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Shot in the back. Israeli military murders uniformed female nurse serving wounded.

Those Israeli bastards murdered a uniformed female nurse tending to wounded. She was clearly visible & hands up & obviously unarmed.

And an Israeli fascist sniper took careful aim, and shot 21-year-old Razan al-Najjar through the chest, from the back.

The Nazi snipers of Warsaw & Leningrad had more humanity than the Israeli snipers of Gaza. That’s some godawful company there, Tel Aviv.

The Israeli military is nothing but lowlife human rights-abusing civilian-murdering detestable scum on the level of Syria, Colombia, Sri Lanka, Honduras, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia armed forces.

Not really a military as much as a civilian terror organization. State-supported death squads and torture units. Absolutely contemptible with no positive attributes.

None.

Lowlife murdering soulless human scum.

Only a low-rent no-pride military has the cruelty to sniper a clearly identified female nurse through the back.

Of course, our blind American support of apartheid Israel now has us in bed with war criminals who murder these innocent women and children and seniors in the practice of ethnic cleansing.

The so-called state of Israel has become a sadistic monster capable of any war crime. It must be heavily sanctioned and isolated.

The Palestinian people need international protection.

And they need it now.

—Lawrence Maushard, Peoria, IL., June 4, 2018

Razan al-Najjar

Illegitimate Israeli occupation & blind American support

 

I’ve just returned from more than a month in occupied Palestine. What I saw and experienced was appalling and illegal, much of it made possible by American taxpayers.

In the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City, where I stayed much of the time, I witnessed heavily-armed Israeli forces constantly rousting people by demanding their paperwork, searching their belongings, and subjecting them to hands-on-the-wall pat downs, all for looking like the Palestinians they are.

— On the first Friday of Ramadan, Israelis closed all streets around the Old City to vehicle traffic and marched machine-gun toting troops down the sidewalks and main thoroughfares past Muslim pilgrims and residents in a jackbooted parade clearly intended to instill fear and intimidation.

— Long lines of Israeli police gleefully attacked our completely peaceful protests of the US Embassy relocation to Jerusalem, an embassy move in contravention of all international law and diplomatic norms. Israeli forces threw demonstrators to the ground, pummeled, and dragged them on the pavement. They did this repeatedly in an attempt to disperse and scatter the peaceful demonstrators, but we only renewed our efforts and did not flee.

— On Nakba Day — anniversary of the 1948 forceful ethnic cleansing by Zionist forces of nearly one million Palestinians from their homes into refugee conditions — Israeli occupation forces attacked our peaceful street demonstration in Bethlehem with tear gas and rubber bullets. The peaceful protest included women, children and seniors, all forced to scatter in wild panic after the tear gas rounds were shot into the middle of our crowd. Ambulance sirens wailed throughout the chaotic afternoon. The Bethlehem attack was only a day after another Israeli military massacre in Gaza that killed 60 people and wounded more than 2,500,

— I saw Israeli armed forces controlling all access points to the Al Aqsa Mosque grounds in occupied East Jerusalem, the holiest site in all Islam behind only Mecca and Medina. I saw Israel make a point of displaying scores of heavily-armed forces around the Lions Gate entrance to the Old City as thousands of worshipers streaming out after midday Ramadan prayer services, making sure to film the crowds and observe from adjacent cemeteries rather than provide medical and watering stations in the broiling heatwave.

Whatever you think about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, let’s get one thing straight: there is no war going on. After the 1967 war, Israel took control of East Jerusalem, the West Bank, Gaza, and the Golan Heights. Since then, Israel has been a military occupation force on a subjugated Palestinian population.

As a military occupation force, Israel is required by international law to follow certain standards and obligations. No objective fair-minded third-party observation believes Israel is following its legal requirements or even attempting to do so.

What I was not able to witness first hand includes a litany of growing crimes and discriminations against Palestinians including redrawing borders, refusal of family reunifications, prohibitions on child ID registration, systematic discriminatory home demolitions, and residency plans designed to forcibly expel Palestinians from Jerusalem and elsewhere in order to meet Zionist Jewish majority demographic goals.

As one veteran observer there told me, “Those efforts to forcibly transfer Palestinians are increasing. Definitely. Definitely increasing. We are seeing it increasing with the laws in Jerusalem, but also the bedouins who are being forcibly transferred around Jerusalem. From Hebron being heavily colonized. Like in 1948, it’s the same idea.”

Israel receives more annual funding, at least $3B, and loan guarantees, at least $8B, than any other foreign nation. It is also the largest cumulative recipient nation of US foreign aid since WWII. America funds the continuing occupation of Palestine, pure and simple.

One more thing, this time with a very personal twist. My hometown and current residence is Peoria, Illinois, the historical base of Caterpillar, Inc., the world’s largest mining and earthmoving equipment manufacturer.

On May 25, a wide coalition of Cambridge University student groups demanded that the school end its partnership with Caterpillar Inc. and other firms due to the companies role in enabling violations of international law by Israel and other countries.

For decades, Caterpillar has knowingly sold equipment, especially its D9 bulldozers, directly and otherwise to Israel which weaponizes the equipment and uses it for Palestinian home demolitions and other activities recognized as crimes by the international community.

The Presbyterian Church USA, Quaker Friends Fiduciary Corporation (FFC) and The United Church of Christ have all passed successful divestment resolutions against the company.

Caterpillar also has been removed from the MSCI’s Environmental, Social and Governance indices. MSCI is a leading provider of socially responsible investing indices that funds use to monitor, and determine, their investments.

And TIAA-CREF, a leading financial services organization that manages nearly $500 billion in assets, has removed Caterpillar, Inc. from its socially responsible investment portfolio and sold its Caterpillar shares.

Apparently, the occupation is not so very far away. []

 

 

 

Israeli troops marching down Saladine Street, a major business artery in occupied East Jerusalem, on first Friday of Ramadan in a provocative jackboot display. Peaceful Palestinians dive for cover as first tear gas attack hits directly among a group of unarmed protesters far from the military launch vehicle & personnel and behind the frontline vanguard of marchers on Nakba Day 2018 in Bethlehem.  (L. Maushard video stills)Lions Gate exit of Ramadan pilgrims subjected to heavy Israeli armed presence & film survellience. Rising tension evident as times during hours long procession during heatwave. (L.Maushard photo.)

Palestine Endures

The people scattered everywhere.
Here and there, and there and here.
No place they are free.
Thieves cut & kill our olive tree.

Jordan, Bierut, Cairo, Baghdad, Tripoli.
Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam, we wander aimlessly.

Our homes are still there.
But we are not free.
The green line of our mind.
Divides and conquers endlessly.

Quds, Haiffa, Hebron, Nazareth, and Jenin.
Negev, Nablus and certainly Tel Aviv.

But Romans were defeated
Crusaders went away.
Byzantium, Persians, Ottomans
Could never stay.
British mandate was a ruse
Israeli nightmare of today.

God love Palestine
He is always near
God love Palestine
We will have no fear.

Standing with the people
From Quds to Jenin
Gaza to Ramallah
And all in between.

Freedom is on our side
Justice will prevail
We will never hide
Love will never fail.

God love Palestine
He is always near
God love Palestine
We will have no fear.
Through all our tears.
We are still here.

###

(words & image by L. Maushard)

Palestinian businesses defy “Jerusalem Day”

If Palestinian identity and solidarity mean anything, two shops on Al-Wad Street in the Old City’s Muslim Quarter are high on the list of businesses to seek out this Ramadan and into the future.

 

Sometimes the fighters for Palestine aren’t protesting in the streets or debating in the courtrooms or negotiating at diplomatic missions. Sometimes the Palestinians best defending their rights and national identity are simple business owners keeping their shops open.

On the most recent so-called Jerusalem Day, celebrated by Israeli authorities as the time they captured all of Jerusalem during the 1967 war and began its bruising occupation over the entire city, the West Bank, Gaza and the Golan Heights.

Palestinians, especially those living in Jerusalem, are not exactly thrilled with this Zionist holiday. Normally something like this latter-day Nakba might be ignored by the Palestinians, except for the fact that state authorities encourage and support highly provocative actions by Israeli civilians and others intended to stick it to Palestinians, right in their face.

To shop owner Mohammad Abuspear, however, the provocations were an utter failure:

“I can barely see them around. That’s how small they are.”

This bear of a man declared this statement through an interpreter in the midst of hundreds of mostly prepubescent male Zionists hugging and dancing and singing in the main intersection at Al-Wad & Via Dolorosa streets between his convenience store at #68 and the front door of the Austrian Hospice.

Think of the annual provocative and contentious Orange Order Protestant triumphalist parades through Catholic Northern Ireland districts in Belfast and Derry. Same thing here in Jerusalem’s Old City, except Zionist Jews are parading down the main thoroughfare of the occupied Muslim Quarter. The clear purpose of the Zionist parades is to remind the occupied residents about who remains on top and in charge in no uncertain terms. Right in their face.

For Abuspear, it wasn’t working.

Though it started the night of Saturday, May 12 with a few scattered Zionist dance and shout groups of playtime students giving no thought to their surroundings, the main parade began about 4pm Sunday, Mothers’ Day. Pouring into the Damascus Gate entrance for the Old City, thousands of mostly grammar and secondary school youths proceeded into the market area and then down through Al-Wad Street toward the Western Wall plaza entrance, normally about a 10-minute walk.

Lifelong Muslim Quarter resident Marwan Ganam explained what usually occurs:

“Every month, they have Zionist demonstration. Maybe 3 or 4 hours,” Ganam said. “If you are Arab, you can’t walk in this street. They close all the shops and put police barricades and you can’t walk.

“Marchers all push on the doors, knock on the doors. They shouting ‘We don’t need Arab! To Arab, you die!’ Everything. And many police. They was with them there. Every month. Settlers, just settlers. They came from everywhere. And they say ‘We go to the Temple Mount!,” yeah. ‘We built the Temple Mount!’ This is every month. And the police, they don’t give you to open your shop in this time. Usually 730pm to later in the night. They have flags and everything. Loudspeakers.”

The Jerusalem Day Zionist marchers were expected to be much worse than the monthly marchers this time. In addition to nearly all the Muslim shops being closed, many store owners resorted to taping off their door locks because many settlers take the ridiculous juvenile step of filling the locks with superglue.

Authorities told all Muslim shop owners to close by 4:30 or so in time for the Jerusalem Day Zionist parade or else they could not expect any police protection. But Abuspear was having none of it. He kept the shop open, surrounded by friends and onlookers as thousands of mostly young Zionists began to stream past. Up and down Al-Wad, it looked like every other shop was closed.

In previous years, things had gotten ugly between local Palestinians and passing Zionist settlers when fights and scuffles broke out with fists and sticks. Police came over to break things up, and though intense, no serious injuries had occured, said one Palestinian who was involved. He seemed to relish the memory of past confrontations.

But this year, outside of a lot of screams, chants, song and dance, nothing physical apparently went down at Abuspear’s shop. The parading Zionists appeared to be mostly children and students, not a lot of hardened crazed armed settlers, and not much of a threat to anyone. But they were relentless and stayed in the streets for more than 3 hours.

“He’s always up alone against them,” one comrade remarked in front of the convenience store’s assorted groceries, chips, sodas, sweets, ice cream, fresh juice, and other colorful neatly arranged and clean offerings. “He’s taking it easy. Chill.”

But he wasn’t alone this year. His cousin Gahad Abuspear’s family confectionary, Alasel Sweets, a few hundred yards up Al-Wads toward the Damascus Gate also defiantly remained open. The beautiful modern sweet shop is located in a narrow section of Al-Wad and was the target that day of much more intense and provocative Zionist behavior. Gahad said at the time that a few packaged sweet trays had been ruined and other items stolen or damaged by the passing youths streaming out of a tunnel-like portion of the street just to the left of the store’s entrance.

“We have no business today,” Gahad told me. Gesturing toward the parading Israeli-flag waving Zionists, he added, “That’s a problem today.”

Like his cousin’s shop, many family, friends and bystanders had rushed to the sweet store’s defense. A handful of foreigners stood like a guard at the entrance steps with phone cameras at the ready. The Zionist youth chanted and gestured, but mostly kept moving when they saw the store defenders.

These Palestinian shops that remained open on Jerusalem Day on Al-Wad Street were not afraid in an unusually tense climate witnessing the ongoing Gaza massacres by Israeli forces, the US Embassy move to Jerusalem, Israel’s 70th anniversary, and simultaneous Palestinian Nakba commemoration. Dozens of extra Israeli armed soldiers and guards assembled just beyond the Damascus Gate that afternoon in anticipation of trouble.

Of course, direct Zionist provocation in the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City is nothing new. Parades of the type witnessed on Jerusalem Day this year are only the latest in a long line of aggressive demonstrations dating back to at least 1929 when these Zionist displays became a direct cause of the infamous Arab-Jewish riots in Jerusalem, Hebron and beyond that led to the deaths of hundreds.

Jews parading again today. Extreme provocation, but the Arabs are doing nothing. Small army of Haluzium — these precious Maccabees — passed half an hour ago, on their way to the Wall, with a flag, the Zionist national flag, I suppose, but I couldn’t see it; it was furled. Shouts and cheers come from down there; the whole thing makes me very nervous . . . The young heroes who passed a while ago were guarded heavily by the police; mounted police officers in front of them and behind them, with policemen on foot marching alongside them. The material for an awful three-cornered fight. What an exhibition of imbecility the whole thing is! And if it weren’t for the British police I think there would be a terrible pogrom. My affection for Zionism has certainly reached the zero point. If this keeps up it will soon go below that and turn into an active antagonism.     

Vincent Sheen, “Holy Land” chapter of his noted Personal History nonfiction book (1935, Doubleday) regarding his on-site reporting of the August 1929 Jerusalem riots.

In the face of all that historical and current pressure to shut down and submit, the Abuspear families kept their Palestinian businesses open. The actual amount of business for both shops meant nothing in comparison to the reality of their defiant presence, open and unafraid, in the face of civil and official occupation forces who wanted them closed, like everyone else.

But a small convenient shop and sweet store operated by cousins remained open for everyone to see. []

Mohammad Abuspear, above left, with some friends supporting his efforts to keep his shop open during Zionist "Jerusalem Day" provocations. “I can barely see them around. That’s how small they are.”Gahad Abuspear defiantly tends to business at Alasel Sweets on "Jerusalem Day" in the occupied Muslim Quarter of the Old City.Defenders of Alasel Sweets help to discourage the crush of Zionist provocateurs parading in the narrow stretch of Al-Wad Street on "Jerusalem Day". (Images & video stills by L. Maushard)Alasel Sweets open during happier times on a recent Friday in Ramadan.