The Ghosts Of Robespierre


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German Jews condemn 'explosion of hate' at pro-Gaza rallies


Germany’s Jewish community on Monday condemned an “explosion of evil and violent hatred of Jews” at a recent string of pro-Palestinian demonstrations in the country. Protesters waving Palestinian flags and signs of late leader Yasser Arafat have in recent days shouted anti-Semitic slogans at rallies against Israel’s Gaza offensive, according to German media. Exclaiming “Allahu Akbar” (God is great), crowds in Berlin have reportedly yelled “Death to Israel” and chanted “Zionists are fascists, killing children and civilians”.
Source: AFP

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British far-right leader steps down


Nick Griffin has stepped down as leader of the British National Party, the far-right group announced Monday, following disastrous results at the European Parliament elections. Griffin, 55, stepped aside at a party leadership meeting after nearly 15 years in charge of the anti-immigration group, which campaigns for Britain to leave the European Union. Having won 6.3 percent of the vote in 2009, the party polled just over one percent in May’s European elections, with Griffin losing his seat, the only one the party held. Recently-appointed deputy chairman Adam Walker has taken over as acting chairman, while Griffin has taken up the newly-created position of party president.
Source: AFP

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Radical Young Israelis and the Price Tag Attacks

For a few years, a young radical group of Israeli settlers in the West Bank have committed random acts of violence and vandalization against Palestinians and their property to make them pay the price for affronting their way of life. They call themselves “Pricetaggers,” and they’ve largely avoided prosecution by Israeli authorities.

VICE News gets rare access to the young members of the Price Tag movement—at the homecoming of Moriah Goldberg, 20, who just finished a three-month sentence for throwing stones at Palestinians. She and her family remain proud of the act, even as the current conflict in Gaza was sparked after an all-too-familiar round of retributive violence.

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Israel pummels Gaza as world pushes for truce



Israel pummelled Gaza for a 14th day on Monday, hiking the Palestinian death toll to more than 570, as Cairo took centre stage in world efforts to broker a ceasefire. With air strikes and shelling raining down across the besieged coastal enclave, Israel’s army said seven of its soldiers had been killed, bringing the Israeli toll to 25 troops and two civilians in the bloodiest Gaza conflict since 2009. Washington urged Israel to take “greater steps” to prevent innocent casualties, and UN chief Ban Ki-moon appealed for the violence to “stop now” as it emerged most of the dead were civilians.
Source: AFP

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Israeli shoots Palestinian dead in W. Bank: security source



An Israeli shot dead a Palestinian who had been throwing stones at his car north of Jerusalem in the West Bank, a Palestinian security source told AFP late Monday. The security source named the fatality as Mahmud Shawamreh, 21, of Ar-Ram. He said the incident took place between Ar-Ram and the Hizma checkpoint, and the body was taken to Israel. Asked for comment, a spokeswoman for the Israeli army said: “The incident in which the Palestinian was killed during a violent riot near Ramallah is being investigated by the military police.”
Source: AFP

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Gaza toll hits 556 on day 14 of Israeli operation


The death toll in Gaza rose to 556 on Monday following the bloodiest day in the Palestinian enclave since 2009 where Israel is pressing a punishing military operation. Gaza emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said air strikes killed 39 people across the enclave on Monday, and another 68 bodies were pulled from the rubble in areas hit by heavy fighting a day earlier.
Source: AFP

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Elizabeth May backs Green Party motion condemning 'illegal' Israeli settlements


Green Party Leader Elizabeth May has no plans to pull her endorsement of a motion that would see the party “fully condemn all illegal Israeli settlement expansions” as “undeniable obstacles to the Israel-Palestine peace-process,” despite escalating tensions in the region.

The proposed resolution is on the list of policy proposals slated to come up for debate during the party’s weekend convention in Fredericton.

"I support the existing resolution condemning illegal settlements," May told CBC News Friday.

In fact, she says she wouldn’t be surprised to see emergency resolutions related to both Gaza and the situation in Ukraine raised during Saturday’s opening session.

The motion, which was drafted by Young Greens co-chair Ghaith El-Mohtar, a former intern in May’s Ottawa office, is one of 54 draft policy resolutions on the agenda for convention attendees this weekend.

May is one of 14 listed co-sponsors.

According to an official policy statement on the Department of Foreign Affairs website, Canada believes the Israeli settlements “constitute a serious obstacle to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace,” but the government has in recent years avoided commenting on the settlements.

In a backgrounder posted on the Green Party website, El-Mohtar acknowledges the motion “will likely have political repercussions” for the party.

"It will almost certainly frustrate the party’s supporters who happen to support Israel’s settlement expansions," he explained.

"It may also provoke a reaction from Canada’s Israel lobby, which currently enjoys almost unconditional support for Israel’s actions as the political norm in Canada."

On the other hand, he pointed out that it could “reinforce [the party’s] image as a supporter of justice in the Middle East,” which, he predicted, “would likely win over former NDP supporters who oppose [NDP Leader] Thomas Mulcair’s unquestioning support of Israel.”

The NDP hasn’t been shy of reminding the government of Canada’s official position on settlements, but it is fair to say the party has become less critical of the Israeli government under Mulcair’s leadership.

Last month, a would-be NDP candidate claimed his position on Israeli-Palestinian issues were behind the party executive’s move to block him from running for the nomination in the new B.C. riding of Nanaimo-Ladysmith. The NDP refused to confirm or deny his claim.

The government and the Conservative Party have been vocal about their staunch and unwavering support for Israel, while the Liberals this week expressed support for Israel in the current conflict with Hamas. […]

Even with May’s backing, the resolution isn’t guaranteed a slot during the main plenary sessions, which are set to take place on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning.

But the results of the pre-convention online vote — which, while not formally counted, are presented to attendees — indicate the position could garner widespread support within the rank-and-file membership if it does.

According to the numbers posted to the website, 83.6 per cent voted in favour of the resolution as drafted, 10.7 per cent were prepared to endorse it if it was “clarified” during the workshop session, and just 5.7 per cent were opposed.

The website doesn’t say how many members took part in the online survey. […]

A draft of the resolution is also available in the above link.