Jewish American goes on a foreign exchange program to Israel for Jews, discovers what Israel is doing in the West Bank, participates in a peaceful protest, IDF soldiers fire teargas directly at protesters (illegal), hit her in the eye, break bones in her face, and Israel refuses to even pay her hospital bills.
What is interesting is that her father used to be an Israeli border guard back in the day, and he supports her 100%. This is an example of how the world, including the Jewish community, it turning against the terrorist state of Israel.
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Tense is the word to describe what is going on in the Middle East right now.
It has been building over the last few years at a faster and faster rate. We have Arab leaders making quiet, but tense visits to each others’ countries with the sole intention of urging against violence. At the same time, Lebanon is pushing for Lebanese unity, as if it expects its fragile coexistence between its seven religions to be put to the test in the near future. Hezbollah has been quiet as well.
The Israeli president is in Egypt with the dictator, Hosni Mubarak, to push for the Palestinians to accept direct negotiations despite Israel continuing to violate of the terms of the international community.
Looking further east, it is getting quite clear that something is going to go down with Iran in the near future. The United States looks like its abandoning its strategy of sanctions, and even pulling Russia on its side.
Up to the minute, last night Israel bombed Gaza again, injuring 31 people and rocket fire (as petty as it is) has picked up over the past few days.
What I say might very well be surface talk with no real credibility (since I am not directly involved in any of the above conflicts), but it is apparent to me that there will be another war in the region in the very near future. And they are just going to get bigger and bigger until shit really hits the fan.

The other day a scandal broke out about Oliver Stone’s comment about certain Jewish people (the Israel Lobby-types) controlling the American media.
It happened like this:
Oliver Stone:
Jewish control of the media is preventing an open discussion of the Holocaust, prominent Hollywood director Oliver Stone told the Sunday Times, adding that the U.S. Jewish lobby was controlling Washington’s foreign policy for years.
Haim Saban, an American-Israeli billionaire, threw a fit about it and told CBS that they should cancel airing of Oliver Stone’s movie.
Oliver Stone should be given a helping hand — indeed, a vigorous shove — into the land of forced retirement. There, in the professional wilderness where he belongs, standing on a splintered soapbox right next to Mel Gibson’s, he can preach his anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism into the wind.
Anyone who works with this guy should be ashamed of himself/herself, and shouldn’t share this distasteful fact with their neighbors — and especially their kids.
Essentially, this guy is bitching about the fact that Oliver Stone thinks some Jews abuse their control of the media. But what is Saban doing? Using his influence in the media to force him into early retirement.
But the hypocricy really shines here:
At a conference last fall in Israel, Saban described his formula. His “three ways to be influential in American politics,” he said, were: make donations to political parties, establish think tanks, and control media outlets.
So Oliver Stone was right, or at least right about one Jewish Zionist. So why the fuss? Should someone be ridiculed for speaking the truth?

The blatant hypocrisy never ends with Israel…

At a time when Israel demolishes the homes of the families of Palestinian terrorists, it dedicates resources to protecting the homes of Jewish terrorists.

The vineyard is located in an illegal Jewish settlement

Reservists in the Israel Defense Forces have been deployed at night to guard the vineyard of a head of the former Jewish underground in the Hebron area, a reserve officer says. This would violate the IDF’s policy against guarding private property.

The former militant, Menachem Livni, was convicted in the 1980s for his role in the attack on an Islamic college in which three Palestinian students were killed. He received a life sentence, but president Chaim Herzog pardoned him after seven years.

A reserve engineering officer who can only be identified as 1st Lt. D. says he was ordered to post two soldiers each night to guard the agricultural plot near the Arab village of Bani Naim, east of Hebron, where Livni’s vineyard is located. The lieutenant served with his unit in the Hebron area two months ago.

He said he asked his commanders to reconsider because the plot was not inhabited at night and the owner could hire a private security service. First Lt. D. was told the army was guarding the site and was given Livni’s telephone number to help coordinate protection of the plot. The reserve officer said that after three weeks, another reserve unit guarded the site.

There have been many cases in which the army has protected agricultural land to head off friction or violence between Arabs and Jews in the West Bank. But in principle, the army does not provide security for private property.

A spokesman for the IDF said the army operates “according to security needs” and has not provided regular security at Livni’s vineyard. A senior officer at Central Command told Haaretz that it was a mistake to station soldiers to guard the site at night and that the practice has been stopped.

For his part, Livni said “the site has been attacked hundreds of times by terrorists, and they have tried to wipe me out there at least seven times. The army doesn’t provide protection there at night, but only when people are working there. And there has been no change in the security arrangements recently.

“I know that in the past there were reserve officers with leftist views who objected to protecting the place, but in [my] more than 20 years in the reserves, I guarded communities and agricultural areas in the north, in the south and in the [Jordan] Valley. And it never seemed to me to involve something that was not allowed.”

SOURCE: http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/idf-guarding-hebron-vineyard-of-former-jewish-militant-1.303096



It is often the small things that paint the big picture. Here, Al-Jazeera reveals how something as trivial as traffic lights are programmed to favor the Jewish population over the native Arab Israeli population.

Mahmoud Alami, a Jerusalem taxi driver, knows the city like the back of his hand. He knows the neighbourhoods, the streets. And he knows the stop lights.

There is one in particular that troubles him not professionally but personally. It stands between Beit Hanina, a Palestinian neighbourhood, and Pisgaat Zeev, a Jewish settlement.

“It stays green for [settlers] for five minutes. But to go in and out of Beit Hanina? Only two or three cars can pass,” Alami says. “It’s too short. It causes a lot of traffic jams.”

Al Jazeera found that stoplights that lead to Jewish settlements and neighbourhoods stay green for an average of a minute and a half. In Palestinian areas, it’s 20 seconds. One light in predominantly Arab East Jerusalem is green for less than 10 seconds.

“[Palestinians] are stuck,” says Amir Daud, another taxi driver. “It reflects a very bad situation for the people.”

Budgetary discrimination

Roads are poorly maintained in many Palestinian areas [GETTY]
Traffic jams are just one of the many problems that plague infrastructure and services in Palestinian areas of Jerusalem. Roads are poorly maintained. They are narrow and bumpy, riddled with cracks and potholes. Street signs and sidewalks are almost non-existent.

Trash containers are usually communal and there are often too few to meet the needs of the neighbourhood. Pedestrians, forced to walk on the shoulder of the road, wade through garbage.

Jewish neighbourhoods and settlements, on the other hand, are neat and orderly. Sidewalks and traffic circles keep pedestrians safe; roads are well-marked, some with lit signs. Most buildings have a garbage bin and the streets are free of litter.

In one Jewish area, a grassy median is adorned with a rainbow assortment of decorative sculptures – metal children playing, kicking footballs, and riding bikes.

When Al Jazeera presented a list detailing the differences between Jewish and Arab neighbourhoods to the Jerusalem municipality, the spokesperson denied the findings.

But, speaking on the condition of anonymity, a former employee of the Jerusalem municipality confirmed that there is discrimination on a budgetary level. The sports department offers the most dramatic example – only 0.5 per cent of funds are allocated to Palestinian neighbourhoods. The other 99.5 per cent goes to Jewish areas.

Quality of life

Nisreen Alyan, an attorney at the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), has recently filed a petition protesting against the lack of garbage collection in the Palestinian neighbourhood of Tsur Baher, located in East Jerusalem. Despite a population of 20,000, only 12 streets receive the service.

This impacts both health and the quality of life, Alyan explains. Stray dogs, some carrying rabies, are attracted to the piles of trash. Residents have been attacked by the animals. And now children are afraid to go outside.

“There are no public gardens for them, they don’t have anything,” Alyan says. “So these streets are the only place for the cars, for the children, for the garbage, for the dogs, for everything.”

The petition ACRI has filed asks the municipality to meet its legal responsibility, “nothing less, nothing more,” Alyan says. “[This] means that they have to give [the residents] the right of sanitation.”

Alyan has informed the city of Tsur Baher’s troubles in the past. But the city claims it cannot serve the whole neighbourhood because garbage trucks cannot maneuver the small streets. Alyan points out that this should not be an obstacle. The municipality has found creative solutions in other parts of Jerusalem.

The streets in Tsur Baher are problematic, one resident explains. There are not enough of them.

While most Palestinian neighbourhoods are subject to building restrictions, Tsur Baher is one of the few that is free to build. Much of their land has been appropriated by a neighbouring settlement, Har Homa; some is on the other side of the Israeli-built separation barrier; and there is no infrastructure to reach what is left.

The lack of roads also means that emergency services cannot access all parts of the neighbourhood. Children have died in house fires. And because of a police order that prohibits ambulances from entering Palestinian neighbourhoods without a police escort residents have died waiting for medical care.

“The problem is that the policemen don’t come in time,” a resident says. “The ambulance is stopped waiting at the top of the neighbourhood for half an hour …. People have died in this situation.”

“[ACRI is] writing another petition about it now,” Alyan adds.

Paying taxes

Lack of infrastructure leaves Palestinians feeling disconnected [EPA]
Asked about traffic lights in Tsur Baher, Alyan answers that there are none.

Out of concern for the children’s safety, the residents scraped together the money to add speed bumps to the roads.

In other neighbourhoods, Palestinians have pooled funds to pay for garbage collection and street sweeping.

This is after they have paid taxes.

Because over 90 per cent of Israel’s Palestinians live in towns separate from the Jewish population, many Israeli Jews excuse away the differences between Arab and Jewish areas with a “poor municipality” argument.

They are poor, their towns are poor. Arabs do not pay a lot of taxes, or enough taxes, or any taxes at all, Israeli Jews say, so their villages cannot afford the same services they enjoy.

But that reasoning falls apart in Jerusalem, a city striped with Palestinian and Jewish areas. And with Nof Tzion (Zion View), a Jewish settlement found smack in the centre of Jabel Mukhaber, a Palestinian neighbourhood, the differences are glaringly obvious.

“For years, [Jabel Mukhaber] didn’t have a main street,” Alyan says. “Just after they built Nof Tzion, [the municipality] built a very fine street with pavement and lights.” But the road stops dead after Nof Tzion. It gets bumpy, dropping off into gravel, then dirt, for the Palestinians.

The “poor municipality” argument does not hold weight in Jerusalem for another reason. To the city’s Palestinians, who have only residency and no citizenship, paying taxes is tremendously important.

“If you won’t pay your taxes, you won’t have proof that east Jerusalem is the centre of your life and if you can’t prove that, you will lose your residency,” Alyan explains. This means that one becomes stateless, a refugee.

“Before [Palestinian residents of Jerusalem] find money to feed their children, they pay their taxes,” Alyan says.

Tsur Baher, along with neighbouring Umm Tuba, pays approximately $7mn in taxes annually to a municipality they do not get to vote for. East Jerusalem residents tell Alyan that they just want the government to invest what they have paid back into the neighbourhoods.

‘Psychological warfare’

Yousef Jabareen, the director of Dirasat, the Arab Centre for Law and Policy, explains that public services are also funded on the national level. This is another point of inequality.

Jabareen points to the “National Priority” programme that gave economic incentives to government-selected areas. When the programme was introduced in 1998, 500 Jewish towns received national priority status. While Palestinians make up nearly 20 per cent of Israel’s population, and half of the nation’s poor, only four Arab villages were selected.

“That was a classic example of how the allocation of government resources is discriminatory,” Jabareen says, adding that grave inequalities can be found in the state-funded educational system as well.

Everything – from the poor conditions of the infrastructure to the lack of public services – adds up to leave Palestinians feeling rejected and disconnected, Jabareen says.

“It’s a feeling of frustration and of not belonging …. That the government and state is excluding you and you are not counted as an equal.”

Do the disparities in Jerusalem’s neighbourhoods and the differences in funding throughout the nation amount to apartheid?

“In some areas you could identify some characteristics of apartheid that should raise a lot of concern about the future,” Jabareen comments.

A young Israeli Jew, fresh from army service, simply remarks, “It’s a kind of psychological warfare. The idea is to get [Palestinians] to leave.”


Fearing the other

Decision to keep Prof. Chomsky out another threat to Israel’s freedom

Boaz Okon

The decision to expel Professor Noam Chomsky from the West Bank border crossing in order to prevent him from delivering a lecture at Birzeit University is a foolish act in a frequent series of recent follies. Put together, they may mark the end of Israel as a law-abiding and freedom-loving state, or at least place a large question mark over this notion.

The decision to ban Chomsky is first and foremost blatantly illegal, as it blatantly contradicts the Supreme Court’s most important verdict in the Kol Ha’am case, where it ruled that restraining the freedom of speech is legal only in respect to statements that may create clear and immediate danger to public safety.

Controversial Move

Noam Chomsky denied entry to Israel / Ali Waked Left-wing US Jewish intellectual known as fierce critic of Jewish state delayed for four hours while trying to enter country through Allenby Bridge in order to deliver lecture at Birzeit University report. Interior Ministry: We’ll consider letting him speak in Ramallah. Security source: Decision made against procedures

The truth is not dictated from above, and views and ideas cannot be monitored, the court ruled. The best “truth test” is the ability of a certain notion to be accepted within the competitive conditions of the free market of ideas.

However, in Israel our government has already started to threaten the freedom, or at least the freedom of those perceived as “others.” We are no longer interested in what “others” have to say, let alone in their right to live here normally. We want them to get out of here. We persecute “others” based on generalizations, suspicions, bias, or just because they annoy us.

The police detain protestors in east Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood on false pretenses. The custody court expels a pregnant foreign worker so she won’t give birth to a foreign child in Israel. The family court prevents babies in India from being brought into Israel based on unfounded excuses, which may serve as a veneer for the disapproval of the sexual orientation of their father.

Turning fascist?

Meanwhile, our courts issue gag orders routinely and without much thought, possibly in order to cover the shame. We even expelled clowns who wished to arrive at a festival in Ramallah because we are scared.

What we have here is a worrisome common denominator. When freedom disappears, if comes first and foremost at the expense of the weak, marginal groups, or minorities. Yet this does not end there. Now it’s also being directed towards globally recognized intellectuals.

For that reason, it would not be exaggerated to say that the decision to silence Professor Noam Chomsky is an attempt to put an end to freedom in the State of Israel. I am not referring to the foolishness inherent in providing ammunition for those who argue that Israel is fascist, but rather, to the fear that we may indeed be in the process of becoming that way.