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Assad: I`m pressured to open `Golan front`Roi Kais - Israel News "In interview to Hezbollah TV station, Assad says Hezbollah involvement connected to Israel; promises to respond to alleged Israeli attack; claims Russia will make good on all arms agreements; suggests might run for president in 2014." ca31/5/2013
Amusement park denies entry to Arab teacher, studentsShahar Chai - YnetNews - A Jaffa school teacher complained that Superland Rishon Lezion prevented him from buying tickets for Arab students, a complaint which was followed by the amusement park`s management admission that the park is open to Jewish schools on certain days and Arab schools on other days.-rh 30/5/2013
Hany Abu-Assad`s Omar Gets Standing Ovation in CannesE. Nina Rothe - Huffington Post (blog) - At the core of Omar, stands a connection between two men, two unlikely heroes full of faults and human traits. While I admit that I went into the film with some pretty well- defined allegiances, the character of Rami, the Israeli agent assigned to Omar`s case, left me torn. Mid-screening I scribbled in my notebook about him and Omar "two men who are clearly different from the rest" and today, more then twenty-four hours later, I`m still seduced by Rami`s character, and the charismatic actor who plays him, Waleed F. Zuaiter. [See also the hostile: Anti-Israel film wins Cannes prize,7340,L-4384208,00.html bz]26/5/2013
Amnesty: Israeli restrictions on movement of Palestinians collective punishmentPalestinian Information Center (PIC): AI`s yearly report pointed out that West Bank Palestinians are forced to get Israeli permits while the Israeli settlers are allowed to move freely in those areas. The stringent restrictions imposed on the movement of Palestinians serve as a "collective punishment" of the population of Gaza and the West Bank. bz26/5/2013
`This time they destroyed everything`: Uprooted Bedouins face more evictionsJillian Kestler-D`Amours - Electronic Intifada - Police and agents with the Israel Land Administration regularly come to the village to take photographs of buildings, Abu al-Qian explained. They even once asked him if he would rather demolish the village himself, or wait for them to do it. bz 26/5/2013
Jordan king says extremism ‘grown fat’ on Israel-Palestinian conflictAssociated Press - Washington Post - “None benefits more of the success of Secretary Kerry’s efforts than Palestinians and nobody loses more than Palestinians, if he fails,” Erekat said on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum. bz26/5/2013
Of malignant hatred and a law of theft Adam Keller - Crazy Country - The Goldberg Commission`s conclusions included a recommendation to recognize at least a large part of the unrecognized Bedouin villages and give them official status, building permits and basic services such as water and electricity. But there were government officials who thought that went too far. Ehud Prawer was appointed by the Prime Minister to review the recommendations and improve them, and he did a thorough job of deleting any item that might be remotely acceptable to the Bedouins. bz26/5/2013
Kerry Meets With Israelis and Palestinians to Revive Peace ProcessISABEL KERSHNER and MICHAEL R. GORDON - NYT - "Those participating in the meetings have been sworn to discretion, creating a rare silence on both sides over an issue that is usually played out in shrill tones. Analysts said the secrecy could be a sign of seriousness, or of fear of being blamed for any leaks or failure." - id 24/5/2013
Israel cracks down on American travel to West Bank by requiring tourists to obtain military permitAlexKane - Mondoweiss "Hass’s report was published as opposition mounts to the Senate bill that grants Israelis visa-free travel to the U.S. while also codifying Israel`s practice of denying U.S. travelers entry on the basis of security concerns. That Senate bill exposes a galling aspect of the "special relationship." All the military aid and diplomatic support to Israel doesn’t shield Americans from being routinely discriminated against based on their political affiliations or ethnic background. And Israel can count on the U.S. not putting up a fight. Having the whole Congress behind you means never having to think twice about these actions. " ca24/5/2013
J Street’s pipe dreams of peaceMiko Peled - The Electronic Intifada - "“It’s an energizing time to be here. After years of frustrating deadlock, talk of peace is in the air again.” What air is he breathing?" - id (for rh) 23/5/2013
US, Israel raise hopes for Mideast peace restartAssociated Press - Ynet - "In Jerusalem, Kerry lauds Netanyahu`s `seriousness` in search for ways to jumpstart peace talks with Palestinians, says `I know this region well enough to know there is skepticism, and there are reasons for it.` PM: When there`s a will, we`ll find a way." - id (for rh) 23/5/2013
Peace debate exposes deep rifts in Israeli governmentJeffrey Heller - Yahoo News - ""Two states for two peoples might be Netanyahu`s position, but it is not the official government position. It is not part of its basic guidelines," Orit Struck of the Bayit Yehudi party said at the Foreign Affairs and Defense committee session." - id 22/5/2013
Playing your role: A Middle East peace dramaJason Alexander - Ynet - "We have a role to play, no matter how small. I have taken a part, but this cast is large. And the players need you. It is a great story. You really shouldn`t miss it." - id 22/5/2013
Jamal al-Dura: Israel killed my son in cold bloodMa`an - An Israeli report by the ministry of international affairs and strategy said raw footage of the incident Sept. 30, 2000 showed that Muhammad was seen alive in the video. According to father Jamal al-Dura "the Israelis come up every year with a new narrative." [The version which was circulated years ago as if Muhammad had died from a Palestinian bullet seems to have become obsolete-bz]21/5/2013
Erekat throws his weight behind Kerry`s bid to revive talksReuters - Jerusalem Post - "Make no mistake we are exerting every possible effort in order to see that Mr. Kerry succeeds. No one benefits more from the success of Secretary Kerry than Palestinians and no one loses more from his failure than Palestinians," Erekat said. He said that in the past two months Kerry had met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas five times, Erekat three times and that the three spoke by phone almost weekly. "Mr. Kerry is keeping things (close to) his chest. He likes to work very, very, very below the radar and grow things like mushrooms," Erekat said. "We did everything ... in order to enable him to succeed. He is not going to wait for years or months actually, he`s working very hard." bz 21/5/2013
Silence is no longer an option: A call to action from IsraelDaniel Bar-Tal - +972 - It is imperative that Jews around the world who cherish humanistic values publicly express their concern about the current situation in Israel, and call for the government to return to peaceful, moral, democratic, and humanistic values20/5/2013
Israel is largest drone exporter in the worldYaakov Lappin, Reuters - The Jerusalem Post - Global reliance on US drops; Paris seeks to purchase drones from J`lem "straight away"20/5/2013
Israel Demands French TV Retract 2000 Report on Gaza Child’s KillingJason Ditz - AntiWar - Israeli Officials Insist Boy Might Be Alive Somewhere20/5/2013
Anti-Zionist playing cards new fad in haredi sectorAkiva Novick - Ynet - Against the backdrop of the massive anti-draft haredi demonstration in Jerusalem on Thursday, new playing cards promoting anti-Zionist beliefs are gaining popularity in Israel`s various orthodox communities. Though they originated in the relatively marginal Neturei Karta sect, the playing cards` distributor claims they garner much enthusiasm in the haredi mainstream outside the group`s Jerusalem cloister. bz19/5/2013
Catastrophic thinking: Did Ben-Gurion try to rewrite history?Shay Hazkani - Haaretz - Most historians today agree that in at least 120 of 530 villages, the Palestinian inhabitants were expelled, and that in half the villages the inhabitants fled because of the battles and were not allowed to return. Ben-Gurion appeared to have known the facts well (...) in many cases senior commanders of the Israel Defense Forces ordered Palestinians to be expelled and their homes blown up. The Israeli military not only updated Ben-Gurion about these events but also apparently received his prior authorization, in written or oral form, notably in Lod and Ramle, and in several villages in the north. bz19/5/2013
`Expect Israeli strikes on Russian arms shipment to Syria-Hezbollah`Shlomo Cesana, David Baron, Daniel Siryoti and Israel Hayom staff - U.S. officials told The Wall Street Journal on Thursday that another round of Israeli airstrikes could target a new Russian transfer of advanced anti- ship missiles in the near future. Israeli and Western intelligence services believe the Yakhont missiles, which have been sold by Russia to Syria in recent years, could be transferred to Hezbollah within days, the newspaper reported on its website Friday. [The US threatening again with "uncontrollable Israel", etc.-bz]18/5/2013
Erdogan: Hamas vital to peace talksYitzhak Benhorin - Ynet - Future of negotiations depends on Palestinian unity and inclusion of Hamas, claims Turkey`s PM; `Israel must retreat to 1967 line,` he says in Washington. But "as long as Israel does not accept Palestine as a state, there is not much to talk about in terms of trying to achieve peace." Erdogan also announced his intentions of visiting Gaza and the West Bank as soon as next month. bz18/5/2013
Promoting science, promoting democracyIsmail Serageldin - AlAhram Weekly "Centuries before Bacon and Descartes, before the emergence of modern science in the West, our forefathers were calling for the experimental method, relying on the power of observation and the application of rationality and logic. They promoted openness to the contrarian view, balanced by a healthy scepticism...The challenge for Egypt today is to ensure that it can create an overall climate that is open and tolerant, for that is how democracy will flourish and science will advance. Democracy requires pluralism, which is based on difference of opinion, and democracy is about protecting the rights of those who hold minority opinions from the tyranny of the majority. That is why belief in the values of science, so essential to proper scientific research and for the development of new ideas, is also essential for the development of a proper democratic system." ca17/5/2013
Despite efforts to erase it, the Nakba`s memory is more present than ever in IsraelNoam Sheizaf - +972 - ""Sometimes we had to shoot one or two, and then the rest got the message and left on their own. You need to understand: if you didn’t destroy the Arab’s home, he will always want to come back. When there is no home, no village, there is nowhere to return."" - id 15/5/2013
Palestinian celebrity gets the `Jewish sticker` at Ben-Gurion AirportAmi Kaufman - +972 - "Thanks that someone whispered to you, “it’s Mira Awad,” so the “Awad” isn’t scary anymore? Thanks for upgrading me to a Class A citizen? I turned into one of “ours,” or actually one of “yours.”" - id15/5/2013
Marwan Barghouthi from prison: any talk of modifications on the 1967 borders must be rejectedSaed Bannoura - IMEMC - While calling on the Palestinian people to unite, Barghouti said that the Palestinians must reject all attempts that aim at forcing them to abandon their legitimate rights, to insist on a full and comprehensive Israeli withdrawal from all of the Palestinian territories Israel occupied in 1967, including Jerusalem, to ensure the full implementation of resolution 194, and the liberation of all detainees. bz14/5/2013
Norman Finkelstein bids farewell to Israel bashingNatasha Mozgovaya - Haaretz - "If you go on college campuses, there are some Hillel faithfuls who are bringing an IDF soldier to try to explain that not all IDF soldiers are war criminals. And when the soldier starts to speak, many people stand up and walk out. "They`ve lost the battle for public opinion," he says. "They claim it`s because American Jews know too little - I claim it`s because they know too much about the conflict, and young liberal Jews have difficulty defending the use of cluster bombs in Lebanon or supporting the Israeli settlements. I was bashing Israel in the past because nobody else was exposing its true record. Many people are doing it now, so I switched hats from a critic of Israel to a diplomat who wants to resolve the conflict. bz14/5/2013
An organic intellectual and social justice pioneer: A profile of Shlomo SwirskiYossi Dahan - +972 - A profile of one of the most influential people in the struggle for social justice in Israel. Although he was kept out of academia, perhaps it was for the better. Who knows how much we would have lost had he wasted his days trying to sneak an article into the American Journal of Sociology13/5/2013
Yacimovich to Abbas: Israel, Palestinians must renew peace process now Barak Ravid and Jonathan Lis - Haaretz - Labor is committed to the solution of two states for two peoples, Yacimovich told Abbas, emphasizing that Israel must preserve the safety of its citizens in any future deal [whatever that may mean-bz].12/5/2013
Noam Chomsky helped lobby Stephen Hawking to stage Israel boycottRobert Booth and Harriet Sherwood - The Guardian - "It will be easier now for other academics who have been supportive of Palestinian rights but were reluctant to act on their support," was the comment of Samia Botmeh, board member of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel.11/5/2013
San Francisco bus ads condemn Israeli apartheid: backlash beginsCecilie Surasky - Muzzlewatch - According to the 6 million dollar Israel Action Network, which provides talking points and strategy to defenders of Israeli government policy, the aim of delegitimization is to “isolate Israel as a pariah state and reject the notion of a two- state solution.” If that were at all true, you’d think they’d go after the original two-state solution killers– the settlers, the Israeli government and Bibi Netanyahu whose party openly opposes a two-state solution. But nary a peep. bz11/5/2013
Egyptian Women: Between Revolution, Counter-Revolution, Orientalism and AuthenticityNicola Pratt - Jadaliyya "The legitimacy of the Egyptian female revolutionary has been increasingly contested in the post-Mubarak period through the use of sexualized violence against women protesters. Under the rule of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, the military undertook “virginity tests” against women revolutionaries, widely condemned by Egyptian and international human rights organizations. The “blue bra woman” (that is, a video of a woman being dragged across Qasr al-Einy Street and beaten by military police forces in December 2011) has become an iconic image of SCAF-sponsored violence." ca10/5/2013
Israel asks Russia to block Syria arms saleReuters - Haaretz "Israel has asked Russia not to sell Syria an advanced air defense system which would help President Bashar Assad fend off foreign military intervention as he battles a more than two-year-old rebellion, Israeli officials said on Thursday.Israel told told Washington that Syria had already began payments for a 900 million Euro purchase of the S-300, and an initial delivery was due within three months." ca 10/5/2013
Israel air strikes an obstacle for Kerry`s Syria talks with PutinAssociated Press - The National - "Russia, alongside China, has blocked US-led efforts three times at the United Nations to pressure Mr Al Assad into stepping down and US officials are hoping Syria`s behaviour could shift Russia`s stance." - id 8/5/2013
Chinese President makes four-point proposal for settlement of Palestinian questionAn - Xinhua - The immediate priority is to take credible steps to stop settlement activities, end violence against innocent civilians, lift the blockade of the Gaza Strip and properly handle the issue of Palestinian prisoners in order to create the necessary conditions for the resumption of peace talks. 7/5/2013
China rebukes Israel ahead of Netanyahu visitIvan Watson and Feng Ke - CNN - This week the world`s second largest economy appeared to be flexing its diplomatic muscles in the Middle East, proposing a four-point peace plan and repeating its call for the establishment of a Palestinian state with a capital in East Jerusalem. bz7/5/2013
Yesh Atid blocks referendum on peace dealsMoran Azulay - Ynet - The Yesh Atid faction, headed by Finance Minister Yair Lapid, decided on Monday to oppose Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett`s initiative to pass a Basic Law requiring a referendum before any peace treaty with the Palestinians is signed. bz7/5/2013
Deputy FM Elkin asks Google to rethink ‘Palestine’ taglineTovah Lazaroff - Jerusalem Post - The General Assembly agreed to upgrade its status to that of a nonmember state. The UN has since then agreed to refer to it as the State of Palestine, even though it has not been accorded full state rights. bz7/5/2013
The personal and the political: Territorial swaps and population exchangesMuhammad Jabali - +972 - When Israeli politicians talk about land swaps, they rarely consider the rights of those affected – or at least the Palestinian ones. As personal as it is political, the entire situation shows the lack of civil discourse in so-called peace negotiations6/5/2013
Search engine Google recognises Palestine AlJazeera - Internet search giant confirms changing the name "Palestinian Territories" to "Palestine" across all platforms6/5/2013
Professor: Our Boycott and Sanctions Campaign is GrowingEliran Aharon - Arutz Sheva [settler site] - When asked why there are no similar campaigns against countries such as Syria and North Korea, Messick said, “People oppose all sorts of oppressive regimes, in all sorts of contemporary colonial circumstances. This is one that has world implications.” bz5/5/2013
Abbas in China, partly simultaneously with NetanyahuMa`an - Abbas told Xinhua he plans to (...) ask Chinese leaders to "use its relationship with Israel to remove the obstacles that obstruct the Palestinian economy". bz5/5/2013
Israeli Army Bombards A Syrian Military Center In DamascusSaed Bannoura - IMEMC - A `Syrian Human Rights Monitor`, based in Britain, quoted eyewitnesses in Syria stating that the Israeli Air Force bombarded the Jimraya military base, and a nearby weapons facility, and at least two centers for the Syrian Presidential Guards. bz5/5/2013
Israel confirms Syria strike, says hit Hezbollah-bound missilesRoi Kais - Ynet - A US official, who declined to be identified, told Reuters on Friday the air strike apparently targeted a building and not a convey. The officials say the shipment was not of chemical arms, but of "game changing" weapons bound for the Lebanese militant Hezbollah group. bz4/5/2013
`Jews shouldn`t take God`s promise to Abraham literally` says Church of Scotland reportAmir Mizroch - Israel Hayom - (...) the exact geography of the land is unclear, and in any case the land was given "conditionally to the Jewish people, on the understanding the land is God`s, given in trust to be cared for and lived in according to God`s instruction." bz4/5/2013
Israel`s Netanyahu, Palestine`s Abbas head to ChinaSui-Lee Wee - Reuters - China will host Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas next week for separate bilateral talks as it tries to shore up its role in a region where its diplomatic influence is limited. bz4/5/2013
To Break Their Strike; Israel Denies Jordanian Detainees Access To LiquidsSaed Bannoura - IMEMC - 25 Jordanians imprisoned by Israel decided to start a hunger strike demanding the Jordanian government to act for their release. All liquids, except for water, have been banned for all the striking Jordanian detainees. Usually, hunger-striking detainees have access to water and other liquids such as mild. Palestinian detainees have been unable to contact the Jordanian ones after Israeli authorities ordered them into solitary confinement. bz4/5/2013
Danes, Finns upgrade Palestinian diplomatic statusAP - Ynet - Google spokesman Nathan Tyler said Friday "We`re changing the name `Palestinian territories` to `Palestine` across our products." bz4/5/2013
Video: Palestinian refugees from Syria speak outMosireen - VIDEO "Listen to these Palestinians, now yet again refugees in another land. First the Zionist armies exiled them from their villages in Palestine in 1948, now the armies of Bashar exiled them from Syria, which had become a temporary home." ca3/5/2013
US State Dep’t echoes David Sheen’s documentation of Israeli racism toward refugees– as infiltrators, disease-bearersAnnie Robbins - Mondoweiss ""Government officials and media outlets periodically referred to asylum seekers as ‘infiltrators’ and characterized them as directly associated with rises in crime, disease, and terrorism,” the report said. “Interior Minister Eli Yishai made several inflammatory comments about African migrants and organizations that provided them with assistance, and threatened mass arrests and deportation of illegal migrants. Yishai publicly stated the purpose of the Prevention of Infiltration Law was to make the lives of asylum seekers unbearable.” ca3/5/2013
Equal rights for gentile troopsHassan Kaabiya - Ynet - "Bedouin, Druze soldiers have sacrificed their lives so rabbis could write their halachic rulings safely," - id1/5/2013
Yachimovich: Ignoring the Palestinian issue cost us four Knesset seatsNoam Sheizaf - +972 - "... she conveyed the message that the entire Palestinian problem is not important." - id1/5/2013
The Promised CityShuchen Tan - AlJazeera - A new West Bank eco-town is tempting some Palestinians with promises of a dream city, but it is not without its critics27/5/2013
`Israel Under Fire slogan damaged Israeli tourism marketing efforts`Amir Mizroch - Israel Hayom - "A further issue which may complicate tourism marketing, if only for some, is the recent decision by the Attorney-General`s Office allowing the Shin Bet security service to ask suspicious tourists for their email passwords." - id8/5/2013
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