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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    
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U.S. Lawmakers Seek to Criminally Outlaw Support for Boycott Campaign Against IsraelGlenn Greenwald/Ryan Grim - The Intercept - Among the co-sponsors of the bill are several of the politicians who have become political celebrities by positioning themselves as media leaders of the anti- Trump Resistance. They have built a wide public following by posturing as opponents of authoritarianism, are sponsoring one of the most oppressive and authoritarian bills that has pended before Congress in quite some time. Some co-sponsors seemed not to have any idea what they co-sponsored — almost as though they reflexively sign whatever comes from AIPAC without having any idea what’s in it. [ak]22/7/2017
J Street, a Reliable Foe of BDS, Urges Congress to Oppose Israel Anti-Boycott ActZaid Jilani- The Intercept - The Israel Anti-Boycott Actwould levy penalties of up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine — leading many to claim, such as the ACLU did, that it is a serious threat to free speech. J Street, founded in late 2007 to promote a two-state solution, opposes the Israeli occupation and general treatment of the Palestinians, but also its activists regularly find themselves at odds with left-wing groups such as Jewish Voices for Peace and Students for Justice in Palestine who view BDS as the best way to end the occupation of the Palestinians. J Street often lobbies in favor of anti-BDS legislation. However, the Israel Anti- Boycott Act is a step too far for even these reliable opponents of BDS. J Street now sent an email to foreign policy staffers on Capitol Hill urging them to oppose the legislation as it is currently written, primarily because of its impact on free speech. [ak]22/7/2017
Palestinian town in Israel shaken by Jerusalem killings Daoud Kuttab - Al-Monitor "Umm al-Fahm, a city of 52,000 Palestinian citizens of Israel, lies in the Wadi Ara area. Twenty kilometers (12.5 miles) north of the West Bank city of Jenin, Umm al-Fahm is home to the northern branch of the radical Islamic Movement and its leader and former mayor of the city, Raed Salah. Three cousins who shot the two Israeli border guard police came from this city. Muhammad Ahmed Jabarin, 29, Muhammad Hamid Jabarin, 19, and Muhammad Ahmed Mufdal Jabarin, 19, traveled to Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque and carried out the shooting rampage. Shortly after the news of the attack emerged, the city council of Umm al-Fahm met and issued a statement calling on the town’s citizens to remain calm." ca 21/7/2017
J Street, a Reliable Foe of BDS, Urges Congress to Oppose Israel Anti-Boycott Act For NowZaid Jilani - The Intercept "...the bill has an unlikely opponent.J Street, founded in late 2007 to promote a two-state solution, opposes the Israeli occupation and general treatment of the Palestinians, but also has refused to endorse the Palestinian-led nonviolent boycott movement. Its activists regularly find themselves at odds with left-wing groups such as Jewish Voices for Peace and Students for Justice in Palestine who view BDS as the best way to end the occupation of the Palestinians. Thus J Street often lobbies in favor of anti-BDS legislation.However, the Israel Anti-Boycott Act is a step too far for even these reliable opponents of BDS." ca 21/7/2017
Welcome: A letter from Mahmoud DarwishMahmoud Darwish - The Electronic Intifada - "The English translation of his 2008 letter features as the opening piece of This Is Not a Border, a newly published collection of essays, diaries and poems marking a decade of PalFest. Darwish’s letter appears online here for the first time." - id 19/7/2017
Palestinians disappointed over Israeli Labor primariesUri Savir - Al-Monitor - A senior Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs official told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity that Netanyahu is very encouraged by what he perceived as a new Trump-Putin axis. Netanyahu believes this will play into Israel’s hands in terms of gradually curbing Iran’s regional ambitions in southern Syria and in terms of keeping the European Union out of a regional peace process. “The Quartet and its reports are probably dead.” [bz]18/7/2017
A day of demolitions of Bedouin houses in the NegevAmos Gvirtz - Don`t Say We Didn`t Know 558 - They destroyed a dwelling in Rahat; close to the Bedouin town of Segev Shalom they demolished a dwelling, a chicken coop, and confiscated a container, 4X6 meters; close to Kseife, a Bedouin was forced to destroy his own home, under threat that if they do the work, he would have to cover the demolition costs. They completed the move by destroying the floor of the house. And demolished Al Arakib yet again. [bz]18/7/2017
How defeating BDS is closer, literally, than we thinkReuven Weiss - Ynet - “Europe is a huge challenge,” explains David Siegel of the Israeli Foreign Ministry. “It is a super important continent for Israel’s future, and it cannot be ignored. Eighty-five percent of American congressmen have visited Israel at some stage but only a little over 10% of the European Parliament members have visited. That says it all." Head of the Samaria Regional Council Yossi Dagan, 36, agrees with this assessment. “Ignorance”, he says “is the main enemy on the settlement enterprise. The majority of the public has never even been here, but it doesn’t bother people to form negative opinions on the building of communities.” [bz]18/7/2017
Israel’s UN envoy slanders human rights groupsAdri Nieuwhof - EI - “If I am a member of the PFLP, then why don’t they bring me to trial?” Jabarin told Middle East Eye. Danon also accused Al Mezan of having links with Hamas without clarifying the character of the alleged contacts. Israel made similar accusations, apparently also originating with NGO Monitor, a few years ago against the London-based group Palestinian Return Centre. But the UK government said Israel did not provide it with any evidence to back up its claims. (...) Israel routinely denies international observers, including those from Amnesty International as well as the UN’s Human Rights Council, access to Gaza. [bz]15/7/2017
Canada backtracks on labeling wine from the West BankAP/Ynet - The agency had ruled that because the federal government did not recognize Israel`s control over several territories it captured in 1967, vendors should stop selling and importing wines from the Psagot Winery and Shiloh Winery labeled `Product of Israel.` Yaakov Berg, CEO for Psagot Winery in the West Bank, was angered by the move. `We have returned home to our homeland, the place where our ancestors made wine` Berg said. `Canada, of all places, a country founded and expanded as it conquered and destroyed the homeland of another people, a country with no roots or historical validity of its existence there, questions the right of Jews to live and grow vineyards in the land of our forefathers.` [bz] 14/7/2017
A disaster! An American Jewish BDS supporter slipped in! Yael Marom - +972 Magazine - Last Thursday Israel Hayom - the widely-circulated paper owned by the right-wing gambling tycoon Sheldon Adelson - carried a sensational headline: “BDS activist tricks authorities, enters Israel against protocol”. What the paper called "a disaster" referred to Ariel Gold, a prominent activist in the left-wing feminist organization, CODEPINK, getting through Ben Gurion Airport and getting to Hebron, to attend the trial of Palestinian human rights defender Issa Amro. "I was interrogated by the airport security. I told them I support Palestinian human rights and international law, and believe only in nonviolence as a way to achieve that. BDS is certainly a non-violent way". [ak]11/7/2017
Hebron is not on the Moon (re the UNESCO resolution)Odeh Bisharat - Haaretz - Israeli leaders rage against `anti- Semitic` UNESCO resolution on Hebron. I am grateful to blogger Idan Landau. He simply devoted a few minutes to reading a text a few lines long, rather than rely on the government or the mainstream Israeli media to tell him what UNESCO decided. UNESCO’s decision simply recognized the Old City of Hebron (Al-Khalil) and the Ibrahimi Mosque (Tomb of the Patriarchs) as a world heritage site holy to three faiths. Since this new world heritage site is not located on the moon, but in the State of Palestine (which has already been recognized by the world), the location noted in parentheses is - Palestine. And that’s what all the fuss is about. [ak] 11/7/2017
Egyptian, Palestinian leaders meet amid likely Gaza shakeup that could sideline Mahmoud AbbasTareq Baconi - The New Arab - It comes after the PA issued a litany of punitive measures against Gaza in recent months, including the refusal to pay for electricity to the coastal territory. [bz]11/7/2017
Hundreds protest AG`s conduct in PM investigationHassan Shaalan - Ynet - For the 32nd week in a row, hundreds of protestors mass near the home of Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, decrying his hesitant and slow conduct in the investigations of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu [ry]10/7/2017
Israel taking money from asylum seekers` pay then returning it when they leave countryWill Worley - Independent - `They want us to leave the country. They want to break our spirit.` [ry]10/7/2017
Jordan Valley farmers hit back at BDSItamar Eichner - Ynet - With the help of the Ministry of Strategic Affairs, Israeli farmers from the Jordan Valley will bypass BDS efforts to sell produce abroad directly to consumers at ten fairs in the US and Europe. The creative solution comes as a welcome relief to farmers in the area who have been suffering economically for years as a result of boycott efforts initiated by BDS and others. Products from the valley that are targeted for boycott include peppers, grapes, spices, figs and dates. The economic damage from such activities is significant, with farmers suffering damages totaling roughly NIS 100 million every year.[bz]9/7/2017
UNESCO set to vote on Palestinian claim over Cave of the PatriarchsItamar Eichner - Ynetnews "At last minute, Israel foils Palestinian attempt to distort report that found their request to recognize Hebron`s Old City as a World Heritage Site doesn`t meet the three required criteria and ignores Jewish and Christian history of the site." ca7/7/2017
Israel`s controversial citizenship law persistsAhmad Melhem - Al-Monitor - "With the extension of the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law for the 14th year in a row, Palestinians in the West Bank will continue to be blocked from reunifying with family members in Israel." - id 5/7/2017
Bedouin village braces for a new round of demolitionsYael Marom - +972 - "It has been half a year since Israeli police killed Yacoub Abu al-Qi’an during the demolition of his home. Now the police are back to demolish structures donated to provide shelter to his children." - id 5/7/2017
B`Tselem, MK decry `occupation` at UN conferenceElior Levy & Itamar Eichner - Ynet - Hagai El-Ad of B`Tselem, "Palestinians who oppose the occupation are terrorists, Israelis who oppose the occupation are traitors, and those in the international community who oppose the occupation are labeled anti-Semitic."[bz] Joint List MK Aida Touma-Sliman warns, `The window to the two-state solution is narrowing, but the alternative is not a single democratic state - Israel is a country that is developing clear signs of apartheid.` [bz]4/7/2017
Dismantling the occupation — brick by brick, book by bookEdo Konrad - +972 - +972 catches up with American Jewish authors Ayelet Waldman and Michael Chabon in Susya, a tiny Palestinian village in the southern West Bank, as they promote their new book about 50 years of occupation [ry]3/7/2017
Police arrest suspects in IDF weapons theft caseIlana Curie - Ynet - Six suspects, including two brothers, arrested after stealing 33 M16 rifles and other IDF equipment from a base the brothers were working at; police also seize cash and vehicles during raid on suspects` home [ry]3/7/2017
How Israeli/Saudi ‘Alliance’ Plays TrumpAlastair Crooke - - As novices to the world of Mideast intrigue, President Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner are being led by Israel and Saudi Arabia into a dangerous confrontation with Iran, explains former British diplomat [ry]3/7/2017
‘Devastating’ survey shows huge loss of Israel support among Jewish college Ted Belman - Israpundit - According to Fern Oppenheim of the notorious Brand Israel Group, the current Israel advocacy programs are not working, and Jewish college students are the leading defectors from Israel support. The campaign of depicting Israel beyond the conflict — specifically, highlighting high-tech achievements — is not effective. In fact, the people who are the future of America no longer believe that Israel shares their values. There is no longer nuance in campus conversations about Israel. Instead, the “atmosphere is oppressor versus victim.” Despite the plethora of organizations, campus advocacy does not appear to reach these students’ hearts. Using a morbid example, she said, “The Nazi “Angel of Death” Josef Mengele was a brilliant scientist. But still he was a monster. Telling Americans that Israelis are high-tech geniuses does not help if we can`t show that they share American values." [AK] 27/6/2017
Israel bars UNESCO from Hebron, citing `politicization` of holy siteTPS/Ynet - The Palestinian Authority submitted a request to list Hebron`s Old City, including the Tomb of the Patriarchs, as a World Heritage Site in 2012—a process that can take years—but is now trying to fast-track the application by claiming that the site is endangered. Israel`s ambassador to UNESCO, Carmel Shama-Hacohen described the Palestinian request as "tainted by politicization, lies and libel against the State of Israel and against the Jewish people`s connection to the site. … The Palestinians have opened another front in the religious and cultural war they are trying to impose on us." UNESCO`s World Heritage Committee meets July 2–12 in Krakow, Poland, for its annual assembly. Hebron`s Old City is listed on the agenda as Hebron/Al-Khalil Old Town, Palestine. [bz]27/6/2017
British court allows councils to boycott IsraelBen Jamal - The Guardian - In September last year the UK government announced a new guidance, prohibiting local government pension schemes from pursuing “divestment and sanctions against foreign nations and UK defence industries" - i.e. the boycott of Israel. The Palestine Solidarity Campaign, of which I’m the director, decided to take the government to court. I found myself in a sweaty room in the Royal Courts of Justice, packed with fellow Palestine activists, listening to detailed and sometimes arcane legal arguments about pension law. Finally, on 22 June, we got the verdict – we won! Judge Sir Ross Cranston ruled the government "guidance" was unlawful and that the government had acted for an improper purpose.[ak]27/6/2017
IDF commander refutes Breaking the Silence testimonyAttila Somfalvi, Alexandra Lukash - Ynet - Weighing in on an investigation of a spokesman for the left-wing group over testimony in which he claimed to have seriously assaulted a Palestinian during his IDF service in Hebron, Omri Seiner, his commander at the time, insists the incident `never happened. All soldiers under his command also say it didn`t. [bz]25/6/2017
Rabbis Slam Hillel For Taking Funds From Right-Wing Israeli Group Daniel J. Solomon - Forward "More than 100 rabbis and rabbinical students have signed a letter calling on Hillel to sever ties with a right-wing Israeli funder and drop its guidelines on discourse about Israel.In the letter, the religious leaders - many of them identified as LGBT - denounce Hillel’s links with Mosaic United, an initiative sponsored by Israel’s education minister Naftali Bennett. The organization, which has granted $22 million to Hillel International, has been seen as pushing a conservative agenda, including reinforcing “the Jewish foundations of the family unit.” ca 23/6/2017
Israel’s NSO Group Permits Foreign Intelligence Agencies to Spy on Human Rights ActivistsRichard Silverstein — Tikun Olam " Perhaps the NSOs of Israel are doing precisely what the government wishes them to. Perhaps Israeli cyber hacking tools are instruments of state. If you examine the company’s client list you will find many of the Arab states Israel is attempting to cultivate in its efforts to sabotage the Palestinian cause. What getter way to peel off an authoritarian state from such allegiance than by doing favors for its intelligence agencies; hoping the favor will be returned one day when Israel needs it." ca23/6/2017
Israeli Woman Who Sued El Al for Sexism Wins Landmark RulingISABEL KERSHNER - NYT "Israeli airline employees cannot ask women to change seats to spare a man from having to sit next to them, a Jerusalem court ruled on Wednesday, handing down a groundbreaking decision in a case brought by a woman in her 80s." ca23/6/2017
Germany compares Israel`s treatment of NGOs with that of Russia and ChinaHaartez/i24NEWS - Further straining relations between Israel and Germany, the German foreign ministry compared Israel`s policy on funding of non-governmental organisations to that of Russia and China - provoking a rebuke from the Israeli embassy in Berlin. This was included in a German criticism of a new law in Hungary that would force foreign-funded NGOs to register as "foreign-supported organisations". With that measure, the Germans stated, “Hungary joins the ranks of countries like Russia, China and Israel - which regard the funding of NGO`s and civil society efforts by donors from abroad as a hostile or at least an unfriendly act." [ak]21/6/2017
Queer Jews should think again before celebrating IsraelStephanie Skora - +972 - "As a transgender lesbian, a proud anti-Zionist Jew, and a JVP member, I have been particularly troubled by the charges of homophobia. I am used to the unfortunately common accusations of anti-semitism against activists for Palestinian rights, which simply cheapen and distort the meaning of the term while distracting from the human rights issues at stake." - id 20/6/2017
Global Peace Index 2017: Israel Ranked 144 Out of 163Richard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "Among the most alarming findings were that Israel’s “militarization index” was rated 3.9 out of 5 (5 being the worst).  For nuclear weapons and arms exports, Israel ranked 5 out of 5.  Under “relations with neighboring countries” it ranked 4 out of 5." - id20/6/2017
What Israel fears about Hamas and the Qatar crisisYuval Abraham - Middle East Eye - (...) a desperate Hamas losing financial support, coupled with talk of elections within the tense Israeli governing coalition, could make for a toxic mix. "It could provide fertile grounds for a war. Desperate politicians tend to go to war.” [bz]17/6/2017
Turkey Holds Naval Drill Off Cyprus in Heated Response to Israeli Commando Exercise on Its Doorstep Gili Cohen - Haaretz "As the drill comes to a close, another exercise is scheduled to take place in Cyprus, this one by Turkey. Last week, Turkey announced that it will hold a military drill with live ammunition southwest of the Cypriot city of Paphos. The Turks said in a statement that during one of the days of the drill, Turkish warships and submarines will operate in the area. The background to this exercise is the tension caused by the search for natural gas in the sea off Cyprus’s coast." ca16/6/2017
Heathrow Airport Shames El Al as Dirtiest and Noisiest Airline Haaretz - "The five worst-performing airlines after El Al were Kuwait Airways, Middle East Airlines, Pakistan International Airlines, Omar Air and Jet Airways." ca16/6/2017
Knesset Inquiry Reveals Yemenite Babies Murdered in Medical ExperimentsRichard Silverstein — Tikun Olam "The Israeli Knesset has, after sixty years of cover-up, exposed one of the most lurid scandals in the history of Israeli medicine. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, inspired by Ben Gurion’s philosophy that Israel must populate itself via Jewish immigration to compete with the Arabs, Israel airlifted tens of thousands of Yemenite Jews and resettled them. It was celebrated as a great humanitarian operation in which the Yemenites were “saved” from a life of destitution and anti-Semitic victimhood in their native land... such outrageous medical practices happened around the world including here in the U.S." ca16/6/2017
Right-Wing Media Assault Against Evergreen College Provokes White Supremacist Mass Murder ThreatsRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "Evergreen is known as one of the most progressive campuses in the nation.  Rachel Corrie studied at the school and interrupted her studies to travel to Gaza where she was killed by the IDF.  The Black Lives Matter movement is heavily supported on campus.  The Olympia Food Coop began the movement to boycott Israeli products, which led to a lawsuit sponsored by the Israeli government and Standwithus." - id 14/6/2017
Birzeit University Ranked Among Top 3% Best UniversitiesIMEMC News - "Birzeit University is the only Palestinian university to enter the QS World University Ranking this year." - id 14/6/2017
Palestinian man donates recovery room to Haifa hospitalIlana Messika/TPS - Ynet - “Palestinian, Israeli, Syrian and children from other countries receive treatment in the Haifa Rambam hospital`s oncology department. I decided to contribute as much as I could, both a humanitarian act and a symbol of solidarity,” donating a children’s recovery room. The room provides a relaxing and supportive environment for children before and after chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments. [bz]13/6/2017
Regev calls performance of Darwish poem at Israeli award ceremony a `provocation`Ma’an News Agency - “[Israeli Minister of Culture Miri] Regev, who stepped out of an Israeli movie award ceremony in September over the reading of a Darwish poem, had previously called the Palestinian writer the ‘leader of the Palestinian industry of lies,’ and objected to the performance of his works in Israel” [ry] 12/6/2017
9 teens arrested in police raid of Jerusalem `home` for Hilltop YouthElisha Ben-Kimon - Ynet - Settler Elkana Pickar, who has been barred from entering the West Bank, is hosting Jewish teens with similar bans at his home; security establishment worried he`s inciting them to violence against Palestinians [ry]12/6/2017
Inside the US fight to fix Israel’s global standingJonathan Cook - Al Jazeera - US and Israel lead a campaign of intimidation against the UN to forcibly rehabilitate Israel`s international standing [ry] 12/6/2017
Fmr. Iranian Diplomat: ISIS Attack on Tehran `Managed by Saudi Arabia` Seyed Hossein Mousavian - The Real News "during Obama administration, there was a different policy. Obama was not supporting Saudi Arabia`s terrorist activities all over the region and all over the world. Obama was blaming Saudi Arabia, publicly Obama said that they have to distance from this terrorist activities. But President Trump first trip was to Saudi Arabia. He did not say a word about human right, he did not criticize or condemn even by one word, when he was in Saudi Arabia, about human right and democracy. He said nothing about human right and democracy, because he knows there is no human right and democracy there. During the campaign, President Trump said Saudi Arabia is the source number one of terrorism, but when he was in Saudi Arabia, he said Iran is everything about terrorism." ca10/6/2017
Israel’s Irrational RationalityDavid Shulman - NYR "Israeli human rights activists and what is left of the Israeli peace groups, including joint Israeli-Palestinian peace organizations, are under attack. In a sense, this is nothing very new. But open attacks on the Israeli left have now assumed a far more sinister and ruthless character; some of them are being played out in the interrogation rooms of Israeli prisons." ca9/6/2017
Kafr Qasim killing shows police threat to Palestinian citizensYael Marom, with Orly Noy - +972 - "As long as police continue to see Palestinian citizens of Israel as ‘the enemy,’ the deadly shootings — and the ever-deepening crisis in relations — will continue." - id 7/6/2017
One Killed as Riots, Clashes With Police Erupt in Israeli Arab City of Kafr Qasem Jack Khoury, Yaniv Kubovich and Ido Efrati - Haaretz - The incident began shortly before midnight Monday when police detained a Kafr Qasem resident for initial investigation. “The man resisted arrest, attacked the police and was joined by about 50 other people who managed to free him for a moment from the police. The police managed to subdue the suspect as they began sustaining volleys of stones thrown at them and at the police cruiser.” Earlier on Monday, Kafr Qasem residents kept their children home from school in protest at what they claimed are insufficient police efforts to curb violence in the town. On Friday, two men from the town were murdered at a gas station at the edge of Kafr Qasem. Police have not arrested suspects in the case. Residents have organized municipal security committees staffed by young people in an effort to maintain order in Kafr Qasem and to prevent criminals from coming into the town. The committees are functioning in conjunction with city hall but the Israel Police object to their activities. The man who was arrested was a member of one of the committees. [bz]6/6/2017
Infamy at Sea: Israel’s Attack on the USS Liberty 50 Years LaterJeffrey St. Clair - CounterPunch - “Even though the Pentagon knew better, it gave credence to the Israeli account by saying that perhaps the Liberty’s flag had lain limp on the flagpole in a windless sea. The Pentagon also suggested that the attack might have lasted less than 20 minutes. After the initial battery of misinformation, the Pentagon imposed a news blackout on the Liberty disaster until after the completion of a Court of Inquiry investigation” [ry]5/6/2017
‘Last Secret’ of 1967 War: Israel’s Doomsday Plan for Nuclear DisplayWILLIAM J. BROAD and DAVID E. SANGER - NYT - On the eve of the Arab-Israeli war, 50 years ago this week, Israeli officials raced to assemble an atomic device and developed a plan to detonate it atop a mountain in the Sinai Peninsula as a warning to Egyptian and other Arab forces, according to an interview with a key organizer of the effort. The secret contingency plan would have been invoked if Israel feared it was going to lose the 1967 conflict. [bz for dn]4/6/2017
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