Israeli court sentences 2014 stabbing suspect to 16 years in prison

JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — An Israeli court on Thursday sentenced a Palestinian man accused of carrying out a stabbing attack last year in the Old City of Jerusalem to 16 years in prison, the director of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society’s Jerusalem office said.

Musa Muhammad Ajlouni, 20, from the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem, was sentenced to 16 years in Israeli prison after being found guilty of attempting to kill an Israeli border police officer, the group said.
Ajlouni committed the attack in December of last year, and was arrested in Ramallah on Jan. 2 during an arrest raid at the home in which he was hiding out.
After he was detained, Ajlouni reportedly admitted to the attack and was transferred to Musubiya Israeli jail for investigation.
He is currently being held in Gilboa prison.
According to prisoners’ rights group Addameer’s most recent reports, there are currently around 7,000 Palestinians being held in Israeli jails, around 450 of which are being held under administrative detention with no charge or trial. 
(Source / 12.11.2015)

Syria’s victory at Kuweires stops the USA & Turkey’s illegal plans to invade

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The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) achieved its greatest victory in the four year-long war on Tuesday when it recaptured the strategic Kuweires military airbase in North Syria. Hundreds of ISIS terrorists were killed in intense fighting while hundreds more were sent fleeing eastward towards Raqqa. The victory was announced just hours after Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said in an interview with CNN’s  Christiane Amanpour that Turkey would be willing  to invade Syria as long as Washington agreed to provide air support, create a safe zone along the Syrian-Turkish border, and remove Syrian President Bashar al Assad.

Now that Kuweires has been liberated, Davutoğlu will have to reconsider his offer taking into consideration the fact that  Russian warplanes will now be within striking distance of the border while troops and artillery will be positioned in a way that makes crossing into Syria as difficult as possible. The window for Turkish troops to enter Syria unopposed has closed. Any attempt to invade the country now will result in stiff resistance and heavy casualties.

To fully understand the significance of Kuweires, we need take a look at Amanpour’s interview with Davutoglu and see what was being planned. Here’s an excerpt:

Christiane Amanpour:  Would Turkey, under the right conditions, agree to be a ground force?

PM Ahmet Davutoğlu:   “A ground force is something which we have to talk [about] together.  There’s a need of an integrated strategy including air campaign and ground troops. But Turkey alone cannot take all this burden. If there is a coalition and a very well designed integrated strategy, Turkey is ready to take part in all senses.”

C.A.:  Including on the ground?

Davutoğlu:  Yes, of course….We have to solve the Syrian crisis in a comprehensive manner.

C.A.:  So I understand what you’re saying is that the condition for Turkey to be more involved would be an agreement by a coalition to also go after Assad?

Davutoğlu:   Yes, and against all groups and regimes that are creating this vacuum and this problem. On many days we are assisting the coalition in (the fight) against ISIS, but it is not enough. Now we are suggesting to our allies for many months–and now we are suggesting again–to create a safe haven and to push ISIS far away from our borders.

C.A.: So what do you make of the US, Europe and especially Russia saying Assad must and can stay for a period of time?

Davutoğlu:  …..The question is not how long can Assad stay, the question is when and how Assad will go. …What is the solution. The solution is very clear. It is when millions of Syrian refugees are able to return home, assuming there is peace in Syria, then this is the solution. And if Assad stays in power in Damascus,  I don’t think any refugee will go back. There is a need of a step by step strategy, but what is the endgame? What is the light at the end of the tunnel, that is what is important to the refugees.

C.A.:  Why is the Turkish government making it hard for the US government to arm and train and use Kurdish fighters as their ground troops?

Davutoğlu:   (we are not making it hard for the US government to use the) “Kurds”, but the PYD as a wing of the PKK…

There is another Kurdish group, the Peshmerga. We allowed the Peshmerga to go through Turkey to go to Kobani in order to help Kobani to be free. If the US wants to arm Kurdish fighters on the ground against ISIS, we are ready. But not Kurdish terrorists like PKK. If they want to arm and help Barzani, or Peshmerga and help them go to Syria, we are ready to help. But everybody must understand, that today PKK is attacking our cities, our soldiers and our civilians. We will not tolerate any help to any PKK-related groups inside Syria or Iraq. If that happens, Turkey will take all measures to stop it.” (“For refugees to return, Assad must go, says Turkish PM“, CNN)

Let’s recap: Even though the Russian-led coalition is conducting major military operations in Syria, Turkey is willing to invade provided that Washington meet its demands, demands that have never changed and which (we have said in earlier columns) were part of a secret deal for the use of the Incirlik airbase so the USAF could conduct sorties over Syria.

What are Turkey’s demands:

1 A safe zone on the Syrian side of the Turkish-Syrian border

2 A no-fly zone over areas where Turkish troops are conducting operations

3 A commitment to remove Assad.

For a while it looked like the Obama administration might abandon their alliance with Turkey and join with the PYD (The Kurds) in their effort to create a buffer zone where they could harbor, arm and train Sunni militants to continue hostilities in Syria. In fact, Obama went so far as to air-drop pallet-loads of weapons and ammo to the Democratic Union Party (PYD) militia just 10 days ago. (Note:  The US has already stopped  all weapons shipments to the PYD) Whether Obama did this to force Turkey into playing a more active role in Syria, we don’t know. But what we do know is that a Turkish-US alliance is more formidable than a PYD-US alliance, which is why Washington is planning to sell out the Kurds to join-forces with Turkey.

Another sign that US-Turkish relations have begun to thaw, is the fact that Obama phoned Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to congratulate him on his party’s victory eight days after the election. The delay suggests that they were working out their differences before expressions of support.   Erdogan needed the landslide victory to consolidate his power in Parliament and to persuade the military brass that he has a mandate to carry out his foreign policy.  Obama’s phone call was intended to pave the way for backroom negotiations which would take place during next week’s G-20 meetings in Ankara.  But now that the Russian-led coalition has retaken Kuweires, it is impossible to know how the US and Turkey will proceed. If Putin’s warplanes and artillery are able to seal the border, then Washington will have to scrap its plan for seizing the 60-miles stretch of northern Syria that’s needed to keep vital supplylines to US-backed jihadis open or to provide sanctuary for mercenaries returning from the frontlines.  The changing battlescape will make a safe zone impossible to defend.

The fact is, Kuweires changes everything. ISIS is on the run, the myriad other terrorist organizations are progressively losing ground, Assad is safe in Damascus, the borders will soon be protected, and the US-Turkey plan to invade has effectively been derailed. Barring some extraordinary, unforeseeable catastrophe that could reverse the course of events; it looks like the Russian-led coalition will eventually achieve its objectives and win the war. Washington will have no choice but to return to the bargaining table and make the concessions necessary to end the hostilities.

(Source / 12.11.2015)

Their ‘can’t deliver’ Chief Negotiator is now promoted to Secretary-General

Saeb Erekat

Watch this horror movie…. if you can bear to. It stars Palestine’s top negotiator in action. And it’s not pretty. I’ve seen/heard Saeb Erekat interviewed before. He gives the same cringe-making performance and quickly becomes hysterical. In 20 years he has learned nothing from the well honed skills of his Israeli and US counterparts.

Readers might not approve of Stephen Sackur’s line of questioning in the video, described by one viewer as a grim cat and mouse set-up by the BBC. But knowing our national broadcaster’s bias in favour of Israel it’s no great surprise. Some journalists are paid to savage their victims to boost viewing figures. Why else would it be called HARDtalk? Erekat has been interviewed by Sackur before so knows what to expect: a rough ride and the need to prepare accordingly.

It’s clumsy journalism but Sackur, in his thirst for blood, provides many opportunities for Erekat to turn the tables and score… that is, if he’d been properly trained. Sadly he has never been professional enough to get himself equipped. Nevertheless, after 20 years in the job he should be able to assemble ‘killer’ facts, express them concisely and calmly, and steer the ‘interrogation’ to suit the Palestinian agenda.

But despite (or maybe because of) his political science degree from San Francisco and doctorate in peace and conflict studies from Bradford, Erekat is a ranter. When the discussion gets heated he becomes erratic, confused, impatient and repetitious. He just loves to shout the other person down.

For two decades he misread the Israelis and their intentions (which are an open book, after all). He and his team wasted precious time on worthless, lopsided negotiations with an unbending enemy whose policy has always been to defy international law and UN resolutions and carry on with their annexation and colonisation regardless, making the situation for Palestinians even more intolerable. Israeli negotiators rub their hands with glee whenever they see Erekat coming.

Even in this interview Erekat never utters the key word “justice”. He says plenty about peace and hope; but he must know, as we do, that there can be no peace without justice first. The Palestinians’ main weapons are truth, law and the many UN resolutions waiting to be implemented. Justice involves upholding international law and implementing those resolutions. From the start they should have pushed down the justice route and supported the effort with an effective communications programme to spread the truth and persuade the international community.

But “justice”, “law” and “truth” hardly, if ever, pass Erekat’s lips. Are they not in the Palestinian Authority’s wordbook?

Erekat is so deeply embedded in the PA/PLO structure that he cannot easily be dislodged – just like his boss Abbas, whose term ended in 2009 but whose backside is still superglued to the presidential throne courtesy of Israel, the US and UK.

It’s toe-curlingly obvious that Erekat isn’t cut out to play cat and mouse with the media and shouldn’t keep pushing himself forward. I happen to know that nearly 10 years ago the PA/PLO were offered, through their London embassy, media skills training by a firm that coaches government spokes, military chiefs, senior police officers, heads of research and top executives here in the West. They turned it down.

I’ve heard from several sources since then that the PA are under strict instructions not to rock the boat, not to make waves. If you’ve had dealings with their lackadaisical London ’embassy’ you’ll know what I mean. Unresponsive is the name of their game. Proactive they are not. You seldom get to speak to someone who is briefed. It is much easier to ring the Israeli embassy for a story.

It’s a sobering thought that a stupid decision by the leadership a decade ago denying themselves the essential tools to deal with Western media, counter Israel’s propaganda, manage the news and deliver it through a diligent communications network, may well have cost the delightful Palestinian people their country.

Erekat doesn’t come across any better in this interview with Mehdi Hasan. He may once have been riding high as the poster-boy for Palestinian diplomacy. But disclosures in the notorious Palestinian Papers, secret documents from the peace process leaked by Al Jazeera in 2011, shattered his credibility. I’ll leave you to google the ugly details.

These days Erekat does the Palestinian cause no favours at all, which cynics will say is why he’s there. Despite threats to resign he never actually goes. By the end of the HARDtalk interview he cuts a sad figure wallowing self-pity. Sackur says: “I have never heard you this bleak, this negative, this despairing. Is it all over for you?” To which Erekat replies: “I was unable to deliver… not because I failed but because I was foiled.”

Some campaigners say they wept for him. My sympathy is for the people he is supposed to represent. They’ve been saddled with him for too long, and that misfortune isn’t over yet.

Instead of doing the decent thing and stepping down Erekat continues to cling to the negotiator job and, on top of that, was recently rewarded with promotion to Secretary-General of the PLO. There is speculation that he’s being prepped to take over as president from Abbas, although he told Mehdi Hasan he wished to go back to being a university professor. Well go, dammit, go!

Fat chance of that, however. He and Abbas are Israel’s most valuable assets in Ramallah and will no doubt feel it their duty to bluff it out until the occupation is irreversible and ‘Greater Israel’ is in the bag.

(Source / 12.11.2015)

Israeli forces raid Bethlehem after alleged stabbing at checkpoint

Muur Bethlehem

A file photo of an Israeli military checkpoint at Bethlehem’s northern entrance

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A Palestinian man allegedly attempted to stab an Israeli soldier at a military checkpoint near Rachel’s Tomb in the occupied West Bank town of Bethlehem, the Israeli army and media said Thursday.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an initial reports were received of the attempted stabbing, and said no injuries had been reported.The attacker reportedly fled the scene and Israeli forces deployed in search of the suspect.The forces flooded the Azza refugee camp nearby the military checkpoint and areas of Beit Jala following the incident, witnesses told Ma’an.Residents of the Aida refugee camp, bordered by the wall, as well as the Azza camp regularly clash with Israeli forces stationed at the checkpoint and Rachel’s Tomb.In October, two Palestinians were shot dead by Israeli forces during demonstrations close by the checkpoint, including a 13-year-old boy.A video captured by a resident of Azza last month went viral, showing footage of an Israeli military vehicle threatening from its loudspeakers that the forces would gas the camp residents until they die if they continued to throw stones.Thursday’s attempted stabbing is the latest in ongoing violence in the occupied Palestinian territory.Early Thursday morning, undercover Israeli forces shot dead Abdullah Azzam Shalaldah, 28, in a Hebron hospital.The Palestinian was visiting his cousin at the time, who the undercover forces detained during the raid on the grounds that he stabbed an Israeli settler last month.

(Source / 12.11.2015)

“Doctors Without Borders” Condemns Hospital Raid

Doctors Without Borders (MSF), on Thursday, condemned Israel’s undercover arrest raid committed earlier that day at al-Ahli hospital, in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron.

Shalalda

In a statement, the organization urged “the relevant military authorities to respect the special status that [International Humanitarian Law] grants to medical facilities and the wounded and sick.”

The organization said that Azzam Ezzat Shalalda, 20, who was shot by an Israeli settler last month, was a patient of MSF and was being treated in their Mental Health Support Program “for victims of political violence.”

MSF said, according to Ma’an News Agency, that the way in which Shalalda was detained was “serious” and contrary “to the principles of neutrality and respect of the medical mission. International Humanitarian Law requires the respect of health facilities and forbids any intrusion of the armed forces in these structures,” adding that international law “demands that sick and wounded people would be treated without any discrimination in conformity with medical ethics.”

During the undercover raid, Shalalda’s cousin, Abdullah Azzam Shalalda, 28, was shot and killed while coming out of a bathroom in the hospital ward, unaware of the arrest raid taking place. His other cousin, Bilal, who was in the room with Shalalda was handcuffed during the incident, but not detained.

MSF demanded that the relevant authorities inform and train “members of the armed forces on their obligation to respect medical facilities and personnel, as well as patients… and their caretakers” in order to prevent another incident of this kind.

Shalalda, who was detained during the undercover raid, was still in recovery after undergoing three surgeries at the hospital where he was admitted mid-October.

MFS said the organization is “very concerned about the fate of the patient taken away from the hospital and strongly demands to the Israeli authorities to provide the adequate medical attention and information on his conditions in the shortest delay.”v MSF also requested that Israel allow Shalalda to continue his mental health treatment through the organization.

See video: Undercover Israeli Soldiers Kill a Palestinian in Hebron Hospital

(Source / 12.11.2015)

Ad hoc committee formed in Vienna for defense of J’lem

VIENNA, (PIC)– A consortium of pro-Palestinian groups in the Austrian capital Vienna has formed an ad hoc committee for the defense of Occupied Jerusalem at the initiative of the coordinating committee for the support of Palestine in the country.

Deputy head of Palestinians in Europe Conference Adel Abdullah told Quds Press on Thursday that the committee was composed of representatives of Islamic and Arab organizations and assemblies and would work on defending Jerusalem in Austria.

Abdullah added that the committee would organize a sit-in in downtown Vienna next Saturday in support of Jerusalem and send letters soon to local politicians in the country to put them in the picture of Israel’s violations in the city.

(Source / 12.11.2015)

Rising temperatures scorch Egypt’s rural poor

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An Egyptian farmer removes pieces of cracked earth from his fields in a village near Balqis, northeast of Cairo, June 14, 2008

Ahmed Rizq watched the mercury in his thermometer rise: 118, 127 … 131 degrees Fahrenheit. It rose higher than he had ever seen it go before. And then it stayed there — for more than three weeks. Rizq had lived in Aswan in the very south of Egypt his whole life; he could take a little heat. But August 2015 was a new kind of hot. It was the sort of hot that could kill you.

By Aug. 10, the Ministry of Health had begun emailing flyers to hospitals all around the country, encouraging citizens to stay at home if possible and avoid prolonged exposure to direct sunlight. But those flyers never reached the desert village of Ladid. Even if they had, they wouldn’t have made a difference, said Rizq, a public health researcher and human rights lawyer for the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights.

“The village is close to a mountain in the desert,” Rizq told Al-Monitor. “There isn’t a water source inside. You’re outside the agricultural area by some kilometers.”

Ladid, like most small Egyptian villages, is served by a modest medical center. In general, these centers are well-equipped but lack the staff to run them, Rizq said, because anyone who can get enough medical experience to get out of his village usually does. The closest hospital is in Edfu, about an hour and a half away by public transportation. By mid-August, Ladid’s residents were shuttling their sick and dying to and from the general hospitals in Edfu, Luxor and Aswan. “There was a very high number and the hospital had far more people than it was equipped to handle,” Rizq said.

Ladid was hardly the only village overwhelmed by the crushing heat. As August crept along and the heat wave persisted, city hospitals became overrun as patients poured in from surrounding rural villages. The Luxor International Hospital, widely considered the best hospital south of Assiut, was overflowing.

“The emergency wing can treat up to 300 patients at a time, 50 at a time in the ICU,” an emergency room doctor told Al-Monitor. He asked not to be named, as he had been instructed not to speak to the press about the heat wave. “We were always full. People had to wait.”

The death toll began to rise. By the second week of August, 13 Ladid residents had died, local journalist Doaa Ibrahim told Al-Monitor.

“They would take them to the local medical center and then to the hospital in Edfu and they would die there or on the way,” Ibrahim said. “But the government didn’t count these as heat-related deaths. They said they died of high blood pressure or liver problems or heart problems.”

And so when the Ministry of Health announced the official tally of heat-wave casualties Aug. 16, Ladid’s dead were not counted among them. As it stands, the official death toll for the entire country reached 110 this summer, with 11 casualties from Aswan. But dozens, if not hundreds more, have gone unaccounted for, said Rizq, asking, “They say [the Ladid villagers] died of natural causes, but how can you tell me 13 people from the same place died in one week from natural causes?”

The emergency room doctor at the Luxor International Hospital confirmed to Al-Monitor that plenty of heatstroke cases went undocumented. “Officially, we maybe had five diagnosed cases a day of heatstroke, but we certainly saw a noticeable rise in heat deaths this summer, even if not all were documented,” he said.

“Each doctor has to make his own diagnosis. One could write ‘heat stroke’ and another could write ‘acute renal failure’ and he wouldn’t necessarily be wrong,” Rizq added.

“All I know is what we observe, and that’s that when the temperature goes up, the number of deaths goes up,” Aswan resident Khaled Sadek told Al-Monitor. “We don’t have conclusive proof that the heat was what caused the deaths. … Hospitals, when they get cases like these, have a lot of causes they can pick from. But that’s not actually helpful for researching the problem and understanding what’s going on here.”

What’s going on, in a nutshell, is that Egypt is seemingly getting hotter with every passing year. As of 2010, data from the Egyptian Meteorological Authority showed that Egypt’s five hottest years in recorded history have occurred from 2002 onward. The data also showed that heat waves are becoming more common and prolonged. The study showed that from 2001 to 2010, Aswan recorded more than 100 summer heat wave days, whereas in the 1970s, that number was closer to 40.

And as this past summer revealed, the heat is starting to take its toll. Rizq estimated that there were no fewer than 50 deaths in Aswan governorate alone — but these casualties are just the tip of the iceberg. Dr. Bahaa George, an obstetrician at the more modest Luxor General Hospital, said the heat also endangers unborn children and their mothers.

“When you are pregnant, you are particularly at risk of dehydration,” George told Al-Monitor. “It can severely affect the amniotic fluid. If the mother is dehydrated, she will draw her amniotic fluid from her urine. There will also be comparatively less blood flow to the fetus and the baby’s immunity will be lower.”

While George said it was too soon for him to have noticed any trends in maternal or infant mortality as a result, he did say the heat was harming his patients and could cause further problems down the road.

Additionally, rising temperatures can lead to an increase in parasitic diseases, Wael Lotfy, a professor of parasitology at the faculty of medical research at Alexandria University, told Al-Monitor. What worries him most is the possibility that in the next three or four decades, malaria could be reintroduced to Egypt if malaria-carrying mosquitoes begin to migrate north from Sudan.

“With global warming it is possible that the range of Anapholese gambiae [a malaria-carrying mosquito] will expand to Egypt, and hence introduce the parasite to the country,” Lotfy said. The mosquito species has already been reported in Aswan and Toshka, Lotfy said, though the ones tested were not carrying malaria.

Now more than ever, the Ministry of Health needs to ensure the accurate reporting of parasitic diseases and monitor their spread, Lotfy said. Other than that, though, there isn’t much anyone can do but wait and see. That part is the hardest for Sadek: to know the future of his homeland is out of his hands.

“Most of these poor people aren’t part of the problem. They use simple tools that don’t hurt the environment. But then the end result is a lot of problems fall on them,” Sadek said. “I don’t want to live in a skyscraper. I just want to live on an island with water around me and a clean environment beneath me. You can live in a skyscraper if you want, but don’t you choose something that’s going to hurt me in the end. Live the way you want to live but don’t live in such a way that will hurt me here.”

(Source / 12.11.2015)

Khalida Jarrar military trial delayed further; military prosecutors threaten renewed administrative detention

khalidafbcover

Khalida Jarrar, imprisoned Palestinian parliamentarian feminist, leftist and advocate for the freedom of Palestinian political prisoners, faced an Israeli military trial yet again on Sunday, 8 November after multiple postponements.

Arrested since 2 April, Jarrar’s military trial has dragged on for months as Israeli military prosecutors delay in bringing witnesses and repeatedly postponed her trial. Jarrar was only accused of 12 entirely political charges related to her public speeches, advocacy and event attendance as a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council and a member of the board of directors of Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association after her original order for administrative detention without charge or trial sparked an international outcry.

The charges against Jarrar, which accuse her of “support” and “membership” in a prohibited organization, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – like all major Palestinian political parties, banned by Israel – by attending events, calling for freedom of political prisoners, going to protest tents in solidarity with striking prisoners, and speaking to the media.

In Sunday’s hearing, a police investigator was brought to testify only that he translated a statement into Arabic and then into Hebrew following a Shin Bet interrogation of a third party. Avi Blecherman reported on the hearing for 972mag:

“You spoke previously about your many years of experience as an investigator and about the professional methods you use in interrogations,” defense attorney Mahmoud Hassan posed to the police investigator. “What I am hearing here is something entirely different. An entirely technical process of Arabic transcription, not an interrogation. This is simply a copy/paste of a Shin Bet interrogation, without any investigatory activity by you. It’s identical.”

Further, Hassan revealed, a “lineup” was presented to the witness under interrogation, from which he was asked to identify Jarrar: a group of photos of six men and one woman. “The defense attorney presented to the court seven photographs, which, sure enough, wereof six men and the seventh photo was of Khalida Jarrar. That’s what passes for a photo lineup according to Israel’s finest,” wrote Blecherman.

Even the military judge, who represents a military court system that convicts 99.74% of the Palestinians who appear before it, censured the prosecution twice for draggin out the legal process and refusing to produce witnesses, saying “at this pace we will be forced to release” Jarrar.

In response, the military prosecution stated that if this occurred, they would once again return Jarrar to administrative detention – imprisonment without charge or without trial. Blecherman reported:

“She also worked to promote a boycott of Israeli goods in Europe,” [her lawyer Mahmoud Hassan] added, arguing that Israel is using its military prosecution to take revenge against Jarrar for her use of legitimate political tools. According to Hassan, the foot-dragging is an attempt to force Jarrar into a plea deal because they cannot get a conviction on the merits of evidence.

Palestine solidarity organizer Thomas van Beersum from the Netherlands attended the military hearing, saying:

“The whole trial is just ridiculous. There were no direct witnesses, only Israeli police functioning as ‘witnesses of the witnesses’. The judge, police and the prosecutor (who looked like he was about 14 years old) are all on the same side. Everything is already coordinated before the actual hearings. They are just performing in a badly acted play. Khalida has been a political prisoner for over 7 months now, and it’s quite obvious that they plan to keep her in prison for as long as possible…The psychological terror pushed on political prisoners and their families is just crazy.”

Take Action to support Khalida Jarrar:

1. Click here: Send a message to the Israeli Occupation Forces and demand the immediate release of Khalida Jarrar.It is important that the occupation learns that Khalida has supporters around the world who will not be silent in the face of this injustice.

2. Sign the petition! Sign and share this petition, demanding freedom for Khalida Jarrar immediately.

3. Contact your Member of Parliament, Representative, or Member of European Parliament. The attack on Khalida is an attack on Palestinian parliamentary legitimacy and political expression. Parliamentarians have a responsibility to pressure Israel to cancel this order.

4. Send a letter to Khalida Jarrar – help support her and show her jailers that the world is with her!

5. Use the Campaign Resources to inform your community, parliamentarians and others about Khalida’s case.

6. Protest at the Israeli consulate or embassy for Khalida Jarrar. Bring posters and flyers about Khalida’s case and hold a protest, or join a protest with this important information. Hold a community event or discussion, or include Khalida’s case in your next event about Palestine and social justice.

7. Boycott, Divest and Sanction. Hold Israel accountable for its violations of international law. Don’t buy Israeli goods, and campaign to end investments in corporations that profit from the occupation. Learn more at bdsmovement.net.

(Source / 12.11.2015)

Ontkenning in Israël

By Engelbert Luitsz                  ©           (www.alexandrina.nl/?p=4293)

Oldman_girl_nakba

Sigmund Freud introduceerde in 1923 de term ‘ontkenning’ in de psychoanalyse als een van de afweermechanismen waarmee het Ich zich probeert af te sluiten van ongewenste, angstaanjagende gedachten uit het Es. Dat het niet aanvaarden van een negatieve prikkel kan leiden tot het verminderen van stress is op allerlei manieren aangetoond. De Amerikaanse psycholoog Richard Lazarus experimenteerde bijvoorbeeld met situaties die een stressreactie bij mensen teweegbrengen. Dat konden beelden van een bloedig ritueel zijn die in drie verschillende omstandigheden werden getoond: proefpersonen keken onvoorbereid, ze kregen een technische uitleg, of er was sprake van ontkenning (wat men zag zou nagespeeld zijn). In het tweede en derde geval werd er beduidend minder stress geconstateerd.

Een technische uitleg, bijvoorbeeld in de vorm van een voorbereiding op een militaire operatie, kan ervoor zorgen dat soldaten zich niet goed realiseren wat ze doen op het moment dat ze onschuldige mensen vermoorden. Het grote aantal zelfmoorden onder soldaten die zich na afloop van de gevechtshandelingen bewust worden van wat ze hebben aangericht, bewijst wel dat deze technieken niet voor iedereen op dezelfde manier werken. Maar als men vervolgens overgaat op het afweermechanisme van de ontkenning kan de schade toch nog beperkt blijven.

Begin oktober zagen we een duidelijk geval van die ontkenning bij joden in Israël en ver daarbuiten. Een groep Israëlische undercoveragenten was geïnfiltreerd in een groep Palestijnse demonstranten. Een Palestijnse man werd door hen vastgegrepen, waarna een van hen zijn pistool tegen een been van de man drukte en hem een kogel in zijn been joeg. Er waren duidelijke foto’s en video’s van wat er was gebeurd en die kregen ook aandacht in de media. Maar, zoals Lisa Goldman voor het weblog +972 beschreef, wilde men het in Israël niet geloven. Er werden alle mogelijke scenario’s bedacht om maar niet te hoeven accepteren dat “hun” soldaten zoiets zouden doen. En hun ontkenning wordt versterkt door het verschil in behandeling tussen joden en Palestijnen. Een 17-jarige joodse jongen die bij Dimona vier Palestijnen met messteken te lijf ging werd niet doodgeschoten. Hij werd niet eens aangeklaagd wegens poging tot moord, nee, hij kreeg psychiatrische hulp. Bovendien werd er in het persbericht direct gezegd dat het om een wraakactie ging, ook een manier om hem minder schuldig te doen lijken.

Goldman woont in de Verenigde Staten en ook daar is de ontkenning onder haar joodse kennissen enorm. Voor veel Amerikaanse joden is Israël een onderdeel van hun identiteit en wanneer ze geconfronteerd worden met deze ‘angstaanjagende gedachten’ raken ze in een existentiële crisis.

Israëls nationale ontkenning

De Israëlische sociologe Eva Illouz kreeg vandaag ruimte in de krant Haaretz voor eenbelangrijke boodschap aan joods Israël. Zij ziet wat er daar gebeurt als “nationale ontkenning” met betrekking tot de onderdrukking van zowel de Arabische Israëliërs als de Palestijnen in de bezette gebieden. Zij maakt daarbij een onderscheid tussen het freudiaanse model, waarbij het onbewuste een belangrijke rol speelt en waarin derhalve de morele aansprakelijkheid minder is, en een vorm van ontkenning die een half bewuste, half doelbewuste strategie is om onszelf en de wereld niet te hoeven zien. Ze noemt dat “complexe kennis“.

Illouz beschrijft drie vormen van ontkenning in Israël.

1. Het is nooit gebeurd
De Nakba-wet uit 2011 bepaalt dat organisaties die staatssteun ontvangen niet mogen verwijzen naar “een dag van rouw” op wat voor Israël de Onafhankelijkheidsdag is. De Nakba – de catastrofe – is het woord waarmee Palestijnen verwijzen naar 1948, toen honderdduizenden van hen werden verdreven en honderden steden en dorpen werden vernietigd. Wat voor Israël Onafhankelijkheidsdag is, is voor de Palestijnen Nakba-dag.

Illouz wijst er ook op dat Duitsland z’n status van een morele wereldleider heeft te danken aan het feit dat het land de begane misdaden erkent. Volgens haar kan Turkije die status niet bereiken zolang dat land de eigen geschiedenis (de Armeense genocide) blijft ontkennen. Maar welk land is geheel eerlijk over z’n verleden? In Nederland werd in 1945 bijvoorbeeld de legendarische cineast Joris Ivens in de ban gedaan vanwege een documentaire over de onafhankelijkheidsstrijd in Indonesië

We kunnen stellen dat hoe open, rechtvaardig en moreel staten zijn, afgemeten kan worden aan hoeveel en op welke manier zij hun historische wandaden ontkennen of erkennen.

2. Ontkenning van de toekomst
De BDS-beweging die ijvert voor een boycot van Israëlische goederen om zo het land op vreedzame wijze te dwingen tot een rechtvaardige behandeling van de Palestijnen, is volgens Illouz achter de schermen veel effectiever dan uit de officiële berichtgeving blijkt. Een totale Europese boycot van Israëlische goederen zou volgens een berekening leiden tot een jaarlijks verlies van bijna 90 miljard dollar en tot het verlies van ruim 35.000 banen.
Daarnaast wint het religieuze onderwijs steeds meer terrein ten opzichte van het seculiere staatsonderwijs. Israël is op weg een theocratie te worden, gebaseerd op de joodse wet, waarin sterk racistische en sexistische elementen zitten.

3. Zien en toch niet zien
Doordat de wetteloosheid zoals die op de Westelijke Jordaanoever hoogtij viert, met steun van het leger zelf in stand wordt gehouden, is men in staat zich niet werkelijk te realiseren wat men de Palestijnen aandoet. Het is als de vrouw die wel op de hoogte is van het misbruik van haar dochter door haar eigen man, maar niet in staat is daartegen in opstand te komen, alsof het niet echt tot haar door wil dringen.
In Israël is het leger oppermachtig. Niet alleen op de grond, maar ook in de politiek. Het is geen staat met een leger, doch een leger met een staat. En zo’n 16% van het nationale budget voor Defensie is het leger veruit de grootste kostenpost.

Ontkenning op grote schaal zoals dat in Israël gebeurt zorgt niet alleen voor een mistig bewustzijn en afstomping van morele intuïtie, het maakt het ook mogelijk dat Nentayahu kan beweren dat Hitler nooit de joden wilde vernietigen, zonder dat hij wordt gedwongen tot aftreden. We nemen er kennis van en gaan door met onze dagelijkse bezigheden, omdat Israël nu rondom een gigantische leugen is gebouwd.

Eva Illouz schreef een niet mis te verstane waarschuwing voor haar landgenoten. Wat onduidelijk bleef en me intrigeerde was haar idee over het zionisme. Ze schrijft weliswaar dat volgens haar de gevoerde politiek in de bezette gebieden in beleid omgezet kon worden omdat die mentaliteit ook al binnen de Groene Lijn (van voor 1967) bestond, misschien wel vanaf het ontstaan van het zionisme. Elders zegt ze echter dat de ramp die de Palestijnen trof niets afdoet aan de legitimiteit van het vroege joodse nationalisme. Zo blijven er toch nog vraagtekens, maar dat is alleen maar goed. Zolang we vragen blijven stellen, ontkennen we niet.

Israeli army unit storms hospital and kills Palestinian

Israeli commandos shoot dead Palestinian and arrest his wounded cousin in raid on West Bank hospital.

Israeli forces shot Abdullah al-Shalaldeh multiple times in the process of arresting his cousin Azzam at a Hebron hospital

An undercover Israeli military unit has killed a 28-year-old Palestinian man while storming the al-Ahli hospital in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron.

An estimated 21 undercover officers – known as the Mustaarabin – shot dead Abdullah al-Shalaldeh before dawn on Thursday morning while raiding the hospital room of the victim’s cousin, Azzam, according to a statement by the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Health.

The Israeli commandos had come to question Azzam, who was in a surgery unit of the hospital awaiting an operation after being shot by an Israeli settler last month, when they shot dead Abdullah.

Azzam, who has been accused of stabbing an Israeli man, was subsequently arrested.


RELATED: Living in fear in Hebron


Dr Jihad Shawar, director of al-Ahli Hospital, told Al Jazeera the Israeli unit entered the facility at about 3am local time. Much of the raid was captured on CCTV cameras and posted online.

The undercover agents were disguised to blend in with the local Palestinian population, including one disguised as a pregnant woman.

CCTV footage provided by al-Ahli Hospital shows undercover Israeli forces during their early morning raid [Reuters]

“They headed straight towards the surgery ward, where Azzam al-Shalaldeh was being treated,” Dr Shawar told Al Jazeera.

When Azzam’s cousin Abdullah came out of the bathroom, he was shot multiple times in the head and body.

“They kept the hospital’s medical crew as hostages at gun point. They arrested the patient and took him away, leaving his cousin [to] bleed to death,” Shawar added.

Speaking to Al Jazeera, Issa Amro, coordinator of the Hebron-based Youth Against Settlements activist group, said that “people are extremely angry because of what happened in the hospital”.


RELATED: Palestinians in Hebron face provocation and attacks


Hebron has been a focal point during the latest bout of violence between Israelis and Palestinians, with Israeli forces employing harsh measures.

“You don’t feel safe at home, in the street, in the hospital or in the mosque,” Amro said. “You are a target only because you’re a Palestinian.”

Shada Haddad, a 25-year-old resident of Hebron’s Tel Rumeida neighbourhood, said many people are scared to leave their homes.

“Any mother here wonders if her son will go out and not come back home,” she told Al Jazeera.

Recent violence

Amnesty International called for an investigation into the raid.

“The fact that Abdullah Shalaldah was shot in the head and upper body suggests this was an extrajudicial execution,” said Philip Luther, the director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa programme.

Luther added that the killing came amid “a disturbing pattern of similar recent incidents by Israeli forces in the West Bank which warrant urgent investigation”.

Since October 1, Israeli troops or armed settlers have killed at least 81 Palestinians, including unarmed bystanders, protesters and suspected attackers. Ten Israelis have also been killed by Palestinians in stabbing or shooting incidents.


RELATED: Jerusalem: Dividing Al-Aqsa


The latest unrest in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories was triggered as Israeli incursions into the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound – the third holiest site for Muslims – have increased in frequency during recent months.

Although Jewish Israelis are formally banned from praying at the compound – which they also consider holy and call the Temple Mount – they are accompanied by security forces when they visit.

Israeli police regularly clash with Palestinian worshippers at the compound, often using rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas and stun grenades against them.

Many Palestinians fear that Israel will attempt to partition the Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound into separate areas of worship for Jews and Muslims.

The Israeli government says it trying to maintain the status quo at the compound, but several members of the Knesset have close ties to hardline right-wing groups and activists who advocate an Israeli takeover of the holy site.

The Mustaarabin, an undercover unit of Arabic-speaking fighters in the Israeli military, recently gained media attention when a video surfaced of them infiltrating a protest, beating people and pulling their weapons on Palestinian demonstrators before arresting several of them.

(Source / 12.11.2015)