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  1. #281
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    Jan 2007


    Palestinian ambassador demands NSW Police Force apology headscarf mock training

    Palestine's ambassador to Australia demanded an apology after using the Palestinian 'symbol of struggle' as a terrorist's headscarf in mock attack on Sydney's trains

    Palestine's ambassador to Australia demanded an apology from NSW Police after a fake terrorist apparently wore a symbolic Palestinian headscarf in a training exercise.

    Cops simulated a major attack involving two masked 'gunmen' dressed in headscarfs at Sydney's Central Station on Tuesday night - sparking a furious diplomatic row.

    Ambassador Izzat Saslah Abdulhadi slammed police because one of the headscarfs resembled the black and white symbol of Palestine's resistance, the keffiyeh.

    Mr Abdulhadi claimed it was an 'egregious... display of prejudice' by police.

    'The keffiyeh is a symbol of the struggle of the Palestinian people for their right to self-determination and freedom,' he fumed.

    But a police spokesman insisted: 'In no way were we trying to stereotype members of the community, and any offence caused is unintended'.

    Police bought the clothes from an Army disposal store as 'jungle and desert coloured camouflage' years ago.

    The spokesman said there was 'significant operational need' for officers to conceal their identities during the operation.

    The police response followed an angry written statement from Ambassador Abdulhadi on Thursday morning and a prominent Palestinian-Australian branding it as 'offensive, racist and disgusting'.

    The keffiyeh headdress is a symbol of Palestinian nationalism. It is often associated with the iconic political leader Yassar Arafat.

    Mr Abdulhadi claimed the use of the clothing was 'all the more egregious in a country where 73% of the public support the self-determination of the Palestinian people in their own state'.

    'Displays of prejudice such as this serve to reinforce harmful stereotypes about the Palestinian people and Arabs more broadly.

    'Terrorism does not have an ethnocultural identity. We are seeking a public apology from the NSW Police Force for this display of prejudice.

    The simulation held at Sydney's Central Station was aimed at educating authorities on how to respond to a terror attack or armed offender in public spaces.

    More than 160 police, firefighters, paramedics and transport officers participated in the scenario.

    Outspoken psychologist Hanan Dover also slammed the headscarf inclusion on Facebook.

    'We wear it culturally but it's also evolved into a symbolic form of resistance,' she wrote, alongside a picture at a pro-Palestine rally.

    'So for law enforcement to have used our cultural heritage symbol for a terrorism drill is offensive, racist, and disgusting.'

    Islamic Friendship Association spokesman Keysar Trad said he was sure police did not intend to offend Palestinians but urged them to avoid stereotypes.

    'I hope the drill will help commuters to feel safer and remind us all to be vigilant,' Mr Trad said.
    ''It's such an iconic Palestinian headdress, but I'm sure it wasn't intended.''

    A police spokesman said the exercises was conducted to enhance its officers' skills and help the community and commuters feel safe.


  2. #282
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    Jan 2007


    Israeli-funded app “destroys” Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque

    A smartphone app promoted by a Zionist organization allows visitors to Jerusalem to virtually destroy the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa mosque and replace them with a Jewish temple.

    The app is offered as part of an Israeli government-funded exhibit that advances the agenda of destroying the Muslim holy sites at the al-Aqsa compound.

    The site in Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem is revered by Muslims all over the world and known to Jews as Temple Mount.
    Last month, Rabbi Steven Burg tweeted an image of how the app visually transforms the site, erasing the existing buildings altogether. “One day soon …” he added, indicating he wants the image to become reality.

    Burg is the director of Aish HaTorah, the Zionist religious group sponsoring the “Western Wall Experience” exhibit.

    He is also a former director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the Los Angeles-based Israel lobby group notorious for building a “Museum of Tolerance” on top of one of Jerusalem’s oldest Muslim cemeteries.

    As part of the Western Wall Experience exhibit, people can download an “augmented reality” smartphone app. When pointed towards the al-Aqsa mosque compound, it makes the Dome of the Rock disappear and replaces it with an image of a Jewish temple standing in its place.

    This allows visitors to “to pose for a souvenir photograph” in an imagined landscape where the Muslim holy sites have been destroyed.
    Wiping out churches and mosques

    This fits into the broader agenda promoted by many senior Israeli politicians and clerics who advocate the construction of a Jewish temple in the place where the al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock have stood for more than 1,000 years.

    The chief rabbi of this so-called Temple movement is Yisrael Ariel, a religious extremist who has called for the wholesale destruction of churches and mosques unless Muslims and Christians “raise the flag of [surrender] and say, ‘From now on, there is no more Christianity and no more Islam,’ and the mosques and Christian spires come down.”

    But it also includes government ministers and lawmakers from Israel’s ruling Likud and other parties.

    Prominent among these is Likud lawmaker Yehuda Glick, who has forged a political alliance with neo-Nazi parties that have gained seats in recent elections in Germany and Austria.
    Funded by Israel

    Israeli government-funded extremist groups have already made detailed blueprints – complete with 3D computer animations – of what the new temple will look like once the Muslim holy sites have been destroyed.

    Similarly, the ultimate aim of the designers of the Western Wall Experience is barely concealed: its website calls for “Laying the foundation” – presumably for the temple.

    And Aish HaTorah also makes it clear that its indoctrination is not its initiative alone.

    “The ministry of tourism and the State of Israel are significant funding partners for the construction of the Western Wall Experience,” the group states. “They will be making the Western Wall Experience a mandatory must-see for all visiting dignitaries to Israel, and will play an active role in raising awareness of the Experience.”

    The al-Aqsa mosque compound is one of the most sensitive political and religious sites in Palestine. Israel has advanced false claims about the site at the UN cultural body UNESCO in an effort to secure international recognition for its occupation of Jerusalem.

    Over the summer, Palestinians staged weeks of nonviolent civil disobedience against an Israeli effort to impose tighter controls on entry to the compound.

    Despite Israel’s violent reaction to the peaceful protests, Palestinians prevailed, forcing the military occupier into a humiliating retreat.



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