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The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil,    but because of the people who don't do anything about it    
Documents & Data

Sabra and Shatila: New RevelationsSeth Anziska - The New York Review of Books - We are publishing here for the first time these English-language excerpts from the secret Kahan Commission Appendix, in their original form and as an open source, so that researchers in Lebanon, Israel, Palestine, and farther afield can consult these primary sources directly. This appendix is another historical source that can elicit shock: a chilling set of memoranda that paints a more complete picture of Israeli and Phalange eagerness to foment violence against the Palestinians as part of a wider war to remake the Middle East. [bz]18/9/2018
Israeli court drops mask on support of occupation Akiva Eldar - Al-Monitor - “A strategically important decision” was how Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked categorized the Aug. 28 decision by Jerusalem District Court Judge Arnon Darel. The court barred the Israel Defense Forces from evacuating several homes at the West Bank settlement of Mitzpe Kramim, even though these houses were built on private Palestinian lands, thus legalizing the outpost. Darel ruled that under Israeli law, even legally questionable transactions could be valid if conducted in "good faith," accepting the argument by the settlers and the state that when the land was allocated to build Mitzpe Kramim in the late 1990s, neither of them was aware that it was private. “Working together intensively we have wrought a change in the state’s policy,” Shaked said, patting herself on the back and praising Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit for overturning his predecessor’s stand on the issue.-rh 5/9/2018
Israel shutters Gaza pedestrian crossing after border clashesTOI STAFF - The Times of Israel - Israel announced the temporary closure of its sole pedestrian crossing with the Gaza Strip on Wednesday after the border terminal was damaged during clashes between Israeli troops and Palestinians. Hundreds of Palestinians took part in a violent riot at the Erez Crossing on Tuesday, according to the Israel Defense Forces, during which infrastructure on the Palestinian side of the crossing was damaged by rioters. “As a result, the crossing has been closed until the repairing of the damage caused as a result of the riot is completed,” the army said in a statement.-rh 5/9/2018
US cuts to UNRWA point to the dark future being readied for the PalestiniansJonathan Cook - Countercurrents - The US State Department said on Friday it would no longer continue its $360 million annual contributions to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), depriving it of a third of its budget. US officials described the organisation as “irredeemably flawed”. The move follows an announcement last week that Washington had slashed $200 million from other aid programmes for the Palestinians. About five million Palestinians – many languishing for decades in refugee camps across the Middle East – rely on the agency for essential food, healthcare and education.-rh5/9/2018
August 2018 newsletterBazel Yazoury - Defence for Children International - As children around the world head back to school, our thoughts are with Palestinian children who spent their summers locked up in Israeli detention centers and prisons. Many remain behind bars now, unable to join their classmates on the first day of school.-rh5/9/2018
Israel Doesn’t Want to Be My StateSayed Kashua - The New York Times - When Israel was founded on the ruins of the Palestinian people in 1948, it was defined as a Jewish state. The Israeli flag was always a Jewish one, bearing a Star of David; the national anthem invokes the “Jewish soul,” excluding anyone who is not Jewish from these national symbols. The Palestinians who became Israeli citizens when the state was founded — like my family — have always been viewed as an undesirable demographic burden and subjected to discrimination. So what does the issuance of the Nationality Law change? In essence, perhaps not that much. It has turned de facto racism into de jure racism.-rh5/9/2018
‘We have the right to be equal citizens!’ Palestinian mayor slams Israeli Housing MinisterJonathan Ofir - Mondoweiss - Amer el Huzail, the Deputy Mayor of Rahat, wouldn’t take this chauvinist, colonialist offense lying down. He answered Galant’s words in Hebrew, putting the “illegal construction” claim into its actual colonialist context, and rebuffing the shameful demand to be silent about Israeli Apartheid: First of all, thank you for your contribution of 13 million shekels from the Housing Ministry, really, thank you. But this is not the time and place to sting politically. Therefore I must retort in the same political way. First of all there is no “illegal construction in the Negev”. There are unrecognized villages and they must be recognized. Recognize the villages! You can’t follow this model of concentrating a maximal number of Bedouin Arabs on a minimal area. The Negev is large enough to include the unrecognized villages. Recognize the unrecognized villages. Stop demolishing the houses of Bedouins in the Negev. Let them live just like the Jewish neighbors!-rh5/9/2018
Israel welcomes end of US funding for UN Palestinian refugee agencyTOI STAFF and AGENCIES - The Times of Israel - Israel welcomed Saturday a US decision to end funding for the UN Palestinian refugee agency (UNRWA), accusing the organization which supports some 5 million Palestinians of perpetuating the Middle East conflict. “Israel supports the US move,” an official in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said on condition of anonymity.-rh5/9/2018
New IDF strategy to focus on missilesBen Caspit - Al-Monitor - The assessment is that a missile corps of the type that Liberman dreams about would cost somewhere between six and eight billion shekels ($160-200 million) over a decade. Israel’s defense industries develop leading technologies in the precision, self-correction, maneuvering and firepower of missiles and rockets. They are already selling missiles to other countries around the world. Now Israel will make use of this impressive technology.-rh 5/9/2018
What Lies Beneath: The US-Israeli Plot to ‘Save’ GazaRamzy Baroud - Countercurrents - Regardless of whether a permanent truce is achieved between Israel and the Hamas-led Gaza factions, the sad truth is that, whatever grand illusion is harbored by Washington and Tel Aviv at the moment, is almost entirely based on exploiting Palestinian divisions, for which the Palestinian leadership is to be wholly blamed.-rh5/9/2018
Palestine in Pictures: August 2018EI - "Fifteen Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces during the month of August. A further two Palestinians died of wounds sustained during Great March of Return protests in Gaza months earlier" [ry]4/9/2018
Why dismantling the PA could advance two-state solution Yossi Beilin - Al-Monitor - On the other hand, drying up the PA’s funding could lead Abbas to “hand over the keys” to Israel and letting it run the PA. The Americans have conceivably failed to consider such an option, although it may be the only one left for the Palestinian leadership. The PA cannot afford deep cuts in US aid that would leave it only with money to train its security forces and coordinate between them and Israel, bolstering its image as Israel’s sub-contractor in the occupied territories. If this ends up being the outcome of the American move, the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will emerge bruised.-rh 29/8/2018
When illness is a `death sentence`: The victimization of Gaza womenMA`AN NEWS AGENCY - "The state is sentencing the petitioners to death or a lifetime of suffering," said Muna Haddad, an advocate with Gisha. By "petitioners", she was referring to seven Gaza women who were denied access to urgent medical treatment by Israel, which required them to leave the besieged Gaza Strip. The suffering of Gaza women rarely makes headlines. When Palestinian women are not invisible in Western media coverage, they are seen as hapless victims of circumstances beyond their control.-rh29/8/2018
Israel draft law to imprison any holders of Palestinian flagMIDDLE EAST MONITOR - The representative of the Likud Party, Anat Barko, has suggested a bill to punish anyone who lifts the Palestinian flag inside Israel after it was flown during a demonstration against the Nation-State law in the centre of Tel Aviv. Barko stated that the bill, which will be introduced to the Knesset during the upcoming winter session starting October, will sentence those who raise the Palestinian flag or the flag of “enemies” inside Israel to one year of imprisonment.-rh29/8/2018
BDS targets may differ, but our goal is the sameNada Elia - MIDDLE EAST EYE - The distinction between settlement products and products from "Israel proper," however, is one that only functions in a context where such products are indeed available to the consumer. In Arab countries that are implementing the Arab League boycott, the criteria have always been different. I was directly aware of that when I recently attended a presentation by Swedish activist Benjamin Ladraa at Dar El Nimer in Beirut, in which he urged everyone to do everything within their power to bring attention to the plight of the Palestinians. As I watched him using a Hewlett-Packard laptop to project his PowerPoint slides, I was reminded of the difference in the criteria between the BDS movement in the US, where I reside, and the boycott movement in Lebanon and the Arab world generally.-rh29/8/2018
United States cuts more than $200 million in aid to PalestiniansTHE GREAT MIDDLE EAST - The move “takes into account the challenges the international community faces in providing assistance in Gaza, where Hamas control endangers the lives of Gaza’s citizens and degrades an already dire humanitarian and economic situation,” he said. In January, the United States had already made drastic cuts to its contribution to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees UNRWA. Relations between the US administration and the Palestinian Authority took a nosedive after Trump announced the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.-rh29/8/2018
Court rules state must allow Hamas relatives into Israel for cancer treatmentTOI STAFF - The Times of Israel - The High Court ruled Sunday that Israel must allow five women from Gaza who are purportedly close relatives of members of the Hamas terrorist group to travel to East Jerusalem for life-saving medical treatment. The majority of the women were said to be suffering from cancer. Israel has banned the relatives of Hamas members from entering Israel for medical treatment as part of an attempt to pressure the terrorist organization into returning the bodies of two Israeli soldiers it has held since the 2014 Gaza conflict, as well as two Israeli citizens who entered the Strip after that and are believed to be held by the group.-rh29/8/2018
Ahed Tamimi and the power of Palestinian womenRamzy Baroud - Aljazeera - Ahed`s story garnered a disproportionate amount of attention from international media outlets which have otherwise often ignored the courage and suffering of numerous Palestinian girls and women living under Israeli military occupation and siege for many years. Recognising this fact, Ahed`s mother, Nariman said: "Frankly it is probably Ahed`s looks that prompted this worldwide solidarity, and that`s racist, by the way, because many Palestinian children are in Ahed`s position but weren`t treated in this way."-rh29/8/2018
The Israeli peace activist who crossed enemy lines and shaped generationsAdam Keller - +972 - Going back to 1969, to an article I read by Uri under the table during a very boring class in eighth grade. I still remember it, almost word for word; it was a futuristic article that attempted to imagine what the country would look like in 1990... [bz]28/8/2018
Gaza brain drain: Woes force thousands to leaveBernard Smith - Al Jazeera - Stifled opportunities - the 11-year-old blockade has suppressed Gaza`s industry and its people and many are taking a rare chance to try their option abroad [ry]27/8/2018
Israel is making it impossible for foreign nationals to live in the West BankYotam Ben-Hillel - +972 - Over the past year and a half, Israel has pursued a policy which aims to keep foreign nationals out of the West Bank. This policy affects everyone: partners of Palestinian residents of the West Bank, parents of children who are West Bank residents, and people who have been working in the occupied territories for many years. It is being implemented by the Civil Administration in the settlement of Beit El, a body that operates under the command of the Israeli military, which is denying extensions of duration for visa holders.-rh22/8/2018
Palestinian Children, the True Victims of the ConflictCarmen Arroyo - INTER PRESS SERVICE - Ill-treatment of Palestinian child detainees by Israeli forces is widespread, systematic and institutionalised throughout the Israeli military detention system,” Brad Parker, international advocacy officer and attorney at DCIP, told IPS.-rh22/8/2018
Palestinians don’t deserve disempowered livesHussein Ibish - - In a tiny West Bank village not long ago, a teenage girl slapped a heavily armed soldier outside her home. The prevailing sense among 7 million Jews was that she was a violent renegade, a kind of apprentice terrorist. But almost 7 million Palestinians saw her act as effectively, or at least relatively, nonviolent. They viewed her as fully justified and, indeed, heroic.-rh22/8/2018
Fighting the double standard: Palestinians file case to demolish illegal settlement homesYumna Patel - Mondoweiss - Two Ramallah-area Palestinian villages — Deir Dibwan and Anata — have filed a case in the Israeli High Court, asking Israeli authorities to demolish illegal structures in the Israeli settlement of Kfar Adumim — the same settlement which has ceaselessly pushed for the state’s decision to demolish Khan al-Ahmar.-rh22/8/2018
Shocking Quotes: Was Every Israeli Prime Minister A Racist?Robert Inlakesh - Almasdarnews - Most nation states in our world today have dealt with their fair share of institutionalized racism and bigotry, and Israel is no exception. However when it comes to Israel, the volume of racism expressed by prominent political figures is both astounding and concerning.-rh15/8/2018
Israel normalizing war crimes in GazaMaureen Clare Murphy - Countercurrents - In 2010 the International Committee of the Red Cross affirmed that Israel’s blockade on Gaza – imposed after Hamas won legislative elections and began administering the internal affairs of the territory in 2007 – “constitutes a collective punishment imposed in clear violation of Israel’s obligations under international humanitarian law.” The Israeli daily Haaretz reported that the high court ordered the state to respond to the petition by Sunday. Citing a report by a Gaza manufacturers association, Haaretz added that the continued closure of the commercial crossing will result in the folding of hundreds of companies.-rh15/8/2018
How Israel Delegitimizes ItselfRon Forthofer - The Palestine Chronicle - Despite Israeli claims, Gaza is an occupied territory and, in actuality, Palestinians and their leadership have little control over their lives. For example, Israel, abetted by Egypt, controls all of Gaza’s borders and determines what and who may or may not enter the area. Israel’s control has turned Gaza into what many call the “largest open-air prison in the world” while others call it a concentration camp. Making matters worse, the two major Palestinian groups, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, have been at odds for years and their in-fighting adds to the incredible hardships Gazans face.-rh15/8/2018
Israel Is Not a Liberal DemocracyPaul R. Pillar - The National Interest - sraeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared a “defining moment in the annals of Zionism and the annals of the state of Israel” when the Knesset enacted earlier this month a basic law (having constitutional status in Israel) making the right of national self-determination “unique to the Jewish people” and not applicable to all citizens. The law further enshrined religiously based discrimination, including a clause that points to priority for Jewish-only communities by declaring “the development of Jewish settlement as a national value” and promising “to encourage and promote its establishment and consolidation.” The law has been a subject of much controversy in Israel. It passed the Knesset by the narrow margin of sixty-two to fifty-five. Opponents argue that it constitutes a step away from democracy. But this was one more item on the agenda of the ruling right-wing coalition that, given the rightward move in Israeli politics in recent years, the coalition was able to push through.-rh15/8/2018
Think Airport Interrogations In Israel Are New? Ask An Arab Seth J. Frantzman - Forward - recent detentions of several American Jewish activists have turned a spotlight on the interrogations. But the spotlight has a blind spot. It has focused on the experience of a few Americans while ignoring the treatment of other, more vulnerable, communities such as Palestinians, foreign workers, students, locals and particularly young women traveling alone. Even when those detained, as Peter Beinart recently was, acknowledge their privilege, they still make the story about themselves rather than the plethora of others, mostly non-Jews, who have had the same experience over the last decades.-rh 15/8/2018
Palestinian diplomatic campaign gaining tractionYossi Beilin - Al-Monitor - As far as the Netanyahu government goes, this is a minor inconvenience. However, anyone who sees the relationship between Israel and the Palestinians as a zero-sum game would regard this development as a blow for Israel. The Palestinians regard it as an important contribution to their national struggle. Palestine’s Ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour told The New York Times that while Israel and the United States “are still denying we are a state, we walk like a state. We quack like a state. Therefore we are a state.”-rh 15/8/2018
Israeli, Palestinian support for two states hits record lowHenriette Chacar - +972 Magazine - Support for a two-state solution is at the lowest level among both Israelis and Palestinians in almost two decades, according to a public opinion poll published on Monday. It began to steadily decline more than 10 years ago, but first dropped below 50 percent for both populations last December, following Trump’s controversial announcement recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The research team attributed the declining support for two states to perceived lack of feasibility and lack of trust. They found that 47 percent of Jewish Israelis and 56 percent of Palestinians believe the two-state solution is no longer viable due to extended settlement expansion. Both sides believe the other side is untrustworthy – a quarter of Jewish Israelis trust Palestinians, while only 11 percent of Palestinians trust Jewish Israelis. The preeminent belief is that what is good for one side is bad for the other – almost half of Jewish Israelis (47 percent) and nearly three-quarters of Palestinians (71 percent) believe the conflict is zero-sum.[ak]14/8/2018
BDS: how a controversial non-violent movement has transformed the Israeli-Palestinian debateNathan Thrall - The Guardian - Progressives, centre-left pro-Israel groups are increasingly viewed as Aipac-lite, supporting two states in name while in practice protecting Israel from any sort of pressure that might induce it to end a very comfortable occupation. [An in-depth long read-bz]14/8/2018
Life and Death in Gaza’s "Access Restricted Areas"Gisha - Contrary to the illusion held by many that Israel’s presence in the Gaza Strip ended with the implementation of the Disengagement Plan in 2005, to this day Israel continues to exercise control over nearly every aspect of life in Gaza, including through its control over movement and access. Importantly, it continues to enforce restrictions on access to areas deep inside the Strip and in Gaza’s territorial waters, commonly referred to as the “Access Restricted Areas” (ARAs). Israel employs violent enforcement measures against what it perceives as breaches of its directives in the ARAs, including the use of live fire against Palestinian civilians, fishermen, herders and farmers. Over the past decade, long before the recent wave of protests, Israel’s actions in the ARAs have resulted in the death and injury of Palestinians, extensive damage to property and loss of livelihoods. [ak]7/8/2018
Palestine in Pictures: July 2018EI - "July witnessed the most dangerous escalation in violence in the occupied Gaza Strip since Israel’s summer assault in 2014. Nineteen Palestinians were killed throughout the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip during the month and four more, including a child, died from their injuries [...] during protests in Gaza in May and June" [ry] 6/8/2018
Settlers destroy 2,000+ Palestinian-owned trees and vines, backed by Israeli authoritiesB’Tselem - "While this high incidence of the assaults is unusual, the phenomenon itself has long since become routine in the West Bank. Settler violence and vandalism takes place with full backing by the Israeli authorities. Sometimes soldiers take part in the assault; at other times, they stand idly by" [ry]6/8/2018
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