The Knee-On-Neck, Long A Staple Of Israel’s Occupation Of Palestine

By Ian Greenhalgh

Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation have long dealt with the kind of brutality being enacted by some US police officers against African-Americans.

A now infamous image of a white police officer kneeling on the neck of an African-American man, who would later die, has caused global outrage and violent unrest across the US.

Caught on video, George Floyd’s death was seemingly the straw that broke the camel’s back in that it came after several other high profile killings of several other African-Americans either by police or suspects who did not face immediate legal consequences.

For one community, the disproportionate violence faced by black people at the hands of US police forces has special resonance as it reflects their own experiences with the authorities.

For Palestinians living under military occupation in East Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank, the worst excesses of the kind seen in the US recently, are a near everyday occurrence.

In the aftermath of Floyd’s killing, Palestinians were quick to draw parallels between the final images of the man suffering under the knee of the officer, and similar choke holds used by Israel occupation forces.

“Crazy how the same thing happens in Palestine but the world chooses to ignore it,” Palestinian athlete Mohammad Alqadi wrote on his Twitter above four separate images of Israeli soldiers pinning Palestinians to the ground with their knees on their necks or head.

Killings of Palestinians by Israeli forces are also a regular occurrence: in 2019, 135 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces with 108 in Gaza and another 27 in the West Bank, according to the UN.

The similarities do not end there, as some activists have drawn parallels between the way US police have handled protests against police brutality in the aftermath of Floyd’s death and the way Israel has dealt with protests in Gaza.

Such comparisons come with caveats, as US police officers despite the controversy over their tactics have yet to kill anywhere near the numbers Israel killed in the Gaza right of return protests in 2018, for example. Nevertheless, some of the tactics used are the same, according to pro-Palestinian groups.

On Twitter, the BDS and Palestinian Solidarity working group within the Democratic Socialists of America wrote:  “The police violence happening tonight in Minneapolis is straight out of the IDF playbook. How many times have we seen uprisings in Gaza met w/ a storm of tear gas? How many times are Palestinians in the West Bank doused w/ skunk water during a protest? US cops train in Israel.”

Police training in Israel

Amnesty International has warned that hundreds of police departments have been training in Israel alongside military officers, who “have racked up documented human rights violations for years.”

The rights group notes that one of the departments involved in the training, the Baltimore Police Department, had been cited by the US Department of Justice for “widespread constitutional violations, discriminatory enforcement, and culture of retaliation.”

Both Amnesty and the US State Department have cited incidences of Israeli security officials engaging in brutality against Palestinians.

The rights group said: “Baltimore and other police departments should find partners that will train on de-escalation techniques, how to handle mentally challenged or ill citizens, on the constitutional rights of citizens concerning filming and how to appropriately respond to those using non-violent protest to express their opinions. Israel is not such a partner.”

Palestinian activist Huda Ammori of the Apartheid off Campus group told TRT World that such links between “militarized” US police forces and the Israeli security establishment emphasized the need for unity between African-Americans and Palestinians.

“We’re seeing the oppressors united with their training, their same techniques. Between the Black Lives Matter community and the Palestinian community, and other communities across the world, we need to unite to fight against these systems.” Ammori said.

“It’s the same systems of oppression that are affecting all of these communities…we must fight back together.”

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CUFPa Note: Apartheid Israel is a cancer on America, Palestine, and the world. A cancer that needs to be excised.


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Israel Pharmaceutical Firms Test Medicines On Palestinian Prisoners

By MEMO

Israeli Professor Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian revealed yesterday that the Israeli occupation authorities issues permits to large pharmaceutical firms to carry out tests on Palestinian and Arab prisoners, Felesteen.ps reported.

The Times of Israel also reported that in a recording from the event the Hebrew University lecturer also revealed that the Israeli military firms are testing weapons on Palestinian children and carry out these tests in the Palestinian neighbourhoods of occupied Jerusalem.

Speaking in Columbia University in New York City, Shalhoub-Kevorkian said that she collected the data while carrying out a research project for the Hebrew University.

“Palestinian spaces are laboratories,” she said. “The invention of products and services of state-sponsored security corporations are fueled by long-term curfews and Palestinian oppression by the Israeli army.”

Lives of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails – Cartoon [Alarabya]

In her talk, entitled “Disturbing Spaces – Violent Technologies in Palestinian Jerusalem”, the professor added: “They check for which bombs to use, gas bombs or stink bombs. Whether to put plastic sacks or cloth sacks. To beat us with their rifles or to kick us with boots.”

Last week, Israeli authorities refused to hand over the body of Fares Baroud, who passed away inside Israeli prisons after suffering from a number of diseases. His family fear that he could have been used for such tests and Israel is afraid this could be revealed through forensic investigations.

In July 1997, Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported remarks for Dalia Itzik, chairman of a parliamentary committee, acknowledged that the Israeli Ministry of Health had given pharmaceutical firms permits to test their new drugs on inmates, noting that 5,000 tests had already been carried out.

Robrecht Vanderbeeken, the cultural secretary of Belgium’s ACOD trade union, warned in August 2018 the population of the Gaza Strip is being “starved to death, poisoned, and children are kidnapped and murdered for their organs.”

This follows previous warnings from Palestinian Ambassador to the United Nations Riyad Mansour who said the bodies of Palestinians killed by Israeli security forces “were returned with missing corneas and other organs, further confirming past reports about organ harvesting by the occupying power.”


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Heads of Churches Voice Concern About Israel’s Planned Annexation Of West Bank Land

By Patriarchs and Heads of the Holy Land Churches

Israeli Apartheid Wall

As a result of the stagnation of the Peace Process in the Middle East between the Israelis and Palestinians, an array of plans for Israel to unilaterally annex West Bank land, backed mainly by right-wing factions, raises serious and catastrophic questions about the feasibility of any peaceful agreement to end the decades’ long conflict, one that continues to cost many innocent lives as part of a vicious cycle of human tragedy and injustice.

The Council of Patriarchs and Heads of the Holy Land Churches views such unilateral annexation plans with the utmost concern and calls upon the State of Israel to refrain from such unilateral moves, which would bring about the loss of any remaining hope for the success of the peace process.

The Council also calls upon the United States of America, the Russian Federation, the European Union, and the United Nations to respond to these unilateral annexation plans with a time-delimited and phased Peace Initiative in line with International Law and United Nations resolutions on the matter, in order to guarantee a comprehensive, just, and long-lasting peace in this part of the world.

We also call upon the Palestinian Liberation Organization, as the sole legitimate Representative of the Palestinian people, to resolve its internal disputes—as well as any conflicts with other factions that are not under its umbrella—in order to present a unified front dedicated to achieving peace and the building of a viable State that is founded upon pluralism and democratic values.

+Patriarch Theophilos III, Greek Orthodox Patriarchate

+Patriarch Nourhan Manougian, Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Patriarchate

+Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Apostolic Administrator, Latin Patriarchate

+Fr. Francesco Patton, ofm, Custos of the Holy Land

+Archbishop Anba Antonious, Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate, Jerusalem

+Vicar General Father Gabriel Daho, Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate

+Archbishop Aba Embakob, Ethiopian Orthodox Patriarchate

+Archbishop Yaser AL-Ayash, Greek-Melkite-Catholic Patriarchate

+Archbishop Mosa El-Hage, Maronite Patriarchal Exarchate

+Archbishop Suheil Dawani, Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East

+Bishop Ibrahim Sani Azar, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land

+Father Ephram Samaan, Syrian Catholic Patriarchal Exarchate

+Rt Rev. Joseph Nersès Zabarian, Armenian Catholic Patriarchal Exarchate

 


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Apartheid IsraHELL Mutilates Palestinian In Front Of The Whole World

By CUFPa

The EVIL of Apartheid Israel is unrivaled in our civilized world.

The video below, which shows the mangling and killing of Mohammad Al-Naem, attests to the heartlessness of its people.

WARNING: VERY GRAPHIC VIDEO.

 

Watching the above video with its unprecedented brutality is heart-wrenching to say the least, especially to his family.

“As he was leaving yesterday he was holding his son, smiling at me and waving at the door, saying he will come tomorrow to pick us up. Who is going to raise his son now? I felt every blow on my son’s body. They were in my heart, I felt the pain as if I was him. I will never forget how Israel killed my son,” his traumatized mother said.

 


Appeal from CUFPa: Every conscientious individual should implement a personal boycott of Israel and everything made there.


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John Legend Renews Support For Palestinians

By MEMO

John Legend

The 40-year-old was taking part in a live podcast called The Intercept when he said that support of human rights for Palestinians should be ‘a baseline human position’

 


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Gaza Is Already Unliveable: Help The Freedom Flotilla Sail Against The Inhuman Blockade Of Gaza

By Freedom Flotilla Coalition

In 2020, the Freedom Flotilla Coalition will sail again to break the illegal and inhuman blockade of Gaza. During this mission we will be focusing on children and youth struggling to survive in the wreckage of Gaza, their beloved home. Canada Boat to Gaza is reaching out to children and youth organizations, and to individuals like you, to help support our work and to bring an end to the suffering in Gaza.

Eight years ago in 2012, the UN declared that Gaza would be uninhabitable by 2020. Over the years, the international community has watched that prediction become truth. Palestinians in Gaza live among bombed out hospitals, schools, and homes. There are water, food and electricity shortages throughout the beleaguered strip making basic survival a serious challenge. The desperate economic situation in Gaza also means that children have to think and act as older than they are, with too many of them working to help support their families.

The most vulnerable of the innocent are children and youth, many of whom have been deliberately targeted by Israeli snipers since the beginning of the Great March of Return, when Palestinians demand their right to return to their homeland from which Israel expelled them. Israeli snipers have murdered at least 256 Palestinians in these peaceful protests, and more than 29,000 have been maimed for life, many of them children and youth. Please watch and share this award-winning short video about one of them, Dreams in the Crosshairs, created by one of our Palestinian partner organizations in Gaza, We Are Not Numbers, with funding from the Freedom Flotilla Coalition.

The world expresses outrage and yet the slaughter and deliberate destruction of Gaza continues with impunity. In November 2019, after a three day Israeli offensive on Gaza, Palestinian Health Minister, Dr. Mai al-Kaila, reported that one-third of the Palestinians killed by Israeli missiles and shells were women and children.

It seems clear that Israel is systematic targeting Gaza’s future, its children and youth. Imagine if this was happening in your hometown. Imagine if it was your child who was permanently maimed for peacefully protesting human rights violations.  Would the world still be silent? Would you want others to speak up against these attacks?

Will you help us sail this year?  Together we can help end the blockade! Read and share our last message (Why we Sail, and Sail and Sail Again) on the Canadian Boat to Gaza website. 

Many of you will be hearing this week about the “Steal of the Century” proposed by the US President. We remind everyone that without justice, there can be no peace, and so we encourage you to read, share and amplify Palestinian responses in your communities and around the world, including this “Appeal of the Century”  from We Are Not Numbers.

A critical way to help our campaign is to contribute financially. There are different ways you can make a donation. Click here to donate. We ask you to consider a monthly donation. We are pleased to accept e-transfers from Canadian bank accounts (Interac) or online using a major credit card or PayPal account. You can also donate by cheque or money order and mailing to Canadian Boat to Gaza, PO Box 1950, London Stn. B, London, Ontario N6A 5J4, CANADA. In other countries, please consider donating through one of our Freedom Flotilla coalition partner campaigns :  https://jfp.freedomflotilla.org/donate

Please help us spread the word about our campaigns:

– share our messages with your family, friends and/or work colleagues and encourage them to join our mailing list; 

– send an endorsement message from your association, union, congregation or political party;

– organize and attend events to raise funds and awareness for our campaign;

– join a Freedom Flotilla campaign near you and encourage others to do so;

– follow us on the web, Facebook, Twitter (see below) and share our posts widely.

Twitter: @GazaFFlotilla

www.facebook.com/CanadaBoatGaza

www.facebook.com/BateauCanadienGaza

www.facebook.com/FreedomFlotillaCoalition

Together, we can help end the blockade!


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Stumbling Into Catastrophe

Excerpt from the article by Daniel McAdams

Once again a gullible and weak President Trump is being led by the nose into the coming Middle East conflagration. Left without even a semblance of US sympathy for their plight, the Palestinians after the roll-out of this “peace” plan (the dead-on-arrival “Deal of The Century” for Israel and Palestine) will again see that they have no friends outside Syria, Iran, and Lebanon. As Israel continues to flirt with the idea of simply annexing large parts of the West Bank, it is clear that the brakes are off of any Israeli reticence to push for maximum control over Palestinian territory. So what is there to lose?

Trump believes he’s advancing peace in the Middle East, while the excellent Mondoweiss website rightly observes that a main architect of the “peace plan,” Trump’s own son-in-law Jared Kushner, “taunts Palestinians because he wants them to reject his ‘peace plan.’” Rejection of the plan is a green light to a war of annihilation on the Palestinians…

Clouds gathering…

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Appeal from CUFPa: Every conscientious individual should implement a personal boycott of Israel and everything made there.


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