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Curious about Palestine, Israeli visitors return – NBC40.net

By KARIN LAUB Associated Press

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) – This bustling center of Palestinian life is just a 20-minute drive from Jerusalem, but for Israelis it might as well be on the other side of the world.

Since a major round of Israeli-Palestinian fighting more than a decade ago, Israelis have been kept out of Palestinian cities by the Israeli military and their own fears. But after several years of relative calm, a few have begun trickling back in tours led by Palestinian guides and guarded by plainclothes Palestinian security agents.

On Wednesday, about two dozen visitors, Israelis and a few foreigners, visited the mausoleum of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and a shrine to national poet Mahmoud Darwish – though hopes of talking to local residents went unfulfilled.

The trip fell in the week of the Jewish holiday of Passover, and those observing religious tradition unwrapped matza, or unleavened bread, during lunch at a local restaurant, as Arabic music played in the background.

The tour also came as another U.S. attempt to broker an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal appeared doomed.

Gershon Baskin, an organizer, said such trips are needed, nonetheless, to foster understanding after years of enforced separation that deepened the divide between the two peoples. “There will never be peace in this land unless the people living on the land talk to each other and … drop these walls of fear, animosity and hatred,” he said.

While some Palestinians, especially shopkeepers, would welcome large numbers of Israeli visitors to their towns, others dismiss the possibility of normalizing relations while the Israeli military occupation continues.

“Normalization is the attempt to deceptively project something abnormal as if it were normal,” said Omar Barghouti, co-founder of a Palestinian-led movement of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS), aimed at ending occupation and what it considers other violations of international law.

“Ethical co-existence can only come as a result of ending oppression and injustice,” Barghouti said in an emailed comment. “Israelis who support comprehensive Palestinian rights under international law and ‘co-resist’ oppression are welcome.”

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Curious about Palestine, Israeli visitors return – NBC40.net

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Painting love over hate on vandalized Workmens Circle mural

The Arabic word Salaam and its Hebrew and English equivalents, Shalom and Peace, were added to a vandalized mural in the Pico-Robertson neighborhood. Photo by Ryan Torok

An organization that fosters Jewish identity has attempted to turn a recent act of vandalism into an opportunity for bridge-building between Jews and Muslims.

Last weekend, the SoCal Arbeter Ring/Workmens Circle added the Arabic word Salaam and its Hebrew and English equivalents, Shalom and Peace, to a vandalized mural that covers its home in the Pico-Robertson neighborhood.

The organizations addition to its 1998 mural is a response to incidents that took place on Feb. 6. Thats when vandals spray-painted the words Free Palestine!!!! onto the mural. Hours later, another set of vandals responded, in turn, by turning the word Free into an expletive.

The graffiti remained until its recent removal by the City of Los Angeles Board of Public Works Office. An ongoing investigation by police has not identified any suspects.

[Related:Graffiti at Workmens Circle]

In the wake of the incidents, Workmens Circle denounced the vandals in a public statement. Its district committee voted to make the addition to the mural out of the belief that the best way to respond to acts of hate is with compassion.

Eric Gordon, a district committee member, said, It often does take an extreme act, a catastrophe, an accident, to awaken you to needs you didnt think you had before. What are we going to do? Respond to an act of hate by saying F— Palestine on the mural? So, were trying to be responsive.

We agree with Free Palestine. Its not the best way to express it. We are sorry and angry that they chose that way to express it, but they do have a point, he said.

The wall-sized mural itself titled A shenere un besere velt (a Yiddish phrase meaning A more beautiful and better world) depicts cultural, biblical and historical imagery. The imagery includes a menorah, Israelites wandering in the desert, a young girl waving Israeli and American flags, and more.

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Painting love over hate on vandalized Workmens Circle mural

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Dogfights of the Middle East – 1967 Six Day War – Video



Dogfights of the Middle East – 1967 Six Day War
The Six-Day War (Hebrew: , Milhemet Sheshet Ha Yamim; Arabic: , an-Naksah, “The Setback” or , arb 1967, “War of 1967″), also kn…

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Dogfights of the Middle East – 1967 Six Day War – Video

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Free Arabic online dating sites,Totally Free Arabic Online Dating,100% Arabic online dating websites – Video



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Free Arabic online dating sites,Totally Free Arabic Online Dating,100% Arabic online dating websites – Video

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SoCal Arbeter Ring Responds to Mural Defacement | SoCal …

Graffiti on the Workmen Circles mural (February 6, 2014)

The graffito, Free Palestine!!!!, on the mural of the SoCal Arbeter Ring/Workmens Circle building was tragically misinformed, according to the groups District Committee. Our organization, both nationally and locally, has spoken out consistently in favor of a two-state solution and full equal rights for Palestinians.

The mural, on the south side of the building at 1525 So. Robertson Ave., depicts major events in the history and culture of Jewish Americans and bears the motto, in Yiddish,far a shenerer, beserer velt for a better, more beautiful world.

It is ironic that the slogan defaced the mural of an organization whose observance of kol nidre, a major Jewish holiday, includes an Arabic American singer leading the hymn, Peace, Shalom, Salaam, and that includes the aspirations of the Palestinian people in our other secular Jewish observances, the statement continues.

We invite those responsible for the slogan-painting to meet with us to discuss far more effective ways of encouraging progress toward a lasting peace between the Israeli and Palestinian states and their peoples, said Ruth Judkowitz, Chairmentsh (chair person) of SoCal Arbeter Ring/Workmens Circle.

Ruth Judkowitz, 310-552-2007 Hershl Hartman, 310-473-4323

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SoCal Arbeter Ring Responds to Mural Defacement | SoCal …

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Israel Apartheid Week

Coordinates: 31N 35E / 31N 35E / 31; 35

Israel, officially the State of Israel (/zril/ or /zrel/; Hebrew: , Mednat Yisr’el, IPA:[medint jisel]( listen); Arabic: , Dawlat Isrl, IPA:[dawlat israil]), is a parliamentary republic in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea. It borders Lebanon in the north, Syria in the northeast, Jordan and the West Bank in the east, Egypt and the Gaza Strip on the southwest, and the Gulf of Aqaba in the Red Sea to the south, and it contains geographically diverse features within its relatively small area. Israel is defined as a Jewish and Democratic State in its Basic Laws and is the world’s only Jewish-majority state.

Following the adoption of a resolution by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 29 November 1947 recommending the adoption and implementation of the United Nations plan to partition Palestine, on 14 May 1948 David Ben-Gurion, the Executive Head of the World Zionist Organization and president of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, declared the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz Israel, to be known as the State of Israel, a state independent from the British Mandate for Palestine. Neighboring Arab states invaded the next day in support of the Palestinian Arabs. Israel has since fought several wars with neighboring Arab states, in the course of which it has occupied the West Bank, Sinai Peninsula, Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights. Portions of these territories, including east Jerusalem, have been annexed by Israel, but the border with the neighboring West Bank has not yet been permanently defined.[neutrality is disputed] Israel has signed peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan, but efforts to resolve the IsraeliPalestinian conflict have so far not resulted in peace.

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Israel Apartheid Week

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Thai Protesters will Hold Pre-Occupy Bangkok March

Jan 9 2014 Irina Shayk Joins Patrick Dempsey in Sacoor Brothers New Campaign ,MENAFN Press (MENAFN Press) Irina Shayk joins Patrick Dempsey as the face of the new Sacoor Brothers’ campaign that signals the arrival of its spring-summer 2014 collection.

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Thai Protesters will Hold Pre-Occupy Bangkok March

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Did A Hunger Strike Free Samer Issawi, A Palestinian Terorrist To Israelis And Heir To Gandhi To Arabs?

On this particular morning, trays laden with elaborate coffee carafes and Arabic sweets await guests in a large sunroom at the back of the family’s nicely furnished house. Visitors begin to fill the sunroom by midmorning, then gradually overflow into the lounge. By lunchtime they have spread onto the rooftop terrace.

A woman pours coffee for a group of Palestinian women gather at the family home of Samer Issawi to celebrate his release from Israeli imprisonment. Kate Shuttleworth

Issawi isnt a celebrity in the conventional sense hes not a wealthy benefactor or a famous actor or musician. Hes a man who not long ago ended a nine-month hunger strike. To the Israelis, hes a terrorist and an inveterate criminal. To the Palestinians, hes a political dissident, the spiritual scion of civil disobedience activists like Indias Mahatma Gandhi and Bobby Sands of the Provisional Irish Republican Army, who died as a result of a hunger strike in 1981.

In Issawis case, the lowly status of Palestinians in Israel was the larger issue he hoped to call attention to via his actions, but his view that he had been imprisoned without a fair trial was his specific complaint. Issawi is free now, so the narrative among Palestinians is that the hunger strike worked. And though the Israeli police warned Issawis family not to celebrate his release from prison, their daily festivities have gone on without interruption.

By the end of the day, there will be people dancing in the lounge and on the roof, Issawis sister Shireen says. Some people have even jumped the separation wall from the West Bank to come to the house because they cant get permission from Israelis to come.

The Issawi home has been visited by sympathizers from as far away as South Africa, Germany and Korea, and the constant stream of traffic since he was discharged a week ago shows no signs of slowing. The house itself is warm and homey, makingan unlikely stage for a family that Israel has characterized as one of the most notorious in the Palestinian world, with family members having been repeatedly arrested. Issawis parents, Tariq and Laila, and their seven children have all spent time in jail.

Three of the sons, Rafat, Firas and Shadi, served a combined total of 25 years in Israeli prisons; Samer the fifth son, who is 34 was imprisoned for nearly 10 years of his 30-year sentence after being arrested in Ramallah in 2002 during the second intifada for his alleged involvement in a series of shooting attacks against Israelis. He was discharged in 2011 along with 1,027 other Palestinian prisoners as a result of an Egypt-brokered deal between Hamas and the Israeli government for the return of Israeli Defense Force soldier Gilad Shalit, who was held captive in Gaza. A year later, Issawi was arrested again for violating the terms of his release by leaving Jerusalem and entering the West Bank. He was sent to Shita prison in northern Israel in July 2012, and faced the possibility of 20 years there; he began his nine-month hunger strike a month later, surviving solely on water fortified with vitamins and electrolytes.

Issawi is affiliated with the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine and was originally imprisoned for membership in an illegal organization, possession of explosives and firing guns at Israeli vehicles, which the Israeli courts termed attempted murder. He is banned from entering the West Bank as an administrative prisoner, which means he can be arrested and detained without trial; the Israeli government usually assigns such status to those it considers a threat to state security.

I had no choice but to starve myself in protest of the imprisonment and wider conditions of the prisoners in Israel, Issawi says. He adds that he reached a critical point in April 2013 when he had lost half of his body weight and doctors became worried that he would die.

My heartbeat reached 24-28 beats per minute, he says. After a medical examination, the doctor told me it was getting dangerous as my heart could stop beating at any moment and I had the option of either going back to Jerusalem or dying.

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Did A Hunger Strike Free Samer Issawi, A Palestinian Terorrist To Israelis And Heir To Gandhi To Arabs?

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Is Israel an Apartheid State? – Prager University

Is Israel an apartheid state? More and more these days one hears this charge made.

Oddly, when South Africa was an apartheid state, no one accused Israel of being one. The reason the charge was never made then and shouldn’t be made now is the same: There is no truth to it. To those who know something about Israel or have just visited there once, the accusation is absurd, if not obscene. Indeed, it’s a libel. But many people don’t know very much about Israel, so let’s respond to this accusation.

First, what exactly is an apartheid state? And, does Israel — or any one other country — fit that definition?

Let’s look at South Africa, the country that came up with this term. In South Africa from 1948 to 1994, there was an official policy that declared blacks second-class citizens in every aspect of life. Blacks couldn’t vote, couldn’t hold political office, were forced to reside in certain locations; couldn’t marry whites; couldn’t even use the same public rest rooms as whites.

Not one — not one — of those restrictions applies to the many Arabs living in Israel.

One and a half million Arabs live in Israel; they constitute about 20% of that country’s population. Every single one of them has the same exact rights as all other Israeli citizens — and they always have. They can vote, and they do. They can serve in the Israeli parliament, and they do. They can own property, businesses, and work in professions alongside other Israelis, and they do. They can be judges, and they are.

Here’s one powerful example: it was an Arab judge an Arab judge – who sentenced the former President of Israel to jail on a rape charge. And no one batted an eyelash that an Arab judge would sentence a Jewish president to prison.

Some other examples: Reda Mansour is the youngest ambassador in Israel’s history; Walid Badir is an international soccer star on Israel’s national team; Rana Raslan is the former Miss Israel; Ishmael Khaldi was the deputy consul of Israel in San Francisco; Khaled abu Toameh is a major journalist with the Jerusalem Post; Ghaleb Majadele was until recently a Minister in the Israeli Government. They are all Israeli Arabs. Not one is a Jew.

And how many people outside of Israel know that all the road signs in Israel, for example, are in English, Hebrew and Arabic?

Not only is Israel not an apartheid state, Arabs in Israel are freer than any Arabs in the Arab world. No Arab in any Arab country has the civil rights and personal liberty that Arabs in Israel have. That’s because Israel is a pluralistic liberal democracy, the only one in that part of the world.

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Is Israel an Apartheid State? – Prager University

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KL tribunal finds Israel guilty of crimes against humanity …

Coordinates: 31N 35E / 31N 35E / 31; 35

Israel, officially the State of Israel (/zril/ or /zrel/; Hebrew: , Mednat Yisr’el, IPA:[medint jisel]( listen); Arabic: , Dawlat Isrl, IPA:[dawlat israil]), is a parliamentary republic in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea. It borders Lebanon in the north, Syria in the northeast, Jordan and the West Bank in the east, Egypt and the Gaza Strip on the southwest, and the Gulf of Aqaba in the Red Sea to the south, and it contains geographically diverse features within its relatively small area.[1][6] Israel is defined as a Jewish and Democratic State in its Basic Laws and is the world’s only Jewish-majority state.[7]

Following the adoption of a resolution by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 29 November 1947 recommending the adoption and implementation of the United Nations plan to partition Palestine, on 14 May 1948 David Ben-Gurion, the Executive Head of the World Zionist Organization[8] and president of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, declared the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz Israel, to be known as the State of Israel, a state independent from the British Mandate for Palestine.[9][10][11] Neighboring Arab states invaded the next day in support of the Palestinian Arabs. Israel has since fought several wars with neighboring Arab states,[12] in the course of which it has occupied the West Bank, Sinai Peninsula, Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights. Portions of these territories, including east Jerusalem, have been annexed by Israel, but the border with the neighboring West Bank has not yet been permanently defined.[neutrality is disputed][13][14][15][16][17] Israel has signed peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan, but efforts to resolve the IsraeliPalestinian conflict have so far not resulted in peace.

Israel’s financial centre is Tel Aviv,[18] while Jerusalem is the country’s most populous city, and its capital (although not recognized internationally as such). The population of Israel, as defined by the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, was estimated in 2012 to be 7,869,900people, of whom 5,923,500 are Jewish.[3]Arabs form the country’s second-largest ethnic group. The great majority of Israeli Arabs are settled-Muslims, with smaller but significant numbers of semi-settled Negev Bedouins and Arab Christians. Other minorities include various ethnic and ethno-religious denominations such as Druze, Circassians, Samaritans, Maronites and others.

Israel is a representative democracy with a parliamentary system, proportional representation and universal suffrage.[19][20] The Prime Minister serves as head of government and the Knesset serves as Israel’s unicameral legislative body. Israel has one of the highest life expectancies in the world.[21] It is a developed country, an OECD member,[22] and its economy, based on the nominal gross domestic product, was the 40th-largest in the world in 2011.[23] Israel has the highest standard of living in the Middle East.[24]

Upon independence in 1948, the new Jewish state was formally named Medinat Yisrael, or the State of Israel, after other proposed historical and religious names including Eretz Israel (“the Land of Israel”), Zion, and Judea, were considered and rejected.[25] In the early weeks of independence, the government chose the term “Israeli” to denote a citizen of Israel, with the formal announcement made by Minister of Foreign Affairs Moshe Sharett.[26]

The name Israel has historically been used, in common and religious usage, to refer to the biblical Kingdom of Israel or the entire Jewish nation.[27] According to the Hebrew Bible the name “Israel” was given to the patriarch Jacob (StandardYisrael, Isrl; Septuagint Greek: ; “struggle with God”[28]) after he successfully wrestled with the angel of the Lord.[29] Jacob’s twelve sons became the ancestors of the Israelites, also known as the Twelve Tribes of Israel or Children of Israel. Jacob and his sons had lived in Canaan but were forced by famine to go into Egypt for four generations until Moses, a great-great grandson of Jacob,[30] led the Israelites back into Canaan in the “Exodus”. The earliest archaeological artifact to mention the word “Israel” is the Merneptah Stele of ancient Egypt (dated to the late 13th century BCE).[31]

The area is also known as the Holy Land, being holy for all Abrahamic religions including Judaism, Christianity, Islam and the Bah’ Faith. Prior to the 1948 Israeli Declaration of Independence, the whole region was known by various other names including Southern Syria, Syria Palestina, Kingdom of Jerusalem, Iudaea Province, Coele-Syria, Retjenu, Canaan and, particularly, Palestine.

The notion of the “Land of Israel”, known in Hebrew as Eretz Yisrael (or Eretz Yisroel), has been important and sacred to the Jewish people since Biblical times. According to the Torah, God promised the land to the three Patriarchs of the Jewish people.[32][33] On the basis of scripture, the period of the three Patriarchs has been placed somewhere in the early 2nd millenniumBCE,[34] and the first Kingdom of Israel was established around the 11th century BCE. Subsequent Israelite kingdoms and states ruled intermittently over the next four hundred years, and are known from various extra-biblical sources.[35][36][37][38]

The northern Kingdom of Israel, as well as Philistine city states fell in 722 BCE, though the southern Kingdom of Judah and several Phoenician city states continued their existance as the region came under Assyrian rule. With the emergence of Babylonians, Judah was eventually conquered as well, significantly shifting the demographics in the 6th century BCE.

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KL tribunal finds Israel guilty of crimes against humanity …

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