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Israeli artists, writers and intellectuals held on Sunday a demonstration against the cabinet's approval of a controversial amendment to the citizenship bill, requiring non-Jews seeking citizenship to pledge allegiance to Israel as a Jewish and democratic state....

The Protest was about the new law requiring non-Jewish new citizens(only) to take an oath to Israel as a Jewish state.

Author Sefi Rachlevsky said that "a country that invades the sacred space of the citizen's conscience, and punishes him for opinions and beliefs that are not in line with the authorities ... ceases to be a democracy and becomes a fascist state." ... Haaretz

A country that sentences a protester to a year of prison for a crime of working "to influence public opinion in the Area in a way that may disturb the public peace or public order" has ceased to be a democracy. Abdallah Abu Rahmah, a high school teacher, has been sentenced to One year imprisonment by the Israeli courts. His crime? organizing the community for change.

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and other stories deliberately meant to incite people to action to support human rights.

Niebel, currently on a trip to the Middle East, was prevented by Israeli authorities from entering the Gaza Strip to check up on the progress of a sewage treatment plant being funded by Germany...

German-Israeli relations are in a state of crisis.
The (stated, but obviously not the real- Tom J) goals of the Gaza blockade include bringing Shalit home and isolating Hamas -- but not to punish the civilian populace of the coastal area. What has happened is exactly the opposite. Israel has not just denied a visit by a German minister. For months it has also been blocking the entry of building materials necessary for the construction of the German waste water treatment plant. Spiegel

So Gaza is, by design of the Israeli military, left with inadequate sewage treatment, leading to a very severe public health problem. However, it is the Israeli government that is filled with...

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Cast your whole vote, not a strip of pa­per merely, but your whole in­flu­ence.  A mi­nor­ity is pow­er­less while it con­forms to the ma­jority; it is not even a mi­nor­ity then; but it is ir­re­sist­ible when it clogs by its whole weight. - Henry David Thoreau, On Civil Disobedience, 1849

Election season is upon us, and it's the time we are told we can shape our future by the power of the ballot box. Yet on many issues it is terribly limited.

On the issue of opposing the Occupation and oppression and continual dispossession of the Palestinian people, there is no electoral option in nearly every congressional district in the nation. As each congressperson seems determined to continue the status quo, to one extent or another.

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Now this is peace process the traditional way, as each Israeli regime has practiced it for now going on a few decades. Without interruption. While nearly every President, including Bush the W and Obama, has said that "settlements are not nice"... they have stood on the sidelines while Israel builds up its settlements and destroys the possibility of peace.

   Eyewitnesses reported that Israeli army bulldozers uprooted farmlands close to Tiqoua’ settlement, built on lands initially taken away from residents of the Tiqoua’ Palestinian village, south east of Bethlehem.

The bulldozers were uprooting the lands in order to build new homes for Jewish settlers in the area.  Source Two

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Reuven Moskovitz, an 82-year-old passenger who survived the Nazi Holocaust, told AFP he felt duty-bound to attempt the voyage in the small blue and white sailing boat, a trip expected to take around 36 hours.

"It is a sacred duty for me, as a survivor, to protest against the persecution, the oppression and the imprisonment of so many people in Gaza, including more than 800,000 children," Moskovitz said. -AFP

Another boat, named "Irene" is on the way to Gaza. This boat carrying Jewish activists from the US and around the world.

Why is it that, just months after the murderous slaughter that the Israeli Military greeted the last flotilla (See Heathlander's  diary), that again people are willing to take such risks?

"Remember the solidarity shown to Palestine here and everywhere... and remember also that there is a cause to which many people have committed themselves, difficulties and terrible obstacles notwithstanding. Why? Because it is a just cause, a noble ideal, a moral quest for equality and human rights."
--Edward Said

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Ashraf Al-Khatib was shot in the leg with a 0.22" caliber live bullet at the weekly demonstration against the illegal apartheid wall. An international nonviolent activist was also hit in the shoulder with a low-flying tear gas canister. The hundreds of other participants were attacked with huge quantities of tear gas.

The weekly protest is against land theft by the illegal apartheid wall and the Israeli occupation in general. This week, the marchers also expressed solidarity with Palestinians in East Jerusalem (al-Quds) where a Silwan resident was shot dead by an Israeli settler security guard on Wednesday morning.

more on activists for peace and justice and the price they are paying to transform the Middle East....

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In Harvard's view, this is a bad racist:

"Ground Zero Mosque supporters: doesn't it stab you in the heart, as it does ours throughout the heartland? Peaceful Muslims, pls refudiate." -Sarah Palin

Just one example of very many where Sarah Palin shows she doesn't quite have a grasp of the English language. Don't expect Palin to be invited to Harvard anytime soon. Bad, poorly educated racist.

Compare:

"Frankly, Muslim life is cheap, especially for Muslims."  He writes, "This is a statement of fact, not value." - Marty Peretz

Now you see, that statement is clear. No error in grammar. No made-up words. That will get you into Harvard. Good racist.

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Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 02:58 PM PDT

Olive Harvest in Occupied Palestine.

by Tom J

Palestinians have been harvesting their trees for hundreds of years. This year will be no different.

Even here, however, the reality of the occupation is inescapable.

Israeli settlers began harvesting Palestinian olives on Monday in the northern West Bank district of Qalqiliya and Nablus, a Palestinian Authority official said.

Ghassan Doughlas, who heads the PA file on northern settlement activity, said settlers brought sheets and ladders "as though they were the owners of the land" and started harvesting the olives from Palestinian land.

In Nablus, Doughlas said settlers from Yitzhar ascended on the Palestinian olive groves in the Burin village to harvest them, while in Qalqiliya, settlers from the illegal Ramat Gil'ad and Gil'ad outposts picked olives from the Palestinian villages of Jinsafut and Far'ata. Maan

oh yes, the routine of systematic theft from the "Only Democracy in the Middle East."

then there is the sham of "peace" talks, under the leadership of Prime Minister Netanyahu.

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Information about an anti-BP candlelight vigil, a gay and lesbian festival and other peaceful gatherings became the subject of anti-terrorism bulletins being distributed by Pennsylvania's homeland security office, an apologetic Gov. Ed Rendell admitted.

Rendell, who claimed he'd just learned about the practice, said Tuesday that the information was useless to law enforcement agencies and that distributing it was tantamount to trampling on constitutional rights...

Rendell said he was not firing his homeland security director, James Powers, but he ordered an end to the $125,000 contract with the Philadelphia-based organization, the Institute of Terrorism Research and Response, that supplied the information.  News

this goes beyond simple spying, as in collecting information about the activities of political groups, but as Rendell points out, it is about trampling on our rights to dissent and organize for change.

This incident deserves a thorough investigation. How is that this group, ITTR, got  a contract by the state of Pennsylvania in the first place?

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"Frankly, Muslim life is cheap, especially for Muslims."  He writes, "This is a statement of fact, not value."

and you might guess that quote comes from--

a) A fundamentalist preacher of a small religious sect in Florida. OR
b) glenn beck's latest rant. There is nothing Fox will not broadcast! Or
c) "a seminal force" at Harvard's Social Studies Program, and more importantly, the editor of an influential and respected magazine.

But wait, before you answer... there's more! He also said:

"I wonder whether I need honor these people [Muslims] and pretend they are worthy of the privileges of the First Amendment, which I have in my gut the sense that they will abuse."

Islamophobia, it ain't just from poorly educated fundie rednecks. The quotes come from the famous Marty Peretz, editor of The New Republic. There is nothing here that is any less toxic than Rev Terry (the burn book guy, not to be confused with the cool burn man folks in Nevada) and his rants... just the same thing from another man who happens to have many strong connections to the political, academic and religious establishment.

Screw the establishment.

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The official Israeli Line has always been that more than 700,000 deserted more than 500 villages left on their own accord.

In a little noticed article on page 19 of the September 1 edition of Maariv, the Speaker of the Israeli Knesset, Reuven Rivlin, assailed the actors and artists who have refused to perform  at the theater in the Jewish settlement of Ariel. As a proud advocate of Greater Israel and professed friend of even the most fanatical members of the settlement enterprise (see his remarks at the recent funeral of murdered settlers in Kiryat Arba), Rivlin’s attack would not have been significant if he hadn’t revealed some uncomfortable facts in the process.

Seemingly lost in his anger at the lefty artists, Rivlin conceded that the founders of Israel, the cream of the kibbutznikim, had carried out a campaign of ethnic cleansing to a massive degree. "I say to those who want to boycott – Deer Balkum ['beware' in Arabic]," Rivlin said to Maariv. "Those who expelled Arabs from En-Karem, from Jaffa, and from Katamon [in 1948..] lost the moral right to boycott Ariel."

From Max Blumenthal

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Seems to be the case that Israel is sending its intelligence agents on spying missions in the US. They have been misrepresenting themselves as from the US intelligence community.

As tensions with Iran escalate, according to former CIA officer Philip Giraldi, "Israeli agents have become more aggressive in targeting Muslims living in the United States as well as in operating against critics."

"There have been a number of cases reported to the FBI about Mossad officers who have approached leaders in Arab-American communities and have falsely represented themselves as ‘U.S. intelligence,’ " Giraldi wrote recently in American Conservative magazine. - Washington Post

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