2000 YEARS OF RELIGION AND POLITICS IN HEBRON: HARAM AL-RAMA [UPDATED AND ENLARGED]

(This is an updated an enlarged version of a post published we published earlier on this blog.)
 
The site of Haram al-Rama, usually known as Mamre, in the Nimra neighbourhood of Palestine’s occupied Hebron was first excavated in the 1920s, then during the last years of the Jordanian rule 1964-66 and sporadically afterwards.
 
The ‘Oak of Abraham’ is an apt symbol for the site: Today, as for two thousand years, religious visitors are told that it is literally a tree under which the forefather of Abrahamic religions would have rested; that the tree’s death have been repeatedly repeated by religious authors of the same religions (one ‘Oak of Abraham’ died during the 4th century CE) is of no importance to the religious narrative of the site – or the political forces controlling the religious narrative for their own uses.
 
THE JEWISH AND PAGAN PERIOD
 
Although the site has evidence of a major Canaanite urban centre from the Bronze Age preceding the beginning of Egyptian rule around circa 1450 BCE and further discoveries from the Egyptian New Kingdom period, the interest towards the site has been in modern period the same as the for the last two thousands years – religion and the political use it can be put in.
 
Archaeological work continuing to this day has established that the site by the beginning of the first millennium of Current Era held a Jewish shrine established by the Roman client king of Judea, Herod the Great(reigned 37-4 BCE) – first of several religious buildings on the site used to manifest political power.
 
Jewish tradition connects it to the story of the birth of Isaac to the elderly Abraham and Sarah, Christian tradition to the escape of Joseph, Mary and infant Jesus to Egypt.
 
The old tradition was used to strengthen the new in Palestine of antiquity, and it was not limited to just two of the Abrahamic religions: Samaritan and then Muslim traditions deepened the intertwining of the religious myths, with the later Muslim legends shaping Christian and Jewish traditions in the medieval era also.
 
Naturally political rulers used (and perhaps even created) religious traditions, to strengthen their rule and legitimacy. Herod the Great, connected to the preceding Maccabean dynasty(163-37 BCE) only through marriage and owing his throne to the Roman Empire, built on a large scale both architecturally and ideologically. As a son of the Edomite Antipater, he had to establish his legitimacy both as a political ruler and as the main benefactor of Judaism as a religion – without stepping on the toes of his Roman overlords.
 
In the second quarter of the second century of Current Era, the Jewish shrine (influenced by hellenized Edomite religious traditions linked to the god Qaus) was partially dismantled to build a temple of Hermes by the Roman emperor Hadrian(117-138). In Jerusalem the site of the former Jewish Temple likewise saw a new Roman Temple of Jupiter being raised.
 
Political changes dictated religious and architectural changes – as today politics, not science, dictate archaeological excavation, interpretation and preservation.
 
For Mamre we have evidence that political power dictating religious change was never fully triumphant though, as surviving evidence of Jewish rabbis ordering Jews to stop visiting and worshipping at the site because of it new Pagan nature shows; there would have been no need for a ban if there would have been no people still using the site for its old Jewish religious purpose.
 
CHRISTIAN TRANSFORMATION
 
When Christianity took over at Mamre around 330 CE during the reign of the emperor Constantine(306-337), it was time for a yet another transformation: A Christian church and monastery were built on the site which was on the main road to Jerusalem from Hebron and had become an important commercial center.
 
Pagans, although they were still likely a majority in Palestine, were forbidden of future worship on the site.
 
Destruction of Hellenistic religious statues seem to have been part of the Christian takeover. All over Palestine new Christian identities were being given to old Pagan, Jewish and Samaritan religious sites. When useful, like in Mamre, Jewish traditions were incorporated but preference was given to the later Christian connections, if possible – Jewish religious history being seen (and given validation) as a prophecy and a preparation for Christianity.
 
This new Christian religious complex at Mamre achieved notice as a site of pilgrimage at least in the surrounding region and is recorded in a surviving mosaic map in Jordan that was made in the late Antiquity – which can been not only as a factual cartography, but as part of creating a new religious geography fitting the universal Church united with the Roman Empire.
 
In the case of Haram al-Rama, Christianity both architecturally and ideologically thus took control of a site founded by Herod the Great, the great persecutor in Christian imagination. A place build to declare the glory of Herod’s rule, partially through religion, it was in Christian imagination made to submit to infant Jesus, where his family was made to find water and shelter. Yet it was also Judaism which in Christian imagination was made to submit – and to become a part of the past only.
 
In the same manner as Mamre was made a site were the victory of Jesus over Herod, of Christianity over Judaism was made to manifest itself in the physical world through architecture, the site of Jesus’ crucifixion in Jerusalem was in medieval Christianity claimed to be the exact site of Adam’s burial and that Jesus’ blood, reaching Adam’s skull, ‘baptized’ him and helped him to reach Heaven.
 
The message was clear: Even the founding father of mankind could achieve salvation only through Jesus Christ. Only Christianity was a valid path to God.
 
This medieval Christian idea that even the major Old Testament figures could find salvation only through Christianity was later reflected by Dante Alighieri(1265-1321) who placed Old Testament prophets in the outer, less terrifying sections of Hell because they had lived before Christ. Ideologically this meant that Judaism was legitimated only through Christianity, to which it must submit to find acceptance – and as such, to cease to exist.
 
LATE ANTIQUITY AND EARLY MEDIEVAL PERIOD
 
The buildings at Mamre, of which the aforementioned pictorial evidence survives in Jordan, were likely later destroyed by the Zoroastrian Sassanid Empire when it occupied Palestine in 614.
 
The occupation happened in the context of the great war of 602-628 which ended the world of antiquity and prepared the ground for Islam’s rapid ascent. As armistice brought the return of East Roman control in 629, which itself ended with the Muslim conquest of 638, the site was left in ruins.
 
During the Umayyad period(661-750) Hebron was secondary only to Jerusalem in the importance to the new Muslim Caliphate; the transformation which had followed the Roman Empire becoming Christian under Constantine I was repeated.
 
A new Islamic landscape emerged, just like a Christian had, before the new religion has converted majority of the population.
 
The relationship of creation of religious geography and religious conversion of a population is complicated and can’t be assumed to have been a situation where political creation of a new religious landscape simply effected a religious conversion – a more complex process, in which official religious geography adapted to the responses coming from the politically subject population surely took place, and naturally other processes were taking place to make conversion more and more common, starting from the issue of taxation.
 
MAMRE TODAY
 
Today Israeli occupation and illegal Israeli settlers continue this tradition of using religion as a veil for a political power-play, trying to wrench the site from the hands of the Palestinian Authority and make it a symbol of Israel’s control of Hebron.
 
In this they have the support of Christian Zionists, whose view of Mamre is foremost that of political Zionism and the extremist current inside Israeli Judaism – something that ironically would have brought the wrath of the once universal Christian Roman Empire and the Churchmen who once claimed Mamre to Christianity from the Pagans and the Jews.
 
CONCLUSIONS
 
Although religion have been given official pre-eminence at Mamre since the time of Herod the Great, the reality has always been that politics come first and that religious use of the site comes on the terms of the political rulers.
 
Today, the same can be said to be true of archaeology. In the so-called Biblical archaeology it is no co-incidence that bible comes first and archaeology comes at second, as its practitioners tend to follow in the footsteps of Herod, Hadrian and Constantine.
 
The site of Mamre and its history can be only properly interpreted and put into its cultural, religious and historical context if the political forces shaping it and its portrayal, in past and today, are taken fully into account.
 
PHOTO: The current ‘Oak of Abraham’ in Mamre.
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UNITED STATES SUPPORTS ISRAELI OCCUPATION TO RE-CREATE THE JIM CROW ERA IT HAD TO GIVE UP

The November 30th murder of Mahmoud Odeh by illegal Israeli settlers on Palestine’s occupied West Bank is a modern lynching, something that could have (and happened thousands of times) in the United States during the era of racial segregation knows as ‘Jim Crow’ which followed the 1877 ending of military occupation of the former Confederate States and which was legitimized by the US Supreme Court in 1896.
 
The ‘Whites’ were given de facto right to murder and terrorize with impunity their former slaves and any act of resistance by the African-Americans led to more violence by the ‘Whites’ – violence that went unpunished by what were then the ‘legal authorities’ on all levels, from county to state to federal.
 
It’s no mere accident that the United States is so deeply attached to Israel, that this attachment began as the Civil Rights movement started to break down the ‘Jim Crow’ legislation. Before the Civil Rights movement started to gain notice and then its first victories, Israel barely registered in the political and national radar in the US.
 
Through Israel and its Apartheid United States found a way to channel its deep currents of racism to an alternative target at a time when it had to officially recognize the equality of its citizens before the law and at least nominally give the appearance that what was in fact terrorism by the ‘Whites’ were not to be given a free pass anymore.
 
As the days of Klu Klux Klan being able to kill any African-American who tried to demand their civil rights ended, the United States compensated by starting to support Israel’s brutal Apartheid rule. What it had to give up at home, it could still patronize in Palestine.
 
That this support is shrouded in the burka of Christian Zionism is just a veil of modesty – because the Christian Zionists largely represent the exact same part of the United States population that formed the core of the racist ‘White’ supremacists during Jim Crow -era.
 
Both the allure and fear of the money which the Israel Lobby can use in electoral campaigns handles any threat which the more ‘progressive’ citizens participating in politics could pose to this re-creating of the ‘Old South’ of Jim Crow -era in Palestine suffering under Israel’s Apartheid rule.
 
As a result the United States aggressively supports Israel human rights violations and war crimes and is rumoured to recognize the whole of Jerusalem as Israel’s ‘capital’ in the coming days. (Although the Giro d’Italia cycling competition, beat the United States to this.)
 
Racism is the glue that binds the United States of America and Israel together – the believe that ethnic-religious and ‘racial’ identity make people equipped with one label better and more important than some other, and gives the former the right to oppress and murder the latter.
 
Lamenting that it can’t do this at home anymore (except through killings of African-Americans, Latinos and Natives by the police, almost with the same impunity as Israel’s occupation forces soldiers and increasingly trained by them) the United States piles economical, military and political aid and support for Israel to create a veritable mountain range of racist oppression.
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PHOTO: Mahmoud Odeh’s blood on the ground where he was shot and killed by an illegal Israeli settler after he was attacked by a group of 15 illegal settler on his own land in the village of Qusra on November 30th 2017.
 
 
 

THE MURDER OF MAHMOUD ODEH

(This is a heavily rewritten version of a post we published on yesterday.)

An illegal Israeli settler shot and killed farmer Mahmoud Zaal Odeh(aged 47 or 48) at noon on Thursday November 30th on his own land in the village of Qusra.

The village of Qusra – ‘hotspot’ of illegal Israeli settler violence – is situated in the Nablus district of the occupied West Bank.

The father of ten was attacked is reported to have been attacked by a group of 15 illegal Israeli settlers and he had only his 6-year-old son as company when he was shot.

THE MURDER

Illegal Israeli settlers have been attacking the village of Qusra for years, trying to disrupt activities of the local farmers and to drive Palestinians off their land. Qusra has become ‘a hot spot’ for illegal Israeli settler violence against Palestinians.

The attack during which Mahmoud Odeh was murdered on Thursday followed typical routine of harassment by a group of 15 illegal Israeli settlers, which culminated in one of them shooting Odeh with a hand-gun.

Odeh was alone with a six year old son at on his own land as this happened. He had been attacked and beaten by illegal Israeli settlers several times before according to reports.

After Odeh’s son alerted other villagers, there was a confrontation between the villagers who tried to push the illegal Israeli settlers away from the village lands.

During this encounter stones were thrown and a villager was shot and wounded by an illegal Israeli settler. One illegal Israeli settler – a burly, bearded adult man – apparently was hit with a stone, causing light injury based on a photograph.

The illegal Israeli settlers then withdraw to a cave in the area, where they entrenched themselves until Israel’s occupation forces came to save – not to arrest – them, and surrounded the village and took Odeh’s body away.

More attacks by both Israel’s occupation forces and illegal Israeli settlers followed later on Thursday, including an attack on an ambulance carrying one of two men shot and wounded (one in leg, the other in pelvis) by Israel’s occupation forces in these later attacks. Windows on the ambulance were shattered in the attack.

Israel’s occupation forces have continued to attack Qusra also throughout Friday, trying to disrupt memorial events and protests for Mahmoud Odeh, whose body was returned by the Israeli occupation on Friday evening.

ISRAEL BLAMES THE DEAD VICTIM

Israeli occupation has come up with several different stories in which it tries to excuse the murder, whitewash the illegal Israeli settlers who took Mahmoud Odeh’s life and blame everything on the oppressed locals.

Naturally Israel doesn’t have to care about how believable its stories are – they are reported without criticism or question by the media in the so-called ‘West’.

Israel has claimed that the illegal Israeli settlers who attacked the village of Qusra would have either been ‘little boys’ who had been ‘touring a cave’, or in another version ‘youths’ who would have been ‘hiking’.

These young innocents would have then been attacked by a Palestinian ‘mob’ that would have ‘thrown stones’ and would have ‘blocked’ the ‘little boys’ / ‘youths’ inside the cave, where they would have then been ‘beaten’, until ‘a guard’ among them would have shot ‘to disperse the mob’ and would have without intention ended up shooting and killing Odeh.

The victim has been transformed into the guilty party and the murderer into a victim that was just defending itself – the standard narrative Israel’s regime feeds to the world with endless repetition.

Only the identity of the Palestinian killed by Israel’s occupation forces or illegal Israeli settlers changes.

SOURCES:

Israeli settlers shot dead a Palestinian farmer in Nablus  

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Palestinian farmer shot dead by Israeli settler

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Palestinian man shot dead by Israeli settlers Palestinian man shot dead by Israeli settlers .

Settlers, soldiers attack Palestinians in Qusra town

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Updated: “Israeli Colonists Kill A Palestinian Farmer Near Nablus”

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ILLEGAL ISRAELI SETTLERS KILL FARMER DURING ATTACK ON QUSRA VILLAGE IN THE OCCUPIED WEST BANK

Illegal Israeli settler shot and killed farmer Mahmoud Zaal Odeh(48) at noon today Thursday November 30th on his land in the village of Qusra in the Nablus district of the occupied West Bank.

One source gives’ the victim’s name as Mahmoud al-Zaher. The homicide happened in the context of an attack in the village lands’ by a group of 15 illegal Israeli settlers.

MURDER DURING ILLEGAL ISRAELI SETTLERS’ ATTACK ON QUSRA

Illegal Israeli settlers have been attacking the village of Qusra for years, trying to disrupt activities of the local farmers and to drive Palestinians off their land.

The attack during which Odeh was murdered on Thursday followed typical routine of harassment by a group of 15 illegal Israeli settlers, which culminated in one of them shooting Odeh with a hand-gun when the local farmers tried to push the illegal Israeli settlers away from their land.

The illegal Israeli settlers were reportedly ‘detained’ in a cave in the area by the local people, until Israel’s occupation forces came to save – not to arrest – them, and surrounded the village. One illegal Israeli settler, a burly man, had a bloody t-shirt and was surrounded by illegal Israeli settler medics in a photograph taken after this – the illegal Israeli settler apparently had a minor head wound.

Except for the murder, this scene has been acted in Qusra week after week, month after month, year after year with utter impunity for the illegal Israeli settlers.

ISRAEL EXCUSES THE MURDER WITH OUTLANDISH STORY

Israeli occupation came up with an outlandish and convoluted story trying to excuse the murder and make the illegal Israeli settlers behind the attack and murder the ‘real victims’. Naturally Israel doesn’t have to care about how believable its story is – it will be reported without criticism or question by the media in the so-called ‘West’.

Israel claims that the illegal Israeli settlers who attacked the village of Qusra would have been ‘little boys’ who had been ‘touring cave’, would have been attacked by Palestinian ‘mob’ that would have been ‘throwing stones’ which would have ‘blocked’ the ‘little boys’ inside the cave, where they would have then been ‘beaten’, until ‘a guard’ with them would have shot ‘to disperse the mob’ and would have allegedly without intention ended up shooting and killing.

Perhaps the utterly unbelievability of Israeli occupation’s excuse is deliberate show of arrogance – that so tame is the ‘Western’ press that Israel doesn’t have to come up with anything that could pass actual critical consideration. Like the simple fact that videos and photographs of Mahmoud Odeh show that the incident happened outdoors in open ground – or that Israel’s occupation forces escort illegal Israeli settlers in such ‘tours’ on the occupied territories.

Or that the photographs of the ‘little boys’ show heavy-built, bearded adult men with beards…

A MODERN LYNCHING

The murder of Mahmoud Odeh is a modern lynching, something that could have (and happened thousands of times) in the United States during the era of racial segregation knows as ‘Jim Crow’. The ‘white people’ were given de facto right to murder and terrorize with impunity and any act of resistance by the African-Americans led to more violence by the ‘white people’ that went unpunished by what were the ‘legal authorities’.

It’s no mere accident that USA is so deeply attached to Israel, that this attachment began as the Civil Rights movement started to break down the ‘Jim Crow’ legislation. United States found a way to channel its deep currents of racism to an alternative target, as it officially had to recognize the equality of its citizens before the law and at least nominally give the appearance that what was in fact terrorism by the ‘whites’ were not to be given free pass anymore.

The alternative target was found in Palestine, where the United States found out that it could give its racist tendencies free run by supporting Israel’s brutal Apartheid rule. So we find that to this day USA aggressively supports Israel human rights violations and war crimes and is rumoured to recognize the whole of Jerusalem as Israel’s ‘capital’ in the coming days.

Racism is the glue that binds the United States of America and Israel together – the believe that ethnic-religious and ‘racial’ identity make people with one of these labels better and more important than some other, and gives the former the right to oppress and murder the latter.

SOURCES:

Israeli settlers shot dead a Palestinian farmer in Nablus   

Palestinian Farmer Killed by Israeli Settlers in West Bank

Palestinian man shot dead by Israeli settlers

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THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS AND THE ISRAELI OCCUPATION

There are two important issues that are basically never mentioned either in popular media or even scholarship about ‘The Dead Sea Scrolls’ finds in Qumran.
 
DISTORTING THE PAST, ANCHORING THE OCCUPATION
 
Here we hope to throw a little bit of light on these issues and show the study and presentation to the public of the Dead Sea Scrolls is largely guided by the geopolitical ambitions of the state of the Israel and the ideology of the political Zionist organizations around it.
 
We argue that this leads to a situation where scholarship reflects the ‘needs’ of an occupation state, producing at least an incomplete and perhaps distorted view of the historical, political and religious context where the Dead Sea Scrolls were written, used and then hidden.
 
Archaeological remains are also eagerly connected to the Dead Sea Scrolls, to make the scrolls and the image of the past they are made to reflect as physically manifest in the landscape of the occupied West Bank – and through this, as anchors for the illegal colony enterprise by Israel.
 
DISAPPEARING THE CONTEXT, DISSOLVING THE OCCUPIED
 
One of these two issues is that simple: Often it’s not brought out at all that the finds have been made in the occupied West Bank first under Jordan and then Israel’s rule.
 
Not mentioning that Qumran is on the occupied West Bank in a text or using a map that doesn’t show current internationally recognized political borders are the simplest ways of making the occupation disappear from the context in which the Dead Sea Scrolls are today seen, interpreted and used.
 
Leaving this out is always deliberate and is part of dissolving the current situation and re-establishing a new one in the audience’s mind through use of the past to do it.
 
The occupation and the people living under it are made to disappear – along with the context where the scrolls are being studied, interpreted and published.
 
Imagine two Lego sets of the West Bank: One showing a scene from 2017 CE and another from 67 CE. Through the Dead Sea Scrolls the state that is an occupier in 2017 dismantles the first one and builds a totally new one from it and the second one, from 67 CE, leaving out the occupied people from the first, the Palestinians.
 
MODERN GEOPOLITICAL CONTEXT COMES FIRST
 
The second issue rarely voiced, yet very important for the understanding of the study of the Dead Sea Scrolls and their presentation is that the above-mentioned modern geopolitical context has largely guided their interpretation and presentation to the public.
 
There has been a subconscious element at work as there always is – Biblical Archaeology being still done to a large extent by believers who seek to justify their beliefs, no matter how much they try to sieve the findings through critical study – but much has been deliberate.
 
The ‘needs’ of the state of Israel and political Zionism through ‘legitimization’ of today’s ideologies, political entities and their actions through past has played a major role. This includes the the illegal Israeli colony enterprise and the occupation it builds on – both promoted by the ‘Qumran National Park’ Israel has founded on the occupied West Bank.
 
These two have merged with Israel and Christian and Jewish Zionist organizations channeling funding, resources and access to institutions and scholars whose work most supports the uses Israel and political Zionism puts the Dead Sea Scrolls.
 
This has naturally shaped the whole field of study, so that it’s always easier to get an article or monograph published or a museum show funded when they can be used as tools to support the occupation and illegal colonies.
 
When it comes to getting published in popular magazines or getting publishers for books intended for mainstream audience, this effect is increased.
 
As a result, scholars have adjusted. Avenues of study that are not useful for Israel and political Zionism or might be seen as harmful for them are abandoned, and instead those which result in more personal results than pure increase of knowledge are pursued.
 
This has resulted in a downward spiral, where the more closely the scholars work to benefit the Israeli occupation and its goals, the more they benefit as scholars and individuals – and the more science itself suffers along with the occupied people.
 
THE EFFECT OF THIS ON SCHOLARSHIP
 
As examples of how this affects scholarship we can briefly note such cases as the dating of the scrolls, whether they were written in a local community or brought from elsewhere for safekeeping, the exact religious identity of the people who wrote them (inside mainstream Judaism of the time or outside it) and so on.
 
All of these have been impacted by the current political situation and the ‘needs’ of those state and state-supported operators who have, so to speak, ‘the keys to kingdom’ for scholars.
 
The highest radiocarbon dates for the scrolls are dismissed because the findings are wanted to be connected to well known attempts by Jews to gain independence from Roman rule.
 
Even among these, there is a clear preference for the Jewish revolt of 66-73 CE – a preference that is driven more by that rebellion’s fame than it fitting the scientific evidence the best.
 
The scrolls are preferred to be connected to a religiously Jewish mainstream community with remaining architectural remains in the area – or, at least those architectural remains belonging to a royal estate of the kingdom of Judea and the scrolls having been imported for safekeeping from a library in Jerusalem (but not from anywhere else).
 
Why? Because all these are useful for the state of Israel in its projects of national legitimization, identity creation and its military occupation of the West Bank and its illegal colony enterprise there, with a view of taking over the area using ancient Jewish presence with still existing material remains as the ‘justification’.
 
Through the Dead Sea Scrolls Israel occupied and colonizes the past and uses that to ‘justify’ its occupation and colonization of today’s West Bank.
 
CONCLUSION
 
It has often been said that all art is political. That is true also both of humanities and science overall. But politically motivated science has a tendency to be completely taken over by politics and becoming mere tool, so that it won’t survive even as a compromised science.
 
Current politics have had a major effect on the study of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the representation of those studies’ findings to the public, which is then used to support those same current policies – which are a military occupation and an illegal colony enterprise.
 
In this downward spiral current geopolitical situation pollutes the scholarship, which then produces a distorted view of the past to support the occupation and illegal colony enterprise and to sell it to a global audience.
 
The original sin here is the refusal to accept that the current reality of military occupation and political oppression – and the way out is to cut this Gordion’s knot by acknowledging both the current political situation and its effect on the study of the Dead Sea scrolls.
 
The study of the scholarship of the Dead Sea Scrolls in the context of the occupation and illegal colony enterprise is needed. Naturally this rather simple proposal faces the problem of how to bypass the gatekeepers of access, funding and publication in a field which has become ‘just another brick in the Wall’ of Israeli occupation.

Salafist Leader Bilal Badr’s Bodyguard Murders Secular Arab Liberation Front Official In Ain al-Hilweh Refugee Camp

Mahmoud Qassem Hjeir, a local official in the minor secular centrist Arab Liberation Front party was murdered near a market in the Ain al-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon on the afternoon of Sunday November 20th.
 
Hjeir was shot in head and is said to have died immediately at the scene of the shooting.
 
The killer who wore a mask is said to be a bodyguard of the Salafist leader Bilal Badr, who has been a thorn in the side of main secular and Islamic factions in the refugee camp for years, causing dozens of deaths fighting that has erupted again and again.
 
The refugee camp, whose population has been significantly increased by Palestinian refugees (and some Syrians) escaping the war in Syria.
 
Salafist groups connected to the more extreme factions in the war in Syria have been able to dig in at parts of the refugee camp and have been the cause of sporadic fighting over several years, in which dozens of people have been killed.
 
Why Mahmoud Hjeir was targeted at this point by Bilal Badr is hard to know; the faction he represented is small and holds no real power in the refugee camp. Perhaps he was chosen as a target just for that reason – to ‘sent a message’ to factions that do so, without directly antagonizing them by killing their own member.
 
Arab Liberation Front, established in 1969, was for much of its existence part of the overall pan-Arabic Baath movement in the Arab countries. It’s support has always been very modest, but it is a member of PLO and represented in its organs.
 
PHOTO: @ShehabNewsAgency
 
SOURCES:
 
 
 
 
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NICK CAVE, APARTHEID ISRAEL’S NEW SPEARHEAD FOR THE OCCUPATION AND ETHNIC CLEANSING OF PALESTINE

As artists like Nick Cave babble about how being paid millions for performing in Apartheid Israel and being used by Israel’s propaganda is somehow about protecting artistic freedom, let’s us remind ourselves that no artist has ever achieved anything positive (except material gain for himself) by collaborating with oppressive regimes.
 
When an artist like Nick Cave comes to the arms of a brutal Apartheid regime blathering about how artists must be allowed to appear for occupiers who don’t allow them to appear before the occupied, let’s put Nick Cave and rest of his fellow artistic Quislings to humanity in their place and remind ourselves how art that collaborates with oppressive regimes succeeds only – from both the artistic point of view and from a moral point of view – prostituting itself.
 
From a political point of view, any Nick Cave who sells himself to become an unofficial ambassador for Apartheid and ethnic cleansing, is a great success for regime in question and a participant in the actions of the regime, sharing guilt as he shares the profit from the occupation and being stained in the process.
 
The simple fact is that art, always political, is especially potent (and especially cherished as a political tool by oppressive regimes like Israel’s) in situations like we encounter in occupied Palestine. There are no neutral ground between the occupier and the occupied, there is no collaboration with the occupier which doesn’t harm the occupied.
 
This is the company Nick Cave has lowered himself, and where he will forever stay in historical memory and the history of music:
 
For the next twelve years, the Berliner Philharmoniker and the “Third Reich” engaged in a symbiotic relationship of mutual exploitation and benefit. The “Reichsorchester” served as Nazi Germany’s flagship cultural ambassador, touring internationally both before and during the Second World War, and performing at a plethora of public events from the Nuremberg Rallies and the opening of the 1936 Olympic Games to Hitler’s birthday celebrations.
 
The regime’s patronage, meanwhile, afforded the orchestra numerous privileges. The Berliner Philharmoniker were hailed as a symbol of national pride by the (controlled) press and public alike; not only was the orchestra’s future financially secure, the musicians were remunerated by their own special category (Sonderklasse) at the summit of the new tariff scale for German Kulturorchester…
 
With the outbreak of war, the identification of the Berliner Philharmoniker with the NS-Reich took on more odious dimensions. Abroad, the orchestra acquired an unbecoming reputation as “Vorkämpfer der Fallschirmjäger” (paratroopers’ spearhead), prompting threats to the security of Philharmonic concerts in unoccupied territories. Increasingly, the musicians were mobilized like a military unit, making use of Wehrmacht trains to ensure timely passage on their whistle-stop travels across Europe.