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Amnesty International: Palestinian lawmakers in Israel face systemic discriminationYumna Patel - Mondoweiss "  Amnesty International is calling out the discriminatory regulations taken out on Palestinian members of Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, for undermining “their ability to represent and defend the rights of the Israeli Arabic minority population in Israel.”In a new report published on Wednesday, the human rights organization details how Palestinian MKs, unlike their Jewish counterparts, face systemic discrimination in the form of Knesset regulations, legislative changes, and bill proposals aimed at silencing them." ca 7/9/2019
Netanyahu calls off planned trip to India, less than a week before takeoffRAPHAEL AHREN - The Times of Israel - The cancellation of the visit on such short notice spurred rumors that Netanyahu is planning for another high-profile event to take place at that time, possibly a visit to Israel by either Putin or Trump. It was also speculated that the prime minister himself could travel to Moscow or Washington for a pre-election trip. On Monday, Hebrew media reported that Jerusalem has been discussing with the White House a grand presidential gesture on the US’s commitment to Israeli security in the coming days, including a possible statement on the two allies’ intent to enter into a defense pact.-rh The two leaders are hoping to use the move to boost the Israeli premier’s electoral prospects ahead of the September 17 vote, Haaretz reported. The most likely action, the newspaper said, was a vow by Trump — with few practical implications — that the US will defend the Jewish state from any potential existential threat. Last month, during a two-day trip to Ukraine, Netanyahu confirmed his India trip, but said that he currently had no other travel plans before the elections. He stressed, however, that this could change. India is not the first country Netanyahu snubbed during the current election cycle. Several weeks ago, he canceled a planned trip to Japan on short notice. According to Haaretz, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had agreed to host the Israeli leader on July 29, but 10 days before his arrival in Tokyo he suddenly scrapped the visit. “Just like that, as though nothing had happened. Tokyo was in shock. Shock, accompanied by anger and humiliation,” the paper’s veteran political analyst Yossi Verter wrote about Japan’s reaction. An Israeli source who participated in the planning of Netanyahu’s trip later told the paper that it had not been canceled but merely postponed. 3/9/2019
A turbulent August: incoherent American statements, violence on the ground, settlement expansion continues Geneva Initiative - Two States Index - August, in short: US peace plan delayed plan until after Israeli elections comes after critical reaction in the US to Israel’s barring of lawmakers. Violent incidents on the rise in the West Bank along with infiltration attempts and rocket attacks from Gaza. New agreement with Israel on fuel tax provides PA with some relief from economic woes amid new worries over UNRWA. Israeli government advances thousands of West Bank settlement units and legalizes outposts. Clashes at Temple Mount followed by increased tensions between Israel and Jordan.{ak] 3/9/2019
Netanyahu heard intervening in TV market while already under investigationTOI STAFF - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was still intimately involved in directing matters at the Communications Ministry in late 2017, despite having relinquished the communications portfolio earlier that year amid an ongoing criminal investigation into his alleged collusion with major media outlets, Channel 13 reported on Monday. A leaked recording from late 2017 that was broadcast by the network showed Netanyahu screaming at then-communications minister Ayoub Kara, insulting him and demanding that he shutter the Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Council, the public body that oversees cable and satellite stations in Israel.-rh3/9/2019
US delay reflects fear in Netanyahu losingDaoud Kuttab - Al-Monitor -Most of the reactions to the Aug. 28 decision of the Donald Trump administration to delay announcing the US vision for the Middle East have focused on the possibility or not of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu being reelected. Israeli elections are scheduled for Sept. 17. No clear winner is projected by Israeli polls. But a Palestinian-American who recently met with Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, thinks the Americans have been hoping that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas would surrender and end the boycott of the Americans. Abbas ended all talks with Washington once the Trump administration announced Dec. 6, 2017, its decision to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.-rh 3/9/2019
Netanyahu under fire after urging boycott of Israeli TV channelRaz Shechnik - YNetnews - Netanyahu took aim at Channel 12 for airing "Our Boys" in a Facebook post Friday evening, calling it a "propaganda channel" and "anti-Semitic," and calling on Israelis to boycott the network. "The Keshet (Channel 12) propaganda channel has created an anti-Semitic series called `Our Boys,` which is distributed world-wide and smears the good name of the State of Israel," Netanyahu wrote in his post."I am not surprised by Channel 12 smearing Israel`s good name with lies, since I`m used to them smearing my name daily. The show "Our Boys" devotes only a few minutes of cold archive footage to the murder of the three boys.-rh3/9/2019
Israel’s fake Hezbollah victimsItai Blumenthal, Daniel Salami and Ahiya Raved - YNETnews - Not long after anti-tank missiles were fired by Hezbollah fighters and the IDF shelled the Maroun al-Ras area in southern Lebanon in return, it emerged that the evacuation of "wounded" IDF soldiers to Rambam hospital in Haifa was an exercise in psychological warfare against Hezbollah. The soldiers were painted blood red and bandaged, then were dramatically stretchered off an IDF helicopter in a display more suited to war or military operations. After normalization returned to the area, the soldiers were released from Rambam.-rh 3/9/2019
Palestinian women protest in Ramallah after suspected `honor` killingAssociated Press -YNETnews - RAMALLAH, West Bank - Hundreds of Palestinian women held a demonstration in the West Bank on Monday to demand an investigation into the death of a 21-year-old woman who many suspect was the victim of a so-called honor killing. Israa Ghrayeb, a makeup artist from a village near Bethlehem, died last month after being hospitalized with severe injuries. Friends and women`s rights activists suspect her male relatives assaulted her over a video shared online that purportedly showed her out with a man who had proposed to her.-rh3/9/2019
US ‘concerned’ by northern tensions, backs Jerusalem’s right to self-defenseAFP and TOI STAFF - The Times of Israel - The United States voiced concern Sunday after Israel and Hezbollah exchanged fire along the Lebanese border, slamming the “destabilizing role” of Iranian proxies in the Middle East. “We are aware of these reports and are concerned about the escalating tensions along the border,” said a State Department official. “The United States fully supports Israel’s right to self defense,” the official said, warning that “Hezbollah should refrain from hostile actions which threaten Lebanon’s security, stability and sovereignty.”-rh 3/9/2019
In Hebron, Tlaib and Omar would have seen Israel`s apartheid cityAvner Gvaryahu - +972 - Discrimination and segregation are unpalatable wherever they exist, but in Hebron’s city center, they have been the official policy for the 215,000 Palestinian residents – especially since the Tomb of the Patriarchs massacre in 1994, in which a Jewish nationalist fanatic shot dead 29 Palestinians while praying at the holy site. The Likud party and its coalition partners seek to create a permanent reality based on unequal legal systems for Jewish Israelis and Palestinians. This is undeniably what is known historically as apartheid.-rh3/9/2019
The Crazed, Rogue Leader is in Washington Not TehranROBERT FISK - Counterpunch - Had Ahmadinejad’s further political ambitions not been firmly crushed by his country’s “supreme leader”, Ayatollah Khamenei, we might just have witnessed a meeting between two of the world’s leading political nutcases. Ahmadinejad, it may be recalled, was the Iranian who claimed that a holy cloud was suspended over his head for 20 minutes when he addressed the United Nations in New York. Now that is a phenomenon which Trump may also have experienced – although at least he had the good sense not to tell us of it. Ahmadinejad, you may also remember, was the president whose claim to have won the 2009 presidential elections brought millions of protestors onto the streets of Iranian cities until they were brutalised and imprisoned into submission. His cheeky smile, chipmunk eyes and Spanish armada beard could not persuade Iranians that the “alternative facts” of his presidential victory were real.-rh3/9/2019
Hamas takes advantage of pre-election restraint to needle Israel Shlomi Eldar - Al-Monitor - Yet another stormy weekend has shaken up the Israel-Gaza border. On Aug. 17, just when it seemed southern Israel was settling into a period of calm following the cease-fire reached with Hamas in May, sirens blared throughout the border communities. The Iron Dome anti-missile system intercepted two of three rockets fired from Gaza into Israel. Shortly after, Israeli troops foiled an attempt by five armed militants to infiltrate Israel from the northern part of the Gaza Strip, killing three and wounding a fourth. Israel’s reaction to these attacks was very restrained. Israel’s reaction to these attacks was very restrained. The air force bombed several Hamas targets of marginal importance and was careful not to inflict Palestinian casualties. Such actions are known as “real estate attacks” designed to cause symbolic damage to buildings and nothing more. When the Israel Defense Forces really wants to deter the Hamas leadership, it takes more extreme actions such as flattening several multi-story buildings in May.-rh 28/8/2019
Ayman Odeh can transform Israel: Who will be his partner?Yaniv Sagee - Times of Israel - n the past two years, studies and surveys have repeatedly shown that more than 60 percent of Arab citizens of Israel want the party they vote for to be in a governing coalition. They want to be partners in decision-making about their own future. In the last elections however, they also decided, for the most part, not to vote. Why vote for leaders who you know will opt to stay on the sidelines regardless of electoral success? They stayed home and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rubbed his hands with glee. The plan was working: Netanyahu would make Israeli democracy unattractive, and Arabs would not want to participate in it. The result is that the right wing continue to run the country, helped directly and indirectly by Arab leaders’ policy of shunning membership in the government. The data are clear, when voting levels in the Arab community reach those of Jewish society in general elections, the government of the right will fall.-rh27/8/2019
Choosing annexation over development - review of Avda Center reportRachel Shenhav-Goldberg - +972 - The report demonstrates how government support has turned West Bank settlers into a hugely powerful lobby in Israeli society whose political power goes far beyond their electoral clout. Development towns, on the other hand, have never succeeded in attaining such immense political power. The report concludes: “The settler right constitutes a key factor in the determination of the entire national agenda: the constant pressure to jettison the Oslo Accords, to oppose negotiations with the Palestinians… to define who and what is patriotic and who and what is not.” Israeli governments have continually justified the settlement enterprise, arguing that it contributes to the country’s security. The reality, according to Adva, is that settlements drain the public purse and are a burden on Israel’s defense establishment. In short, a costly fiasco. [bz] 27/8/2019
Full text of Adva Report: Annexation Trumps Start-up NationShlomo Swirski, Yaron Hoffman-Dishon, Etty Konor-Attias - Avda Center:
Two Settlement Projects = Two Different National Agendas (see +972 review) [bz]
The West Bank must not become a duplication of GazaShimrit Meir - Ynet - Hamas has taken no responsibility for Friday’s terror attack that killed a 17-year-old Israeli girl, but did celebrate it in every way possible. Rina Shnerb was depicted as a soldier or a settler, her young age was omitted from media reports and her photograph prompted objectifying comments on social media. For a moment, it seemed that the only joy the Hamas terror group was able to inspire in the depressed youth of the Gaza Strip was through the killing a Jewish girl.-rh27/8/2019
Transfer of Palestinians has always been the Israeli consensusHagai El-Ad - Ynet - The media can express as much shock as it likes over news that the cabinet has discussed Israel funding the dispatch of Gazans from the Strip, but one can draw a straight line from the creation of the state in 1948, through Prime Minister Levi Eshkol and Defense Minister Moshe Dayan post-1967 and all the way to Netanyahu, Smotrich and Gantz today.-rh27/8/2019
Changing IsraelDan Lieberman - Countercurrents - Defeating Israel does not sit well with the American public. Although defeat does not seem possible, the word intimates the destruction of all Israelis. Changing Israel into a nation that preserves some of the characteristics that guided many to embrace an earlier expressed vision — creation of a nation that is a light upon all nations — albeit a difficult proposition, is possible, and a necessary condition for Isarel to survive.-rh27/8/2019
Israel Has Attacked Lebanon And Syria – So What?Andre Vltchek - Countercurrents - Now, the repulsive Israeli wall which is scarring one of the most beautiful landscapes in the Middle East, has almost been completed, all along the border. One year ago, the Lebanese government protested, calling it almost an act of war. The Israelis did not care. As always, they did what they wanted. They came right towards the line, or more precisely, at least on several occasions, they crossed the line; and constructed their concrete monstrosity right in front of the eyes of the Lebanese soldiers and the UN personnel. “So, now, what are you going to do?” they were practically saying, without pronouncing it. Nobody has done anything in retaliation. Zero!-rh27/8/2019
Deadly Friday attack shows W. Bank heating up, as Hamas senses Israeli weaknessAVI ISSACHAROFF - The Times of Israel - The ferment among West Bank Palestinians, the growing calls for violence and the escalation in terrorism are being stirred from Gaza by its ruling terror group, Hamas, in its ongoing face-off with Netanyahu. What Netanyahu’s bitter critic and former defense minister Avigdor Liberman described Friday as the prime minister’s “surrender” to the terrorists — his agreement to allow Qatar to distribute funds in Gaza to needy families (and in the past to Hamas employees), the easing of certain restrictions at border crossings, the improved electricity supply — amid intermittent rocket fire from Gaza into Israel, is seen on the Palestinian side as proof of weakness. Weakness to be exploited.-rh27/8/2019
Qalandiya - a woman-soldier is chasing away the Palestinians still waiting, and locks the gateTamar Fleishman - Machsomwatch - It’s a holiday with no holiday celebrations, and a new checkpoint with nothing new about it. True, most businesses and shops in the Qalandiya refugee camp are shut in honor of this Holiday of Sacrifice, but the atmosphere that reigns is of ‘normal’ workdays, not holidays. The conversation piece of the day was the confiscation of Shadi’s vehicle on alleged grounds of taking passengers’ fare. Shadi is a cab driver without a cab license. How do they know he doesn’t charge fare? No one, after all, except the few informants who benefit from being informants volunteers to tell them what is being done. So they stop the vehicle and ask the passengers, who keep silent at first, but after being threatened by being blacklisted and/or having their permit revoked, acquiesce and confess.-rh 27/8/2019
Between Trump and US Jewry, Netanyahu picks Trump Akiva Eldar - Al-Monitor - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his allies have been resoundingly silent since President Donald Trump tarred millions of American Jews with the anti-Semitic trope of disloyalty to their homeland Aug. 20. While Jewish and non-Jewish members of Congress lashed out at the president and Jewish organizations of all stripes demanded that he retract his remarks, Twitter master Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu kept mum. Similarly, Yamina (Rightward) coalition senior officials Ayelet Shaked and Bezalel Smotrich, who rave against any foreign leader who dares to criticize Jews and questions their right to the entire Land of Israel, have swallowed their tongues. And on the political center- left, the last time Blue and White Chair Benny Gantz mentioned Trump was to extol him for recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights on March 21. Neither former Prime Minister Ehud Barak nor Nitzan Horwitz, leaders of the left-wing Democratic Camp, have stood up to defend their brothers across the sea, either.-rh 27/8/2019
The day Netanyahu helped anti-Israel Democrats gain resonance and credibilityERIC CORTELLESSA - The Times of Israel - This much can be said of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision on Thursday to bar two American congresswomen from entering Israel: He has unified the Democratic Party in its opposition to him.-rh21/8/2019
We will have her back’: Jewish constituents rally behind Rashida Tlaib amid Trump attacksCommon Dreams - Alter Net - “I can’t wait to show my grandmother how I was supported by all of you—it would bring her so much joy,” said Tlaib, who attended a rally organized by Jewish activists Friday night. Dozens of Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s Jewish constituents rallied in Detroit Friday evening during Shabbat to show solidarity with their congresswoman as she faces attacks from President Donald Trumpover her refusal to visit Israel under the Netanyahu government’s restrictive conditions. -rh20/8/2019
`May God ruin him`: Tlaib`s grandmother not impressed by Trump`s attentionsMEE and agencies - Sitting under an olive tree in the Israeli- occupied West Bank, Muftya Tlaib scoffs at the attention she has recently received from the president of the United States."May God ruin him," she says. Tlaib is the grandmother of US Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, at the centre of an affair that has drawn Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu together against US Democrats, Reuters reported. On Thursday, bowing to pressure from Trump, Israel barred a visit by Rashida Tlaib and fellow Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar that it had initially said it would allow. Tlaib is the grandmother of US Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, at the centre of an affair that has drawn Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu together against US Democrats, Reuters reported. OnThe next day, Israel said it would let Tlaib visit her family in the West Bank on humanitarian grounds, but Tlaib rejected the offer, saying that Israel had imposed restrictions meant to humiliate her.-rh 20/8/2019
The case of Eli: How Palestinian land becomes "state land" and then becomes settler land Dror Etkes - Kerem Navot - On March 30, 2017, Yossi Segal, an Israeli official responsible for `abandoned government property` in the West Bank, signed a declaration officially making into "state lands" 977 dunams belonging to the four Palestinian villages of: Sinjil, Qaryut, As Sawiya, and Al Lubban ash Sharqiya. That makes it possible for the government to pass the land on to Israeli settlers. Specifically, the intention is to retroactively legalize the illegal outpost of Palgei Mayim (illegal even under Israeli law) and to prepare a legal basis for the future expansion of the settlement of Eli and its surrounding outposts.[ak]20/8/2019
Hamas wants to create an illusion it`s up for a war with IsraelElior Levy - Ynetnews - The renewed rocket attacks on Israel`s south is Hamas` attempts to neutralize the internal criticism in Gaza, claiming the terror group has been getting too chummy with its mortal enemy, while simultaneously pushing Israeli government into a corner.- rh20/8/2019
Army Injures 33 Palestinians, Including A Medic, Near JerusalemIMEMCnews - Israeli soldiers injured, Friday, 33 Palestinians, including a medic, during protests, which took place after the army invaded al-‘Ezariyya and Abu Dis towns, east of occupied East Jerusalem. The Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) said its medics provided treatment to 33 Palestinians in both towns, among them twelve who were shot with rubber-coated steel bullets, 18 who suffered the effects of teargas inhalation and three who suffered burns from gas bombs and concussion grenades.-rh20/8/2019
Birthright does not apply to Palestinians in JerusalemDaoud Kuttab - Arab Media Internet Network - Life has been difficult as a stateless person in Jerusalem for Mustafa Kharouf. He had the unfortunate case of being born to Jerusalem parents while they were in Algiers. His parents brought him back to Jerusalem but the Israelis for obvious racist reasons have refused to grant him residency in the only city he has lived in all his life. Ironically Jews around the world have a legal right not only to residency but also to citizenship in Israel simply because of what the government considers is their birthright because they belong to the Jewish faith.-rh20/8/2019
Jordan summons Israeli ambassador over holy site clashesYnet and Associated Press -ordan`s Foreign Ministry said Sunday that Amman delivered a "decisive letter" to the ambassador, including a call "to immediately cease all Israeli violations and all Israeli attempts to change the historical, legal status" at the site. In an earlier meeting with the ambassadors from the European Union, Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi stressed the urgency of effective international steps that must be taken against Israel`s actions saying "these violations & others seeking to change status quo in Holy Sites violate Int’l law, deepen tensions."-rh20/8/2019
Sanders says he’d leverage aid to change Israel’s racist policies but ‘the fault is not all with Israel’Michael Arria - Mondoweiss - It’s a funny thing. All that I have ever said on this issue, is that U.S. foreign policy should be even- handed. That’s all. Even-handed…we respect Israel. Israel has every right in the world to live in peace and security, but so do the Palestinian people. So do the Palestinian people. And as somebody who is proudly Jewish, to be critical of a right-wing Netanyahu government in Israel is not to be antisemitic…And by the way, the fault is not all with Israel, you got very poor and corrupt Palestinian leadership, but what the goal of the United States has got to be is to bring people in the region together, the Palestinians and the Israelis to create a kind of workable peace which works for both parties not just one…the United States government gives a whole lot of money to Israel and I think we can leverage that money to end some of the racism that we have recently seen in Israel.-rh20/8/2019
A win-win solution on the Temple Mount Yossi Beilin - Al-Monitor - Israel conceding sovereignty over the Temple Mount would essentially be a concession of something that Israel doesn`t actually possess and that it doesn`t need to possess. In the framework of a future peace accord between Israel and a Palestinian state, it would be possible to decide that sovereignty be transferred to a Palestinian or Muslim body and that the status quo that Israel unilaterally imposed after the occupation of East Jerusalem be annulled. The alternative must entail that anyone who wishes to enter the Temple Mount after it`s determined that he poses no security risk is allowed entry and anyone who wishes to pray at the site be allowed to do so, even if it means erecting another building for worship. Prayer could be limited to certain hours or days. Thus, for instance, if a Muslim holiday clashes with a Jewish holiday, several hours of entry and prayer could be allowed for Jews and several others for Muslims without hurting anyone`s feelings and avoiding heightened tensions before each holiday for fear that the unnecessary hatred erupts again. -rh 20/8/2019
Will Israel now ban supporters of the two-state solution?Jonathan Ofir - Mondoweiss - Twenty-one Israeli right-wing lawmakers sent a letter to US congress, expressing grave concern over a recently-passed anti-BDS resolution. At first this may sound counterintuitive. Their concern was not the Congressional condemnation of BDS – but rather that the resolution contained talk of a “two-state solution”. “We would like to make our position clear that the establishment of a Palestinian state would be far more dangerous to Israel than BDS,” Signatories include Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben-Dahan (United Right), Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud), Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Avi Dichter (Likud), and MK Gideon Sa’ar (Likud) – the latter is number 5 on the Likud slate. The letter was promoted by settler-council leader Yossi Dagan.-rh20/8/2019
Newly published documents provide sinister background to the September 1982 Sabra-Shatila MassacreMouin Rabbani and Sherene Seikaly - Jadaliyya - During the Lebanon War of 1982, senior Israeli officials Tamir and Kimche met secretly with Israel`s Lebanese Christian ally Bashir Gemayel. He asked them about what would happen to the Palestinian civilian population in Lebanon after the PLO`s departure. The Israelis answered "You (i.e. the Lebanese government in 1948) invited the Palestinians in, it is up to you to get rid of them". Several months later Bashir Gemayel was elected President of Lebanon under auspices of the Israeli army but was immediately assassinated. In the aftermath, Gemayel`s vengeful followers invaded the Palestinian refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila, in close cooperation with the Israeli army then occupying Beirut, and for three days carried out a massacre of its population. This and many other hitherto secret documents, presented to the Israeli Kahan Commision which investigated the massacres, are now published for the first time. All this at least casts some doubt on the Kahan Commisison`s final report, which placed on then Defence Minister Sharon and other Israeli officials only "indirect responsibility" for the massacres.[ak]13/8/2019
Gaza review – human stories in a city under siegeWendy Ide - The Guardian - A beautifully shot documentary focuses on everyday life in the Middle East’s ‘open prison’ [ry] 12/8/2019
From heat waves to `eco-apartheid`: Climate change in IsraelMatan Kaminer, Basma Fahoum, and Edo Konrad - +972 "Faced with rising temperatures, addressing climate breakdown and its effects on humanity has become a key issue for governments, politicians, and movements for social justice around the world. Israel-Palestine, located in one of the hottest regions of the globe, is expected to warm at an even faster pace...The State of Palestine is signed on to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. But due to Israel’s military rule over the West Bank and its blockade of the Gaza Strip, Palestinians have almost no control over their own natural resources, are unable to fully implement treaties or take on national projects, and cannot make concrete plans to adapt to climate breakdown." ca10/8/2019
Netanyahu’s latest `political bailout plan`Ben Caspit - Vehement objection by right-wing stalwart Naftali Bennett prevented Jewish Power`s Itamar Ben-Gvir and Baruch Marzel, extremist followers of Rabbi Meir Kahane, from joining the United Right alliance at the last minute before the Aug. 1 deadline for submitting candidate lists. That means Jewish Power will run separately, as will the right-wing libertarian Zehut, led by Moshe Feiglin. In other words, at least three parties are running to Netanyahu’s right, and two of the three are highly unlikely to surpass the electoral threshold by garnering the requisite 3.25% of ballots cast to enter the Knesset. This failure of Netanyahu`s survival plan, based on obtaining the maximal number of votes for the right-wing camp, spells trouble.-rh 6/8/2019
Police confronted with unbearable quiet - an eyewitness report from doomsday in IssawiyaAviv Tatarsky - Don`t Say We Didn`t Know - So after half an hour, the special police forces turn to a group of adolescents sitting next to one of the houses and roughly order them to get out of the street. During the ensuing argument a stone is thrown from some direction. The police have no idea from where. So they break into the nearest home. They demand without search warrant to climb up to the roof. One of the family members tells the police they can do so but he wants to accompany them. The police do not agree. He repeats his words. One of the policemen leaps at him and chokes him. Others join in and beat him up. (...) The fellow is taken out into the street, shackled and badly bruised. The inhabitants yell at the police. The policemen are stressed and want to throw a stun grenade but end up blowing it up on the guy`s back. He collapses, screaming. (...) The police hurl stun and teargas grenades in all directions. All hell breaks loose. [bz]6/8/2019
No–construction orderBimkom - In dozens of legal petitions, security considerations were examined and in many cases it was shown that the main considerations in determining the route [of the Separation Wall] were not actually based on security but rather aimed at perpetuating the settlement enterprise and creating conditions that would allow them to grow. Thus, most of the barrier route is as far as possible from the built-up areas of the settlements, and as close as possible to Palestinian localities, so as to allow expansion of the settlements while preventing the development of Palestinian villages.
Similar to the barrier route, the no-construction order is determined such that its impact on settlement construction is minimal, but its impact on Palestinian villages is enormous. [bz]
PLO : ‘UN Failure to Address Israeli Crimes Against Palestinian Kids Inexcusable’IMEMCnews - A senior member of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) has censured the United Nations for its failure to include Israel in its annual blacklist of armed forces that commit atrocities against youths, arguing that the world body’s falling short of recognizing Israeli crimes against Palestinian children is inexcusable.“This failure is inexcusable, given Israel’s dismal human rights record and its documented abuses against Palestinian children, including the arbitrary detention of hundreds of children every year, its use of torture against them and other grave violations, including the deliberate killing and maiming of roughly 2,800 Palestinian children in 2018 alone,” Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the PLO’s executive committee, said in a statement on Thursday.-rh6/8/2019
Social media users mock Likud`s petition proclaiming loyalty to NetanyahuYnet - Israeli social media users post hundreds of memes and posts comparing the prime minister to North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un after 40 members of his party signed `unity petition` affirming Netanyahu `is the only Likud candidate for prime minister`-rh6/8/2019
Adelson said to have vowed to shun PM over reports he tried to curb his paperTOI STAFF - Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson reportedly vowed to never meet again with his longtime confidant Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, after learning of reports regarding the premier’s intention to hobble his Israel Hayom daily in exchange for positive coverage from a competing newspaper. In leaked transcripts from the August 2018 police interview of Adelson, reported Sunday by Channel 13, the right-wing US billionaire told investigators, “I will never meet [Netanyahu] again because of what I read.”-rh6/8/2019
Why Americans Should Support BDSOmar Barghouti - The Nation - Led by communities of color, progressive Jewish groups, mainline churches, trade unions, academic associations, LGBTQI groups, indigenous justice movements, and university students, many Americans are abandoning the ethically untenable “progressive except on Palestine” stance. Instead, they are adopting the morally consistent principle of being progressive including on Palestine. Being progressive today entails being morally consistent, standing on the right side of history by supporting us as we strive for our long-denied freedom, justice, and equality.-rh 6/8/2019
How `cultural racism` helps Israelis rationalize inequality, discriminationRachel Shenhav-Goldberg - +972 - Scholars claim that in order to bring social change, minorities should stand up and fight for their rights. But social change is more likely to occur if the majority believes the minority’s experience of racism and discrimination. This means veteran Israelis should open their eyes and ears in order to understand how power relations in their society are maintained on the basis of race. We all nurture varying degrees of racist attitudes against different groups. The difference lies in our awareness of these attitudes and in how we express or justify them. Once we have become aware, we must ask ourselves: are we willing to cede some privileges and the comfortable life that comes with them in order to establish a moral and equitable society?-rh6/8/2019
‘Huge win for Palestinian activism’: Canadian court rules settlement wines can’t be labeled “Product of Israel"Yumna Patel - Mondoweiss - A federal judge in Canada ruled earlier this week in favor of pro-Palestine activists that wines produced in Israeli settlements in the West Bank should not be able to carry “Product of Israel” labels. The landmark ruling in Kattenburg vs. Attorney General of Canada was decided by Justice Anne Mactavish, who said in her decision that labeling settlement wines, made in the occupied West Bank, as products of Israel was “false, misleading and deceptive.”-rh6/8/2019
What`s behind Israel`s approval of construction permits for Palestinians?Shlomi Eldar - Al-Monitor - On July 30, Israel’s security Cabinet approved a plan by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to build 715 housing units in Palestinian villages in Area C of the West Bank, which is under Israeli control. Cabinet members were asked to approve the plan by phone — a procedural move generally reserved for urgent or unusual decisions. What made the ministers rush to vote on construction for Palestinians? The answer was apparently supplied the following day when President Donald Trump’s envoy Jared Kushner dropped in for a few hours to discuss his father-in-law’s peace plan for the Middle East with Netanyahu. The timing of the brief visit, at the height of Israel’s election campaign, was especially strange given its focus on a peace plan that no one wants. According to a July 31 report in the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, Trump plans to hold a peace summit at Camp David with Arab leaders even before Israel’s Sept. 17 elections, in a bid to help Netanyahu’s re-election. Either way, resolving the mystery is a no-brainer. Uber-hawk Transportation Minister Bezalel Smotrich (of the United Right) voted in favor of the Palestinian permits but his unexpected support should come as no surprise. As he explained in detail, Israel plans to turn US pressure into a construction boom for the settlers. "Now, finally, thank God, comes the twist in the Israeli government`s approach to the spread of the terrorist cancer within us.… Israel is forming a strategic plan to stop the creation of a Palestinian state inside the country," he wrote on Facebook. “For the first time, the State of Israel will implement its sovereignty and responsibility for the entire area.… No more approval of building plans proposed by the Palestinian Authority that serve its interest. For the first time, Israel will create a toolbox for enforcement and forceful neutralization of the Palestinian takeover plan."-rh 6/8/2019
Israel`s electoral threshold: A matchmaker for marriages of convenience Akiva Eldar - Al-Monitor - The motivation of seemingly incompatible brides and grooms from the political right and left to walk down the aisle ahead of the Sept. 17 elections stems from one particular feature of Israel`s election system — the electoral threshold. The threshold of having to win four seats to enter the Knesset keeps some small parties out of the parliament due to their winning an insufficient percentage of votes. This vector sometimes erases ideological differences on the right and the left, among Jewish parties and Arab parties, and turns the Knesset into just another workplace. Ideologies are sidelined for the sake of mergers as alliances that guarantee, at least in theory, the small parties an above-the-threshold electoral result. Hardest hit by this phenomenon are the prospects for negotiations with the Palestinians on a permanent arrangement as part of a regional peace deal. Electoral threshold trauma has led the flag-bearers of a diplomatic solution — as opposed to those advocating management of the conflict — to sideline the issue to the point of almost burying it.-rh 6/8/2019
Security forces make deadly use of crowd control weapons in GazaB`tselem - At least seven of the Palestinians killed died as a result of a teargas canister hitting their head or face directly. Four of them were minors. According to the OCHA Protection of Civilians Database, as of 28 June 2019, more than 1,600 Gaza protestors arrived in hospital with injuries resulting from direct teargas canister hits, more than a third of them in the first three months of 2019. Teargas canisters are a crowd control weapon with a firing range spanning 100 meters to several hundred meters, in the case of extended range canisters. They are designed to be non-lethal and the open-fire regulations, at least officially, as well as use instructions, forbid firing them directly at people due to the grave danger involved. [ak]6/8/2019
Will Netanyahu`s Putin connection backfire in his hunt for votes? Ksenia Svetlova - Al-Monitor - In the meantime, it appears that Netanyahu`s efforts so far have not borne the desired fruit. Most polls show Yisrael Beitenu growing in strength. The battle for the Russian vote is only beginning, Likud campaign staffers and advisers like to note, which means that more surprises are to come, with or without Putin.-rh 6/8/2019
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