Gideon Levy: Life by the Sword Has Paid Off

The occupation transforms Jerusalem into a military barracks on the eve of the transfer of the US embassy.

These are days of great victory for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, for the right wing and for nationalistic Israel. These are days of victory for their path, the path of force, and of their faith, the faith in the chosen people who can do anything they please.

Iran has been publicly humiliated, the Palestinians are crushed, and on Monday they will be stomped on with pomp and circumstance as the American Embassy opens in Jerusalem. Gaza is besieged, and Israel is rejoicing. On Sunday, Jerusalem Day, innocent people might be killed in Gaza and Jerusalem.

On May 14, the day of the embassy move, innocents will certainly be killed in Gaza and the West Bank; the day after, Nakba Day, many more will be killed.

The Israeli victory, a brief biography: piles of bodies of Palestinians, whom the world has stopped caring about, a siege on Gaza which also doesn’t interest anyone, Iranian bases bombed without response, Iran under sanctions and an American Embassy in Jerusalem, a gift to the occupier and a slap in the face of the occupied. There is good reason for the joyous cries of victory in Israel.

Israeli Soldiers Abduct Seventeen Palestinians In The West Bank

First the settlers won and decided the fate of the state and the regime; then U.S. President Donald Trump won and gave Israel license to do whatever it feels like, and now Netanyahu has been declared the great victor. These are days of a win of his doctrine and a victory for his Israel. We should admit it.

The prophecies of doom, that this would all blow up in our faces one day, the admonishments that the occupation won’t stand forever and the warnings that Israel cannot live only by its sword, and that Iran is very dangerous, have been shown to be false for now. Nothing blew up, life by the sword has paid off, the end of the occupation has grown distant and so has the end of right-wing government.

This depressing forecast is the more optimistic one. The alternative is war with Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas and who knows whom else. That’s the way it is when there’s no real alternative, no ideas and no leadership. Shooting at demonstrators in Gaza and the continued siege? Everybody’s on board. Canceling the agreement with Iran and bombing in Syria, everybody’s cheering.

And almost everybody is celebrating the move of the embassy to Jerusalem, including the female lawmaker from the “left” who is begging for an invitation. Tomorrow America will tell the Palestinians that it doesn’t care about their fate anymore, that in America’s eyes, they have no rights, that the two-state solution is dead. To Iran America said: Netanyahu was right. The agreement is bad and should be abolished. Two free gifts for Israel.

These achievements are corrupting. They prove to Israel that force is worthwhile, that there is no need to consider the other side, that international law doesn’t apply here. Today Israel is celebrating the day East Jerusalem was conquered, and tomorrow it will celebrate its perpetuation. Two repulsive flag marches will take place one after the other, the first Israeli and the second American, and they are both cocky and aggressive.

Moving the embassy while crushing what is left of the Palestinians’ dignity is a clear American signal to Israel: Keep up the killing, the crushing and the ignoring of their rights. America not only permits, arms and funds it – it even encourages it.

Yes, moving the embassy is a reason for a party only for the right. All the rest, a negligible minority, should mourn this unilateral step. The same is true for the Syrian bombings, which a tweet on the right called a “concert” with enthusiasm reserved only for bombings in Israel. A direct line connects the embassy move, the exit from the Iran deal and the bombings in Syria: Israel First. Only Israel.

And what’s the alternative? It wasn’t even discussed. Instead of opening an American Embassy in Jerusalem, part of which is occupied, to establish two embassies in the city. Instead of massacring protesters in Gaza, to respond to Hamas’ signals and reach an agreement to lift the blockade; instead of quitting the Iran deal, to preserve it with Israel’s encouragement; and instead of bombing Iranian bases, to try to dialogue with Iran, directly or indirectly. That is not as exciting as rousing as bombing, not as thrilling as showing off a haul of binders from Iran. But these could have been Israel’s true victories.

Stay away from fellow (traveling) Israelis

“Israelis” really aren’t like anyone else

A rather befuddled “Israeli” mother’s personal story.  She doesn’t want her daughter to travel and huddle with only like Israelis, she would like her to mix and mingle, branch out get to know other people. But this mother was born in US, the daughter is raised in “Israel”. She is in the occupation force. Her favorite topic is the holy- only to Jews, -especially Israelis, Holocaust.  These people raised in occupied Palestine they call “Israel” are in a loss in the big wide world. They are brainwashed and isolated, and take that with them wherever they go. They can only trust each other since they are taught that they are ‘chosen ones’ and everyone else wants to kill them, so they kill everyone else first. Who else on the planet thinks like this?

If this was off a personal blog I would not post it. But it is shared public reading.

“I just got to Antigua, Guatemala,” Gabriella tells me, “and I met a bunch of Israelis.”

It’s been the same refrain throughout my daughter’s entire Central America trip. Gabriella participated in a chocolate workshop in Cusco with Dana from Petah Tikvah and went hiking around a Nicaraguan volcano with a large group of compatriots. And every time she’s related this traveling detail to me, I’ve said the same thing:

“Why don’t you seek out people from other countries?”

Gabriella, who’s on her post-army trip, insists she’s not avoiding them. She strolled around Grenada, Nicaragua with James, a Liverpudlian, and had a fascinating discussion about the Holocaust with Kimi, a German girl she met in Salento, Columbia. She and her boyfriend, Din, spent an especially memorable evening in Lima double dating with a Muslim, Iraqi refugee living in Australia and his Australian-born girlfriend.

“That’s what I’m talking about!” I enthused. “Meet more people like that.”

Because to my way of thinking it’s simple: an Israeli abroad who predominantly travels with other Israelis is no different than one who primarily eats hummus abroad. Both activities deprive the traveler of the full travel experience.

When I took my own backpack abroad some 30 years ago, the last people I wanted to meet were other Americans. I can still recall being on a cable car near Interlocken Switzerland, a tableau of striking beauty with pristine, snow-covered mountains, waterfalls and glaciers. The spell was broken when the stranger sitting alongside me said in American-accented English:

“Where are you from?”

When we landed on the other side, I made it a point to get as far away from him as possible. I hadn’t come all this way to hang out with an American.

The highlights of my trip abroad were the afternoon strolling around Paris with a desolate young Iranian refugee studying in Turkey. On the island of Skye, I formed part of a raucous girls’ quartet: A South African farmer’s girl, a curly-haired prelaw student from Melbourne and a soft-spoken girl from New Zealand whose accent made her English barely intelligible.

But Gabriella, like so many of her fellow sabras, readily admits it: she prefers hanging out abroad with Israelis. She loves the commonality of their experiences and that they can always find someone they know in common.

“The Israeli travelers also want the same things I do,” she says.

“Really?” I asked. “The Israelis are the only people in the world who like hiking and clean and cheap lodgings?”

I got her there, I think.

But the main reason, and the one I can’t completely refute, is that traveling with other Israelis makes her, a lone traveler, feel secure. When Israeli meets one of his own abroad there is a tacit assurance that they will look out for one another. It’s a beautiful concept and alien to my own experience. When I met Americans abroad, I didn’t trust them any more than any non-Americans.

To illustrate the point, Gabriella related the tale of the two nights she suffered from traveler’s tummy. The first night she was in a room of foreigners who barely acknowledged her discomfort and one of whom even complained that my daughter’s constant bathroom trips kept her up. When she was in a room of Israelis they brought her bottles of water and made sure she was comfortable the next day.

As the worried mother of a lone backpacker flitting around the Third World, I obviously like knowing that someone is looking after my daughter. And yet. A stomach ache usually lasts only a day or so. Our travel experiences can last us a lifetime.

The tendency of Israelis to travel in packs also has adverse effects back home. Israelis are exceptionally well-traveled compared to many nationalities. But this hasn’t translated into a corresponding curiosity and openness to different cultures residing within our own country. As someone who immigrated here, I have found many Israelis completely uninterested in learning about the culture I left behind. An interest in the “other” is something that can be learned and cultivated during all these post-army trips that are so popular with our young people.

I have suggested to Gabriella that she will be spending the rest of her life with Israelis. Now is the time to learn about the rest of the world’s denizens. So, if she’s in a youth hostel and hears the familiar strains of Hebrew, I would urge her to smile in recognition at the familiar sounds, but turn towards those speaking unfamiliar languages. That way when she returns home she’ll feel that she really traveled.

US plan to open embassy in Jerusalem on Nakba Day

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I’ll bet Trump didn’t make this date and didn’t have any idea what this day meant and heard of it just now, like the rest of us. They are always making a fool out of him! No US president has to show off his power or antagonize anyone for the fun of it! Nope, that is strictly a Zionist thing. He doesn’t need this. They always feel the need to show off by doing nasty things unencumbered.

In order to heap further humiliation on Palestinians, the US plans embassy move to coincide w/the NAKBA anniversary when 800,000 Palestinians were driven out of their country in 1948.

In 1948, a new state — “Israel” — was established inside historical Palestine.

Around 15,000 Palestinians were killed, some 800,000 displaced, and 531 Arab villages destroyed in attacks by armed Jewish groups at the time.

The Palestinian diaspora has since become one of the largest in the world. Palestinian refugees are now scattered across Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and other countries, while many have since settled in refugee camps in Palestine’s West Bank and Gaza Strip.

According to the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), there are currently more than 5 million registered Palestinian refugees.

Amnesty: Israel carried out extrajudicial executions, tortured children

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Director of the human rights organization al-Haq Shawan Jabarin argued that the killing exposed an Israeli policy of opening fire on Palestinians who do not pose a lethal threat, which is routinely followed by a fabricated statement from Israeli authorities claiming the victim had intended to carry out an attack.

Eyewitnesses have also said in a number of cases that Israeli security forces planted knives on slain Palestinians to claim that they were acting in self-defense during an alleged stabbing attack

Israeli authorities and armed forces carried out extrajudicial executions, tortured Palestinian prisoners and targeted human rights defenders, Amnesty International’s new annual report says.

2018 marks the 71th anniversary of Israel’s occupation of  Palestine

“Israeli authorities intensified the expansion of settlements and related infrastructure across the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and carried out a large number of demolitions of Palestinian property, forcibly evicting more than 660 people,” the report states.

“Many of these demolitions were in Bedouin and herding communities that the Israeli authorities planned to forcibly transfer.”

Meanwhile, Amnesty also slammed “Israel’s air, land and sea blockade of the Gaza Strip”, which it says is “collectively punishing Gaza’s entire population of approximately 2 million inhabitants”.

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Palestinian teenage girl shot dead after alleged knife attack

Addressing the use of lethal violence, Amnesty International noted that Israeli forces killed 76 Palestinians and one foreign national in 2017, adding that “many, including children, were shot and unlawfully killed while posing no immediate threat to life”.

Some killings, Amnesty continued, “appeared to have been extrajudicial executions”.

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Israeli forces shot two Palestinian teenage girls, killing one and wounding the other, after they were allegedly involved in a stabbing attack


Across the occupied territories, “Israeli forces, including undercover units, used excessive and sometimes lethal force when they used rubber-coated metal bullets and live ammunition against Palestinian protesters”, killing “at least 20, and injuring thousands”.

Amnesty’s annual report notes the killing in December of “wheelchair user Ibrahim Abu Thurayya”, who “was shot in the head by an Israeli soldier as he was sitting with a group of protesters near the fence separating Gaza from Israel”.

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Israeli police shoot 16 yr old girl after alleged knife attack in Jerusalem

The new report also commented on Israel’s use of mass incarceration as a tool of political repression, documenting how “Israel detained or continued to imprison thousands of Palestinians from the OPT, mostly in prisons in Israel, in violation of international law”.

Israeli authorities also “continued to substitute administrative detention for criminal prosecution”, says Amnesty, “holding hundreds of Palestinians, including children, civil society leaders and NGO workers, without charge or trial under renewable orders, based on information withheld from detainees and their lawyers.”

Furthermore, “Israeli soldiers and police and Israel Security Agency [Shin Bet] officers subjected Palestinian detainees, including children, to torture and other ill-treatment with impunity, particularly during arrest and interrogation.”

Amnesty International also accused Israeli authorities of using “a range of measures, both in Israel and the OPT, to target human rights defenders who criticized Israel’s continuing occupation.”

Other topics covered by the report, in relation to Israel’s ongoing rights violations, included the lack of accountability, “more than three years” later, for “evidently unlawful attacks including war crimes” committed by the Israeli military in its 2014 assault on the Gaza Strip.

Source: Amnesty International

Military tourism in Israel: learn how to kill Palestinians for $115 a day!

Just when you thought the Israelis couldn’t possibly cram any more items into an already overflowing repertoire of preposterous behavior…

 Part-propaganda and part-morbid amusement lSRAEL ONLY ATTRACTS LIKE-MINDED  SCUM AND SICKOS

The Israeli monopoly over the terror lexicon itself – which permits Israel to slaughter Palestinians by the thousands in alleged “self-defense” while any act of literal self-defense by Palestinians is condemned as terrorism – has been terribly rewarding not only in terms of facilitating Israel’s political and territorial objectives, but also in terms of international opportunities for Israeli individuals and entities to capitalize on the country’s repressive expertise.

This is how, for example, Israeli firms win contracts to help fortify the US-Mexico border.

In the case of the “anti-terror fantasy camps”, the business simultaneously generates a profit for those involved and assists in the global dissemination of pro-Israel propaganda under the guise of cool, alternative tourism.

Call it killing two birds with one stone – while Palestinians continue to be killed with more destructive equipment.