Israel’s refusal to stop building illegal settlements in occupied West Bank and Jerusalem is a poignant reminder the Palestinians could share a fate similar to the indigenous American Indian people of the 1800’s.
According to the author, James W. Loewen, the U.S government’s model of wiping out nearly 54 million  indigenous people, with the remaining numbers relocated to desolate reservations, inspired Adolf Hitler to do the same against the Jews.
“Hitler admired the American concentration camps set up for Indians in the West and often lauded them to his inner circle for the effectiveness of American aptitude for promoting starvation and unequal combat, which inspired him for his own extermination of Jews and Gypsies. [Romani people],” Loewen wrote.
Noam Chomsky, the political author and professor of linguistics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, (MIT), believes today’s role reversal of the Palestinians becoming the indigenous American Indian people is merited, but up to a point.
“It’s bad enough, but not that bad. The leading figures of the US conquests were quite explicit about taking over everything, and ‘exterminating’-their word-anyone who stood in the way. What we’d call ‘genocide’ if anyone else were to try it,” Chomsky said.
By mid-2011, 131 illegal settlements were in the region, housing 498,000 Israeli Jews, of which the majority of settlements are on privately owned Palestinian land, not part of Israel.
Israel occupies 77.5% of expropriated land, it terms, “State land”. This demographic change took more than 50 years of planning by the World Zionist organisation, a Jewish nationalist movement, exploiting Judaism, to advance colonisation in Palestine for a Jewish nation.
Integral to Israel’s land drive is an 8 metre concrete wall enclosure that surrounds illegal settlements. The idea was suggested in 1923, by the Polish Zionist, Vladimir Jabotinsky, founder of the Jewish terrorist group, Irgun, in the Jewish Herald, stating: “This colonization can develop only under the protection of a force independent of the local population – an iron wall which the native population cannot break through.”
Israel’s colonisation depends on exploiting natural resources. The Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea area have 37 illegal settlements of 9,500 settlers and up to 56,000 Palestinians, yet Israel pumps most of the water to its settlements, forcing the Arabs to ration water supplies. When supplies end, families risk contamination from polluted streams or make up the 67% forced to buy water in tanks from the Mekorot Company, which is expensive. 
To Palestinian farmer’s, water shortages limit the variety of crops grown, affecting an already crumbling economy, which Israel controls, to almost $1.83bn in lost annual revenue,  with complete losses in the West Bank and Gaza totalling around £4.4bn. 
Nazism rise to power in Germany was an important juncture for Zionism. Although, the persecution of Jews didn’t interest the Zionists, Hitler’s demise in 1945 provided the opportunity to take advantage of Jewish suffering, by sabotaging efforts to relocate Jews to other parts of Europe, instead increased Jewish migration into Palestine.
By 1946 the Jewish population rose to 602,586, which was nearly four times the 1931 British Mandate population figure of 174,610, with 65% (approximately 1,339,763) being Arab as opposed to 759,717 (73.5%) in 1931.
“There are multiple motives behind the settlement enterprise, such as cheap housing, but nationalist and religious ideologies (e.g. the belief the West Bank, or ‘Judea and Samaria,’ is part of the biblical ‘Eretz Israel’ play a very significant role,” said Human Rights Watch spokesman, Bill Van Esveld.
The Judaic significance refers to, ‘chosen people’ and ‘promised land’, prominent among settler motives, and forms the basis of Israeli claims over Palestinian land. Most Rabbis peddle Zionist interpretation in the Jewish Holy book, the Tanakh, focusing on (Genesis 15:18) that, ‘God promised Abraham’s descendants the land between the River of Egypt and the Forat (Euphrates)’, and in (Exodus 23:31), where ‘the border was set from the Red Sea to the sea of the Philistines; the inhabitants of the land would be delivered into your hand; and the people shall be driven out’.
According to traditional Jewish scholars it is not for the Jewish people to fulfil this promise but a pact between God and the prophet Elijah, yet to be delivered. Once delivered, it would signal the later arrival of the Messiah, who would redeem the Jews and all of mankind. Until then, God commands the Jews to remain in exile until it is time to be redeemed. The term, ‘exile’, refers to Jews being loyal subjects to their nation of residence, and not establishing rule over the native population, including the land of Palestine. 
To gain unconditional public support, exploiting Judaism wasn’t enough. Zionism needed land. In 1901, a proposal was accepted by Zvi Hermann Schapira, a rabbi and professor of mathematics, to establish an institute, the Jewish National Fund (JNF), to aggressively purchase land for Jewish settlement, and form a ‘Jewish territory’ in the process.
By the 1930’s the JNF using its leading influence, persuaded other land agencies to adopt its practices of retaining the legal title of the land, with leases granted to Jewish settlers.
The first Zionist land purchase was in the Jezreel Valley, bought from the Sursuk family in 1925. The Judaic importance and its nearly 100,000 acres, of which at least 93,000 acres were fertile and arable, made it one of the most fertile lands in Palestine. The Sursuk family bought the land from the Turkish government for 18,000 Palestinian pounds (roughly $50,000). The Zionist movement offered Sursuk an obscene amount of 726,000 Palestinian pounds (approximately $2 million), which was accepted by the Sursuk family.  This kind of exploitive dealings was common practice.
Most land purchases were followed by Arab expulsion. A secret memorandum in 1930, written by Dr. A. Rupin, the Jewish Agency agriculture and settlement expert, to his Agency, confirms expulsion is built into Zionism, when he said, “Since there are hardly any more arable unsettled lands in Palestine, we are bound in each case of purchase of land and its settlement to remove the peasants who cultivated the land thus far, both owners of the land and tenants.”
It is believed 1270 Palestinian Arab families were removed from 13 villages. To avoid a public scandal, each family was compensated 24 Palestinian pounds (just above $50), seen as an exception to the rule, as normally Arab families received nothing, for example the land purchase of Hefer Valley, saw about 2000 Arab peasants dispossessed. 
The Israeli historian, Ilan Pappe, dismisses the argument of the Palestinians leaving on their own accord. In his research paper, later included in his book, ‘The ethnic cleansing of Palestine’, he reveals the official version of the 1948 Arab expulsion.
“On 10 March 1948, a group of 11 veteran Zionist leaders and Jewish officers put the finishing touches to a large scale military operation for the ethnic cleansing of Palestine. Military orders that evening, were despatched to units, preparing Palestinian expulsion from vast areas of the country. The detailed methods included: large-scale intimidation; laying siege to and bombarding villages and population centers; setting fires to homes, properties, and goods; expelling residents; demolishing homes; and finally planting mines in the rubble to prevent the expelled Arabs from returning. Each unit was issued its own list of villages and neighbourhoods to target in keeping with the master plan, Code-named Plan D (Dalet in Hebrew)”.
Taking six months to complete its mission, more than half of Palestine’s population, over 750,000 people, had been uprooted, 531 villages destroyed, and 11 urban neighbourhoods had been emptied of their inhabitants.
The squeezing of Arab lands, especially during 1948-1959, further expanded Israeli territory. Some of the villages included, the village of Umm Al-Fahm, with a population of 7000 and a land of 140,000 dunam*, by 1959 its population increased to 11,000 but the land was reduced to an astonishing 1500 dunam. The village of Tayyiba inhabited 3,500 people, with 45,000 dunam of land, by 1959 the population climbed to 7,000 but were left with only 13,000 dunam of land. The village of Tira with a population of 3100 people, owned 28,000 dunam, by 1959 the population rose to 5100 but only occupied 7,500 dunam of land. 
Deception was also used to expel Arab villagers, as witnessed in the Arab-Christian village of Ikrit in December 1948. The villagers were instructed by the Israeli army to leave their village temporarily, for two weeks, alleging land mines where found in the area and needed to be cleared for their safety. The residents moved to the nearby village of Rama, which became the Rama Refugee Camp, until it was safe to return.
Two weeks has now become 64 years. Instead of being resigned to their fate, in 1952 the villagers filed a lawsuit action, as they were instructed to leave for a limited time, so their property couldn’t be considered ‘absentee property’. The judges deceived the plaintiffs ruling in favour of the plaintiffs’ right of return to their land, but on condition of attaining a permit issued by the military governor. In reality, the Governor would never issue a permit.  The case still goes on. The court’s decision underlines how complicit the legal system is with Zionism’s policies.
Resistance also came from individuals, such as the Syrian, Shaykh Muhammad Izz ad-Din al-Qassam. He was an Imam of a local mosque in Haifa and an educator by night, teaching literacy to labourers. It was his student’s experiences, largely ex-farmers, recalling how they had to leave their lands by the JNF, which had a profound impact on Al-Qassam, who decided armed Jihad, (resistance) was necessary to end Arab dispossession, and in 1930, he formed a small militant group.
By 1935, the group raided Jewish settlements and sabotaged British rail lines, but Al-Qassam wanted a national revolution and wrote to the Arab leadership in Jerusalem, to support an armed struggle, but was rejected, as the leadership felt Arab rights could still be achieved through negotiations.
When news reached the British of al-Qassam’s vision, military units were deployed around a cave near Ya’bad in Jenin, where he was hiding, with twelve of his followers. Soon afterwards, the British soldiers pounded the area with heavy artillery. Al-Qassam, rather than surrender, took a last stand and was killed.
Al-Qassam’s efforts were not in vain, who instantly became a symbol of resistance, epitomising the Palestinian land struggle. His martyrdom triggered the great Arab Revolt (1936-1939). His legacy lives on with the military wing of Hamas named after him, Ezzedeen al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades.
By the time Britain’s rule expired on 14 May 1948, the newly Zionist-aligned U.S government emerged as the leading global political power, and using its influence, forced the voting U.N nations to accept the two-state resolution, which the Palestinians rejected, giving 56% of the land to the Jews and 42% to the Arabs, the remaining land went to Christian and other small minority groups.
The pressure for U.N Nations to vote was acknowledged by James Forrestal, the U.S Minister of Defense at the time, in his memoirs, stating, “The methods used to pressure and to constrain the other nations within the U.N. were close to scandalous.” 
Since then, political elites have conspired to view the Palestinians as the ‘unseen’ people, which is emphasised with the ‘peace’ broker, the U.S government, forging strong economic and political ties with Israel, while ensuring there are no Palestinian agreements in dismantling illegal settlements and reclaiming civil rights equal to the Israeli citizens.
Palestine’s full admission to UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation), in October 2011 is a historic small step for the Palestinians to address its rights with some authority, and with at least 112 countries endorsing Palestinian statehood, the pressure to be given full U.N membership, is growing and cannot be ignored for much longer.
*One dunam is approximately 1,000 square metres
1 Denevan, William. “The Native Population of the Americas in 1492”. 2nd edition Publication. 1992.
2 Loewen, James W., “Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong”. Touchstone, Simon & Schuster. 1995.
3 Peace Now Settlement Watch Team, Report-“Construction of Settlements upon Private Land-Official Data”, March 2007.
4 Jabotinsky, Vladimir. The Jewish Herald (South Africa). “The Iron Wall (We and the Arabs)”. November 26, 1937.
5 Ma’an Development Center, Parallel Realities: Israeli Settlements and Palestinian Communities in the Jordan Valley, 2012.
6 7 The economic cost of the Israeli occupation for the occupied Palestinian territory, A bulletin published by the Palestinian Ministry of National Economy in cooperation with the Applied Research Institute-Jerusalem (ARIJ), September 2011.
8 Palestine 1946: District and District Centers during the Mandate period. Source: Palestine Remembered
9 Census of Palestine 1931, Volume I. British Mandate of Palestine.
10 Leizer Fishberg, Jews Against Zionism group.
11 Rabbi Cohen, Ahron. “Declaration on ‘the Palestine issue’ by Neturei Karta of the UK”. 25 June, 2003. (Accessed 26 June 2012).
12 The composition of the group that met is the product of a mosaic reconstruction of several documents, as demonstrated in my book, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (Oxford: Oneworld Publications, 2006). The document summarizing the meeting is found in the Israel Defense Force Archives [IDFA], GHQ/Operations branch, 10 March 1948, File no. 922/75/595, and in the Haganah Archives [HA], File no. 73/94. The description of the meeting is repeated by Israel Galili in the Mapai center meeting, 4 April 1948, found in the HA, File no. 80/50/18. Chapter 4 of my book also documents the messages that went out on 10 March as well as the eleven meetings prior to ﬁnalizing of the plan, of which full minutes were recorded only for the January meeting.
13 Lehn and Davis 1988: 24, 86-7.
14, 19 Fouzi el-Asmar, “Zionist land-aggression in Israel/Palestine”, 4th Edition. English translation by Uri Davis, 4th Edition.
15 Arakhim, (Hebrew Newspaper), “The Arab Population in Israel”, No. 3, 1971, p.10
16 The historian Meir Pail claims, in From Haganah to the IDF [in Hebrew] (Tel Aviv: Zemora Bitan Modan, n.d.), p.307, the orders were sent a week later. For the dispatch of the orders, see also Gershon Rivlin and Elhanan Oren, The War of Independence: Ben-Gurion’s Diary, vol. 1 (Tel Aviv: Ministry of Defense, 1982), p.147. The orders dispatched to the Haganah brigades to move to State D—Mazav Dalet—and from the brigades to the battalions can be found in HA, File no.73/94, 16 April 1948.
17 On Plan Dalet, which was approved in its broad lines several weeks before that meeting, see Uri Ben-Eliezer, The Emergence of Israeli Militarism, 1936–1956 (Tel Aviv: Dvir, 1995), p. 253: “Plan Dalet aimed at cleansing of villages, expulsion of Arabs from mixed towns.”
18 Ilan Pappe, white paper, p.7, “The 1948 Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine”.
20 Yediot Aharonot, Hebrew newspaper. 30 June 1972.
21 Pappe, 2006, p. 35 Pappe speech given by the Pakistani representative to the U.N Sir Zafrullah Kahn on 28 November 1947
22 “Forrestal’s Memoirs”, p.363, N.Y., The Viking Press. 1951.
Netanyahu to Obama regarding November’s election: When we say “jump” you answer, “how high”!
Presidential candidate Barack Obama is being targeted by the US Israel lobby from A to Z, (Ackerman, Gary & Aipac to Zuckerman, Mort & the Zionist Organization of America) as no American President seeking re-election has been in the country’s 236 year history.
Israel’s duel loyalty agents, as well as more fair minded American Jewish voters have historically intimidated and influenced US presidents seeking reelection, especially those in a tight race, with various financial and political threats and rewards. That’s part of the American political game and obviously plenty of other lobbies do it also.
And it pays off. From Truman’s recognition of Israel’s declaration of statehood during his tough reelection fight in 1948 when Chaim Weizmann and other Jewish leaders swarmed the Oval Office to Carter’s Camp David sell-out of American humanitarian values during his Democratic party splitting 1980 re-election challenge from Ted Kennedy. For more than 60 years the Zionist lobby has used cash, real & fake polls, and tactics ranging from threats of exposing sex-capers and corruption to withholding or delivering Jewish votes in key states like Florida, New york, New Jersey and Pennsylvania to achieve maximum obeisance to Israel’s goals. One might agree that all these tactics are part big leagues American politics.
According to long time Israeli diplomat, Abba Eban, President Truman would not have supported a Jewish state were it not for “a crucial $25,000 gift made by Jews to Truman’s vice presidential aspirations in 1944 and that in 1948 American Jews helped Truman again, this time to finance his campaign at a “desperate time”. According to Eban,”No historian would question the judgment that without the support of, and political pressure from, American Jewry, Israel’s emergence could not have been conceived.” Eban concluded that the Zionist’s lobby’s “extraordinary solidarity and tactics” enlarged Israel’s power beyond the limited dimensions of its space and size.”
Concerned that Truman was too pro-Arab, Zionists enlisted Eddy Jacobson, a friend of Truman’s to sway the President to see Ezer Weizmann once again, despite Truman’s earlier ban on Zionists due to their “harassments.” Truman at first refused. He wrote on February 27, 1948, to Jacobson, just as the Nakba was ethnically cleansing nearly 800,00 Palestinians from their homes and lands, that he would not learn anything new from Weizmann, and added: “The Jews are so emotional, and the Arabs are so difficult to talk with that it is almost impossible to get anything done.” Nonetheless, after considerable persuasion which Jabonson claimed involved large amounts of campaign donations, Truman wrote Jacobson, “You win, you baldheaded SOB. I will see him.”
Concerning Camp David, Jimmy Carter explained a couple of years ago during a question and answer period following a lecture at the American University of Beirut that “the Jewish lobby was relentless with pressure tactics of various sorts and Begin lied to me about Israel’s willingness to make peace with the Palestinians. I regret to have to admit to you that we caved to their political pressure.”
One could perhaps feel for Obama and his campaign staff given what they are reportedly experiencing today, especially since America’s most powerful lobby has become even stronger since the 1980’s. Their tactics are many and aimed at sapping Obama’s will to do what American national interests require. One is Bill Clinton’s reported deal, being talked about on Capitol Hill, with Israeli officials to assure that if Obama is defeated Hillary will make his/her move and lock up the 2016 Democratic primaries and the general election with plenty of attendant joy for Tel Aviv.
The power to make credible demands on Obama involve much more that Jewish votes since they make up a bit less than 2% of the American electorate. Yet, even the smallest group can make an electoral dent if they move in unison and that may happen regarding Obama among those Jewish voters and Christian Zionists who put Israel first. Obama’s fate, though, is more closely tied to the Jewish vote in states Florida and Pennsylvania where they made up 4% of the 2008 electorate in both of these states.
Statistics being used by the Zionist lobby to pressure the increasingly jittery Obama campaign include recent polls. The Republican Jewish Coalition claims that 30% of Jewish voters who support Romney, represents the “highest level of Jewish support for a Republican presidential candidate in 24 years.” RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks recently stated that if the Jewish vote poll numbers hold in November, they will spell “a disaster” for Obama.
In the 2008 election, Jews supported Obama by a 57 percentage point margin 2008 1.1 points (57 x 0.02) of his popular vote margin. A recent Gallup poll has Jewish voters still in Obama’s camp, but only by barely 35 percentage points. That is the lowest percentage for a Democratic presidential candidate among the Jewish electorate since 1988. A recent Gallup polls reveals a 10-point drop in Jewish voter support (22% in New York) or five points worse than Obama’s shrinkage among all registered voters compared with 2008.
The Israel lobby knows, and they know that Obama’s campaign staff knows, that any diminution in his support from Jewish voters will have a major impact in a very tight election. They both realize that Obama needs to retain his 2008 Jewish vote levels and campaign cash – or risk defeat. . In a close election, one point either way could make the difference as it did in Florida’s 2000 election.
So what price is being demanded of the Obama campaign for Zionist lobby support between now and November 6th?
They include, but are not limited to the following:
-Obama must freeze Israeli-Palestinian “peace talks” and block European Union pressures on Israel over the settlement and human rights issues;
-Israel wants Obama to pressure the government of Turkey to cancel the 5/28/12 indictment of four senior Israeli military commanders, who have been charged in a Turkish court in connection with the killing of nine Turkish citizens in 2010 on broad the Mari Marmara, one of the ships of the Freedom Flotilla. Warrants have been issued for the arrest of former Israeli military chief of staff, Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi, the former head of military intelligence, Major General Amos Yadlin, head of the navy, Vice Admiral Eliezer Marom, and head of the air force, Brigadier General Avishai Lev. Israel wants them withdrawn. According to an aid of Senator John Kerrey, the Bureau of International Organization Affairs (IO) of the US State Department has advised the US Senate Foreign Relations committee that the Israeli attack on the Mari Marmara constituted an international crime which involved lethal and excessive force and resulted in the killing of nine civilians and the wounding of at least 50 others. The State Department further advised Congress that while Israel carried out an inquiry into the attack, that inquiry failed to meet the requirements of international law. Israel has not prosecuted anyone who killed those on board the Mari Marmara;
-A green light to attack Iran in case the Zionist leadership decides to do it;
-An unequivocal White House commitment that the 2012 Democratic Convention Party Platform will back the 5/17/12 passed resolution (H. Res. 568 adopted by vote of 401-11) affirming that it is U.S. policy to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability and opposing any reliance on a policy seeking to contain a nuclear-capable Iran;
-That the White House force US Senator John Kerrey, Chairman of the Foreign Relation Committee to expedite a vote on a similar resolution in the Senate (S. J. Res. 41) which remains on hold in Kerrey’s committee.
- That the White House publicly endorse the 5/23/12 Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Human Rights Act (S. 2101), which would dramatically escalate the level of sanctions against Iran and sharply tighten the enforcement of existing sanctions law.
-A public pledge by Obama that the US will attack Iran and Hezbollah if either retaliates against Israel for its bombing of the Islamic republic.
-More money for fourteen new Research & Development projects for the Israeli military;
- Free convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard,
-More visible White House support for various congressional resolutions supported by Israel, ranging from those targeting Iran, Muslims, Arabs and Palestinians.
-Regime change is Syria,
-Instruct Egypt that the price for continued US military and economic aid is to embrace the Camp ‘David accords and all its provisions requiring Egypt to “cooperate with Israel”
-Arrange for Israeli Embassy space in Cairo given that to date no one is willing to rent it any, and damp down Muslim Brotherhood calls for the recovery of Palestine;
- Support for the United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012 (H.R. 4133 and S. 2165), which recommends several ways to strengthen U.S.-Israel strategic cooperation in such fields as missile defense, homeland security, energy, intelligence and cyber-security. The House bill, which passed on May 8 by a vote of 411-2, led by Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) and Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD).
-That the 2012 Democratic Platform and candidate Obama emphasize over the next five months the need for America to guarantee Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge over any and all combinations of adversaries on the battlefield.
Obama election year groveling to Israel was perhaps symbolized by the June, 13 2012 White House spectacle of bestowal on Israel’s President Shimon Peres of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States. The PMF recognizes those individuals who have made “an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.” Peres, father of Israel’s colonial settlements, has committed myriad international crimes against the Lebanese people and Palestinian refugees, including the April 18, 1996 Qana Massacre that killed 106 Lebanese and Palestinians and wounded approximately 120 including four Fijian UNIFIL soldiers who were among the 800 civilians who had taken refuge in the compound. Peres sanctioned countless other attacks on civilians killing more than 14,000 civil and wounding more than 25,000 as part of various Israel aggression during his time as Prime Minister, meaning that he belongs on trial at the International Criminal Court at the Hague not at a White House dinner even in an election year. Despite knowing this, Obama caved to AIPAC and Congressional campaign pressure and sullied the PMF, his office and claimed American valves.
In an email from one Congressional staffer, she explained that the lobby wanted Peres to receive this honor which disgusted many on Capitol Hill and internationally, hoping to deflect some of the increasing condemnations the Apartheid regime has been receiving including the recent British government’s Foreign Office in its report, Children in Military Custody has accused Israel of illegal mistreatment of Palestinian children after a report by a delegation of senior British lawyers revealed unconscionable practices, such as hooding, solitary confinement and the use of leg irons. found that “undisputed facts” pointed to at least six violations of the UN convention on the rights of the child, to which Israel is a signatory.
The report claims that youngsters are dragged from their beds in the middle of the night, have their wrists bound behind their backs, and are blindfolded and made to kneel or lie face down in military vehicles. The children are held in conditions that amount to torture, such as solitary confinement and no access to their parents.
In a damning conclusion, the report points out repeated breaches of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which prohibits cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.
In addition, Israel is a party to the Geneva Conventions, and bound by its obligations, yet Articles 76 and 65 of the 4th Geneva Convention were also found to have been breached, according to the report.
Article 76 prohibits detainees from being transported to the country of the authority which has detained them. In this case, Palestinian children were found to have been transported from the West Bank into Israel.
Article 65 states that any penal laws applied to prisoners in an occupied land must be translated into their own language. The lawyers said the Israeli authorities failed to translate Military Order 1676 from Hebrew into Arabic.
To the extent Obama convinces the Israel lobby between now and Tuesday November 6th may determine whether he is a one term President or returns for a second term with its uncertainties regarding traditional US Presidential support for Israel given that during his second term, as he has stated publicly thanks to a live media mike, he will have much more flexibility.
It is too early to know what boast Obama’s campaign might receive from the US Supreme Court’s 6/29/12 decision upholding his truly historic achievement of reforming the American health system which will provide quality health care for more than 30 million uninsured Americans. Widespread public approval of Obamacare may significantly weaken Zionist lobby plans to control the White House as it has the Congress and how high President Obama needs to jump.
It is now pretty much a matter of record that, after World War II, refugees from Europe landed in Palestine and started a massive terrorist blitzkrieg campaign, massacring thousands of Christians and Muslims in their wake. In a vast display of ethnic cleansing similar to what had previously happened in Europe, approximately 500 local towns were destroyed, 15,000 residents of Palestine were killed and 750,000 more were expelled. Local residents of this area (the ones who actually survived, that is) started referring to this premeditated slaughter as “al Nakba” — The Catastrophe.
And a second “Nakba” is apparently now in the works.
According to University of Chicago political science professor John Mearsheimer, “Given the right circumstances – say a war involving Israel that is accompanied by serious Palestinian unrest – Israeli leaders might conclude that they can expel massive numbers of Palestinians from Greater Israel and depend on the lobby to protect them from international criticism and especially from sanctions. We should not underestimate Israel’s willingness to employ such a horrific strategy if the opportunity presents itself.” http://www.silviacattori.net/
Are the land-grabbing neo-cons and faux-Jewish corporatists who now run Israel actually contemplating the instigation of an actual Second Nakba? Holy yikes! Are they seriously actually thinking about starting a second wide-ranging slaughter and ethnic cleansing on the scale of the first Nakba? Perhaps under the cover of a war on Iran? Good grief.
Both strategically and morally, that whole idea sucks eggs.
But then I got an e-mail from a Palestinian friend of mine who lives on the West Bank and he said that his village had just been brutally invaded by a needlessly-large number of highly-armed Israeli neo-con occupation forces.
“During the invasion last night,” wrote my friend, “one of the soldiers stole 1000 Nis (200€) from a moneybox of the youngest brother of my neighbor Mosab. Mosab’s brother had been saving this money for months, little by little from his work as a vegetable farmer and salesman. A laptop was also stolen from the house.
“Throughout the operation the soldiers fired sound grenades, a type of riot control weapon that produces a flash and a loud bang. The sound is sufficient to make the most weathered and well-prepared person flinch in fear and when this weapon is used inside a village at night, it will not only serve to keep people awake but also to bring about memories of past atrocities that the village of Ni’lin has had to live through.
“Many villagers came out of their houses to protest the brutality of the Israeli army and were met with tear gas and more sound bombs. The tear gas was fired straight at civilian houses which caused dozens children to suffer from tear gas inhalation. Live ammunition was also used by the Israeli soldiers as a scare tactic.”
And, right at this very moment, this type of malicious military activity is going on constantly all over the West Bank. Constantly. Night and day. Occupation armies and armed settlers constantly swoop down upon Palestinian citizens night and day. No one is safe. And there are all-too-many instances where the occupation armies shoot Palestinian children, shop-keepers and farmers, steal Palestinian goods, defecate in Palestinian homes and piss in their water supplies. To say the least.
Sure, maybe some day another full-scale blitzkrieg-style Nakba invasion of armed soldiers, settlers and thugs may suddenly descend en mass upon occupied Palestine and expel every single Christian and Muslim Palestinian in “Greater Isreal” to the other side of the Jordan River, into Lebanon and Syria, or over into Egypt. And this would be dramatic as hell and make the front pages of all the newspapers. Sure.
But in the meantime, another “Second Nakba” has actually already begun: The Nakba by a Thousand Cuts.
According to Mearsheimer, “There are now about 480,000 settlers in the Occupied Territories and a huge infrastructure of connector and bypass roads… Between 1993 and 2000, Israel confiscated 40,000 acres of Palestinian land, constructed 250 miles of connector and bypass roads, doubled the number of settlers, and built 30 new settlements…. [And since then,] the Israeli prime minister has not only refused to stop building the 2500 housing units that were under construction in the West Bank, but just to make it clear to Obama who was boss, in late June 2009, he authorized the building of 300 new homes in the West Bank. Netanyahu refused to even countenance any limits on settlement building in East Jerusalem, which is supposed to be the capital of a Palestinian state.”
I could write more about this death by a thousand cuts but what good would it do. The Second Nakba has already begun. And nobody seems to care — except for its victims. History is repeating itself here. This is so much like Germany in 1933 when corporatists started establishing prisons-for-profit and nobody cared what happened to the Jews. And it’s also like South Africa in 1962 when corporatists took control of establishing Bantustans and nobody cared what happened to the Blacks.
And will this also be like America in a few more years, after corporatists have also seized absolute power here — and nobody will care what happens to us either?
Here’s another example of a forced population displacement that nobody cared about, one that was overseen by Britain and the United States (not by Nazis), involved 13 million Europeans and cost approximately 500,000 to 2,000,000 lives, including the lives of 7,000 children under the age of five:
According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, “Between 1945 and 1950, Europe witnessed the largest episode of forced migration, and perhaps the single greatest movement of population, in human history. Between 12 million and 14 million German-speaking civilians—the overwhelming majority of whom were women, old people, and children under 16—were forcibly ejected from their places of birth in Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Yugoslavia, and what are today the western districts of Poland.
“As The New York Times noted in December 1945, the number of people the Allies proposed to transfer in just a few months was about the same as the total number of all the immigrants admitted to the United States since the beginning of the 20th century. They were deposited among the ruins of Allied-occupied Germany to fend for themselves as best they could. The number who died as a result of starvation, disease, beatings, or outright execution is unknown, but conservative estimates suggest that at least 500,000 people lost their lives in the course of the operation.” http://chronicle.com/article/
Are we having fun yet?
I was recently thinking about all the wars that America has been in over time, and then started listing them. Let’s see. There’s been America’s various wars on the Middle East, that Korean “police action”, World War I, World War II, the American Civil War, Vietnam, the Central American Wars, the Cold War and also various covert wars where other countries did the fighting but Washington supplied the cash — such as the violent and tragic fall of democratic governments in the Congo and Iran.
But when we consider the Big Picture, did any of these wars ever even make even the slightest difference — other than to make innumerable American citizens poorer and/or deader?
Even World War II, which was supposed to keep us safe from corporatism? But did it? Now that a kinder, gentler form of corporatism currently runs the world? Or what about World War I, which was supposed to keep us safe for democracy? Under Citizens United, is our democracy now all that safe? Or take Vietnam, which was supposed to keep us safe from China — the landlord who now holds our mortgage?
Did any of these wars make any difference at all? Other than to kill approximately one billion people and waste trillions of dollars and destroy untold resources — which we now desperately need? Not really. And nobody had fun during any of them either.
I recently attended a video presentation in Oakland given by a member of the Jenin Freedom Theatre, and while the speaker was describing various theater projects now being staged in Palestine, he also happened to mention several relatively unique types of psychological torture currently being implemented by Israeli corporatists and their enforcers in the occupied West Bank.
For instance, imagine that you are a Palestinian farmer and happily out plowing your land — when a bunch of rather nasty armed settlers come rampaging over the hill, beat you to a pulp and start building their own stuff on your property, right next to that old olive tree that has been shading your family since almost Christ’s birth. And then imagine that some harsh-looking Israeli soldiers in full battle-gear also arrive on the scene in their Humvees and, rather than arresting all those evil “settler” perps who are busting your chops, they arrest YOU instead. Okay, so it’s not fair or just or anything — but that’s life on the West Bank. Live with it.
Then they drag you off to jail, don’t charge you with anything and hold you in indefinite detention for committing the extreme crime of plowing your own land. Not exactly democratic or even nice — but you are used to it. Hey, that’s life on the West Bank.
But then the Israeli corporatistas’ land-stealing goons start in to torture you too. Well, okay. That’s par for the course. Tens of thousands of Palestinian farmers are being jailed and tortured regularly for the crimes of owning land and/or being Muslims or being Christians or being Jews — instead of just money-grubbing land-grabbers like Israel’s higher-up corporate mafia dudes. But, hey. That’s life on the West Bank. Torture is torture. Who needs all those fingernails. You’ve got ten. You can spare some.
But then Netanyahu’s corporatist goon-squad starts to carry this torture stuff a little bit too far. First they show you photos of the corpses of your dead children — which totally freaks you out like even physical pain never possibly could. Those are your dearly-loved babies lying there dead! Your heart breaks.
And then someone else comes into your cell dressed like a doctor and informs you that you now have inoperable cancer, with only a few weeks left to live. You’re stuck in this hell-hole and now you are gonna die here as well? Good grief!
But then, when they finally release you months or years later (still without having been charged), you now discover that you never actually really had any cancer — and that your family is still very much alive.
But it’s really hard for you to just shrug this off too, saying, “Hey, that’s just life on the West Bank.” Because it is not, not just “Life on the West Bank”. It is mind-gaming sadistic torture of the worst kind. And it’s not done in the name of Judaism either — because what kind of screwed-up religion would ever do something as truly ghastly as that! It is done in the name of power and money and sadism only.
And that’s going too far.
And then it won’t be hard at all for you to imagine that these corporatista goons are no longer human. But isn’t that the real purpose of good theater — like the Jenin Freedom Theatre? To stir our imaginations? And to motivate us to do better.
American and NATO powers-that-be seem to have been going a bit too far recently as well. Lately, they have been paying squads of al Qaeda goons to gun down children in Houla so that the U.N. could blame these atrocities on Assad and then take over Syria. http://joequinn.net/2012/05/
“The more photos of dead children the better!” NATO corporatistas apparently instructed their al Qaeda goons while happily in pursuit of the Project for the New American Century’s wet-dream of capturing the entire Middle East — country by country. Soon only Iran, Lebanon and possibly Egypt plus a few stragglers in Bahrain and Yemen will be left standing until they too knuckle under — and then everything over there will belong to the PNAC!
And all this slaughter of innocents is now being happily paid for by blood-money that came from depriving American children of much of the important stuff that they also need to live.
And is anybody in America starting to get pissed off yet?
Or are we just going to wait until it is too late and it will be residents of Kansas City or Cleveland also being herded into prison cells, with our land stolen, suffering infinite detention and being shown photos of OUR dead family’s corpses.
On Friday the New York Times asserted that President Obama, from his first months in office, ordered a wave of “increasingly sophisticated cyber attacks” against Iran and its nuclear program”.
The program, code-named “Olympic Games”, was an acceleration of Bush era attacks against Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Reportedly, Obama ramped up the attacks even after the Stuxnet worm, a computer virus directed against foreign nuclear facilities, became public knowledge due to a programming error. The Stuxnet virus jumped from computer to computer, taking out 1000 of the 5000 Iranian uranium centrifuges.
The virus eventually broke free from control and traveled around the world through the internet.
At a tense meeting in the White House Situation Room within days of the worm’s “escape,” Mr. Obama, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and the director of the Central Intelligence Agency at the time, Leon E. Panetta, considered whether America’s most ambitious attempt to slow the progress of Iran’s nuclear efforts had been fatally compromised.
“Should we shut this thing down?” Mr. Obama asked, according to members of the president’s national security team who were in the room.
Told it was unclear how much the Iranians knew about the code, and offered evidence that it was still causing havoc, Mr. Obama decided that the cyberattacks should proceed.
The US government has never admitted using so-called cyberweapons, but the Times piece suggests officials are now able to “cripple” infrastructure in a way previously only bombs and troops could achieve.
Stuxnet became public in 2010, but fast forward to today, and this week a new ’super virus’ has hit Iran and the Middle East again. This advanced virus, “can activate a computer’s audio systems to listen in on Skype calls or office chatter. It can also take screenshots, log keystrokes and — in one of its more novel functions — steal data from Bluetooth-enabled cellphones.”
This powerful virus, dubbed “Flame” has already spread between nations, showing up in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Sudan, and the West Bank.
Experts are suggesting this virus may have come from Israel, and while Israel hasn’t admitted such a role, those charges aren’t being denied by its government.
While there seems to be mainstream support for the strong-arm tactics of governments and their use of cyber weapons, it appears to be a one-way street.
Should China, Iran, or Russia be suspected of being behind a destructive virus attack on the US or its close allies, the world could expect a dramatic and disproportionate military response.
In fact, in 2011 the Pentagon “concluded that computer sabotage coming from another country can constitute an act of war, a finding that for the first time opens the door for the U.S. to respond using traditional military force.”
However, because the Pentagon deems cyber attacks an act of war, how can these attacks against sovereign countries go unchallenged?
“The Rules of Armed Conflict that guide traditional wars are derived from a series of international treaties, such as the Geneva Conventions, as well as practices that the U.S. and other nations consider customary international law. But cyber warfare isn’t covered by existing treaties. So military officials say they want to seek a consensus among allies about how to proceed.”
Former US President Richard Nixon famously said, “When the President does it, that means it is not illegal.” It is almost certain that any attacks made by the US or its allies against sovereign nations in the form of cyber warfare will go unchecked and unpunished.
What complicates the issue further is the repeated declarations coming from experts and officials that Iran is working to further it’s nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, and does not possess the desire, or the facilities, to enrich weapons-grade uranium.
In March of this year, the west placed financial sanctions on Iran, blocking Iranian banks access to international markets. Sanctions are approved by the UN and are not illegal, but they are a move, historically, that teeters on the edge of being an all-out act of war.
This, combined with the suspicion that western governments are assassinating civilian Iranian scientists related to its nuclear program is yet another provocation in what seems to be escalating into a point of no return for both sides.
There are many downsides to playing with this type of cyber warfare fire. And they seem to all end in a world-wide military conflict. How long before Iran finally retaliates to these unsubtle acts of war against it? What will the outcome be when these super viruses are used either by hackers with malintent, or employed by governments in false-flag operations to frame domestic political activists, ’hacktivists’, or foreign nations?
At what point does the rest of the world stand up and declare these subversive engagements true ’acts of war’, and throw water on this fire before it spreads to consume us all?
Source: Elizabeth Leafloor | RedIceCreations.com
Gary Younge and Bernard Harcourt have good pieces in the Guardian about the “new normal” of America’s militarized society, as exemplified by armed occupation of Chicago by a staggering array of “security” forces.
Younge notes the bitter irony of the word “security” in a city where the poor are being subjected to ever-increasing levels of violence both from private predators and public “protectors”:
The dissonance between the global pretensions of the summit this weekend and the local realities of Chicago could not be more striking. Nato claims its purpose is to secure peace through security; in much of Chicago neither exists.
… The murder rate in Chicago in the first three months of this year increased by more than 50% compared with the same period last year, giving it almost twice the murder rate of New York. And the manner in which the city is policed gives many as great a reason to fear those charged with protecting them as the criminals. By the end of July last year police were shooting people at the rate of six a month and killing one person a fortnight.
This violence, be it at the hands of the state or gangs, is both compounded and underpinned by racial and economic disadvantage. The poorer the neighbourhood the more violent, the wealthier the safer. This is no coincidence. Much like the Nato summit – and the G8 summit that preceded it – the system is set up not to spread wealth but to preserve and protect it, not to relieve chaos but to contain and punish it.
Younge then gives us a few of the local fruits of this global system:
Chicago illustrates how the developing world is everywhere, not least in the heart of the developed. The mortality rate for black infants in the city is on a par with the West Bank; black life expectancy in Illinois is just below Egypt and just above Uzbekistan. More than a quarter of Chicagoans have no health insurance, one in five black male Chicagoans are unemployed and one in three live in poverty. Latinos do not fare much better.
Harcourt, meanwhile, focuses on the mechanics of the lockdown imposed on Chicago:
As one commentator suggests, Chicagoans are experiencing the “New Military Urbanism in Nato-Occupied Chicago”. The extensive nature of these security measures (as reported by the US secret service), road closures and pedestrian restrictions included dozens of road closures (at least 7.5 miles of closed roads, by my calculation) …
Eight-foot tall, anti-scale security fencing went up all over that perimeter and downtown, including Grant Park; and the Chicago police – as well as myriad other federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, such as the FBI and the US secret service – were out in force on riot-geared horses, bikes, and patrols – batons at the ready. Philadelphia Police Department is sending over reinforcements to help out; Chicago has also asked for recruits from police departments in Milwaukee and Charlotte-Mecklenburg, NC. Meanwhile, F-16 warplanes “screamed through the skies as part of a pre-summit defense exercise” and helicopters hovered incessantly. ….
Plus, the Chicago Police Department will be deploying its two, new, expensive long-range acoustic device (LRAD) sound cannons – which it bought at $20,000 a pop. These are the type of devices that were used by the Pittsburgh police to deliver high-pitched alarm tones during the G20 summit meeting there in 2009.
Then, there is the “secret suburban Chicago” police control center where “officials from more than 40 different agencies sit side by side with a giant central screen before them,” as reported by the Chicago Sun Times. From the multi-agency command center, all different types of federal, state and local law enforcement can “view live video feeds from security cameras that are already up and running throughout the city”.
Harcourt makes the telling point that Mayor Rahm Emanuel denied numerous protest permits and imposed other restrictions on the grounds that the expression of free speech by demonstrators would cause “inconveniences to traffic and ordinary businesses” — this, after closing off more than seven square miles of the city’s commercial area himself. He makes the even more telling point that these hyper-draconian measures will, in many cases, stay in place once the power-players have finished their meaningless jaw-flapping and returned to their well-wadded entrenchments at home:
Third, and finally, all of this is, sadly, here to stay. Nato will come and go, but the new anti-protest laws, the new riot-gear, the two LRAD sound cannons, and all the normalization of this police state … that will be with us for a long time.
Source: Chris Floyd | Empire Burlesque
How many walls will secure the Zionist regime in Palestine?
It may be that researchers would want to examine as long ago as the period from the 3rd century BC until the beginning of the 17th century in order to find a regime so frenetically building walls and barriers in a hopeless quest to hold onto stolen lands as we in Lebanon may soon witness in the south of the country. It was back in 221 BC that in order to protect China from the land claims of the Xiongnu people from Mongolia, the Xiongnu tribe being China’s main enemy at that time who sought the return of lands they claimed the Chinese had stolen, that the emperor Qin Shi Huang ordered the construction of a wall to guard China’s territorial gains.
Lots of walls have been built throughout history to preserve occupied lands. The Romans built Hadrian’s Wall in England to keep the Picts out and the East Germans built the Berlin wall to keep the people in. But no regime in history has built, in the span of six decades, the number of walls as the paranoid regime in Tel Aviv has erected. And it plans at least five more “anti-terrorist protective walls” including one slated to begin soon along the Lebanese-Palestine border at the Lebanese village of Kfar Kila. And that one may present a problem.
The decision to build a wall “to replace the existing Israeli technical fence” along the Blue Line near the town of Kfar Kila was announced last month by Tel Aviv. The announcement followed a meeting between the Israel military and UNIFIL and both are keeping fairly mum about what it knows about this latest wall but UNIFIL spokesman Neeraj Singh hinted to this observer that the first section will be about half a mile long and approximately 16 feet high.
Some south Lebanon residents are strongly objecting for among other reasons that the high wall will block the scenic views into Palestine. Others are ridiculing the reasons for the wall expressed by the US-Israeli lobby that will ask the American taxpayer to pay for it.
Israel firster, David Schenker, from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, set up by AIPAC, told a Congressional hearing recently: “South Lebanon is obviously a very sensitive area [for Israel], being so close to Metula and the possibility of infiltration by Hezbollah and Palestinians is a legitimate concern. The Israeli government believes that a this wall will prevent terrorists from launching direct line-of-sight firing of things like RPGs and mortars. Even the throwing of stones which some tourists visiting the area are in the habit of doing.”
Local observers, UNIFIL officials and experts like Timor Goksel, who worked as UNIFIL’s spokesman for 24 years along the blue line, expressed surprise at why Israel is claiming that Kfar Kila is a particularly dangerous area that needs a wall.
In point of fact the area has not been a particularly hazardous or “sensitive” one historically, even when the PLO controlled the area in the 1970’s. Goksel explained; “In my 24 years’ experience, there were never any attacks there because it’s adjacent to a Lebanese village, so any attack there will make life for the Lebanese difficult. I don’t think anybody has ever thought of doing anything there. Moreover, even if you cross into Israel at Kifa Kula there, you’re not going to come across an Israeli position for a long time, so it doesn’t make sense for anyone to attack from there. What are you going to attack? There’s no target.”
Some local observers are speculating that the real reason Israel wants the barrier in Kfar Kila might be to stop its troops from bargaining for drugs in exchange for weapons and classified military information, as the IDF’s drug problem among its “northern command” soldiers has escalated since the battering it took in the July 2006 war.
Israel’s newest frontier wall will follow the one being erected along the 150-mile boundary between the Sinai and Negev deserts. That wall building project is due to be completed by the end of this year of 2012. Once the Kfar Kila wall is finished, Israel will be almost completely enclosed by steel, barbed wire and concrete, leaving only the southern border with Jordan between the Dead and Red Seas without a physical barrier. But that too, may be walled in the future according to Shenker. He testified that the reason was due to the uncertainty in Jordan and its increasingly wobbly government.
Yet another wall, approximately seven miles from the Mediterranean along the southern border will meet the fence Israel has already been built around Gaza. This wall runs for 32 miles, with a buffer zone, which Palestinians are forbidden from entering, and extends close to 1,000 meters inside the narrow Gaza Strip, walling off more prime Palestinian agricultural land. This “security war” has caged Palestinians inside Gaza but did not prevent the cross-border capture of IDF soldier Gilad Shalit in 2006.
Along the Palestine-Lebanon border, a barrier built by Israel in the 1970s along the boundary was reconstructed, after Israel was forced out of Lebanon in 2000 following a 22-year occupation. This barrier did not prevent Hezbollah in a cross-border ambush in 2006, capturing two Israeli soldiers in order to negotiate a prisoner exchange. Nor did it prevent Hezbollah from firing of thousands of rockets during the ensuing 33-day war in retaliation for Israeli bombing much of south Lebanon.
And the “protective walls” rise like mushroom after a summer rain.
Further east from Lebanon, an Israeli barrier has been constructed on the ceasefire line drawn at the end of the 1973 Yom Kippur war, running between the Golan Heights, which Israel has illegally occupied for nearly 45 years, and Syria. It was here that hundreds of pro-Palestinian demonstrators entered occupied Palestine last May, in the Golan and along the Lebanese border. More than a dozen people were killed and scores injured when Zionist forces opened fire on the unarmed civilians.
A crossing at Quneitra, now operated by the UN, does allow some movement of UN personnel, truckloads of apples, a few Druze students and the occasional Syrian bride in white.
A few miles north of Quneitra is Shouting Hill, where Druze families in the Golan yell greetings across the barrier to relatives in Syria.
Moving south through heavily mined fields and hills, the 1973 ceasefire line is bordered by Israeli military bases and closed military zones, and shells of tanks from past battles, until it connects with the border with Jordan. It then joins with one of Israel’s first walls, constructed in the late 1960s, which now stretches almost from the Sea of Galilee down the Jordan Valley to the Dead Sea. Most of this line is not Israel’s border, but rather a barrier separating Jordan from the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
Around a third of the way down this stretch, the barrier joins the infamous huge steel-and-concrete West Bank wall. This runs along or inside the 1949 armistice line, swallowing up tracts of Palestinian agricultural land, slicing through communities and separating farmers from their fields and olive trees. As with its other 18 walls and barriers, the Zionist regime claims it is simply a security measure, but many believe it marks the boundaries of a future Palestinian state, consuming an additional 12 per cent of the West Bank. Approximately two-thirds of its 465-mile length is complete, mostly as a steel fence with wide exclusion zones on either side. According to the current route, 8.5 per cent of the West Bank territory and 27,520 Palestinians are on the “Israeli” side of the barrier. Another 3.4 percent of the area (with 247,800 inhabitants) is completely or partially surrounded by the barrier.
Two similar barriers, the Israeli Gaza Strip barrier and the Israeli-built 7-9 meter (23 – 30 ft) wall separating Gaza from Egypt(temporarily breached on January 23, 2008), which is currently under Egyptian control, are also widely condemned by the international community.
Returning to the subject of the latest wall project, increasingly the Zionist regime opposes discussions, hearings, visits, expressions of solidarity with Palestinians, and even the viewing its garrison state from south Lebanon. Cutting off a view that people throughout history have marveled at represents a continuation of its isolation and xenophobia.
Following the joint meeting at Kkar Kila noted above, UNIFIL Major-General Serra said: “The meeting was called to assist Israel in putting in place additional security measures along the Blue Line in the Kafr Kila area in order to minimize the scope for sporadic tensions or any misunderstandings that could lead to escalation of the situation.”
In fact, the opposite with likely happen. In a recent visit to Ahmad Jibril’s Palestinian camp in the Bekaa Valley, and in discussion with salafist groups in Saida, it’s plain the wall will likely become an object of target practice and strain further UNIFIL and Hezbollah efforts to keep theborder calm.
In a scathing commentary in Yedioth Ahronoth, Israel’s biggest-selling newspaper, defense analyst Alex Fishman recently wrote: “We have become a nation that imprisons itself behind fences, which huddles terrified behind defensive shields.” It has become, he said, a “national mental illness”.
But He Was Tortured And Crucified By Occupying Forces…
The biblical account of Palm Sunday can be found in Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:28-44; and John 12:12-19. They tell the story of when Jesus entered Jerusalem, the crowds greeted him by waving and covering his path with palm branches. The story goes that immediately following this triumphant celebration Jesus began his tortured journey to the cross.
The Stations of the Cross (or Way of the Cross; also called the Via Dolorosa, Way of Sorrows, or just The Way) is a series of artistic representations depicting Christ Carrying the Cross to his crucifixion in the final hours or Passion of Jesus before he died.
2,000 years ago the cross had no religious meaning and was not a piece of jewelry. When Jesus said, “Pick up your cross and follow me” everyone then understood he was issuing a POLITICAL statement, for the main roads in Jerusalem were lined with crucified agitators, rebels, dissidents and any others who disturbed the status quo of the Roman Occupying Forces.
Jesus was never a Christian, for that term was not even coined until the days of Paul, about 3 decades after Jesus walked the earth a man.
Jesus was a social justice, radical revolutionary Palestinian devout Jewish road warrior who rose up and challenged the job security of the Temple authorities by teaching the people they did NOT need to pay the priests for ritual baths or sacrificing livestock to be OK with God; for God already LOVED them just as they were: sinners, poor, diseased, outcasts, widows, orphans, refugees and prisoners all living under Roman Military Occupation.
What got Jesus crucified was disturbing the status quo of the Roman Occupying Forces and teaching the subversive concept that Caesar only had power because God allowed it and that God preferred the humble sinner, the poor, diseased, outcasts, widows, orphans, refugees and prisoners all living under Roman Occupation above the elite and arrogant.
During my second [of seven] Reality Tours through the West Bank, I was introduced to Sabeel, Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center Contemporary Way of Cross.
The Sabeel way, transforms the traditional Christian tradition of meditating upon the journey that Christ took after his condemnation as he carried his cross to where he was crucified with an updated meditation on empire and occupation.
In Jerusalem there are fourteen plaques along The Via Delarosa hanging on the walls of buildings depicting where Christ may have fallen three times, meets his mother, is stripped, nailed and dies.
The Contemporary Way suggests fourteen reflections beginning with 1948, The Nabka: The Catastrophe which followed the failure of the UN partition plan of ‘47 when the Irgun and Stern Gang [Zionist terrorist groups] depopulated 400 villages and forced 726,000 Palestinians to flee to Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Egypt.
Station Two reflects on those refugees and the 460,000 more that fled during the War of 1967. Currently there are 675,670 registered refugees in the West Bank, 938,531 in Gaza and over two million in Arab countries who have never received compensation and have been denied the right to return as guaranteed in Articles 13 and 15 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in UN Resolution 194.
At Anata, [Jerusalem's refugee camp] The Wall is butted up to the boy’s high school. The ‘playground’ where around 800 male adolescents ‘play’ is in reality a slab of cement about the square footage of a basketball court and is walled in on all four sides by the high school, two small cement walls and Israel’s Separation Wall.
A refugee informed me that on a daily basis, “The Israeli Occupation Forces show up when the children gather in the morning or after classes. They throw percussion bombs or gas bombs into the school nearly every day! The world is sleeping; the world is hibernating and is allowing this misery to continue.”
I wandered around taking photos and was warmly greeted by a teenage boy who asked my name and where I was from. I cringed when I said America, for I am ashamed that over one hundred billion USA dollars since 1948 has supported the occupation, promoted violence and helped build The Wall which is “financed with U.S. aid at a cost of $1.5 million per mile. The Israeli wall prevents residents from receiving health care and emergency medical services. In other areas, the barrier separates farmers from their olive groves which have been their families’ sole livelihood for generations.” 
A five-minute car ride from the refugee camp, lies an Orwellian Disney Land of lush green grounds in the colony called the Pizgatzeev settlement. I was sick at heart and in my gut as I rode less than a mile into the colony and counted three playgrounds and a swimming pool. I still wonder how many USA tax dollars helped to build them.
As my Sabeel group was praying a gunshot issued from the Anata refugee camp, then another and another in rapid succession. I was told that the IDF was showering the refugees with gunfire and that terror is just a normal daily occurrence. I lost it completely then, and sobbed uncontrollably. I felt like the Magdalena when she could not find her Lord, and then I thought of Jesus, and how he cried buckets of tears over Jerusalem.
As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it.-Luke 19:41
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.” -Matthew 23:37
While in Bethlehem in July 2007, I also met with Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb, the Pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Christmas church in Bethlehem since 1988 who was also born in that little town in Occupied Territory.
Raheb spoke with passion:
“We are not spectators, we have a role to play…we are nonviolent but I have problems with nonviolence; people from abroad come here and give us sermons on nonviolence and I appreciate it, but why don’t they preach nonviolence to Israel and America?
“It’s a miracle that the Palestinians are so nonviolent in spite of the abuse we live with on a daily basis. If you lived here every day you would get fed up too. The world assumes it is the Palestinians who are the violent ones, but nonviolence is who we are. If you operate in a system of violence you will also be violent when you go home.
“Palestinians who throw stones; and many think that is ok, but I say why do that? One day you will throw stones at Palestinians too and that is exactly what happened in Gaza, but the reason is the occupation! Where do you think Hamas learned to torture? In Israeli prisons from their captors!
“There is no way to end the violence without first ending the occupation!
“Our Palestinian government was boycotted for a year and a half by America and the EU: this is violence! As long as the violence is exercised against us that is OK with the world. When the Presbyterians talked divestment the Zionist rose up and said ‘you can’t do that!’
“I started interfaith dialogue in 1985 because Christians should not be islands and you don’t dialogue just with yourself, you must dialogue with the other and the biggest temptation for the church is to stay within their walls and only be dedicated to their own members; which leads to a dead church.
“We are called to go out, and we do not just preach with words, people here are fed up with words; they hear one thing and see another with their eyes.
“They hear peace, peace, peace and for 85 years the politicians have been working for peace and the situation gets worse. Blair, and all the politicians are into PR for themselves; they do nothing for our situation. Blair got himself a good job marketing himself and he will come and go and Israel will continue building the wall, settlements and carving the West Bank into Swiss cheese; Israel gets the cheese and we Palestinians fall into the holes!
“Fifty million American dollars went to build the checkpoints to ‘make our lives easier’ we were told, but these checkpoints and terminals are not for people, they are for cattle!
“We have too much religion and it suffocates us! If God would speak today he would say, ‘I am fed up with your religion!’ The more religion there is; the less spirituality.
“During the Israeli invasion in 2002 when the Church of Nativity was occupied by the IDF and Palestinians were sheltered within, as an eyewitness I wrote 18 short stories that will keep you awake at night, in my book “Bethlehem Beseiged: Stories of Hope in Times of Trouble.” 
One of the refugees I spoke with in Bethlehem’s Aida refugee camp told me, “I left Gaza on March 20, 2007. My husband has been there ever since he was sent there in 2002, after Bethlehem was besieged.
“It began on an ordinary day, helicopters and airplanes circled above and tanks came up the street. The soldiers were on the roof and breaking in doors and through walls. The resistance fighters and many young people ran to Manger Square. The soldiers stole money and jewelry. The Franciscan father Abraham Feltus sheltered my husband in the Church of the Nativity. After it was all over, I went and prayed and lit candles there.”
Reported by the National Catholic Reporter on 4/26/2002, “the standoff between the Israeli Defense Force and the 250 Palestinians holed up inside the church along with 45 monks, nuns and priests…is taking a toll on both those inside the church and without. Bethlehem residents living near Manger Square, where the church is located, continue to live under curfew. The Israeli army has said it will continue its siege, which began April 3, until it captures about 30 men inside the church whom the army says are wanted as terrorists.
“Reached by telephone April 16, Franciscan Fr. Amjad Sabbara, parish priest at St. Catherine’s Church, the Latin church that adjoins the 1,400-year, old Orthodox basilica enshrining Christ’s birthplace, said the most serious problem for all those at the Church of the Nativity is water. The Nativity complex, which includes Catholic, Orthodox and Armenian monasteries in addition to the basilica, has one well. With some 250 more people now living there, water is running low. So far, the Israelis have permitted the delivery of a crate with 20 bottles of water, but no food. Sabbara reported that those inside the church are living on one meal a day.
“A youth who escaped from the Church of the Nativity April 15 provided a fuller picture of the squalid conditions inside the church. In an article printed in The New York Times April 17, 16-year-old Jihad Abdul Rahman said cold and the stench from rotting bodies and gangrenous wounds drove him from the church. There was no water for washing and only one toilet for the 250 Palestinians taking shelter inside the church, Rahman said.
“Dwindling supplies of food and water are not the only problems those inside the church are contending with. The Israeli army is exerting psychological pressure by blasting loud music and shrieking cries at night as well as intermittent demands to those inside the church to give themselves up.
“It’s the Noriega technique,” said Bethlehem resident Br. Kenneth Cardwell, referring to the tactics the U.S. government adopted in its efforts to dislodge former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega from the Vatican embassy in Panama City where he sought refuge in 1989.
“They play really repulsive music very loudly. They broadcast loud commands to surrender in the middle of night. They explode huge explosive charges and then lesser flash-bangs I call them. We’re a half-mile away and we wake up five, six times a night with this racket. There are blimps with a cable below. There’s been a drone flying overhead all day today. Yesterday colored gasses wafted across the square,” Cardwell said.
He added that a box dangling from a large crane the Israeli army has brought into or close by Manger Square “gave a laser light show the other night and that was pretty exciting…all the computers of the Palestinian Authority in Bethlehem have been destroyed in what he called a deliberate attempt by the Israeli government to destroy the Palestinian economy and the Palestinian Authority.”
Cardwell added, “We watch on TV the great support Israel is receiving from the Jewish people in the United States. If they only knew what this government is doing to the Palestinian people, they would repent in dust and ashes. American Jewry has a very high sense of moral responsibility for the widow, the stranger and the orphan, and they just are blind to what the Israeli government is doing.” [IBID]
Father Emmanuel Charles McCarthy ends his emails with:
“Jesus did not simply ‘suffer and die,’ just as Abel did not simply ‘suffer and die.’ Jesus was ‘tortured and murdered,’ and He responded to His torturers and murderers with a Nonviolent Merciful Love. ‘Suffered and died’ are minimizing, obscuring, evasive, amnesia-inducing, all-purpose, generalizing words. They do not convey properly the Gospel history of what took place on Golgotha. They do not convey properly the revelation and glory of God in Jesus during His final hours on earth, nor do they convey properly the revelation of the redeeming and redemptive Way of God through Jesus. The raw animal pain of suffering and death is not what saves. Identification with Jesus being tortured and murdered is identification with Jesus loving—loving the Father by doing the Father’s will and loving those responsible for His torture and murder. Communion with the tortured and murdered and risen Jesus Christ is communion with a love that conquers any evil and is stronger than death.”- Center for Christian Nonviolence
Jesus is also called The Prince of Peace and although I no longer attend or support any church institution, because I love Jesus and try to follow him, I am connected to the mystical Body of Christ and the most rigid of Christian fundamentalists are my sisters and brothers.
St. Paul, who never failed to express his freedom of speech, warned the followers of Christ, NOT to judge the unbeliever but to provoke the believer onto good works.
Ever since my first trip to Israel Palestine in 2005, my work, hope and prayer has been to mend, heal and repair the flabby Body of Christ in the West by trying to reconnect it to its very roots in the land where Jesus walked and taught that it is the peacemakers who are the children of God; not those that bomb, torture or occupy others.
The Christian EXODUS from the Holy land-which is in pieces; Bantustans, has rendered their numbers from 20% of the total population to less than 1.3% since 1948. Their dwindling numbers are due to low birth rates coupled with their escape from a brutal, inhumane military occupation, which is aided and abetted by American foreign policy and ‘we the peoples’ tax dollars.
Every individual Christian is but one cell in the cosmic Body of Christ.
“So in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” -Romans 12:4
“Its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part [of The Body] suffers, every part suffers with it.”-1 Corinthians 12:25-26
The Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him and all the prophets said, “You will recognize the believers in their having Mercy for one another, and in their Love for one another, and in their Kindness towards one another; like the body, when one member of it hurts, the entire body hurts.”
In the gospel [good news] told in Mark 3: 31-35, the mother of Jesus’ and his brothers arrived at the house where he was teaching.
Standing outside, they sent word to Jesus and called him out. The crowd around Jesus told him, “Your mother, sisters and brothers are outside asking for you.”
Jesus replied, “I am here with my mother, sisters and brothers. For whoever does the will of God is my brother, sister and mother.”-Mark 3: 31-35
“What does God require? He has told you o’man! Be just, be merciful, and walk humbly with your Lord.” – Micah 6:8
Being just means correct, true, accurate, right and fair.
Merciful is to have, feel and show compassion, that sense of viscerally feeling the pain of another and being moved to help.
Being humble is knowing yourself-the good and the bad-for both cut through every human heart and all FREE WILL means is we get to choose which rules ours.
1. Washington Report on Middle East Affairs Page 43, Jan/Feb. 2007
2. MEMOIRS of a Nice Irish-American ‘Girl’s’ Life in Occupied Territory
It depends whether the miscreant enjoys “We will always have your back regardless”…. status
On March 6, 2012, the US Congressional Research Service released a report to the US Congress concerning Restrictions on the use of American weapons by recipient countries. For those who have followed the subject there was not a whole lot new in the CRS study, yet it is instructive in identifying Israel once again as far and away the most egregious violator of virtually every provision of every US law which purports to regulate how American weapons are used.
According to one CRS researcher, requesting anonymity during a Skype conversation and subsequent memo:
“An intern and I decided, almost for amusement, to count violations of US Arms Export Control laws by Israel between the date of ACEA enactment, 1976, through last month and we estimated more than 2.5 million violations if we applied the law given the legislative history and intent of Congress at the time of its passage. We based that figure on our estimation of each individual violation of the act as well as of the 1961 Foreign Assistance Act. It could be firing a US 155 mm artillery shell, various missiles, bombs, rockets and of course cluster munitions. For example, were Israel brought before a Court, the prosecutors would surely argue that each cluster booklet dropped on Lebanon in 2006 was a separate violation plus the two million estimated dropped during the 1982 invasion of Lebanon and during the 1978, 1993 and 1996 invasions. Add to this figure Israel’s records of violating US Arms export laws in Gaza, the West Bank and Syria and the true number is surely several million violations. Essentially all committed with impunity.”
In accordance with U.S. law, the U.S. Government is mandated to enforce strict conditions on the use against civilians, of weapons it transfers to foreign recipients. Violations of these conditions can lead to the suspension of deliveries or termination of contracts for such defense items, and even the cutting off of all aid to the violating country.
Section 3(a) of the 1976 US Arms Export Control Act (AECA) sets the standards for countries to be eligible to receive American arms and it also sets express conditions on the uses to which these arms may be put. Section 4 of the AECA states that U.S. weapons shall be sold to friendly countries “solely” for use in “legitimate self-defense, for use in “internal security,” and to enable the recipient country to participate in “collective measures requested by the United Nations for the purpose of maintaining or restoring international peace and security.”
Should the President or Congress determine pursuant to section 3(c)(3)(A) of the Arms Export Control Act that a “substantial violation” by a foreign country of an applicable agreement governing an arms sale or grant has occurred, then that country is automatically ineligible for further U.S. military hardware. This action would also terminate provision of credits, loan guarantees, cash sales, and deliveries pursuant to previous sales or grants. Other options include suspension of deliveries of defense items already ordered and refusal to allow new arms orders.
The United States has only once used such an option against Israel.
Questions raised by researchers in Beirut during the summer of 1982 and by Washington Post journalist Jonathan Randal regarding the use of U.S.-supplied military equipment by Israel in Lebanon in June and July 1982, led the Reagan Administration to determine on July 15, 1982, that Israel “may” have violated its July 23, 1952, Mutual Defense Assistance Agreement with the United States (TIAS 2675) and the AECA.
The pertinent language of the 1952 agreement between Israel and the United States states: “The Government of Israel assures the United States Government that such equipment, materials, or services as may be acquired from the United States … are required for and will be used solely to maintain its internal security, its legitimate self-defense, or to permit it to participate in the defense of the area of which it is a part, or in United Nations collective security arrangements and measures, and that it will not undertake any act of aggression against any other state.”
Alarm centered on whether or not Israel had used U.S.-supplied antipersonnel cluster bombs against civilian targets during its carpet bombing West Beirut during the nearly three month siege.
The House Foreign Affairs Committee held hearings on this issue in July and August 1982. On July 19, 1982, the Reagan Administration announced that it would prohibit new exports of cluster bombs to Israel. This prohibition was lifted by the Reagan Administration in November 1988 under US Israel lobby pressure on the White House designed to assist the Presidential campaign of George H. W. Bush against Senator Walter Mondale.
The facts of this case which mainly centered on events in Lebanon are instructive. During the 1973 Ramadan war, Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, watching Arab forces advance on Israel troops following the October 6 Egyptian and Syrian offensive, and being advised by the Israeli Defense Ministry of a pending disaster, threatened President Nixon with Israel using nuclear weapons unless the US rescued Israel. Nixon’s immediate response was to order a massive air lift to Israel of US arms stockpiled for use in Vietnam at Clark air force base near Subic Bay, Philippines. The base commander at Clark immediately resigned because being on the defensive in Vietnam, he advised Washington US troops needed those weapons. Included were eight types of US cluster bombs including the M-42, M-46,CBU-58 A/B, APAM (BLU) 77/B, MK 20 “Rockeye”, MK 118 and he M-43 “Birdie” as the U.S. Marines in Beirut referred to the M-43 it in late 1982 and 1983.
During a late June 1982 meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Begin, Reagan was handed a note from George Shultz. Based on the information he had in hand, Reagan directly told Begin that the US had reliable information than Israel was using American weapons against civilians in Lebanon. At this point according to Reagan, Begin became very agitated. He lowered his glasses and while glaring at Reagan and shaking his index finger said, “Mr. President, Israel has never and would never use American weapons against civilians and to claim otherwise is a blood libel against every Jew, everywhere.” Following their meeting Reagan told Defense Secretary Casper Weinberger, as reported by Weinberger and by various biographers of Reagan that “I did not know what the term “blood libel” meant, but I know that the man looked me straight in the eyes and lied to me.”
The original Secretary of State George Schultz suggestion to Reagan of Israel using two types (the M-42 and the CBU-58) of American cluster bombs was soon changed to the charge that Israel in fact used all eight types of American cluster bombs Nixon had sent to Meir during October 1973.
Proof of the use of the eight types of US cluster bombs was delivered to an assembly of US Pentagon and other officials in late July 1982 at the Indian Head Ordnance facility on the Potomac River in Southern Maryland on instructions from the late American Journalist Janet Lee Stevens to this observer. Substantive and still preserved demonstrative and physical evidence, including photographs and US cluster bombs, some of which still were filled with the high explosive minol, that were carried in my suitcase, that had been gathered from around West Beirut by Janet and her research team that included Palestinian fighters delegated by Yassir Arafat and Khalil al Wazir (Abu Jihad) some Marabatoun fighters, as well several Amal milita as well as this observer to aid with the task.
The US / Israel lobby accurately considers American arms control laws as meaningless. The prohibitions against Israel’s use of American weapons against civilians have not, are not and in all likelihood will never be enforced against Israel given the regime’s continuing occupation of much of the US government.
The once cherished American value of building a nation based on humane laws and the American national security interest of achieving a foreign policy that deals on the basis of equality with other nations have been sacrificed so as to delay the inevitable collapse of the apartheid colonial enterprise implanted on Palestine.
The Obama “we’ve got your back regardless” genuflection endangers America as surely as it threatens with US weapons, every country in the Middle East and beyond that may even contemplate challenging Zionism’s regional hegemony.
It’s high time for true American patriots to take back their country and rejoin the community of nations on the basis of equality and mutual respect for all, entangling and corrupting alliances with none.
“This is much worse than apartheid. Israeli measures, the brutality, make apartheid look like a picnic.”
In the third ATLANTIC EXCHANGE series, Senator George Mitchell, former U.S. Special Envoy to the Middle East, is featured in the segment of Is Peace Possible?, a multimedia presentation and special report on resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
In the opening comments, Robert Wexler who retired from congress to become president of The S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace, claims, “no one agrees less than 80%” with Senator Mitchell.
I won’t quibble over percentages, but as only an “honest and objective view” is the way forward, I offer why Senator Mitchell gets it wrong about apartheid.
When the “A” word comes up at around the 50-minute mark, Mr. Mitchell expresses his disapproval of using “complicated words” and “inflammatory words and phrases that create aggravation and hostility”.
Not facing the true facts on the ground creates aggravation and increases hostility and although Apartheid is complex, the word itself is not.
According to a 2007 UN report,, Haaretz columnist Danny Rubinstein said, “Israel today was an apartheid State with four different Palestinian groups: those in Gaza, East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Israeli Palestinians, each of which had a different status…even if the wall followed strictly the line of the pre-1967 border, it would still not be justified. The two peoples needed cooperation rather than walls because they must be neighbors.” 
“An apartheid society is much more than just a ‘settler colony’. It involves specific forms of oppression that actively strip the original inhabitants of any rights at all, whereas civilian members of the invader caste are given all kinds of sumptuous privileges.” 
On May 14, 1948, The Declaration of the establishment of Israel affirmed that, “The State of Israel will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel: it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion it will guarantee freedom of religion [and] conscience and will be faithful to the Charter of the United Nations.”
However, reality intrudes, for “The truth, which is known to all; through its army, the government of Israel practices a brutal form of Apartheid in the territory it occupies. Its army has turned every Palestinian village and town into a fenced-in, or blocked-in, detention camp.”- Israeli Minister of Education, Shulamit Aloni quoted in the popular Israeli newspaper, Yediot Acharonot on December 20, 2006,
How could a state founded on “equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants” come to be such a state of hypocrisy?
A Little History:
On July 5, 1950, Israel enacted the Law of Return by which Jews anywhere in the world, have a “right” to immigrate to Israel on the grounds that they are returning to their own state, even if they have never been there before. 
On July 14, 1952: The enactment of the Citizenship/Jewish Nationality Law, results in Israel becoming the only state in the world to grant a particular national-religious group—the Jews—the right to settle in it and gain automatic citizenship. In 1953, South Africa’s Prime Minister Daniel Malan becomes the first foreign head of government to visit Israel and returns home with the message that Israel can be a source of inspiration for white South Africans. [IBID]
In 1962, South African Prime Minister Verwoerd declares that Jews “took Israel from the Arabs after the Arabs had lived there for a thousand years. In that I agree with them, Israel, like South Africa, is an apartheid state.” [IBID]
On August 1, 1967, Israel enacted the Agricultural Settlement Law, which bans Israeli citizens of non-Jewish nationality- Palestinian Arabs- from working on Jewish National Fund lands, well over 80% of the land in Israel. Knesset member Uri Avnery stated: “This law is going to expel Arab cultivators from the land that was formerly theirs and was handed over to the Jews.” [IBID]
On April 4, 1969, General Moshe Dayan is quoted in the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz telling students at Israel’s Technion Institute that “Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages. You don’t even know the names of these Arab villages, and I don’t blame you, because these geography books no longer exist. Not only do the books not exist, the Arab villages are not there either… There is not one single place built in this country that did not have a former Arab population.”[IBID]
On April 28, 1971: C. L. Sulzberger, writing in The New York Times, quoted South African Prime Minister John Vorster as saying that Israel is faced with an apartheid problem, namely how to handle its Arab inhabitants. Sulzberger wrote: “Both South Africa and Israel are in a sense intruder states. They were built by pioneers originating abroad and settling in partially inhabited areas.” [IBID]
On September 13, 1978, in Washington, D.C. The Camp David Accords are signed by Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and witnessed by President Jimmy Carter. The Accords reaffirm U.N. Resolutions 242 and 338, which prohibit acquisition of land by force, call for Israel’s withdrawal of military and civilian forces from the West Bank and Gaza, and prescribe “full autonomy” for the inhabitants of the territories. Begin orally promises Carter to freeze all settlement activity during the subsequent peace talks. Once back in Israel, however, the Israeli prime minister continues to confiscate, settle, and fortify the occupied territories. [IBID]
On September 13, 1985, Rep. George Crockett (D-MI), after visiting the Israeli-occupied West Bank, compares the living conditions there with those of South African blacks and concludes that the West Bank is an instance of apartheid that no one in the U.S. is talking about. [IBID]
In July 2000, President Bill Clinton convenes the Camp David II Peace Summit between Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat. Clinton—not Barak—offers Arafat the withdrawal of some 40,000 Jewish settlers, leaving more than 180,000 in 209 settlements, all of which are interconnected by roads that cover approximately 10% of the occupied land. Effectively, this divides the West Bank into at least two non-contiguous areas and multiple fragments. Palestinians would have no control over the borders around them, the air space above them, or the water reserves under them. Barak calls it a generous offer. Arafat refuses to sign. [IBID]
August 31, 2001: Durban, South Africa. Up to 50,000 South Africans march in support of the Palestinian people. In their “Declaration by South Africans on Apartheid and the Struggle for Palestine” they proclaim: “We, South Africans who lived for decades under rulers with a colonial mentality, see Israeli occupation as a strange survival of colonialism in the 21st century. Only in Israel do we hear of ‘settlements’ and ‘settlers.’ Only in Israel do soldiers and armed civilian groups take over hilltops, demolish homes, uproot trees and destroy crops, shell schools, churches and mosques, plunder water reserves, and block access to an indigenous population’s freedom of movement and right to earn a living. These human rights violations were unacceptable in apartheid South Africa and are an affront to us in apartheid Israel.” [IBID]
October 23, 2001: Ronnie Kasrils, a Jew and a minister in the South African government, co-authors a petition “Not in My Name,” signed by some 200 members of South Africa’s Jewish community, reads: “It becomes difficult, from a South African perspective, not to draw parallels with the oppression expressed by Palestinians under the hand of Israel and the oppression experienced in South Africa under apartheid rule.” [IBID]
Three years later, Kasrils will go to the Occupied Territories and conclude: ”This is much worse than apartheid. Israeli measures, the brutality, make apartheid look like a picnic. We never had jets attacking our townships. We never had sieges that lasted month after month. We never had tanks destroying houses. We had armored vehicles and police using small arms to shoot people but not on this scale.” [IBID]
April 29, 2002: Boston, MA. South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu says he is “very deeply distressed” by what he observed in his recent visit to the Holy Land, adding, “It reminded me so much of what happened in South Africa.” The Nobel peace laureate said he saw “the humiliation of the Palestinians at checkpoints and roadblocks, suffering like us when young white police officers prevented us from moving about. Referring to Americans, he adds, “People are scared in this country to say wrong is wrong because the Jewish lobby is powerful—very powerful. Well, so what? The apartheid government was very powerful, but today it no longer exists.” [IBID]
In November 2005, this reporter attended the Gainesville, Florida, Anarchist’s Against the Wall Power Point Lecture by Jonathon Pollak, an intense young Israeli and organizer for Anarchist’s Against the Wall/AAtW, which is a collaborative NONVIOLENT resistance and civil disobedience group of Palestinians, Israelis and Internationals who are dedicated to bringing the separation/apartheid wall down and ending the occupation of Palestine.
Pollak said, “Although Israel marketed the Wall as a security barrier, logic suggests such a barrier would be as short and straight as possible. Instead, it snakes deep inside the West Bank, resulting in a route that is twice as long as the Green Line, the internationally recognized border. Israel chose the Wall’s path in order to dispossess Palestinians of the maximum land and water, to preserve as many Israeli settlements as possible, and to unilaterally determine a border.
“In order to build the Wall Israel is uprooting tens of thousands of ancient olive trees that for many Palestinians are also the last resource to provide food for their children. The Palestinian aspiration for an independent state is also threatened by the Wall, as it isolates villages from their mother cities and divides the West Bank into disconnected cantons [bantusans/ghettos]. The Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem conservatively estimates that 500,000 Palestinians are negatively impacted by the Wall.
“We believe that, as with Apartheid South Africa, Americans have a vital role to play in ending Israeli occupation - by divesting from companies that support Israeli occupation, boycotting Israeli products, coming to Palestine as witnesses, or standing with Palestinians in nonviolent resistance.” 
In June 2005, a young American who had moved to Israel because of the incentives of Aliyah told me:
“Aliyah means ‘going up,’ and this deal was hard to pass by. I get fifteen hundred shekels or about thirty-six hundred dollars a year in increments to help with my expenses. I can apply for unemployment benefits after seven months, as long as I look for a job.
“I just completed Ulpan, which was five hundred hours of Hebrew language immersion studies that took five months, five hours a day, for five weeks. I get subsidized rent and just moved out of the Absorption Center Projects. All the new immigrants get room, utilities, and three meals a day for the first five months in Israel. We also receive free medical care and all the doctors here are dedicated. We can go to the university with 100 percent of the tuition paid by the government. College is much cheaper here; it’s about three thousand to four thousand dollars a year. Until I am thirty years old, I can receive up to three years of education for my master’s degree.” 
Apartheid can be summed up as a structured process of gross human rights violations perpetrated against a conquered ethnic majority by a state and society mainly controlled by an invading ethnic minority and its descendants, mainly immigrants, that have been deemed part of the ethnic elite.
The following nine categories make up the necessary, sufficient, and defining characteristics of apartheid regimes:
1. Violence: Apartheid is a state of war initiated by a de facto invading ethnic minority, which at least in the short term originates from a non-neighboring locality. In all main instances of apartheid most if not all members of the invading group originate from a different continent. The invading ethnic minority and its self-defined descendants then continue to dominate the indigenous majority by means of their military superiority and by their continuous threats and uses of violence.
2. Repopulation: Apartheid is also a continuation of depopulation and population transfer. One example is seen in the obliteration of the indigenous Bedouins that Israel denies free movement to graze their herds and are silently transferring the Bedouins to new locales, such as atop of garbage dumps.
3. Citizenship: The indigenous people are often denied citizenship in their own country by the apartheid state authorities, which are ironically and irrationally, run and staffed by the recent arrivals to the country.
4. Land: Apartheid entails land confiscation, land redistribution and forced removals, almost without exception to the benefit of the invading ethnic minority. Usually, members of the ethnic majority are forced on to barren and unfertile soils, where they must also try to survive under impoverished and overcrowded conditions.
5. Work: Apartheid displays systematic exploitation of the indigenous class in the production process and different pay or taxation for the same work.
6. Access: There is ethnically differentiated access to employment, food, water, health care, emergency services, clean air, and other needs, including the need for leisure activities, in each case ensuring superior access for the favored ethnic community.
7. Education: There are also different kinds of education offered and forced upon the different ethnic groups.
8. Language: A basic apartheid characteristic is the fact that only very few of the invaders and their descendants ever learn the language(s) of the indigenous victims.
9. Thought: Finally, apartheid contains ideologies or ‘necessary illusions’ in order to convince the privileged minorities that they are inherently superior and the indigenous majorities that they are inherently inferior. Much of apartheid thought is shaped by typical war propaganda. The enemy is dehumanized by both sides’ ideologies, words and other symbols are used to incite or provoke people to violence, but mostly so by the invaders and their descendants. 
During my 2005 visit to Hebron, there were 450 Israeli settlers and 3,000 Israeli Forces who patrolled the streets with their weapons at the ready and refused us access through one of the many checkpoints.
My guide was Jerry Levin, who had been a secular Jew and CNN’s Mid East Bureau Chief in the 1980′s when he was kidnapped in Lebanon and held for nearly a year by the Hezbollah. During his captivity, on a Christmas Eve, Jerry had a mystical experience of Jesus and miraculously escaped a short time later. [Jerry shares that story in “Reflections on My First Noel” by HOPE Publishing House].
When I met Jerry, he was a full time volunteer with CPT/Christian Peacemaker Teams and he told me, “Most of the soldiers don’t like the CPTs. Whenever they won’t let us through, we just go another way, and always, eventually, get where we want to go.” 
The village of Hebron had once been a thriving Palestinian neighborhood, but now the narrow, winding stone streets between the colonists and the indigenous people are only connected to the other by a deeply sagging netting that the squatters hurl huge rocks, shovels, electronic equipment, furniture, and all manner of debris upon with hope it will break and hit an unfortunate Palestinian upon the head.
Levin informed me, “It gets cleaned out about every year or so. Come back in a few months, and this netting will be much closer to your head. The settlers just throw whatever they want onto the netting; they do what ever they want and get away with it. The CPT’s run interference by nonviolent resistance; we get the children and woman to where they need to be going and back again. Sometimes, the settlers curse and stone us all; it keeps it interesting.” 
Hundreds of now empty formerly Palestinian homes had been spray-painted by the settlers with Stars of David and graffiti such as: ”GAS THE ARABS.”
When Minister of Intelligence in South African Government, Ronnie Kasrils returned to Palestine’s West Bank and Gaza Strip, he wrote how it was “like a surreal trip back into an apartheid state of emergency. It is chilling to pass through the myriad checkpoints — more than 500 in the West Bank. They are controlled by heavily armed soldiers, youthful but grim, tensely watching every movement, fingers on the trigger…A journey from one West Bank town to another that could take 20 minutes by car now takes seven hours for Palestinians, with manifold indignities at the hands of teenage soldiers…The monstrous apartheid wall cuts off East Jerusalem…Bethlehem too is totally enclosed by the wall, with two gated entry points. The Israelis have added insult to injury by plastering the entrances with giant scenic posters welcoming tourists to Christ’s birthplace.” 
On the cover of my second book, Meir Vanunu provided the photo of the enormous Orwellian sign Karlis referred to, which hung upon The Wall next to the checkpoint that leads from Jerusalem to her sister city, Bethlehem: ”PEACE BE WITH YOU” in English and Hebrew.
The Wall or as Israel prefers to spin it as a ‘security barrier’, “is designed to crush the human spirit as much as to enclose the Palestinians in ghettos. Like a reptile, it transforms its shape and cuts across agricultural lands as a steel-and-wire barrier, with watchtowers, ditches, patrol roads and alarm systems. It will be 700km long and, at a height of 8m to 9m in places, dwarfs the Berlin Wall. The purpose of the barrier becomes clearest in open country. Its route cuts huge swathes into the West Bank to incorporate into Israel the illegal Jewish settlements — some of which are huge towns — and annexes more and more Palestinian territory.” 
If The Wall is truly to keep out terrorists, why was it not built on Israeli land?
“It has become abundantly clear that the wall and checkpoints are principally aimed at advancing the safety, convenience and comfort of settlers.”- Minister in the Presidency Essop Pahad. [Ibid]
“The West Bank, once 22% of historic Palestine, has shrunk to perhaps 10% to 12% of living space for its inhabitants, and is split into several fragments, including the fertile Jordan Valley, which is a security preserve for Jewish settlers and the Israeli Defence Force. Like the Gaza Strip, the West Bank is effectively a hermetically sealed prison…roads are barred to Palestinians and reserved for Jewish settlers. I try in vain to recall anything quite as obscene in apartheid South Africa.” [Ibid]
On December 20, 2006, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who received a Nobel Peace Prize for his relentless work confronting and challenging South Africa’s Apartheid regime spoke to The Guardian: “I’ve been deeply distressed in my visit to the Holy Land. I have seen the humiliation at the checkpoints and roadblocks, suffering like us when young white police officers prevented us from moving about…Israel will never get true security and safety through oppressing another people. A true peace can ultimately be built only on justice…If peace could come to South Africa, surely it can come to the Holy Land.”
George Mitchell, Robert Wexler and I do agree with Tutu that peace can come to the Holy Land; but only if it is a JUST peace which ensures equal human rights, liberty and self-determination for all the people of that troubled land.
Justice requires honoring International Law and upholding the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
“On the day of the termination of the British mandate and on the strength of the United Nations General Assembly declare The State of Israel will be based on freedom, justice and peace asenvisaged by the prophets of Israel: it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion it will guarantee freedom of religion [and] conscience and will be faithful to the Charter of the United Nations.” - May 14, 1948. The Declaration of the establishment of Israel
“From Moses to Jeremiah and Isaiah, the Prophets taught…that the Jewish claim on the land of Israel was totally contingent on the moral and spiritual life of the Jews who lived there, and that the land would, as the Torah tells us, ‘vomit you out’ if people did not live according to the highest moral vision of Torah. Over and over again, the Torah repeated its most frequently stated mitzvah [command]:
“When you enter your land, do not oppress the stranger; the other, the one who is an outsider of your society, the powerless one and then not only ‘you shall love your neighbor as yourself’ but also ‘you shall love the other.’” 
“What does God require? He has told you o’man! Be just, be merciful, and walk humbly with your Lord.” -Micah 6:8
As Americans we all need to understand every one of us who pay taxes is culpable.
“Financed with U.S. aid at a cost of $1.5 million per mile, the Israeli wall prevents residents from receiving health care and emergency medical services. In other areas, the barrier separates farmers from their olive groves which have been their families’ sole livelihood for generations.” [Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, Page 43, Jan/Feb. 2007]
2. Apartheid Ancient, Past, and Present Systematic and Gross Human Rights Violations in Graeco-Roman Egypt, South Africa, and Israel/Palestine, By Anthony Löwstedt. Page 77.
3. The Link, “About That Word Apartheid”, April-May 2007, Published by Americans for Middle East Understanding, Inc.
4. Eileen Fleming, Memoirs of a Nice Irish-American ‘Girl’s’ Life in Occupied Territory, pages 55-56
5. Apartheid Ancient, Past, and Present Systematic and Gross Human Rights Violations in Graeco-Roman Egypt, South Africa, and Israel/Palestine, By Anthony Löwstedt. Page 77.
6. KEEP HOPE ALIVE, by Eileen Fleming, page 99.
7. Paraphrased from pages 71-73, Apartheid Ancient, Past, and Present.
8. KEEP HOPE ALIVE, page 105.
10. Mail & Guardian, Israel 2007: Worse than Apartheid, by Ronnie Kasrils.
11. Rabbi Lerner, TIKKUN Magazine, page 35, Sept./Oct. 2007
This weekend millions of cultural Christians throughout the world will flock into churches and sing “O Little Town of Bethlehem” and hear stories of Nazareth and Jerusalem.
Too few know the 21st century realities about the land where Jesus/AKA The Prince of Peace promised that the Peacemakers are the children of God.
The indigenous Christian population in the Holy Land has shrunk from 20% in 1948 to less than 2% in Israel and the West Bank today.
In 1970, The World Christian Database reported that the Christian population in the West Bank was 5.3% of that population and in 2011 their numbers have shrunk to half that.
Most all Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land never even visit the occupied territories or meet a Palestinian Christian for they tour with Israeli led groups and miss the reality tours conducted by organizations like SABEEL. [Read more...
Eileen Fleming at Claire's Tomb, 2007, photo by Meir Vanunu.
The day is rapidly approaching when that troubled piece of real estate many claim is holy will be bereft of the most highly educated and consistently nonviolent Palestinians –the indigenous Palestinian Christians/AKA The Forgotten Faithful.
Researches predict that if things do not change very soon, Holy Land churches will be nothing more than museums for Christian communities across the region are declining due to low birth rates coupled with increasing emigration due to the persecution and violence rooted in the now 44 years of Military occupation of Palestine.
Some Christian leaders and many politicians claim the rise of radical Islam in the area is causing the decline of indigenous Christians and it does contribute, but the bigger truth is that it is religious fundamentalism within Judaism and Christianity entwined with Israeli-USA government policies versus justice and equal human rights for Palestinians that is most culpable!
In Israel, the indigenous Palestinians are labeled “Israeli-Arabs” and approximately 9% are Christian.
There are also growing numbers of Messianic Jews whose ethnicity is Jewish but they recognize Christ as the Messiah and they are supported by global Christian Zionists who profess strong support for Jewish people but are blind, deaf and dumb to their sisters and brothers in Christ: the indigenous Palestinian Christians who are most Forgotten Faithful.
The little town of Bethlehem is festooned with sparkling decorations but for those who know the brutal truth it is just smoke and mirrors over the military occupation of Palestine.
Nabil Giacaman, co-owner of a souvenir shop called Christmas House is a third-generation woodcarver who daily witnesses around 200 tour buses that roll in from the Israeli side of The Wall for a quick visit to the Church of the Nativity. The pilgrim-tourists are all escorted directly from the bus to the church and then back again without any time to browse the nearby shops.
Giacaman laments, "My total sales the other day were $4.13. My shop is in the middle of it all, but it gets worse every year. We have tourists, but not profits." 
The decades-old political conflict aided and abetted by USA foreign policy also is an economic battle raging between Israel and the West Bank based Palestinian Authority and the livelihoods of all Palestinian merchants.
“At 1.1 million a year, the number of Christian pilgrims — those who describe their visit as chiefly spiritual in purpose — now surpasses Jewish tourism to Israel. Many of the top Christian sites are in the West Bank, and tourists have been returning in droves thanks to a recent lull in violence.
“Many Christian pilgrims belie the image of austere travelers sleeping in religious hostels. These visitors, mostly Catholics and Christian evangelicals, spend about $200 a day on hotels, restaurants and souvenirs, compared with an average of $140 for all tourists, according to Israeli figures.” [Ibid]
That would be gospel/good news for Palestinian businesspeople but the simple truth is that most all visitors to the Holy Land arrive by air in Israel and immediately join Israeli-led tours so they never get to see what is hid behind the faux-painted and extensively landscaped apartheid wall which is adorned with graffiti-against the occupation in the West Bank.
Recently, Israel’s Tourism Ministry opened a “religious affairs desk” and launched Christian-themed websites and a YouTube channel to entice them.
The Israeli government is also providing free trips for government officials and religious leaders from Latin America, Africa and Europe and in 2011, 81 members of Congress took an AIPAC political vacation and never spent an hour in occupied territory.
For Christmas, Israel is offering free bus transportation to Bethlehem for midnight Mass so that the pilgrims can avoid the lengthy wait at Israeli checkpoints. The Tourism Ministry is also promoting an alternative to Bethlehem [under the control of the Palestinian Authority] by inviting pilgrims and foreign diplomats to the Israeli city of upper Nazareth for a Christmas market which will be staffed by Israelis and no doubt supplied with goods made in the settlements-all of which are illegal under international law.
Palestinian Authority Tourism Minister Kholoud Daibes, contends that Israel collects 90% of pilgrim-related revenue and said, “They are promoting occupied territory as part of Israel.” [Ibid]
The mayor of upper Nazareth Mayor Shimon Gapso refused to allow Christmas trees to be placed in his town square and told the AFP, “The request of the Arabs to put Christmas trees in the squares in the Arab quarter of Nazareth Illit is provocative. Nazareth Illit is a Jewish city and it will not happen — not this year and not next year, so long as I am a mayor. Nazareth is right next door and they can do what they want there.” 
The town’s indigenous Palestinian and Christian minority accused him of racism. A 35-year-old Christian resident of Nazareth Illit nailed it, “The racism of not putting a tree up is nothing compared to the real racism that we experience here.”
“When we asked the mayor to put up a Christmas tree in the Arab neighbourhoods of Nazareth Illit he said this is a Jewish town, not a mixed town,” said Shukri Awawdeh, a Muslim Arab member of the town council.
Awawdeh said there were 10,000 Arabs, most of them Christian in the town and there was also a large community of Christian Russian immigrants.
“We told him that decorating a tree is just to share the happiness and cheer with other people in the town,” said Awawdeh.
“People here, Jews, Christians and Muslims live in harmony, but when the mayor does something like that, it does not make things better.” [Ibid]
Last year, Israel began allowing Israeli tour guides to lead groups in Bethlehem and only Israeli approved tour guides are allowed into Israel. Legislation is also pending that will require all Jerusalem guides to be Israeli citizens.
Professor Virginia Tilley wrote:
“Just twenty years ago, Christian pilgrims could still walk to the old city of Jerusalem or Rachel’s Tomb on ancient trails laid down over five thousand years among the rocky hills of Judea, following the footpaths of prophets and disciples that wove among the springs and valleys of biblical legend. Just twenty years ago, shepherds still tended their flocks by night around the hills of Bethlehem, playing on wooden flutes. Now these sacred landscapes are paved over, blocked off, and the West Bank is an uglified mess of four-lane highways, broken up by hideous concrete barriers and electrified fences, the old olive terraces crushed and buried under acres of monolithic Jewish-only apartment blocs. The shepherds are arrested, harassed and gone. The ancient trails are gone forever. Millennia of humanity’s historical heritage, razed and effaced in a scant few decades, to serve not natural population growth but an artificial state-sponsored project to take over land in the name of an exclusive ethnic nationalism. The loss is heartbreaking on so many levels that it cannot be expressed.
“And the world’s great Churches, whose cathedrals are nested in all this? To Israeli authorities, quiet pleas, in stiff meetings behind closed doors, tactical manoeuvres to keep privileges and access. To the world, silence or token gestures, even as Israel’s construction and archaeological excavations press up against their churches’ very walls.” 
Maria Khoury writes from the last remaining self-sufficient Christian West Bank village of Taybeh, where they produce Holy Land olive oil and beer. Her latest email was titled:
Politics at Christmas
It’s that special time of year where you simply want to wish everyone a blessed holy Christmas celebration but I can’t help it that it’s the only chance I get to remind my friends of the horrors that are still happening where Christ was born. Every time I travel to Boston, I simply feel I am escaping from the day-to-day misery of Israeli occupation and take a break from seeing the new illegal Israeli settlement getting bigger in front of my kitchen window in Taybeh.
By the way, Israel approved 4,000 new settlement homes in East Jerusalem. These days, I cannot even get the Orthodox Churches to invite me to speak about the Christian community in the Holy Land because people don’t want to hear politics. Although I don’t mean to be political but I am giving my life to promote a Christian presence in the very land where Christ lived, was crucified and resurrected for my salvation.
I am very sorry, I have a need to tell someone that this year, Israel, doubled up its efforts in demolitions of Palestinian property over 500 homes, wells and other structures to add to over 24,000 Palestinian homes that have been demolished since 1967. This also means displacing more than 1,000 people just in the last few months not to mention over 700,000 Palestinians who ran away at gun point to save their lives when Israel was created in 1948 creating the catastrophe of the current eight million Palestinian refugees who have no right to return to their home.
No one is paying attention to the twenty human rights organizations including Amnesty International reporting Jewish settler violence against Palestinians increased in 2011. The attacks from settlers are up 50% because maybe they are going crazy with Palestine’s effort for full UN membership and the recent admission of Palestine to UNESCO, thus over 10,000 olive trees were deliberately damaged this year alone to add to the over one million trees that have been uprooted since 1967. This is a huge destruction to Palestinian livelihood and to the mother earth.
If anyone knows Newt Gingrich personally can you please tell him that with my own eyes I have seen my late father-in-law’s birth certificate (1925) that was entitled “State of Palestine” issued under the British Mandate!
Mr. Gingrich said Palestinian people were invented. I did not know what he means? Because before the peace talks and Oslo Peace Agreement (1993) it was forbidden to even say the word Palestine. With my own eyes I have experienced a historic moment when I saw the Palestinian flag raised for the first time at the Friends Boys School in Ramallah in November 1996 without the students being shot at by soldiers or thrown in jail. Also I need Newt Gingrich to know that it took two Palestinian pounds (local language called Jeneh Philestinee) to pay for the tuition at FBS (1920’s) when our uncle Hanna Khoury was a student, which was a huge financial burden for his father the local Orthodox priest in Taybeh.
Please forgive me to remind you that more hard worked tax payers’ money was sent to Israel this year because seven million dollars a day from the USA was not enough to keep up this awful occupation that includes hundreds of checkpoints and more illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank. It is currently costing more than 8 million dollars a day in military aid to support what I call the 51st state and very spoiled child of the USA. If you have an only child or an only son you might know what I mean. Parents are not supposed to have favorites but we do. Israel has ignored more than 65 United Nation resolutions.
I am being so political that I have to keep saying the Jesus prayer every second to keep my sanity!
Please, Dear Lord, remind me that these most holy days all eyes are on Bethlehem which is a big prison with the wall surrounding it and help me stop being political because people will pray for peace.
“I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born for you.” (Luke 2:13)
We keep our hope because we believe life with Christ overpowers death. His Light overcomes the darkness of our times. Christ’s love is the answer to the current hate and discrimination.
Palestine exists in the heart of every Palestinian child and a needed Christmas gift of 47 years would be the end of occupation. Christ is Born! Glorify Him! Wishing all of you a most blessed Holy Nativity celebration with all of your loved ones. And, I wish not to be remembered for politics but for someone who believes Christ is our greatest gift.- Maria C. Khoury, Ed. D.
OK Maria, but please remember that Christ was never a Christian for that term was not even coined until the third decade after he walked your homeland a Palestinian devout Jewish road warrior who rose up against a corrupt Temple and agitated the status quo of a brutal Military Occupation.
And “Christ you know it ain’t easy” to persist in the good fight for justice and peace when one’s only weapons are truth and love.
Newt also stated “It’s fundamentally time for somebody to have the guts to stand up and say, enough lying about the Middle East.”
In solidarity with “enough lying” and because it’s not my revolution unless I can laugh I’ll begin with Jon Stewart’s nailing of the pandering from the GOP:
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c|
|The Matzorian Candidate|
Naim Ateek is a Palestinian Christian who became a refugee in 1948 and he founded SABEEL after the first Palestinian intifada [translates to: rise up and cast off] that erupted on December 9, 1987.
The theology of SABEEL rose out of the oppression of Palestinians by the state of Israel and is rooted in righting the injustices inflicted upon the indigenous people of the Holy Land.
SABEEL seeks to unite the World Wide Body of Christ to the suffering of their sisters, brothers and cousins in the dysfunctional family of Father Abraham.
SABEEL is a global ecumenical Christian organization that collaborates with Muslims, Jews and any other faith and those without who work together for peace by seeking justice in the Holy Land: equal human rights for all and an end to the Israeli Occupation of Palestine.
Rev. Ateek teaches that when the Bible is correctly read it points to a God of justice and God seeks the liberation of all people.
SABEEL addresses in particular the Christians who have been misled and misinformed by an heretical and anti-Christ theology, such as Christian Zionists like the GOP candidates who support the ongoing 44 years of military occupation, The Apartheid Wall and the illegal settlers but they have no eyes to see or ears to hear their Palestinian sisters and brothers in Christ, who are known as The Forgotten Faithful.
SABEEL’s theology is based on Jesus’ example of non-violence and on what Jesus taught: that one must forgive to be forgiven, one must pray for and do good towards ones enemies-NOT to impose sanctions, bomb, torture or occupy them!
Jesus’ death on the cross is in vain unless his follower’s comprehend he was saying ENOUGH with the violence of man against man! It is to END with my broken body!
Over a thousand years prior, in Genesis 9: 5-6, it was written:
“And from each man, I will demand an accounting for the life of his fellow man. If anyone sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has man been made.”
The 6th Commandment is ”You shall not murder.”
SABEEL also reminds us that God is not a racist, does not play favorites, nor loves any ethnic group over any another.
SABEEL sees Jesus in his divinity and in the fullness of his humanity and I add that the term Christian was not even coined until three decades after Jesus walked the land where he promised the peacemakers are the children of God.
Jesus was a Palestinian devout Jewish road warrior and he was born, lived and died under a brutal Military Occupation and his follower’s were called Members of The Way.
Author and Feminist Theologian Rosemary Radford Ruether explains SABEEL developed “an anti-imperial theology. It stands in the tradition of the anti-imperial theologies of Hebrew Scripture and the New Testament, and applies this critique of ancient empire to modern empires, such as the American empire. It rejects a Son of David imperial Christology, rooting itself in a Suffering Servant Christology of the early Church, in its non-violent way of the cross. It is a theology that aims at reconciliation and peace, through a social, economic and political transformation of relationships between Israel and Palestinians that makes it possible for these people to co-exist in genuine justice.”
In November 2008, I attended SABEEL’s 7th International Conference in the Holy Land: THE NAKBA: MEMORY, REALITY AND BEYOND, Read more…
During that conference Reverend Ateek also guided me through his boyhood village which had became 100% Israeli in 1948 when the Zionists came and forced all the Palestinians to flee under threat of death.
Ateek’s father was the town’s only and very successful Jeweler. His response to the Israeli soldiers who ordered him to vacate his home immediately and board a bus that would make the family into refugees was, “Naked I came into this world and naked I will leave it.”
In his book, “A Palestinian Christian Cry for Reconciliation” Rev. Ateek wrote:
“The Christian faith points to two superior levels that can lead to reconciliation and forgiveness and repentance is a precondition; it must precede reconciliation and forgiveness. Repentance calls for the admission of guilt, crime and injustice.
“In the conflict between Israel and Palestine, repentance would correspond to an admission of guilt by the government of Israel of the injustice it has dealt to the Palestinians in its confiscation of land, violation of human rights, and its systems of domination and oppression.
“There is the divine paradigm of revolutionary forgiveness even when no admission of guilt [is expressed]. Christians are suppose to practice forgiveness of others because it is how God deals with us: as God forgives continually, we must forgive others.” [Ateek, Page 183-184]
That kind of forgiveness is radical and revolutionary and exactly what Jesus demonstrated as he hung upon the Roman Empire’s Cross of capitol punishment after he quoted from Psalm 22: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
Jesus ended with a plea for reconciliation: “Father, forgive them, they know not what they are doing.” [Luke 23:34]
Way past time for Christian and Mormon politicians to act upon the simple truth that only the truth can set US free and only justice can bring a secure peace for all the people of the Holy Land.
“Justice is done when international law is implemented. So long as the injustices persist, hate and its derivatives have the upper hand…justice and peace begins when the oppressor becomes aware of its violations of the other’s humanity. Justice is done when the international community, through nonviolent methods, forces Israel to put an end to its injustice…justice tempered by mercy and compassion. The doing of justice must not crush the enemy but hold the enemy accountable…no hope for change is possible until the occupation ends.” [Ateek, Page 185]
The essence of Christianity is to bear witness to what Jesus was always on about; forgiveness and love.
“Christians must condemn violence and terrorism whether it is recorded in legendary stories or in history being written today. We condemn suicide bombings as a crime against God. It is a crime to shed another’s blood; it must also be equally criminal, if not more so, to shed ones own blood. Those who love God do not kill themselves for the sake of God. Nothing justifies the killing of people.”[Ateek, Page 123-124]
“No hope for change is even possible until the occupation ends!
“The first step is to confront and analyze the roots of the conflict and its development…to move toward a solution in Israel-Palestine, the illegal Israeli occupation must come to an end and Palestinian violence must stop…Justice will be done when international law is implemented…Once justice is done, peace will not be far off.” [Ateek, page 185]
The last time I saw AReverend Ateek was on October 5, 2009 in D.C. at a SABEEL conference. I was already convinced there was no need for me to take my 8th reality trip through the West Bank to investigate and report because:
“Enough with the analysis! We are dying in Palestine and everything is clear! We need an American Intifada [Arabic for rise up and cast off]. We must continue our work here in D.C. and empower the UN; the conflict belongs there and USA policy must be changed. And yes we can do it because our God is a God of Justice, Hope and Love.”
In 2011, I became a candidate for US House of Representatives, Florida District 5.
On November 3, 2006, Ateek addressed over 330 international ecumenical Christians who had gathered in Jerusalem at the Notre Dame Conference Center for SABEEL’s 6th International Conference: The Forgotten Faithful.
He sent chills through me when he stated, “Israel will not survive unless it does justice! The situation is deteriorating and we must frustrate Israel’s plans and actions because they are not built on justice. All we are asking for is that they honor International Law! Israel is afraid of International law and this proves something is very wrong with Israel. We want Israel to live in peace and with security. The only way is honoring International law. That is the bottom line and what we work and pray for.”
Reverend Ateek’s classic “Justice and Only Justice” laid the foundation of a theology that addresses the conflict over Palestine and explores the political as well as the religious, biblical and theological dimensions. From a position of faith, Reverend Ateek seeks solutions based on justice, peace, nonviolence and reconciliation.
On November 8, 2006 Reverend Ateek informed me:
“In Israel officially speaking of Palestinians is taboo: we are referred to as Arab Christians. When I say the Holy Land I include both Israel and Palestine. Ultimately only God knows about the future of Christianity in this place. We live in the scientific world and God has given us wisdom, knowledge, technology to be used for good and our future and destiny are in Gods hands.
“There are many red lights; external and internal dangers. What can we do at the grass roots level? The Palestinian Christian community must rise above petty denominational differences. The impending dangers force us to ask what can we do, what must we do?
“There is no future in isolation or passivity. Our futures are all linked together. There is an urgent need to articulate and work with other faiths, especially Islam. Our future depends on good relations with all our brothers and sisters. We need a Committee of Christian and Muslim leaders to dialogue and work together to confront militant extremist fundamentalism.
“Our relation with Israel is the most important issue for there can be no peace without justice. There can be no effective policy without ending the occupation in accordance with all UN Resolutions. The city of Jerusalem must be shared and there must be a just solution for refugees.
“Pressure on Israel must be done with nonviolent needs and the way is the way Christ taught: nonviolent and forgiving. The achievement of peace is not the end; but the beginning of reconciliation. The survival of Christianity in the Holy land is through true democracy. We must avoid the minority complex. We cannot depend on the good will of people in power. We want to be protected by a constitution with full citizenship and nationality must be combined. Only in Israel is there a distinction between nationality and citizenship. Only good democracy can guarantee all citizens are treated equally under the same law.”
“What can the West do? There is an urgent need for education about the roots of Christians in Palestine and to challenge the myths. Seek out Palestinian Christians in your midst and relate to them. Be aware of Palestinian concerns for justice and human rights. Work for a just solution of the conflict, which is equal human right for all. Support projects to increase the Christian witness: visit the Holy land and meet with Palestinian Christians. Forge closer links with churches in the West and in the Holy Land. Challenge Christian Zionism. Think Creatively!
“In the beginning the Jesus movement was very small. It began with 12 committed citizens. It began with love and Christ addressed his followers: FEAR NOT little flock! You are the salt of the earth and the light of the world. To capture the essence of what Christians should be is to be salt and light. You don’t need a lot of salt to add flavor and even a small light can illuminate the way for many.
“To be salt and light is to be truthful, honest, have integrity and to be of service and do it with humility. Salt affects change: it is active, never passive. To be a light is a global challenge and when the light is seen clearly so is the glory of God. Sabeel means the way, and the way is to love all your neighbors and labor on with God.”
Israel has no constitution but does have a Declaration of their Establishment:
“On the day of the termination of the British mandate and on the strength of the United Nations General Assembly declare The State of Israel will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel: it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion it will guarantee freedom of religion [and] conscience and will be faithful to the Charter of the United Nations.” – May 14, 1948.
And what a wonderful world it will be when Israel honors its original promises and words and American politicians told the truth and everyone listened to what the many Palestinian Gandhi’s are talking about:
Embassy of Palestine, Tripoli, Libya…
Every year on November 29, as part of International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, Palestinians in Libya as well as approximately a quarter million Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, the descendants of more than 129,000 who were forced into Lebanon during the 1947-48 Nakba, commemorate the infamous United Nations Resolution 181.
Between Nov. 29, 1947, and Jan. 1, 1949, Zionist terrorists depopulated and destroyed more than 530 Palestinian villages and towns, killing more than 13,000 Palestinians and expelling 750,000, approximately half the population.
UN General Assembly resolution 181, adopted on November 29, 1947, purported to divide Palestine between the indigenous inhabitants and European colonists who arrived seeking to occupy and exploit Palestine and create an exclusive Jewish homeland.
Under the UN plan, European Jews were granted more than fifty six per cent of historical Palestine while the native Palestinians, who owned ninety three per cent of the territory, were offered less than forty four percent of their own land.
The partition vote was based on a UN Special Committee (UNSCOP) recommendation to divide the country into three parts: a Palestinian state with a population of 735,000, of which 725,000 were Palestinians and 10,000 Jews; a new Jewish state comprised of 499,000 Jews and 407,000 Palestinians, creating a new state with roughly less than sixty per cent Jewish majority.
Zionist leaders have never concealed their intentions especially when holding political gatherings. In addressing the Central Committee of the Histadrut (the Eretz Israel Workers Party) days after the UN vote to partition Palestine, David Ben-Gurion expressed apprehension and told the party leadership:
“…the total population of the Jewish State at the time of its establishment will be about one million, including almost 40% non-Jews. Such a [population] composition does not provide a stable basis for a Jewish State. This [demographic] fact must be viewed in all its clarity and acuteness. With such a [population] composition, there cannot even be absolute certainty that control will remain in the hands of the Jewish majority… There can be no stable and strong Jewish state so long as it has a Jewish majority of only 60%.”
Ben Gurion, told Zionist leaders in December of 1947, “I don’t care if half the Jews in Europe have to die so the other half come to Palestine,” and ” Chaim Weizmann would later say: ‘With regard to the Arab question – the British told us that there are several hundred thousand Negroes there but this is a matter of no consequence”.
Former Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, architect of the 1982 Sabra-Shatile Massacre, in an interview with General Ouze Merham in 1956: “I don’t know something called International Principles. I vow that I’ll burn every Palestinian child (that) will be born in this area. The Palestinian woman and child is more dangerous than the man, because the Palestinian child’s existence infers that generations will go on, but the man causes limited danger. I vow that if I was just an Israeli civilian and I met a Palestinian I would burn him and I would make him suffer before killing him. With one hit I’ve killed 750 Palestinians (in Rafah in 1956). I wanted to encourage my soldiers by raping Arabic girls as the Palestinian women is a slave for Jews, and we do whatever we want to her and nobody tells us what we shall do but we tell others what they shall do.”
To ensure an absolute Jewish majority, the Zionist’s “Transfer [Expulsion] Committee” waged a terror campaign to cleanse their part of the non-Jewish population. The “War [Expulsion] Committee” under the leadership of Ben Gurion, assigned ethnic cleansing language to its military operations, from Hebrew names such as Matateh (broom), Tihur (cleansing), Biur (a Passover quasi-religious expression meaning “to cleanse the leaven”) and Niku (cleaning up).
Following Israel’s unilateral declaration of independence in 1948, it accelerated the land grab strategy to secure an absolute Jewish majority. The Zionists assailed, depopulated, and occupied an additional thirty per cent of the land which had been designated for the future Palestinian state under the UN plan.
Since 1967, Israeli Occupation Forces have demolished more than 24,000 Palestinian homes, while more than 600,000 Jews currently are colonizing the West Bank and Jerusalem. Also since 1967, the Israeli military has detained more than 700,000 Palestinians – 20 percent of the population – according to statistics released at the First International Conference on the Rights of Palestinian Prisoners and Detainees held in Geneva in March 2011. Approximately 5,700 Palestinians are currently being detained in prisons within Israel, a direct violation of international law. In addition, the siege on Gaza and the Apartheid Wall in the West Bank and Jerusalem have severely restricted or denied Palestinians’ freedom of movement.
Sixty four years since the November 29, 1947 UN Resolution 181, and after twenty years of negotiating with Israel, the international community allows the status quo while Israel encroaches on the remaining twenty two per cent with ever more illegal Jewish only settlements.
Sixty four years later in Lebanon, where 129,000 Palestinian refugees fled during the 1947-48 Nakba, approximately 250,000 remain in Lebanon with approximately 130,000 squeezed into twelve fetid Refugee camps. Each new study of Palestine refugees in Lebanon documents a steepening, descending economic, social, and humanitarian slope as this largest and oldest refugee population skids and descends into more degradation. Today in Lebanon, Palestinian refugees continue to live in conditions more inhumane than anywhere on Earth including, the six decades of suffering endured by their sisters and brothers, under the brutal Zionist occupation of their own country, Palestine.
Six decades since UN GA Resolution 181, Lebanon continues to forbid, impliedly on penalty of arrest and imprisonment, Palestinian refugees from working in more than 50 jobs and professions. This prohibition is in direct contravention of a large and condemnatory body of international law, specifically, numerous UN Resolutions, multilateral agreements, international customary law and even the Lebanese Constitution, as well as the UN Declaration of Universal Rights, which some of Lebanon’s leaders helped draft in 1949.
Since 2001, the Government of Lebanon has also outlawed Palestinian refugees who lost their homes to Zionist colonialists, from purchasing even a sliver of property for a one room shack or tent home, even though most Palestinians might be willing to agree that their ownership of Lebanese real estate would vest only until such time as they are able to return to Palestine, which, given current events in the region seems to support CIA estimates of the dissembling of Israel by 2029.
For this failure to uphold the law, Lebanon increasingly faces the prospects of international sanctions as well as civil unrest. What Palestinian refugees in Lebanon seek and have right to enjoy, just as every refugee in any country, is to live in dignity, to be able to apply for a job and to care of their families. Living in dignity includes the right to live outside the teeming, squalid camps and to purchase better housing if they are able.
An additional troubling violation of the rights of Palestinians in Lebanon is the fact that increasingly, the Lebanese Armed Forces are sealing off the Palestinian refugee camps which increase the perception and reality of illegal governmental harassment and yet more pressure on the everyday lives of these unwanted guests.
Today, 64 years after UNGA Resolution 181, virtually every political party and every religious authority in Lebanon boldly and regularly pays insincere lip service to the “sacred cause of Palestine”, as “the bloodstream issue for every Arab and every Muslim.” Each avers that in Lebanon “our brothers must live in dignity until they are able to return to Palestine” and that “for us Lebanese, as their hosts, to refuse them fewer human rights than even their Zionist oppressors allow them violates our religious duty for which certainly Allah (Christians typically insert “Jesus” or “God Almighty”) will justly condemn us to Hell on judgment day.”
Lebanese Political parties and movements that have truly sacrificed for Palestine and seek to liberate it and Lebanese political parties whose militia have massacred Palestinian civilians, women, children and the elderly in refugee camps, have a special obligation to act now and give meaning to their words.
And most certainly those Lebanese politicians whose words and ubiquitous photo shopped posters identifying with the cause of Palestine but who, in the service of foreign governments, have conducted massacres in Palestinian camps mislabeling them “camp wars” should do immediate penitence and use their political power and politically acquired financial wealth to do justice.
Neither Lebanese politicians, political parties, nor religious enterprises have a legitimate excuse not to devote an afternoon in Parliament, currently in session, and rid the country of its self-imposed debasement by repealing the racist 2001 law forbidding home ownership for Palestinian refugees. As part of the same Parliamentary action Palestinians must be granted the same right to work that every other refugees enjoys in Lebanon and which is mandated by International law, religious doctrine and belief, and common morality to which all people of good will are committed.
To do less, condemns all of us and makes a mockery of Lebanon as a claimed civilized society.
Many American Christian Evangelicals interpreted the creation of the state of Israel in 1948 and the return of the Jews to the Hebrews ancient homeland as a precondition for the Second Coming of Christ.
Millions of Americans believe in the theology espoused in the “Left Behind” series of novels that chronicle apocalyptic times set in the 21st century that winds up in Israel where, according to the author’s understanding of the Book of Revelation, the final battle in the world will be fought on an ancient battlefield called Armageddon. These literalists believe that war will be followed by seven years of global tribulation before Jesus returns to begin a 1,000-year rule on earth; but the Jews and all others who do not believe Jesus is God will be annihilated.
The bottom and nearly the last line in the book of Revelation is this warning:
“I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, if any man shall add unto them, God shall add unto him the plagues which are written in this book: and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the tree of life, and out of the holy city, which are written in this book.
These fundamentalists also believe that the only Jews who are following God are the hard line Jewish fundamentalist settlers who occupy legally owned Palestinian property in the West Bank and who were evacuated from Gaza in 2005. The Jewish settlers and Christian fundamentalists share the core conviction that God made a real estate deal with the ancient Hebrews that gives 21st century Jews every grain of sand between the Dead Sea, the Jordan River, and the Mediterranean.
My first book, KEEP HOPE ALIVE counters the theology found in the Left Behind series and the fictional character, Brother Harold nails this particular fundamentalist misunderstanding in Chapter 8
Harold lifted his almost empty pouch of Crown Royal and exclaimed, “Let’s toast the man, and then I’ll tell you what my daddy told me when I was a kid, when my brothers and I would get out of hand. He’d say, ‘boys, you all are going the way of Cain and Abel, and you’d better quit. For one of those boys was filled with so much hatred and jealousy that he killed the other.’
“Then my old man would be on a roll, and he’d tell us about Sarah, Abraham’s wife. And we loved to hear that part, so we’d quit our fight. You see, although Sarah was already menopaused, she still desired a child. God had even shared a laugh with her about it coming true, but just like a woman, she took the matter into her own hands, and refused to wait for the Lord to deliver. So old Sarah decided to give her maidservant to her old man, and that chick and Abraham made a kid. Everything was fine when Ishmael arrived, but only for a very short while.
“Now, although Sarah was a dried-up old crone, she, too, birthed a son, and named him after the laughter she had shared with God, but called the kid Isaac. Sarah had gotten very territorial and demanded Abraham cast out his beloved first son with his mama Haggar, into the barren wilderness, and Abraham did it! But, as God always hears the cries of mothers and sons, he promised to make a great nation from Ishmael’s descendants, too. And thus, the Arab nation was born.
“By the sixth century before Christ, the conflicts in the land were already old news, and Jeremiah warned the people that all God could see was violence and destruction in the city. Sickness and wounds were all around.
“And then my old man would get tears in his eyes and softly recite:
“For every misunderstanding, every condemning thought, every negative vibration, every tear torn from a heart, every time one grabbed and wouldn’t let go, and they only did it because they did not know. The Divine is within all creation and within all women and men.
“And every tiny kindness you have ever done, every gentle word spoken, every time you held your tongue, every positive thought, every smile freely given, every helping hand that opens, helps bring in the kingdom. And the kingdom comes from above, and it comes from within. Imagine a kingdom of sisterhood of all creatures and all men.”
Dr. Rev. Stephen Sizer is an Anglican priest from the UK and internationally recognized Biblical authority regarding Christian Zionism.
In ZION’S CHRISTIAN SOLDIERS? Sizer sheds much needed light on how Jesus/The Prince of Peace- who commanded of his followers that they must forgive their enemies and love all people equally- has morphed into a militant crusader by many professing Christians.
Sizer’s timely focus on the Holy Land, in particular Jerusalem, The Temple and the future of the world juxtaposed with the current political climate and neo-con ideology could wake up many American Christians who have been led astray by the heretical teachings of John Hagee, Hal Lindsay and Tim LaHaye.
The vast majority of American Christians are unaware that since 1948, the indigenous Christian population of the land we call Holy has gone from 20% of the total population to less than 1.3% today.
Scholars and researches claim that unless things change asap, there will be no Christian witness in the land where Jesus promised that it is the Peacemakers who are the children of God by 2020!
“It is irresponsible to suggest that God will bless us materially if we support the largely secular State of Israel, especially when this invariably means ignoring the plight of the indigenous Christian population of Palestine.”-page 46, Zion’s Christian Soldiers
Sizer’s previous book Christian Zionism-Road Map to Armageddon? is the companion text to ZION’S CHRISTIAN SOLDIERS? which details how a cultish escapist theology fused with neo-con political ideology which has lead millions of US Christians astray as it tips the world on its side heavy with military artillery.
“Zion’s Christian Soldiers” utilizes easy to comprehend diagrams and thought provoking end of chapter questions that could help bring American Bible Study programs into the 21st Century and infuse them with a much needed breath of fresh air.
Having been to Israel Palestine seven times since June 2005, I highly recommend Sizer’s scholarly yet easy to comprehend work to all Christians who have the courage to face reality and reclaim the gospel Jesus taught which is The Peacemakers are the children of God.
Sizer’s struggle is also intended to provoke Christians to remember that the Prince of Peace is the fulfillment of the Hebrew scriptures as fundamentalist militant minded Christians have replaced Jesus with the state of Israel.
On 23 November 2011, Stephen Sizer wrote:
After extensive field use, I’ve pruned and, I hope, enhanced the Seven Biblical Answers leaflet. I have removed verses used twice and added two illustrations. I hope you find this useful.
Christ Church Vicarage
What follows is an excerpt from Sizer’s Seven Biblical Answers to Popular Zionist Assumptions can be downloaded here: http://www.sizers.org/articles/7answers.pdf
God blesses those who bless Israel and curses those who curse Israel
“I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you” (Genesis 12:2-3). The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,” meaning one person, who is Christ… There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:16, 28-29)
“I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore… and through your seed all nations on earth will be blessed…” (Genesis 22:17-18)
This popular assumption is based on Genesis 12:3. First, note that the promise was made to Abram (that is, Abraham) and no one else. Second, there is nothing in the text to indicate God intended the promise to apply to Abraham’s physical descendants unconditionally, or in perpetuity. Third, in the New Testament we are told explicitly that the promises were fulfilled in Jesus Christ and in those who acknowledge Him as their Lord and Saviour. God’s blessings come by grace through faith, not by works or race (Ephesians 2:8-9).
The “Promised Land” was given by God to the Jewish people as an everlasting inheritance
Contrary to popular assumption, the Scriptures repeatedly insist that the land belongs to God and that residence is always conditional.
For example, God said to his people, “‘The land must not be sold permanently, because the land is mine and you reside in my land as foreigners and strangers.” (Leviticus 25:23). In Ezekiel, it seems the Lord anticipated the reasoning of those who arrogantly claimed rights to the land because of the covenant originally made with Abraham.
“Son of man, the people living in those ruins in the land of Israel are saying, ‘Abraham was only one man, yet he possessed the land. But we are many; surely the land has been given to us as our possession.’ Therefore say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Since you eat meat with the blood still in it and look to your idols and shed blood, should you then possess the land? You rely on your sword, you do detestable things… Should you then possess the land?’ … I will make the land a desolate waste, and her proud strength will come to an end.’ (Ezekiel 33:24-26,28-29)
Residence was open to all God’s people on the basis of faith not race. Indeed, the writer to Hebrews explains that the land was never their ultimate desire or inheritance any way but a temporary residence until the coming of Jesus Christ. Our shared eternal inheritance is heavenly not earthly.
Jerusalem is the exclusive and undivided, eternal capital of the Jewish people
The Christian Zionist assertion that God intended Jerusalem to be the exclusive and undivided eternal capital of the Jewish people has no basis whatsoever in Scripture. God insists in Psalm 87 that Jerusalem must be a shared and inclusive city. Nations specifically mentioned include what is today, Egypt, Iran and Lebanon. Even the hated Philistines are mentioned as “…born in Zion” on the basis of faith not race. Likewise, the vision of Isaiah 2 associates Jerusalem with the end of war, with peace and reconciliation.
“In the last days the mountain of the LORD’s temple will be established as the highest of the mountains; it will be exalted above the hills, and all nations will stream to it. Many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.” (Isaiah 2:2-3)
But what of Luke 21:24, “Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled”? The assertion that this prophecy came true in 1967 is problematic since Revelation 11:2 says the Gentile ‘trampling’ of Jerusalem would last only ’42 months’. The context of Luke 21 shows Jesus was referring to the events of 70AD and God’s sovereign use of foreign tyrants to fulfil his purposes. The focus of the New Testament instead moves away from the earthly Jerusalem toward the new, heavenly Jerusalem as the home of all who trust in Jesus (Hebrews 12:22-23; Revelation 21:2; 22-27).
Believers will soon be ‘raptured’ to heaven before the ‘end-time’ battle of Armageddon
The rapture is a popular idea that Jesus will actually return twice: first of all secretly, to rescue true believers out of the world, then later visibly with his saints to judge the world. There is, again, no basis in Scripture for this novel idea. The Bible is emphatic: the return of Jesus will be personal, sudden, public, visible and glorious. -Matthew 24:30-31
“At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the peoples of the earth[a] will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.” “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.”- 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17
The idea of a secret rapture is actually based on a misreading of Matthew 24:40-41 and Luke 17:34-35…Our mandate is to be peacemakers not widow makers (Matthew 5:3-10). We are ‘God’s co-workers’ entrusted as ambassadors with a ministry of reconciliation not speculation (2 Corinthians 5:11-6:2)…###
A recent Zogby International poll found that 31% of those surveyed in the national poll strongly believe or somewhat believe in the ideas behind Christian Zionism, defined as “the belief that Jews must have all of the promised land, including all of Jerusalem, to facilitate the second coming of the messiah.”
A CNN/Time poll showed that 59% of the American public believes the prophecies contained in the Book of Revelation will come true.
Christian Zionism is an extremist Christian fundamentalist movement which supports the claims of those who believe that the State of Israel should take control of all of the land currently disputed between Palestinians and Israelis and views the creation and expansion of the modern state of Israel as a fulfillment of biblical prophecy toward the second coming of Jesus.
Christian Zionism is a two hundred year old theological and political movement that embraces the most extreme ideological positions of Zionism, thereby becoming detrimental to a just peace within Palestine and Israel.
The Christian Zionist program provides a worldview where the Gospel is identified with the ideology of empire, colonialism and militarism. In its extreme form, it laces an emphasis on apocalyptic events leading to the end of history rather than living Christ’s love and justice today.
Christian Zionism is also an escapist theology and a match made in hell for neo-con ideology.
These Christians believe that God fights on the side of Israel and they call for unqualified support for the most extreme right wing political positions related to the Holy Land. Christian Zionism has significant support within American Protestant fundamentalists, who number between 10 and 20 million. Its reach is broad, by virtue of its favorite themes related to the “End Times” and an Israel-fixated Christian media.
Christian Zionism is both a “movement” and a way of interpreting current events. Its focus is on Israel and the Middle East, as much an ideology as a “movement.” Its promoters share many beliefs but are not organized through any one institution.
Throughout history Christians have at times twisted scripture to justify violence: for the Crusades, for Anti-Semitism, and for slavery. Too often the church has been neglected to respond to these biblical distortions and with disastrous results.
Although the Christian Zionists motives are couched in terms of compassion toward the Jewish people based on a literal reading of scripture their political agenda of territorial expansion Zionists has allowed the ongoing injustices against Palestinians.
Tikkun is Hebrew for mend, repair and transform the world. Tikkun is also an organization that researched to discover that there are three distinct elements energizing the Christian Zionists:
1. A strong commitment to conservative and ultra-nationalist American politics (so strong, I believe, that if the U.S. were to decide to break with Israel, this part of the Christian Zionist leadership would go along with that and drop its defense of Israeli policies).
2. Dispensationalist religious commitments that lead many of the Christian Zionists to yearn for a cataclysmic “end of history” eschatological war in the Middle East that will precipitate the second coming of Jesus and the Rapture in which all true Christians will go to heaven and all Jews who have not yet converted to Christianity will burn in hell for eternity.
3. A widespread understanding among many Christians that atonement and repentance is needed for 1700 years of murder, rape, and oppression of Jews that was frequently generated by the Church (though, of course, the Evangelicals do not recognize that church as their church). In this category are many Christian Zionists who genuinely feel terrible about what has happened to the Jews and genuinely want to help the Jewish people. Their philo-Semitism is real and sincere.- Rabbi Lerner, TIKKUN Magazine page 9, Nov/Dec. 2007
Jews and Christians worship the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, but many fail to comprehend that the first mention of Israel is in Genesis 32:22, when Jacob was renamed Israel for having wrestled and struggled with the Divine.
Thus, to claim that the secular ethnocratic state of Israel has a divine right that supersedes the divine rights of the indigenous people of the land, reeks of racism and misses the point of what the Hebrew prophets were always on about:
“What does God require? He has told you o’man! Be just, be merciful, and walk humbly with your Lord.” -Micah 6:8
“My people are fools, they do not know me! They are skilled in doing evil, they know not how to do good.”-Jeremiah 4:22
“From Moses to Jeremiah and Isaiah, the Prophets taught…that the Jewish claim on the land of Israel was totally contingent on the moral and spiritual life of the Jews who lived there, and that the land would, as the Torah tells us, ‘vomit you out’ if people did not live according to the highest moral vision of Torah. Over and over again, the Torah repeated its most frequently stated mitzvah [command]:
“When you enter your land, do not oppress the stranger; the other, the one who is an outsider of your society, the powerless one and then not only ‘you shall love your neighbor as yourself’ but also ‘you shall love the other.’”-Rabbi Lerner, TIKKUN Magazine, page 35, Sept./Oct. 2007
The term Christianity was also not even coined until three decades after Jesus Christ walked the earth.
Until the day of Paul, followers of Jesus were called members of The Way; meaning the way he taught his followers to be!
Christ was never a Christian, but was born and died a Palestinian devout Jew who was a social justice radical revolutionary road warrior that challenged the job security of the Temple authorities by teaching the people they did NOT need to pay the priests for ritual baths or sacrificing livestock to be OK with God; for God already LOVED them just as they were: sinners, poor, diseased, outcasts, widows, orphans, refugees and prisoners all living under a brutal Roman Military Occupation.
What got Jesus crucified was disturbing the status quo of the Roman Occupying Forces, by teaching the subversive concept that Caesar only had power because God allowed it and that God preferred the humble sinner, the poor, diseased, outcasts, widows, orphans, refugees and prisoners all living under Roman Occupation above the elite and arrogant.
The problem is not with Christianity, but that too few who claim to be Christians have actually done what Jesus taught and I spin Jesus’ Manifesto this way:
About 2,000 years ago, when Christ was about 33, he hiked up a hill and sat down under an olive tree and began to teach the people;
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.”
In other words: it is those who know their own spiritual poverty, their own limitations and ‘sins’ honestly and trust God loves them in spite of themselves who already live in the Kingdom of God.
How comforted we will all be, when we see, we haven’t got a clue, as to the depth and breadth of pure love and mercy of The Divine Mystery of The Universe.
God’s name in ancient Aramaic is Abba which means Daddy as much as Mommy and He/She: The Lord has said, “My ways are not your ways. My thoughts are not yours.” -Isaiah 55:8
Christ proclaimed more: “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”
The essence of meek is to be patient with ignorance, slow to anger and never hold a grudge. In other words: how comforted you will be when you also know humility; when you know yourself, the good and the bad, for both cut through every human heart.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, they will be filled.”
In other words: how comforted you will be when your greatest desire is to do what “God requires, and he has already told you what that is; BE JUST, BE MERCIFUL and walk humbly with your Lord.”-Micah 6:8
“Blessed are the merciful, they will be shown mercy.”
In other words: how comforted you will all be when you choose to return only kindness to your ‘enemy.’
“For with the measure you measure against another, it will be measured back to you” Christ warns his disciples as he explains the law of karma in Luke 6:27-38.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they see God.”
In other words: how comforted you will be when you WAKE UP and see God is already within you, within every man, every woman and every child. The Supreme Being is everywhere, the Alpha and Omega, beginning and end. Beyond The Universe -and yet so small; within the heart of every atom.
“Blessed are The Peacemakers: THEY shall be called the children of God.”
And what a wonderful world it will be when we all seek peace by pursuing justice; for there can be none without the other.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted because they do what God requires, theirs is The Kingdom of Heaven.”
And one fine day the lion will lie down with The Lamb; meaning man will make war no more and that would create a sisterhood of man which just maybe the Kingdom of God on planet earth.
Despite pretentiously showing gestures of friendship and cordiality, the ideological gap between the U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is getting increasingly wider.
The contents of a recent would-be private conversation between the U.S. President Barack Obama and his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy in which the two described Netanyahu as a “liar” infuriated the Zionist lobby in the West and once again underscored the growing conflicts between the U.S. and its client state, Israel.
According to Russia Today, the Frenchman told his American counterpart in what was supposed to be a confidential discussion on the sidelines of G20 summit in Cannes that “I can’t stand him,” referring to the Prime Minister of Israel. Obama’s reply was “You’re fed up with him, but I have to deal with him every day!”
According to the French website “Arret Sur Images”, the private conversation between the two was broadcast to a half-dozen-strong press crowd when microphones were accidentally left switched on.
The Russian network further adds that “the tensions between the Israeli leader and some of his Western partners, including Obama, are no big secret, but the differences have not been brought to the public eye in such blunt terms before.”
Although Obama has recurrently talked of his commitment to the security of Israel and shattered the peaces of Palestinians for realizing statehood by saying that “there’s no shortcut to peace” and implying in his UN General Assembly address that the U.S. would veto any UNSC resolution demanding Palestine’s membership in the UN, he cannot withhold from the public his confrontations with the pigheaded Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu who has ruled out any possibility of recognizing Palestine based on the pre-1967 borders and retreating from the Occupied Territories.
In May 2011, Reuters reported that a bilateral meeting of Obama and Netanyahu ended bitterly as the U.S. President insisted that in order to start peace negotiations, Israel should return back to the pre-1967 war borders and concede the Gaza Strip, West Bank and East Jerusalem (Al-Quds) to Palestinians. The inflexible and stubborn Israeli Prime Minister, however, responded to Obama’s appeal disdainfully, saying that “peace based on illusions will crash eventually on the rocks of Middle East reality.”
Obama nervously stressed that the goal of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks has to be establishing “a secure Israeli state, a Jewish state, living side by side in peace and security with a contiguous, functioning and effective Palestinian state.” But the obstinate Netanyahu responded by saying that “we can’t go back to those indefensible lines,” indicating an unfriendly acrimony between the stalwart allies.
According to some Israeli officials, Benjamin Netanyahu was determined to react to Obama in a hard-hitting and unsympathetic manner because the reference to 1967 borders would be considered “a red flag that would attract more international pressure on Israel for concessions.” A senior Israeli official said Netanyahu felt he had to speak bluntly so he would be “heard around the world.”
“There is a feeling that Washington does not understand the reality, doesn’t understand what we face,” an official on board the plane taking Netanyahu to Washington told reporters.
So, it’s clear that Israel does not hesitate to embarrass its largest and most powerful supporter before the eyes of the international community, should it sense an iota of threat that it might be compelled to make concessions and abandon its expansionistic policies.
Now, the neoconservative pundits and right-wing politicians around the world are extremely frustrated with Barack Obama and believe that if he wants to secure a second term in the Oval Office, he should satisfy the demands of Israel and as the first step, block Palestine’s efforts to join the UN and other international organizations.
Right-wing journalists and politicians believe that Obama’s behavior toward the Palestinians is too lenient for a U.S. President and that he has failed to meet the interests of Israel as its number one political ally. Elliot Abrams, a Middle East expert in the George W. Bush administration says that Obama’s short comment on Netanyahu in meeting with Sarkozy is not something to be gotten away with negligently: “If this were only a matter of personal relations between Obama and Netanyahu, it could be left at that. But it is far more consequential, for by that comment — and especially as it was made in private and can be interpreted as his actual view — President Obama has joined the chorus of assaults on the Jewish State.”
At any rate, it’s clear that Obama has serious ideological differences with Netanyahu, even though he has assured AIPAC that “the commitment of the United States to the security of Israel is ironclad.”
Even if he wants to, Obama cannot tread a path which is not in accordance with the interests of the Israeli regime. As Naseer Aruri, a Chancellor Professor (emeritus) of Political Science from the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth puts it, “no politician with an anti-Zionist mindset can even dream of living in the White House.”
[Tel Aviv] – On Sunday, the Tel Aviv District Court sentenced former Israel Defense Forces soldier Anat Kamm to four-and-a-half years in prison for “collecting, holding and passing on classified information without authorization”.
Kamm was convicted in February under a plea bargain admitting guilt to gathering and storing of over 2,000 classified military documents from the Central Command office [under Maj. Gen. Naveh] during her army service. Kamm passed on the documents to reporter Uri Blau whoseinvestigative report in Haaretz Magazine exposed misconduct by the Israel Defense Forces/IDF.
“The report reveals that the IDF had approved well in advance the targeted killing of Malaisha [on June 20, 2007, during a routine military raid in the West Bank] contravening the High Court ruling and intentionally misleading the public. The report was attributed to ‘classified IDF documents’ and had been approved by the Military Censor before going to press.”
Blau made use “of classified material from those documents as the basis for two newspaper articles. In the first, published in late October 2008, Blau accused the IDF of defying a High Court of Justice ruling against the targeted killings of Palestinian terrorists. The next article, published a few weeks later, similarly intimated that the IDF had earmarked Palestinian terrorists for targeted killings, and included a photocopy of a targeted-killing order Kamm had given Blau.” 
In her own testimony, Kamm described “Maj. Gen. Naveh’s office as ‘embarrassing in terms of information security’ and testified that she had not undergone any security check prior to being assigned to her army role, even though she had access to the most confidential documents.” [Ibid]
Kamm’s trial maybe over, but no decision has been announced whether Israel will prosecute Uri Blau for reporting the brutal truth. Also pending is the Supreme Court decision on or before November 13th regarding nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu’s request to implement Israel’s citizenship revocation law against himself.
Twenty-four years after the Mossad kidnapped Vanunu from Rome after luring him from London, they returned to track down another who followed his conscience but was labeled a traitor by a state and public who view truth tellers as a threat to their sense of security.
The prey this time was Uri Blau, who went into hiding after writing a series of reports exposing lawbreaking approved by Israeli army commanders. Blau could face a lengthy jail term for espionage and Israeli security services warned they would “remove the gloves” and track down the “fugitive felon.”
The military censor, who prevents publication of information that they deem could harm Israel’s national security, approved Blau’s story for publication in Haaretz .
Kamm had originally been charged under Israel’s espionage and treason laws but the amended indictment dropped the charge of deliberately intending to harm state security, which carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
The Israeli court initially gagged all news and details of Kamm’s arrest but after a cyber storm of Internet reporting, the gag order was lifted.
Shortly after her arrest, Kamm admitted to copying the documents while serving in the office in charge of operations in the West Bank, between 2005 and 2007.
The 23 year old said she acted out of conscience to expose war crimes and she believed she would be forgiven for her honesty and integrity.
Another prelude to the Kamm affair began in July 2009, when Kamm’s brothers in spirit from Breaking the Silence, an Israeli human rights group published 54 testimonies from Israeli soldiers regarding their experiences during Operation Cast Lead.
The testimonies exposed the gaps between the reports given by the army in January 2009 regarding the “accepted practices; the destruction of hundreds of houses and mosques for no military purpose, the firing of phosphorous gas in the direction of populated areas, the killing of innocent victims with small arms, the destruction of private property, and most of all, a permissive atmosphere in the command structure that enabled soldiers to act without moral restrictions.” 
On February 3, 2010, The Independent reported that a high-ranking officer who served as a commander during Operation Cast Lead, admitted that Israel’s army went beyond its previous rules of engagement on the protection of civilian lives and “that he did not regard the longstanding principle of military conduct known as ‘means and intentions’– whereby a targeted suspect must have a weapon and show signs of intending to use it before being fired upon – as being applicable before calling in fire from drones and helicopters in Gaza last winter.” 
The Déjà Vu:
Kamm and Vanunu share the same attorneys. Kamm was initially accused of treason and espionage but Vanunu was convicted of both.
Kamm and Vanunu both acted on moral and ideological grounds in a spirit of dissent from government policies of war and deceptions.
Kamm had been under house arrest for two years and faces 54 months behind prison bars.
Vanunu endured 18 years in a windowless tomb sized prison cell for exposing Israel’s 7-story underground clandestine WMD facility in the Negev.
To this day, the Dimona nuclear plant uninspected by international inspectors and Vanunu remains captive in Tel Aviv.
On April 14, 2010, Vanunu wrote, “The restrictions, not to leave the country for one more year renewed. Now 7 years since my release AFTER 18 YEARS in Israel PRISON. The Israel stupid spies will not get any thing from here.”
The media blackout over Vanunu’s historic freedom of speech trial and resultant 78 days of solitary confinement for speaking to foreign media in 2004 has continued, but on or before November 13th, the Israeli Supreme Court is to render its decision regarding:
On October 10, 2011, Vanunu wrote: “About Nov. 13th we don’t know what will happen. Because even if they will cancel my citizenship, it doesn’t mean they will send me free, they can still keep me here, but we believe this is the way out from Israel. If they will not cancel my Israel citizenship, then the court will decide to hear the case, and then the judges in the court hearing will decide if they will force the interior minister to follow his Israel laws, and cancel my citizenship. Any way they must let go free after 25 years. VMJC.” vanunuvmjc
Brief Background on Vanunu:
In 1986, after being clubbed, drugged, bound and kidnapped by the Mossad in Rome then transported back to Israel for a closed-door trial.
Vanunu was also rendered defenseless when the court ruled that his motivations were not ideological and they refused to allow Vanunu’s own statements regarding his intentions to be considered in his defense.
In 1986, Nuclear Physicist, Frank Barnaby was employed by the London Sunday Times to interrogate Vanunu and review the 57 photos he had obtained at various restricted/top secret locations in the Dimona. Barnaby spent three days with Vanunu in London before he was lured and abducted by the Mossad from Rome. Barnaby attended Vanunu’s closed-door trial and was called by the defense to give expert testimony. Barnaby testified:
“I found the fact that Vanunu was able to smuggle a camera and films into and out of Dimona and photograph highly sensitive areas in the establishment astonishing…I very vigorously cross-examined Vanunu, relentlessly asking the same questions in a number of different ways and at different times…I found Vanunu very straightforward.
“After questioning him about his motives for violating Israel’s secrecy laws he explained to me that he believed that both the Israeli and the world public had the right to know about the information he passed on. He seemed to me to be acting ideologically. Israel’s political leaders have, he said, consistently lied about Israel’s nuclear-weapons programme and he found this unacceptable in a democracy.
“The knowledge that Vanunu had about Isreal’s nuclear weapons, about the operations at Dimona, and about security at Dimona could not be of any use to anyone today. He left Dimona in October 1985 and the design of today’s Israeli nuclear weapons will have been considerably changed since then…Modern nuclear weapons bear little relationship to those of the mid-1980.”
Blau could be charged with espionage. Vanunu was convicted of it.
In exchange for a promise protecting both him and his source from investigation, Blau returned 50 documents but authorities claimed he still held hundreds more classified documents. While on holiday a friend warned Blau that the Shin Bet had broken into his home and ransacked it. Blau later learned that the Israeli secret police had been monitoring his telephone, e-mail and computer for months.
On February 22, 2006, it was revealed in court that Israel had asked Microsoft to hand over all the details of Vanunu’s Hotmail account before a court order had been obtained.
Vanunu wrote, “Microsoft obeyed the orders and gave them all the details…three months before I was arrested and my computers were confiscated…it is strange to ask Microsoft to give this information before obtaining the court order to listen to my private conversations. It means they wanted to go through my emails in secret, or maybe, with the help of the secret services, the Shaback, Mossad.
“Sfard [Vanunu's attorney] proved that the police had misled the judges who gave the orders to arrest me: to search my room, to go through my email, to confiscate my computers and that they misled Microsoft to believe they are helping in a case of espionage.
“The State came to the court with two special secret Government orders; Hisaion [documents or information that are deemed confidential by the government and kept from the court, the defendant, and lawyers.] This allows the prosecution to keep documents related to my court hearing secret. One was from the Minister for Interior Security and one from the Minister of Defense.”
Vanunu’s secretly taped police interrogations, his 2004 Christmas Eve arrest for “attempting to leave the country” when he attempted to celebrate mass at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, the confiscation of his private property by thirty IDF that stormed into his room at St. George’s Cathedral in 2004, Vanunu wrote had all “been done under the false and misleading statements to the courts of ‘suspicion of espionage’, and yet they are not charging me with spy crimes…and the fact is that I have not committed any crimes.”[Ibid]
Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights upholds that “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention”, including abduction of a person by agents of one state to another state.
Section 99 of the Israeli Penal Code, treason is defined as “an act calculated to assist (an enemy) in time of war…delivering information with the intention that it fall into the hands of the enemy.”
Section 113 defines aggravated espionage as “deliver(ing) any secret information without being authorized to do so and with intent to impair the security of the state” and a sub-clause provides for a penalty of seven years for the unauthorized collection, preparation, recording or holding of secret information; if this is done with intent to impair the security of the state and then, the penalty is increased to 15 years.
“We have a dangerous precedent here, whereby the handing over of material to an Israeli newspaper … is seen by the prosecutor’s office as equivalent to contact with a foreign agent,” said Eitan Lehman, Ms Kamm’s lawyer. “The very notion of presenting information to the Israeli public alone is taken as an intention to hurt national security.” 
After Kamm’s sentencing the state prosecutor Hadas Porrer-Gefni, told reporters the panel of three judges had given a “strong message” to young people on mandatory army service and that young people should be made aware of Kamm’s sentence before embarking on their mandatory IDF service. “The judgement should be learned in every school and every basic training unit in the army, so that anyone who thinks he can take classified documents knows what punishment he will get.” 
Blau published stories based on documents provided by Kamm.
The documents exposed how the army command approved policies that broke international law and violated the rulings of Israel’s courts.
Blau’s reports revealed that senior commanders approved extra-judicial assassinations in the occupied territories that were almost certain to kill Palestinian bystanders and the army issued orders to execute wanted Palestinians even if they could be safely captured in violation of a commitment to the high court.
Blau also exposed that the defense ministry compiled a secret report showing that the great majority of settlements in the West Bank were illegal even under Israeli law.
B’Tselem, an Israeli human rights group, said its research had shown that “in many cases soldiers have been conducting themselves in the territories as if they were on a hit mission, as opposed to arrest operations.”
The crimes of the state are blatant but it is the truth tellers who are convicted as enemies.
Journalists should be a thorn in the side of Governments and Institutions and expose hypocrisy in high places; and healthy democracies thrive on dissent.
In Israel, the SECURITY forces, IDF and Justice system have colluded to make freedom of conscience and freedom of the press “just another word for nothing left to lose” and until whistle blowers are respected as people acting on conscience for the greater good, doing the right thing because it’s the right thing, may just have to be “good enough” for all.