Israel Kills Veteran Al Jazeera Correspondent Shireen Abu Akleh

By Yumna Patel

Israeli forces shot and killed Palestinian journalist and veteran Al Jazeera correspondent Shireen Abu Akleh in the head while she was covering an Israeli raid on the Jenin Refugee Camp.

Abu Akleh and a group of other journalists, who were wearing blue flak jackets and helmets marked as ‘PRESS’, were stationed near an entrance to Jenin refugee camp when they came under fire from Israeli forces.

Abu Akleh was shot in the head, in an exposed area below her ear, killing her instantly. Another Palestinian journalist, Ali Samoudi, was shot in the back. He was treated at a local hospital and was reported to be in stable condition.

Video footage from the hospital shows Abu Akleh’s colleagues crying out to her “wake up”, as her body lay in front of them.

Abu Akleh was a Palestinian dual citizen. US Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides said in a statement that it was “very sad to learn of the death of American and Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh… I encourage a thorough investigation into the circumstances of her death.”

Palestinian lawmaker and former prisoner Khalida Jarrar mourned Abu Akleh’s killing, telling Al Jazeera: “Shireen was always my voice from the prison cells…Shireen was our voice. It is unbelievable. It is a crime, it is all clear – intentional and direct targeting. She was targeted. It’s clear.”

Note

“Shireen Abu Akleh was a witness to the crimes of the enemy for many years, as well as a witness to the oppression of the Palestinian people and the daily crimes, massacres, aggressions and violations that they suffer, both in terms of the (oppressed) population and the (desecrated) holy places. And today, she has become the oppressed martyr, the victim of one of these crimes.

“The strongest message in the martyrdom of this oppressed woman is that she is a Christian. This message declares to all that Israel, the temporary usurping entity, has attacked both Muslims and Christians, both the Palestinian people and the peoples of the region, has attacked both Muslim and Christian holy places, and has killed, oppressed, expelled, imprisoned and destroyed the homes of both Muslims and Christians.” – Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah Secretary General


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Harvard Law School ‘Apartheid’ Report Leaves Israel’s Defenders Speechless

By Steve France

In case you missed it, Harvard Law School’s International Human Rights Clinic (IHRC) lately issued a report that finds Israel’s treatment of Palestinians on the West Bank amounts to the crime of apartheid. The study, “Apartheid in the Occupied West Bank: A Legal Analysis of Israel’s Actions” came out on February 28 in the wake of five longer, wider-ranging, apartheid reports published since 2020 – and just before the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the occupied Palestinian territories published another apartheid report on March 21.

Prepared by the law school’s human rights clinic in partnership with Ramallah-based Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, the report was released without fanfare and received minimal press coverage. And it has, so far, drawn no public condemnation by the Israel lobby. The state of Israel reacted only with a perfunctory, non-substantive statement by its UN ambassador, Gilad Erdan, that “those who wrote the report on behalf of Harvard . . . decided to delegitimize the Jewish state because of their antisemitic views.”

Although only 22 pages long, the report includes 130 footnotes that deftly back up the text and let readers drill down further. The narrow focus shines a searching light on the customized legal instruments and processes implemented since 1967 to deprive West Bank Palestinians of their human, civil and political rights.

Evil Israelis targeting Palestinian children

The precise description of the lawfare by which Israel has, with impunity, intimidated, confused, humiliated, bullied, imprisoned, tortured and killed Palestinians since 1967 generates a compelling cumulative impact. Individual items in the litany are not in themselves news but to see them depicted in their coordinated entirety is to see how the Israeli machine of injustice does its anti-human work.

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Israeli Planes Spray Farmlands Close To Gaza With Toxic Herbicides

By PressTV

Israeli planes have reportedly sprayed toxic chemical substances and dangerous pesticides on farmlands near the Gaza Strip as the Tel Aviv regime presses ahead with its acts of aggression against the besieged and impoverished Palestinian coastal enclave.

According to London-based online news outlet Middle East Eye, Israeli crop duster planes have been spraying the area in close proximity to the fence separating the Gaza Strip from the Israeli-occupied territories for four days in a row.

A Palestinian woman collects mint in her family farmland, in Beit Lahiya town, northern Gaza Strip. (Photo by Reuters)

The report, citing eyewitnesses, added that the frequency of the spray is determined by the direction of the wind, and that the spray stops when it rains, or when the wind blows “in the opposite direction”.

“They only start spraying along the fence when the wind blows west, in the direction of the Palestinian lands, in order to allow the herbicides to cover a larger area inside our lands,” Palestinian farmer Youssef Abu Maghadid said.

“But when the wind starts blowing east, they immediately stop because it would harm them.”

Rights groups state that Israel has been conducting aerial herbicide spraying near Palestinian farmlands for several years, and the activity is typically carried out “without prior notification or warning to Palestinian farmers”.

Israel carries out the spraying when the wind is blowing westward, which transports the chemicals “deep into Gaza”, reaching distances “as far as 1,200 meters into the Strip”, activists say.

“Since 2014, the clearing and bulldozing of agricultural and residential lands by the Israel military close to the eastern border of Gaza has been complemented by the unannounced aerial spraying of crop-killing herbicides,” the research group Forensic Architecture found in 2019.

CUFPa Note: The Israeli anti-Christ motto is HATE THY NEIGHBOR.


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Another North American Church Denomination Sees Apartheid In Israel

By Jeff Wright

Pointing to the rapidly deteriorating situation in Palestine/Israel, leaders of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada issued a Pastoral Letter Wednesday, writing, “Israeli policies and practices that discriminate against Palestinians—Christians and Muslims alike—are consistent with the international definition of the crime of apartheid.”

“The continuing occupation, denial of rights, and injustice that Palestinians endure is not consistent with our understanding of God’s vision for justice for all people, and therefore is sin,” the letter reads.

Titled Compelled to Witness, the letter describes “an especially aggressive period of violations of international law and conventions vis-à-vis Palestinian rights. Recent acceleration of actions and circumstances has led to the deterioration of hope for a just peace in Israel/Palestine.”

The letter points to US recognition of Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights, de facto annexation of land and property through the expansion of illegal settlements in the West Bank, demolitions of Palestinian homes and evictions, increasing settler violence toward Palestinians, the recent designation of Palestinian human rights and civil society organizations as “terrorist” organizations, Israel’s passage of its Nation State Law clearly elevating the rights of its Jewish citizens over its Arab citizens, and more.

“As leaders of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ),” the letter continues, “we must not be silent in the face of changes on the ground and further entrenched systemic factors… We are compelled to acknowledge and amplify the voices of our partners—in Israel/Palestine and around the world—and to witness to what we know and see.”

The Church leaders draw a distinction between antisemitic discourse and legitimate criticism of the State of Israel’s laws and actions, and support economic measures to hold countries and companies accountable to standards of human rights and national and international laws.

The letter specifically charges, “The US should apply such laws and standards consistently by conditioning its immense military aid to Israel upon Israel’s compliance” with the US Foreign Assistance Act, the Arms Export Control Act, and the “Leahy Laws” which are designed to prevent the use of US military aid in actions that violate human rights.

In another clearly expressed position, Disciples leaders write, “We reject any theology or use of [Christian] scripture to justify any system of discrimination, oppression, violation of any person’s dignity, or exclusivist claim on land, including Christian Zionism.” Christian Zionism is an interpretation of the Bible that focuses the gathering of Jews in Israel as a key to “the end-times,” an understanding that has privileged Jews in Israel at the expense of Palestinian Christians a well as their Muslim neighbors.


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Over 220 Latin American Scholars Demand Branding Israel As Apartheid Regime

By Press TV

More than 220 scholars and academics from fourteen Latin American countries have denounced Israeli authorities for enforcing a system of oppression and domination against Palestinians, stating that Israel must be branded as an apartheid regime.

Israeli soldiers detain protesters during clashes following a rally against the expansion of illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank city of al-Khalil, on January 7, 2022. (Photo by Xinhua news agency)

The scholars pledged in a joint statement that they would not participate in any academic exchanges with Israeli institutions, and would decline funding from Israel, as reported by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI).

The signatories then called on Latin American universities to suspend cooperation with Israeli educational centers, which are contributing to the regime’s military occupation and the crime of apartheid against Palestinians, until the Tel Aviv regime respects the political and human rights of all Palestinian people as stipulated by the United Nations.

Among the signatories are Afro-Dominican anthropologist Ochy Curiel, Colombian anthropologist Arturo Escobar, Chilean historians Igor Alexis Goicovic Donoso and Sergio Grez Toso, Chilean artist Ingrid Wildi Merino, as well as Argentine philosopher Silvana Rabinovich.

Earlier this month, at least 277 human rights groups and civil society organizations denounced Israeli officials for imposing apartheid on Palestinians.

The organizations, which came from 16 Arab countries as well as six European and Latin American states, demanded in a joint statement the trial of Israeli authorities involved in perpetration of genocide, war crimes and racial discrimination against Palestinians.

They condemned Israel’s racist practices against Palestinians and its treatment of the latter as an inferior racial group, and called for the launch of a campaign to put an ultimate end to the regime’s apartheid actions.

The human rights organizations also urged punitive measures, including travel bans and asset freezing, against Israeli military officials besides arms embargoes against the Tel Aviv regime.

They called upon the International Criminal Court (ICC) to include apartheid crimes in the Occupied Palestinian Territory in its future investigations.


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AMNESTY: “Designation of Palestinian civil society groups as terrorists a brazen attack on human rights”

By Amnesty International

The Israeli Defense Ministry on 19 October 2021 issued a military order declaring six Palestinian civil society organizations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory to be “terrorist organizations.” The groups are Addameer, al-Haq, Defense for Children Palestine, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, Bisan Center for Research and Development and the Union of Palestinian Women Committees.

The designation, made pursuant to a 2016 Israeli statute, effectively outlaws the activities of these civil society groups. It authorizes Israeli authorities to close their offices, seize their assets and arrest and jail their staff members, and it prohibits funding or even publicly expressing support for their activities.

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, who work closely with many of these groups, said in a joint statement: “This appalling and unjust decision is an attack by the Israeli government on the international human rights movement. For decades, Israeli authorities have systematically sought to muzzle human rights monitoring and punish those who criticize its repressive rule over Palestinians. While staff members of our organizations have faced deportation and travel bans, Palestinian human rights defenders have always borne the brunt of the repression.

This decision is an alarming escalation that threatens to shut down the work of Palestine’s most prominent civil society organizations. The decades-long failure of the international community to challenge grave Israeli human rights abuses and impose meaningful consequences for them has emboldened Israeli authorities to act in this brazen manner.

How the international community responds will be a true test of its resolve to protect human rights defenders. We are proud to work with our Palestinian partners and have been doing so for decades. They represent the best of global civil society. We stand with them in challenging this outrageous decision.”


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Mainline Church Labels Israel An Apartheid State

And More Churches Are Sure To Follow

By Steve France, via Mondoweiss

So much bad news is hitting Israel’s leaders, so fast, these days, that they may have overlooked warnings by the American Jewish Committee (AJC), among others, that the United Church of Christ General Synod was considering becoming the first major U.S. denomination to label Israel an apartheid state. The Zionist shock and outrage didn’t have the intensity of the meltdown over the Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream affair, which came at the same time, but the UCC’s condemnation of Israeli treatment of the Palestinians is sure to resonate with the other mainline American churches — and their millions of members.

The UCC “A-bomb” simply said,

“We reject Israel’s apartheid system of laws and legal procedures,”

but it passed late in the day July 18 with an overwhelming 83% vote and was part of a long and unsparing indictment.

Moreover, the UCC resolution is likely to be only the first blow among many from other mainline denominations, including the Presbyterians, Methodists, Lutherans, Episcopalians, Unitarians, Quakers and others who will follow the UCC lead in denouncing Israel’s “continued oppression of the Palestinian people” and calling on the U.S. government to support full equal rights for Palestinians.

The UCC denounced almost all of the injuries done to the Palestinians over the decades, with the unstinting support of Washington. Thus, they:

–        Affirmed the right of return to Palestine — or to compensation for property losses — of the 5.6 million Palestinian refugees registered with the UN Relief and Works Administration, invoking UN Resolution 194 (1948); rejected recent efforts to drastically narrow the refugee definition; and demanded full U.S. funding for UNRWA;

–        Affirmed the constitutional right of Americans to protest Israel’s actions through BDS;

–        Rejected “the idea that any criticism of policies of the State of Israel is inherently anti-Semitic” and opposed federal or state legislation to limit free speech on campuses or to constrain or punish BDS;

–        Advocated “cessation of U.S. military aid to Israel” until Palestinian rights are “fully realized and protected”;

–        Rejected any theology or ideology, particularly Christian Zionism, that “would privilege or exclude any one nation, race, culture, or religion”; and backed up the point with citations to pithy fundamental texts of the Jewish Bible and the New Testament;

–        Condemned “Jewish-only settlements throughout the West Bank,” and the 2018 Nation-State basic law, while tying Israel to historical examples of “settler-colonialism” and to the pre-civil rights era racist regime known as Jim Crow;

–        Faulted “provocative actions under the Trump administration, including moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem,” and supporting Israel’s proposed illegal annexation of West Bank territory;

–        Endorsed Palestinian Christian leaders’ landmark declaration of 2020 entitled “Cry for Hope: A Call for Decisive Action.”

Looking ahead, the manager of the UCC resolution drive, Rev. John Thomas of the UCC Palestine-Israel Network Steering Committee, said, “We hope that this provides some space for other denominations to follow our lead.”

As for why it was necessary to say Israel’s conduct is a sin, Rev. Shari Prestemon of Minnesota explained, “What we speak of is not just a geopolitical matter. … The systemic oppression and denial of human and civil rights for Palestinians caused by the policies of the State of Israel violate the vision of just relationships set forth by ancient prophets and the gospels. They can rightly be described as a sin against God and God’s children.”

Citing the massive support extended to Israel by the U.S. government, “UCC Leadership” said in a July 19 statement that “as U.S. citizens and as a U.S church,” the UCC has “a special responsibility to speak out on this.”


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‘Dad, Don’t Cry’: Palestinian Prepares His Home For Demolition By Israel

So far in 2021, the Israeli authorities have demolished, seized or forced people to demolish at least 421 Palestinian-owned structures, including 130 donor-funded in the West Bank

Jesus: Love Thy Neighbor

Apartheid Israhell: Hate Thy Neighbor


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