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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    

Palestine: The Testbed for Trump’s Plan to Tear up the Rules-Based International OrderJonathan Cook - CounterPunch - "Europe’s leading states anxiously wish to uphold the semblance of an international order they believe has prevented their region’s descent into a Third World War. Israel and the US, on the other hand, are determined to use Palestine as the testbed for dismantling these protections" [ry]24/9/2018
Palestinians were never at the tableOmar Karmi - EI - “Israelis may have understood this or they may have not. It didn’t really matter. The imbalance of power between the two and the equally unbalanced American approach to mediation meant Israel was negotiating with itself and – on rare occasion – Washington. What the Palestinians wanted mattered little” [ry]24/9/2018
If ending Syria’s war means accepting Assad and Russia have won, so be itJonathan Steele - The Guardian "The Syrian conflict was never a simple binary struggle between supporters and opponents of Assad. Millions of Syrians had little or no faith in either side but deplored the militarisation of what had started as a non-violent uprising and became a proxy war in which outside states used Syria as a battleground for their own interests." ca21/9/2018
Meet the woman who could lead Israel’s right-wing camp IDMazal Mualem - Al-Monitor "On Sept. 17, center-left Knesset members came up to the podium one by one and warned of Shaked’s big and dangerous plan. “In one thing the justice minister is right, it’s either us or them. … It’s either a messianic, nationalist, religious and occupying Israel or an open liberal democracy that extends a hand to peace and grants equality to all its citizens,” Meretz party leader Tamar Zandberg said." ca 21/9/2018
This Yom Kippur, I am haunted by the idea that the damage to Palestinians and Jewishness is permanentMarc H. Ellis - Mondoweiss "A Rabbi friend wrote recently that the “Jewish project” was in danger. By that he meant the ethical core of Jewish life, the search for justice, equality and the dignity of Jews and others. On Yom Kippur and after, the world’s library shelves will continue to expand with books that go far beyond what has been written by and about Jews in the past. There is no other way, if we are truthful. As Jews, we have not confessed and turned toward justice. We won’t this Yom Kippur either." ca21/9/2018
‘Oslo sold us out’: Young Palestinians on the moment that shaped their generationYumna Patel - Mondoweiss "“What does Oslo mean to me? For me, Oslo means that the Palestinian people did not get to decide their fate as a whole.” The words of Yasmin Abu Shakdim, a 22-year-old Sociology student from the city of Hebron, are expressive of a sentiment held by many Palestinian youth...“We have two occupations, the Israeli occupation and the Palestinian Authority,” al-Azza said. “Anyone that tries to resist or get involved in politics will be arrested by either the PA or by Israeli security forces as part of their coordination. This is a result of Oslo.” ca 21/9/2018
I asked Israel`s only journalist in Palestine to show me something shocking – and this is what I sawRobert Fisk - The Independent "Show me something that will shock me, I told Amira Hass. So Israel’s only journalist in the Palestinian West Bank – or Palestine, if you still believe in so unorthodox a word – took me down a road outside Ramallah that I remember as a highway which led to Jerusalem. But now, just over a hill, it deteriorates into a half tarmac road, a set of closed, rusting shop doors, and garbage. The same old summer smell of raw sewage creeps up the road. It lies, green and gentle, in a pool at the bottom of the wall." ca21/9/2018
Is Israel a Democracy?Faisal Khan - CounterPunch - "I feel that whilst there is indeed some Anti-Semitism in Labour (can prejudice ever be entirely eradicated?) the whole issue is primarily a witch-hunt against Jeremy Corbyn because there is a realisation in many quarters that for the first time in many years we may have a Prime Minister in this country who has Pro-Palestinian sympathies." - id 20/9/2018
How Pro-Israel Goons Rule TwitterRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "Yesterday, I criticized foreign media (see Facebook post above) for calling Ari Fuld, a settler murdered by a Palestinian assailant in Gush Etzion, an “activist.” Fuld was many things. But activist was not one of them. He was a militant heavily armed settler. He served for decades in the elite IDF paratroopers unit. His websites revealed his absolute hatred of Palestinians and denial of their existence. He also organized armed patrols in his settlement, Efrat." - id20/9/2018
The Demise of the Palestinian QuestionYacov Ben Efrat - Challenge - "Even before the rollout of the “Deal of the Century”, its general guidelines are clear. Jerusalem is off the table; defunding UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees) solved the refugee problem; a confederation with Jordan will replace Palestinian sovereignty over the West Bank; and the closure of the PLO’s mission in Washington effectively removes the PLO as a partner for negotiations with Israel." - id 20/9/2018
The Veiled Danger of the ‘Dead’ Oslo AccordsRamzy Baroud - CounterPunch - "Oslo is not a specific legal document that can be implemented or rejected. It is a spectrum in which the likes of Beilin, Lieberman and Pipes have more in common than they may think, and in which the fate of the Palestinian people is left to inept leaders, incapable of thinking outside the permissible space allocated to them by the Israelis and the Americans" [ry]17/9/2018
How educated Arabs present a dilemma for IsraelYaron London - Ynet - "Unlike ultra-Orthodox Jews, country’s Arab sector is eager to acquire education and integrate into modern labor market, and although this is excellent news for economy, Israeli government views educated minority as a potential threat that might be able to form adequate political opposition and exacerbate current hostility." - id12/9/2018
The Plea That Echoes Everywhere in Gaza: ‘We Just Want to Feel Safe.’Sandy Tolan - The Daily Beast - "They blame Israel, they blame Hamas, they blame many people for their misery, but, still—after so many wars, so much destruction—people try to lead “normal” lives." - id12/9/2018
The Day the Music Died: Will BDS Bring Tel Aviv`s Club Scene to a Standstill?Idit Frenkel - Haaretz - DJs like Shanti Celeste, Volvox, DJ Seinfeld, Python and Leon Vynehall also dropped out of Meteor. Why was this unexpected? Because Israel’s nightlife and clubbing scene – especially in Tel Aviv – had been an oasis regarding cultural boycotts, an extraterritorial hedonistic space with no room for politics. Moreover, two of the DJs spearheading the struggle on the nightlife scene regarding Mideast politics – the Black Madonna and Anthony Naples – have been here, enjoyed themselves, been honored and promised to return, until they discovered there’s such a thing as the occupation. So what has changed since 2015? First, there has been a change on the Gaza border, with civilians getting shot. Second, news reports about the nation-state law and the discrimination that comes with it have done their bit. Third, the arrests and detentions of left-wing activists entering Israel. [bz]11/9/2018
For Israel, Khan al-Ahmar residents lack “good faith” displayed by settlersSharona Weiss - +972 - Both Mitzpe Kramim and Khan al-Ahmar were built without the necessary permits – Mitzpe Kramim on privately owned Palestinian land, Khan al-Ahmar on so-called state (public) land that was confiscated from Palestinian landowners from Anata in 1975. Both communities requested that their civilian structures be legalized retroactively. The difference? Apparently, only one community has the quality of good faith: decent, well-behaved Israeli settlers who gained rights to property that they seized illegally, all because their intentions were assumed innocent. [bz]11/9/2018
Trump, Spinoza, and the Palestinian RefugeesSheldon Richman - "Some blame victims; others – like Trumpand his ilk – pretend the victims don’t exist. Anyone who attempted somethinglike this with respect to, say, Jews would properly have been denounced by alldecent people...Let’s be clear: Trump has no intention of actuallyaddressing the refugee situation, and Israel has no intention of treating anyPalestinian justly. The criticism of UNRWA is simply a ruse for once again stickingit to the Palestinians. Why? Because Trump, like the rest of America’s ruling elite, favors Israel for geopolitical, domesticpolitical, and cultural and ethnic reasons." ca10/9/2018
Trump`s endgame in PalestineMitchell Plitnick - +972 - Washington defunding the Palestinian refugee agency is not merely an attack on UNRWA, as serious as that may be. It is an attempt to destroy the Palestinian national movement [ry]10/9/2018
Ceding the Palestinian narrative to ... PalestiniansBy Samer Badawi - +972 "Marcello Di Cintio’s Pay No Heed to the Rockets borrows its title from Mahmoud Darwish, Palestine’s most widely translated poet, who, amid the sounds of destruction accompanying Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon, marks one night under siege with a how-to on coffee brewing. The passage, even in translation, brilliantly evokes the banal, methodical persistence of the civilian in wartime:" ca7/9/2018
US cuts to UNRWA point to the dark future being readied for the PalestiniansJonathan Cook - Countercurrents - The US State Department said on Friday it would no longer continue its $360 million annual contributions to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), depriving it of a third of its budget. US officials described the organisation as “irredeemably flawed”. The move follows an announcement last week that Washington had slashed $200 million from other aid programmes for the Palestinians. About five million Palestinians – many languishing for decades in refugee camps across the Middle East – rely on the agency for essential food, healthcare and education.-rh5/9/2018
Trump to Defund UNWRA to Eliminate Palestinian Refugee Status, Right of ReturnRichard Silverstein= Tikun Olam - "While many of us have been calling Trump’s “deal of the century” dead in the water, he has made an alarming effort to implement his approach in de facto fashion without any party (except Israel) having any input. In other words, without even putting forward a proposal, Trump can create “facts on the ground” which would (he believes) determine the outcome without the Palestinians even realizing it." - id 5/9/2018
Anti-Israelism and Anti-Semitism: the Invidious ConflationSheldon Richman - CounterPunch - "How could anti-Israelism on campus or anywhere else pose a “civil and human rights challenge to North American Jewry”? If Judaism values universal justice, which the great prophets admonished the ancient Hebrews to honor, attention to the systematic injustice that Israel inflicts on the Palestinians qua non-Jews should be welcomed rather than feared by all, including Jews." - id "5/9/2018
What Lies Beneath: The US-Israeli Plot to ‘Save’ GazaRamzy Baroud - Countercurrents - Regardless of whether a permanent truce is achieved between Israel and the Hamas-led Gaza factions, the sad truth is that, whatever grand illusion is harbored by Washington and Tel Aviv at the moment, is almost entirely based on exploiting Palestinian divisions, for which the Palestinian leadership is to be wholly blamed.-rh5/9/2018
August 2018 newsletterBazel Yazoury - Defence for Children International - As children around the world head back to school, our thoughts are with Palestinian children who spent their summers locked up in Israeli detention centers and prisons. Many remain behind bars now, unable to join their classmates on the first day of school.-rh5/9/2018
Israel Doesn’t Want to Be My StateSayed Kashua - The New York Times - When Israel was founded on the ruins of the Palestinian people in 1948, it was defined as a Jewish state. The Israeli flag was always a Jewish one, bearing a Star of David; the national anthem invokes the “Jewish soul,” excluding anyone who is not Jewish from these national symbols. The Palestinians who became Israeli citizens when the state was founded — like my family — have always been viewed as an undesirable demographic burden and subjected to discrimination. So what does the issuance of the Nationality Law change? In essence, perhaps not that much. It has turned de facto racism into de jure racism.-rh5/9/2018
‘We have the right to be equal citizens!’ Palestinian mayor slams Israeli Housing MinisterJonathan Ofir - Mondoweiss - Amer el Huzail, the Deputy Mayor of Rahat, wouldn’t take this chauvinist, colonialist offense lying down. He answered Galant’s words in Hebrew, putting the “illegal construction” claim into its actual colonialist context, and rebuffing the shameful demand to be silent about Israeli Apartheid: First of all, thank you for your contribution of 13 million shekels from the Housing Ministry, really, thank you. But this is not the time and place to sting politically. Therefore I must retort in the same political way. First of all there is no “illegal construction in the Negev”. There are unrecognized villages and they must be recognized. Recognize the villages! You can’t follow this model of concentrating a maximal number of Bedouin Arabs on a minimal area. The Negev is large enough to include the unrecognized villages. Recognize the unrecognized villages. Stop demolishing the houses of Bedouins in the Negev. Let them live just like the Jewish neighbors!-rh5/9/2018
Jerusalem mayor vows to kick out UN agency for Palestinian refugeesAllison Deger - Mondoweiss - Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat today promised to kick out the UN agency responsible for refugee services saying the move will support Israeli “sovereignty and unity of Jerusalem.” He also appealed to “increase the Israelization” of East Jerusalem. Barkat’s promise to shut down the UN Relief and Works Agency, UNRWA, operations in Jerusalem was made at conference hosted by Israel’s Hadashot TV network, reported the Times of Israel. In his speech Barkat accused UNRWA of running schools that promote “incitement” against Israel through its education system.-rh “We will close their schools and give pupils hope and Israeli matriculation in the city’s schools, we will put an end to incitement, and we will replace their failed welfare services with our plan,” he said.       5/9/2018
Israel welcomes end of US funding for UN Palestinian refugee agencyTOI STAFF and AGENCIES - The Times of Israel - Israel welcomed Saturday a US decision to end funding for the UN Palestinian refugee agency (UNRWA), accusing the organization which supports some 5 million Palestinians of perpetuating the Middle East conflict. “Israel supports the US move,” an official in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said on condition of anonymity.-rh5/9/2018
New IDF strategy to focus on missilesBen Caspit - Al-Monitor - The assessment is that a missile corps of the type that Liberman dreams about would cost somewhere between six and eight billion shekels ($160-200 million) over a decade. Israel’s defense industries develop leading technologies in the precision, self-correction, maneuvering and firepower of missiles and rockets. They are already selling missiles to other countries around the world. Now Israel will make use of this impressive technology.-rh 5/9/2018
Israeli court drops mask on support of occupation Akiva Eldar - Al-Monitor - “A strategically important decision” was how Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked categorized the Aug. 28 decision by Jerusalem District Court Judge Arnon Darel. The court barred the Israel Defense Forces from evacuating several homes at the West Bank settlement of Mitzpe Kramim, even though these houses were built on private Palestinian lands, thus legalizing the outpost. Darel ruled that under Israeli law, even legally questionable transactions could be valid if conducted in "good faith," accepting the argument by the settlers and the state that when the land was allocated to build Mitzpe Kramim in the late 1990s, neither of them was aware that it was private. “Working together intensively we have wrought a change in the state’s policy,” Shaked said, patting herself on the back and praising Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit for overturning his predecessor’s stand on the issue.-rh 5/9/2018
An indomitable crusaderDr Naazir Mahmood - Uri highlights in his last article that the new law contains two important omissions (...)‘No Democracy. No equality. A state of Jews, for the Jews, by the Jews.’ This is pretty much what we have done in Pakistan. Though, on paper we may show some equality clause somewhere, in practice we are trying to make Pakistan a state of Muslims, for the Muslims, by the Muslims. And the situation is not much different in most other Muslim countries including Iran and Saudi Arabia. [bz] 3/9/2018
Saeb Erekat speaking on Israel`s seizure of Palestinian moneySaeb Erekat- WAFA VIDEO - The decision in the Knesset to withhold money for the salaries of Palestinian prisoners and martyrs...tantamount to the destruction of the Palestinian Authority." ca31/8/2018
Israel, US seek to redefine Palestinian refugeesBen Caspit - Al-Monitor "Al-Monitor reviewed in an earlier article the issue of cutbacks in the UNRWA budget. Meanwhile, it turns out that the American course of action will be sharper and more aggressive than was originally assessed in Israel. The watershed will be breached on Sept. 1, exactly when hundreds of schools in Gaza and the West Bank operated by the UNRWA are due to open. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and the Shin Bet warn that UNRWA cutbacks are likely to cause the security situation to deteriorate unless an alternate program is presented." ca 30/8/2018
Why I Will Never Go on BirthrightSafia Southey - The Palestine Chronicle - Taglit-Birthright Israel’ or simply ‘Birthright’ is a well-known Jewish heritage experience that many young Jewish people take part in. In its description, it sounds like a fantastic cultural experience that is packed with authentic cultural and historical experiences – and it’s free! But now, down the rabbit hole we go after all – once and for all I’d like to explain why I have never, and will never will, go on Birthright – even if it’s free.-rh29/8/2018
Lipinski urges humanitarian aid for Palestinians in face of Trump cutsRay Hanania - The Arab Daily News - "Conservative Democrat Dan Lipinski urges immediate humanitarian aid to Palestinians living in the besieged Gaza Strip, warning of dire consequences that not only threatens the life of the nearly 2 million civilians but also jeopardizes the chances of peace between Israel and Palestine. Americans for Peace Now also issued a statement in support of continuing humanitarian aid." - id29/8/2018
Israel`s new gun reforms will end in bloodRela Mazali - +972 - "Over the past few years, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan has been gradually making it easier for average Israelis to obtain gun licenses. But instead of increasing security, it will only put more people, especially women, at risk." - id29/8/2018
Words can killCarmi Gillon - Ynet - "Im Tirtzu`s actions are reminiscent of world fascist movements, it sows divisions among all sectors of Israeli society through systematic demonization; in contrast, the New Israel Fund stands firm as a symbol of a democratic Zionist society." - id29/8/2018
Why dismantling the PA could advance two-state solution Yossi Beilin - Al-Monitor - On the other hand, drying up the PA’s funding could lead Abbas to “hand over the keys” to Israel and letting it run the PA. The Americans have conceivably failed to consider such an option, although it may be the only one left for the Palestinian leadership. The PA cannot afford deep cuts in US aid that would leave it only with money to train its security forces and coordinate between them and Israel, bolstering its image as Israel’s sub-contractor in the occupied territories. If this ends up being the outcome of the American move, the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will emerge bruised.-rh 29/8/2018
BDS targets may differ, but our goal is the sameNada Elia - MIDDLE EAST EYE - The distinction between settlement products and products from "Israel proper," however, is one that only functions in a context where such products are indeed available to the consumer. In Arab countries that are implementing the Arab League boycott, the criteria have always been different. I was directly aware of that when I recently attended a presentation by Swedish activist Benjamin Ladraa at Dar El Nimer in Beirut, in which he urged everyone to do everything within their power to bring attention to the plight of the Palestinians. As I watched him using a Hewlett-Packard laptop to project his PowerPoint slides, I was reminded of the difference in the criteria between the BDS movement in the US, where I reside, and the boycott movement in Lebanon and the Arab world generally.-rh29/8/2018
When illness is a `death sentence`: The victimization of Gaza womenMA`AN NEWS AGENCY - "The state is sentencing the petitioners to death or a lifetime of suffering," said Muna Haddad, an advocate with Gisha. By "petitioners", she was referring to seven Gaza women who were denied access to urgent medical treatment by Israel, which required them to leave the besieged Gaza Strip. The suffering of Gaza women rarely makes headlines. When Palestinian women are not invisible in Western media coverage, they are seen as hapless victims of circumstances beyond their control.-rh29/8/2018
Israeli Army Issues An Order Preventing Student From Entering College For Six MonthsIMEMC News - The student, Yousef Dweikat, 20, is from Balata town, east of Nablus. In a phone interview, the student told the Palestinian News & Info Agency (WAFA), that he was summoned for interrogation in Salem military base and security center, west of Jenin. He added that he was interrogated by Israeli intelligence officers before they handed him a warrant preventing him from entering his college, the an- Najah National University, in Nablus, for six months.-rh29/8/2018
United States cuts more than $200 million in aid to PalestiniansTHE GREAT MIDDLE EAST - The move “takes into account the challenges the international community faces in providing assistance in Gaza, where Hamas control endangers the lives of Gaza’s citizens and degrades an already dire humanitarian and economic situation,” he said. In January, the United States had already made drastic cuts to its contribution to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees UNRWA. Relations between the US administration and the Palestinian Authority took a nosedive after Trump announced the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.-rh29/8/2018
Israel draft law to imprison any holders of Palestinian flagMIDDLE EAST MONITOR - The representative of the Likud Party, Anat Barko, has suggested a bill to punish anyone who lifts the Palestinian flag inside Israel after it was flown during a demonstration against the Nation-State law in the centre of Tel Aviv. Barko stated that the bill, which will be introduced to the Knesset during the upcoming winter session starting October, will sentence those who raise the Palestinian flag or the flag of “enemies” inside Israel to one year of imprisonment.-rh29/8/2018
A new Israeli campaign against CorbynFayez Rasheed - MIDDLE EAST MONITOR - The Israeli occupation state recently announced that Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the British Labour Party, is an enemy of Israel and an anti-Semite. It also said things about him that even a drunk wouldn’t say. The new Israeli campaign is a continuation of the fierce movement launched by the occupation state in September 2016, when he won the leadership of the Labour Party. Corbyn is known for his solidarity with the Palestinian cause and Arab issues, and the British Labour Party is also known as the largest political party in Western Europe.-rh29/8/2018
Court rules state must allow Hamas relatives into Israel for cancer treatmentTOI STAFF - The Times of Israel - The High Court ruled Sunday that Israel must allow five women from Gaza who are purportedly close relatives of members of the Hamas terrorist group to travel to East Jerusalem for life-saving medical treatment. The majority of the women were said to be suffering from cancer. Israel has banned the relatives of Hamas members from entering Israel for medical treatment as part of an attempt to pressure the terrorist organization into returning the bodies of two Israeli soldiers it has held since the 2014 Gaza conflict, as well as two Israeli citizens who entered the Strip after that and are believed to be held by the group.-rh29/8/2018
As US buries era of evenhandedness, will shift bring Palestinians to the table?Ron Kampeas - Times of Israel - Radicals would be “empowered,” said Peter Lerner, a former longtime Israel Defense Forces spokesman. “Hardballing the Palestinians into submission is likely to blow up on Israel’s doorstep.” It’s also not likely to bring the Palestinians on board, said Yousef Munayyer, the executive director of the US campaign for Palestinian rights. “When you want coercion to lead to a change of behavior, the actor has to see there’s something to lose,” he said. “In the case of the Palestinians they’re already the party living under military occupation. It’s a people that has lost faith in the ability of the United States to deliver anything for them. [bz] 28/8/2018
The Israeli peace activist who crossed enemy lines and shaped generationsAdam Keller - +972 - Going back to 1969, to an article I read by Uri under the table during a very boring class in eighth grade. I still remember it, almost word for word; it was a futuristic article that attempted to imagine what the country would look like in 1990... [bz]28/8/2018
Life has value and human beings are not instruments for leveraging pressureMichael Sfard - Haaretz Hebrew (translation Sol Salbe/Facebook) - Quietly, without media reports and without a public storm, Dr Avichai Mandelblit defended a policy that can only be described as criminal in the High Court of Justice. The policy calls for the prevention of passage of Palestinian women from Gaza who suffer from brain cancer and who are in need of life saving medical treatment in East Jerusalem, in order to leverage the pressure on members of their family. [bz]28/8/2018
Only the Likud Party can do itNahum Barnea - Ynet - A right-wing government has more room to maneuver than a center-left one does when it comes to agreements with enemies. As long as the hate-filled rhetoric remains the same, Netanyahu`s base will stay loyal to him [ry]27/8/2018
UN Proposes Peacekeepers for Palestine, Trump Foresees Israeli Prime Minister Named “Mohammed”Richard Silverstein — Tikun Olam "Israel, of course, rejected the proposal out of hand. And Guterres covered all the bases by acknowledging his proposal would only work if both sides agreed to it. The Palestinians would embrace it readily. So that left Israel to be the rejectionist party (as usual). At some point in the future, the world will tell the parties that they have no choice and the UN or some other international force will be stationed there whether they agree or not. Unfortunately, there is literally no chance any Israeli government would ever agree to this plan. Which is why it will eventually have to be imposed, probably after Israel engages in the sort of massacre Milosevic orchestrated in Srebrenica. It gives me no comfort to predict this. But it will happen. It’s only a question of when and how bad it will be." ca24/8/2018
Mission Accomplished: Why Solidarity Boats to Gaza Succeed Despite Failing to Break SiegeRamzy Baroud - Telesur "Whether the boats arrive on the Gaza coast or are hijacked by the Israeli navy, it makes little difference...And this is precisely the real mission of the Gaza flotillas: While Israel wants to normalize the Gaza siege as it is currently normalizing its Occupation and Apartheid regimes, the solidarity movement has created a counter-discourse that constantly foils Israeli plans." ca24/8/2018
Israel`s justice minister wishes a happy Eid al-Adha — to Druze only Oren Ziv - +972 "While Muslim holiday greetings from Israeli politicians and IDF officers have become a regular occurrence on social networks over the past few years — and despite the stark contrast between those greetings and the conduct of said leaders during the rest of the year — it appears the Shaked has broken the record for bluntness." ca24/8/2018
Erekat: `Israeli settlement expansion result of US encouragement of Israeli violations`Ma`an News Agency - "Erekat said that settlement expansion by Israel "is not only a serious violation of the international humanitarian law, but a war crime that would not have taken place without the granting of immunity and treating it as a state above the law by the international community." ca 24/8/2018
Israeli Central Bank Criticizes Netanyahu’s Plan to Increase Military SpendingJason Ditz - "Indeed, they warned that the plan was directly contrary to existing law calling for a declining government deficit, as well as promised infrastructure investments.This is very unusual for the Israeli Central Bank, which rarely directly criticizes the government, and in recent years has saved its public comments for some smaller arguments with the Finance Ministry." ca 24/8/2018
In Detaining Peter Beinart, Israel Has Declared it No Longer Represents Millions of Jews OverseasJONATHAN COOK - CounterPunch - "There are few places in Israel where its apartheid character is more conspicuous than the imposing international airport just outside Tel Aviv, named after the country’s founding father, David Ben Gurion." - id 22/8/2018
UN Proposes Peacekeepers for Palestine, Trump Foresees Israeli Prime Minister Named “Mohammed”Richard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "Note that the Israeli version of the ceasefire (actually Israel is denying it’s even negotiating such a plan) essentially returns to status quo ante. In other words, Gaza gets nothing except a few palliatives (a few more trucks bringing goods in or out) and Israel gets everything it wants. This is a recipe for more of the same bloodshed." - id22/8/2018
Uri Avnery: One of My Few Heroes in the Middle EastROBERT FISK - CounterPunch - He often pondered the demise of the Israeli “Left” – they were “hibernating”, he said after Ehud Barack, the (Israeli) Labour leader, had come back from the Camp David talks in 2000 as self-proclaimed leader of the “peace camp”, “and told us we have no partner for peace”. This was a death blow. It was not Netanyahu who said this, but the leader of the Labour Party. This was the end of “Peace Now”.-rh22/8/2018
Abbas last obstacle against killing hope for peace Akiva Eldar - Al-Monitor - The Hebrew-language headline "The Abbas Obstacle" blared on the front page of Israel Hayom, the pro-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu newspaper. The article itself reported that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was "trying to torpedo" the emerging Israel-Hamas truce agreement on the Gaza Strip. Indeed, Abbas is refusing to go along with what Israel euphemistically dubs the "arrangement" with Hamas. However, contrary to the impression government mouthpieces are trying to make, the Palestinian president is not a pyromaniac. On the contrary.-rh 22/8/2018
Gaza Without Cancer Medicine as Haley Blames Arabs for Washington’s SinsRamzy Baroud - AntiWar - Israel is ultimately responsible for the Gaza siege which has extended for more than 11 years. With direct US backing, Israel has launched three major wars on Gaza in the name of fighting terrorism, destroying much of the tiny region’s infrastructure. A hermetic siege has punished ordinary Gazans, who are now lacking everything, including the most basic needs of clean water and electricity.-rh22/8/2018
Palestinians don’t deserve disempowered livesHussein Ibish - - In a tiny West Bank village not long ago, a teenage girl slapped a heavily armed soldier outside her home. The prevailing sense among 7 million Jews was that she was a violent renegade, a kind of apprentice terrorist. But almost 7 million Palestinians saw her act as effectively, or at least relatively, nonviolent. They viewed her as fully justified and, indeed, heroic.-rh22/8/2018
Threats against Al-Aqsa and Israel’s Judaisation policyAbdel Nasser Issa - Middle East Monitor - The Israeli occupation authorities expelled all of the Muslim worshippers and closed the doors of Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem between the sunset prayer on 17 August and the dawn prayer the following day. This was under the pretext of searching for weapons after they had shot martyr Ahmed Mahameed from Umm Al-Fahm outside the mosque walls, when he was accused of trying to stab an Israeli policeman.-rh22/8/2018
Israel is making it impossible for foreign nationals to live in the West BankYotam Ben-Hillel - +972 - Over the past year and a half, Israel has pursued a policy which aims to keep foreign nationals out of the West Bank. This policy affects everyone: partners of Palestinian residents of the West Bank, parents of children who are West Bank residents, and people who have been working in the occupied territories for many years. It is being implemented by the Civil Administration in the settlement of Beit El, a body that operates under the command of the Israeli military, which is denying extensions of duration for visa holders.-rh22/8/2018
Israel rejects UN report on protecting PalestiniansMEE and agencies - MIDDLE EAST EYE - Israel has rejected a report by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres outlining options for strengthening the protection of Palestinians in Israeli-occupied territories. Israel`s UN Ambassador Danny Danon said in a statement late on Friday that "the only protection the Palestinian people need is from their own leadership". The 14-page report laid out four options, from increasing aid to the Palestinians, sending UN rights monitors and unarmed observers to deploying a military or police force under UN mandate.-rh22/8/2018
I’m One of the Young People Who Walked Off Birthright Israel This Summer : Here’s why I chose to leave the trip.Bethany Zaiman - The Nation - Midway through my 10-day tour of Israel with Birthright in June, our trip leaders handed out a map of the country to each participant. The map clearly showed Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and the winding Jordan River, but it had no demarcation for the West Bank, the Palestinian territory that Israel has illegally occupied for more than 50 years. Looking at the map, I was taken aback by the blatant way this supposedly apolitical trip was making such a political decision as to erase the existence of Palestinian people and their land. I felt something inside of me break, and I knew I needed to do something.-rh22/8/2018
Peace activists mourn passing of Uri AvneryRay Hanania - The Arab Daily News - "Avnery was also one of the loudest voices denouncing the Israeli government and military policy of using snipers to shoot and kill civilians who were protesting on the Palestinian side of the Gaza- Israel border." - id 22/8/2018
Uri Avnery, Israeli Journalist and Peace Activist, Is Dead at 94Isabel Kershner - New York Times - A left-wing thorn in the government`s side, he called for a Palestinian state and challenged the notion of a strictly Jewish nationality. In his last column, published on Aug. 7 in Haaretz, he attacked the Israeli Parliament’s recent enactment of a contentious nationality law, which anchors Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people and enshrines the right of national self-determination as “unique to the Jewish people,” not to all citizens. Mr. Avnery described the law as “clearly semi-fascist.” [bz] 21/8/2018
In advocating for a Palestinian state, Haaretz forgets about the PalestiniansMeron Rapoport - +972 "According to Haaretz, all Israel has to do to maintain the relevance of the two-state solution is evacuate 9,800 Jewish families from the West Bank. How do the Palestinians factor into this vision? They do not...The article showcased a map of the West Bank that was supposed to demonstrate that Israel would only have to evacuate 33 “isolated settlements” — a concept that was stretched to the limit in order arrive at this low number — so that the Palestinians can have a contiguous territory of their own." ca21/8/2018
Army braces for fresh Gaza violence amid reports of imminent truceTOI staff - Times of Israel "The IDF was bracing Friday for a renewal of the so-called “March of Return” border demonstrations amid reports of a truce agreement about to be inked between Israel and the Hamas terror group. Gazan protesters were gathering at several points along the border with Israel and some had launched balloons carrying pictures of so-called “martyrs” who had been killed by Israel... Military source says border demonstrations will be test of Hamas`s intent and ability to ensure calm." ca 17/8/2018
Tel Aviv Diary: Why Would Netanyahu Increase Israel`s Defense Budget? | OpinionMarc Schulman - Newsweek "Two seemingly unrelated, but in fact, very related events took place earlier in the week that disturbed many. First, was a very public campaign by right-wing organizations (led by “Im Tirtzu,” which is said to have direct ties to the Prime Minister) against General Yair Golan, one of four candidates to become the next IDF Chief of Staff. Why? ...Second, was the detention of well-known journalist Peter Beinart for questioning by the security services, when he tried to enter the country last Sunday...The fear today is that the burden of too many years of war, and politicians who exploit that fear, is slowly chipping away at the very foundations of the liberal society, whose liberties so many cherish." ca17/8/2018
Israeli Attempts to Overthrow Corbyn and Other Foreign LeadersBy Richard Silverstein — Tikun Olam "It is quite a jump from ginning up a fake charge of tax fraud against Omar Barghouti, as Israeli authorities have done, as part of such a campaign; and quite another to attempt to destroy the career of Britain’s Opposition leader. That takes Israel into far more dangerous territory, the sort of operations that most democratic nations hesitate to entertain, as they cross over from intelligence work into outright violations of sovereignty." ca17/8/2018
Palestinian diplomatic campaign gaining tractionYossi Beilin - Al-Monitor - As far as the Netanyahu government goes, this is a minor inconvenience. However, anyone who sees the relationship between Israel and the Palestinians as a zero-sum game would regard this development as a blow for Israel. The Palestinians regard it as an important contribution to their national struggle. Palestine’s Ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour told The New York Times that while Israel and the United States “are still denying we are a state, we walk like a state. We quack like a state. Therefore we are a state.”-rh 15/8/2018
Welcome to Netanyahu`s fortress stateLisa Goldman - +972 - "The detention and interrogation of high-profile figures such as Peter Beinart and Reza Aslan at Israeli entry points is causing liberal American Jews to understand what Israel is becoming." - id 15/8/2018
Israel`s nationality law knows no boundariesAkiva Eldarm- Al-Monitor - "Minister Ayelet Shaked delivered a chilling threat to the country’s Supreme Court, warning that a ruling overturning the law would be tantamount to an “earthquake, a war between the authorities.” Her words prompted a public and media storm, and rightfully so. Such a direct hit on the judiciary breaches a red line that even the radical right is wary of crossing. The law, which defines Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people, threatens to cross other red Akiva Eldar - Al-Monitor - "Minister Ayelet Shaked delivered a chilling threat to the country’s Supreme Court, warning that a ruling overturning the law would be tantamount to an “earthquake, a war between the authorities.” Her words prompted a public and media storm, and rightfully so. Such a direct hit on the judiciary breaches a red line that even the radical right is wary of crossing. The law, which defines Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people, threatens to cross other red lines, as well." - id 15/8/2018
Lauder helped make Netanyahu prime minister. Now he’s publicly opposing himBEN SALES - The Times of Israel - On Monday, Netanyahu was the target of a scathing column by Ronald Lauder, the cosmetics heir who heads the World Jewish Congress. Lauder lamented Israel’s recent nation- state law, which Netanyahu defends as a safeguard of Israel’s Jewish character but critics see as a slap in the face to the country’s minorities. Lauder wrote that Israel’s turn to the nationalist right is betraying its — and the Jewish people’s — commitment to democratic, humanistic ideals.-rh15/8/2018
Mission Accomplished: Why Solidarity Boats to Gaza Succeed Despite Failing to Break SiegeRamzy Baroud - telesur - And this is precisely the real mission of the Gaza flotillas: While Israel wants to normalize the Gaza siege as it is currently normalizing its Occupation and Apartheid regimes, the solidarity movement has created a counter-discourse that constantly foils Israeli plans. In other words, whether the boats arrive on the Gaza coast or are hijacked by the Israeli navy, it makes little difference. The power and effectiveness of this kind of solidarity go even beyond Gaza and Palestine. “Our involvement in international solidarity endeavors, such as the Freedom Flotillas has, in turn, sparked a resurgence in other important elements of building the strength of the worldwide movement for justice”-rh15/8/2018
How Israel Delegitimizes ItselfRon Forthofer - The Palestine Chronicle - Despite Israeli claims, Gaza is an occupied territory and, in actuality, Palestinians and their leadership have little control over their lives. For example, Israel, abetted by Egypt, controls all of Gaza’s borders and determines what and who may or may not enter the area. Israel’s control has turned Gaza into what many call the “largest open-air prison in the world” while others call it a concentration camp. Making matters worse, the two major Palestinian groups, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, have been at odds for years and their in-fighting adds to the incredible hardships Gazans face.-rh15/8/2018
Seeing through anti-Trump anger to achieve peaceRay Hanania - The Arab Daily News - "You can’t write Trump off, just because he is one of the most brutal and sometimes vicious public wars with both America’s Democratic political establishment and America’s biased, pro-Israel mainstream news media." - id15/8/2018
Shocking Quotes: Was Every Israeli Prime Minister A Racist?Robert Inlakesh - Almasdarnews - Most nation states in our world today have dealt with their fair share of institutionalized racism and bigotry, and Israel is no exception. However when it comes to Israel, the volume of racism expressed by prominent political figures is both astounding and concerning.-rh15/8/2018
Think Airport Interrogations In Israel Are New? Ask An Arab Seth J. Frantzman - Forward - recent detentions of several American Jewish activists have turned a spotlight on the interrogations. But the spotlight has a blind spot. It has focused on the experience of a few Americans while ignoring the treatment of other, more vulnerable, communities such as Palestinians, foreign workers, students, locals and particularly young women traveling alone. Even when those detained, as Peter Beinart recently was, acknowledge their privilege, they still make the story about themselves rather than the plethora of others, mostly non-Jews, who have had the same experience over the last decades.-rh 15/8/2018
The danger of conflating anti-Zionism with anti-SemitismIan Almond - Aljazeera - Enfolding criticism of Israel within the definition of anti-Semitism would risk rendering the word meaningless.- rh15/8/2018
Israel Is Not a Liberal DemocracyPaul R. Pillar - The National Interest - sraeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared a “defining moment in the annals of Zionism and the annals of the state of Israel” when the Knesset enacted earlier this month a basic law (having constitutional status in Israel) making the right of national self-determination “unique to the Jewish people” and not applicable to all citizens. The law further enshrined religiously based discrimination, including a clause that points to priority for Jewish-only communities by declaring “the development of Jewish settlement as a national value” and promising “to encourage and promote its establishment and consolidation.” The law has been a subject of much controversy in Israel. It passed the Knesset by the narrow margin of sixty-two to fifty-five. Opponents argue that it constitutes a step away from democracy. But this was one more item on the agenda of the ruling right-wing coalition that, given the rightward move in Israeli politics in recent years, the coalition was able to push through.-rh15/8/2018
Jewish Nation State Law: Q&A with Adalah’s Hassan JabareenHassan Jabareen - Mondoweiss - Adalah’s General Director, Attorney Hassan Jabareen offers a probing analysis of the “Basic Law: The Jewish Nation-State,” which, he argues, calls for a shift in how one conceptualizes the Israeli regime on both sides of the Green Line. He contends that the enactment of the law gives Palestinians everywhere the occasion to evaluate the Israeli regime based on its laws, not only its practices, and that the Israeli regime faces questions about its legitimacy following the enactment of this racist legislation.-rh15/8/2018
Why Arab citizens waved Palestinian flags in central Tel AvivHaggai Matar - +972 - Tens of thousands of Palestinians and Israelis protested and marched against the Jewish Nation-State Law Saturday night, demanding full civil equality for all residents of this land. It was a spectacular and rare showing, yet most of Israel’s top politicians (including on the Left) and media outlets were concerned with one thing only... [bz]14/8/2018
Israeli, Palestinian support for two states hits record lowHenriette Chacar - +972 Magazine - Support for a two-state solution is at the lowest level among both Israelis and Palestinians in almost two decades, according to a public opinion poll published on Monday. It began to steadily decline more than 10 years ago, but first dropped below 50 percent for both populations last December, following Trump’s controversial announcement recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The research team attributed the declining support for two states to perceived lack of feasibility and lack of trust. They found that 47 percent of Jewish Israelis and 56 percent of Palestinians believe the two-state solution is no longer viable due to extended settlement expansion. Both sides believe the other side is untrustworthy – a quarter of Jewish Israelis trust Palestinians, while only 11 percent of Palestinians trust Jewish Israelis. The preeminent belief is that what is good for one side is bad for the other – almost half of Jewish Israelis (47 percent) and nearly three-quarters of Palestinians (71 percent) believe the conflict is zero-sum.[ak]14/8/2018
BDS: how a controversial non-violent movement has transformed the Israeli-Palestinian debateNathan Thrall - The Guardian - Progressives, centre-left pro-Israel groups are increasingly viewed as Aipac-lite, supporting two states in name while in practice protecting Israel from any sort of pressure that might induce it to end a very comfortable occupation. [An in-depth long read-bz]14/8/2018
To maintain occupation, Israel will need to bolster Hamas in GazaMenachem Klein - +972 - While Egypt and the UN have their own plans to solve the crisis in Gaza, both have one thing common: strengthening Hamas at the expense of the Palestinian Authority. In order to maintain its hold on the West Bank, Israel will prefer the option that will give Hamas autonomy [ry]13/8/2018
As Russia Negotiates Separation of Forces in Syria, Netanyahu Threatens War Against Iran Over Yemeni WaterwayRichard Silverstein — Tikun Olam "Netanyahu, whose premiership seems built upon the premise of constant war or threat of war, today turned to his southern flank. He told a military ceremony that if Iran’s Houthi allies continued to threaten shipping in the Bab al Mandab waterway separating Saudi Arabia from Iran, the IDF would join or lead a Sunni coalition which would break such a blockade and counter-attack against Iran. This is precisely the response Israel’s Saudi allies expected when Houthi forces fired a missile at a Saudi oil tanker headed to Egypt." ca10/8/2018
There`s a way out of our shared hell with GazaEric Yellin - +972 "For over a year, my friends in Other Voice, comprised of residents of the towns and communities surrounding the Gaza Strip, have been protesting the government’s inability to find a viable solution for our situation. For more than a decade, members of Other Voice have been in touch with people in Gaza, and we believe it is possible to live in peace with our neighbors. Life there is unbearable, and without resolving the crisis in Gaza, our lives will continue to be a living hell." ca10/8/2018
Why Trump`s plan to shut UNRWA is not the solutionYossi Beilin - Al Monitor - "Instead of cutting US funds for the UNRWA or allocating them to states, the Trump administration should encourage phasing out the agency while implementing a comprehensive settlement of the Palestinian refugee issue." - id9/8/2018
The Apartheid State of Israel: Decoding the ‘Basic Law’ and the Meaning of a ‘Jewish Nation’N.D. JAYAPRAKASH - CounterPunch - "Unfortunately, the new “Basic Law” has brought about a profound change in this apparently contradictory interpretation of the nature of Israel: it is no longer “Jewish and Democratic” but has been pruned to being just “Jewish”, which reveals its real character." - id 9/8/2018
ICC Reaches Out to Palestinian Victims as War Crimes Case Enters Pre-Trial PhaseRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "An Israeli news report called the move “unprecedented.” A three- judge panel has been appointed to hear the case: Peter Kovacs (presiding judge), Marc Perrin de Brichambaut and Reine Adélaïde Sophie Alapini-Gansou." - id8/8/2018
Who the Hell Are We?Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - "So what is new about the new law, which at a first glance looks like a copy of the declaration? It contains two important omissions: the declaration spoke of a "Jewish and Democratic" state, and promised full equality between all its citizens, without regard to religion, ethnicity or sex.All this has disappeared. No democracy. No equality. A state of the Jews, for the Jews, by the Jews." - id8/8/2018
Exercising the Privilege of Going to Jail Amira Hass - Haaretz - These two brand-new conscientious objectors aren’t just on “the stronger side of the national hierarchy,” as Garmi put it. They’re also on the stronger side of the social hierarchy. This ensures that the “stain” of imprisonment won’t harm them in the future the way it reproduces the repression of society’s oppressed groups, like impoverished workers, Jews of Middle Eastern or North African origin and the Druze. Nevertheless, jail is a price they are paying consciously. Both have decided to use their double privilege to publicly oppose the violent hierarchical order. May there be many more like them. [bz]7/8/2018
Who needs a Nation-State Law? What Israelis really thinkDahlia Scheindlin - +972 - Several polls show that a surprising coalition of Israelis oppose the Jewish Nation-State Law, or at least think it is unnecessary and harmful [ry]6/8/2018
Why Israel’s Nationality Law could be good for Palestinians Akiva Eldar - Al Monitor " The Palestinians are by no means saints, yet this week one can certainly cite the famous saying “the work of the righteous is done by others” (Midrash Talmudi, Brachot 35). The work of the Palestinians was done by someone else, i.e., Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.In fact, surely unintentionally, Netanyahu extracted Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas from a trap Netanyahu himself laid for the Palestinian leadership." ca 3/8/2018
`The Arab International Forum for Justice for Palestine’ (Beirut, 29 July 2018) Richard Falk - Wordpress "Of course, not a word in theNY Timesabout Ahed’s release, while papers in Lebanon wrote complementary feature stories with sympathetic pictures of this heroine, and in every Turkish paper I saw her release was a front page story. Ahed seems comfortable with the prominence of her role despite being so young. As far as the eye can see, Ahed seems completely unintimidated by the immediate shadows cast by the harshness of Israel’s response to this totally innocent gesture of resistance." ca2/8/2018
Palestine says good-bye to the US-led peace process Daoud Kuttab - Al-Monitor - " “We need to have a clear strategy that can help us deal with the huge challenges ahead,” said former Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, now a visiting professor at Princeton University. “The number-one priority must be to find ways to unify the splintering Palestinian population and leadership.”" - is2/8/2018
Israel’s `UNRWA dilemma`Ben Caspit - Al Monitor - "The government’s claims against UNRWA have succeeded in convincing an absolute majority of Israelis that the agency is little more than a respirator that keeps the Palestinian refugee issue alive.There is another side to the coin, however, and it involves a single date: Sept. 1. On that day, tens of thousands of Palestinian students are scheduled to start the new school year. As of now, however, they won’t." - id2/8/2018
Israeli Press Freedom Under Fire: Jerusalem Post Sacks Long-Time Political CartoonistRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "In response to his sacking, some long-time contributors to the Jerusalem Report like Haim Watzman, have resigned and announced they will no longer write for either publication. However, as a far-right publication there aren’t many journalists there who object to Katz’s demise. The paper is an ardent supporter of Likud’s ultra- nationalist policies." - is 2/8/2018
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