Palestine Theater

Israeli pacifist denied CO status -- again

Yonatan Ben Artzi, an pacifist Israeli who the IDF refuses to recognize as such, was again denied conscientious objector status by Israel's High Court of Justice on June 1. The army and state have been wrestling with Ben Artzi, who is the nephew of hawkish Israeli Finance Minister Binyamin Netanyau, for several years, jailing him seven times for a total of 19 months. The IDF wants Ben Artzi jailed again for another two months and fined 2,000 shekels. Because he refuses to pay the fine, he will probably have to serve four months. However, in a bit of seemingly unselfconscious whimsy, the court did recommend "that the IDF send Ben Artzi a letter explaining that the fact that the exemption is based on him being unsuitable does not contest the fact that he is a pacifist."

The "Protocols" and the Palestinians

The May 19 Jerusalem Post reports that the Palestinian Authority pulled a link to the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion," the notorious 19th-century anti-Semitic forgery, from one of its Web sites. The link reportedly appeared on the site of the PA's State Information Service in a list of historical sources about Zionism. The removal of the link came after protests from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) to the PA. The story also noted that PA Information Minister Nabil Sha'ath said that he had ordered the suspension of Sheik Ibrahim Mdaires, a Gaza Strip imam who told his congregation last week that "Jews are a virus resembling AIDS." Mdaires, whose statements were carried live on Palestine Television, also said Jews exaggerated the number of people killed in the Holocaust.

Pentagon analyst arrested in AIPAC spy scandal

Larry Franklin, the Pentagon analyst suspected of passing classified information to American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) bigs, has been arrested by the FBI. Franklin, who recently went back to work at the Pentagon, turned down goverment offers to cooperate. Previously, it was reported that the information Franklin passed to AIPAC had to do with Israeli agents in Kurdistan. Now Ha'aretz is reporting Franklin is charged with passing the lobbying group "classified information about potential attacks against U.S. forces in Iraq." If this is not a reporting error, it sounds like a potentially more serious charge. Ha'aretz also writes, maybe a little too hopefully, "Franklin's arrest indicates that the AIPAC affair may be nearly over."

Bigotry unites monotheistic faiths

"Middle East Peace Finally Reached," reads the April 4 headline in the quasi-satirical Swift Report

Leaders of the world's three major faith groups—Christianity,
Judaism and Islam—have agreed to call a cease fire in a dispute that
dates back thousands of years. Instead of warring against each other,
the religions have agreed to join forces against a foe they can all
agree on: homosexuals.

Jewish settlers poison sheep

Palestinian Hillside Poisoned, Likely By Maon and Havat Maon Settlers - by Operation Dove

Rachel Corrie family sues CAT

On March 16, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) filed a federal lawsuit against Illinois-based Caterpillar, Inc. on behalf of the parents of Rachel Corrie, the 23-year-old American peace activist who was run over and killed by a Caterpillar D9 bulldozer on March 16, 2003.
 

Sicko settlers schmooze at Baruch Goldstein's tomb

Newsday reports March 15 that militant settlers gathered at the Hebron tomb of Baruch Goldstein to mark the 11th anniversary of his massacre of 29 Palestinians as they prayed at the Tomb of Patriarchs, where Abraham is believed to be buried. (The 39-year-old native Brooklynite was beaten to death by survivors.) A photo accompanying the story shows one settler reverentially kissing Goldstein's tomb. The gathering served as a rallying point for settlers pledging to resist any attempt to evacuate them from the Occupied Territories. Israeli security services are said to be bracing for a violent backlash from the armed settler right.

Some settlers push back: Armed Judeo-hippies rush to defend the Gush!!

A short commentary piece in Israel's largest circulation daily Yediot Aharonot claimed March 10 that armed youth are hitch hiking to Gush Katif, the illegal Jewish settlement bloc in the occupied southern Gaza Strip, where they are being hosted by the local community, sometimes sleeping out, and preparing for confrontation with the army to come. They say they will stop the disengagment with their bodies. No one's stopping them from entering the Gush bloc. (Of course if they were left activists the area would be declared a "closed military zone" and they wouldn't be allowed in- WW4). They were wearing batik shirts, sported rasta-locks, and brought thier sleeping bags. They're hippies, yet they have M16s, Yediot commentator Zeev Tsachor noted with some irony.

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