Here's an hour's worth of raw footage of "an anti-political correct" rally in the Melbourne inner suburb of Richmond this weekend and their leftwing opponents.
"Racist scum" and "socialist scum" trade insults.
1. the United States remained committed to President Bush's vision and to its implementation as described in the Roadmap.
2. The United States would do its utmost to prevent any attempt by anyone to impose any other plan.
3. Palestinians would have to undertake a comprehensive and fundamental political reform that included a strong parliamentary democracy and an empowered prime minister.
4. The United States reiterated its steadfast commitment to Israel's security, including secure, defensible borders, and to preserve and strengthen Israel's capability to deter and defend itself, by itself, against any threat or possible combination of threats.
5. The United States was strongly committed to Israel's security and well-being as a Jewish state.
6. It seemed clear that an agreed, just, fair, and realistic framework for a solution to the Palestinian refugee issue as part of any final status agreement would need to be found through the establishment of a Palestinian state, and the settling of Palestinian refugees there, rather than in Israel.
7. As part of a final peace settlement, Israel must have secure and recognized borders, which should emerge from negotiations between the parties in accordance with UNSC Resolutions 242 and 338.
8. In light of new realities on the ground, including already existing major Israeli populations centers, it would be unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations would be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949, and all previous efforts to negotiate a two-state solution have reached the same conclusion. It was realistic to expect that any final status agreement would only be achieved on the basis of mutually agreed changes that reflect these realities.
"... the United States believes that negotiations should result in two states, with permanent Palestinian borders with Israel, Jordan, and Egypt, and permanent Israeli borders with Palestine. The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps - so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states."
"For example, it still needs to be clarified whether the Obama administration feels bound by the April 14, 2004, Bush letter to Sharon on defensible borders and settlement blocs, which was subsequently ratified by large bipartisan majorities in both the U.S. Senate (95:3) and the House of Representatives (407:9) on June 23-24, 2004. Disturbingly, on June 1, 2009, the State Department spokesman, Robert Wood, refused to answer repeated questions about whether the Obama administration viewed itself as legally bound by the Bush letter. It would be better to obtain earlier clarification of that point, rather than having both countries expend their energies over an issue that may not be the real underlying source of their dispute."
"Since Israel met its obligations under the disengagement deal, the U.S. can no more rescind its agreement and commitment than it can restore the lost world of Gush Katif, or the lost security of southern Israel, or the lives that thousands of rockets traumatized, or the property that was destroyed.
Israel ended up having to fight a war in Gaza because of the disengagement. The least the United States can do is meet its own obligations."
"The majority of traumatized vets are not faking their symptoms... They return from wars that are safer than those their fathers and grandfathers fought, and yet far greater numbers of them wind up alienated and depressed. This is true even for people who didn’t experience combat. In other words, the problem doesn’t seem to be trauma on the battlefield so much as re-entry into society....
If we weed out the malingerers on the one hand and the deeply traumatized on the other, we are still left with enormous numbers of veterans who had utterly ordinary wartime experiences and yet feel dangerously alienated back home. Clinically speaking, such alienation is not the same thing as PTSD, but both seem to result from military service abroad, so it’s understandable that vets and even clinicians are prone to conflating them. Either way, it makes one wonder exactly what it is about modern society that is so mortally dispiriting to come home to."
"Even the Israeli military – with mandatory national service and two generations of intermittent warfare – as by some measures a PTSD rate as low as 1 percent....
Israel is arguably the only modern country that retains a sufficient sense of community to mitigate the effects of combat on a mass scale. Despite decades of intermittent war, the Israel Defense Forces have a PTSD rate as low as 1 percent. Two of the foremost reasons have to do with national military service and the proximity of the combat – the war is virtually on their doorstep. “Being in the military is something that most people have done,” I was told by Dr. Arieh Shalev, who has devoted the last 20 years to studying PTSD. “Those who come back from combat are re-integrated into a society where those experiences are very well understood. We did a study of 17-year-olds who had lost their father in the military, compared to those who had lost their fathers to accidents. The ones whose fathers died in combat did much better than those whose fathers hadn’t.”
According to Shalev, the closer the public is to the actual combat, the better the war will be understood and the less difficulty soldiers will have when they come home. The Israelis are benefiting from what could be called the shared public meaning of a war. Such public meaning—which would often occur in more communal, tribal societies—seems to help soldiers even in a fully modern society such as Israel. It is probably not generated by empty, reflexive phrases—such as “Thank you for your service”—that many Americans feel compelled to offer soldiers and vets. If anything, those comments only serve to underline the enormous chasm between military and civilian society in this country.
In that sense, the Israelis are far more like the Sioux, Cheyenne, and Arapaho at Little Bighorn than they are like us. America’s distance from her enemies means that her wars have generally been fought far away from her population centers, and as a result those wars have been harder to explain and justify than Israel’s have been. The people who will bear the psychic cost of that ambiguity will, of course, be the soldiers....'.Read the entire article here
|The lady and the tome she loves to plug|
I have long been hearing that some JVP leaders have initiated whispering campaigns against me. This began many years ago (and long before the latest accusations, which are in a letter from JVP, below). In fact, I first heard of the director of JVP accusing me of anti-Semitism, behind my back, during the first year of my public statements about Palestine. Such actions seemed related to my political positions on Palestine, which were different from JVP's:
I endorsed Palestinian refugees' right of return, favored ending US aid to Israel, was aware of pro-Israel neocons' role in pushing the US into the Iraq war, and did not deny the significance of the Israel lobby.
The whispered attacks against me were troubling, but I tried to ignore them and continue my work.
Then, with the publication of my book last year, "Against our Better Judgment: The hidden history of how the US was used to create Israel" the attacks seemed to escalate. It appeared that some JVP leaders were attempting to thwart my talks and prevent people from learning the facts that my book and my talks contain.
(It is very important to note this is not representative of all JVP members – many of whom are colleagues and supporters. Some have put on excellent speaking events for me.)
I finally decided to write an article about this situation – "Please help us overcome the accusations against If Americans Knew," but did not name JVP, in the hope of preventing damaging division and distraction in the movement for justice in Palestine.
Before publishing this piece, I tried to clarify the situation with JVP, and emailed the national leaders asking about their statements about me. I hoped that by communicating with JVP directly the situation could be resolved. In reply I received a letter from a law firm on JVP's behalf (a partner in the firm is the JVP board chair and was the signatory on the letter).
I was surprised at the McCarthyist, guilt-through-association attacks this letter contained, and I was amazed at the great effort someone had made to monitor my every move over the past 14 years of hundreds of speeches, articles, and interviews.
JVP sent their accusatory dossier on me to about 50 chapters around the country, and has been disseminating this and other accusations widely. I've just finished an extremely busy three-week speaking tour. In several locations I learned that JVP had tried to block my talks. Fortunately, they failed in almost all locations and my presentations were received extremely well; one audience even gave me a standing ovation.
By the way, although JVP is a membership organization, there is no indication that the general JVP membership was informed or involved in these actions.
Below is JVP leaders' dossier on me, with my rebuttals below each section.
It is interesting to note that despite what seems to be a long and surprisingly intent focus on ferreting out supposedly negative information about me or potential mistakes I may have made, none of their accusations include anything about my own articles or speeches.
Instead, all their charges are based on alleged "guilt by association." Even this McCarthyist tactic, however, is based on falsehoods, as I am not even associated with those they try to claim. Please see below:
--> JVP: "Jewish Voice for Peace has chosen not to work with you because our central tenet is opposition to racism in all its forms,"
This is not true. Among other things, JVP works with Zionists, an ideology that people throughout the world feel is profoundly racist. Many people find JVP's action objectionable and will not work with JVP for that reason. At If Americans Knew, however, we believe in a broad tent, and have published JVP articles on our website, posted a link to the organization from the very beginning, and have occasionally worked with JVP members and several JVP chapters.
--> JVP: "and you have chosen repeatedly to associate yourself with people who advocate for racism."
We have not done so.
--> JVP: "You have been a repeat guest of white supremacist Clay Douglas on his hate radio show, the Free American. Clay Douglas is concerned primarily with the survival of the White race and sees malign Jewish influence everywhere. His racist, anti-Jewish, and anti-gay rhetoric can be found across the front pages of his multiple websites. In the course of your appearance with Clay Douglas on August 25, 2010, for example, you were silent when Douglas invoked the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and engaged in a racist diatribe against Jews. Your repeated appearance on this show (April 23 and August 25, 2010; February 9 and May 18, 2011) show that you knew his extremist views and chose to continue the association."
Over the past 14 years I have given probably hundreds of interviews to diverse people of all ages and backgrounds from across the political spectrum, as do most writers and analysts. I try to focus on the information I feel audiences need to hear, speak as intentionally as possible, and stay on target – surprisingly difficult during interviews, as others have no doubt also experienced.
New York City, folks
I do not vet who may or may not listen to my information and have even gone on Israeli right-wing radio. We wish our important facts to reach every possible person, and I endeavor to be polite to all my hosts, even when they are hard-core Zionists.
I always use this airtime to the best of my ability to give important facts about Palestine to listeners of all backgrounds and beliefs in an effort to counter the media misinformation about the region and about Muslims. [Emphasis added; and see here]
Some sectors of US society are specifically being targeted by misinformation that is causing an alarming growth of Islamophobia in this country, some of it taking violent turns.
I feel it is critical that our facts, which counter this Islamophobia campaign, reach every portion of our diverse population, particularly those that are most vulnerable to this anti-Muslim propaganda....
.... I believe that ending the long-standing injustice and horror in Palestine is the best way to protect human rights, security and peace for all parties and, indeed, the world. I believe the issue is too urgent to become distracted.
My goal is to try to reach everyone with the fundamental principle that all racism is wrong and to provide facts that will counter the falsehoods being given to them about Palestinians, Arabs, Muslims, Iranians, and others. [Emphasis added]
I don't pretend that I am perfect and that all my responses will be flawless; all I can do is try my hardest. I apologize if there were cases where I should have done better....
--> JVP: "Your troubling associations and choices further include giving interviews to a range of far-right outlets including The American Free Press, which the Southern Poverty Law Center has identified as a hate group"
See my answer above discussing the critical importance of giving facts on Palestine to all sectors of U.S. society.
Once again JVP is searching through my multitude of interviews for something negative to use against me and again must resort to alleged guilt through alleged (but false) association. JVP fails to mention that many diverse people have been interviewed by the American Free Press, including Cindy and Craig Corrie, Rachel Corrie's parents.....
--> JVP: "and the anti-gay, anti-Jewish pastor Mark Dankof. One of your articles appeared in an anthology that was promoted by the infamous Holocaust-denial organization, the Institute for Historical Review. We see no evidence that you have disavowed any of these outlets or institutions."
JVP's attempt to tar me by claiming that a group once promoted an anthology that contains a piece by me is a truly bizarre way to attack me! My articles have been included in at least four, perhaps more, anthologies, and every anthology has included highly respected authors, including Edward Said, Noam Chomsky, and many others.
It is revealing that JVP's accusation against me fails to mention that Rev. Dankof has also interviewed peace activists Ray McGovern and Jennifer Lowenstein, Israeli professor and author Ilan Pappe, and journalist and commentator Dilip Hiro, among many others....
--> JVP: "It should not and cannot win by fueling or endorsing any form of hate, whether against People of Color, gays, Jews, Muslims or anyone else."
I certainly agree. It also should not include hatred of Christians, conservatives, or people whose views or facts we, or one, may dislike. I truly hope JVP believes in this important principle, and that it is not like the ADL, whose definition of "hate" is often based on political stances it dislikes on Israel....
--> JVP: "At Jewish Voice for Peace, we are particularly sensitive to the long history of anti-Jewish oppression" ....
I have always opposed all forms of bigotry, and one of my very first essays was "Choosing to Act: Anti-Semitism Is Wrong."
--> JVP: "as well as the ways that Palestinian liberation work is frequently tarred with false charges of anti-Semitism."
Meanwhile, regarding that alleged distinction between antisemitism and anti-Zionism, British blogger Edgar Davidson has a great post here, along with the rest of this grand chart of his.Exactly like JVP's false charges against me.....'
|Just a taster of the full chart at http://edgar1981.blogspot.com.au/2015/05/the-anti-semitism-v-anti-zionism.html|
“That’s my view, it’s the party’s position, it’s a view I’ve always held,” he said.
“Most people who have followed this issue and care about it would acknowledge that there really isn’t any other alternative.”
Asked whether Abbas should recognise Israel’s existence as a Jewish state, Di Natale replied: “Of course. How can you have a two-state solution when you refuse to acknowledge the right of one state to exist? It’s patently nonsense.”
He also reaffirmed the Australian Greens’ rejection of the anti-Israel Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, in spite of the fact that Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon supports it.
“It’s just not the party’s position,” he said. “Some time ago we made a very clear statement that we didn’t believe that this was a pathway to peace.” ....'And that's not all that's put the haters' noses out of joint. For example, there's this:
'Di Natale also expressed admiration for Israel’s advances in environmental technology, particularly in the field of water-saving.
“Israelis are at the forefront of innovative technologies around that. Why wouldn’t we be learning from some of the new technologies that the Israelis have developed?” he asked. “If only Australia took a leaf out of their book.” ....'As for anti-Israel Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon, during Britain's recent general election, she was willing the safe return at the polls in Brighton of Caroline Lucas, the former leader of the UK Greens and the party's first MP, with a similar record of fierce hostility to Israel, phoning Lucas's campaign office with encouraging messages. She got her wish, but fellow Sydneysider, the singularly inept and uncharismatic present leader Natalie Bennett, was of course soundly trounced at the UK polls.
"The Holy See, while maintaining in every case the right to exercise its moral and spiritual teaching-office, deems it opportune to recall that owing to its own character, it is solemnly committed to remaining a stranger to all merely temporal conflicts, which principle applies specifically to disputed territories and unsettled borders."
"We have recognized the State of Palestine ever since it was given recognition by the United Nations and it is already listed as the State of Palestine in our official yearbook"
...the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and to independence in their State of Palestine on the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967...
"I'm willing to agree to a third party that would supervise the agreement, such as Nato forces, but I would not agree to having Jews among the Nato forces, or that there will live among us even a single Israeli on Palestinian land."
Do not drag me away with the wicked, with evil-doers, who talk to their partners of peace with treachery in their hearts.
Repay them as their deeds deserve, as befits their treacherous actions; as befits their handiwork repay them, let their deserts fall back on themselves.
They do not comprehend the deeds of Yahweh, the work of his hands. May he pull them down and not rebuild them!
|An Aussie kid's fun in the sun|
'ELEANOR HALL: The lawyer for an Australian man who wants to come home after joining Islamic State in Syria says the trained medic would be a valuable resource for authorities as they try to steer young Australians away from radical ideas.Here, by the way, is the Wikipedia entry on the National Imams' Council.
That view is backed by an Islamic group and criminologists.
But the Prime Minister has warned that foreign fighters face prosecution and jail if they return to Australia.
Simon Lauder reports.
SIMON LAUDER: The Australian Government says more than 30 Australians have been killed in fighting in Syria and Iraq for what the Government says is a terrorist cause.
The Department of Foreign Affairs is still trying to confirm reports that the latest is a Melbourne teenager who died while fighting for Islamic State.
Not everyone who joins the fight dies for it. Some, like this man who was interviewed by CBS in February, have seen enough and they want to come home.
ABU IBRAHIM: A lot of people when they come, they've a lot of enthusiasm about what they've seen online, what they've seen on YouTube.
They see it as something a lot grander than what the reality is. It's not all military praise or victories, you know.
SIMON LAUDER: The man in that interview was known as Abu Ibrahim.
ABU IBRAHIM: I know friends remained in the brotherhood, but ISIS itself, no.
SIMON LAUDER: He's believed to be one of a small number of Australians who are negotiating with authorities to be allowed to return home after fighting with Islamic State and having their travel documents cancelled.
Lawyer Rob Stary says he can't confirm it's the same man, but he's assisting a Victorian man who wants to return to Australia from Syria but has had his passport revoked.
ROB STARY: My client is a person who's trained as a medic, as a nurse.
SIMON LAUDER: Mr Stary says many weeks of negotiations with Australian Federal Police have stalled.
He wants them to consider that the man could be a valuable tool in any anti-radicalisation programs.
ROB STARY: Young men for instance here who've been radicalised, primarily through social media, governments really taking to them, or the authorities, with a sledgehammer, the opportunity to engage those people have largely been lost.
SIMON LAUDER: What assurances would you like from Australian authorities before this man should step back on Australian soil?
ROB STARY: I don't expect any assurances. What we would like though is the opportunity to have some dialogue about de-radicalisation and about how this person can be used to the benefit of the broader Australian community.
SIMON LAUDER: And obviously that would mitigate against any prosecution or penalty.
ROB STARY: Sure but we do that in every context, we do that in every other context of the criminal law.
We need to have some good faith shown by the authorities that they want to engage with our client.
So we do it in every other context of the criminal world.
SIMON LAUDER: Spokesman for the Australian National Imams Council, Sheikh Mohamadu Saleem, told ABC Local Radio in Melbourne Australian former Islamic State fighters should be allowed to face prosecution and reform themselves.
MOHAMADU NAWAS SALEEM: As long as there are not going to be a threat to the security of this country and they are prepared to participate in de-radicalisation programs.
SIMON LAUDER: But there's no sign of that being allowed, at least not from the Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
TONY ABBOTT: A crime is a crime is a crime is a crime, and if you go abroad to break Australian law, if you go abroad to kill innocent people in the name of misguided fundamentalism and extremism, if you go abroad to become an Islamist killer, well we're hardly going to welcome you back into this country.
Dr Clarke Jones from the Australian National University is an expert on radicalisation and terrorism.
He says Australian authorities should be making the most of returning fighters who are willing to change.
CLARKE JONES: The Government needs to be very careful in the narrative it uses and the Prime Minister, that sort of narrative from the very top of Australian Government will prevent people coming home and will prevent us using people that have had this sort of conflict experience in intervention programs and trying to help others or steer others away from joining the Islamic State.
SIMON LAUDER: Despite that, callers to ABC Local Radio this morning show support for the Prime Minister's view.
ABC RADIO CALLER: I'm really really furious about the possibility of letting these criminal back into the country.
I wouldn't be surprised if they come and recruit more teenagers and they're going to boast about the number of people they have killed.
Who is going to guarantee they are not going to pop up in my neighbourhood and try to recruit my children?
SIMON LAUDER: In a written statement, the Australian Federal Police says it's aware of a small number of Australians who've made approaches to return from the Syria-Iraq conflict zone.
The AFP won't be commenting further.'
"Angered at Israel's treatment of Palestinians, the pair last month launched an online petition calling for the boycott. They have collected about 100 signatures but have also provoked a counter-petition that attacks the pair for singling out Israel and failing to request similar boycotts of academic contacts with totalitarian regimes such as China and the Arab states.
John Docker, a fellow of the Humanities Research Centre at the Australian National University, and Sydney University anthropology lecturer Ghassan Hage, launched their petition after similar petitions were published in Europe and the US...."[* Read this, from Strong's report:
'Dr Docker said yesterday that he was offended by Israel's actions against the Palestinians. "I was brought up in a left-wing Jewish family and part of that upbringing was a concern for human rights, but Australian Jews seem absorbed by Zionism."And compare it with this, by Paul Bogdanor:
'Docker grew up in the Sydney suburb of Bondi. His parents were both active in the Communist Party, his father Irish and his mother of East End Jewish background....
Docker was brought up without any religious beliefs, and didn't think of himself as Jewish during his childhood....' ]I well remember the online Hage/Docker petition: pro-Zionists had sport with it, adding such signatories as "Adolf Hitler" and "Yasser Arafat" and even, if I'm not mistaken, "Ariel Sharon". Thus bestrewn with signatures each more preposterous than the last, and choc-a-bloc with pro-Israel comments, the petition became a laughing stock, a notable floparoo, and if I recall correctly its originators ultimately hid the "add signature" facility from public view so that no further sport could be had.
'There is a well-funded and powerful cottage industry of NGOs, journalists, academics and activists who are crystal clear about their unabashed anti-Israel ideology. The goal of their openly declared war is to damage Israel’s standing in the court of world opinion and to bring about its collapse.
This fire-hot, unbridled hatred is obsessive and irrational, based on a methodical marshalling of lies that paint Israel as immoral and genocidal....
Facts and truth-telling are out.
This relentless, pernicious global crusade makes Israel’s existence the source of all troubles in the Mid-east and an ever-present threat to lasting peace, much more than Iran or ISIS.
Forget the dictatorships. Israel is the embodiment of evil, just like Nazi Germany. By that warped logic, fascist Israel is not just worthy of punishment and isolation through the BDS and UN censure, it is a country guilty of ethnic cleansing and oppression, that has no right to exist....
A world without Israel is the new anti-Semitism....'Read all of Dvir Abramovich's article here
'[W]e, in the nonviolent Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, will win this one against the similarly racist and colonialist policies of the Israeli government of occupation. We will continue to press forward in favor of equal rights for all the peoples of the Holy Land.... There is no place today in this world for another racist, apartheid regime.
.... I remember the road to Montgomery, I remember Selma, I remember the struggles against the Jim Crow laws here. Sadly, we are still fighting those battles, whether here in the USA in Ferguson or Baltimore, or in Gaza or the Negev, wherever the oppressed need us to raise our voices unafraid. We need to stand shoulder to shoulder with them, our brothers and sisters, until true equality and justice are won....
... When global pressure finally forces Israel to end its occupation, when the apartheid wall comes down, when justice is served to Palestinian refugees and all people there are free and equal, I will gladly join you in concert in the Holy Land, cross all the boundaries and share our music with all the people.'But I guess we've had grounds for suspecting that all along.
1. Asylum seekers from Syria seeking refuge in the 28 EU countries rose from 49,980 in 2013 to 122,115 in 2014 – which equated to 20% of the total of asylum seekers from all non-member EU countries.
2. In the same period asylum seekers from Iraq jumped from 10,740 to 21,310 whilst Afghani asylum seekers rose sharply from 26125 to 41370.
3. Of the 68400 Syrians actually granted protection status in the EU – more than 60% were recorded in two Member States: Germany (25,700) and Sweden (16,800).Many of these desperate asylum seekers become possible candidates for being persuaded that their lives have been turned upside down by Europe’s failed policies in Syria and Iraq and that their hopes for real salvation rest in actively supporting the objectives of Islamic State.
“demonstrate collective and united support for the moderate opposition led by the National Coalition, as they fight a two-front war resisting the brutality of the Assad regime and fighting extremists including Daesh (Islamic State)”Many European countries form part of the American-led coalition which has also failed to effectively halt the progress of Islamic State.
'(NB this original text differs slightly from the version published by the Daily Mail on May 8)
As theatre practitioners in Britain, we are alarmed that the Daily Mail is attacking the Arts Council and the British Council for supporting a UK tour by a Palestinian theatre company.
|A scene from the play; photo credit Jewish Chronicle|
Your piece, with its inflammatory title UK taxpayers fund ‘pro-terrorist’ play, cites “concerns” from the Board of Deputies of British Jews, an organisation with a shocking record of acting to suppress both cultural and academic events which explore the bitter reality of Palestinian existence. Only last month the University of Southampton succumbed to demonisation and threats and banned an academic conference on the legal status of Israel. [Emphasis added here and below]
Neither the Daily Mail nor the Board of Deputies has seen Freedom Theatre’s play The Siege, yet both somehow feel qualified to suggest that it is “promoting terrorism”. Not for the first time, Palestinian voices are in danger of being drowned out by a vociferous pro-Israel lobby that smears all Palestinians as terrorists and antisemites. This lobby wants us to believe that theatre-goers in the UK cannot be trusted to hear these voices and make their own judgements.
The Palestinian West Bank, where the Freedom Theatre is based, has been under illegal Israeli military occupation since 1967. We endorse the words of British playwright Howard Brenton, an honorary director of the Freedom Theatre, who writes of the forthcoming tour:
“This is real political theatre, performed out of the both terrible and inspiring experience of a struggle for freedom and justice. [The Freedom Theatre] are living proof that telling stories and entertaining audiences are powerful acts of resistance to oppression. Do go and see them, they have news for us.”
[signed] Caryl Churchill, Dominic Cooke, April De Angelis, David Edgar, Lucy Kirkwood, David Lan, Miriam Margolyes, Paul Mayersberg, Maxine Peake, Mark Rylance, Jennie Stoller, Mark Thomas, Samuel WestThe other press release says in part:
'.... Leading theatre practitioners have leapt to the defence of the Palestinian Freedom Theatre, about to start its first tour of the UK, after an article in the Mail on Sunday accused supporting arts organisations of funding “a pro-terrorist play”.
The Mail on Sunday piece, written by Nick Craven, charged Arts Council England with giving £15,000 of taxpayers’ money “to producers of an unashamedly one-sided drama based on accounts from the gunmen and bombers of Hamas and the Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade.”
It cited “extreme concerns” from the Board of Deputies of British Jews and quoted the Israeli Foreign Ministry saying the play used testimony from “men with blood on their hands.”
Neither Craven nor the critics he quotes have seen the play – The Siege – based on dramatic events in Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity in 2002. Its tour opens in Manchester on May 13.....'It refers to the letter quoted above, and quotes one of the signatories, Mark Thomas, thus:
“Free speech for Palestinian artists is increasingly threatened, more often than not by supporters of Israel’s apartheid occupation. Palestinian voices not only have a right to be heard, we have duty to listen to them.”And it gives the dates and ten locations of the performances of the play, which opens in Manchester and winds up in Glasgow in mid-June.
"A Land Without People charts London’s political wrangling in the lead-up to the United Nations proposal to partition Palestine into Jewish and Arab territories.
Through meticulous research of contemporary documents, it tells the story behind the overthrow of British rule in Palestine at the hands of Zionist terrorists and the violent clearing of its Arab inhabitants that was to follow."
'In an address posted on the Internet on May 3, 2015, Saudi Islamist preacher Abdulla Ba Neema (sometimes spelled Baneameh) said that the Jews "put poison into things that the Muslims like." According to him, WhatsApp, Twitter, and Facebook are tools used by the Jews to poison and hearts and minds of the Muslims. "Our women's honor has been violated as a result of social networks," he said, adding that WhatsApp "is the sewage that flows in your heart." Despite his criticism of social networks, Ba Neema runs very active Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts. Ba Neema was paralyzed in a swimming pool accident.'