Archive for the ‘Jewish Crimes’ Category

Weekly Report on Israel’s terrorism against the State of Palestine

April 12, 2013

PCHR Weekly Report: 11 civilians wounded, 59 abducted; 350 trees cut by Israeli troops this week

 Friday April 12, 2013 01:06 by PCHR-Gaza

In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 04- 10 April 2013, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) found that Israeli forces continued to use excessive force against peaceful protesters, wounding 11.

Young protester abducted by Israeli undercover unit during protest in Al-Eesawiya village (PCHR photo)
Young protester abducted by Israeli undercover unit during protest in Al-Eesawiya village (PCHR photo)

In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces continued to open fire at Palestinian fishing boats, restricting the permitted fishing area to 3 nautical miles instead of the 6 nautical mile limit that was agreed in the ceasefire agreement reached between Israel and Palestinian armed groups in November 2012.

A photographer for the Popular Resistance Movement against the Annexation Wall and Settlements in al-Nabi Saleh village sustained burns to his face. 10 Palestinian civilians, including 3 children and 1 woman, were abducted during protests in support of prisoners in the Israeli jails.

Israeli attacks in the West Bank:

Israeli forces conducted 78 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. 55 Palestinian civilians, including 8 children, were abducted during those incursions. Among the abducted was the former prisoner, Tha’er Halahla.

During the reporting period, Israeli forces wounded 11 Palestinian civilians, including 3 children and a woman, in the West Bank. They were all wounded during peaceful protests organised by Palestinian civilians against the construction of the annexation wall and settlement activities and in support of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

Israeli forces established dozens of checkpoints in the West Bank. 4 Palestinian civilians, including 2 children, were abducted at checkpoints.

Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip:

In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence continued to open fire. On 06 April 2013, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence, east of Khan Yunis, in the south of the Gaza Strip, opened fire at houses and agricultural lands in al-Qarara village and around al-Sreij gate. No casualties were reported.

Israeli forces continued to chase fishermen at sea. On 08 April 2013, Israeli gunboats stationed off the coast of al-Waha resort, northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats that were sailing 2 nautical miles offshore. As a result, the fishermen returned to shore, fearing that they would be wounded or abducted. Neither casualties nor material damage were reported. A similar incident occurred on 10 April 2013.

It should be noted that, on Thursday, 21 March 2013, Israeli forces announced that the nautical mile limit would be reduced from 6 to 3 nautical miles. Israeli forces had permitted fishermen to sail up to 6 nautical miles offshore following the ceasefire agreement between Israel and Palestinian armed groups in November 2012.

Israeli forces continued to open fire in the border area in the Gaza Strip. Israeli forces opened fire at houses and agricultural lands in al-Qarara village, in the south of the Gaza Strip.

Israel has continued to impose a total closure and has isolated the Gaza Strip from the outside world. During the reporting period, Israeli forces completely closed the commercial border crossings between the Gaza Strip and Israel. They closed Karm Abu Salem crossing for 4 consecutive days because of Jewish holidays. This closure negatively affected the entry of goods, construction materials and medical consignments in the Gaza Strip. It also had a negative impact on the living conditions of Palestinian civilians.

Israeli forces also imposed comprehensive security restrictions due to the Jewish holiday of Passover. As a result, thousands of Palestinian workers were denied access to their work in Israel and occupied East Jerusalem. Moreover, Palestinian traders were denied access to Israel and/or travel via the border crossings between the Gaza Strip and West Bank.

Israeli settlement activities:

Israeli forces have continued to support settlement activities in the West Bank, and Israeli settlers have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property.

On Saturday, 06 April 2013, a unit of Israeli soldiers, accompanied by three military vehicles, raided agricultural lands surrounding the Um Akhwas area, east of Yatta, south of Hebron. The soldiers were deployed in the area and prohibited Palestinian farmers and shepherds from working on the land, declaring that the land had been confiscated. The soldiers ordered the farmers and shepherds to leave the area and declared it a closed military zone. When the farmers and shepherds refused to leave their lands, the Israeli soldiers assaulted them, beat them severely and attempted to arrest some of them, but international peace activists intervened and stopped them.

On Sunday, 07 April 2013, a group of settlers from “Tekoa” settlement, established southwest of Taqou’ village, southeast of Bethlehem, raided the afore-mentioned village. The settlers wrote “Paying the Price” and drew the Star of David on Bilal Bin Rabah mosque and Salah al-Din al-Ayouby mosque in al-‘Amour neighbourhood, in the south of the village. In his testimony to a PCHR fieldworker, Mohammed al-Badan, Head of the Youth Council in the village, said that the settlers damaged the car tyres of vehicles.

On Tuesday, 09 April 2013, a group of settlers, from “Ramat Yishai” settlement outpost, established on land belonging to Palestinian civilians in Tal al-Remyda area, central Hebron, confiscated a tract of land belonging to a 48-year old man, extended an agricultural irrigation system and supplied it with water through the afore-mentioned settlement outpost, and planted it with vegetable seeds.

On Tuesday, 09 April 2013, Israeli forces, accompanied by a vehicle of the Planning and Building Department in the Israeli Civil Administration, raided al-Dirat area, east of Yatta, south of Hebron. They presented a 42-year old man with a notice ordering him to halt construction work on a tin structure, built on a 100 square metre area, which was being used as a barn for cattle, under the pretext that it had been built without first obtaining a permit from the Israeli authorities.

On Tuesday, 09 April 2013, Israeli forces, accompanied by a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration and a truck, raided the Emdimna area, located between al-Thaherya and al-Ramadeen villages, south of Hebron. Israeli soldiers were deployed in the farmlands and cut down 100 olive trees and 250 almond trees, which were 5 years old, with saws, confiscated them and loaded them into the truck.

Also on Tuesday, Israeli forces, accompanied by a number of military vehicles, a bulldozer, and a vehicle of the Planning and Building Department in the Israeli Civil Administration, raided al-Dirat area, east of Yatta, south of Hebron. They bulldozed a 70-cubic-metre water well, belonging to a 45-year old man, claiming that he had not obtained a permit.

On Wednesday morning, 10 April 2013, Israeli forces, accompanied by an officer of the Israeli Civil Administration, raided the Um Hadida area, east of Nahalin village, southwest of Bethlehem, and placed notices on the lands of two Palestinian civilians, aged 60 and 71. The notices ordered them to evacuate their 3 dunums of land.

Also on Wednesday, Israeli forces, accompanied by a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration, raided the Kherbat Qalqas area, south of Hebron. The Civil Administration officer presented a 48-year old man with a demolition notice for his family residence, under the pretext that it had been built without a permit. The 2-storey house was built established on an area of 200 square metres and shelters his family of 11 people.

Israeli attacks on non-violent demonstrations:

In the West Bank, in an example of the systematic use of excessive force against peaceful protests organised by Palestinian, Israeli, and international activists against the construction of the annexation wall and settlement activities in the West Bank, Israeli forces wounded Belal Abdul Salam Hassan al-Tamimi, 47, when they sprayed pepper spray in his face. It should be noted that al-Tamimi is a photographer for the Popular Resistance Movement against the Annexation Wall and Settlements in al-Nabi Saleh village. Many more civilians suffered from tear gas inhalation and others sustained bruises.

Palestinian civilians organised many peaceful protests in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, especially those on hunger strike. Israeli forces used excessive force against the protesters; as a result, 10 civilians, including 3 children and 1 woman, were wounded. In addition, many civilians suffered from tear gas inhalation and others sustained bruises.

On 04 April 2013, an 18-year-old man was wounded by a bullet to the right cheek during a peaceful protest near the annexation wall in the southern part of Beit Luqia village, southwest of Ramallah. In addition, 2 children were wounded in al-Khader village, south of Bethlehem, during a similar protest in the Um Rokba area at the southwestern entrance of the village.

On 05 April 2013, a 16-year-old boy was wounded by a plastic-coated bullet to the back of the head during a protest organised at the southern entrance of al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of Ramallah. In addition, 1 child was wounded in al-Khader village, south of Bethlehem, during a similar protest in the Um Rokba area at the southwestern entrance of the village.

At approximately 12:00 on Friday, 05 April 2013, dozens of Palestinian civilians, activists with the Popular Committees against Settlement Activity and the Hebron Defence Committee, and international human rights activists gathered in al-Haraiek area, southeast of Hebron, for a peaceful demonstration calling for the route linking Hebron to its southern villages to be reopened; it has been closed for the past 12 years. These villages are al-Rayhia, al-Thaheria, Doura, and al-Fawar Refugee Camp. Upon arrival at the steel gate which blocks the road leading to Bypass Road 60, Israeli forces surrounded the area and declared it a closed military zone, ordering the demonstrators to leave immediately. The soldiers fired tear gas canisters and sound bombs at the demonstration. A number of protesters fainted as a result of tear gas inhalation.

Friday protests were also held in the towns of Bil’in, Naileen, Nabi Saleh (where a 45-year old photographer sustained burns in the face after being sprayed with pepper spray), Al Masara and Kafr Kaddoum.

On 06 April 2013, a 45-year-old woman was wounded by a plastic-coated bullet to the back while she was standing in front of her house in the Um Rokba area at the southwestern entrance of al-Khader village, south of Bethlehem.

On 07 April 2013, a 17-year-old boy was hit by a tear gas canister to the head during a peaceful protest in the Um Rokba area, south of Bethlehem. On the same day, an 11-year-old boy was wounded by a bullet to the right side of his face during a protest organised at the northern entrance of Ayda refugee camp, north of Bethlehem.

On 09 April 2013, an 18-year-old boy was wounded by a bullet to the right leg, while an 11-year-old boy was wounded by a bullet to the left side of his head during a protest organised at the northern entrance of Ayda refugee camp, north of Bethlehem.

Recommendations to the international community:

Due to the number and severity of Israeli attacks on Palestinian civilians this week, the PCHR made several recommendations to the international community. Among these was a recommendation that the United Nations provide international protection to Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and to ensure the non-recurrence of aggression against the Occupied Palestinian Territories, especially the Gaza Strip.

In addition, the PCHR calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions to compel Israel, as a High Contracting Party to the Conventions, to apply the Conventions in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

For the full text of the report, click on the link below:


River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

Israel Channel 2 program on Anti-Semitism (must watch)

April 11, 2013

Israel defines itself as the Jewish State, its tanks are decorated with Jewish symbols, it commits crimes against humanity in the name of the Jewish people, and yet, Israeli TV can’t understand why people out there express some anger towards Israel. Zionism or Jews. I can’t make up my mind whether this is tragic or just sad -time is overdue for Israel and Jews to self-reflect.
The TV program fails to define what ‘anti Semitism’ is. It also fails to suggest since when Jews are Semites.

In spite of being an Israeli (Hebrew) TV program, many of the segments are in English.

Interestingly enough, just a year ago, Ethnic Cleanser enthusiast Alan Dershowitz crowned me as the ‘biggest danger to the Jewish people.’ This time I am not mentioned at all. I guess that our Zionist, AZZ and their Palestinian Sabbath Goyim grasped by now that the Anti Semite/Racist label is not going to work with me. I easily survived the smear. They will soon try something new. I can see them working hard.


River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian  
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

Purim and Genocidal Phantasies By Ran HaCohen

March 5, 2013
Purim. One of the most popular Jewish holidays among Orthodox, traditional and so-called secular Jewish Israelis alike. The streets are packed with children and adults wearing costumes, make-up and all sorts of masquerading, on their way from one joyous Purim party to the next. Happy days. But behind the carnivalesque masks, ominous demons are lurking.

Tel Aviv, Sunday, February 24th

Hanan Usruf, a 40-year-old Arab sanitation worker for the city, was savagely beaten by some dozen Jewish men. The Jerusalem Post reported that Usruf’s injuries

include a fracture in his right eye socket and deep lacerations on his right ear and across almost his entire head. His vision is blurred in his left eye, but he can make out small numbers and letters, doctors said.

The Times of Israel added that the victim – an Israeli citizen, one should add – attacked by “drunken youth” required dozens of stitches and that doctors were doing their best to save his eye; under his horrendous photo in hospital, Usruf is quoted saying that
the youths kicked him and broke bottles on his head while shouting racial epithets at him. “They shouted things like ‘f**kin’ Arab’ and ‘get your own country.’

Jerusalem, Monday, February 25th

Hana Amtir, an Arab woman standing at the tram stop near the central bus station, was attacked by a group of young Jewish women. AFP quotes a (Jewish) eyewitness who took pictures of the attack and documented it on Facebook:

Suddenly shouts were heard, and a group of young religious Jewish women confronted the woman and suddenly a young Jewish woman punched her in the head, […] the rest then joined in, hitting and shoving the Arab woman. The woman tried to fight them off but they shouted at her not to dare touch Jews and they continued as a group to attack her and even forcibly pulled off her head covering, […] the incident was witnessed by a security guard from the rail company and a group of ultra-Orthodox Jewish students who stood by and did nothing.


Both events – the lynch in Tel Aviv and the attack in Jerusalem – were reported widely in the Israeli media (separately or even together [Hebrew]), justly framed as hate crimes, sometimes with reference to similar crimes in the recent past. Some public protest followed – a demonstration, petitions and op-eds. However, no report I’ve seen mentioned the fact that both crimes were committed on Purim (24.2), a one-day holiday that lasts a day longer in Jerusalem (24-25.2). At best, one could find the holiday mentioned in passing, for instance in the Times of Israel that also described the Tel Aviv victimizers as drunken: “Police had yet to make any arrests […] After detaining suspects, the police will determine whether the attack was racially motivated, or the action of out-of-hand Purim revelers,” as if racist motivation and Purim revelry were mutually exclusive. But as a rule, Purim was simply ignored as irrelevant.

Is the Jewish holiday really irrelevant? The notion that the attackers were drunken can be easily traced back to the religious duty to get drunk on Purim. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Purim has been identified with Jewish violence (and with accusations of violence against Jews, true or false) for centuries. Just think of the West Bank town of Hebron for example: it was Purim 1981 when Jewish settlers brought down the roof over an Arab upholstery in “Beit Hadassah”, expelling its owner and taking over the house, a crucial step in what has since developed into a full-fledged ethnic cleansing at the heart of the Palestinian town. The settlers’ Purim parades in that city have become a tradition of provocations, with Jewish violence escalating from year to year – culminating in Purim 1994, when a Jewish settler massacred 29 and injured 125 Muslim worshippers in the Cave of the Patriarchs. The butcher joined the settlers’ hall of fame: “Purim in Hebron after 1994 was like Purim in Hebron since 1981, only more so – with a new Jewish hero for Jewish children to dress up as,” writes Israeli historian Prof Elliott Horowitz in his excellent Reckless Rites: Purim and the Legacy of Jewish Violence (2006, p. 8), that documents the roots and history of Jewish Purim violence (alongside with its anti-Semitic abuses by Christians) from ancient times to the present.

Why Purim?

Like any legacy stretching from the Ancient World through the Middle Ages to Modern Times, Judaism is a multifaceted culture: it can be universal as well as nationalist; egalitarian as well as racist; liberal, even revolutionary as well as ultra-conservative – all these messages can be found in it. Among other things, Purim, however, has always reflected deep genocidal phantasies of revenge. The Book of Esther, the textual basis for this holiday, tells the story of the miraculous saving of the Jews of Persia from their enemies, most notably the evil Haman. It ends with the hanging of Haman by the Persian King. Consequently, the Jews take revenge and kill Haman’s ten sons, murder several hundreds of non-Jews in the capital Susa, and then massacre seventy-five thousand non-Jews all over Persia. That’s how the Book of Esther ends. The (probably non-existent) historical foundations of these events are irrelevant: it’s the myth and the memory that matter.

The genocidal roots of Purim go even deeper: Haman, as the short Book of Esther repeatedly stresses, is an “Agagite”, that is, an offspring of Agag. Agag was the King of the ancient Amalekites, the archetypal enemy of the Jews, on which the Bible commands to inflict genocide: “you shall blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; do not forget” (Deuteronomy 25,19). When King Saul sins by sparing King Agag’s life, God regrets He had made him king of Israel, and Prophet Samuel “hews Agag in pieces before the Lord” (I Samuel 15,33).

These are not just idle interpretations for the learned or deep secrets known to the few; it’s all anchored in the liturgical practice of Purim. While the public reading of the Book of Esther is at the heart of the holiday itself, the Torah-text on blotting out Amalek is read in synagogue on the “Sabbath of Remembrance”, the last Saturday before Purim.Once the Arabs are seen as Haman/Amalek, Purim turns into a carneval of incitement against them.

Educating Israeli Soldiers

The Chief Rabbinate of the Israeli army has recently produced a short video (in Hebrew) to “explain” Purim to Israeli soldiers. It opens by stating the obvious, namely that Persia is today’s Iran; among the images that flash every now and then when Haman is mentioned we see not only Ahmadinejad, but also Hezbollah’s leader Nasrallah, as well as (several times) Hitler, and, yes, Jesus Christ, who also makes a brief appearance. In a baseless rewriting of the legend, obviously aimed against present-day Palestinians, Haman and his sons are said to have resided in the Land of Israel, where they were inciting against the Jews and demanding to stop construction in Jerusalem(!) before moving to Persia, where the Book of Esther takes place.

In other words, the army “educational” video draws a line from Haman to Jesus, to Nazi Germany, to today’s Iran and Hezbollah, as well as to the present-day Palestinians. And Haman, as the video doesn’t even bother to remind its viewers, is Amalek, the eternal enemy of the Jews: “you shall blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven, do not forget.”

From Hebron to Tel Aviv

It’s truly amazing that the Israeli media ignored the Purim context of the violent events in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Jewish Israelis are witnessing a trend of “rediscovering of” and “reconnecting to” their “Jewish roots”. In such an atmosphere, one would expect those “rediscoverers” to be aware the Jewish context of the violence: after all, this is also part of the Jewish legacy they are allegedly so fond of. But no: instead of coming to terms with the lights and shadows of the rich Jewish tradition, non-Orthodox Israelis fall prey to ominous Jewish demons without even noticing them, demons that have enjoyed an uninterrupted existence among Orthodox Jews like the radical settlers of Hebron, but have now sneaked even into “secular” Tel Aviv.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian  
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

Weekly Rogues Gallery

March 3, 2013

Welcome to the Rogues Gallery, our weekly to semi-weekly foray into the totalitarian world of Jewish crime, rancor, and depravity. Here we examine the darker instincts of Talmudic/Judaic ipseity, whether it be in the form of Wall Street pilferage and rapacity, the subversion of democratic government by Jewish lobbies, or the ongoing problem of Jewish pedophilia and sexual perversion.

If it seems to you, gazing at today’s world, that what has come to be referred to as “Jewish power” has surpassed even that that of sovereign countries, there’s a good reason for this—it has. Certainly the global banking system was key in bringing this about, and to be sure Jews are prominent players in the latter. But it has to be stated, in all honesty, that the cooperation and confederacy of slippery, two-faced Gentiles, commonly known as Shabbes goyim, has certainly helped to facilitate the present horrid state of affairs.

And today we are proud and privileged to add to our Rogues Gallery the president and prime minister of Croatia. Yes, folks, occasionally we do throw some worthy Gentiles into our hallowed gallery, and in our humble opinion Croatian President Ivo Josipović…


as well as the country’s Prime Minister, Zoran Milanović


 are more than deserving of the honor. I shall now try and explain why. It’s a long story, but please bear with me.

Take a good close look at Josipović, the guy in the top photo. The poor man looks like he’s near tears, doesn’t he? That photo was made in February of 2012 on the occasion of a state visit Josopović made to Israel. While in the land stolen from the Palestinians, the Croatian president gave a speech before Israel’s Knesset in which, very somber-faced, he issued a thoroughly groveling apology for his country’s alleged guilt in crimes committed during the Nazi era. Here in part is what he said:

We need to look into our hearts, and to come to terms with the darkest stain in our history. Here I am, standing before the parliament of the Jewish state, and more importantly, in front of people born in Croatia, and with no ambiguity, I apologize and I ask for forgiveness from all the Holocaust survivors and all the victims.

I mentioned Josopović’s state visit in an article I wrote in August of last year entitled Swindler’s List: A Brief Look at the Holocaust Reparations Racket. In that article I discussed the concerted efforts of Jewish organizations, such as the Claims Conference and the World Jewish Congress, to extort greater and greater sums of holocaust “reparations” not only from Germany (for the past 60-plus years), but more recently from other European countries as well, and I noted that at least some of the sharks have Croatia in their cross-hairs now as well.

In his address to the Knesset, Josopović went on to say he felt convinced that amendments to his country’s “compensation law” would soon be passed providing for payments to “Holocaust survivors, private individuals, their inheritors or local communities,” but apparently this wasn’t enough to placate Stuart Eizenstat, a former undersecretary of state in the Clinton administration who has played a leading role in reparations negotiations. Eizenstat said he wanted to see EU officials “leverage” Croatia’s desire to join the European Union to get even greater concessions from the tiny country. “Now is the time for the European Union to exact the maximum amount of leverage,” he said, adding that “once they’re in, the leverage is lost.” So apparently it wasn’t enough for Eizenstat that Josopović had made pilgrimage to Israel or that he had issued a pleading entreaty for forgiveness along with a promise to change his country’s law. No. Apparently Eizenstat desired even more than that.

A mortar shell from the former Yugoslavia in seen in the hand of a militant in Syria. (File photo)  Josopović gave his speech to the Knesset on February 15, 2012. Interestingly, we come to find out that just eight days later, on February 23, Zoran Minanović, the Croatian Prime Minister, issued a call for Croatian companies to withdraw from Syria, citing violence in the country as justification. The Croatian state oil company was to cease operations there as well, a shut down that would reportedly result in the loss of “hundreds of millions of euros,” but according to a Croatian government official, the exit from Syria was in keeping with the EU’s embargo and would remain in effect supposedly until “democratic order” is implemented in Syria.
Now let’s fast forward one year, to February 25, 2013, when a report appears in the New York Times detailing a rather large influx of weapons from Croatia into Syria and into the hands of NATO-backed terrorists. It seems that videos posted to YouTube have been the means by which observers, including apparently the Times reporter, have noted the Croatian arms shipments:

YouTube has also been instrumental in allowing analysts to follow certain arming trends, including the arrival of shoulder-fired heat-seeking missiles to rebel possession last year and the influx in 2013 of weapons previously unseen in the conflict. This in turn provides an opportunity for traditional investigation. In short, during the past several weeks scores of videos have been uploaded to YouTube that provide evidence of a seemingly distinct flow of new weapons to the country, which The New York Times has now identified as a Saudi-financed flow of arms from Croatia.

I don’t know how the writer, simply from looking at the videos, can be so sure the armaments are “Saudi-financed,” but of course it only takes someone with a knowledge of weaponry to identify the types of arms, and if the Times reporter doesn’t have such knowledge himself, he could easily ask some in the military who does. In any rate, the weapons showing up in the videos have been positively identified. For instance…

The M79 Osa is an antitank weapon originating from the former Yugoslavia. Rather unusually the rockets come in separate pods that are attached to the rear of the rocket launcher. Dozens were present in the first video, and two in the second. Markings visible on rocket pods in both videos indicate that they were manufactured between 1990 and 1991.

We then have the M60 recoil-less gun, seen on the far left of the picture, below left, alongside dozens of M79 Osa rocket pods. Again, the M60 is a weapon originating in the former Yugoslavia and has continued to be used in Serbia, Croatia and Macedonia since Yugoslavia’s breakup.

These and other weapons have shown up in more than 60 videos uploaded to YouTube in January alone, according to the Times report, while another report, here, notes that Croatia is now in essence “breaking the arms embargo against Syria.” How much of all this is being done at the behest of Israel and world Jewry we can only speculate, and of course that’s a subject the mainstream media will never address or broach, but if we go here we can find a spreadsheet cataloguing a large number of videos now on YouTube that show “foreign weapons in Syria” (a total of 131 listings as of this writing), and here is one of the actual videos—showing a group of witless Western-backed hooligans firing a Croatian M60 and screaming the prescribed “Allahu akbar” that invariably accompanies such occasions.

Now let’s fast-forward three more days, to February 28, 2013. We have an announcement from Josopović and Milanović that Croatia will be withdrawing its 100 or so “peacekeeping” troops from the Syria-Israel border. The reasoning behind this decision? The two leaders fear their soldiers, in the wake of the published report in the New York Times, could become the targets of Syrian government forces. And oh yes, they also deny having armed the NATO terror gangs, but of course by now “everyone has read those reports” and so of course “our soldiers are no longer safe.” Incidentally, they do admit to having sold, oh, perhaps a few armaments to Saudi Arabia (which of course has been supplying the Syrian opposition, as most of the world knows), but they insist that never, ever would they even thinkof violating the international arms embargo against Syria, heaven forbid.

Croatian military analyst Igor Tabak told the Associated Press that Croatia — slated to enter the European Union this summer — would not risk breaching an international arms embargo by directly arming the rebels.

But he did not rule out the possibility that the rebels got the Croatian weapons through a third country, possibly Saudi Arabia, which purchased the arms from the Balkan state.
We do have a surplus amount of weapons,” Tabak said. “It would be reasonable to sell something considering Croatia’s economic crisis.”

Fueling the arms deal reports were the sightings of Jordanian-registered cargo planes flying in and out of Zagreb’s international airport earlier this year.

Western countries have mostly refused to arm the rebels, but the United States said Thursday it would start providing noncombat aid to the Free Syrian Army.

So now, discretion being the better part of valor, Croatia has decided to withdraw its troops from the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. Too bad they can’t also “withdraw” the stockpiles of weapons they sold to the Saudis, the Free Syrian Army, or whomever they sold them to, but I guess it’s a bit late for that.

On Wednesday, February 27, I put up a post entitled Syrian Women Train to Defend Their Country…As US Moves to Arm Their Enemies. If you haven’t seen it, go check it out. The post included a quote from Secretary of State John Kerry, who said, “We are determined that the Syrian opposition is not going to be dangling in the wind wondering where the support is or if it’s coming, and we are determined to change the calculation on the ground for President Assad.” The same post also discussed Syria’s new civilian National Defense Forces, which includes large numbers of women, who have taken up arms to help defend their nation from the hooligans and foreign-backed invaders. 

I also included three videos showing scores of these women marching, drilling, etc. in preparation for the day when they meet the enemy head on. How many of these patriotic Syrian women will be shot down by the weapons supplied by Croatia?

How many of them will still be alive a year from now?

Ivo Josopović and Zoran Milanović, welcome to the Rogues Gallery! Step right in, gents! Make yourselves at home!

The Rabbi with the Wrestling Fetish

In previous Rogues Galleries I have reported on the ongoing controversy at Yeshiva University High School for Boys in New York (see here and here ) regarding alleged sexual misconduct by rabbis who have been employed there as teachers. The problem dates back to at least the late 70s/early 80s, and causing perhaps the greatest uproar in the community at present are recent disclosures of how school administrators dealt with the issue of sexual abuse of students when the concerns were brought to their attention. Rather than turn the alleged perpetrators over to the police, school authorities, including the school president at the time, adopted a policy of allowing them to simply leave quietly and take other jobs elsewhere. This at any rate seems to be what happened in the case of Rabbi George Finkelstein, who worked at the school from roughly 1968 until 1995, when, while serving as principle, he left following accusations of inappropriate contact with students. 
Yeshiva University High School for Boys where Rabbi George Finkelstein (left insert)
and Rabbi Macy Gordon (right insert) are alleged to have had inappropriate contact
with students. The images are taken from an old yearbook.
Finkelstein apparently has, or at one time had, a “wrestling fetish,” if one might call it that. According to accounts that have been published in the Jewish Daily Forward, he seems to have invited students to wrestle with him and then, once so engaged, proceeded to press his erect penis against their bodies while pinning them to the mat or floor. One of our readers emailed me that such a fetish perhaps has less to do with sex than power, which may be a valid observation; I don’t know. But at any rate, Rabbi Norman Lamm, then YU president and who today, at age 85, continues to serve as chancellor, became aware at some point that there was indeed a problem with Finkelstein. Recalling the matter in an interview with The Forward, Lamm said, “My question was not whether to report to police but to ask the person to leave the job.” This Lamm did not only with Finkelstein but apparently in the case of another teacher at the school, Rabbi Macy Gordon, who also was accused of sexual misconduct with students. The Forward additionally quotes Lamm as saying, “If it was an open-and-shut case, I just let [the staff member] go quietly. It was not our intention or position to destroy a person without further inquiry.”
And so Finkelstein left YU, in 1995, moved to Florida, and took a job at another school—the Samuel Scheck Hillel Community Day School, in North Miami Beach, where he became dean. And consider this: not only did Lamm not notify police, he also failed to inform the Florida school about why Finkelstein had been obliged to resign, or as he expressed it, “The responsibility of a school in hiring someone is to check with the previous job. No one checked with me about George.”

Finkelstein stayed with the Hillel school until 2001, at which point he made tracks for Israel, where he took a position as director general of the Jerusalem Great Synagogue. And it was here he remained until resigning abruptly in December of 2012 after disclosures of his past alleged misconduct became public.

In its most recent article on Finkelstein, published February 28, 2013, The Forward reports that “the wrestling did not stop after his (Finkelstein’s) departure from Y.U.”, but rather that it continued at his next two jobs, i.e. at the school in Florida, and later on at the synagogue in Jerusalem.

One official with the Hillel school is quoted on record as saying, “We had no difficulties with Rabbi Finkelstein whatsoever,” but apparently others gave different accounts.

A former Hillel staff member, who requested anonymity, said: “The kids went to convention or camp and they met kids from Y.U. and they asked, ‘Did Finkelstein touch you already?’”

Yudewitz and Maya said Finkelstein often invited boys to stay over at his house during Shabbat. Such behavior was typical for a Jewish educator trying to persuade students to become more observant.

It was during one such sleepover that one former Hillel student said Finkelstein asked him to wrestle.

Even before then, the former student recalled, Finkelstein had taken a particular interest in him. Finkelstein often told the boy that he loved him and, when he called him into his school office, he hugged him “a little bit closer than a normal person might hug.”

“He would lock his feet together and come in close [with his] legs touching each other and he was flat against me,” the former student said. “I never took it as he felt anything more than affection in a father-son type way,” he added.

The former student said he stayed at Finkelstein’s house many times. Then, one time when the two were alone, Finkelstein asked him to wrestle.

“His demeanor changed and he puts on this face like you would do with a kid if [you were] pretending to be angry,” the former student said. “[He] starts making a fist and says, ‘We’re going to come to blows.’”

“The whole thing ended with my getting pinned to the ground and he’s on top of me and I’m thinking, ‘I don’t know what the hell is going on,’” the former student said. “And he starts tickling me…and he got off [me] and that was the end of it.”

The man said that he felt uncomfortable enough that the next time Finkelstein asked to wrestle he refused. But he said that he remained friendly with Finkelstein.

A few years ago, he discovered a blog where former Y.U. High School students wrote of what they perceived to be the sexual undertones beneath Finkelstein’s wrestling. “It made me furious,” the man said. “I realized if he’s doing this to all these guys he’s either really naive or some kind of predator.”

Despite the official denial from the Hillel official, school authorities apparently at some point did become aware of Finkelstein’s proclivities. A former YU student reportedly contacted them and “warned the Florida school that Finkelstein liked to wrestle with boys.” This, as it turns out was in 2001—the same year Finkelstein took off for Israel.

As The Forward notes, “allegations of Finkelstein’s inappropriate behavior preceded him when he applied for the job of director general of Jerusalem’s Great Synagogue, in 2001,” but as before, this didn’t stop him from gaining employment or from remaining on the job for a number of years. And apparently the behavior even continued. As The Forward reports, “The most recent wrestling incidents documented by the Forward were in 2009.”

Finkelstein’s resignation (which, as I noted above, came in December last year) was tendered only after The Forward had published its first article detailing the allegations against him, but the allegations of his sexual misconduct had “trailed him for at least 30 years, according to dozens of interviews with former students, colleagues and peers in the United States.”

Thirty years. All in all a rather amazing story—but perhaps the most astoundingepisode of all took place in 1995 at the time of Finkelstein’s resignation from YU. Here again, as I said above, law enforcement officials were not notified, even though Lamm, and probably other officials as well, were well aware of his conduct around students. But hey, not only did the school not have him arrested, they actually gave him a grand send-off, with a dinner in his honor!

Y.U.’s knowledge of Finkelstein’s problematic behavior did not stop the school from honoring him upon his departure. At Y.U.’s annual tribute dinner, held in March 1995 at the New York Hilton hotel in Manhattan, Lamm presented Finkelstein and his wife, Fredda, with the Heritage Award “for 25 years of dedicated service.”
Asked why Y.U. honored Finkelstein despite forcing him out because of the wrestling, a Y.U. spokesman said: “As you are aware, everything is being independently investigated by outside counsel who will make their report when the investigation is fully finished.” The spokesman did not respond to a request for details about how the investigation is proceeding and when it might be complete.

Despite all that has come out, apparently there are those who still think highly of Finkelstein, or at least who don’t update their websites with a great deal of regularity. At the site, we find featured an article by the rabbi entitled, amusingly, Shofetim, “Judges.” Apparently the piece was written when Finkelstein was still a resident of Florida—(the words, “Each week we feature a different outstanding Florida Rabbi” appear at the top of the page)—and I’m assuming it is the same Rabbi George Finkelstein, since accompanying the article is a photo of the author that looks very similar to the one above only older.

“The Torah portion of Shofetim begins with a set of guidelines to insure that we will have a judicial system that is free from corruption and dishonesty,” Finkelstein starts off with a sort of utopian erudition. The piece also includes a couple of quotes from the Talmud before closing with the following paragraph:

In contemporary times, with political alliances, media hype, lobbyists, pressure groups, etc. it becomes more difficult to think objectively and to have opinions that aren’t biased or preconceived. This is not only the requirement for Judges, but rather for each of us. For, in fact, we are each called upon to “judge” people, ideas and situations hundreds of times each day. May the standards of the Torah become our guides and our goals for living a moral, ethical and truly honest life.

Psychiatrist charged in Wisconsin

I don’t know if this guy’s Jewish or not, but with a name like “David Israelstam” one might perhaps be forgiven for speculating he might be. At any rate, we have here an item posted March 1 in the Wisconsin State Journal:

Madison psychiatrist with history of inappropriate behavior charged with possessing child pornography

By Sandy Cullen

A Madison psychiatrist who has been reprimanded twice in the past for inappropriate conduct with patients was charged Thursday with two counts of possession of child pornography.

Dr. David M. Israelstam, 73, was released on a signature bond after an initial court appearance Thursday morning.

Israelstam was ordered to have no contact with a computer technician and former patient who discovered pornography on his computer, nor with anyone under 18, and to not use any device capable of accessing the Internet. He is allowed contact with his two grandchildren if two adults are present.

Read more

And that’s going to wrap up today’s Weekly Rogues Gallery. I’ll close with a quote from one of my favorite contemporary poets, Nahida the Exiled Palestinian:

I have a dream
When they stop bombing

No more shelling

To rush outside

And up a tall tree

To tie a string

Make a swing

Fly up so high

And touch the blue sky

Leave my tears up there

To come down as rain…

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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

Jewish terrorist state legitimises torturing Palestinians to death

February 27, 2013

Israel’s policy of torture has left many dead and completely lacks accountability

Many in the West Bank are in mourning over the passing of Arafat Jaradat, who was tortured to death in an Israeli prison – he leaves behind a pregnant widow and two children [AFP]

Six days after Arafat Jaradat was arrested by the Israeli army and the Shin Bet, he was dead. Between the date of his arrest – February 18 – and the day of his death – February 23 – his lawyer Kamil Sabbagh met with Arafat only once: in front of a military judge at the Shin Bet’s Kishon interrogation facility.

Sabbagh reported that when he saw Jaradat, the man was terrified. Arafat told his lawyer that he was in acute pain from being beaten and forced to sit in stress positions with his hands bound behind his back.

When it announced his death, Israeli Prison Service claimed Arafat – who leaves a pregnant widow and two children – died from cardiac arrest. However, the subsequent autopsy found no blood clot in his heart. In fact, the autopsy concluded that Arafat, who turned 30 this year, was in fine cardiovascular health.

What the final autopsy did find, however, was that Jaradat had been pummelled by repeated blows to his chest and body and had sustained a total of six broken bones in his spine, arms and legs; his lips lacerated; his face badly bruised.

The ordeal that Arafat suffered before he died at the hands of Israel’s Shin Bet is common to many Palestinians that pass through Israel’s prisons. According to the prisoners’ rights organisation Addameer, since 1967, a total of 72 Palestinians have been killed as a result of torture and 53 due to medical neglect. Less than a month before Jaradat was killed, Ashraf Abu Dhra died while in Israeli custody in a case that Addameer argues was a direct result of medical neglect.

The legal impunity of the Shin Bet, commonly referred to as the GSS, and its torture techniques has been well established. Between 2001 and 2011, 700 Palestinians lodged complaints with the State Attorney’s Office but not a single one has been criminally investigated.

Writing in Adalah’s 2012 publication, On Torture [PDF], Bana Shoughry-Badarne, an attorney and the Legal Director of the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, wrote, “The GSS’s impunity is absolute.”

Israel’s High Court has been extravagantly helpful in securing the Shin Bet with its imperviousness to accountability to international law, and thus enabling widespread and lethal torture.

In August of 2012, Israel’s High Court rejected petitions submitted by Israeli human rights organisations Adalah, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel and PCATI to demand that Israeli attorney general, Yehuda Weinstein, carry out criminal investigations into each allegation of torture by the Shin Bet.

And in the first week of February, two weeks before Arafat was killed, the High Court of Justice threw out Adalah’s petition that demanded the GSS videotape and audio record all of its interrogations in order to comply with requirements of the United Nations Convention Against Torture (CAT) to which Israel is a signatory.

In May 2009, UNCAT condemned [PDF] Israel for exempting the Shin Bet’s interrogations from audio and video recording, noting that such oversight is an essential preventative measure to curtail torture. Yet despite this admonition, in 2012 the Knesset extended the exemption for another three years.

Rationalising its failure to comply with this most basic requirement of recording interrogations, the State maintains that it is in the interests of “national security” that its interrogation techniques not be made public.

Arafat was killed under torture. Torture is routine. But the following is not routine: upon the announcement of his death, thousands of Palestinians, already unified in solidarity with the arduous struggle waged by Palestinian hunger striking prisoners, responded in force. At least 3,000 prisoners refused their meals; thousands poured into the streets of Gaza and impassioned demonstrations erupted across the West Bank. While the State of Israel continues to deploy its deadly arsenal of weapons to repress Palestinians, the banality of the evil of this regime is, as it will always be, eclipsed by the mighty Palestinian will for self-determination.

Charlotte Silver is a journalist based in San Francisco and the West Bank. She is a graduate of Stanford University. 

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Jaradat Was Tortured To Death, Autopsy Concludes

February 25, 2013

Palestinian Minister of Detainees, Issa Qaraqe’, reported on Sunday evening that the autopsy report of detainee Arafat Jardat, who died Saturday at an Israeli interrogation facility, revealed that the detainee died due to extreme torture.

Arafat Jaradat - Died Saturday Under Interrogation
Arafat Jaradat – Died Saturday Under Interrogation
In a joint press conference, held in the central West Bank city of Ramallah, with the head of the Palestinians Prisoners Society (PPS), Qaddoura Fares, Qaraqe’ said that the autopsy was conducted at the Abu Kabeer Forensic Facility.

The body of Jaradat carried clear signs of torture such as bruises, blisters and under skin blood clots in the back, especially over his spinal cord, on the neck and on his left shoulder, in addition to signs of torture on the left side of his chest, bruised mouth and face.

Qaraqe’ said that the autopsy also revealed that the slain detainee had a healthy heart, and healthy veins, in addition to the fact that there was no signs of a heart attack, an issue that contradicts the Israeli claim that Jaradat died of a heart attack.

Dr. Saber Al-Aaloul will release the comprehensive report to the public Monday, Qaraqe’ added.

The Minister of Detainees said that this is a war crime committed against the detainee, and added that Israel must be held accountable to its crimes.

 Thousands rally for funeral of Palestinian prisoner


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February 21, 2013
During the first four years of the first intifada 75 Palestinians were killed by Israeli undercover agents or civilian disguised soldiers. Of 29 cases in 1991 none of the victims had been engaged in combat, eleven were taking part in non-violent demonstrations at the time of the shooting whilst 14 were carrying out normal daily activities. 
Profiling Israel‘s undercover Mistaarvim unit

By Jessica Purkiss 
Israeli undercover agents arresting a Palestinian boy suspected of throwing stones at Israeli soldiers during a protest in the Old City of Jerusalem. Photo by Lazar Simeonov.


At the beginning of the year 2013, the operation of undercover Israeli agents within the West Bank came to light once again. On January 1, soldiers dressed as vegetable vendors arrested Murad Bani Odeh, a member of the Islamic Jihad political party in the West Bank village of Tamoun, south of Jenin.

Ynet news reported that Muhammad Basharat, the local village council head said that the soldiers entered the village in a van bearing a Palestinian license plate, adding that the men inside it did not arouse anyone’s suspicion. Israeli media reported that the soldiers were part of Israel’s Mistaarvim, or ‘Arabized’ elite undercover unit.

Little is known about the internal operations of the Israeli undercover units.  The group ‘Mistaarvim’ in Hebrew or “Musta’rabeen” in Arabic is an undercover unit whose members serve in various sections of the Israeli army. Translated from Hebrew it literally means ‘Arab pretenders.’
The Mistaarvim are an elite branch of a supposed ‘counter-terrorism’ unit who impersonate Palestinians and infiltrate West Bank communities in an attempt to find information that may be of interest to the Israeli government. Members are indistinguishable amongst Palestinian communities, as they dress the same way Palestinians do, speak Arabic in the local dialect, and drive cars with Palestinian licensed number plates. According to a study by the Palestinian Human Rights Information Center (PHRIC), disguises include stage props such as crutches and fake babies, with members undergoing extensive training on cultural habits to help them blend in successfully.

Information on the Mistaarvim unit is heavily guarded. In 1988 three journalists had their press cards removed from them after writing pieces on the existence of undercover squads operating in the West Bank. The military censor office filed a police complaint against Paul Taylor, chief correspondent for Reuters, Andrew Whitley of the Financial Times.and Steve Weizman, a Reuters reporter.

According to Saleh Abdel Jawad, a professor at the Department of History and Political Science, the Mistaarvim consists of four selective units, two of which belong to the Israeli army; the Duvdevan (Hebrew for cherry) which work in the West Bank, and the second Shamshon (Samson) in the Gaza Strip. The third unit belongs to the border police and the fourth operates strictly in the Jerusalem area belonging to the Israeli police.
During demonstrations supposedly Palestinian protestors have turned out to be part of the undercover unit. In May 2011, on Nakba Day, Palestinians took part in a march to the Qalandiya checkpoint near Ramallah, West Bank. At some point during confrontations with Israeli soldiers, members of the Mistaarvim unit who were disguised as Palestinian protestors produced handguns and made several arrests. During a demonstration in 2010 in the Palestinian town of Umm al-Fahm in the 1948 territories, an officer from the Mistaarvim unit was wounded by a stun grenade fired by an Israeli policeman whilst impersonating a Palestinian demonstrator.
Extra-judicial assassinations
Aside from arresting Palestinians, the undercover units have been known to carry out extra-judicial assassinations. Haaretz noted that undercover units such as Mistaarvim had been dubbed as a “hit unit” by media. This term was rejected by the unit’s former soldiers and commanding officers.
However, Shimon Somech, a commander of the Mistaarvim from 1942-1946admitted that assassinationwas part of the unit’s activities. 
“In essence we did not engage in eliminating people. Maybe there were isolated instances where members of the unit were asked to eliminate someone,” he said.
For example 

in 2008soldiers disguised as Palestinians executed four Palestinians in Bethlehem, West Bank.

“These men were fighters, but they were not in a combat situation at the time. They were sitting in a car, waiting for their dinner. The Israeli special forces drove up, disguised as Palestinian civilians, and opened fire without warning,” said Jared Malsin, a journalist from Ma’an news agency who had met with the men hours before their killing.
“It was the moral equivalent of a team of Palestinians, disguised as Israelis, driving an Israeli car into Tel Aviv and gunning down four off-duty Israeli soldiers,” he said.
The official ‘mission’ of the unit to capture wanted Palestinians wasaltered after the outbreak of the second intifada. The changes gave the army “a broader license to liquidate Palestinian terrorists” and allowed the army “to act against known terrorists even if they are not on the verge of committing a major attack,” a policy reportedly sanctioned by then Attorney-General Elyakim Rubinstein according to an Haaretz article.  Subsequently this translated to the extra-judicial killing of many Palestinians involved in resistance activities.
The unit has conducted numerous extra-judicial assassinations; among them was theinfamous annihilation of the preeminent Black Panthers (Fahad al Aswad) group

during the first Intifada. Undercover agents dressed up as peasant women entered the Yasmineh quarter of the Old City in Nablus, where they executed the leaders of the group, a paramilitary wing of Fatah.

PHRIC first recorded the ambush and killing of targeted Palestinians by undercover units in Gaza in 1986 and 1987, where Islamic Jihad activists were killed. This method was supposedly secretly adopted as a policy in the first months of the first Intifada, under the authority of the then Minister of Defence Yitzhak Rabin.
;During the first four years of the first intifada 75 Palestinians were killed by Israeli undercover agents or civilian disguised soldiers. Of 29 cases in 1991 none of the victims had been engaged in combat, eleven were taking part in non-violent demonstrations at the time of the shooting whilst 14 were carrying out normal daily activities.
Whilst such methods had been in practice long ago in the West Bank and Gaza, it wasn’t until 2009 that Israel publically admitted the use of ‘Mistaarvim’ inside Israel, or the ’48 territories itself. It was the first public admission that the Israeli police were using such units and had been for two years in their own country. It caused outrage demonstrating a dangerous practice of racial profiling where the Arab communities of Israel were targeted because of their ethnicity.
However Haaretz newspaper revealed in 1998 that the Israeli secret police, the Shin Bet, had operated a number of Mistaarvim inside Israel shortly after the state was created, placing them within Palestinian communities. The unit was disbanded in 1959 after several members of the unit married local Arab women in order to maintain their cover.
How their existence violates International law and Israeli law
The killing of the four Islamic Jihad members in 2008 is considered to be an act of extrajudicial assassination, illegal under Article Three of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Customary international law prohibits political or extra-judicial killings by governments; no circumstances can be invoked to justify arbitrary restrictions on the right to life. Executing someone without a trial violates the principles of due process. In the 29 cases observed by PHRIC no warning was given nor was any effort to apprehend the victim before shooting.
Referring to Israel’s Law of War Booklet (1986), the Report on the Practice of Israel states: “As a basic policy, the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] prohibits the resort to perfidy to kill, injure or capture an adversary.” Israel’s Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) states that it is forbidden to “adopt the disguise of a non-combatant civilian. Where no clear picture emerges from the battle front as to who is a civilian and who is a disguised combatant, civilians are liable to get hurt.” The Manual on the Laws of War gave the following example of perfidy: “it is forbidden to single out a specific person on the adversary’s side and request his death (whether by dispatching an assassin or by offering an award for his liquidation.”  Injuring or killing a person while breaching the prohibition on perfidy is also war crime under international criminal law. Clearly as well as violating internationally accepted norms, the use of units such as Mistaarvim violates Israel’s own military rules.
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One Week Before Purim, Nasrallah Issues Warning to Israel

February 17, 2013

By Richard Edmondson
The following comes from Press TV

Hezbollah Secretary-General Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah says the Lebanese resistance movement will defend the country against any possible attack by Israel.

“I warn Israelis, resistance will not be silent in case of aggression,” Nasrallah said Saturday during a speech marking the anniversary of martyred Hezbollah figures. 

Nasrallah denied speculation that Hezbollah has become weak and said the resistance movement is prepared more than ever. 

“Lebanon’s resistance movement is fully prepared and ready,” he added.

Elsewhere in his remarks, the Hezbollah secretary-general also stressed that resistance is the only choice for Palestinians in their struggle against Israeli occupation. 

“Israel is the greatest danger for Palestine and the region,” Nasrallah added.

He said Hezbollah would continue to support Palestinians in order for them to achieve their rights.

The Israeli military frequently carries out airstrikes and other attacks on the Gaza Strip, saying actions are being conducted for defensive purposes. However, in violation of international law, disproportionate force is always used and civilians are often killed or injured. 

The attacks rage on while Israel keeps up its crippling blockade on Gaza, which it imposed on the enclave in 2007.

Nasrallah’s warning comes one week before the Jewish holiday of Purim, which begins this year at sundown on February 23. As I have mentioned before, Purim is traditionally a time when violence and aggression flares in the Middle East. Both US wars against Iraq, in 1991 and 2003, were in pivotal synchroneity with the Purim holiday; the 1994 massacre of 29 Palestinians carried out by Baruch Goldstein also occurred on Purim; and then one week before Purim in 2010, Benjamin Netanyahu announced that the mosque where the massacre took place would become a Jewish Heritage site—this despite the fact that the mosque is located on Palestinian land in the West Bank town of Hebron. The timing of Netanyahu’s announcement—four days before the sixteenth anniversary of the massacre was to be observed—also seemed intended as a provocation. And then when approximately 200 people, on the day of the anniversary, attempted to march down the main street in the town where the mosque is located, they were fired upon by Israeli soldiers using tear gas and percussion grenades.

On Purim of 2011 NATO began its bombardment of Libya.

And finally last year, just one day after the Purim holiday 2012, Israel launched a murderous assault on Gaza that killed at least 21 Palestinians. Here is an excerpt from an article by Ramzy Baroud and posted here at Leftwing-Christian:

Israel air raids on Gaza Strip have killed 21 Palestinians over the past three days, Monday, March 12, 2012.

The first Israeli missile sped down to its target, scorching the Gaza earth and everything in between. Palestinians collected the body parts of two new martyrs, while Israeli media celebrated the demise of two terrorists.

Zuhair Qasis was the head of the Popular Resistance Committee. He was killed alongside a Palestinian prisoner from Nablus, who had recently been freed and deported to Gaza.

Then, another set of missiles rained down, this time taking Obeid al-Ghirbali and Muhammad Harara.

Then a third, and a forth, and so on. The death count began on March 9 and escalated through the day. The Hamas government urged the international community to take action. Factions vowed to retaliate.

In these situations, Western media is usually clueless or complicit. Sometimes it’s both. The Israeli army was cited readily by many media outlets without challenge.

The first round of attacks was justified based on a claim that Qasis was involved in the planning of an attack that killed seven Israelis last year. The Israel army did not even bother to upgrade that claim – which had already resulted in the killing and wounding of many Palestinians. Even Israeli media had drawn the conclusion that the attack then originated from Egypt, and no Palestinian was involved.

Al Jazeera reported that some of the victims were decapitated, a familiar scene in most of Israel’s unforgiving atrocities.

Expectedly, Palestinians fired back. “The national resistance brigades, the DFLP’s armed wing, the Al-Aqsa brigades, and the armed wing of the PRC, the An-Nasser Salah Ad-Din brigades, have all claimed responsibility for rocket fire,” reported Maan news agency.

The incessant Israeli provocations would not have been enough to end the months-long truce. Palestinians know that Israeli provocations are often, if not always, politically motivated. This time however, the people killed were leaders in al-Muqawama, the local resistance parties. Neither Hamas’ might nor diplomacy could persuade Gaza’s many factions to hold their fire. Israel knows this fact more than any other party. This is why it sent such unmistakably bloody messages. Israel needed Palestinians to respond, and urgently so.

But why did Israel decide to ignite trouble again?

To answer the question, one needs to make a quick stop in Washington. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had recently tried to articulate a case for war against Iran there. Unlike the successful effort to isolate, strike and invade Iraq in 2003, the Iran war campaign is not going according to plan.

On March 12 of last year, I put up a post entitled The Purim Angle In Israel’s Gaza Attack, which included an article by Mark Glenn at the Ugly Truth website, who indeed serves up a bit of ugly truth about Purim:

My, what interesting times we are living in…A theocratic political machine with 1st world death-delivering technology calling itself ‘the most moral army on the planet’ going hogwild against 1.5 million 3rd worlders in what can accurately be described as the world’s largest private hunting preserve, where neither escape nor self-defense is a possibility.

And to think, prime time entertainment used to be innocent, defenseless people being fed to hungry lions. How far we have come…

And make no mistake about it—the recent bloodbath in Gaza was all about Purim. It always is. Like a full moon coinciding with all sorts of dark, violent and irrational behavior, every time this yearly festival of death comes ‘round, Israel goes on a killing spree of some sort in giving real-life significance to her annual celebration of anti-Gentile revenge.

Sometimes the toga parties thrown in Queen Esther’s honor are BIG, like the Zionist-engineered destruction of Iraq…and then, at other times, these Purim-inspired bloodbaths are—numerically speaking—‘minor,’ such as Baruch Goldstein’s machine-gunning to death almost 40 Muslims as they knelt down and prayed.

Either way however, the golden rule at this time of year is that someone has to die in a very dramatic and spectacular manner. Like some addict who simply cannot function till he gets his fix, it—Purimspiel–has to be pure, uncut, industrial-strength ritual murder in order for our Torah addicts to calm their nerves, get their shakes under control and feel ‘normal’ again, whatever the hell such a thing can mean in the Jewish sense.

The Purim holiday, for those who may not be aware, celebrates the foiling of a plot against Jews in Persia, and the subsequent murder of 75,000 Gentiles, as related in the Old Testament book of Esther. It seems to be a time when Jews indulge in their love of vengeance (over real or perceived wrongs), and perhaps we are already beginning to see a bit of “Purim-inspired” violence in association with this year’s holiday. All of the following comes from the past 24 hours:


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Weekly Rogues Gallery

February 3, 2013


Welcome to the Rogues Gallery, our weekly to semi-weekly look into the dark netherworld of Jewish politics, crime and corruption. We’ve got a packed gallery for you today, with rogues of all stripes and varieties, including high and mighty rogues, rabbi rogues, child molester rogues, historical rogues, Talmud-celebrating rogues, and more. So let’s get to it!

Why is there such a widespread belief among the Jewish community, and particularly with rabbis, that child molesters should not be reported to the police? This is a common theme that has surfaced time and time again in previous Rogues Galleries—in the Nechemaya Weberman case, the Yeshiva University case, and other similar type cases I have covered. Well, today once more we find this phenomenon rearing its head in our first few stories.

Caught on Camera

This first story, posted a few days ago at the Ugly Truth, is drawn from a report in the British newspaper, The Independent, concerning a senior rabbi in Britain giving counseling to a victim of child sexual abuse. And what was the substance of his advice? Don’t report it to the police. The twist here is that the counseling session was caught on camera. Here’s an excerpt from the report:

A senior British rabbi has been filmed telling an alleged victim of child sexual abuse not to go to the police.

Rabbi Ephraim Padwa, who is leader of the UK’s Strictly Orthodox Jewish community, told the alleged victim that it was “mesira”, or forbidden, to report a suspected Jewish sex offender to a non-Jewish authority.

His advice, which was secretly recorded as part of a  Channel 4’s Dispatches investigation to be shown tonight, will reignite the controversy about the cover-up of child sex abuse by religious groups following global scandals surrounding the Roman Catholic church

Let me just pause here and say something about this reporter’s reference to the “global scandals surrounding the Roman Catholic church,” and this is something I’ve harped about quite a bit in the past—that the media cover criminal Jewish pedophile cases very, very differently from the way they have reported similar scandals in the Catholic Church. A few years ago when priests were being arrested on charges of this nature, the media always mentioned the different cases in the context of each other, always pointing out that other priests were facing similar charges, with the implication that sexual crimes by priests was a widespread problem in the church. By contrast, when rabbis are arrested on child sex abuse charges, it is always reported as if it were an isolated event. The reporters invariably act as if the notion of a rabbi having sex with children is almost unheard of or unprecedented, and certainly there is no mention of “global scandals”—even though there have been high-profile cases of this in multiple countries. In previous Rogues Galleries, in addition to the Weberman and Yeshiva University cases here in America, I have also reported on Jewish child molestation cases in Australia and Canada.

So I Just wanted to point that out. Now let’s return to our story:

Rabbi Padwa, who is head of the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations in Stamford Hill, north  London, was recorded by a former member of the tight-knit community using a hidden camera.

The footage shows the alleged victim telling Rabbi Padwa about someone “who sexually abused me when I was younger, when I was a child and I’m looking for your advice, to be honest, what to do…Would do you think maybe, is it a good idea to speak to the police about it?”. 

“Oh no,” Padwa answers, explaining that doing so would breach Rabbinic Law.  The alleged victim says that child sex abuse is a “very serious issue”, but is told not tell the police. Rabbi Padwa adds: “Men Tur Nisht,” which is Yiddish for “people must not tell tales.” He continues: “The police is not the solution.”

Another Charedi Rabbi claims later in the program that Rabbi Ephraim Padwa recently forbade a father who had told the police that his son had been sexually abused from pursuing the case. 

The man taped speaking to Rabbi Padwa agreed to help investigate possible sex abuse cover-ups after claiming he was abused as a child by a fellow Charedi, Channel 4 claims.

Rabbi Padwa’s organisation, the UOHC, sent Channel 4 a letter responding to the allegations stating: “The Jewish Community considers the safety and protection of our children as paramount.”

The statement released by UOHC goes on to assert that Orthodox Jewish congregations in Britain have “special committees” to deal with complaints of this type, committees whose members “have been trained in the right way to tackle this.” And who makes up these committees? Well, “educators,” “members of the community,” and—yes, you guessed it—“rabbis.”

The Leiby Kletzky Case

Padwa is not by any means the only rabbi to take such a position. Below is another notable incident of it—from a July 21, 2011 report in the JTA:

(JTA) — A leading American Orthodox rabbi, Shmuel Kamenetsky, said that child abuse should be reported to rabbis, not police.

Kamenetsky, the vice president of Agudath Israel of America’s Supreme Council of Rabbinic Sages, said in a speech July 12 in Brooklyn that the sexual abuse of a child should be reported to a rabbi, who would then determine if the police should be called. He made the speech as a search was being conducted for an 8-year-old Brooklyn boy, Leiby Kletzky, whose dismembered body was found the following day in a dumpster and in the apartment of Levi Aron.

Aron was indicted Wednesday in the boy’s murder.

A recording of the Kamenetsky speech in Flatbush first appeared July 17 on the Failed Messiah blog. Kamenetsky was repeating Agudath Israel of America’s official policy banning Jews from reporting child sexual abuse to police, according to the blog.

A representative of the Shomrim, a volunteer civilian patrol in New York, told the New York Daily News that his organization keeps a list of alleged child molesters whom they have not reported to the police. The New York Jewish Week reported that it is possible that Aron may have been known to some in the haredi Orthodox community, but that they did not report him to the police.

“We call upon Agudath Israel of America’s leadership to immediately retract these dangerous statements [by Kamenetsky],” Survivors for Justice, an advocacy, educational and support organization for survivors of sexual abuse and their families from the Orthodox world, said in a statement.

Keep in mind Kamenetsky’s high-ranking position within Agudath Israel of America. If you go here you can read an AIA statement from July 22, 2011—one day later—basically attempting to tap dance around the issue. Here’s the full statement (emphases added):

Agudath Israel of America has received several inquiries in the wake of misleading claims that have recently been made about our stance on reporting suspected child abusers to law enforcement authorities. We take the opportunity to clarify our position.

As Torah Jews we live our lives in accordance with halacha. The question of whether and under what circumstances one is halachically permitted or required to report to the authorities suspicions of child abuse (including sexual molestation) has attracted the attention of a number of our generation’s most prominent rabbinic authorities. Many of their responsa have been collected in the respected Torah journal Yeshurun, Volumes 15 and 22. As elaborated at a recent Halacha Conference sponsored by Agudath Israel of America, these responsa make clear that when certain standards have been met it is not only permitted but in fact obligatory to report suspicions of abuse or molestation. The general principles that emerge from these responsa are as follows:

1. Where there is “raglayim la’davar” (roughly, reason to believe) that a child has been abused or molested, the matter should be reported to the authorities. In such situations, considerations of “tikun ha’olam” (the halachic authority to take steps necessary to “repair the world”), as well as other halachic concepts, override all other considerations.

2. This halachic obligation to report where there is raglayim la’davar is not dependent upon any secular legal mandate to report. Thus, it is not limited to a designated class of “mandated reporters,” as is the law in many states (including New York); it is binding upon anyone and everyone. In this respect, the halachic mandate to report is more stringent than secular law.

3. However, where the circumstances of the case do not rise to the threshold level of raglayim la’davar, the matter should not be reported to the authorities. In the words of Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, perhaps the most widely respected senior halachic authority in the world today, “I see no basis to permit” reporting “where there is no raglayim la’davar, but rather only ‘eizeh dimyon’ (roughly, some mere conjecture); if we were to permit it, not only would that not result in ‘tikun ha’olam’, it could lead to ‘heres haolam’ (destruction of the world).” [Yeshurun, Volume 7, page 641.]

4. Thus, the question of whether the threshold standard of raglayim la’davar has been met so as to justify (indeed, to require) reporting is critical for halachic purposes. (The secular law also typically establishes a threshold for mandated reporters; in New York, it is “reasonable cause to suspect.”) The issue is obviously fact sensitive and must be determined on a case-by-case basis.

5. There may be times when an individual may feel that a report or evidence he has seen rises to the level of raglayim la’davar; and times when he may feel otherwise. Because the question of reporting has serious implications for all parties, and raises sensitive halachic issues, the individual should not rely exclusively on his own judgment to determine the presence or absence of raglayim la’davar. Rather, he should present the facts of the case to a rabbi who is expert in halacha and who also has experience in the area of abuse and molestation – someone who is fully sensitive both to the gravity of the halachic considerations and the urgent need to protect children. (In addition, as Rabbi Yehuda Silman states in one of his responsa [Yeshurun, Volume 15, page 589], “of course it is assumed that the rabbi will seek the advice of professionals in the field as may be necessary.”) It is not necessary to convene a formal bais din (rabbinic tribunal) for this purpose, and the matter should be resolved as expeditiously as possible to minimize any chance of the suspect continuing his abusive conduct while the matter is being considered.

Keep in mind, all of the above came out under unusual circumstances—circumstances prompted by the murder of the young Brooklyn boy, Leiby Kletzky. You have to wonder—had it not been for Kletzky’s murder, and the discovery of his dismembered body, would any of this have seen the light of day?

Apparently, however, the AIA statement was not enough to silence critics. On July 26, 2011, five days after the initial statement by Kamenetsky, the Rabbinical Council of America released the following statement. Worth noting is that both the RCA and the AIA are large, Orthodox Jewish organizations:

The Rabbinical Council of America has today reaffirmed its position that those with reasonable suspicion or first hand knowledge of abuse or endangerment have a religious obligation to report that abuse to the secular legal authorities without delay. One of the unique features of Jewish law is that it imposes upon every member of the community an obligation to help others avoid danger. The biblical verse “do not stand by while your neighbor’s blood is shed” is understood by Jewish Law to mandate that one must do all in one’s power to prevent harm to others – even if monetary harm, but certainly physical harm.
Consistent with that Torah obligation, if one becomes aware of an instance of child abuse or endangerment, one is obligated to refer the matter to the secular authorities immediately, as the prohibition of mesirah (i.e., referring an allegation against a fellow Jew to government authority) does not apply in such a case.
As always where the facts are uncertain one should use common sense and consultations with experts, both lay and rabbinic, to determine how and when to report such matters to the authorities.False accusations are harmful to those falsely accused – but unreported abuse or endangerment can be life-threatening, as we have recently been tragically reminded.

In addition and as a separate matter, those within the Jewish community whom secular law deem to be “mandated reporters,” must certainly obey the particular reporting requirements, which vary from state to state in the United States. A person covered by mandatory reporter laws must comply with those laws, even in a case in which Jewish law might otherwise not require a person to report such child abuse or endangerment.

So what is this “prohibition of mesirah” referred to above? The word mesirah actually came up in one of our previous Rogues Galleries, this in regard to one Rabbi Moshe Zigelman, who cited “mesira” as his grounds for refusing to testify before a Brooklyn grand jury. Zigelman’s case also dates back to 2011. The following is excerpted from a Haaretz report posted at in September of that year:

An Orthodox rabbi may face jail time for refusing to testify before a grand jury regarding the federal government’s ongoing probe of tax evasion in his community, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Rabbi Moshe Zigelman, a teacher and son of Holocaust survivors, has said that he will not testify against his fellow Jews, citing the Jewish prohibition of mesira, which prohibits Jews from turning their brethren into the secular authorities, the Times reported.

Zigelman has been ordered to testify in a tax-evasion case involving his Brooklyn-based Hasidic sect Spinka, the report said. This is not the first time he has invoked the principle of mesira, and in 2008 he was sentenced to two years in prison after pleading guilty to his part in the scheme and refusing to testify on the matter.

In that same Rogues Gallery I also supplied a more recent update on Zigelman’s case, based upon an LA Times report from March 16, 2012. In that article, Zigelman is quoted as saying, “Because the transgression of mesira is so dire, my mind won’t change until I die.”

Basically, then, mesirah means that Jews are not to report other Jews to secular authorities. And what that basically boils down to, for those who subscribe to this belief, is that they regard themselves as exempt from all laws other than Jewish law. This, not surprisingly, has been one of the major sources of friction between Jews and their host populations down through the centuries.

A History Lesson

In 38 AD one of the earliest Jewish pogroms on record took place in Alexandria, Egypt. Alexander the Great had been kind to the Jews, as were his immediate successors, the Ptolemies, who came to power in 332 BC and ruled until 30 BC. So kind in fact were the Ptolemies that they gave the Jews of Alexandria their own district, in the Northeast quarter of the city, which became known as the Jewish Quarter. Here the Jews would enjoy a measure of self-government under their own ethnarch, and their own senate, known as the Geroussia. In exchange for this privilege, they were not accorded quite the full rights of Alexandrian citizenship (though almost), and they were told they should confine themselves to the area of the city granted to them.

So what did the Jews of Alexandria do? They set a precedent for what now is occurring in Occupied Palestine: they began building “settlements,” in a manner of speaking. Or in other words, they gradually began to move out of their own quarter into other parts of the city. By the time Gaius Caesar was on the throne in 38 AD, not one, but two of the five districts of Alexandria were now known as the Jewish Quarters. And even beyond these two districts, Jews could be found in other parts of the city as well. The result was the inevitable friction with the rest of the city’s population and one of history’s first recorded pogroms. You can read a bit about the history of ancient Alexandria here, and while the source is a Jewish one, it does allude to some of this.

So this, kind of in a nutshell, is mesirah.

Teen Prostitution Ring in Israel

The question occurs, of course, as to whether the police and other authorities in Israel are considered “secular” or “religious.” I’m not exactly sure what the answer to this is, other than to say of course that the Jewish state is moving increasingly further to the right. But at any rate, the story of a teen prostitution ring, involving girls 14-16, was reported on back in January by Ynet, and also posted at the website of Gilad Atzmon.

Cleared for publication: The Tel Aviv Police recently uncovered a prostitution ring that exploited teenage girls ages 14-16 and has been operating for years.
The case was originally placed under a gag order, which was lifted Monday following the arrest of a key figure in the case, the girls’ “sponsor” within the ring.

The story goes on to quote an unidentified police source as saying, “This isn’t a case involving one or two girls—there are dozens of them. It’s unbelievable.”

And here again one has to wonder—with that many underage girls involved, how did this ring manage to escape the notice of the Israeli police for so long? I’m not wishing to draw any definite conclusions, mind you, but perhaps the following story could at least give us something to think about in that regard:

Cops and Rabbis 

Rabbi Eliyahu Bakshi-Doron is a former Sephardi chief rabbi in Israel who was indicted back in December for allegedly fraudulently “ordaining” Israeli soldiers and police. It seems that in the Jewish state, cops and soldiers are paid significantly more money if they can obtain rabbinic ordination. How much more money? Well, around 2,000 to 4,000 Israeli shekels per month more. That is at least according to a story in the Jerusalem Post. And at the current exchange rate, this would work out to roughly $540 to $1,080 per month more in wages. So how much did the rabbi charge for issuing phony ordination certificates? We don’t know, but here’s an excerpt from the Post’s story:

Ne’emanei Torah Va’Avodah, a national-religious lobbying organization, said the case once again proves the necessity of separating the rabbinate from the political establishment.

“The system is broken,” said Ne’emanei Torah Va’Avodah chairman Shmuel Shetah.

“The connections that exist between the political establishment and the rabbinate are at the root of the problem.”

In November 2007, 10 indictments were handed down over the incident, in which more than 1,000 members of the IDF and police force received false certificates of rabbinic ordination entitling them to an extra NIS 2,000 to NIS 4,000 a month in wages.

Those indicted included the head of the rabbinate’s division for administering exams as well as teachers running specially established educational facilities, set up at the time to train security personnel as rabbis.

Students at these schools were ordained by the Chief Rabbinate, making them eligible for the salary benefits.
The seminaries where the studies took place received registration fees for the classes, and the security personnel studied for five to 10 hours a week for a period of one to two-and-a-half years at most, but received certification that they had taken a five-year yeshiva program, enabling them to receive the pay bonus.

I’m not sure that “separating the rabbinate from the political establishment” will be happening anytime soon, of course, given the recent Israeli elections. The election results “hardened fascist rule,” in the words of Stephen Lendman, who noted that dominant right wing parties now control 102 of 120 Knesset seats. Lendman goes on to say that “Israelis have themselves to blame,” and that “peace is a non-starter.”

For some reason, I’m not quite sure why, I have never included an Israeli political leader in any of our previous Rogues Galleries.

“He’s made of the right stuff”

Here, however, for the first time, I do so. Back in January, just before the elections took place, the New Yorker published a profile on a rising political star on the Israeli right. His name is Naftali Bennett. That’s him in the photo above, seated next to the attractive woman. She is Ayelet Shaked. Both Bennett and Shaked used to work for Benjamin Netanyahu, Bennett as the prime minister’s chief of staff, until, they ran afoul of Netanyahu’s wife, Sara, who got them both fired. Now they are top officials in the “Jewish Home Party.” Bennett is the party leader, while Shaked is a deputy in the movement. In the recent elections, Jewish Home won 12 seats in the Knesset, one more than they had been expected to win. That makes Jewish Home the fourth largest vote-getter in the country—behind Likud, Yesh Atid, and Labor. Shaked seems to be quite an admirer of Bennett. It was she who cooed to the New Yorker reporter, “He’s made of the right stuff.”

With people like this rising to power in Israeli politics, peace is indeed, as Lendman said, a “non-starter.” You’ll soon see why. What follows are some statements, including direct quotes, attributed to Bennett in the New Yorker article:

The Green Line, which demarcates the occupied territories from Israel proper, “has no meaning,” he says, and only a friyer, a sucker, would think otherwise. As one of his slick campaign ads says, “There are certain things that most of us understand will never happen: ‘The Sopranos’ are not coming back for another season . . . and there will never be a peace plan with the Palestinians.” If Bennett becomes Prime Minister someday—and his ambition is as plump and glaring as a harvest moon—he intends to annex most of the West Bank and let Arab cities like Ramallah, Nablus, and Jenin be “self-governing” but “under Israeli security.”

“I will do everything in my power to make sure they never get a state,” he says of the Palestinians. No more negotiations, “no more illusions.” Let them eat crème brûlée.

And this…

Bennett talks about “reviving” Zionism through an infusion of “Jewish values,” including a sense of the sacredness of the land, but he is also a man of the military, and it would not do, as a soldier or as a candidate, to endorse a campaign of disobedience.

And this…

To Bennett, there is nothing complex about the question of occupation. There is no occupation. “The land is ours”: that is pretty much the end of the debate. “I will do everything in my power, forever, to fight against a Palestinian state being founded in the Land of Israel,” he said. “I don’t think there is a clear-cut solution for the Israeli-Arab conflict in this generation.” During the recent assault on Gaza, Bennett was a proponent of a ground invasion and criticized Netanyahu when he limited the conflict to a week of air strikes.

We also are informed of Bennett’s dislike for Yossi Beilin, a figure who passes for a “dove” in Israeli politics:

On occasion, Bennett will do battle in the old Israeli style. On television one night, he got into a shouting match with Yossi Beilin, an architect of the Oslo Peace Accord, in the mid-nineties, telling him that the pact with Yasir Arafat had caused the deaths of sixteen hundred Israelis in terror attacks. “It’s on your hands!” he charged. “You should be ashamed! You gave them guns and they shot at us!” But, for the most part, that has not been his mode on the campaign trail.

We also get an analysis of the current state of political affairs:

What Bennett’s rise, in particular, represents is the attempt of the settlers to cement the occupation and to establish themselves as a vanguard party, the ideological and spiritual core of the entire country. Just as a small coterie of socialist kibbutzniks dominated the ethos and the public institutions of Israel in the first decades of the state’s existence, the religious nationalists, led by the settlers, intend to do so now and in the years ahead. In the liberal tribune Haaretz, the columnist Ari Shavit wrote, “What is now happening is impossible to view as anything but the takeover by a colonial province of its mother country.
… Just as the Republican House leadership moved farther to the right as it accommodated its Tea Party freshmen, Netanyahu will have to form a cabinet that acknowledges the presence of an increasing number of radical right-wingers in his and other parties, including Bennett’s.

Consider especially this:

Much of Naftali Bennett’s support comes from mild-mannered religious suburbanites on both sides of the Green Line, but he has also been blessed by some of the more vehement fundamentalists on the scene. Avichai Rontzki, from 2006 to 2010 the chief rabbi of the I.D.F. and now the head of a yeshiva in the West Bank settlement of Itamar, helped Bennett form the Jewish Home Party. Rontzki has said that soldiers who show their enemies mercy will be “damned,” and, after a prisoner exchange with the Palestinians that he opposed, he said that the I.D.F. should no longer arrest terrorists but, rather, “kill them in their beds.” Dov Lior, the chief rabbi of the settlement of Kiryat Arba and Hebron, once called Baruch Goldstein “holier than all the martyrs of the Holocaust”; he endorsed Bennett before moving on to a smaller, more reactionary party.

Why he wears a kippa:

As a young man, Bennett went into an officer-training course, and, for years,he did not wear a kippa. But after the Rabin assassination, in 1995, he said, “I put it back on. The backlash of the Rabin assassination was a backlash against all the religious—blame them!—which I thought was very unfair. The religious were being kicked, so I did it to be a good example.” As a soldier in Sayeret Matkal, Bennett said, his job was to go behind enemy lines in Lebanon and “kill as many terrorists as possible.”

Annexing the West Bank:

Bennett’s idealism, however, is based on annexation. The settlement project has put four hundred thousand Israelis in the West Bank; under any version of a peace plan remotely acceptable to both sides, well over a hundred thousand settlers would have to be uprooted. “And that just is not going to happen,” he insisted, yet again.

Bennet could well become a prime minister of Israel at some point in the future. I’d say the chances are pretty good. What will his election do to the US-Israel relationship? Will it, for instance, place in jeopardy the $3 billion a year the Jewish state receives from American taxpayers or and the unequivocal support it enjoys from the US Congress? I’d say the chances of that are almost nil.

Celebrating the Talmud

Above I talked about mesirah, and how this prohibition could be a factor in why so many Jews are reluctant to report child molesters to the police. What other factors may also be at play? Could the Talmud be one of them? As I’ve said before, the Talmud condones, or at least seems to condone, sex with children, and there are numerous sites on the Internet offering Talmudic quotations as documentation. You can make of it what you will.

You can also make what you will of 90,000 Jews gathering at a large stadium in the New York City area (specifically MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey) to rejoice and celebrate their “cyclical reading” of the Talmud. This actually took place in August of 2012. Hard to believe? Then check out the videos of the eventthat have been posted by our friend Nahida. The second video offers an overhead, birds-eye view of the scene, and we can see clearly that the stadium is quite full of dancing, celebrating Jews. Nahida, by the way, also gives us a “taster of Talmud,” in which she serves up some of the aforementioned quotations. Check it out. You’ll find it all quite interesting.

And that’s going to do it for this week’s Rogues Gallery. Until next time!


River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

6 Palestinians Shot Dead by Jewish terror state Forces in Less Than 2 weeks

January 27, 2013


On Wednesday 23rd January, as media outlets focused on the outcome of the elections in Israel, it was business as usual in Israeli-occupied Palestine. Two Palestinians lost their lives at the hands of the Israeli occupation forces, bringing to six the number of young Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in the past fortnight alone. These deaths have gone largely unreported in the Irish media and Israeli aggression continues apace. The Israeli government and its military continue to kill, maim and destroy lives and livelihoods with impunity, unchecked by the international community, Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign said in a press statement.

On Wednesday, 23rd January 2013, Lubna Munir Hanash, a young 22-year-old Palestinian woman was shot in the head and died from her injuries. Witnesses told a Palestinian outlet that a settlers travelling in his car opened fire at a group of people near Arroub refugee camp between Bethlehem and Hebron. Hanash, a student in her fourth year at Al-Quds University, had reportedly been visiting her sister in the camp.

Earlier Wednesday, a Palestinian child died in hospital as a result of gunshot wounds. 15-year-old Salih al-Amarin had been shot in the head on Friday by the Israeli military in Bethlehem and tragically succumbed to his injuries.

Another four young Palestinians were killed in the preceding fortnight, two in Gaza and two in the West Bank.

On 11 January, 22-year-old Anwar Mamlouk was shot by Israeli soldiers outside the Jabaliya regugee camp in Gaza. Mustafa Jarad a 21-year-old farmer from Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip was shot in the forehead by an Israeli sniper on 14 January while working his land 1,200 metres away from the border. Doctors tried to remove the bullet from his severely injured brain but Jarad died after surgery.

On 12 January 21-year-old Odai al-Darawish was shot dead. Although Israeli sources claimed they had shot al-Darawish in the legs according to their “rules of engagement”, medical reports show that he was hit in the back, indicating that he was likely shot while trying to run to safety. Samir Awad, a 17-year-old from Budrus, a village near Ramallah famed for its non-violent resistance to occupation, was shot from behind in the head, torso and leg while running away from Israeli soldiers on 14th January. Samir had just completed his last exam before the school break and had joined a group of friends to protest at Israel’s illegal apartheid wall.

The wall, which cuts through and steals Palestinian land, has led to the Awad family losing five acres of their land and 3,000 olive trees. The wall is just one of the ways in which Israel further dispossess Palestinians and according to the International Court of Justice, which in 2004 ruled that the wall was illegal, “construction of the wall being built by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, and its associated regime, are contrary to international law”.

Often when incidents such as these do received coverage in the Irish and/or western media, there has been an overreliance on official Israeli sources and a failure to challenge a narrative in which the term “rules of engagement” is used to obfuscate the shooting of young Palestinians in the back, and the euphemistic phrases “forbidden territory” and “infiltrators” are employed to place the blame on the victims of these cold-blooded crimes.

Indeed, it is important to point out something that has not been widely covered in our media. Since the announcement of an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire in Gaza after the Israeli attack on the region last November, Israel has consistently broken the terms of the agreement. Over the past two months, 4 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in Gaza, and 77 have been injured, including 16 children. There have been five military incursions, regular fire from border posts into the coastal strip, and numerous attacks on Palestinian fishermen by the Israeli navy at sea. Furthermore, Gaza remains under an Israeli-imposed siege and unilaterally declared Israeli ‘buffer zones’ remain in place around the border denying farmers access to their lands. Palestinian fighters, on the other hand, have stuck to the terms of the ceasefire.

In the same time period, Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem have faced continued Israeli military and illegal settler violence and repression. 6 people, including 3 children have been killed; 79 people have been injured, including 18 children; there have been over 530 military incursions and around 30 settler attacks on people and property; over 2100 olive trees have been uprooted, destroyed or damaged; plans for around 9,000 illegal settlement units have been announced; and in Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem more than 440 people have been detained, including almost 70 children, along with a further 6 international and Israeli human rights defenders.

Therefore, it is clear that whatever the final outcome of the election process in Israel, there will be little change for Palestinians in the region – whether they live in occupied Palestine or inside Israel. While Israel purports to be the “only democracy in the Middle East”, and is often uncritically lauded as such despite the many very real problems with the practice of Israeli democracy, the reality is that Palestinians face systematic discrimination and apartheid and are met with an array of Israeli offences every day.

The Israeli Ambassador to Ireland, Boaz Modai, wrote recently in defence of the use of skunk, a foul smelling liquid used against unarmed Palestinian, Israeli and international demonstrators. He stated that “while in dictatorial regimes across the Middle East, demonstrations are met with live ammunition, Israel as always seeks to use minimum force to deal with disturbances”. However, peaceful protests in occupied Palestine are routinely met not only with skunk but with live rounds, rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, concussion grenades and truncheons. Moreover, one does not even have to be involved in a demonstration for the Israeli army to use live ammunition on you. Simply being Palestinian seems to be enough of an offence to deserve being gunned down in the street, as Lubna Hanesh was.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!