|Here are the headlines from Mondoweiss for 11/08/2012:
Palestinian hip hop track targets violence against women
Nov 07, 2012 02:39 pm | Today in Palestine
Watch: New DAM hip hop track with video co-directed by Jackie Salloum targets violence against women, Ali Abunimah
“If I could go back in time” DAM raps the story “backwards” from death to birth of a young woman murdered by members of her family for refusing to marry against her will.
link to electronicintifada.net
Land Theft & Destruction / Ethnic Cleansing / Restriction of Movement / Apartheid & Occupation
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has declared that Israel will respond harshly to a Palestinian bid in the UN.
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- PLO leader Hanan Ashrawi on Tuesday condemned reported plans for Israel to construct new settlement units in occupied East Jerusalem and in Ariel in the West Bank. The Israel Land Administration on Monday published notices inviting bids from contractors to build on plots in Ramot and Pisgat Zeev, urban settlements that Israel has declared part of Jerusalem. The plans call for the building of 607 new homes in Pisgat Zeev and 606 in Ramot. Tens of thousands of Israelis already live in the two areas.
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel said Tuesday that it was pushing forward with construction of more than 1,200 new homes in Jewish settlements, in an apparent warning to the Palestinians to rethink their plan to ask the United Nations to recognize an independent state of Palestine.
IOF troops pave land for new settlement outpost south of al-Khalil
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) started paving land in preparation for the construction of a new settlement outpost in Majnona area to the south of al-Khalil.
Occupation orders the evacuation of Wadi al-Maleh in the northern Jordan Valley
The Israeli occupation forces stormed on Tuesday afternoon, the region of Wadi al-Maleh in the northern Jordan Valley, and handed over notices to 30 citizens to leave the area.
Two Homes, Barn, Demolished By The Army Near Hebron
Israeli soldiers demolished, Tuesday, two Palestinian homes, a barn and two wells, and handed demolition orders against four more homes, in the villages of Ad-Deerat and Al-Jawaya, south of Hebron, in the southern part of the West Bank.
Citizens prevent occupation from demolishing school and solar panels in Yatta
The Israeli occupation forces raided this morning the hamlets of al-Taban and al-Fakhit, in the east of Yatta south of al-Khalil in the occupied West Bank.
Palestinian and Israeli peace groups have sharply criticised Israel's government following the demolition of a peace centre on the edge of Jerusalem. The Beit Arabiya Peace Centre, built by Palestinians, Israelis and international volunteers, was demolished by the Israeli army in the early hours of Thursday 1 November. It was the sixth time it had been destroyed. Salim Shawamreh, who worked at the centre, said he was struck by grief when arriving at the remains of the building on Thursday morning. He told Ekklesia, "It's not [just] a demolition. It's an earthquake. It's hate."
Settlers Uproot Palestinian Trees Near Hebron
A number of extremist Israeli settlers uprooted dozens of olive and prune trees that belong to a resident of Hebron, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank.
Palestinian collapses while detained at checkpoint during Eid holiday in Hebron
A Palestinian man, his initials being IS, was harassed along with his family at a checkpoint in Hebron during the Eid celebration. He and his son were reportedly beaten by Israeli soldiers. In the aftermath IS was held by the military for about an hour and finally collapsed. IS suffers from a disability which makes it difficult for him to walk. The family has been harassed by the army several times in the past, living in the Israeli-controlled H2 area of the city.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) -- Six hospitals in East Jerusalem face a financial crisis because the aid-dependent Palestinian Authority has been unable to meet payments for their services, jeopardizing the healthcare of thousands of West Bank patients. The Western-backed PA, which exercises limited self-rule in parts of the Israeli-occupied West Bank, has built up debts of $18 million to the specialized healthcare centers this year.
The Prohibition Game
A short animated film by Alon Simone gives a lighthearted treatment to a serious subject: the devastating impact of Israel's permit regime for Palestinian farmers with land across the Separation Barrier. Courtesy of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI). If you don't see the English subtitles please click the "cc" button on the bottom of the YouTube player.
Ten years on: Israel did not uphold its promise to prevent the separation barrier from harming Palestinians
Ten years after construction began on the Separation Barrier, a new B’Tselem report published today (5 Nov. 2012) examines the long-term impact on the Palestinian communities on whose land the barrier was built. The main conclusion of the report, Arrested Development, is that—in spite of promises to the High Court, the steps taken by the State have not prevented the barrier’s harmful effects on the lives of Palestinians. Since the construction of the barrier, Palestinians in nearby communities lost the ability to make profitable use of their lands—their major remaining resource. Today, with the barrier nearly two-thirds completed, the agricultural economy has shrunk drastically in West Bank areas once considered stable. Moreover, the spatial division between neighboring communities, and between them and their land, strains their ability to survive and paralyzes sustainable development.
link to www.btselem.org
How Israel's West Bank barrier isolated Bir Nabala – video
Residents of East Jerusalem suburb tell how they have been affected by Israel's separation barrier.
A thriving wedding venue in Bir Nabala is among many concerns cut off by a policy that turned a thriving village into a ghost town. Inside the derelict wedding hall, bird droppings have stained the golden cloths that are still draped over dozens of tables. Outside, the road which used to carry heavy traffic from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is now known as the street of ghosts. At its abrupt end, rubbish blows up against the 8-metre-high concrete wall that has killed the village of Bir Nabala
Welcome to Bir Nabala
The town of Bir Nabala, next to Jerusalem, is trapped in an enclave of the Separation Barrier. A residential suburb of East Jerusalem since the 1970s, Bir Nabala enjoyed relative prosperity in the 1990s thanks to its central location and easy access to Ramallah and East Jerusalem, and from there to central Israel. Now isolated by the barrier, Bir Nabala lost half its residents, most of them East Jerusalemites who returned to the city, and many of the town’s businesses closed. Using unique archival footage, “Welcome to Bir Nabala” documents the transformation of Bir Nabala into a ghost town, via the stories of two local banquet halls.
Ten years ago, Israel’s security establishment began building the Separation Barrier – the largest and costliest infrastructure project undertaken by Israel since the construction of the national water carrier during the 1950s and ‘60s. All the related decisions and documents emphasize that the barrier does not constitute a future political boundary. Yet the Separation Barrier is to all appearances a border and its route was determined, among other things, by the location of settlements and the intention to expand them. Eighty-five percent of the barrier is built inside the West Bank. The security establishment declared 74% of the areas on the “Israeli” side of the barrier, home to 7,500 Palestinians, as a “seam zone” and imposed a rigid permit regime there. Palestinians must obtain a Civil Administration permit to enter or remain in the Seam Zone, and these permits are only given after Palestinians undergo a cumbersome bureaucratic process to supply a long list of documents to support their request. Israeli citizens or non-Israeli Jews (if “entitled to immigrate to Israel under the Law of Return”) may enter the seam zone areas freely. The Civil Administration permits issued to Palestinians are given for periods ranging between a single day and two years, depending on the type of permit. Access to seam zone areas, via “fabric of life” crossings or designated agricultural gates built into the barrier, requires a security check.
Dr. Abdullah Lama, As'ad AbuKhalil
I wrote briefly the other day about the passing of Dr. `Abdullah Lama. I failed to mention that he was the personal physician of George Habash. When Habash had his first heart attack, a physician at AUB leaked the news to An-Nahar which then released to the world although Habash was staying under a fake name. But An-Nahar could not withhold the news, of course. His passing reminded me of my activism in my youth because of that one first meeting I attended at his house. Hana sent me this about him: "As’ad; It saddened me quite a bit to hear about the death of Dr. Lama. He was my family doctor and a close friend of my grandfather. A one-of-a-kind person, who is remembered by most people who lived in the Southern Suburb of Beirut, where he treated folks in his Burj El Barajneh clinic whether or not they had money, Lebanese and Palestinians. He kept coming to his clinic in the darkest of days in Dahiyeh, and we had many of those. He retired at an old age, and his daughter for a while picked up his clinical duties. He continued to drive to Palestine via Jordan and visit his homeland until a year or two ago. He could do that because he is an American Palestinian. His name is mentioned in Dahiyeh with a reverence that is usually reserved to prophets and saints. An inspirational, beautiful and stubborn-as-hell man."
Prominent Syrian-born Palestinian actor killed
Prominent Syrian-born Palestinian actor Mohammed Rafeh, who was believed to be a supporter of President Bashar Assad's regime, was kidnapped and then killed by anti-government gunmen, activists and his family said Sunday. He was 30.
Gaza / Israeli & Egyptian Siege
Even a single night in jail is enough to give a taste of what it means to be under the total control of some external force. And it hardly takes more than a day in Gaza to begin to appreciate what it must be like to try to survive in the world’s largest open-air prison, where a million and a half people, in the most densely populated area of the world, are constantly subject to random and often savage terror and arbitrary punishment, with no purpose other than to humiliate and degrade, and with the further goal of ensuring that Palestinian hopes for a decent future will be crushed and that the overwhelming global support for a diplomatic settlement that will grant these rights will be nullified.
Exactly five years ago I was in Gaza to see the situation for myself. That was before the murderous blitzkrieg they called Operation Cast Lead, but Israel’s crimes against humanity were already piled high. When I got home memories of the visit so haunted me that I sat down and wrote an article titled “See Gaza and Weep”. These were my impressions in November of 2007.
Fishing boats can be seen at night a couple of miles out at sea in Gaza with very expensive high-powered lights trying to attract fish that they cannot reach, but the horizon remains deadly for them. Israeli forces shot and killed 22-year-old fisherman Fahmi Abu Riash and wounded his brother Youssef, 19, on 28 September, when they were merely a few metres offshore in northern Gaza. The killing of Fahmi, who had been married for the last two years and had a one-year-old baby, not only brought tragedy to his family but also deprived them of their only means of livelihood. "All my hope in life is lost," his mother Mariam told Oxfam partner Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR). "I do not know how to move on without my son. In the past, we were a bit hopeful that everything would be okay but now we know that nothing is ever going to change."
Soldiers Invade Orif Village Near Nablus, Clashes Reported
Palestinian sources reported that Israeli soldiers, invaded on Saturday evening, the Orif village, near the northern West Bank city of Nablus, and clashed with local youths before kidnapping one resident.
A Jewish settler opened indiscriminate fire at Palestinian homes in the Old City of al-Khalil on Monday night.
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) arrested nine Palestinians on Tuesday 20 Palestinians from different areas in the West Bank and 1948-occupied Palestine.
Five Palestinians Kidnapped in Tubas
Local sources in Tubas, in the central part of the West Bank, reported that five Palestinians were kidnapped, on Tuesday at dawn, by Israeli soldiers who invaded the city, and searched several homes.
Soldiers Invade a Jenin Village, Kidnap One Resident
Palestinian sources reported that Israeli soldiers invaded, Sunday, the Zabbouba village, west of the northern West Bank city of Jenin, and kidnapped one resident after breaking into his home. The army also detonated a suspicious object located near the Annexation Wall section near the village.
link to www.imemc.org
Human Rights Center holds IOA responsible for Mohammed al-Najjar's life
The Palestinian Center for Prisoners’ Studies held occupation authorities and prison service fully responsible for the Palestinian prisoner Mohammed al-Najjar's life.
Detained journalist in serious health condition
The Palestinian journalists syndicate in Ramallah has expressed utmost concern at the health conditions of journalists held in Israeli occupation jails.
Israeli Racism & Discrimination
Interior minister orders enforcement of law against unlicensed businesses owned by migrants. 'If we can’t make a living we'll turn to crime,' says migrant
‘There have been no institutions, no organizations for Palestinian workers within Israel to defend their rights.’ A young labor union is resisting exploitation and defending the rights of Palestinian citizens of Israel, with a focus on the rights of women workers.
Amnesty International and Norwegian trade unions join forces to demand that G4S stops aiding human rights abuses.
Angela Davis: At least in the Jim Crow South the roads were not segregated, Annie Robbins
Angela Davis spoke at the closing session of the annual meeting of American Public Health Association in San Francisco, about "Incarceration, Justice and Health".
A graduate assembly at a California university has become the latest body to express condemnation at attempts to hinder Palestine solidarity activism by labeling such activism anti-Semitic. The University of California, Berkeley’s graduate assembly passed a resolution last Thursday
that denounced the California State Assembly’s passing of HR 35. HR 35 calls on California campuses to ensure that anti-Semitism is not being promoted on campus but that also conflates legitimate protest of Israel with bigotry. The resolution at Berkeley was passed with only one dissenting voice, according to The Daily Californian
, a student newspaper at the school. The graduate assembly represents over 11,000 students at Berkeley. “This bill [HR 35] could result in the censorship of legitimate criticisms of the state of Israel and...sets a dangerous precedent by threatening to infringe on free speech rights by conflating criticism of political ideology and practice with racism or hate speech,” the student resolution reads
. A copy of it was sent to the governor of California and the president of the University of California system.
Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi: There are global preparations for solidarity with our people and sanctions on Israel. Ramallah – Dr Mustafa Barghouthi, the Secretary General of the movement of the Palestinian National Initiative and MP, asserted that preparations are under way in various parts of the world in solidarity with the Palestinian people and supporting their national rights on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity which is celebrated on November 29th. These preparations include the push for boycotting, divesting, and sanctioning Israel, as Dr Barghouti clarified that without significant international pressure on the Israeli occupation, Israel would continue to act with impunity and aggression.
Mahdy Suleiman, an Egyptian goalkeeper, said he is likely to accept a formal offer to join the Israeli Hapoel Tel Aviv F.C. during the upcoming winter break, “if it is the only chance to play football." Suleiman is currently playing for Petrojet F.C, which competes in the suspended Egyptian Premier League. He previously played for prominent Egyptian football teams Ennpi and Arab Contractors. Suleiman told Sky News Arabia in a telephone interview, “I received the formal offer through a Hungarian agent. I have not yet accepted it, but I might think of accepting if it is the only way for me.” He described agreeing to play in the Israeli league as a "very serious risk.”
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem sent an announcement via its “HiTech Jobs and Events” mailing list inviting candidates to a “Leadership and Public Diplomacy” programme endorsed by Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Palestinian Authority / Mahmoud Abbas
PA apparatuses attack and arrest 2 cadres of PFLP
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine accused PA security services in the city of al-Khalil of arresting two of its cadres following organizing a peaceful demonstration yesterday.
The head of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in Israel has called on Palestinians of all factions in the Occupied Territories and in the Diaspora to protest en masse against Mahmoud Abbas's apparent renunciation of the refugees' right of return. Knesset Member Jamal Zahalka said that the PA President's comments show a lack of commitment to national principles which form the basis of the Palestinian cause.
Peres phones Abbas to thank him for his positions
Israeli president Shimon Peres hailed de facto president Mahmoud Abbas over the phone and thanked him for his latest remarks about the right of return and the popular uprising against Israel.
Former Israeli premier Ehud Olmert said Mahmoud Abbas's position on the right of return was not new and tabled in negotiation rooms.
In the wake of his televised dismissal of the right of return for Palestinian refugees, a former close ally has accused PA President Mahmoud Abbas of compromising on national ideals as long as ago as the discussions at Camp David. Ex-Fatah official Mohammed Dahlan has revealed that during talks at the US presidential Camp David retreat Abbas proposed compensation in lieu of the right of return and tourist-style trips to the towns and cities from which refugees were expelled by the Israelis.
The Palestinian “Right of Return”: Abbas Wades into the Morass, Karl Vick
What Mahmoud Abbas said last week was that he’d like to visit his hometown, not live there. But because that hometown — the picturesque Galilee city of Safed — is in what’s today Israel, and because, as leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Abbas represents the people who claim the same land, his words were taken as more than a rumination on possible vacation plans. He had punctured the seal on the biggest can of worms in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the “right of return.” Abbas, 77, left Safed when he was 13, his family joining the torrent of Arab families who fled their homes in 1948 ahead of advancing Jewish forces who were intent on creating Israel. Some 700,000 Arab residents departed, many at gunpoint, taking refuge across international borders in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and the Gaza Strip, which was then administered by Egypt. Most expected to come back, once Arab states got their act together and finally defeated the Jews on the battlefield. It never happened. What victories came their way were in the realm of diplomacy and rhetoric: In December 1948 a sympathetic United Nations passed a resolution, no. 194, saying they should be allowed to go back to their homes.
Abbas’ words demonstrably represent long-standing Palestinian Authority and PLO policy of giving up refugee rights.
Abbas’s Declaration = Balfour’s Declaration, Elias Akleh
On November 2nd 1917 the then British Foreign Secretary, Arthur Balfour, had promised the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland his country’s help to establish a Jewish home land in Palestine. This is known as Balfour Declaration. Last Friday, the ninety fifth anniversary of this shameful declaration, Mahmoud Abbas, the President of the Palestinian Authority and the Chairman of the PLO, had also made a similar shameful declaration.
There is nothing like the anger of a Palestinian refugee told that his right to return is compromised. Mahmoud Abbas was reminded of this following his recent interview with Israel's Channel Two TV. When asked if he wanted to live in Safad, the village in the Galilee where he spent his early childhood, he replied, "I want to see Safad, it is my right to view it, but not to live in it."
Abbas is a longtime Israeli collaborator. He provides enforcer services, not legitimate governance. Corruption, sham elections, targeting critics, and other type malfeasance continue on his watch. Instead of governing responsibly, he defiles rule of law principles and other democratic values. Why Palestinians put up with him, they'll have to explain. Insults compound injuries making things worse. As long as he's in power, they'll be no third Intifada, he said. One insulting comment followed another. So did responses. More on them below.
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Hamas police officers beat women demonstrating in Gaza City on Tuesday during a protest demanding national reconciliation. The protest, organized by women's organizations including the general union of Palestinian women, was held outside the parliament building. Iktimal Hamad, a member of the union's secretariat, told Ma'an that police ordered protesters to leave the area.
Human Rights Group Denounces Hamas Attack On Women’s Procession In Gaza
The Palestinian Human Rights Foundation – Pal-Monitor (Rased) issued a press release denouncing an attack carried out against Freedom of Speech when dozens of Hamas’s security officers and policemen, in Gaza, attacked a procession conducted by women, including political leaders, who marched in Gaza demanding an end to internal divisions and rifts between the political parties.
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The Ministry of Interior in Gaza on Tuesday denied reports that security forces had prevented a Fatah official from leaving the Gaza Strip a day earlier, a statement said. Central committee member Amal Hamad waited at the Palestinian side of the Erez crossing for two hours before she was turned back, Fatah said on Monday. She was meant to travel to a central committee meeting in the West Bank, the party said, accusing the Hamas government of deliberately trying to weaken the Fatah movement in Gaza.
Abu Zuhri denies Hamas had secret talks with Israel
A Hamas spokesman on Tuesday denied Fatah allegation that Hamas was involved in secret negotiations with Israel in Switzerland about establishment of a Palestinian state with temporary borders.
I remain an advocate of the right of Hamas to govern and I absolutely reject the double standards employed by the international community towards the movement. The financial and political sanctions on Gaza are simply unjust and scandalous. Hamas won a free and fair election in 2006. The world was well aware that Hamas would run in the elections. But my recognition of Hamas’ legitimacy does not mean that I agree with the way in which Hamas has been ruling Gaza. Hamas’ legitimacy to exist, as a movement, must be complemented by its legitimacy to rule, by acting as justly as possible under the circumstances.
Political Developments / Other News
US forces accused of stealing Jewish-Iraqi archive and passing it to Israel
An Iraqi parliamentarian has accused the US forces of stealing the country's Jewish Archive and handing it over to the Israelis. Talal Zobai, the chair of the Parliamentary Tourism and Archaeological Committee, said that the American troops found the archive when they broke into a prison in the headquarters of the intelligence department of the former Iraqi regime.
Presidential adviser says peace treaty is cause of tension in Sinai
An adviser to the Egyptian president has said that the blame for the current tension and unrest in Sinai has to rest with the terms of the peace treaty with Israel. Mohamed Seif El Dawla, who advises President Mohammed Morsi on Arab Affairs, pointed out that the treaty imposes many restrictions on Egypt, especially with regards to the deployment of troops across the Sinai Peninsula. "The restrictions affect our sovereignty over the territory, resulting in the growth of lawlessness," he said.
A crisis is brewing between Kuwaiti opposition and Jordanian government in the wake of news that Jordan has sent a military team to assist Kuwait royal repression. This is the video of Kuwaiti opposition figure, Muslim Al-Barrak, describing the Jordanian king as "agent"
It's time for sanctions on Israel, Jamal Zahalka
In op-ed published in U.K.'s The Guardian, Balad chairman Jamal Zahalka says international community must reject Lieberman-Netanyahu union like it rejected Jorg Haider entrance into Austria's cabinet.
The merger of the rightwing parties will increase extremism and racism against Palestinians. Sanctions are the only answer. Ahead of the Israeli elections next January, a merger between the parties of the prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, and the foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, has been announced. They are to contest the elections on a joint list, intending to become the largest bloc in the Knesset. The move is seen as an achievement for both men. Netanyahu was shaken by the recent decline in the popularity of his Likud party at the rate of one seat per week. More specifically, his apprehension revolved around the possible return of Ehud Olmert, the former Israeli prime minister, as leader of an opposition alliance consisting of Tzipi Livni, the former foreign minister; Shaul Mofaz, leader of Kadima; and Yair Labed, a rising political star.
Many times we've pointed out that the Democrats are running to the right of Romney, or trying to, on Israel. Here's more evidence. In an email recommending a Haaretz editorial
that endorses Obama as good for Israel, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chair of the Democratic National Committee, excerpted the editorial and included paragraphs linking Obama's policy with George W. Bush's neoconservative policy. A policy, says Haaretz, of launching a disastrous war to assist Israel's security. Such a statement evidently won't hurt Obama among the Democratic chair's intended audience...
5 Broken Cameras: 'The camera is a very strong weapon' - video
Israeli director Guy Davidi and Palestinian Emad Burnat discuss their documentary following the Israeli military's attempts to build a separation barrier in Emad's village.
Mohammed Jakhbir leans back, braces himself, and then leaps off the roof of a Khan Yunis hospital building, flipping backwards before landing on the next roof over. He whoops with delight at performing the dangerous feat, his favourite of the moves he practises with his team — the first parkour group in the Gaza Strip. Parkour, also known as free running, is an extreme sport that involves getting around or over urban obstacles as quickly as possible, using a combination of running, jumping, and gymnastic moves including rolls and vaults. Practitioners leap from roof-to-roof, run up the side of buildings until they flip backwards, vault over park benches, or cartwheel along walls.
UK dance troupe al-Zaytouna retell Shakespeare through dabke, Asa Winstanley
A London dance company uses Shakespeare to tell Palestine’s modern tale through traditional dance.
link to electronicintifada.net
The Israeli / Saudi Nexus, BARRY LANDO
“What was the real cost for not recognizing Israel in 1948 and why didn’t the Arab states spend their assets on education, health care, and the infrastructures instead of wars? But the hardest question that no Arab national wants to hear is whether Israel is the real enemy of the Arab world and the Arab people.”
A monthly roundup of photographs documenting Palestine, Palestinian life, politics and culture, and international solidarity with Palestine.
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Key members of the Congressional ‘Islamophobia caucus’ swept from Congress
Nov 07, 2012 02:34 pm | Alex Kane
Former Florida House Republican Allen West poses with anti-Muslim blogger Pamela Geller (Phota via DownWithTyranny.blogspot.com)
Key members of what has been termed Congress’ “Islamophobia caucus” went down in their re-election fights last night, dealing a blow to anti-Muslim activists’ efforts to influence policy and the national discourse. National Muslim organizations celebrated their victories today.
Allen West (R-FL), Joe Walsh (R-IL) and Adam Hasner (R-FL) were three Republicans that had used anti-Muslim rhetoric throughout their elected careers. But now they’re out of a job (though Hasner was running for a Congressional seat he did not hold).
“Folks in their districts wanted to send a message: we will not allow divisive politics, we will not allow extremism to run our political conversation,” said Haris Tarin, the director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council’s Washington, D.C. office. “It also tells people that trying to divide Americans, by using anti-Muslim rhetoric, will not work in the long run.”
West, a former U.S. Army colonel, went down in Florida’s 18th Congressional district after Patrick Murphy squeaked by in a slim victory. West’s political career from the outset was marred by controversy; he is alleged to have threatened an Iraqi prisoner with death during an interrogation and to have fired shots near the prisoner--something that Murphy attacked him for in the campaign.
The Daily Beast’s Ali Gharib has more background on West’s Islamophobia:
In the House, West earned a reputation as a ferocious right-wing attack dog. The unfounded accusations that dozens of Communists populate the Congress's Democratic caucus were nothing new, but his most novel legacy may be West's inflammatory rhetoric about Muslims. Along with Reps. Steve King (R-IA) and Michele Bachmann (R-MN), West used his time in Congress to press his case that Islam is "not a religion" but a "totalitarian theocratic political ideology," and that terrorism is inherent to the faith—not radical Islam, but Islam, writ large. He's accused a fellow Member of Congress, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), a Muslim, of "represent(ing) the antithesis of the principles upon which this country was established."
If all that wasn't bad enough, West has shared a stage with America's foremost anti-Muslim activist, Pamela Geller (who was recently in the news again). When he was called out for his ties to bigots like Geller and asked to respect Muslims' right to worship freely, his one-word response made an apparent comparison between the request and Nazi overtures for an American surrender in World War II.
Illinois’ Walsh lost his Congressional seat to Iraq War veteran Tammy Duckworth. “With 93 percent of the unofficial vote counted, Duckworth had 55 percent, with 45 percent for Walsh,” according to the Chicago Tribune. Walsh, in addition to his far-right advocacy on the Israel/Palestine conflict, has also spewed anti-Muslim rhetoric.
In August, Walsh warned that radical Islamists were “trying to kill Americans every week” and that the next 9/11 was inevitable. Walsh also claimed that radical Islam “was here” in the Chicago suburbs. Shortly after Walsh’s remarks made waves, two Chicago-area Muslim centers were violently attacked.
Hasner was a former Florida state representative until 2010, and decided to run for a Florida House seat in 2012. But he lost to Lois Frankel last night. He was an up and coming Jewish Republican who is really cozy with Pamela Geller, the nation’s leading and most virulent anti-Muslim activist. Hasner also was a leader in ginning up fear over the non-existent threat of Sharia law coming to the U.S, and once invited notorious anti-Muslim politician Geert Wilders to a “free speech” conference.
“These encouraging results clearly show that mainstream Americans reject anti-Muslim bigotry by candidates for public office and will demonstrate that rejection at the polls," Nihad Awad, executive director for the Council on American Islamic Relations, said in a statement. “This election witnessed an increased political awareness and mobilization effort among American Muslims that dealt a major blow to the Islamophobia machine."
And while Michele Bachmann (R-MN), the undisputed leader of Islamophobia in U.S. government, ultimately won her race last night, it was extremely close. Despite spending 10 times the amount her opponent Jim Graves did, Bachmann only won by a few thousand votes. Bachmann is the woman who claimed, with no evidence, that there was Muslim Brotherhood infiltration of the U.S. government. MPAC’s Tarin said that the message voters in Bachmann’s district sent was, “if you continue to use this anti-Muslim rhetoric as your main platform issue, to divide Americans, it’s not going to work.”
In a press release, CAIR also noted some other races where anti-Muslim politicians went down: “In Arkansas, Rep. James McLean defeated Republican Charlie Fuqua, a candidate who advocated the deportation of all Muslims in a self-published book. In Minnesota, Rep. Chip Cravaack (R-MN) lost his seat. Cravaack was a key supporter's of Rep. Peter King's (R-NY) series of anti-Muslim hearings.”
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Election results: The Jewish right goes down in the House and Senate
Nov 07, 2012 12:38 pm | Adam Horowitz and Alex Kane
As we reported over here, President Barack Obama's victory capped off a very bad night for the Jewish right. But you don't have to take it from us: check out the results.
Below, you'll find election results for the Congressional races Mondoweiss has reported on in recent years, as well as links to our past coverage. Some of the races have not been called yet; this list will be updated throughout the day. "District" races are for the House of Representatives.
Races to watch
--(R) Shmuley Boteach v. (D) Bill Pascrell -- New Jersey 9th District. Pascrell beat Boteach handily, according to NorthJersey.com.
--(R) Allen West v. (D) Patrick Murphy -- Florida District 18. Murphy upset West in a razor-tight race, as Murphy won by a margin of 2,400 votes.
--(R) Adam Hasner v. (D) Lois Frankel -- Florida District 22. Frankel beats Hasner.
--(R) Bono Mack v. (D) Raul Ruiz--California District 36. Ruiz pulled out a victory in a close race.
--(D) Howard Berman v. Brad Sherman (D)--California District 30. Sherman claimed victory early this morning in what has been a nasty race after Berman conceded. The two Democrats were pitted against each other due to redistricting and a new law allowing the top two vote getters in a primary to face each other regardless of party affiliation.
--(D) Kyrsten Sinema v. (R) Vernon Parker--Arizona District 9. The race has yet to be called, but Sinema is clinging to a slight lead.
-- (R) Josh Mandel v. (D) Sherrod Brown--Ohio Senate. Brown beat Mandel with a comfortable lead.
--(R) Joe Walsh v. (D) Tammy Duckworth -- Illinois District 8. Duckworth beat Walsh by a comfortable margin.
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Comeuppance for Netanyahu? No, he might run against Obama– and increase daylight between countries
Nov 07, 2012 10:23 am | Philip Weiss
Netanyahu congratulates U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro on the U.S. election. I imagine the unedited version being something like this - Adam Horowitz
The Obama reelection sends a shockwave to Israel, major comeuppance for Netanyahu, who put down his chit in the American elections and lost.
But the early returns suggest that the shockwave won't dislodge Netanyahu in January. No! There are signs of defiance in Israel. And this could mean growing daylight between the countries' leaderships.
Danny Danon of the Likud Party is defiant:
"The state of Israel will not capitulate before Obama,” he said.
Obama’s victory “brings home the fact that the state of Israel must take care of its own interests,” he continued. “We cannot rely on anyone but ourselves.”
Bradley Burston writes that Obama victory might make Netanyahu more defiant too:
Netanyahu may have a world to gain, and nothing to lose, by continuing to thumb his nose at a victorious president....
Polls announced on Israeli television stations on Tuesday pointed the way to a possible Netanyahu strategy based on exploiting Israeli displeasure with, or distaste for, Obama.
Noam Sheizaf agrees that the loss might only make Netanyahu more bolshy:
Some people, also those within the political system, believe that the U.S. elections can affect Israeli voters, and probably swing a few seats away from the prime minister. I seriously doubt this. Netanyahu would have gained some momentum if Romney had won, and the media would have congratulated him for “picking the right horse.” But Netanyahu had survived the first four years of an Obama presidency, and he can live with another term. Netanyahu might actually sell – at least to the right – the line that only he can guard Israeli interests now that we don’t have a genuine supporter in the White House....
The outcome of the U.S. elections is said to encourage former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to join the local race, but Olmert is yet to reach a final decision, and he has no chance of beating Netanayhu in any case.
The alternative view. JTA notes that both Ehud Barak and Shelly Yachimovich of Labor congratulated Obama and mentioned the peace process-- "perhaps posturing for their own elections against Netanyahu in January," Ali Gharib writes in his wrapup:
“I have no doubt that the Obama administration will continue its policy –whereby Israel’s security is at its very foundations – as well as its efforts to tackle the challenges facing all of us in the region; all the while continuing to strive for further progress in the peace process," Barak said in a statement issued Wednesday morning in Israel....
Yachimovich also wished the president "success in your efforts to promote processes of peace and freedom around the world."
Sheizaf points out helpfully that the peace process is going nowhere under Obama:
I think the White House has realized that the Israeli-Palestinian issue costs a lot of political capital, but brings very little results. Furthermore, the administration continues to believe in the Oslo framework, as if two decades haven’t passed.
The crisis of the Israel lobby in the US isn't going away. An anonymous friend says that we can look for even more daylight between the two countries in months to come, and an Obama shift on illegal Israeli colonies at the Security Council (where in 2011 the craven U.S. supplied the veto of a resolution against Israeli colonization).
It puts Netanyahu in a bind as to internal vs external. Lieberman wants Defense. With Obama reelected, that is a death wish. Lieberman at Defense would hinder cooperation with the Pentagon (and his Russo-philic bent would be seen as an added security risk).
Now Dem Jewish interlocutors will have Obama's back if Netanyahu presses. Netanyahu will have to worry about US abstention at UN Security Council on settlements. Obama punishes the Palestinians at the General Assembly and now can make Netanyahu sweat in the Security council.
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Exile and the prophetic: Two more years
Nov 07, 2012 09:46 am | Marc H. Ellis
This post is part of Marc H. Ellis's "Exile and the Prophetic" feature for Mondoweiss. To read the entire series visit the archive page.
Since the campaign is over and President Obama has been reelected, I have a new post-election slogan to share: ‘Welcome to the next two years.’
I don’t want to mute the celebration. I knew Obama won when Pennsylvania was called for him early in the evening. Every other swing state was close. Obama needed a few. Romney needed too many.
Nonetheless, it’s two rather than four years we’re talking about. Or even less. That’s how long President Obama’s election victory lasts – at least in terms of getting things of significance done.
Why two years or less? The next House and Senate election cycle begins today. The next Presidential election cycle begins in a few months.
The two-year time limit affects any big initiative the President might have. This includes the broader Middle East and more specifically Israel/Palestine.
On the House and Senate side, pressure will build soon on the President both within his party and by the Republicans, for the next election cycle. Alienating the base is against an individual candidate’s self-interest. It’s also against party interests.
On the President’s side, anything that weakens individual candidates or party interests accelerates his lame duck status. The only way for President Obama to stay relevant is to be relevant to the electoral success of others. If he washes their hands, they’ll wash his.
Every President’s second term is politically limited. Instead of leading, he is led. Considering that Obama was rightly criticized during his first term for his inability to lead on major issues, it doesn’t bode well for his second term. Of course, there were major successes – health care and gays in the military come to mind. As well, the winding down of American involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan shouldn’t be forgotten either.
On the Middle East – well we know where the Arab Spring left off. Likewise, we know nothing of significance has occurred in Israel/Palestine. Or, stated another way, the positive significance for Israel of nothing happening is clear. Israel has had four more years of stalemate on the Palestinian issue. This means victory, at least, for the Israeli government that seeks a one-state reality with millions of Palestinians on the sidelines.
Then there’s Iran – the not so subtle replacement for September 11th and its subsequent replacement, Iraq, and its ensuing replacement, Afghanistan. You get the picture. Iran is another two year time-frame for sure, whatever they agree to or, if they don’t agree, whether they’re sanctioned into destitution or bombed into oblivion.
Gifts from heaven keep dropping into Israel’s lap. September 11th and its aftermath have already yielded Israel more than a decade of green lights. Israel needs one more decade to put the icing on the cake. If I was a betting man, I bet Israel finds another decade-long gift.
Now, if we were to deepen the bet, getting more specific, will it be Iran, Syria or Egypt that provides the gift wrapping?
Egypt would be the most ironic. Could a more democratic Egypt that stands tall against Israel be Israel’s next gift? Of course, it can, if you look beyond the rhetoric. Egypt can speak its piece, feel good about it and also remain in the American corner for its own self-interest. Jordan has done this for years. A new Syrian government will do this, too.
Palestinians will have to play in the corner they’ve been apportioned by their Arab allies who partner with the United States. With friends like these, Palestinians can’t afford enemies.
Obama’s victory is a God-send around the edges of American domestic and foreign policy. The major stuff is more difficult, if not impossible. Obviously, Israel/Palestine and the Middle East falls into the major basket with significant domestic constituencies that the President and the Democrats can’t risk alienating. But, then again, Mitt Romney and the Republicans weren’t going to ruffle any of their feathers either.
One election done,the next election cycle is about to crank up.
The next two years are already being mapped out. I doubt it includes a revised map of Israel/Palestine.
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