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More than 100 arrested at TLV airport, moved to Israeli prison

More than 100 ‘Welcome to Palestine’ activists reportedly barred from entering Israel and will spend the weekend in detention facilities, while hundreds others banned from boarding flights; on Friday, bystanders jeer, assault Israeli activists as police look on.

Israeli activist Matan Cohen being detained by police at Ben Gurion airport (photo: Oren Ziv / activestills.org)

Ben Gurion Airport, Tel Aviv – On one of the busiest travel days of the week, Ben Gurion International Airport just outside of Tel Aviv was in a state of near chaos this afternoon. Hordes of tourists mixed with hundreds of police officers and journalists in the grand arrival terminal as Israel prepared for the landing of hundreds of pro-Palestinian tourists attempting to travel to the West Bank. Last night, two pro-Palestinian American activists, who were also passengers on the US boat to Gaza, were detained by immigration authorities as they attempted to enter Israel.  They were the first of reportedly hundreds activists who have been banned from entering the state of Israel in the last 24 hours. Hundreds of other tourists were not allowed to board their flights to Tel Aviv after Israeli security authorities sent their names to airlines such as Air France which were carrying suspect activists to Israel.

Several dozen activists arrived at Tel Aviv in the afternoon from Switzerland, London and Germany. Israel has moved the passengers to a different terminal, where they were interrogated by security forces. Later this evening, it was reported that more than one hundred passengers who declared their wish to visit the West Bank or were suspected to be pro-Palestinian will spend the weekend in detention facilities, before they are to be deported from Israel on Sunday.

Over the past week, Israeli media has been frantically reporting that hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists planned to arrive at Ben Gurion airport with clear intentions to visit the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Part of a Europe-based campaign, “Welcome to Palestine,” their political protest has been labelled the “air flotilla” or “flytilla” by the international press, despite organizers rejecting connections to the flotilla, which was recently stopped by the Greek coast guard from sailing to the Gaza Strip. The Israeli media, at the time of writing, is referring to the event as a “Gaza fly-in” despite no proof or comment that passengers intend to travel to Gaza. In fact, the organizers have been clear in their desire to travel freely and openly to the West Bank and not Gaza.

Visitors to the West Bank usually hide their destination for fear of being deported from Israel, but participants of “Welcome to Palestine” decided to openly declare their wish to visit Palestinian towns and villages.

Israeli Policemen at Ben Gurion Aiport, June 8 2011 (photo: Oren Ziv / activestills.org)

This morning, hundreds of plain clothes and uniformed police scoured the Ben Gurion arrival hall in order to “establish calm” ahead of the arrival of the activists. By 13:00, Israeli and foreign journalists had taken over the arrival terminal as the first flights landed. At approximately 13:30, several Israeli activists belonging to the leftist group Anarchists against the Wall held up small signs reading “Welcome to Palestine.” Some protesters held up Palestinian flags before undercover and regular cops pounced on them and dragged them outside the terminal.

Several dozen people, who had been waiting in the terminal to pick up loved ones, began chanting, “Pieces of shit” and “Go to Syria” as the protesters were taken to waiting police vans. Some of the onlookers spit, kicked and punched the protesters while they were in police custody. Police officers did nothing to prevent these attacks.

At one point, Jerusalem Post columnist Larry Derfner was detained as he pleaded with the angry mob of onlookers to stop attacking the detained activists.

“You can’t enter the West Bank without military permission even as a tourist,” Prime Minister’s Office Arabic spokesman Ofir Gendelman remarked after the Israeli activists were arrested. His statement confirms Israel’s absolute military control over the West Bank.  “These pro-Palestinian activists do not recognize the State of Israel and this is a clear provocation against us,” he continued in the buzzing terminal. When asked if passengers will be deported for stating intentions to travel to the West Bank as tourists, his response was dismissive: “We know that some of these passengers have connections with Hamas and this is unacceptable.”

Earlier this week, a media release by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office labeled the Welcome to Palestine campaign as “part of an ongoing attempt to undermine Israel’s right to exist.”

After the detained activists were driven away from the airport, police officers began inspecting the press credentials of all the journalists present. Two journalists, carrying valid Israeli government issued press cards, were asked to leave the airport and were escorted to the exit by armed soldiers. The journalists, both well-known leftists, believe that they were asked to leave the airport because of their political affiliations with prominent left-wing groups in Israel. You can read the account of one of the journalists in Hebrew. No other journalists were barred from covering the event.

Israeli journalist Haggai Matar expelled from Ben Gurion airport by police, June 8 2011 (photo: Oren Ziv / activestills)

It seems that some passengers have made it through the passport controls and are currently on their way to Bethlehem where there will be a large celebration marking their arrival this evening. Exact numbers of activists that successfully entered Israeli is unknown at this point.  Israeli lawyers are at the airport working with the detained passengers.

This post has been updated. Noam Sheizaf contributed to this piece from Tel Aviv.

For more on this issue:
“Air Flotilla” successful in exposing Israeli blockade of West Bank
Mobocracy at Ben-Gurion Airport / Larry Derfner

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    1. Empress Trudy

      Bethlehem? Could they not fly through Amman?

      Reply to Comment
    2. Ex Israeli

      What is Israel?
      Is it a normal state? – it simply can’t be!
      So what is it?

      Reply to Comment
    3. Theresa

      They could, but then they would have to go through Israeli security checks at the Eastern border of the West Bank. There is no way for tourists to go to the West Bank without first going through Israeli security. That is what the activists are trying to demonstrate.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Max

      Can someone clarify what the law is here? I visited the West Bank numerous times on my tourist visa while living in Israel. I never had difficulty getting through Israeli security with my American passport, though I understood at the time that Israeli citizens were barred from entering certain areas.

      Is that still the case? Have Qalandiya and other checkpoints been closed to all non-Palestinian traffic? If not, why on earth is there this bizarre rule that one cannot state one’s intention to visit the West Bank while at Ben Gurion? This story makes no sense to me.

      Reply to Comment
    5. Kevin Barrington

      The highest respect to Mr Cohen.

      Reply to Comment
    6. @Max,
      As we have explained several times here this week (and also before), had you come with a US passport and stated that you wish to go to the West Bank, with or without saying dangerous words like “with solidarity to the Palestinians,” you wouldn’t have been allowed to enter (especially if you weren’t a Jew).
      And if you were a Palestinian, and you wished to travel abroad, you would have to get a special permit from Israel.
      from what I gather, the protest is about these two issues.
      I hope this clarified things for you. If you browse other articles on the site, You will find a more detailed explanation.

      Reply to Comment
    7. Woody

      @Trudy: The point is there is no autonomous border – which is why Gaza fights resistance on behalf of the West Bank too. Does the conflict make more sense now?

      @Max: The “law” under Oslo is that Palestinians are supposed to have border autonomy, the right to issue visas themselves, and the right to issue work permits. However, Israeli army controls all borders still. The reality is that Israel does whatever she wants in contradiction to laws, be they conventions, treaties/agreements, or even domestic law. As you can see from the PM’s office, military law rules everything. People have to lie at the border in order to get INTO Israel whereupon they travel to a checkpoint and hope for the best. Israel can also grant entry into Israel, but note a ban on entering the West Bank on the Israeli visa (another form of extra-legal control). Even IN the West Bank, the army enforces the legality of a foreigner based on their Israeli visa status, even though they may technically be in an enclave and not “Israel”.

      Why the Israeli freakout? Probably because they sense the end to the charade is coming. It would have been best to just ignore the boat and flightilla, but they have become drunk on their own excessive power.

      Reply to Comment
    8. Max

      I’m sorry Noam, it sounds as if I’ve irritated you, which was not my intention. I have read your extensive coverage of this and feel I understand the basic circumstance: stating an intention to visit the West Bank at Ben Gurion will get you put on the next flight out.

      What I’m trying to understand is how this policy coexists with the policy of allowing tourists to enter the West Bank. In other words, the fact that tourists can legally enter seems to make this Ben Gurion thing extra-judicial. Are visitors being turned back at Ben Gurion…because border control doesn’t like their attitude? What could the legal justification possibly be, if it is explicitly not illegal to enter the West Bank?

      I feel comfortably familiar with the movement and access challenges facing West Bank Palestinians and I am not trying to belittle those, but to my mind the bigger story here is the disorganized, cobbled-together state of Israeli law on the matter, if what I have described above is indeed the case.

      As a constructive suggestion, I would certainly be interested in an interview with any border control official who could shed some light on this apparent contradiction in the law.

      Reply to Comment
    9. Woody

      @Max: It should also be noted that this control situation is bad for Palestinians seeking a way OUT. If you live in Ramallah and want to go 1) to the US or 2) to Jordan you face the following problem.

      1) You need to visit the US Consulate in Jerusalem to get a US visa.
      a) You require a permit from Israel to get to Jerusalem because you live in Ramallah. Result: Most Palestinians sneak across/under the wall to get to the US Consulate since there is none in “Palestinian Territories”
      b) If you want to fly out of Ben Gurion you require a permit from Israel to get to the airport because Palestinians are not allowed through the checkpoint there. Result: You try to go to Jordan (2)

      2) To get to Jordan, you have to go through a) the Israeli controlled checkpoints between Ramallah and the bridge crossing. If you don’t have a permit allowing you to be in that district, you will be turned back. Result: People have to sneak to the border crossing. b) At the border, you are subject to Israeli checkpoint/security. If you are wanted, have family who are wanted, have family who are in prison, have family who have been killed, have been arrested, etc. then the Israelis won’t let you through to go to Jordan. You are stuck in your “country” and blamed for not “recognizing” Israel. (Recognize is code for “absolutely subservience”)

      Overall Result: Palestinian resistance to Israeli occupation.

      Reply to Comment
    10. Woody

      @Max: As someone who studied Oslo as well as the military laws in place in the West Bank, I can tell you that in general the “rule of law” in Israel is lacking. That is, compliance with laws by security officials (civil) is neither culturally ingrained nor is it legally required. For example, you’ll find that in dealing with the misrad hapanim (Ministry of Interior) they can make whatever decision they want and since there is no constitution in place to guide their decisions, one must petition the Supreme Court in order to get redress. Often the decision will be set aside since they know they will lose, but in the first instance, they will almost always enact what is the dominant oppressive view (one that favors Jews and disfavors non-Jews/criminalizes critics).

      As for the military law, there is very little review of military law by the civil authority. The Supreme Court MAY take up a case here or there, but absent an independent judiciary (the court’s power is reliant on the Ministry of Justice and Knesset which could yank their reach and have threatened to do so if they take up issues that challenge the occupation) the Supreme Court RARELY challenges the military establishment. The military courts and courts of appeal are like any military judicial system, somewhat of a joke.

      I honestly think that you’ll find a border official, if interviewed, will just continue to give contradictory comments such as this proclamation today that “You can’t enter the West Bank without military permission even as a tourist” which is bound to get a clarification from the Minister of Tourism shortly. Looking for consistency or responsibility within the Israeli occupation is really not going to get you anywhere – that’s why people use that A-word.

      Reply to Comment
    11. @Max

      you haven’t irritated me at all, and I only try to provide you and other readers with information. I thank you for reading and for commenting.

      to the point: it’s hard to tell what the exact policy. from second hand information I had, things change all the time, but usually once you’ve stated the destination of your visit as the West Bank, admitting you is at the good or ill will of the border officer. But – and this is the important point, which i tried to refer to in my posts – even if the orders were more “relaxed” and most people wanting to visit the WB were let in, the fact of the matter was still that Israel has total authority over exit and entry to Palestinian territories.

      All this might not be big news for you, but it is to many people, and even to many Israelis. this was, as I understood it, the purpose of the campaign, and as I wrote on my channel, with Israel’s generous help, organizers could claim a real success.

      Reply to Comment
    12. Woody

      @Max: I would be happy to try to answer the legal question. You’re correct to urge someone to get a statement from the government. One of the problems is that Israel isn’t really ever going to state what their argument or premise for acting is, since there isn’t really anyone with enforcement powers bothering them to do so. It would take a petition before the High Court to get an answer, I suspect. I think it’s a bit naive to expect them to give a legitimate or defensible reason otherwise. Israeli policy has proceeded forward in the absence of such arguments for a long time.

      If I were to speculate, I would guess they would argue one of two thing.

      1) I would take the language of officials focusing on these absurd claims that people intended to “set themselves on fire” or “instigate violence” to invoke security concerns. In Israel, this is an easy trigger for state actions and one which requires very little evidence and often merely “secret evidence” which is non-contestable claims made by intelligence services before a judge (in camera).

      2) My second guess would be to focus on their language that individuals had “connections to Hamas”. Invocation of declared terrorist organizations is an indication of a legal justification based on Prevention of Terror Laws which merely require someone to be a part of a group, where a member of that group does something as simple as “commits an act that expresses identification with a terrorist organization or sympathy toward it” or “publicizes…words of praise, empathy, or a call for help or support for a terrorist organization.” Prevention of Terror Ordinance, No.33, 4(G) & 4(B), (1948). Again, it doesn’t take public evidence in court to accomplish this claim via in camera proceedings before a judge.

      All in all, it’s important to remember that Israel is still in a State of Emergency since 1948 – so expectations of “normal” process are a bit out of touch.

      Reply to Comment
    13. Max

      Thanks. Maybe I lived there long enough to be missing the forest for the trees on this story…but it does seem to me that most Jews in the Diaspora understand that Israel maintains control of West Bank borders. That’s anecdotal though.

      From an advocacy perspective, I have found that focusing on rule-of-law issues can be more persuasive with American Jews. Emotional hatred, or at least intense dislike, of Palestinians is too ingrained in many of my countrymen to get them to care much about movement and access for ‘the enemy.’ But even the most morally dense among us recognize the perils of an ad-hoc legal system that lacks clear accountability.

      As someone who is fairly invested in this issue, has lived in the region, and even, Woody, has some experience with the play-it-by-ear nature of occupation law, I can tell you that I am still very surprised by the incoherence of this policy. I have repeatedly had to throw myself on the mercy of the good ole Misrad Hapanim, but the incoherence on display here seems far more fundamental and basic.

      In other words, many Americans likely accept that there will be vagaries in things like immigration law, and even in occupation issues like checkpoints being open or closed. But the issue of whether or not tourists are allowed to enter the West Bank is so extremely *basic* that it is shocking even to this jaded observer to learn that the law is unclear. It is as strong an illustration of the moral hazard of occupation as I have come across in some time.

      Reply to Comment
    14. NoaY

      What’s missing in this discussion is the principle of DISCRETION many countries grant themselves on matters of immigration, and which Israel – specifically the Ministry of Interior – has turned into its driving policy. This is also true for matters of residency. Read the text of the Entry into Israel Law:
      Sadly, it is a discretion upheld consistently by Israel’s courts. While discretion is, by definition, an arbitrary practice, the “law” is incredibly clear in preserving that very non-legal principle.

      Reply to Comment
    15. Woody

      I’m not sure it is that the law is “unclear”. It’s that understanding of “the law” is non-existent, implementation of the law is haphazard, and explanation of the law is amateur. I think this Arabic Spokesperson of the PM’s office is going to have to clarify his statement if it goes anywhere in the press.

      I appreciate where you’re coming from, Max. I live in Israel and been involved in law here. I often feel like a simple shift toward consistent, predictable, and accountable law would force a lot of necessary reforms.

      However, (and please don’t fault me for going to this example – I hate it when people do – it’s just an area that I studied a lot), even in 1930s Germany there was a concern in the academy/legal circles, initially, over suspension of basic rights such as arrest without warrant, indefinite detention, and other basic civil rights. The lack of consistency was swept aside with deployment of the very “ingrained hatred” that we sometimes think is too big a task to confront. For Germans, they just said “Jews and Communists are Bolsheviks” and thus state of emergency lent consistency to the ad hoc laws. Today it’s “Arabs are terrorists” – bam, there is the consistency. Now all the gov’t has to say is “these are “radical pro-Palestinian (read: terrorist) activists” and the consistency is swept aside for believers.

      Reply to Comment
    16. Woody

      Interestingly, IMEMC reports on the de Gaulle airport confrontation the following:

      “The Israeli interior ministry told foreign carriers that they must comply with Israeli law to prevent the activists from boarding the flights headed to Israel in accordance to the Law of Entry to Israel 1952.” http://www.imemc.org/article/61640

      Now THAT is a bit of a stupid move. This law is widely recognized as a pillar of Israeli A-word. Without explanation, this essentially suggest airlines are conscripted in the strange ethno-racial determinations that the law invokes and which play out in El Al and Israeli Security interrogations of non-Jews.

      From my view, it’s obvious that a country can declare X is not allowed in under domestic law for Y or Z reasons. Informing an airline of this decision means they will probably not want to eat the ticket cost and will deny boarding. However, if the reason the state gives is total BS or now, with the non-specific invocation of The Law of Entry, possibly racist – then the airlines should put their lawyers to work. It at least should be a good-faith or prima facie reason to deny entry and Israel so far has not provided ANY real evidence other than speculation that passenger are Hamas terrorists who want to burn themselves at Ben Gurion airport.

      I think I now know why that mysteriously UNCITED and UNPROVEN story about Delta denying passage to Jews headed to Saudi Arabia was pushed a few weeks back by the Zionist social media. It set up a perfect analogy for the denial of entry. However, Jews can still take land routes into Saudi Arabia (as is obvious since investors, businessmen, and assassins have made use of such borders in the past).

      Reply to Comment
    17. I think some important clarifications need to be made here and this is just a copy and paste of something i wrote earlier today:

      If we are going to discuss immigration policies and things which you preluded to then we must point of some of the important basics. I already mentioned the human rights charter and several international laws it is time to mention the other facts:

      According to the Oslo accords (The agreements signed between Israel and the PLO) Israel as the occupying power MUST and continues to be obliged to facilitate passage of internationals, human rights workers and all the rest to the Palestinian territories.

      Added to this there is stipulations in the Bi-lateral agreements between countries which requires every country to respect the laws of eachother in terms of immigration and visit policies.

      These are standard basic concepts that need to be kept in mind the people that israel does let have to usually lie about what they are doing and we cannot simply ignores the 300 or so people per day that are harrassed and the 25 or so per day that are denied entry without just cause or reason (stats come from a report i read i forgot the link but will try find it). Whether people like it or not a country must provide legal reasons and backing for why it is denying entry to peoples who try to visit within its borders. If we look up israels own visa policies there is a list of over 30 countries or so in the world that automatically get free 3 month visa’s granted to them and are obligated under israels international agreements to be treated as respected citizens.

      Not only this but in every passport there is a legal demand to ‘allow the bearer to pass freely without let or hindrance and to afford the bearer such assistance and protection as may be neccesary’

      Now I will tell you that I feel neither assisted or protected in the way Israel treats me. Further to this Israel’s policies violate human rights laws and is in direct violation of basic democracy by not allowing people to pass freely simply because they hold a differing political opinion or view.

      Israel’s airport security use a discriminatory method called profiling and even racial profiling which has been BANNED in America because of its use to target black people and others whom america once thought of as threatening to it without justification. Israel’s use of profiling is an injustice against human beings and their right to be free.

      Reply to Comment
    18. Empress Trudy

      How dare a country have border control! I am tempted to pitch the idea of a mass march on the borders of Iran.

      Actually I would prefer they be allowed in w/o restriction but not allowed to leave.

      Reply to Comment
    19. Barry

      This comment was removed for extreme racist sentiment.

      Reply to Comment
    20. AYAM

      One thing i like from reading a journalist’s comments and well educational people (i supposed this means a mature state of thinking instead of higher degree) that the statements are calm and based on facts. Not just an emotionally and tendencious statement.

      I love to read the fact on what’s going on Palestine and Israel rather than a curse or just hatred words. See the facts, who’s opressing who?

      Reply to Comment
    21. Deïr Yassin

      Actually, more than 200 French activists are making a sit-in at Roissy-Charles de Gaulle after being denied boarding their flights yesterday and this morning.
      This at least permits to show the world that Israel arbitrarily decides who is allowed to enter and leave the ghetto Palestine.
      Maybe they should think about the people they oppress on this eve of Shabbath.
      Videos from “Bienvenue en Palestine”

      Reply to Comment
    22. Miki

      @Empress Trudy – like all good Zionists you reveal that you prefer to contradict yourself than admit that Israel is carrying out a brutal occupation. You first asked why they didn’t come via Amman and Woody explained that there are no independent entry point into the West Bank which is controlled by the Palestinian Authority, all entry points are controlled by Israel. Then you say “how dare a country have border control”, but clearly you don’t support the right of Palestinans have control of who should be able to enter or leave their territory.

      You can’t have it both ways Trudy, either Israel is carrying out a brutal occupation or not. If its not, then allow people to visit the Palestinian Territories freely. But if Israel is carrying out a brutal occupation (and it is) which is illegal under international law, then don’t complain when this fact is highlighted and people take a stand against Israel’s brutality and human rights abuses.

      And as for Iran, please tell us when you will be organising this mass march to Iran since you feel so strongly about the issue? Oh wait … could it be that you really don’t give two hoots about the Iranian people and instead are opportunistically using them to deflect attention from your beloved Israel and its human right’s abuses?

      Reply to Comment
    23. Right Wing Zionist

      ” But if Israel is carrying out a brutal occupation”(Miki)
      Really Miki? And what was the excuse of your “peaceful” Palestinian Arabs for attacking Israeli civilians, prior to 1967, when there was no “Brutal Occupation”?

      By the way, would the Palestinian Arabs really be willing to stop their war against Israel if Israel would suddenly stop it’s “brutal occupation”? Remember what they did after Israel unilaterally moved out of Gaza? Remember the peaceful rockets, 13,000 of them, landing onto the heads of Israeli civilians, since Israel moved out of Gaza? I guess you guys just don’t want to talk about that side of the equation, do you?

      Reply to Comment
    24. Palestinian Fateh

      Right Wing, Hamas does not represent all Palestinians, and also Israel moved out of gaza but didnt give the palestinians any rights, You guys put Gaza under siege, what do you expect in return?

      Reply to Comment
    25. Daniela

      Apologies for an explosion of niavete,also in the abscence of any understanding of the laws involved. How does these hundreds of people arriving en mass, help anyone? They are not bringing aid of any kind, (how much can they carry on the plane) they are not bringing expertise of any kind, were there any Dr’s, teachers,etc
      Surely if they would have easier access if they affiliated themselves with aid organisations like the red cross. Is the red cross active in Gaza and West bank?

      Seem their mission has a double agenda and perhaps this is what is causing the defensive action taken.

      Nobody condones the suffering of innocents people, surely if this is the case their are other more efficient ways of helping these people, without crossing red lines.

      Reply to Comment
    26. Empress Trudy

      If they had the courage of their convictions they’d attempt to fly w/o passports, because obviously passports are just kow-towing to The Man!

      These ‘activists’ are laughable.

      Reply to Comment
    27. RichardNYC

      The author has been banned from commenting on this channel due to personal attacks and racists remarks

      Reply to Comment
    28. Deïr Yassin

      This comment has been edited

      @ Trudy Troll
      When you can’t beat the argument, beat the man, and nothing is easier than the accusation of antisemitism, right ? Mentioning the ‘a’-word should be enough as an argument, and there’s always some ludicrous site as your ‘volokh’ to ‘prove’ it.

      Concerning Mazin Qumsiyeh – that you dont’t know at all – this accusation is particularly disgusting, but so are most of your posts here !

      Mazin Qumsiyeh, a former professor of genetics in the United States, decided to return home to Palestine to lead a 100% non-violent resistance to occupation. He has been arrested and beaten up by the Israeli army on various occasions, but has never derived from his non-violent convictions.

      Here’a video from one of the weekly demonstrations in Walaja, and if you listen carefully, you understand why the Israelis are afraid of such a man:


      He also wrote a book recently on the history of popular resistance in Palestine:

      Here’s his website: “Sharing the Land of Canaan”

      Reply to Comment
    29. Deïr Yassin

      I don’t see any editing in my comment.
      Maybe you corrected my gramatical mistakes 🙂

      Reply to Comment
    30. @Deir – your comment was edited for foul language. Please keep it clean, in accordance with our comment guidelines. Feel free to brush up on them on our About page.
      Thank you.

      Reply to Comment
    31. Deïr Yassin

      @ Ami
      I’m sorry for my ‘foul language’ I remember having used the word ‘shit’.
      ‘Foul language’ is deleted or edited but linking to a disgusting site as this ‘volokh’-thing is hallal/cosher ?
      So Holocaust deniers or Islamophobic racists should just fint the appropriate site expressing their own views in order not to be moderated. That sounds pretty logic to me ….
      ‘S…” is so much more embarassing than the antisemitic anathema seven days a week, all year around. Don’t YOU think accusing Mazin Qumsiyeh of antisemitism is worse that ‘…’ ??

      Reply to Comment
    32. @Deir – This is Joseph’s channel, and I won’t argue with you here. Feel free to email me with any issues you have with comment moderation.
      And thank you for admitting your use of foul language. I trust it will not occur again.
      Thank you.

      Reply to Comment
    33. Right Wing Zionist

      “Right Wing, Hamas does not represent all Palestinians, and also Israel moved out of gaza but didnt give the palestinians any rights, You guys put Gaza under siege, what do you expect in return?”(PALESTINIAN FATEH)
      No, but they do represent the majority. Weren’t they the ones who got more votes than Fateh at the last elections that your people held?
      Moreover, since Hamas rules Gaza, Israel has to respond to Hamas’s policies. Israel cannot respond to the would be policies that those who do not support Hamas would have, don’t you agree?
      So you see? That’s why Israel imposed the blockade on Gaza, because of the rockets that never stopped abd because Israel wants to minimise the quantity and the quality of the weapons that Hamas smuggles in.
      Note, I know that Israel cannot stop all weapons smuggling, I know there are tunnels but the quantity and the quality of the weapons that they can get via the tunnels, does NOT compare to what they could/would get via the sea if there would be no blockade.

      Reply to Comment
    34. Empress Trudy

      DeirY feel free to rant and rave. I would expect nothing more and nothing less from a person such as you.

      Reply to Comment
    35. Miki

      @Empress Trudy – Lol, thats your come back? Seriously? Don’t fly with your passports? I guess hasbara really does rot the brain… Oh and we are still waiting to hear when you will be kicking off your mass march to Iran… let us know if you have the courage to enact your hasbara rhetoric…

      Reply to Comment
    36. Miki

      @Rightwing Zionist – seriously? I know you are not really interested in an answer, your just engaging in silly non-sensical hasbara, but I oblige anyway.

      1: Israel has been ethnically cleansing the Palestinians since 1948. In 1948, Israel ethnically cleansed 100,000 people from their homelands, destroying 500 Palestinian villages, towns and cities. Just as Jews fought back against those who tried to ethnically cleanse them and occupying them, the Palestinians have also fought back against those who have sought to ethnically cleanse and occupy them.

      2: In addition, from 1949 until 1966, Israel placed all Palestinians who were ethinically cleansed from their homes and became internal refugees inside what was now the Israeli state under martial law (ie. an internal occupation/apartheid system within the Israeli state which applied only to Palestinians and which restricted their freedom of movement, their right to free speech and freedom of assembly, as well as restricted their employment and education). While martial law was lifted in 1966, Israel continues to carry out apartheid policies. Currently there are 20 laws which actively enact apartheid and which actively discriminate against non-Jews on the basis of them being non-Jews (including in relation to land, employment, housing and education).

      3: Prior to 1948, the Zionist terrorists of the Etzel and Lehi carried out bombing attacks against the Palestinians, including throwing pipe bombs into Palestinian market places. The Etzel and Lehi carried out terrorist activities such as the bombing of trains, the bombing of hotels and assassinations, in which many Palestinians were killed. Decades later their modern day versions in the Jewish Undergrounds carried out car bombings against Palestinian mayors in the West Bank, killing and maiming at leat 3 Palestinian mayors. They also attempted to carry out bus bombings and the bombing of a Palestinian girls school.

      As for the Qassam rockets – yes, lets look at this side of the “equation” shall we:

      Called “flying iron” by the Israeli military, primarily because they have no guidance system, these rockets on the whole do little damage compared to high-tech guided missiles such as the ones used by the Israeli state against the unarmed Palestinian civilian population. While it is true that people have been killed in Qassam attacks, the number is extremely small compared to the number of Palestinians killed by Israel in its missile bombing attacks on Gaza and the West Bank.

      According to the Jerusalem Post in 2008, between 2001 and 2008, the number of Israelis killed by Qassam rockets stood at 22. Between 2000 and March 2008, the number of Palestinian civilians killed was 3615, with 25,650 injured. So for every 1 Israeli killed by Palestinians in a Qassam attack, 164 Palestinian civilians were killed by Israel in their missile attacks and ground raids on the Occupied Territories.

      In 2008, Haaretz noted that in the 60 years since Israel had been created, the number of Israeli civilians killed in “terror acts” stood at 1,634 and that 14,000 have been wounded. This again reveals the hugely disproportiate numbers Palestinians killed compared to the Israelis – 3 times as many Palestinians killed in just 7 years compared to the number of Israelis killed in a 60 year period.

      Finally, Israel may have “withdrawn” their troops from inside the Gaza strip, but their occupation of the Gaza strip did not finish.

      Reply to Comment
    37. Miki

      Opps, left off a “0”. that should have been in 1948, Israel ethnically cleansed 1,000,000 (1 million) Palestinians from their homeland – 750,000 were forced into neighbouring countries, while 150,000 became internally displaced refugees inside the newly created state of Israel.

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    38. Mitchell Cohen


      Like your “hasbara” for the radical left is too be taken seriously. You conveniently leave out the fact that the Arabs declared war on the newborn state and many of the Arab left their homes without ever even seeing an Israeli soldier. Also, Etzel and Lehi, aside from being a response to Arab riots on Jewish communities (not that two wrongs make a right, but the whole picture is warranted here), there weren’t any signed agreement between Jews and Arabs at the time. This, as opposed, to all the terrorism against Israelis that occurred AFTER Arafat signed Oslo. Lastly, your comparison of the Qassam rocket casualties (and the number of victims of terrorism since 1948) is absurd. Of course, if Hamas and their cohorts operate within the civilian population there are going to be more casualties. Duh!!!! And if you are so upset about the blockade on Gaza, how about this….We lift the blockade and for every missile indiscriminately fired on Southern Israel, we indiscriminately fire one into the population of Gaza. Would that make you happier (can’t say it’s a disproportionate response). Or would you only be happy if Israel crossed her fingers, let all the weapons go into Gaza that Hamas wants and not respond when they fire them?

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    39. Empress Trudy


      You mean the sit in in French airports is the apotheosis of your glorious revolution?

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    40. Right Wing Zionist

      Where did you get your little story? From your little red book of half truths and propaganda? Here, let me put it in perspective, point by point:
      1. The 1948 ethnic cleansing story of 1,000,000 Palestinian Arabs is just a canard. While there may have been isolated cases of misdeeds, as there are in all wars, there was no policy of ethnic cleansing. Here is what some prominent Arabs admitted themselves on the BBC:
      “Nusseibeh, who is a member of one of Jerusalem’s most prominent Arab families and presently lives in Amman, told the BBC that the fabricated atrocity stories about Deir Yassin were “our biggest mistake,” because “Palestinians fled in terror” and left the country in huge numbers after hearing the atrocity claims”
      By the way, your 1 million refugee figure is an inflated figure. Moreover, while you are at it, don’t be shy, you might mention that the Arabs created 700,000 Jewish refugees from Arab countries.
      2. I am glad that you brought up the fact that Israel has a sizable Arab minority (20% of Israel’s total population) who are citizens with full democratic rights. That further proves that there was no organised policy of ethnic cleansing. Otherwise what are THEY doing in Israel? Were some of them internally displaced in 1948? Maybe, I don’t know but bad things happen in a war and bad things happened to the Jews of East Jerusalem and Gush Etzion too. They were displaced from their homes too by the Arabs in 1948. But today, most Arab citizens of Israel enjoy better lives than most Arabs in Arab countries.
      3. Talking of Jewish attacks against Arabs prior to 1948, in isolation, would make Goebbels proud of you. Of course there were Jewish attacks. Yes, Jews responded to Arab attacks against Jews. Do ypu find that strange?
      4. Your excuse that quassam rockets cause only low casualties amongst Israeli civilians is nothing short of pathetic. I’ll tell you what, let’s try an experiment. Let’s subject, you, your family and your friends to daily barrage of those rockets for 8 years. Then let’s see if you would be a happy little chappie if at the end of the 8 years the casualties would be low.
      The point is that there shpuld NOT have been ANY rockets after Israel withdrew from Gaza. Instead, thousands of rockets rained down on Israeli civilians. Shame on you for excusing it.
      I have nothing more to say to the likes of you.

      Reply to Comment
    41. Right Wing Zionist

      Here is the chronology of events in Gaza:

      Palestinian rocket and mortar attacks on Israel from the Gaza Strip have occurred since 2001. Between 2001 and January 2009, over 8,600 rockets had been launched.


      Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza in 10 Aug 2005.
      The rockets continued.
      Hamas then got elected.
      Israel then imposed a blockade in 2007.
      So stop trying to make out that the rockets are lobbed into Israel because of the blockade.

      Reply to Comment
    42. Rich Katz

      @Daniela You say, “How does these hundreds of people arriving en mass, help anyone?” I will tell you. I was one of 19 Jews from the Chicago (US) area who traveled to Israel & Palestine last December for the purpose of meeting with Palestinian Arabs, non-violent peace activists, aid organizations, religious leaders, politicians, et al. Most of our time was spent in Palestine, staying in East Jerusalem and with families in the Deheishe refugee camp and in Jenin. One of the most meaningful encounters was the discussion we had with Ayad Morrar, who successfully organized the residents of Budrus to have the Separation Barrier re-routed, and Bassem Tamimi, who was brutally beaten by the IDF several weeks after our visit and is now in jail for his similarly non-violent organization of the residents of Nabih Saleh. To your point: People should go to the West Bank to witness the arbitrary and capricious application of Israeli law and ad hoc rule-making against Palestinians and against anyone (of any nationality) whom the Israeli government accuses of being anti-Israel. We went for the purpose of bringing this information back to any individuals and groups who are willing to listen and to encourage people here to work for human rights and social justice for ALL Israelis and Palestinians. When we speak to various groups here in Chicago, we are often asked if our message is anti-Israel. Emphatically “NO!” I believe that the State of Israel is at risk of even more international condemnation and loss of American support by its continued mistreatment of the West Bank Palestinians and the blockade of Gaza. With the recent explosion of Arab resistance to their own autocratic governments in the region–and American support for these movements–Israel will survive only if it recognizes the Palestinian state, removes all outposts, builds affordable housing inside the Green Line to resettle the settlers (like the irony?), stops expanding the settlements and confiscating property (e.g., Silwan), works out a formula to compensate the Palestinians for property lost in 1948 and through the Absentee Law and the Law of Abandoned Property, etc., etc. Of course, this should not be one-sided: the Palestinians–including those in Gaza–must also negotiate in good faith with Israel to guarantee its security. I’m afraid I’ve gone beyond a simple response to you, Daniela, so let me close with this: It’s good that so many people attempted to enter Israel and the West Bank, because they attracted international attention to the issue by doing so. That’s the whole point.

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