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by CTuttle

“Your ‘independence’ day is our Nakba”

6:00 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

Yesterday marked Israel’s 66th Independence Day, and a good time was had by many…

Parental love, Israeli-style

Does a parent love his toddler when he sends him to crawl on Independence Day in the sand under a fence, a huge army backpack attached to his little body? Does a father love his son when he sends him to kindergarten to return with a memorial candle and Holocaust kit in hand? Does a mother love a daughter when she bakes a cake for a soldier who will come to kindergarten and tell the little one about his heroic acts in the territories? Do we love our children when we sign them up for the monstrous ‘Adopt-a-barricade’ campaign?

Do we love them when we send them to high schools that compete with one another for the most graduates enlisting in combat units and even take pride in the number of fallen? Do we really love our children when we agree to their starting Holocaust studies practically from age zero? Do we really love them when we agree for the school to show them horrendous images from a terror attack? Do parents who remain quiet, or who may even get excited, when the brainwashing campaigns planting fear, jingoism and militarism begin here earlier and earlier really love their children and look out for them?

Here’s Ali Abunimah’s excellent take on it…

On 6 May, Israelis celebrated their “’independence day,’ which they mark according to the Jewish lunar calendar.

Traditionally Israeli Jews hold public celebrations and picnics, especially in ‘national parks’ typically built over the ruins of ethnically cleansed and destroyed Palestinian villages.

Meanwhile, with broad support from the Israeli Jewish public, Palestinian public commemorations of the Nakba – the ethnic cleansing of Palestine – can be punished by law.

Many of the Israeli festivities are celebrations of the so-called ‘Israel Defense Forces,’ better known to Palestinians as the army that occupies them, arrests and kills their children with impunity and helps settlers to steal their land.

Some of these disturbing images of Israeli children being put through military-style training displays at Efrat, an illegal Israeli colony in the occupied West Bank, have been circulating widely online and were published in Haaretz and other media.

A repeated theme of pro-Israeli, anti-Palestinian propaganda is to circulate images of Palestinian children taking part in such militarized displays in order to advance the belief that Palestinian culture is inherently violent and ‘teaches children hate’ and that therefore Israeli violence is a justified defensive response.

But these pictures are remarkable because they reveal the extent to which Israeli culture has been militarized and how Israeli children are not immune to this – a key theme in Max Blumenthal’s book Goliath.

There is no doubt that both Israeli and Palestinian children have been subjected to this kind of brutalization by adults. It is horrifying whenever children are given guns and encouraged to imagine themselves as killers.

Such activities are arguably in violation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which states that member countries ‘shall refrain from recruiting any person who has not attained the age of fifteen years into their armed forces.’

Here’s but one example of the spin on the Palestinian actions yesterday…

From Mondoweiss‘ Annie Robbins…

Your “independence” day is our Nakba:’ Thousands of Palestinian citizens of Israel join ‘march of return’ to destroyed village of Lubya

Thousands of Palestinian citizens of Israel participated in a rally and “March of Return” yesterday to commemorate the Nakba, chanting ‘Your “independence” day is our Nakba’ as Israel marked its 66th Independence Day. With flags raised high, singing the Palestinian national anthem, reportedly between 10,000 to 15,000 participants (including non-Palestinian supporters) marched to Lubya, a Palestinian village in the district of Tiberias that was ethnically cleansed and turned to rubble during the Nakba. Marchers called for unity and the right of return for Palestinian refugees.

To be sure… 10,000 Palestinians hold Nakba protest in Israel

From +972 Mag…

PHOTOS: March of return to a destroyed Nakba village

On the day that many Israelis celebrated their Independence Day, thousands of Palestinian residents of Israel and Jerusalem marched to the site of the northern village of Lubya. Lubya was one of more than 500 Palestinian communities destroyed by Zionist militias in the Nakba, Arabic for ‘catastrophe,’ the term given to the forced displacement of some 750,000 refugees before, during and following the 1948 War.

So naturally, the Zionists snapped…

Read the rest of this entry →

by CTuttle

At Least 16 Killed by The IDF in Nakba Protests

5:30 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

Essentially, ‘Unprecedented amounts’ of Palestinians gathered to march on all the Israeli borders (Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, and, in the OPT). Many of the protestors were answering the call from the internet, with Facebook sites leading the charge. The Border incidents took the IDF by surprise, so naturally, they started shooting live ammo ‘at their knees’…! Except, in Gaza, where they just lobbed tank rounds at all those ‘terrorists’ trying to infiltrate the borders…!

From Bloomberg…

At least 16 die as Palestinians clash with Israeli security

Israeli troops clashed with Arab protesters along three hostile borders, including the frontier with Syria, leaving 16 people dead and dozens more wounded in an unprecedented wave of demonstrations marking a Palestinian day of mourning for their defeat at Israel’s hands in 1948.

…At least 30 Palestinians were injured in the Gaza Strip when Israeli tanks fired shells near demonstrators marching toward the border fence with Israel.

The army is investigating the incident, a military spokeswoman said.

Israeli police arrested several Arab residents of east Jerusalem for stone-throwing and have boosted forces in the city and in Arab communities in northern Israel to deal with further expected disturbances.

Israeli security forces clashed with Palestinians at several locations throughout the West Bank, with no serious injuries reported, the army said.

Here’s a report from Lebanon…

Israeli massacre at Lebanon border

…Ten Palestinian protesters were shot dead and 112 others wounded Sunday by Israeli forces along Lebanon’s borders with Israel as thousands of unarmed Palestinians rallied to the frontier to mark the Nakba, the 63rd anniversary of the expulsion from their homeland.

Thousands of Palestinian men, women and children, some wrapped in kaffiyehs, flocked in buses from various Palestinian refugee camps across Lebanon to the borders, in a rally they called “the march to return to Palestine.” The buses carried the names of Palestinian villages whose residents were displaced in 1948.

Here’s how the Grey Lady’s AIPAC mouthpiece, Ethan Bronner, reported the festivities…

Israeli Troops Fire as Marchers Breach Borders

…Israel’s borders erupted in deadly clashes on Sunday as thousands of Palestinians — marching from Syria, Lebanon, Gaza and the West Bank — confronted Israeli troops to mark the anniversary of Israel’s creation. More than a dozen people were reported killed and scores injured.

With an unprecedented wave of coordinated protests, the popular uprisings that have swept the region touched Israel directly for the first time. Like those other protests, plans for this one spread over social media, including Facebook, but there were also signs of official support in Lebanon and Syria, where analysts said leaders were using the Palestinian cause to deflect attention from internal problems.

Apparently, the Facebook revolution has finally arrived at Israel’s doorstep…!

Palestinian Border Protests: The Arab Spring Model for Confronting Israel

…After more than 100 Palestinians breached Israel’s border with Syria on Sunday, May 15, knocking down a fence and striding into a village in the Golan Heights, overmatched Israeli security forces scrambled to glean what they could from the protesters who had just, without so much as a sidearm, penetrated farther into the country than any army in a generation.

Under close questioning, the infiltrators closed the intelligence gap with a shrug and one word: Facebook. The operation that had caught Israel’s vaunted military and intelligence complex flat-footed was announced, nursed and triggered on the social-networking site that has figured in every uprising around the Arab world — and is helping young Palestinians change the terms of their fight against Israel.

Meanwhile, during the protests, in Ramallah, the UN’s Valerie Amos…

UN Humanitarian Chief calls for a cessation of violence in the West Bank and Gaza

…United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator (ERC) Valerie Amos today visited Ramallah, East Jerusalem and Area C of the West Bank on a day of violent protest in the occupied Palestinian territory.

In Ramallah, Ms. Amos met with President Mahmoud Abbas and also with Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. The ERC reiterated the determination of the United Nations and the humanitarian community as a whole to continue to assist those in need in the occupied Palestinian territory, particularly in areas where the Palestinian Authority cannot fully operate. She expressed her support for the Palestinian Authority and reaffirmed the United Nations’ commitment to the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, statehood, sovereignty and freedom from occupation. [...]

Palestinians are utterly frustrated by the impact of Israeli policies on their lives. They can’t move freely around their territory. They can’t plan their communities. They are evicted from their homes. Their homes are regularly demolished,” said Ms. Amos. “I don’t believe that most people in Israel have any idea of the way planning policies are used to divide and harass communities and families. They would not themselves like to be subjected to such behaviour.”

Ironically, Israel to complain to UN about Syria, Lebanon over Nakba Day clashes…

In summing it up, it was an ‘Oh F*ck’ teachable moment for the IDF…

…Afterward, some analysts said Israel’s military would need to reexamine its defense strategy to include not only a possible uprising by Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, but also potential threats from the hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees in neighboring countries. Israeli analysts expressed concern that Palestinian refugees may have become been emboldened by the so-called Arab Spring uprisings against longstanding autocratic regimes in Egypt, Yemen, Libya and Syria.

“A fear barrier was crossed today,”
said Israeli military analyst Yoav Limor on Israel’s Channel 1 television station. “If before, such options were discussed in the local Palestinian context, then tomorrow it could happen with the Palestinian diaspora in the neighboring Arab countries.”

The Palestinian diaspora is sick and tired of being stuck in squalid refugee camps, treated as second class citizens in the various countries, if they’re even recognized at all…!

Their ‘right of return’ was their primary battle cry…

God speed…!

by CTuttle

IDF Cracks Heads For Nakba, American Sustains Head Injury

8:00 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

This video of today’s protest in Nabi Saleh was posted by Christopher Whitman. The caption says, “The last frame is me getting shot at close range with a high velocity tear gas canister.”

Let me set the stage…

From yesterday’s Ynet…

Security forces on high alert ahead of ‘Nakba Day’

Defense establishment reinforces troops deployment in Jerusalem, West Bank ahead of weekend preceding Palestinian day of mourning over Israel’s inception

The Israel police held an official situation assessment Thursday ahead of ‘Nakba Day’ – the Palestinians’ day of mourning over the inception of Israel, set for Sunday.

The police decided to declare a nationwide high alert and increase deployment, especially in Jerusalem and around Temple Mount, ahead of Friday’s prayers

Police intelligence suggests that the Palestinians intend on holding several prequel events on Friday and Saturday; and though the police believe chances of events escalating into riots are low, reinforced police and Border Guard forces will deploy in east Jerusalem, the Old City and Temple Mount plaza, to maintain order.

From the Palestine Monitor…

Protests Erupt throughout Palestine

…Nabi Saleh, whose weekly Friday demonstrations have become the target of escalated Israeli military aggression, also erupted in violence after the protest came to a close. According to eye-witnesses, the protest had been relatively calm before the Border Police officers clashed with villagers and protesters. According to PSCC’s report, the Israeli Border Police began dispersing the peaceful demonstration by shooting ample tear gas and beating protesters with batons.

PSCC reported that approximately 25 protesters were injured. One Palestinian woman in her fifties was beaten by the Police to the point of hospitalization; her condition was critical enough that she was moved from the Salfeet Hospital to the better equipped Rafidiya Hospital in Nablus.

In addition, a 25-year-old American protester endured a serious head injury and one Israeli activist suffered two open fractures in his hand. All injuries were caused by the Border Police shooting tear-gas projectiles from short-range, directly at the demonstrators, in direct contravention of the IDF’s open fire regulations.

The PSCC is also reporting that four protesters were arrested.

Nabi Saleh, a village outside of Ramallah, holds non-violent weekly demonstrations in protest of the Apartheid Wall’s confiscation of its land.

Fortunately, the intrepid Master’s student, Chris Whitman, is fine and wrote about his ordeal…

‘Is this is what the most moral army in the world does!?’: An American student describes being shot by the Israeli military during a peaceful demonstration…

He did lose a hunk of scalp…

As Haaretz reported it…

Israeli-Palestinian tensions rise in Jerusalem, West Bank as Nakba Day nears

Israel security officials on heightened alert in preparation for Nakba Day events, arresting 11 protesters; Palestinian youth shot, others wounded from tear gas, rubber bullets in East Jerusalem.

…Israeli left-wing activists report that two protesters were wounded from projectiles fired by IDF forces in Nabi Saleh, a Palestinian and an Israeli, Ben Ronen, whose arm was broken.

The activists also said that an American suffered a serious head wounded from a tear gas projectile, and that over a dozen other protesters received medical treatment after being beaten with billy clubs and maced in the face by IDF forces.

Israel security officials are on heightened alert in preparation for Nakba Day events this Sunday, when Palestinians mourn the ‘catastrophe’ in which their ancestors were expelled in the 1948 Israeli War of Independence.

The IDF has increased its presence in multiple potential points of contention in a preemptive attempt to prevent Palestinians from breaking into settlements and IDF army bases.

From Al Jazeera…

Clashes in East Jerusalem ahead of Nakba day

Arrests as Palestinians prepare to mark “day of catastrophe” on anniversary of Israel’s 1948 declaration of statehood.

…A correspondent for the AFP news agency saw four people hurt as police opened fire with rubber bullets at stone-throwing youths in Silwan.

A Palestinian Red Crescent spokesman said they had treated nine people, including 16-year-old Milad Said Ayyash, who was suffering from serious internal bleeding after being shot in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood.

A second youth from Silwan was hit in the genitals by rubber bullets, the spokesman said, without giving details about the other injuries.

Insisting that no live ammunition was used, Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said he knew a teenager had been taken to hospital but with only a light injury and the cause unknown.

Clashes were also reported in Issawiyya, Al-Tur and Ras al-Amud, all flanking Jerusalem’s Old City.

In the East Jerusalem refugee camp of Shufat, Israeli undercover police arrived at the scene of clashes between Israeli soldiers and Palestinians, and detained several Palestinians.

An official at Makassed hospital on the Mount of Olives said “nearly 30 people” had been injured in Friday’s clashes…

It’s not just the Palestinians protesting…

Jordanians and Egyptians take to streets for pro-Palestinian protests

Protesters in Egypt and Jordan call for establishment of Palestinian state, end to displacement of refugees; demonstrations take place days before Nakba Day; Jordanian protesters call for end of peace with Israel.

Now, it does seem to me that any of the ‘friction’ from today’s events, is due solely to the paranoia of the IDF/IOF and their bulked-up presence… But, that’s nothing new…

Btw, no one took me up on my bet…

Obama to give Middle East speech Thursday

US President Barack Obama will give his long-awaited speech on uprisings in the Arab world and North Africa and the wider Middle East next Thursday at the State Department, an official said…

Hmmm… That’s the day before Bibi’s scheduled Tête à tête with Obummer… Oh to be a fly on the WH wall…!

In summing up, Al Jazeera’s Robert Grenier penned another must-read op-ed…

The end of one dream and the birth of another

The Arab Spring has empowered Muslims to create new forms of leadership – dictators and mass-murderers “need not apply”.

It comes as no surprise that reactions in the Islamic world to the death of Osama bin Laden should be so muted.

Yes, we’ve seen the ritual postings on the so-called jihadi websites, including statements from the supposed al-Qaeda “general command”, promising revenge and exhorting Pakistanis to rise up against an impious government of “traitors and thieves”. No surprises there; but these outpourings represent a minuscule population, however dangerous they may be at a retail level.

And no doubt these fulminations by al-Qaeda generate an echo from the extreme fringes of the Salafi movement, from those who would actually embrace the dark, obscurantist, mono-chromatic governance championed by the Afghan Taliban and its al-Qaeda mentors, and for whom Sheikh Osama is not only a champion, but a model. But such views clearly have scant resonance among the broad, healthy-minded mass of the general Muslim population. [...]

…In truth, the promise represented by Saddam Hussein was not a dream, but a nightmare. It should not be the fate of the Muslims to be “liberated” by mass-murderers, whether Saddam or Osama, whose contempt for the core beliefs and aspirations of most of those whom they pretended to lead was palpable.

Instead, and in spite of the many obstacles ahead, one can see in the middle distance a very different sort of liberation, one forged by and for the people themselves, based on models which exist within the Muslim world, and carrying the tangible hope of a future where the leaders are servants to the desires of the people, and not the other way around.

“…Where the leaders are servants to the desires of the people, and not the other way around.”

Yes, we could all ‘hope’ for the same…

*gah*