Israeli Troops Attack West Bank Anti Wall Protests; Three Children Injured

Ramallah – PNN – On Friday three children were injured many were treated for the effects of tear gas in halation  as Israeli troops attacked anti-wall protests organized in a number of West Bank communities.

ImageProtests took place in  the central West Bank villages of  al-Nabi Salleh, Bil’in, and Nil’in in addition to  al-Ma’ssara in the southern West Bank.

Three children were lightly wounded as Israeli troops attacked the weekly anti wall protest at the village of al-Ma’sara, southern West Bank. As soon as people marched to the land where Israel is building the wall troops attacked people with rifle buts and batons injuring Abada Brijiyah, 11, Osama Brijiyah,9, Hareth Brijiyah,10, witnesses reported.

Many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation as Israeli troops attacked the anti-wall and settlements protests in the village of  al-Nabi Salleh.   Villagers and their Israeli and international supporters marched to local farm lands Israel had taken to build a new settlement.

Troops attacked protesters with tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets. Then soldiers forced people back into the village and fired rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas.

In the nearby village Bil’in soldiers fired tear gas at the weekly protest there as internationals and Israeli supporters joined the villagers after midday prayers. Many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.

At another location in the meantime Israeli troops attacked the weekly anti-wall protest in the village of Nil’in, villagers were joined by  Israeli and international supporters after the midday prayers and marched up to the wall. Troops fired tear gas at protesters causing many to suffer from tear gas inhalation.

( / 12.08.2011)

‘Israel prepares for clashes with Syria’

Israeli military forces are getting ready for a possible military engagement with Syria if the UN votes for an independent Palestinian state in September, a report says.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) says such vote might lead to tensions with Syria, provoking the Palestinians living in Syria to storm into the occupied Golan Heights, Haaretz reported.

It warned if the Syrian army supported such an attempt, Israel would take the necessary action which would lead to a military confrontation.

Meanwhile, the Israeli military has started to train its officers to deal with expected mass civilian disturbances.

Tel Aviv also plans to deploy senior officers, battalion and brigade commanders at possible confrontation zones in the West Bank, as well as along the Gaza, Syrian and Lebanese borders.

Palestinians will attempt to obtain recognition of a sovereign state when the UN General Assembly meets in September. The United States and the Tel Aviv regime remain opposed to the move.

Membership at the United Nations requires a recommendation from the UN Security Council and the approval of two-thirds of the General Assembly, equal to 128 countries.

( /12.08.2011)

Palestine is Still the Issue: The meaning of the Norwegian terrorist’s love for Israeli war crimes

Since Anders Breivik’s massacre in Norway two weeks ago, much of the Islamophobic right has been ostensibly scrambling to distance themselves from his terrorist act. English Defence League leader Stephen Lennon (aka Tommy Robinson) appeared on Newsnight pointing out that Breivik called the EDL “naïve fools” in his 1500-page political manifesto, distributed over the internet on the eve of his “martyrdom operation” (Breivik’s term). Jeremy Paxman, outrageously soft-balling, failed to point out that Breivik also said of the EDL that “although having noble intentions [they] are in fact dangerously naïve” because they did not support his particular form of violence.

Another mass killer that right-wing Islamophobic zealots around Europe have certainly not distanced themselves from is the state of Israel. Breivik himself is clearly a big fan of Israel, having a free hand to regularly slaughter Muslims as it does. His rambling online book is full of flattering references to Israel: “So let us fight together with Israel, with our Zionist brothers against all anti-Zionists,” he wrote, “against all cultural Marxists/multiculturalists”. This is from page 1163 of his “compendium”, large chunks of which were reportedly copied from other Islamophobic sources.

Breivik’s extreme Zionism has led to some media attention on the gowning links between Israel and extreme right-wing, and fascist groups from around Europe. Die Spiegel recently ran an article on the subject (“Europe’s Right-Wing Populists Find Allies in Israel”, 29 July). But this has been a growing trend for years now, and still not enough attention is being paid to it.

The British National Party these days of course supports Israel. Their leader Nick Griffin during this controversial 2009 Question Time appearance boasted of his support for Israel saying the BNP was now “the only political party which, in the clashes between Israel and Gaza, stood full square behind Israel’s right to deal with Hamas terrorists”. The EDL is notoriously pro-Israel, waving Israeli flags during their thuggish demonstrations, even establishing a (failed) “Jewish Division”.

Blogger Richard Silverstein has paid a fair amount of attention to Israel’s growing links to European fascists. He recently wrote about a visit of Russian neo-nazis to the Knesset (Israeli parliament) – a story even I couldn’t quite believe until I read past the headline (Settler MKs Welcome Russian Neo-Nazi Holocaust Deniers to Knesset, Yad VaShem, 28 July).

So what is going on here? The common denominator all these right-wing parties and groups have is of course fanatical and bigoted hostility to Muslims. Many commentators have been perplexed by Anders’ Zionism, and have tried to analyse it as if it were some sort of contradiction. But it’s not. The BNP was notorious for anti-Semitism in its past and Griffin is often accused of Holocaust denial. Breivik also clearly has some anti-Semitic ideas, implying that the German Jews brought the Holocaust on themselves: “Were the majority of the German and European Jews disloyal? Yes, at least the so called liberal Jews, similar to the liberal Jews today that opposes nationalism/Zionism and supports multiculturalism” (page 1163 again).
Zionism and anti-Semitism are not contradictory: in fact they often complement each other and have a history of alliances. Tactical synergy led to the Zionist-Nazi Ha’avara (“transfer”) agreement of the 1930s.

German Jews were allowed to remove some of their funds in the form of German-produced capital goods which were then sold in Palestine (as well as in the US and Britain), and part of this investment would then be recouped later (you can read about that in Mike Marqusee’s brilliant political memoir “If I am Not For Myself: Journey of an Anti-Zionist Jew”). There was also the attempt by the Lehi terrorist group of Yitzak Shamir (later prime minister of Israel) to establish links with Hitler during Second World War.

But there are deeper ideological links between Zionism and other ethnocentric right-wing reactionary nationalist movements. They share the same goal: Hitler wanted to get rid of Jews from Europe and the Zionist movement wanted to bring as many European Jews as possible to colonise Palestine. Zionism is “united with anti-Semitism in its retrograde tenets”, as Yasser Arafat said in his famous first speech to the UN in 1974 – “another side of the same base coin”.

To understand this seeming contradiction, we need to understand that, in a similar way to the Nazi hatred of Jews, the bile of the the Islamophobes is not based on any logical thinking or rational opposition to Islam. It is bigotry plain and simple: hatred of The Other. Whip up enough irrationality and politicians can distract you from their schemes – all while you are busy picking on the most vulnerable in society.

While the EDL weakly distances itself from Breivik’s particular form of terrorist violence, it has no qualms about using racist abuse, street violence and intimidation aimed at Muslim communities around the country. Blaming the victim, the EDL outrageously tried to lay the guilt on Muslims for Breiviks’ terrorist attack: “what happened in Norway is a wake-up call. The fact that so many people are scared – people have to listen to that,” says it’s leader (“EDL leader brands Norway gunman Anders Breivik a ‘ horrible monster’”, Evening Standard, 27 July).

At the same time, Breivik’s was clearly not some insane lone gunman, as his lawyer now claims. Read his manifesto and you can see that. It is very deliberately put together. He claims to have spend nine years compiling it, and details the whole process of the how is funded and carried out his terrorist murders. The book contains long, elaborate descriptions of how he built the bomb, and how he prepared for his “martyrdom operation” (although he survived, it appears that he had been willing to die).

It is reported that at his first court hearing Breiviks claims there are other cells of like-minded “cultural conservatives” ready and able to carry out similar attacks. This is probably another one of his fantasies – but if so (and the possibility should still be investigated) it is a calculated fantasy. He is hoping to inspire others to carry out similar acts. That is clear from the detailed instructions in his book. He seems to have spent months “email farming” on Facebook so that he would have a solid list of “nationalists in all European countries” to send is completed manifesto to.

Although the large budget he claimed to have amassed from playing the stock market means it would not be easy to imitate him, we cannot rule out the possibility he will inspire other racist fanatics.

All this only makes combating groups like the EDL, who directly and viciously build on the growing climate of Islamophobia, ever more important. The EDL says it is going to “march into the Lions den” of Tower Hamlets on the third of September. In the spirit of Cable Street, it’s vital to stop the hate-mongers in their tracks once and for all.

( / 12.08.2011)

NEMA & LPNM Islamkamp

zaterdag 8 oktober om 1:00 – 15 oktober om 6:00

Cairo, Egypte

Gemaakt door:

Meer informatie
Ben je bekeerd tot Islam? Wil je een unieke kans om meer te leren over je nieuwe religie, over uitdagingen voor de praktiserende moslim(a) in Europa, over Egypte en over je mede broeders/zusters uit Europa? Kom naar het Islamkamp voor bekeerlingen in Cairo. Nu met de unieke kans om ook je niet-moslim gezinsleden (vader, moeder etc) mee te nemen! Meer info en aanmelden via

Benefit Iftar Somalia

zondag 28 augustus · 19:00 – 23:00


Gemaakt door:

Meer dan 25% van de Somaliërs kampt met ondervoeding waarmee we van meer dan een noodsituatie kunnen spreken. In de huidige en jaarlijks terugkerend vastenmaand staat de eenheid en samenhorigheid van de mensheid centraal. Een eveneens belangrijk aspect is vrijgevigheid en solidariteit. De IFTAR Benefit bouwt voort op deze gedachtes. Tijdens de avond wordt stilgestaan bij de noodsituatie in Somalia en de problematiek, met als doe…l de aanwezigen aan te zetten tot het doen van donaties. Tevens betalen de aanwezigen een entreeprijs.

Diverse artiesten hebben aangegeven hun bijdrage te leveren aan de avond. Zo zullen o.a. de zanger Kamal Raja, de dichteres Najiba Abdellaoui en de cabaretgroep de Islama’s met; Rachid Larouz, Hakim Traïdia, Samir Fighil, DJ Saif, Omar Ahaddaf en Abdelfattah Ahmed Salah,  de entertainment verzorgen. Daarnaast zullen diverse sprekers zorgen voor een informatieve ondertoon. Aansluitend zal de 28ste vastendag gezamenlijk verbroken worden door het nuttigen van een IFTAR maaltijd (IFTAR is de maaltijd die wordt genuttigd om het vasten tijdens de Ramadan te verbreken). De benefit IFTAR staat echter open voor iedereen die het doel steunt.

De locatie, de catering en de artiesten leveren kosteloos hun bijdrage waarmee de gehele opbrengst van de IFTAR naar Somalië gaat.

Film review: women footballers struggle to play (and win)


Honey Thaljieh founded the first Palestinian women’s  national football team.

One of the greatest obstacles for Palestinian football or soccer players in
the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip is simply getting to practice. Israeli
military checkpoints made practicing on a real grass pitch nearly impossible for
the Bethlehem-based Palestinian Women’s National Football Team, as accessing the
limited facilities within the West Bank between 2003 and 2009 required several
hours of travel each way for each player. The team’s struggle to play is
documented in celebrated filmmaker Sawsan Qaoud’s new film Women in
the Stadium.

Qaoud documents how the idea for a women’s team was brought to life — and
recounts the difficulties the players face on a regular basis just to play. This
is the latest in a series of films that Qaoud has made about the plight of women
living under Israeli occupation; others include Women and Elections
(2006), Bedroom (2004) and Mothers (2003).

After years of playing football with the boys but without a team to call her
own, Honey Thaljieh spearheaded the effort to start the women’s team in 2003,
and remains the side’s captain to this day. With the help of Bethlehem
University Athletics Director Samar Mousa, Thaljieh recruited several local
players, slowly building the team into an internationally-recognized football
squad with approximately twenty regular players.

Women in the Stadium highlights the stories of some of the players
who were forced to bring an untimely end to their football careers because of
the nature of Israeli military checkpoints. Even after hours of waiting at the
checkpoints, Israeli forces might simply deny entry to a player, or worse,
detain the person intent on passing through.

Under these conditions, the costs of team membership were simply too much to
bear for some players.

While checkpoints within the West Bank have posed a challenge for the team,
moving to and from Gaza is nearly possible. Since the team’s inception, the full
squad has only been able to meet on foreign soil, meeting for the first time in
Egypt just days before a tournament. Obviously, this has had a negative impact
on team cohesion.

Yet, even when the seemingly insurmountable obstacles of the occupation did
not deter the players from regular participation, almost all of the women faced
at least some social pressure to end their involvement with the team.

Social hurdles

Women in the Stadium takes a nuanced look at the challenges and joys
of being a woman footballer in Palestine. Aware that it has an important role to
play in the promotion of the women’s game, the film addresses many of the
misperceptions about gender and football that create obstacles to female
participation and succeeds in making a Palestinian story relevant for a
global audience.

International organizations, from FIFA, the global
football governing body, to the United Nations and grassroots organizations have
promoted the importance of gender equality in football. Yet perhaps more than
any other sport, the “world’s” game remains a man’s domain across the globe. As
result, many people assume that women who do play are abnormal, that they will
become “unfeminine,” or will simply not play well.

Throughout the documentary, the players prove all of these assumptions to be
blatantly wrong.

The first social hurdle for Palestine’s players usually comes in their teens
when peers and parents might begin to see football as an inappropriate way for a
young woman to spend her time. One key scene in the film features Thaljieh
visiting a teenage girls’ team where she learns that one girl’s father had
previously opposed her participation once she began wearing the hijab
(headscarf), thinking that his daughter had become too old to play. His daughter
persisted. Like many of the women on the national team, she proved that adhering
to her own standards of personal dress did not conflict with
playing football.

Marriage is another major obstacle to maintaining a full national squad
roster because even in families where the players’ participation has become
acceptable, most of the women themselves could not conceive of continuing their
careers in football after marrying — and the pressure to do so starts early.
Aware of this high rate of player turnover, the members of the current squad
recognize that the team’s survival depends on training the next generation of
Palestinian female players, meaning that many of today’s players have become
active in youth and community outreach to promote the game. The film has
captured this work at its best.

Qaoud goes out of her way to show that the players are extraordinary in their
persistence and dedication to the game and are able to remain normal, young
women who are concerned about their families, friends, school and even party
dresses. While it is deeply unfortunate that such justifications are necessary,
both the filmmaker and her subjects realize that fighting for the right of women
to play football hinges on diffusing precisely these social constructs.

Making women footballers’ voices heard

On a technical level, the documentary benefits from Qaoud’s extensive
filmmaking experience, as she laces individual interviews and group footage with
clips from the team’s actual matches. The film focuses on the narratives of four
players from diverse religious and geographical backgrounds, while giving
special weight to the story of the team’s captain.

Ultimately, the film shows that football has allowed these women to build a
family-like team. It emphasizes the players’ strong work ethic and the courage
to make choices for themselves — whether that involves football or not.

While the film’s 16 July world premiere at Ramallah’s Al-Kasaba Theatre and
Cinematheque suffered from a few minor technical problems and the English
subtitles could have used some editing, Sawsan Qaoud’s latest offering is
definitely worth a viewing, and its release at the end of the Women’s World Cup
could not have been more appropriately timed. The film is an opportunity to make
the story of the women’s national team and its players heard not only in
Palestine but also throughout the world.

( / 12.08.2011)

Britain denies entry to Israeli rabbi who advocated killing of non-Jews

U.K. Border Agency sends Rabbi Yosef Elitzur letter signed by the home secretary, informing him that he could not enter Britain for the next three years.

The U.K. Border Agency is prohibiting fundamentalist Rabbi Yosef Elitzur, co-author of the controversial book “The King’s Torah”  (“Torat Hamelech” ), from entering Britain, the Jewish Voice website reported on Wednesday.

Elitzur received a letter last month from the U.K. Border Agency, signed by the home secretary, informing him that he could not enter Britain for the next three years.

The July 20 letter, which appears on the website, cites the British law forbidding entry to anyone who writes, publishes or distributes material “fomenting or justifying terrorist violence … and seeking to provoke others to commit terrorist acts.” The book says Jews may kill gentiles, among other things.

The site says Elitzur was banned from Britain because of the book, published in 2009, and cites Elitzur’s statement, “If the Jews don’t have quiet, the Arabs won’t have quiet. If the Arabs win because of violence against the Jews, the Jews will win by violence against the Arabs.”

( / 12.08.2011)

Israel limits access to al-Aqsa Mosque

File photo of the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East al-Quds (Jerusalem)
Israeli police forces have been deployed en masse to once again limit Palestinian access to the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East al-Quds (Jerusalem) during the holy month of Ramadan.

Tens of thousands of Palestinians have been banned from attending the second Friday prayer event in Ramadan, Press TV reported.

Access has been denied to all men under the age of 50 and all women under the age of 45.

Palestinians have called the restrictions a “collective punishment,” and said that the movement-restrictions imposed on them have affected their economy significantly and made traveling extremely difficult.

This is not the first time that Israel limits access to the al-Aqsa Mosque compound for Friday prayers.

During the first Friday of Ramadan (August 5), they only allowed men aged between 45 and 50 to enter the compound.

Furthermore, Israel has on several occasions attacked Palestinian worshippers inside the compound using tear gas, stun guns and rubber bullets.

Al-Aqsa is one of the holiest sites in Islam. It has been the scene of violent clashes between Palestinian worshipers and Israeli troops in the course of the occupation of Palestinian territories by the Tel Aviv regime.

( / 12.08.2011)

Bahrainis hold mass anti-regime rally

Thousands of Bahraini anti-government protesters have poured into the streets near the capital, Manama, to demand the ouster of the Al Khalifa dynasty.

The mass rally is reported to be organized by Bahrain’s influential opposition bloc, al-Wefaq.
Recently released former opposition lawmakers also attended the rally.

Jawad Fairooz and Matar Matar, who were detained in May after resigning from parliament in protest at the brutal crackdown on protests, said they had been tortured in prison.

( / 12.08.2011)

Sweden, Israel and the banalization of evil

Sweden is perceived as being one of the European countries most sympathetic to the Palestinians. Two years ago, some Israelis became so incensed with this alleged bias that they initiated a campaign to boycott Ikea furniture and Absolut vodka.

The reality, as I realized on a trip to Scandinavia earlier this summer, is that the Swedish government has sponsored projects that seek to confer respectability on entrepreneurs who facilitate and profit from Israel’s crimes.

Headquartered in Stockholm, the Palestine International Business Forum (PIBF) is ostensibly focused on stimulating the private sector in the West Bank and Gaza as part of a wider strategy of bringing peace to the Middle East. That “vision” sits uncomfortably with the actual track record of many of the companies taking part in the forum’s activities.

The PIBF’s founders include Yacov Gebhard, chief executive with Partner Communications, a firm that provides telecommunications services to illegal Israeli settlers and the Israeli military. The list of the forum’s corporate members, meanwhile, features such individuals as Rami Guzman, a director of Africa Israel, a company involved in the construction of Israeli settlements, and Shalom Goldstein, a coordinator for the Jerusalem section of Israel’s wall in the West Bank. (Lest we forget, that wall was found to be unlawful by the International Court of Justice in 2004).

Among the other distinguished participants in the PIBF are Moshe Goan, a part-owner of Ahava, the company that produces “Dead Sea mud” cosmetics from an Israeli settlement in the West Bank and Mizrahi Tefahot, the bank that has provided financial support for the Har Homa settlement in East Jerusalem. Jacob Perry, chairman of Mizrahi Tefahot, was previously the chief of Israel’s secret police, the Shin Bet. Evidently not content with having a reputation for authorizing torture of both child and adult detainees in the 1990s, he has applied fresh Palestinian blood to his hands in more recent years as chairman of Magal and as an advisor to Aeronautics, two makers of weapons used by Israel to murder and maim civilians.

The ghastly deeds of these men are at odds with the caring image that the PIBF projects. Its latest newsletter has a touching story about how it organized the first ever exhibition of Gazan flowers in Israel during April.

Eager to find out how the forum can justify this incongruity, I emailed and phoned Margit Vaarala, its secretary-general. Vaarala told me she was too busy to talk this week and couldn’t tell me when she would be available to comment. “I have just returned from vacation and have a lot of things to do,” she said.

So I called the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), an official government body that gave 19.5 million krona ($3 million) to the PIBF between January 2008 and December 2010. A SIDA spokeswoman explained to me that it has requested a new “conflict analysis and strategy” from the International Council of Swedish Industry, which oversees the PIBF’s activities.

Although the spokeswoman said that the agency wishes to see that analysis before deciding if it will release further funds, she contended that the PIBF had shown “good results” in helping to strengthen the private sector in Palestine.

This explanation chimes with the free market propaganda of the United States, the European Union and institutions they control such as the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. According to the narrative of these aid donors and their “technical experts”, everything will be fine if enough Israelis can be encouraged to do business with Palestinians.

Their collective worldview is so warped that they have no difficulty embracing arms dealers, torturers and other captains of industry hell-bent on dispossessing Palestinians. The truth is that these donors are not helping Palestine to prosper; they are enabling the banalization of evil.

( / 12.08.2011)