israeli peace bloc

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A press release from Gush-Shalom – the Israeli peace Bloc.

Former Israeli military man wants to give up his Israeli citizenship and get a Palestinian one instead. Was arrested after living two months in the Dheishe Refugee Camp. Was released after eight days in detention, but will stand trial for being in the Palestinian "A" area.
Says: "I have concluded that Israel is the representative of Western power interests in the Middle East, and that Zionism made cynical use of the Jewish faith "

Press Release June 11, 2012

 Andre Pshenichnikov, an Israeli who immigrated from the former Soviet Union, was arrested by the IDF after living for two months in the Dheishe Refugee Camp near Bethlehem and kept in detention for eight days at the police station in the settlement of Kiryat Arba. He told his police interrogators that he wants to break all ties with Israel, to give up his Israeli citizenship and obtain a Palestinian citizenship instead. Eventually he was released under restrictive conditions and banned from entering the "A" areas of the West Bank penidng the end of legal proceedings against him. He was indicted for having entered these "A" areas which Israelis are forbidden to do under military orders. During some of the proceedings at the Jerusalem Magistrates’ Court and District Court, representatives of the prosecution asserted that Pshenichnikov had joined the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) but eventually withdrew that charge. Regarding the indictment filed against him, Pshenichnikov is represented by Attorney Andre Rosenthal of Jerusalem.

 Andre Pshenichnikov, 23, was born in Tajikistan, then part of the Soviet Union. As a child his family moved to Russia. He came to Israel at the age of 13, enlisted in the IDF Signal Corps, after completing three years of mandatory military service,  served an additional year and a half under conditions of a career soldier. During the years there has been a complete turnover in his opinions and he concluded that the State of Israel serves as a representative of the interests of Western powers in the Middle East and that the Zionist movement had made a cynical use of Jewish religion. As noted, this led him to the conclusion of making contact with Palestinians, with whom he spoke in  Arabic in which he is fluent, going to live in the Dheishe Refugee Camp and seeking to revoke his Israeli citizenship and get Palestinian citizenship instead.

 Pshenichnikov is going to depart tonight (Tuesday June 11) for two months in Europe. Until his departure he can be contacted at phone +972-77-4335158 (home) or +972-52-7728518 (mobile) and by email to Rodnower@gmail.com…. Attorney Andre Rosenthal, who represents him can be contacted at +972-2-6250458.

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The following is a press release from Gush-Shalom – the Israeli ‘Peace Bloc’.

Press Release 15/04/2012

 Avnery: Netanyahu compares Israel to Syria and Iran, thereby himself contributing to the delegitimation of Israel. The aggressive conduct at the airport exhibits to the entire world the image of Israel as a police state

 "In the height of demagoguery, Binyamin Netanyahu calls upon peace and human rights activists to go Syria and Iran, and this pack of absurdities go    echoing though the official and unofficial government mouthpieces. The Prime Minister did not notice that exactly by making this comparison he is putting the State of Israel on one level with these oppressive regimes and himself significantly contributes to the delegitimation of Israel" said former Knesset Member Uri Avnery, Gush Shalom activist.

"Today is a black and shameful page in the history of the State of Israel. The massive aggressive play staged today at Ben Gurion Airport, the hundreds of police flooding the terminal, the systematic hunt for every traveler who dared to openly admit being headed to Bethlehem, as if this was the most horrible of crimes, the hysterical assault on a handful of Israeli peace activists who dared to express a dissident opinion, the worldwide campaign of pressures and threats to make airlines cancel the flights of hundreds of passengers. Had the government set out to exhibit to the world the image of an ugly Israel – oppressive, aggressive, nationalistic, tolerating no criticism – then today was a huge success. But if they had wanted to corroborate the assertion that Israel is "the only democracy in the Middle East", the government’s conduct conveyed   the very opposite message. The government’s "victory" over the the international activists was the very epitome of a pyrrhic victory.

The Assad regime in Syria is already for a year facing worldwide condemnation for its atrocities, and now the international community is finally beginning to intervene there, even if too little and too late. Courageous human rights activists in Syria are risking their lives to transmit messages and images, and deserve all respect and honor. All this does not clear or exonerate the State of Israel of its responsibility for the last 44 years – more than two thirds of its entire history – in which Israel maintains an oppressive rule over four million people and systematically steals their land. There is indeed no doubt that in the count of sheer bloodshed Syria is at this moment ahead Israel – but it would be better for Israel not to boast too much about this. Human rights activists around the world could and should deal with human rights violations, wherever they occur – in Syria, in Iran and also in the Palestinian territories under Israeli occupation. The Israeli peace activists, who came to the airport to protest the government’s aggressive conduct and welcome the international activists, helped restore a bit of Israel’s good name".

 Contact:
Adam Keller, Gush Shalom spokesperson +972-54-2340749

 

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The great Uri Avnery,  founder of ‘Gush Shalom’ (the Israeli ‘Peace Bloc’), has persisted in saying that Israel will NOT attack Iran – not now and not ever!  I pray to God that he is right.

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Uri Avnery – March 11, 2011

Israel will not attack

Israel will not attack Iran. Period.

The United States will not attack Iran. Period.

The United States will not attack. Not this year, nor in years to come. For a reason far more important than electoral considerations or military limitations. The United States will not attack, because an attack would spell a national disaster for itself and a sweeping disaster for the whole world.

“If you want to understand the policy of a country, take a look at the map,” said Napoleon. Minutes after an attack is launched, Iran will close the Strait of Hormuz, through which passes almost all the oil exported by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Iraq and Iran – 40% of the world’s sea-borne oil passes through the strait. A few minutes after that, oil prices will rise, will double, triple or quadruple – and the U.S. and global economy will collapse.

Such small issues do not cross the minds of generals, military commentators and other wise guys who look at the world between narrow “security” blinkers.

Closing the Strait would be the most easy of military operations. A few missiles, launched from either the sea or the land, would do it. To reopen it, it would not be enough to send the US Navy’s mighty aircraft carriers on show cruises. The United States would have to conquer large parts of Iran, so as to put the Strait out of range of the Iranian missiles. Iran is larger than Germany, France, Spain and Italy combined. It would be a long war, something on the scale of the Vietnam War.

For Iran, there is no difference between an Israeli attack and an American attack. They would be treated as one and the same. In both cases, the consequence will be the blocking of the Strait and a large scale war.

All of which is more than enough for the United States not to attack, and to forbid Israel from attacking.

It’s 56 years since Israel went to war without giving notice to the Americans and getting their consent. When Israel did this in 1956, President Eisenhower took away all the achievements of victory, to the last millimeter. Before the Six Day War and on the eve of the First Lebanon War, the government of Israel sent special envoys to Washington to ensure unequivocal consent. If this time it did attack against the Americans’ will, who would restock the IDF armories? Who would protect the cities of Israel, which would be exposed to many tens of thousands of missiles from Iran and its proxies? Not to mention the wave of anti-Semitism which can be expected to burst out once the American public finds out that it was Israel, and Israel alone, which brought upon them a national disaster.

American diplomatic and economic pressure might be sufficient to stop the ayatollahs’ gallop towards the Bomb. It worked in Gaddafi’s Libya and is now happening in the North Korea of Kim. The Persians are a nation of merchants, and it might be possible to formulate a deal which would be worth their while.

This is questionable, because a few years ago the Neo-Conservatives in Washington engaged in glib talk about how easy it would be to occupy Iran – which surely convinced the Iranians that they must acquire the ultimate weapon of deterrence.  What would we have done in their place? Or rather, what did we actually do (according to foreign reports, etc.) when we were in their position?

So what is going to happen? If no deal is reached, Iran will develop nuclear weapons.  That’s not the end of the world. As has been pointed out by some of our more courageous security chiefs, this is not an existential threat. We’ll live in a situation of a balance of terror. Like America and Russia during the Cold War. Like India and Pakistan now. Not pleasant, but not too terrible, either.

Iran has not attacked any other country in a thousand years. Ahmadinejad talks like a wild demagogue, but the Iranian leadership actually treads very carefully. Israel does not threaten any Iranian interest. Joint national suicide is not an option.

Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar boasted, and rightly, that Netanyahu had managed to distract the whole world’s attention, away from the Palestinians and to the Iranian problem. A fantastic success, indeed. Obama in effect tells him: OK, go and play with settlements as much as you want, but please leave Iran for the adults.

Uri Avnery

Published in Hebrew in Haaretz

Read more of Avnery’s essays on the Gush-Shalom website