Just for the Record – 1!

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50 Days of Death & Destruction: Israel’s “Operation Protective Edge”

The above site provides an excellent record of the atrocities carried out by the Israelis against Palestinians during that period. This will provide a starting point, for although the open warfare has been discontinued, the daily violations of ceasefire constitute a War of Attrition, which will be documented in more detail in the next post.

For further reference, see our recently released fact sheets Putting Palestinians “On a Diet”: Israel’s Siege & Blockade of Gaza and The Children of Gaza: A Generation Scarred & Under Siege, and our previously released fact check, Israeli Claims About the Assault on Gaza.

Palestinians Killed & Injured
According to the United Nations, between July 7 and August 26, at least 2131 Palestinians were killed in Gaza as a result of Israel’s “Operation Protective Edge.” According to Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, a total of 2168 Palestinians were killed, while the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) put the total number of Palestinian fatalities at 2191. (NOTE: Updated February 2015 to reflect revised PCHR figures)

According to the UN, at least 1473 of the dead were civilians, including 501 children and 257 women, with another 379 individuals yet to be identified. According to PCHR, 1660 Palestinian civilians were killed, including 527 children and 299 women, while Al Mezan reported that 1666 of the dead were civilians, including 521 children and 297 women. For further reference, see “Notable Incidents of Civilian Casualties” section in fact sheet here. (NOTE: Updated February 2015 to reflect revised PCHR figures)

According to the UN, at least 142 Palestinian families lost three or more members killed in a single Israeli attack, for a total of 739 fatalities (see here for more), and up to 1500 children were orphaned.
According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, 11,100 Palestinians were wounded, including 3374 children, 2088 women, and 410 elderly people. The UN estimates that 1000 of the injured children will suffer a lifelong disability.

The UN estimates that at least 373,000 children require direct and specialized psychosocial support (PSS), while every child in Gaza has been affected by the crisis and will need some level of psychosocial support. (For more on the toll inflicted on Gaza’s children, see our recently released fact sheet, The Children of Gaza: A Generation Scarred & Under Siege.)

During the same period, 71 Israelis were killed by Palestinians, including 66 soldiers and four civilians, as well as one foreign worker from Thailand.

Homes Destroyed & Palestinians Displaced
According to the UN, 18,000 housing units were totally destroyed or severely damaged by Israeli attacks, leaving approximately 108,000 of Gaza’s 1.8 million Palestinians homeless. Prior to this latest assault, there were 12,000 Palestinians still displaced from Israel’s 2008-09 attack, “Operation Cast Lead,” and a shortage of 71,000 housing units, according to the UN. (See here for UN Gaza Crisis Atlas, showing satellite images and geographic distribution of attacks.)
According to the UN, at the peak of Israel’s assault, an estimated 485,000 people (approximately 28% of Gaza’s population) were displaced.

Destruction of Civilian Infrastructure
Israeli attacks caused widespread damage to Gaza’s already frail and dilapidated electrical grid, run down and in disrepair after seven years of siege and blockade. Most notably, on July 29 Israel bombed Gaza’s only power plant, knocking it out of commission indefinitely, prompting Amnesty International to condemn the attack as an act of “collective punishment” against the entire population. (Israel previously bombed the plant during assaults in 2006 and 2008-09.) According to the UN, even following repairs to what remains of the electrical grid, most areas of Gaza continue to endure up to 18 hours of electrical outages a day.

Israel’s destruction of Gaza’s power plant caused the shutdown of water treatment plants, while Israeli tank fire put Gaza’s largest sewage treatment plant out of commission. Other Israeli attacks did extensive damage to Gaza’s water and sewage systems, also already in critical condition due to the siege and previous Israeli assaults, leading to the release of raw sewage into open pools, farmland, and the Mediterranean Sea, causing health concerns and affecting fishermen. On August 5, Oxfam warned that Israeli attacks damaging wells, pipelines, and reservoirs had caused the contamination of fresh water supplies, already heavily contaminated before the assault, and that 15,000 tons of solid waste had leaked into the streets of Gaza.

According to the September 4 UN Gaza crisis report:
450,000 people were unable to access municipal water systems due to infrastructure damage and/or low water pressure.
On average, 20% to 30% of Gaza’s water and wastewater systems remain significantly damaged.
According to the UN, 22 schools were destroyed and 118 damaged, and at least six teachers killed. As a result of the ongoing violence, schools being damaged and destroyed, and displaced people taking refuge in schools, nearly half a million children had the start of their school year delayed, from August 24 to September 14. As the UN noted in its September 4 Gaza crisisreport:

“The education sector was already overstretched prior to the crisis, suffering from a shortage of almost 200 schools, with classes running in double shifts… When schools open, children will face even more acute over-crowding and under-resourcing as a result of the collateral damage suffered.

“Additionally, with hundreds of thousands of children in need of psychosocial support (PSS), teachers and educational staff (many of whom have also experienced acute trauma) will be stretched to provide the appropriate support required to ease children back in to school and to provide ongoing support throughout the school year.”

Damage to Industry & Commerce
According to the Palestinian Federation of Industries, 419 businesses and workshops were damaged, and 128 totally destroyed by Israeli attacks.

The overall unemployment rate in Gaza prior to Israel’s latest assault was 45% (70% for those aged 20-24). According to the UN: “It is expected that labour market conditions in Gaza will further deteriorate following the conflict, exacerbating the impact of the blockade and the longstanding access restrictions imposed by Israel which have been preventing any meaningful economic activity.”
According to the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Gaza’s economy was in a “state of total collapse” even prior Israel’s latest attack, warning on September 3 of “grave consequences” if Israel’s siege and blockade aren’t lifted.

Damage to Agricultural & Fishing Sectors
Israeli attacks also caused severe damage to Gaza’s agricultural and fishing sectors, particularly in areas near Gaza’s boundary with Israel, which were subjected to intense bombardment and designated a no-go zone by the Israeli military during much of the assault. According to the UN:
“Hostilities forced farmers and herders to abandon their lands, and resulted in substantial direct damage to Gaza’s 17,000 hectares [42,00 acres] of croplands as well as much of its agricultural infrastructure, including greenhouses, irrigation systems, animal farms, fodder stocks and fishing boats. Access to the sea was also prohibited for most of the 50 days of hostilities; restrictions have been restored to the six nautical mile limit, but there have been reports of shooting at, and detaining, fishermen in recent days, reportedly for exceeding this limit.

“These losses come on top of an already fragile economy and livelihoods. Around 66 per cent of the population of Gaza was receiving food assistance prior to the crisis and the household food insecurity level or vulnerable to food insecure stood at 72 per cent of households.”
According to the Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture, the poultry sector suffered $10 million in losses as a result of the Israeli offensive, which killed two million chickens and caused widespread damage to farms and agricultural structures.

Reconstruction
According to the Palestinian Authority, it will cost $7.8 billion (USD) to repair the damage caused by Israel’s assault, including $2.5 billion for housing, $250 million for the energy sector, and approximately $143 million for education. (For more on the costs of the most pressing humanitarian and reconstruction needs, see the UN’s Gaza Crisis Appeal, September 9.)

According to the UN:
“In addition to shelter solutions, the main priority for humanitarian agencies continues to be the repair and reconstruction and the restoration of essential services to affected communities, which effectively means the entire population of the Gaza Strip. However, this will not be possible without a more permanent agreement that will allow for the entry of the materials needed to re-build homes, schools and hospitals, to repair roads, electricity lines and water and sanitation networks and bring about transformational change in Gaza.”

Evidence of War Crimes Committed by Israeli Forces
Palestinian, Israeli, and international human rights organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have documented evidence of widespread violations of the laws of war committed by the Israeli military during “Operation Protective Edge,” including:
The reckless and disproportionate use of deadly force in densely populated urban areas.
Attacks on medical facilities and workers and UN schools sheltering displaced civilians.
Attacks on civilians and the targeting of civilian infrastructure and the homes of Palestinian political and military officials.

The Use of Reckless & Disproportionate Force
The Israeli military employs a strategy known as the Dahiya Doctrine, which calls for the systematic use of massive and disproportionate force, including against civilian targets, in order to defeat and deter enemies. The doctrine is named after the Dahiya neighborhood of Beirut, a stronghold of the Hezbollah movement, that Israel virtually destroyed during its assault on Lebanon in the summer of 2006.

During “Operation Protective Edge” the Israeli military used imprecise weaponry, artillery in particular, in densely populated areas, leading to huge civilian casualties. On August 15, Haaretz newspaper reported that up until that point, the Israeli army had fired at least 32,000 artillery shells into Gaza – four times the amount used during “Operation Cast Lead,” Israel’s devastating 22-day assault in the winter of 2008-09. On July 30, Amnesty International issued a statement condemning an attack on a UN school in Jabalia that killed at least 17 civilians sheltering from the violence, noting:

“It is inevitable that the repeated use of artillery in densely populated civilian neighbourhoods will lead to the unlawful killing and injury of civilians and destruction and damage to civilian buildings, regardless of the intended target. Israeli forces have used such reckless tactics before, including in Operation ‘Cast Lead’ in 2008/9, when some 1,400 Palestinians were killed, the majority of them civilians.”

Israeli forces destroyed entire neighborhoods in areas such as Shejaiya in central Gaza, Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza, and Khozaa, and flattened high-rise residential buildings and shopping centers.(See here for video of Beit Hanoun being destroyed in the space of less than one hour.)
On July 28, UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon warned that Israeli attacks on Gaza raised “serious questions about proportionality.”
On July 23, Navi Pillay, the UN high commissioner for human rights, expressed deep concern over possible Israeli “war crimes” in Gaza, telling a special session of the UN Human Rights Council:
“The targeting of civilian homes is a violation of international humanitarian law, unless the homes are being used for military purposes. Attacks against military objectives must offer a definite military advantage in the prevailing circumstances, and precautions must be taken to protect civilian lives… A number of incidents, along with the high number of civilian deaths, belie the claim that all necessary precautions are being taken. People – particularly the elderly, sick and those with disabilities – are not given sufficient time to scramble out of their homes. When they do manage to run out into the street, there is nowhere to hide and no way of knowing where the next shell or missile will land.”

The vast majority (approximately 70-75%) of Palestinians killed by the Israeli military during “Operation Protective Edge” were civilians. In comparison to the 1473 to 1666 Palestinian civilians killed by Israel, only four Israeli civilians and one foreign worker were killed by Palestinians during the same period. The number of Palestinian children killed alone (approximately 500) exceeds the total number of Israelis, civilians and soldiers, killed by Palestinians in rocket and all other attacks over the past decade.
Over the course of its ground invasion, the Israeli military twice invoked the so-called “Hannibal Directive,” which calls for pouring heavy fire into the immediate vicinity and surrounding areas when an Israeli soldier is believed to have been taken prisoner, in order to prevent their capture:

On July 20, the Israeli military launched a bloody assault against the residential neighborhood of Shejaiya in Gaza City following the apparent capture of a soldier by Palestinian fighters, killing more than 66 people including at least 17 children, 14 women and four elderly people. In the space of less than an hour, the Israeli army fired more than 600 artillery shells into Shejaiya. Condemning the high civilian death toll, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called Israel’s actions “atrocious.” In a press release accompanying an open letter to Israel’s attorney general on July 21, 10 Israeli human rights organizations expressed “serious concern” about “the legality of the operation, and in particular, the potential violation of the fundamental principles of the laws of war, specifically the principle of distinguishing between combatants and civilians.”

On August 1, the Israeli military killed between 130 and 150 Palestinians, mostly civilians, in Rafah in southern Gaza after an Israeli soldier was reportedly taken as a prisoner of war by Palestinian fighters (he was later declared dead by Israel). During the assault, Israeli forces fired more than 1000 artillery shells in the space of three hours.

Attacks on UN Schools Sheltering Civilians
On at least seven different occasions, the Israeli military attacked UN schools sheltering displaced civilians, killing approximately 43 people and wounding hundreds more in three of the incidents:
On August 3, an Israeli missile strike outside of a UN school in Rafah in southern Gaza killed at least 10 civilians, including at least one child, and wounded dozens of others. Condemning the attack, UN officials said that they had informed the Israeli military of the exact GPS coordinates of the school, where approximately 3000 Palestinians were taking shelter, 33 times in an attempt to prevent it from being bombed, the final time just an hour before the attack. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called the Israeli attack a “moral outrage and a criminal act,” while a US State Department spokesperson declared “the United States is appalled by today’s disgraceful shelling,” adding, “The suspicion that militants are operating nearby does not justify strikes that put at risk the lives of so many innocent civilians.” The incident was the third time an Israeli attack killed civilians taking refuge in a UN school in the previous 10 days.

On July 30, at least 17 people were killed, including four children, and almost 100 wounded when Israeli tanks shelled a UN school where more than 3000 internally displaced people (IDP) were taking shelter in Jabalia in northern Gaza. Condemning the attack, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon declared: “Nothing is more shameful than attacking sleeping children.” According to UN officials, they had given the Israeli military GPS coordinates for the school 17 times since July 16 in an attempt to ensure it wasn’t attacked.
On July 24, a UN school in Beit Hanoun where approximately 1500 IDPs were sheltering was struck by several Israeli missiles, killing at least 16 people and injuring 150 others. According to UN officials, they twice asked the Israeli military to allow a humanitarian corridor to evacuate civilians from the school during the day, but Israel refused.

Attacks on Hospitals & Other Medical Facilities
At least 24 medical facilities were damaged and at least 16 health care workers were reportedly killed in Israeli attacks. Notable examples of attacks on medical facilities include:
On July 23, the Israeli military shelled the Wafa Rehabilitation Hospital east of Gaza City seriously damaging the building. Between July 11 and July 17, Israeli forces attacked the hospital on three occasions, injuring four patients and staff.
On July 21, Israel attacked the Al-Aqsa Hospital in central Gaza, killing four people and injuring 40 others.
On July 12, an Israeli airstrike killed two residents of a special needs facility in Beit Lahiya in northern Gaza and seriously wounded several others. The dead were 31-year-old Ola Washahi and 47-year-old Suha Abu Saada, who both suffered from severe mental and physical handicaps.
(See here for a more extensive list of attacks against medical facilities and workers.)

On August 7, Amnesty International issued a statement entitled “Mounting evidence of deliberate attacks on Gaza health workers by Israeli army,” which read in part:
“An immediate investigation is needed into mounting evidence that the Israel Defense Forces launched apparently deliberate attacks against hospitals and health professionals in Gaza, which have left six medics dead.”

“‘The harrowing descriptions by ambulance drivers and other medics of the utterly impossible situation in which they have to work, with bombs and bullets killing or injuring their colleagues as they try to save lives, paint a grim reality of life in Gaza,’ said Philip Luther, Middle East and North Africa Director at Amnesty International. ‘Even more alarming is the mounting evidence that the Israeli army has targeted health facilities or professionals. Such attacks are absolutely prohibited by international law and would amount to war crimes. They only add to the already compelling argument that the situation should be referred to the International Criminal Court.’”

Attacks on Palestinian Civilians
Human rights groups have documented a number of cases of civilians being directly attacked by Israeli forces during “Operation Protective Edge.” In its August 21 daily Gaza emergency update, the UN noted:
“Human rights organizations have expressed serious concerns regarding incidents where civilians or civilian objects have been directly hit by Israeli airstrikes, in circumstances where there was allegedly no rocket fire or armed group activity in the close vicinity. Such cases raise concerns about the targeting of civilians, in violation of the principle of distinction.”
On August 4, Human Rights Watch released a report entitled “Israeli Soldiers Shoot and Kill Fleeing Civilians,” which read in part:
“Human Rights Watch investigated eight Israeli airstrikes that were apparent violations of the laws of war before the ground offensive that began on July 17, 2014. The findings and reports of numerous new civilian casualties heightened concerns for the safety of civilians during the ground offensive.”

“The attacks Human Rights Watch investigated include a missile attack that killed four boys on a Gaza City pier and wounded three others, multiple strikes over several days on a hospital for paralyzed and elderly patients, attacks on an apparent civilian residence and media worker’s car, and four previously documented strikes. In many, if not all, of these cases, Human Rights Watch found no evidence of a military target. Israeli forces’ failure to direct attacks at a military target violates the laws of war. Israeli forces may also have knowingly or recklessly attacked people who were clearly civilians, such as young boys, and civilian structures, including a hospital – laws-of-war violations that are indicative of war crimes.”

On July 16, Human Rights Watch issued a report entitled “Unlawful Israeli Airstrikes Kill Civilians: Bombings of Civilian Structures Suggest Illegal Policy,” which read in part:
“Human Rights Watch investigated four Israeli strikes during the July military offensive in Gaza that resulted in civilian casualties and either did not attack a legitimate military target or attacked despite the likelihood of civilian casualties being disproportionate to the military gain. Such attacks committed deliberately or recklessly constitute war crimes under the laws of war applicable to all parties. In these cases, the Israeli military has presented no information to show that it was attacking lawful military objectives or acted to minimize civilian casualties.”

Targeting of Homes of Palestinian Political & Military Leaders
The homes of Palestinian political and military officials and fighters were also targeted by the Israeli military, in violation of the laws of war, killing and wounding scores of civilians, including relatives of the intended targets. As noted by Amnesty International in a Q&A released on July 25: “Israel appears to consider the homes of people associated with Hamas to be legitimate military targets, a stance that does not conform to international humanitarian law.”

Targeting of Civilian Infrastructure
On July 29, Israel destroyed Gaza’s only power plant. Amnesty International condemned the attack as an act of “collective punishment” against the entire population, while Human Rights Watch issued a statement entitled “Widespread Impact of Power Plant Attack: Curtailed Sewage Treatment, Food and Water Supply, Hospital Operations,” which read in part:
“Damaging or destroying a power plant, even if it also served a military purpose, would be an unlawful disproportionate attack under the laws of war, causing far greater civilian harm than military gain.”

“The shutdown of the Gaza Power Plant has had an impact on the population far beyond power outages. It has drastically curtailed the pumping of water to households and the treatment of sewage, both of which require electric power. It also caused hospitals, already straining to handle the surge of war casualties, to increase their reliance on precarious generators. And it has affected the food supply because the lack of power has shut off refrigerators and forced bakeries to reduce their bread production.

“‘If there were one attack that could be predicted to endanger the health and well-being of the greatest number of people in Gaza, hitting the territory’s sole electricity plant would be it,’ said Eric Goldstein, deputy Middle East and North Africa director. ‘Deliberately attacking the power plant would be a war crime.’”

Further Reference
Amnesty International
Mounting evidence of deliberate attacks on Gaza health workers by Israeli army (August 7)
Stop US shipment of fuel to Israel’s armed forces as evidence of Gaza war crimes mounts (August 4)
International Criminal Court key to breaking cycle of injustice for war crimes (August 1)
USA: Stop arms transfers to Israel amid growing evidence of war crimes in Gaza (July 31)
Attack on UN school in Gaza a potential war crime that must be investigated (July 30)
Israel/Gaza conflict: Questions and Answers (July 25)
Attacks on medical facilities and civilians add to war crime allegations (July 21)

B’Tselem
Israeli authorities have proven they cannot investigate suspected violations of international humanitarian law by Israel in the Gaza Strip (September 5)
Israeli human rights organizations B’Tselem and Yesh Din: Israel is unwilling to investigate harm caused to Palestinians (September 4)
Death Foretold: The inevitable outcome of bombing homes and inhabited areas in Gaza (August 12)
Families bombed at home, Gaza, July-August 2014 (initial figures) (August 11) 10 Human Rights Organizations in an Urgent Letter to Attorney General: Concerns Regarding Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law in the IDF’s Operations in Gaza (July 21)

Defence for Children International – Palestine Section
Death toll of Palestinian children spirals as Israel expands Gaza offensive (July 24)

Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch Letter to US State Secretary: Suspend Providing Israel with Weapons Documented to Have Been Used to Commission War Crimes, Help UN Fact-Finding Mission into Gaza (August 11)
Gaza: Widespread Impact of Power Plant Attack Curtailed Sewage Treatment, Food and Water Supply, Hospital Operations (August 10)
Israeli Soldiers Shoot and Kill Fleeing Civilians (August 4)
Airstrike Deaths Raise Concerns on Ground Offensive: Unlawful Israeli Attacks Hit Hospital, Kill Children, Other Civilians (July 22)
Unlawful Israeli Airstrikes Kill Civilians: Bombings of Civilian Structures Suggest Illegal Policy (July 16)

Institute for Middle East Understanding
Expert Q&A: Amnesty International & Human Rights Watch on Being Denied Entry to Gaza (August 27)
Putting Palestinians “On a Diet”: Israel’s Siege & Blockade of Gaza (August 14)

UNICEF
No safe place for children in Gaza (July 28)

Note:- For background information you will need to visit the original web page, as not all links have been reproduced here.

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No Wonder I’m Still Thirsty!

About a year ago, as part of the Blogging 101 course I was enrolled in, I revised my ‘About’ page. Shortly before that, I had decided to write the “Buy me a Beer” page, in the hope that happy readers would buy me a drink now and again. The idea of linking from one page to another was to make it easy for the reader, and hopefully increase the volume of donations.

It was a nice thought, but that’s all it was!

Why?

The link from the ‘About’ page didn’t work as I wanted – all it did was download another picture of a glass of Guinness to a new tab in the browser!

This morning, in response to a new Blogging 101 request to revamp my ‘About’ page, I checked it over – and discovered the problem that has been laying there for a year!

So, if you see one of these, guinessjust click on it, and you will land in the right place!

Tainted MP’s

For a member of parliament, real live experience of actual situations is extremely valuable, perhaps even more so when it touches on international trouble-spots, such as the ongoing conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. To remain politically neutral, the MP, or prospective MP, would normally fund such a visit themselves, but to do so would involve extra risks, as the following extract illustrates:-

“On Friday, human rights activist and Labour Party political candidate, Mick Bowman, was beaten, tear-gassed and arrested by Israeli soldiers while protesting in the West Bank, just north of Ramallah.

Aged 57, Bowman was detained without charge for 24 hours, interrogated by various officials and military staff, and then released. His arrest is now being investigated by Israeli authorities who claim that his alleged treatment was “unacceptable” and “inappropriate.” He has, however, been banned permanently from the West Bank.”

More details of his treatment can be found at Tyneside campaigner Mick Bowman arrested in Palestine

For any candidates planning to visit Palestine or Israel in the coming months, there is a safer way to travel: members of Westminster’s pro-Israel lobbies will take you. And, if you’re lucky, pro-Israel donors might also drop some money into your campaign bank account shortly afterwards.

Simon Marcus PPC, the Conservative candidate for Hampstead & Kilburn, recently made one such trip. His constituency is a critical marginal seat, with Labour winning a tiny majority back in 2010. Marcus visited Israel in February 2014 on a “fact-finding visit” paid for by a pro-Israel lobby group called the Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI). Marcus has yet to declare the trip on his Electoral Commission expenses.

It is easy to estimate the costs however. In June, electoral records show that CFI paid £1600 for two other Conservative candidates, Craig Willliams and Afzal Amin, to visit Israel and selected areas of Palestine.

Another candidate, Lucy Allan – running in Telford – visited Israel in November 2013 at a cost to CFI of £2,000. Candidates Christopher Green and Royston Smith also attended this trip, again with all expenses paid. Following their visits, both Allan and Marcus wrote positive reviews of their experiences, for an annual magazine called Informed that is produced by CFI.

A copy of Informed was distributed at the lobbying group’s Annual Business Lunch 2014, which was attended by 600 business people, over 100 Conservative MPs, senior members of the Cabinet, and UK Prime Minister David Cameron. The audience was addressed by Israeli Ambassador Daniel Taub. The dinner was also attended by 37 Parliamentary Prospective Candidates.

In her piece, Allan described the tragic stabbing to death of a sleeping Israeli teenager on a bus, which took place on the third day of her trip. A heinous crime, to be sure – but there is no mention of the equally horrific punitive home demolitions, the thousands of political prisoners, or the daily humiliation of the Israeli occupation.

Marcus went further: “Israel… could not be any different from the ‘apartheid’ state that ill-informed, hardline anti-Israel activists would have you believe.” He added that he was “deeply grateful to CFI for the extraordinary opportunity they gave me.”

Another Conservative candidate, James Heappy, who also attended the November 2013 trip, later received £3,000 in cash from Henry Davis – who sponsored the CFI’s Annual Business Lunch last year. Davis donated the same amount to David Warburton, a candidate running for Somerset and Frome.

Sir Anthony Bamford, whose company JCB has been described as “complicit in war crimes” by the campaigning group War on Want, gave Heappy £15,000. He also gave candidate Graham Cox £10,000.

These might not sound like large amounts of money – but to prospective candidates, many of whom attract no direct donations at all – it can make all the difference.

A similar campaign was launched in the run up to the 2010 election, with seven Conservative PPCs invited to Israel in 2006, 20 in 2007, and five in 2009. Several of these candidates later received donations of between £2,000 and £5,000 from donors closely linked to CFI. All candidates either won or came close to winning their seats. In many cases, the CFI donors had never met or even stepped foot in the constituency of the candidates they chose to back.

Although the corresponding lobbying group for the Labour Party, Labour Friends of Israel (LFI), has tended to take elected MPs rather than candidates to visit Israel, similar efforts have been made recently. Candidates Nick Bent, Andrew Dismore, Peter Kyle and Joan Ryan were taken to Israel in December 2014, in a similar trip arranged and paid for by LFI.

In what may be seen as career-enhancing moves by young candidates, CFI and LFI also attract high-flyers within their respective parties. Home Secretary Theresa May and David Cameron have both addressed CFI events in the last year, while Chief Whip Michael Gove, Chairman of the Party Grant Shapps and former Chairman Francis Maude were present at the 2014 Business Lunch, alongside ten other Cabinet members. In 2013, the CFI Business Lunch was addressed by then Foreign Secretary William Hague.

On the Labour side, Ed Miliband has also given key note speeches to LFI events, most recently in June. The group also arranged for Miliband’s first ever visit to Israel in April last year. In September 2013, Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander addressed an LFI event held at the Labour Party’s annual conference. During the previous Labour government, MPs previously appointed as officers at the LFI very often went on to Ministerial roles.

There is nothing wrong with paying for young candidates to visit Israel and inviting them to grand lunches – indeed many other foreign interest lobby groups do the same – but LFI and CFI arrange by far the most trips of any of these groups. Over the election terms of 2001 – 2005 and 2005 – 2010, for example, the two lobby groups organised 13 per cent of all foreign trips for MPs and candidates.

Similarly, there is no suggestion that giving small donations after these trips is in any way illegal. It might however, contradict a standard mandated by the Committee on Standards in Public Life, which states that: “Holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might seek to influence them in the performance of their official duties.”

But, as journalist Peter Oborne put it back in 2009: “for a junior or a prospective MP to be taken on such a trip and granted access to which they are not accustomed can be a powerful and persuasive experience.”

Indeed, perhaps the best people to explain the importance of these trips is the politicians themselves. When David Cameron spoke at the 2010 CFI Annual Business Lunch, he commented that:

“What [CFI] do in terms of taking people to see Israel for themselves is absolutely invaluable. Seeing is believing. I will never forget the impression it made on me when you see the landscape turn from desert to fertile pasture, when you see the record of that country in turning poverty into prosperity, when you see the creativity, the energy, the dynamism and yes, the democracy. I will never forget being taken to the Lebanese border and knowing just how precarious Israel’s security is. It is an impression that has stayed with me and that I will never forget”

In November 2013, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Theresa Villiers put it like this:

“Ever since my first steps into front line politics, I have very much valued the support and the advice of CFI and – of course – Stuart Polak [Director of CFI] who is such an important part of that.

Like so many other MPs, CFI took me to Israel so that I could deepen my understanding of the country and its people, and the other MPs on the trip included one Boris Johnson and George Osborne, so we certainly had a lively trip.”

And finally William Hague, at the time Foreign Secretary, addressing CFI in November 2013:

“As many of you know, CFI was the first political organisation that I joined as a teenager; in 1976, 37 years ago.

I have been supported and sustained by friendships within CFI, or overlapping with CFI, throughout my career in public life.”

To be sure, the moral decision about accepting expenses and donations from foreign interest lobbying groups is up to the candidate in question (and that applies whether it is from pro-Israel groups, or groups linked to any other country). But what’s clear from the quotes above, particularly the last two, is that – from a career point of view – getting cosy with CFI or LFI simply makes political sense.

And given the increasingly professionalised nature of British politics, it is therefore no surprise that so many young candidates are building strong relationships with the pro-Israel lobby right from the start of their political careers. For the lobby itself, the fruits of this labour will be borne in a few years, when some of these candidates rise up the party ranks and into senior decision-making roles. By then, their investment will almost certainly have paid off.

Note:- A trip paid for by an Israeli lobby group will not show the Palestinian side of the problem!

What does that all mean for us?

It means that any MP that has had a trip to Israel paid for by an Israeli lobby group is going to be biased in Israel’s favour, and that Palestinians are going to lose out as a result. Just like Cameron, their opinions are already tainted!

Don’t vote for tainted MP’s!

Source data for this post comes from:-
https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/articles/europe/17006-how-britains-pro-israel-lobby-invests-in-young-parliamentary-candidates

The Palestinian Issue – Questions & Answers

Once again, I refer to the website Neturei Karta International, with the intention of spreading the word, and reducing violence where possible. The original text is taken from here:-

http://www.nkusa.org/books/pamphlets/pamphlet3.cfm

Series B – Pamphlet No. 3

Q – Is it true that Neturei Karta International supports Palestinian sovereignty over all of the Holy Land?

A – Our answer is, unequivocally, yes. However, this answer requires some prior explanation. We are an anti – Zionist, Orthodox organization. Our quarrel with Zionism exists on many levels. First, by establishing a state in Palestine which is forbidden according to Jewish law, it denies the Divine punishment inherent in the Jewish people’s exile and seeks to remedy what is essentially a spiritual state by this worldly means. Second, it has devoted much of its energy to the uprooting of traditional Torah faith. Third, it has committed a grievous moral evil in its treatment of the Palestinian people.

Q – What do you advocate?

A – We demand, without compromise, the peaceful dismantling of the Israeli state. As to whether or how many Jews may remain there once this process is completed, that decision is totally up to the Palestinian leaders and people.

Q – Aren’t you afraid what this might result in for the Jews living in the Land?

A – Actually, we fear far more for the Jews in the present hopeless situation. After 53 years, five wars, endless terror and counter terror, innocent civilians dead on both sides, there is no solution in sight. Both the Israeli right and left have failed miserably to rectify this situation. We are offering an alternative to what is clearly a tragic experiment.

Q – But don’t Jews deserve a homeland?

A – No Torah faithful Jew in the 1900 years of our people’s exile believed that we should seek to reclaim the land by military means. Instead, they believed that at the end of days, when the Creator chooses to redeem all mankind then all peoples will join in the worship of Him. This will not require the subjugation or dispossession of peoples. It will be a time of universal brotherhood with its spiritual in the Holy Land. Until then the Jewish people have a particular task in exile.

Q – And what might that be?

A – To accept in faith their exile. And, by word and deed, quietly and unobtrusively, to act as moral and spiritual paragons. And, in general to attend to G-d’s service via Torah study, prayer and good deeds.

Q – How do you view the Palestinian people?

A – They are the victims of the Zionist movement’s moral blindness and obstinate refusal to take into account the existence of peoples other than themselves. The Palestinian people have a right to their homeland. And they have a right to financial restitution for property loss and damages inflicted upon them over the past decades.

Q – What efforts have you brought to this cause?

A – We have frequently published statements in support of Palestinian claims and in sympathy with their suffering. We have joined Palestinians in protest against the abuses that they have been subject to. We have, in general, attempted to maintain a public presence in both the Jewish and Islamic world in order that the venerable tradition of Jewish, Torah based anti – Zionism be not forgotten.

Q – What is your opinion on the peace process, Oslo accords and similar efforts?

A – Any Jewish support for the suffering Palestinian people is a step in the right direction practically and evidence of a moral conscience which every Jew should have. However, we believe that all these plans, although they may be well intentioned, are doomed to failure. Jews are forbidden to exercise political sovereignty over the Hold Land. They are called upon to seek peace with all men. The Zionist enterprise is metaphysically doomed to moral and practical failure.

Q – What should be the Jewish approach to the Islamic world?

A – Jews are called upon to deal ethically and honestly with all men. This is our task as a “kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” Zionism has misled many Jews into acts of aggression against the Palestinian people. Therefore, it behooves all Jews, as best we can, to rectify this situation by seeking peace, reconciliation and dialogue when dealing with Palestinian people and all Islamic nations. This is one of the great spiritual tests confronting the Jewish people – to establish a moral relationship with their Islamic brethren.

Q – Realistically speaking, does your program have any chance of implementation?

A – First, the Creator runs the world and with Him all things are possible. Second, there is a tremendous sense of disillusionment and exhaustion among Jews world wide with the Israeli state and Zionism in general. Many realize that following Zionist principles leads to one dead end after another. They are longing for another solution. Our solution, which is simply the ancient tradition of the Torah, is appearing increasingly plausible to many and may, in the not too distant future, with the help of the Creator, carry the day until then we hope and pray that no more innocent blood be shed, be it Jewish or Arab. We yearn for the day when many will come to realize that the only real path to peace lies in the Jewish people returning to their true task in exile, the undivided service of G-d and devotion to morality, integrity and honesty.

Have a computer? Want to help?

Have you ever aspired to effecting change? It is true that most of us are not able to change very much – it just does not lie within our power. But when we start to add people together to become a group, and exert influence to increase the size of the group, we will eventually reach a point where the group becomes influential in a larger sphere.

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This is exactly what we are trying to do as Social Media Activists, and the ones I am working with are working for the Green Party. And we want to change the UK for the better!

An astounding 2000+ supporters have already joined this group! If we could triple this figure we could reach millions of voters with our message before the General Election.

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Why the Green Party?

Its partly the people, and partly the program they are presenting. Another factor is that the old parties have proven beyond the shadow of a doubt that they do not govern in the interest of the people at all, and this means that democracy is not working!

We can do better than that, with the right people in charge. Let’s put them there!

Its time to go Green!

The More I Know about the Greens …

The structure may be a little unusual, in that there are two Deputy Leaders of the Green Party, but when you realise that two heads are better than one, especially when each is covering different aspects of the situation, it all makes perfect sense.

You don’t have to take my word for it!

Shahrar Ali

The second Deputy Leader is Shahrar Ali, and his speech to the Liverpool Conference was as follows:-

“I want to talk about Climate Change and Leadership – Green Leadership.

Warming of the climate system is happening:

  • 0.8 degrees rise in Earth’s temperature since the pre-industrial era.
  • 9 out of 10 of the hottest years on record since 2000.
  • 2 degrees the point at which catastrophic change is more likely than not.
  • Carry on business as usual and we can reach that point by mid-century!
  • (Some say we have already reached the point-of-no-return due to a lag in the system.)

Perhaps these facts are too alarming. Perhaps we’d rather not think about or do anything with them. To the contrary, what’s alarming is the indecision, inaction and bogus priorities betrayed by our leaders.

Climate change denial would have Vote Blue-Go Green-Cameron fly over to the Arctic in 2007 for photo op with huskies. I wonder whether that patch of ice still exists?

Climate change denial would have them plough another £30bn into road building schemes and promote airport expansion instead of affordable public transport and investment in walking and cycling.

Climate change denial would have the government invite tenders for fracking as a viable source of energy generation – fossil fuel intensive, and contaminating the water table.

Climate change denial would have our leaders promote pre-Christmas sales hype in order to boost the economy. What am I bid for flat-screen TV on Asda Black Friday? Carbon production exported to China then imported back here to massage our EU carbon allowances! Riots expected! Cha-ching!

Climate change is a justice issue. 600,000 deaths occur worldwide every year because of it. 95% of these deaths take place in developing countries.

The double injustice of Bangladeshis in low-lying coastal areas being made to suffer the negative consequences of sea-level rises due to the West’s overconsumption – that they are both least responsible for and least able to afford the remedial action to contend with.

Climate change denial is to give ourselves targets and set some new ones when the earlier ones have already been missed. What am I bid? 20% by 2020? 80% by 2050? Using 1980 levels or 1990 levels?

Greens are the only game in town to counteract climate change denial. We’ve been talking about it from the get-go-Green, with joined-up policies on energy generation and efficiency, transport and waste, and doing about it as elected Greens. Our councillors in Kirklees initiated a free home insulation programme for 30,000 homes, reducing energy waste and saving households on average £150 per annum.

The UK is the third lowest producer of renewable energy in the EU. Just look how much unharnessed wind, wave and solar we have at our disposal! Do the real security needs of the UK lie in £100bn Trident renewal? No. Greens say new renewable energy industries could be set up in the same area and use the same skills and resources as the existing arms industries: such as conversion of shipbuilding plant to wave power or aerospace to wind power.

Greens understand that the bottom line isn’t the bottom line. We need to fix the broken economy not round the edges, but wholesale. Currency is a convention that currently exacerbates inequality in society. Labour and ConDems printed money out of a politicised Bank of England – only to ease the bankers and brokers’ liability for their own casino-style fleecing of our savings.

We need a carbon-based currency that promotes stewardship of the Earth in our every transaction, backed up by our responsibility to the other species we share this beautiful planet with and the future generations that aren’t around yet to press their entitlements upon us.

We have presided over the fetishisation of Keynesian economics and pursuit of endless growth like there’s no tomorrow. Yet there is a contradiction at the heart of this goal, even in the reflective minds of those most succumbing to it. The more you earn the more you think you can’t afford what you really need. That can’t be because you don’t have more stuff. It is because you’ve generated increasingly insatiable desires to substitute for the ones that have already been satisfied. For in-built redundancy read in-built neurotic trap. The American dream becomes a nightmare.

What is to be our legacy as a human race? The despoliation of the invaluable, irreplaceable species we share this planet with, including our own? For the sake of austerity debt-finance? There is nothing more painful than an uninhabitable planet.

Green leadership goes well beyond electoral politics and is required now more than ever. It is not practiced only by the named leaders. To the contrary it is lived by us all. We reject the hierarchical structure of leaders and cheerleaders. It is said good leaders create good leaders. This is nearly right – the truth is there is leadership in all of us and we need to create the conditions to help bring that about.

Green politics is a full time job. But not quite a job; it’s a way of life. With apologies to the Working Time Directive, we don’t know how to take time off. We are driven by the need to restore health to this planet. Ours is a collective calling. Therein lies our duty and what kind of leader does it make us? You need only to be Green. Empowerment and Ownership. Not control and power over.

Alice, a new member writes of her first party meeting, “I felt as I was listening that this was a party where the power was surging up from the grassroots, rather than from the top down. . . It’s exciting to think of wave after wave of competent new people coming into the party, and building it up with them.”

I doubt Alice would want the leader who boasts, in 2003, “Even if I’m the only person left saying it, I’m going to say it. I may be wrong in believing it but I do believe it.” Yes, Tony, you were the only person left saying it. There were no WMD, or even weapons-of-mass-destruction-programme-related-activities: add-your-favourite-evidence-base-extension. Blood on your hands. No apology. War crimes tribunal over your head!

Or do you want the leader who claims to want to rise above personal attacks, yet dispenses these on a daily basis upon migrants? Yes, Farage, you are quite right that you would not make a good Prime Minister. If ice-melt causes the Gulf stream to divert and the UK gets plunged into sub-Arctic temperature, we will all be the new migrants.

Or do you want the MPs who won’t get out of bed for less than £69k? Cash for access: Cha-ching! What’s all this about us having to pay more for decent MPs. The opposite is the case. I rather suppose that were you to offer the average national wage, you would get substantially improved intake to Parliament. Let us however attempt job share MPs, to help bring a greater diversity of people into Parliament – on the Eve of International Women’s Day.

Green leaders all around. Thank you Chis Southall in Clacton! Thank you Abi Jackson in Middleton! Thank you Clive Gregory in Rochester! You did the Party proud in unforgiving by-election territory. Good luck Darren Hall in Bristol West! Good luck Lesley Grahame in Norwich South! Good luck Caroline in Brighton! Let’s make it happen!

I was asked by a friend which time and place would I choose to be born into. Let that time be right here, right now!

We cannot change the trajectory of our past, but let us shape the destiny of our tomorrow.”

These people really are making sense!

The Greens are Making Sense!

I have been watching the progress towards the election in the UK with some interest, and am very pleased to see that the Green party is sending an eminently sensible message which is attracting a big surge in party membership.

I find this very gratifying, for there needs to be a valid alternative to the proven failures of the Conservative and Labour parties (New, or otherwise).

And now a name that I am not familiar with comes to the fore:- Amelia Womack, who is the Green Party’s Deputy Leader. After reading the speech she made at the party conference, I am perfectly confident that she is a great addition to the party leadership, which is at the moment predominantly female.

I will let you all be the judge of that. Here is the speech she made at the conference in Liverpool on March 7th:-

Amelia_Womack

“It is a great privilege to be here, as your deputy leader, at the biggest conference this party has ever seen.

And it’s great to be here in Liverpool – Although my initial inspiration about the importance of our environment and communities came from Wales where I was born and grew up, it was right here in Liverpool – where I studied at University – that my passion for environmental and social justice was truly formed.

Just over seven years ago, a bank called Lehman Brothers collapsed on the other side of the Atlantic. Its collapse was due to an unaccountable and broken system in which greed flourished and bankers were answerable to no-one.

Yet, far from triggering a radical overhaul of our economic order, the financial crash was used as a springboard to further the interests of the wealthiest and most powerful members of our society.

Sky high levels of inequality have continued to plague our communities.

Government cuts have hit the most vulnerable, while the richest have become richer.

We now live in a country as defined by our foodbanks as we are by our football – as known for our tax avoidance as we are for our tea.

We live in a country where the majority of people have been forced to pay for a crisis that they did not cause.

And we live in a country where those at the top, and the multinational companies – still don’t pay their fair share of tax – while those at the bottom experience cuts, sanctions and attacks on public services.

Let’s be clear. Times have been tough – and this government has only made things tougher. The so-called good news from this week: that ‘Britain is back on track’ – simply does not stand up to scrutiny.

Average incomes lower than in 2010. Wages for young people down 7.6% since 2007. That isn’t a recovery. That is a resounding failure.

But, we are here today – and in record numbers – because we know that there is hope.

I have hope today, not just because this party offers the bold solutions we desperately need – but also because of all of you who have come to this venue and who will play such a vital part in shaping our policy, debating our direction and building our campaign in the weeks to come.

Because without you, the fifty five thousand members of this growing movement, we wouldn’t be where we are today – higher than ever in the polls pushing to win more seats at the general election and ready to change British politics – and to change it for good.

To those of you who joined recently – and there are many of you here today – Welcome.

Welcome to the fastest growing political movement in England and Wales, welcome to a party that puts you – the members – at the centre of our decision making.

Welcome to the only party fighting in these elections that can truly be called democratic, open, and accountable.

There is much work to be done. At this election we have more doors to knock on than ever before, in more constituencies than ever before. We have the chance of a generation to show that things can be done differently – but we can only do that with the help of each and every one of you.

We won’t win record results at this election through hard work alone. We will win more votes than ever because we are the only party standing for bold steps to cure the sickness in our economy, and in our politics.

At the heart of my politics and at the core of what this party stands for, are certain truths:

– That the market should serve people, not rule over them.

– That public services – Our NHS, Our Universities, Our Schools – should be run for the common good – and that we should pay for them together.

– That the planet is not ours to exploit; we have a duty to protect and conserve it for future generations.

And I have hope today because this Party, and this party only, continues to offer the opposition that others have failed to muster. This moment in our history, when our country runs the risk of being turned over to private interests and sold to the highest bidder – is no moment for half measures.

That’s why we will always be bold in our policies – and be honest about who is going to foot the bill.

That’s why today I can confirm that our manifesto will include a commitment to free Undergraduate University education, paid for through general, progressive taxation. Because when we say that education is a public good – we mean it.

And that’s why our manifesto will be honest about the fact that that we want the richest in society to contribute more. We’re not afraid of speaking about taxation. We are committed to a higher rate of income tax, we are committed to raising more money from corporations and we are committed to using the money raised to narrow the Victorian levels of inequality in this country.

And it’s because we are bold that we will go into this election with a clear commitment to end the multi-billion pound waste of taxpayers’ money that is Trident.

We’re not calling for a review

We do not want a consultation

We want nuclear weapons off our shores and consigned to the dustbin of history.

These next two months are not going to be easy. But if we are to send one message out from this conference, a message to be printed on every flyer, a message to be heard at every door upon which we knock – let it be this; that business-as-usual politics is coming to an end.

Let it be that we will vote for our values, for what we believe in. Let it be that at this election we will not stand by whilst our supporters are told to vote for simply the ‘least bad option’.

The politics of the future does not, and it will not, look like the politics of the past.

Whilst I am filled with hope as I stand here today, I am also fearful. We have emerged from the last crisis a weaker, poorer nation – with our public goods hanging by a thread. But the fact is that the next crisis could be just around the corner.

Despite many tales of lessons being learnt we still have an economy that relies far too heavily on the speculators of The City of London. We have record levels of household debt. And we have the looming threat of a climate crisis.

It is not just the mistakes of the past which need fixing – we need to secure our future too.

We have much to prove. Each of us, whether we’re in conversation with our friends or on the BBC News, we all have a role in showing that this party is the party of hope.

That this party is one which stands for fairness and equality, not just now but for generations to come.

That this party, will never blame a crisis of capitalism on the most vulnerable members of our communities.

We go into this election bigger and bolder than ever before, and with the greatest opportunity in a generation to shake up our political landscape for the better.

I don’t know about you, but I really feel like we are on the cusp of something, the cusp of change, the cusp of opportunity, the point at which business-as-usual politics has the potential to be shaken up like never before. Together, as a growing party, working on the doorsteps across this nation, we can make history.

I am impressed, very impressed!

JUDAISM AND ZIONISM ARE NOT THE SAME THING!

In fact, it is even more complicated than that, with Jews, Israelis and Zionists, with subdivisions in each category. However, as the intention is to try to reduce random acts of antisemitism, we might just find that sticking to just the two classifications will suffice.

The following text, and the title above, are taken verbatim from the web page –
http://www.nkusa.org/AboutUs/Zionism/judaism_isnot_zionism.cfm

We would like to take a few minutes of your time to prevent you from making a terrible mistake that may have disastrous results for many.

You have always without a doubt heard and read much about the political crises in the Middle East in which the State of Israel plays a central role. This is, in fact, an ongoing series of crises with potential to bring the greatest misfortune on the entire world. Tragically many believe that Zionism and Judaism are identical. Thus they conclude that the entire Jewish people is responsible for the actions of the Zionist government and the world crises which emanates from it.

This is a Grave Error!

The truth is that the Jewish faith and Zionism are two very different philosophies. They are as opposite as day and night. The Jewish people have existed for thousands of years. In their two thousand years of Divinely decreed exile no Jew ever sought to end this exile and establish independent political sovereignty anywhere. The people’s sole purpose was the study and fulfillment of the Divine commandments of the Torah.

The Zionist movement created the Israeli state. The latter is a persuasion less than one hundred years old. Its essential goal was and is to change the nature of the Jewish people from that of a religious entity to a political movement. From Zionism’s inception the spiritual leaders of the Jewish people stood in staunch opposition to it.

To this day Torah Jewry remains forever loyal to its faith. Zionists want the world to believe that they are the representatives of the entire Jewish people. This is false! The Jewish people never chose them as their leaders.

The Zionists have deceived many well meaning Jewish people via terror, trickery and false propaganda. They have at their disposal the use of a nearly universally subservient media. Whoever attempts to criticize them puts his livelihood and, at times, his very life in danger.

However, despite the media blackout and easy resort to terror the simple truth remains unrefuted and irrefutable:-
ACCORDING TO THE JEWISH FAITH AND TORAH LAW THE JEWISH PEOPLE ARE FORBIDDEN TO HAVE THEIR OWN STATE WHILE AWAITING THE MESSIANIC ERA!

The Creator gave us the Holy Land thousands of years ago. Yet, when we sinned, He took it away and sent us into exile. Since that time our task is to wait for Him to send the Messiah. At that time, the Creator alone, without any human being lifting a hand or saying a word, will bring us together and take us out of exile. He will likewise establish universal peace among all mankind and all will serve Him in good will.

Some religious Jews, confused by Zionist propaganda quote Biblical verses that state that God gave the children of Israel the Holy Land. They overlook, unfortunately, those verses which say that He took it away due to our sins. They further ignore those prophecies which explicitly describe the last exile’s conclusion as a Divine, not a human process.

The Creator has commanded every Jew to follow the ways of peace and to be loyal to the country where he lives.

Torah true Jewry waits patiently for the Messianic redemption. They have nothing to do with any kind of pseudo “Jewish State” and its aggressions against other peoples. They have a deep sympathy for the plight of the Palestinians who have suffered the most from Zionism’s false teachings and barbaric actions.

The Zionist state is not a Jewish state. The Zionists alone are the only ones responsible for their actions. Authentic Jewry has and will continue to oppose the very existence of this blasphemous state.

May all mankind witness the true redemption.

Copyright 2003, Neturei Karta International

Want your own Owl? Here’s how!

I came across a web page entitled “Owl bar is London’s latest ‘just one thing’ hip bar”, which has a picture of a dear little owl on somebody’s shoulder. It really looked so cute, I wanted a copy of the picture myself, but when I did the customary right-click to start the copy sequence, I had a surprise:-

The picture was suddenly enclosed in a ‘light-box’. Its a relatively new device that enables you to sequence through all the pictures on a web page in turn, without being distracted by text.

In this case, however, there was a problem. Although there was a total of 6 pictures of different owls on the page, somebody had screwed up. Only one picture was available in the light-box – and that was the one I wanted.

Well, I didn’t want a copy of a light-box, just the owl; so I did what I usually do under such circumstances – look behind the scenes.

Although I use Opera, other browsers will have the same facility. “Ctrl – U” (View Source) takes you to a new page where you can see the source code that your browser is rendering for you.

Now we use the browser’s “Find” facility in this page to look for pictures. Its simple enough; you just put the extension for a picture into the search facility – that would be ‘jpg’, ‘gif’ or ‘png’ usually. In this particular page, the ‘Find’ facility indicated that there were 72 occurrences of ‘jpg’. I was lucky, I only had to step through to the third to find what I wanted:- the url of my chosen owl picture!

When you paste this url into a new tab in your browser, you can download the picture alone – no web page, no light-box – nothing. Then your usual right-click procedure will let you save the picture.

Here is the result:-
owl

I think there is something magic about owls, you might even say wizard?

Whatever, they really are a hoot!

The Best Deal in Town!

You may have noticed a new panel in the right-hand column entitled “Like Music?”

I am a recent convert to the wonders of “Spotify”. Its a never-ending source of free music, as long as you are connected to the Internet. It has been available for some time now, of course, but I have only recently (in the last two weeks) decided to see what it is all about.

Well, I’m completely sold!

What’s not to like?

Stream any song, anywhere. Listen to millions of songs on your mobile phone. Browse for a playlist, create your own playlists, search for an artist or a specific track. Skip a song if you don’t like it. Its really easy to handle the program. And if you don’t want advertisements, go for the Premium version!

Spotify

I love music. I used to have about 12 Gigs of it saved on my hard drive. Unfortunately, when the flood hit the computer, the hard drive died, and my music went with it.

I don’t have problems like that any more with Spotify! I don’t have any storage requirement at all, but have free access to millions of songs. And when I found out that I could hook Spotify into my website, I just had to try it out.

Ok, so you may not like the choice of music. No problem, get your own!

If you would like me to change it to a different tune, just let me know! I only heard this one recently, and I liked it straight away. I don’t know if that has anything to do with having read the books. More of this in another post later, perhaps. It seems that the film “50 Shades of Grey” has become rather controversial, there’s already a campaign to boycott the film. We’ll see how that develops, but in the meantime, we can enjoy the music.

Anyhow, if you are interested in getting the App yourself, just click on the picture above, it will take you straight to their website.

Happy Listening!