"The so-called 'Palestinian autonomous areas' are bantustans...restricted entities within the power of the Israeli apartheid system."
   Nelson Mandela
Events: July 14: VTJP Meeting
Why We Need International Recognition of the State of Palestine
Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi, Arabic Media Internet Network (AMI 10/17/201
     After two decades of sham negotiations, it’s the best way to put pressure on Israel to end the occupation. Sweden’s recent responsible decision to officially recognize the State of Palestine was quickly followed by the British Parliament’s vote for similar recognition. The Swedish and British moves, clearly grounded in a desire for peace, are a last-ditch effort to save the two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict. These developments reflect the shift in European public opinion in favor of a free Palestine. The Swedish and British acts, which put new moral pressure on Israel to end the occupation, have created greater space to address a range of unfulfilled Palestinian rights. One of the strangest arguments Israel makes against recognition of Palestine by other countries is the claim that such decisions are unilateral acts that obstruct the possibility of peace, and that a Palestinian state can only be established through negotiations. This claim adds insult to injury, as those who champion it, whether they are Israeli or American, know three very clear facts. The first fact is that negotiations between the Israeli and Palestinian leaderships died a long time ago. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu killed the possibility of any fruitful results by not fulfilling his commitments and by carrying out an unprecedented expansion, in both intensity and size, of Israel’s illegal colonies spread throughout occupied Palestinian territory. Negotiations will never succeed as long as the balance of power is so skewed in Israel’s favor. Secondly, the side that is acting unilaterally is clearly Israel. It is the side that is expanding settlements—at a 124 percent increase in 2013, compared to the year before. Israel is continuing the process of annexation and Judaization of the occupied territories, and it has conducted three very destructive wars against the Gaza Strip in only six years, committing what all supporters of human rights agree to be war crimes and crimes against humanity....
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Given up on being a Jew: Professor Shlomo Sand speaks out
Redress 10/11/201
     "I wish to resign and cease considering myself a Jew.”
     These are the words of Shlomo Sand, an Israeli professor of history at Tel Aviv University.
     Risking opprobrium in a deeply narcissistic society that spares no quarter to those who contradict the worldwide Judaeo-centric groupthink which sees Jews as the chosen Übermenschen and everyone else, especially the Palestinians, as the Untermenschen, Professor Sand has issued a damning verdict on Israel and the Jewish culture that has emerged within it.
     His views on Israeli society – “one of the most racist… in the Western world” – and his realisation that his “fleeting utopian dream that a Palestinian Israeli should feel as much at home in Tel Aviv as a Jewish American does in New York” would never come to pass are outlined in his book, How I Stopped Being a Jew, published by Verso and available at the Guardian bookshop.
     Here are extracts from the book:
     “I wish to resign and cease considering myself a Jew”
     …Now, having painfully become aware that I have undergone an adherence to Israel, been assimilated by law into a fictitious ethnos of persecutors and their supporters, and have appeared in the world as one of the exclusive club of the elect and their acolytes, I wish to resign and cease considering myself a Jew…
     In the light of the historic tragedies of the 20th century, I am determined no longer to be a small minority in an exclusive club that others have neither the possibility nor the qualifications to join…
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Schizophrenia, Tokenism and Feeling ’Good’ About Palestine
Dr Philip Leech, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 10/19/201
     It is unlikely to have escaped anyone's attention that, after being somewhat overshadowed by events of the 'Arab Spring' and the various permutations of Syria's Civil war; Palestine is back in the headlines of Britain's International and Middle East news pages. And what's more, there has been something of a return to more positive language of peace and hope. We should not get over excited.
     There are two prominent reasons for this shift that occurred this just this week. Examining them provides a useful insight into the way in which the media covers Palestine. First, on Monday night, the British parliament voted by a majority of 274-to-12 to recognise, albeit symbolically, "the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel as a contribution to securing a negotiated two-state solution." This outcome was advocated for or applauded by a range of commentators (myself included) and also, predictably, led to a few head-explosions on the pro-Israel right wing.
     Second, the launch of a new donor conference to help 'reconstruct Gaza' took place in Cairo on Tuesday. As one would expect the conference was replete with all the standard fair: earnest speeches about peace, fancy pamphlets with visions of a more positive future and, of course, the promises of enormous amounts of money ($5.4 billion this time).
     Moreover, perhaps in an effort to make up for the fact that the international community continues to avoid talking to Hamas – which runs the government in Gaza and is the only Palestinian faction than can make an even remotely reasonable claim to a democratic mandate – Ban Ki Moon, the General Secretary of the UN, promised "to listen directly to the people".
     It all sounds jolly good then! At face value the picture is a rosy one: the promised aid for Gaza amounts to far more than the estimated $4 billion worth of damage, the UN Secretary General will act as an intermediary between the people and the donors to ensure that the money is spent wisely....
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How the Israeli media covers massacres: Lessons from 1953
John Brown, +972 Magazine 10/18/201
     The killing was justified, the terrorists hid among the civilian population, the West is anti-Semitic, and on second thought, perhaps the whole thing never actually happened. From the 1953 Qibya massacre to Operation Protective Edge, the Israeli media is the same media, and the lies the same lies.
     At 9:30 p.m. on the night of October 14, 1953, soldiers from Israel’s Paratroopers Unit as well as Commando Unit 101 fired mortars at the West Bank villages (then under Jordanian control) of Qibya and Ni’lin. Following the barrage, over 130 soldiers swarmed Qibya, laying down land mines on the outskirts of the village in order to prevent Jordanian troops from accessing it. Israeli forces then destroyed 45 homes and killed 69 people, most of them in cold blood by throwing grenades, including those who attempted to flee for their lives. Many were killed under the rubble of their own homes. Approximately two thirds of those killed were women and children. The soldiers received the following order from then-commander Ariel Sharon: “The intention: Attack and conquer the village of Qibya, with maximum damage to humans and property.” The massacre took place in the wake of the murder of three Israelis in the Israeli town Yehud.
     Israeli newspapers quoted Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion when reporting that the massacre was committed by “settlers living on the border, some of them lived through Nazi concentration camps, while others are immigrants from Muslim countries, where the tradition of revenge is strong… and their patience ran out. No one will be more sorry than the Israeli government should it turn out that innocent blood was spilled in the revenge attack. The Israeli government vehemently rejects the outlandish and fantastical versions of the story, which claim that Israeli soldiers took part in the operation against Qibya. We examined the issue, and found that not a single military unit was missing from its base on the night of the attack on Qibya.” The Davar daily added that Ben-Gurion’s speech was delivered “from the heart of every Israeli” and that
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Olive trees burned as anti-Palestinian incitement grips Galilee
Electronic Intifada: 17 Oct 2014 - Eight Jewish-only communities surrounding Tarshiha have been allocated considerably more resources than its indigenous Palestinians.
Haj Sami Sadeq and the struggle for Al Aqaba
Palestine Monitor: 28 Jan 2013 -   Al Aqaba is a small Palestinian village located in the northern Jordan Valley, home to around 300 residents. Since 1999 Haj Sami Sadeq has been the mayor of this town, facing a constant struggle...
Nearly ten years after store closures, old city of Hebron still suffering
Palestine Monitor: 28 Jan 2013 -   This report is the second in a new Palestine Monitor series on life in the Old City of Hebron (known in Arabic as Khalil). The Palestine Monitor will publish one report a week on...
The Israeli Solution
Palestine Chronicle: 18 Oct 2014 - By Hasan Afif El-Hasan I tried to explore the long term plans of the ruling elite of Israel regarding the Palestinians. But since no Israeli government ever publicly revealed its long term vision other than maintaining the status quo, I sought to examine their thoughts through one of their surrogates, Caroline Glick. I read her book “The Israeli Solution” that has been published recently. Caroline Glick is a right wing Israeli and a strong supporter of Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu policies. She is American born Israeli journalist, the deputy managing editor of the Jerusalem Post and she writes for the Israeli daily newspaper, Makor Rishon. In her book, she covers many topics that reflect the right wing Zionists views on Palestine, and she also promotes a one state plan in Palestine. Glick argues that the two-state-solution is not acceptable because it falls short of meeting the Zionists’ goals. She writes:...
The Other is Nothing but a Target in the Rifle Scope
Palestine Chronicle: 15 Oct 2014 - By Tamar Fleishman – Qalandiya The supervision over the people arriving at the checkpoint, over the thousands of families living in Qalandiya refugee camp and over the tens of businesses on the main road between Ramallah and East Jerusalem is tightening, and the asymmetry between the soldiers who are armed with rifles and grenades and the boys and teenagers who throw at them stones and Molotov Bottles or roll over burning tires, is growing. After the murder of the two teenagers in Beitunia by a bored soldier and the abduction of the Muhammad Abu-Khdeir, the boy who was burnt alive, the winds in Palestine and East Jerusalem began to stir and the youngsters began holding protests more often, additional surveillance cameras were installed on the top of the tower overlooking the refugee camp and next to them were placed projectors which during all hours of the day light both the...
The Missing Context: ‘Islamic State’ Sectarianism is Not Coincidental
Palestine Chronicle: 15 Oct 2014 - By Ramzy Baroud Consider this comical scene described by Peter Van Buren, a former US diplomat, who was deployed to Iraq on a 12-month assignment in 2009-10: Van Buren led two Department of State teams assigned with the abstract mission of the “reconstruction” of Iraq, which was destroyed in the US-led wars and sanctions. He describes the reconstruction of Iraq as such: “In practise, that meant paying for schools that would never be completed, setting up pastry shops on streets without water or electricity, and conducting endless propaganda events on Washington-generated themes of the week (‘small business,’ ‘women’s empowerment,’ ‘democracy building.’)” As for the comical scene: “We even organised awkward soccer matches, where American taxpayer money was used to coerce reluctant Sunni teams into facing off against hesitant Shiite ones in hopes that, somehow, the chaos created by the American invasion could be ameliorated on the playing field.” Of course,...

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