Monthly Archives: May 2014

World leaders back campaign to drop Sudanese woman’s death sentence

World leaders have added their voices to the campaign to lift the death sentence given to Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman sentenced to hang for apostasy. They join her husband, Daniel Wani, in calling for the sentence to be dropped.

The British prime minister, David Cameron, and the US civil rights activist Reverend Jesse Jackson were among those to speak out after Wani appealed for international support to free his wife from death row, where she is being held with her two young children after giving birth in shackles this week.

Cameron said he was “absolutely appalled” when he heard of the decision. “The way she is being treated is barbaric and has no place in today’s world. Religious freedom is an absolute, fundamental human right.”

His words were echoed by the Labour and Lib Dem leaders, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg, and the former prime minister Tony Blair described the sentence as a “brutal and sickening distortion of faith”.

 

Wani, a US citizen since 2005, said mounting international pressure could have a significant impact on the Sudanese authorities, and he felt overwhelmed by “the way people have come together around the world” to protest against his wife’s sentence. “I want to thank everyone for this stand. It’s looking like it had an effect. Perhaps it will result in the judgement being overturned,” he told CNN.

Ibrahim was sentenced to 100 lashes for adultery and to death for apostasy this month. She told a court in Khartoum that she had been brought up as a Christian, and refused to renounce her faith. She and Wani married in 2011, but the court ruled that the union was invalid and that Ibrahim was guilty of adultery.

Ibrahim, a graduate of Sudan University’s school of medicine, has been told that her death sentence will be deferred for two years to allow her to nurse her baby.

Condemnation of her sentence has gathered momentum. Hundreds of thousands of people have signed an Amnesty International petition in support of her release, including more than 150,000 in the UK. More than 600,000 people have added their name to a separate petition on change.org.

Justine Greening, the international development minister, tweeted: “Sudan must not allow the execution of Meriam Ibrahim to go ahead. #SaveMeriam.” Mia Farrow urged her Twitter followers to bombard the Sudanese embassies in London and Washington with calls demanding Ibrahim’s release.

Miliband said the situation was “utterly appalling” and an abhorrent abuse of Ibrahim’s human rights.

“Nobody should be persecuted because of the religion they practice or the person they fall in love with.

“I cannot imagine the suffering – both physical and emotional – that Meriam, her husband and their two young children must be going through,” he said.

“The Labour party has already asked British ministers to apply pressure to the Sudanese government to ensure her release. The British government will have our full support in their attempts to resolve this matter.

“Regrettably, this is one of many examples across the world of Christians being persecuted for their faith. The international community must come together to end this worrying trend.”

The archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, backed a statement from the Christian Muslim Forum in Britain calling for the sentence to be rescinded. “I wholeheartedly endorse this call … for the death sentence against Mariam Yahya to be dropped,” he said.

Ibrahim, 27, gave birth to a girl in a prison clinic this week while shackled by her feet to the floor. Guards needed permission from the prison director to remove the chains, which was not obtained, her lawyer, Elshareef Mohammed, told the Guardian.

Wani was allowed to visit his wife, their new baby Maya and their 20-month-old son Martin on Thursday at the Omdurman women’s prison near Khartoum. “She is a beautiful baby, and they are all fine,” Mohammed said. “Martin is with her, and is a bit jealous of the baby.”

He added that Ibrahim and her children were being kept in the prison clinic, and Wani had been given permission to visit her twice a week. The shackles were removed on Wednesday.

Siha, a coalition of women’s rights organisations in the Horn of Africa, said it had been informed that Ibrahim had given birth in atrocious conditions and had been denied adequate medical care. It described her situation as dire.

Both Wani and Mohammed said the US authorities in Khartoum had failed to press for Ibrahim’s release. “It’s not the US government. When the problem began, the US consul here had a very negative position on this. She was very high-handed. She said, and I quote: ‘I don’t have time,'” Wani told CNN.

Mohammed said: “The US embassy is not giving help.” No one was available for comment at the embassy in Khartoum .

The state department spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, said on Thursday that US officials in Khartoum had conveyed grave concerns about the case to the Sudanese foreign minister this week, and were closely monitoring the appeals process.

“We’re doing everything we can to push for her release,” she said.

The couple’s lawyers have lodged an appeal against Ibrahim’s convictions. “We don’t know when there will be an outcome,” Mohammed said. Wani said his wife was committed to her Christian faith. “Even last week, they brought in sheikhs and she told them: ‘I’m pretty sure I’m not going to change my mind.'”

Wani, who has muscular dystrophy and uses a wheelchair, lives in Manchester, New Hampshire. After he married Ibrahim, he took steps to bring her to the US.

The Foreign Office has described the sentence as barbaric, and summoned the Sudanese charge d’affaires to hear its “deep concern”. The UN, Canada and the Netherlands have also called on the Sudanese authorities to overturn the convictions and release Ibrahim.”

 

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/31/world-leaders-campaign-sudanese-womans-death-sentence-meriam-ibrahim

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Palestinians win first international football match, gain Asia Cup spot

(Reuters) – Palestine’s football team won the Asia Challenge Cup on Friday in a match against the Philippines, securing its place in the AFC Asia Cup that will be held next year in Australia.

The match, held in the Maldives, ended 1-0. It is the first victory in an international soccer contest for the Palestinians since the establishment of the Palestine Football Federation in 1928, sport officials said.

“Congratulations to our people, Palestine today is proud of such an historical achievement,” said Jibril Al-Rajoub, chairman of the Palestine Football Association, who watched the match among hundreds of fans in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

In Gaza City, thousands watched the match on large screens on the sandy beach, beating drums. Fireworks lit up the sky as player Ashraf Al Fawaghra scored the winning goal for Palestine with a free kick in the second half.

“It is not the World Cup, but our happiness feels like we won the World Cup,” said Adel Waleed, a 45-year-old teacher who watched the game with his four children.

The Palestinians say that Israel, which controls coming and going from Gaza and the West Bank, has been restricting the movement of Palestinian athletes and have urged FIFA sanction the Jewish state unless it loosened the restrictions.

Israel cites security concerns for restricting movement between Gaza, controlled by the Islamist group Hamas, and the West Bank, where the Palestinians have limited self-rule.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter, who visited Israel and the Palestinian Territories this week, said he did not see a reason for sanctioning Israel. Blatter said he would find a solution to Palestinian demands, without elaborating.

The FIFA Congress will convene in Sao Paolo in Brazil next month.

Some said the victory inspired a feeling of unity among Palestinians, divided by a deep political rift between Hamas and the West Bank-based Fatah of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. The two sides have been negotiating formation of a unity government in the past few weeks.

“This is the first-ever championship win in Palestinian history and I hope it boosts unity and reconciliation efforts,” said Abdel-Salam Haniyeh, a member of the Palestinian Higher Council for Youth and Sport.

Both President Mahmoud Abbas and the rival Hamas group issued statements praising the victory in the Madlives.”

 

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/05/30/uk-palestinian-soccer-championship-idUKKBN0EA25120140530

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Chris Proudlove Spouting His Ignorance On Video

Recently i wrote about Chris Proudlove and his lies https://christiansforzionwatch.wordpress.com/2014/05/05/chris-proudlovethe-man-who-cant-stop-lying/  well here he is on video spouting his ignorance and lies. I would like to point out that in the past couple of years he has been repeatedly asked to provide evidence to back up his claims….No evidence has ever been forthcoming. So one must wonder why he claims the ‘world is ignorant’ regarding San Remo when he himself is ignorant. Once again we find him unable to deviate from his Hasbara script.

 

Also, he repeats a claim that “half of all Jews born in past 800 [eight hundred] years have been murdered. Now we all know that throughout history Jews have been mercilessly discriminated against…So we must ask why he would repeat such a blatant lie a lie which again i have have made repeated attempts to gain evidence for……But again, no evidence is fortcoming….I think we know why he can’t provide any evidence to back up his claims…

 

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‘The new Israeli apartheid: Poll reveals widespread Jewish support for policy of discrimination against Arab minority’

“A new poll has revealed that a majority of Israeli Jews believe that the Jewish State practises “apartheid” against Palestinians, with many openly supporting discriminatory policies against the country’s Arab citizens.

A third of respondents believe that Israel’s Arab citizens should be denied the vote, while almost half – 47 per cent – would like to see them stripped of their citizenship rights and placed under Palestinian Authority control, according to Israel’s liberal Haaretz newspaper, which published the poll’s findings yesterday.

About 20 per cent of Israel’s nearly eight million people are Israeli Arabs, Palestinians who hold Israeli citizenship and live within the borders of Israel proper. The views echo hardline opinions usually associated with Israel’s ultranationalist and ultraorthodox parties, and suggest that racism and discrimination is more entrenched than generally thought.

The poll, conducted by Israel’s Dialog polling group, found that 59 per cent out of the 503 people questioned would like to see Jews given preference for public-sector jobs, while half would like to see Jews better treated than Arabs.

Just over 40 per cent would like to see separate housing and classrooms for Jews and Arabs. The findings “reflect the widespread notion that Israel, as a Jewish State, should be a state that favours Jews,” wrote Noam Sheizaf, an Israeli journalist and blogger. “They are also the result of the occupation … After almost half a century of dominating another people, it’s no surprise that most Israelis don’t think Arabs deserve the same rights.”

Human rights groups have long decried existing Israeli policies that discriminate against Arabs, citing classroom shortages, smaller municipal budgets, and unequal property ownership rights as proof of Israeli Arabs’ status as second-class citizens.

That many Jews believe that Israel has adopted “apartheid” policies is surprising, given that the term is usually deployed only by Israel’s most vociferous critics, and suggests that the government-led narrative that the Jewish State is the only democracy in the Middle East is unconvincing to some.

But such self-awareness does not mean that Israelis are ashamed of it. Nearly 70 per cent of those questioned would object to the 2.5 million Palestinians living in the West Bank obtaining the vote if Israel was to annex the Palestinian territory, suggesting that they effectively endorse an apartheid regime. Nearly 75 per cent favour separate roads there for Israelis and Palestinians – although most view such a step as “necessary,” rather than “good.” Although nearly 40 per cent support annexation, that remains a distant prospect for the moment.

The survey “lays bare an image of Israeli society, and the picture is a very, very sick one”, wrote Gideon Levy in Haaretz in a piece to accompany the poll. “Now it is not just critics at home and abroad, but Israelis themselves who are openly, shamelessly, and guiltlessly defining themselves as nationalistic racists.

“If such a survey were released about the attitude to Jews in a European state, Israel would have raised hell. When it comes to us, the rules don’t apply.”

In the three years since Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party took control of the Knesset in an uneasy coalition with religious and ultranationalist parties, rights groups have charted a shift to the right that has accompanied a stalemate in efforts to find a solution to the long-running Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Many now see the two-state solution, even though publicly backed by Mr Netanyahu at the outset of his term, as an increasingly distant prospect, given the expansion of Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem – territories that along with Gaza the Palestinians want as their future state. That leaves the prospect of a one-state solution, an outcome favoured by some Palestinians, but anathema to Israel as it would threaten the country’s Jewish majority.

Many Israelis also fear such an eventuality because it would undermine the Jewish State’s democratic values if it were forced to adopt discriminatory policies to retain its Jewish character.

59% want preference in public jobs for Jews over Arabs

49% want the state to treat Jews better than Arabs

33% object to Israeli Arabs having the right to vote

69% object to giving Palestinians the right to vote if Israel annexes the West Bank

74% support separate roads for Jews and Palestinians in the West Bank

42% object to their children going to the same schools as Arabs”

 

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/the-new-israeli-apartheid-poll-reveals-widespread-jewish-support-for-policy-of-discrimination-against-arab-minority-8223548.html

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Chris Proudlove:The Man Who Can’t Stop Lying!

Imagaine my surprise when i looked in on the CfZ [Christians for Zion] website and found Chris Proudlove once more waxing lyrical about the San Remo treaty. Anyone who has kept up to date with this blog will know that Chris is a pitiful individual who lies and contradicts himself constantly. Now, i wont go over San Remo again here as Proudlove’s lies have been mercilessly debunked over and over by commenters here such as Ruedi, Oneof5, Talknic and myself. What i will do is look at some of his Hasbara [propaganda] and lies from his latest blog titled ‘PALESTINE DIPLOMAT SPOKE WITH FORKED TONGUE’.

 

I know, when i read the headline i laughed too i am just glad i had just emptied my bladder before reading it 😉

 

Professor Hassassian asked what were the borders governing Israel? I put it to him later that they were defined by the San Remo Treaty, approved unanimously by the 51-member League of Nations that came into force in 1923 and were taken on board by its successor, the United Nations in 1945. This gave the future state of Israel the right to settle Jews between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, including the Gaza Strip, provided rights of existing communities were not overridden.

The blustering professor pooh-poohed the treaty saying this was colonisation. I did not get the chance to counter this lie and was shouted down when I attempted to correct him.

 

Here’s previous quote from Chris that he made on this blog.

 

 Israel actually has a better claim to its existence, having been created by the U.N. rather than by the whims and national interests of the Allied victors.

 

He posted that particular quote under his alter ego, Buster.J.Bailey as can be seen here,

https://christiansforzionwatch.wordpress.com/2013/07/12/israels-real-legitimacy/#comments

 

You can also read more of his lies and contradictions on San Remo here,

https://christiansforzionwatch.wordpress.com/about/

 

He then goes on to tell us that it wasn’t Hitler and the Nazis who came up with the final solution….It was the Palestinians.

 

One of the most damnable lies Hassassian told was “Palestinians had nothing to do with the Holocaust.” What about the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini who, after being forced to flee the Holy Land for terrorism against Jews, he became Adolf Hitler’s broadcaster-in-chief to Muslims? Some historians claim he was pivotal in Hitler’s “final solution” decision. What is not in dispute is that he persuaded Hitler to extend his Jewish death camp policy to the Middle East once the Nazis captured the region. Al-Husseini’s broadcasts won many Muslims, including Palestinians, to the Axis cause.

 

That must be one of worst blood libels in history. Proudlove the liar is telling his readers, who, from what i can tell from their comments on the CfZ website, are a mixture of racists, bigots, liars and heretics, that Palestinians, through the actions of one man are collectively to blame for the Holocaust. I seriously don’t think i have ever felt so disgusted in my entire life. Proudlove may only be an idiot and liar but he  is a dangerous one .

 

There’s pleny more lies in his blog but i just can’t be bothered wasting my time going over them all. You can look for yourselves and easily spot who it is that is speaking with ‘FORKED TONGUE’

http://www.christiansforzion.com/comment-chris-proudlove/2014/4/28/palestine-diplomat-spoke-with-forked-tongue

 

There’s also more than a hint of racism in there too.

 

 

 

 

 

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‘No cause for celebration for Palestinians working in Israel’

B’Tselem

 

“1 May, marks International Workers’ Day. For Palestinian workers, there is not much cause for celebration: the day is a painful reminder that another year has gone by and nothing has changed. Palestinians are still denied basic rights, including the right to earn a living without risking their lives.

The West Bank has been under Israeli military rule for nearly 47 years. As the occupying power, Israel is responsible for the well-being, dignity and livelihood of West Bank residents. Yet it acts in contravention of international law, exploiting natural resources in the West Bank for its own needs and those of Israeli settlers, while ignoring the needs of the Palestinian population. These resources – largely in Area C, which is under full Israeli control – include quarries, water sources, land for agricultural or industrial development, and tourist attractions. A case in point: even as Israel prevents Palestinians from developing modern and potentially more profitable agriculture by denying them access to most of the Jordan Valley as well as to most of its water, it allocates land and much water to settlements so that they can develop such agriculture.

This policy is a major underlying cause for the absence of an independent Palestinian economy, which could provide sufficient and profitable work opportunities for all or most Palestinians in the West Bank. In the present economic situation, the only option available to tens of thousands of Palestinians for earning a living is work within Israel, either with a work permit from Israeli authorities or illegally.

Israel has strict criteria for the approval of work permits and issues no more permits than the number fixed in an occasionally revised quota. The current (March 2014) quota is 47,350 work permits for Israel and the settlements; most of the quota has been utilized.

Workers with permits may enter Israel by one of eleven designated checkpoints throughout the West Bank. In June 2013, B’Tselem staff visited the Tarqumya and Eyal Checkpoints, through which Palestinians with work permits enter Israel. We found harsh conditions of overcrowding, long lines, and cases of humiliation during inspection. On Sundays, the number of Palestinians crossing through both checkpoints peaks at 4,500. The workers and their belongings are scanned with a metal detector. Then, they move on to stations where personnel check their fingerprints and their papers, including their entry permits. Some individuals are sent for an additional inspection procedure, which is at times humiliating. Although both checkpoints open at 4:00 A.M., hundreds of laborers arrive hours earlier, in the middle of the night, concerned they will not reach their workplaces in time due to the long lines and the chance of being sent for additional inspection. Despite the throngs of people waiting to cross, not all eight inspection stations are regularly staffed.

B’Tselem reported these findings to the head of the Land Crossings Authority at the Ministry of Defense whose office responded by saying that there are no long lines and no overcrowding at checkpoints. B’Tselem’s field researchers returned to Tarqumya Checkpoint on 1 September 2013 to and documented that fact that nothing had changed: many workers arrive at the checkpoint soon shortly after midnight and by the time it opened, at 3:30 A.M., the line was extremely long. Palestinians at the checkpoint also reported being sent for additional inspection procedure in designated rooms that are overcrowded and have neither seating nor any air conditioning. Read more here. Tens of thousands of Palestinians whose applications for work permits have been denied, or who do not meet Israel’s strict criteria to begin with, are forced to try and enter Israel without a permit. Estimates of the number of Palestinians working in Israel without permits range from 15,000 to 30,000. Israeli authorities do not offer a systemic solution to the problem, and prefer to deal with random individual cases. Every now then, soldiers are sent out on missions to “capture illegals”, involving the arrest, injury, and rarely even death, of people who are not considered a threat even by the security establishment. According to current (31 March 2014) figures provided by the Israel Prison Service, 1,424 Palestinians – including 22 minors – are being held in Israeli prisons for illegal entry into the country.

For Palestinian workers who regularly enter Israel illegally to earn a living, life is a constant struggle for survival and returning home safe and sound from work cannot be taken for granted. They live in constant anxiety, fearing arrest or injury. In such a reality, labor rights such as a minimum wage, reasonable work hours, and a pension scheme seem like a distant dream.

I.’A., a 46-year-old floorer by trade, told B’Tselem field research Musa Abu Hashhash on 25 April 2014 what it’s like to work in Israel without a permit:

Work without a permit means endless suffering, worry and fear from the second I leave home. I leave early in the morning, at the beginning of the week, and head to the [Separation] Barrier in the Ramadin area in the South Hebron Hills. From there I enter Israel with other laborers. Usually, I have to wait near the barrier for hours, until I’m sure it’s safe. There’ve been times when I waited a whole day but finally had to go back home and miss a week of work. Every trip to work costs me 100 shekels [approx. 30 USD], which are split between the Palestinian who drives me to barrier and the Israeli driver who takes me from the barrier to Beersheba [in Israel].

Once I reach my workplace, I make sure not to leave it. I stay in Beersheba for a week or two at a time. At the end of each work day, I stay on site with the other laborers. We have to sleep in rough condition in unfinished buildings, on the floor, with no electricity or bathroom. We never go out so that the police won’t catch us. If we need to buy something, one of us goes carefully to a grocery store. Mostly, we eat tinned food. Sometimes, we have to move from one building to another to sleep, so we won’t be caught in a police raid. It’s happened – and more than once – that the police raided the place we were in and we escaped.

The contractors who hire me know that I don’t have a permit to enter Israel and use that to exploit me. They pay me only about 250 shekels a day [approx. 80 USD] and when I tell them it’s too little when taking my experience into account, they tell me I have no choice because I have no permit. I’ve also had times when my employer wouldn’t pay me at the end of the month and threatened that if I insisted on getting the money, he’d report me to the police. I have five little children and my wife works as a nurse. If I had a work permit, I could go home every day and help out with the kids. I worry because I’m so far away from them and I try to talk to them on the phone at least once a day.

Israel must enable the development of a Palestinian economy in the West Bank to provide decent work opportunities for the local population. Until that development is realized, Israel must issue permits to Palestinians wishing to work in Israel – based on appropriate security checks – and must ensure workers’ rights are upheld”.

 

http://www.btselem.org/workers/20140430_international_workers_day_2014

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