• All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out.

  • I.F. Stone

zaterdag 23 januari 2010

De israelische Terreur 1125



The fact that such fundamentalist Jewish books advocating full-fledged genocide against non-Jews exist is not news. Neither is the fact that the leading religious Jewish authorities in Israel explicitly or implicitly endorse and advocate such extreme racism and open incitement to mass murder -- they've always done so!

The truth is this fanatic Jewish fundamentalism is rife in Israel, and its influence on the army, the core of the State, the academy, the media and popular culture is increasing steadily and dangerously. While the main tenets of Jewish fundamentalism differ little from those of fascist schools of thought dominant in Europe in the 20th Century, very little attention is given to them.

At a time when the world in general and Palestinians in particular are commemorating Israel's massacre in occupied Gaza in December 2008-January 2009, it is worth reading the following article to appreciate the role this crucial factor -- of fundamentalist incitement and call for extermination of the Gentiles -- has played in shaping Israel's policies and military strategies towards the indigenous Palestinians.

It is also important to note that the chief rabbis of Israel have never come out to challenge, let alone condemn, such interpretations of Jewish Law, Halacha, which normally reference Talmudic teachings and principles dating back many centuries. Far from being on the margins of Israeli society, Jewish fundamentalist genocidal tendencies are today very much in the mainstream, including among supposed secular Israelis.

As someone once said, secular Israelis do not believe in God, but they strongly believe that HE promised them the land of Palestine! Similarly, in spite of the fact that most Israeli judges, general prosecutors, etc. are secular, their consistent failure to even properly investigate massacres committed by Jewish-Israelis, added to the normal experience at military roadblocks where otherwise "decent" young soldiers prevent passage to pregnant Palestinian women, whom they view as -- quite literally-- bearers of "demographic threats," all go beyond the typical racism of any colonial society. As I've written elsewhere, it is the fatal combination of Zionism (settler-colonial racism) and religious fundamentalism that makes Israel, a large nuclear power, a serious threat to world security, not just that of Palestinians and other Arabs.

Omar Barghouti.


Rabbinic Text or Call to Terror?

By Daniel Estrin

Forward, January 20, 2010, issue of January 29, 2010.

Jerusalem — The marble-patterned, hardcover book embossed with gold Hebrew letters looks like any other religious commentary you’d find in an Orthodox Judaica bookstore — but reads like a rabbinic instruction manual outlining acceptable scenarios for killing non-Jewish babies, children and adults.


DANIEL ESTRIN
On the Shelf: The Pomeranz Bookseller in Jerusalem is among the bookstores that are selling copies of ‘The King’s Torah.’

“The prohibition ‘Thou Shalt Not Murder’” applies only “to a Jew who kills a Jew,” write Rabbis Yitzhak Shapira and Yosef Elitzur of the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar. Non-Jews are “uncompassionate by nature” and attacks on them “curb their evil inclination,” while babies and children of Israel’s enemies may be killed since “it is clear that they will grow to harm us.”

“The King’s Torah (Torat Hamelech), Part One: Laws of Life and Death between Israel and the Nations,” a 230-page compendium of Halacha, or Jewish religious law, published by the Od Yosef Chai yeshiva in Yitzhar, garnered a front-page exposé in the Israeli tabloid Ma’ariv, which called it the stuff of “Jewish terror.”

Now, the yeshiva is in the news again, with a January 18 raid on Yitzhar by more than 100 Israeli security officials who forcibly entered Od Yosef Chai and arrested 10 Jewish settlers. The Shin Bet, Israel’s domestic security agency, suspects five of those arrested were involved in the torching and vandalizing of a Palestinian mosque last month in the neighboring Palestinian village of Yasuf. The arson provoked an international outcry and condemnation by Israeli religious figures, including Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger, who visited the village to personally voice his regret.

Yet, both Metzger and his Sephardic counterpart, Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar, have declined to comment on the book, which debuted in November, while other prominent rabbis have endorsed it — among them, the son of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, Sephardic Jewry’s preeminent leader. Also, despite the precedent set by previous Israeli attorneys general in the last decade and a half to file criminal charges against settler rabbis who publish commentaries supporting violence against non-Jews, Attorney General Menachem Mazuz has so far remained mum about “The King’s Torah.”

“Sometimes the public arena deals with the phenomenon and things become settled by themselves,” Justice Ministry spokesman Moshe Cohen told the Forward.

A coalition of religious Zionist groups, the “Twelfth of Heshvan,”—– named after the Hebrew date of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination, has asked Israel’s Supreme Court to order Mazuz to confiscate the books and arrest its authors.

“You open the book, and you feel that you read a halachic book. And it’s a trap,” said Gadi Gvaryahu, a religious Jewish educator who heads the coalition. It was, in fact, “a guidebook [on] how to kill,” he charged.

Family members who answered phone calls placed to the homes of both authors said they did not wish to comment.

In 2008, author Shapira was suspected of involvement in a crude rocket attack directed at a Palestinian village. Israeli police investigated but made no arrests.

Co-author Elitzur wrote an article in a religious bulletin a month after the book’s release saying that “the Jews will win with violence against the Arabs.”

In 2003, the head of the Od Yosef Chai yeshiva, Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh, was charged by then-Attorney General Elyakim Rubinstein with incitement to racism for authoring a book calling Arabs a “cancer.”

In 2006-2007, the Israeli Ministry of Education gave about a quarter of a million dollars to the yeshiva, and in 2007-2008 the yeshiva received about $28,000 from the American nonprofit Central Fund of Israel.

“The King’s Torah” reflects a fringe viewpoint held by a minority of rabbis in the West Bank, said Avinoam Rosenak, a Hebrew University professor specializing in settler theology. Asher Cohen, a Bar Ilan University political science professor, thought its influence would be “zero” because it appeals only to extreme ideologues.

But the book’s wide dissemination and the enthusiastic endorsements of prominent rabbis have spotlighted what might have otherwise remained an isolated commentary.

At the entrance to Moriah, a large Jewish bookstore steps from the Western Wall, copies of “The King’s Torah” were displayed with children’s books and other halachic commentaries. The store manager, who identified himself only as Motti, said the tome has sold “excellently.”

Other stores carrying the book include Robinson Books, a well-known, mostly secular bookshop in a hip Tel Aviv shopping district; Pomeranz Bookseller, a major Jewish book emporium near the Ben Yehuda mall in downtown Jerusalem; and Felhendler, a Judaica store on the main artery of secular Rehovot, home of the Weizmann Institute.

The yeshiva declined to comment on publication statistics. But Itzik, a Tel Aviv-area book distributor hired by the yeshiva who declined to give his last name because of the book’s nature, said the yeshiva had sold 1,000 copies to individuals and bookstores countrywide. He said an additional 1,000 copies were now being printed.

Mendy Feldheim, owner of Feldheim Publishers, Israel’s largest Judaica publishing house, said he considered this a “nice” sales figure for a tome of rabbinic Halacha in Israel. He said his own company, which distributes to 200 bookstores nationwide, is not distributing “The King’s Torah” because the book’s publishers did not approach the company.

Prominent religious figures wrote letters of endorsement that preface the book. Rabbi Yaakov Yosef, son of former Sephardic Chief Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, blessed the authors and wrote that many “disciples of Torah are unfamiliar with these laws.” The elder Yosef has not commented on his son’s statement.

Dov Lior, chief rabbi of Kiryat Arba and a respected figure among many mainstream religious Zionists, noted that the book is “very relevant especially in this time.”

Rabbi Zalman Nechemia Goldberg, one of the country’s most respected rabbinic commentators, initially endorsed the book, but rescinded his approval a month after its release, saying that the book includes statements that “have no place in human intelligence.”

A handful of settler rabbis echoed Goldberg’s censure, including Shlomo Aviner, chief rabbi of Beit El and head of Yeshivat Ateret Yerushalayim, who said he had “no patience” to read the book, and spoke out against it to his students.

Previously, Israel has arrested settler rabbis who publish commentaries supporting the killing of non-Jews. In addition to Ginsburgh, the Od Yosef Chai yeshiva head, in 1994, the government jailed Rabbi Ido Elba of Hebron for writing a 26-page article proclaiming it a “mitzva to kill every non-Jew from the nation that is fighting the Jew, even women and children.”

“The atmosphere has changed,” said Yair Sheleg, senior researcher at the Israel Democracy Institute, who specializes in issues of religion and state. Previous governments took a tougher stance against such publications, he said, but “paradoxically, because the tension between the general settler population and the Israeli judicial system…is high now, the attorney general is careful not to heighten the tension.”

It is not uncommon for some settler rabbis, in the unique conditions of West Bank settlement life, to issue religious decrees, or psakim, that diverge from normative Jewish practice. In 2008, Avi Gisser, considered a moderate rabbi from the settlement of Ofra, ruled that Jews may violate Sabbath laws and hire non-Jews to build hilltop settlements. And In 2002, Yediot Aharanot reported that former Israeli Chief Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu sanctioned Jewish harvesting of Palestinian-owned olive trees.

Contact Daniel Estrin at feedback@forward.com


De Filosemiet en de Antisemiet 9



De
joods-Israelische filmmaker Eyal Sivan:

‘het moderne antisemitisme in Europa is het filosemitisme. De jood is heilig verklaard. We zien een liefde voor joden, louter en alleen omdat ze joden zijn. Voor de filosemiet blijft een jood de ander, de buitenstaander, net als voor de antisemiet. Als we het over Israel hebben dan hebben we het in feite over Europa, over het Europese onvermogen om met de ander te leven, over de continuïteit van het Europese antisemitisme dat zich nu tegen de Arabier richt, daarbij aangemoedigd door de zionistische propaganda.'


Islamophobia: Bad For The Jews

Daniel Luban, January 21, 2010
Email This | Print This | Share This | Comment | Antiwar Forum


Continuing on the subject of Eli’s last post, it might be worthwhile to examine in more depth the burgeoning alliance between right-wing supporters of Israel and the European far right. The importance of this topic was driven home by the publication of a new Gallup poll on Americans’ attitudes towards various religions. The poll, which found that over half of Americans view Islam unfavorably, also found that “the strongest predictor of prejudice against Muslims is whether a person holds similar feelings about Jews.”


While the poll deals with the American rather than the European context, it is a reminder that Islamophobia and anti-Semitism have typically gone hand in hand. This is worth remembering when looking at the rise of European far-right leaders like Jean-Marie Le Pen of France and the late Jorg Haider of Austria. Hostility to Muslim immigrants forms the centerpiece of their political stance, but their parties have also tended to espouse anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial — a reminder of their neo-fascist roots.

But this anti-Semitism has quite naturally prevented them from making common cause with neoconservatives and other right-wing Zionists in America, whose militant stance towards “Islamism” (very broadly defined) would otherwise make them natural allies of the European far right. Hence we have seen in recent years that the savvier of the European far right leaders — such as Filip Dewinter of the Flemish separatist party Vlaams Belang (VB) — have dropped the explicitly anti-Semitic elements of their platforms and doubled down on Islamophobia. They realize that by portraying themselves as staunch supporters of Israel and allies in the war against Islamofascism, they can acquire a new set of influential and well-connected supporters in America — the likes of Daniel Pipes, Mark Steyn, Frank Gaffney, etc. (Eli, Ali and I wrote about the connections between Wilders, his U.S. supporters, and the VB this past February.)

While focusing on Islamophobia rather than anti-Semitism is certainly a savvy move, whether it is sincere is another question. The VB, for example, is a successor to the Vlaams Blok, which disbanded in 2004 after being convicted of “repeated incitement to discrimination”; its fall was precipated by top VB official Roeland Raes’s widely-publicized Holocaust denial on Dutch television. Despite the VB’s claims to have cleaned up its act since the Raes scandal, the Belgian Jewish community isn’t buying it. They maintain that, regardless of whatever philo-Semitic noises the top leadership makes in public, the group has a clear pattern of associating with anti-Semitic and neo-fascist elements. (Right-wing apostate Charles Johnson has in recent years provided the most thorough coverage of the devil’s bargain that the American Islamophobic right has made with the European far right.) Similarly, although Wilders himself does not come from the neo-fascist milieu, there can be little doubt that his base of popular support contains many of the same elements as Le Pen’s and Haider’s.

All this is to say that Daniel Pipes and his compatriots are playing with fire when they embrace Wilders and other European Islamophobes. While the European far right has proven increasingly willing to say the right things about Jews for tactical reasons, all indications are that hatred of Muslims frequently goes hand-in-hand with hatred of Jews.

Zie: http://www.antiwar.com/blog/2010/01/21/islamophobia-bad-for-the-jews/

Animal

Rita Moreno - Animal - fever.avi


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDjXeWksP4w

The Empire 518




Uri Avnery:

'The elephant entered the shop without knocking and achieved a resounding victory. The air force pounded, the army conquered without problems, Al-Qaeda disappeared like a ghost, the Taliban (“religious pupils”) ran away. Women could again appear in the streets without covering their hair, girls could attend schools, the opium fields flourished again, and so did Washington’s protégés in Kabul. However – the war goes on, year after year, the number of American dead is rising inexorably. What for? Nobody knows. It seems as if the war has acquired a life of its own, without aim, without reason.'


George Orwell:

de moderne oorlog: 'helpt om de speciale geestelijke atmosfeer in stand te houden, die een hierarchische maatschappij nodig heeft. De oorlog, zo zal men zien, is nu een zuiver binnenlandse aangelegenheid. In het verleden bestreden de heersende groepen van alle landen elkaar ook echt, al mochten zij inzien, dat zij een gemeenschappelijk belang hadden en daarom de vernietigende werking van de oorlog zouden moeten beperken, en de overwinnaar altijd de overwonnene plunderde. In onze eigen tijd vechten zij helemaal niet tegen elkaar. De oorlog wordt door iedere heersende groep gevoerd tegen de eigen onderdanen en het doel van de oorlog is niet om gebiedsoverwinningen te maken of te voorkomen, maar om de structuur der samenleving is stand te houden... op de lange duur is een hierarchische maatschappij alleen mogelijk op een basis van armoede en onwetendheid... De vraag was, hoe de wielen van de industrie draaiende te houden zonder de feitelijke rijkdom van de wereld te vermeerderen. Er moesten goederen geproduceerd worden, maar zij moesten niet worden gedistribueerd. En in de praktijk was de enige manier om dit te bereiken een voortdurende oorlog... Oorlog is een methode tot het verbrijzelen, of tot het in de lucht laten vliegen, of tot het laten zinken in de diepte der zee van materialen, die anders gebruikt zouden kunnen worden om de massa's te veel gemak te verschaffen en daardoor op de lange duur te intelligent te maken.'

The Empire 517



Manchurian Candidates:
Supreme Court allows China and others
unlimited spending in US elections


Thursday, January 21, 2010

By Greg Palast | Updated from the original report for AlterNet

Thursday, January 21, 2010

In today's Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the Court ruled that corporations should be treated the same as "natural persons", i.e. humans. Well, in that case, expect the Supreme Court to next rule that Wal-Mart can run for President.

The ruling, which junks federal laws that now bar corporations from stuffing campaign coffers, will not, as progressives fear, cause an avalanche of corporate cash into politics. Sadly, that's already happened: we have been snowed under by tens of millions of dollars given through corporate PACs and "bundling" of individual contributions from corporate pay-rollers.

The Court's decision is far, far more dangerous to U.S. democracy. Think: Manchurian candidates.

I'm losing sleep over the millions — or billions — of dollars that could flood into our elections from ARAMCO, the Saudi Oil corporation's U.S. unit; or from the maker of "New Order" fashions, the Chinese People's Liberation Army. Or from Bin Laden Construction corporation. Or Bin Laden Destruction Corporation.

Right now, corporations can give loads of loot through PACs. While this money stinks (Barack Obama took none of it), anyone can go through a PAC's federal disclosure filing and see the name of every individual who put money into it. And every contributor must be a citizen of the USA.

But under today's Supreme Court ruling that corporations can support candidates without limit, there is nothing that stops, say, a Delaware-incorporated handmaiden of the Burmese junta from picking a Congressman or two with a cache of loot masked by a corporate alias.

Candidate Barack Obama was one sharp speaker, but he would not have been heard, and certainly would not have won, without the astonishing outpouring of donations from two million Americans. It was an unprecedented uprising-by-PayPal, overwhelming the old fat-cat sources of funding.

Well, kiss that small-donor revolution goodbye. Under the Court's new rules, progressive list serves won't stand a chance against the resources of new "citizens" such as CNOOC, the China National Offshore Oil Corporation. Maybe UBS (United Bank of Switzerland), which faces U.S. criminal prosecution and a billion-dollar fine for fraud, might be tempted to invest in a few Senate seats. As would XYZ Corporation, whose owners remain hidden by "street names."

George Bush's former Solicitor General Ted Olson argued the case to the court on behalf of Citizens United, a corporate front that funded an attack on Hillary Clinton during the 2008 primary. Olson's wife died on September 11, 2001 on the hijacked airliner that hit the Pentagon. Maybe it was a bit crude of me, but I contacted Olson's office to ask how much "Al Qaeda, Inc." should be allowed to donate to support the election of his local congressman.

Olson has not responded.

The danger of foreign loot loading into U.S. campaigns, not much noted in the media chat about the Citizens case, was the first concern raised by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who asked about opening the door to "mega-corporations" owned by foreign governments. Olson offered Ginsburg a fudge, that Congress might be able to prohibit foreign corporations from making donations, though Olson made clear he thought any such restriction a bad idea.

Tara Malloy, attorney with the Campaign Legal Center of Washington D.C. says corporations will now have more rights than people. Only United States citizens may donate or influence campaigns, but a foreign government can, veiled behind a corporate treasury, dump money into ballot battles.

Malloy also noted that under the law today, human-people, as opposed to corporate-people, may only give $2,300 to a presidential campaign. But hedge fund billionaires, for example, who typically operate through dozens of corporate vessels, may now give unlimited sums through each of these "unnatural" creatures.

And once the Taliban incorporates in Delaware, they could ante up for the best democracy money can buy.

In July, the Chinese government, in preparation for President Obama's visit, held diplomatic discussions in which they skirted issues of human rights and Tibet. Notably, the Chinese, who hold a $2 trillion mortgage on our Treasury, raised concerns about the cost of Obama's health care reform bill. Would our nervous Chinese landlords have an interest in buying the White House for an opponent of government spending such as Gov. Palin? Ya betcha!

The potential for foreign infiltration of what remains of our democracy is an adjunct of the fact that the source and control money from corporate treasuries (unlike registered PACs), is necessarily hidden. Who the heck are the real stockholders? Or as Butch asked Sundance, "Who are these guys?"
We'll never know.

Hidden money funding, whether foreign or domestic, is the new venom that the Court has injected into the system by its expansive decision in Citizens United.

We've been there. The 1994 election brought Newt Gingrich to power in a GOP takeover of the Congress funded by a very strange source.

Congressional investigators found that in crucial swing races, Democrats had fallen victim to a flood of last-minute attack ads funded by a group called, "Coalition for Our Children's Future." The $25 million that paid for those ads came, not from concerned parents, but from a corporation called "Triad Inc."

Evidence suggests Triad Inc. was the front for the ultra-right-wing billionaire Koch Brothers and their private petroleum company, Koch Industries. Had the corporate connection been proven, the Kochs and their corporation could have faced indictment under federal election law. As of today, such money-poisoned politicking has become legit.

So it's not just un-Americans we need to fear but the Polluter-Americans, Pharma-mericans, Bank-Americans and Hedge-Americans that could manipulate campaigns while hidden behind corporate veils. And if so, our future elections, while nominally a contest between Republicans and Democrats, may in fact come down to a three-way battle between China, Saudi Arabia and Goldman Sachs.

*********

Greg Palast is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Best Democracy Money Can Buy." Palast investigated Triad Inc. for The Guardian (UK). View Palast's reports for BBC TV and Democracy Now! at www.gregpalast.com.


Zie: http://www.gregpalast.com/supreme-court-to-ok-al-qaeda-donation-for-sarah-palin/



De Israelische Terreur 1124

Document date: 11.12.2009

The Kairos Palestine Document

A moment of truth: A word of faith, hope and love from the heart of Palestinian suffering

Download the English version as pdf

Download the Arabic version as pdf

Introduction

We, a group of Christian Palestinians, after prayer, reflection and an exchange of opinion, cry out from within the suffering in our country, under the Israeli occupation, with a cry of hope in the absence of all hope, a cry full of prayer and faith in a God ever vigilant, in God’s divine providence for all the inhabitants of this land. Inspired by the mystery of God's love for all, the mystery of God’s divine presence in the history of all peoples and, in a particular way, in the history of our country, we proclaim our word based on our Christian faith and our sense of Palestinian belonging – a word of faith, hope and love.

Why now? Because today we have reached a dead end in the tragedy of the Palestinian people. The decision-makers content themselves with managing the crisis rather than committing themselves to the serious task of finding a way to resolve it. The hearts of the faithful are filled with pain and with questioning: What is the international community doing? What are the political leaders in Palestine, in Israel and in the Arab world doing? What is the Church doing? The problem is not just a political one. It is a policy in which human beings are destroyed, and this must be of concern to the Church.

We address ourselves to our brothers and sisters, members of our Churches in this land. We call out as Christians and as Palestinians to our religious and political leaders, to our Palestinian society and to the Israeli society, to the international community, and to our Christian brothers and sisters in the Churches around the world.

1. The reality on the ground

1.1 “They say: 'Peace, peace' when there is no peace” (Jer. 6:14). These days, everyone is speaking about peace in the Middle East and the peace process. So far, however, these are simply words; the reality is one of Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories, deprivation of our freedom and all that results from this situation:

1.1.1 The separation wall erected on Palestinian territory, a large part of which has been confiscated for this purpose, has turned our towns and villages into prisons, separating them from one another, making them dispersed and divided cantons. Gaza, especially after the cruel war Israel launched against it during December 2008 and January 2009, continues to live in inhuman conditions, under permanent blockade and cut off from the other Palestinian territories.

1.1.2 Israeli settlements ravage our land in the name of God and in the name of force, controlling our natural resources, including water and agricultural land, thus depriving hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, and constituting an obstacle to any political solution.

1.1.3 Reality is the daily humiliation to which we are subjected at the military checkpoints, as we make our way to jobs, schools or hospitals.

1.1.4 Reality is the separation between members of the same family, making family life impossible for thousands of Palestinians, especially where one of the spouses does not have an Israeli identity card.

1.1.5 Religious liberty is severely restricted; the freedom of access to the holy places is denied under the pretext of security. Jerusalem and its holy places are out of bounds for many Christians and Muslims from the West Bank and the Gaza strip. Even Jerusalemites face restrictions during the religious feasts. Some of our Arab clergy are regularly barred from entering Jerusalem.

1.1.6 Refugees are also part of our reality. Most of them are still living in camps under difficult circumstances. They have been waiting for their right of return, generation after generation. What will be their fate?

1.1.7 And the prisoners? The thousands of prisoners languishing in Israeli prisons are part of our reality. The Israelis move heaven and earth to gain the release of one prisoner, and those thousands of Palestinian prisoners, when will they have their freedom?

1.1.8 Jerusalem is the heart of our reality. It is, at the same time, symbol of peace and sign of conflict. While the separation wall divides Palestinian neighbourhoods, Jerusalem continues to be emptied of its Palestinian citizens, Christians and Muslims. Their identity cards are confiscated, which means the loss of their right to reside in Jerusalem. Their homes are demolished or expropriated. Jerusalem, city of reconciliation, has become a city of discrimination and exclusion, a source of struggle rather than peace.

1.2 Also part of this reality is the Israeli disregard of international law and international resolutions, as well as the paralysis of the Arab world and the international community in the face of this contempt. Human rights are violated and despite the various reports of local and international human rights' organizations, the injustice continues.

1.2.1 Palestinians within the State of Israel, who have also suffered a historical injustice, although they are citizens and have the rights and obligations of citizenship, still suffer from discriminatory policies. They too are waiting to enjoy full rights and equality like all other citizens in the state.

1.3 Emigration is another element in our reality. The absence of any vision or spark of hope for peace and freedom pushes young people, both Muslim and Christian, to emigrate. Thus the land is deprived of its most important and richest resource – educated youth. The shrinking number of Christians, particularly in Palestine, is one of the dangerous consequences, both of this conflict, and of the local and international paralysis and failure to find a comprehensive solution to the problem.

1.4 In the face of this reality, Israel justifies its actions as self-defence, including occupation, collective punishment and all other forms of reprisals against the Palestinians. In our opinion, this vision is a reversal of reality. Yes, there is Palestinian resistance to the occupation. However, if there were no occupation, there would be no resistance, no fear and no insecurity. This is our understanding of the situation. Therefore, we call on the Israelis to end the occupation. Then they will see a new world in which there is no fear, no threat but rather security, justice and peace.

1.5 The Palestinian response to this reality was diverse. Some responded through negotiations: that was the official position of the Palestinian Authority, but it did not advance the peace process. Some political parties followed the way of armed resistance. Israel used this as a pretext to accuse the Palestinians of being terrorists and was able to distort the real nature of the conflict, presenting it as an Israeli war against terror, rather than an Israeli occupation faced by Palestinian legal resistance aiming at ending it.

1.5.1 The tragedy worsened with the internal conflict among Palestinians themselves, and with the separation of Gaza from the rest of the Palestinian territory. It is noteworthy that, even though the division is among Palestinians themselves, the international community bears an important responsibility for it since it refused to deal positively with the will of the Palestinian people expressed in the outcome of democratic and legal elections in 2006.

Again, we repeat and proclaim that our Christian word in the midst of all this, in the midst of our catastrophe, is a word of faith, hope and love.

2. A word of faith

We believe in one God, a good and just God

2.1 We believe in God, one God, Creator of the universe and of humanity. We believe in a good and just God, who loves each one of his creatures. We believe that every human being is created in God’s image and likeness and that every one's dignity is derived from the dignity of the Almighty One. We believe that this dignity is one and the same in each and all of us. This means for us, here and now, in this land in particular, that God created us not so that we might engage in strife and conflict but rather that we might come and know and love one another, and together build up the land in love and mutual respect.

2.1.1 We also believe in God's eternal Word, His only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, whom God sent as the Saviour of the world.

2.1.2 We believe in the Holy Spirit, who accompanies the Church and all humanity on its journey. It is the Spirit that helps us to understand Holy Scripture, both Old and New Testaments, showing their unity, here and now. The Spirit makes manifest the revelation of God to humanity, past, present and future.

How do we understand the word of God?

2.2 We believe that God has spoken to humanity, here in our country: "Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, but in these last days God has spoken to us by a Son, whom God appointed heir of all things, through whom he also created the worlds" (Heb. 1:1-2)

2.2.1 We, Christian Palestinians, believe, like all Christians throughout the world, that Jesus Christ came in order to fulfil the Law and the Prophets. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, and in his light and with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we read the Holy Scriptures. We meditate upon and interpret Scripture just as Jesus Christ did with the two disciples on their way to Emmaus. As it is written in the Gospel according to Saint Luke: "Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures" (Lk 24:27)

2.2.2 Our Lord Jesus Christ came, proclaiming that the Kingdom of God was near. He provoked a revolution in the life and faith of all humanity. He came with "a new teaching" (Mk 1:27), casting a new light on the Old Testament, on the themes that relate to our Christian faith and our daily lives, themes such as the promises, the election, the people of God and the land. We believe that the Word of God is a living Word, casting a particular light on each period of history, manifesting to Christian believers what God is saying to us here and now. For this reason, it is unacceptable to transform the Word of God into letters of stone that pervert the love of God and His providence in the life of both peoples and individuals. This is precisely the error in fundamentalist Biblical interpretation that brings us death and destruction when the word of God is petrified and transmitted from generation to generation as a dead letter. This dead letter is used as a weapon in our present history in order to deprive us of our rights in our own land.

Our land has a universal mission

2.3 We believe that our land has a universal mission. In this universality, the meaning of the promises, of the land, of the election, of the people of God open up to include all of humanity, starting from all the peoples of this land. In light of the teachings of the Holy Bible, the promise of the land has never been a political programme, but rather the prelude to complete universal salvation. It was the initiation of the fulfilment of the Kingdom of God on earth.

2.3.1 God sent the patriarchs, the prophets and the apostles to this land so that they might carry forth a universal mission to the world. Today we constitute three religions in this land, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Our land is God’s land, as is the case with all countries in the world. It is holy inasmuch as God is present in it, for God alone is holy and sanctifier. It is the duty of those of us who live here, to respect the will of God for this land. It is our duty to liberate it from the evil of injustice and war. It is God's land and therefore it must be a land of reconciliation, peace and love. This is indeed possible. God has put us here as two peoples, and God gives us the capacity, if we have the will, to live together and establish in it justice and peace, making it in reality God's land: "The earth is the Lord's and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it" (Ps. 24:1).

2.3.2 Our presence in this land, as Christian and Muslim Palestinians, is not accidental but rather deeply rooted in the history and geography of this land, resonant with the connectedness of any other people to the land it lives in. It was an injustice when we were driven out. The West sought to make amends for what Jews had endured in the countries of Europe, but it made amends on our account and in our land. They tried to correct an injustice and the result was a new injustice.

2.3.3 Furthermore, we know that certain theologians in the West try to attach a biblical and theological legitimacy to the infringement of our rights. Thus, the promises, according to their interpretation, have become a menace to our very existence. The "good news" in the Gospel itself has become "a harbinger of death" for us. We call on these theologians to deepen their reflection on the Word of God and to rectify their interpretations so that they might see in the Word of God a source of life for all peoples.

2.3.4 Our connectedness to this land is a natural right. It is not an ideological or a theological question only. It is a matter of life and death. There are those who do not agree with us, even defining us as enemies only because we declare that we want to live as free people in our land. We suffer from the occupation of our land because we are Palestinians. And as Christian Palestinians we suffer from the wrong interpretation of some theologians. Faced with this, our task is to safeguard the Word of God as a source of life and not of death, so that "the good news" remains what it is, "good news" for us and for all. In face of those who use the Bible to threaten our existence as Christian and Muslim Palestinians, we renew our faith in God because we know that the word of God can not be the source of our destruction.

2.4 Therefore, we declare that any use of the Bible to legitimize or support political options and positions that are based upon injustice, imposed by one person on another, or by one people on another, transform religion into human ideology and strip the Word of God of its holiness, its universality and truth.

2.5 We also declare that the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land is a sin against God and humanity because it deprives the Palestinians of their basic human rights, bestowed by God. It distorts the image of God in the Israeli who has become an occupier just as it distorts this image in the Palestinian living under occupation. We declare that any theology, seemingly based on the Bible or on faith or on history, that legitimizes the occupation, is far from Christian teachings, because it calls for violence and holy war in the name of God Almighty, subordinating God to temporary human interests, and distorting the divine image in the human beings living under both political and theological injustice.

3. Hope

3.1 Despite the lack of even a glimmer of positive expectation, our hope remains strong. The present situation does not promise any quick solution or the end of the occupation that is imposed on us. Yes, the initiatives, the conferences, visits and negotiations have multiplied, but they have not been followed up by any change in our situation and suffering. Even the new US position that has been announced by President Obama, with a manifest desire to put an end to the tragedy, has not been able to make a change in our reality. The clear Israeli response, refusing any solution, leaves no room for positive expectation. Despite this, our hope remains strong, because it is from God. God alone is good, almighty and loving and His goodness will one day be victorious over the evil in which we find ourselves. As Saint Paul said: "If God is for us, who is against us? (…) Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, "For your sake we are being killed all day long" (…) For I am convinced that (nothing) in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God" (Rom. 8:31, 35, 36, 39).

What is the meaning of hope?

3.2 Hope within us means first and foremost our faith in God and secondly our expectation, despite everything, for a better future. Thirdly, it means not chasing after illusions – we realize that release is not close at hand. Hope is the capacity to see God in the midst of trouble, and to be co-workers with the Holy Spirit who is dwelling in us. From this vision derives the strength to be steadfast, remain firm and work to change the reality in which we find ourselves. Hope means not giving in to evil but rather standing up to it and continuing to resist it. We see nothing in the present or future except ruin and destruction. We see the upper hand of the strong, the growing orientation towards racist separation and the imposition of laws that deny our existence and our dignity. We see confusion and division in the Palestinian position. If, despite all this, we do resist this reality today and work hard, perhaps the destruction that looms on the horizon may not come upon us.

Signs of hope

3.3 The Church in our land, her leaders and her faithful, despite her weakness and her divisions, does show certain signs of hope. Our parish communities are vibrant and most of our young people are active apostles for justice and peace. In addition to the individual commitment, our various Church institutions make our faith active and present in service, love and prayer.

3.3.1 Among the signs of hope are the local centres of theology, with a religious and social character. They are numerous in our different Churches. The ecumenical spirit, even if still hesitant, shows itself more and more in the meetings of our different Church families.

3.3.2 We can add to this the numerous meetings for inter-religious dialogue, Christian–Muslim dialogue, which includes the religious leaders and a part of the people. Admittedly, dialogue is a long process and is perfected through a daily effort as we undergo the same sufferings and have the same expectations. There is also dialogue among the three religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, as well as different dialogue meetings on the academic or social level. They all try to breach the walls imposed by the occupation and oppose the distorted perception of human beings in the heart of their brothers or sisters.

3.3.3 One of the most important signs of hope is the steadfastness of the generations, the belief in the justice of their cause and the continuity of memory, which does not forget the "Nakba" (catastrophe) and its significance. Likewise significant is the developing awareness among many Churches throughout the world and their desire to know the truth about what is going on here.

3.3.4 In addition to that, we see a determination among many to overcome the resentments of the past and to be ready for reconciliation once justice has been restored. Public awareness of the need to restore political rights to the Palestinians is increasing, and Jewish and Israeli voices, advocating peace and justice, are raised in support of this with the approval of the international community. True, these forces for justice and reconciliation have not yet been able to transform the situation of injustice, but they have their influence and may shorten the time of suffering and hasten the time of reconciliation.

The mission of the Church

3.4 Our Church is a Church of people who pray and serve. This prayer and service is prophetic, bearing the voice of God in the present and future. Everything that happens in our land, everyone who lives there, all the pains and hopes, all the injustice and all the efforts to stop this injustice, are part and parcel of the prayer of our Church and the service of all her institutions. Thanks be to God that our Church raises her voice against injustice despite the fact that some desire her to remain silent, closed in her religious devotions.

3.4.1 The mission of the Church is prophetic, to speak the Word of God courageously, honestly and lovingly in the local context and in the midst of daily events. If she does take sides, it is with the oppressed, to stand alongside them, just as Christ our Lord stood by the side of each poor person and each sinner, calling them to repentance, life, and the restoration of the dignity bestowed on them by God and that no one has the right to strip away.

3.4.2 The mission of the Church is to proclaim the Kingdom of God, a kingdom of justice, peace and dignity. Our vocation as a living Church is to bear witness to the goodness of God and the dignity of human beings. We are called to pray and to make our voice heard when we announce a new society where human beings believe in their own dignity and the dignity of their adversaries.

3.4.3 Our Church points to the Kingdom, which cannot be tied to any earthly kingdom. Jesus said before Pilate that he was indeed a king but "my kingdom is not from this world" (Jn 18:36). Saint Paul says: "The Kingdom of God is not food and drink but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit" (Rom.14:17). Therefore, religion cannot favour or support any unjust political regime, but must rather promote justice, truth and human dignity. It must exert every effort to purify regimes where human beings suffer injustice and human dignity is violated. The Kingdom of God on earth is not dependent on any political orientation, for it is greater and more inclusive than any particular political system.

3.4.4 Jesus Christ said: "The Kingdom of God is among you" (Luke 17:21). This Kingdom that is present among us and in us is the extension of the mystery of salvation. It is the presence of God among us and our sense of that presence in everything we do and say. It is in this divine presence that we shall do what we can until justice is achieved in this land.

3.4.5 The cruel circumstances in which the Palestinian Church has lived and continues to live have required the Church to clarify her faith and to identify her vocation better. We have studied our vocation and have come to know it better in the midst of suffering and pain: today, we bear the strength of love rather than that of revenge, a culture of life rather than a culture of death. This is a source of hope for us, for the Church and for the world.

3.5 The Resurrection is the source of our hope .Just as Christ rose in victory over death and evil, so too we are able, as each inhabitant of this land is able, to vanquish the evil of war. We will remain a witnessing, steadfast and active Church in the land of the Resurrection.

4. Love

The commandment of love

4.1 Christ our Lord said: "Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another" (Jn 13:34). He has already showed us how to love and how to treat our enemies. He said: "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous (…) Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect" (Matt. 5:45-47).

Saint Paul also said: "Do not repay anyone evil for evil" (Rom. 12:17). And Saint Peter said: "Do not repay evil for evil or abuse for abuse; but on the contrary, repay with a blessing. It is for this that you were called" (1 Pet. 3:9).

Resistance

4.2 This word is clear. Love is the commandment of Christ our Lord to us and it includes both friends and enemies. This must be clear when we find ourselves in circumstances where we must resist evil of whatever kind.

4.2.1 Love is seeing the face of God in every human being. Every person is my brother or my sister. However, seeing the face of God in everyone does not mean accepting evil or aggression on their part. Rather, this love seeks to correct the evil and stop the aggression.

The injustice against the Palestinian people which is the Israeli occupation, is an evil that must be resisted. It is an evil and a sin that must be resisted and removed. Primary responsibility for this rests with the Palestinians themselves suffering occupation. Christian love invites us to resist it. However, love puts an end to evil by walking in the ways of justice. Responsibility lies also with the international community, because international law regulates relations between peoples today. Finally responsibility lies with the perpetrators of the injustice; they must liberate themselves from the evil that is in them and the injustice they have imposed on others.

4.2.2 When we review the history of the nations, we see many wars and much resistance to war by war, to violence by violence. The Palestinian people has gone the way of the peoples, particularly in the first stages of its struggle with the Israeli occupation. However, it also engaged in peaceful struggle, especially during the first Intifada. We recognize that all peoples must find a new way in their relations with each other and the resolution of their conflicts. The ways of force must give way to the ways of justice. This applies above all to the peoples that are militarily strong, mighty enough to impose their injustice on the weaker.

4.2.3 We say that our option as Christians in the face of the Israeli occupation is to resist. Resistance is a right and a duty for the Christian. But it is resistance with love as its logic. It is thus a creative resistance for it must find human ways that engage the humanity of the enemy. Seeing the image of God in the face of the enemy means taking up positions in the light of this vision of active resistance to stop the injustice and oblige the perpetrator to end his aggression and thus achieve the desired goal, which is getting back the land, freedom, dignity and independence.

4.2.4 Christ our Lord has left us an example we must imitate. We must resist evil but he taught us that we cannot resist evil with evil. This is a difficult commandment, particularly when the enemy is determined to impose himself and deny our right to remain here in our land. It is a difficult commandment yet it alone can stand firm in the face of the clear declarations of the occupation authorities that refuse our existence and the many excuses these authorities use to continue imposing occupation upon us.

4.2.5 Resistance to the evil of occupation is integrated, then, within this Christian love that refuses evil and corrects it. It resists evil in all its forms with methods that enter into the logic of love and draw on all energies to make peace. We can resist through civil disobedience. We do not resist with death but rather through respect of life. We respect and have a high esteem for all those who have given their life for our nation. And we affirm that every citizen must be ready to defend his or her life, freedom and land.

4.2.6 Palestinian civil organizations, as well as international organizations, NGOs and certain religious institutions call on individuals, companies and states to engage in divestment and in an economic and commercial boycott of everything produced by the occupation. We understand this to integrate the logic of peaceful resistance. These advocacy campaigns must be carried out with courage, openly sincerely proclaiming that their object is not revenge but rather to put an end to the existing evil, liberating both the perpetrators and the victims of injustice. The aim is to free both peoples from extremist positions of the different Israeli governments, bringing both to justice and reconciliation. In this spirit and with this dedication we will eventually reach the longed-for resolution to our problems, as indeed happened in South Africa and with many other liberation movements in the world.

4.3 Through our love, we will overcome injustices and establish foundations for a new society both for us and for our opponents. Our future and their future are one. Either the cycle of violence that destroys both of us or peace that will benefit both. We call on Israel to give up its injustice towards us, not to twist the truth of reality of the occupation by pretending that it is a battle against terrorism. The roots of "terrorism" are in the human injustice committed and in the evil of the occupation. These must be removed if there be a sincere intention to remove "terrorism". We call on the people of Israel to be our partners in peace and not in the cycle of interminable violence. Let us resist evil together, the evil of occupation and the infernal cycle of violence.

5. Our word to our brothers and sisters

5.1 We all face, today, a way that is blocked and a future that promises only woe. Our word to all our Christian brothers and sisters is a word of hope, patience, steadfastness and new action for a better future. Our word is that we, as Christians we carry a message, and we will continue to carry it despite the thorns, despite blood and daily difficulties. We place our hope in God, who will grant us relief in His own time. At the same time, we continue to act in concord with God and God’s will, building, resisting evil and bringing closer the day of justice and peace.

5.2 We say to our Christian brothers and sisters: This is a time for repentance. Repentance brings us back into the communion of love with everyone who suffers, the prisoners, the wounded, those afflicted with temporary or permanent handicaps, the children who cannot live their childhood and each one who mourns a dear one. The communion of love says to every believer in spirit and in truth: if my brother is a prisoner I am a prisoner; if his home is destroyed, my home is destroyed; when my brother is killed, then I too am killed. We face the same challenges and share in all that has happened and will happen. Perhaps, as individuals or as heads of Churches, we were silent when we should have raised our voices to condemn the injustice and share in the suffering. This is a time of repentance for our silence, indifference, lack of communion, either because we did not persevere in our mission in this land and abandoned it, or because we did not think and do enough to reach a new and integrated vision and remained divided, contradicting our witness and weakening our word. Repentance for our concern with our institutions, sometimes at the expense of our mission, thus silencing the prophetic voice given by the Spirit to the Churches.

5.3 We call on Christians to remain steadfast in this time of trial, just as we have throughout the centuries, through the changing succession of states and governments. Be patient, steadfast and full of hope so that you might fill the heart of every one of your brothers or sisters who shares in this same trial with hope. "Always be ready to make your defence to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you" (1 Pet. 3:15). Be active and, provided this conforms to love, participate in any sacrifice that resistance asks of you to overcome our present travail..

5.4 Our numbers are few but our message is great and important. Our land is in urgent need of love. Our love is a message to the Muslim and to the Jew, as well as to the world.

5.4.1Our message to the Muslims is a message of love and of living together and a call to reject fanaticism and extremism. It is also a message to the world that Muslims are neither to be stereotyped as the enemy nor caricatured as terrorists but rather to be lived with in peace and engaged with in dialogue.

5.4.2 Our message to the Jews tells them: Even though we have fought one another in the recent past and still struggle today, we are able to love and live together. We can organize our political life, with all its complexity, according to the logic of this love and its power, after ending the occupation and establishing justice.

5.4.3 The word of faith says to anyone engaged in political activity: human beings were not made for hatred. It is not permitted to hate, neither is it permitted to kill or to be killed. The culture of love is the culture of accepting the other. Through it we perfect ourselves and the foundations of society are established.

6. Our word to the Churches of the world

6.1 Our word to the Churches of the world is firstly a word of gratitude for the solidarity you have shown toward us in word, deed and presence among us. It is a word of praise for the many Churches and Christians who support the right of the Palestinian people for self determination. It is a message of solidarity with those Christians and Churches who have suffered because of their advocacy for law and justice.

However, it is also a call to repentance; to revisit fundamentalist theological positions that support certain unjust political options with regard to the Palestinian people. It is a call to stand alongside the oppressed and preserve the word of God as good news for all rather than to turn it into a weapon with which to slay the oppressed. The word of God is a word of love for all His creation. God is not the ally of one against the other, nor the opponent of one in the face of the other. God is the Lord of all and loves all, demanding justice from all and issuing to all of us the same commandments. We ask our sister Churches not to offer a theological cover-up for the injustice we suffer, for the sin of the occupation imposed upon us. Our question to our brothers and sisters in the Churches today is: Are you able to help us get our freedom back, for this is the only way you can help the two peoples attain justice, peace, security and love?

6.2 In order to understand our reality, we say to the Churches: Come and see. We will fulfil our role to make known to you the truth of our reality, receiving you as pilgrims coming to us to pray, carrying a message of peace, love and reconciliation. You will know the facts and the people of this land, Palestinians and Israelis alike.

6.3 We condemn all forms of racism, whether religious or ethnic, including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, and we call on you to condemn it and oppose it in all its manifestations. At the same time we call on you to say a word of truth and to take a position of truth with regard to Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land. As we have already said, we see boycott and disinvestment as tools of non violence for justice, peace and security for all.

7. Our word to the international community

7. Our word to the international community is to stop the principle of "double standards" and insist on the international resolutions regarding the Palestinian problem with regard to all parties. Selective application of international law threatens to leave us vulnerable to a law of the jungle. It legitimizes the claims by certain armed groups and states that the international community only understands the logic of force. Therefore, we call for a response to what the civil and religious institutions have proposed, as mentioned earlier: the beginning of a system of economic sanctions and boycott to be applied against Israel. We repeat once again that this is not revenge but rather a serious action in order to reach a just and definitive peace that will put an end to Israeli occupation of Palestinian and other Arab territories and will guarantee security and peace for all.

8. Jewish and Muslim religious leaders

8. Finally, we address an appeal to the religious and spiritual leaders, Jewish and Muslim, with whom we share the same vision that every human being is created by God and has been given equal dignity. Hence the obligation for each of us to defend the oppressed and the dignity God has bestowed on them. Let us together try to rise up above the political positions that have failed so far and continue to lead us on the path of failure and suffering.

9. A call to our Palestinian people and to the Israelis

9.1 This is a call to see the face of God in each one of God’s creatures and overcome the barriers of fear or race in order to establish a constructive dialogue and not remain within the cycle of never-ending manoeuvres that aim to keep the situation as it is. Our appeal is to reach a common vision, built on equality and sharing, not on superiority, negation of the other or aggression, using the pretext of fear and security. We say that love is possible and mutual trust is possible. Thus, peace is possible and definitive reconciliation also. Thus, justice and security will be attained for all.

9.2 Education is important. Educational programs must help us to get to know the other as he or she is rather than through the prism of conflict, hostility or religious fanaticism. The educational programs in place today are infected with this hostility. The time has come to begin a new education that allows one to see the face of God in the other and declares that we are capable of loving each other and building our future together in peace and security.

9.3 Trying to make the state a religious state, Jewish or Islamic, suffocates the state, confines it within narrow limits, and transforms it into a state that practices discrimination and exclusion, preferring one citizen over another. We appeal to both religious Jews and Muslims: let the state be a state for all its citizens, with a vision constructed on respect for religion but also equality, justice, liberty and respect for pluralism and not on domination by a religion or a numerical majority.

9.4 To the leaders of Palestine we say that current divisions weaken all of us and cause more sufferings. Nothing can justify these divisions. For the good of the people, which must outweigh that of the political parties, an end must be put to division. We appeal to the international community to lend its support towards this union and to respect the will of the Palestinian people as expressed freely.

9.5 Jerusalem is the foundation of our vision and our entire life. She is the city to which God gave a particular importance in the history of humanity. She is the city towards which all people are in movement – and where they will meet in friendship and love in the presence of the One Unique God, according to the vision of the prophet Isaiah: "In days to come the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised above the hills; all the nations shall stream to it (…) He shall judge between the nations, and shall arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more" (Is. 2: 2-5). Today, the city is inhabited by two peoples of three religions; and it is on this prophetic vision and on the international resolutions concerning the totality of Jerusalem that any political solution must be based. This is the first issue that should be negotiated because the recognition of Jerusalem's sanctity and its message will be a source of inspiration towards finding a solution to the entire problem, which is largely a problem of mutual trust and ability to set in place a new land in this land of God.

10. Hope and faith in God

10. In the absence of all hope, we cry out our cry of hope. We believe in God, good and just. We believe that God’s goodness will finally triumph over the evil of hate and of death that still persist in our land. We will see here "a new land" and "a new human being", capable of rising up in the spirit to love each one of his or her brothers and sisters.

Haiti



Boublog bericht:

Haïti, het is nog erger dan je denkt...

Haiti’s history of hardship


Haiti beset by series of natural disasters

In december 2009 heeft men in de VS een defensiebudget goedgekeurd van 680 miljard dollar voor 2010. Vandaar dat G.W. Bush nu voor hulp aan Haïti bedelt om het laatste zakgeld van de Amerikaanse burgers…

Haitians in America Denied Temporary Protected Status (artikel van 5 pagina’s in de Engelstalige Pravda.)

Hoe zat het ook weer met die harts and minds???

Nog twee artikelen van dezelfde strekking:

Amidst the Suffering, Crisis in Haiti Offers Opportunities to the U.S.

Is it a Humanitarian Operation or an Invasion?


Kijk verder: http://www.boublog.nl/2010/01/17/haiti-het-is-nog-erger-dan-je-denkt/

Peter van Dalen ChristenUnie


Peter van Dalen, ChristenUnie, links, omhelst Bas Belder SGP. Zo blij als kinderen omdat ze een zeteltje hadden gewonnen.



Naar aanleiding van het stukje over Bas Belder van de SGP: http://stanvanhoucke.blogspot.com/2010/01/bas-belder-en-zijn-god-2.html kreeg ik van Peter van Dalen van de ChristenUnie deze reactie:
Dag mijnheer Van Houcke,

Ik verzoek u mij van uw e-mailverzendlijst te halen.
Ik stel er geen prijs op uw eenzijdige vuilspuiterij te ontvangen.
Met vriendelijke groeten / Best wishes,
Peter van Dalen
Lid van het Europees Parlement / MEP


Ik heb hem de volgende email gestuurd:

beste peter van dalen,

u vertegenwoordigt niet alleen uw partij maar als parlementslid vertegenwoordigt u alle nederlanders, vandaar dat alle belastingbetalers, ook ik, voor uw inkomen zorgen. daar staat tegenover dat iedere nederlander u kan aanspreken op uw politieke opvattingen, ook al bent u het niet met die opvattingen eens. zo werkt nu eenmaal de democratie. als u daar niet tegen kan dan moet u een ander beroep kiezen. zou u mij ook kunnen uitleggen over welke 'vuilspuiterij' u het als christen heeft?
vriendelijke groet
stan van houcke

Trouw Misschien Wel 46





Via Corrie:

In Trouw van 22 jan. staat een merkwaardig artikel, d.w.z.: de combinatie van artikel en ondertitel is vreemd. Uri Avnery, bekend Israëlisch vredesactivist van Gush Shalom, verzet zich in dat artikel tegen een economische boycot van Israël, maar niet tegen een boycot van producten uit de nederzettingen van de joodse kolonisten; die ondersteunt hij juist. En precies tot zo'n selectieve boycot van de nederzettingseconomie wordt opgeroepen in het kairos-document.

Waarom plaatst de Trouw-redactie dan boven het artikel deze titel en ondertitel: Boycot van Israël is een slag in de lucht. Het Kairos-manifest van de Palestijnse christenen wil een boycot. Maar Israël is heel anders dan Zuid Afrika?

Vermoedelijk is het Trouw-artikel samengesteld uit een eerdere column van Avnery (die veel eerder verscheen dan het kairos-document) n.a.v. uitspraken van bisschop Desmond Tutu.

Broddelwerk
van Trouw

Trouw Misschien Wel 45

http://www.roodlicht.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/12/ScreenShot015.jpg

Reactie van een lezer in Trouw zelf:

Laat ik alle reageerders maar uit de droom helpen: dit (artikel) heeft Uri Avnery nooit geschreven. Wat de redactie bezielt? Ik weet het wel, maar dat oordeel laat ik aan u over. Waar het wel op lijkt, met de nadruk op 'lijkt', is een zeer eenzijdige her-schrijving, van een artikel uit augustus 2009 genaamd Tutu?s Prayer. Avnery schreef dat *niet* n.a.v. het Kairos document, want dat bestond nog niet. Over "een slag in de lucht" heeft Avnery helemaal niet geschreven. En in dit berichtje heeft de anonieme auteur alle kritiek van Averny op Israël verwijderd. Trouw kennende - niet erg verassend.

Jos van Helden, Tilburg op 22-01-2010, 22:43

Lees verder: http://www.trouw.nl/opinie/podium/article2969039.ece;jsessionid=DD10F362E1E1CB4A6A5B7D29F0C762D0?comments#comments

Als Trouw inderdaad zijn lezers bedriegt door met een sterk bewerkte versie van een oorspronkelijk artikel net te doen alsof dit een reactie is op het zogeheten Kairos document dan is de enige plausibele verklaring dat het dagblad op deze manier de onrust probeert te bezweren die binnen de christelijke kerken is ontstaan na het verschijnen van dit Kairos document waarin Palestijnse christenen hun westerse geloofsgenoten oproepen Israel te boycotten vanwege de voortgaande zionistische terreur tegen de Palestijnse burgerbevolking. Vandaar de koppeling in Trouw: 'Het ’Kairos-manifest’ van Palestijnse christenen wil een boycot. Maar Israël is heel anders dan Zuid-Afrika.' Trouw is al langere tijd de spreekbuis van vooral conservatieve krachten. Niet voor niets verklaarde enkele jaren geleden de voormalige hoofdredacteur van Trouw, en huidige hoofdredacteur van Vrij Nederland, Frits van Exter, onder de kop: 'De conditionering van de kudde' het volgende:

'Lezers horen wantrouwend te zijn tegenover de media ... De aandacht van de media [wordt] natuurlijk voor een belangrijk deel gestuurd … door de politieke machten … Dat geldt voor de nationale politiek, maar natuurlijk ook voor de internationale politiek … Het heeft voor een deel te maken met de vluchtigheid van het medium. Deels ook volgen de media elkaar, sommige zijn dominanter, en andere lijden aan kuddegedrag … Als je volgend bent, dan betekent dat als een autoriteit, of iemand die gekozen is om een bepaald gezag uit te oefenen, zegt “ik vind dit een belangrijk onderwerp, daar gaan we nou es wat aan doen,” dat je dat ook bekijkt. De dingen waar hij (sic) het niet over heeft, die volg je dus minder… het werkt voor een deel reflexmatig. Reflexen zijn het, je bent daar geconditioneerd in.'

Reflexen, kuddegedrag, conditionering, joden, Israel, 'het heilige land', de Messias. Het is allemaal waar vanuit hun perspectief. En als het moet dan moet het maar, zelfs als daarvoor de lezer bedrogen moet worden. Enfin, ik zoek het verder uit.


vrijdag 22 januari 2010

Trouw, Misschien Wel 44





De website De Israel Lobby wijst op het volgende:

Trouw publiceert artikel van "Uri Avnery"...

... dat hij nooit geschreven heeft. Waar het artikel op lijkt, met de nadruk op 'lijkt', is een her-schrijving van een artikel uit augustus 2009 genaamd Tutu’s Prayer. Avnery schreef dat niet n.a.v. het Kairos document, zoals hij volgens Trouw geschreven zou hebben, simpelweg omdat dat manifest nog niet was geschreven. Het oorspronkelijke artikel uit 2009 is onherkenbaar verkracht omdat de anonieme auteur alle kritiek van Avnery op Israël heeft verwijderd.

Zie: http://deisraellobby.blogspot.com/2010/01/trouw-publiceert-artikel-van-uri-avnery.html

En inderdaad, ook ik slaag er niet in het oorspronkelijke artikel te vinden. Blijft maar 1 oplossing mogelijk: ik zal het de redactie vragen hoe dit stuk tot stand gekomen is. Collega's onderling leveren graag informatie uit. U verneemt meer hierover.


Obama 149


Een serieuzer verslag over Obama's plannen.


Obama Proposes Tough New Restrictions for Nation's Top Banks

by: William Fisher, t r u t h o u t | Report

photo
(Image: Lance Page / t r u t h o u t; Adapted: signalstation, _J_D_R_, swisscan)

On the heels of a stinging defeat in the Massachusetts Senatorial race that dealt a major blow to passage of health care legislation, President Obama abruptly pivoted yesterday to change the subject to the state of the US economy and to back sweeping regulatory reforms on "too big to fail" banks.

The president noted that it was those too-big-to-fail banks that brought the US financial system to the brink of total collapse a year ago by taking "reckless risks" to generate profits and bonuses.

Clearly struggling to channel the populist anger sweeping the country, he proposed legislation that would govern how big the big banks can become and what lines of business they would be permitted or forbidden to run.

Bank holding companies - which include the major commercial and investment banks - would be prohibited from engaging in the hedge fund or private equity fund fields.
The legislation Obama outlined would also seek to place limits on industry consolidation. It would achieve this by curbing the growth of the market share of liabilities at the biggest firms. The New York Times reported that an existing cap, put in place in 1994, put a limit of 10 percent on the share of insured deposits that can be held by any one bank. That cap would be expanded to include liabilities other than deposits.

Bank holding companies would also be barred from proprietary trading - using bank funds to invest on behalf of their own accounts, often resulting in banks taking investment positions against the interests of their shareholders.

Calling this "the Volcker Rule," the president said commercial banks needed to get back to their core business - taking customers' deposits and lending money. Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul A. Volcker has long advocated this position.

Volcker - who reportedly fell out of favor with Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, now chairman of the president's National Economic Council - has long championed barring commercial banks from using deposits to finance trading in financial securities such as mortgage-backed securities. The losses sustained by commercial banks active in this kind of trading is generally thought to be a major cause of the 2008 crash and subsequent taxpayer bailout.

Most of the regulatory changes Obama proposed require legislation by Congress. This will not be easy, particularly since Republicans have already telegraphed their intention to oppose change - and since, as of Tuesday, the Democrats have lost their filibuster-proof, 60-vote majority.


Lees verder: http://www.truthout.org/obama-proposes-tough-new-restrictions-nations-top-banks56291

Dennis de Jong van de SP

Het logo van de joodse terroristische organisatie Irgun Zvai Leumi.

Irgun emblem. The map shows the land claimed by the organization for the Jewish state, which corresponds to the British Mandate of Palestine: current Israel, West Bank, Gaza Strip and Jordan
De map van Israel zoals de joods-christelijke god hem in gedachten had, tenminste volgens zijn volgelingen.

Dennis de Jong,


Ik weet niet hoe oud je bent en hoeveel levenservaring je bezit, maar als bijna bejaarde die al vier decennialang journalist is kan ik je het volgende vertellen: het is absurd om iemand een belangrijke positie te geven als die persoon zijn geloof niet kan scheiden van zijn taak. Met andere woorden: een fascist maak je geen voorzitter van een mensenrechtenorganisatie, een fundamentalistische christen of moslim maak je niet voorzitter van een openbare onderwijscommissie, een pedofiel maak je geen hoofd van een padvindersclub en Bas Belder van de SGP maak je geen voorzitter van de Commissie Israel van de Europese Commisie. Snap je? Daarom was jouw reactie op mijn vragen ook zo'n nonsens, je omzeilde het punt waar het om gaat. Let op Dennis, dit stelt de partij van Bas Belder over de 13 miljoen islamietische Europeanen:


De SGP ziet de islam als een godsdienst die de stabiliteit van onze democratie en maatschappij in gevaar brengt. De invloed van deze godsdienst, die mensen van het heil afvoert, moet daarom tegengegaan worden. Zie: http://www.sgp.nl/Page/nctrue/sp685/letter=I/standid=1816/index.html

En dit zegt de partij van voorzitter Bas Belder over Israel: Voor de SGP is solidariteit met het Joodse volk onopgeefbaar. In het verlengde daarvan, zetten we ons in voor een veilig bestaan van de staat Israël op het grondgebied dat het volk door God is toegewezen. Zie http://www.sgp.nl/Page/nctrue/sp685/letter=I/standid=1809/index.html

Snap je, Dennis, 'op het grondgebied dat het volk door God is toegewezen,' dus tevens op dat deel wat de VN in 1947 aan de Palestijnen heeft gegeven, zijnde ondermeer de Westbank en Gaza en trouwens ook een deel van Jordanie.

Met andere woorden: in de ogen van Bas Belder hebben de Palestijnen geen recht op een eigen staat, want zijn god heeft dat grondgebied aan zijn 'uitverkoren volk' gegeven als 'het beloofde land'. Begrijp je nu Dennis dat ik nogal, laat ik het voorzichtig stellen, verbijsterd was toen ik die oppervlakkige reactie van je kreeg. Luister, kiezers, burgers in het algemeen, zijn in tegenstelling tot wat politici en veel journalisten menen, absoluut niet op hun achterhoofd gevallen. Sterker nog: ze zijn maar al te vaak veel beter geinformeerd dan politici en de pers, zo valt mij telkens weer op, als journalist en als medemens. Dus, in godsnaam, Dennis behandel mij en anderen niet als randdebielen, geef nu eens een volwassen reactie op wat je ik je schreef en nu weer schrijf. Dit soort reacties wil ik dus niet meer:


Beste Stan,



Dit is natuurlijk maar een deel van het verhaal. Het EP heeft ook een delegatie die zich bezighoudt met Palestina. Daar zit de fractie van Verenigd Links vrij sterk in. Binnen het EP is het volgens mij traditie dat de delegatie Israël het voor Israël opneemt en de delegatie Palestina voor de Palestijnen. Hoewel het EP sinds de verkiezingen een rechtser gezicht heeft gekregen, blijf ik optimistisch dat we over Israël wel degelijk een andere geluid kunnen laten horen dan dat van de SGP. Ik zal me daar in ieder geval voor inzetten.



Met vr. groet,


Dennis de Jong


Delegatieleider SP in het EP





Dennis de Jong, hoe komt het dat een Britse europarlementarier wel op Bas Belder reageert en diens werkwijze bekritiseert en jullie Nederlandse parlementariers niet? Hebben jullie geslapen? Of spelen jullie het spelletje mee? En dan mijn vraag: weten jullie wel hoe gevaarlijk dat spelletje is? Zo ja, waarom blijven jullie dat spelletje dan spelen? In afwachting van een antwoord,

Stan van Houcke

Journalist/schrijver

Amsterdam