Gush Shalom & Yossi Sarid / Haaretz & Palestinian Information Center – 2011-06-07 23:22:16
Marching Through Tel Aviv for a Palestinian State
Gush Shalom / The Isreali Peace Bloc
Saturday night a range of peace groups and parties commemorated the 44th anniversary of the occupation carrying signs that read:
NETANYAHU SAYS NO — WE SAY YES TO A PALESTINIAN STATE
YES! TO A PALESTINIAN STATE
IN THE 1967 BORDERS
(June 5, 2011) — On Saturday night June 4, the evening before June 5, we marked for the 44th time the anniversary of the Occupation. But at least we are now not anymore alone with the idea as to what the solution should look like. The demonstration was rather than looking back to 1967 anticipating the Palestinian request for UN recognition in September.
A wide coalition had been set up in preparation, including not only the Hadash Communists and Meretz but also the Labor Party and a faction of Kadima. There had been much debate on the main slogan in the ads calling for participation, with the text finally adopted reading “Bibi had said No — We say Yes to a Palestinian State”.
Many activists felt that this obscured the issue of the borders, which are the main bone of contention. Gush Shalom prepared in advance numerous signs reading “”Yes to a Palestinian State in the 1967 Borders” and at the gathering point on the Rabin Square they were eagerly taken up.
The marchers — estimated at between ten and twenty thousand — had all kinds of political and personal backgrounds — young people born years after the occupation began, and grizzled grey- and white-haired veterans, and many family groups of parents and children. (One had a big dog carrying the Peace Now poster with Netanyahu as the Pied Piper leading the people to disaster).
The red flags of Hadash mingled with the colour green of Meretz, with the Gush Shalom two-flag signs, and the Peace Now peace flag modeled on the Israeli national flag, and the national flag itself, and also some activists expressed the common slogan by simply walking with a Palestinian flag.
Crisscrossing through the streets of central Tel Aviv, a medley of slogans was chanted — some decades old, others newly-created:
“One, Two, Three, Four — Occupation no more” /
“Palestine will be free — with or without the USA!” /
“Dismantle Kiryat Arba, Dismantle All Settlements, Now, Now, Now” /
“Peace Yes- Occupation No” /
“Borders of 1967 — permanent borders of peace” /
“Netanyahu, are you crazy? We donâ€™t want another war.”
There were quite a few signs and chanted slogans referring to the upheaval in the Arab World;
“Yes to the Arab Democratic Revolution!” /
“Emulate the Egyptians, revolt against racist and settlers”.
Netanyahu’s notorious Foreign Minister came under fire :”Lieberman is a settler and a racist” and some marchers expressed a longing for Israel’s Founding Father “Where is the new Ben Gurion — with a courage to take historic decisions?”.
The well-known song “I have no other country” was sung by several marching groups (“Even if my country has changed her face, even when ground burns under my feet, I will not give up — this is my home!). Others took up John Lennon’s “Give peace a chance”.
Obama’s elections slogan was chanted with a play of words “Yes we Ken!” — “Ken” being “Yes” in Hebrew. The Meretz stickers and signs had another play of words “Bibi takir — Falastin” (which could mean both “recognize Palestine” and “Let’s introduce you — this is Palestine”.
Finally, after winding through many streets of central Tel Aviv, the march ended with a rally at the Tel Aviv Museum. There was quite a bit of unanimity between the speakers — among them Knesset Members Zahava Galon (Meretz), Dov Khenin (Hadash), Daniel Ben-Simon (Labor), Nino Abesadze (Kadima) — the last an immigrant from the former Soviet Union (specifically, from Georgia) who made part of her speech in Russian.
Non-parliamentary speakers included playwright Yehoshua Sobol, Aida Touma-Sliman, editor of the Arab Al Ittihad daily and Feminist activist, Nazareth Mayor Ramez Jeraisy and Liran Gal of Peace Now, the youngest of the speakers.
Virutally all speakers welcomed the upcoming UN recognition of Palestine by the United Nations and denounced Netanyahu’s speech at the US Congress as having set up huge barriers and effectively ended the chances for negotiations.
Also, many of the speeches included warnings of Netanyahu trying to break out of his predicament by starting a new war, with Iran, with speakers referring to the dire warnings made on this issue by Me’ir Dagan, the recently retired Head of the Mossad. “There is no mandate for a new war of choice, there will be no national unity behind a government which drags us into disaster instead of making peace” cried KM Galon, to prolonged applause.
A grim foretast of the looming wars came within less then 24 hours — with deadly fire of IDF snipers at unarmed Palestinan demonstrators approaching by the hundreds from Syria.
Shavuot 2011: Obscentities as Words of Torah
Yossi Sarid / Haaretz & Shalom1492 Blogspot
Yom Yeru 2011
(June 7, 2011) — This isn’t the Torah we received. Since that time, Israel has been swallowed up by the Land of Israel and disappeared inside its maw.
Go to your computer right now and watch the frightening video clip posted on YouTube as a memento of Jerusalem Day (it’s called “Yom Yeru 2011”). Not a handful, but hundreds of young people high on hard-core nationalism wave blue-and-white flags; may their eyes grow dim.
“Death to the Arabs, death to the leftists,” they chanted. “The Temple will be rebuilt, the mosque will be destroyed.” “Kahane lives, Mohammed is dead.” “Itbach al-Arab” (“Death to the Arabs” in Arabic ). Thus they elevate Jerusalem as their chief sin: May their tongues cleave to their palates.
While I was roaming Jerusalem’s streets, another mob was gathering at the city’s Mercaz Harav Yeshiva, with rabbis Shmuel Eliyahu of Safed and Dov Lior of Hebron among the guests. The former demands Israel be purged of Arabs, while the latter endorses a book that justifies killing gentiles, urges soldiers to disobey orders and refuses to show up for questioning by the police.
Nowadays, every obscenity is treated as ‘words of Torah.’ A bill was even submitted for discussion to the cabinet that would permit incitement by rabbis, and rabbis only. And MK Michael Ben Ari (National Union ) was also among the guests.
The guest of honor was the prime minister; lift up your heads, O ye gates. “I see you as an elite Torah combat unit,” the king of glory — and of shame — said fawningly. Now the Torah, too, has its own elite combat unit.
Jerusalem Day ends, and Shavuot arrives — the holiday I once loved above all others for its graciousness and compassion. This is the time of the giving of our Torah, “a Torah of life I gave to you.” But this isn’t the Torah we received. Since that time, Israel has been swallowed up by the Land of Israel and disappeared inside its maw.
Our education minister, Gideon Sa’ar, is also living in the Book of Joshua, as if the Torah had no other books — as if we had no children here, but only our distant forefathers. Of all the possible nationwide school trips, he chose to join the first visit by students to the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, to support his new program, “Visits to the Land of Our Fathers.” A few months ago, he threatened a principal with dismissal because he proposed teachers take a tour of army checkpoints. But what is permissible for an emperor is forbidden to the flea in his ear.
As a part-time civics teachers when he deems the occasion right, Sa’ar surely explained to the visiting students how the Jewish settlement was established in “Kiryat Arba, which is Hebron” as a plot against the government; how the settlers there beat up soldiers and policemen and spat on their neighbors; how the people who dwell by the Cave of the Patriarchs make pilgrimages to the grave of the Jewish murderer Baruch Goldstein, and sanctify his name in public; how the Torah handed down at Sinai authorized us to dispossess, deport and seal houses; and why a Hebron market street stands empty.
Shavuot is blessed with a beautiful megillah, the Book of Ruth. I sometimes wonder how Ruth managed to worm her way into the Book of Books; perhaps the Song of Songs paved the way for her. It could never happen today. The Education Ministry and Mercaz Harav would never consent, and the Culture and Sports Ministry would disqualify its candidacy for the Zionist Artwork Award.
That’s all we need: For a complete goy — a Moabite, on top of all her other problems — to marry Mahlon, who, even though he has fallen low, is still a Jew. By what right did she cleave to Naomi — a healthy woman, after all, who doesn’t need a Filipina in constant attendance — so that she could later seduce another wealthy Jewish man, thus enabling her to remain without a permit from the rabbis and without even a pro forma conversion? And how did it happen that “all the people” were happy and supportive, without a single opponent?
After all, even back then, they could have deported her as a foreign agricultural worker who had infiltrated into Israel by means of dubious paperwork. And they would have left her great-grandson, David, without a chance of even being born, much less later being anointed as Israel’s king.
As the holiday approached, I telephoned the Bialik-Rogozin School and asked to speak with Ruthie. She’s an 11-year-old girl, a sixth-grader, with Ghanaian parents who work as cleaners. But don’t think they — her mother and father — are innocents. For it’s not by chance that they named their daughter Ruthie — Ruth, of all things — in order to remind us of, and make us mourn, what we have lost.
Israel to Approve 4,100 Settlement Units in Jerusalem
The Palestinian Information Centre
(June 8, 2011) — An expert planning researcher has revealed that an official board in Israel is on the verge of approving the construction of 4,100 houses in Jewish settlements in Jerusalem.
The Israeli interior ministry tasked the board two months ago to see that settlement construction increases in Jerusalem, said Attorney Qais Nasser, who specializes in monitoring settlement activity in holy city.
In its first session scheduled for June 14, the committee is expected to approve plans to erect 4,100 homes in Ramat Shlomo, Gilo, Pisgat Zeâ€™ev, and Har Homa.
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