Abuse on Palestinians Not Limited to West Bank

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Israeli occupation of Palestine: Israeli soldier holds frightened Palestinian mother and young children at gunpoint.

In ever-increasing documentation of violent assaults demonstrating that attacks on Palestinians are not limited to the occupied West Bank, Israeli police repeatedly shot a Palestinian father and Good Samaritan with electric stun guns in front of his 5 young children in an East Jerusalem park.

As reported by mainstream Israeli news outlet Haaretz, the victim, 42-year-old Talal Siad, was having a celebratory Eid al-Fitr family day with his wife and 5 children at Meymadion Water Park on Thursday, when they witnessed Tel Aviv police repeatedly spraying pepper into the eyes of a teenager on the ground.

The teen victim had been involved in an altercation which occurred between some families at the park. Israeli police intervened, but witnesses say the officers used “unnecessary force.”

RT News reports that Siad, who was not involved in the altercation but was alarmed by the excessive police pepper-spraying into the eyes of the teenager on the ground, called out, “What are you doing? You’re killing those kids! You’re being unreasonable!

palestinian-tasered-by-israeli-policeIsraeli police responded by aggressively threatening Siad, who was holding his 3-year old in his arms.

Says YNet News, when Siad put his child down to attempt to help the pepper-sprayed teen, police attacked Siad with stun guns.

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Israel Defies Parliament: 850 New Settlement Homes to be Built

israel-construction-of-new-homes-in-west-bankIsraeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, signed off this week on the construction of 850 new Israeli homes to be built on illegally occupied territory in Palestine.

In opposition to most other international news media, Western news media reduces the number of these new Israeli homes to 300.

This number, however, accounts only for planned new homes in the Beit El settlement; it fails to include an additional 550 homes to be constructed in other areas of the occupied West Bank, as revealed by Israel’s Construction Minister, Ariel Attias.

Though Israel, and its ally the U.S., differentiate between legal settlements and illegal outposts, the U.N. and the rest of the international community “views all Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian territory as a violation of international law,” as reported by the Associated Press.

Moreover, though the US State Department contends that continued Israeli settlement activity “undermines peace efforts and contradicts Israeli commitments and obligations,” the U.S. nevertheless remains a staunch supporter of Israel.

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Occupying Israeli Settlement Profits

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“Danger: Israeli products help fund the oppression and murder of Palestinians.”

A major European supermarket chain has decided to boycott any companies exporting produce from illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

As reported in The Guardian, British Cooperative Group (BCG), one of the largest food retailers in the United Kingdom with a policy already in place against importing produce from illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank, is now extending that policy by ending trade with companies who still export such products.

Says Hilary Smith, a BCG Co-op member and agricultural trade coordinator, the company is making the move in order to “take the lead internationally by this historic decision to hold corporations accountable for complicity  in Israel’s violations of Palestinian human rights. We strongly urge other retailers to take similar action.” Continue reading

Israeli Police Brutality of Palestinian Protesters

fadi-quranJust as U.S. police brutality videos are being pulled from YouTube by the powers that be, so follows the fate of such videos of U.S. staunch ally, Israel, depicting over-the-top police response to peaceful Palestinian protesters.

Such videos, as the one showing Fadi Quran – a peaceful Palestinian activist and double-degree International Relations and Physics Stanford University graduate – may be found only in alternative news outlets.

Though this revealing story of Israeli police brutality upon a peaceful Palestinian protestor has been headlined by dozens of alternative news outlets, U.S. mainstream news media has yet to report on it. Continue reading

Rick Santorum on the West Bank: “There is no ‘Palestine.’ This is Israeli Land.”

santorumGOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum‘s controversial statement about Palestinians in the West Bank continues to rankle:

The bottom line is that that is legitimately Israeli country. And they have a right to do within their country just like we have a right to do within our country. If they want to negotiate with Israelis, and all the people who live in the West Bank are Israelis, they’re not Palestinians. There is no ‘Palestinian.’ This is Israeli land.”

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Pro-Israeli U.S. Politicians Delay Aid to Palestine

israel_us_flagPalestine’s UN bid for statehood causes pro-Israeli U.S. politicians to delay $200 million in economic aid to Palestinians.

As reported by Al Jazeera’s Kimberly Halkett, the Obama administration is criticizing U.S. politicians using legislative efforts to delay delivery of aid for food, healthcare and infrastructure to Palestinians.

As well, Palestinian officials call the move “counterproductive” to Middle East peace efforts.

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Do you feel that U.S. politicians are justified in withholding aid to Palestine based on pro-Israel politics?

How do you feel about the U.S. position as staunch ally to Israel while simultaneously purporting to be an unbiased  mediator between Israel and Palestine?

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World News Wednesday

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World News Wednesday Focus: Palestine’s UN Bid for Statehood

palestine-at-UNPalestine’s PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization) leaders flew to the opening of the UN General Assembly in New York last week to request membership for a Palestinian state.

Threatening the Palestinian bid, once again, is Israel and its staunch ally, the United States.

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World Reaction to Palestinian Bid for Statehood

iran-flag-with-palestine-flagIran‘s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, rejects Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s application for UN statehood.

“Our claim is freedom of Palestine, not part of Palestine. Any plan that partitions Palestine is totally rejected,” says Khamenei. “Palestine spans from the river [Jordan] to the [Mediterranean] sea, nothing less.”

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india-flag-with-palestine-flagIndia, who has always supported Palestine, has had an historically pro-Arab position partly due to the fact that India has a huge Muslim population which empathized with the Arab world, and viewed Israel with suspicion and distrust. But Muslim influence was not the only reason for India’s pro-Palestine stance, as reported by Al Jazeera’s Ramananda Sengupta in “India’s Israel-Arab Tightrope Walk.”

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My Op/Ed: Western Views of Palestinian Bid for Statehood

bush_pledging-to-israeli_flagTo properly analyze Palestine’s recent UN bid for statehood, historical context cannot be ignored. Unfortunately, this is exactly what is happening in most Western news media – for many reasons, not the least of which involves our own history of supporting Israel’s occupation of Palestine.

Historical documentation abounds of consistent and overt action by the U.S. to block the UN from enforcing international law critical of Israel.

In fact, as documented by Stephen Zunes, international relations scholar specializing in Middle Eastern politics, U.S. foreign policy, and strategic nonviolent action, “U.S. opposition to Palestine has run so strong that the U.S. has withdrawn or has threatened to withdraw badly needed financial support from UN agencies that have supported Palestinian rights.

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Uprooting Fear, Hatred

I came across an inspiring article that left me feeling hopeful for the next generation of Palestine/Israel relations.

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Following, is an excerpt from a Worldpress.org news article Seeds of Peace

by Joshua Pringle.

To someone living in the United States—where war is not something experienced on your home turf on a regular basis—it is hard to imagine what the gravity of this first encounter [an Arab child with an Israeli child] might be like. Amer Kamal is a Palestinian Seed who grew up in East Jerusalem. He told Worldpress.org about the nerves he felt going to camp in 1997, recalling the shock he felt when he learned that he wouldn’t have his own room and would have to bunk with the other kids. “On both sides of me there were Israelis,” Kamal said. “I didn’t feel safe. I was worried about my stuff, even. I kept my stuff in the bag; I didn’t unpack.”

Sobering words from a child…

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How do you feel about this article?