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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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How organized crime took over Israel’s Palestinian communitiesSuha Arraf - +972 "In 2019 alone, assailants opened fire at 15 out of around 75 Arab local council heads. This phenomenon increased following the implementation of Resolution 922, a five-year economic development plan for Arab society in Israel, which has transferred large sums of state money to local authorities. The injection of cash is precisely what has turned them into a target for crime syndicates... the large number of Palestinian “collaborators” with Israeli security services who were brought into Israel from the West Bank and Gaza after the Second Intifada. “Look at Jaffa,” he says. “Who are the perpetrators of crime there? They’re collaborators. We [Arab society] rejected them, yet they started selling drugs, owning weapons, and slowly became entangled in the world of crime. This afforded them a certain status." ca24/1/2020
Tibi issues threats forcing Israel Water Authority to relinquish landArutz Sheva [SETTLER NEWS] - The issue is reported to have begun in the 1960s, when the State of Israel expropriated unsettled land in the vicinity of the northern village of Kfar Manda to enable the construction of the National Water Carrier [which never happened]. However, the land was never registered properly in the Land Registry Office nor was it expropriated as required by law. Over time, village residents used the land for agricultural and other purposes. The Israel Water Authority recently submitted expropriation injunctions for the land. Kfar Manda residents responded angrily and Council head Munas Abed Alhalim enlisted the aid of MK Ahmad Tibi (Joint List). MK Tibi approached Water Authority head Giora Shaham and threatened to hold up the Authority`s budget in the course of the ongoing election period during which the Knesset Finance Committee convenes only rarely. This is far from an empty threat, and it did indeed achieve the complainants` goal. (...) It is to be noted that this decision of relinquishing land is unprecedented. State authorities, including the Department of Justice, the Ministry of Finance and the Israel Lands Authority, all expressed shock at the development ["It is like recognizing the Right of Return" said a government representative.] [Additions to the text between square brackets are from the Hebrew Israel Hayom daily-bz]21/1/2020
Gazan Nurses Enter Israel to Partake in First-of-its-Kind Collaborative TrainingProf. Raphi Walden - Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHRI} - Five nurses from the Gaza Strip and eleven from the West Bank participated. In cooperation with the Medical Simulation Center (MSR), the nurses underwent four days of life-saving training. We focused on new techniques of how to stop bleeding, intubation and chest drains. We also focused on advanced cardiovascular life support. [bz]21/1/2020
Does Kahanism expose what Israel tries to hide?Henriette Chacar/Natasha Roth-Rowland - +972 Magazine - When Meir Kahane, an extremist rabbi who advocated for Jewish supremacy through the use of violence, ran in Israel’s 1988 elections, the state’s Central Elections Committee barred his party, claiming it incited racism and threatened the democratic nature of the state. Decades later, Kahanism is still viewed as radical in Israeli society. Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Power), the political party formed by Kahane’s disciples, remains outside the halls of power — even with support from Prime Minister Netanyahu. But Kahanism doesn’t even need a party for its extremist ideology to permeate Israeli society. Since Kahane exploded onto the Israeli political scene, the entire spectrum of political discourse and political action has shifted vastly to the right. Kahane managed to mainstream ideas that were previously outside the bounds of Israeli discourse, like the mass expulsion of Palestinians and preventing marriages between Jews and non-Jews — particularly between Jewish women and Palestinian men. [ak]21/1/2020
Acting UNRWA head says U.S., Israel working against itReuters - Ynet - The UN agency for Palestinian refugees faced budgetary difficulties since 2018, when Trump halted annual American aid of $360 million while its former commissioner-general resigned amid probe into misconduct allegations [ry] 20/1/2020
What the Cyprus rape case tells us about justice in EuropeGina Benevento - Al Jazeera - Judicial systems across the continent are failing victims of rape [ry] 20/1/2020
In Zuabi’s ‘Grey Rock’, a Palestinian rocketman dreams of reaching the moonPhilip Weiss - Mondoweiss "Last night I went to the opening night of “Grey Rock,” a play about love and dreams in Palestine written and directed by Amir Nizar Zuabi, and found it completely charming and even ravishing. The play has a ten-day run at the Public and then travels to the Guthrie in Minneapolis, and I urge you to go if you get a chance." ca 12/1/2020
Haganah fighter turned Anti-Zionist activist Hava Keller dies at 90Jerusalem Post - "I went into Acre [when it] was nearly empty of residents. I remember being shocked at the sight of one of the apartments," she said. "The door was open. On the table was pitta bread and coffee. They were probably having breakfast [when they left]. On the floor [I saw] a pair of baby shoes." "They probably didn`t manage to put them on the kid in time. [The kid] is cold, [I thought]. We have to find the kid," Keller said. "I started screaming and crying." [bz]7/1/2020
Israel figured in US decision to assassinate Iranian generalPhilip Weiss - Mondoweiss - “AIPAC seemed to echo Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who lavished praise on Trump yesterday: ‘President Trump deserves all the credit for acting swiftly, forcefully and decisively. Israel stands with the United States in its just struggle for peace, security and self-defense’” [ry] 6/1/2020
U.S. Strike on Iranian General Divides CongressCatie Edmondson - New York Times " The killing of the powerful commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, in a drone strike on Friday sharply divided congressional leaders along party lines and reignited a debate over whether Congress should curtail the president’s war powers.The strike, which the Pentagon said President Trump ordered and was “aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans,” was a significant escalation in the administration’s pressure campaign against Tehran." ca 3/1/2020
Iran supreme leader vows ‘severe revenge’ after US kills top general SoleimaniAGENCIES and TOI STAFF - Times of Israel "Martyrdom was the reward for his ceaseless efforts all these years,” Khamenei said on his Farsi-language Twitter account in reference to Soleimani...An adviser to Rouhani warned US President Donald Trump of retaliation from Tehran. “Trump through his gamble has dragged the US into the most dangerous situation in the region,” Hessameddin Ashena wrote on the social media app Telegram. “Whoever put his foot beyond the red line should be ready to face its consequences.” ca3/1/2020
Israel braces for Iranian retaliation after Soleimani assassinationAssociated Press - Ynetnews "As Iranian officials vowed revenge, the government of America`s closest ally in the Middle East gave no immediate public response to the deaths of Soleimani and of Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al- Muhandis in Baghdad.Israel has long regarded Soleimani as a major threat. In August last year, the military said it had foiled a Quds Force attack, administered by Soleimani, involving multiple drones from Syria." ca3/1/2020
Iraqi PM says US killing of Iranian commander will `light the fuse` of warReuters - Al-Ahram "Iraq`s prime minister condemned on Friday the U.S. killing of Iranian Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and said it would "light the fuse" of war." ca3/1/2020
`An Explicit Act of War`: Senior IranianMilitary Official Qasem SoleimaniReportedly Killed in Baghdad DroneStrikeEoin Higgins - Information Clearing House "The Trump administration justplunged the region into a likely massivesectarian and bloody crisis—and alongwith it, this country," tweeted AlJazeera journalist Sana Saeed."Cautious to overstate the potential butit`s hard to ignore that targetingSoleimani is an explicit act of war." ca3/1/2020
USBehind Baghdad Airport Attack That KilledIranian Quds CommanderBy Sputnik News - "Commander of the QudsForce of Iran’s Islamic RevolutionaryGuard Corps, Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, was killed by the rocket fire nearthe Baghdad International Airport, AlArabiya and Sky News broadcasters reported on Friday.The United States carried out onFriday strikes on two Iran-linkedtargets in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad,the Reuters news agency reported, citing unnamed US officials." ca 2/1/2020
Netanyahu calls bid for legal immunity `a cornerstone of democracy’Sivan Hilaie, Moran Azulay - Ynet - Premier tells supporters he will announce decision whether to request Knesset for immunity from prosecution in corruption cases within two days [ry] 30/12/2019
Only The Hague Will Save IsraelGideon Levy - Haaretz - Israel has done everything to reach The Hague. That’s what happens when the prosecution is a cemetery for war crimes, the High Court whitewashes them and the media hides them and covers for them. That’s the way it is when international law is disparaged for decades. There’s probably no other country that thumbs its nose at international law this way and pays no price for it. Perhaps now the moment of truth is approaching, the moment of penalty. It will be very good for Israel. It might clean out its stables, stained with blood and stolen land. Every Israeli patriot and seeker of justice should now look to The Hague with hope.[ak]24/12/2019
Trump is bad for the JewsRabbi Alissa Wise - Jewish Voice For Peace - Trump and his cronies are cracking down on student activism because it’s working. Trump’s executive order will do NOTHING to keep Jewish students safe. It won’t protect against Nazis or Nazi recruitment, it won`t prevent campuses from scheduling important events on Jewish holidays, and it won`t protect Jewish religious spaces from armed attackers. What it will do is incentivize administrators to create harsh rules against even the mildest activism for Palestinian rights – or risk their institutions’ federal funding. Trump and his supporters are afraid of our movement. Trump doesn’t want to keep Jews safe – he wants to suppress free speech to ensure our silence. [ak] 24/12/2019
Caroline Glick`s plan for a total war against the ICCCaroline Glick - Yisrael Hayom - This senior commentator for Yisrael Hayom, the paper which outspokenly backs PM Netanyahu, asserts that since the International Criminal Court "endangers the very lives of IDF soldiers, commanders and elected official", Israel should "adopt and implement an aggressive plan to defeat the ICC". This would begin by declaring that that "The ICC has nothing to do with International Law" as it is "not a judicial institute but a political one". Israel should proceed to cut off any relation with the ICC; forbid government jurists from having any contact with it or recognizing its authority; deny an Israeli visa to anyone connected with the ICC and expell from Israel and the Occupied Territories any person working with the ICC; and demand of African and other Third World countries which get military aid from Israel to cut off relations with the ICC as a condition for continuation of that Israeli aid. In conjunction with a similar aggressive anti-ICC campaign which Israel will get President Trump to launch, Glick believes that the ICC can be totally defeated and forced to its knees. [ak] 24/12/2019
Liberman: ICC coming after us anyway, take down Bedouin villageTimes of Israel - “Netanyahu decided not to evacuate Khan al-Ahmar and used the international situation as an excuse, and yet we are still being indicted for war crimes at the Hague. I call on him to take action and stop with the spin and excuses, and make an immediate decision to evacuate Khan al-Ahmar and illegal Palestinian building near Sussiya” said former Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, [This gives a reminder, to any who needed it, that though he had fallen out with Netanyahu and repeatedly prevented him from forming a new cabinet, Lieberman remains a radical nationalist and outspoken racist in his own right. ak] he says, referring to a southern West Bank settlement said Yisrael Beytenu chief indicates that if Israel is being probed for war crimes it might as well go for broke, urging Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to clear out the Bedouin West Bank hamlet of Kahn al-Ahmar post-haste. 24/12/2019
Foreign Minister Katz: Evacuation of Khan al Omar would be `last straw` for ICCKobi Richter - Arutz 7 - Israeli Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz told Channel 11 News that the Israeli government has been "afraid" to take action against the Bedouin village of Khan al Amar over concerns such an act would be the "last straw" for the International Criminal Court. More than a year ago, the Supreme Court in Jerusalem declared Khan al Amar to be "illegal" and authorized the government to destroy the village and "relocate" its inhabitants. However, the government has repeatedly failed to make use of that judicial authorization. The Katz statement is the first official explanation of that. [ak] 24/12/2019
ICC intimidates Netanyahu from Jordan Valley annexation Itamar Eichner - Y-net - Immediately after the ICC chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda announced her intention to investigate alleged Israeli human rights violations, Prime Minister Netanyahu canceled a meeting of an inter-ministerial team intended to discuss the annexation of the Jordan Valley. Netanyahu had announced in September - a week before a national ballot - that Israel will establish its sovereignty over the Jordan Valley if his Likud party would win the elections, and has repeated the same campaign promise also when repeat elections were scheduled for mmarch 2020. But the ICC prosecutor specifically mentioned this Netanyahu speech as an example of Israel’s intentions which must be investigated (and possibly prosecuted). A government source noted that "Because of the prosecutor’s decision in the Hague, the issue of the Jordan Valley annexation will be put on a long hold”. [ak] 24/12/2019
PM: Possible ICC investigation akin to persecution of Jews 2,000 years agoItamar Eichner, Nina Fuchs - Ynet - Israel intends to enlist the assistance of other countries who share some of the same concerns over the precedence of an inquiry into a western democracy with a viable legal system [ry] 23/12/2019
Israeli leaders must know they can go to prisonAli Abunimah - EI - "Israeli politicians, civil servants, generals and soldiers should have to think twice before they participate in these crimes, knowing that by doing so there is a very real chance they could end up in a prison cell in The Hague" [ry] 23/12/2019
Congress rejects request for $175m to support Trump`s `Deal of the Century`Amir Tibon - Ha`aretz - In March, the White House asked Congress for $175 million in a “Diplomatic Progress Fund”, so as to "provide flexibility” in the administration’s Middle East policy. Specifically, in the (unlikely) case of the Palestinians agreeing to Trump`s "Deal of the Century", they would get this money, replacing part of the American aid which Trump had cut off in the past two years. Alternately, the money could used to reward other Middle East states which might support the plan while the Palestinians reject it. However, Congress specifically refused to grant this money - since, in any case, the Trump Plan isn’t likely to be released anytime soon, due to the ongoing political crisis in Israel. "No one thinks this peace plan is coming out any time soon, so why devote money to it?” a Congressional source said. [ak] 17/12/2019
Austrian Parliament sets stage for overwhelming condemnation of BDSRaphael Ahren - Times of Israel - The Austrain Parliament seems set to emulate the German Bundestag and adopt a resolution condemning the BDS movement. A resolution co-sponsored by all five parties represented and likely to pass unanimously or by an overwhelming majority would emphatically condemn all kinds of anti-Semitism, including Israel-related anti-Semitism". The latter is defined as "demonizing Israel, applying a double standard to it, blaming Austrian Jews for Israel`s policies" and also "questioning Israel’s right to exist by demanding a right of return for Palestinian refugees and all their descendants". However, “factual criticism of individual measures by the Israel government must of course be admissible.” The distinction between "demonizing Israel" and “factual criticism" might be difficult to define. [ak]17/12/2019
Unconfirmed report: Trump plan sees 3-way peace deal between Israel, PLO, HamasTimes of Israel - #The settlement blocs in the West Bank would be annexed into Israel, along with isolated settlements. The Jordan Valley would remain under Israeli control. #The Palestinian territories would be made contiguous through a 30 meters above ground highway linking the West Bank and Gaza to be built by a Chinese company. Israel would oversee its construction. #The peace deal demands the full and immediate demilitarization of the Palestinian forces, including Hamas’s terror forces. The Palestinian state would be banned from having an army. [bz]17/12/2019
Trump/Netanyahu: Israel, America and the rise of authoritarianism-liteLloyd Green - The Guardian - Two recent biographies of ‘Bibi’ pose fascinating questions regarding attitudes to Israel among American Jews [ry] 16/12/2019
Don’t let the smears that sank Corbyn tank Bernie SandersAsa Winstanley - EI - “But Labour’s worst performance since 1983 carries an important lesson for the grassroots left-wing campaign in the United States to elect Bernie Sanders as president: You must defeat false anti-Semitism smears at all costs. Do not indulge, entertain or appease them” [ry] 16/12/2019
Jewishness Is Not a NationalitySheldon Richman - AntiWar - “The administration was hoping that Congress would pass a definition of anti-Semitism that would shoehorn Jewishness into the Civil Rights Act clause and force schools to crack down on support for, say, the BDS movement […]. But Congress hasn’t passed the so-called Anti- Semitism Awareness Act. So here is the new tack: define Jewishness as a nationality or race. Voila! Problem solved” [ry] 16/12/2019
GOP lawmaker tries to get Georgetown fundingpulled over alleged ‘anti-Israel,pro-Islamist’ biasMichael Arria - Information Clearing House "On December 11, President Trump signed an executive order thateffectively weaponizes antisemitism as acudgel to beat back BDS activities oncollege campuses. The order threatens towithhold federal funding from universitiesif the government determines that they’ve failed to prohibit discrimination.Trump’s move was barely announced beforea member of congress attempted to use thenew playbook. Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-VA)has sent a letter to Secretary of EducationBetsy DeVos asking for Georgetown Universityto be investigated over its alleged anti-Israel bias. The news was reported onTwitter by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency’s Washington bureau chief Ron Kampeas." ca 14/12/2019
ICC prosecutor acts as Israel’s defense lawyerAli Abunimah - Electronic Intifada "The International Criminal Court prosecutor is again giving Israel a pass for its deadly raid on a flotilla to Gaza a decade ago." ca14/12/2019
Intel: Lebanon aid wrangling exposes divide in Trump administration Bryant Harris - Al-Monitor "The on-again-off-again aid holds are sending mixed messages to Beirut amid the country’s worst economic crisis since the civil war. Lebanese protesters continue to demand that the country’s political old guard step down, including Hezbollah and its allies.While today’s sanctions and Pompeo’s stated support for the protesters indicate that the United States is still committed to squeezing Hezbollah financially, the aid meddling sheds light on the divide within the Trump administration between hard-liners and those who believe that the assistance bolsters Lebanese institutions against the Shiite paramilitary group’s influence." ca 14/12/2019
The thin line between ‘activist’ and ‘ticking time bomb’ for an Amnesty employeeAmir Ben-David - Times of Israel "Amnesty activist Laith Abu Zeyad woke up one day to find that he was a virtual prisoner in the West Bank due to a ruling by the Shin Bet, which claims he poses a ‘serious threat’" ca14/12/2019
Why are foreign lawmakers aiding Israel’s attacks on Palestinian rights?Amjad Iraqi - +972 "An executive order signed by U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday, which effectively allows Palestine activism to be targeted as discriminatory toward Jews under the Civil Rights Act, alarmed many observers for its potential to threaten free speech around Israel. Yet the order is only the latest legal development this month to threaten the rights of Palestinians and their allies abroad." ca 14/12/2019
Gantz’ silence on incitement could cost him premiershipAfif Abu Much - Al-Monitor - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had been waging a campaign against the formation of a minority government headed by the Blue and White party with support of the Arab Joint List from outside the coalition, calling such a government “an existential threat to the State of Israel” on Nov. 17. And as one could expect, this campaign had an effect on the field. On Nov. 30, Joint List Knesset member Ahmad Tibi arrived at a cultural event in Ramat Hasharon, and discovered that right-wing activists were “waiting for him” at the entrance. They tried to prevent his entry, yelled “murderer, terrorist, glorifier of martyrs” at him, and even tried to physically hurt him.(rh) 10/12/2019
`Bennett threatens European representatives with destruction of EU-funded housing in the West BankArutz Sheva - The newly appointed Defense Minister Naftali Bennett met this week with European Union`s representative in Israel - as well as with representatives from Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands, and Denmark - threatening that "Israel`s defense organizations are no longer willing to tolerate" what Bennet termed "the uncontrolled illegal construction in Area C which is encouraged and funded by Europe". He told the Europeans that this was "a waste of money" since Israel would destroy these Palestinian houses, and advised the Europeans "If you want to invest in the Palestinians, it`s worth focusing on humanitarian activities and not illegal construction". The representatives responded negatively to the statement, but did not enter into a debate with the Defense Minister - rather, they told him that they would convey his remarks to their Foreign Ministries and to the European Commission in Brussels, and that their superiors would give a detailed answer. [ak] 10/12/2019
AG’s office said to warn PM Jordan Valley annexation could lead to ICC probeJacob Magid - Times of Israel - Until now, legal and security officials in Israel have been able to successfully combat the majority of attempts to target Israel in the international legal arena. While the attorney general’s office has made clear that it does not itself see a problem with West Bank annexation, the ICC will likely think differently and Netanyahu should take that reality into account... [bz]10/12/2019
House approves resolution supporting Two State Solution`Elad Benari - Arutz 7 - Elad Benari - Arutz 7 - The US House of Representatives approved by a majority of 226 to 188 a resolution reaffirming US support for the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Arab conflict. The resolution affirmed that "only a two-state solution that enhances stability and security for Israel, Palestinians, and their neighbors can both ensure the state of Israel’s survival as a Jewish and democratic state and fulfill the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people for a state of their own". It aslo stressed that the US "can play a constructive role"by "putting forward a proposal for achieving a two-state solution that is consistent with previous United States proposals" which "recognize the Palestinian right to self- determination and enhance Israel’s long-term security and normalization with its neighbors" (referring to the Trump Adminstration`s increasing deviation from such previous US propsals). Also, the US should "discourage steps by either side that would put a peaceful end to the conflict further out of reach, including unilateral annexation of territory" (clearly referring to PM Netanyahu`s vowed aim to annex the Jordan Valley. and to his assertion that he got President Trump`s assent to such a step). This was counterbalanced by also condemning "efforts to achieve Palestinian statehood status outside the framework of negotiations with Israel". [Note: Arutz 7 did provide the full text of the resolution-ak] 10/12/2019
Trump: if Jared Kushner can`t achieve peace in Middle East, `it can`t be done`Associated Press - The Guardian - President also told Israeli American Council summit some Jewish people in the US don’t love Israel enough and attacked Ilhan Omar [ry] 9/12/2019
Only 19.7% of Americans agree with US State Dept on Israeli settlementsGrant Smith - Washington Report on Middle East Affairs (WRMEA) / If Americans Knew - Following Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declaring that Israeli settlements were not “inherently illegal,” the IRmep public opinion poll posed to 2,034 American adults the question: “International law SHOULD APPLY to Israel’s military occupation & colonization of the West Bank, Golan Heights, E. Jerusalem and displacement of their indigenous populations. Do you Disagree or Agree?” 53.6 percent had no opinion at all to give. Of those who did have an opinion, 26.7 percent said that in their opinion international law still applies, while only 19.7 percent believe it does not. [ak] 4/12/2019
Netanyahu wants to stay in office `to complete the annexation of Jordan Valley`Times of Israel - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is seeking to serve as premier first in a rotational government with rival party Blue and White for only as long as it takes him to make good on a promise to annex the West Bank’s Jordan Valley, his party said. Previous to the September elections Netanyahu vowed that if reelected he would immediately annex the Jordan Valley, a swath of land whose annexation would cut off the West Bank from Jordan. He reportedly promised that once the annexation is implemented he would move aside to deal with the corruption charges brought against him. Ganz has declared himself in favor of Israel permanently retaining the Jordan Valley but did not declare support for unilaterally annexing it. The main reason for rejecting Netanyahu`s offer is that Blue and White do not trust him to keep his word. [ak]3/12/2019
Israel set to seek UN recognition of Jewish refugees from Arab countriesi24NEWS/Ynet - The move comes as the UN General Assembly marks 72 years since the November 29, 1947 partition plan [for many years considered as the day for solidarity with Palestinians-bz]. Israel`s Permanent Mission to the UN says that the new resolution asking for the UN to recognize some 800,000 Jewish refugees from Arab countries is designed to undermine the proposed Palestinian resolutions. [bz]3/12/2019
Rabbis standing up together for Palestinian childrenRabbi Alissa Wise - Jewish Voice for Peace - For decades “unconditional” U.S. support for Israel has been code for funding Israel’s human rights abuses of Palestinians – Trump is simply taking that to its logical next step. But more and more Jews, especially young Jews, commit to working for justice and equality for all in Israel/Palestine. [ak]3/12/2019
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