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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...

BILLIONS in funds provided by the US taxpayer.

Why is it US political leaders persist in funding the deliberate and monstrous attack on the civilian population of Gaza? When will it end? There are a large number of US cities that desperately need funding to fix their infrastructure... and yet Washington sees fit to send money to Israel which then uses those funds to Keep People POOR???

In other news....

Friday, October 8 2010|Noam Sheizaf
Security forces practice for "riots following populations exchange", mass detention of Palestinians

IBA Radio is reporting that Israel’s security forces ended Thursday a large national drill, in which the civil defense forces, police, military police, fire department and Israel’s prisons unit trained for large scale riots in the Israeli-Arab public, following a signing of a peace agreement that would include "population exchange" (transfer of Arab population to the Palestinian state).

According to Kol Israel’s report, in such an event, a large detention camp for Palestinian citizens will be constructed in Golani Junction, at Israel’s north, and all illegal aliens will be released from prisons to make room for Palestinians...

On one hand, I think we should not turn this into a conspiracy item. The fact that the security forces are training doesn’t mean that Israeli leaders have such a plan or that they have a secret deal for population exchange with the Palestinian Authority.

On the other hand, this report does teach us a lot about the way Israel views its Palestinian citizens: while Israeli leaders are praising Israeli democracy and claiming that Palestinians are equal citizens (within the Green Line borders), policy makers view Arabs first and foremost as a security threat, and as people whose citizenship might be revoked at any given moment.

As the source goes on to say, the "security" forces are not being trained to deal with the violence that will be surely follow any large-scale evacuation of the Illegal West Bank settlements. Why train for a possible response to an event that is so unlikely? after all, we are told, even here at Daily Kos, "everyone knows" that Israel will keep large parts of the West Bank.

In the effort to keep the West Bank, Israel must deal harshly with all  those that oppose, in any way, the continued dispossession of the Palestinian people. in that vain....

Sunday, October 10 2010|Joseph Dana
Bil’in’s Abdallah Abu Rahmah’s to be sentenced TOMORROW

The protest leader, whose been pronounced a human rights defender by the EU, is already imprisoned for 10 months and is facing a potentially harsh sentence.

Tomorrow, Monday, October 11th, the sentencing of Bil’in organizer Abdallah Abu Rahmah will be pronounced at the Ofer Military Court. Abu Rahmah has been convicted of incitement and organizing illegal demonstrations, a conviction harshly criticized by the EU, the Spanish Parliament and human rights organizations. At the previous hearing the military prosecutor explained that the prosecution requests an exceptionally harsh sentencing in order not only to deter Abu Rahmah himself, but also to intimidate others.

Abdallah Abu Rahmah will be sentenced tomorrow, after the prosecution argued for a sentence exceeding two years imprisonment in the first sentencing hearing. The defense argued Abu Rahmah had already been devoid of his freedom for too long, and should be released immediately.
Abu Rahmah, the coordinator of the Bil’in Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements, was arrested last year by soldiers who raided his home at the middle of the night and was subsequently indicted before an Israeli military court on unsubstantiated charges that included stone-throwing and arms possession. Abu Rahmah was cleared of both the stone-throwing and arms possession charges, but convicted of organizing illegal demonstrations and incitement. Almost 10 months after his arrest, Abu Rahmah is still kept on remand.

Abu Rahmah, the coordinator of the Bil’in Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements, was acquitted of two out of the four charges brought against him in the indictment – stone-throwing and a ridiculous and vindictive arms possession charge. According to the indictment, Abu Rahmah collected used tear-gas projectiles and bullet cases shot at demonstrators, with the intention of exhibiting them to show the violence used against demonstrators. This absurd charge is a clear example of how eager the military prosecution is to use legal procedures as a tool to silence and smear unarmed dissent.

The court did, however, find Abu Rahmah guilty of two of the most draconian anti-free speech articles in military legislation: incitement, and organizing and participating in illegal demonstrations. It did so based only on testimonies of minors who were arrested in the middle of the night and denied their right to legal counsel, and despite acknowledging significant ills in their questioning. The court was also undeterred by the fact that the prosecution failed to provide any concrete evidence implicating Abu Rahmah in any way, despite the fact that all demonstrations in Bil’in are systematically filmed by the army.

In the same article, comes this description of a wondrous law, from the Only Democracy in the Middle East:

"The attempt, verbally or otherwise, to influence public opinion in the Area in a way that may disturb the public peace or public order" (section 7(a) of the Order Concerning Prohibition of Activities of Incitement and Hostile Propaganda (no.101), 1967), and carries a 10 years maximal sentence.

In the US, we call attempting to "influence public opinion" Democracy.

Free Abdallah!

Now please, go out on the streets and raise some hell.

UPDATE

Speaking of Raising Hell:

"We will not be citizens of a fascist state purporting to be Israel" say hundreds of Israeli academics and public figures.
A protest rally against the government's "Loyalty Oath Bill" was held outside the Tel Aviv house. There Ben-Gurion read the 1948 the Declaration of Independence. There, today, the "Declaration of Independence from Fascism" was signed.
"We are citizens of the Israel which was depicted in the Declaration of Independence, a peace-seeking country based on the principles of equality and civil liberties. We do not intend to be the citizens of a state purporting to be Israel which stops being democratic and enbarks on becoming a fascist state," proclaimed intellectuals, public figures, and Israel Prize laureates who gathered this afternoon for a protest rally against the "Loyalty Oath Bill" approved by the government. A protest rally was held on Tel Aviv's Rothschild Boulevard, in front of the museum building where David Ben Gurion had read the Declaration of Independence in 1948.

Beneath the statue of Meir Dizengoff, first mayor of Tel Aviv, actress Hanna Meron read out from that Declaration of Independence: "The State of Israel will be based on based on Liberty, 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, race or gender; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture; it will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions; and it will be faithful to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations". She noted that, sixty-two years later, the reality of Israel is very different than what the country's Declaration of Independence envisaged. At the end of the rally, a "Declaration of Independence from Fascism" was signed (see full text below).

Among participants in the initiative were Shulamit Aloni, Uri Avnery, Alex Ansky, Shery Ansky, Menachem Brinker, Ran Cohen, Ruth Cohen, Yaron Ezrachi, Galia Golan, Haim Guri, Sna'it Gisis, Yoram Kaniuk, Dani Karavan, Yehoshua Knaz, Elia Leibowitz, Alex Libak, Hanna Meron, Sammy Michael, Merav Michaeli, Sefi Rachlevsky, Gabi Solomon, David Tartakower, Micha Ullman, and many others.
Following is the full text of the Declaration of Independence from Fascism:

A state which forcibly invades the hallowed realm of the individual citizen's conscience, and which imposes punishment on those whose opinions and beliefs do not fit the authorities' opinions and the prescribed "character" of the state, stops being a democracy and embarks on becoming a fascist state.

Behind these stairs where we stand, the state of Israel was proclaimed. The state which increasingly takes Israel's place – a state which fills the country with a variety of racist legislation, promoted by the Knesset and the cabinet – is excluding itself from the family of democratic nations. Therefore we, citizens of the Israel envisaged in the Declaration of Independence, hereby declare that will not be citizens of a country purporting to be Israel and which violates its basic commitment to the principles of equality, civil liberty and sincere aspiration for peace – principles upon which the State of Israel was founded.
Contact: Sefi Rachlevsky 052-7078075

Press Release of Gush Shalom.

Originally posted to Tom J on Sun Oct 10, 2010 at 11:06 AM PDT.

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