CiF Watch prompts correction to inaccurate Indy headline about settlements


UK Media Watch

Yesterday, we posted about a report at The Independent which included a headline falsely claiming that Israel had recently announced the construction of “900 more settlements“.  As we noted, what Israeli authorities had actually announced was “900 more homes” in existing neighborhoods in eastern Jerusalem.

Here’s the original headline:

Shortly after our communication with Indy editors, the headline was corrected, and it now reads as follows:


We commend Indy editors for promptly responding to our complaint.


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Israel Subjects Protesters to Unlawful Acts Arrested Protesters Tasered, Beaten,Threatened With Rape

Israel Subjects Protesters to Unlawful Acts Arrested Protesters Tasered, Beaten,Threatened With Rape : May 13, 2012

 Arrested protesters tasered, beaten, threatened with rape The protest was on Thursday, May 3. 15 Israeli citizens (Palestinians and Jews), an American, and a Canadian were violently arrested after a demonstration outside the Ramle Prison in solidarity with Palestinian administrative detainees on hunger strike. There was no pretense for the arrests, as it was a legal and nonviolent protest. Yet, these 17 were unlawfully arrested, beaten, verbally abused, and threatened with rape, shocked with Tasers while handcuffed, and held in custody beyond the time allotted by the Judge. This is from the Adalah press release from May 7. “They pushed them [another three female arrestees] into the walls and crudely screamed at them to shut their mouths. While we were all already next to each other, the officers began kicking us. At that point we once again heard lots of shouting and heard them pushing some of the men into a second room, where they were shackled. There was one man who five officers dragged on the floor – it appeared to me that he was handcuffed – and simply began shocking him with a taser for several minutes continuously. The doors were open and we shouted at the officers to stop shocking him, and saying it was dangerous. Three or four officers entered our room, shouted at us to shut up, shoved us, and told us to shut our mouths. One of the officers threatened us, “Do you want to be hit? Just try and do something. Do you want to be hit?” and the whole while they continued shocking the man in the hall with a taser. I was scared. The officers stood over him while he was lying on the floor, no less than five of them, and his whole body was shaking from the electric shocks. He did not resist – they continued to shock him with the taser on his upper body. He only screamed in pain. Throughout the night, for several hours we heard lots of screams from the room the men were in. Both screams of pain and the officers screaming, including cursing. We were all very much shaking, six women, we tried to calm each other. I had my shackles on for hours. Three of us were on benches and three were on the floor. We were all in shock. We were trembling, we did not know what would happen. There was a lot of violence. I wanted to try to be calm. I was scared by I tried to remain calm. Several minutes later we began talking a bit amongst ourselves, trying to make jokes. Our bodies were in pain from the officers hitting us. On (P), (Th) and (D’s) bodies there were lots of scratches and bruises. (P) had two large scratches on her neck and somebody else was bleeding from her wrist. Everyone had lots of bruises on our bodies. At some point (P) and (Th) stood up for a few minutes. Three officers entered and started shouting again. They told them to sit down, pushed all of us onto the floor, piling onto each other. One (of the officers) was holding a taser and used it to electrically shock us, for no reason, we were a human pile on the floor, and he tasered us. We shouted and we all were very terrified. I was shoved aside and sat on a chair. The officer with the taser approached me and tried to taser me, but accidentally hit my bag. They screamed at us to sit, and we answered that we were sitting, but they continued to shout, beat and curse at us.” I just want to point out something here different about these protests from the regular weekly Palestinian protests, this is acts by Israel primarily directed against their own citizens involved in lawful nonviolent protests, against fellow Israelis.


The Love Of a Mother/ As Palestinian Hunger Strikers Starve, A Mother Waits

As Palestinian hunger strikers starve, a mother waits

By Yara Borgal, NBC News, NBC News

“JENIN, West Bank – Im Hisham, 65, spends her days sitting in her home in Kufur Raei village near here waiting for news about her 27-year-old son, Bilal Diab.”

Bilal Diab was drug from his home in the middle of the night on August 16, 2011, and his mother has not seen him since. He has become the face of the Palestinian hunger strikers, one of the thousands of unlawfully detained men, women, and children who Israel holds unlawfully under international law, subjecting to egregious daily human rights abuses that violate the Fourth Geneva Convention and other international treaties Israel is subject to by agreement, by her treaty obligations. And as I wrrite this, thousands of unlawfully detained Palestinian political prisoners detained in prisons by Israel continue their hunger strikes/fasts, two men in Day 75 of their hunger strikes for justice and freedom and for their basic human rights to be honored. Every single one of these prisoners is the face of man sacrificing self for the love of others, they follow in the footsteps of Gandhi, Martin Luther king, Jr, even Jesus Christ.

“I haven’t seen my son since the day Israeli Special Forces raided our home in the middle of the night and arrested him in front of my eyes,” she said of the incident on Aug. 16, 2011. “They gave him administrative detention for six months and when the six months ended they extended his detention for six more without charges or trial.”

“I am constantly listening to the news hoping to hear anything about my son,” she said. “I haven’t been allowed to see him for nine months now. Every time I close my eyes I can see him lying in a bed, looking pale, thin and weak, and I tell him to stay strong and that victory is near.

“I know that my son’s health is suffering as a cause of the hunger strike but I don’t dare think that something bad will happen to him. I just want to see my son, touch his face and tell him that everything will be ok. I will die if anything happens to him.”…

We see in the hunger strike of Palestinian Gandhi Bilal Diab the love of a mother for her son come to life, we see the Inhumanity of Israel and this unholy 45+ year Occupation, brought into the Light for the world to see, to mourn, to cry out to God over. I think that is what these hunger strikes are more than anything else, the essence of what they are, cries out to God for Justice.

And we find ourselves on Saturday morning, May 12, 2012, in Day 75 of Palestinian Prisoner Bilal Diab’s hunger strike against unlawful administrative detentions imposed by the Isreali Occupier of Palestine, by a man now near death who has not even been charged with the commission of a crime.

My Prayers are with Bilal Diab and all of the thousands of hunger strikers now sitting unlawfully detained in Israel’s prisons. May they turn to God and find comfort in God, may God hear their cries for Justice and intervene to end the unjust Occupation and free these unlawfully detained men, women, and children. In Jesus name I Pray, Amen.


The Palestinian Hunger Strikers, Today’s Gandhis

CPT calls for a fast for the Palestinian prisoners, to begin at 7:00  AM on May 15. I assume we go by our own clocks on this. CPT Palestine calls this fast out of grave concern about the health of the prisoners, and as an act of solidarity, team members will be joining the fast.

I have been thinking all mornning about how much these prisoners, thousands of men, women, and children,  unlawfully detained and unlawfully treated, so much resemble Jesus Christ, sacrificing self for the love of others.

I also cannot help but think about how we, the world, we never learn lessons from our history, and how the people today in Palestine are responding to those detained in Palestine today, as Jesus was detained 2000 years ago, the very same way they responded to Jesus 2000 years ago. We, the world, are subjecting them to Injustice and Death.

And history repeats itself, over and over again. I think about India’s struggle for Independence, the nonviolent struggle for freedom for the people waged by Gandhi, the opposition it was met with, and how Gandhi was killed in this struggle.

I think about the American Civii Rights Movement in the US, Martin Luther King Jr’s struggle for equal rights for black Americans, the opposition he faced, the silence of the white Church’s in the South to the injustices of racism and discrimination, and how Martin Luther King, Jr was killed in that struggle.

But, we know from the stories of these three men, that responding to Injustice with nonviolent resistance yields Victory, and this knowledge should fill us all with energy and hope for our Future.

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON) ACTION ALERT: Fast with the prisoners of Palestine…

CPT also addresses harsh collective punishment Israel is carrying out inside the prisons, punishing the prisoners engaged in the hunger strike. The prisoners are being fined “between 250 (€50) and 500 (€100) shekels for each day of their  strike.”  In Naqab prison, CPT reports prisoners are experiencing daily random inspections that last for approximately forty to fifty minutes. ” These inspections include cell and body searches.  In addition, prisoners are no longer permitted to leave their rooms for the daily break period.


The Book Of James

Week 7 On The Way Home

We went through the book of James, and are wrapping up the  Bible Study.

I begin by reading out loud the book of James and its 5 chapters.

And I pray, speak to me in this lesson, Lord, let me listen and hear what you would have me hear and let it sink in to my consciousness and may I draw closer to you, Jesus. We will be addressing the death of James and many other’ s deaths, the  early Christians who were martyred for their faith in you, Jesus.

Day 1 Scripture’s Last Glimpse

The year is AD 58, approximately. The Holy Spirit has compelled the Apostle Paul to go to Jerusalem, but also warned him imprisonment and  afflictions await him there, as they do everywhere he visits.  Acts 20:23  And he says this, “But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. And now, behold, I know that none of you among whom I have gone about proclaiming the kingdom will see my face again”. acts 20:23-24 So, he knows death awaits him. This is the Apostle Paul we are addressing here.



Palestinian Child Prisoners

Over 200 children have been abducted who count themselves among the over 4000 unlawfully detained Palestinian prisoners held by Israel today, many in night raids, as addressed by many human rights groups in their reports.

We read more about these children, and their unlawful treatment that violates the Fourth Geneva Convention, in an  article in The Guardian:…

“The room is barely wider than the thin, dirty mattress that covers the floor. Behind a low concrete wall is a squat toilet, the stench from which has no escape in the windowless room. The rough concrete walls deter idle leaning; the constant overhead light inhibits sleep. The delivery of food through a low slit in the door is the only way of marking time, dividing day from night.

This is Cell 36, deep within Al Jalame prison in northern Israel. It is one of a handful of cells where Palestinian children are locked in solitary confinement for days or even weeks. One 16-year-old claimed that he had been kept in Cell 36 for 65 days.

The only escape is to the interrogation room where children are shackled, by hands and feet, to a chair while being questioned, sometimes for hours.

Most are accused of throwing stones at soldiers or settlers; some, of flinging molotov cocktails; a few, of more serious offences such as links to militant organisations or using weapons. They are also pumped for information about the activities and sympathies of their classmates, relatives and neighbours.

At the beginning, nearly all deny the accusations. Most say they are threatened; some report physical violence. Verbal abuse – “You’re a dog, a son of a whore” – is common. Many are exhausted from sleep deprivation. Day after day they are fettered to the chair, then returned to solitary confinement. In the end, many sign confessions that they later say were coerced.”

I cannot even begin to imagine what Palestinian parents go through, when their children have been kidnapped by the fascist Israeli barbarians who operate these Isreali maintained torture chambers described in this article in The Guardian, who laugh in the face of the requirements of international law and the Fourth Geneva Convention.

My Prayers are with the children being targeted and unlawfully detained, their parents, and all of the unlawfully detained over 4000 prisoners.


Mercy Trumps Justice

I have been thinking more about the words Helen Thomas spoke in 2010, that the Jews should get the hell out of Palestine. She may have been thinking all the Jews in Israel and Palestine should leave, from strictly a justice perspective, and said what she said. I can see that point of view. It seems unjust for close to 10 million Palestinians to today be forcibly living outside Palestine, as intl law says they have a clear right to return but Israel forcibly denies them their rights to return, and as Jews with no connection to the land can freely immigrate there.

I can see where a comment like that would come from, and at the same time think they were words best left unsaid, whether she meant for all Jews in Israel and Palestine to leave or just those in Palestine (the Occupied Territories) because “Mercy trumps Justice.” (And Helen apologized fo her words, no matter what she meant by them, I point out.)

As Helen Thomas is making the statements she made, Sabeel (an organization of Palestinian Christians) is saying we do not insist all the settlers leave, if we were to do that we would be doing to them what was done to us, and we do not wish that on anyone else. They support peaceful co-existence.

So, I am realizing that I seem to be inconsistent, from my last post to this post. In my last post, I stated I admired Helen Thomas for speaking truth about the settlers and the Occupation. Now, I am saying she should not have said what she said. There are some truths best left unsaid, Jesus taught us all about God’s mercy. Justice would have demanded we all pay for our sins, justice would require the settlers to all leave. But we are forgiven our sins, because of Jesus dying for us on a cross 2000 years ago. And so, Christians in Palestine today are called to forgive those who have wronged them. And Christians everywhere are called upon to show those who have wronged them forgiveness and mercy.

Mercy trumps justice.

And back to Helen Thomas, we are all human, we speak before we think through our words, how they will be percieved by others, their effects on others. Helen Thomas said words in 2010 she should not have said, but that does not take away from her life of speaking unpopular Truths against an Injustice, the Israeli Occupation of Palestine, that has been going on now for 45 years now, that subjects millions of Palestinians to egregious daily human rights abuses.

Sherri Munnerlyn

April 6, 2012