30 July 2010

Arab Jailed for Sex With a Jew

Sex by Deception?

He was known as 'Dudi', a Jewish slang for David. She thought he was Jewish. That in Israel is a terrible crime, to deceive a Jewish woman into having sex with a non-Jew.

The poor 'victim' was looking for a serious romantic relationship, apparently, and therefore having just met the couple went off to have sex in a nearby building. Clearly the definition of romantic has become elastic but Israel's court was mainly concerned with the consequences of the 'deception'.

One of the tell-tale signs of a rabidly racist society is its attitude to what is known as miscegenation, ‘inter-racial’ sex. South Africa and Nazi Germany epitomised this with laws which outlawed sex between White and Black, Aryan and Jewish. Preservation of racial purity through marriage/sex with one’s own is an obsession of racists the world over.

In Israel sex between Jew and non-Jew is not illegal but it is frowned upon and the State actively discourages Arabs and Jews from intermixing. See Wikipedia.

In March 2007, Yediot Aharanot carried a story that over half Israeli Jews believed that marriage with Arabs was ‘national treason’. They didn’t merely disprove, which is of course racist in itself, they linked it to the preservation of the body politic. The same attitude, the preservation of the German Volk, was displayed to Germans who had married Jews before the 1935 Nuremburg Laws. And as in Israel, the Gestapo did its best to persuade non-Jewish Germans to divorce their Jewish partners.

However until now Israel’s courts have refrained from intervening. It is a sign of the degeneration of Israeli society and how its racism has become overt that an Arab man has just been sentenced to 18 months prison for ‘deception’. Telling the woman he had sex with he is Jewish!!

It is interesting to decipher the judgment. According to deputy President Tzvi Segal of the Jerusalem District Court: "The court is obliged to protect the public interest from sophisticated, smooth-tongued criminals who can deceive innocent victims at an unbearable price - the sanctity of their bodies and souls," And what is the public interest? Why the need to preserve a Jewish demographic majority. And if Arabs pretend that they are Jews this cannot but be upset. Note how the verdict is dressed up in the language of victimhood, protecting the poor woman deceived by the ‘smooth-tongued criminal’.

Now of course this has never applied to Jews. If I were to go tomorrow to Israel (heaven forbid!) and wine, dine and flatter a woman with tales of my extensive property portfolio and bank accounts, and how I wanted the woman to share these earthly joys, it is doubtful if I would be convicted of deception when she found out I was a pauper. Because, of course, I am a Jewish pauper. Indeed there is hardly a man on earth who hasn’t, in some way, been less than honest, with a partner. And I suspect the same is true for women as well. But what has this to do with criminality and rape? If sex is consensual and hasn’t been obtained via drugging her or removing her ability to consent, then it is none of the law's business what passed between the two.

Lying or deceiving a partner to sex might be deplorable and reprehensible but criminal? Well yes, if it affects the ‘public (i.e. Zionist) interest’ and what could be more relevant to the ‘public interest’ than Arabs deceiving nice Jewish girls into going to bed with them!

There is no other country in the world that would make 'rape by deception' a criminal offence with specific reference to racial characteristics. There are times when the law intervenes e.g. when a man causes deliberate harm by having sex, e.g. infects her with aids, or the other way around. But that has nothing to do with race and everything to do with protecting the person who is being hurt.

Zionism, however, finds sex between Arabs and Jews, especially hurtful.

Tony Greenstein

Arab man who posed as Jew to seduce woman convicted of rape

Sabbar Kashur, 30, was found guilty of rape by deception and sentenced to 18 months in prison.

By Tomer Zarchin

An Arab resident of Jerusalem who had consensual sex with a woman who believed him to be Jewish, was convicted yesterday of rape by deception and sentenced to 18 months in prison by the Jerusalem District Court.

Sabbar Kashur, 30, was convicted as part of a plea bargain. According to the indictment, Kashur met the complainant in September 2008 in downtown Jerusalem, presenting himself as a Jewish bachelor looking for a serious romantic relationship.

The couple then went to a nearby building and had sex, after which Kashur left the building without waiting for the woman to get dressed.

When the woman found Kashur was not a Jew but an Arab, she filed a complaint that resulted in charges of rape and indecent assault.

In the verdict, deputy president of the Jerusalem district court Tzvi Segal, along with fellow judges Moshe Drori and Yoram Noam, wrote that although this wasn't "a classical rape by force," and the sex was consensual, the consent itself was obtained through deception and under false pretenses.

"If she hadn't thought the accused was a Jewish bachelor interested in a serious romantic relationship, she would not have cooperated," the judges wrote.

Segal further wrote that this was not a case to be resolved by having the convicted defendant undertake community service, as was suggested by the defense team in the plea bargain.

Protecting the public interest

"The court is obliged to protect the public interest from sophisticated, smooth-tongued criminals who can deceive innocent victims at an unbearable price - the sanctity of their bodies and souls," Segal wrote.

"When the very basis of trust between human beings drops, especially when the matters at hand are so intimate, sensitive and fateful, the court is required to stand firmly at the side of the victims ... otherwise, they will be used, manipulated and misled, while paying only a tolerable and symbolic price," he wrote.

Arab jailed for having sex with a Jewish girl while pretending to be a Jew

No less than 18 months in prison for East Jerusalem Palestinian. Judge: “the Court must protect the public interest against sophisticated criminals with a smooth tongue and sweet talking, who can lead astray innocent victims”

The main reason for which the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, founder notorious Kach party, was kicked out of the Knesset in the 80’s was the set of racist bills he tried to pass in the Israeli parliament. One of the most well known of them was intended to make sexual relations between Arab and Jews a criminal offense. In his verdict verifying the Knesset’s decision not to let Kahana run again for election, Meir Shamgar, the president of the Supreme Court, wrote that Kahane’s actions were reminding “the worst harms that were imposed upon our people.”

These are different times.

Yesterday, a Palestinian of East Jerusalem was sent to a year and a half in prison (!) for getting a Jewish girl to sleep with him after pretending to be a Jew.

Here is the report from Maariv, http://www.nrg.co.il/online/1/ART2/134/635.html Translated from Hebrew by Dena Shunra:

Jail time for Arab who impersonated a Jew and raped through fraud

By Shmuel Mittelman, 19 July 2010 14:38

Sabar Kashour, a young man from East Jerusalem , was sentenced today (Monday) to 18 months in prison after having defrauded and thereby raped and committed indecent acts upon a Jewish young woman, who only yielded to him because she thought he was a Jew. Additionally, the judges – Deputy Presiding Justice Zvi Segal, Moshe Dror, and Yoram Noam required Kashour to pay the complainant financial compensation amounting to NIS 10,000.

The prosecution representative, Adv. Daniel Vittman, argued that Kashour had indeed carried out his plot without the use of force, but that he had dissipated her ability to object to his actions by means of the false representation about his personal situation – [claiming that he was] a Jewish bachelor interested in a significant romantic relationship. In this way he abused her desire for a deep emotional relationship, which was the only reason that she agreed to have sexual relations with him.

According to the indictment, to which Kashour (30) entered a guilty plea, he presented himself to a young woman whom he met in the center of Jerusalem in 2008 as a Jewish bachelor interested in a significant romantic relationship, despite the fact that he is married.

He invited her to accompany him to a building on Hillel Street. When they came to the top floor, Kashour undressed the young woman and had intercourse with her, with her consent, that had been fraudulently achieved, as stated above. After having carried out his scheme, he departed from the building and left her naked, on the top floor of that building.

“Not a ‘classic’ act of rape”

The prosecution first claimed that the complainant actively and significantly objected to the events, but in the course of the trial the young woman testified that she had agreed to the action because she had thought that the person in question was a Jew. In light of that the indictment was amended, and the defendant was accused of rape and indecent actions by way of fraud.

Kashour accepted partial responsibility for the crimes of rape and indecent actions, but claimed that the deeds were carried out with the full consent of the complainant. The Probation Service was of the impression that in the course of his detention the defendant underwent “a process of soul-searching” , and that he was investing effort in living a normative lifestyle. For this reason the Service recommended that a short term of imprisonment, to be served in community service, be deemed sufficient.

Defense Counsel Adv. Adnan Aladin asked that the positive report by the Probation Service be taken into account. He said that this report indicated his client’s “high potential for rehabilitation.”

He asked that “appropriate proportions be maintained” between the actions and the mete penalty, and stressed that Kashour had no criminal record, admitted to the actions ascribed to him and took responsibility for his actions. For this reason he asked that a sentence of six months of community service be deemed sufficient.

Justice Segal stated that there was no dispute about the fact that the defendant hadn committed the crime of rape upon the complainant. He had admitted to doing so, and this was why he had been convicted, by force of law. “Indeed,” he stressed, “we do not have before us a ‘class’ case of rape – by force – and the indictment initially filed, which had indicated significant objection by the complainant to the actions by the defendant, had been amended further in the proceedings, after hearing her testimony, when it became clear that the actions were indeed carried out with her consent, but that it had been fraudulently obtained, relying on false representation. Has she not been of the opinion that he was a Jewish bachelor interested in a significant

“Basic human obtuseness”

Segal added that the rehabilitation of the defendant did indeed seem accessible and possible, but “with all possible goodwill and intention to meet him part of the way and reduce his punishment inasmuch as possible, I do not believe that this is the case where a prison term can be served in the form of community service.” Moreover, in his opinion serving a prison term does not cancel out existing rehabilitation achievements nor negate possible future achievements.

The judge stated that “the Court must protect the public interest against sophisticated criminals with a smooth tongue and sweet talking, who can lead astray innocent victims at the unbearable price of the sanctity of their bodies and souls.”

He stated that “when the foundation of trust between people falls away, especially in matters so sensitive, intimate, and fateful, the Court must stand firm on the side of the victims – actual and potential – to protect their well-being. Otherwise they will be abused, manipulated, cheated, and the cost will be a tolerable, token penalty.”

Segal further added that: “one cannot know or fully understand what the complainant felt after the defendant left the building, leaving her behind – naked, at the top floor. The realization of the truth after such a deceit cannot be easy; it requires a sturdy spirit and faith in the good things that are still in store, in the future. Having done what he did the defendant displayed basic human obtuseness toward his victim, as if she were only the means to satisfy his desires, and nothing more.”

Many men lie to get sex. Now we know which lies are forbidden in Israel.

See BBC Report

28 July 2010

David Miliband - New Labour Supporter of Torture - Visits Brighton

Tonight Brighton is 'privileged' to have David Milliband come to speak and answer questions. Milliband is almost certain to be elected leader of the Labour Party. He is also one of the most disgusting reptiles to have emerged from the New Labour zoo. In the interests of fairness and probity I thought it only write to pen a letter to him. Tony Greenstein

David Miliband,
28 Edis St,
Primrose Hill,

Dear David Miliband,

It is with some regret that I am unable to attend the public meeting which you are holding in Brighton tonight. However, since questions to you are vetted in advance, I suspect that any question I wished to ask you would have disappeared in the best traditions of New Labour.

I knew your father Ralph Miliband, the author of Parliamentary Socialism, who was a fine socialist and Marxist. Indeed I once debated with him as to whether or not socialists should work inside the Labour Party. In retrospect he was, of course, right when he argued that the Labour Party was no place for socialists. It is ironic that his own sons should be the best proof of this.

My purpose in writing this letter is however not to indulge in nostalgia but to ask how someone who used his position as Foreign Secretary to defend the use of torture in the ‘war against terrorism’, can reconcile this with seeking the leadership of the Labour Party. Throughout your period of office you sought to prevent information being revealed about the collusion of the British security services and MI6 with those who were doing the actual torture. Your main concern being to preserve co-operation with the CIA and US security services.

It was for this reason that you strove to persuade, first the High Court and then the Court of Appeal, hardly radical bodies, to suppress evidence that British agents were willingly using the torture of a British subject, Binyamin Mohamed, in order to obtain information. To most people this makes you as guilty as the torturers themselves. You helped create a market for torture by subcontracting it to our allies whilst trying to distance yourself from what happened. To you the ‘special relationship’ was more important than any moral principle concerning the use of torture and rendition.

As the renowned lawyer, Clive Stafford Smith wrote:
‘Mohamed was seized by the Pakistanis in April 2002, turned over to the Americans for a $5,000 bounty, abused for three months, rendered to Morocco, tortured with razor blades to the genitals, rendered on to the "Dark Prison" in Kabul, tortured some more, and then held for five years without charge or trial in Bagram air force base and Guantánamo Bay. The verdict of the court – comprised of three of the country's most senior judges – underlines the shameful way in which, in this case and beyond, our political leaders have placed their desire to suppress embarrassing revelations above the welfare of citizens.’
What was your reaction? ‘two years into the litigation, the foreign secretary, David Miliband, still argued that a court would be "irresponsible" to reveal the material…’

And this was even though, in some cases, the material you were trying to protect had already been released and publicised by American courts!

Even Britain’s security-minded judges, people like Igor Judge and Henry Neuberger, insisted that a seven paragraph summary of British-American collusion in torture should be published. You argued however that secrecy, the crucial ingredient that allows torture to thrive, was more important than revealing the truth. And perhaps we should remind ourselves of the context, namely that there have been dozens of deaths from torture in American custody. It is therefore unsurprising that you ruled out a public inquiry into what has happened.

It is another of life’s ironies that it is the Conservatives, with their proposed Inquiry into Collusion with Torture by Britain’s security services, coupled with the abolition of the hated Identity Cards, who have managed the remarkable feat of being seen as the party of civil liberties. Indeed it is the Daily Mail, not a paper normally associated with airy fairy liberals (David Blunkett) which has taken a principled stance against the iniquities perpetrated whilst you were in office. ‘Nailed, Miliband and six lies on torture’

You are therefore in a quandary. On the one hand you cannot be seen to oppose the proposed Inquiry yet clearly you do not support it. Hence why you have been conspicuous by your silence ever since the announcement was made.

You have distinguished yourself, even amongst your fellow New Labour candidates for being slavishly loyal to the era of Tony Blair. Not one word of criticism of the slaughter in Iraq where over a million people have been killed or Afghanistan where that slaughter continues.

Throughout your three years as Foreign Secretary the words ‘ethical foreign policy’ did not once cross your lips. On the contrary you distinguished yourself with your slavish support of American’s ‘unsinkable aircraft carrier’.

And when Israel attacked the unarmed aid flotilla to Gaza on 31st May and murdered 9 passengers on the Mavi Marmara, even William Hague was obliged to condemn it. You however chose to underline your pro-Zionist credentials by saying nothing. Just as you couldn't even bring yourself to support a ceasefire when Israel attacked Gaza in 2008/9 killing 1,400 people.

At home you have nothing to say about the bankers who caused the present economic crisis but hasn't stopped you from being a supporter of ‘welfare reforms’ such as the abolition of Incapacity Benefit and other attacks on the unemployed. Today of course, the Tory/Liberals are merely continuing New Labour’s unfinished business.

At a time when we are witnessing an unprecedented attack on the working class and unemployed, you have nothing of relevance to say. Everything that the present Coalition Government is proposing were New Labour ideas.

It would be churlish to list all the examples of your lack of any political principle or ‘values’ . Political ambition is clearly your only guiding light. However there is one particular example that stands out. Your father was a refugee from Nazi Germany.
‘The young Miliband was forced to move from Belgium in 1940 as Hitler's army moved westwards through the country and he managed to catch a boat for London at Ostend. He and his father Samuel entered the UK illegally on forged papers.’
If it were possible for you to have been Home Secretary at the time, then one can be sure that you would have had no compunction in deporting your ‘failed asylum seeker’ father.

Of course none of this prevented you and brother Ed from speaking recently of the ‘fears’ of people about immigration. The same ‘fears’ that were once created by the popular press against Jewish and other refugees from persecution.

An example of how such ‘fears’ were created and why they could not be appeased was the Daily Mail of 20 August 1938, which described how "The way stateless Jews from Germany are pouring in from every port of this country is becoming an outrage… a problem to which the Daily Mail has repeatedly pointed”. Or on February 3rd 1900 the Mail described how Jewish refugees from pogroms in Czarist Russia “fought, they jostled to the foremost places at the gangways. When the Relief Committee passed by they hid their gold and fawned and whined in broken English asked for money for their train fare.”

At the time socialists and communists campaigned for the admission of such refugees and in opposition to the agenda of the then British Union of Fascists. New Labour sought to outbid their successors, the British National Party, with its repeated attacks on the right of asylum seekers. New Labour even sought to deport gays to Iran and girls back to countries where they would suffer the horrors of female genital mutilation. It was only rulings of the courts that overturned New Labour immigration practices in both these areas.

You are indeed a fitting, if somewhat characterless, successor to Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.

Yours for socialism,

Tony Greenstein

18 July 2010

The 'Only Democracy in the Middle East' Strips Arab Knesset Member of Privileges

A Fake Iranian Passport Handed to Haneen Zoabi MK

The Day Israel's 'Democracy' Officially Died

Yes I can hear the laughter of my Palestinian friends. But it's true. You see even Britain, the biggest colonial power the world has known, maintained democracy of the bourgeois type at home even whilst it perpetrated massacres at Amritsar in India and the Hola Camp atrocities in Kenya. It is one of the ironies of imperialism that democracy at home was bought at the price of repression abroad.

But as Karl Marx noted in the Communist Manifesto, a nation that oppresses another nation shall not itself be free. Marx was referring to Ireland but Palestine always was a very similar scenario, as Churchill, Lloyd George and Ronald Storrs recognised.

Haneen Zoabi is the only female Arab MK. She represents the secular Balad. Her crime? Being present on the Mavi Marmara when Israel's navy goons descended on it in international waters and murdered 9 people and beat up and injured 50+ more.

For daring to 'provoke' those who laid a starvation siege on Gaza (the Nazis too were 'provoked' by those they termed 'Jew lovers' who stopped to talk to a Jew) and bringing much needed supplies into Gaza, Haneen Zoabi was subject to a veritable witch hunt, physical attacks and what is clearly an incitement to kill her (a Facebook page calling for her execution garnered thousands of supporters).

To all this that detestable coconut who goes by the name of Obama has nothing to say. Indeed his Vice President Biden is on record as supporting the attack. Israel is there to protect US interests and why should the US be bothered if people are starved in order to protect US friendly regimes. There are of course some idiots who talk about 'Jewish lobbies' forgetting that the biggest such lobby is the decidedly un-Jewish Christian lobby of John Hagee. So it should be understood that the US is no stranger to oppression and dispossession if it works and Israel is, as Kissinger once remarked, an unsinkable aircraft carrier.

The incitement to murder of Haneen Zoabi by the detestable racists of Yisrael Beteinu and Lieberman, with not a squeak out of the governing coalition or the Milliband brothers demonstrates the real 'values' of democracy. And as for the 'only democracy in the Middle East' it is no surprise that their one concession to the trappings of democracy is now also disappearing. From now on, Israel's Arabs will only be allowed to elect those MKs acceptable to the Zionists. Hence they will only be allowed to elect Uncle Toms like Barak Obumah.

But no one should be surprised. A state which denies its Arab citizens the right to lease 93% of its land, whose Arab children have double the infant mortality of Jewish children (the figure is 7 times higher on the West Bank and Gaza) which consigns over 50% of that population to poverty whilst reserving the right to demolish their homes (Jewish homes are of course never demolished to make way for Arabs) is a state whose demise cannot come too soon.

And of course the Israeli Labour Party, as is clear from the Knesset vote, supported the Lieberman's and other racists in the vote to deprive Zoabi of the same rights as Jewish and Zionist MKs.

Tony Greenstein

Knesset revokes MK's privileges over flotilla support
Friday, July 16, 2010
Interview: M.K. Haneen Zoabi (Zou'bi) Diplomatic Privileges Revoked in Israeli Knesset

Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies
Israel's parliament revoked the privileges of Palestinian Knesset member Haneen Zoabi on Tuesday for her participation in May's Gaza-bound aid flotilla attempting to break Israel's blockade.
Following the announcement, Zoabi told Ma'an radio that she was expecting the majority of her peers to vote in favor of invalidating her diplomatic passport and revoking her right to receive funding for legal expenses.

"Israel began to incriminate Arab citizens and accuse them of treason, and what I am facing is part of a collective procedure which started with Azmi Bishara, who was accused of treason and espionage, then Sheikh Raed Salah who was sentenced to five months in jail," she said.

Bishara was accused of spying for Syria after he visited the state for a funeral. In response, Israel stripped the MK of his privileges and passed the so-called Bishara law, allowing for the revocation of diplomatic privileges for parliament members who visit enemy states.

After 34 MKs voted in favor, a violent brawl was nearly started between Arab and Jewish MKs after the hearing, the Israeli daily Yedioth Aharonoth reported. Zoabi clapped when the Knesset's decision was announced, and MK Yoel Hasson drew close to her and said "You will soon be a former MK."

Hasson also joined MK Carmel Shama in answering Arab MKs, who were shouting cries of "fascists" towards the Jewish members.

"It is no wonder that a state which denies a million Arab citizens their basic rights is also revoking the rights of an MK who faithfully represents her voters," Zoabi said after hearing the decision, the daily reported.

"This is a dangerous precedent for the Arab public, and a hostile message. Anyway the Knesset imposes limits on our parliamentary and public activity through racial legislation, and privileges would not have lessened these limitations."

The MK added she would appeal to legal and international organizations "in order to curb the vengeful impulses of the automatic majority in the Knesset."
Zoabi was on board the Mavi Marmara, one of six aid boats heading for Gaza, which was raided by Israeli forces on 31 May, killing nine passengers in international waters.

Shortly after, MK Anastassia Michaeli of Yisrael Beiteinu, handed Zoabi an Iranian passport with her picture, Yedioth Aharonoth reported. She was thereafter removed from the plenum.

Before she left Michaeli told Zoabi, "Most of the Arabs in Israel are smart enough and faithful enough to the state to open their eyes after your incitement. You do not represent them."

Earlier Tuesday, Zoabi was present at Salah's final ruling, where she told Ma'an that the five-month conviction for spitting on a border guard was "unjustified punishment."

"This is an exaggeration, and not an objective ruling ... Israel treats Palestinians not as citizens but as enemies. This hostile dealing comes across all institutions, not just politically or in the Knesset, but also the court system, which is supposed to protect the rights of its citizens," Zoabi said.

HARD talk Haneen Zoabi Part 1.wmv: "ludvan64 | July 15, 2010

Arab Knesset member Haneen Zoabi who has had her diplomatic privileges revoked by parliament has condemned what she calls the civilian 'siege' of Gaza. She was sanctioned this week for taking part in the Gaza flotilla convoy last month.

Knesset revokes Arab MK Zuabi's privileges over Gaza flotilla
The Knesset on Tuesday voted to revoke three parliamentary privileges from Arab MK Hanin Zuabi (Balad) due to her participation in the aid flotilla that sailed to Gaza in late May.

In 34-16 vote, Knesset approves stripping Zuabi of three parliamentary privileges over participation in Gaza flotilla; Zuabi: Knesset is punishing me out of vengeance.
By Jonathan Lis

Thirty-four lawmakers voted in favor of stripping Zuabi's privileges and 16 voted against, after a heated debate, in which Zuabi accused her fellow lawmakers of punishing her out of vengeance.

Zuabi responded to the Knesset vote by saying, "It's not surprising that a country that strips the fundamental rights of its Arab citizens would revoke the privileges of a Knesset member who loyally represents her electorate."

Zuabi went on to say that the vote represents a dangerous precedent with regard to Israel's Arab citizens and is a hostile message toward her. She went on to accuse Israeli parliamentarians of implementing racist laws in order to repress their Arab counterparts.
"In a civilized country, the people who incite against and threaten MK Zuabi would be punished and have sanctions imposed against them," the lawmaker said.

Zuabi said she will seek legal and international aid in order to "rein in the vengeful tendencies of the automatic majority in the Knesset."

The Knesset's House Committee last week recommended revoking Zuabi's privileges after she participated in the Gaza-bound aid flotilla, which resulted in an IDF raid that killed nine activists.

"You are punishing me out of vengeance," Zuabi told fellow parliamentarians during the hearing. "When you threaten the Arab MKs and the Arabs' protectors, you threaten democracy and co-existence between Jews and Arabs."
"I have the right and the duty to fight for my rights and my values," she continued, adding that "my positions are often different from those of the Likud, Kadima and most of the MKs. That’s why I don’t represent Kadima, the Labor Party or the Likud, but those who voted for me and in my case I represent the consensus of the Arab MKs."

"You have no freedom of choice with regards to the rules of democracy," Zuabi added. "There are fixed rules that do not change at whim. You do not need to protect democracy, but to protect me for democracy's sake."

Last week the Knesset committee recommended rescinding from Zuabi three key privileges, one of which is the privilege to exit the country – meant to prevent Zoabi from fleeing Israel if she commits a felony or has debts in Israel.

Another privilege to be rescinded is carrying a diplomatic passport, which according to the Knesset's legal adviser, is a privilege that does not grant diplomatic immunity so revoking it would not make it more difficult for Zuabi to fulfill her duties.

The third privilege is the right to have the Knesset cover litigation fees of an MK if he or she faces trial.

MK Yariv Levin (Likud), chairman of the Knesset committee that decided on rescinding her privileges, told Zuabi that she doesn’t belong in the Knesset.

"You have no place in the Israeli Knesset, you are unworthy of holding an Israeli ID and you embarrass the citizens of Israel, the Knesset, the Arab population and your family," he said.

Meanwhile, MK Anastassia Michaeli (Yisrael Beiteinu) was escorted out of the hall after she handed Zuabi a lookalike Iranian passport with a photograph of her in it, saying that it will serve her on her diplomatic incitement trips.

"In every civilized country, a member of parliament who crosses the red line and identifies with the enemy and arming the enemy with weapons of mass destruction aimed at destroying his country's national foundations will not find in his pocket a diplomatic passport of the country he aims to destroy," Michaeli said.

"Ms. Zuabi, I take your loyalty to Iran seriously and I suggest you contact [Iranian President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad and ask him to give you an Iranian diplomatic passport that will assist you with all your diplomatic incitement tours, because your Israeli passport will be revoked this evening," she added and proceeded to hand Zuabi a lookalike Iranian passport that she had produced for her.

Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin (Likud) interrupted Levin and said that the Knesset plenum was not the platform to express his personal feelings but rather the committee's decision.

Rivlin said: "I was not happy with Hanin Zuabi's actions, but if she broke an Israeli law may the Attorney General, who was solely and unequivocally given the power to decide, rise and press charges against her."

"We, as Knesset members, were chosen due to our beliefs. Today it is in our favor, and tomorrow it might not be; there is a complex ideological struggle between what was once left and right," Rivlin said, adding, "I believe that everyone should have the right to speak their minds, even if what they say hurts me."

The House Committee decision to recommend the rescinding of Zuabi's privileges was passed by a majority of seven to one, with MK Ilan Gilon of Meretz opposing.

The Balad party condemned the Knesset committee decision calling it "racist and anti-democratic."
"The MKs who incite against Zuabi spill her blood – they are calling on the public to harm her and following their decision, her life will be threatened," Balad said in a statement. "These MKs will be responsible for any harm that may be caused to her."

12 July 2010

Israeli Judge Ben-Itto 'We must learn from the Nazis'

The comments of retired judge Hadassa Ben-Itto, reported in Israeli daily Yediot Aharanot, really don't need any comment.

Tony Greenstein

Israeli judge: Learn from Nazis

Retired Judge Hadassa Ben-Itto says as part of PR war, Israel should adopt tactics used to distribute Protocols of Elders of Zion

Modi Kreitman

"We must learn from the Nazi tactics," Retired Israeli judge Hadassa Ben-Itto said recently during a conference discussing ways to improve the State of Israel's PR efforts in the world.

The meeting, which was held last week in the English capital, was attended by some 150 senior Jewish legal experts.

Ben-Itto said during the conference that Israel should adopt the tactics used by the Nazis after they distributed the Protocols of the Elders of Zion: Refusing to reach a compromise and continuing their battle in the courts although they had no proof of the protocols.

"I thought about it, about our 'hasbara', and nothing is working because our story is complicated and the world is used to a sound bite," she explained.

"I have reached the conclusion that we must use these tactics in courts worldwide, just like the Nazis – with all distinctions – used the courts to spread their message."

Apologies for Mid-Summer Break!

To all our devoted followers I apologise for not having let people know sooner that I am at present on a European tour with my younger son, Tom.

Today I visited the scene of the most poignant symbol of the extermination of European Jewry, and many many others, Auschwitz-Birkenau. I have quite a lot to say about the way this symbol has been depoliticised, used in the service of the State - both Polish, Israeli and American - and 'inconvenient' facts omitted.

E.g. until I prised it out of the guide there was no mention of the fact that there were 5 Jewish escapees, including Rudolph Vrba. The guide stated that no-one had escaped from the inner or central sanctum of Auschwitz-Birkenau. This is of course wrong, as a cursory reference to Vrba's 'I Escaped From Auschwitz' would confirm.

But then there was nothing to be seen at the bookshops at Auschwitz 1 and Birkenau of Vrba's book. The nearest one gets is a book 'London has been informed...' by Henryk Swiebocki, in which there is a chapter of the escapees Vrba and Wetzler. Why is this? The same reason the book isn't stocked at the Washington Holocaust Museum. Vrba was an anti-Zionist, a dissident and like the Commander of the Warsaw Ghetto Marek Edelman, he was incovenient to the Zionist/American reconstruction of what the Nazi era and Auschwitz and the deportations meant.

As I'm staying in a hostel in Krakow at the moment, with no access to books, it is difficult to give a longer exposition at the moment but remained assured that when back at home..... The guides seem to read from a script since many other 'facts' they gave out are dubious at best and interlaced with a fabled Polish nationalism. One wouldn't know e.g. of the existence of anti-Semitism in the Polish Home Army and Resistance even in the war (though unlike the Zionists they fought and to their credit did their best to bring the existence of Auschwitz to world attention).

However I will leave this and much else to another blog when I return from Europe on July 24!

There are many other stories that I will be saving up and if I have time I will post them, such as the ex-Israeli General who says that Israel should behave towards the Palestinians more like the Nazis!

Again my apologies for the temporary interruption.

Tony Greenstein

4 July 2010

Elena Kagan Covered For Alan Dershowitz's Plagiarism

Elena Kagan is President Obama’s nomination for the Supreme Court to replace octogenarian liberal Justice John Paul Stevens.

Kagan is, as she made clear in her eulogy to Aharon Barak, former Chief Justice of the Israeli Supreme Court,
a dedicated Zionist. Barak was a 'liberal' who presided over the Court’s endorsement of torture after the Landau Commission and whose reign was distinguished by the refusal of the Court to interfere in the Military’s decision making in the Occupied Territories, other than in the rarest examples.

It is clear listening that with her support of the death penalty Obama has moved the US Supreme Court to the Right.

Kagan was also Dean at Harvard Law School where the execrable Alan Dershowitz is Professor. Kagan’s involvement in the whitewashing of Dershowitz, when accused of plagiarism by Norman Finkelstein, indelibly marks her as judicially corrupt and partisan. The evidence that Dershowitz’s book The Case for Israel was simply plagiarised from another plagiarist, Joan Peters’ From Time Immemorial is indisputable. In just 21 lines from Mark Twain Dershowitz copied some 20 mistakes! Bang to rights you might say. Except that Dershowitz had powerful friends, including Kagan, who were prepared to ignore the evidence. Instead Norman Finkelstein paid with his job as Dershowitz was allowed, against all precedent, to intervene in the denial of tenure to Finkelstein on clearly political grounds.

Tony Greenstein

Institute for Public Accuracy
980 National Press Building, Washington, D.C. 20045
(202) 347-0020 http://www.accuracy.org

Did Kagan Cover for Dershowitz's Plagiarism?

June 30th 2010

While Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan has been extensively questioned in her hearings about her tenure as dean of Harvard Law School regarding military recruiters on campus, her role in a controversy involving charges of plagiarism against Harvard Law School Professor Alan Dershowitz (as well as other plagiarism scandals which erupted while she was head of HLS) has been virtually ignored.

On Tuesday, when Sen. Jon Kyl asked about her basic approach to judging, Kagan said: "My deanship was a good example ... the kind of consideration that I've given to different arguments, the kind of fairness that I've shown in making decisions." At 15:20 on YouTube video.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy said of Kagan that there is "no reason to question her integrity." But some analysts question whether Kagan showed the capacity to rule fairly, which is required of a good judge, in the Dershowitz plagiarism case.

Obenzinger teaches American literature and writing at Stanford University. His books include American Palestine: Melville, Twain and the Holy Land Mania. He said today: "Norman Finkelstein, then at DePaul University, accused Dershowitz in 2003 of plagiarizing from Joan Peters' 1984 book 'From Time Immemorial,' which was recognized as a work of propaganda by many in Israel, but was praised by many backers of Israeli politics in the United States. Finkelstein years ago helped show that Peters' book was scholarly worthless. Peters’ argument is that most of today’s Palestinians did not live there. This is a similar argument as other colonizers, such as the British in North America. As Anthony Lewis titled his New York Times column at the time that dismissed Peters’ argument: 'There Were No Indians.'

"Peters employs Twain (as does Dershowitz) because he is the quintessential American writer, and so his witness, so to speak, is authoritative. While Twain is a great truth teller, he can also be the biggest liar. His words should never be used to justify colonial expropriation -- which is what Peters (and by extension Dershowitz) do -- and in other writing Twain was a sharp critic of colonialism. Dershowitz’s vicious attacks on Finkelstein, and his crude intervention in Finkelstein's tenure case, and the fact that DePaul and Harvard allowed it to happen, is really what’s at issue. And underlying all of Dershowitz’s attacks is his ferocious rejection of any serious criticisms of Israel’s policies. As for the connection with Kagan (and Harvard's then-President Larry Summers), they probably share Dershowitz’s viewpoint. Unfortunately in academia, it's a matter of Dershowitz being more powerful and being politically aligned with powerful people, not Finkelstein being right." Obenzinger's other books include Running Through Fire: How I Survived the Holocaust by Zosia Goldberg as told to Hilton Obenzinger.

Menetrez just wrote the piece "Elena Kagan’s Harvard: Golden Age or Reign of Error?" The piece states: "When Elena Kagan was dean of Harvard Law School, her mishandling of a plagiarism case cost an innocent person his job while allowing the plagiarist, Professor Alan Dershowitz, to escape punishment. ...

"In 2003, an untenured professor at DePaul University named Norman Finkelstein accused Dershowitz of plagiarism. Dean Kagan ordered an investigation the following year. The investigation completely cleared Dershowitz, concluding that no plagiarism had occurred.

"Harvard is the nation’s most prestigious institution of higher learning, so its vindication of Dershowitz was widely perceived as definitive. Armed with that vindication, Dershowitz relentlessly attacked Finkelstein in letters to DePaul faculty and every available media outlet. Those attacks would likely have been dismissed as sour grapes if the Kagan-ordered investigation had come out the other way.

"My independent research later revealed, however, that Dershowitz did in fact commit plagiarism and that no honest and competent investigation could have missed it. ... The case against Dershowitz seemed to be supported by powerful evidence. Finkelstein argued that Dershowitz’s book 'The Case for Israel' contained obvious errors that were identical to errors in an earlier book by a different author, so Dershowitz must have just copied that author’s work, errors and all. Finkelstein explained the point in detail in an exchange with Dershowitz that was published in The Harvard Crimson in October 2003. "The identical errors issue was consequently well known and central to the plagiarism dispute when Kagan ordered an investigation in 2004. But the Kagan-commissioned investigation still concluded that no plagiarism had occurred. What happened? Were there really no identical errors after all?

"I decided to check for myself, and I quickly discovered enough identical errors to prove the plagiarism charge against Dershowitz beyond any reasonable doubt. I looked at one of the passages identified by Finkelstein, a long quotation from Mark Twain, and found that Dershowitz’s version of the quotation and the version in the book Dershowitz was accused of plagiarizing contained 20 identical errors in a mere 21 lines of text. Some of the errors were large (such as the omission of 87 pages of text without an ellipsis) and some were small (such as altered or missing words or punctuation), but the cumulative weight of the evidence was overwhelming. There was no way Dershowitz could have independently generated exactly those 20 errors -- he must have copied them. It was an open-and-shut case. "So what exactly did the Kagan-commissioned investigation look at? Did it address the identical errors issue? (I put that question to the Harvard Law School administration myself when Kagan was still dean, but they refused to answer.) ...

"Granted, these questions might seem of limited significance for Kagan’s Supreme Court nomination. The answers will not tell us what she thinks about originalism or abortion or the scope of federal executive power. But they are still relevant, because they will shed light on something equally important. In the end, all of us will be forced to assess Kagan on the basis of what we make of her character, because the written record of her judicial philosophy is so sparse."

Background: Menetrez also wrote the piece "Dershowitz v. Finkelstein: Who's Right and Who's Wrong?" -- an updated and expanded version of that piece was published as an epilogue to the paperback version of Norman Finkelstein's book Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History. The book was published by the University of California Press; while the first edition was being edited, Dershowitz wrote to California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger about the publication of the book urging him to "prevent this impending tragedy."

See PDFs of relevant text from Dershowitz, Peters and Twain to verify that Dershowitz copied Peters' errors.

See letter in The Harvard Crimson "Finkelstein Proclaims 'The Glove Does Fit'" from 2003.

At one point in the controversy, Dershowitz claimed that Finkelstein thought his own mother was a Nazi collaborator. Dershowitz posted this to his Harvard web page. Finkelstein objected to this to Kagan to no avail.

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020

3 July 2010

How Goldman Sachs and the Investment banks Created Starvation

An excellent article from Johann Harri on how the Investment Bankers, and other financial criminals, deliberately set up a derivatives market in food and grain. The result? Prices rose astronomically and thousands if not millions starved.

Hari himself doesn't draw any political conclusions. After all he is a liberal working for a liberal newspaper. Liberals believe that 'regulation' can be the cure for capitalist greed whereas wiser souls know only too well that unemployment, hunger and war are the handmaidens of the free market. But it's an excellent article and well worth reading.

Tony Greenstein

Johann Hari: How Goldman gambled on starvation

02 July 2010 23:49:30

Speculators set up a casino where the chips were the stomachs of millions. What does it say about our system that we can so casually inflict so much pain?

By now, you probably think your opinion of Goldman Sachs and its swarm of Wall Street allies has rock-bottomed at raw loathing. You're wrong. There's more. It turns out that the most destructive of all their recent acts has barely been discussed at all. Here's the rest. This is the story of how some of the richest people in the world – Goldman, Deutsche Bank, the traders at Merrill Lynch, and more – have caused the starvation of some of the poorest people in the world.

It starts with an apparent mystery. At the end of 2006, food prices across the world started to rise, suddenly and stratospherically. Within a year, the price of wheat had shot up by 80 per cent, maize by 90 per cent, rice by 320 per cent. In a global jolt of hunger, 200 million people – mostly children – couldn't afford to get food any more, and sank into malnutrition or starvation. There were riots in more than 30 countries, and at least one government was violently overthrown. Then, in spring 2008, prices just as mysteriously fell back to their previous level. Jean Ziegler, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, calls it "a silent mass murder", entirely due to "man-made actions."

Earlier this year I was in Ethiopia, one of the worst-hit countries, and people there remember the food crisis as if they had been struck by a tsunami. "My children stopped growing," a woman my age called Abiba Getaneh, told me. "I felt like battery acid had been poured into my stomach as I starved. I took my two daughters out of school and got into debt. If it had gone on much longer, I think my baby would have died."

Most of the explanations we were given at the time have turned out to be false. It didn't happen because supply fell: the International Grain Council says global production of wheat actually increased during that period, for example. It isn't because demand grew either: as Professor Jayati Ghosh of the Centre for Economic Studies in New Delhi has shown, demand actually fell by 3 per cent. Other factors – like the rise of biofuels, and the spike in the oil price – made a
contribution, but they aren't enough on their own to explain such a violent shift.

To understand the biggest cause, you have to plough through some concepts that will make your head ache – but not half as much as they made the poor world's stomachs ache.

For over a century, farmers in wealthy countries have been able to engage in a process where they protect themselves against risk. Farmer Giles can agree in January to sell his crop to a trader in August at a fixed price. If he has a great summer, he'll lose some cash, but if there's a lousy summer or the global price collapses, he'll do well from the deal. When this process was tightly regulated and only companies with a direct interest in the field could get involved, it

Then, through the 1990s, Goldman Sachs and others lobbied hard and the regulations were abolished. Suddenly, these contracts were turned into "derivatives" that could be bought and sold among traders who had nothing to do with agriculture. A market in "food speculation" was

So Farmer Giles still agrees to sell his crop in advance to a trader for £10,000. But now, that contract can be sold on to speculators, who treat the contract itself as an object of potential wealth. Goldman Sachs can buy it and sell it on for £20,000 to Deutsche Bank, who sell it on for £30,000 to Merrill Lynch – and on and on until it seems to bear almost no relationship to Farmer Giles's crop at all.

If this seems mystifying, it is. John Lanchester, in his superb guide to the world of finance, Whoops! Why Everybody Owes Everyone and No One Can Pay, explains: "Finance, like other forms of human behaviour, underwent a change in the 20th century, a shift equivalent to the
emergence of modernism in the arts – a break with common sense, a turn towards self-referentiality and abstraction and notions that couldn't be explained in workaday English." Poetry found its break with realism when T S Eliot wrote "The Wasteland". Finance found its Wasteland moment in the 1970s, when it began to be dominated by complex financial instruments that even the people selling them didn't fully understand.

So what has this got to do with the bread on Abiba's plate? Until deregulation, the price for food was set by the forces of supply and demand for food itself. (This was already deeply imperfect: it left a billion people hungry.) But after deregulation, it was no longer just a market in food. It became, at the same time, a market in food contracts based on theoretical future crops – and the speculators drove the price through the roof.

Here's how it happened. In 2006, financial speculators like Goldmans pulled out of the collapsing US real estate market. They reckoned food prices would stay steady or rise while the rest of the economy tanked, so they switched their funds there. Suddenly, the world's frightened investors stampeded on to this ground.

So while the supply and demand of food stayed pretty much the same, the supply and demand for derivatives based on food massively rose – which meant the all-rolled-into-one price shot up, and the starvation began. The bubble only burst in March 2008 when the situation got so
bad in the US that the speculators had to slash their spending to cover their losses back home.

When I asked Merrill Lynch's spokesman to comment on the charge of causing mass hunger, he said: "Huh. I didn't know about that." He later emailed to say: "I am going to decline comment." Deutsche Bank also refused to comment. Goldman Sachs were more detailed, saying they sold their index in early 2007 and pointing out that "serious analyses ... have concluded index funds did not cause a bubble in commodity futures prices", offering as evidence a statement by the OECD.

How do we know this is wrong? As Professor Ghosh points out, some vital crops are not traded on the futures markets, including millet, cassava, and potatoes. Their price rose a little during this period – but only a fraction as much as the ones affected by speculation. Her research shows that speculation was "the main cause" of the rise.

So it has come to this. The world's wealthiest speculators set up a casino where the chips were the stomachs of hundreds of millions of innocent people. They gambled on increasing starvation, and won. Their Wasteland moment created a real wasteland. What does it say about our political and economic system that we can so casually inflict so much pain?

If we don't re-regulate, it is only a matter of time before this all happens again. How many people would it kill next time? The moves to restore the pre-1990s rules on commodities trading have been stunningly sluggish. In the US, the House has passed some regulation, but there are fears that the Senate – drenched in speculator-donations – may dilute it into meaninglessness. The EU is lagging far behind even this, while in Britain, where most of this "trade" takes place, advocacy groups are worried that David Cameron's government will block reform entirely to please his own friends and donors in the City.

Only one force can stop another speculation-starvation-bubble. The decent people in developed countries need to shout louder than the lobbyists from Goldman Sachs. The World Development Movement is launching a week of pressure this summer as crucial decisions on this are taken: text WDM to 82055 to find out what you can do.

The last time I spoke to her, Abiba said: "We can't go through that another time. Please – make sure they never, never do that to us again."


The Day an American Jewish Art Student Emily Henochowicz Lost an Eye

Like most diaspora Jews, Emily Henochowicz, was brought up to believe that Arabs are intent on injuring or killing any Jew they come across and likewise that Israel was a place of refuge for all Jews against oppression. They didn’t tell her that Jews who mix with Arabs are termed ‘Arab lover’ (just as civil rights protesters in the USA were called n***** lovers).

Emily wasn't a know protestor. She is not associated with any protest groups like ISM (to the best of my knowledge). She was just an ordinary American Jewish kid who went out to Israel, having been brought up to believe that Israel was the the heart of soul of being Jewish, that Israel was under attack for reasons no one knows, by Arabs who hate it and want to see its inhabitants destroyed. When she got there she realised it is the Israeli military who are the ones to be feared, not the native population. Of course these 'fears' are similar to similar 'fears' of Black Africans in South Africa and Rhodesia.

But she may not have been involved with Palestine solidarity groups but Emily instinctively appreciated the situation when she says that one state makes sense because Israel controls the whole area anyway.

And you get the measure of the Zionist sickness, because it is a sickness, that one of these anonymous contributors to a discussion list wished she had lost her other eye too. I also have some sick Zios who write wishing that I'd died or my family had in Auschwitz, all the while professing a belief in 'the Jewish people.'

Emily lost an eye at the Qualandiya check point when an Israeli border guard fired a tear gas cannister straight at her. As is normal with the Israeli army an ‘inquiry’ has cleared the army of any wrong doing. No doubt if the pressure becomes too great then Israel will hold a new inquiry, depending on whether the United States is concerned enough over the maiming of its citizen to protest. Certainly the ‘Jewish’ state is unconcerned.

Emily’s maiming came on the day that between 15 activists on the Mavi Marmara were murdered by Israel. (6 activists are deemed to have been ‘lost’ but after this time it is a reasonable assumption that Israel has managed to dispose of their bodies).

I found the article on Israeli Occupation Archive. But what is remarkable is that this article was reprinted from the Baltimore Jewish Times. Can you imagine the Jewish Chronicle, which today is little more than a raucous and knee-jerk pro-Israeli tabloid, edited by ex-Daily Express editor Stephen Pollard, printing an article such as this?

Tony Greenstein

Stuart Henochowicz: “I certainly don’t think Emily is a self-hating Jew … I think she is an ethical Jew of the highest order. I think she is what Jewish people should be about. I don’t think Emily should be a poster person for anyone … Emily is her own person … The Palestinians have been living in a cage for 43 years, so my heart goes out to them. … This is what Emily saw.”

IOA Editor: Emily surely isn’t a (self) hating person. The term “self-hating Jew” is a trick as old as the Occupation itself. Some of us continue to be subjected to it — for decades now — simply because we challenge the legitimacy of the Occupation. The same people using such name-calling also try twisting our criticism of the Occupation, calling us “delegitimizers.”

“I’m still a little bit broken, but it’s OK,” said Emily Henochowicz, giggling slightly.
Nearly a month after being struck in the face by a tear gas canister fired by Israeli border police during a demonstration in the West Bank, the 21-year-old sounds chipper as she recuperates in her Potomac, Md., home.

Between the nearly daily doctors’ appointments, Henochowicz continues to grapple with the repercussions of the violent episode—physical and political.

Henochowicz, who had been in Israel since February to study animation at Jerusalem’s Bezalel Academy, lost her left eye and suffered multiple fractures to her jaw and cheekbone in the incident. But despite the physical fallout from the demonstration, the art student remains proud to have taken to the streets in protest of Israel’s deadly confrontation with a Gaza-bound aid flotilla.

“I was standing there for something that I believe in … [and] I feel good about what I was doing,” Henochowicz said recently during an hourlong telephone interview.
She regrets nothing, but realizes her life is forever changed.

“This is something that is going to be with me for the rest of my life,” she said. “It’s not like I broke my arm. I don’t have a left eye. It’s personal now.”

However, Henochowicz claims to harbor no ill will toward the State of Israel or the police officer who fired the canister of tear gas. (The family, however, has retained a lawyer, and plans to file a suit over the incident.)

“This is not really an experience that makes me hate anyone—that is such a useless emotion in this kind of situation,” she said, explaining that her idealism remains intact. Henochowicz still believes that peace between the Israelis and Palestinians is within reach.

Across the globe, though, images of her bloodied face have served only to further embitter activists on both sides of the Green Line.

Palestinian supporters quickly turned Henochowicz into an international icon, creating several Facebook groups that have portrayed her as a champion of opposition to Israeli aggression.
Meanwhile, some American Jews have depicted her as yet another liberal, self-hating Jew. She has been subjected to rants posted on Internet forums and newspaper Web sites, Henochowicz said.

“It’s a little bit weird,” she said of her sudden notoriety. “It’s very strange for me.”

While scanning the comments section of one paper’s Web site, Henochowicz says she came across a reader who labeled her “a traitor” and said “that I should have lost both my eyes and [to] stay out of” Israel. (She noted, however, that “most” of the feedback has been sympathetic.)
Asked about the flurry of negativity surrounding his daughter’s actions, Henochowicz’s father, Stuart, said he’s “proud of her” for standing up to what she deemed as Israeli injustice—though he certainly would have “preferred that she had slept in that day.”

“I certainly don’t think Emily is a self-hating Jew,” said Stuart Henochowicz, a Tel Aviv native and the son of Holocaust survivors. “I think she is an ethical Jew of the highest order. I think she is what Jewish people should be about.”

But he is unhappy that his daughter has become a political pawn.

“I don’t think Emily should be a poster person for anyone,” he said. “Emily is her own person and comes at this as a Jewish person holding an Israeli passport.”

While the family was hesitant initially to be interviewed in the days following the ordeal, both father and daughter said they are now speaking out to help promote a difficult, yet necessary, conversation about Israeli society.

“The Palestinians have been living in a cage for 43 years, so my heart goes out to them. … This is what Emily saw,” said Stuart Henochowicz, admitting that when he first learned of his child’s activism several months ago, he was not pleased.

Numerous conversations with his daughter, though, helped to open his eyes, he said, to “an occupation of 43 years [that] is morally decaying, and that, in part, is responsible for what happened to Emily.”

On May 31, Emily Henochowicz—who attends Cooper Union College in New York and had been on a semester program at Bezalel—recalls waking up to reports of a deadly clash between Israeli Navy commandos and those aboard a Gaza-bound Turkish aid flotilla.

Though she already had attended many protests against the expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, Henochowicz said the circumstances surrounding the flotilla gathering felt different. She expected the protest to be relatively calm, given that nine Turkish passengers died in the early-morning raid.

Events, however, took a violent turn when border police responded to several Palestinian youths who had begun throwing rocks. Authorities have said that Henochowicz was not intentionally targeted, according to news reports, but she questions that claim.

Witnesses at the protest have reported that the canister was shot directly at Henochowicz, who was holding a Turkish flag aloft at the time and was not standing near the rock throwers.
The family is calling on Israeli police to launch an “open and transparent investigation” into the day’s events and has hired Israeli human rights attorney Michael Sfard to exert pressure on officials to act.

Stuart Henochowicz confirmed that Israeli U.S. Ambassador Michael Oren recently paid the family a 30-minute “courtesy call” to express regret.

“It was a personal visit,” the father said. “He expressed sorrow for what had happened, and we again made it clear we would like Israel to give a public account of what happened” and “accept responsibility.”

An embassy spokesperson confirmed the visit took place but declined further comment.
For her part, Emily Henochowicz isn’t dwelling much on the details of that day. She is focused now on the bigger picture, hoping that her injuries compel Israeli security forces to re-evaluate the use of tear gas during protests—even when employed to combat violence.

“Tear gas shot from those guns does not even closely equal throwing stones,” she said. “I know maybe this is apologetic or something, but I think that usually when people throw stones it is more of a symbolic thing because [stones] are highly inaccurate” and usually are cast in frustration.

Even before Henochowicz arrived in Jerusalem, she says she had already begun to question the Jewish state’s policies regarding the Palestinians, as well as use of military force.

“In Hebrew school when you learn about Israel, you get this view that is so different than when you’re actually there,” explained Henochowicz, whose bat mitzvah ceremony was held at Congregation Har Shalom in Potomac. (The family now attends Conservative Congregation B’nai Tzedek in Potomac.)

American Jewish youths are taught that “Israel is surrounded by hostile Arabs who are just closing in on it,” but after arriving in the country, Henochowicz says she now believes that Israel is the true aggressor.

“The thing that scared me the most about going to the West Bank was the Israeli military,” she said. “I wasn’t going to get hurt by Palestinians there.”

A turning point in Henochowicz’s relationship with Israel came during the country’s monthlong war in Gaza during the winter of 2008-09.

“It made me reconsider how I felt about Israel, and that was a big thing for me,” she said. “I had never questioned Israel before.”

But “it wasn’t until I actually went to Israel before I started doing something about it.”
Henochowicz says she was motivated to act after witnessing a confrontation in Sheikh Jarrah, an Eastern Jerusalem neighborhood. A group of Chasidim had begun screaming prayers at Palestinian children, she recalled.

“For me it was really strange because … these prayers are a part of me, and it’s really hurtful” to see religion utilized as a weapon of hate, she said.

The incident led her to protest against West Bank settlement expansion and helped alter her views about the ideal route for peace. Henochowicz said she now believes that a one-state solution would be most tenable, as Israel already controls the territories through its vast military presence.

Asked if she intends to remain engaged with activist groups now that she’s back in the States, Henochowicz says she would—though finishing art school will take priority.

“Right now, I definitely am not done with this issue,” she said, adding that “right now”—despite all that has happened—“I really have an idea that things can change.”