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Monday, 13 October 2008

ACRE - A pogrom perpetrated by Jews against Arab residents

One of the pogromists
A car window smashed by the pogromists
Israeli police forces out on the streets in the northern city of Acre, where rioting has continued for three nights.
Acre burning, like Mississippi or Johannesburg!
On Thursday, Israeli Arab MK Ahmed Tibi (Ra'am-Ta'al) responded to the clashes in the northern city , calling the violence a "pogrom perpetrated by Jews against Arab residents."
The word pogrom has a resonance in the history of European Jews. In Odessa in 1881-2 hundreds died as a result of the pogroms instigated by the Czarist rulers. In Kishinev in 1903 a similar pogrom took place and throughout the Pale of Settlement pogroms were a regular feature of Jewish life. It was this, more than anything else, that brought the anti- General Union of Jewish Workers in Lithuania, Poland, and Russia into existence. Whilst the Zionists were busy dreaming of emigrating to Palestine in order to further their plans for colonial settlement, the Bund set up self-defence squads.
Who then could have believed that the ‘Jewish State’ would complete the circle and turn Jews into pogromists and Palestinians into the equivalent of the Jews of Czarist Russia? And even the reaction of the Police is no different to the Czarist police who like their Israeli counteparts, would arrest and attack the victims. Below is an article by a prominent Israeli Palestinian activist.
And of course, in the best traditions of the Nazis and anti-Semites, the pogrom against the Palestinians is being portrayed inside Israel as an anti-Jewish pogrom!
'Jewish residents of Akko (Acre) in northern Israel spent Yom Kippur eve in an unusual fashion: they were the targets of a pogrom by their Arab neighbors.'. Monday, October 13, 2008 7:30 PM

The two following excerpts from reports in today's Haaretz on the Israeli-Jewish pogrom against Palestinians in Acre demonstrate how Israel is a much more evolved version of apartheid.

Zionism's grand deception and spin master of all times, Shimon Peres, is, again, called to the rescue, muddying any possible insight into the nature of Israel's regime of racial discrimination against the indigenous Palestinians. This is a job Peres has perfected. After the Jenin massacre, it was Peres who played the most significant role in scrapping the international commission of inquiry's investigation. After the first Qana massacre which he was personally responsible for, the same. And so on.

Here, without any sense of shame, Peres repeats the same lies that any Palestinain kid can refute: that the same law applies to Jews and "non-Jews" in Israel. The indigenous Palestinians, Muslims and Christians, denied the right to own, rent or live on 93% of the land of the state of Israel think otherwise.

The Palestinian victims -- all Israeli citizens, of course -- of Jewish terrorists in Shafa 'Amr and Jeruslem know otherwise.
The Palestinian cancer patients dying slowly due to the intentional and so far unscrutinized proliferation of polluting Israeli industrial and military sites on or in close proximity to their lands know otherwise. After all, an official, multi-year mapping of cancer in Israel studied the incidence of the disease and its correlation to the existence of polluting sites in every Jewish town, Kibbutz, city and village, but omitted every single Palestinian town or village in Israel (with the exception of Rahat). And so on....
In Acre, the Palestinian man who experienced the lynching attempt by a fanatic Jewish mob was arrested for "speeding and reckless endangerment." Blaming the victim 101!!
Israel is sophisticated, evolved, and has unmatched influence over western media outlets ... but it is still apartheid.
Omar Barghouti
President Shimon Peres on arrived in Acre on Monday, after clashes between the city's Arab and Jewish populations raged for several days, to attend a Muslim-Jewish conference, during which he called for an end to violence, saying "though there are several religions in Israel, there is only one law and one police. ... Nobody wants the Muslims to be Jewish and the Jews to be Muslim, but in Israel the law must be respected. There is one law and one police."
Last update - 21:10 13/10/2008
The Arab man who drove into a Jewish neighborhood in Acre on the eve of Yom Kippur, sparking a series of riots and violent clashes, was arrested by Police Monday for speeding and reckless endangerment in connection to the incident. Later Monday, An Acre court extended Tawfik's remand by five days pending further investigation.
An unnecessary prize for violence
Haaretz Editorial
The Knesset Internal Affairs and Environment Committee will convene today to discuss the difficult events taking place in Acre and the decision of mayor Shimon Lankri to cancel the Fringe Theater Festival, which was scheduled to open in the city during the intermediate days of Sukkot.
Lankri claims the atmosphere of "anger and offense" among residents will not allow the festival to take place. However, committee chair Ophir Pines-Paz is certain the event is an important means of strengthening Acre's image as a cultural center and symbol of coexistence. "Canceling the festival is a prize for violence," Pines-Paz said.
Lankri's decision is hasty and mistaken. Police commanders said that large numbers of security forces would be needed to secure the festival area even after the storm dies down, but they did not recommend canceling the event. Why then does Lankri rush, at the end of the holiday and the peak of the riots, to call on the "nation of Israel" to throng to the festival, only to make the opposite statement shortly afterward?
The mayor's helplessness is fanning the flames of the city's bonfire of the vanities, which will anyway require greater efforts to extinguish. The false impression of calm, controlled coexistence in a city that is not really mixed but built of neighborhoods of separate populations, conceals explosive rage and bitterness caused by the residents' ever-growing struggle.
Even the Jews who settled in the city in different periods since the state's founding were mostly poor new immigrants. These new weak classes added to the existing poverty and distress of the Arabs, and the city suffered from severe negative migration. In recent years, since the decision by former prime minister Ariel Sharon to strengthen Jewish communities in mixed cities, Acre's Jews have enjoyed tax reductions and generous budget allocations, giving the city a facelift.
There were other sides to Acre's "Judaization.' The Jewish neighborhood of professional army officers in the north of the city and the Hesder yeshiva (which combines army service with Torah study) are active. But these only deepened the already strong feelings of discrimination and offense among Arab residents.
Religious, economic and social tensions therefore deepened - and not for religious or nationalistic reasons, as some extremist political voices have claimed. A clear example of this came with the October 2000 riots, in which 12 Israeli Arab citizens and a Palestinian were killed by police during demonstrations in the city of Umm al-Fahm.
The Or Commission, established to investigate the tragic event, emphasized the link between the systematic discrimination suffered by Israel's Arab citizens and the bitterness, anger and frustration that resulted in the escalation of the usual Land Day demonstration held every year. The commission members delineated the various areas of discrimination and showed how every successive government failed to fulfill its promises to the Arab public. But despite the grave warning sounded by the commission, no government has implemented even one of its recommendations.
There is no shortcut in trying to calm spirits in Acre or anywhere else, and such efforts must be made in every government ministry by means of a comprehensive and courageous program. Canceling the festival, which will primarily hurt Arab merchants in the city, adds unnecessary weight to the calls to "punish the Arabs," and is the exact opposite of such a plan.
Last update - 17:03 12/10/2008
Acre Jews warn: Arabs will kill you with knives
By Gideon Levy
A young woman - kerchief on her head, baby in her arms - stood behind the barred windows of her apartment yesterday and shouted: "Get all the Arabs out of here... We don't want them here... They've made our lives a misery."
The balcony blinds of the adjacent apartment are shattered. Its former residents, the family of Mahmoud Samary, are gone, having temporarily fled the hail of stones on their home. The young woman yelled: "They should get out. The Arabs are taking all our girls."
It was Saturday afternoon at number 18, Burla Street in Acre - part of a crowded, shamefully neglected housing project where three Arab families and 29 Jewish families inhabit a single building. At the entrance to the building, a group of policemen stood around idly. The street was lined with cars with shattered windows.
It was not only Bosnia that Acre called to mind yesterday; the city was also reminiscent of Nablus - checkpoints at every corner, hundreds of policemen under every parched tree. A city that could have been a tourist attraction was instead the most miserable in Israel. My colleague Jack Khoury, an Israeli Arab, said as we entered the neighborhood: "I don't believe I'm traveling here in such fear and tension."
A young man who lives in the project told us aggressively: "Don't you dare enter the Old City. The Arabs will kill you with knives." He would like us to leave his neighborhood, too.
But the Old City, just a few minutes' drive away, was another world: In that beautiful but neglected neighborhood, which was virtually empty yesterday, people were mourning the cancelation of Acre's theater festival and still speaking of peace and coexistence.
Acre went up in flames all at once. It was a clash between poor and poor, Jews and Arabs, egged on by nationalists, with a religious holiday as the catalyst - the most dangerous of all possible clashes, which threatens to ignite a conflagration. The fire could be out by press time, but as of yesterday afternoon it seemed liable to break out anew: Young men from the housing project had agreed to meet at 7:30 P.M. that evening, God only knows why.
Yet even if the fire is extinguished now, it will reignite someday. This binational city is sitting on a volcano - a volcano of nationalism and distress, fear and hatred.
If the housing project was the tensest party of the city, the saddest was the Old City, where the empty halls were all that remained of the theater festival that was supposed to have taken place this week. The spotlights had been removed, the actors and directors were gone, the tables in the cafe on the lawn remained folded. Instead of the festival, Acre got a scandal - the scandal of its cancelation.
The technical crews said it was outrageous to cancel the most important event of Acre's year "because of 100 or 200 psychos." They suggested holding a reconciliation festival instead, and promised to ensure the guests' safety. "You also fight with your wife, but then you go to bed with her," analogized one, Asfari Khalil.
Munir Abu al-Tayir, who sells pomegranate juice, had thus far sold exactly two glasses all day. At a nearby felafel booth, a young Arab responded to Jewish claims that the riots were provoked by an Arab driver blasting music on Yom Kippur by saying that during Ramadan, the Jews had offended Arab sensibilities by drinking beer, but there were no Arab riots. Issam Jalem, owner of a barbershop, warned that without the festival, "things will not be good."
To all, it was clear that Mayor Shimon Lankri's hasty decision to cancel the festival had one purpose, and one only: to punish the Arabs who earn their living from the event.
F., an Arab resident of the largely-Jewish Kibbutz Galuyot Street, fled his house with his wife and children; now he fears the house will be torched. Salim Najami, a city councilor, denounced all extremists, Jewish and Arab alike. Daoud Halila, director of an Arab non-profit organization, accused the police of "pampering the Jews." Long-time communist Salim Atrash blamed the disengagement from Gaza, saying an extremist yeshiva that opened in the city following the pullout has been fanning the flames.
Atrash pulled out a copy of a notice that has been cirlating on the Internet: "We will no longer buy anything from Arabs, we will not honor any of their holidays or any place of theirs. Arabs of Acre, go find your place in the villages." The notice was signed with an epigram: "A Jew is the son of a king, an Arab is the son of a dog."
Welcome to a little Bosnia in the making.

See also the Alternative Information Centre report

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