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US cops trained to use lethal Israeli tactics

My latest at The Electronic Intifada:

US police officers are being tutored by Israel on how to employ the tactics that have brought death and serious injury to huge numbers of Palestinians in the past few months.

Officers from 15 US police agencies recently traveled to the Middle East for lessons from their Israeli counterparts.

For 10 days in late November, police officers from New York, Miami, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s department, the Drug Enforcement Agency and US Customs and Border Protection observed the daily operations of the Jerusalem police, the Israeli Border Police and the Shin Bet secret service, all of which play a vital role in administering Israel’s system of control over Palestinians.

The training junket was hosted by the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), a neoconservative think tank that claims to have organized Israeli training sessions for some 9,500 law enforcement officials since 2004 through its Law Enforcement Exchange Program (LEEP).

Summary executions

Since 1 October, Israeli forces have killed more than 100 Palestinians, including at least 19 children, in what human rights groups have labeled a “clear pattern” of summary executions. Nineteen Israelis, one Palestinian and one American were killed by Palestinian attackers during the same period, it has been reported.

The Israeli human rights group B’Tselem placed the blame squarely on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for “the transformation of police officers, and even of armed civilians, into judges and executioner.”

Many were executed while posing no threat, like 13-year-old Hadil Wajih Awwad, who was running away when shot and lying injured when killed by armed Israeli men. Others, like community activist Lafi Awad, were unarmed when ambushed and executed by Israeli soldiers.

In some cases, knives were likely planted on Palestinians. In others, Israeli soldiers may have forced them to pick up knives.

Snuff films

Several of the killings have been caught on video, producing a seemingly endless stream of viral snuff films depicting the cold-blooded murder of people like Fadi AllounMahdi al-Muhtasib and Haftom Zarhum, to name just a few.

LEEP director and former assistant FBI director Steve Pomerantz told The Jerusalem Post that the goal of JINSA’s November delegation was to adopt these Israeli tactics for application in the US.

“Now Israel is experiencing a different type of terrorism – knifings and lone wolf attacks – for which there is almost no way to detect who will do it,” said Pomerantz, referring to the unorganized Palestinian revolt against Israel’s colonial violence.

“We’re learning a lot about how the police are responding to this latest change because Israel’s security agencies are always on the forefront on the fight against terrorists. Israel is the best at dealing with terrorism and we want to learn from your experience,” he added.

A similar phenomenon is playing out in the US, where viral videos of police murders are the new normal, from the executions of Samuel DuBose and Walter Scott to the slayings of Eric GarnerZachary Hammond and, most recently, Laquan McDonald.

While American police were getting schooled in Israeli execution tactics, dashcam footage of Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke emptying his clip into 17-year-old Laquan McDonald was making headlines.

The video shows Van Dyke shooting McDonald, as he walks away from police, a total of 16 times in 15 seconds, thoroughly debunking police accounts that McDonald was lunging at officers with a knife when shot. The killing was so egregious that Van Dyke was charged with murder and Chicago police superintendent Garry McCarthy was fired, an incredibly rare outcome in the US, where, much like in Israel, impunity is the rule.

Churning out Zionists

Given the close relationship forged between US police departments and Israel’s security apparatus, the similarities in execution tactics should come as no surprise.

Under the cover of counterterrorism training, high-ranking officers from nearly every major US police department have traveled to Israel for lessons in occupation enforcement.

Van Dyke’s own department in Chicago participated in an Israeli training junket as recently as September, joining representatives from 14 other US police agencies for a weeklong annual seminar hosted by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

Among the participants were officers from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the US Marshals Service, the US Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the International Association of Chiefs of Police. They were joined by senior police executives from Chicago, Las Vegas, Austin, Seattle, Oakland and Miami-Dade.

David Friedman, the ADL’s director of national law enforcement initiatives, told The Jerusalem Post that the objective of the trip was “to learn lessons from Israel in terms of tactics and strategies,” with the added benefit of churning out influential supporters for Israel’s colonial project.

Officers who take part “come back and they are Zionists,” boasted Friedman.


Beyond serving as an indoctrination conveyer belt, these training programs seek to reframe Israel’s conquest of Palestine as a campaign of law and order for US law enforcement to emulate.

Such a narrative positions Palestinians not as dispossessed and stateless, but as a pathologically dangerous population that must be controlled and pacified with brute force.

At the 2006 annual conference of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, Avi Dichter — the former head of Shin Bet who in 2002 ordered that a one-ton bomb be dropped on a Gaza City apartment building as part of an extrajudicial assassination — delivered an address on the “intimate connection between fighting criminals and fighting terrorists.”

According to Dichter, today’s cops are fighting a new class of super predators called “crimiterrorists.”

Dichter went on to emphasize the commonalities between the war on terror and the US war on drugs.

“The war against drug abuse is a global war involving all countries,” he said. “Similar to the war against terrorism … all means and methods must be used in the war against drugs, including intelligence cooperation between countries and agencies such as the United States and the DEA.”

Disposable people

What does the disastrous war on drugs have to do with a tiny Sparta state six thousand miles away?

As Michelle Alexander explains in her book The New Jim Crow, the rise of the war on drugs in the 1970s and 1980s coincided with the collapse of inner-city economies due to deindustrialization, globalization and advancements in technology that replaced low-skill labor, creating a new underclass completely shut out of the American economy.

The war on drugs essentially criminalized Blackness and poverty, fueling an explosion in mass incarceration.

“While earlier systems of control [slavery and Jim Crow] were designed to exploit and control black labor,” argues Alexander, “mass incarceration is designed to warehouse a population deemed disposable — unnecessary to the functioning of the new global economy.”

Who better to learn from than a state with decades of experience occupying and warehousing a population that has been deemed disposable?

In the post-9/11 era, Israel has helped facilitate the absolute convergence of the war on terror and war on drugs, just as Ditcher envisioned, with American police behaving as fully militarized occupying forces in poor Black neighborhoods. When residents attempt to resist their conditions, like they did in Ferguson and Baltimore, they are met with suppression tactics nearly indistinguishable from Israel’s occupation regime.

Since the beginning of this year, American police officers have killed 1,046 people, with Black victims accounting for a disproportionate number of the victims relative to the overall Black population.

Deadly police violence in the US is bad enough as it is. Adopting murderous Israeli tactics will only make it worse.

Israeli leaders exploit Paris attacks to justify atrocities against Palestinians

Crossposted from The Electronic Intifada

Since Islamic State operatives killed nearly 130 people in a series of  attacks across Paris on Friday, Israeli leaders have rushed to exploit the carnage to justify violence against Palestinians.

On the extreme end of the spectrum was Dov Lior, a prominent Israeli settler and rabbi, who celebrated the attacks as an appropriate punishment for the Holocaust.

“The wicked ones in blood-soaked Europe deserve it for what they did to our people 70 years ago,” said Lior.

As the attack was still underway, Israeli journalist Dan Margalit mocked the victims over the European Union’s decision to label products from Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.

“In order to save lives we should send medical aid and food from the settlements for the victims of Arab terror in Paris. And we should provide them with shelter and rehabilitation services in Ariel,” tweeted Margalit, referring to one of the major settlements.

Meanwhile, some Israeli media outlets attempted to falsely link the Paris attacks to the Palestinian-led movement to boycott, divest from and sanction Israel.

Israel’s more mainstream leaders, right-wing as they are, didn’t cheer the attacks as Lior did, nor did they mock the victims or blame BDS. Instead, they used the Paris attacks as an opportunity to malign Palestinians, as they almost always do following major attacks in Western countries.

Masking colonial terror

For decades Israel has tried to sell its colonial conquest of Palestine as a war on Islamic terrorism. Indeed, the “war on terror” doctrine has long been pushed by Israel to justify atrocities against Palestinians. But it wasn’t until after 2001 that this framing really stuck.

Speaking at Bar Ilan University in 2008, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu boasted that Israel was “benefitting” from the 11 September 2001 al-Qaeda attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, which he credited with having “swung American public opinion in our favor.”

Israeli leaders hope the Paris attacks can play a similar role.

In the immediate aftermath of the attacks, Netanyahu, who oversaw the killing of 551 children in Gaza during the summer of 2014, released a statement condemning “militant Islamic terrorism” for “the deliberate and systematic targeting of civilians” from Paris to Jerusalem.

“As I’ve said for many years, militant Islamic terrorism attacks our societies because it wants to destroy our civilization and our values,” he said.

Drawing a connection where none exists, Netanyahu later told his cabinet that the killing of two settlers in the occupied West Bank “mere hours” before the Paris attacks was no different than the killings in France.

Since 1 October, Israeli forces have killed 80 Palestinians, including at least 15 children, dozens in what Amnesty International labeled a “clear pattern” of summary executions.

At least 12 Israelis have been killed by Palestinians in the same period, the predictable outcome of Israel’s ramped-up colonial violence.

Israeli leaders will exploit any opportunity to deflect from that reality while pushing the narrative that Israelis are blameless victims terrorized by Palestinians.

“In Israel, as in France, terrorism is terrorism and standing behind it is radical Islam and its desire to destroy its victims,” said Netanyahu in his cabinet address. “The time has come for countries to condemn terrorism against us to the same degree that they condemn terrorism everywhere else in the world.”

He went on to absolve Israel’s military occupation of any responsibility for fueling Palestinian violence, saying, “We should remember – we are not to blame for the terrorism directed against us, just as the French are not to blame for the terrorism directed against them. It is the terrorists who are to blame for terrorism, not the territories, not the settlements and not any other thing. It is the desire to destroy us that perpetuates this conflict and drives the murderous aggression against us.”

Israel’s brutality against Palestinians, who “have the same murderous intent as those in Paris,” is therefore justified, argued Netanyahu. “Thanks to our aggressive policy against terrorism – to control the ground, go into the villages, demolish terrorists’ homes and take preventive action against the infrastructures of terrorism – along with the determined action of the IDF [Israel’s military] and the security services in carrying out this policy, we succeed many times in frustrating and preventing more serious disasters.”

Cheering a third world war

Moshe Yaalon, the Israeli defense minister, openly fantasized that the Paris attacks would induce an erosion of European human rights.

“In the United States until the events of 11 September, the balance between security and human rights favored human rights on the issue, for example of eavesdropping on potential terrorists,” Yaalon told Israel’s Army Radio on Sunday.

“In France and other countries in Europe, that hasn’t yet happened,” he added. “Countries fighting terrorism have no alternative in this other than shifting in the direction of security. I assume that we will see a large number of steps [to carry out] inspections: passport inspections, inspections at the entrance to public places.”

Yaalon expressed a desire for Europe to emulate Israel, saying, “We as a democracy are experienced in fighting terrorism, used to it. The Western democracies in Europe will apparently need to include such steps in their countries too to defend themselves.”

Israeli leaders were similarly optimistic that Europe’s refugee crisis would generate a shift to the right modeled on Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.

But such a response would play right into the hands of Islamic State, which seeks to eliminate the “gray zone” of coexistence between Muslims and the West by spurring a hawkish response and anti-Muslim security measures. The idea, as stated by Islamic State in its official magazine, Dabiq, is that rising repression in the West, fueled by Islamic State’s attacks, will force Muslims “to escape persecution from the crusader governments and citizens.”

On Monday, Yaalon doubled down on his demagoguery, characterizing the Paris attacks as part of a new world war in which radical Islam is the enemy of the enlightened West.

“We’re already there [a third world war] for a while now,” Yaalon told Voice of Israel Radio. “There are those that bury their heads in the sand and try to define it as a social problem, or try to define it as something else. What we have is Jihadist Islam that is calling to destroy Western culture.”

Islamic State and Israel: shared interests

If anyone can relate to what the people of Paris are experiencing at the moment, it is not Israelis but rather the people of south Beirut, Palestinian refugees in the Yarmouk camp of Damascus, Syrians, Iraqis and many more Muslims and Arabs who make up the majority of Islamic State’s victims.

Islamic State has demonstrated that it is far more interested in attacking Israel’s adversaries, like Hizballah and Hamas (both of them condemned the Paris attacks) than in attacking Israel.

One day before the Paris attacks, Islamic State carried out a double suicide bombing in Bourj al-Barajneh, a predominantly Shiite neighborhood in southern Beirut, killing 43 people and wounding more than 200.

While Western media has rightly sympathized with Islamic State’s Parisian victims, the residential neighborhood targeted in Beirut was reduced to a “Hizballah stronghold,” language that effectively legitimizes the attack as one aimed at a military target and sends the message that the men, women and children who perished deserved their fate.

Some right-wingers even applauded the Beirut attack because they viewed it as a loss for Hizballah.

In fact, the only beneficiaries of Islamic State’s attacks seem to be Islamic State and the West’s hawks, whose nearly identical “clash of civilizations” ideologies feed off one another in what amounts to a symbiotic relationship.

The hawks, from Israel to the US, need Islamic State in order to justify more of the same destructive interventionism that gave rise to the fanatical death cult in the first place. And Islamic State needs a militaristic Western right wing to justify its propaganda about anti-Muslim crusaders.

Meanwhile, Israel is colluding with Europe’s right to capitalize on the disaster.

Hungary’s right-wing government, notorious for its bigoted cruelty toward refugees, is actively looking to adopt Israeli solutions to ensure its own demographic purity.

On Monday, Netanyahu met Peter Szijjarto, the Hungarian foreign minister, to discuss “security needs of their respective nations”, which, according to an Israeli government statement, included the “major challenges” posed by “mass migration from the Middle East into the heart of Europe,” Szijjarto has blamed such migration for the Paris attacks.

Podcast: Rikers Island reforms solitary confinement with pre-crime and new isolation units

There has been a push by activists, advocacy organizations, and concerned citizens in New York to reform solitary confinement. Yet, at Rikers Island prison, the city recently adopted a “rehabilitative” reform, which developed a new system of solitary confinement for inmates in order to accomplish solitary confinement reforms.

Independent journalist Raven Rakia appears on this week’s “Unauthorized Disclosure” episode to share her reporting on Rikers Island in New York, which was published by The Nation.

New York has reformed solitary confinement by establishing Enhanced Supervision Housing Units (ESHUs). The units are essentially enhanced solitary confinement units, and Rakia highlights how this system may further entrench the abuses of solitary confinement into the system at Rikers. The Department of Corrections (DOC) has also incorporated “predictive analysis” or pre-crime analysis into designating which inmates should be put in ESHUs because they possess “traits” that may lead them to commit violence.

During the discussion, the hosts, Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola, discuss the University of Missouri and how what happened there has inspired protests on campuses across the United States. They talk about some of the tactics by students, such as requests for apologies for -isms from university presidents and prohibiting media access to public assemblies. How do these tactics ultimately help students win power? Finally, Khalek comments on the Center for American Progress’ event with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The podcast is available on iTunes for download. For a link (and also to download the episode), go here. Click on “go here” and a page will load with the audio file of the podcast. The file will automatically start playing so you can listen to the episode. And, for the latest updates, please follow the show on Twitter at @UnauthorizedDis.

Below is a partial edited transcript of the interview with Raven Rakia. Read more

Podcast: NYPD infiltration of Brooklyn College suggests surveillance of Muslims continues

The New York Police Department deployed an undercover officer named “Mel,” who “converted” to Islam and infiltrated Brooklyn College, according to a report published in the Gothamist.

As reported, three Brooklyn College graduates shared how “Mel” had developed relationships with them. She was present “during some of the most private moments of their lives,” and they were terribly afraid when they learned of the undercover’s true identity.

The graduates learned of her true identity after two Queens residents named Noelle Velentzas and Asia Siddiqui were arrested in an FBI-NYPD sting operation for allegedly planning to construct a bomb. However, what is alarming is Velentzas and Siddiqui were not Brooklyn College students and there is no apparent reason why the undercover had to befriend students at the college to conduct an operation targeting Velentzas or Siddiqui.

Aviva Stahl, an independent journalist who produced this report for the Gothamist, joins the “Unauthorized Disclosure” podcast to talk about “Mel,” how the graduates felt violated, the operation and the NYPD’s reaction to this story, which includes a ludicrous rejection of the idea that Muslims have ever before been subject to “blanket surveillance” by the city’s police.

During the discussion portion of the show, Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola highlight the problems with think pieces suggesting all critics of Hillary Clinton are “Bernie Bros.” They also discuss Shaker Aamer’s case and read from a prison letter from Chelsea Manning to Gosztola.

The podcast is available on iTunes for download. For a link (and also to download the episode), go here. Click on “go here” and a page will load with the audio file of the podcast. The file will automatically start playing so you can listen to the episode.

For the latest updates, please follow the show on Twitter at @UnauthorizedDis.

Below is a partial transcript of the interview with Aviva Stahl.

Read more

Podcast: Journalist Anand Gopal on MSF hospital attack and next phase of Afghanistan war

The Afghanistan war returned to the headlines this past week, reminding Americans it is still ongoing. The U.S. bombed a Doctors Without Borders hospital in the Kunduz province. General John Campbell, commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, appeared before congressional committee to make statements about the strike and also, with little specificity, address U.S. commitment to the next phase of war.

Fighting has escalated in recent weeks, especially in Kunduz, and it seems clear the war will not be brought to an end by President Barack Obama’s administration. Troop levels could remain the same or even increase, despite the fact there have been plans to reduce U.S. forces to only protecting the U.S. embassy in Kabul.

Numerous Afghan militias, police units, and special forces trained and armed by the U.S. patrol the country, engaging in executions and other horrific acts that impact civilians.

On the “Unauthorized Disclosure” podcast this week, journalist Anand Gopal, author of No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War Through Afghan Eyes, joins the show to discuss the war in Afghanistan, including the most recent hospital attack. Having reported from Afghanistan, he describes how the U.S. has funded and armed people who have become strongmen or warlords. He talks about how the U.S. adopts policy to look the other way when human rights violations occur.

During the discussion part of the show, hosts Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola talk about the latest developments in Israel-Palestine, including reported execution-style shooting of Palestinians by Israeli forces. We also highlight a decision at Purdue University to destroy all copies of a presentation by journalist Barton Gellman on NSA documents from Edward Snowden.

The podcast is available on iTunes for download. For a link (and also to download the episode), go here. Click on “go here” and a page will load with the audio file of the podcast. The file will automatically start playing so you can listen to the episode. And please follow the show on Twitter at @UnauthorizedDis.

Below is a partial transcript of the interview with Anand Gopal. Read more

Palestinian lives don’t matter to US media

Crossposted from The Electronic Intifada

As Israel ramps up its deadly attacks on Palestinians, mainstream US media outlets are actively concealing the alarming displays of genocidal racism emanating from Israeli Jewish society.

Violence against Palestinians is nothing new. Israel’s ongoing colonial project requires enormous levels of brutality against Palestinians. But this daily reality is only newsworthy when it blows back against Israeli Jews, which has been the case during the last week with a number of violent incidents against Israeli settlers.

Every unsavory act allegedly committed by a Palestinian since the drive-by shooting of an Israeli settler couple last Thursday has garnered major headlines. During the same time period, Israeli settlers and soldiers have terrorized Palestinians across the occupied West Bank in attacks that have injured nearly 1,000 Palestinians, including at least 66 people with live rounds.

Yet these acts of systematic violence have barely registered as an afterthought in establishment press reports, sending a very clear and chilling message. Palestinian lives, it seems, have no value until Israeli Jewish lives are affected.

Meanwhile, incitement to murder by Israeli leaders and Jewish lynch mobs chanting “death to Arabs” were comprehensively omitted from US media coverage, much like they were in the lead up to the burning alive of 16-year-old Muhammad Abu Khudair last year.

“Death to Arabs”

Following a stabbing attack in Jerusalem’s Old City that killed two Israeli settlers last Saturday, hundreds of Jewish extremists paraded through the streets of Jerusalem demanding collective vengeance against Palestinians.

Chanting their hauntingly routine “death to the Arabs” rallying cry, they broke into lynch mobs hunting for Palestinians to attack.

Anti-Palestinian race riots have erupted with increasing regularity in Jerusalem since the lead up to the 51-day assault on Gaza in the summer of 2014 that killed 2,251 people, the majority of them civilians. According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, “this time it seems that the Jewish mob which took to the streets was accepted by Jerusalemites with understanding, if not downright approval.”

The crowd was made up of extremists from an assortment of far right groups, including activists from Lehava, the anti-miscegenation group that equates mixed Arab-Jewish relationships and assimilation with genocide of the Jewish people. There were also more female participants than usual and they played a key role in riling up the crowds.

“We have to kill them all, including the Arab Druze in the army,” one woman was quoted as saying.

“Where were you at seven in the evening?” another woman shouted at the police. “Go beat up Arabs.”

“Let the people of Israel enter the gates and kill Arabs,” hollered a youth at the police.

Despite their hostility towards the police, the mob attacked their Palestinian targets with relative ease under Israeli police escort throughout the weekend.

On Saturday night Israeli extremists targeted a Palestinian worker with tear gas and attacked a Palestinian driver who struck a pedestrian in his frantic attempt to flee.

At the Jerusalem light rail, extremists asked passengers if they were Arab to determine whether or not to attack them. More disturbing than the mob itself was the lack of concern from bystanders, who “responded apathetically and tried to look the other way,” reported Haaretz.

“There were many drivers who honked in solidarity and vocally supported them. The cafes and restaurants along Jaffa Road were full of people watching the march of hatred passing back and forth.”

In stark contrast to the saturation of headlines about the Palestinian attacks on Israeli soldiers and settlers, just one major US media outlet mentioned the hate fests but only after four Palestinians were stabbed by an Israeli Jew in Dimona following a week of incitement and race riots that went unreported.

How to whitewash a lynching

The race riots continued into early Sunday morning, with a mob of rightwing Jews chasing 19-year-old Fadi Alloun, shouting to Israeli police, “Shoot him! He’s a terrorist! Shoot him!” and “Don’t wait! Shoot him!”

The police obliged, firing several gunshots. Alloun, unarmed and visibly terrified, was executed on the spot and the racist crowd rejoiced in celebration, cheering, “Yes! Yes! Son of a bitch!” and “Wow!” and “He’s an Arab!” and “Death to the Arabs!”

Israeli officials quickly justified the killing by claiming without a shred of proof that Alloun was shot after stabbing a 15-year-old Israeli boy.

Despite publicly available videos showing Alloun being shot in cold blood while posing no threat and despite Israel offering no evidence to corroborate the accusation that he stabbed an Israeli, US media outlets accepted Israel’s version of events as fact.

The New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief Jodi Rudoren and correspondent Isabel Kershner parroted Israeli police claims, reporting that Alloun “stabbed and wounded a 15-year-old Jewish boy on a road outside the Old City.” They went on to whitewash the video footage of Alloun’s killing, describing the lynch mob who hunted him as “Israeli civilians in pursuit,” as if they were good Samaritans tailing a dangerous criminal.

The New York Times published at least ten news stories about the recent spate of violence, yet it wasn’t until the tenth report on 9 October that it found space to report on a “death to Arabs” rally.

The Associated Press followed a similar rubric.

“A Palestinian teenager stabbed and moderately wounded a 15-year-old Israeli early Sunday morning in Jerusalem before being shot dead by an Israeli officer, police said,” was the extent of its coverage of Alloun’s killing.

The article went on to detail several instances of Palestinians allegedly behaving badly toward Israelis by hurling stones and Molotov cocktails at soldiers, though a vague recognition that Palestinians had been injured by Israeli forces was buried towards the end of its report.

In a follow-up report the AP whitewashed a massive gathering of “thousands of Israelis” outside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s residence on Monday night who were “demanding tough action,” according to the AP.

Who were these “thousands of Israelis” and what “tough action” were they demanding? The AP doesn’t say.

According to Haaretz, the protest was organized by the Samaria Settlers’ Committee, a far right group that produced an animated video earlier this year, which employed classical anti-Semitic tropes to incite against left-wing Jews.

In attendance were Israeli cabinet ministers Haim Katz and Yariv Levin, who demanded Netanyahu respond to Palestinian attacks on settlers by building more illegal Jewish-only settlements in the occupied West Bank. Settlement construction, saidLevin, will allow Israel “to beat terrorism in the most Jewish way possible.”

“Freezing [settlement] construction encourages the villains,” he told the crowd.

“Burn them in their villages”

Despite the US media’s refusal to report on them, the “death to Arabs” rallies have continued unabated.

On Thursday evening, hundreds of Jewish extremists marched through Jerusalem chanting “death to Arabs” and “burn them in their villages.”

They were reportedly led by extremists affiliated with Lehava and the notoriously fascist Beitar Jerusalem soccer fan club La Familia.

If not for social media and a handful of English-language Israeli media outlets, the existence of these lynch mobs would be virtually unknown.

Palestinians were attacked in Netanya, a city in present-day Israel, the same night by a hate mob chanting “death to Arabs” and “Netanya residents are taking care of the Arabs.”

Lighting the next match

The next lynching of a Palestinian isn’t a matter of if, it’s a matter of when.

Even Israel’s security cabinet expressed concerns, predicting that another deadly attack by Jewish extremists similar to the burning of the Dawabsha family over the summertime is likely to occur.

And once again Israeli leaders will have lit the match.

Slamming Netanyahu for being too soft on Palestinians, Israeli justice minister and genocide advocate Ayelet Shaked openly agitated for collective punishment. “We need to do things that will hurt [the Palestinians], so they understand [terrorism] doesn’t pay,” said Shaked.

As “death to Arabs” riots erupt across Jerusalem, Mayor Nir Barkat is imploring Israelis to carry their guns at all times to shoot potential Palestinian “terrorists.”

In the Israeli lexicon the word “terrorist” refers to any Palestinian who resists Israel’s matrix of oppression, including children who throw rocks. Israel’s security cabinet recently made it official by approving the use of live fire against Palestinian rock-throwers.

Therefore urging Israeli civilians to shoot “terrorists” amounts to giving vigilantes license to kill not only Palestinians who attack settlers but also children who throw pebbles or any Palestinian perceived as threatening to Israel’s colonial system.

“Eliminate the enemy”

During a visit to the far right protest outside Netanyahu’s home, Naftali Bennett, Israeli education minister and leader of the ultra-nationalist Habeyit Hayehudi (Jewish Home) party, applauded as heroes Israeli settlers who shot alleged Palestinian assailants dead over the last week.

“Against the cowardly Arab terrorism, a wave of Jewish courage is rising to defeat it,” he told the protesters, encouraging them to “eliminate the enemy.”

“For the past 120 years, people are trying to kill the Jews here. The enemy changes, but we remain here, growing and building our land,” said Bennett. “We are the eternal nation, and we are raising our heads. Jewish heroism will defeat the enemy.”

Eli Ben-Dahan, the settler rabbi and deputy defense minister who decreed that Palestinians are “beasts,” called for faster demolitions of the family homes of Palestinian attackers and for the expulsion of their families.

“Demolishing terrorists’ houses and deporting their families is the best deterrent and most efficient way to deal with terrorism by individuals,” Ben-Dahan told an army radio station. He also urged Israelis armed with guns to “be alert and prevent another terrorist attack.”

Yinon Magal, an elected reperestive of Habeyit Hayehudi in Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, tweeted and then deleted, “it is important to make an effort so that terrorists who carry out attacks are not left alive.”

He later clarified, “I’m not saying we should take the law into our hands and lynch people.”

He added, “Whoever is trying to kill us should be taken out.”

It remains unclear how this is different from his original tweet.

During a right-wing sit-in protest at the site of a stabbing attack in the Old City, Moti Yogev, a member of the Knesset from Habeyit Hayehudi, was captured on film shouting at an elderly Palestinian woman, “Go to the grave. You will not pass here! Only Jews!”

While Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appears uninterested in provoking a Palestinian uprising at the moment, he is being pushed further to the right by the ultra-nationalist hardliners that dominate his governing coalition.

Not to be outflanked by Naftali Bennett, Netanyahu has declared “a fight to the death against Palestinian terror.”

This incitement has deadly consequences. Israeli soldiers executed six Palestinian protesters and injured another 60 in Gaza for allegedly throwing rocks at the border fence. And on Friday, a Jewish Israeli in Dimona stabbed four Palestinian workers.

The Associated Press, which has avoided covering incitement by Israeli leaders, rushed to report Netanyahu’s condemnation of the attack and then blamed Palestinians for fueling the unrest.

As Israel’s culture of hatred spirals out of control, the media outlets concealing the incitement from top Israeli leaders and the “death to Arabs” riots they help spawn are complicit, again.

Editors Note: At initial publication, none of the US media outlets discussed in this article had addressed “death to the Arabs” rallies. The article has been updated to reflect that after more than a week of ignoring the phenomenon, The New York Times eventually mentioned it in a report.

Podcast: Dima Khalidi of Palestine legal on ‘Palestine exception to free speech’

In the United States, there is a campaign by Israeli advocacy organizations—with the support of the Israeli government—to censor, intimidate, harass, and vilify activists engaged in activism for Palestinian human rights. Particularly, the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement is seen as a threat.

The focusing of resources against activists, especially on campuses and universities, has created a chilling effect. This has created a pervasive problem, where the right to engage in free speech and freedom of expression on the issue of Israeli military occupation and Palestinian human rights is undermined.

One organization, Palestine Legal, a nonprofit legal advocacy organization, has responded to hundreds of incidents in the past two years, where administrators, government officials, and pro-Israel groups have sought to censor and punish student activists. They put out a major report this past week, “The Palestine Exception to Free Speech.”

This week on the “Unauthorized Disclosure,” Palestinian Legal Director Dima Khalidi joins the show to discuss the comprehensive report. Khalidi addresses the escalation by Israeli advocacy groups against activists on college and university campuses. Khalidi highlights how Israeli consulate officials are spying on students, how students threatened are forced to pay for their own security or cancel events, and what organizations like Palestine Legal are doing to push back against lawmakers, who have worked to pass legislation to discourage boycotts and divestment campaigns against Israeli apartheid.

During the discussion part of the show, hosts Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola talk about the US airstrike against a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Afghanistan, Prime Minister Benjamin Netyanahu’s speech at the UN General Assembly, right-wing human rights activist Thor Halvorssen’s effort to have a story on him censored, and some of the Clinton emails mentioning WikiLeaks.

The podcast is available on iTunes for download. For a link (and also to download the episode), go here. Click on “go here” and a page will load with the audio file of the podcast. The file will automatically start playing so you can listen to the episode.

And please follow the show on Twitter at @UnauthorizedDis.

Below are some highlights from Palestinian Legal Director Dima Khalidi’s interview. Read more


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