestine (BSJP), together with Waltham and Boston area Palestine solidarity activists, disrupted a Town Hall Meeting with 5 members of the Israeli Knesset (MKs) at Temple Emanuel in Newton, Massachusetts. The event, whose sponsors included Brandeis University, the Ruderman Foundation, and a number of Boston-area Zionist organizations, was aimed at strengthening relations between Israeli political leaders and the American Jewish community. The activists mic-checked the panel, protesting the undemocratic nature of the Israeli apartheid state and notified the offending officials that until their government ceased its discriminatory policies they were not welcome by students at Brandeis University community events. The activists were pushed outside the hall by police officers and private security guards.  One Brandeis student was arrested and another was injured while being thrown to the floor by a police officer.

March 30 Palestine Land Day Action in Seattle

On March 30, 2012, Seattle-area citizens will take to the streets to commemorate Palestinian Land Day. This event is coordinated by members of the NW Regional BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) Coalition, including members from Voices of Palestine, Jewish Voice for Peace-Seattle, and The Rachel Corrie Foundation.

Our event marks the day in 1976 when Israel’s government announced plans to take land from Palestinian villages thus cleansing the Galilee of it’s Palestinian majority and Judaizing the territory. In response, Palestinians all over Israel, the West Bank, Gaza, and the Diaspora protested peacefully via general strikes and marches. The Israeli government and police responded violently. Unarmed demonstrators were wounded and killed and many people were arrested.

The NW Regional BDS Coalition’s aim is to call attention to the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine and the Israeli apartheid system. We will march through downtown Seattle with music, dancing, and street theater, visiting selected stores where Israeli products are sold. We call on Seattle shopkeepers and consumers to stop purchasing products that benefit the Israeli occupation and apartheid system.

Please join us at 5pm at Westlake Mall. We will begin marching at 5:15pm.

Make the Call for Leonard Peltier! Friday, March 30

Please Share Widely! Friday, March 30 2012: Starting at 9 AM EST, call the White House comment line at...

Comments: 202-456-1111
Switchboard: 202-456-1414 (ask for comment line)
TTY/TTD: 202-456-6213
Tell them you are calling regarding Federal Prisoner Leonard Peltier #89637-132. Tell them you want Leonard released immediately by Presidential Clemency or any means.
Call as many times as you can. The line may be busy, but please be patient and keep trying to get through.
It has been some time since a specific Mass Call In for Leonard has been requested. We know many of you call consistently, which is both vital and appreciated by Leonard. Please do all you can to make Friday March 30, 2012 a big day for Leonard at the White House comment line. 

Howard University Trayvon Martin "Am I Suspicious?" Campaign Video

Monday, March 26, 2012

Geraldo Rivera in a Hoodie
Rivera argued that avoiding certain types of attire was a necessary deterrent against racial profiling. "It’s those crime scene surveillance tapes. Every time you see someone sticking up a 7-11, the kid is wearing a hoodie," Rivera said. "You have to recognize that this whole stylizing yourself as a gangster, you're gonna be a gangster wannabe? Well, people are gonna perceive you as a menace."

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Checkpoint

Youtube description: A Short film by Porter Speakman, Jr. (@porterspeakman) for the "Christ at the Checkpoint Conference 2012". "The Checkpoint" looks at the system of Israeli checkpoints in the West Banks and the daily routine Palestinians must face going through the Bethlehem Checkpoint.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Greeks Are Good Sports!

During a recent Maccabi Tel Aviv visit to Greece, Greek fans delivered a special message:
from Max Blumenthal's twitter feed:  @MaxBlumenthal.  I recommend a follow.

Place Hana Shalabi à Paris, ساحة هناء شلبي في باريس

“To all the free and loyal Palestinian people, I direct my words to you—while I and all my brothers and sisters in the occupier’s prisons are on hunger strike, we call on you to continue your solidarity and for the issue of prisoners to be on the highest priority list […] I call on  foreign states to continue action in applying pressure [on Israel] towards the release of all our courageous prisoners.”
-Hana Shalabi, 16 March 2012
Hana Shalabi on Her 34th Day of Hunger Strike: Israeli Prison Service Refusing to Transfer Her to Hospital Despite Immediate Risk of Death:



Monday, March 19, 2012

KONY 2012 Study Guide: A Political Analysis by Pepe Escobar

My Note to Local Public Radio Station on Their Iran Reporting

This is about NPR, but since you are local rep for them, I am contacting you. 

Tom Gjelten may not have been around when U.S. sanctions were killing 500,000 children in Iraq, but if he was, I wonder if he displayed the same gleeful tone he had when he discussed the effectiveness of U.S. sanctions on Iran this morning (March 19).

Iran has signed the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty and has every right to develop  nuclear energy program.  Unlike our "valued ally," Israel (who is snarling like a pit bull on a chain to attack Iran).

I would like to boycott NPR, but I will do something even worse.  I will listen without paying tribute.  Even at the risk of "wasting my beautiful mind."  H/T Barbara Bush.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Bi-monthly Vigil of Voices of Palestine at Seattle's Westlake Park

We were well-received at the
coincidental St. Patrick's Day Parade.

UPDATE:  Why the Irish Support Palestine.

Voices of Palestine Educational Vigil
at Westlake Park in Seattle,
remembering Rachel Corrie
and celebrating the courage of
Palestinian Hunger Strikers
Hana al Shalabi (in her 30th day) and
Khader Adnan, both of whom are still in
illegal Israeli administrative detention!
Free Hana Shalabi and Khader Adnan!

Our vigils are 1st & 3rd
Saturdays from noon-2pm
at Westlake Park, Seattle.
For more info, contact

Stop U.S. funding of Israel!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Let Us Hope It Is Not Just Half-Time!

Israel's Scoreboard:  Gaza Dead 25 vs Israel Dead 0

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The New Black -- by the Mavrix

Excerpt from Youtube Description:  "In a first ever musical collaboration between South Africa and Palestine, South African band, The Mavrix, and Palestinian Oud player, Mohammed Omar, have released a music video called "The New Black". The song is taken from The Mavrix' upcoming album,"Pura Vida", due for release in June 2012."

Support Lawsuit to Stop NDAA

[Palestinian] Women and Resistance -- Brilliant!
Youtube Description:  Suha Barghouti is the Chair of the Palestinian NGO network, and a long-time human rights activist. In this interview, she discusses the history of Palestinian women's roles in Palestinian popular resistance, what shape that resistance has taken today, and what she sees for the future. The interview was originally featured in the documentary film "For the Resistance," directed by Sheryle Carlson and produced by the Alternative Information Center. For more information, visit

Monday, March 12, 2012

Why War With Iran Is Absolutely Necessary!

On Display in Gaza: The True Israeli Narrative -- Larry Derfner  via The Palestine Center

Islamic Jihad or Fatah, terrorists or guerillas, post-Oslo or pre-Oslo, the Palestinians have no right to resist our control, which we impose by full right.

Here we are again, fighting for our survival, fighting in self-defense, killing Islamic Jihad terrorists who deliberately fire rockets at innocent Israeli civilians, and all this after we got out of there completely, and after all the peace offers we made since Oslo that they rejected. You see? We have no choice.

The above is the Israeli narrative for our current targeted assassination campaign, the same one we used for Operation Cast Lead and every other onslaught we’ve visited on the Strip over the last decade: Our enemies are jihadists who won’t accept anything less than our deaths; they target innocent civilians, which further proves their intentions and essential evil;  and we’ve offered them statehood repeatedly but they rejected it every time, so war is forced on us as the last option.

This is what Israelis tell themselves, and it’s all crap. It doesn’t matter whether the terrorists are jihadists or not, it doesn’t matter if they target civilians or not, it doesn’t matter if we offered them statehood or not – we’re going to kill them if they try to break out of our control, and we will always be totally innocent, while they will always be totally guilty.

Look at this hypocrisy. We say that we kill them because they attack innocent civilians; would we not kill them if they only attacked soldiers? If instead of rockets they had Apache helicopters and F-16s and bombed IDF bases and soldiers in uniform – would we view them or treat them any differently?

Moreover, Islamic Jihad, Hamas and the other religious fanatics only started fighting after the first intifada of 1987; before that it was mainly Fatah, a secular nationalist movement whose armed men now work day and night with the Shin Bet and IDF, whose leaders clink glasses with our leaders. When Fatah were the terrorists, were they one iota less loathesome, less evil in Israeli eyes than Islamic Jihad?

Finally, about our peace offers, let’s put aside the fact that we never offered the Palestinians sovereignty anywhere, never offered them the freedoms that  every nation, beginning with Israel, demands. For the sake of argument, let’s say that the Oslo Accord did offer the Palestinians a deal that, by rights, they should have accepted; let’s say Rabin, Peres, Barak, Olmert and even Netanyahu offered them a peaceful way to gain their freedom and independence, yet they rejected it. Even if that were true – what about before Oslo? Did Yitzhak Shamir offer the Palestinians statehood or anything except life under Israeli military rule? Did Menachem Begin? Did Rabin in his first term? Did Golda Meir? Did Levi Eshkol? While reasonable, well-intentioned people may argue that Israel offered the Palestinians a way out of occupation after 1993,  they can’t argue that we did so between 1967 and 1993. So if our post-Oslo peace offers make the Palestinians the aggressor and Israel the defender, what do we have to say about all those Palestinian acts of violence during the 26 years of occupation before Oslo? If today’s rocket attacks are unjustified because we offered the Palestinians a state, are we saying, then, that during all those years when nothing was on offer, the attacks were justified? Of course not. As far as we’re concerned, they were as wanton and malicious and purely evil as could possibly be, exactly like the ones today.

Post-Oslo or pre-Oslo, civilian targets or military targets, jihadist or nationalist, it makes no difference – in our eyes, the Palestinians have no right to lift a finger against our control of their lives and land. And if they do, we have the absolute right to do whatever’s necessary to stop them, from Operation Cast Lead to targeted assassinations to barring the import of macaroni.

We are the conquerors, they are the conquered - this is the true Israeli narrative.

Iron Curtains over Gaza; the Media’s Blackout

Saturday, March 10, 2012

12 Palestinians, Including Secretary-General of the Popular Resistance Committees, Killed and 11 Others Wounded

Palestine Center for Human Rights
Ref: 30/2012
Date: 10 March 2012
Time: 09:00 GMT

New Israeli Escalation against the Gaza Strip:
12 Palestinians, Including Secretary-General of the Popular Resistance Committees, Killed and 11 Others Wounded

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns the military escalation initiated by Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) against the Gaza Strip since Friday evening, 09 March 2012, in the context of which 12 Palestinians, including the Secretary-General of the Popular Resistance Committees, have been killed and 11 others, including 6 civilians, were wounded as a result of a series of air strikes.

According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 16:15 on Friday, 09 March 2012, and Israeli warplane fired a missile at a blue Opel car that was traveling in the League of Arab States Street in the southwest of Gaza, in which two leaders of the Popular Resistance Committees were traveling.  The missile hit the car directly killing the two passengers and seriously wounding a civilian bystander.  The victims were identified as Zuhair Mousa Ahmed al-Qaissi, 49, from Rafah, Secretary-General of the Popular Resistance Committees; and Mahmoud Ahmed Hanani, 44, from Nablus, al-Qaissi's son-in-law, who was released from Israeli prisons and expelled to Gaza in 2006.  The civilian bystander who was wounded was identified as Yahia Zakaria al-Dahshan, 27, and was admitted into the intensive care unit at Shifa Hospital in Gaza. 

At approximately 19:20 on the same day, an Israeli warplane fired a missile at a number of activists of al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of Islamic Jihad, who were near al-Mentar Hill in the east of al-Shuja'iya neighborhood in the east of Gaza City.  Three activists were instantly killed:

1)   Mohammed Khaled Harara, 24;
2)   Fadel 'Obaid al-Gharabli, 25; and
3)   Hazem 'Awadh Quraiqe', 33.

At approximately 22:00 on the same day, an Israeli warplane fired a missile that landed between two houses in the densely-populated al-Tuffah neighborhood in the east of Gaza City.  As a result, Mo'men Mahmoud al-Sherafi, a journalist, and his wife were lightly injured by glass fragments, while they were inside their house, which was heavily damaged.  A nearby house was also heavily damaged.

Approximately 15 minutes later, an Israeli warplane fired a missile at a garage under a 4-storey apartment building in al-Yarmouk Street in Gaza City.  The place was heavily damaged and 3 Palestinian civilians, including a child, were wounded. 

At approximately 23:30 also on Friday, an Israeli warplane fired a missile at a number of activists of the al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of Islamic Jihad in al-Tuffah neighborhood in the east of Gaza City.  One of those activists, Shadi Riad al-Saiqali, 27, was killed.

At approximately 00:05 on Saturday, 10 March 2012, an Israeli warplane fired a missile at a number of activists of the al-Quds Brigades near the headquarters of the Palestinian Legislative Council in the center of Gaza City.  Two activists were instantly killed and a third one was seriously wounded, but died of his wound two hours later at Shifa Hospital.  The victims were identified as:

1)   Fa'eq Sameer Sa'ad, 28;
2)   Mo'tassem Diab Hajjaj, 22; and
3)   Ahmed 'Abdul Fattah Hajjaj, 24.

At approximately 00:45 also on Saturday, an Israeli warplane fired a missile at an agricultural plot belonging to 'Azzam Salama Abu Halima in al-Sayafa area in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Lahia.  As a result, a greenhouse was destroyed and 7 nearby houses were damaged, but no casualties were reported.

At approximately 01:25, an Israeli warplane fired a missile at a number of activists of the al-Quds Brigades who were on a space area in al-Hatabiya Street in the center of Beit Lahia.  An activist sustained bruises throughout the body.   

At approximately 01:45, an Israeli warplane fired a missile at a number of activists of the al-Quds Brigades near Hammouda fuel station in the southeast of Beit Lahia.  Two activists were killed: Mohammed Yahia Mohammed al-Mughari, 24; and Mahmoud Ismail Nejem, 22.  A third activist was also seriously wounded.

At approximately 04:10, an Israeli warplane fired two missiles at a red Kia car that was traveling on Saladin road near the entrance of the central Gaza Strip town of Deir al-Balah.  A number of activists of the al-Quds Brigades were traveling in the car.  The missile hit the car directly.  One of the activists, Mohammed Ibrahim al-Ghamri, 26, from al-Maghazi refugee camp, was killed, and 3 others were wounded. 

PCHR reiterates condemnation of these crimes and expresses utmost concern over such escalation, and:

1.   Warns of aggravation of the humanitarian conditions in the Gaza Strip under the military escalation by IOF, accompanied by an ongoing tightened closure that impacts all aspects of life of the Palestinian civilian population. 

2.   Calls upon the international community to immediately take an action to stop such crimes and reiterates its call for the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their obligations under Article 1 which stipulates "the High Contracting Parties undertake to respect and to ensure respect for the present Convention in all circumstances," and their obligations under Article 146 which requires that the Contracting Parties prosecute persons alleged to commit grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention.  These grave breaches constitute war crimes under Article 147 of the same Convention and under Protocol I Additional to Geneva Conventions. 

Friday, March 09, 2012

From 16 Minutes to Palestine: "More Weapons, Fewer Palestinians, A Delayed Invasion of Iran, and a Saved Presidency"
In light of today’s attack on the Gaza Strip, know that the “United States offered Israel advanced weaponry in return for it committing not to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities“, according to a report from Israel’s Maariv newspaper. Essentially, to keep Israel from invading Iran, the U.S. plans to buffer Israel’s military might. Palestinians, like they did today, will face the consequences.

Earlier today, Israel launched an unprovoked, “pre-emptive” strike in Gaza that killed at least one Palestinian man. In response, militants in Gaza launched rockets towards Israel as the Israeli military embarked on at least two more shelling campaigns in Gaza’s skies. According to Reuters, eight have so far been killed, all of them Palestinian.

To anyone seeking justification in Israel’s attacks, none will be found. As even Haaretz acknowledges (see the eighth word of the second paragraph in its report), the rockets came after Israel launched an attack.

So what would provoke Israel to spontaneously strike a target under the guise of foiling a nonexistent threat? The answer, to the U.S. at least, doesn’t matter too much. It’s given Israel an opportunity for an even stronger weapons cache as well as another green light to strike as it so pleases. But in all fairness, there is one restriction: if the target is Palestinian, bomb away, but if the target is related to Iran in any way, hold your horses until after November 2013. Obama will be reelected and the U.S. can begin finalizing the details for its third war in less than twelve years.

Meanwhile, Israel will bide its time by testing its might over Gaza tonight. At least eight dead so far.

Hanford: North America's Fukushima Rally April 15

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Celebrate the Courage of Hunger Strikers Hana Shalabi & Her Mother on Int'l Womens Day!

FREE HANA SHALABI from administration detention!

Tar Sands Oil = Bad Gas! 3/7/12 in Seattle

Anchored by an Occupy Everett contingent, about 30 people gathered at Westlake Park in downtown Seattle to protest the adjacent Canadian consulate office regarding their murderous extraction of oil from the Canadian Tar Sands.   

The national call came from

UC Irvine Walk-Out from IDF Speech

Palestinian Women March in Gaza, West Bank to Celebrate Int'l Womens Day
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Hundreds of women marched in Gaza and the West Bank on Thursday marking International Women's Day with a call for national unity and the release of Hana Shalabi.

Women marched from the Square of the Unknown Soldier in Gaza City to the UN headquarters before heading to tents set up in solidarity with Shalabi, who has been on hunger strike in an Israeli prison for 22 days.

Carrying Palestinian flags and photos of Shalabi, the women demanded the 29-year-old's freedom and called for an end to the split between Hamas and Fatah.

In the West Bank, women rallied at a demonstration in Qalandiya, near Ramallah. Soldiers broke up the rally which was also marking women's day and in solidarity with Shalabi.

Israeli forces fired tear gas and youths threw stones at the demonstration south of Ramallah, witnesses said. Eight people suffered tear-gas inhalation and were treated at the scene, they said.

International Women's Day is a national holiday in Palestine.

Marking the occasion, Gaza's Minister of Women's Affairs Jamila al-Shanti told Reuters TV that all Gazan women are heroines and set an example to others.

"I tell this woman who is a heroine and is brave, whether she is a house wife or a working mother, she is a prisoner, a wife of a martyr, a mother of a martyr.

"Anywhere she exists she is a heroine and has recorded history. Her story has been exported and this woman has become an example to follow," she said.

Meanwhile in Ramallah, PLO Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi told Reuters the women's movement was growing across all social divides.

"The educated community was always open minded and supportive of women, and the women in Palestine work continuously. It used to be only by groups, but today it represents all women not only those thinkers or those who are more wealthy," Ashrawi said.

She added: "The women's movement, as a result of hard work and the support of open minded men, has been able to change the reality and to break the barriers and borders that had been set in place."

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

A Brief and Crucial History of the United States:

What has become of the United States of America

via The Sabbah Report:


Sunday, March 04, 2012

Apartheid Is a Crime, Not an Analogy -- Joe Catron
via Aletho News

As Israeli Apartheid Week unfolds around the world, apologists for Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people scramble to defend their chosen regime’s system of racism, ethnic cleansing, and occupation, against the charge of apartheid.

“The apartheid analogy is fatally flawed,” the Jerusalem Connection’s Shelley Neese writes. The David Project’s David Bernstein says, “The apartheid analogy is specious and absurd.” The Anti-Defamation League has even circulated an old report: “The Apartheid Analogy: Wrong for Israel.”

These commentators are right, but not for the reasons they claim. An apartheid ‘analogy’ is fatally flawed, specious, absurd, and wrong for Israel because apartheid is not an analogy, but a crime as well-defined in law as embezzlement or kidnapping.

The most relevant statute, the 1973 International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid, perhaps muddies the waters by stating that “the term ‘the crime of apartheid’ … shall include similar practices of racial segregation and discrimination as practiced in southern Africa.”

But it goes on to define exactly what those and other “inhuman acts committed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group of persons and systematically oppressing them” are.
Most will sound familiar to anyone who follows news from Palestine. The ban on “arbitrary arrest and illegal imprisonment of the members of a racial group or groups” should bring to mind Hana Shalabi, Khader Adnan, and 307 other administrative detainees held indefinitely without charges, evidence, or trials. This is further to the 4,078 Palestinian political prisoners sentenced by military courts or facing the imminent prospect, all under occupation laws no Jew will ever face.

The prohibition of “measures calculated to prevent a racial group or groups from participation in the political, social, economic and cultural life of the country” could have been meant to describe discrimination against Palestinian citizens of Israel.

They are barred by law from their country’s ethnically-cleansed land controlled by the Jewish National Fund, face forcible displacement in the Naqab and Jim Crow-style ‘admissions committees’ when seeking new homes, and have never — over nearly 64 years of occupation — been allowed to construct a new community.

And one could write volumes about Zionist “measures, designed to divide the population along racial lines by the creation of separate reserves and ghettos for the members of a racial group” in the occupied West Bank alone.

There, illegal settlements and the Apartheid Wall carve Palestinian communities into segmented Bantustans, separating inhabitants from natural resources and their families and friends in a steady process that began with the expulsion of over 700,000 Palestinians from their homeland in 1948: racial partition writ large.

The 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court specifically proscribes such ethnic cleansing, defining “the crime of apartheid” to include “deportation or forcible transfer of population … in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime.”

This aptly summarizes an unbroken chain of crimes committed by Zionists, from the Nakba of 1948 to the Naqab of today.

Of course astute Zionists know all of this very well. They target an imaginary apartheid ‘analogy’ because it can only work to their advantage.

Palestinians and allies bogged down in fruitless debates over how much or how little Palestine in 2012 resembles South Africa in 1973 will spend that much less time driving home their actual point: that Israel’s culpability in the crimes of apartheid and ethnic cleansing, as clearly defined and universally understood, is obvious.

Unfortunately, many well-intentioned supporters of Palestine fall into this carefully-laid trap. A promotional summary of the new documentary Roadmap to Apartheid promises that the film “winds its way through the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and inside Israel moving from town to town and issue to issue to show why the apartheid analogy is being used with increasing potency.”

Such an historical comparison may interest viewers. But by casting apartheid as an ‘analogy’, rather than a straightforward question of international law, it risks confusing them with irrelevant distractions.

A 21st-century apartheid regime, toasted in foreign capitals and benefiting from new technologies of surveillance, control, and violence, will differ significantly from an earlier, internationally-isolated, and less-advanced one.

Incidentally, these differences do not favor Israel. After visiting Palestine in 2006, Willie Madisha, former president of South Africa’s Congress of South African Trade Unions, commented: “The horrendous dehumanization of Black South Africans during the erstwhile Apartheid years is a Sunday picnic, compared with what I saw and what I know is happening to the Palestinian people.”

Following his own 2004 visit, South African activist Arun Gandhi agreed: “When I come here and see the situation here, I find that what is happening here is ten times worse than what I had experienced in South Africa. This is Apartheid.”

John Dugard, a South African professor of international law and a former Special Rapporteur to the UN Human Rights Council for the Gaza Strip and West Bank, has observed that “every black South African that I’ve spoken to who has visited the Palestinian territory has been horrified and has said without hesitation that the system that applies in Palestine is worse.”

Yet even these comparisons, though they may favor Palestine, are beside the point. Israeli policies constitute the crime of apartheid not because they resemble those of South Africa, or even because they are worse, but rather because a well-established body of international law defines them as such.

The common elements of national oppression, from South Africa and Palestine to Ireland and the indigenous Americas, matter. But we should not confuse the building blocks of international solidarity with a suitable basis for legal analysis.
Why choose to make one of the easiest, most straightforward questions about Palestine unnecessarily difficult? And when Zionists attempt to do so, why should we play along with them?

People of Virginia Resist Forced Ultrasound Law
Virginia Police Arrest 31 At Women’s Rights Demonstration | Police arrested 17 women and 14 men at a march outside of the Virginia Capitol while officers in riot gear held the hundreds of demonstrators back with shields. The crowd was protesting the Virginia General Assembly’s approval of a controversial bill on Thursday to require women to receive ultrasounds before abortions. The 31 people arrested had locked arms and refused to leave the Capitol steps. Del. Delores L. McQuinn (D) said there had been an “overabundance” of police at recent women’s rights protests — she had “never seen a similar police presence when guns rights advocates assemble on Capitol Square.” McQuinn described the arrests as “the latest example of government overreach that we’ve seen in recent weeks.”

"Hundreds Mass Outside AIPAC"

Hundreds mass outside @AIPAC conference, chanting "free free Palestine" #occupyaipac
link for Alex Kane's pic:

Savin' Leonard Peltier

Savin' Leonard Peltier by WoMenHead

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Free Hanna Shalabi


from the website:

Addameer Prisoner Profile:

ACTIONS (adapted from Students for Justice in Palestine alert for Khader Adnan)
●       Write to President Obama and voice your concern and demand that the US administration intervene for the immediate release of all administrative detainees and pressure Israel to end the practice of "administrative detentions." Click here for online form. Also call US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: (202) 647-4000 and the Office of Near East Affairs: (202) 647-7209. 

●       Contact the following and make the same demands:
Military Judge Advocate General, Brigadier General Danny Efroni, e-mail:

Minister of Justice, Yaakov Neeman, fax: + 972 2 670 6357, e-mail:
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Ehud Barak, fax: + 972 3 691 6940
Commander of the IOF in the West Bank, Major-General Avi Mizrahi, fax: + 972 2 530 5724

●       Organize rallies, demonstrations, and teach-ins.

Friday, March 02, 2012

Palestinian Hunger-striker Hana Shalabi Sends Greetings Ahead of Womens Day

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Palestinian hunger-striker Hana Shalabi has sent a message to Palestinian women in advance of International Women’s Day, which is next week.

Sherine Iraqi, a lawyer for the Palestinian prisoners society, visited Shalabi in Israel's Sharon prison and distributed the message.

Shalabi stresses that she will continue her strike for the Palestinian people’s dignity and to all struggling women in the world, according to the message distributed by Iraqi.

Shalabi said she will not compromise her freedom and rights for any price and has decided to continue until victory, not only for her dignity and the dignity of all women.

She added that she will continue until her freedom and independence as the Israeli government has "gone too far in humiliating and enslaving Palestinians in addition to practicing various types of insults and torture."

Shalabi added that detaining her again, after last year's prisoner swap, was an act of revenge and reflects "a racist policy that knows no mercy." She also said she has immunity according to the swap deal.

Shalabi also denied the accusations against her, which she called fabricated.

The prisoner also hailed the position of the Palestinian administrative detainees who are boycotting the military's courts, considering it a first step to put an end to this policy.

She also saluted the Palestinian women on the occasion of the holiday, and said that "Palestinian woman will always be the spearhead of resistance against the occupiers."

Iraqi, her lawyer, said that Shalabi's health had deteriorated considerably but her spirits remain high. She added that Shalabi has not had any medical tests since she started her hunger strike.

U.S. in Afghanistan -- Khalil Bendib

"Pepe Escobar: Axis of Evil is a Figment of the Neo-Con's Imagination"

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Palestinian Prisoners Boycott Military Courts -- Citing Khader Adnan & Hana al-Shalabi

Separation Diary -- Israel's Laws Rip Families Apart
On 11\1\2012 the Israeli Supreme Court upheld the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law -- 2003. This law severely restricts Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel from living together in Israel with their Palestinian spouses from the OPT or from "enemy states" defined as "Syria, Lebanon, Iran and Iraq". Thousands of Palestinian families are affected by this law, forced to move abroad, or live apart or to live together illegally in Israel.