Shot Like a Clay Pigeon


Pictured Here: Palestinian killed at random by an Israeli soldier

Christian Peacemaker Teams, March 13, 2019

On March 12, a Palestinian man came to deliver documents on behalf of the Palestinian court in the neighbourhood of Al-Jabari or Wad Al Hussein. His name was Yasser Fawzi Shweki and he was 27 years old. He was probably new to the neighbourhood of H2 because he used to live and work elsewhere. He was carrying a large bag full of documents; maybe that is why an Israeli soldier who guarded an Israeli settlement took interest in him. He ordered him at gunpoint to come closer. A little later, a shot was heard and Yasser fell on the ground, bleeding heavily. The Israeli military dragged him inside the building and refused to allow any medical assistance. The name of the settlement is Beit HaShalom, which means, ironically enough, house of peace.

Previously, two cousins were killed at the same spot and in the same style. Hussam Jabari and Bashar Jabari, who were also new to the neighbourhood, passed by the Israeli settlement to visit their aunt who was living there. After the Israeli military noticed the two young boys, they were shot immediately and the army let them simply die on the floor. The first one was 16, the second only 14 years old.

Right after Yasser died, the Israeli army officially declared that it was due to an attempted knife attack. However, a source declared that, slightly before, he saw how the Israeli army moved the body to another place, put a knife close to it and took a photo. That would fit a pattern in which the Israeli military tries to cover up murders of Palestinians this way, at least according to proof from video recordings from other killings.

And that is not even all that can be said about this notorious spot. It needs to be known that a total of 12 Palestinian people have been killed in this area by Israeli bullets. The Israeli occupation of the West Bank is an ugly business and the less known its real practices are to the world, the uglier it gets.

March 18, 2019
Israeli Politics Decoded with David Sheen

Online from the Palestine Center
Washington, DC
12 noon – 1 pm Central Time
Listen live

“Gaza is eviscerated. Apartheid is entrenched in the West Bank. Inside official Israel, the ruling party openly promotes racial hatred towards Arabs and Africans.

How popular are these belligerent policies among Israeli Jews? And how can we make sense of Israeli politics — where dozens of parties run for parliament, and double-digits get in — with wild swings, seemingly, in who holds power?

Journalist and human rights defender David Sheen will give an unflinching interrogation and a compelling analysis of the state of Israel/Palestine under Trump and Netanyahu.”

More info

An inciting post against Palestinians every 66 seconds

7amleh, March 11, 2019

The Index of Racism and Incitement in Israeli Social Media 2018

In 2018, 474,250 inciting posts against Palestinians were written. Legislation about the Nation-State Law was the main engine of racism for hate speech via Facebook. Palestinian politicians and Palestinians Citizens of Israel are most vulnerable to incitement.

The results of the Index of Racism and Incitement in Israeli social media, released annually by 7amleh – The Arab Center for the Advancement of Social Media, shows a staggering rise in incitement and Israeli racism against Palestinians on social networks in the past year (2017 – 2018). The most hate and racism in 2018 was directed at Palestinian members of the Israeli Knesset and their political parties in Israel during the discussions and passing of the Nation-State Law, which gives rights to only Jewish citizens.

In general, the rate of racism and hate online has increased since 2017 and an inciting post was published every 66 seconds in 2018 (up from every 71 seconds in 2017). In total, there were 474,250 posts that call for violence, racial profiling and insults against Palestinians (compared to 445,000 in 2017) published past year. From all of the posts about “Arabs,” 1 out of 10 contain an insult or an invitation to violence against Palestinians (in 2017 it was 1 out of 9).

Half of the inciting posts published in social media networks used by Israelis during 2018 were related to politics, most of them directed against Palestinian members of the Israeli parliament and their political parties in connection to the Nation State Law. In May 2018, a few months before the law was passed, more than 115,000 posts including insults, racism and calls for violence against Palestinians were published on social networks. This shows how politicians influence the escalation and descalation of hatred.

Aside from politics, the year 2018 was also characterized by an increase in incitement against influential Palestinian Citizens of Israel in the Israeli media, such as the media figure Lucy Harish, who was attacked despite her general integration approach.

Facebook remains the main platform for violence and incitement (66%), with right-wing news pages supporting violent, racist activism online. There is also a high level of violent rhetoric via Twitter due to the political nature of the platform (16%), which doubled from last year (7%).

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Israeli Extremists Are Making a Comeback—With the Help of US Tax Dollars

American nonprofits have funneled money to Meir Kahane’s followers, who now have a chance to enter the Knesset

Israeli ExtremistsBenzion Gopstein (left), leader of the far-right Israeli group Lehava, gathers with fellow activists in Jerusalem on December 25, 2014. (Reuters/Nir Elias)

Mairav Zonszein, The Nation, 2/26/19

As Israel’s April 9 election approaches, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has paved the way for a Jewish-supremacist party—which some are dubbing the Jewish KKK—to enter the next Israeli Knesset. He encouraged the merger of three small far-right parties, Jewish Home, National Union, and Jewish Power (Otzma Yehudit in Hebrew), since each of them separately was not expected to receive enough votes to make the minimum Knesset threshold. If Netanyahu is reelected, the new far-right party, assuming it receives enough votes to make the minimum, would then help him secure a governing coalition of at least 61 seats.

All three parties are nationalist, anti-Arab, and homophobic; however, Jewish Power stands out because its platform and leaders are inspired by the violent legacy of Meir Kahane and his Kach party, which was barred from running in the Knesset in 1988 on grounds of racism, and then outlawed in 1994 on grounds of incitement to terrorism after Baruch Goldstein, who was active in Kach, murdered 29 Palestinians in Hebron exactly 25 years ago Monday. The US State Department followed suit and listed Kach and an offshoot, Kahane Chai (Kahane Lives), as a foreign terrorist group in 1997. One of Jewish Power’s leaders, Michael Ben-Ari, who served in the Knesset from 2009 to 2013, was barred from entering the United States in 2012 because of his affiliation with a “terrorist organization.”

In the 20-plus years since Kach was banned, Kahane’s disciples have found ways to continue pushing a racist, anti-Arab, and antidemocratic agenda—and to fund it. A new investigation carried out in coordination with the Democratic Bloc, an Israeli nonprofit organization founded in 2018 to research and monitor antidemocratic trends in Israel, reveals a web of interconnected groups, individuals, and websites in Israel and the United States—including several American nonprofit foundations that appear to have been founded for the purpose of funneling tax-exempt dollars to Kahanist causes, some of which are directly linked to Jewish terrorist groups. “If in the past, they relied on political mechanisms for fundraising and recruiting activists, today we are talking about a network of organizations disguised as charity groups and social causes that are raising money from the State of Israel and abroad in order to continue inciting and undermining the foundations of democracy,” said Ran Cohen, one of the founders of the Democratic Bloc.

At the center of this web is Kahane protégé and Jewish Power member Benzion Gopstein, who runs Lehava, an openly racist, anti-miscegenation gang active for at least a decade. Its mission is to “save” Jewish women from assimilation. Lehava activists are notorious for violently attacking and harassing Palestinians in the streets of Jerusalem just for being Palestinian. Three activists affiliated with Lehava were convicted of setting fire to an Arab-Jewish bilingual school in Jerusalem in 2014. The next year then–Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon tried—unsuccessfully—to get Israel’s internal-security service to designate Lehava as a terrorist group. Gopstein has been arrested several times, including on suspicion of murdering an Arab couple in 1990, but has never been convicted. He has openly called for the burning of churches and has incited violence against Palestinians. He said in 2014 of Yigal Amir, the Israeli who in 1995 assassinated Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, “Rabin left him no choice.”

The Nation

The Israel Religious Action Center has been documenting Lehava’s activities for the past seven years. In 2017, IRAC, along with several other civil-society groups, petitioned Israel’s Supreme Court alleging that Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit was dragging his feet by not indicting Gopstein on various charges, including incitement to violence and terrorism. They also seek to classify Lehava as a criminal organization, which is difficult because a lot of what Gopstein says falls under free-speech protections. According to IRAC director Noa Sattath, “The thuggish activity of the Lehava militia has gone on uninterrupted in Jerusalem since 2009. The Lehava organization carries out physical violence and racial incitement against Arabs in downtown Jerusalem and around the country—with the goal of demonizing Arabs and terrorizing them. Lehava’s activity is racist, antidemocratic, immoral, and goes directly against Jewish values.”

Lehava is not a registered nonprofit in Israel, and it’s unclear how and from whom it receives its funding. A Haaretz investigation in 2011 found that Lehava activists are closely linked to a registered Israeli nonprofit, Chemla (sometimes spelled Hemla), whose mission includes helping needy families and, until 2014, supporting settler youth. Chemla, which receives significant Israeli state funds, is a key organization in this web of Kahanist cronies. Gopstein is one of the founders of Chemla, as is Rabbi Yehuda Kroizer, who also serves as head of a yeshiva in Jerusalem founded by Kahane in 1987 called the Jewish Idea (HaRaayon Hayehudi in Hebrew). The Jewish Idea Yeshiva is classified as a foreign terrorist organization by the US State and Treasury departments, listed as one of the groups affiliated with or synonymous with Kach and Kahane Chai. The list also includes several variations on that name, “Yeshiva of the Jewish Idea,” and “Friends of the Jewish Idea Yeshiva.” Continue reading

February 25, 2019
Black Americans and Palestinian Solidarity

UW Multicultural Center
716 Langdon Street
Madison
8:15 pm – 9:15 pm

General meeting of UW-Madison Students for Justice in Palestine discusses the history of Black and Palestinian oppression and the roles that both have played in fighting it.

Other topics will include recognizing interconnections, co-opting struggles, and avoiding the conflation of these struggles. Free and open to the public. More info on Facebook.

March 7, 2019
Tasting the Sky: A Palestinian Childhood


Goodman Public Library
2222 S Park St, Madison
6:30 pm

Peace and Justice Book Club discusses Tasting the Sky: A Palestinian Childhood by Ibtisam Barakat.

In this memoir set in Ramallah following the 1967 Six-Day War, Barakat captures what it is like to be a child whose world is shattered by war – fear and confusion as bombs explode near her home and she is separated from her family; the harshness of life in the Middle East as a Palestinian refugee; and her unexpected joy when she discovers Alef, the first letter of the Arabic alphabet.

Hosted by the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) – Madison Chapter. Note: You don’t have to have read or finished the book to attend. Info? #608-609-7961

March 1, 2019
Hashtag to Headlines Speakers on WORT


Friday, March 1
12 noon to 1 pm

The speakers for Madison’s 2019 tribute to Rachel Corrie, Ahmed Abu Artema and Jehad Abusalim, will be interviewed live on A Public Affair with host Esty Dinur.

Listen to the WORT interview on 89.9 FM or live online.

Their talk at the Rachel Corrie tribute will be Hashtag to Headlines: How the Gaza Great March of Return Challenged the World, March 3 at 900 University Bay Drive from 2 pm to 4 pm.

March 3, 2019
Hashtag to Headlines: How the Gaza Great March of Return Challenged the World


 

Join us for the 2019 tribute to Rachel Corrie
with Ahmed Abu Artema
Writer, refugee and peace activist from Rafah

 

First Unitarian Society
900 University Bay Drive
Madison
2:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Ahmed Abu Artema wrote a Facebook post on January 7, 2018 from his home in Rafah, Gaza that echoed an idea that has reverberated throughout Palestinian history: What would happen if Palestinians marched nonviolently and in large numbers towards the boundary fence with Israel to demand respect for their rights and call attention to the Israeli-imposed blockade that has created hardship for millions of people for more than a decade?

On March 30, 2018, the #GreatMarchofReturn became a reality, grabbing headlines around the world. Ahmed Abu Artema will share his experience with the Great March of Return, his views on the future of nonviolent actions in Palestine, and his vision for a just and lasting peace. He will be joined by fellow Gaza native Jehad Abusalim, Chicago-based scholar and program associate for the American Friends Service Committee’s Gaza Unlocked campaign.

Free and open to the public. Refreshments and desserts including baklawa will be served. Palestinian olive oil, olive oil soap, crafts, and food items will be for sale. Please join us as we honor Rachel Corrie and welcome Ahmed Abu Artema to Madison.

    Sponsors: American Friends Service Committee, First Unitarian Social Justice Ministry, and Madison-Rafah Sister City Project.

    Co-sponsors: American Friends Service Committee-Madison; Amnesty International Group 139; Bright Stars of Bethlehem-Madison; Colombia Support Network; East Timor Action Network-Madison; Interfaith Peace Working Group; James Reeb Peace, Justice and Sustainability Group; Jewish Voice for Peace-Madison; Madison Friends Meeting (Quakers); Pax Christi-Madison; Playgrounds for Palestine-Madison; UNA-USA Dane County; Wisconsin Network for Peace, Justice and Sustainability: and Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom-Madison.

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As West Bank Violence Surges, Israel Is Silent on Attacks by Jews

Israel’s right-wing government has remained silent, wary of alienating settlers in an election year


The funeral last Sunday for Hamdy Naasan, who was killed in a melee involving Jewish settlers. The Israeli government has been reluctant to address a rise in attacks by settlers. (Mohamad Torokman/Reuters)

Isabel Kershner, New York Times, Feb. 2, 2019

AL MUGHAYIR, West Bank — A gang of a dozen or so armed Jewish settlers descended from a hilltop outpost to the Palestinian village below and opened fire, witnesses said. Israeli soldiers arrived, and instead of stopping the settlers, the witnesses said, they either stood by or clashed with the villagers.

In the melee, Hamdy Naasan, 38, a Palestinian father of four, was shot and killed.

The killing last Saturday was the latest in a wave of settler violence. Attacks by settlers on Palestinians, their property and Israeli security forces increased by 50 percent last year and have threatened to ignite the West Bank, Israeli security officials say.

Days earlier, the Israeli authorities charged a 16-year-old yeshiva student from another Jewish settlement with manslaughter and terrorism, accusing him of hurling a four-pound rock that killed Aisha al-Rabi, a Palestinian mother of eight, one night in October as she rode in her family car along a nearby highway.

While Palestinian and United Nations officials have condemned the violence — Nickolay E. Mladenov, the United Nations envoy to the Middle East, described the shooting in Al Mughayir as “shocking and unacceptable” — Israel’s right-wing government has remained conspicuously silent, wary of alienating settlers and other potential supporters in an election year.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is seeking a fifth term, is vying with other right-wing rivals for the settlers’ support. He is facing bribery investigations and his strongest political challenge in years.

“Thou shalt not murder?” Tamar Zandberg, leader of the left-wing party Meretz, wrote in a Facebook post, noting the resounding lack of condemnation from government officials. “Silence. Everyone sees the election on the horizon, and the settler lobby is stronger than any moral standard.”

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