March 2019, Week 4

Friday
03.22.2019 Trump’s Golan Heights announcement met with shrug in the Arab World CNN by Tamara Qibalwi.
{Compare this American headline above with the one below from England on the same story.}
03.22.2019 Trump provokes global anger by recognizing Israel’s claim to Golan Heights The Guardian by Oliver Holmes in Jerusalem. Trump announced with a tweet that it is time, “to fully recognize Israel’s sovereignty of the Golan Heights.” Article notes that Russia, Syria, Turkey, Iran, and the Palestinians are against it. [Populations of the Arab countries are: Syria-18.4 million, Turkey-82.7 million, Iran-82.6 million, Palestine 6.5 million. So, those four populations alone comprise 190.2 million. Israel’s Jewish population is about 6 million. (5 million if you don’t count the million Israeli citizens living in the U.S. which Israel includes in its census but who probably aren’t moving back there.)]

03.22.2019 Trump once again proves that he’s Netanyahu’s Santa Clause Haaretz. Trump’s tweet that the U.S. should recognize Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights, come right before Israeli elections and is seen as a transparent boost for scandal plagued Netanyahu. [Interesting to see Santa Claus in an Israeli headline.]

03.22.2019 Dozens of Palestinians shot, injured in weekly Gaza protests Maan News. Israel shot at least 30 Palestinians today, and gassed dozens of others.

03.22.2019 Update: 2 Palestinians killed, dozens injured in weekly Gaza protests Maan News. Jewish Israeli snipers shot at least 55 more Palestinians with live ammunition today. Two of the Palestinians are dead. Article notes the Israelis targeted medical personnel and, in addition to live ammunition, shot rubber coated steel bullets and suffocated protesters with gas. Article includes pictures of some of the wounded. .

03.22.2019 Israeli navy injures Palestinian father, son off Gaza’s coast Maan News. Siege troops in gunboats shot at numerous fishing skiffs with live ammunition and they injured an older man and his son with rubber coated steel bullets. The Israelis also shot up another boat’s outboard engine.

03.22.2019 Thousands join 7th annual Free Movement Palestine marathon Maan News. More than 8,000 including locals and runners from 76 other countries. There’s no contiguous 26 mile-course in the West Bank without Israeli checkpoints so the runners do a full marathon in 11 km. loops which goes partly along the apartheid wall.

03.22.2019 Israeli warplane targets, injures 2 Palestinians in Gaza Maan News. Siege air force jet fired missile at protesters who Israel says were preparing to launch toy balloons at the Jewish state. Two people taken to hospital. Their condition is unknown.

03.22.2019 AIPAC downplays absence of democratic presidential contenders at conference Haaretz by Amir Tibon. Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, and Bernie Sanders aren’t going to AIPAC biggest annual event.[This might be a sign things are changing or it might be democrats are lying low since Congesswoman Ilhan Omar called out her fellow politician’s for doing AIPAC’s bidding.]

03.22.2019 Trump is like the biblical Queen Esther who saved Jews in Persia, says Pompeo AP. [This week is the Jewish holiday of Purim. If you’re not familiar with it, the story is from the Old Testament Book of Esther. According to the tale; in 400 B.C  the King of Persia married Esther without knowing she was a Jew. The King’s evil advisor, Haman, who also didn’t know about Esther’s religion, convinced the king to kill all the Jews. Esther saved the Jews by convincing the king to kill Haman, Haman’s ten sons, and 75,000 innocent people. Every year Jews celebrate this event, which even the rabbis admit, never really happened.]
In a similar vein, Pompeo didn’t really say Trump is like Queen Esther. A Christian radio broadcaster asked him if Trump was like Queen Esther because Trump backs new sanctions against Iran to favor Israel. Pompeo said, “It’s possible.” So, a nonsense article all around. But it has appeared widely on the internet.

03.22.2019 Fighting Netanyahu and Ilhan Omar at the same time: the strategist working both Israeli and U.S. elections Haaretz by Allison Kaplan Sommer. Article about Mark Mellman who leads a group calling itself DMFI, the Democratic Majority for Israel: the voice of pro-Israel Democrats.
[DMFI was established in January, 2019 to counter dropping support for Israel. Mellman claims on the DMFI website that he,  “has helped guide the campaigns of thirty U.S. senators, a dozen governors, over three dozen members of congress, and numerous state and local officials.”
The group’s mission statement includes:
*Maintain and strengthen support for Israel among grassroots progressives and democratic leaders.
*advance policies to ensure a peaceful and secure Israel.
*Defend Israel’s legitimacy.
*Promote a two-state solution and Arab-Israeli peace through diplomacy and partnership.
*Encourage American Global Leadership “…we will encourage joint U.S.-Israel programs…”
*Promote progressive values.
*Educate and support Democratic Leaders.

03.22.2019 Brown University becomes first Ivy League school to pass BDS vote The Forward by Aiden Pink. By a more than 2 to 1 margin Brown students voted for the boycott (69%-31%). Brown President Christina Paxton immediately announced the university would not honor the student’s majority vote.

Saturday
03.23.2019 Palestinian detained, clashes erupt during Israeli raids in West Bank Maan News. Night and fog raids. Occupation troops gas multiple Palestinian villages.

03.23.2019 Israeli settlers attack Palestinian homes in Hebron Maan News. Armed Jewish colonists, protected by Israeli occupation troops, threw rocks at Palestinian homes and cars again.

03.23.2019 Foreign Affairs: ‘Decision to annex occupied Golan is null.’ Maan News. Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs rejects Trump’s tweet that Israeli’s take over of Syrian Golan Heights should be recognized.

Sunday
03.24.2019 China is spying on Israel to steal U.S. secrets Foreign Policy by Yossi Melman. Between 2012-2017 Chinese investments increased by 1,700 percent. China is Israel’s third largest trading partner after the E.U. and U.S.
China has targeted Israel’s two largest arms exporters, Israel Aerospace Industries and arms manufacturer Rafel, both owned by the Israeli government, along with Elbit Systems—all three of them have U.S. subsidiaries. Israel also works closely with American companies like Raytheon, Boeing, and Lockheed Martin.
Article says, “Clearly China perceives Israel as a back door through which it can penetrate secret U.S. programs.” another quote, “Israel is an international powerhouse when it comes to cyber warfare, which is of the utmost importance to Moscow and Beijing. If they can steal state-of-the-art technologies, it could create havoc in the United States and Western Democracies.”

03.24.2019 Palestinian succumbs to wounds in northern Gaza Maan News. Another young human shot dead by Israeli siege snipers today. 24-year-old Habib al Masri was with protesters along the Gaza border when Israel shot him in the chest with live ammunition.

03.24.2019 Funeral processions for killed Palestinian set off in Gaza Maan News. Habib al-Masi carried to his final rest on a wave of thousands of Palestinians.

03.24.2019 Israeli navy opens heavy fire at fishermen in Gaza Maan News. Jewish siege troops in gunboats fired machine guns at Palestinian fishermen in their little skiffs to drive them ashore without their catch again.

03.24.2019 Israeli forces detain 12 Palestinians in West Bank Maan News. Night and fog raids again.

03.24.2019 Israeli forces detain Palestinian doctor in center of Hebron Maan News. Jewish occupation troops arrested a female physician today and took her away with no reason given.

03.24.2019 3 Palestinians injured as Israeli air strikes target central Gaza Maan News. Israel bombed Gaza again last night. This time near al-Breij refugee camp in central Gaza. 3 humans taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

03.24.2019 Palestinian car hit soldiers, they shot back once. Four minutes later, nine bullets followed. Haaretz by Amira Haas. In this article Amira Haas goes forensic investigator on the occupation army’s version of what happened three weeks ago when Israeli troops shot up a car with three young, injured Palestinians, and killed two of them.
At 3:30 a.m. March 04, 2019, on a dark, rainy road at the bottom of a hill, on a blind corner, the Palestinian car had hit an Israeli army vehicle. The Israelis claimed their vehicle was on the side of the road. Here’s their version which was dutifully published in the press: “Three terrorists used their car to run over an IDF officer and a Border Police officer who had stopped at the side of the road at that moment. In response, the force that was at the scene opened fire and neutralized two of the terrorists.” The Israelis also claim that earlier that night, “The terrorists had thrown fire bombs…” and that “the third terrorist was wounded and sent for interrogation…”
Here’s the Palestinian version, it is verified by eyewitnesses, two of whom were waiting for the Israelis to move their vehicle out of the road so they could get to work, and by an audio recording from a closed circuit TV monitor, no video because it was dark but the audio gives sequence of the crash, how many bullets were fired, and when: The Israeli vehicle, a hummer, was parked across the road such that no cars could get around it. It had no lights and there was no warning triangle posted to let oncoming traffic know a car was stopped around the corner. The three Palestinians came down the hill going fast, turned the corner, the Israelis were right there, they had no time to stop and hit them. The man in the back seat was knocked unconscious and ended up on the floor. Right after the impact an Israeli fired one shot. Four and a half minutes later the occupation troops fired six shots, twenty seconds after that they fired two more shots, thirty seconds after that, another shot. The Palestinian in the car who lived was injured in the accident but wasn’t wounded by gunfire.
Bottom line: The Israelis had been part of a night and fog raid in the West Bank. They were at fault for the crash. Rather than rendering aid to the injured young men, they killed two of them—almost five minutes after the crash.

03.24.2019 Hamas hails UN resolution condemning Israeli occupation Middle East Monitor United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on Friday passed a draft resolution condemning “all violations of human rights and of international law” as, well as grave concerns about Israel’s excessive force against children, journalists, medics and other civilians, which may constitute war crimes.

03.24.2019 Steny Hoyer swipes at Ilhan Omar’s ‘dual loyalty’ remarks at AIPAC Washington Examiner by Zachary Halashak. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer [who, according to opensecrets.org, has taken 1,026,671 from the Israel Lobby (that’s 10,266 Benjamins)] delivered back to the Lobby at AIPAC’s annual conference, telling the crowd that he “proudly and unapologetically” stood with Israel. And he said, “When someone accuses American supporters of Israel of dual loyalty, I say: Accuse me.” and people clapped.

Monday
03.25.2019 In video-Gaza rocket hits central Israel, injures 7 Maan News. Israeli army says rocket fired from Gaza hit a house in Israel causing light to moderated injuries to seven people and destroying the house. Israel has closed Gaza crossings. Israel says Netanyahu will cut short his trip to U.S.

03.25.2019 Journalist Hajar Harb’s trial: PCHR appeals Gaza judiciary to uphold the freedom of the press PCHR While she was out of the country a beautiful, young female journalist was convicted in absentia, and sentenced by the Hamas government to six months in prison, for an investigative journalism piece on ‘suspicions of corruption in the medial file.’ She has returned to Gaza and is appealed the conviction and is being supported by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights.

03.25.2015 Israeli forces detain 10 Palestinians in West Bank Maan News.

03.25.2019 Incendiary balloons land in southern Israel Maan News. Toy balloons with burning rags attached launched from Gaza. No damage or injuries reported.

03.25.2019 Israeli guards assault Palestinian prisoners after stabbing Maan News. According to prisoners, Israeli prison guards assaulted prisoners as they were being transferred between cell blocks. Two of the prisoners fought with the guards, stabbing two of them—one of those is in critical condition. The Israelis say the two prisoners are in critical condition. The Israelis then attacked hundreds of prisoners. The Israeli press says the guards only attacked nine prisoners.

03.25.2019 Israeli settlers vandalize vehicles, spray racist graffiti in Jerusalem Maan News.

03.25.2019 Gaza children’s mental health rapidly deteriorating Norwegian Refugee Council. NRC conducted a study of school children living near Israel’s segregation fences. Some findings:

68% have “clear indications of psychosocial distress.”
81% struggle academically.
54% said they have no hope for a brighter future.

NRC’s Palestine Country Director Kate O’Rourke said, “the violence witnessed daily, including the loss of loved ones, in the context of Israel’s crippling siege, which perpetuates and exacerbates Gaza’s humanitarian crisis, has left an entire generation emotionally damaged.”
Article notes U.N. Independent Commission of Inquiry documented that Israel killed 34 Gaza children between March 30, 2018 and December 30, 2018—32 killed with live ammunition and two from being shot in the head with gas canisters. In addition, 1,642 children were wounded with live ammunition, bullet fragments, shrapnel, rubber coated steel bullets, and by direct hits with gas canisters. Six more children were killed in the first ten weeks of 2019.
In the 12th year of the siege Gaza has 54% unemployment, 53% poverty, 68% food insecurity. Both the U.N. and International Red Cross consider the siege to be collective punishment.

03.25.2019 Pennsylvania lawmaker pray’s ‘God forgive us’ before swearing in first Muslim woman to state legislature. viral video on YouTube. Freshman legislator, and evangelical, Stephanie Borowicz gave the opening prayer just prior to the first Muslim lawmaker being sworn in. Stephanie invoked ‘Jesus’ 13 times, ‘Lord’ 6 times, ‘God’ 6 times, prayed for the Speaker of the House, Governor Wolf, and, “President Trump, Lord thank-you that he stands beside Israel, unequivocally, Lord…Thank-you that, Jesus, that we’re blessed because we stand by Israel and we ask for the peace of Jerusalem as your word says, God.” and she did it all in 1 minute: 48 seconds flat!
Governor Wolf called the performance, “horrifying” [I thought it was hilarious. The whole thing could be right out of ‘Joe Bob’s God Stuff’ It’s fun to watch people in the room start looking around wondering when Jesus is going to shut this woman up.]

Tuesday
03.26.2019 In video-skies calm over Gaza as ceasefire takes effect Maan News. Late Monday night Egyptian negotiators brokered a ceasefire deal between Gaza’s Hamas and Israel’s Likud parties. Israel continued bombing Gaza into Tuesday then stopped. Damage to residential, commercial, and Hamas buildings and to agricultural lands. No one was killed. Seven Palestinians reported with light to moderate injuries.

03.26.2019 Israeli settlers raid 2 Palestinian elementary schools Maan News. Jewish colonists waving Israeli flags, and protected by Israeli occupation troops, tried to enter two children’s schools. Teachers were able to keep them out until they could lock the gates. Children were frightened. School was cancelled in case the colonists became violent.

03.26.2019 Minors among 7 Palestinians detained by Israeli forces Maan News. Two 16-year-olds, and a 17-year-old are among people kidnapped in night and fog raids.

03.26.2019 Israeli undercover forces detain 3 students from Birzeit University Maan News. Occupation troops masquerading as Palestinians arrested three students on campus.

03.26.2019 Israeli settlers raid 2 Palestinian elementary schools Maan News. Jewish colonists waving Israeli flags, and protected by Israeli occupation troops, tried to enter two children’s schools. Teachers were able to keep them out until they could lock the gates. Children were frightened. School was cancelled in case the colonists became violent.

03.26.2019 Israel to demolish family home of Ariel attack suspect Maan News. Occupation troops raided the village and family home of 19-year-old Omar Abu Leila and delivered a notice that Israel will destroy their home as collective punishment.

03.26.2019 Trump signs U.S. recognition of Golan Heights as Israeli Territory Maan News. Netanyahu declares “diplomatic victory” says, “Israel won the Golan Heights as a just war of defense.”

03.26.2019 Sarsour NYU event draws small protest, much applause as activist praises pro-BDS students Haaretz by Danielle Ziri. A hand-full of people, apparently led by an Israeli woman named Veled who carried a sign that read, ‘Evil Jew hater bigot Linda Sarsaur at NYU’ picketed Linda Sarsour’s talk, “Migration, Refugees, and the Politics of Sanctuary.” She was well received by the audience. Pro-Israel elements had tried unsuccessfully to block the speaking engagement.

 

Wednesday
03.27 Four Palestinians injured during clashes in Dheisheh Maan News. Jewish occupation troops shot four Palestinians with live ammunition during night and fog raids.

03.27.2019 Palestinian 18-year-old succumbs to his wounds in Bethlehem Maan News. Article notes Sajed Mizher, just 18-year-old, was wearing his medic uniform when Israel shot him down.

03.27.2019 Funeral procession of killed Palestinian youth sets off in Bethlehem Maan News. Sajed Mizher carried to his final rest by large crowd of mourners who carried him from the hospital to the graveyard. Rest in Peace.

03.27.2019 Israeli air strikes destroy 30 buildings, leave 13 Palestinian families homeless Maan News. Damage reports coming in from Jewish state bombing raids on Gaza yesterday—after Israel signed a ceasefire. Says ‘30 residential structures completely destroyed, and at least 500 others partly damaged.” Article includes 8 pictures.

03.27.2019 Palestinian shot, injured in eastern al-Breij Maan News. Israeli sniper shot young Palestinian in the leg with rubber coated steel bullet. Article reports that several Palestinian youths crossed the segregation fence to start an Israeli military site on fire, then went back into Gaza.

03.27.2019 Isis won’t blow up the Eurovision, and Israelis are disappointed. Haaretz by Itay Stern. France is sending a gay Muslim Arab singer to Eurovision song contest being held in Tel-Aviv in May. Israel was going to air a 3-part television show during Eurovision week in which a gay, Muslim, Arab, Eurovision contestant from France is recruited by ISIS to make a terrorist attack on stage during the contest. Israel claimed that was just all just a coincidence. The French were ready to pull out of the contest. Israel backed down and won’t air the show that week.

03.27.2019 Lithuanian court rejects lawsuit against state honors for Nazi collaborator Haaretz daily dose of Nazi. An American Jew sued Lithuania for honoring their anti-Communist hero, Jonas Noreika. A Lithuanian court threw the case out.

03.27.2019 House majority leader walks back jabs at Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Alexandria Occasio-Cortez. Haaretz. Steny ‘all about the Benjamins’ Hoyer [who turns 80 in June and who has taken $1,026,671 (10,266 Benjamins) from the Israel lobby] tried to claim that what he said at AIPAC was misinterpreted.

Thursday
03.28.2019 Israeli airstrike targets, injures 3 Palestinians in Gaza Maan News. Siege air force jet fired a missile at a group of young Palestinians who were launching toy kites and balloons tied to burning rags. Three young people taken to hospital with minor injures.

03.28.2019 WHO strongly condemns killing of Palestinian volunteer medic Maan News. Gerald Rockenschaub, Head of the World Heath Organization, condemned Israel for killing an 18-year-old medic yesterday.

03.28.2019 On the eve of Land Day: Israel occupies more than 85% of Palestinian land. Maan News. Land Day commemorates March 30, 1976 when Israel killed 6 young Palestinians who were protesting Israeli confiscation of their lands. Historic Palestine was about 27,000 square kilometers. Israel now occupies 85% of it.

03.28.2019 Seven killed in Israeli strike in Syria, watchdog says Haaretz by Jack Khoury. “With an election approaching, Israeli’s government has taken a tougher stance towards Hezbollah on the border with Lebanon.” During a UN Security Council meeting to address Trump’s recognition of Israel’s annexation of Syria’s Golan Heights Israel bombed Syria again. Depending on which source you believe, between 0 and 7 people were killed, victims were Iranian or not, targets were industrial buildings or Iranian weapons.

03.28.2019 Even for the Wild West Bank, this is a shocking story Haaretz by Gideon Levy. Levy goes to the intersection where Jewish occupation troops attacked a Palestinian family this week. The family, a 38-year-old father, his 34-year-old wife, and their daughters, age 8 and 5, were headed home to Bethlehem after visiting relatives when their car stalled at an intersection. Father got out to see what was wrong. An occupation trooper shot him in the stomach from a fortified military tower 30 meters away. The woman and girls screamed for help. Four young men who were returning from a wedding came to the intersection. Three helped the wounded man into their car and took him to hospital. 23-year-old Ahmed Manasra, stayed with the wife and girls. He tried to move the car away from danger. Israel began shooting at him. He ran for a concrete cube to hide but was shot in the back, chest and lower extremities. Six bullets hit him, and he died there.

Levy met with the family and the young men who were with Ahmed when he was murdered took Levy to see the blood stains at the intersection.

03.28.2019 Israeli forces raid lands, attack Palestinian farmers in Gaza Maan News. Armored siege bulldozers went inside Gaza flattening land again today, with drones over head and snipers at the ready.

03.28.2019 Netanyahu to deploy reinforcements along Gaza border Maan News. Israeli escalations will triple siege troops and increase military planes, drones, armored vehicles, etc.

03.28.2019 Israel bans fishing off Gaza’s coast for 4th consecutive day Maan News. Not content with firing machine guns at fishermen in small boats, Israel is now stopping them from going to sea at all.

4.28.2019 For NYT, Israel is always nearing ‘apartheid,’ but never quite getting there FAIR by Gregory Shupak. Author calls out the New York Times for 20 years of saying Israel is moving towards apartheid but not saying they’re there. Compares NYT columnist Thomas Friedman’s years of saying ‘apartheid like’ statements with Bill Murray in ‘Groundhog Day’ living the same day over and over again.

03.28.2019 How the battle over Israel and Anti-Semitism is fracturing American politics New York Times by Nathan Trall. Good piece most people won’t read because it’s too wide ranging and long. So the readers will be left with a title that connects American politics, Israel, anti-Semitism. Some nuggets from the article:
*In June 2016 Hillary Clinton secured to presidential nomination. To decide what the party platform would be she got to choose 6 of 15 members for the party platform committee. Bernie Sanders chose 5, the DNC chose the other 4. As speakers for the Israel Palestine hearings, Bernie chose all minorities. Clinton and the DNC chose all Jews.
*Article quotes James Mattis at the 2013 Aspen Security Forum: “I paid a military-security price every day as the Commander of Cent Com because the Americans were seen as biased in support of Israel.”
* A Democratic National Convention voice vote in 2012, to decide whether to change Democrat’s platform to say Jerusalem is Israel’s capital needed a 2/3 majority. Vote as clearly 50/50. Was taken again. And again with the same result. After the 3rd vote, Chairman Antonio Villaraigosa announced that he was calling it for the ayes. He was booed, loudly.
*50 House Democrats, half of them Black or Latino, boycotted Netanyahu’s 2015 address to congress .
*Israel has allocated over $100 million to fight BDS.
*“[the Jews] took Israel from the Arabs after the Arabs had lived there for a thousand years. In that I agree with them. Israel, like South Africa, is an apartheid state.” South African Prime minister Hendrik Verwoerd, 1961.
*Author asked Mort Klein of Zionist Organization of America, why he called white supremacist Richard Spencer, “utterly racist and despicable: for promoting a state for one ethnic group but not Israel for doing the same thing. Klein said it was different because God gave Israel to the Jews.
*Senator Chuck Schumacher told AIPAC conference in 2018 that there was no peace because the Arabs don’t believe the Torah which gives Palestine to the Jews.
*Over 900 Israeli towns have no Arabs.
* Palestinian schools can lose their government funding if they commemorate the ethnic cleansing of over 700,000 Arabs in 1948.
* “of the dozens of personal checks greater than $500,000 made out to the largest PAC for democrats in 2018, the Senate Majority PAC, around ¾ were written by Jewish donors.”
*“The Washington view of Israel-Palestine is still shaped by the donor class.” Ben Rhodes, former Deputy National Security Advisor.
* “The fight over Israel used to be about voters. It’s more about donors now.” Joel Rubin, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for legislative office under Obama.
*Has a section on November, 2017 BDS vote at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where 20% of the 30,000 Jewish. There was a turnout too large for the usual student-government venue. Palestinian students stunned and upset pro-Israel students with their personal family stories of relatives who were shot, beaten, evicted by Jews. The Israeli Campus Coalition, which works with Israel’s Strategic Affairs Ministry to fight BDS in America, sent operatives from Washington, D.C. to help pro-Israel students write their speeches. The resolution in favor of BDS passed.

03.28.2019 Israeli forces detain 19 Palestinians, including minors Maan News. Night and fog raids across the West Bank.

03.28.2019 Palestinian brand wins ‘Arak of the Year’ at Berlin’s annual competition Maan News. A little good news from the occupied territories. Arak is a strongly alcoholic, anise flavored drink popular in the Eastern Meditterranean. The Palestinian entry beat out over 300 other entrants from 19 countries in a taste test by a blind panel of judges. All ingredients for the Muaddi Craft distillery were sourced from the West Bank.