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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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`Truth commission` uncovers the history of Bedouin dispossessionTom Pessah - +972 - Zochrot, an Israeli NGO, is experimenting with ways to bring awareness about the Palestinian Nakba to the Jewish Israeli public. After two years of preparations, they convened an informal Public Truth Commission at Ben-Gurion University in Beersheba last week, in order to examine the displacement of Palestinians in the Negev/Naqab by Israeli forces that took place from 1948 to 1960. Why until 1960? Most people are actually unaware of the fact the majority of local Bedouin tribes were driven off their lands into either Sinai, the West Bank, or an isolated reservation east of Beersheba (the “Sayag”) in the 1950s – long after the war ended.-rh17/12/2014
Nakba in Tel AvivSarah Levy - AIC - "In Israel, any institution with public funding that mentions, teaches, or mourns the country’s analogous event, the Nakba (Arabic for “catastrophe”) can be fined, and for their involvement individuals can be sentenced to prison." - id 17/12/2014
Muslims & Jews Unite vs. Abercrombie & FitchDean Obeidallah - The Daily Beast - "Regardless of the court’s decision, the Muslims and Jewish groups who have come together in this matter are setting a great example to not define our communities’ relationship with each other by our differences on one issue, but rather by the numerous issues we agree upon." - id 17/12/2014
Socialist International: Support Palestinian Diplomatic Initiatives, Recognize PalestinePNN - Palestinians News Network - " "After more than 20 years of failing to achieve peace through the bilateral peace process, we believe that the time has come for the International community to meet its responsibility under international law to bring an end to the occupation and all impediments to the exercise by the Palestinian people of their right to self-determination"" - id 17/12/2014
Israeli parliament seeks to bar Arab lawmakerWilliam Booth - The Washington Post - In June, soon after three Jewish Israeli teenagers were abducted as they hitchhiked home from their religious schools in the occupied West Bank — but before it was known they had been killed — Zoabi told Radio Tel Aviv that she did not believe the kidnappers were terrorists. “Is it strange that people living under occupation and living impossible lives, in a situation where Israel kidnaps new prisoners every day, is it strange that they kidnap?” she asked.-rh17/12/2014
Soldiers Invade Eastern Areas In Rafah, Khan YounisIMEMC - Israel recently started operations to replace a number of military gates of the border fence with Gaza, largely used for limited invasions into Palestinians lands. [bz]16/12/2014
PA to adopt French UN initiative if `amendments made`Ma`an - France is putting together a more nuanced version setting a two-year timetable for concluding a peace treaty, without mentioning the withdrawal of Israeli forces. US officials told reporters Monday that Washington has not yet decided whether to veto or back the French-led UN initiative. [bz]16/12/2014
Displaced Gazans struggle to rebuild Patrick Strickland - Al Jazeera - Frustrated with the lack of humanitarian aid and the delays in reconstruction, locals in Beit Safiyya have begun building wooden shacks for shelter throughout the rainy winter season. Tens of thousands of residents remain homeless. In most places, reconstruction has barely commenced. [bz]16/12/2014
At Netanyahu-Kerry meet, Israel seeks U.S. block of Palestinian statehood driveLesley Wroughton - Reuters - Netanyahu declined to comment on whether he was given an assurance by Kerry. U.S. officials have indicated that Washington did not find the Palestinian draft acceptable but said that with matters still fluid, it was premature to take a position now on any particular Security Council resolution. [bz]16/12/2014
Police raid homes of anti-Arab activists, 10 arrestedChaim Levinson - Haaretz - According to the suspects` lawyer, one of the three Lehava members who were charged on Monday with torching the Hebrew-Arabic bilingual school in Jerusalem had offered to give police incriminating information on the group`s chairman Benzi Gopstein to secure a lighter sentence. [bz] 16/12/2014
`Truth commission` uncovers the history of Bedouin dispossession Tom Pessah - +972 - An informal ‘Public Truth Commission’ set out to find exactly what happened to the Negev Bedouin between 1948 and 1960. While Bedouin witnesses told stories of massacres, rape and expulsions, former Israeli soldiers said they were just following orders [ry]15/12/2014
Israel set to rebuff UN moves for withdrawal - video The Guardian - Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu says on Sunday he will tell the US secretary of state, John Kerry, at a meeting in Rome that Israel will reject moves by the UN to set a timeframe for withdrawal from land Palestinians seek for a state. Mr Netanyahu said there would be no doubt that the proposal would be rejected [ry]15/12/2014
Israeli elections: can things get worse?Michel Warschawski - AIC - The non-existence of a credible center-left alternative, the expected fiasco of Yair Lapid, the refusal of the left to make a political front with the Arab parties – all these together oblige us to accept the possibility that after "worse" we may got "more worse". The three far right parties which are ruling may well receive a strengthened mandate in the coming elections, and will interpret this mandate as a green light to go ahead in their suicidal anti-democratic policies, as well in their drive for a new war in the region [ry]15/12/2014
Palestine to push UN to end Israel occupation AlJazeera - Palestinians to present draft resolution at Security Council seeking a two-year deadline for Israel to end occupation [ry]15/12/2014
Israel blasts Switzerland for acceding to Palestinians with Geneva Convention meeting Herb Keinon - Jpost - The Fourth Geneva Convention on the Rules of War governs actions during war and the treatment of civilians in occupied territories. In addition, it also outlaws the resettlement by an occupying power of its own civilians on territory under its military control. [bz]13/12/2014
Portuguese parliament calls on govt to recognize PalestineMa`an - The motion, filed jointly by the ruling center-right majority and the opposition Socialist party, proposes "recognizing, in coordination with the European Union, the state of Palestine as independent and sovereign." [bz]13/12/2014
Tel Aviv targets Syria’s Republican GuardsBassel Oudat - Al-Ahram "Whatever the precise inventory, it is clear the air strikes destroyed military hardware and ammunitions storehouses belonging to the Republican Guard. Given the nature of the targets, and the timing of the raids, it is likely a senior figure in the Syrian regime communicated sensitive intelligence to Israel." ca 12/12/2014
Replace fake co-existence photos with real images of co-resistanceActivestills - "A photograph intended to illustrate the peace process ended up being more accurate than intended. The now-iconic image showing a “Palestinian” and an Israeli boy walking arm in arm was a contrived set-up that anyone with experience in the region should have been able to spot as a fake.The exposure of a popular ‘co-existence’ photo as a staged fabrication points to the need for better images of the path to a just peace." ca12/12/2014
Israel`s Gaza probe raises questionsCreede Newton - Al Jazeera - "Seven military misconduct investigations stemming from Gaza war have been closed, sparking criticism of enquiry methods." - id 10/12/2014
`Truth commission` to begin in IsraelSophie Chamas - Al-Jazeera - "Israelis who served in the 1948 war and Palestinians uprooted from their homes will testify before an expert panel." - id 10/12/2014
Erekat: In elections, Israelis will choose between being partners or occupiersElior Levy - Ynet - ""This is the Israelis` decisive year, in which they need to decide if they want to be partners or occupiers," former Palestinian peace negotiator Saeb Erekat told reporters on Tuesday." - id 10/12/2014
A Country That Never Wanted Me : Israel`s new nationality law only confirms what Arabs already knew: We aren`t welcome.SAYED KASHUA - Foreign Policy - To “enshrine in law” is the phrase the government of Israel uses when it discusses the Jewish nationality act. This phrase implies that the situation already exists de facto. So why not “enshrine” it in law? Discrimination already exists in every sphere of life, so why not make inequality between Jews and non-Jews legal as well?-rh 10/12/2014
Palestinians gain observer status at ICC Assembly of State Parties Tovah Lazaroff - Jpost - The International Criminal Court’s organizational body of 122 nations in New York on Monday unanimously recognized Palestine as an observer state for the first time, a move which Palestinians hailed as an important step in achieving their final goal of formal membership. Palestinians want to sue Israel for war crimes before the ICC, but it is unclear if they can do so, because the ICC’s judicial body has not recognized them as a state. In addition, the Palestinians have not finalized their application to the court, but they have threatened to do so, should they fail in their pursuit for a UN Security Council resolution calling for an Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines. [bz] 9/12/2014
Irish government to accept motion to recognize Palestinian state Reuters - Ynet - Ireland to join Sweden in officially recognizing Palestine in 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital; motion also states Israeli settlement construction is `illegal and severely threatening the establishment of a viable Palestinian state.` ak9/12/2014
Israel tested in balancing faith and democracyJodi Rudoren - New York Times - New bill emphasizing state`s Jewishness was the last straw which broke the government. Israelis from across the political spectrum and leaders of the Jewish diaspora have denounced such proposals as superfluous, redundant, embarrassing, dangerous and ill timed. Palestinians within Israel and outside it are also virulently opposed, but they say it unmasks what they call a facade of a democracy that has long been discriminatory.[bz] 9/12/2014
IDF earmarking West Bank firing zones for settler expansion, figures showChaim Levinson - Haaretz - The state’s official position is that the firing zones are used for operational purposes only, in keeping with international law, but are actually being used to keep the Palestinians out. Dror Etkes has analyzed the extensive geographical information in the hands of the Civil Administration and says it shows that the administration has been surveying and mapping the old state lands recently, although these are firing zones, and (...) in 2012, 900 dunams were taken from a firing zone and given to the settlement of Sha’arei Tikva, additional uses being planned including construction of an industrial zone. [bz]9/12/2014
Syria says Israeli jets hit DamascusAlJazeera and agencies - Israel yet to react to state TV`s claim its jets struck two places, one near Damascus airport, but caused no casualties [ry]8/12/2014
Kahlon: Real Likud concedes territoryMoran Azulay - Ynet - Popular former Likud minister Moshe Kahlon, who will be campaigning for the Knesset with a new party: "Real Likud knew how to make peace, how to concede territory, but on the other hand was responsibly conservative. (...) When we needed to make peace with the largest of Arab states, we did. When we needed to concede – we conceded." Kahlon criticized the prime minister for damaging Israel`s international reputation. "My friends and I will not miss a chance for peace. I believe we must act on that front. The diplomatic siege is not good for us, and we will act on it." [bz]6/12/2014
Israeli poverty statistics paint a misleading pictureDror Etkes - Haaretz "It’s clear that if child poverty statistics in Israel also included those millions of Palestinians – who are paid their wages in Israeli shekels and buy their food in shekels – then based on the situation of the total population living in territory controlled by Israel, the country wouldn’t even make it to the bottom rung of the ladder of developed countries. Almost certainly, it would rank somewhere in the middle of the underdeveloped countries." ca 5/12/2014
Major BDS Win: Elbit Loses Brazil DealPalestinian BDS National Committee - IMEMC "Rio Grande do Sul governor Tarso Genro had signed a research cooperation deal making Elbit the first Israeli military companyto lead Brazilian military projects in April 2013. Elbit was to be provided access to public funding and technologies produced by four local universities. Ongoing protests and lack of federal support had weakened the project. In his open letter, Genro declared the memorandum of understanding to be “void of meaning. A $17m plan to build a military satellite is among the projects cancelled by Tuesday’s announcement." ca5/12/2014
Security Council to Discuss Resolution for Palestinian StatehoodIMEMC News - "Nabil Al-Arabi told reporters that Jordan will table the draft resolution at the Council within the coming days. In November, Jordan tabled another draft resolution that called for an end of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories by November 2016." - id 3/12/2014
Lieberman outlines his regional peace planBen Caspit - Al Monitgor - "I intend to promote this plan with all my might and if I am elected to the premiership, I will take action to implement it." - id 3/12/2014
Nationality bill affects Diaspora Jews tooYaron London - Ynet - "An affiliation between two populations separated by an ocean, living conditions and a language can only be based on identical values; but our values, as reflected in Jewish nation-state bill, are moving further apart." - id 2/12/2014
US tries to head off Israeli-Palestinian `Al-Aqsa war`Uri Savir - Al Monitor - "While right-wing settlers and extremist Palestinians ponder a ``war of zealots,`` the Obama administration considers a tactical deal, including an Israeli settlement freeze in exchange for Palestinian security cooperation and no unilateral moves at the UN." - id 2/12/2014
Labor and Liberal MPs call for Australia to recognise PalestineShalailah Medhora - The Guardian - Australian Parliamentary Friends of Palestine group says international recognition is the only way to end deadlock and bring peace to Middle East [ry]1/12/2014
British town council votes to ban all Israeli goods, in defiance of Labor policy Jerry Lewis - The Jerusalem Post - Leicester is the UK’s 10th largest city; other local councils in Britain may well follow suit [ry]1/12/2014
4 Problems With Israel’s ‘Jewish Nation-State’ LawOded Yaron-- (Haaretz) — Hundreds of Arab citizens in Israel have replaced their Facebook profile photo with one that is stamped “second–class citizen,” in a protest against the proposed Jewish nation–state law. dn30/11/2014
Turkish plan for Jenin industrial zone moves forwardMa`an News Agency - "It was agreed upon in the memorandum that Turkish-Palestinian cooperation would be pursued in order to activate the work of the numerous industrial zones in Palestine, especially in Jenin." ca28/11/2014
`Terrorism` bill born of nation state lawSergio Yahni - AIC "Knesset coalition chairman, MK Yariv Levin (Likud), proposed an eight-step plan to deal with the recent wave of Palestinian social unrest in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory. The plan aims to allow Israeli forces to crack down on Palestinian activists, referred to as “terrorists” in the bill, as well as their families and supporters." ca28/11/2014
New Arabic site provides Israeli news by Jewish, Arab reportersMazal Mualem - Al Monitor "Meir, a 35-year-old resident of Tel Aviv and former Arab affairs correspondent for Israel Army Radio, heads a web-based journalism initiative that targets the large audience of Arabic speakers. The goal is to bring reporting and voices from Israel into the Arab world without censorship and to become a source of credible, up-to-the-minute and direct information about the complex and stormy reality of Israel." ca 28/11/2014
Britain Reviews Arms Exports Licenses to IsraelIMEMC - " ensure that the use of such weapons does not contravene international law." - id .26/11/2014
Israel views extension of Iran talks as lesser of two evilsMichael Herzog - Al Monitor - "Israel`s attitude, favoring no nuclear agreement with Iran over a bad one, resulted in it being denied any direct influence on this phase of the negotiations, even if some of its worries are legitimate and shared by the US Congress." - id 26/11/2014
Israeli forces raid Palestinian football association HQMa`an - Ma`an News Agency - "Susan Shalabi, the head of the PFA, asked an officer about the reason of the raid, and informed him that it was an institute related to the Federal International Football Association and should not be raided by an armed group, to which the officer responded that it was not a raid." - id 26/11/2014
Anti-Arab incitement grips Israel : The sharp rise in racially motivated attacks compounds the hardships facing Palestinians in Israel.Patrick Strickland - Aljazeera - The apparent uptick in racially motivated harassment and vigilante attacks compounds the already difficult reality for Palestinians in Israel, who make up some 20 percent of the total population. Overcrowding, government neglect and economic marginalisation plague Palestinian communities in cities, towns, and villages spanning the country.-rh26/11/2014
Finance C`tee mulls ending funding to Cinematheque over Palestinian film festivalMoran Azulay - Ynet - "It will take place on November 29, which is the date the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution recommending the implementation of a partition plan for a Jewish state alongside an Arab state." - id 26/11/2014
Wounding the World Yvonne Roberts - Guardian - "Wounding the World: How Military Violence and War-Play Invades Our Lives." - id 25/11/2014
Israeli cabinet approves `Jewish state` bill AlJazeera - The bill that defines country as "Jewish state" now heads towards parliamentary vote in a blow to Israeli Arabs [ry]24/11/2014
Residency and social security benefits are not a favor the authorities can bestow and withdraw at willB’Tselem - "Residency status and social security benefits are not a favor or boon granted by the authorities. It is Israel’s fundamental obligation toward all individuals living in its territory, be they citizens or permanent residents. As long as Israel considers East Jerusalem part of the country, it cannot eschew these obligations, and they remain in effect even when citizens or residents break the law" [ry]24/11/2014
Israel fears EU Parliament will recognize PalestineItamar Eichner - Ynet - In response to Israel’s disregard of calls to halt settlement construction, European Parliament to discuss motion to urge EU governments to recognize Palestinian state [ry]24/11/2014
Ashkelon mayor bans Arab Israeli workers from construction project in wake of attack on Jerusalem synagogueAM--Tensions gripping Israel after this week’s attack on a Jerusalem synagogue took on distinct ethnic overtones Thursday when a mayor in southern Israel said he was banning Arab workers from construction projects at local day-care centers..dn22/11/2014
Infighting mars memorialAhmed Al-Sayed - Al-Ahram "Mutual recriminations and threats between Fatah and Hamas following the explosions that targeted the homes of several Fatah leaders in Gaza and led to the cancelation of ceremonies to commemorate President Yasser Arafat have revived fears of a return to factional violence in Gaza...Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday accused Hamas of carrying out the bombings. “Who committed this crime? The leadership of the Hamas movement did, and it’s responsible,” Abbas shouted at a Fatah rally for Arafat in Ramallah." ca21/11/2014
Israel’s ‘Jewish State’ Bill Deepens Coalition DivideJason Ditz - AntiWar - Livni Postpones Bill, Netanyahu Vows to Circumvent Committee [ry]17/11/2014
Israel bans Norwegian doctor Mads Gilbert from GazaMa`an - Upon returning to his hometown of Tromsø in Norway after serving in Gaza over the summer, he gave a speech comparing the Palestinian struggle to the Norwegian resistance to the Nazi occupation in World War II. "This is not a battle between terrorism and democracy. Hamas is not the enemy Israel is fighting. Israel is waging a war against the Palestinian people’s will to resist. The unbending determination not to submit to the occupation!" Although Israeli authorities claim that Gaza is not occupied, they control the movement of both people and goods in and out of the Strip. [bz]15/11/2014
Opinion Blowback: Academic boycott of Israel gives voice to peaceful protest Lisa Duggan--The American Studies Assn. cites the intertwined histories of Israel and the U.S. as a reason for its academic boycott. Above, a pro-Israel protester demonstrates in downtown Los Angeles in 2009. (Los Angeles Times) dn15/11/2014
Ex-Australian Foreign Minister announces himself a ‘Friend of Palestine’John Salisbury - Mondoweiss - “Permanent occupation means Israelis get cast as Afrikaners and the world will recognize Palestine and isolate Israel. After all, the alternative would be unthinkable: to accept colonial rule with one religious and racial group enjoying the vote that the majority denied." The impact of this statement is all the greater due to the fact that Mr. Carr - Australia’s Foreign Minister up until September 2013, when Labor lost the last federal election - is an experienced and savvy political figure widely respected by both sides of politics. Moreover, he was the founder of Labor Friends of Israel. 15/11/2014
Thousands protest in Israel, West Bank after Friday prayers ITAMAR SHARON AND TIMES OF ISRAEL STAFF - Times of Israel "Around 1,500 Israeli Arabs demonstrated Friday afternoon in the town of Umm al-Fahm, east of Hadera, protesting the police’s killing of an Arab man in Kafr Kanna last week and the ongoing turmoil in Jerusalem. Among the participants were MKs Hanin Zoabi (Balad) and Afu Agbaria (Hadash) as well as Sheikh Raed Salah, head of the radical wing of the Islamic Movement in Israel." ca 14/11/2014
Israelis remember Rabin, but many reject his legacyYuval Avivi - Al-Monitor "Dealing with the issue of tolerance is especially relevant in Israel in 2014, with some people in an uproar over the so-called Rabin festival and even expressing a modicum of support for the assassin, Yigal Amir. A survey conducted by the Mako news website found that some 50% of right-wing voters are not sure that Amir assassinated Rabin, and that 14% of the public believes that he should be released from prison." ca14/11/2014
The video of an Israeli cop shooting an Arab citizen that has rocked the countryWilliam Booth - The Washington Post - It is also not unusual for the incidents to be captured on video. But the grainy black-and-white recording of police shooting a man in the Galilee early Saturday has lit a fuse in Israel, sparking praise and condemnation, and raising bigger questions about police conduct, allegiance to the state and who, really, is an Israeli and who is not.-rh12/11/2014
Border closure means lost jobs, deadlock in rebuilding GazaMohammed Omer - Middle East Eye - "Nicknamed the Serry mechanism after UN Mideast Envoy Robert Serry, some say the monitoring of the import, storage and sales of building materials under the mechanism will create an even more restrictive programme for building materials that essentially puts the UN in charge of continuing the Israeli blockade." - id 12/11/2014
From jail, Barghouthi urges `armed resistance`Ma`an - Barghouthi has said he never supported attacks on civilians inside Israel and in recent years has thrown his support behind peaceful resistance. But now he wrote in a letter to the PA at the occasion of marking 10 years since the death of Yasser Arafat: "It is imperative to reconsider our choice of resistance as a way of defeating the occupier." [bz]11/11/2014
Soldier hurt Tel Aviv stabbing attack succumbs to woundsShahar Hay - Ynet - "You`d better start waking up. I understand that this country is living under the delusion that everything is fine. Today it`s me, tomorrow it`ll be someone else`s brother" was Sahar Shiloni`s message to policymakers. [bz]11/11/2014
Police blame violence on rightwing MKs` Temple Mount visitOmri Efraim - Ynet - "Repeated attempts by members of Knesset to reach the Temple Mount is a provocation that incites Palestinians` to respond and significantly and unequivocally increases tensions in the Temple Mount and the capital," a senior police official told Ynet as clashes between security forces and Arabs and Palestinians continue. [bz] 11/11/2014
New EU chief: Palestinian state needed as world `cannot afford` another Gaza warJpost - The entire European Union seeks the establishment of a Palestinian state, AFP cited the EU`s new foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini as saying Saturday. [bz]8/11/2014
Peace Now highlights `epidemic` of incitement in IsraelMairav Zonszein - +972 "Peace Now has launched an online video campaign to raise awareness about incitement, intolerance and hate speech directed specifically at “leftists” in Israel and expressed most visibly on Facebook. The organization produced a two-and-a-half minute video entitled, “The writing is still on the wall,” displaying a selection of comments left on its Facebook page." ca7/11/2014
Israel moves to outlaw Palestinian political parties in the KnessetJonathan Cook - The Electronic Intifada - "The initiatives against Zoabi are the most visible aspects of a wider campaign to silence all political dissent from the Palestinian minority." - id 5/11/2014
Is Israel restricting UNRWA`s reconstruction efforts in Gaza?Hana Salah - Al Monitor - "While UNRWA is assessing the houses damaged or destroyed during the Gaza war, some Hamas officials are accusing the international relief organization of working with Israel to the detriment of the Palestinian people." - id 5/11/2014
The best way to honor Yitzhak Rabin - for every IsraeliYedidia Stern - Ynet - "Memorial day for prime minister`s assassination should become `Democracy Day` - something in which every member of Israeli society could share." - id 5/11/2014
Beneath the Helmet: The paratroopers who stand for IsraelYitzhak Benhorin - Ynet - New documentary film follows five Israeli soldiers, aims to improve Israel`s image after Operation Protective Edge across US university campuses [ry]3/11/2014
New play on gender-based violence The Freedom Theatre--"All the stories we heard were of violence, of the land and of the occupation and how we oppress each other – like a pyramid with the few and powerful on top, and people on every level toward the bottom are kicking downwards." dn2/11/2014
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