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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Chief rabbi: Rightist violence stems from 'genuine pain'

In weak condemnation, Shlomo Amar says settlers who raided IDF base 'hurting their rabbis, teachers'; police chief vows to bring those who are 'igniting the country' to justice
Yoav Zitun
Published: 12.14.11, 19:56 / Israel News
Chief Sephardic Rabbi Shlomo Amar criticized the settlers who raided an IDF base in the West Bank overnight Tuesday, but added that their actions stemmed from "genuine pain."

During a visit to the headquarters of the Ephraim Brigade on Wednesday, Amar met with Brigade Commander Colonel Ran Kahane and his deputy, who were both attacked by rightists during the riots.

During the meeting, which was also attended by IDF Chief Rabbi Rafi Peretz, Amar said, "I have come here to bolster the brigade commander and his soldiers, and also to strengthen the men (rioters) by rebuking and reprimanding them, and trying to explain their actions to them – they are also in need of bolstering.
"They must be told that (their behavior) hurts the entire nation of Israel, including their rabbis and teachers," he said.
"What transpired here was the result of deep and genuine pain. We've witnessed similar incidents during the disengagement (from Gaza) - but then it was more severe. People should be allowed to express their pain, but they don't have to yell. There are proper ways to express pain, and people are entitled to strive to achieve goals they deem worthy," said the rabbi.

עמאר (משמאל) עם המח"ט בבסיס החטיבה (צילום: באדיבות המועצה האזורית שומרון)
Rabbi Amar (L) with Colonel Kahane (Photo courtesy of Shomron Regional Council)

Later, during a meeting with representatives from Migron, Amar said he hoped the West Bank outpost would not be evicted. "I will pray with all my heart and do all I can so that the wrongful order to destroy the community will be annulled. This injustice must be fought with all available legal means," the rabbi said.

Meanwhile, Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino said Israel Police has "taken off its gloves in the battle against the criminal phenomenon in which mosques and state symbols are targeted."
While visiting a police station in Lod Wednesday, Danino said the police force would use all the means at its disposal to curb right-wing violence and bring the perpetrators to justice.
"Even if takes a while, eventually we will reach those who - with their criminal behavior – are igniting the country and are undermining democracy and the rule of law.",7340,L-4161842,00.html

Israel’s extremist threat

Op-ed: Radical, violent religious youngsters constitute existential threat for State of Israel
Hanoch Daum
Published: 12.14.11, 23:20 / Israel Opinion

The lawbreakers from the hills threaten Israeli society, but much before that they threat me and those like me, members of the Religious-Zionist camp. They threaten us, a community that for dozens of years now attempted to passionately argue that there is a way to combine Torah and work, Judaism and culture, nationalism and morality. These lawbreakers from Samaria’s hills are cutting the ground under our feet.

Along with the rabbis who lead them and the religious zealots who respond to their recklessness with silence, these hilltop youths are dooming the deepest pillar of Israel’s national-religious community to oblivion.

This community, which swore to be Jewish and Zionist and prove that the Torah’s ways are peaceful, is currently perceived by the general public as a community that precludes women, is obsessive about female singing, and does not hesitate to resort to violence against innocent Arabs and members of the IDF – the very same army that protects us, and them.

For members of the Religious-Zionist camp, the army was always the manifestation of holiness in a secular world. The purest national essence. A religious man who rose up the military ladder was perceived by religious communities as a hero one should take pride in. Effie Eitam, for example, was sitting next to the yeshiva head when visiting our yeshiva.

Illogical and unimaginable 


The yeshiva boys who slowly moved up in the army were the heroes of our youth. We looked at them with genuine admiration. Eitan, Dror Weinberg and many others were the religious sector’s celebrities.

For those who hail from the Religious-Zionist camp, the fact that religious youngsters assault an IDF division commander is completely unfathomable. For the sake of example, try to imagine young poets who decide to beat up prominent poet Yehuda Amichai, or 11-year-old girls who punch Justin Bieber. This is something that simply cannot happen. It’s illogical and unimaginable.

In legal terms, we must see a firm response to the behavior and recklessness of these boys. However, in cultural terms, it appears all we can do is mourn the tragic disintegration of the Religious-Zionist narrative. And seeing Religious Zionism losing its way, beloved readers, is most certainly an existential problem for the State of Israel.,7340,L-4161906,00.html

PM rejects bid to deem rioters 'terrorists'

Netanyahu accepts recommendations to issue arrest warrants against Jewish rioters, prosecute them in military courts and authorize soldiers to make arrests; rejects bid to deem Hilltop Youth terror organization
Attila Somfalvi
Published: 12.14.11, 20:43 / Israel News
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has accepted the recommendations of the internal security minister and the justice minister for dealing with far-Right activists rioting in the West Bank but rejected a recommendation to define the Hilltop Youth as a terror organization.

The ministers drew up the recommendations after holding meetings with teams from the Shin Bet, IDF, police and the State Prosecutor's Office. The approved recommendations include immediate executive arrest warrants for the rioters and an immediate increase of individuals expelled from the West Bank.

The rioters will also be prosecuted in military courts and IDF soldiers will be authorized to make arrests. In addition, the State will expand special investigating teams from the Shin Bet, police, State Prosecutor's Office and the IDF.

"Whoever raises their hand at an IDF soldier or policeman will be severely punished," Netanyahu said.  

He further added, "Ephraim Brigade rioters will be subject to the same punishment as the rioters in the Bilin anti-fence protests. I want to make it clear that this is a small group which does not represent the majority of settlers in Judea and Samaria who are loyal to the State and the state's laws and condemn the violence." 

Overnight Tuesday some 300 settlers rioted on Route 55 near the Ramat Gilad outpost. Fearing an eviction, they hurled stones at Palestinian cars and attacked Ephraim Brigade commander's jeep. The commander and his deputy were pelted with stones and sustained light injuries. 

Earlier on Wednesday, violent clashes between right-wing activists and police forces erupted in Jerusalem's Kiryat Moshe neighborhood. Police said that six 'price tag' suspects were arrested.,7340,L-4161863,00.html

Israeli leaders who denounce Jewish terror are the ones responsible for it

  • Published 01:01 15.12.11 Latest update 01:01 15.12.11
'He who sowed the wind should not feign horror when the Jewish terror storm comes. He who demands silencing the muezzin should not fake surprise when a mosque is burned.'

By Yossi Sarid
The flood of condemnations has not put out the fire. The torch procession is still thundering toward the Temple Mount mosques, to the great conflagration that will rage in all corners of the Temple. The denouncers can prepare their fire extinguishers and fire-and-brimstone preaching.

"The IDF is us," writes the head of the Yesha Council of settlements, characteristically washing his hands until the storm subsides. Indeed, this is what the Israel Defense Forces looks like - a settler militia. Moles have gnawed at its foundations, leaving but cardboard props. For a long time it hasn't been clear whose authority it answers to and rabbis have defeated the commanders. The general in command is deluding himself. He is not the commander in the area. Will a stone to the head make him understand?

Police arrest mosque vandalism suspects - Emils Salman - December 14, 2011 Police arresting Jews suspected of vandalizing a mosque in Jerusalem, December 14, 2011. .
Photo by: Emil Salman

The hue and cry rises this time only because the brigade commander has been attacked and his lieutenant wounded. No cry arose five days ago, when Mustafa Tamimi was shot and killed at point-blank range. This case too will be closed for lack of evidence or lack of public interest, like hundreds of cases before and since.
"It's only a handful, the settlers are a law-abiding community," people keep saying, worrying about angering the settler leaders and their followers. The whole country is filled with handfuls - a handful of settlers here and a handful of ultra-Orthodox there, not to mention a handful of nationalists.

For the record, all the settlements were built against the law, and now they're trying to sanitize the latest ones, on stolen private land. True, Ariel Sharon, Shimon Peres, Ehud Barak and Benjamin Netanyahu all stood by the cradle, but still a bastard was born. They were all accomplices and one crime led to another.

So there is no need to be overly impressed by the orchestrated shouting about the Frankenstein that has gotten out of hand, because the denouncers are the ones who created him. They were warned a thousand times about creating a state within a state, an army within an army, but they didn't want to listen. They were too scared of the settlers and their rabbis. We see them in their disgrace, dancing in front of Zionism's coffin, and despise them.

You are losing this country, as you knew it, as you loved it. Perhaps you have already lost it, while you were sleeping. No more "rogue element" or "weed" - it's the whole orchard. The rotten apples have fallen too close to the diseased tree.

He who sowed the wind should not feign horror when the Jewish terror storm comes. He who poured oil on the flames should not pose as a firefighter trying to put it out. He who demands silencing the muezzin should not fake surprise when a mosque is burned. He who pardoned the first Jewish-underground murderers and the Shin-Bet Bus-300 murderers should not shudder when he meets those murderers' successors on the hills.

An incredible tale - dozens of terrorists raid an IDF base, wreak havoc and nobody is arrested. No one. Where is the "holy cannon" when you need it - as David Ben-Gurion dubbed a weapon that fired on the Altalena in 1948. Where are all those pretending to continue in Ben-Gurion's path?

Workers at Israel's Dimona nuclear reactor say leaks at plant gave them cancer

Published 01:01 15.12.11 Latest update 01:01 15.12.11

Former deputy head of Dimona's safety division tells hearing on complaint by 44 employees and their families: There have been mishaps since the day the facility was built.

By Gili Cohen

Workers at the Dimona nuclear reactor say they have been sickened during their work at the plant, revealing in court information on radiation leaks.

A hearing was held on Wednesday on the complaint by 44 employees and their families that the workers are suffering from cancer and other diseases due to radiation at work. Their attorney cited memos purportedly showing that safety problems led to the leak of radioactive substances.

Dimona nuclear research center - Reuters The nuclear research center in Dimona.
Photo by: Reuters
At Wednesday's hearing, the plaintiffs' lawyer quoted from a 1992 memo by a safety inspector that allegedly refers to radioactive material found in an area of the facility where it did not belong. The plaintiff's lawyer, Ilan Kaner, also said internal memos report the presence of dispersed radioactive matter.

The defense said the evidence should not be introduced, but Petah Tikva District Court Judge Esther Dudkiewicz said it was expected that state prosecutors would present documentation on safety incidents.

A witness for the defense, Dan Litai, a former deputy head of Dimona's safety division, was asked about an incident involving a radiation leak. He said he knew there had been radiation leaks including one near an area that was supposed to be relatively free of radioactive material.

He said there had been several cases of technical problems and it was not clear which he was being asked about. "Mishaps occur," Litai told the court. "There have been mishaps there since the day [the Dimona facility] was built, and I assume there still are."

Clinton: Gingrich's comments on Palestinians 'unhelpful'

  • Published 20:07 14.12.11 Latest update 20:07 14.12.11

Former House Speaker Gingrich stirred controversy after he called the Palestinians an 'invented' people, during an interview with the Jewish Channel.

By Reuters

Newt Gingrich's comment that the Palestinians are an "invented people" was unhelpful, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday, saying the Republican presidential candidate had realized this.

Gingrich, a former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, stirred controversy on Friday when told the Jewish Channel cable television broadcaster he saw the Palestinians as an invented people who want to destroy Israel.

Hillary Clinton - 16.11.11 - Reuters U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Photo by: Reuters

"Remember, there was no Palestine as a state. It was part of the Ottoman Empire" until the early 20th century, Gingrich said in the interview.

"I think that we've had an invented Palestinian people who are in fact Arabs and who were historically part of the Arab community. And they had a chance to go many places and for a variety of political reasons we have sustained this war against Israel now since the 1940s, and it's tragic," he said.

Asked by PBS Newshour Executive Editor Jim Lehrer at an event on economic innovation whether Gingrich's comment about the Palestinians being an "invented people" was helpful, Clinton replied: "No."

"I think he recognized that from what I read," she added, speaking at an event on Innovation and the Global Marketplace. "I think he realized that was you know one of those innovative moments that happen."

Gingrich along with other Republican candidates are seeking to attract Jewish support for the November 2012 elections by vowing to bolster U.S. ties with Israel.

Gingrich said the Hamas militant group, which controls the Gaza Strip, and the Palestinians' governing body, the Palestinian Authority, which controls the West Bank, represent "an enormous desire to destroy Israel."

The U.S. government has sought to encourage the Palestinian Authority to negotiate with Israel but has labeled Hamas as a terrorist group.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has long forsworn violence against Israel as a means to secure an independent state, pinning his hopes first on negotiations and more recently on a unilateral bid for statehood via the United Nations.

"This is Apartheid" Poster Contest

Posted on: December 14, 2011 

14 December 2011 | It is Apartheid


Art has always been an important part of liberation struggles.  It can inspire and convey concepts beyond words.  and its primary partner, Lajee Center, are sponsoring a competition for artists and graphic designers who are invited to submit posters on the theme of “Israeli Apartheid.”  These posters should reflect the nature, realities, and/or consequences of apartheid policies in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. Posters will be judged by a panel of distinguished activists and artists.  The winning entries will be featured in an online poster gallery and disseminated widely on the internet and various other venues.  Youth from refugee camps in Gaza and the West Bank will participate in the contest.

  •          Expert Jury Prize made up of distinguished artists and activists:   $400
  •          Global Jury Prize from global internet voting:   $400
  •          Palestinian Prize (winner must be Palestinian):   $300
  •          6 Honorable Mention prizes:   $50 each
* As we raise more funds we will raise monetary amount of prizes.

Deadline for submission of all posters is June 1, 2012

Guidelines for submissions

Work must be original for this contest.  Submissions should not exceed 2MB.  If your work is selected, you will be asked to provide a high resolution (minimum 300 dpi), print-ready digital file to a maximum size of 38” x25”.   All posters should include the phrase in a prominent location.

Use of the Posters

All posters will remain the property of the maker, but Itisapartheid retains the right to use, disseminate and/or display them in any way it deems appropriate.


Posters must be accompanied by a statement from the maker including her/his name, contact information and any companies, organizations and/or agencies with which s/he is associated. Competitors must also include a statement acknowledging acceptance of the terms of use.  Email: submissions to

Co-Sponsors: Badil, Code Pink, Palestine Solidarity Committee of South Africa, Friends of Sabeel North America, American Muslims for Palestine, Scottish Palestine Solidarity Committee, Artists Against Apartheid International Alliance, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN), Students Against Israeli Apartheid (Canada), Queers Against Israeli Apartheid , Palestine freedom Project, Australians for Palestine.   Palestinian Network for Children’s Rights, Pontifical Mission, the Papal Agency for Middle East Relief and Development,  The Alternative Information Center, Birzeit University, Defense for Children International, Palestine Section, Alhaq Organization, Defending Human Rights In Palestine, NGO Development Center, Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid  Faculty 4 Palestine, South African Artists Against Apartheid.

Gaza health ministry appeals for urgent dialysis filters

[ 14/12/2011 - 09:59 AM ]

GAZA, (PIC)– The Palestinian ministry of health in Gaza made an urgent appeal on Tuesday to all health and humanitarian organizations to help provide kidney units in Gaza hospitals with dialysis filters 5 and 6.

“450 patients with kidney failure receiving dialysis services in hospitals are now in real danger threatening their lives where the balance of this medical consumable has become 24 filters and this quantity does not cover the needs of patients who are on dialysis three times a week,” spokesman for the health ministry Ashraf Al-Qudra said.

The spokesman also called for pressuring the de facto health ministry in Ramallah city to supply Gaza hospitals with all its medical needs because of the worsening medicine-related situation in the Gaza Strip.

Source and more at the Palestinian Information Center

B'Tselem: Extremists Jews Should be Dealt with as Criminals

Date : 14/12/2011   Time : 19:37

TEL AVIV, December 14, 2011 (WAFA) – B'Tselem, the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territory, stated that the phenomenon of violence by Israeli citizens in the Occupied Territory must be dealt with through the criminal justice system, Wednesday said a press release published on the Center’s website.
In response to media reports that the Israeli government is considering declaring extreme rightwing Israeli activists to be a terrorist organization, B'Tselem stated that this is an illegitimate way to deal with the phenomenon of violence by Israeli citizens in the Occupied Territory, the release said.
It added that “the violence toward the military, which we have witnessed in recent days, is the result of Israel's long-standing policy of lax law-enforcement toward settlers who harm Palestinians and their property.”
This policy is manifest at all levels, beginning with the soldiers on the ground, who do not prevent settlers from harming Palestinians and their property, and continuing with the Israel Police, who do not properly investigate such incidents, the release said.
It stated that before draconian measures are taken, soldiers should intervene to prevent attacks when they happen, detain perpetrators and give their testimony to the Police; investigators of the Shai Police Department should conduct basic investigative actions when Palestinians file complaints.

IDF officers warn about growth of "Jewish terror"


Wednesday, 14 December 2011 16:37

Senior officers in the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) have issued a warning about the growth of what they describe as "Jewish terror" in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The IDF officers expressed their concerns about the repercussions of the increase in violence by Jewish settlers against Palestinian citizens across the Occupied Territories, in what the settlers call "price tag" attacks. Their comments came after an attack by settlers against an IDF base and soldiers in response to the army dismantling settlements which are even illegal under Israeli law.

Israel's opposition leader, Tzipi Livni, said that it is important to confront [Jewish] extremists who attack the IDF. "Settler violence against an IDF base is another level of extremism coming over Israel," she told Israel Radio. "And it's with our country's apparent agreement, being met with silence and a wink from the Netanyahu government, directly or indirectly."

The ex-Foreign Minister added: "When the government agrees about bills proposed by extremists, maintains silence in the face of extremist rabbis and gives a nod and a wink to coalition partners, it provides fertile ground for such violence. We must act decisively to enforce the law and not allow extremist groups to determine our fate."