Apparently UK’s The Sunday Times published an anti-Israel cartoon on Holocaust day. The cartoon seems to depict Israel’s prime minister, Benjamim Netanyahu, paving a wall with blood, the blood of Palestinians.
The cartoon apeared in the paper on Sunday and was drawn by cartoonist Gerald Scarfe with a caption thet read “Israeli elections- will cementing peace continue?”
European Jewish Congress President, Dr. Moshe Kantor, stated that “This cartoon would be offensive at any time of the year, but to publish it on International Holocaust Remembrance Day is sickening and expresses a deeply troubling mindset. This insensitivity demands an immediate apology from both the cartoonist and the paper’s editors.”
The Holocaust was a terrible tradegy, it was. However, currently the Jews are doing to the Palestinians what was done to them. The Palestinians are experiencing their own Holocaust, therefore I do not find this cartoon to be offensive, not one bit.
In fact, rather than being offensive, this cartoon speaks the truth. It shows how Benjamin Netanyahu is a hypocrite. His people endured pain and suffering during World War 2 and now he is inflicting the same, if not worse, pain and suffering among millions of innocent Palestinians.
The only reason anyone would find this cartoon “offensive” is because it speaks the truth and they are denying the truth.
Let us not forget that the Palestinians are suffering just as the Jews did.
We learn about the Holocaust year after year in school, yet we never learn about the present day Holocaust occuring in Palestine.
It’s time for some change.
More than 700 letters drafted by Jewish rabbis, cantors, and rabbinical students around the world express fears the E-1 plans will be ‘final blow to a peaceful solution’ and also voice concern that it ‘damages the critical relationship between Israel and the United States.
Haaretz – A group of American rabbinical students studying in Israel delivered a stack of over 700 letters to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office in Jerusalem on Monday morning. Signed by rabbis, cantors, as well as rabbinical and cantorial students from around the world, the letter was written in protest of Israel’s recently announced plans to expand construction in the E-1 area of the West Bank.
The letter, a joint initiative undertaken by Rabbis for Human Rights-North America, J Street, and Americans for Peace Now, is an attempt to inform Netanyahu of concern over settlement expansion among Jewish spiritual leaders outside Israel.
The letter affirmed the leaders’ commitment to Israel, stating that “all of us believe that the ultimate safety and security of Israel as a Jewish state will depend on reaching a peace agreement that also allows Palestinians to live safely and securely in their own state,” read the letter.
“We fear that building settlements in E1 would be the final blow to a peaceful solution. If Israel builds in E1, it will cut East Jerusalem off from its West Bank surroundings and effectively bifurcate the West Bank. In doing so, E1 will literally represent an obstacle to a two-state solution,” continued the petition.
The students, joined by J Street activists in Israel, were met with confusion from the security officials at the Prime Minister’s Office, who did not know exactly how to handle the stack of letters. Eventually the letters were accepted, and promises to pass them along were made.
The effort to collect signatures from Jewish clergy started about two weeks ago, according to Yael Patir, the director of Israel programs for J Street. “We waited to achieve a critical mass before sending the letter,” says Patir, “as every attempt to get a meeting with someone inside the office failed.”
Patir pointed out that while the ultimate goal is to reach Netanyahu himself, copies of the letter were simultaneously being delivered to the Israeli embassy in Washington D.C. and the White House, to make the U.S. government aware of the effort as well. The protest letter also mentions the connection between Israel and the U.S. “As American rabbis and cantors, we also fear that construction in E1 damages the critical relationship between Israel and the United States.”
The rabbinical students, studying at various institutions in the United States and in Israel – and some of whom are participants in RHR-NA’s year-in-Israel program – were enthusiastic about the effort. “These are values I believe in, Jewish values,” said Kerry Chaplin, from Los Angeles, when asked why she became involved with Rabbis for Human Rights-North America, and specifically this project. Chaplin is spending the year studying at the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem.
After she delivered the letters, Marisa James, a rabbinical student at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Philadelphia , said “It makes me happy they accepted the letter. God willing it will get to someone who will read it and pass it along.”
Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu has announced a planned 70 Kilometer border fence along the edge of the occupied Golan Heights, which neighbors Syria, amid fears that the Syrian civil war could spill over or creat an influx of refugees.
This announcement came only a few days after the defense ministry anounced the near completetion of the 150-mile fence along the southern border of Egypt, aimed at keeping out illegal immigrants. In that case, the “Israelis” should get out of Palestine.
Netanyahu warned that “Islamic forces have taken over the area,” thus causing him to pledge to build the fence.
Binyamin Netanyahu spoke at a weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday.
“We intend to erect an identical fence, with a few changes based on the actual territory, along the Golan Heights. We know that on other side of our border with Syria today, the Syrian army has moved away, and in its place, global jihad forces have moved in,” Netanyahu told his cabinet meeting. “We will defend this border against both infiltration and terrorism, just as we are successfully doing on the [southern] border.”
Netanyahu said the Syrian regime was “unstable”, and Israel was highly concerned about the country’s chemical weapons capabilities. He then stated that Israel needed a barrier on its frontier with Syria.
The Syrian regime was “very unstable”, said Netanyahu. “The question of chemical weapons here worries us and … we are coordinating our intelligence and readiness with the United States and others so that we might be prepared for any scenario and possibility that could arise.”
RT – The Israeli prime minister has vowed to continue building settlements in the “Israeli capital of Jerusalem,” defying near-unanimous international criticism of the illegal activity in retaliation for Palestine’s upgraded UN status.
In an interview with Israeli Channel 2, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threw internationally-recognized boundaries to the wind, saying that the Western Wall, which lies in a part of UN-administered Jerusalem occupied by Israel in 1967, “is not occupied territory” – and that he “does not care” what the United Nations has to say about it.
Netanyahu added that all Israeli citizens live “in the Jewish state,” and that “the capital of the Jewish state, for 3,000 years, has been Jerusalem,” as cited by the Jerusalem Post.
He went on to defend the planned construction of settlements near Jerusalem – in Gilo, formerly West Bank land occupied by Israel in 1967, and Ramat Shlomo, which was taken from Jordan the same year. “What future awaits Israel if we cannot build in Gilo and Ramat Shlomo?” he said.
Both of the planned construction sites are situated within the Israeli-drawn boundaries of Jerusalem, but outside the “green line” segregating Israel from the West Bank.
The schemes to build there, in the E1 area east of Jerusalem, and in the Ethiopian Jewish community Givat HaMatos have brought international criticism and condemnation of the Israeli administration.
“So we, the state of the Jews, cannot build in our capital? I don’t accept that,” Netanyahu said during the interview, as reported by AAP.
The prime minister also pointed to the fact that the expedited construction plans are retaliation for the Palestinians’ upgraded status at the United Nations.
In November, the UN General Assembly awarded Palestine non-member observer state status. With this move, Netanyahu says, the Palestinians “simply tore to pieces all the agreements with us,” recalling that he had warned that Israel would not react by “sitting with its arms folded.”
Regardless of Israel’s claims to Jerusalem as its capital, the international community recognizes Tel Aviv as the capital of Israel, with no country having an embassy in Jerusalem. At the same time, Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.
The Israeli prime minister has repeatedly accused Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of obstructing peace talks. Abbas has refused to negotiate unless Netanyahu and his government adhere to certain preconditions, among which is falling in line with international law by way of a settlement freeze.
Ma’an News – In a rare move on Wednesday, all but one of the 15 members of the UN Security Council made statements at the United Nations opposing Israeli plans to expand Jewish settlements around Jerusalem after the United States repeatedly blocked attempts to take stronger action.
India’s UN ambassador, Hardeep Singh Puri, described the four separate statements — made by the eight council members from the Non-Aligned Movement, the four European members, Russia and China — as a “Plan B” after it was clear the United States, was likely to veto a legally binding resolution on the issue.
“Consultations (on a resolution) were held amongst the members of the council and an attempt was made … (to see) if the 15th member could be accommodated,” said Puri, referring to the United States.
“But when we came to the conclusion that that was not likely to happen … it was felt that Plan B – which is what this is essentially – was for members of the council to come out individually and in groupings to make statements,” he said.
All the statements were made at UN headquarters after a Security Council briefing on the situation in the Middle East. While the United States has also condemned Israel’s plans, it did not make a statement at the United Nations.
The United States — traditionally Israel’s protector on the Security Council — blocked a resolution in February last year condemning Israeli settlements. Any of the five permanent members of the council — the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China — can veto a resolution.
When asked about the planned statements by Security Council members at the United Nations, US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said that “each country ought to make its own representations … and that’s the way we’ve proceeded.”
The Security Council resumed talks on a resolution condemning settlements after Israel said last month it would build 3,000 more homes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem — areas Palestinians want for a future state, along with Gaza.
But it became apparent that the United States was unwilling to support a resolution, diplomats said.
Approximately 500,000 Israelis and 2.5 million Palestinians live in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The Israeli announcement came a day after the UN General Assembly upgraded the Palestinians’ status at the world body to “non-member state” – a de facto UN recognition of statehood.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday his government would press ahead with expanding Jewish settlements around Jerusalem, despite Western criticism.
Speaking in Washington, Nuland said the United States said it was “deeply disappointed” by the plan and said it put the goal of a two-state solution at risk.”
The current European members of the Security Council — permanent members Britain and France, as well as Germany and Portugal — said Israel’s announcement of an acceleration of settlement construction was “undermining faith in its willingness to negotiate.”
Diplomats made clear that the issuance of the statements were targeted as much at the United States as they were at Israel and the Palestinians for a lack of progress towards a peace plan.
“We’re making clear to both parties and the US that the window of opportunity (for peace) is closing,” said a senior Western diplomat.
The Non-Aligned Movement caucus of the Security Council — Togo, South Africa, Morocco, Pakistan, India, Guatemala, Colombia and Azerbaijan — expressed grave concern at the “continuing illegal Israeli settlement activities,” which it said breached international humanitarian law.
Russia and China also separately said they were concerned by the settlement plans. All the statements on the issue were made outside the Security Council on Wednesday.
UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman told the Security Council on Wednesday that settlement construction in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, violated international law.
“If implemented, these plans would represent an almost fatal blow to remaining chances of securing a two-state solution,” Feltman said. “We strongly urge the Israeli government to heed the wide international calls to rescind these plans.”
Israeli analysts see the settlement drive as an effort by Netanyahu to enhance support for his right-wing Likud party against other hawkish rivals in a Jan. 22 parliamentary election he is expected to win.
Israel’s UN Ambassador Ron Prosor questioned why the Security Council should single out the settlements’ dispute all the other events going on in the Middle East this week, including a bombing in a Palestinian refugee camp in Syria and the explosion of a Hezbollah warehouse in Lebanon.
Ma’an News – Israel approved plans to build 1,500 more Jewish settler homes in East Jerusalem on Monday, an official said, days after provoking international protests against a project for another 3,000 such homes on land it captured in the 1967 Six-Day War.
Washington had condemned the latest plans, for ultra-Orthodox neighborhood Ramat Shlomo, when they were published during a 2010 visit by US Vice President Joe Biden.
Palestinians see the settlements as obstacles to achieving independent statehood. The settlements have been condemned by many countries, and the latest project is slated to be built on a portion of West Bank land Israel annexed as part of Jerusalem, in a move never recognized internationally.
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms these Israeli actions and the determination of Israel to continue expanding settlements and in the process undermining the two-state solution,” said senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat.
“These are very dangerous and alarming steps. The Israeli government is showing its determination to contravene the will of the international community,” the top peace negotiator said.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged last week to build at least 3,000 more settler homes on West Bank land as an expression of Israel’s objections to a United Nations vote last month recognizing Palestinian statehood.
Those plans led to a string of Israeli diplomats summoned for reprimands across Europe.
Israeli Interior Ministry spokeswoman, Efrat Orbach, said on Monday a district planning commission “gave preliminary approval for” the Ramat Shlomo project which must pass a series of bureaucratic decisions before construction may actually begin.
Israeli and Palestinian peace talks have been frozen since late 2010, largely due to a dispute over the settlements, which the International Court of Justice in The Hague has ruled as illegal.