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Monday, November 30

URGENT APPEAL - Lets keep the momentum going - Will You Help Keep The Window To Palestine Open
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It was the summer of 1996 and we started this blog, we always thought of getting a domain name but never got around to it because we always felt that we would loose the ranking we had on the internet. We have covered all the happenings to the best we could through the years and have expanded ourselves with not only this blog but throughout social media reaching tens of thousands daily on our face book and twitter accounts and else where through out the web. We are the Window that people look into to for all the news, opinions and perspectives from many great sources and writers to those on the front lines in Palestine.

Many hours a week go into this from our dedicated members of this blog from our small room that fills up with our volunteers that blog and tweet away to different areas of the globe where we have concerned citizens who do the same, we try and offer at all times a little token of our appreciation and provide small gifts and financial compensation for the assistance that keeps us going along with providing a little something for writers.

We have a lot of ideas that we are trying to save for to make these ideas a reality.
- video project
- a book about Palestine and the Canadian Perspective
as well as maintain ourselves with better computers and hardware that will allow us to do what we do better and faster.

We thank all our supporters past and future and hope you Please help us grow, any contribution big or small goes along way and is greatly appreciated! for the new year that is soon to be.

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President Obama, recognize Palestine now!
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"Where many are grasping at straws for new strategies to compensate for so many past diplomatic failures, the only real strategy left is the realization of the state of Palestine on the ground. This is the missing link to get negotiations back on track and to give Palestinians hope for the future, not to mention saving the two-state solution from total collapse. U.S. recognition of Palestine would be the first concrete political step that would open the way to an entirely new dynamic upon which the end game would no longer be an unknown, allowing all stakeholders to focus on state building instead of ideological debate."


By Sam Bahour, Geoffrey Lewis and Nomika Zion
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Wednesday, November 18

Pro-Palestinian activists defy new ban on BDS across France
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The popular Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel was declared illegal in France, making it a crime to call for a boycott of Israeli goods. But B-D-S campaigners have taken to the streets in defiance, arguing that the move is in contradiction with France's policy of valuing freedom of speech. As a result, French police have failed to enforce the new ban. From Paris, Press TV's Ramin Mazaheri explains.

Watch The Video:

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Support “Free All political prisoners” campaign
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Dear Friends
The 2016 “Colors from Palestine” calendar is a fundraiser for the “Free All political prisoners” campaign and it feature 12 Palestinian political posters spanning over 50 years.

The calendar is a great gift for family and friends and we offer discount on bulk orders, call us for more details. To view and buy the “Colors from Palestine” 2016 calendar, please click on the following link:

The calendar makes a great item for group fundraising, and we offer special discount for groups and organization who wish to use the calendar as fundraising item. To find out more please email your request to: or call 416-890-2331

Please forward this email to your contacts,
Thank you for your support

Resistance Art

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Saturday, November 14

A few young (or young at heart) activists
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"Woe to those who builds a city by bloodshed, and establish a town by wickedness!...Hear, O tribe and city council, You whose rich men are full of violence, whose inhabitants speak falsehood with deceitful tongues in their heads! Am I to bear any longer criminal hoarding .... Rather I will begin to strike you with devastation because of your sins….Therefore I will deliver you up to ruin,  and your citizens to derision; and you shall bear the reproach of the nations."(Old Testament/Torah, Micah)

Needed: A few young (or young at heart) activists or aspiring activists interested in working with others in team spirit (in Palestine OR helping us from abroad). You can help in many areas including liberating minds and bodies, education, culture, art, nature, environment, agriculture and more. 

Send us an email with your background and interests to
For Palestinian students and graduates in all disciplines: If you are interested in helping Palestine and advancing your career at the same time, also email us. Donations are also welcome via

Humans and other living creatures continue to suffer in the "Holy Land" because of Zionism. Since October 1st, 80 Palestinians (17 children) and 9 Israelis were killed (two of these Israelis killed by fellow Israelis mistaking them for Palestinians).  Tear gas is devastating our nascent botanical garden (intended as a green area in Bethlehem) by driving away birds and other living creatures or outright killing them (a dove that was dead in the parking lot with no obvious injuries).  For how much longer will people remain unemployed and the economy paralyzed by Israeli policies? For how long will we continue to have students who cannot pay their tuition and sick people in Gaza dying for lack of medical care? For how long will hundreds of young Palestinians (including dozens of children) remain in "administrative detention" in Israeli gulags (no trial, no charges)?  For how much longer will seven million refugees be denied their basic right to return to their homes and lands? Is it then any surprise that 20-25 year old young women and men are desperate enough to sacrifice their lives by approaching Israeli occupation soldiers with a knife?  I wish Israelis would finally see the folly of continuing to deny millions of Palestinians their basic human rights like freedom and living in dignity on their own land. I wish western governments would see that they are enabling a disaster to happen here that will spare no one by continuing to support apartheid (e.g. US congress bowing to Israel's lobby just passed a resolution condemning the victims and supporting the oppressors).  When will people see that racism and apartheid has no future in the 21st century? We continue building and struggling but we need your help. We are in the live picking season and the spirit of the olive tree is strong. Its smell and its strength give us hope. Please visit and join us in Palestine.

5 Reasons Why I’m A Christian Who Stopped Supporting Israel

Irish Academics commitment to BDS: “Responding to the appeal from Palestinian civil society, we therefore declare that we will not accept invitations to visit Israeli academic institutions; act as referees in any of their processes; participate in conferences funded, organised or sponsored by them, or otherwise co-operate with them.

We will, however, continue to work with our Israeli colleagues in their individual capacities and at the same time put in place strategies of political and practical support for Palestinian universities, academics and students.”

Mazin Qumsiyeh
Professor and Director
Palestine Museum of Natural History
Bethlehem University
Occupied Palestine

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Hate cannot drive out hate
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"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that" Martin Luther King Jr.

Note: There is a new round of applications available for the Master program in Environmental Biology at Birzeit University

My reflections on the catastrophic violence in France, Syria, and Lebanon remain the same as reflections on other violence originating from the swamp created by Sykes-Picot and company in 1916. Western government support of Zionist and Wahhabi Saud ideologies of violence and dictatorships remain the biggest obstacle to peace, democracy, and human rights. As I wrote in September "We still cry, we still mourn, but we must still act. It is not enough to tell the callous western leaders 'we told you so'. They still make horrible catastrophes. Please act to stop them."

September Reflections by Mazin Qumsiyeh

US Union support of Palestinian Rights could be a game-changer

21 disguised Israeli soldiers invade hospital:  Israeli agents with fake beards and disguises storm a hospital in occupied Palestine and killed one young person and kidnapped his injured cousin  (this is contrary to International law and even to agreements that Israeli leaders signed; ie. Oslo accords). When will Palestinian authority stop being a Vichy government and defend its people?
[Within 24 hours, a Palestinian "avenged" this crime by killing two Israeli colonial settlers near Hebron]

Ubud Writers and Readers Festival photo album J

The First Question to Ask After Any Terror Attack: Was It a False Flag?
Presidents, Prime Ministers, Congressmen, Generals, Spooks, Soldiers and Police ADMIT to False Flag Terror

We still welcome you in Palestine where we also live, teach, do research, work, play, eat, and live an otherwise normal life (outside of the incidents mentioned associated with apartheid and colonialism). And yes, we spread and teach love despite the pain of terror that has inflicted us for seven decades.

Mazin Qumsiyeh
Professor and Director
PMNH, Bethlehem University

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Israel did tell France there would be grave consequences if they voted with Palestine.
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A co-founder of the Free Gaza movement, Mary Hughes-Thompson, raised the possibility that Israel was behind the deadly attacks that hit Paris on Friday night and killed 120 people. 


“I haven’t accused Israel of involvement. Still, Bibi [Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu] is upset about the European settlement boycott. So who knows,” Hughes-Thompson tweeted following the attacks on Saturday morning. 
The “European settlement boycott” the activist mentions, refers to new labeling guidelines for goods produced in the areas captured by Israel in the 1967 Six Day War that the EU approved earlier this week. 
Free Gaza says its mission is to “break the Israel’s illegal siege on Gaza’s 1.8 million civilians, since it inflicts collective punishment on the Palestinians who live there and has destroyed its economy.”

 This is not the first time that Hughes Thompson has questioned if Israel was involved in terrorist activity on French soil.
Following the January Paris terrorist attack on the Charlie Hebdo newspaper, she similarly hinted at Israeli involvement. 
“Hebdo killings indefensible. Can’t help thinking JSIL Mossad false flag though…,” ADL, the American human rights group quoted her as tweeting. ADL explained that JSIL is the acronym for “Jew­ish State in the Lev­ant,” a term used by anti-Israel activists to equate Israel with ISIS.
Hughes-Thompson’s co founder of Free Gaza, Greta Berlin, explicitly blamed Israel for the Charlie Hebdo attack.
“MOSSAD just hit the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo in a clumsy false flag designed to damage the accord between Palestine and France…Here’s hoping the French police will be able to tell a well executed hit by a well trained Israeli intelligence service and not assume the Muslims would be likely to attack France when France is their freind [sic.] Israel did tell France there would be grave consequences if they voted with Palestine. A four year old could see who is responsi­ble for this terrible attack,” Berlin wrote on Facebook ADL reported.
The vote Berlin was referring to was the French parliament vote in December 2014 in which a majority of French lawmakers called on the French government recognize “Palestine.” 
“Israel stands shoulder to shoulder with French President Francois Hollande and the French people in the common war against terrorism,” Netanyahu said following the Friday attacks.  
The Prime Minister’s Office called for bolstered security at Israel’s embassy in Paris along with Jewish institutions.  

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Stephen Lendman Asks Legitimate Questions About French Attacks
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Blowback or False Flag in Paris?
by Stephen Lendman
It’s too soon to know for sure. Given French complicity with ongoing US state terror throughout the Middle East, North Africa and elsewhere, odds strongly favor the latter.
Multiple likely well-planned Friday night attacks in Paris had a disturbing aroma to them – including France’s knee-jerk police state reaction. More on this below. Here’s what happened.
At least seven apparently well-coordinated attacks occurred, gunmen with automatic weapons and suicide belts killing over 150 victims. Many others were injured. Stade de France stadium was struck during a football (soccer) match between France and Germany.
So was the Bataclan theater during a concert, restaurants full of patrons, a cinema, and pedestrians on Bichat Street, the Avenue de la Republique and Boulevard Beaumarchais.
Reports indicated other Paris locations were attacked, including the Forum des Halles shopping area attracting an estimated 150,000 daily visitors.
The predictable aftermath so far includes French President Francois Hollande declaring a state of emergency – effectively suspending constitutional rights under martial law.
“Two decisions will be taken,” Hollande announced. “The state of emergency will be decreed, which means several places will be closed off, and traffic will be limited in certain areas.”
“The state of emergency will apply across the country. The second decision I have taken is to close the borders, so that the people who have committed these crimes can be apprehended.” 
“We know where this attack came from. We must show compassion and solidarity, but we must also show we are united. There is much to fear, but we must face these fears as a nation that knows how to muster its forces and will confront the terrorists.”
Heavily armed French soldiers were deployed around key Parisian locations. Five metro lines were shut. Orly airport flights were suspended. All city schools and universities were closed.
De facto martial law legitimizes repressive police state powers. Constitutional protections are suspended. Following the April 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, a no-fly zone was ordered over a 3.5 mile radius of the incident.
Swat teams conducted pre-dawn raids throughout the greater area. Residents were terrorized. Helicopters patrolled overhead. Police and FBI operatives were everywhere. Managed news misinformation substituted for accurate reporting.
Post-9/11, Bush claimed unconstitutional “unitary executive” authority to govern extrajudicially in the name of national security. 
He declared (phony) war on terror and hot war on Afghanistan. Iraq, Libya, Syria, Donbass and Yemen followed. Police state laws were enacted – still in force. Repressive National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directives were announced.
Hollande cancelled his G-20 summit participation, scheduled for November 15 and 16 in Turkey. It’s unclear if Obama will attend. The world’s leading perpetrator of state terrorism offered France “full support,” duplicitously saying America shares the bonds of “liberte, egalite and fraternite.”
US post-9/11 knee-jerk reaction blamed bin Laden and Al Qaeda for the attack – the mother of all Big Lies, we now know.
ISIS was automatically blamed for the Paris attacks – despite no evidence so far establishing responsibility. Official statements, actions and media hype created an atmosphere of fear, a likely public willingness to sacrifice freedom for so-called security, a rationale for harsh measures to try stemming the human refugee flood caused by US-led imperial wars, and a desire for revenge. 
Perhaps the stage is set for escalated Western wars OF terror instead of unity to battle the scourge of ISIS and likeminded groups. Were Friday attacks state-sponsored terrorism – a carefully staged false flag for whatever may follow?
Herman Goering once explained how easy it is to get people to go along with “the bidding of the leaders…All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country,” he said.
Friday Paris attacks were either blowback for Western wars on Islam or a state-sponsored false flag. Odds strongly favor the latter. Sordid Western history of false flags for subsequent planned events suggests it.
On September 20, 2001, George Bush lied to Congress and the public, claiming America was attacked because we are “a beacon of freedom.” The attackers were “evil. This is civilization’s fight.” He suppressed Washington’s direct responsibility for what happened, perhaps complicit with Israel’s Mossad.
The aftermath of 9/11 is clear – endless US-led imperial wars, a phony Global War on Terrorism (GWOT), an assault on fundamental human and civil rights, police state harshness replacing them, an America unfit to live in.
Will France and other European countries become more belligerent and repressive than already in response to Friday’s incident? 
Were Washington and perhaps Israel’s dirty hands involved in what happened? Daesh (ISIS/ISIL/IS) is such an easy target to blame. It’s simple getting most people to believe it unquestionably. 
The Big Lie repeated often enough works the same way every time. ISIS is the new “Enemy Number One.” Its creation by Washington and use as proxy foot soldiers is suppressed. 
Was Friday’s Paris incident prelude to something similar planned for New York, Washington, and/or other US cities?
Hype Following Friday’s Likely Paris False Flag
by Stephen Lendman
Unsurprisingly, Western media ignored what has all the earmarks of a well-planned false flag – Washington perhaps complicit with France. 
Maybe Israel was involved to justify its reign of terror on Palestine. The usual suspects were blamed (ISIS terrorists, of course) before the dust settled – the clearest indication of a Big Lie. 
A joint FBI/Department of Homeland Security statement said “(w)e will not hesitate to adjust our security posture, as appropriate, to protect the American people.” Expect harsher police repression ahead.
The New York Times headlined “Hollande Blames ISIS for ‘Act of War’ on Paris.” It cited “(n)ews agencies quot(ing) (Paris police chief) Michel Cadot saying “all the assailants involved in shootings and bombings were believed to be dead.” Dead men tell no tales!
Other Times articles and commentaries hyped terrorism in Paris, fingers pointing one way, ignoring the most likely explanation for what happened. Other Western media reported the same way. 
Washington Post: “French president calls Paris attacks ‘act of war’ by Islamic State.”
“It is horror,” he said, declaring a nationwide state of emergency, ask(ing) for military reinforcements,” and closing France’s borders, blocking entry for refugees fleeing war zones – ones France bears responsibility for with America and other rogue partners.
“We are going to lead a war which will be pitiless,” Hollande blustered.
Wall Street Journal: “Hollande Blames ISIS for Paris Attacks.”
The latest from Reuters headlined “Islamic State claims responsibility.” It cited an unverified “official statement” saying “its fighters strapped with suicide bombing belts and carrying machine guns carried out the attacks in various locations in the heart of the capital which were carefully studied” – without further elaboration.
AP News headlined “France Blames IS for Paris Terror Strikes, Vows to Hit Back.”
France’s Le Figaro headlined “War in the heart of Paris” – on a black background with images of victims on stretchers.
Le Monde headlined “Francois Hollande: ‘An act of war’ committed by ‘armed terrorist(s).’ “
London’s Guardian hyped Hollande claiming what happened was an “act of war.”
BBC: “Paris attacks were ‘act of war by IS.’
London’s Guardian hyped Hollande’s “act of war” bluster. Prime Minister David Cameron will “chair an emergency meeting of government ministers and security officials to discuss the British response.”
An unnamed police official was cited, suggesting Britain will elevate the threat of homeland terrorism to the highest level. 
Chicago Tribune editors called what happened “terrorist attacks carried out against innocent civilians in France by forces of evil. Again,” referring to last January’s Charlie Hebdo and kosher supermarket incidents – duplicitously adding:
“(T)his attack on France was another attack on the West, on America, on the ideals of liberty, democracy and decency that bind us together.”
America, France and rogue Western partners deplore high-minded principles they claim to support. Endless wars of aggression and likely false flags like Friday’s incident highlight their real agenda.
Obama reacted as expected, ignoring his high crimes against peace in numerous US-instigated war theaters, guilty of horrific state terrorism – hyping “an attack on all humanity and the universal values that we share…The American people draw strength from the French people’s commitment to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness.”  
“We are reminded in this time of tragedy that the bonds of liberte and egalite and fraternite are not only values that the French people care so deeply about, but they are values that we share.”
While murdering, brutalizing, mass imprisoning and torturing Palestinians daily, Netanyahu blustered similar hype, saying Israel stands “shoulder-to-shoulder” with France in the “war against terrorism.”
He sent “condolences on behalf of the Israeli people to the families of the victims” while collectively punishing an entire Palestinian population viciously – waging war without mercy against defenseless civilians.
A separate article called what happened Friday a likely well-planned false flag. Automatically blaming it on ISIS before the dust settled is the clearest indication so far.
Ignore headlined hype. What follows matters most – likely greater US-led war OF terror than already ongoing, perhaps including loss of remaining freedoms. 
Does full-blown tyranny loom in the name of defending national security? Expect nothing positive in the aftermath of Friday’s attacks.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at 
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

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Saturday, November 7

Writers and Readers Festival and more
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The Ubud Writers and Readers Festival in Bali, Indonesia was a wonderful opportunity to meet so many great people.
Just a few examples: Ati Nurbaiti (Indonesian journalist wo covered the violence in Aceh), Avi Sirlin (Canadian who wrote about Alfred Russel Wallace), Christina Lamb (British bestselling author and leading foreign correspondent), Dorothy Tse (Hong Kong fiction writer), Eka Kuniawan (young brilliant Indonesian author of eight books), Hyeonseo Lee (escaping miraculously from North Korea and author of her memoir “The Girl with Seven Names”), Janet DeNeefe (Founder of the festival and author),Joseph Woods (Irish Poet and writer), Mohsen Hamid (award winning Pakistani writer), Mpho Tutu (ordained minister, author, leader, and daughter of Desmond Tutu), William Finnigan (USA author and Journalist), among many others.  I was the only Palestinian (perhaps only Arab) in the festival. In my intervention on Thursday, I talked about colonial legacy in Western Asia (seeds sown 100 years ago by British and French and materializing today in places like Syria and Palestine). The next day with a panel called “Passport to…” we talked about refugees and limitations on movement etc. On Saturday, the focus was on Palestine for one hour with questions to me from British writer and journalist living in Singapore  Michael Vatikiotis). The only problem in the festival was censoring sessions dealing with the massacres committed by the US backed dictator Suharto (Zionist Henry Kissinger’s man) with hundreds of thousands killed between 1965 and 1968 and the massacres in Indonesian occupied East Timor (supported by Australia) from 1975 to 1999 (later East Timor gained independence). This makes me think of why many states do not want to face their history honestly: Israel refuses to acknowledge its ethnic cleansing and massacres of native Palestinians, US having a federally funded holocaust memorial museum but no similar museum for the genocide of natives and of African slaves, Holland and Britain and other European nations not recognizing their legacies etc.  But anyway, the Indonesian people we met (Hindu, Muslim, other) were all very nice and extremely hospitable and Bali is simply beautiful tropical paradise. I am back in Palestine tired but having learned so much from fellow writers and readers and we immediately engaged by hosting a meeting for some key activists in popular resistance (still ongoing workshops through Saturday). But there are also students to teach, museum work to do, olives to pick (once the rains stop), manuscripts to write, visitors to host, colleagues to visit, proposals to finish…etc.

On various occasions in life, I am reminded of the Letter from Birmingham Jail 16 April 1963 by Martin Luther King Jr [This is also where he quibbed: Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere]: “I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a "more convenient season." Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.”

Action: Around the world at 6 PM Palestine time Saturday 7 November, people in Palestine and abroad will sing and play the Palestinian National anthem to remind the world that a people still yearns for return, freedom, and self-determination  after 7 decades of colonialism.

"Palestine is not a local issue, it is a global issue with global ramifications" ProMosaik e.V. interviews Mazin Qumsiyeh
Five interesting videos that were heavily circulated on social mesdia that Israel does not want the world to see. For those who do not read Arabic, the first video is of soldiers lynching a shop worker and then arresting him, soldier chases and “captures” a child, Israelis dressed as Palestinians join a demonstration then attack and point blank shoot youth, 4. Kidnapping a child brutally from a shop and hitting owner, 5. Settlers in Hebron attack Palestinian homes

Israeli soldiers tell Palestinians: ‘We will gas you until you die'
[Apartheid occupation soldiers and settlers also continued shooting unarmed Palestinians for sport and in many cases caught on video or photos placing knives next to the Palestinian bodies to justify the murders]

Mahmoud Abbas says he does not want “right of return for 6 million Palestinian refugees but only a solution for them”. He says he is not going to cancel the surrender agreement of Oslo and he says other things to reassure racists. The most interesting in this Jerusalem Post article is the racist comments below it which should (but never will) shock Palestinians who try to please colonial racist Zionists with the simple terrifying truth: you can never give up enough of your basic human rights to please racists - only if we Palestinians completely disappear will Zionists be satisfied with us

Israel’s attack on USA: Jerusalem Post confirms Israel knew USS Liberty was American

Hundreds of Anthropologists boycott Israel and encourage more

A condemnation of the assassination of Sa’d Al Atrash, and an urgent call for international protection: We, the Palestinian General Union of Persons with Disabilities GUPWD) and Bethlehem Arab Society for Rehabilitation (BASR), strongly condemn the assassination of Sa’d Al Atrash, who was shot by the Israeli military forces and left to bleed to death in Hebron on Monday the 26th of October 2015, according to local news reports. Sa’d - a beneficiary of BASR’s Economic Empowerment Program - was a 19 year-old man with Epilepsy / psychosocial disability. He has been a member of the Hebron branch of GUPWD who is keen on defending the rights of his fellow Palestinians with disabilities. He was actively involved in several advocacy initiatives of the Hebron branch of GUPWD to promote the right of persons with disabilities to work, to access information and public transportation. In this struggle, Sa’d was completely committed, but his efforts to advocate a better quality of life for marginalized persons with disabilities were mercilessly cut short by a bullet fired by an Israeli soldier for the false claim of attempting to stab him. According to eyewitnesses, Sa’d was called by the Israeli soldiers while passing by; and as he stopped, he was surrounded by 4 soldiers who shot him dead with several bullets. Sa’d had great ambition to achieve. During the career counseling phase, BASR economic empowerment team were immediately taken by the passion and enthusiasm shown by Sa’d towards his own personal and professional development and by his desire to take ownership of his future. As a result, Sa’d was registered at a vocational training center in Hebron, where he began to study for a diploma in electrical maintenance. He was so delighted to start this new chapter in his life, and began the program in September with complete commitment. A week before his martyrdom, Sa’d discussed his future plans at length with BASR team. Sa’d was not the first Palestinian with a disability to have been targeted by Israel. The ongoing occupation of Palestine has resulted in numerous deaths among Palestinians with disabilities, but also in countless injuries, arrests and traumas. Since the beginning of October, 1003 Palestinians have been arrested, 50% of whom are children, as reported by the Palestinian Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs. Moreover, the Palestinian MoH reported 70 ruthlessly shot dead including 14 children, and more than 7200 injured. The assassination of Sa’d, therefore, represents not just a grave personal tragedy for his family and friends, but starkly demonstrates the constant threat posed by Israel’s occupation forces and Palestinian General Union of People with Disability Bethlehem Arab Society for Rehabilitation settlers to Palestinian civilians, particularly those with disabilities. This threat comes from Israel’s regular and unlawful use of lethal force against Palestinian youth - which takes place against a backdrop of a range of Israeli-perpetrated human rights violations inflicted upon Palestinians in general - as well as the restrictions imposed by the Israeli occupation on the ability of Palestinian medical authorities to provide emergency services to those who need them. Accordingly, we wish not merely to express our deep concern at Sa’d’s assassination, but to highlight that this assassination constitutes a flagrant violation of an individual’s right to life as enshrined under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to which Israel is a signatory. Israel, as highlighted in recent reports from a wide range of human rights organizations, is demonstrably unable or unwilling to uphold its protective duties as an occupying power towards the Palestinian populace, as demanded under international law. We therefore call for an urgent response from all relevant actors, including the provision of international protection to the Palestinian people, particularly those with disabilities. We sincerely hope that this wave of violence would be put to an end soon and that peace would prevail in the Holy Land.

Come visit us in Palestine
In the meantime, Stay Human

Mazin Qumsiyeh
Professor and Director
Palestine Museum of Natural History
Bethlehem University
Occupied Palestine

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AIPAC Pressured Democratic Think Tank to Host Netanyahu, Leaked Emails Reveal
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Emails obtained by The Intercept reveal major efforts were made to placate pro-Israel lobby and quash anti-Israel sentiment within pro-Clinton organization.


Leaked internal emails reveal that a major Democratic think tank caved in to pressure from AIPAC, the powerful pro-Israel lobby, to invite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his visit to the United States next week, according to investigative website The Intercept.

The Intercept, citing the emails it obtained from the Center for American Progress (CAP), a group it identified as supportive of Hillary Clinton, reveal concerted efforts made to placate AIPAC and quash any anti-Israel sentiments among its staff. The website asserts the emails were provided “by a source authorized to receive them.”

The Center for American Progress announced it is planning “to host a moderated conversation” with Netanyahu and its president, Neera Tanden, on November 10, billing the evening “A conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.”

The center reportedly agreed to host the evening in the wake of intense pressure from AIPAC, the emails allege. Moreover, a former senior advisor to Hillary Clinton during her 2008 presidential run, Ann Lewis, had complained that the center was allowing its writers to be “anti-Israel,” according to the report.

Leaked emails show former Clinton aide Ann Lewis complain Center for American Progress was allowing writers to be ‘anti-Israel’Screengrab / The Intercept

The emails show Tanden, a former White House official, and key aides going to great lengths to accede to pressure by AIPAC to host Netanyahu as well as to accommodate Lewis. The decision to invite Netanyahu angered some Democratic supporters, given the tensions between Israel and the White House that they hold the prime minister accountable for.

The Intercept cited a Huffington Post article that described the core objective of Netanyahu’s upcoming to trip to Washington as being to “reestablish credibility among progressives in the post-Obama era,” leading to the decision to push for the evening with the center. Netanyahu “sacrificed much of his popularity with the Democratic Party by crusading against the Iran nuclear deal,” The Huffington Post noted.

“That a liberal institution feels the need to kowtow to AIPAC in a climate like this speaks volumes about either how out of touch or how craven it can be,” commented former Center for American Progress staffer, Ali Gharib, in The Nation.

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$31 Million for Israeli Military To Support Their Continued Murder & Occupation of Palestinians
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A sold-out Western Region Gala event at the Beverly Hilton Hotel was attended by American and Israeli guests, this last Friday night.

imemc -

Among the present guests were: actors Jason Alexander, Antonio Banderas, Liev Schreiber, Jason Segel and Mark Wahlberg, as well as KISS bassist, Israeli-born Gene Simmons.

“For the past nine years I have watched this gala grow into the preeminent charity event it is today, and I am truly humbled by the funds raised yesterday, which are a testament to the importance of the FIDF organization and its mission. The overwhelming support from the Los Angeles community continues to amaze me,” said entertainment mogul Haim Saban, a national board member of FIDF (Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces).

According to Israeli media, the event focused on the “lone soldiers, who leave their families and native countries behind to serve in the army, and included testimonies from the mothers of fallen soldiers.” Apparently, it also featured a presentation from a US veteran on the impact of Israeli medical technology on the lives of Americans.

PNN reports that the FIDF was established in 1981 by a group of Holocaust survivors, and provides educational, cultural and recreational programs and facilities for Israeli soldiers.

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A Courageous Palestinian Mother
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Do you know Wedad Saqa? I didn’t think you would. Wedad is not a war profiteer or a mercenary “leader” posing in photographs to support American-style democracy. She is not a blood-thirsty politician standing before thousands of people to speak about the importance of “ending wars”. She is not a white, privileged, CEO male giving advice about Western “meritocracy”, “success”, or about creating a healthy and balanced work place. She is not a Hollywood actress who has entered into a Faustian contract with the devil in exchange for a bubble of fame and millions of dollars to aid in the production of propaganda and the creation of certain images and discourses about “the other”, and who tries to atone for all that by adopting a few orphans from African countries.

She is not a bourgeois lady who has swallowed a pre-recorded script with the acceptable sentences and social skills to broadcast in every cocktail party. She is not a rich donor wearing a real fur coat and scarf with tons of makeup at a “charity” event filled with glutted people, held under the banner of supporting causes such as “women’s rights”, charity for the “less fortunate”, scholarships for the “underprivileged and underrepresented” students, or “salvaging” war victims, the hungry, and the refugees, after destroying their countries by the same actors.

She is not a popular TV face paid precisely for her sexy looks to help people easily digest the indigestible lies fed to them on daily basis. She is not one of those co-opted, secure, tenured, and presumably “leftist” Western academics who repeatedly tell us about social justice, equality, and how the “subaltern can speak” in remote parts of the world, while turning a blind eye and a deaf ear to the hideously underpaid and mistreated adjunct instructors right in the middle of their departments and home institutions.

She is also not a “terrorist” whose story can be appropriated and sensationalized to create hate and misconceptions about an entire group of people when broadcasted in mainstream Western media outlets. It is precisely because she is none of the above, there is no chance for you to have heard her name, her story, or the stories of millions and millions of other men and women who, like her, fight quietly and fiercely in the dark in every corner of the world.

Wedad is an exiled Palestinian mother and artist who supports herself with artistic work and artistically baked pastries. I met her in 2011 while working as a medical interpreter/translator at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Wedad is like millions of Arab women—and other women around the world—striving to maintain their dignity. Fighting to love and protect their children from pain, need, injustice, wars, exile, and death, at any cost. She is one of those women whose role in our broken world is best captured by Virginia Woolf’s brilliant line in A Room of One’s Own, “Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman.” Woolf also rightly noted, “As a woman I have no country. As a woman I want no country. As a woman, my country is the whole world.”

Wedad is a Palestinian woman who was forced to leave her hometown, Gaza, along with most of her extended family members to Saudi Arabia where she now lives. More importantly, and against all odds, she is a woman who had decided to do everything within her power to save the life of her then 11 years old son, Talal, from leukemia. Today I want to share with you my first-hand encounter with Wedad and her now deceased son, Talal. I want to tell their story to anyone who cares to see, to sense, and to listen to all the voices that remind us of how interconnected our human destines are on this planet like one big and colorful tapestry.

Wedad arrived in the US with her son, after having tried everything possible to treat his leukemia in Saudi Arabia, and after all efforts led to a relapse. She came looking for the last ray of light to save her child. After one month of fundraising in Saudi Arabia, she succeeded in bringing him for an expensive treatment that would cost her hundreds of thousands of dollars. “The fundraising campaign to save my son’s life had many heroes from all over Saudi Arabia,” she told me. “I received so many phone calls from people who cared and wanted to help. The hardest phone call came from a mother who had also lost her child to cancer, who told me that I shouldn’t bother going all the way to the US, because there isn’t much they can offer there either. I told her that even if such was the case, I would at least rest assured that I did my part as a mother.”

Another touching situation during the fundraising campaign came from a 6 years old child who broke his moneybox and decided to give the 35 riyals (KSA’s local currency) he had saved to Talal. Other ways of support came in the forms of prayers from people who didn’t have any money to give, people who called the famous MBC satellite channel to publicize the story, and a group of wonderful young men and women who made a short film titled “Talal: A Tale of Hope”. “All these people made it possible for us to raise the 3 million riyals needed to come to the US,” she wrote in her letter. Talal was delighted to come to the US, a country he had always dreamed of visiting because he had wanted to become a comedian actor to bring joy, smiles, and laughter to people’s hearts.

By the end of our first day of tests and medical evaluations, I still remember Wedad’s words, “we totally feel your pain about what is happening in Iraq after the occupation.” I wish I could have responded then to tell her that we in Iraq didn’t fully understand the full scope of the Palestinian suffering until 2003, but I remained silent and gave her a look of appreciation instead. On that day, I also remember Talal’s breathing test which reflected very healthy and strong lungs full of air and life. By the end of their first day, while I was escorting them out of the big hospital building to show them where they could get a cab on their way to the hotel room, we talked briefly about how important it is for children to have hobbies, to engage in creative activities that help expand rather than stifle their imagination: “Speaking of that, what are your hobbies,” she asked me.

“I inhale reading and exhale writing whenever I have something meaningful to say,” I said to her.

“Our story is worth writing about. It is a story filled with pain and alienation both in Gaza and in the Arab country where we now reside. But, there is also so much hope in my story,” she went on with a hesitant tone right after uttering “but”. Our first conversation was over after she promised to tell me the entire story one day.

Days and months went by, with all the doctors and staff at the hospital watching carefully and working hard to save Talal from leukemia. Sadly, the hope started to fade away when we called the family for an urgent meeting to notify them that Talal had had his second relapse. After the meeting ended, the doctor told me on the side: “Based on my long experience working with cancer patients, I am almost certain that a second relapse is always the end.” As soon as I heard the word “end”, I thought to myself that every relapse in our life is an end of some sort. It is the end of a chapter and a beginning of another, a shinier or darker one, but nonetheless it is the end. It is a death of some sort and a rebirth of another.

And so, over the following few weeks, I watched Wedad living through the relapse of her son’s cancer with admirable courage and steadfastness. I saw her using her strength to make her child’s last days memorable. She hugged, kissed, and comforted him every minute of the day. She cooked for him—and sometimes shared with me—all the delicious Palestinian foods he loved. One day when I went to pay a quick visit to them at the inpatient unit, she told me with a sad tone, “despite what the doctors tell me, I am still full of hope. When I married, the doctors told us that we won’t be able to have children. We now have three of them. When my second son was born, they told me he won’t be able to walk. Look at him now running and playing all over the place. And now, they are telling me that my child won’t survive leukemia. Days have proven that I was always right and they were wrong!”

Yet, sadly, as time progressed, it seemed like they were not so wrong this time. As the relapse effects started to show, it was unbearably painful to see how a child who was filled with life only a few weeks ago is now filled with symptoms of death. With each visit, I could notice how one body organ after another was failing, his face was swollen and looking increasingly pale. On my last conversation with Talal, I still remember his voice ringing in my ears, “you were very kind to us. My family and I were very pleased to know you.” When I asked which part of his body was hurting exactly, he responded, “Nothing is working in my body anymore.” That was the last time I heard his voice.

On a beautiful sunny day, I went to work as usual wishing I could be outside instead. As I turned on my computer to start working on a list of tasks, I logged into Talal’s medical chart on the computerized system to receive a warning message stating that I was about to enter a deceased patient’s medical chart! That was the moment I realized that my Palestinian friend who was at the climax of his childhood and the climax of his exile is now gone. I immediately called Wedad to express my condolences. She told me, “we are about to go to the hospital’s viewing room to take a last look at his body. Since Talal loved you so much and since you have become a close friend of our family, we would like to invite you to come with us to take a last look and say goodbye to your little friend.”

When I entered the viewing room, my heart was racing. As soon as I opened the door, I saw my colleague, the social worker who had also worked with the family all along. She was standing in the room divided into two parts with a curtain. Talal’s parents were behind the curtain weeping. I didn’t dare to take another step forward. There was a framed photograph hanging on the wall in the middle of the room half of which was in the part where I stood with the social worker and the other half on the other side of the curtain where the parents were with the dead body. I could see their reflection in the glass of the framed photograph. I could see them kissing the dead boy. For a moment, I felt as though I was a character in a scene from a novel. After a few minutes, Wedad showed up from behind the curtain and gently welcomed us despite the place and the time: “Do you want to take a last look at your little friend,” she asked while wiping tears from her eyes. “Yes, I do.” I whispered sadly.

Four years and a half have passed since Talal’s death. I haven’t forgotten him and, of course, neither have his mother and family members. Recently, Wedad followed up on her promise and sent me a long letter saying that although she hasn’t healed from what had happened, she still wants to share Talal’s story with the world, because it is such stories that remind all of us about our mutual human connections: we are all connected through our wounds, tears, sweat, and smiles. She said in her message that she wrote the story in her own words, though she is not a writer, and that she wanted me to include any details I wanted in whatever I was going to write about her journey with her deceased child. In the letter she writes about how her child was born on Valentine’s Day in 2000. She tells about how from the day they received the sad news about his leukemia in 2007 until his last day on this earth in 2011, she refrained from crying or showing any signs of pain and sadness, “because I was his mirror. He was sad when I felt sad. He was happy when I felt happy. And so, I chose to stay happy to give him strength…I decided to be like a clown working hard to put smiles on his beautiful face.”

Even during the most difficult stage of the treatment, after the second relapse, and after it was confirmed that he was not going to survive, she didn’t shed a tear, “I still remember the therapist begging me to cry to get some relief. I told her I wasn’t going to shed a tear so long as Talal is breathing.” She wrote about how hard it was for her to lose her mother—her biggest support—in the middle of the treatment. She wrote about the problems they had with their Saudi sponsor (aka kafeel) who turned their lives into a nightmare and prevented her husband from joining his son for most of the treatment in the US, and how she had to be on her own dealing with a cancer child in a foreign country about which she knew little, and in a foreign city in which she had no friends or social network of support. She wrote about how the American people, doctors, and staff were incredibly kind and supportive of her child and family at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, something that made them feel as though “we were at a hospital that was on another planet…Talal and I spent at the Hospital three of the most beautiful months of our lives before he relapsed for the second time. During these months, I constantly held him and breathed the same air he breathed…he used to hug me tightly and sleep so he can feel warm, but in reality he didn’t know that he provided me with more safety and comfort than I provided him. It was enough for me to wake up every minute to see that he was still breathing next to me.” She told me about how when Talal’s body organs started to fail one after the other, he asked her to end everything and let him go. One day, on their way back from treatment, he was in an excruciating pain and asked her to kill him with a knife. He told her, “mom, it is enough, let me go please. Let me die and be done with this,” he said to her. “It is not enough, darling, I can’t live without you,” she responded to him. He then suggested that she should also take her own life with him, “but if I take my life, you will go to paradise and I will go to hell, baby,” she told her child.

When Talal finally died, Wedad shed all the tears she had been holding on for a long time. She cried bitterly and for a very long time, she says in her letter, as she was packing to leave the inpatient ward. She cried when she had to give away most of his toys and belongings to other kids to use, while keeping a few pieces of clothes that have his scent, to touch and smell them every single day. She ends the letter speaking directly with Talal:

Now after four and a half years of your death … I still constantly hear your voice in my ears. I am not sad, but I have an unbearable longing to see you. I still smell your scent on the clothes you left behind. No day has passed without remembering your name. I will always be proud of our journey together as a mother and a child until we meet again in the next life.

Your forever longing mother,

Wedad Saqa

I, too, still remember Talal, a child who lost his home and his life. I still remember Wedad who, despite all hurdles, decided to fight for her family and do everything she can to remind us of how our human lives are precious everywhere on this planet. Having worked at the hospital for two years, and having worked extensively as a medical interpreter with the Oncology Department, there is a scene I will always remember: every time I entered the Oncology Department’s waiting room, I remember how all parents of different colors, races, religions, and from different countries sat next to each other and often befriended each other in that waiting room. They all had one thing in common at that room: a child who is diagnosed with cancer. A child whose life is at stake.

I always wondered how different our world would be if we all remembered how intertwined our humanness is; if we all learned that when disasters befall us, they hit us regardless of sex, class, income, color, sexuality, country, and any other humanly and politically manufactured borders and classifications. It is precisely moments like those at the Oncology Department’s waiting room that remind me of a beautiful line by the Russian poet, Marina Tsvetaeva, who states: “And soon all of us will sleep under the earth, we who never let each other sleep above it.” Such moments bear witness to how thirsty this world is for a gentle touch of love that can make this thorny and lonely path of life more bearable.

Louis Yako is an Iraqi-American poet, writer, and a PhD candidate of cultural anthropology researching Iraqi higher education and intellectuals at Duke University.

Please help us in our urgent need , any contribution big or small goes along way and is greatly appreciated!
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