WARNING : This site is not for you if you cannot see the otherness of other and sufferings of both sides of the party in the conflict. Security for Israel and Justice for the Palestinians are interdependent, one will not happen without the other. My view focuses on building cohesive societies where no one has to live in apprehension or fear of the other. I hope and pray a sense of justice to prevail. Amen. Website www.IsraelPalestineDialogue.com | Also Check Israel Palestine Confederation a pragmatic solution

Friday, July 9, 2010

Muslim acts of heroism during Holocaust

If I were to define Islam in another word, it would be justness or justice. The Muslims in Dallas have taken the initiative to commemorate and reflect on Holocaust and Genocides for three years now. www.HolocaustandGenocides.com

Mike Ghouse

July 7, 110 Wednesday 4 Av 3870 10:31 IST

Photo by: Courtesy
New booklet reveals Muslim acts of heroism during Holocaust

"The Role of Righteous Muslim Persons," initiated by Faith Matters, an interfaith organization.

LONDON – A new publication highlighting Muslim acts of heroism during the Holocaust will be published on Wednesday, chronicling the role played by Muslims who defended Jews during World War II.

The 34-page booklet, titled "The Role of Righteous Muslim Persons," was initiated by Faith Matters, a London-based interfaith organization that works toward reducing extremism and fostering social cohesion in the UK. The aim of the booklet is to inform religious communities and the general public about the littleknown stories of courageous Muslims who stood up against injustice, protecting Jews during the Holocaust.

Guided by their Muslim faith and personal desire to do what was right, they protected and saved the lives of many potential victims. The publication also aims to counter the narrative that no Muslims played a part in the defense of Jewish communities during the War.

The work focuses on people deemed "Righteous Gentiles" by Jerusalem's Yad Vashem and highlights the role played by individuals, families and communities in countries such as Albania, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Turkey, Croatia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

In Albania, Jews were not victims of the Nazis because of a national code of honor called "Besa," a desire to help those in need, even those of another faith or origin.

The booklet also tells the story of Muslim lawyer Khaled Mahameed, founder and curator of the first Arab Holocaust museum in Nazareth, who believes that by understanding such atrocities, one can stand up for justice and equality.

"This booklet is needed now more than ever, especially when there is very little in the public domain about the role that Muslim communities played in the Holocaust, as well as numerous articles and Web sites which repeat the mantra that Muslim communities are overwhelmingly negative in their thoughts and views about the Holocaust," said Fiyaz Mughal, founder of Faith Matters and editor of the booklet.

"It highlights the noble deeds and courageous acts carried out by Muslims towards their Jewish neighbors, and I hope that faith communities will use the booklet as a tool to encourage greater understanding and respect towards each other," he added.

"It is important to remember and learn from the actions of brave people who risked their lives to save others during the Holocaust," said Karen Pollock, chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust. "These stories of individuals who faced great dangers to help Jewish people are inspirational."

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Obama to placate Israel's right-wing leaders

The right winger among Jews create insecurity for Jews and the people of Israel, they pretend to work for the security of Jews and Israel, in reality they do the opposite. When are the moderate Jews going to wake up and take charge of their nation?

Unless there is justice for every one, peace become a forlorn hope.
When we keep threatening others, we are becoming less safer.
It is a shame the right wingers do not understand this and
get out of the way peace.

Mike Ghouse

MJ Rosenberg shows just how far Obama has gone to placate Israel's right-wing leaders. Plus Ha'aretz says Talk to Hamas! Amira Hass analyzes Israel's move to expel residents of Jerusalem affiliated with Hamas.

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Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said it best at his joint press conference with President Barack Obama yesterday. Speaking of the urgency of beginning talks with the Palestinians, he said "we need to begin negotiations in order to end them."

One has to wonder if it will even get that far. After yesterday's meeting of the Obama-Netanyahu Mutual Admiration Society, it does not appear that the Israeli leader is under any pressure to begin serious negotiations anytime soon. Or freeze settlements. Or do much of anything except express dedication to the concept of peace.

Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank summed it up:

A blue-and-white Israeli flag hung from Blair House. Across Pennsylvania Avenue, the Stars and Stripes was in its usual place atop the White House. But to capture the real significance of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's visit with President Obama, White House officials might have instead flown the white flag of surrender. [Emphasis mine]

In fact, Netanyahu may have gotten more from Obama than he had even hoped for.

In the joint statement issued by the two governments after the meeting, the United States agreed that anything Israel does in the name of its own security (as it sees it) is fine with us:

The President told the Prime Minister he recognizes that Israel must always have the ability to defend itself, by itself, against any threat or possible combination of threats, and that only Israel can determine its security needs. [Emphasis mine]

The point here is that the United States has no right to tell Israel what to do on security issues which, for Netanyahu, of course, include maintaining the occupation, blockading Gaza, and "preempting" any adversary by attacking whenever and whomever. Most troubling, the United States agreed that Israel will continue to be exempted from the requirements of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Here's Obama:

Finally, we discussed issues that arose out of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Conference. And I reiterated to the Prime Minister that there is no change in U.S. policy when it comes to these issues. We strongly believe that, given its size, its history, the region that it's in, and the threats that are leveled against us -- against it, that Israel has unique security requirements. It's got to be able to respond to threats or any combination of threats in the region. And that's why we remain unwavering in our commitment to Israel's security. And the United States will never ask Israel to take any steps that would undermine their security interests. [Emphasis mine]

In other words, Israel is exempt from the nonproliferation requirements we impose on every other country because of its "unique security requirements." Of course, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia and a host of other countries have (as they see it) "unique security requirements." This exemption, pretty much unspoken until now, blows a hole in our nonproliferation policy.

It is clear that the President has no intention of putting any pressure on the Prime Minister. Despite the fact that Israel continues to expand settlements, continues to evict Palestinians from their homes, and has announced that after September any semblance of a settlement freeze will be replaced with more settlers everywhere, Obama still praised Netanyahu to the skies. So why would Netanyahu engage in serious negotiations?

Netanyahu must be ecstatic. He told his political allies and adversaries back home that in an election year, no President of the United States would dare pressure him. And so Netanyahu won big time yesterday.

But Israel lost. So did the United States (which looks less like a superpower and more like a paper tiger). And obviously, so did the Palestinians.

The amazing thing is that while the president gave Netanyahu everything he wanted (which was primarily a lovey-dovey photo op and threatening statements on Iran), Netanyahu got away with offering nothing. He simply said "we want to explore the possibility of peace." The possibility?

One could go on and on. But why bother? The Netanyahu-Obama summit was not a serious event but a purely political one. Each leader accomplished what he needed: Netanyahu goes home looking far stronger than when he departed and without making any compromises that would offend his right flank. Obama can inform the chairs of the House and Senate campaign committees that they can tell disgruntled donors that his relations with Netanyahu are good as gold.

And "pro-Israel" Democrats can proclaim Obama to be "the most pro-Israel President ever." (The last President to hold that title was George W. Bush.)

It just makes you proud.

Ha'aretz Editorial: July 7th

The writer David Grossman called on the government of Israel in these pages yesterday to cease its preoccupation with the number and identity of Palestinian prisoners who would potentially be swapped for captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Grossman believes Israel should make Hamas a broader offer that would involve "a total cease-fire, an end to all terror activities from Gaza and a lifting of the siege." The start of such negotiations would see Shalit and the prisoners exchanged.

The proposal deserves serious consideration as the basis for a new policy. It is unfortunate that four years have been wasted and something along these lines was not adopted soon after Shalit's abduction in 2006. There is no certainty, however, that Hamas would have agreed to the proposal then, or that it will do so now. It is also worth examining the impact such a deal would have on the Palestinian Authority, Egypt and Jordan. But the point of departure is that there is no sense in allowing the existing situation to continue.

A few days after the abduction and the failure of operation "Southern Shalit" to locate and rescue the soldier, astute voices from the top ranks of the Israel Defense Forces reached the conclusion that if Shalit was to be brought back, a new policy was necessary. These voices, which apparently reflected the position of GOC Southern Command Yoav Galant and then chief of staff Dan Halutz, sought to recognize the reality that had been created in Gaza following the Hamas victory in the PA elections four months earlier, and the establishment of the Ismail Haniyeh government (Hamas' violent takeover of the Strip only took place in June 2007 ).

The IDF wanted to pose the following option to Hamas: Preserve your rule of power or continue your violent struggle against Israel. A proposal to seek a broad agreement on Israel-Hamas relations was drafted - which was to include a cease-fire, an end to terrorist attacks and the launching of Qassam rockets, an end to efforts to acquire more weapons for use against Israel and the release of Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Shalit. A report on this attitude held by the IDF, published by Haaretz, angered then-prime minister Ehud Olmert, who opposed a prisoner exchange deal. He shelved the idea and subsequently rejected similar ones raised during Operation Cast Lead.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is not bound by Olmert's objections. He should revive the idea and challenge Hamas. Israel needs to embark on an initiative that would fundamentally alter the situation along the southern border, without fearing dialogue with Hamas. It must not regard the current situation as simply fate.

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Published 01:42 07.07.10
Latest update 01:42 07.07.10
Disloyalty on the part of the occupied
Were it not for Mohammed Abu Tir's red beard, this would perhaps be only a marginal news item: Israel is working to expel four Palestinian residents of Jerusalem affiliated with Hamas from the city of their birth.
By Amira Hass
Were it not for Mohammed Abu Tir's red beard, this would perhaps be only a marginal news item: Israel is working to expel four Palestinian residents of Jerusalem affiliated with Hamas from the city of their birth.

There are those who see this expulsion as demonstrating a proud national stance, but it is already turning out to be a political boomerang. Abu Tir is under arrest, because he did not leave Jerusalem on June 19. His colleagues - Khaled Abu Arafa, formerly the Jerusalem affairs minister in Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh's government, and Ahmed Atun and Mohammed Totah, both members of the Palestinian Legislative Council on behalf of an Islamic list identified with Hamas - have moved into the Red Cross office in East Jerusalem.

Four years ago, then-interior minister Roni Bar-On (Kadima ) revoked their status as Jerusalem residents on the grounds that they had violated their minimal obligation of loyalty to the state of Israel, its citizens and its residents. After that, they were arrested, released and defined as illegals obligated to depart from "Israel's borders."

Since the end of 1995, the Interior Ministry - headed first by Haim Ramon (Labor ) and subsequently by Eliyahu Suissa (Shas ) - has pursued a policy of mass revocation of residency (with a brief hiatus under Natan Sharansky of Yisrael B'Aliyah, and even that only after an intense public struggle ). The record was set in 2008, when 4,577 men and women were stripped of their right to reside in their own city by the Interior Ministry, then headed by Meir Sheetrit (Kadima ).

Nevertheless, by revoking the residency of these three parliamentarians and one former cabinet minister, Israel has set a record of a new sort: Until now, Jerusalem residency had been revoked exclusively on the basis of administrative pretexts, such as prolonged stays outside the city.

These wicked pretexts derive from the liberty Israel has taken of applying the Entry to Israel Law - used primarily to grant residency permits to non-Jewish immigrants - to residents of occupied and annexed East Jerusalem. But the inhabitants of East Jerusalem did not decide to "come" to Israel; it is Israel that "came" to them.

The current case, however, is the first time Israel has denied Jerusalem residency on political grounds.

The United States and Europe urged Israel to let the Palestinians hold elections in 2006. The participation of an Islamic list affiliated with Hamas was a well-known condition for enabling these elections to take place, including in Jerusalem.

Yet the moment that list won a sweeping victory, Israel embarked on a campaign of punishment against its members, and especially the Jerusalemites among them, for "serving" in the Palestinian Authority.

This, in and of itself, represented a new peak of political cynicism (and another slap in the face to PA President Mahmoud Abbas ). It has been exceeded in its cynicism only by Israel's demand that the occupied evince loyalty to the occupier, lest he be banished.

With this expulsion order, Israel has managed to unite the entire Palestinian arena. The protest tent the three men set up in the courtyard of the Red Cross office has become a pilgrimage site. And Abbas has met twice with those slated for banishment.

Time will tell whether his promise to have the decree rescinded can be kept. In the meantime, however, the political movement that is his main rival is again becoming the symbol of the national struggle and of steadfastness in waging it.

Even those who, for political and cultural reasons, are sworn opponents of the Palestinian Islamic movement know that Israel is setting a precedent.

Today, people affiliated with Hamas are being expelled from Jerusalem. Tomorrow, if the PA falls apart or dares to reject Israel's dictates, it will be known Fatah activists who will be stripped of their residency due to "disloyalty to the occupation."

Following the flotilla raid, the expulsions from Sheikh Jarrah and the royal plans for Silwan, this is yet another match that Israel is tossing into the tinderbox. And it is one that even its friends will find it hard to ignore.