October 2012 Archives

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Father Roy writes: Please read the article pasted below.  You’ll notice that the TRUE history of the Holy Land is beginning to be revealed to us as tho it were from the shadows.  I’ve done no highlighting.  Have you noticed?  There are some confessions that are good for everybody’s soul.  There’s a postscript.

Peace, Roy

P.S.   History is being made under our very noses.  We’re waking up to a new life as we (you and I) read on.  Some history is too recent to be re-written.

source: Middle East Monitor

Israeli army veterans admit role in massacres of Palestinians in 1948

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Mr. Neumann admitted that he took part in displacing Palestinians from their villages.

Dozens of Israeli army veterans have admitted their involvement in massacres against Palestinian civilians in 1948, and acknowledged that Zionism misled them and is a catastrophe for both Jews and Arabs. The details have been revealed by the Yazkern organisation, which was founded in 2001 and seeks to unveil the truth and spread the Palestinian narrative of the country’s history among Israelis and convince them of Zionism’s false account. The organisation believes in a one-state solution and in Palestinians’ right to return to their land and homes.

Israeli army veteran Amnon Neumann is 82 and from Haifa. He said that he was a member of the Palmach, the elite fighting force of the Haganah, the underground army of the Yeshuv Jewish community during the period of the British Mandate of Palestine. Neumann joined the Palmach in 1946 after he came to Palestine from Poland at the age of 16.

He said that there were no real battles due to Palestinian poverty and lack of organisation, training and arms. The official Israeli account of that period claims that the displacement and killing of Palestinians was the normal result of a war.

Mr. Neumann admitted that he took part in displacing Palestinians from the villages of Simism, Najd, Kawkaba, Burayr and other places which were fully inhabited by their owners; this runs contrary to Zionist claims. Confessing to his participation in the massacre that was committed against the people of Burayr, Neumann noted that they had Czech-made guns which they used to expel the local inhabitants towards the Gaza Strip.

The Haganah forces were surrounding the village on three sides, he recalls, and firing in the air before entering and expelling its people forcefully. The houses were burnt down, as per the orders the armed forces had received. According to the veteran, he heard a confession by a Haganah officer after the occupation of Burayr that he had shot a Palestinian girl in the head after raping her. It was later revealed, said Neumann, that the girl had indeed been raped.

Another veteran, Arhamel Khnovitc, also 83 years old, now lives in the settlement of Daghania. He confessed that he took part in the massacre in the Dahmash Mosque in Al-Lydd in July 1948; he also took part in the ethnic cleansing of the villages of Jamzu and Dan’el.

“I headed to the mosque, as per an order from the command, and I kept my ears and eyes open after I quietly opened the door,” said Khnovitc. “Then I fired a Fiat missile, following orders. Many corpses flew and got stuck to the walls due to the severity of the blast.”

Benyamin Eisht, 85, who lives in Bilhaym, said that he saw the Palestinian survivors of Al-Lydd and Ramla after the massacre, walking in lines toward Ramallah, with dead bodies scattered on the sides of the road.

The testimony of 83-year-old Yitzhak Tishler, who lives in Mafsirt Tsyon, confirms the accounts provided by other veterans who spoke of looting houses and stores. He also said that he took part in the killing of dozens of villagers in the village of Al-Sheikh near Haifa in revenge for the Jewish workers who were killed in a quarrel near Rifyanry.

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This just in from Gush-Shalom:

Gush Shalom

Press Release Oct. 22, 2012

The Israeli activists detained on board the “Estelle” were released
Elik Elhanan: excessive force was used against us, without any reason

Electric shocks by taser out of vengeful hatred
A Greek MP was beaten by Shabak Security Service interrogators

“I am now on my way home, but I keep thinking of my shipmates, my fellow activists from abroad who are still imprisoned under harsh conditions and undergo  interrogation by the Shabak Security Service, among them Parliament Members from several countries,” said Elik Elhanan, one of the Israeli activists who had sailed aboard the Gaza-bound Swedish ship “Estelle”. Today, the court ordered his release and that of two other detained Israelis, Yonatan Shapira and Reut Mor. “At first they tried to charge us with all kinds of very serious felonies, such as ‘aiding the enemy’. The court rejected this out of hand. Today they tried a article on the law books called “Attempted infiltration into a part of the Land of Israel which is not part of the State of Israel” (sic). But the court threw out this charge, too”. The detained activists were represented by Attorney Gaby Lasky and her team, who have considerable experience with Human Rights cases.

The released detainees were cheerfully greeted by peace activists who arrived at the courtroom, among them Elik Elhanan’s  parents – Rami Elhanan and Nurit Peled-Elhanan, who is the daughter of the late Major General Matti Peled. Smadar Elhanan, Elik’s sister, was killed in a suicide bombing at the center of Jerusalem – a harsh experience which made surviving family members all the more determined to strive for peace between Israel and the Palestinians, so as to prevent further casualties on either side.

“I have gone though difficult days, but I certainly do not regret sailing on that boat. I knew what I was getting into” said Elik Elhanan. “During the voyage I made a special contact with Evangelis, a Member of the Greek Parliament who sailed with us. When the Naval Commandos came aboard and while we were blocking their way to the bridge, Evangelis told me we have generated in him a love for the people of Israel and a hope for a better future in the Middle East. Shortly afterwards they separated us. Yesterday evening, when they put Dror Feiler in our cell, he told us that Evangelis had been beaten by the Shabak interrogators. The Shabak lied shamelessly to the Consuls and representatives of foreign countries, telling them that their citizens and MPs were being treated well.” Dror Feiler, who was born in Israel and whose  mother Pnina lives in Kibbutz Yad Hana, gave up his Israeli citizenship after moving to Stockholm, and was therefore separated most of the time from the Israeli detainees.

“They used a completely disproportional amount of force against us” continues Elhanan. “When the Navy arrived to take us over, Yonatan Shapira counted no less than fifteen vessels surrounding us on all sides. Large and small ships and boats, a ship carrying a helicopter, as well as the Zodiacs of the Naval Commandos. Fifteen armed naval vessels against one small civilian boat carrying games for the children of Gaza. We must have disturbed very much the Navy and those who give orders to the Navy.

When they came aboard and we blocked their way, the soldiers knew exactly who I was. They shouted in Hebrew: ‘Elhanan, you will pay for your Leftism!’ and used the taser to give me electric shocks. Even after they completed their takeover of the boat, they continued to use the taser and administer more shocks. But if they think they could deter me and those who sailed with me, they are mistaken. The siege of Gaza is an ongoing crime and it must be ended. We will continue the struggle”.  

Contact:
Elik Elhanan +972-2-5700112 or via Nurit Peled-Elhanan +972-547-578703
Adv. Gaby Lasky +972-54-4418988

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Thank God for Jimmy Carter. He continues to shine out like a light in dark the world of international politics.

What Carter says is what everybody already knows, of course – that the current Israeli government has no intention of granting the Palestinian people their own state. The fact though that Carter and the Elders are saying it openly is of great significance.

Having said that, how many people will listen? And will Obama be one of them?

Father Dave 

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Jimmy Carter: Israel not committed to two-state solution

Former US president says two-state approach seems to have been “abandoned,” points finger at Prime Minister Netanyahu during visit by “The Elders” group of past world leaders to Israel, West Bank, Egypt.

Former US President Jimmy Carter on Monday said the Israeli-Palestinian peace process had reached a crisis point and that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s government was not pursuing a two-state solution.

“That policy of promoting a two-state solution seems to be abandoned now and we are deeply concerned about this move towards this catastrophic so-called one-state choice … this is a major concern,” Carter told a news conference.

Carter helped forge Israel’s peace deal with Egypt in 1979, the first between the Jewish state and an Arab country but has been a strong critic of Israeli settlement policy in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

“Every (Israeli) prime minister that I have known has been a pursuer of the two-state solution and I don’t know that (US President Barack) Obama has found that Prime Minister Netanyahu has been willing to go that route,” Carter added.

He spoke during a visit along with other members of “The Elders”, a group of former world leaders, to Israel, the West Bank and Egypt.

“All indications to us is that this two-state solution has basically been abandoned and we’ve had a moving forward towards a ‘greater Israel’ which I think is contrary to the two-state solution concept,” Carter said.

Netanyahu has voiced support for a two-state solution, but has said a future Palestinian country must be demilitarized and accept an Israeli military presence along the Jordan River, its likely eastern frontier.

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If Chomsky can find a visit to Gaza encouraging then we all have grounds for hope!

Father Dave

Noam Chomsky

Noam Chomsky

source: Israel Hayom

The outspoken intellectual was a guest in the coastal area of Rafah for two days. Speaking after the conference, Chomsky told Reuters he was stirred by how Palestinians continued to conduct themselves.

“[My] main impression is how inspiring it is to see people living under extreme duress but nevertheless remain vibrant, vigorous, active, hopeful, resilient and continuing the struggle,” he said.

Chomsky was denied entry to the West Bank in May 2010 by Israeli immigration officials. His intention was to visit Birzeit University and the Institute for Palestine Studies in Ramallah in the West Bank.

An Israeli Interior Ministry spokeswoman said immigration officials at the border crossing had misunderstood Chomsky’s intentions, thinking initially he was also due to visit Israel.

Chomsky, a professor of linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has frequently and outspokenly criticized Israel’s policies toward Palestinians and has openly slammed U.S. regional policy.

Later on Saturday he visited Gaza port and voiced anger over Israeli naval actions in seizing an international pro-Palestinian activist ship in the Mediterranean Sea to prevent it breaching Israel’s naval blockade of the Gaza Strip.

“I should say that every time Israel stops a boat, that’s another blow to its diminishing legitimacy and another element of support, both to the those who are resisting internally and to those who are opposing the policies outside, and sooner or later the wave will sweep over the barriers,” Chomsky told a news conference, standing in front of posters saying “Freedom Flotilla.”

The ship Estelle was carrying 30 activists from Europe, Canada and Israel, humanitarian cargo such as cement, and goodwill items such as children’s books, a mission spokesman said earlier on Saturday.

Palestinians describe the curbs as collective punishment for the Gaza Strip’s 1.6 million residents, and supporters abroad have mounted several attempts to break the blockade by sea.

Most were stopped by Israel, and in an incident in May 2010, Israeli naval commandos killed nine Turkish activists in clashes aboard their ship after they attacked the Israeli soldiers.

An inquiry into that incident commissioned by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon found that Israel’s Gaza blockade was legal but faulted the Israel Navy for using excessive force.

Chomsky last visited Israel and the West Bank in 1997, when he lectured at Ben-Gurion University and also at Birzeit.

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This is depressing! Admittedly, the survey was designed by peace and civil-rights activists, and the results are already being challenged (see article). Even so, the stats are distrubing, and I’ve highlighted a few of them!

The most depressing aspect of this analysis, in my view, is that the degree of support for apartheid evidenced in the survey seems to be in direct proportion to the respondent’s religiosity! In other words, the more religious you are, the more racist! What a horrible irony!

Father Dave

source: Haaretz

Survey: Most Israeli Jews would support apartheid regime in Israel 

Gideon Levy 

October 23, 2012 

Most of the Jewish public in Israel supports the establishment of an apartheid regime in Israel if it formally annexes the West Bank. A majority also explicitly favors discrimination against the state’s Arab citizens, a survey shows.  

The survey, conducted by Dialog on the eve of Rosh Hashanah, exposes anti-Arab, ultra-nationalist views espoused by a majority of Israeli Jews. The survey was commissioned by the Yisraela Goldblum Fund and is based on a sample of 503 interviewees.  

The questions were written by a group of academia-based peace and civil rights activists. Dialog is headed by Tel Aviv University Prof. Camil Fuchs. 

The majority of the Jewish public, 59 percent, wants preference for Jews over Arabs in admission to jobs in government ministries. Almost half the Jews, 49 percent, want the state to treat Jewish citizens better than Arab ones; 42 percent don’t want to live in the same building with Arabs and 42 percent don’t want their children in the same class with Arab children

A third of the Jewish public wants a law barring Israeli Arabs from voting for the Knesset and a large majority of 69 percent objects to giving 2.5 million Palestinians the right to vote if Israel annexes the West Bank. 

A sweeping 74 percent majority is in favor of separate roads for Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank. A quarter – 24 percent – believe separate roads are “a good situation” and 50 percent believe they are “a necessary situation.” 

Almost half – 47 percent – want part of Israel’s Arab population to be transferred to the Palestinian Authority and 36 percent support transferring some of the Arab towns from Israel to the PA, in exchange for keeping some of the West Bank settlements. 

Although the territories have not been annexed, most of the Jewish public (58 percent ) already believes Israel practices apartheid against Arabs. Only 31 percent think such a system is not in force here. Over a third (38 percent ) of the Jewish public wants Israel to annex the territories with settlements on them, while 48 percent object. 

The survey distinguishes among the various communities in Israeli society – secular, observant, religious, ultra-Orthodox and former Soviet immigrants. The ultra-Orthodox, in contrast to those who described themselves as religious or observant, hold the most extreme positions against the Palestinians. An overwhelming majority (83 percent ) of Haredim are in favor of segregated roads and 71 percent are in favor of transfer. 

The ultra-Orthodox are also the most anti-Arab group – 70 percent of them support legally barring Israeli Arabs from voting, 82 percent support preferential treatment from the state toward Jews, and 95 percent are in favor of discrimination against Arabs in admission to workplaces. 

The group classifying itself as religious is the second most anti-Arab. New immigrants from former Soviet states are closer in their views of the Palestinians to secular Israelis, and are far less radical than the religious and Haredi groups. However, the number of people who answered “don’t know” in the “Russian” community was higher than in any other. 

The Russians register the highest rate of satisfaction with life in Israel (77 percent ) and the secular Israelis the lowest – only 63 percent. On average, 69 percent of Israelis are satisfied with life in Israel. 

Secular Israelis appear to be the least racist – 68 percent of them would not mind having Arab neighbors in their apartment building, 73 percent would not mind Arab students in their children’s class and 50 percent believe Arabs should not be discriminated against in admission to workplaces. 

The survey indicates that a third to half of Jewish Israelis want to live in a state that practices formal, open discrimination against its Arab citizens. An even larger majority wants to live in an apartheid state if Israel annexes the territories

The survey conductors say perhaps the term “apartheid” was not clear enough to some interviewees. However, the interviewees did not object strongly to describing Israel’s character as “apartheid” already today, without annexing the territories. Only 31 percent objected to calling Israel an “apartheid state” and said “there’s no apartheid at all.” 

In contrast, 39 percent believe apartheid is practiced “in a few fields”; 19 percent believe “there’s apartheid in many fields” and 11 percent do not know. 

The “Russians,” as the survey calls them, display the most objection to classifying their new country as an apartheid state. A third of them – 35 percent – believe Israel practices no apartheid at all, compared to 28 percent of the secular and ultra-Orthodox communities, 27 percent of the religious and 30 percent of the observant Jews who hold that view. Altogether, 58 percent of all the groups believe Israel practices apartheid “in a few fields” or “in many fields,” while 11 percent don’t know.