David Bloom

Judge kills divest-from-Israel petition in Massachusetts

From the Somerville, MA, Divestment Project:

Dear Friends,

The Somerville Divestment Project collected 4,400 signatures (more than the 3966 required, which is 10% of registered voters in Somerville) on a petition (copied below and posted at http://www.divestmentproject.org/petition.shtml ) to place a non-binding Question on the November municipal ballot that would let people vote whether or not Somerville should divest from Israel and from corporations that supply military equipment to Israel.

Israel takes Gaza land for "security zone"

Israel, which claims it no longer occupies the Gaza Strip and wants the world to see it that way, has not taken long to take back some Gazan land, according to AFP:

Israel is to set up a "security zone" extending into Palestinian territory in northern Gaza to avoid militants infiltrating the Jewish state, the defence ministry said Friday.

Ultra-nationalist Lebanese faction re-emerges

The Guardians of the Cedars, an outlawed ultra-nationalist mostly Christian party set up during the 1975-1990 civil war has resurfaced in Lebanon. Lebanon's Al-Safir newspaper reported that at a Sept. 14 news conference, the long-dormant faction announced that "the civil war has never ended," and called for "every Lebanese to kill a Palestinian." It also declared that "not one Palestinian will remain in Lebanon." (Ynet, Sept. 15) The three members who gave the press briefing were arrested by Lebanese authorities for "issuing a statement that incites internal sedition." The group's leader, Etienne Saqr, was sentenced to death in absentia in 1996 for collaboration with Israel, where he is believed to be residing.

Israel makes Gaza synagogues political hot potato

Two weeks ago, the Israeli cabinet voted to demolish de-consecrated synagogue buildings left in Gaza settlements. A court challenge by settlement rabbis to not demolish them was rejected. On Sept. 9, reversing an earlier stance in favor of demolishing, the Israeli cabinet voted 14-2 not to demolish, although the court order still stands. A key turning point was Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, born in Iran, and from a traditional Mizrahi family. Mofaz it is said was swayed by former Sephardic Chief Rabbi and Shas leader, Ovadia Yosef, who declared that Jews must not destroy the buildings. Even though Sharon voted against demolishing the buildings, he referred to them as "houses that were used as synagogues."

French FM: Israeli colonization illegal

From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency:

French official praises, blasts Israel
France's foreign minister described Israel's "colonization" of the West Bank as illegal.

Visiting the Jewish state this week, Philippe Douste-Blazy praised the success of the Gaza withdrawal but said that "other steps must follow." "The colonization of the West Bank is against international law," he said, "and any continued colonization called into question the very meaning of the peace process."(JTA, Sept. 9)

Israel represses non-violent protest in occupied West Bank

Every Friday for months now, the Palestinian village of Bi'lin in the Israeli-occupied West Bank has been the scene of creative and organized non-violent protests against the illegal construction of Israel's "separation wall,"which will cut off much of the village's farmland. Hundreds of Palestinians, Israeli anarchists, and international activists have taken part in demonstrations brutally repressed by Israeli occupation forces with tear gas, live fire, rubber bullets, experimental weapons like sponge, salt, and sand bullets, and sound weapons. Palestinian Israeli members of the Knesset have attended the protests and been attacked, as well as Muslim clerics, and Palestinian politicians, including one-time presidential candidate Mustafa Barghouthi. On Sept. 2, Israeli soldiers attacked the villagers as they left their mosque after Friday prayers with tear gas, declaring that there would be no demonstration at all. Israeli Defence Minister Shaul Mofaz has ordered that the Wall be completed by the end of the year, so a crackdown on the protests is currently under way:

Jerusalem: pious Jew spits on Christians again

The Jerusalem Post reports another incident of a pious Jew spitting at Christian clergy or symbols in the Israeli-occupied Old City of Jerusalem. According to Holocaust survivor Dr. Israel Shahak, in his book Jewish History, Jewish Religion, this practice has ancient roots and has become increasingly commonplace:

Katrina, the wrath of God

Depending on who you ask, God sent Katrina either to punish the US for supporting Israel's disengagement plan:

On August 14, citizens in the United States, like people around the world, heard about the issuing of an order for the forced evacuation of Jews from parts of Israel’s biblical land.

For six days they watched as thousands of weeping people were pulled and carried from their homes, forced to leave their gardens, parks, communities, schools, towns and synagogues, everything they had spent decades building; banned from ever returning again. Those scenes were soon followed by pictures of bulldozers and other earth-moving machinery pulverizing the just-vacated homes into heaps of dust.

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