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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    
Commentary

TitleDescriptionDate
Paris peace conference: A damp squibMouin Rabbani - Aljazeera - A half-century of Israeli occupation is not going to be meaningfully addressed by international meetings [ry]16/1/2017
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This is the one good thing about Obama`s legacy in Israel – and John Kerry might be about to destroy it Nadia Hijab--Stating that Israel must be a `Jewish state` in which the 1.7m Palestinian citizens of Israel `live as equal citizens` is not grounded in reality: there are already over 50 laws that discriminate against them, and Kerry’s principles do nothing to address these dn15/1/2017
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On eve of Paris talks PA support for two-state solution not shared among PalestiniansSheren Khalel--Issa Amro, head of Youth Against Settlements, a Palestinian-led organization in Hebron, told Mondoweiss that most Palestinians feel disenfranchised by the continuous cycle of negotiation attempts. “The majority of the Palestinians don’t have any faith in the Paris Peace conference because no matter what, the conference won’t force Israel to fulfill its obligations to international law or human rights treaties,” Amro said. dn 15/1/2017
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When some are more equal than others before the lawOrly Noy--Law is a deceptive concept. We like to take pride in being “law-abiding citizens,” and so tend to reject and condemn members of our community who have broken the law. Joint List head Ayman Odeh, for example, was quick to voice his disapproval of the news concerning Basel Ghattas, a Knesset member in his party who is suspected of smuggling cellphones to Palestinian prisoners. Immediately after the reports regarding Ghattas surfaced in December, Odeh emphasized “the importance of respecting the law.” dn15/1/2017
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Israel`s education minister takes on role of political censorAkiva Eldar--Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett is promoting a law barring representatives of any anti-occupation organizations from entering high schools, effectively censoring students from information that contradicts the state`s narrative. dn15/1/2017
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Opposition to a Jewish state is a legitimate positionJackie Walker--This still is taken from an undercover recording of an anti-Semitism training session at the September Labour Party conference where Walker was heckled after questioning Israeli policy [Al Jazeera] dn15/1/2017
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The Two-State Solution’s Silver BulletSam Bahour - Huffington Post - If the international community, led by the U.S., is serious about preserving the two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the upcoming French-hosted international peace conference is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reframe the way forward. Recognizing the State of Palestine would politically contribute to ending Israel’s nearly 50-year military occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. This single act may be the silver bullet to save the two-state solution. [bz]14/1/2017
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Why the Fear-mongering? Only One Democratic State is Possible in Palestine and IsraelRamzy Baroud--Long before December 28, when Secretary of State, John Kerry took the podium at the Dean Acheson Auditorium in Washington DC to pontificate on the uncertain future of the two-state solution and the need to save Israel from itself, the subject of a Palestinian state has been paramount. dn14/1/2017
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Why FIFA paid close attention to UN anti-settlement resolutionDaoud Kuttab--When the global community was discussing an anti-settlement resolution in New York, officials at the FIFA headquarters in Zurich were watching the deliberation closely. When United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 was approved without a single opposition in the 15-member Security Council Dec. 23, the international governing body of soccer was provided a strong document to resolve the status of the areas in which six Israeli soccer clubs are playing. The clubs are located in West Bank settlements and FIFA bylaws clearly state that soccer associations need permission to play in the territories of another soccer association. dn14/1/2017
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Former U.S. Defense Official: Israel’s Security at Risk Due to Religious Intolerance Judy Maltz- Haaretz "Israel’s disregard and disrespect for the non-Orthodox Jewish movements could end up costing it the longstanding support of the United States government, a former senior defense department official with close ties to Israel warned on Wednesday." ca13/1/2017
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Palestinian journalists frustrated with inability to cover PA corruption Shlomi Eldar - Al-Monitor "Palestinian journalists in the West Bank and Gaza Strip are closely following the unfolding case of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu allegedly receiving favors or gifts. Their interest is not prompted only by glee at the possible downfall of the Israeli leader they despise, but also by appreciation and envy of Israeli democracy and press freedom that enable the questioning of the prime minister under caution and the investigative reporting against him by the media." ca 13/1/2017
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IDF Reservists` Letter: Too Little, Too Late Zvi Barel - Haaretz "He who appoints himself to defend Israeli society and bear the colors of the most moral army in the world cannot do so from the safe cage of some generals’ fellowship, as if they are some rare species loftily perched above those who populate the jungle. Generals who speak of morality and are worried about what’s happening to Israeli society can’t fulfill their obligation by defending “one of their own,” while closing their eyes to the snowballing hazard called the Israeli government." ca13/1/2017
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10 Palestinian homes demolished in Israeli city, prompting mayor to resignMa`an - Israeli authorities demolished 10 homes belonging to Palestinian citizens of Israel in the city of Qalansawe in central Israel on Tuesday morning, prompting a defeated mayor to resign after Israeli authorities refused for decades to approve the city’s master plan. Local sources told Ma’an the devastating demolition campaign sparked clashes between Israeli police and residents. Mayor Abd al-Basit Mansour visited the area along with members of the municipal council and announced he would resign from his post, as Israeli bulldozers razed the homes to ground. Mansour told reporters that, "We have been waiting for approval of a master plan for twenty years, but our request fell on deaf ears.”-rh12/1/2017
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Israel`s collective punishment follows Jerusalem attackNigel Wilson - Aljazeera - Hours after the incident, Israeli security forces surrounded Jabal Mukaber, an East Jerusalem neighbourhood that had been home to the 28-year-old attacker, Fadi al-Qanbar. Police established a cordon around the community, including a concrete blockade at one of the main entrances and checkpoints at other entry and exit points. The restrictions remained in place on Tuesday morning. "They closed the street with cement blocks. There was an increase in the police presence - they stopped and searched vehicles and inspected identity cards," Atta, a local resident who did not provide his last name, told Al Jazeera."Many couldn`t reach work. I, for example, had to leave my car behind and walk on foot to the main road because of the cement blocks. You could feel the police were on high alert and that they were trying to punish us for what happened."-rh 12/1/2017
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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas warns Donald Trump not to move US Israel embassy to JerusalemBethan McKernan - Independent - Several senior Palestinian officials have said moving the embassy would hinder moves towards a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. One influential imam said it was as good as “a declaration of war.” On Tuesday, the long-serving PA President, Mahmoud Abbas, added his voice to the concerns in an official letter which aimed to dissaude Mr Trump from the idea, Palestinian news agency Wafa reported.-rh 12/1/2017
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A Soldier, Not a “Child”Gershon Hacohen - The Begin Sadat Center for Strategic Studies - When we ask young men and women to give everything they have and more for the sake of their country and their people, we cannot at the same time see them as kids. This is by no means a denial that every soldier is in fact a son or daughter to their parents.-rh12/1/2017
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Why Netanyahu rushed to link Jerusalem attack to ISAkiva Eldar - Al-Monitor - "Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was quick to blame the Islamic State for the terror attack in Jerusalem, ignoring that Palestinian assailants are motivated first and foremost by the Israeli occupation." - id 11/1/2017
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January 7, 2017 Asael, Susya, Twaneh, Umm al-KhairDavid Shulman, Margaret Olin - Touching Photographs - Asael, possibly the ugliest of all the illegal outposts in the southern West Bank—and the competition is fierce—is rapidly expanding. Yellow bulldozers, parked at the perimeter fence of the settlement, have carved out a huge swathe of intermeshed, criss-crossing gashes in the hill and valley just below. This wide, deep wound in the soil has been sliced, needless to say, through privately owned Palestinian land. We know the families. We’ve plowed here, on the edge of the outpost. There have been many bad moments with the Asael settlers, the ones we can see this Shabbat morning walking their dogs over the hill or praying to their rapacious god or swinging their children on the swings in the painted park just under their pre-fab caravans.-rh11/1/2017
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The truck attack that killed four Israeli soldiers in Jerusalem was not ‘terrorism’ Jonathan Ofir - Mondoweiss - In Netanyahu’s rendering, it is not even significant to mention that the four Israelis who died were soldiers (and not worth even mentioning that the attack also claimed a fifth life, that of the driver, but let’s not get over our heads here). He simply notes them as “four young Israelis”. This is a description that strips the context of its military aspect, and I think Netanyahu knows this very well, as I will elaborate later. By such rhetoric, Netanyahu blurs the distinction between military and civilian targets, a principle which is very important in the distinctions concerning terror.-rh11/1/2017
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Israel is a Rogue StateJohn Wight - CounterPunch - That Israel is a rogue state has long been beyond dispute in discerning company. In light of the recent revelation that an Israeli official, working for the country’s embassy in London, was plotting ways to “take down” various British politicians over their opposition to Israeli settlements and support for a Palestinian state, it is now becoming increasingly apparent within the mainstream. Or at least it should be given that this latest scandal comes as only the latest exposure of such nefarious activity on the part of a state that has long operated with scant regard for international law at home and overseas.-rh11/1/2017
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What do Israelis think about settlements? Turns out age matters.Oded Haklai - The Washington Post - The year 2017 will mark the 50th anniversary of the 1967 war in which Israel conquered the contested territories from Jordan. According to the findings in this research, those born before 1967 are more likely to remember Israel’s pre-1967 boundaries. They know that Israel has not formally declared its sovereignty on Judea and Samaria. They view settlements to be outside the State of Israel’s territory. This is especially true for those who were at least 10 years old in 1967. For that generation, the Green Line is tangible.-rh11/1/2017
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Report: 7,000 Palestinians held in Israeli jailsYael Marom - +972 - Since the occupation began in 1967, Israel’s military legal system has jailed anywhere between half a million and 800,000 Palestinians, according to estimates. This is an almost inconceivable number. The saying goes that there are practically no Palestinian homes without someone in jail. The conviction rate of Palestinians who have been arrested and tried in this system stands at around 99 percent. This means that if you are a Palestinian who has been arrested, it is worthwhile agreeing to a plea bargain, because you have almost no chance of being found innocent.-rh11/1/2017
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Israeli court’s conviction temporarily fends off ICCDaoud Kuttab - Al-Monitor - "The manslaughter conviction of an Israeli soldier for killing a wounded Palestinian youth has fended off an investigation of that particular crime by the International Criminal Court, but it does not mean Israel is in the clear on allegations of war crimes for other deaths." - id 11/1/2017
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The real impact of UN Resolution 2334 has yet to comeShemuel Meir - +972 - There is no factual foundation for a U.S. policy that allows Israel to annex “settlement blocs” that would stay under Israeli control in a final status agreement. And there is no such promise in the Bush-Sharon letter. Presidents Obama and Bush held nearly identical positions on the territorial issues. It’s difficult to assume that President Trump will turn that stance on its head — it is a position that Washington has held consistently since Resolution 242 and the 1969 Rogers Plan that included minor territorial adjustments. [bz]10/1/2017
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ISIS Attack Theory Suits Netanyahu Well, but Jerusalem Is Not Berlin Nir Hasson - Haaretz - As far as the prime minister is concerned, this force of absolute evil has no motive or rationale, and has nothing to do with the occupation or any other Israeli policy. (...) Even if Sunday`s attack was inspired by ISIS, it still originated in Jerusalem and is part of the unending series of attacks the city has suffered over the past two-and-a-half years. [bz]10/1/2017
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Why the Latest Palestinian Attacker in Jerusalem Was Not Deterred Amira Hass - Haaretz - A group of soldiers in uniform is not a neutral sight to any Palestinian. That’s the look and dress of those who burst into dozens of Palestinian homes every night, those who shoot women and minors to death at checkpoints, those who are sent to attack in the Gaza Strip, and who accompany Civil Administration forces to destroy water cisterns, portable toilets, tin shacks and tents. That Israelis have erased these facts from their agenda doesn’t mean they don’t exist. [bz]10/1/2017
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Israel’s global standing continues to sink, top strategists sayAli Abunimah - EI - “According to the report, Israel’s efforts to compensate for its deteriorating relations with its traditional supporters, by bolstering ties with ‘non- democratic countries, especially Russia and China, are looked down upon in the international arena’” [ry]9/1/2017
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Azaria exposed the reality of Israel`s colonial projectNeve Gordon--Azaria was found guilty of manslaughter after he shot and killed Yusri al-Sharif as he lay wounded on the ground. This striking mobilisation to exonerate Azaria, which cuts across party lines and includes MKs from Labor, should actually come as no surprise, since the desired pardon is not really about absolving one lone murderer, but rather an effort to vindicate Israel`s 50-year occupation.dn8/1/2017
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Top U.S. Academic Group Rejects Motion for Boycott of Israel [pity, dn]Taly Krupkin--The resolution was proposed by a group called MLA Members for Justice in Palestine. A decision on the initiative has been postponed for several years. The vote followed a dramatic discussion. Rebecca Comay, the author of the boycott proposal, told the audience that "Palestinians are stripped of the rights we ourselves take for granted." dn8/1/2017
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Memo to Kerry: Support for one state is growing among Palestinians and IsraelisJonathan Ofir--In his recent speech ‘Remarks on Middle East Peace’ which I have already ‘interrupted’ and appraised the selective historical timeline of, John Kerry had also misrepresented a very central other issue, which I have not yet regarded in detail: The wish amongst Israelis and Palestinians for a one-state solution. dn8/1/2017
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Despite BDS, West Bank industrial zones are boomingOfer Petersberg--Head of the Shomron Regional Council Yossi Dagan was one of the drivers behind the opening of the new industrial park. He said “on the one hand, international companies don’t really comply with EU decisions. On the other hand, Israeli companies aren’t ready to give up on the advantages (of operating in these areas), and are marketing their products to places other than Europe, such as Africa, India, and China.” dn7/1/2017
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Being Jewish in the Age of Trump: Why We Must Honor Our History of Oppression by Resisting White SupremacyJulia Sharpe-Levine--I did not understand because I had grown up white in America. After millennia of genocide, displacement, persecution, and exclusion throughout the world, and decades of discrimination and rampant anti-Semitism in the United States, Jews had been accepted by White Christian America. By the time I was growing up in the 1990s, Jewish Americans had been thoroughly assimilated into dominant society and, as a result, had procured the myriad benefits that Whiteness carries with it. dn7/1/2017
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Could an Embassy in Jerusalem Bring Us Closer to Peace?MARTIN INDYK - NYT "It might seem that these two desires — to cut the “ultimate deal” and to move the embassy — contradict each other. Indeed, recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital could be disastrous. But it doesn’t have to be. In fact, Mr. Trump could both fulfill his pledge and move the Israeli-Palestinian peace process forward if he plays his cards right." ca6/1/2017
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Will `earth shaking` revelation bring down Netanyahu?Ben Caspit - Al Monitor "Netanyahu, even before the investigation against him began, adopted tactics to make it clear that he has no intention of caving. To the contrary, in fact, Netanyahu intends to leverage his popularity and recruit his supporters, mainly the growing right-wing Israeli public, to constantly repeat one message: that he is being subjected to a political investigation and political persecution...Netanyahu has now declared war against the police, the state attorney, parts of the independent media and senior members of the political establishment. He is convinced that he will win, but everyone else is not so sure." ca 6/1/2017
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Palestinian resistance archbishop dies in VaticanAmira Howeidy - Al-Ahram Weekly "Jerusalem’s Archbishop Hilarion Capucci was a household name across the Arab world in the mid-1970s. At a time when Palestinian armed struggle was popular, even endorsed by Arab regimes, the unlikely figure of the Catholic archbishop gained celebrity status as a symbol of resistance against the Israeli occupation. Iconic images of the then 52-year-old Capucci in his all-black Melkite Catholic vestment appeared on stamps in Egypt, Sudan, Libya, Kuwait, Iraq and Syria, among others...twice boarded ships attempting to break the siege of Gaza. The last attempt was on the Turkish humanitarian aid flotilla Mavi Marmara, which was seized and attacked by the Israeli navy 31 May 2010. Nine activists were killed." ca6/1/2017
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Israeli justice minister considers bill to grant Benjamin Netanyahu immunity in case he faces corruption chargesBethan McKernan - Independent - Israeli Justice Minister Ayalet Shaked has appeared to give her backing to a bill that would grant sitting premiers immunity from certain types of criminal prosecutions, a day after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was questioned by police over gifts he may have received from business leaders.-rh 5/1/2017
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Elor Azaria: the Israeli soldier who exposed the country`s faultlinesPeter Beaumont - The Guardian - The case of Elor Azaria – the “Hebron shooter” – has cast a long shadow over Israel over the past 10 months. The baby-faced, diminutive soldier who fatally shot a wounded Palestinian attacker in the head exposed multiple faultlines in a country that itself seemed at times to be on trial. For the military, whose senior officers pushed for a prosecution, the case and the international attention that it drew appeared clear cut from the beginning, not least with the threat of action against Israel in the international criminal court.-rh 5/1/2017
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The challenges of being a Palestinian doctor in the ‘Jewish state’ Hatim Kanaaneh - Mondoweiss - The great majority of our physicians, like other professionals in the Palestinian minority in Israel, with the exception of teachers and nurses, received their higher education abroad. Two factors played a central role in this exceptional achievement: Initially the Communist Party, the majority of whose membership in Israel has always been Palestinian, awarded its diligent youth cadre with full scholarships to universities in the Soviet Union. This was conditional on their return upon completion of their studies to serve their communities and to swell the number of educated party members. The first physician who led this process was my good colleague and cofounder of the Galilee Society for Health Research and Services, Dr. Anwar Awad from the neighboring village of Rama in Galilee. -rh5/1/2017
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Running From the Law, Netanyahu-StyleLawrence Davidson - Counterpunch - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threw a temper tantrum (24 December 2016) after the U.S. failed to veto United Nations Security Council Resolution 2234 condemning Zionist settlements on Palestinian territory. Netanyahu called the resolution “shameful.” He went so far as to tell the foreign secretary of New Zealand, one of the countries that brought the resolution forward for a vote, that this action was the equivalent of “an act of war.” He then started recalling Israeli ambassadors from the Security Council states that backed the resolution. Finally, Netanyahu said Israel would “not abide by it [the resolution].” All in all it was quite a performance.-rh 5/1/2017
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The Palestinians’ new peace initiativeUri Savir - Al Monitor - The proposal includes six central elements. The first is establishing a one-year time frame, ending in December 2017, for declaring a Palestinian state on transitional borders. A second element relates to the interim territory of the new state, which will include all of Area A (currently under Palestinian control) and Area B (under Palestinian civil control and joint Israeli-Palestinian security control) and 20% of Area C (under Israeli control) in the Jordan Valley with full Palestinian sovereignty. This means an Israeli withdrawal from parts of Area C and the transfer of security control to Palestinians in Area B. Then there is the issue of Israeli settlements in Area C. The settlers could stay, but under Palestinian sovereignty. A fourth and most important element is a complete Israeli freeze of settlement expansion, based on the 1968 UN General Assembly Resolution 2443. Also, Israeli-Palestinian security cooperation shall be increased. The sixth element concerns permanent status negotiations, which must be launched after December 2017 between Israel and Palestine. The negotiations, on the basis of the 1967 lines and the Arab Peace Initiative, should last no more than a year, with a one-year implementation time frame.-rh 5/1/2017
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Report: Israeli military turns blind eye to attacks on PalestiniansAssociated Press - The Daily Star - An Israeli advocacy group on Tuesday criticized what it called an "exceptionally low" prosecution rate by the Israeli military in cases of violence committed by soldiers against Palestinians. The report by Yesh Din, a human rights group that is often critical of the Israeli military, came a day before a military court`s verdict is to be delivered in a high-profile manslaughter case against a soldier. In its annual report, Yesh Din said the army opened 186 criminal investigations into suspected offenses against Palestinians in 2015, but just four of those investigations yielded indictments. The group said the 2015 figures, based on official army data, were the most recent available.-rh 5/1/2017
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Israeli officials back shoot-to-kill policy of Palestinian suspects, says Human Rights WatchHarriet Agerholm - Independent - Leading Israeli officials have been encouraging soldiers and police officers to kill Palestinians suspected of attacks regardless of whether lethal force is necessary, according to a new report by a leading human rights organisation. Human Rights Watch has compiled numerous statements by senior members of Benjamin Netanyahu’s administration and the country’s police force, which appear to endorse using lethal force against suspects, irrespective of whether anyone is in danger.-rh |5/1/2017
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The soldier Azaria is a minor accomplice, main culprit is the occupationGush Shalom - Press release - And yet, what took place today at the military tribunal is very far from justice. The great miscarriage of justice is in the very fact that a single young soldier was placed alone in the dock, to be condemned for a crime in which very many others share guilt. Missing in the dock at Azaria’s side were dozens of other soldiers and officers who have done the same, who wantonly killed Palestinians who posed no threat – only, in the other cases there had been no photographer present to provide solid legal evidence. Missing in the dock at Azaria’s side were government ministers and Knesset Members, government supporters as well as those from the “opposition", who had outspokenly called upon soldiers to do precisely what Azaria did.-rh4/1/2017
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The fate of Syria will be decided in AstanaYacov Ben Efrat - Challenge - "This is where Netanyahu’s interests converge with those of his newfound friends, Putin and Erdogan. Israel’s prime interest is to keep Syria from falling into Iranian hands." - id 4/1/2017
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Is Donald Trump the Friend Israel Needs?BERNARD AVISHAI - NYT - "... one cannot be a friend to Israel without actually being a friend to some Israelis over others, one conception of Israel, the region, and Jews, for that matter, over another." - id 4/1/2017
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Inexhaustible Memories of Palestine Barbara Nimri Aziz - Counterpunch - I myself had witnessed the gradual transformation of returned Palestinian leaders into a corrupt and impotent club of (mainly) men hanging out in Ramallah pretending to lead, but actually serving as front for independence, their putative authority extending no further than the boundary of this city of NGOs, foreign schools and upscale restaurants. I also witnessed diaspora Palestinians returning to Gaza City after 1993, investing in their forthcoming state, “a Mediterranean Hong Kong”, only to depart within a decade, embittered and often more deeply religious, returning to homes in Austin, Texas and Brooklyn, New York.-rh4/1/2017
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Will `earth shaking` revelation bring down Netanyahu?Ben Caspit - Al Monitor - Netanyahu, even before the investigation against him began, adopted tactics to make it clear that he has no intention of caving. To the contrary, in fact, Netanyahu intends to leverage his popularity and recruit his supporters, mainly the growing right-wing Israeli public, to constantly repeat one message: that he is being subjected to a political investigation and political persecution. In a meeting of the Likud faction hours before the investigators arrived at his residence, Netanyahu claimed that he would not have come under investigation if he had had different policies. Instead, he said, he was being obsessively persecuted by the media. Many of his Likud supporters agree with his assertion.-rh 4/1/2017
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Activist who filmed Hebron shooting `fears for his life` after Israeli soldier convictedMa`an - Just one day after the killing and release of the video back in March, Israeli settlers gathered outside the home of Abu Shamsiyya to throw rocks and make death threats, and he has received countless hateful messages on Facebook since. The United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner last month condemned the “daily violations” of human rights and international law faced by activists and human rights defenders in the occupied Palestinian territory.-rh4/1/2017
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Annex, Bibi, annexHaim Ramon - Ynet - If Netanyahu and Bennett really want to continue the occupation and are unwilling to give up a single inch of land, they should go all way and start annexing immediately. Such a move will finally put their vision to the test and present the full picture to the public. [bz]3/1/2017
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Kerry’s failure, Netanyahu’s liberation Nahum Barnea - Ynet - All the US administrations, since 1967, have seen the settlements as illegal. President George W. Bush was considered one of the greatest friends Israel ever had in the White House. Bush was particularly close to Ehud Olmert when he served as prime minister. “Just don’t ask me to help you fund the evacuation of settlers from the West Bank,” he told Olmert in one of their conversations. “The settlements are illegal. The United States will not compensate you for their establishment.” The six principles specified by Kerry are, more or less, what will stand at the basis of any agreement, if an agreement is ever reached. [bz]3/1/2017
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Netanyahu’s holy war, and the coming Jewish schismYakov Hirsch - Mondoweiss - For many years Jeffrey Goldberg played a major role in the Hasbara world where Israel is the utter Good and everyone designated by Israel`s PM as "Anti-Semite/Anti-Israel" is Evil Incarnate. But now Jeffrey Goldberg, recently crowned Editor- in-Chief of "The Atlantic", plans to put his magazine at the forefront of militant opposition to the Trump Presidency. And with Netanyahu preparing for a love feast with Trump, Goldberg has no choice but to take a distance from Netanyhau - a choice which many other Liberal American Jews are bound to make in the near future. [ak] 3/1/2017
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Conforming to Israel`s Malignant Occupation Amira Hass - Haaretz - It’s hard to admit that the Zionist ideology and its creation – Israel – have created a thieving, racist, arrogant monster that robs water and land and history, which has blood on its hands using the excuse of security, which has been deliberately planning today’s dangerous Bantustan situation for decades, on both sides of the Green Line. All Yehoshua is doing is toeing the line and suggesting another sub-definition that helps Israeli bureaucracy to subdivide the Palestinian people and separate them from their spaces and their land. [bz]3/1/2017
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Don’t Move the Embassy to Jerusalem; the Downsides Are Too Great Aaron David Miller--I have worked for half a dozen Republican and Democratic secretaries of state, and when it came to the issue of moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, my advice was always the same: Don’t. dn1/1/2017
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What were the top 10 BDS victories of 2016?Nora Barrows-Friedman--Intensifying repression against BDS movement shows Israel is becoming “desperate and irrational,” Palestinians say. Ryan Rodrick BeilerActiveStills dn1/1/2017
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Inside Israel`s Christmas reprimands of foreign diplomatsItamar Eichner--An enraged Foreign Ministry disrupts the holiday for the representatives of those countries who voted against Israel in the UN Security Council; adding insult to injury, small talk is dispensed with, no national flags are displayed, and refreshments aren`t even offered; find herein a glimpse into the machinations of the biggest simultaneous scolding the MFA has ever had to administer. dn1/1/2017
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Reflections on surviving the next four yearsTAREQ BACONI AND NADIA HIJAB--What chance does the Palestinian quest for rights and an independent state have under a Trump administration? To address this question one must look beyond the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to the way in which Trump’s rhetoric during the campaign trail and since has legitimated racism, xenophobia, and sexism. He has appointed figures who have nurtured white nationalism or who view the world through a clash-of-civilizations prism imbued with Islamophobia dn1/1/2017
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We are not living in a `post-truth` world, we are living the lies of othersRobert Fisk--How can we complain about the lies of Trump and the Brexiteers when we journalists are chopping up the facts of the Middle East? Still, I notice in our newspapers and on television, Israel’s wall is a “security fence”, its colonies are “settlements” which are “disputed” rather than illegal. Can we really shake our heads in disbelief at electoral lies when we have been lying to our readers and viewers for years? dn 31/12/2016
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Anti-Semitic Zionists Uri Avnery--But Netanyahu`s behavior may not be as stupid as it looks. Actually, it may be quite clever. Depends on his aim. As a diplomatic strategy, it is disastrous. But as a strategy to win elections, it is quite sensible. Here is the great hero, the new King David, fighting for his people, facing down the entire world. Is there anyone in Israel who can compare with him? 31/12/2016
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A speech on Palestine-Israel awaiting President ObamaSam Bahour--“No one thinking seriously about peace can ignore the reality of what the settlements pose to that peace.” We tried to shift all the attention to the settlements, but it’s not working. The international community is seeing right through us. Israel is a colonial project, par excellence, and no screaming about illegal settlements is going to change that. Israel, I’ve always assumed we’ve supported you for this long because our own history is just like yours, but your native Palestinian population refuses to buckle in the face of your brute force. Native Americans being regulated to impoverished reservations worked for us once upon a time, but your modern day equivalent in the form of Palestinian Bantustans, infamously called Areas A in the Oslo Accords, is clearly failing. dn31/12/2016
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Why Netanyahu Will Miss ObamaPHILIP GORDON - New York Times "But any celebrations in Mr. Netanyahu’s office may prove premature. By giving the Israeli prime minister all he claims to want and more, Mr. Trump could make his life vastly more difficult." ca30/12/2016
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Rewriting the history of Hanukkah and intifadasYossi Bartal - +972 "Thanks to new archaeological findings and comparative historical research by important scholars of antiquity, such as Steven Weitzman and Sylvie Honigman, the history of the festival can now be considered rather differently..." ca30/12/2016
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Theresa May`s criticism of John Kerry Israel speech sparks blunt US replyHeather Stewart - The Guardian "Theresa May has distanced the UK from Washington over John Kerry’s condemnation of Israel, in comments that appear to be designed to build bridges with the incoming Trump administration." ca30/12/2016
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Israeli hysteria over UN vote is solidifying country’s new status, as a rogue state Philip Weiss - Mondoweiss "Israel’s supporters long claimed that Israel only makes progress if you embrace it and tell Israel you love it. (Dennis Ross says this all the time.) Obama heeded that advice for years and got nothing. Now he has made one gesture against Israel, and the progress in a few days is amazing." ca29/12/2016
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Will Liberman`s Palestinian sanctions cost Israeli lives?Shlomi Eldar - Al Monitor "On Dec. 24, Liberman instructed Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, who heads the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), to sever ties with the Palestinian Authority (PA) and avoid working sessions with its senior officials on civilian-diplomatic matters...According to the Palestinian source, Israeli civil administration officials have expressed their displeasure with the order handed down by their boss. He added that Abbas will not rush to annul security coordination, but could choose other, less radical steps, which he declined to identify." ca 29/12/2016
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Welcome to Greater Israel!Philip Giraldi - Information Clearing House "The problem with Israel and its friends is that they are never satisfied and never leave the rest of us Americans alone, pushing constantly at what is essentially an open door. They have treated the United States like a doormat, spying on us more than any ostensibly friendly nation while pocketing our $38 billion donation to their expanding state without so much as a thank you. They are shameless. Israel’s ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer has been all over American television sputtering his rage over the United Nations settlements vote. " ca29/12/2016
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Trump Could Be Israel’s Worst NightmareGregg Carlstrom - NYT "But the embrace of Trump and the belligerence toward the rest of the world that Netanyahu is using to woo right-wing voters carries a profound risk. Israel is betting all its chips on an unpopular, untested president with no knowledge of the region and a history of breaking his campaign promises. If he does renege, Israel will find itself even more isolated." ca29/12/2016
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Netanyahu sacrifices Israel on his crusade against ObamaBen Caspit - Al-Monitor - "Conventional wisdom is that Netanyahu knows exactly what he is doing. It is a perfect imitation of what Trump did over the last year. He is lashing out at all norms, spitting at political correctness, breaking all the rules of the game and denigrating anyone who isn’t him." - id 28/12/2016
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America’s empty “happy talk” on Palestine coming to an endRay Hanania - The Arab Daily News - "President-elect Donald Trump is doing exactly what Palestinians and the Arab World need. He is throwing out all the useless, do-nothing “happy talk” about saving Palestine and Jerusalem that has put the Arab and Muslim World in a coma." - id 28/12/2016
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Why Did Obama Let the UN Criticize Israel? Because It Was The Last Chance to Act SaneJay Michaelson - The Daily Beast - "So what’s left? For Americans who care about this issue, the hard right and the hard left." - id 28/12/2016
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Mossad’s Yossi Cohen Gets Away with Murder…AgainRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "He represents murder for murder’s sake.  He represents rule by blood, the Israeli version of Richard III. A man liable to kill anyone for any reason as long as it’s possible to do it, get away with it, and it will advance his interest." - id 28/12/2016
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Palestine 2017: Time to Bid Farewell to Washington and Embrace the GlobeRamzy Baroud - Counterpunch - "...begging and pleading for American compassion will not suffice. If a united Palestinian leadership does not seize the opportunity and regain the initiative in 2017, all Palestinians will suffer. It is time to move away from Washington and to embrace the rest of the world." - id 28/12/2016
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UN Resolution Against Israeli Settlements May Be Only the First Step Aeyal Gross - Haaretz - Security Council decisions are binding for all states, and the decision may urge more to take measures that will exclude the settlements from their various forms of cooperation with Israel – financial, trade, academic, and so on. (...) Another important element is the request that the Secretary-General report to the Security Council every three months on the resolution`s implementation, a provision that ensures constant engagement with the topic. Not least, the consensus that the resolution represents on the illegality of the settlements and the description of their construction as a “flagrant” violation may convince prosecutor Fatou Bensouda of the International Criminal Court that she has strong grounds to pursue the matter before the ICC. [bz]27/12/2016
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The genius of the UN`s resolution on Israeli settlements Bob Carr - theage.com.au - The resolution has undermined the nationalist strategy that says Israel can lose Europe but enjoy new partnerships in Asia and Africa and with Vladimir Putin. In the end not only France and Britain but Russia and China voted to brand settlements flagrantly illegal. Netanyahu is left vowing retaliation against plucky little New Zealand and Senegal. Donald Trump can tweet and bluster. But the resolution stands as international law, to be taken seriously by cabinets and bind the International Criminal Court. After years of provocation by Israeli hawks that`s the genius of what Obama and Kerry have pulled off. If Israel responds with more settlements, or annexes slabs of the West Bank, then UN agencies and member states have to decide how to react. Leave that "how" to another day. [bz]27/12/2016
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Differentiation clause will boost BDSHERB KEINON - Jerusalem Post - What is new, and could open doors to actions is clause No. 5, which calls upon the nations of the world “to distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967.” This measure, if taken seriously by the international community, may trigger a slew of initiatives that could make the labeling of settlement products in Europe seem tame by comparison. [bz] 27/12/2016
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U.S. abstention is a message to Europe: End Israel’s impunityAmjad Iraqi - +972 - The U.S. essentially admitted that its unyielding defense of Israel in the diplomatic arena was a disastrous strategy. With Obama bowing out, Europe will need to act on this lesson [ry]26/12/2016
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Red Rag column - sex offenders, thought police, fashion policeGideon Spiro - Recently we have been witness to intense publicity about sex offenders. A grandfather in his 70s, serving as a cantor in a synagogue, has been accused of raping his daughter and his granddaughters. A settler rabbi has been accused of raping a 14 year old female student. A former Shas Knesset Member has been accused of receiving bribes in the form of sexual favours. A sitting Knesset Member from the Jewish Home party is suspected of having committed serial sexual offences for many years. The head of a Regional Council in the Occupied Territories resigned due to sexual assault. gm26/12/2016
Barack Obama, John Kerry, and the Palestine sagaAvi Shlaim--Is there anything Obama can do to salvage his reputation in the remaining weeks of his lame-duck presidency? dn25/12/2016
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Anger as Israel finances Amona relocation while poor go without Akiva Eldar--Outrage is sweeping Israel as the government is set to allocate $34 million to empty the Amona outpost of law-breaking settlers despite the budget cuts that are crippling small municipalities. dn25/12/2016
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Ramifications of UNSC resolution: Sanctions, boycotts and ICC lawsuitsItamar Eichner--While the anti-settlement resolution adopted by the UN Security Council has no immediate practical ramifications, it could open the door to lawsuits against Israel at the ICC, sanctions imposed for any Israeli move seen as violating resolution, and boycotts on settlement products. dn25/12/2016
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Five takeaways: What the UN Security Council resolution meansMichael Schaeffer Omer-Man--In a 14-0 vote and with the U.S. abstaining, the UN Security Council passes a resolution reaffirming the illegality of Israeli settlements. What does it all mean, and what comes next? dn25/12/2016
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Israel Vows To Defy UN Resolution on SettlementsJ.J. Goldberg:That ‘Shameful’ UN Resolution Actually Blasts the Settlements — Not Israel--dn25/12/2016
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Israel lobby group threatens lawsuit if MLA endorses academic boycottDavid Lloyd--The Brandeis Center has sent a letter to the Modern Language Association threatening a lawsuit if the Association passes the resolution to endorse the Palestinian call for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions. The Brandeis Center is a legal lobby group that represents its mission as being “to advance the civil and human rights of the Jewish people and to promote justice for all”, but lately it seems to have been devoting its time to suppressing legitimate efforts to achieve justice and civil rights for the Palestinian people.dn24/12/2016
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Forced existenceRuchama Marton - Mondoweiss - The occupier is trapped in his own forced existence as occupier – unable to change, despite the fact that this would benefit both sides. [Ruchama Marton is founding member of Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, whose decades-long actions appear in the later part of the article--bz]24/12/2016
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Hell just froze over: the New York Times runs an article saying Zionism is racistMona--Boehm’s most startling point is that Zionism has anti-Semitic strains, witness its collaboration with Nazis. Hannah Arendt is happy today.dn24/12/2016
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Liberal Zionism in the Age of TrumpOmri Boehm - NYT - In the last few decades, many of America’s Jewish communities have grown accustomed to living in a political contradiction. On one hand, a large majority of these communities could rightly take pride in a powerful liberal tradition. (...) On the other hand, the same communities have often identified themselves with Zionism, a political agenda rooted in the denial of liberal politics.As long as liberalism was secure back in America and the rejection of liberalism confined to the Israeli scene, this tension could be mitigated. But as it spills out into the open in the rapidly changing landscape of American politics, the double standard is becoming difficult to defend. [bz]24/12/2016
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Short-circuited lives: Why my family is facing eviction from our home in the Old City of Jerusalem Rafat Sub Laban - SALON - For my entire life, 27 years, I have lived with the threat that I will be permanently evicted from my home in the Old City of Jerusalem. It’s a beautiful location, just 200 yards from the Dome of the Rock and offering an absolutely stunning view of the Old City’s holy sites. We have paid our rent. We have been good tenants. We have tried all legal means, including a Dec. 3 protest march, to stay in our home. Yet our “goodness” matters not at all when anti-Palestinian discrimination is the law of the land. We fear the Israeli government will turn over our home permanently to Israeli settlers.-rh 22/12/2016
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Critics warn US could adopt `pro-settler agenda` : Nomination of David Friedman as next US ambassador to Israel has further damaged prospects for Palestinian statehoodJonathan Cook - Aljazeera - Donald Trump`s nomination of David Friedman as the United States ambassador to Israel provoked widespread consternation over the weekend, amid heightened speculation that the president-elect`s selection would move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. In a statement accepting the nomination, 57-year-old Friedman welcomed the chance to work "from the US Embassy in Israel`s eternal capital, Jerusalem". That would signal US recognition of Israel`s illegal annexation of East Jerusalem, long viewed as the only feasible capital of a future Palestinian state.-rh 22/12/2016
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Is Israeli High Court’s independence at risk?Mazal Mualem - Al Monitor - The High Court of Justice is well-known in the world as an institution symbolizing the robustness of Israeli democracy; it is an institution that protects minority groups, without political considerations. However, nowadays it is clear that the red line has already been crossed. All the signs show that the political and public atmosphere is ripe for infringing on, and restricting, the powers of the High Court of Justice vis-a-vis the politicians. President Naor’s struggle is only rearguard action.-rh 22/12/2016
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Why did Mossad kill Mohammed al ZoariRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "Israel has proven time and again that it wants war, it incites war.  War is a tool of state policy.  It achieves the country’s goals of maintaining regional hegemony against all comers.  The Mossad is a critical part of this war-making machine as it projects destructive Israeli power outside its territorial boundaries." - id21/12/2016
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Netanyahu: Attacking Israeli journalists on Facebook is `fun`Edo Konrad - +972 - "Netanyahu, who also serves as Israel’s communications minister, has in recent years designated the media as his arch nemesis. He attacks journalists by name, and often issues long, belabored responses to investigative reports published on his alleged misdoings." - id 21/12/2016
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If it wanted to, Israel could have stopped the massacre in SyriaRonen Bergman - Ynet - "There are many reasons why it didn’t intervene, but they are the exact arguments that stopped the Allies from intervening in favor of the European Jewry." - id 21/12/2016
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Israel`s Jordan Valley regulation `discriminatory`Nigel Wilson - Aljazeera - According to the legal rights group Adalah, more than 55,000 Palestinian workers will be affected by the new regulation, which obligates Israeli labour court judges to order non-Israeli residents, including Palestinians from the occupied West Bank and international migrant workers, to deposit a financial guarantee at the beginning of a lawsuit against an Israeli employer. The sum would cover the employer`s court costs. Israeli media labelled the regulation the "Jordan Valley regulation" because it was viewed by the press to be politically motivated to benefit settlers who operate businesses and employ non-Israeli workers in this part of the occupied West Bank.-rh 21/12/2016
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Why moving US Embassy to Jerusalem is no way to start a presidencyDaoud Kuttab - Al Monitor - Corpus-separatum refers to a city or region with special legal and political status. The designation falls short of bestowing sovereign status, or that of an independent city-state. Hanna Issa, a Palestinian expert on international law and a resident of Jerusalem, told Al-Monitor the United Nations has in various ways stressed the special status of Jerusalem. “This definition was made clear in the 1947 UN Partition Plan, Resolution 181, and a year later, the status of Jerusalem was reaffirmed in a separate resolution, UNGA 303, in December 1949,” he said.-rh 21/12/2016
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Israel’s Arabs remain key to peaceRay Hanania - The Arab Daily News - "The only thing keeping Israel from annexing the West Bank is the fear that the West Bank Palestinians will join with Israeli Palestinians and vote Israel out of existence. The pen is mightier than the sword, but the vote is mightier than the pen." - id 21/12/2016
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Aleppo Falls, Syria WeepsYacov Ben Efrat - Challenge - "These are people who seek an escape from backwardness and tyranny to democracy and freedom, people who want to integrate into the modern world. Trump and Putin, Netanyahu and Erdogan, the Saudi king and the rulers of Iran are united against these educated young people and against the marginalized poor. They leave us with the horrors of Aleppo, which will haunt us for many years to come." - id 21/12/2016
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Nominee For US Ambassador to Israel Should Set Off Alarm BellsMitchell Plitnick - LobeLog - With his nomination of attorney David Friedman as the new United States Ambassador to Israel, President-elect Donald Trump has sent a very clear message that he intends to shift U.S. policy away from its decades-long commitment to ending the Israeli occupation that began in 1967 and establishing an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel. That commitment represents not only a strong American political consensus, but an overwhelming international consensus as well.-rh21/12/2016
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Israeli art student hounded by Israeli rightAkiva Eldar - Al Monitor - Writing that Culture Minister Miri Regev has asked Education Minister Naftali Bennett to stop funding the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design because of a poster by a first-year student is a dog bites man story. But in fact, this is what happened this week, when a poster showing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with a rope swept the social networks. It’s hardly surprising that the culture minister, who is proud of never having read Chekhov, doesn’t understand the difference between a poster displayed in the stairwell of an arts school and incitement against asylum seekers in the town square (as she did in 2012, when she called African asylum seekers “a cancer”). And then again, maybe she does understand and even knows that the school assignment of an 18-year-old student, posted on the web by some anonymous hand, is hardly a security threat to the prime minister. But Regev, as always, never misses an opportunity to pick up a few more likes from her fans.-rh 21/12/2016
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Some of Jerusalem’s rabbis are waging their own war on ChristmasIshaan Tharoor - The Washington Post - In a letter faxed to hoteliers in Jerusalem, two of the city`s chief rabbis warned against displaying Christmas trees on their premises. “As the secular year ends we want to remind you that erecting a Christmas tree in a hotel contravenes halacha [Jewish law] and that therefore it is clear that one should not erect [a tree] in a hotel,” the letter reads, according to the Times of Israel. “It is also appropriate to avoid hosting parties to mark the end of the secular year.”- rh 21/12/2016
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IDF opens investigation after Palestinian teen killed by flareHaggai Matar - +972 - Israel’s military prosecutor is investigating the killing of a Palestinian teenager in the Gaza Strip after IDF soldiers shot a flare at his face, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman recently announced. Footage of the incident, which occurred on September 9, shows that the 15-year-old was not posing a threat to the soldiers at the time he was killed.-rh21/12/2016
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Trump’s nominee for ambassador to Israel is unfit to serveJeremy Ben-Ami - Washington Post - Even though Friedman’s views completely contradict bipartisan U.S. policy for the past five decades, that’s not sufficient reason for the Senate to reject his nomination. Friedman’s lack of any policy or diplomatic experience (he has been Trump’s bankruptcy lawyer) is also not, alone, a basis for rejection. But never before has a diplomatic novice been placed in this sensitive post, where a single wrong word or move could pour fuel on fires already burning in the region. [Jeremy Ben-Ami is founder and president of J Street-bz]20/12/2016
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The closing of the Israeli mindNaomi Chazan - Times of Israel - (...) little attention has been paid to Minister of Education Naftali Bennett’s appointment of Professor Asa Kasher, the author of the IDF Code of Ethics, to compose an academic code for the faculty of the country’s universities and colleges. Nothing can undermine Israel’s productive energies, distort its creative propensities, eat away at its moral underpinnings, or destroy its democratic foundations more than patrolling its academic institutions. [bz]20/12/2016
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Want to fight boycotts of Israel? Boycott West Bank settlements instead.Nathan Hersh - Washington Post - By boycotting the settlements, Americans would be sending a message of solidarity to progressive Israeli groups such as B’Tselem, Gush Shalom and Peace Now — as well as to Palestinians who suffer the humiliations of the occupation every day. In the Trump administration, everyone working to end the occupation will need more support, not less. Instead of boycotting Israel, progressives should continue to stand with those Israelis who are on the front lines against their government and the settlement movement.[bz]20/12/2016
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Trump Chooses Hard-Liner as Ambassador to IsraelMATTHEW ROSENBERG - NYT - "In naming an ambassador with the hard-line views of Mr. Friedman, Mr. Trump could end up undercutting the security of Israel and the United States and condemn “the Palestinians to further disenfranchisement and dispossession (...) and causing headaches for American national security interests across the region and even for Israel’s own security establishment,” former peace negotiator Daniel Levy said. [bz] 20/12/2016
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Good news, for a change – opposition prevents setting up kangaroo court for KMsGush Shalom press release - The government sought to have the radical Arab Knesset Member Basel Ghattas summarily unseated, based on the unproven allegation that he had “smuggled mobile phones to Palestinian prisoners”. However, the mainstream parliamentary opposition did refuse to give the assent needed for such an act – refusing to be carried along on the waves of incendiary nationalist rhetoric emanating from the Prime Minister`s Bureau. [ak]20/12/2016
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Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Heads for 50 Years of UN FailureThalif Deen--UNITED NATIONS, Dec 15 2016 (IPS) - Come 2017, the United Nations will mark the 50th anniversary of one of the world’s longstanding unresolved political problems firmly entrenched on the UN agenda: the Israeli-Palestinian conflict dating back to the Six Day War in June 1967. dn18/12/2016
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Trump pick for ambassador to Israel supports Israeli annexation of West Bank and calls liberal Jews ‘kapos’Roqayah Chamseddine--Donald Trump has nominated 57-year-old Long Island native David Friedman to serve as U.S ambassador to Israel. Friedman served as Trump’s Israel adviser during the election campaign and has worked as Trump’s bankruptcy lawyer. He is a vociferous pro-settler advocate who openly advocates for the annexation of the West Bank, and serves as president of American Friends of Bet El Institutions, a settlement advocacy group. Friedman will join an administration that has continually promised to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and has made clear its opposition to the two-state solution. In announcing the pick Trump called Friedman “a longtime friend and trusted adviser.” dn18/12/2016
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WHY THE ISRAELI HARD RIGHT LOVES DONALD TRUMPNINA BURLEIGH--For two days and two nights in December, the Israelis and their American friends in Washington, D.C., convened among the carolers and Christmas trees at a luxury hotel near the White House. It was supposed to be Haim Saban’s political bar mitzvah, the ultimate celebration of his president-making powers. In 2016, the billionaire emerged as the most influential Israel donor to Hillary Clinton, and most of the Israeli-American policy world turned out for his 13th annual Saban Forum: think tank policy wonks, dn18/12/2016
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Jewish Storm Builds Over David Friedman’s Appointment as Israel AmbassadorNathan Guttman--Friedman, who was largely unknown in the organized Jewish community before joining the Trump campaign, has been reaching out to Jewish officials recently, even before being announced as Trump’s pick for ambassador to Israel. But in the meetings and discussions, Friedman has made no attempt to bridge the gaps with the liberal wing of the community. dn18/12/2016
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New year, new Netanyahu?Mazal Mualem--Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has once again proclaimed his support for a two-state solution with the Palestinians, but is he being genuine? dn18/12/2016
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The wall that separates Israeli, US JewsAkiva Eldar--While Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu drags his feet in ensuring that all Jews can worship at the Western Wall in the way they wish, some members of his party have proposed a law that would imprison women for doing just that. dn17/12/2016
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WHY THE ISRAELI HARD RIGHT LOVES DONALD TRUMPNINA BURLEIGH--For two days and two nights in December, the Israelis and their American friends in Washington, D.C., convened among the carolers and Christmas trees at a luxury hotel near the White House. It was supposed to be Haim Saban’s political bar mitzvah, the ultimate celebration of his president-making powers. In 2016, the billionaire emerged as the most influential Israel donor to Hillary Clinton, and most of the Israeli-American policy world turned out for his 13th annual Saban Forum: think tank policy wonks, ribbon-decked retired generals and diplomats who had sweated over the intractable peace process. Knesset members on the right and left flew in from Tel Aviv, along with Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, a hard-liner sometimes described as a potential challenger to Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu, who beamed in by satellite.dn17/12/2016
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Two-thirds of Palestinians believe Palestinian state is no longer possible Kate - Mondoweiss "Two-thirds of Palestinians believe a two-state solution to their conflict with Israel is no longer possible, a poll said Tuesday. The share of those who lost faith in such a deal rose from 56 percent in September to 65 percent now, probably due to an acceleration of settlement activity, said the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey research. Most in the international community still back the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel, even though a deal appears to be increasingly complicated, in part because of the continued growth of settlements."ca16/12/2016
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On the struggles and duties of the Israeli Left: A response to `Palestine Today`Dahlia Scheindlin and Matt Duss - +972 "Palestine Today, a California-based blog, has written a sincere response to our article drawing on lessons and parallels between Israel and the U.S. for dejected progressives.We appreciate the thoughtful critique regarding what is clearly a shared goal of advancing progressive values and ending occupation. Some of the points reflect very real ambiguities in the situation, and we welcome the opportunity to engage in an important conversation." ca 16/12/2016
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From Dismay to Jubilation, Trump`s Pick of David Friedman as Israel Envoy Splits Jewish Response Debra Nussbaum Cohen |- Haaretz "Appointment of pro-settlement David Friedman, who this year called J Street supporters `worse than kapos,` alarms dovish Jewish groups. ZOA, meanwhile, lauds potential of `greatest U.S. Ambassador to Israel ever.`" ca16/12/2016
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Israel Blocks Gaza Women From Breast Cancer TreatmentSarah Algherbawi - Countercurrents - Human rights groups have long documented how Israel has, in effect, sought to blackmail Palestinians who are seriously ill. Patients have been told that they will only be allowed to travel for treatment if they become informers to the Shin Bet, Israel’s domestic intelligence agency. Dalia Abu Skhaila, a 34-year-old breast cancer patient from the southern Khan Younis area of Gaza, said that Israeli officers at Erez have tried to recruit her as an informer on a number of occasions. Because she has refused to accept that condition, she has been blocked from traveling.-rh 15/12/2016
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Will Israel impose Cypriot model in West Bank?Adnan Abu Amer - Al Monitor - Implementing the Cypriot model in the West Bank requires international interference, which is what the Palestinians have been calling for while Israel has been rejecting it. Israel has been keen on keeping discussions and negotiations to this effect limited to internal circles at home, without any international interference, and rejected on Nov. 7 the international conference France intended to hold early next year.-rh 15/12/2016
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Netanyahu`s `Job Act` could win him Trump-like appointment powersMazal Mualem - Al Monitor - At the Dec. 11 Cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu himself placed his own version of the Job Act on the table. The headlines from that meeting focused on how Netanyahu is jealous of US President-elect Donald Trump and would like to have the same option of making hundreds of political appointments, without going through committees or the tender system. As Netanyahu put it, “Trump can make 4,000 appointments. We should be able to make a few hundred appointments that don’t need a tender. … We also need to be able to govern."-rh 15/12/2016
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Israeli Soldiers Often Contaminate Evidence After Shooting Palestinian Assailants, Prosecutors Say Yaniv Kubovich - Haaretz - It is often impossible to investigate cases where soldiers shoot Palestinians, because the soldiers disturb the evidence at alleged terror attack scene, senior prosecutors and police officers warned the Israeli Defense Forces. Nor is this just a problem for the law enforcement agencies, they warned. It could also become a serious problem for the army itself, because it could make it harder to defend soldiers in civil or criminal proceedings overseas.-rh  15/12/2016
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Why Trump’s #DrainTheSwamp Slogan Means Something Totally Different in IsraelNaomi Zeveloff - Forward - Naftali Bennett sounded a lot like Donald Trump when he congratulated the Israeli parliament for “draining the swamp” by pushing a bill to retroactively legalize West Bank outposts built on stolen Palestinian land. At first, the far right wing Israeli minister seemed to be parroting Trump’s call to clean up government. But it’s more likely that Bennett was making a reference to a similar Israeli concept born out of Zionist history of swamp draining as a way to conquer the land for Jews.-rh 15/12/2016
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Top Israeli Politician: ‘I Prefer If Arabs Did Not Show Up To Vote’Marcy Oster - Forward - David Bitan, of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party, on Saturday said during an event in the Jerusalem suburb of Mevasseret Zion: “Arabs flock to the polls? I’d prefer if they didn’t show up to vote at all.” Some 95 percent of Arab-Israelis vote for The Arab Joint List party, Bitan noted, adding that the party: “doesn’t represent Israeli-Arab interests – it represents Palestinian interests.”-rh 15/12/2016
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Palestine: The End of the Bedouins?David Shulman - The New York Review of Books - Today, most of the Jordan Valley, undoubtedly one of the most ravishing landscapes on the planet, is situated in what is known as Area C of occupied Palestinian territory. This means that, with the exception of the ancient city of Jericho and its surroundings (which are in Area A, under Palestinian rule), the valley is under direct and exclusive Israeli military, legal, and political control, and also that large parts of it are taken up by Israeli settlements or by lands that have been reserved for future Israeli settlement. It also means that a Palestinian population of some 15,000 Bedouins who are settled in the valley is tacitly targeted for expulsion.-rh 15/12/2016
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`Apartheid Israel’ is not just a political slogan; it is a daily realityJihad Abu Raya - Middle East Monitor - Around 70 per cent of all towns within Israel — Palestinian land occupied since 1948 — are “for Jews only”; the state’s Arab citizens are banned from living therein. This has been the sustained policy since the establishment of the State of Israel on Palestinian land. The means and methods may have changed, but Israel’s goal has not; establishing “Arab-free” towns, which are solely for those who have Jewish ethnicity, is the official intention. This is no ordinary discrimination in favour of one group of citizens; this is Apartheid itself. Despite this obvious fact, it is an issue which the international community would rather not address and so Israel continues to get away with it.-rh15/12/2016
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Israel wants mosques to turn the volume way downWilliam Booth and Ruth Eglash - The Washington Post - When the call to prayer begins in the Palestinian neighborhoods here, the Muslim faithful hear a song beautiful and sublime. Hour by hour, five times a day, it is the soundtrack of their lives. And it stirs deep emotions. Across the walls, across the lines that separate Arabs from Jews, the Muslims’ call to prayer means something very different. The Jews hear noise, they say. And worse.-rh 14/12/2016
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Bilal Kayed released after 15 years in Israeli jail : Bilal Kayed`s case caused outrage when he was placed under administrative detention by Israel on June 15.Zena Tahhan - Aljazeera - Palestinian prisoner Bilal Kayed has been released after spending 15 years in Israeli jails, his family has confirmed. His case caused outrage within the Palestinian community when he was placed under administrative detention on June 15 - the day he was due to be released after serving his full sentence.-rh 14/12/2016
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Does Netanyahu count on leftist NGOs to save him?Akiva Eldar - Al-Monitor - "Netanyahu is counting on B’Tselem and the Supreme Court to extricate him from The Hague. There is no guarantee that this time they will oblige and take on this ungrateful task for him." - id 14/12/2016
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Trump and Netanyahu Governments Both Steeped in Ethnic Supremacy, Ultra-NationalismRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "That’s why Netanyahu, despite being the longest-serving prime minister in Israel’s history, is not popular.  He reigns through fear, through setting rivals within his own Party against each other.  He has no political legacy to speak of: he’s led Israel through several wars but not ended the security threat of terrorism.  He has led a robust economy, but one that mainly benefits the upper classes and elites, while fully one-quarter of Israelis live below the poverty line." - id14/12/2016
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When Israelis Can No Longer Go to Macy’s Gideon Levy - Haaretz - In the same way that Palestinian-Americans are interrogated and humiliated at Ben-Gurion Airport, an Israeli from the settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim arriving at a Canadian airport will be questioned about his activities, his origins, his friends, his plans and his sex life; his computer will also be searched, just like they do at Ben-Gurion. [bz]13/12/2016
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Netanyahu in high stakes gamble with new settlement billMaayan Lubell - Reuters - As well as those settlements, which Israel fully supports, settlers have established more than 100 outposts, many on hilltops across the West Bank, often with tacit government support. Under the new bill, 55 of the outposts will have official sanction, according to Israeli settlement watchdog Peace Now. Compensation would be offered to Palestinian land owners. The deeper the government becomes involved in backing settlement activity the worse it could be for Israel, said Aeyal Gross, a professor of international law at Tel Aviv University. Once the law is on the books, Gross said, it will "add a level of illegality to the existing illegality of the settlements". [bz]13/12/2016
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Netanyahu, Israel’s one and onlyNahum Barnea - Ynet - The system of checks and balances, which stabilized the prime minister, has collapsed. Only two restraining systems remain: The IDF General Staff and the free media. Both are under fire right now [ry]12/12/2016
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Red Rag column - the fires in Israel - militaristic feminism - Brigadier-General Ofek Buchris - AmonaGideon Spiro: While Arabs are being accused of arson, firefighters from the Palestinian Authority have been helping to extinguish the fires, and leaders of Arab communities have opened their doors to those who have been displaced by the fires. 11/12/2016
Can Kerry convince Obama on final MidEast move?Ben Caspit--US Secretary of State John Kerry, who labored relentlessly to promote the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, wants President Barack Obama to support a UN resolution against the settlements before leaving office. dn11/12/2016
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`Arabs flock to the polls? I`d prefer if they didn`t show up to vote at all`Jerusalem Post--Joint List Chairman Ayman Odeh responded on Twitter stating, "Surprising realization that Bitan, the great democrat, prefers Arabs don`t vote... his racism and the racism of the government is just another tool for us to continue intensifying our political power." dn11/12/2016
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Israel`s controversial settlement bill provokes Palestinian blitzShlomi Eldar--The “whitewashing” of unauthorized settlements established on private Palestinian land — after paying compensation to the Palestinian landowners — would be a de facto declaration of war by Israel and generate widespread Palestinian unrest. On the other hand, the Palestinians would be handed what they call a “smoking gun” on a silver platter: ultimate proof that Israel is intent on annexing the occupied territories and not on peacefully resolving its conflict with the Palestinians anytime in the foreseeable future. dn10/12/2016
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Why a Texas rabbi keeps losing a debate over Israel with a white nationalist leaderRichard Spencer--It must have been a terrible embarrassment to Hillel rabbi Matt Rosenberg at Texas A&M University, when he tried to challenge the alt-right Spencer with ‘radical inclusion and love’. Spencer was invited to the University, and Rosenberg was there to challenge his bigotry:dn10/12/2016
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Israeli bill to legalise settler homes `unequivocally illegal`: UNAFP - "I strongly urge lawmakers to reconsider their support for this bill, which if enacted, would have far-reaching consequences and would seriously damage the reputation of Israel around the world," said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra`ad Al Hussein." ca 9/12/2016
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Bethlehem Lights Christmas Tree With Message Of Peace And Justice (Video)Saed Bannoura - IMEMC "The Mayor of Bethlehem, Vera George Baboun, delivered this years’ Christmas message of peace and justice during the annual official Christmas tree lighting ceremony, held on December 4th, at the Manger Square in front of the Church of Nativity in the Palestinian city of Bethlehem." ca 9/12/2016
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Israel refuses visa to theologian over boycott and divestment activismPeter Beaumont - The Guardian - Israel has denied entry to a prominent theologian and academic for her alleged activism in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement – the first time officials say a foreign national has been refused entry for that reason.Isabel Phiri, who is an assistant general secretary with the World Council of Churches in Geneva, was refused a visa at Israel’s Ben Gurion airport on Monday afternoon.-rh 8/12/2016
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West Bank village turned into a `prison` in the wake of arson accusationsMa`an - Dozens of Palestinians have been detained -- including a number of children -- and clashes have erupted daily in the occupied West Bank village of Deir Nidham since it was blockaded by the Israeli army three weeks ago, “turning the lives of 1,600 into a prison,” locals told Ma’an on Wednesday. Deir Nidham, northwest of Ramallah city, was placed under a military closure after a fire erupted just a few kilometers away in the illegal Israeli settlement of Halamish, which is built on the lands of the village and on the lands of neighboring Nabi Saleh.-rh 8/12/2016
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How Many Israelis Does It Take to Arrest One Palestinian? Amira Hass - Haaretz - So how many is that so far? At least 65 people. It’s clear that every soldier/policeman gets to arrest a few Palestinians every month with the same force often arresting a few all at once, which is much preferred. The same applies to the Nahshon teams and the Shin Bet coordinators, the prison guards, the detectives and the judges. Efficient and resourceful, they pass the detainee from hand to hand in assembly-line fashion.-rh8/12/2016
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Despite Hundreds of Complaints of Shin Bet Torture, Israel Yet to Launch Single Criminal Investigation Yotam Berger - Mivtan, it turns out, has never launched a single criminal investigation against a Shin Bet agent, even though it has examined many hundreds of complaints. Haaretz has learned that the department employs only one investigator, meaning it’s unlikely that complaints can be thoroughly examined. In practice, then, the unit does not interfere with the Shin Bet’s work, even though complainants have reported harsh and prohibited forms of torture – including severe beatings and extensive sleep deprivation.-rh8/12/2016
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One week later: Where is the evidence of an `arson intifada?`Haggai Matar - +972 - But what do we actually know about this wave of wildfires? We know that there were 1773 different fires according to the Israel Fire and Rescue Services. The police were called to 90 of these “events,” 40 of which were investigated for a number of crimes (including negligence, as well as arson and attempted arson). The Israel Tax Authority announced that nine of the fires will be counted as nationalistically-motived arsons, yet the police and the Fire and Rescue Services were quick to respond that Authority’s list was not based on facts, and that there is no way to prove that any of those nine fires were the result of arson.-rh 8/12/2016
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More than half of US aid ‘to entire world’ goes to Israel and it ignores our warnings on settlements Philip Weiss - Mondoweiss - But back then in 1993 [when Oslo principles were signed], there were 110,000 settlers in the West Bank. Today there are 385,500 or so. There is an increase – there is about 90,000 settlers living outside of the barrier. And the barrier, I want to remind everybody here, was established by Israel. That’s a line that was drawn by Israel – not necessarily a border, but it’s a line. It’s a reflection of a security line. Outside of that line drawn by Israel there are now 90,000 Israelis living in these patchworks of settlements. There are 129 settlements. There are about 100 outposts, and outposts, as you all know, are illegal.-rh 8/12/2016
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Israel`s Lehava stirs `anarchy` in Jerusalem : The far-right group stokes hatred and incites followers to violence against Palestinians, say analystsJonathan Cook - Aljazeera - The attacks were carried out by a far-right group called Lehava, or Flame in Hebrew, an acronym for the Organisation for the Prevention of Miscegenation in the Holy Land. Run by a far-right rabbi, Ben-Zion Gopstein, Lehava rejects any interaction between Jews and Palestinians.Run by a far-right rabbi, Ben-Zion Gopstein, Lehava rejects any interaction between Jews and Palestinians. Founded in 2009, Lehava is distinguished from other far-right groups by its official focus on stopping miscegenation and intermarriage between Jews and Palestinians. In addition to the 300,000 Palestinians in Jerusalem, some 1.7 million of Israel`s citizens are Palestinian by origin, making them nearly a fifth of the population.-rh 8/12/2016
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Arab Bedouins expelled for second time to make way for new Jewish community Mersiha Gadzo - Mondoweiss - For the Abu al-Qi’an tribe, Umm al-Hiran has been home since 1956. They settled in the northern Negev after they were expelled under military order from their original village of Wadi Zubaleh where Kibbutz Shoval now stands. They now have to leave their homes for the second time. Nedal Abu al-Qi’an holds his daughter, one-month-old Jowan Abu al-Qi’an. “There’s no space for us. We have to go from one place to another,” 35-year-old Hassan Abu al-Qi’an said sitting in his living room with family members. They could receive orders to move out at any moment, he explained.-rh8/12/2016
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Palestinians in Israel decry removal of Arabic on buses : Israeli buses remove Arabic-language announcements in southern city of Beersheba after pressure from Jewish residentsPatrick Strickland - Aljazeera - Israel`s Ministry of Transportation instructed the Dan Bus Company to remove Arabic announcements after several local Jewish-Israeli residents lodged complaints to the company and the Beersheba`s city hall.-rh8/12/2016
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Golden statue of Benjamin Netanyahu toppled after causing stirJeffrey Heller - Independent - A gilded statue of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dubbed “King Bibi” by its creator stirred condemnation from Israel`s culture minister and was toppled by an onlooker after a brief public appearance. Sculptor Itay Zalait said he had placed the four metre (13 foot) tall effigy of Mr Netanyahu on a white pedestal in Tel Aviv`s Rabin Square, adjacent to city hall, to test the limits of freedom of expression in Israel.-rh 8/12/2016
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Darfur Refugee Beaten to Death for Trying to Consort with Israeli GirlsRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "While I’ve not been able to establish a direct connection between the murderers and groups like Lehava, which advocate violence against Palestinians, Christians and Africans–this is part of their modus operandi.  The attack is a mark of Kahanist thuggery, of which Lehava makes a specialty." - id 7/12/2016
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Prominent Muslim group denounces AJC-led coalitionRay Hanania - The Arab Daily News - "The American Muslims for Palestine issued their press release on Monday Dec. 5, 2016 demanding that ISNA and MJAC members demand that the AJC renounce its past attacks against Palestinian, Arab and Muslim groups." - id7/12/2016
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Government incitement is worse than online incitement Yossi Dahan - Ynet - Declaring that the fires were “acts of terrorism” would mean that the damages citizens suffered as a result of the fires would have be paid by the state rather than by insurance companies. So the incitement apparently continues as long as it pays off politically. It stops as soon as a financial price has to be paid for it. [bz]6/12/2016
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Obama would have overwhelming support from US public to allow UN establishment of Palestinian state Philip Weiss - Mondoweiss - Shibley Telhami’s latest polling for Brookings shows that criticism of Israel has burgeoned in the United States public during the last year, particularly among Democrats; and that if President Obama were to buck Israel at the United Nations, by sanctioning Israel for settlements, or allowing the U.N. to endorse the establishment of a Palestinian state, he would have broad popular support. Obama has political “cover,” Telhami said at Brookings in announcing his findings. [bz]6/12/2016
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Israeli education minister declares math `state of emergency`Mazal Mualem, Translator Danny Wool--When the results of the 2015 international Trends in International Math and Science Study (TIMSS) tests were released Nov. 29, Israeli students showed a marked decline in math and the sciences. Nevertheless, Education Minister Naftali Bennett was ready with a pat and efficient response, at least as far as he was concerned. “Remember how everybody attacked me over my obsession with mathematics? Now you see why. When it comes to the study of math, we are facing a state of emergency,” Bennett wrote on his Facebook page soon after the results were released to the media. dn4/12/2016
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Book Review: ‘The Two-State Delusion,’ a well-researched but mistitled saga of a failed peace processSam Bahour--The book’s title suggests that there is something paradoxical in persevering with a proposed solution of two states, Israel and Palestine, as a way forward; the thrust of the historical accounts and the arguments made, however, are actually geared more toward convincing the reader that what failed is the process rather than the two-state paradigm itself, which has never yet been tested. A more accurate title would have been “Eulogy for a U.S.-Monopolized Peace Process.” dn4/12/2016
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Senate Passes a Dumb and Dangerous BillJames J. Zogby--This week, without debate or an actual vote, the US Senate stealthily passed a disturbing and dangerous piece of legislation introduced by Senators Tim Scott (R-SC) and Bob Casey (D-PA). Called “The Anti-Semitism Awareness Act of 2016” (AAA), the Scott-Casey bill requires the Department of Education (DOE) to apply the State Department’s (DOS) definition of anti-Semitism in evaluating complaints of discrimination on US campuses. dn4/12/2016
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Choosing ViolenceOded Na’aman--As a child brought up in the Jewish-Israeli educational system, I was taught that none of Israel’s wars was a war of choice. Like most Israelis, I believed that Israel uses its military might only to defend its citizens from imminent danger. This is the Israeli ethos of necessary violence: peace is our yearning; war is our plight. We never choose violence, Israelis believe, violence chooses us. Hence the name of our military, the Israel Defense Forces. dn4/12/2016
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Will Netanyahu’s collective blame sink Israel?Akiva Eldar--Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu`s collective blame strategy will punish many Israeli Arabs who had no connection to the wildfires and will only aggravate tensions between Jews and Arabs. dn3/12/2016
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Why a settlement boycott is so scary for IsraelMichael Schaeffer Omer-Man - +972 - Israeli leaders see the idea of a limited boycott of the settlements alone as a farce because they know it would bleed right through the Green Line they’ve been working so hard to erase. [bz] 3/12/2016
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This Is How to Stay BehindHaaretz Editorial--The figures show that Israel’s gap in math-test scores between students from richer areas and those from poorer areas is the third largest among the countries surveyed, preceded only by Turkey and Qatar. In sciences, the income gap in Israel is the ninth largest. The meaning is simple: If you have money and access to high-standard schools, you’re in good shape educationally. If you don’t have money and live in the periphery – the Israeli radar will probably not find you. dn3/12/2016
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Ashrawi: Partition is a historical concession, and solidarity should be an active engagementRamallah/PNN/ "Even when the Palestinians accepted the principle of partition in 1988 and went even further in agreeing to the 1967 borders, there was neither a recognition of the enormity of the sacrifice nor an appreciation of the historical magnitude of such a concession. As such, it is the only key to peace with minimal justice which is being destroyed by Israel’s continued violations and fundamentalist extremist Zionist ideology." ca2/12/2016
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WATCH: A new brand of Jewish nonviolence in Palestine Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man - +972 - In the summer of 2016, dozens of Jews from the U.S. and other countries came to Palestine, at the request of Palestinian activists, to use nonviolence, civil disobedience, and their privilege as Jews to help oppose the Israeli occupation. Under the banner of “Occupation is not my Judaism,” the activists helped rebuild homes demolished by the Israeli army, facilitated an entire displaced Palestinian village’s return to to its former homes, and put their bodies on the line to challenge the Israeli military regime of segregation and settlement in Hebron.-rh 1/12/2016
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Deported from Palestine: Why Israel fears journalistsEoin Wilson - Aljazeera - As Israel tightens its grip on Palestinians and their international supporters, a growing number of activists, researchers and journalists have been denied access by the Israeli authorities. Among them is Eoin Wilson, an Irish-Scottish freelance journalist specialising in social movements and international solidarity activism. Earlier this month, he was refused entry and banned for 10 years. Here, he reflects on his ordeal at the hands of Israeli interrogators.-rh 1/12/2016
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How Israel is bypassing the PAAdnan Abu Amer - Al Monitor - Israel communicates with the Palestinians at the checkpoints and online. Examples of the latter are the Facebook page of Gen. Yoav Mordechai, the Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), his Twitter account and his official website, which are visited by thousands of Palestinians daily. On Nov. 11, the COGAT Facebook page posted about 10,000 job opportunities in Israel for Palestinian workers and listed the conditions required; it seems that this page has turned into an official Israeli platform to directly address the Palestinians.-rh 1/12/2016
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In Jerusalem, insurance becomes extortionJoharah Baker - The Electronic Intifada - Earlier this year, new regulations made it mandatory for all residents in Jerusalem with temporary family unification permits to obtain Israeli medical insurance. The law, which came into effect on 1 August, will cost those affected a monthly fee in addition to a large backdated one-time charge. It has caused an angry uproar among Jerusalem’s Palestinians, who see it as yet another attempt by Israeli authorities to target their community and make their precarious existence in the city even more challenging.-rh 1/12/2016
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The Real Link Between Israel’s Forest Fires And Muezzin BillJonathan Cook - Counter Currents - Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared his support this month for the so-called “muezzin bill”, claiming it was urgently needed to stop the dawn call to prayer from mosques ruining the Israeli public’s sleep. A vote in the parliament is due this week. The use of loudspeakers by muezzins was unnecessarily disruptive, Mr Netanyahu argued, in an age of alarm clocks and phone apps. But the one in five of Israel’s population who are Palestinian, most of them Muslim, and a further 300,000 living under occupation in East Jerusalem, say the legislation is grossly discriminatory. The bill’s environmental rationale is bogus, they note. Moti Yogev, a settler leader who drafted the bill, originally wanted the loudspeaker ban to curb the broadcasting of sermons supposedly full of “incitement” against Israel.-rh 1/12/2016
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Bernie Sanders Is Not Giving Up on Positive Change Because of an Election Bernie Sanders, Thomas Dunne Books - Truthout - Despite the dismay and consternation that so many of our readers felt with the election of Donald J. Trump to the presidency, Bernie Sanders released a 450-page book recently with the proud rallying cry of Our Revolution as the title. The book emphasizes a roll-up-our-sleeves optimism in progressive populism despite the election of a white nationalist leader to the highest office in the land. That is further emphasized by the cover photo that includes his campaign slogan -- now his rallying cry -- "A Future to Believe In."1/12/2016
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Now is the moment for us Palestinians to renew our national movementSalem Barahmeh - The Guardian - Fatah has long been the backbone of the Palestinian national movement. Today it is plagued by infighting between its various camps, often headlined by the feud between President Mahmoud Abbas and the former leader Mohammad Dahlan. This infighting is crippling Palestinian politics and society. It is incumbent on Fatah to hold itself to a higher standard and live up to its responsibility as the leader of the national movement. It must take this as a serious opportunity to elect fresh young faces and address its issues – not as an opportunity to further polarise the party and consolidate power. The final opportunity is the rumoured Palestine National Council meeting, which could be held before the year’s end.-rh 1/12/2016
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Red Rag column - Trump and Ze`evi - Advice for Ilana DayanGideon Spiro - The session to honour the memory of Rahavam Ze’evi was one of the low points in the history of the Knesset. gm1/12/2016
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