Thousands of Israelis protest the Gaza war in Tel-Aviv

The Communist Party of Israel

Some 7,000 Israelis on Saturday evening protested the war in Gaza under the banner: “No more deaths – Israeli-Palestinian peace, now.” The protest took place in Rabin Square in central Tel Aviv. Slogans chanted by the protesters included “Stop the war,” “Bring the soldiers back home” and “Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies.”

Thousands protest the Gaza war in Tel Aviv, July 26, 2014. (Photo: Activestills)

Speakers included Hadash MK Dov Khenin; an Israeli and Palestinian veteran from the organization Combatants for Peace, Yifat Solel, the head of the Meretz party’s anti-occupation forum; Professor Eva, President of Bezalel Academy of Art and Design; author Odeh Bisharat, former Hadash secretary and Dr. Julia Chaitlin, a lecturer at Sapir Academic College in Sderot and resident of kibbutz Urim, near Gaza. A member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Israel, and union organizer, Alon-Lee Green was the presenter. Channel 2 noted that left-wing Zionist party Meretz as well as the Peace Now organization had opted not to take part in the rally.

Ben Kfir of the Parents’ Circle, whose daughter was killed in a Hamas suicide bombing in 2003, also spoke, refuting the government’s claim that there is no partner for peace among the Palestinians. The speakers criticized the government for its attitude toward peace negotiations, and for resorting to war as a default policy. Demonstrators called for an end to the occupation and the siege on Gaza, and lit candles to commemorate the victims.

Roughly 300 extreme right-wing counter-protesters were on the scene trying to sabotage the main demonstration. A large police presence circled the square in order to keep the sides separate. Eight were arrested.

The invitation to the peace protest read: “On Saturday, the peace camp takes a stand at Rabin Square. The war is taking a heavy toll in lives and injuries on both sides, in destruction and horror, in bombings and rockets. We answer this by taking a stand and making a demand: end the war now!”

“We must end the war and start talking with the recognized Palestinian leadership of the West Bank and Gaza to end the occupation and the siege and to achieve independence and justice for both peoples – in Israel and Palestine.”

“Instead be being drawn, again and again, into more wars and more military actions, it is now time to lead the way to dialogue and a political settlement. There is a political solution. What price must we pay – the people of the South and the other residents of Israel, and the people of Gaza and the West Bank – until we reach that solution? Together, Jews and Arabs, we will overcome occupation and war, hatred, incitement and racism – and offer a path to life and hope.”

Read more: http://www.shahidulnews.com/thousands-of-israelis-protest-the-gaza-war-in-tel-aviv#ixzz3DGI6Iazb

Qatar invests in Israeli soccer despite Gaza and war of words with Jerusalem

By James M. Dorsey

DohaStadSakhnin
Qatar is emerging for the second time in a decade as the only Arab state without a peace treaty and diplomatic relations to have invested in Israel. Qatar’s latest investment in Israeli Palestinian soccer comes against a backdrop of a war of words between the two countries over the Gulf state’s support for Hamas, the Islamist militia that controls the war-wracked Gaza Strip. Yet, Qatar’s relationship with Hamas makes it alongside Turkey the only country that can talk directly to the group as part of international efforts to achieve a ceasefire in Gaza.

A Qatari agreement to donate $4.6 million to two Israeli Palestinian soccer clubs, Bnei Sakhnin, a team based in Galilee that historically stands for Israeli-Palestinian co-existence, and Maccabi Ahi Nazareth FC, a squad that historically was part of the centrist wing of the Zionist movement, was negotiated prior to the eruption three weeks ago of hostilities between Israel and Hamas.

In a move that is likely to provoke Israeli right-wing and nationalist ire, Qatar this week paid Bnei Sakhnin, which was the foremost Palestinian team to include Jewish players in its squad, its first instalment of the donation. Mazen Gnayem, the mayor of Sakhnin, a Palestinian town in the Lower Galilee, and former Bnei Sakhnin chairman, told Israeli business newspaper Globes that Qatar had transferred $500,000. Right wing and nationalist ire is likely to feed on the fact that Bnei Sakhnin recently lost Eliran Danin, its last Jewish player. Maccabi Nazareth however continues to have both Palestinian and Jewish players.

Shimon Peres, who last week stepped down as Israel’s president and is widely seen as a dove when it comes to Israeli-Palestinian peace, accused Qatar this week of being “the world’s largest funder of terror.” Mr. Peres charged that “Qatar does not have the right to send money for rockets and tunnels which are fired at innocent civilians. Their funding of terror must stop. If they want to build then they should, but they must not be allowed to destroy,” he told Ban-Ki Moon during the United Nations Secretary General’s visit to Jerusalem in a failed bid to achieve a Gaza ceasefire.

Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu’s former security advisor Major General (res) Yaakov Amidror said the United States had earlier stopped the Amman-based, Palestinian-owned Arab Bank from transferring Qatari funds for the payment of 43,000 public sector workers in Gaza who haven’t received salaries for month. Gen Amidror told The Times of Israel that Qatari funding of Hamas’ military operations continued nevertheless unabated.

Israeli economy minister Naftaniel Bennett meanwhile called on world soccer body FIFA to deprive Qatar, which is home to Hamas leader Khaled Mishal, of its right to host the 2022 World Cup because of its funding of what he described as radical Islamic terror. Communications Minister Gilad Erdan demanded that the Qatar’s state-owned Al Jazeera network be taken off the air due to its “extremely severe incitement against the State of Israel as well as enthusiastic support for Hamas and its terrorist actions.” Earlier, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman denounced the network despite the fact that Israeli spokesman, including his ministry’s spokesman, Yigal Palmor, appear regularly on Al Jazeera.

Al Jazeera was this week forced to evacuate its Gaza office after it came under fire. The network’s Jerusalem bureau chief, Walid Al-Omari, accused members of the Israeli Cabinet in an interview on Israel’s Army Radio of incitement and putting its crews at risk.

Qatari Foreign Minister Khalid Al Attiyah, who has played a key role in the ceasefire negotiations, hit back at Israel, saying that  ”Qatar does not support Hamas, Qatar supports the Palestinians.” In an interview with CNN, Mr. Al Attiyah accused Israel of systematically sabotaging peace efforts over the past year. He lashed out at Messrs Lieberman and Bennett, saying they “practice terrorism… Israel never leveraged on the pragmatic approach of Hamas. Mr. Al Attiyah noted that Hamas had agreed to participate in Palestinian elections in 2006 encouraged by the fact that then US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had asked Qatar to support the group’s move. “They decided to practice democracy,” the minister said.

The Israeli war of words on Qatar is designed to further isolate Hamas, which has found little sympathy among Arab government in its latest round of fighting with Israel, leaving the Gulf state as its main Arab backer. By discrediting Qatar hopes to support Egyptian mediation efforts in the knowledge that Cairo’s relations with Hamas are troubled because it views the group as an extension of the banned Muslim Brotherhood.

Former Qatari emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani became in 2012 the first Arab head of state to visit Hamas-controlled Gaza. Mr. Al Attiyah said residential housing and hospitals that were being built in Gaza prior to the Israeli assault with $500 million pledged by Sheikh Hamad had been constructed by contractors associated with Hamas’ rival, Al Fatah, the group that forms the backbone of the West Bank’s Palestine Authority headed by President Mahmoud Abbas. He said the funds for Gaza were being channelled through Arab Bank and the Palestine Authority rather than Hamas.

Qatar played an important role earlier this year in bridging the seven-year old rift between Fatah and Hamas which led to an agreement to form a national unity government that would be backed by both groups but would not include Hamas representatives. The formation of that government prompted Mr. Netanyahu to break off US-sponsored Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Israel’s assault on Gaza is believed to be in part intended to undermine the government and put Mr. Abbas back in the driver’s seat, an effort that has so far backfired.

Qatar first invested in Israeli soccer when it funded in 2006 the construction of the Doha Stadium in Sakhnin to the tune of $6 million, the first ever official investment in Israel itself by an Arab state that has yet to recognize Israel. The funding came after Bnei Sakhnin, Israel’s most successful Israeli Palestinian club, won the 2004 State Cup. The team’s captain, Abbas Suan, became a national hero in 2006 when he scored a key goal in Israel’s World Cup qualifier against Ireland.

A week later Mr. Abbas was greeted in the stadium of Jerusalem by supporters of Beitar Jerusalem, Israel’s most anti-Palestinian, anti-Muslim club, with chants of “Suan, You Don’t Represent Us” and “We hate all Arabs.”

 

James M. Dorsey is a senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies as Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, co-director of the Institute of Fan Culture of the University of Würzburg and the author of the blog, The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer, and a forthcoming book with the same title.

Battle of the Ceasefires:? Israel, Hamas Struggle for Moral High Ground

By James M. Dorsey

Gaza being bombed on 30th July 2014
Gaza being bombed on 30th July 2014

Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream

Synopsis

If Israel came close to destroying Hamas in two earlier confrontations in 2008/9 and 2012, it has succeeded in the latest round of fighting to rescue the group from potential demise. Hamas is emerging as the key player capable of cornering Israel politically and diplomatically despite its military superiority.

Commentary

THE EFFORT to achieve a ceasefire in the Israeli-Hamas war in the Gaza Strip resembles a see-saw with at times Israel and at other times Hamas rejecting a halt to hostilities or violating a brief silencing of the guns in a bid to ensure its collapse. The back and forth reflects in the first instance a battle between Israel and Hamas to occupy the moral high ground.

But more importantly it highlights a growing realisation that Hamas is emerging politically strengthened from the death and destruction in Gaza while Israel is fighting a rear guard battle to turn military success into political victory.

Hamas forcing Israel into a corner

Israeli spokesmen have projected the acceptance by Hamas and other militant Palestinian groups of a United Nations call for another 24-hour ceasefire as an indication that Hamas had been seriously damaged by the three-week old Israeli assault. More likely is that Hamas hoped to force Israel into a corner after Israel had rejected US Secretary of State John Kerry’s proposal for a seven-day halt to hostilities because it would have legitimised Hamas’ demands for a lifting of the seven-year-old Israeli-Egyptian blockade of Gaza, the opening of all the territories border crossings, the free flow of goods and services into the strip and the release of funds for payment of Gazan public sector salaries.

A Hamas spokesman, hours before the group’s acceptance of the UN ceasefire proposal, left little doubt that the Islamist militia had ensured the collapse of an earlier 12-hour ceasefire negotiated by the United Nations, the United States, the European Union, Qatar, Turkey and Egypt. The spokesman charged that the ceasefire would only allow Israel to prepare its military and intelligence resources for a second round in Gaza.

High stakes

The stakes for both Israel and Hamas are high: Israel cannot afford a halt to hostilities that opens the door to acceptance of Hamas’ demands. Otherwise this would invite questioning of its refusal to deal with Hamas, undercut its effort to undermine the recently agreed Palestinian national unity government supported by Palestine Authority President Mahmoud Abbas as well as Hamas, and derail its determination to choke Hamas by blockading Gaza. Hamas for its part needs to demonstrate even if the current conflagration was engineered by Israel that the terrible toll in terms of human life and physical destruction ultimately produced a significant improvement in the lives of the 1.8 million inhabitants of Gaza.

With pictures of utter destruction and bodies being pulled out of rubble where once home stood dominating television news, Hamas is gaining the upper hand. Mr. Kerry’s emphasis on Hamas’ demands while referring in his ceasefire plan to Israeli security concerns in only the most general of terms reflects the swing of public empathy towards the Palestinians even if the Obama administration continues to officially uphold Israel’s right to defend itself.

Nonetheless, the realisation that Israel could emerge the real loser from the latest fighting is beginning to take root in Israeli government circles as well as the country’s political and security establishment. Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon has effectively called for an end to Israeli attempts to undermine the Palestinian national unity government by suggesting that Abbas, who until now controls only the West Bank, extend his writ to Gaza as part of what he termed a reconciliation government.

Senior Israeli officials have suggested in recent days that they were never opposed to a Hamas-backed unity government even though Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu broke off US-sponsored peace talks after Abbas reached agreement with Hamas. Ayalon was echoing a plan drafted by the Economic Co-operation Foundation, an Israeli think tank.

Hamas’ instrument

Hamas’ demand for a lifting of the blockade of Gaza is also garnering support from senior Israeli figures such as Yuval Diskin, the former head of Shabak, the internal security service, who has become a dove since retiring.

“Israel is now an instrument in the hands of Hamas, not the opposite. Hamas doesn’t care if its population suffers under the attacks or not, because the population is suffering anyway. Hamas doesn’t really care about their own casualties either. They want to achieve something that will change the situation in Gaza. This is a really complicated situation for Israel.

“It would take one to two years to take over the Gaza Strip and get rid of the tunnels, the weapons depots and the ammunition stashes step-by-step. It would take time, but from the military point of view, it is possible. But then we would have 2 million people, most of them refugees, under our control and would be faced with criticism from the international community,” Diskin told German magazine Der Spiegel.

Israel’s dilemma is evident. Its definition of ensuring security exclusively through military superiority and heavy-handed repression rather than political compromise is increasingly costing it international support, particularly in the United States, its major ally, and strengthening calls for boycotts and sanctions.

“I think the government may bring this problem onto the country. We are losing legitimacy and the room to operate is no longer great, not even when danger looms… There are plenty of people within Shin Bet (another name for Shabak, the Israeli internal security service), Mossad (Israel external security service), and the army who think like I do.

“But in another five years, we will be very lonely people. Because the number of religious Zionists in positions of political power and in the military is continually growing,” Diskin said referring to the growing influence in the military of more religious segments of Israeli society as well as the right-wing drift among Israelis.

James M. Dorsey is a senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies as Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, co-director of the Institute of Fan Culture of the University of Würzburg and the author of the blog, The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer, and a forthcoming book with the same title.

The Gaza Bombardment – What You're Not Being Told

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXRO1YFreNA
The corporate media isn’t just distorting the facts on the Gaza assault, they’re flat out covering them up.

On July 7, 2014 Israel began a massive assault on the Gaza strip of Palestine. In the first week aloneIsrael dropped over 400 tons of bombs, killing over 130 Palestinians. Most were civilians, about half of them were women and children. By the time you are watching the the number will be higher.

Israel’s official justification for this wholesale slaughter: the murder of three Israeli teenagers which Israel blames on Hamas. That’s not the real reason. First of all Israel has not produced one single piece of evidence implicating Hamas or even a Palestinian in the murders, and in fact the the evidence we do have indicates that that murderers were Israeli. You see on Tuesday July 1st, The Jerusalem Post released the audio of the kidnapped teen’s distress call to police, and in that call the kidnappers can be heard telling the boys to put their heads down in HEBREW. According to the Jerusalem Post prior to being leaked to the public this audio was being held under a gag order by the Israeli government.

So why is Israel really attacking Gaza? It’s not about self defense and it’s obviously not about avenging those three teenagers. Those are just cover stories for the naive. What this is really about is natural gas.

It turns out that Gaza has quite a bit of natural gas on its coastline. One of the largest sources in the region. British Gas, which holds a joint exploration agreement for the area estimates that the fields hold at least 1 trillion cubic feet of gas. That gas belongs to the Palestinian people and they should be the ones to benefit from it. Israel disagrees.

(An interesting side story on this issue: At one point Russia was bidding for a chance to develop Gaza’s gas fields.)

After the death of Yasser Arafat, under questionable circumstances, Israel has controlled those fields, and British Gas has negotiated with Tel Aviv.

With power divided between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, the Palestinians have been too weak to put up any meaningful ,resistance and Israel would like to keep it that way. The Unity Government between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority threatens Israel’s control of those fields, and as such it has to be destroyed.

It’s pretty basic really. These are the real motives of all wars: resources, territory and power. They’ll always come up with an excuse, and it’s easy to fall for them if you don’t do your research, but there’s also a really easy way to avoid getting duped: always stand against wars of aggression. Period. Make it a matter of principle, and the facts and morality will always end up being on your side.

And speaking of morality, even if those teenagers had been killed by Hamas, what kind of psychopath thinks that this gives Israel the right to go and kill over a hundred people who had nothing to do with it? We’re talking about little kids here.

I’m not going to show you the pictures of the dead or dying children here in this video, but I have looked at them, and as a father it’s almost unbearable to see. If hearing about those bombs falling doesn’t phase you emotionally, if this is just a political debate for you, then go look at the pictures (these for example). You have no right to defend what Israel is doing, if you don’t have the courage to even glance at the consequences.

And anyone who would justify these crimes after seeing the civilian casualties should be ashamed of themselves.

The bombing heavily populated residential areas is a war crime, and the U.S. government is funding it with your tax dollars. That’s right. Israel receives over 3 billion dollars in foreign aid from the U.S. each year. (But hey, it’s not like the American people actually need that money, the national debt is only 17 trillion dollars.)

Of course it’s no accident that you’ve never had face what’s being done to the Palestinian’s in your name. If you turn on the mainstream media at any point during this crisis all you’ll see is constant stream of reports focusing on the Palestinian rockets being fired in response. These reports conveniently fail to mention that as of yet these primitive rockets have not killed one single Israeli.

The Obama administration is also running with this artificial narrative.

But the rockets, the rockets! Let’s all bring this back to the puny homemade rockets that the Palestinians are launching out of desperation and frame this as a question of Israel’s self defense.

Pretend for a moment that this wasn’t happening in the Middle East, but rather in the south west of the United States. Hey, just for kicks let’s say it was happening in Palestine Texas. So three teenagers from Mexico are visiting Palestine Texas and they get killed, by somebody, we don’t know who. Mexico of course takes this as an invitation to launch airstrikes, on the entire on the entire region. For ten days the Mexican air force dutifully pummels Palestine Texas, and the surrounding villages, but unfortunately these darn rednecks were unaware that this was perfectly within Mexico’s rights, so they started taking pot shots at Mexican fighter jets with their shotguns and deer rifles, and some started shooting in the general direction of the Mexican border. The bullets didn’t reach their targets, but still they tried to defend themselves, and THAT is unacceptable.

Sound absurd? That’s what you people sound like when you parrot the mainstream media and talk show pundits without thinking. Totally incoherent.

Israel isn’t defending itself against the Palestinians any more than the Europeans were defending themselves against the natives of the Americas. Year after year the Israelis have taken more Palestinian land, bulldozed more homes, set up new settlements, and systematically expelled the inhabitants. You can make up justifications or deny it all you want, but the maps don’t lie.

This isn’t defense, this is ethnic cleansing.

Of course there are those who are actually ok with what these maps tell us. There are people who like to assert that Israel has the right to steal every square inch of Palestinian land because supposedly one thousand five hundred or so years ago their Jewish ancestors were expelled. They call this the right of return.

Ok, let’s go with that.

Rights are an interesting topic. The thing about rights, is that if human right actually exists then it would have to universal to all of humanity.

So what about the Palestinian’s right of return?

Don’t you find it a bit odd that one of the primary stipulations that Israel always imposes upon the Palestinians during negotiations is that in order to reach a peace agreement the Palestinians have to accept that they have no right to return to the land that was taken from them in the past 50 years? We’re not talking about people who have some kind of abstract ancestral claim, these are the actual people who lost their homes, and their farms, and their businesses in this lifetime.

So is the right of return an actual right or is it not? You can’t have it both ways without exposing the dirty underbelly of this issue: which is that Zionism is a fundamentally racist and fascistic ideology.

The video below is an extreme display, but it’s not unique in Israel these days. If you do a little research on the topic you’ll find that hardline Zionism very much resembles a neo-nazi movement.

And no, Zionism is not inseparable from Judaism, and it has nothing to do with who you are genetically.

So what can we do to help the Palestinians? Start by actively engaging this debate everywhere it comes up. Don’t avoid the conversation just to be polite. Women and children are being massacred in Gaza right now, and silence in the face of oppression is to take the side of the oppressors.

It’s time to start confronting those who support what Israel is doing right now. This isn’t a matter of opinion or preference. To defend the use of the military against civilian populations, is shameful, it’s immoral and it has consequences.

A particular weight of responsibility sits on the shoulders of those in the so called conservative churches of the United States, because this is where the bulk of the support for Israel is found. It’s up to you who see what is really going on to wake the people in your church up. If the Pastor in your church defends bombardment of Gaza, or any war for that matter, you need to confront him, and if he doesn’t respond when you confront him in private then confront him publicly. If that sounds extreme to you, then go look at those pictures of the little kids who are on the receiving end of this. Go take a glimpse, but understand that the horror of seeing a photo of a dismembered child is nothing like what their parents are feeling.

And to the people of Israel, you need to do some serious soul searching. Is this the image you want the world to have when they think of Israel? An image of a brutal oppressor that murders civilians without hesitation? But more importantly, is this what you want to be?

Bonus Videos
1. Miko Peled Son of a high ranking Israeli general tells the real story of the Palestinian occupation:

2. Norman Finkelstein ends the argument properly:

Some Deaths Really Matter

The Disproportionate Coverage of Israeli And Palestinian Killings

By Media Lens

July 03, 2014 “ICH” – “Media Lens” – Israeli deaths matter much more than Palestinian deaths. This has long been a distinguishing feature of Western news media reporting on the Middle East. The recent blanket coverage afforded to the brutal killing of three Israeli teenagers highlights this immutable fact.

Channel 4′s Alex Thomson offered a rare glimmer of dissent:

‘Curious to watch UK media living down to the Palestinian claim that 1 Israeli life is worth 1000 Palestinian lives.’

Major broadcasters, such as BBC News, devoted headlines and extended reports to the deaths, and included heart-rending interviews with grieving relatives in Israel. The Guardian ran live coverageof the funerals for more than nine hours. But when has this ever happened for Palestinian victims of Israeli terror?

A reader challenged the Guardian journalist leading the live coverage:

‘@Haroon_Siddique Did I somehow miss @guardian’s live-tweeting of Palestinian victims’ funerals & eulogies?’

Several nudges elicited the standard display of hand-washing:

‘I’m not an editor so don’t take decisions on future coverage.’

An extensive list of news stories and video reports appeared on the BBC website describing how Israel is ‘united in grief’, alongside stories titled, ‘Netanyahu: “Wide and deep chasm” between Israel and enemies’‘Thousands gather for Israeli teenagers’ funerals’‘Grief and anger after Israel teenager deaths’, and ‘On road where teens vanished’.

These all strongly, and rightly, expressed the broadcaster’s empathy with the fact that something terrible had happened. But when has the BBC ever expressed this level of concern for the deaths of Palestinian teenagers? The question matters because consistent empathic bias has the effect of humanising Israelis for the public and dehumanising Palestinians. This is an extremely lethal form of media propaganda with real consequences for human suffering.

A Guardian editorial noted that the killings ‘had shocked [Israel] to the core’. Western leaders had also expressed solidarity – an outpouring of concern that contrasted with the reaction to Palestinian deaths, which ‘so often pass with barely a murmur’. But that was all the Guardian editors had to say.

The missing, ugly reality is that over the last 13 years, on average, one Palestinian child has been killed by Israel every 3 days. Since the outbreak of the second Intifada in September 2000, 1,523 Palestinian children have been killed by Israel’s occupation forces. Over the same time period, 129 Israeli children have been killed. Thus, the ratio of Palestinian children to Israeli children killed is more than ten to one. You would be forgiven for not having the slightest inkling of this from Western media coverage. Even in the past few days, in reporting the massive Israeli operation to find the teenagers, only the briefest of nods has been given to the ‘five Palestinians, including a number of minors, [who were] killed’ in the process.

Following the tragic discovery of the bodies of the three Israeli teenagers, corporate journalism gave headline attention to President Obama’s condemnation of ‘this senseless act of terror against innocent youth’. Significant coverage was given to the shocked reaction of prime minister David Cameron who said:

‘This was an appalling and inexcusable act of terror perpetrated against young teenagers. Britain will stand with Israel as it seeks to bring to justice those responsible.’

But when have Obama or Cameron ever condemned the killing of Palestinian youths or children by Israelis in this vehement way?

We can easily see the contrast in media treatment of Israeli and Palestinian deaths by observing the lack of coverage, and the silence of Western leaders, about two young Palestinians, Nadim Nuwara, 17, and Muhammad Abu al-Thahir, 16, who were shot dead by Israeli security forces in May. The BBC did not entirely ignore the killings. But the deaths were presented as a murky event in which the truth was strongly disputed:

‘A human rights group has released a video it says shows two teenage Palestinians being shot dead by Israeli security forces at a protest last week.’ (Our emphasis.)

The BBC report was quick to present the Israeli viewpoint upfront:

‘But the Israeli military said the video had been edited and did not document the “violent nature” of the incident.

‘It also questioned a claim that live ammunition had been fired at the boys.’

A few days later, the Israeli military ordered the removal of the CCTV cameras that had captured the killings. The security cameras belonged to Fakher Sayed who ran a nearby carpentry shop. And the interest in this from BBC News and the rest of the corporate media? Zero, as far as we can tell.

Every violent death is a tragedy. But the disproportionate coverage given to Israeli and Palestinian deaths is symptomatic of a deep-rooted, pro-Israel bias. Why is it so extreme? Because of the intense pressure brought to bear on the media by the powerful Israeli lobby, and by allied US-UK interests strongly favouring Israel. As one senior anonymous BBC editor once put it:

‘We wait in fear for the phone call from the Israelis.’

Waiting for My Own Mandela?

By Nalaka Gunawardene?courtesy Groundviews.org

Banner outside Drik in Dhanmondi celebrating Nelson Mandela's (Madiba) 95th Birthday The bed next to him is in Fatima Meer?s house at 148 Burnwood Road, Durban, where Mandela, Tutu, Sisulu and Tambo would take shelter in. 15th July 2009. South Africa. ? Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World.
Banner outside Drik in Dhanmondi celebrating Nelson Mandela’s (Madiba) 95th Birthday The bed next to him is in Fatima Meer?s house at 148 Burnwood Road, Durban, where Mandela, Tutu, Sisulu and Tambo would take shelter in. (Mandela Photo taken on 10th July 2009. Beg photo taken on 15th July 2009. South Africa. This photo taken on 18th July 2013. All three photos by ? Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World.

I never met Nelson Mandela in person, but once listened to him live.
I watched him speak — in his characteristically thoughtful and cheerful manner ? for a few minutes, and was mesmerized. Continue reading “Waiting for My Own Mandela?”

Nelson Mandela?s greatness may be assured ? but not his legacy

Mandela, too, fostered crony relationships with wealthy whites from the corporate world, including those who had profited from apartheid.

By?John Pilger

Nelson Mandela in 1990. Photograph: Getty Images
Nelson Mandela in 1990. Photograph: Getty Images

When I reported from South Africa in the 1960s, the Nazi admirer B J Vorster occupied the prime minister?s residence in Cape Town. Thirty years later, as I waited at the gates, it was as if the guards had not changed. White Afrikaners checked my ID with the confidence of men in secure work. One carried a copy of?Long Walk to Freedom, Nelson Mandela?s autobiography. ?It?s very eenspirational,? he said. Continue reading “Nelson Mandela?s greatness may be assured ? but not his legacy”

Under African Skies

An Album About Healing, Made in a Wounded Land
?Under African Skies,? About the Paul Simon Album ?Graceland?

NYT Critics’ Pick

Luise Gubb

Paul Simon with Ladysmith Black Mambazo in ?Under African Skies,? a documentary about his 1986 album, ?Graceland.?

By 
Published: May 10, 2012
Music, politics and race: To what degree does a style belong to the people who developed it? At what point, if any, does musical fusion become musical theft? Is the greater good served by a noble project if it involves the flouting of solemn rules? And once the rules have changed, and the noise has died down, how much do these debates really matter?Those questions echo throughout?Under African Skies,? Joe Berlinger?s enlightening documentary about the making of ?Graceland,? Paul Simon?s masterwork, on the occasion of its 25th anniversary. The film, by the co-director of the ?Paradise Lost? trilogy, does an excellent job of recapitulating the controversies surrounding the album?s creation without bearing down too heavily on old news, while subtly taking Mr. Simon?s side against his critics. Continue reading “Under African Skies”

Israel, Suppressed Story Verified

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012 | Posted by 
Photo Accurate, Israel Lied Says French News Agency

AFP confirms veracity of debated Israeli abuse story

Agence France- Presse

Editor?s Note:  Israel Caught Lying About Apartheid Abuse:
?Following the surfacing of the photos, the Israeli Embassy in Washington had asked all American newspapers ?to consider ceasing to publish the photographs of Hazem Bader,? claiming both the caption and the photo of the injured worker were untrue and ?perhaps staged.?
AFP (Agence France-Presse) agency responded to criticism over a Jan. 25 photo showing an Israeli Army soldier driving a truck over the leg of an injured Palestinian construction worker, saying both the story and photo were valid.
A recent press release by the news agency said ?after several days of thorough research […] AFP wishes to confirm the veracity of both the picture and the accompanying photo caption.?

Confirmed as Accurate, Evidence of Criminal Assault Continue reading “Israel, Suppressed Story Verified”

Taking Beitar to task: Mohammed Ghadir

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Striker Mohammed Ghadir puts Israeli anti-racism to the test

By James M. Dorsey


Maccabi Haifa striker Mohammed Ghadir believes that he and Beitar Jerusalem, the bad boy of Israeli soccer, are a perfect match.
“I am well suited to Beitar, and that team would fit me like a glove. I have no qualms about moving to play for them,” Mr. Ghadir is quoted by Israeli daily Ha?aretz as saying. Beitar has a large squad, a significant fan base, wide media coverge and lacks talented strikers, he says.
There is only one hitch: Beitar doesn?t want Mr. Ghadir. Not because he?s not an upcoming star and not because they wouldn?t need a player like Mr. Ghadir but because the striker is an Israeli Palestinian. “Our team and our fans are still not ready for an Arab soccer player,” Ha?aretz quotes Beitar?s management as saying. The club prides itself on being the only top league Israeli club to have never hired a Palestinian player in a country whose population is for 20 per cent Palestinian and in which Palestinians play important roles in most other top league teams. Continue reading “Taking Beitar to task: Mohammed Ghadir”