My expulsion from Israel

When I arrived in Israel as a UN representative I knew there might be problems at the airport. And there were – Richard Falk.

un-richard-falk-special-rapporteur-onhr-palestina1

On December 14, I arrived at Ben Gurion Airport, in Tel Aviv, Israel to carry out my UN role as special rapporteur on the Palestinian territories.

I was leading a mission that had intended to visit the West Bank and Gaza to prepare a report on Israel’s compliance with human rights standards and international humanitarian law. Meetings had been scheduled on an hourly basis during the six days, starting with Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, the following day.

I knew that there might be problems at the airport. Israel had strongly opposed my appointment a few months earlier and its foreign ministry had issued a statement that it would bar my entry if I came to Israel in my capacity as a UN representative.

At the same time, I would not have made the long journey from California, where I live, had I not been reasonably optimistic about my chances of getting in. Israel was informed that I would lead the mission and given a copy of my itinerary, and issued visas to the two people assisting me: a staff security person and an assistant, both of whom work at the office of the high commissioner of human rights in Geneva.

To avoid an incident at the airport, Israel could have either refused to grant visas or communicated to the UN that I would not be allowed to enter, but neither step was taken. It seemed that Israel wanted to teach me, and more significantly, the UN a lesson: there will be no cooperation with those who make strong criticisms of Israel’s occupation policy.

After being denied entry, I was put in a holding room with about 20 others experiencing entry problems. At this point, I was treated not as a UN representative, but as some sort of security threat, subjected to an inch-by-inch body search and the most meticulous luggage inspection I have ever witnessed.

I was separated from my two UN companions who were allowed to enter Israel and taken to the airport detention facility a mile or so away. I was required to put all my bags and cell phone in a room and taken to a locked tiny room that smelled of urine and filth. It contained five other detainees and was an unwelcome invitation to claustrophobia. I spent the next 15 hours so confined, which amounted to a cram course on the miseries of prison life, including dirty sheets, inedible food and lights that were too bright or darkness controlled from the guard office.

Of course, my disappointment and harsh confinement were trivial matters, not by themselves worthy of notice, given the sorts of serious hardships that millions around the world daily endure. Their importance is largely symbolic. I am an individual who had done nothing wrong beyond express strong disapproval of policies of a sovereign state. More importantly, the obvious intention was to humble me as a UN representative and thereby send a message of defiance to the United Nations.

Israel had all along accused me of bias and of making inflammatory charges relating to the occupation of Palestinian territories. I deny that I am biased, but rather insist that I have tried to be truthful in assessing the facts and relevant law. It is the character of the occupation that gives rise to sharp criticism of Israel’s approach, especially its harsh blockade of Gaza, resulting in the collective punishment of the 1.5 million inhabitants. By attacking the observer rather than what is observed, Israel plays a clever mind game. It directs attention away from the realities of the occupation, practising effectively a politics of distraction.

The blockade of Gaza serves no legitimate Israeli function. It is supposedly imposed in retaliation for some Hamas and Islamic Jihad rockets that have been fired across the border at the Israeli town of Sderot. The wrongfulness of firing such rockets is unquestionable, yet this in no way justifies indiscriminate Israeli retaliation against the entire civilian population of Gaza.

The purpose of my reports is to document on behalf of the UN the urgency of the situation in Gaza and elsewhere in occupied Palestine. Such work is particularly important now as there are signs of a renewed escalation of violence and even of a threatened Israeli reoccupation.

Before such a catastrophe happens, it is important to make the situation as transparent as possible, and that is what I had hoped to do in carrying out my mission. Although denied entry, my effort will continue to use all available means to document the realities of the Israeli occupation as truthfully as possible.

• Richard Falk is professor of international law at Princeton University and the UN’s special rapporteur on the Palestinian territories

Israel deports American academic

Israel has refused entry to the controversial Jewish American academic and UN envoy, Richard Falk who once compared Israel’s treatment of Palestinians to the Nazis’ treatment of Jews.

Falk flew into Tel Aviv on Sunday night and spent the night at Ben Gurion airport before he was deported this morning.

Earlier this year, when the Princeton University professor of international law was appointed as the UN’s special rapporteur in the Palestinian territories, Israel said it would deny him entry because in 2007 he said the Jewish nation’s blockade on the Palestinian coastal territory of Gaza was a “Holocaust in the making”.

In June this year, Israel allowed Falk to enter in a personal capacity to attend a conference in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank.

Israel defended its decision to deport Falk, saying he had used his personal visit in June to write an official UN report and because of his “shameful comparisons to the Holocaust”.

flag_israel_nazi

Israel also objects to the UN’s special rapporteur mandate which aims to document only the Jewish state’s abuses of Palestinian human rights. It does not include Palestinian abuses of Israeli human rights.

It’s the third time this year that Israel has barred a high-profile critic from entering.

In May, it deported Norman Finkelstein, a controversial Jewish American academic who has accused Israel of using the Holocaust to justify its actions against the Palestinians. Israel also refused Nobel peace laureate the Archbishop Desmond Tutu entry while on a UN fact-finding mission in Gaza the same month.

Toni O’Loughlin in Jerusalem –  guardian.co.uk

Israel’s Ultimate Goal

Why does Israel continue to build settlements on the west bank and continue its expansionist policies? The ultimate goal is to capture all of ‘Eretz Israel’. The ‘Promised Land’ extends from the River of Egypt to the Euphrates. It includes parts of Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, a bit of Turkey and Saudi Arabia. Yasser Arafat always used to keep an Israeli coin in his pocket showing Israel with the ‘Eretz Israel’ borders, to remind people that they shouldn’t be fooled by the Zionists, as they have no defined borders and continue to expand their land.

see pictures at: www.insight-info.com

Eretz Israel

Eretz Israel

This Is The Lowest McCain Has Sunk Yet

John Mccain and Sarah Palin

John Mccain and Sarah Palin

The increasingly sleazy John McCain, who once promised to run a clean campaign, has now attacked my friend Rashid Khalidi and attempted to use him against Barack Obama. Khalidi is an American scholar of Palestinian heritage, born in New York and educated at Yale and Oxford, who now teaches at Columbia University. He directed the Middle East Center at the University of Chicago for some time, and he and his family came to know the Obamas at that time. Knowing someone and agreeing with him on everything are not the same thing.

Scott Horton has a fine, informed and intelligent discussion of the issue.

I know it may seem a novel idea to people like McCain and Palin, but it would be worthwhile actually reading Khalidi’s book on the Palestinian struggle for statehood. (I urge bloggers interested in this issue to link to his book, which the American reading public should know).

At the least, read a whole essay Khalidi has written.

Far from being a knee-jerk nationalist, Khalidi has been critical of the decisions of the Palestinian leadership at key junctures in modern history.

McCain’s and Palin’s attacks on Khalidi are frankly racist. He is a distinguished scholar, and the only objectionable thing about him from a rightwing point of view is that he is a Palestinian. There are about 9 million Palestinians in the world (a million or so are Israeli citizens; 3.7 million are stateless and without rights under Israeli control in the West Bank and Gaza; and 4 million are refugees or exiled in the diaspora; there are about 200,000 Palestinian-Americans, and several million Arab-Americans, many living in swing vote states). Khalidi was not, as the schlock rightwing press charges, a spokesman for the Palestine Liberation Organization. He was an adviser at the Madrid peace talks, but would that not have been, like, a good thing?

Much of the assault on Khalidi comes from the American loony Zionist Right, which quietly supports illegal Zionist colonies in the West Bank and the ethnic cleansing of the remaining Palestinians. They have been tireless advocates of miring the US in wars in Iraq and Iran to ensure that their dreams of ethnic cleansing are unopposed. They are a tiny, cranky but well-funded group that has actively harassed anyone who disagrees with them (at one point, cued by Daniel Pipes, they cyberstalked Khalidi and clogged his email mailbox with spam for weeks at a time). All opinion polling shows that most American Jews are politically liberal, overwhelmingly vote Democrat, and support trading land for peace to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Khalidi is their political ally in any serious peace process, which many have recognized.

full article: www.insight-info.com

Israeli settlers spray chemicals on Palestinian farmers during attack

Israeli settlers

Israeli settlers

Israeli settlers sprayed chemicals on a group of Palestinian farmers while attacking them in the Qalqilia area of the northern West Bank on Monday, human rights fieldworkers reported.

According to a report compiled by the International Women’s Peace Service (IWPS), five settlers, two of them riding horses, from an outpost called Havat Gilad approached two farmers while they were working on their land in the village of Immatin.

As the settlers started surrounding the two Palestinian farmers, they phoned their family for help. In the meantime, an additional fifteen Palestinians from Far’ata who had been working in their land nearby rushed to the aid of the other farmers.

The farmers told IWPS that the settlers threw stones at the Palestinians, threatened to beat them, and set small fires on the hillside. Approximately 15 more masked settlers joined them.

Fifteen Israeli soldiers arrived, looking on while the settlers continued their assault, the farmers said.

Full article: www.insight-info.com

The Crisis of Zionism

Nazi Star of David

Nazi Star of David

A lot was written about the evils of Zionism as a colonialist movement and Israel as a racist regime, but the role of Zionism in the Imperialist Hegemony over the Arab East is much less known and understood. Still the main role of Zionism is not the exploitation of the Palestinian people, of which they prefer to get rid by continuing ethnic cleansing, neither the building of a Jewish society in Palestine (and the subsequent exploitation of the Jewish working class). The main role of Israel is as an advanced military outpost in the middle of the Arab East to prevent Arab independence, Arab unity and the building of a national economy and democratic society.

The military character of the Israeli project is enshrined in many strategic agreements between Israel and the imperialist powers, guaranteeing the “strategic superiority” of Israel in the region.
The current imperialist hysteria against Iran’s nuclear program has only one meaning – imperialist determination to keep Israel as the only power with nuclear weapon in the area, so as to enable it to use it on need. In many recent writings by Zionist leaders they tell openly how close they were to using nuclear weapons in some of their past conflicts…

For their role in keeping imperialist hegemony over this strategically important region, the Zionist military-capitalist elites receive a wide range of economic and political privileges, which are a small fraction of the imperialists’ profits from the subjection of the Arab nation and the robbery of its natural and human resources.

Colonialism and Class

In order to be able to expel and oppress the Palestinian people, and in order to be able to militarily terrorize the whole region, the Zionists need the best of all imperialist weaponry, but they also need soldiers to fight their wars. The state of Israel uses those Jewish masses it succeeded to tempt to come to Palestine as its base of support and as the foot soldiers for its colonization, oppression and aggressive wars. It needs this immigrant community to be satisfied, to prevent it from re-immigrating to safer places, and to keep its loyalty as a fighting force.

Fear is one major force behind the intense control of Zionism over the Jews in Palestine. In this sense, Zionism is the main beneficiary of anti-Semitism and it shares its conviction that Jews can’t assimilate in the societies where they live. It also benefits, to some degree, from terrifying Jews in Palestine from the possible consequences in case Israel will loose it military dominance.

In order to provide replacement to the expelled Palestinians, the Zionist movement is bringing in Jews from all over the world. At a process of internal colonization, Jews from Arab and other third world countries are deprived of their culture and social structure, which are declared by the state as “inferior”, and their society is crashed to provide defenseless “human raw material” for the Zionist manipulation and exploitation.

But the main mean used by Israel to keep the loyalty of the Jewish masses is to make their daily way of living depend of a complex system of privileges as against the native Palestinians. This system of privileges includes every aspect of daily lives in Israel: Health and Education, Housing, Welfare, Acceptance and promotion at work, just everything. Much effort is done to involve as many Jews (from all classes) as possible in actively expropriating Arab land, in the ’48 occupied territories as well as in the West Bank and the Syrian Golan heights.

This system allows only one way for effective struggle for sections of the Jewish masses that aspire to improve their daily lives: To struggle to enhance their privileges and distance themselves from the much more oppressed and exploited Arab masses. It is not a coincidence that the most successful struggle of Oriental Jews in the last years was a campaign for more equal distribution of expropriated Arab land, waged under the slogan “this land is also mine”.

The Alternative can’t come from within the Jewish Community

Capitalist exploitation in Israel, like anywhere else, creates its contradictions and class struggle. But the acute polarization of society under colonialism prevents the class struggle from naturally evolving to a political conflict over power. Arab workers are marginalized by systematic discrimination, many of them working in unofficial or semi-official sectors of the economy where class organization is almost impossible. The most organized and combative workers are those in the more privileged, almost fully segregated, sectors. As much as struggle and local organization develops, it is put to vain by the Histadrut, the all powerful tool of the Zionist movement that is responsible to assure that trade unionist struggle is subjected to the interest of the colonialist system.

The so-called “Israeli Left” is not left at all. Sometimes it is taken to include the Israeli Labor Party, which was the central instrument of Zionist colonialism, directly responsible for both the ethnic cleansing of 1948 and the occupation of 1967. “The Labor” is till this day a full partner in all of Israel’s aggressive and racist policies and is a partner in most of its governments’ coalitions. Economically the Israeli Labor Party is as tightly connected to big business as its openly Right wing twins and it promotes neo liberal policies like privatization.

Labor’s shadow in the Zionist “left”, the small “Merez” party, which is now in opposition, is only a shade more moderate, and don’t hesitate to take part in Zionist governments of occupation and war when it gets a chance to do so. It claims to be more moderate in negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, but its main political activity is to try to engage the Palestinians in virtual negotiations and to blackmail them to give up the right of return of the refugees in order to make them more acceptable to Israeli public opinion… Merez is also well known to rely on the well to do elite, which might be a bit less aggressive than other flanks of Zionism as it sees its interest well defended in any possible settlement.

There are anti war movements, of which Peace Now was the most famous and numerous. While it expressed some popular tendency to distrust the military-political leadership and pressed the government to be less aggressive, it mostly remained under the political wings of Labor and Merez. Its logic was that Israel might allow itself some concession from a point of strength, thus denying the Palestinian refugees right of return and clinging to Jewish domination.

For a long period, the Israeli communist party tried to build an Israeli Patriotic non-Zionist left. They thought this left could cooperate with the mainstream Zionist “left” and influence it toward peace with the “external” Palestinians and to reduce discrimination against “internal” Palestinians. For this purpose they tried to limit the Palestinian struggle inside the 48 occupied territories to an agenda of civil rights, equality and peace. While they tried to heal some of the symptoms of Zionism, they accepted its main proposition of the establishment of a Jewish state. This experiment came to its futile climax when the Communist (and other Arab) votes in the Knesset were crucial to sustain the Labor government led by Rabin at the time of the Oslo agreement. Even than, Labor refused to include the Israeli Communist Party, or any other party representing Arab voters, in its governing coalition, thus stressing the exclusive Jewish character of the Zionist state and the de-legitimization of those Palestinian Arabs who are formally citizens of Israel.

As an echo of the international radicalism of the sixties of the previous century, several radical movements were formed between Jewish youth, best known by the name “Matzpen” – Compass in Hebrew. In spite of some important principled positions against Israeli colonialism and the dedicated struggle and sacrifices of some militants, those groups failed to integrate as a significant component in the Palestinian Liberation movement even while it was at its leftist radical heights. Finally those groups dried and died out within the walls of the reactionary Jewish Ghetto.

full article: www.insight-info.com

The Tantura Massacre one month after the Dair Yasin Massacre

Palestinian history in the 60 years of occupation is full of murders which have been carried out by Israel against this nation. But, according to some Arab and Jewish historians, the Tantura Massacre was the most brutal massacre that the Zionists carried out against the Palestinian nation.

 

During the same time of the 60th anniversary of the occupation of Palestine and the Tantura Massacre the news station Al-Jazeera held a conversation between some historians researching Palestinian massacres in this region.

 

The Israeli army on the 23rd of May, 1948 massacred the residents of the Tantura village after occupying Haifa. After this they started exiling people from the West Bank to Jordan, Syria, and Iraq.

 

Mustafa Kibha, an Arab historian, stated in regards to the Tantura Massacre: “The Israel army decided to attack Tantura, which was comprised of 1500 families, because it was the weakest area south of Haifa and because of its special location next to the Mediterranean Sea. It was much easier to reach than the other villages near it.

 

Kibha added: “The Israeli army attacked this village on the 22nd of May, 1948 from the sea before the ground.”

 

This historian clearly stated: “The Israeli army attacked that village because they would send weapons and military equipment to Palestinians.”

 

Full article: www.insight-info.com

Cheerleading Genocide

With spectacular fanfare and a plethora of highlighted events, Israel celebrated its 60th birthday on 18 May 2008.

israel 60

According to an Israeli government website called Israelfestival.com, the festival included “non-stop entertainment, [a] fashion show, a variety of ethnic food for sale, Israeli folk dancing, arts and
crafts, Israeli and Jewish cultural and heritage pavilions and art exhibits”.

The centrepiece ceremony takes place in West Jerusalem and be attended by Israel’s political and military leaders as well as foreign dignitaries. Among those expected are US President George W Bush,
French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Israeli media and non-governmental organisations have already begun celebrations in earnest. For example, Israeli television has begun airing a new series called Shishim (meaning “60”), which looks back at the six decades since Israel was created in May 1948. The series, which began 31 March, is divided into six episodes, each devoted to one of the decades following the founding of the state.

Israel hopes that the high-pitched celebrations will serve as an opportunity to promote Israel and enhance its questionable standing abroad. “It is an opportunity to celebrate our achievements, our
successes, our national being,” boasted Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, who was not yet born in 1948.

From the Zionist viewpoint, Israel is a story of success. Today, Israel is a political and military force to be reckoned with, even if its power is based on the patronage of foreign entities. A country of
no more than seven million people, including nearly 1.5 million non-Jews (mainly Palestinians), Israel more or less directs the politics and policies of world’s only superpower, the United States, thanks mainly to powerful Jewish lobbies in Washington.

The power of the Jewish lobby largely explains how massive American financial and military support is to Israel, which is measured in hundreds of billions of dollars. Were it not for this nearly unlimited
financial, economic, technological, political and military backing, Israel would never have been able to survive, especially given its predator tactics.

Israel, which has been mounting a vitriolic incitement campaign against Iran for its acquisition of nuclear technology, is a nuclear power on par with other established nuclear powers, and its military
supremacy — at least until summer of 2006 — has covered the vast bulk of the Middle East from Turkey to Iran and from North Africa to east and central Africa.

Economically, Israel is also a regional economic superpower, with a GNP bordering on $0.5 trillion. In fact, Israel is among a few pioneering states in the field of electronics and the development of
new generations of medicine, with Israeli pharmaceutical firms’ share of the world market reaching billions of dollars.

Notwithstanding all its success and achievements, Israel remains a state based on racism, apartheid and criminality against the Palestinian people whose homeland it seized and whom it is trying to
obliterate to this day. To be sure, Israel has failed. Palestinians remain, both as a human entity and as a national entity.

Israel, in order to achieve its goals, always sought to acquire, by hook or by crook, as much Palestinian land as possible while taking in as few Palestinian people as possible. The policies and tactics employed by Israel to achieve this goal are both blunt and insidious and amount to ethnic cleansing and the international crime of genocide. Israel has institutionalised racism, bulldozed hundreds of Palestinian towns and villages, shamelessly confiscated Palestinian land and property, including private homes, and recently built the so-called “Separation Wall” in the West Bank, aimed first and foremost at annexing to Israel as much Palestinian land as possible.

On top of all of this, Israel has perfected the practice of state-sponsored mass terror; a deliberate policy aimed at making Palestinian life as unbearable as possible with the ultimate goal of forcing Palestinians to leave their homes and land altogether. This is done in broad daylight; in full view of key world powers, such as the US, EU, Russia and China, which either keep silent or issue a few terse and innocuous words about the need to stick to a peace process that has form but very little substance.

Today, as Israel is getting ready to celebrate its 60th birthday, the massive theft of Palestinian land in the West Bank, especially in East Jerusalem and its surroundings, continues unabated. Against all odds, the Palestinian people have survived. Indeed, Palestinian resilience to Israeli oppression is legendary — a trait that continues to baffle and frustrate Israeli strategists. Perhaps it is this resilience that is encouraging influential Israeli political, military and religious leaders to openly call for genocide of the Palestinians.

Recently, Israel’s Deputy Defence Minister Matan Vilnai threatened to “inflict a greater holocaust” on Palestinians. Similarly, a growing number of rabbis associated with the two largest religious camps in
Israel, the Haredi ultra-Orthodox religious sector and the national Zionist religious sector, issuing one edict after the other, permitting soldiers to murder at will Palestinian civilians, including children, on the grounds that in war all among the enemy population ought to be treated as combatants, including children.

One might imagine that this is exaggerated, but it is not. Recently Rabbi Yisrael Rosen, director of the Tsomet Institute, a religious seminary attended by Israeli settlers in the West Bank, declared: “All
of the Palestinians must be killed; men, women, infants, and even their beasts.” And the chief rabbi of the City of Safad, Shmuel Eliyahu, urged the state and the army recently to hang the children of
a Palestinian fighter who last month attacked the Merkaz Haarav Centre, run for Jewish settlers in West Jerusalem, killing eight pre-military Talmudic students in retaliation for the killing by the Israeli army of more than 130 Palestinians, most of them innocent civilians, in the Gaza Strip.

The mushrooming of fascist impulses is not confined to the religious sector. In March, the Israeli media quoted Knesset members and former cabinet ministers as threatening to extend discriminatory laws against non-Jews in ways reminiscent of Nuremberg Laws passed in Nazi Germany. One Israeli Knesset member reportedly told his Arab colleague: “the day will come when we will kick you out of this house.”

Such instances raise no eyebrows in a country where some rabbis, like David Batsri, openly teach that non-Jews are animals and donkeys. A recent opinion survey published this week showed that as many as 75 per cent of Israeli Jews support ethnic cleansing of Arabs from mandate Palestine — Israel proper and the occupied Palestinian territories of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.
Understandably, the poll drew angry reactions from the Israeli Arab community. Jamal Zahalqa, an Israeli Arab Knesset member, suggested that Arabs are being treated in ways similar to the way Jews were treated in the Third Reich ahead of World War II.

“The hateful smell of racism and fascism is wafting everywhere in this country. You must know that we didn’t come to Israel from abroad… On the contrary; it was Israel that invaded us. We are the indigenous people of the land, and we receive our legitimacy from our belonging to this land, not from having Israeli citizenship,” he said.

Zahalqa described the poll as “additional evidence underscoring the growing rampancy of racism and fascism in Israel as a result of the ongoing waves of hate against everything and anything Arab.”

The fears of Zahalqa and other Israeli Arabs are real. Recently, hundreds of Arab residents from Jaffa, Lod and Ramleh took to the streets to protest against the planned eviction by the state of thousands of Arab residents from Jaffa. Authorities had issued warrants for the evacuation and destruction of hundreds of homes, claiming infringements on building regulations. The state also claimed that, “the families [had] lost the right to continue living in their homes, since these homes belonged to their parents … ”

“We are here and we won’t leave. We will either live on this land or die on this land. We will not let you touch our lands or our holy places,” said Sheikh Raed Salah, leader of the Arab movement in Israel. “All your rulings belong in the trashcan. We are not afraid of you. We will continue to live in our homeland,” he added.

Last year, Richard Falk, a renowned American Jewish professor of international law and practice, wrote an article entitled “Slouching toward a Palestinian holocaust,” in which he warned that Israel was moving towards the perpetration of a holocaust against the Palestinians. “Is it an irresponsible overstatement to associate the treatment of Palestinians with this criminalised Nazi record of collective atrocity? I think not,” said Falk.

Justifying the Israel-equals-Nazi analogy, Falk argued that developments in Gaza (the blockade against its estimated 1.5 million inhabitants), were especially disturbing because they expressed
vividly a deliberate intention on the part of Israel and its backers to subject an entire human community to life- endangering conditions of maximal cruelty. “The suggestion that this pattern of conduct is a holocaust-in-the-making represents a rather desperate appeal to the governments of the world and to international public opinion to act urgently to prevent these current genocidal tendencies from culminating into a collective tragedy,” Falk wrote.

In sum, from the standpoint of fascism, Israel has much to celebrate in terms of political and military achievements. But in terms of justice, morality and humanity, one struggles to name a country on
earth that so openly practices oppression and racism. As such Israel, on its 60th birthday, remains what it was when born six decades ago: a state built on blood, murder, theft and lies.

Is Israel about to change its ways? Don’t hold your breath, Israeli leaders might say. Unless, that is, you’re Palestinian.

in Ramallah

Source

The loathsome smearing of Israel’s critics

And they say that free speech exists in the West! That is a crock. The only thing that one is free to say are opinions in line with the government – anything else will be punishable. Here is an article showing how people who criticize the Israeli regime are smeared.

 

johann hari

In the US and Britain, there is a campaign to smear anybody who tries to describe the plight of the Palestinian people. It is an attempt to intimidate and silence – and to a large degree, it works. There is
nobody these self-appointed spokesmen for Israel will not attack as anti-Jewish: liberal Jews, rabbis, even Holocaust survivors.

My own case isn’t especially important, but it illustrates how the wider process of intimidation works. I have worked undercover at both the Finsbury Park mosque and among neo-Nazi Holocaust deniers to expose the Jew-hatred there; when I went on the Islam Channel to challenge the anti-Semitism of Islamists, I received a rash of death threats calling me “a Jew-lover”, “a Zionist-homo pig” and more.

Ah, but wait. I have also reported from Gaza and the West Bank. Last week, I wrote an article that described how untreated sewage was being pumped from illegal Israeli settlements on to Palestinian land, contaminating their reservoirs. This isn’t controversial. It has been documented by Friends of the Earth, and I have seen it with my own eyes.

The response? There was little attempt to dispute the facts I offered. Instead, some of the most high profile “pro-Israel” writers and media monitoring groups – including Honest Reporting and Camera – said I an anti-Jewish bigot akin to Joseph Goebbels and Mahmoud Ahmadinejadh, while Melanie Phillips even linked the stabbing of two Jewish people in North London to articles like mine. Vast numbers of e-mails came flooding in calling for me to be sacked.

Any attempt to describe accurately the situation for Palestinians is met like this. If you recount the pumping of sewage onto Palestinian land, “Honest Reporting” claims you are reviving the anti-Semitic myth of Jews “poisoning the wells.” If you interview a woman whose baby died in 2002 because she was detained – in labour – by Israeli soldiers at a checkpoint within the West Bank, “Honest Reporting” will say you didn’t explain “the real cause”: the election of Hamas in, um, 2006. And on, and on.

Click to see full article here