Sunday, October 30, 2011

Huwaida Arraf and the ISM: Supporting Palestinian violence

Yousef Aljamal of Gaza's Center for Political Development Studies recently interviewed with Huwaida Arraf, co-founder of the International Solidarity Movement:

From the Interview at Mondoweiss

"I, personally, and the ISM as an organization, recognize the Palestinian right to use armed struggle to resist occupation...."

Its not like this is news, or that we haven't heard it before. The ISM routinely joins forces with the most racist in Palestinian society, espousing violence and using the language of anti-semitism. . In planning the next assault on Israel's borders, the ISM has teamed up with Raed Salah , currently facing deportation from the UK.

From Adam Holland- a collection of choice quotes from Salah

“You Jews are criminal bombers of mosques,
Slaughterers of pregnant women and babies.
Robbers and germs in all times,
The Creator sentenced you to be loser monkeys,
Victory belongs to Muslims, from the Nile to the Euphrates"

"We have never allowed ourselves to knead [the dough for] the bread that breaks the fast in the holy month of Ramadan with children's blood. Whoever wants a more thorough explanation, let him ask what used to happen to some children in Europe, whose blood was mixed in with the dough of the [Jewish] holy bread . . . Great God, is this a religion? Is this what God would want? God will deal with you yet for what you are doing."

Interviewer: What is your opinion of homosexuality?
Salah: It is a crime. A great crime. Such phenomena signal the start of the collapse of every society. Those who believe in Allah know that behavior of that kind brings his wrath and is liable to cause the worst things to happen. There is no solution for this, unless the individual’s faith is strengthened.
Interviewer: What is your opinion of the legislation now being discussed in the Knesset, which would grant Muslim women rights similar to those of Jewish women in matters of personal status?
Salah: That bill is tantamount to a war on Islam. It is an attempt to dictate different, foreign values that are neither Muslim nor Palestinian values.

Supporting violence. enabling racism. Is this the true face of the Palestinian peace Movement?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Timeline from the IDF: Rockets in the South

Timeline of todays rocket attacks from Gaza. From the IDF website

7:30am – Since midnight 10 rockets and mortar shells hits southern Israel. Over 30 rockets were launched into Israel from the Gaza strip since yesterday.

6:25am - IAF aircraft targeted six terror activity sites in the Gaza Strip. Three rocket launching sites and one terror tunnel were targeted in the northern Gaza Strip, and in the southern Gaza Strip two terror activity sites were targeted. Secondary explosions were observed in certain sites. Hits were confirmed.

12:20 - Mortar shell hits southern Israel.

11:50 – Mortar shell hits near Sha’ar Ha’Negev Regional Council.

10:50pm - IAF aircraft targeted a terrorist squad in the northern Gaza strip that was preparing to launch rockets at Israeli communities. Additionally IAF aircraft targeted two armed rocket launchers in the southern Gaza Strip. Hits were confirmed.

10:15pm - IAF aircraft target a terrorist preparing to launch rockets at Israel in the southern Gaza Strip. Hits were confirmed.

10:13pm – Video of a terrorist squad preparing to launch rocket from Gaza toward Israel.

9:35pm – Over 15 rockets were fired at southern Israel today, including many Grad rockets fired at Ashdod and Ashkelon.

9:00 – School is cancelled for tomorrow in many cities in southern Israel.

8:40pm - The Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz held a situation assessment in response to the renewed rocket fire from Gaza. The assessment was held with the operational general staff including representatives from the Intelligence Corps, the Southern Command, the Home Front Command, the IAF and the Operations Directorate.

8:03pm – 3 more mortars hits southern Israel.

7:10pm – 3 more rockets hits southern Israel near Ashdod.

7:00pm – another rocket hits southern Israel.

5:50pm Mortar shell hits southern Israel.

5:20pm – 2 rockets hit Ashdod, threatening 230,000 civilians. Another rocket hit Gan Yavne, one person was lightly injured.

2:15pm - In a joint IDF and the Israel Security Agency, IAF aircraft attacked a cell of terrorists preparing to fire long-range rockets from the southern Gaza Strip. This same terrorist cell was responsible for the rockets fired at the Be’er Tuvia Regional Council last Wednesday. Hits were confirmed and the launching attempt was thwarted.

Over a million Israelis are in the line of fire- and within the range of rockets from Gaza

Israel Under Assault from Gaza

Over 35 rockets and mortars have been launched from Gaza against the civilian population of Israel today. One Israeli was killed by shrapnel from a rocket fired at a residential neighborhood in Ashkelon and 4 others were wounded. A second rocket fired at Ashkelon directly struck a home, setting it on fire. Ashdod was targeted by at least three Grad rockets, with one slamming into an empty school.

Shrapnel hit school in Ashdod (Photo: Zeev Trachtman)

Fire in Ashdod (Photo: Shai Ben-Yishai)

Schools in Ashdod, Beersheba and Kiryat Malachi were cancelled by local officials, and the IDF Home Front Command has asked people who live in areas up to 40 kilometers from Gaza to stay within close range of bomb shelters. All public events are canceled by order of IDF, including a rally for social justice scheduled for Beersheba.

Palestinian sources reported Saturday that at five terrorists were killed and 11 others were wounded after the Air Force struck an Islamic Jihad cell in the Gaza Strip Saturday. The terrorists were members of a cell that fired a Grad rocket at Israel earlier this week.

One of the terrorists killed is Ahmed Sheikh Khalil, a senior commander in the al-Quds Brigades.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Railroading Truth- Alstom and the latest BDS Fraud

Engineering company Alstom has lost a bid for a Saudi Railway contract worth $10B.

The BDS' holes are declaring it a "BDS Victory". Send in the clowns. Er, the Press releases.

"The BDS National Committee (BNC) has declared a long sought-after victory as Alstom lost the bid for the second phase of the Saudi Haramain Railway project, worth 10 billion dollars, after pressure from the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, including effective campaigning from the newly launched KARAMA, a European campaign to Keep Alstom Rail And Metro Away"

What really happened? A standard bidding process for a contract was initialized, and the top bidder won the contract

From Reuters:
Saudi Arabia, Oct 26 - The Saudi Railways Organisation has awarded a 6.74 billion euro ($9.4 billion) contract for the second phase of its high-speed Haramain railway project to the public-private Saudi-Spanish Al-Shoula consortium.
The high-speed Haramain Railway will link Islam's holiest cities Mecca and Medina to the Red Sea coastal city of Jeddah, a key entry point for millions of pilgrims, and to King Abdullah Economic City, currently under construction...
The Al-Shoula consortium is made up of Spanish public rail companies including state railway operator Renfe and rail track company Adif, as well as private constructors OHL , ACS and Indra and Saudi companies Al Shoula y Al Rosan.

But, but, but, the BDS'er s whined…. We did have a role. We did . We did. Look "multiple factors" were involved. That means us. We are "mutiple factors".

"In commenting on the fierce competition between the Alstom-led consortium and its Spanish-led rival over the second phase of the lucrative Haramain Railway project, Emirati newspaper, Al-Ittihad, referred to “multiple factors” affecting the decision to award the contract, suggesting that political factors may have been taken into consideration."

Uh huh.

What the BDS'ers may not have noticed is that just today
Alstom Signs EUR325 Million Contract For Venezuela Subway Train Line.
Will their press release read "BDS defeat?" I somehow doubt it

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Fauxtography 101. More Photo Fraud from Palestine

Thanks to our Friends at Five Minutes for Israel for this:

"The death or injury of an innocent human being is dreadful whether caused by accident,carelessness or malevolence – whether by friend or foe. That still doesn’t justify taking archival images and presenting them as evidence of a crime.

Asil Arara,four years old,of Anata,was shot yesterday. She may die. That much we assume is true. It is a fact of life that the shooting is immediately blamed as a deliberate act of depravity by Israel,before anything is really known. That is Palestine Reporting 101 and we’re used to it.

Not having a photograph to hand,archival shots have been used to illustrate many of the reports on the Internet. They are of injured children from other places and times. If you see the photographs below around,purporting to be Anata,October 26th 2011 point out they come from much older sources and cast disbelief on the story as a whole."

We call this Fauxtography. We've seen it before.

Today's article from Ma'an

The photo been around since at least 2006

With that kind of shoddy reporting, can we trust anything out of the Palestinian press?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Sami Kishawi : How low can you go?

Sami Kishawi hits a new low in his latest essay 'On Gilad Shalit’s fifteen minutes of fame and the hummus he ate' Forgive me if I dont link to the sack o'crap.

Sami's spews are in italics:

'I wonder how long it will take for Gilad Shalit, his family, and his supporters, to realize that his fifteen minutes of fame are almost up.'

It was 5 Years, Sami. 5 years.

"Here is a soldier, a military combatant, a conscientious member of an army implementing the illegal occupation of a people and its land. Shalit is nothing special — the Israeli military currently employs tens of thousands of his prototypes. The only thing that stands out from the ordinary is that Shalit happened to be captured while on active military duty."

Sami, Gilad as a POW would have been entitled to the rights of all prisoners under the Third Geneva Convention, e.g., the right to humane treatment (Art. 13); the right to have knowledge of a POW's location (Art. 23); and the right to unfettered access to the Red Cross

"But soon after, the memory of Shalit disappeared almost as fast as he did. Except by his family and close friends, he was no longer considered a hot topic."

No, Sami. We never forgot.

We didn't forget him in San Francisco, where he was made an honorary citizen. He wasn't forgotten in Paris, France, Rome, Italy ,Miami, FL, New Orleans, LA, Baltimore, MD, and Pittsburgh, PA, all of whom adopted him as their own.

"As it turns out, all they could find was a skinny Shalit. So, in a frantic effort to condemn Shalit’s treatment, they blamed Gaza’s hummus. He wasn’t starved, they admitted, “but the menu was primarily Gazan and not really nutritious. There were pitas and a lot of hummus.” In other words, Shalit’s captors inhumanely denied his right to appetizers and deserts from a five-star restaurant along the beautiful coast."

Yes, Sami. An emaciated, gaunt pale Gilad Shalit was released. A boy who had been in solitary confinement for 5 years. One who hadn't seen daylight in 5 years. The International Committee of the Red Cross repeatedly asked Hamas for permission to visit Shalit . Even B'Tselem issued a statement saying "international humanitarian law absolutely prohibits taking and holding a person by force in order to compel the enemy to meet certain demands, while threatening to harm or kill the person if the demands are not met"

"Although the Gazan diet wasn’t good enough for Shalit, it is good enough for thousands of Palestinians facing a siege that prevents foods as simple as chocolate and nutmeg from entering the territory. If pita and hummus isn’t all that nutritious for Shalit, it likewise isn’t all that nutritious for those who have nothing else, those who have no access to the necessary vitamins and minerals, those whose foods spoil at the Eretz border crossing."

Sami, the rumors of "starving Gaza " are just so yesterday. The only goods that are currently restricted are arms, weapons, ammunition, and items that have military as well as civilian applications. 6,946 tons of goods and gas (including 360 tons of fruit) entered Gaza from Israel this week alone. Last year, an article in the Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal reported a 34.1% obsesity rate for males in Gaza, and 41.6% rate for women.

Sami, I suspect the core of your problem isn't lack of information. Your problem is lack of empathy and a singular lack of compassion.

PA Canadian envoy recalled over anti-Semitic tweet

The Palestinian Authority has recalled their envoy to Canada, Linda Sobeh Ali for posting alink to an anti-Semitic video on Twitter.

Linda Sobeh Ali posted a tweet with a link to a YouTube video featuring an Palestinian girl shouting a poem in Arabic . The English subtitles on the video include a passage where millions are called upon "destroy the Jews."

From Ha'aretz

Shimon Fogel of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs informed Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird of the link, who deemed it wholly inappropriate and expressed “profound disappointment” to the Palestinian Authority on behalf of Canada.

Sobeh Ali later apologized for the incident.

'Erdogan helps Palestine, but not his own people'


Two days after its devastating earthquake, Ankara submited a request to Jerusalem for the transfer of mobile homes to disaster-stricken area. Meanwhile, quake survivors directed their anger at Erdogan, saying the 'prime minister almost goes to war with Israel for sake of Palestinians, but doesn't move a muscle for us'

The Turkish Foreign Ministry submitted an official request with Jerusalem for the transfer of mobile housing units. The request was transferred from the Turkish Foreign Ministry to the Israeli Embassy in Ankara, which immediately notified the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman instructed the Ministry's Director-General Rafael Barak to transfer the necessary equipment as soon as possible.

The death toll has reached 432, with 1,352 people injured in Sunday's quake.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Caterpillar Stock Soars. BDS irrelevant. Once again

For seven years Anna Baltzer and the US Campaign to end Israel have harassed, pestered, poked, plagued, molested, provoked and annoyed the Peoria Illinois based Caterpillar company, claiming "The National CAT Campaign is making waves every day. From trade unions to churches, citizens of conscience are successfully encouraging their institutions to divest from Caterpillar, Inc"

What do they have to show for their efforts?

Not much apparently.

From Reuters
"Caterpillar Inc far exceeded analyst expectations on Monday, reporting a 44 percent quarterly earnings increase due to record revenue, and the company signaled optimism in its 2012 outlook.
The Peoria, Illinois, company said it expects full-year 2011 profit and revenue to be at the top end of its previous outlook range due to strong demand. In 2012, the company sees revenue increasing 10 percent to 20 percent above the $58 billion in sales it expects this year, although it continues to make contingency plans for a potential downturn.
Caterpillar said it ended the third quarter in one of the healthiest positions in its recent history. Backlog orders standing at record levels and higher commodity prices leading to a favorable environment for its growing mining business. The company expects to post record results in 2011 and improve on those results next year."

The US Campaign has had a long standing vendetta against Caterpillar, calling them the "company which best exemplifies the interest of US corporations in the Occupation".

Join me in asking Anna Baltzer and the US Campaign: How does it feel to be irrelevant?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Turkey hit by Quake. Israel offers aid

A strong earthquake has hit Turkey and up to 1,000 are feared dead. Dozens of buildings have collapsed and phone and power lines are down in the southeast of the country, near Turkey's border with Iran.

And Israel has offered aid.

From J Post:
"Following initial reports of the earthquake, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Israel will offer Turkey "any assistance required" to deal with the aftermath of the natural disaster.

Barak ordered the Defense Ministry's head of the political-diplomatic bureau to transmit Israel's offer of help to Turkey.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said Israel was willing to provide "anything from food, medicine, medical staff and equipment and search-and-rescue teams" to Turkey. Palmor said Israel was awaiting Ankara's reply."

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Plant a Tree For Gilad Shalit

Plant a Tree for Free in Honor of Gilad Shalit’s Release

In honor of Gilad Shalit’s release from captivity, Jewish National Fund (JNF) invites everyone to plant a tree for free and send a personalized certificate to the Shalit family to commemorate this important occasion.

Gilad Shalit’s long-awaited homecoming, after five and a half years in captivity, is testament to the value that we as a Jewish people place on the sanctity of life, and to Israel’s dedication to its citizens.

“One hundred ten years ago this organization was founded to repurchase the land and create a homeland for the Jewish people. One hundred ten years later a solder from the IDF – in itself a remarkable entity—had a homeland to come back to," said JNF President Stanley Chesley. "With all the emotions that are at play at this time, our thoughts and prayers are with those whose sons and daughters can never be returned even as we celebrate Gilad Shalit’s homecoming, we take pride in the strength and fortitude of this extraordinary miracle—the land and people of Israel.”

Send a tree to Gilad Shalit to welcome him home. Visit or call 800-542-TREE.

Courtesy of Ronald Lauder and Stanley Chesley, JNF’s Chairman of the Board and President, and its Board of Directors, in celebration of Gilad Shalit’s release after 5 years of captivity.

Limit one per person. Free tree offer expires Sunday, October 23.

Rewarding murderers in Gaza

Palestinian prisoners who were released in the prisoner swap (described by our friends at fresnozionism as a "jailbreak") and sent to Gaza will stay in hotels for three weeks or until they each get a private apartment, car, and a job.

According to the Al Qassam website Palestinians took their morning exercise around a luxury swimming pool overlooking the Mediterranean, and had breakfast at the all you can eat buffet at the 4 star Al-Mashtal hotel.

A quarter went to the West Bank, 41 went into exile in foreign countries , Turkey, Syria and Qatar, while the rest were brought to Gaza from Egypt, which mediated in years of exchange negotiations.

Gaza's Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh gave each of the 294 prisoners $2,000. The average person in Gaza lives on $2 a day.

Haniyeh has ordered that the released prisoners be given assistance to help them re-enter society, Each released convict will be given a mobile phone with a credit of 500 shekels.

More than 200,000 people gathered in Gaza City to welcome the returning criminals.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Branding Palestine

Qorvis Communications is now in charge of Palestinian public relations and has registered as a foreign agent.

The Palestinians three-month, $90K contract with Qorvis involves PR, advertising, direct mail, social media as well as lobbying to opinion makers and policymakers.

From the paper work filed with the Department of Justice:
"The business community of Palestine is undertaking a branding campaign for Palestine. The goals of the campaign are to foster a better understanding of Palestine and its people and promote international trade and tourism.
Many people around the world do not have a clear understanding or picture of Palestine. This branding campaign is designed to break the many myths and misconceptions surrounding Palestine and help people recognize the great promise of growth, prosperity and peace that can arise from this land and its people. For example, Palestine has a very high literacy rate of 95 percent and Palestinian universities produce 45,000 graduates every year, including such world leaders as such as Mahmoud Darwish, the celebrated Palestinian poet who died two years ago.
The campaign is funded by the business community through the Palestinian American Chamber of Commerce. The campaign is being managed by Palestine's top public relations and advertising firm, Elam Tarn. The agency is organizing a global communications and branding strategy, with an initial focus on the US and Israel. In individual markets, Elam Tarn selects local agencies to help with the execution of the campaign. In the United States, Ellam Tarn has selected Qorvis Communications as subcontractor. The campaign will debut in September to coincide with the activities of the United Nations General Assembly."

D.C. based Qorvis is serving as subcontractor to Ellam Tam, a Ramallah PR firm and is funded by the Palestinian American Chamber of Commerce.

Qorvis, which has a history of servicing questionable regimes in the Middle East also represents Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Bahrain. John Deschauer, Tina Jeon, Sol Levine, Sam Dealey and William Dempster have been assigned to the Palestine account.

A recent article in the Huffington post documented an exodus of employees from Qorvis.

"In the last two months, more than a third of the partners at Qorvis have left the firm to start their own lobby shops, partly because of the firm's work on behalf of such clients as Yemen, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the Central African nation of Equatorial Guinea, say former employees.

"I just have trouble working with despotic dictators killing their own people," a former Qorvis insider tells The Huffington Post. "People don't want to be seen representing all these countries -- you take a look at the State Department's list of human rights violators and some of our clients were on there."

The article continues:

"One of the methods used by Qorvis and other firms is online reputation management -- through its Geo-Political Solutions (GPS) division, the firm uses '"black arts" by creating fake blogs and websites that link back to positive content, "to make sure that no one online comes across the bad stuff," says the former insider. Other techniques include the use of social media, including Facebook, YouTube and Twitter."

Time isn't on your side, Hamas

From an article in Time

"Hamas has little to offer beyond its jihadist credentials — and the promise of clean government. So it's hardly surprising that the party has been rapidly losing ground in its stronghold. Recent surveys by leading pollsters conclude that if elections were held in Gaza today, Hamas, an acronym in Arabic for the Islamic Resistance Movement, would not be returned to power. A June poll by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research found that Hamas would get just 28% of the vote, a steep decline from the 44% plurality it won in 2006.

Especially alarming for the Islamists is a precipitous drop in support for the party among Gaza's youth: two-thirds of the population is under 25. In a March survey taken in the afterglow of the protests in Cairo's Tahrir Square that led to the ouster of Egypt's dictator, Hosni Mubarak, more than 60% of Gazans age 18 to 27 said they too would support public demonstrations demanding regime change.

Soon after that poll, 10,000 turned out at a rally to voice a more modest demand — that Hamas end the bloody rift with Fatah, the secular party it bested six years ago. Hamas sent thugs to break up the demonstration. "We came out to say the people should be united, and they attack us!" says Shadi Hassan, 22, who lives in a refugee camp and sells cigarettes. "We are suffocated, and we need regime change.""

Read it all here

Teach Your Children Well: Freed convict Wafa al-Biss urges Children of Gaza to become Martyrs

Wafa al-Biss, one of the female convicts freed by Israel in the prisoner swap for soldier Gilad Shalit told cheering schoolchildren in Gaza today that she hoped they would follow her example.

"I hope you will walk the same path we took and God willing, we will see some of you as martyrs," Wafa al-Biss told dozens of children who came to her home in the northern Gaza Strip.

In 2005, Biss was travelling to Beersheba's Soroka hospital for medical treatment. She was planning on blowing up the hospital that had treated burns she had received in a kitchen accident. Israeli soldiers at the Erez border crossing noticed she was walking strangely. They found 10 kgs (22 lbs) of explosives had been sewn into her underwear.

After she spoke, the children cheered and waved Palestinian flags and chanted: "We will give souls and blood to redeem the prisoners. We will give souls and blood for you, Palestine."

From an earlier interview with Wafa al-Biss
"She had never really wanted to become a suicide bomber, she told me tearfully. Life and bad luck had given her no choice. Born into wretched poverty in Jabalya refugee camp in Gaza, one of 12 children, she said that much of her body and fingertips had been burned in a freak cooking accident at home the year before her failed mission. She had been coaxed, no, coerced into becoming a martyr by "Abul Khair," an older man from the Al-Aqsa Martyr's Brigade. "I wish I had never met him," she said bitterly.
With her lovely face and soft voice, Wafa al-Biss was not at all what I expected from what I had read about her and seen on videotape. Hours after her arrest on June 6, 2005 at the Erez crossing, the main transit point between Israel and Gaza, Israeli intelligence had hauled her before reporters to discuss her failed mission. Her neck and hands were still covered with scars and bandages from the kitchen gas explosion in her home months earlier.
`At the press conference, according to several articles, Wafa al-Biss was a study in defiance — the model would-be martyr. Her greatest wish, her "dream" since childhood, she declared, was martyrdom. "I believe in death," she told reporters. Her target was an Israeli hospital, perhaps even Soroka Hospital in Beersheba, where she had been treated for her burns, which had probably saved her life. "I wanted to kill 20, 50 Jews. Yes!" she exclaimed, "even babies. You kill our babies!"
She might have succeeded had the Shin Bet, Israel's domestic security service, not warned checkpoints to be on the lookout for a female suicide bomber from Gaza. When a soldier noticed something odd in the young woman's gait as she entered the transit hall, she was ordered to stop and remove her long, dark cloak. Stranded between a metal turnstile behind her and an iron gate in front of her, Wafa al-Biss found herself alone in the evacuated hall. As military surveillance cameras recorded her every move, a solider ordered her again to disrobe and drop her bomb.
Panicked and frustrated, Wafa al-Biss decided to kill herself anyway. Security camera video shows her reaching into her right pocket to pull the detonator string. But instead of exploding in a lethal mass of fire, smoke, and metal shards, the string came out in her hand. Again and again she thrust her hand into her pocket, pushing the detonator. The cameras dispassionately record her failed mission's final moments — Wafa al-Biss, alone in the hall, screaming and crying, clawing at her face — condemned to live.
"I don't care about Jews and Arabs," she told me in the prison; she had never been political. Israelis at Soroka, where she had spent three months with her burns, treated her with "respect and dignity," she said. "They had been very kind," she said. "But I still wanted to kill myself."
She had tried to do so even before the gas accident, on her birthday in November 2004, that had scarred her body, deformed the fifth digits of both hands, and left her fingertips and chin discolored. Long before that, she told me, she had been in despair. She had grown up desperately poor. Her father was "primitive." He rarely let her go out except to school or the mosque. He and her brothers beat her. She tried to throw herself out a window at age 18, but courage failed her. "Islam says you can't kill yourself. I was afraid of the shame for my family," she said.
"If my family had been normal, if I could have afforded to have been treated in America, if I could wear my hair and live my life like yours," she said, "I would never have thought about killing myself."
Instead, she said, she approached a group known to be associated with the "Resistance." Would they accept her as a martyr?
At first, the man she came to know only as Abul Khair, whom she met secretly at Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza, urged her to think it over. Despite the reverence that fellow Gazans showed martyrs and their families, she hesitated. She called him a week later to say she had changed her mind.
"But they hunted me like prey," she recalled. "Abul Khair kept calling," she said. "He told me a guy they were counting on had backed out of an operation; they needed me. ‘Look at your future,' they told me. ‘No one will ever marry you.' I knew it was true. I was not good at school. I had no future."
She agreed to meet him again, this time at the Haifa mosque. Would God grant her anything she wanted in paradise? she asked him. "Would he give me new skin?"
Yes, he told her.
"What did death feel like?" she pressed him.
She wouldn't feel anything, she quoted him as saying. "It's like a pin prick."
"I wanted to believe him," she told me. "He looked religious, like someone you could trust. He told me I was very brave. He made me feel important." She agreed to become a shaheeda.
When she returned home, upset and crying, her mother sensed something was wrong. "I lied and told her that my finger hurt. Her mother made her some food and told her it would be better soon, "inshallah," Wafa said. If her mother sensed what Wafa was about to do, she didn't let on, she insisted.
As the day of her operation approached, Wafa grew despondent. She had gone to a safe house in Gaza twice with young men who picked her up in a car on a corner near her home. Being in the company of men who were not family members was religiously and culturally forbidden in conservative Palestine. She initially feared they would "harm my dignity as a woman," she told me. Instead, they escorted her to a nondescript house on the edge of her city where she was asked to try on the explosive pants, test the detonator — a gift to the Al-Aqsa group from its ostensible rival, Hamas — and videotape a political statement about the need to kill Jews. "I didn't feel that way; I told them I wanted to say something else," she said.
Ultimately, however, she complied. She was taped reading the statement and holding a Kalashnikov — for the first time ever, she says. "It was heavy."
The day of her attack, June 21, 2005, "was the hardest day of my life." She had failed at this as she had "so many other opportunities in my life."
She expected little now, she told me. No one was helping her; no group was paying or supporting her parents, she said. One day, she hoped to marry, but her pained expression suggested she knew this was unlikely. "

Monday, October 17, 2011

Timeline for Gilad Shalit's release

From JPost

The following is a timeline of the expected sequence of events for the prisoner exchange between Hamas and Israel, set for Tuesday, October 18:

Stage 1: Hamas transfers Gilad Schalit to the Red Cross in the Gaza Strip

Stage 2: Israel releases 27 female prisoners upon confirmation that Schalit is alive and has been transferred to the Red Cross

Stage 3: Schalit is transferred by the Red Cross to Egypt, where he's expected to spend 15-20 minutes

Stage 4: Israel releases 450 prisoners:
- 294 Gaza-bound prisoners from Gaza and the West Bank will be transferred by land via Egypt
- 96 prisoners being sent to the West Bank will be transferred from the Ofer Prison to Ramallah
- 14 prisoners will be transferred from the Ofer Prison to east Jerusalem
- 40 prisoners from the West Bank being sent overseas will be transferred to Egypt.
- The six Israeli Arabs being released will be waiting at Israel Police stations throughout the country near their homes prior to release Simultaneously, Schalit is transferred to Israel via a land crossing with Egypt

Stage 5: Schalit is taken to an IDF base in the South, where he undergoes a series of preliminary medical checks, and is given the first opportunity to call his family

Stage 6: If deemed healthy, Schalit is flown by the Air Force to Tel Nof IAF base, near Rehovot, which has already set up a room for a small reception

Stage 7: Upon landing, Schait undergoes additional medical checks by the IDF Medical Corps

Stage 8: Schalit meets very briefly with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz, and is then immediately taken to meet with his parents, grandfather, brother and sister.

Stage 9: If deemed healthy, Schalit is flown from Tel Nof to his home in Mitzpe Hila

Stage 10: Two months later, Israel releases 550 prisoners of its choice Click for full JPost coverage of Gilad Schalit

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Occupy Wall Street: Hijacking a movement

Its been said quite often "First the Palestinians hijacked airplanes. Now they hijack movements". Observers on the social justice scene have been placing bets on just when the "destroy Israel" crowd (oh, pardon, The "Human rights for Palestinians through the destruction of Israel" cru) would claim the movement for their own.

Its already happening.

From an Oct 1 post at NYC Indymedia
Michael Letwin, an organizer for NYC Labor against War claimed a primary goal of the "Occupy Wall Street" was to end unfair treatment of Muslims

"In addition to what they view as excessive force and unfair treatment of minorities, including Muslims, the movement is also protesting against home foreclosures, high unemployment and the 2008 bailouts. . . . The group has gained support among some union members. The United Federation of Teachers and the Transport Workers Union Local 100, which has 38,000 members, are among those pledging solidarity. "

He went on to assert
"Occupy Wall Street protesters driven by varying goals ‎"End financial aid to Israel"; "End greed, end poverty, end war"; "No death penalty"; "Tired of racism."

This prompted a rebuttal from another participant: "This has nothing to do with Israel, Michael "

Omar Barghouti also attempts to link the movements, declaring

"So as you break your own chains and build your own effective resistance against corporate tyranny, we ask you to demand a just peace for all the peoples in the Middle East, based on international law and equal human rights. Palestinians, too, are part of the 99% around the world that suffer at the hands of the 1% whose greed and ruthless quest for hegemony have led to unspeakable suffering and endless war. Corporate power has not just profited from our suffering but has colluded in maintaining Israel’s occupation and apartheid to perpetuate an unjust order that profits oil and military companies and multinational financial institutions."

Could this manipulation of the message also be responsible for another insidious phenomenon noted on the streets?

There have been widespread reports of anti-Semitism within the "Occupy Wall Street " Movement. The one-minute video, viewed over 30,000 times documents some of the incidents and signage that have been problematic. Jews are blamed for the trouble in American financial markets and are told to "go back to Israel."

Bill Weinberg documents this as well, in his blog New Jewish Resistance , stating, "We are as encouraged as everyone else about the Occupy Wall Street movement—but we continue to be disturbed by anti-Semitic elements within the movement, and even more disturbed by the fact that nobody else seems disturbed by it."

Nathalie Rothschild, after reporting on the movement Supporters of the Wall Street Occupation Demand Free Expression -- Except for Jews, Apparently has written

"I received a string of indignant emails and tweets about my Jewish, kleptocrat banking connections; demands that I reveal the details of my pay checks and that I come clean about my not-so-hidden agenda. I was told that my family name disqualifies me from having any opinion about the protest and that I have 'the karma of a demon'."

Those of us who cut our teeth on the civil rights movement know that the cardinal rule has always been "No Tolerance to Bigotry" . Unless "Occupy Wall Street" wants to go down the path of International ANSWER- the path of irrelevance- thats a lesson they should take to heart.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Germany's role in Shalit prisoner swap

Ernst Uhrlau, Head of Bundesnachrichtendienst-the German intelligence agency- said Friday that the expected return of Gilad Shalit after more than five years of captivity is a huge achievement. Germany's participation in the negotiations to release the captive soldier, held in solitary confinement for over 5 years is a source of pride. Gilad will be exchanged for 1027 convicts in now Israeli jails and is expected to be returned to his family and his homeland on Tuesday.

Germany was also involved in the deal that returned the bodies of IDF reservists Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser to Israel in exchange for five Hezbollah terrorists in 2008.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Party Affiliation by religion: Long Term demographics

From the Pew charitable trusts. Party Affiliation by religion

Draw your own conclusions, Pres.Obama

PRC armed wing releases list of Palestinian prisoners to be exchanged for Gilad Shalit

From Ma'an

This list list has not been verified by Israel or Hamas and details each prisoner's name, place of origin, year of arrest, and the terms of his or her release. Twenty-seven women are among those expected to be freed.

1. Ahmad Ayed Deryeh – Beit Fajjar – 2002 – exiled
2. Yahia Ibrahim Daamsa – Ertas – 2002 – exiled
3. Akram Mahmoud al-Namura – Dura – 2001 – exiled
4. Amir Saber Sawalma – Balata camp – 2003 – exiled
5. Amun Yousef al-Tallul – Dhahiriya – 1999 – exiled
6. Majed Hasan Abu Qateesh – Jerusalem – 1993 – exiled abroad
7. Jihad Muhammad Yaghmur – Jerusalem – 1994 – exiled abroad
8. Zaid Arsan Al-Kilany – Umm al-Rihan – 2001 – exiled
9. Salama Aziz Marei – Qarawat Bani Zeid – 1993 – exiled abroad
10. Salman Ahmad Abu Eid – Biddu – 2003 – released with conditions
11. Abdul Raouf Amin Al-Shalabi – Jenin camp – 1995 – exiled
12. Abdullah Ahmad Abu Sef – Hebron – 2003 – exiled
13. Ala Muhammad Qafesha – Hebron – 2004 – exiled
14. Muammar Murshed Ghawadra – Bir al-Basha – 2003 – released
15. Feras Fawzi Feddi – Beit Wazan – 2002 – exiled
16. Farah Ahmad Hamed – Silwad – 2003 – exiled
17. Lutfi Muhammad Darabe – Khirbet Mresh – 1993 – released with conditions
18. Muhammad Mussa – Beit Fajjar – 1993 – exiled
19. Mahmud Abdullah Seryeh – Jenin camp – 1996 – exiled
20. Nael Saadi Sakhel – Nablus – 2003 – exiled
21. Nidal Jawad Sarkaji – Nablus – 2002 – exiled abroad
22. Nimer Sadki Muhammad – Beit Furik – 2006 – exiled
23. Ayman Muhammad Abu Khalil - Jerusalem – 1994 – exiled abroad
24. Yaser Hasan Hammad – Silwad – 2003 – exiled
25. Anis Mahmud al-Namura - Dura – 2001 – exiled
26. Iyad Diyab Khezaran – Al-Faraa refugee camp – 1991 – exiled
27. Jamil Khamis Tarkhan – Izbat Beit Hanoun – 1993 – released
28. Hussam Yousef Barari – Zababda – 2003 – released
29. Hassan Yousef Zeid – Nazlet Zeid – 2003 – exiled for 3 years
30. Rebhi Suleiman Bisharat – Tammun – 2002 – exiled abroad
31. Shadi Yasin Yasin – Tulkarem – 2002 – exiled
32. Tareq Ibrahim Izz Ad-Din – Araba – 2002 – exiled
33. Tareq Muhammad Abu Maryam – Qalqiliya – 2002 – exiled
34. Taleb Ismail Abu Mustafa – Khan Younis camp – 1993 – released
35. Mazen Muhammad Jarad – Beit Hanoun – 1993 – released
36. Maher Hussein Abu Karsh – Shati camp – 1993 – released
37. Muhammad Abdul Rahman Zeid – Tubas – 2003 – exiled
38. Muhammad Afif Al-Far – Ash-Sheikh Radwan – 1993 – released
39. Muhammad Odeh Sakran – Al-Breij – 1993 – released
40. Muhammad Najeh Jarar – Wadi Baraqin – 2002 – exiled abroad
41. Nasser Yousef Fadi – Khan Younis camp – 1993 – released
42. Nidal Subhi Abdul Haq – Nablus – 2003 – released
43. Wael Kamel Jalbush – Marka – 2002 – released
44. Ahmad Taleb Hamad – Jordan valley – 2002 – released
45. Ayman Ismail al-Sharawna – Dura – 2002 – released with conditions
46. Baraka Rajeh Taha – Hebron – 2004 – released with conditions
47. Hamudeh Said Salah – Beit Wazen – 2000 – exiled for 3 years
48. Safwan uhammad Eweiwi – Hebron – 2002 – released
49. Daher Rebhi Kabha – Bartaa – 1994 – exiled
50. Muhammad Taleb Edris – Jerusalem – 1998 – exiled
51. Muayed Abdul Rahim Abdul Samad – Aneta – 1987 – released
52. Muhammad Ahmad Saleh – Qabatiya – 1994 – released with conditions
53. Salem Rajab al-Sarsur – Hebron – 1998 – exiled abroad
54. Muhammad Abdul Latif Ballut – Rantis – 2003 – exiled
55. Murad Awad al-Rujub – Dura – 2002 – exiled
56. Muath Said Abu Ramuz – Hebron – 2004 – released with conditions
57. Nasri Yousef al-Zer – Harmala – 2002 – exiled
58. Yasser Muhammad Salah – Ramallah – 2005 – released with conditions
59. Ibrahim Abdul Aziz Shalsh – Ramallah – 1995 – released with conditions
60. Ibrahim Fadel Jaber – Hebron – 1982 – released
61. Ibrahim Muhammad al-Hindi – Khan Younis – 2006 – released
62. Ibrahim Yousef Masri – Shuqba – 1995 – released with conditions
63. Ehsan Ali Madena – Jammain – 2001 – released
64. Ahmad Ibrahim Faleet – Deir al-Balah – 1992 – released
65. Hmad Abu Al-Suud Hanani – Nablus – 1987 – exiled abroad
66. Ahmad Khalil Awawda – Idhna – 1999 – released with conditions
67. Ahmad Salem Shaer – Rafah – 2001 – released
68. Ahmad Suleiman Fajem – Bani Suheila – 2002 – released
69. Ahmad Abdul Rahman Abu Hasira – Rimal – 1986 – released
70. Ahmad Abdul Karim Abu Taha – Jerusalem – 2002 – released
71. Ahmad Atta Hattu – Gaza City – 1993 – released
72. Ahmad Hussein Shukri – Ramallah – 1989 – released with conditions
73. Idrees Ahmad al-Rajabi – Hebron – 2003 – exiled
74. Ismail Abdul Hadi al-Masalma – Hebron – 1999 – released
75. Ismail Mussa al-Bakhit – Khan Younis camp – 1993 – released
76. Ashraf Hasan Baaluji – Tuffah – 1991 – release
77. Ashraf Ghazi al-Wawi – Tulkarem – 1993 – released
78. Ashraf Muhammad Awadat – Gaza City – 2003 – released
79. Akram Salama Said – Al-Maghazi – 2002 – released
80. Akram Abdul Rahman Salama – Khan Younis camp – 1996 – released
81. Akram Abdul Aziz Mansur – Qalqiliya – 1979 – released
82. Akram Abdullah Qassem – Ramallah – 2002 – released
83. Anwar Ahmad Hamad – Yabna camp – 2001 – released
84. Anwar Musallam Akhras – Rabwat – 1993 – released
85. Iyad Ahmad Abu Hasna – Canada camp – 1989 – released
86. Iyad Jamil Abu Taqyeh – Jabaliya camp – 1989 – released
87. Iyad Salem al-Areer – Turkman – 1993 – released
88. Iyad Muhammad Bisharat – Hebron – 2002 – exiled
89. Ayman Asad al-Shawwa – Al-Dorj – 1993 – released
90. Ayman Abdul Majid Amer – Hebron – exiled for 3 years
91. Ayman Mustafa al-Far – Sheikh Radwan – 1991 – released
92. Ayman Yousef Abu Daud – Hebron – 2004 – released with conditions
93. Nizar Samir al-Tamimi – Ramallah – 1993 – released
94. Basim Muhammad Al-Kurd – Beit Lahiya – 1993 – released
95. Bilal Ibrahim Abu Amr – Qalqiliya – 2002 – exiled for 3 years
96. Bilal Ismail Zara – Kafr Niama – 2004 – exiled
97. Baha al-Din Khatib – Rafah – 2001 – released
98. Tawfiq Abdullah Abu Naim – Al-Nuseirat camp – 1989 – released
99. Tayseer Salem al-Bardini – Rafah – 1993 – released
100. Thaer Mahmud Kurd – Jabaliya camp – 1988 – released
101. Jalal Kamel al-Loh – Beit Lahiya – 1988 – 1994 – released
102. Jalal Lutfi Saqer – Al-Nuseirat camp – 1992 – released
103. Jamal Amr Raqiq – Gaza City – 1989 – released
104. Jamil Ismail Baz – Al-Nuseirat camp – 1991 – released
105. Jihad Jamil Abu Ghobon – Jabaliya camp – 1988 - released
106. Jihad Muhammad Bani Juma – Jordan Valley – 1991 – released
107. Hatem Ibrahim Ismail – Nablus – 1995 – released
108. Hazem Ali al-Aedi – Al-Maghazi – 1991 – released
109. Hafez Mahmud Dabel – Al-Breij – 1990 – released
110. Hathefa Rashid Ghanem – Ramallah – 2004 – exiled
111. Hussam Suleiman Abu al-Jadyan – Ramallah – 2004 – released
112. Hasan Ahmad Maqadma – Al-Bureij – 1989 – released
113. Hasan Ismail Fayyad – Beit Hanoun – 2003 – released
114. Hassan Abdul Karim Judeh – Zawata – 2002 – released with conditions
115. Hassan Ali Salma – Beituniya – 1982 – released
116. Hasan Mahmud Novel – Jabaliya camp – 1988 – released
117. Ahmad Mustafa al-Najjar – United States – 2003 – exiled
118. Hasan Yousef Jafri – Ramallah – 1990 – released with conditions
119. Hamdi Amin Zweidi – Beit Hanun – 1993 – released
120. Hamza Nayef Zayed – Jenin – 1986 – exiled
121. Khaled Rajeh Taha – Hebron – 2004 – exiled for 3 years
122. Khaled Saleh Maghyeer – Yabna camp – 1992 – released
123. Khaled Muhammad Gheithan – Ramallah – 1995 – released with conditions
124. Khaled Matou Jeidi – Rafah – 1986 – released
125. Khaled Yousef Saleh – Qalqiliya – 1992 – exiled for 3 years
126. Khalil Muhammad Abu Alba – Sheikh Radwan – 2001 – released
127. Raed Ahmad Hallaq – Rimal – 1993 – released
128. Raed Amr Abu Lubda – Tal al-Sultan – 2001 – released
129. Rateb Abdullah al-Ajrab – Ramallah – 1991 – exiled
130. Rafat Ali Aruqi – Shati refugee camp – 1993 – released
131. Rasmi Saleh Mahariq – Samou – 1994 – released with conditions
132. Rohi Jamal Mushtaha – Shujaya, Gaza City – 1988 – released
133. Zakaria Muhammad al-Jasrawi – Samou – 1996 – released with conditions
134. Zuheir Salah Shashnyeh – Al-Breij – 1990 – released
135. Salem Ali Thweb – Bethlehem – 2002 – exiled
136. Yaser Tayseer Daoud – Jerusalem – 1991 – released
137. Samer Isam Mahrum – Jenin – 1986 – released
138. Yousef Mussa Hales – Jerusalem – 1991 – exiled
139. Sami Khaled al-Qashtan – Wadi Gaza – 2003 – released
140. Said Muhammad Sakik – Al-Durj – 1993 – released
141. Salim Ali Kayyal – Gaza City – 1983 – released
142. Suleiman Nayef Abu Tyour – Ramallah – 1991 – released with conditions
143. Shaaban Salim Hassuneh – Gaza City – 1990 – released
144. Saleh Muhammad Khariz – Ramallah – 1986 – released
145. Salah al-Din al-Awawda – Hebron – 1993 – exiled
146. Tareq Zeyad al-Rajabi – Hebron – 2003 – exiled abroad
147. Talal Ibrahim Shreim – Qalqiliya – 2002 – exiled abroad
148. Taha Adel Shakhshir – Nablus – 1992 – released with conditions
149. Ated Suleiman Masri – Al-Durj – 1993 – released
150. Amer Ahmad al-Qawasmeh – Hebron – 1988 – released
151. Amer Rabbah al-Rajabo – Hebron – 2004 – released with conditions
152. Ayed Mahmud Khalil – Tulkarem – 1989 – released with conditions
153. Muhammad Hasan Sharaha – Gaza City – 1989 – released
154. Abdul Raouf Mahmud Injas – Khirbet Bani Hareth – 2003 – exiled for 3 years
155. Abdul Rahman Rabie Shehab – Jabaliya – 1989 – released
156. Abdul Rahman Amr Abu Assaf – Qabatya – 1992 – released
157. Abdul Rahman Fadel al-Qiq – Rafah – 1986 – released
158. Abdul Aziz Muhammad Masri – Khan Younis – 1993 – released
159. Obeid al-Latif Ismail Shqer – Tulkarem – 1986 – released
160. Abdullah Judeh Abu Shalbak – Ramallah – 1991 – released with conditions
161. Abdullah Muhammad Az-Zeitawi – Nablus – 2001 – exiled
162. Abdul Mineim Othman Taama – Tulkarem – 1989 – released with conditions
163. Othman Ali Musleh – Qalqiliya – 1982 – released
164. Arafat Salem An-Natsheh – Hebron – 1994 – exiled
165. Ata Mahmud Falna – Safa – 1992 – exiled
166. Attyeh Hasan Abu Asab – Hebron – 1994 – released
167. Ala Hamdi al-Rajabi – Hebron – 2004 – exiled
168. Alyan Abdul Karim al-Zer – Al-Qarara – 2003 – released
169. Imad Ad-Din Ata Zuurob – Khan Younis – 1993 – released
170. Imad Abdul Rahman Ali – Qalqiliya – 1992 – released
171. Imad Ali Abu Rayyan – Beit Lahiya – 1991 – released
172. Amr Muhammad Shariji – Gaza City – 2003 – released
173. Amr Mahmud Al-Ghul – Gaza City – 1987 – released
174. Aweida Muhammad Qawlab – Sheikh Radwan – 1988 – released
175. Eid Abdullah Musleh – Al-Maghazi – 1992 – released
176. Fuad Muhammad Amareen – Al-Nuseirat camp – 1992 – released
177. Fiker Asfour Barghouthi – Ramallah – 1978 – released
178. Farhan Mahmud Khalida – Tulkarem – 2003 – exiled
179. Fahed Subhi Zaqzuqi – Jabaliya camp – 1992 – released
180. Fahim Ramadan Ibrahim – Tulkarem – 1989 – released
181. Kamal Sami Shabalu – Nablus – 2003 – exiled
182. Kamal Abdullah Abu Naim – Gaza City – 1992 – released
183. Kamal Muhammad Shalabi – Tulkarem – 2003 – exiled abroad
184. Muayed Saadeh Jallad – Tulkarem – 1994 – released with conditions
185. Mazen Muhammad al-Nahal – Rafah – 1992 – released
186. Maamoun Ismail Sattyn – Tulkarem – 2003 – exiled
187. Maher Khamis Zaqqut – Jabaliya camp – 1993 – released
188. Majdi Ahmad Hamad – Jabaliya camp – 1991 – released
189. Majdi Attyeh Ajjouli – Tulkarem – 1989 – released with conditions
190. Muhammad Ibrahim Derawi – Al-Zawabda – 2001 – released
191. Muhammad Ejmaan Abu Ayesh – Nasr City – 1992 – released
192. Muhammad Salama Abu Khusa – Lod – 1976 – released
193. Muhammad Salman Abu Jamus – Gaza City – 2001 – released
194. Muhammad Aref Basharat – Nablus – 1992 – released with conditions
195. Muhammad Abdul Rahman Zaqut – Jabaliya camp – 1989 – released
196. Muhammad Abdul Fattah Dahan – Al-Nuseirat camp – 1989 – released
197. Muhammad Abdul Karim Abu Ataya – Nasr City – 1992 – released
198. Muhammad Abed Husni – Shati camp – 1986 – released
199. Muhammad Ali Haraz – Al-Dorj – 1992 – released
200. Muhammad Muhammad Abu Hasera – Gaza City – 1993 – released
201. Muhammad Muhammad Hassan – Gaza City – 1987 – released
202. Muhammad Mustafa Othman – Jabaliya camp – 1996 – released
203. Muhammad Nayef Barakat – Tulkarem – 2000 – released
204. Muhammad Said Jaradat – Jenin – 1989 – released
205. Mahmoud Ali Qawasmeh – Hebron – 2004 – exiled for 3 years
206. Mahmoud Mustafa Mardawi – Qalqiliya – 1992 – exiled for 3 years
207. Marwan Muhammad Zurd – Al-Durj – 1993 – released
208. Mustafa Ali Ramadan – Al-Amal – 1992 – released
209. Mustafa Ghazi Ananeh – al-Nuseirat camp – 2001 – released
210. Muntaser Rebhi Abu Mutawe – Nablus – 2003 – exiled
211. Munther Shaaban Dahshan – Gaza City – 1994 – released
212. Mansur Yousef Shamasna – Qatna – 1996 – released with conditions
213. Mansur Atef Rayyan – Nablus – 1994 – exiled
214. Mahdi Amr Shawer – Hebron – 2002 – exiled for 3 years
215. Mussa Muhammad Dodin – Hebron – 1992 – exiled abroad
216. Mussa Nather al-Badawi – Sheikh Radwan – 2002 – released
217. Nael Saleh al-Barghouthi – Ramallah – 1978 – released with conditions
218. Naser Ghazi Edweidar – Al-Nuseirat camp – 1992 – released
219. Nafeth Ahmad Haraz – Gaza City – 1985 – released
220. Nayef Hussein al-Shawamra – Hebron – 1995 – released
221. Nabil Maderes Okel – Jabaliya camp – 2000 – released
222. Harrun Mansour Nasser al-Din – Hebron – 1992 – exiled abroad
223. Wael Makin Abu Fanuneh – Gaza City – 1989 released
224. Walid Ibrahim Abu Nassar – Bethlehem – 1993 – exiled
225. Waheeb Abdullah Abu al-Rab – Jenin – 1994 – released with conditions
226. Yasser Abdul Qader Hejaz – Ramallah – 1990 – released with conditions
227. Yasser Mahmud Khawaja – Rafah – 1988 – released
228. Yahia Ibrahim Sinwar – Khan Younis camp – 1988 – released
229. Yasser Ibrahim al-Julani – Hebron – 2003 – released with conditions
230. Mahmud Muhammad Attun – Jerusalem – 1993 – exiled abroad
231. Walid Abdul Hadi Aqel – Gaza City – 1992 – exiled abroad
232. Abdul Hadi Salman Rafe – Al-Nuseirat camp – 1989 – released
233. Muhammad Mustafa Abu Jalaleh – Jabaliya camp – 1991 – released
234. Ali Ahmad Amudo – Gaza City – 1994 – released
235. Ali Said Bilal – Nablus – 2002 – exiled
236. Mihwash Nueimat – Rafah – 2007 – released
237. Marwan Muhammad Abu Rumeileh – Jerusalem – 1993 – exiled abroad
238. Tayseer Hamdan Suleiman – Jerusalem – 1993 – exiled abroad
239. Fahed Sabri Shalludi – Jerusalem – 1993 – exiled abroad
240. Issam Talaat Qadmani – Jerusalem – 1994 – exiled abroad
241. Mutasem Sabri Moqdi – Qalqiliya – 1994 – exiled abroad
242. Mussa Muhammad Aqari – Jerusalem – 1993 – exiled abroad
243. Muhammad Ayman Razem – Jerusalem – 1996 – exiled abroad
244. Basel Hashem al-Haymuni – Hebron – 2004 – exiled
245. Bassam Ibrahim Abu Sneineh – Jerusalem – 2000 – exiled
246. Bassam Naim al-Natsheh – Hebron – 1999 – released with conditions
247. Hani Badawi Jaber – Jerusalem - 1985 – exiled abroad
248. Mueen Abdul Malek Ahmad – Jabaliya – 2004 – released
249. Musaab Ismail Hashlamon – Hebron – 2004 – exiled
250. Khaled Mussa Makhamra – Yatta – 2006 – released
251. Ismail Abdullah Hejazi – Jerusalem – 2007 – released
252. Muayed Suleiman Qawasma – Hebron – 2006 – exiled
253. Nidal Akram Abu Shakhedam – Hebron – 2008 – exiled
254. Muhammad Ahmad Abu Awad – Nablus – 2003 – exiled
255. Abbas Abdullah Shabaneh – Hebron – 1992 – released with conditions
256. Zaher Wajeeh Khatatbeh – Beit Furik – 1994 – released with conditions
257. Kefah Jamil Arda – Jenin – 1999 – exiled
258. Farid Muhammad Qaysi – Khan Younis – 1994 – released
259. Zeyad Hassan Awad – Edna – 2000 – released with conditions
260. Hussein Elias Rabie – Beit Anan – 2001 – exiled
261. Mahmud Muhammad al-Sweiti – Beit Awwa – 2000 – released with conditions
262. Zuheir Kheiri Eskafi – Hebron – 2000 – released with conditions
263. Rabie Salama Zughel – Beit Hanina – 1998 – exiled abroad
264. Rajab Muhammad Tahhan – Jerusalem – 1998 – released with conditions
265. Daoud Khalil Shawish – Jerusalem – 2000 – released
266. Ramzi Ibrahim al-Ouq – Aida camp – 2003 – exiled
267. Murid Salim al-Akhras – Rafah – 2001 – released
268. Reyad Zakarya Asela – Jerusalem – 2000 – exiled
269. Nahed Abdul Raof al-Fakhouri – Hebron – 2002 – exiled
270. Muhammad Bassam Mallah – Tulkarem – 2002 – exiled abroad
271. Samer Ibrahim Abu Ser – Jerusalem – 1988 – exiled
272. Muhammad Muhamma Karsou – Gaza City – 2002 – released
273. Ashraf Abdul Qader Abu Markhyeh – Hebron – 2002 – exiled
274. Abdul Aziz Amr – Jerusalem – 2004 – exiled
275. Amjad Ahmad Arqub – Dura – 2002 – exiled
276. Shadi Zayed Odeh – Qalqiliya – 2002 – released
277. Shueib Saleh Abu Suneneh – Jerusalem – 1998 – exiled
278. Mahmud Ibrahim Dahbur – Nablus – 2002 – exiled
279. Tareq Daud Halisi – Jerusalem – 1986 – exiled
280. Samir Fesal Sawafta – Al-Jafaltak – 2003 – exiled
281. Mahmud Shaker al-Rayes – Gaza City – 2003 – released
282. Murad Abdullah Abu Rukab – Gaza City – 2003 – released
283. Ashraf Khalil Abu al-Rub – Jenin – 2002 – released
284. Akram Zaki al-Saedi – Al-Nuseirat camp – 2003 – released
285. Abdul Naser Daud Halisi – Jerusalem – 1986 – exiled
286. Zakaria Lutfi Najib – Jerusalem – 1994 – exiled for 3 years
287. Iyad Ata Abu Fnoun – Bethlehem – 2003 – released
288. Muhammad Salim Qassem – Gaza City – 2004 – released
289. Ibrahim Muhammad Mussa – Beit Luqya – 2004 – exiled
290. Rabie Samir Shalabi – Cober – 2005 – released
291. Hawem Muhammad Asaliya – Jerusalem – 1986 – exiled abroad
292. Nasser Humeidan Shqerat – Jerusalem – 1993 – exiled
293. Ali Bader Maslamani – Jerusalem – 1986 – released
294. Raed Muhammad Riziq – Jabaliya – 2002 – released
295. Imad Yasser Mussa – Marka – 1998 – released with conditions
296. Nader Radwan Abu Turkey – Hebron – 2002 – exiled
297. Suleiman Salem Abu Yousef – Al-Samua – 1994 – released with conditions
298. Ahmad Yousef al-Tamimi – Nabi Saleh – 1993 – released
299. Feras Walid Abu Shkheidam – Hebron – 2001- released with conditions
300. Fuad Qasem Razem – Jerusalem – 1981 – exiled
302. Asad Fahmi Abu Salah – Beit Hanoun – 2008 – released
303. Amed Hamed al-Masri – Jenin – 1991 – exiled
304. Luay Muhammad Odeh – Jerusalem – 2002 – exiled
305. Munes Ahmad Aqqad – Khan Younis – 2002 – released
306. Hussam Atef Badran – Nablus – 1992 – exiled abroad
307. Muhammad Ibrahim Hamada – Jerusalem – 1997 – exiled
308. Salem Hasan Shab – Bani Suheila – 1993 – released
312. Abdul Halim Mahmoud Abdulla – Shati camp – 1990 – released
314. Imad Mustafa Khamis al-Loh – Deir Al-Balah – 2003 – released
316. Ghazi Jumaa Nims – Gaza City – 1985 – released
317. Telal Yousef al-Kabsh – Al-Samua – 1986 – exiled
318. Muhammad Abdul Latif Salha – Jabaliya – 2008 – released
319. Naser Amr Namla – Gaza City – 1990 released
320. Hani Muhammad Abu Setta – Khan Younis – 1994 – released
321. Ibrahim Asad Daud – Qalqiliya – 2003 – released
322. Ibrahim Hussein Elayan – Jerusalem – 1987 – exiled
323. Ibrahim Abdul Razzaq Mashal – Jerusalem – 1990 – released
324. Ibrahim Abdul Qader Abu Hajla – Qalqiliya – 2002 – released
325. Khaled Ahmad Muhsein – Jerusalem – 1986 – released
326. Khaled Muhammad Taha – Jerusalem – 1988 – exiled
327. Samer Tareq Muhammad – Jerusalem – 2002 – released
328. Aref Khaled Fawakhra – Jaba – 2002 – released
329. Amer Abdul Rahman Muqbel – Tulkarem – 2003 – released with conditions
330. Issa Saleh Jandal – Jerusalem – 1986 – released with conditions
331. Luay Ahmad Novel – Deir Sharaf – 2001 – released with conditions
332. Luay Younis Kurnoz – Ramallah – 2004 – exiled
333. Mazen Mustafa Alawi – Jerusalem – 1991 – exiled
334. Muhammad Salama Sofi – Rafah – 2007 – released
335. Mustafa Kamel Badarneh – Ramallah – 2003 released
336. Hilal Muhammad Jaradat – Al-Yamun – 1987 – exiled
337. Ahmad Abed Jawad – Barouqin – 2002 – exiled for 3 years
338. Nasser Mussa Abed Rabbo – Jerusalem – 1988 – released with conditions
339. Ashraf Khaled Hanini – Beit Furik – 2006 – exiled
340. Bilal Khalil Bisharat – Tammun – 2002 – exiled for 3 years
341. Hamdullah Fayeq Ali – Jamaeen – 2002 – exiled for 3 years
342. Nahed Issam Abu Kashak – Tulkarem – 2001 – exiled
343. Khader Suleiman Radi – Aida camp – 2003 – released with conditions
344. Salem Rashid Tabanja – Nablus – 2003 – exiled for 3 years
345. Saher Nabil Shtayya – Salem – 2001 – exiled for 3 years
346. Safwat Jebril al-Jabur – Yatta – 2002 – released
347. Talat Mustafa Maaruf – Beit Lahiya – 2008 – released
348. Amer Ahmad Mabruk – Tulkarem – 2003 – exiled for 3 years
349. Abdul Rahum Abdul Latif Abdil Rahim – Badya – 2004 – released with conditions
350. Ibrahim Salim Shamasna – Qatna – 1993 – exiled abroad
351. Kamal Abdul Rahman Awad – Jordan Valley – 2001 – exiled
352. Ibrahim Abdul Rahman Jundyeh – Aida camp – 2003 – exiled
353. Ahmad Jebrin Takrurt – Jericho – 1988 – exiled
354. Ahmad Hasan Hassan – Nablus – 1992 – released
355. Luay Nafeth Qufesha – Hebron – 2002 – exiled
356. Iyad Mussa Ubayyat – Bethlehem – 2003 – exiled
357. Ayman Hatem Shakhshir – Nablus – 2002 – exiled
358. Ayman Muhammad Qafeesha – Hebron – 1997 – exiled
359. Ihab Hashem Qannan – Khan Younis camp – 2002 – released
360. Ahmad Rabbah Amira – Jerusalem – 1988 – released with conditions
361. Muhammad Salim Ramadan – Jamaeen – 2002 – exiled for 3 years
362. Tawfiq Ibrahim Abdullah – Qalqiliya – 1986 – released
363. Jaser Ismail al-Barghouthi – Cober – 2003 – exiled
364. Jebril Ismail Jebril – Qalqiliya – 2002 – exiled
365. Jamal Hamad Abu Saleh – Silwan – 1990 – released with conditions
366. Jawad Tayseer As-Sabaana – Jenin – 2002 – exiled
367. Hamza Hassan Abu Arqub – Jamaeen - 2002 – exiled
368. Khaled Abdul Maez Amr – Silwad – 2003 – exiled
369. Khamis Zaki Akel – An-Nuseirat camp – 1992 – released
370. Muhammad Issa Awad – Yatta – 2002 – released
371. Rami Zaki Masri – Beit Hanun – 2006 – released
372. Rabie Khader Hamida – Ramallah – 2003 – exiled
373. Rajai Saadi al-Karaki – Hebron – 2000 – exiled
374. Zaher Ali Jibrin – Salfit – 1993 – exiled abroad
375. Mahdi Shukri Asi – Balata camp – 2002 – released
376. Zeyad Salim Salmi – Gaza City – 1993 – released
377. Said Ibrahim Shalaldah - Sair – 2005 – exiled
378. Said Muhammad Bisharat – Nablus- 2002 – exiled
379. Nizar Khader Dehliz – Rafah – 2002 – released
380. Shadi Talat Balawna – Tulkarem camp – 2003 – exiled
381. Sharif Hussein Zyadeh – Al-Breij camp – 2005 – released
382. Shakib Baher al-Eweiwi – Hebron – 2006 – exiled
383. Derar Muhammad al-Hroub – Duheisheh camp – 2002 – exiled
384. Tareq Ahmad Hasayen – Qalqiliya – 2003 – exiled
385. Zaher Salman Ayayda – Rafah – 1990 – released
386. Nimir Ibrahim Daruzeh – Nablus – 2003 – exiled abroad
387. Abdul Hakim Aziz Abed – Beit Dajan – 1993 - exiled abroad
388. Abdul Rahmad Ahmad Ali – Alar – 2001 – exiled
389. Abdul Rahman Hasan Salah – Kufur Dan – 2002 – released with conditions
390. Abdul Aziz Yousef Salha – Deir Jarir – 2001 – exiled
391. Abdul Nasser Arar – Qarawat Bani Zeid – 2006 – exiled
392. Abdul Rahman Ismail Ghneimat – Surif – 1997 - exiled
393. Adnan Muhammad Maraja – Silwan – 1990 – released
394. Issam Muhammad Jarar – Jenin – 2002 – exiled abroad
395. Ismat Abdul Aziz Matawe – Hebron – 2002 – exiled
396. Ala Ad-Din Reda al-Bazyan – Jerusalem – 1986 – released with conditions
397. Ala Khaled Badawi – Bethlehem – 2003 – exiled
398. Wayel Suleiman Arafa – Tulkarem – 2002 – exiled
399. Ali Muhammad Qadi – Al-Bira – 2005 – exiled
400. Ali Muhammad Asafra – Beit Kahel – 2002 – exiled
401. Yaser Talal Yousef – Bethlehem – 2006 released
402. Basem Muhammad Nazzal – Qabatiya – 1992 – exiled
403. Amer Ahmad Assida – Jordan Valley – 2002 – exiled
404. Awad Zeyad Awad Salaymeh – Hebron – 1993 – exiled
405. Fadi Muhammad Al-Jabaa – Hebron – 2003 – exiled
406. Fadi Muhammad Dweik – Hebron – 2002 – exiled
407. Zeidan Muhammad Zeidan – Jenin – 2002 – exiled
408. Fahed Fawwaz Al-Qasrawo – Hebron – 2003 – released
409. Fawwaz Muhammad Nasser – Beir Qeddis – 2003 – exiled
410. Christian Adel Isaac Bandak – Bethlehem – 2003 – exiled
411. Majed Muhammad Jabaa – Hebron – 1995 – exiled
412. Mazen Muahammad Faqha – Tubas – 2002 – exiled
413. Majdi Muhammad Amr – Dura – 2003 – exiled abroad
414. Majdi Muhammad Naasan – Ramallah – 2003 – exiled
415. Muhammad Issac al-Julani – Beit Kahel – 2006 – exiled
416. Amr Hamdan Abu Sneineh – Hebron – 2002 – exiled
417. Muhammad Badawi Masalmeh – Beit Awwa – 2002 – exiled
418. Muhammad Salem Awad – Edna – 2005 – exiled
419. Nidal Abdul Rahman Hamed – Silwad – 2004 – exiled
420. Muhammad Taher al-Karam – Jalqamus – 2001 – exiled
421. Mahmud Awad Damra – Ein Um al-Sharayet – 2006 – released
422. Muhammad Wayel Doughlas – Jordan Valley – 2001 – exiled abroad
423. Mahmud Ibrahim Hajabi – Tulkarem – 2002 – exiled
424. Mahmud Ghassub Saad – Ramallah – 2003 – exiled
425. Khuweiled Ismael al-Jalil – Jordan Valley – 1998 – exiled
426. Mustafa Mahmud Maslamani – Tubas – 2001 – exiled
427. Mustafa Mahmud Qaroush – Tulkarem – 1986 – released
428. Muath Wael Talab Abu Sharkh – Hebron – 2003 – exiled
429. Muammar Rashad al-Jabari – Hebron – 2003 – released with conditions
430. Kifah Ahmad Nawahda – Jenin – 2006 – exiled
431. Mussa Ibrahim Wazwaz – Hebron – 2006 – exiled
432. Nasser Abdul Fattah Nazzal – Qalqiliya – 2002 – exiled
433. Said Muhammad Badarna – Yaabud – 1994 – exiled abroad
434. Nayef Yousef Radwan – Qabya – 1995 – released with conditions
435. Amer Saoud Abu Sarhan – Bethlehem – 1990 – exiled
436. Naser Sami Yataymeh – Tulkarem – 2002 – exiled abroad
437. Allam Ahmad Kaabi – Nablus – 2003 – exiled
438. Nidal Abdul Razzaq Zallum – Al-Bira – 1989 – released with conditions
439. Nimir Raqi Hamida – Ramallah – 2003 – exiled
440. Hani Rasmi Jaber – Hebron – 1993 – released
441. Hisham Abdul Qader Hejaz – Ramallah – 2003 – exiled abroad
442. Haitham Seif Radwan – Ramallah – 2003 – exiled
443. Wael Kamel al-Jaabari – Hebron – 2000 – exiled
444. Ali Yousef Mughrabi – Bethlehem – 2002 – released
445. Walid Abdul Aziz Injas – Khirbet Bani Hareth – 2002 – exiled abroad
446. Yassin Yassin Suleiman Rabie – Al-Mazraa Al-Qabaliya – 2003 – exiled
447. Nizar Muhammad Ramadan – Jordan Valley – 1998 – exiled abroad
448. Yaacoub Adnan Zeid – Yaabod – 2000 – released with conditions
449. Yousef Deib Abu Adi – Kufur Neimeh – 2005 – exiled
450. Yousef Taher Al-Karam – Jalqamus – 2001 – exiled

Six names are on a separate list which does not specify the conditions of their release.

Attached with the originals is a list of 27 Palestinian women who are also expected to be freed as early as Tuesday.

1. Randa Muhammad Yusuf Shahatit – Hebron – 2009 – released
2. Abir Isa Amru – Hebron – 2001 – released
3. Iman Muhammad Gazzawi – Nablus – 2001 – released
4. Amal Fayiz Jumaa Mahmoud – Nablus – 2004 – released
5. Miryam Salim Tarabin – Jericho – 2005 – released
6. Abir Mahmoud Hasan Awda – Tulkarem – 2009 – released
7. Fatin al-Saadi – Jenin – 2008 – released
8. Wafa Samir al-Bass – Gaza City – 2008 – released
9. Abu Golmi Youssef Lanan – Nablus – 2010 – released
10. Sanabil Nabigh Yusuf Barik – Nablus – 2008 – released
11. Fayina Mustafa Khalil Abu Ayyash – Nablus – 2006 – released
12. Aisha Muhammad Abiyat – Bethlehem – 2009 – released
13. Hanan Ahmed Ali – Bethlehem – 2010 – released
14. Nasrin Abu Zina – Tulkarem – 2009 – released
15. Shalbi Hana – Jenin – 2009 – released
16. Kraja Samud – Ramallah – 2009 – released
17. Pollshchuk Irina – Ukraine – 2002 – released
18. Issawi Abd Faiz Ibtisam – Jerusalem – 2001 – released
19. Shadeh Muhammad Hussein Sanaa – Israel – 2002 – released
20. Al-Saadi Said Ali Qahara – Ramallah – 2002 – released
21. Jiwasi Ziyad Dawaa – Tulkarem – 2002 – released
22. Daragmeh Rawad Hussein Ruma – Jenin – 2004 – released
23. Latifa Muhammad Abu Daraa – Nablus – 2003 – released
24. Tamimi Ared Ahmad Ahlam – Jordan – 2001 – released to Jordan
25. Muna Jawad Ali Amna – Israel – 2001 – exiled
26. Aliaa Muhammad Yhya Jaadallah Jaabri – Hebron – 2011 – released
27. Ramyah Ratab Hassan Abu Samra – Hebron – 2010 – released

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Palestinian Prisoners Demand change and cable TV

The BNC, the largest Palestinian civil society coalition representing the overwhelming majority of unions, coalitions and political forces, fully supports the hunger strike called for by Palestinian prisoners and endorses their legitimate demands for:

1. Ending the policy of solitary confinement

2. Ending the ban on college education for prisoners

3. Ending the policy of collective punishment, including the denial of visits, and imposing financial penalties on prisoners

4. Ending the policy of provocative incursions and invasions of prisoners’ cells

5. Stopping the policy of shackling the hands and legs of prisoners during visits by family members and lawyers

6. Improving the health conditions of hundreds of sick and injured prisoners and providing them with the needed treatments

7. Allowing books, newspapers and clothes to enter prisons

8. Allowing the broadcast of satellite TV channels that have been banned by Israeli Prison Service (IPS)

9. Ending the policy of restricting visits to 30 minutes every month, and the arbitrary denial of visits

Apparently the Palestinian demand for whole chickens has already been met.

Activists at the International Solidarity Movement are encouraging the use of the #TWEEPSTRIKE to express solidarity with the prisoners humanitarian demands for free cable and college classes.

I have an idea. Perhaps we can, using what Code Pink calls "Culture jamming" , use this hashtag to tell the world that whole chickens and free cable TV are not inalienable human rights. Come on. I know you want to.

The ISM's email follows:
Join the ISM in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners held under harsh conditions in Israel’s jails, a new twitter trend emerged today from Gaza. The trend is #TweepStrike and is an open invitation to everyone across the globe to go on a hunger strike

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Middle East Childrens Alliance does not meet Better Business Bureau standards for charity accountability

The venerable Better Business Bureau evaluates not only commercial enterprises, but non-profits as well. Their mission:

Creating a community of trustworthy businesses
* Setting standards for marketplace trust
*Encouraging and supporting best practices
*Celebrating marketplace role models, and;
*Denouncing substandard marketplace behavior

MECA- the Middle east Children's Alliance is, of course the organization that sought to punish the Oakland Museum of children's Art for not capitulating to their demands. Barbara Lubins group hijacked the facebook page of MOCHA, and coordinated two days of protests in front of the museum.

According to the Better Business Bureau, MECA fails to meet the BBB standards for charity accountability.

From the BBB website:

Evaluation Conclusions

Middle East Children's Alliance (MECA) does not meet the following 4 Standards for Charity Accountability.

Standard 6: Board Policy on Effectiveness - Have a board policy of assessing, no less than every two years, the organization's performance and effectiveness and of determining future actions required to achieve its mission.

MECA does not meet this Standard because:

The board of directors does not have a written policy stating that, at least every two years, an appraisal be done assessing the organization’s performance and effectiveness and determining future actions required to achieve its mission.
Standard 7: Board Approval of Written Report on Effectiveness - Submit to the organization's governing body, for its approval, a written report that outlines the results of the aforementioned performance and effectiveness assessment and recommendations for future actions.

MECA does not meet this Standard because:

It has never completed an effectiveness assessment, and does not have one planned in the near future.
Standard 11: Financial Statements - Make available to all, on request, complete annual financial statements prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. When total annual gross income exceeds $250,000, these statements should be audited in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards. For charities whose annual gross income is less than $250,000, a review by a certified public accountant is sufficient to meet this standard. For charities whose annual gross income is less than $100,000, an internally produced, complete financial statement is sufficient to meet this standard.

MECA does not meet this Standard because:

Although the organization's income exceeded $250,000 for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2010, it states it does not have audited financial statements for the past fiscal year.
Standard 17: Web Site Disclosures - Include on any charity websites that solicit contributions, the same information that is recommended for annual reports, as well as the mailing address of the charity and electronic access to its most recent IRS Form 990.

MECA does not meet this Standard because the organization's website,, does not include all of the recommended information for those charity websites that solicit for donations. Specifically, it does not include:

Electronic access to the organization’s most recent IRS Form 990.

In addition, the BBB Wise Giving Alliance requested but did not receive complete information on the organization’s governance and oversight and finances and is unable to verify the organization's compliance with the following 2 Standards for Charity Accountability: 3 and 13.

According to the BBB, Barbara Lubin, Executive Director of MECA has a salary of $103,700 and has 6 paid staff members. Fund raising costs amounted to 22% of related contributions.

With charities, as in all endeavors: Let the Buyer beware

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Tel Aviv Beach

As the drizzle continues in our home by the bay, our dreams turn to warmer climes. I still smile remembering a special Erev Shabbat, many years ago, watching the fire-dancers on Chinky beach in Tel Aviv.

Time photographer Gillian Laub has been photographing the magnificent Tel Aviv beaches for years. Here's a few samples from Tel Aviv Beach: One Photographer’s Enduring Oasis .

“Every Jew has two requests of God: a place in paradise in the next world, and a place on the Tel Aviv beach in this world,” wrote Sholem Asch, the Polish-born novelist, in 1937. Stretching five kilometers from its southern tip at the old port city of Jaffa to the new cluster of high rise hotels and condos at its northern end, Tel Aviv’s beach (or Tayelet as it’s called in Hebrew) probably looked a little different in Asch’s day. But I think of him as part of a long legacy of both travelers and natives who have sought refuge in those sands from Israel’s political dramas, which can gush like a Texas oil well. At the beach, I discovered Israel in all its vitality, without the conflict.

"The beach, I’ve come to realize, is where the country comes to breathe."
Check out all of Gillians Laub's photos here

From Zero to Hero and Back again: Max Blumenthal slithers into Jewish Community Heroes Contest

Now that the JVP ringers in the Jewish Community heroes contest have been given the boot, the Israel is always wrong crowd are throwing their collective weight behind the campaign for Max Blumenthal, anti-Israel blogger. Max has garnished over 400 votes for a profile somewhat fitting for him- lacking a photo and complete with typos. Half baked? Sloppy? Kinda makes a statement, doesn't it?

Is Max Blumenthal a Jewish community Hero? You can find out for yourself.
He'll be making a local appearance next month- at a meeting of the Muslim Community Association. Saturday, November 19 · 6:00pm - 9:00pm

Max Blumenthal will find himself in the company of Hatem Bazian, who infamously called for "intifada in America", Osama Abuirshaid, Editor of Al-Meezan Newspaper and with two of the students who interupted Michael Oren at UC Irvine Taher Herzallah and Osama Shabaik

Quite a Jewish community hero.

The one positive thing that will come from this years contest- rest assured there will be more oversight at next years Jewish Community heroes contest.


Max resents the use of the term "slithers". Perhaps he is correct. "Oozes" may be more accurate.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Do Zionists Help Restore the Tuba-Zangaria Mosque? Yes, Zionists Do

Reposted from DrMike at Bluetruth

As many of you know, last week a mosque in the Arab village of Tuba-Zangaria in the Galilee was attacked by arsonists, presumably extremist Jews (because of the "price tag" graffiti left at the site). One suspect has been arrested.

Not only is this act repulsive on many levels (and was immediately condemned in the strongest terms by both Shimon Peres and Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as by Israel's Chief Rabbis), but it also took place in an Arab village whose residents fought alongside the Palmach during Israel's War of Independence, whose young men commonly enlist in the IDF, whose village leaders decided they would not participate in the Arab riots in October 2000, and whose village sports center is named after Yitzhak Rabin.

And just yesterday, Muslim and Christian cemeteries in Jaffa were vandalized with similar graffiti left at the sites of the desecrations.

And while I don't always agree with Bradley Burston, I think his eloquent column in Haaretz about this is completely on the mark.

Those of us who are Jewish have just completed our prayers on the Day of Atonement.  Th
e centerpieces of that day's prayers are the community confessionals, the Vi'dui and the Al Het, in which we all request forgiveness for the sins that, though we may not have committed them ourselves, fall upon us because members of our community did commit them.  This Yom Kippur, the desecration of the mosque of Tuba Zangaria was prominent in my mind during those prayers. 

The "price tag" phenomenon is a dangerous one for Israel in many ways.  These acts are those of vigiliantes who openly challenge the rule of law and the authority of the state of Israel.  Up until now, these attacks have only taken place on the West Bank.  There, they attack not only their neighbors, but also IDF soldiers (on whom, ironically, they depend for their own safety in their West Bank settlements).  They undermine the authority of the state, and they feed into the mostly false stereotypes created by anti-Israel activists, of violent settlers attacking peaceful Palestinian villagers who want nothing more than to live in peace; that false impression creates more international pressure to force Israel to withdraw from the very land which the settlers want to keep for their own.   When these attacks take place within the state of Israel itself, it challenges one of the fundamentals of Israeli society that we proudly hold up as a response to those who maliciously misrepresent Israel's status as a Jewish state-- that Israel's Arab citizens have full political, civil and religious rights equal to the Jewish citizens, and far better than the rights enjoyed by Arabs anywhere else in the Middle East.  If Israel's Arab citizens, especially those who express friendship and support to their Jewish neighbors, are the subject of acts of terror such as this, then it is not only those Arab Israelis who suffer, but the Jews of Israel as well.   

We also make the argument that Israel acts more morally than the Palestinian leadership that turns terrorists into heroes, and that broadcasts an incessant stream of venal anti-Semitic propaganda . And we correctly point out that the terrorists of Hamas, al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade and Islamic Jihad openly celebrate the slaughter of children in their bedrooms,  because "itbach el-Yahud" ("kill the Jew") has been a rallying cry for Arab rejectionists since the days of the Grand Mufti (and can be heard even on the streets of the San Francisco Bay Area) .

It is therefore vital for those of us who support the existence of a Jewish state of Israel, to stand with what we know is the overwhelming majority of Jews in Israel and in the Diaspora against such vile acts done by an extremist minority in our community; even the leadership of the settler movement condemns these terrorists.  Our enemies routinely distort "Zionism" into a hateful caricature; this is an important opportunity for us to stand up for the Zionism that we know and to reclaim it from those who use it as an epithet.

This is not about settlements, nor about borders, nor about negotiations (or lack thereof) between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.  This is about standing with the Israeli citizens of Tuba-Zangaria and elsewhere, just as we stand with Jewish Israelis who have been the victims of religious and political acts of hatred. 

Israel's Declaration of Independence states: 

"WE APPEAL - in the very midst of the onslaught launched against us now for months - to the Arab inhabitants of the State of Israel to preserve peace and participate in the upbuilding of the State on the basis of full and equal citizenship and due representation in all its provisional and permanent institutions."

The people of Tuba-Zangaria answered that appeal in the affirmative. It is time now for us to honor that.

In the spirit of atoning for the sins of others in our community, the Association of Reform Zionists of America, in partnership with the Israel Religious Action Center, is raising funds for the refurbishing of the Tuba mosque.  It's the Zionist thing to do. Please join me in donating.