Life in Southeast Alaska vs. Life in Occupied Palestine/Israel:
Southeast: It’s Christmas week. Christmas ornaments are out. Trees decorated. Weather’s crap. Good times around the wood stove with family, friends. Plenty of holiday food and drink.Christmas carols at the beautiful shrine of St. Therese, decorated for the season.
Occupied Palestine/Israel: Sad story on Christmas Eve in Bethlehem this year (below) about the last Christians being driven out of the holy land by Israel. Tells how Jewish occupiers dynamited St. Barbara’s hilltop shrine in 2006. Also this week, nightly attacks on Palestinian homes by Israeli army. Gassings, beatings, shootings, arrests continue. Israelis continue to complain they’re the victims.
December, Week 4
12.22.2019 Israel’s final warning form the ICC Haaretz Editorial. The preliminary investigation has gone on for years, during which time Israel has kept a adding crimes to charges that may be brought against it by the ICC. 1) Israel has shot thousands of Palestinians along the Gaza border, and killed hundreds of them. 2) Israel’s never-ending expansion of Jewish colonies and Netanyahu’s vow to annex the occupied West Bank. 3) “Israel has demonstrated crude and continued contempt for international law while pushing Palestinians directly into the arms of international institutions. 4) Israel doesn’t deny it is committing war crimes. It just questions the ICC’s authorization to judge those crimes. 5) Israel is claiming the legal process will harm a peace process [the same argument Israel supporters use against BDS movement], that doesn’t exist because Israel doesn’t want it to. 6) Israel is making a peculiar claim that the Palestinians have to be a sovereign country to grant authority to the ICC. They say an occupied territory can’t grant authority. Haaretz points out that by saying this, Israel is admitting that is occupying Palestine.
12.22.2019 Banksey unveils ‘modified nativity’ scene in Bethlehem CNN. by Naakeem Mouddi. It’s a Bethlehem nativity scene for our times. The beloved image of Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus in the manger, is shown in front of the Israeli apartheid wall that surrounds Bethlehem. Above the manger there’s a hole blasted through the wall with a star shaped debris pattern. The piece is called, ‘Scar of Bethlehem.’ [The remarkable thing to me is that CNN ran the story.]
12.22.2019 Malaysia PM: “Israel should be tried by the ICC” Prime Minister Mohamad Mahathir told the Kuala Lumpur Summit (he’s the world’s oldest national leader at 94) that Israel should be tried by the ICC “for killing people, for stealing other people’s territory, for building settlements on other people’s land. He also pointed out that Israel has detained ships on humanitarian mission—that Malaysia was part of—in international waters.
12.23.2019 Video: Christmas parade tours streets of Bethlehem. Ah. Something nice for the City of the Savior’s birth. Some Christmas cheer. Some tourist income. Palestinians knowing the occupiers won’t attack large numbers of American and European tourists.
12.23.2019 Israeli forces storm West Bank town, Palestinians resist and suffocate on tear gas. Beit Ummar town near Hebron. Gas loving Israeli occupation troops fire CS gas at local people who turned out to protest their community being invaded by Israeli occupation troops.
12.23.2019 Army abducts three Palestinians in Jerusalem Silwan neighborhood in the Old City. Ages 23, 18, 17, years old.
12.23.2019 Switzerland resumes UNWRA funding After allegations funds were being mis-appropriated, the Swiss froze funding in July. After investigations found no donor funds were misappropriated the Swiss will start funding again.
12.23.2019 Soldiers abduct four Palestinians in Jerusalem. Al-Isawiya town.
12.23.2019 Qasim: U.S. is encouraging Israel to commit crimes by opposing ICC probe. After Chief Prosecutor of the ICC Fatau Bensouda said she, “is satisfied Israel has committed or is committing war crimes in the West Bank and the Gaza strip.” U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo issued a statement: “We firmly oppose this and any other action that seeks to target Israel unfairly.” and, at the same time, claims that Washington does not believe claims that Palestine is a sovereign state and shouldn’t be allowed “to obtain full membership, or participate as a state in international organizations, entities, or conferences, including the ICC.”
In response to Pompeo’s statements the Palestinian leadership has condemned the U.S. for enabling Israeli crimes in the occupied territories.
12.23.2019 Israeli soldiers uproot trees, confiscate tents, declare area ‘closed military zone.’ The chosen people making the desert bloom again. Khirbet town east of Nablus.
12.23.2019 Israeli soldiers dismantle shacks and barn in northern Jordan Valley. Jewish occupation troops make life harder for a few more Palestinian shepherds by destroying their livestock barn and shacks as winter comes down. They’re trying to drive the people away in order to appropriate the land for Jews.
12.23.2019 Ad-dameer collects hard evidence on torture and ill treatment committed against Palestinian detainees at Israeli interrogation centers. Ad-Dameer Prisoner Support an Human Rights Association. The only democracy in the Middle East has lifted a gag order its torture practices against Palestinians.
We’ve often seen in these pages how Israeli law allows Palestinians to be held for up to six months with no trial or charges, then the sentence can be rolled over to another six months, then another, and another as long as the Jewish state wants. Here’s another thing. Under Israeli law, those detainees can be held in interrogation for 75 days without legal council for 60 of those days. Detainees are routinely tortured physically and psychologically. Beatings, sleep deprivation, solitary confinement, stress positions, , sexual abuse/harassment, denial of routine bodily hygiene for long periods, threats of rape more torture, deportation. Psychological torture includes the regime’s use of family members and/or other prisoners. The organization documents broken bones, contusions, bleeding, fainting, vomiting, and says torture is in collusion with Israeli doctors who sign off that prisoners are well enough to be tortured.
12.24.2019 ‘The Last Generation;’ how occupation is driving Christians out of Palestine. Middle East Eye. by Peter Osborne. Excellent, longish article describes how many Christian Palestinians have left Palestine and those who remain feel they are the last. “Most leave to escape the discrimination at the hands of Israel which is the common fate of all Palestinians, Christians and Muslims alike.”
The pastor of the Lutheran Church commenting on the 2,000 year history of Christians in Bethlehem says, “I honestly feel that the burden of history is that we are the last Christian generation to stay in this land. I look at my congregation. We are 160 members. Most of them are aged 50 and above.”
Then there is the story of American Christian Elaine Zoghbi. She’s been married to a Palestinian Christian for 30 years and Israel has denied her permanent residency the whole time. She has to keep re-applying for temporary stays. Last time she went back to the U.S. the Israelis wouldn’t let her back in to attend her son’s wedding in occupied East Jerusalem. When she landed in Israel, (everybody going to Palestine has to go through Israel because the Israelis destroyed all the airports in the occupied territories decades ago and won’t let the Palestinians rebuild them), the occupiers put her back on the plane to the U.S. When the finally did allow her to come back they forced her to agree to various conditions and made her family come up with $20,000 (which they had to borrow), that Israel will keep if they claim she violated any of the conditions.
Fifteen years ago there were 4,000 Christians in Gaza. Now there are 1,000. Christian schools educate about 3,000 children in Gaza, all but 180 of them Muslim. During Israeli’s 2014 ‘protective edge’ massacre, the Christian churches and the YMCA opened their doors to protect Muslims as well as Christians. They fed and cared for all people during and after the atrocities.
On 12 December of this year, Israel announced it wouldn’t let Gaza Christians out of the ghetto to attend Christmas services in Bethlehem and Jerusalem. Taking a lot of international condemnation for it, the Jewish state reversed the decision on December 22, after it was too late for most of the people to travel, get reservations, etc.
Article notes many of the Christian churches that the Jewish state closed in 1948 remain closed to this day.
In closing paragraphs the author tells a fine story of his visit to Abaoud village where one of the world’s oldest Christian churches in continuous use still stands, and where Christians and Muslims “live as brothers.” The village’s patron Saint is Saint Barbara, who was martyred in early Christian days. The cave where she was martyred is above the village. Jewish occupiers dynamited St. Barbara’s hilltop shrine in 2004 but the villagers have rebuilt it.
12.24.2019 Israel detains 31 Palestinians including university professor and two minors. Night and fog raids in Ramallah, Bethlehem, and Hebron districts. The minors are 16-year-old. One of them is disabled. Article notes about 5,700 Palestinians are locked up in Jewish state prisons.
12.24.2019 Settler pepper-sprays Palestinian mother an daughter. Another brave Israeli crack-pot, acting with impunity in downtown Hebron, pepper sprayed a woman and her daughter as part of Israel’s ongoing effort to drive local people out of the city.
12.24.2019 Israeli bulldozers level Palestinian land near Nablus. Making the desert bloom again, the chosen people demolished more Palestinian farmland that they plan to give to Jewish colonists. Article notes that such seizures violate international law.
12.24.2019 Dozens of settlers invade al-Aqsa. Jewish crack-pots, protected by machine gun wielding Jewish occupation troops, try to stir up trouble again at the mosque.
12.24.2019 Soldiers abduct four women near al-Aqsa. Jewish occupation troops arrested the women claiming the women were obstructing Jewish crack-pot colonists who were inciting trouble at the mosque.
12.24.2019 Soldiers demolish two homes in Jerusalem. Two more.
12.24.2019 Israeli military seizes equipment, declares area north of Hebron ‘closed military zone.’ Part of Israel’s rolling annexation strategy.
12.24.2019 Sexual assault allegations rock an Israeli Hasidic community Haaretz by Aaron Rabanowitz. Son of Rabbi who is the leader of Ger Hasidic community is accused of sexually abusing male Yeshiva students for years. Article says the cult paid large sum to prevent exposure, didn’t inform authorities, denies charges.
Ger Hasidic cult was formed 160 years ago in Poland and is the richest Hasidic community in the world. Article describes the insular community as tightly controlled with monitors assigned to Yeshiva students when they marry to track and supervise. People are trained from childhood that they’re not to speak out against the cult. Various taboos are exposed in the article. There are strict modesty rules. Parents don’t even use each other’s names. “At home there is no actual connections between the parents.” The rabbi’s son was presented as a holy man and his transactions were never to be discussed. Victims felt threatened not only in the community but in the afterlife if they told authorities what was going on.
12.24.2019 PCHR: Prisoner died after being referred to Palestinian medical complex in Ramallah. A Palestinian prisoner, who was serving a ten-year sentence in a Palestinian prison for selling land to Israelis, has died in custody after falling ill then being transferred to hospital. Article says there will be an autopsy and an investigation. The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) notes five Palestinians died in Palestinian prisons in 2019 and is calling for transparency in the investigation, and accountability of the Ministry of the Interior and Prison Service.
12.25.2019 Israel freezes Jordan Valley annexation bid after ICC decision for war crimes probe Press TV. Between the potential ICC war crimes investigation [and the United States not coming out in support of same] Israel now walking back Netanyahu’s bluster that Israel can annex Jordan Valley.
12.25.2019 Israeli bulldozers raze lands in northern Gaza. Merry Christmas! There go the chosen people making the desert bloom at Christmas by driving bulldozers into Gaza, smashing what used to be farmland.
12.25.2019 Palestinian mother haunted by Israeli police assault. Jewish occupation troopers were shoving a 14-year-old boy into an army vehicle, even though one of their number said he didn’t throw any stones. The boy’s mother tried to hold onto him while pleading with the occupiers to leave him alone. Without warning, one of the thugs smashed her face in with his rifle butt. There’s a picture of her, and it’s ugly. She’s got a fractured skull (had to have a metal plate put in). She will need plastic surgery for a scar running from her left forehead, across her face and broken nose, and ending up beneath her right eye.
Get this! The Jewish state at first claimed a Palestinian stone hit her. Now claims their thug was raising his arm to protect her from a Palestinian rock and, since he was holding a machine gun, he accidently hit her in the face with it.
12.25.2019 Palestinian prisoner Barghouthi to run for Prime Minister. Article uses the term, ‘occupation state,’ nice. Barghouthi was sentenced to five lifetimes in prison back in 2002. He’s a popular Fatah leader. Not wanting to split the vote, he says he will only run if Abbas chooses not to run again. Occupied Palestinians aren’t allowed to vote in Israeli elections and the occupiers, who call themselves the only democracy in the Middle East, may prohibit Palestinian elections in East Jerusalem, which would compromise those elections.
12.25.2019 Israeli forces arrest Palestinian man over alleged stabbing attack Press TV. I don’t know what to make of this one. Claims a 30-something Palestinian stabbed a 50-something Jewish colonist. No names given. [When a Palestinian an Israeli it gets saturation coverage by pretty much every American news source but Popular Mechanics. In this case, the only other report is in IMEMC and it references Press TV as the source, claims the Israeli died, but again, no names. Update: as of January 05, 2020, there is zero mention of this story—so unless something surfaces from other sources I’m going to call this fake-news.]
12.25.2019 Israeli forces seize two vehicles in Jerusalem, Salfit Jewish occupation troops in civilian clothes attacked Silway district of occupied East Jerusalem, stole a guy’s car and left. In another Salfit night and fog raid, the occupiers ransacked a family home, stole their car, then left.
12.25.2019 Jordan condemns ongoing Israeli violations against al-Aqsa mosque. Jordan does this all the time. [No one pays attention to them, anymore. Someday though, these violations may come back to haunt Israel.]
12.25.2019 N.Y.’s Columbia University rattled by Jewish students’ complaints, filed in wake of Trump’s anti-Semitism order Haaretz, by Danielle Ziri In today’s Zionist victimhood screed we read that two lawsuits claiming anti-Semitism have been filed against Columbia. Turns out, one lawsuit filing student graduated with a Master’s degree in the 1980’s.
In main part of the article we read about successful fashion designer Jamie Krietman who took her degree in Hebrew/Arabic/Middle Eastern studies between 30 and 40 years ago. She claims she was ‘picked on,’ ‘embarrassed,’ and ‘persecuted’ at Columbia back then because she’s Jewish and did not pursue a Phd. because of it. [Worth reading is an 08.12.2008 article on Krietman in Blast by Dinah Alobeid. In which the persecuted woman reveals that after realizing there, “was no need at all for someone with her educational background and passions, she fell back into a childhood love of fashion, especially sewing and handiwork such as embroidery, knitting, and beadwork. No mention of persecution.”
Krietman claims American President Donald Trump’s recent order against anti-Semitism on campus (which is being criticized as another move to shut down criticism of Israel at American universities) has sparked a rash of anti-Jewish incidents. Of Trump’s order she says, “Whatever we think of him, this was fabulous.”
The other lawsuit was filed by the Israel lobby’s Lawfare Project on behalf of an Israeli-American student. Lawfare is widely recognized as a few lawyers who file intimidation lawsuits to stop criticism of Israel.
[Article has a hilarious cover photo of young Israel supporter at a Students Supporting Israel booth at Columbia U. He’s wearing a Palestinian keffiya that has Israeli flag colors/motif. Several people in the comments section note that unimaginative Zionists have usurped Palestinian food, lands, resources, art, now the keffiyah.]
12.26.2019 Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei urges Muslims, Christians to honor Jesus in front of a decked out Christmas tree. The New Arab. Sitting with his wife in front of a small Christmas tree, decorated as you or I might decorate ours, the Islamic leader gave a message for the season to Muslims and Christians alike. Here ‘tis,
“The honor Muslims attribute to Jesus Christ [peace be upon him] is no less than his position and merit in the eyes of the Christian believers in Christianity.” He declares he hopes Christians and Muslims will follow Jesus, “the son of Mary, [peace be upon our prophet and her] is guidance towards worshiping God and Confronting the Pharaoh and tyrants.”]
Article notes Muslims believe in Jesus and the virgin birth as Christians do but accept Jesus as a prophet of God rather than as the son of God.
12.26.2019 Netanyahu should not be allowed to start a war with Iran to save himself Haaretz by Shlomo Brown (Brig. General ret.) and Shimar Stein (former Ambassador).
[Remember that line in V for Vendetta when High Chancellor Adam Suttler shouts at his henchmen, “I want this country realize that we stand on the edge of oblivion. I want every man, woman, and child to understand how close we are to chaos. I want everyone to remember why they need us!” ? In every Israeli election it comes out that politicians in the Jewish state campaign by presenting themselves as the only candidate who can save the country from oblivion. Politicians in power will typically emphasize this by threatening Arabs and with increasing brutality in the occupied West Bank/East Jerusalem, and airstrikes on Gaza or Syria as they get closer to election day. If we think of Netanyahu as Suttler, and change ‘I want everyone to remember why they need us!’ to “I want everyone to remember why they need me!” That’s the gist of this article.]
Facing corruption charges that could land him in prison for years, [and depending without scruples or qualms about drawing America into it], Netanyahu (who has failed in two national elections to cobble together a viable government coalition that he can lead) is flirting with war with Iran as a third Israeli election looms.
12.26.2019 Israel strikes in Gaza after rocket forces Netanyahu off stage. Haaretz. Once again, the Meshuga Mussolini unhorsed on the campaign trail by reports of rocket fire. His handlers rush him to the bomb shelters. He exploits the opportunity to show what a tough leader he is by bombing multiple sites in Gaza.
12.26.2019 Israeli warplanes target posts in besieged Gaza Strip. At dawn terrorists from the Jewish state in jet bombers blew up multiple places in Gaza. Israel claimed, as it always does, that the air forceless Palestinians started it. Article mentions that 2 our of 3 of Gaza’s two million inhabitants are refugees whose families were driven from their homes in what is now Israel.
12.26.2019 Israeli forces detain seven Palestinians from West Bank. Night and fog raids, road blocks, random arrests around the occupied West Bank.
12.26.2019 Israel has banned 8,000 Palestinians from travelling since 2014: NGO. Center for the Defense of Freedoms and Civil Rights (Hurriyat) in Jerusalem tallied 7,984 cases where the occupying Israelis banned Palestinians from traveling abroad. Article notes actual total is probably much higher, “as the organization only reports on individual and not collective cases.”
12.27.2019 Challenging the narratives that support Israeli occupation the American Prospect. by Isaac Scher. Excellent, short article covers several of the narratives. Starts with a Jewish-American soldier from Manhattan being bossed around by woman colonist in the West Bank who is ordering him to throw out two destitute Arabs who are picking leaves off their own lands because the colonist says they’re too close to her Jewish colony.
Israel denies colonists call the shots with the Israeli military but many former occupation troops say otherwise. Israel’s Ministry of Defense funds, trains, arms Jewish colonists [with American tax dollars]. Israel not only protects these colonists, it gives them free reign to ‘patrol’ private Palestinian lands and to search, arrest, shoot Palestinians even on Palestinian land. In 1998 the UN Security Council tried to pass a resolution condemning Israel for arming colonist crackpots against Palestinians, the U.S. blocked the vote using its permanent Security Council seat as a permanent veto to protect Israel from such resolutions. “Since 1973 the U.S. has vetoed more than 30 draft resolutions condemning the occupation and Israeli violence against Palestinians. By its actions over the past 50 years the U.S. has given Israel fr3ee reign as that country steals Palestinian land, terrorizes Palestinians, etc. etc. So, at the end of the day, Pompeo’s pro-colony statement, “…is not a divergence from past U.S. policy, but instead the purest expression of it.”
With its UN Security Council vote the U.S. has controlled/stalled the so-called ‘peace process’ for decades. In 2011, the Obama administration vetoed a draft resolution condemning the settlements.
Article notes Israel convicts Palestinians at a rate of 99.7% while, at the same time, less than 2% of Jewish colonists are convicted for crimes filed by Palestinians in the occupied territories. It also notes that Jewish colonists in the occupied territories live under Israeli Civil law while Palestinians in those same occupied territories live under Israeli military law. Two separate sets of laws judging two separate groups of people living in the same area, based on race.
12.27.2019 Israeli forces detain four Palestinians in West Bank, Jerusalem. Night and fog raids
12.27.2019 Israel demolishes 29 structures in past two weeks says OCHA. (OCHA) is the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.)
12.27.2019 Israeli forces injure five Palestinians at Gaza border. Cowardly Jewish snipers, firing from the safety of military embankments on the Israeli side, shot live ammunition, rubber coated steel bullets, and of course, CS gas barrages at unarmed Palestinians again during this week’s Great March of Return demonstrations.
12.28.2019 Report: Israeli snipers target Gaza protester in the eyes. Another sad report of cowardly Israeli snipers deliberately shooting unarmed Palestinian protesters in the eyes with rubber coated steel bullets to blind them. Today, a Gaza Physician says there’s no way to save an eye that is directly hit with these rounds. Article reveals that Israel won’t even let glass eyes through the blockade so Gazans can be fitted with prosthesis after Israel blinds them. AND Israel won’t let people out of Gaza to get a prosthesis somewhere else.
Most recent victim was a beautiful 20-year-old woman, Mai Abu Rwedah. The first time she was shot by the occupiers was in September of 2018 when she was hit by a rubber coated steel bullet. Unbowed, she continued going to the protests while she finished her degree at the university where she had just graduated and was planning a career as a medical secretary. She says she was 100 meters (more than a football field) away from Israel’s apartheid fence when a Jewish sniper waved at her and pointed towards his eye. Being so far from the fence she didn’t run until the Israelis gas-bombed her group of friends. As she looked over at the sniper he shot out her right eye with a rubber coated steel bullet. She is now permanently blind in that eye.
Next story is about 12-year-old Mohammad al Najar. Jewish snipers blew out his right eye with a high velocity gas bomb. Blinding him in that eye for life.
Next story is about Jewish snipers targeting journalists for exposing their crimes. A 35-year-old photojournalist told the reporters that Israel had telephoned him multiple times warning him to stop taking pictures of the protests. They had called his mother, too, saying they might kill her son if he didn’t stop taking pictures.
On July 19 he was 250 meters from the apartheid fence when Israel shot 2 women and a child. He moved closer to take pictures. Jewish snipers shot him five times. He was wearing a bullet proof vest that saved him. First they shot him in the hand, bullets 2 and 3 hit his right and left shoulders, with bullet 4 they shot him in the chest, then finally with the fifth bullet they shot out his left eye permanently blinding him.
12.28.2019 Israeli troops attack non-violent ‘March of Return’ protests in Gaza.
12.28.2019 PCHR: “86th GMR: IOF shot and injured 39 Palestinian civilians including 11 children, and a woman. Five of the injured shot with live ammunition. One of those is in serious condition at hospital. Gas loving Israelis injured people by firing numerous gas barrages and a cowardly Jewish sniper shot a young man in the eye with a rubber coated steel bullet. The wounded woman is 42-years-old. Clearly an existential threat to the state of Israel, they shot her in the head with a live bullet.
12.28.2019 Soldiers abduct a Palestinian near Hebron, search dozens of cars northwest of Jerusalem.
12.28.2019 Israeli army flying checkpoint on road to villages northwest of Jerusalem causes long delays. Flying checkpoints are what Israelis call random road blocks they set up to interrupt Palestinian civilian traffic for people going to work, school, hospital, etc.
12.28.2019 Israeli forces detain four Palestinians in Issawiya. Jewish occupation troops with machine guns beat-up and arrest four unarmed civilians.
12.28.2019 Operations to start at Leviathan Gas field after Israeli Ministry gives green light. Haaretz/Reuters. Texas based Noble Energy and Delek Drilling have brushed aside a court injunction filed by environmental advocates over the health tons of carcinogens the operation will release just offshore.