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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    

Naftali Bennett wants to be the right’s anti-Netanyahu — and it’s workingHAVIV RETTIG GUR - The Times of Israel - It’s been obvious for months that the right-wing Yamina party would benefit from spending some time in the opposition. But no one imagined just how much. The last four months have been the first time Yamina leader Naftali Bennett — or any Yamina MK, for that matter — has actually sat in the opposition. And support for the party has more than doubled.(rh) 4/8/2020
Israeli artist takes aim at Netanyahu with life-size statueAssociated Press - Ynetnews - Installation, depicting a disheveled premier in a mock re-enactment of the Last Supper and in Tel Aviv Rabin Square, is the latest twist in a summer of protests against the PM and his conduct. The installation, displayed in the city`s central Rabin Square, is the latest twist in a summer of demonstrations against Netanyahu. In recent weeks, thousands of people have taken to the streets, calling on Netanyahu to resign, angry over what they say is his bungled response to an economic crisis caused by the coronavirus and depicting him as a hedonist out of touch with common people. (rh)4/8/2020
Can Israelis broaden their protests beyond Netanyahu?Jonathan Cook - Countercurrents - Demonstrations have yet to draw a connection between Netanyahu’s personal abuses of office and the systemic corruption of Israeli politics, with the occupation its beating heart. The target of the anger and frustration is decidedly personal at this stage – focused on the figure of Netanyahu, who is now Israel’s longest-serving prime minister. Protesters have renamed him Israel’s “crime minister”. But also fuelling the protests is a larger mood of disenchantment as doubts grow about the state’s competence to deal with multiple crises unfolding in Israel. The virus has caused untold social and economic misery for many, with as much as one fifth of the labour force out of work. Netanyahu’s supporters in the lower middle-classes have been hit hardest.(rh) 4/8/2020
The two-state idea is comatose but not dead.Roger Cohen - The New York Times - Let’s play the Israel-Palestine impossibility game. It’s timely because the two-state peace for which I have long argued is now widely deemed unattainable. The impossibility game goes like this: You list the reasons that a two- state outcome is impossible, before listing the reasons that a one- state solution is impossible, and then you decide which of the two is less impossible.[ak]4/8/2020
Crying coupGush Shalom - Netanyahu is in trouble./ Tens of thousands of protesters/ Outside his residence/ And his own supporters/ Stay at home,/ Fissures in the coalition/ In the right wing block/ And even in his own party [bz]4/8/2020
10,000 maniacs: What the press is talking about on August 2JOSHUA DAVIDOVICH - The Times of Israel - 1. Bibi, I got your numbers: Ten thousand people at a protest is not an especially impressive turnout in normal times. But pack those 10,000 into central Jerusalem — where there are no big squares like in Tel Aviv or any other world capital — amid a raging pandemic that keeps many at home, sprinkle a few thousand more at ancillary rallies around the country and mix in a press many of whose members (let’s face it) share at least some of the protesters’ amorphous goals, and you have a media landscape that regards the 10,000 the same way it might a rally 40 times its size.(rh)4/8/2020
List of Targets Leaked: Israel Fears the Worst in ICC Investigation of War CrimesRamzy Baroud - CounterPunch - "When International Court of Justice (ICC) Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, confirmed last December that the Court has ample evidence to pursue a war crimes investigation in occupied Palestine, the Israeli government responded with the usual rhetoric, accusing the international community of bias and insisting on Israel’s ‘right to defend itself’" [ry] 3/8/2020
The cultural importance of Peter BeinartYAKOV HIRSCH - Mondoweiss - In his recent essay arguing for equal rights for Israelis and Palestinians, Peter Beinart says the Jewish dehumanization of the Palestinians is the biggest threat to a peaceful future for Israelis and Palestinians, and he points to the misinterpretation of the Holocaust as a reason for that dehumanization. This “Holocaust lens,” Beinart claims, is what makes it so difficult for Jews to see Palestinians as created “b’tselem Elohim,” in the image of God. That dehumanization includes the idea that Palestinians are motivated by antisemitism in their opposition to Israel. The claim, Beinart says, is a function of “Jewish trauma.” And, Beinart argues, it says more about us than it does about them (rh)28/7/2020
Court denies Palestinian prisoners right to COVID-19 protectionTamara Nassar - Electronic Intifada - Israel’s highest court has ruled that Palestinian prisoners have no right to physical distancing protection against COVID-19. Thursday’s ruling came amid a coronavirus outbreak in the overcrowded Gilboa prison in northern Israel. At least 30 Israeli prison guards and seven Palestinian prisoners have tested positive for COVID-19 so far. Some 500 guards and 60 prisoners have entered quarantine. An Israeli guard at Ofer military prison near Ramallah, where Israeli occupation forces imprison Palestinian children, has also tested positive. The Palestinian legal advocacy group Adalah has petitioned Israel’s high court to provide all basic health services to Palestinian political prisoners – whom Israel calls “security” prisoners. [bz]28/7/2020
Activists to picket police minister’s home after he tells cops to quash rallieMICHAEL BACHNER - The Times of Israel - Leaders of the protest movement against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Monday that they will stage a protest Tuesday evening outside the home of Public Security Minister Amir Ohana after he was recorded pressuring police brass to step up enforcement against demonstrators. Responding to the recordings, which were aired Sunday evening by the Kan public broadcaster, the Black Flag movement said they “exposed the plot by the Netanyahu family’s police minister to block the citizen protest.” (rh)28/7/2020
Demand an end to the harassment of Palestinian scientists and academics and an immediate release of prof. Imad BarghouthiThe Action Network - On Thursday, July 16th 2020, Professor Barghouthi, an astrophysicist at the university of Al-Quds [1] in East Jerusalem was detained [2] by Israeli military forces at a military checkpoint outside of Anata while he was travelling from the university campus to his home in Ramallah. He is now being kept in an Israeli detention facility, prohibited from contact with his dear wife and children. No charges have been brought against him and he faces the potential threat of administrative detention. Administrative detention [3], an illegal measure used arbitrarily by the Israeli military forces to detain Palestinians without any charges or trials. If charges were to be placed against him, he would face trial by an Israeli military court, which notoriously has conviction rates of almost 100% [4]. This arrest is not an isolated case. Prof. Barghouthi, one of Palestine’s most prominent scientists, was placed under administrative detention for two months [5] in 2014, and was again detained for six months [6] in 2016. Mr. Ubai Aboudi (a US citizen), the director of the Bisan Center for Research and Development, was abducted from his home in November 2019 and placed in administrative detention. He remains in prison to this day. Both Prof. Barghouthi and Mr. Aboudi have worked with S4P on our international meetings and schools in Palestine, and their arrest and detention seriously hinders our work supporting science in Palestine. (rh)28/7/2020
Log In Register Israeli restaurants vs. PM Netanyahu: 1-0 Mazal Mualem - Al-Monitor - It all began on the afternoon of July 17. A group of Israel’s leading chefs forced the government to overturn a decision it had made just a few hours earlier to close all restaurants in an effort to respond to a spike in the spread of the coronavirus. The original decision was infuriating to these restauranteurs. Their refrigerators were filled with expensive foodstuffs, purchased in preparation for the weekend. With the realization that the food would now go to waste was one step too far for a sector that suffered one of the worst blows since the coronavirus pandemic started in March. For months, these restaurants, bars and cafes were forced to shutter their doors without any adequate compensation for their losses. Many of these businesses shut down entirely. Others are now teetering on bankruptcy. Even the country’s finest chefs are trapped in the uncertainty of this miserable new reality. This time, however, their response was different. Posts and video clips started popping up on social networks, announcing that restaurants have no plans to follow the government’s overbearing instructions. Others started taking food out of their refrigerators and donating it to the needy. These protests were then documented on social media — the restauranteurs were desperate. (rh) 28/7/2020
IDF says it foiled Hezbollah attack along Lebanese border; no Israeli injuriesJUDAH ARI GROSS - The Times of Israel - The Israel Defense Forces said it thwarted a Hezbollah attack in the Mount Dov area on Monday afternoon, opening fire at a number of fighters from the terror group that entered Israeli territory. No Israeli soldiers were injured, and the IDF denied Lebanese media reports that a Kornet anti-tank guided missile was fired at an Israeli tank on Mount Dov, also known as Shebaa Farms, an area that Israel, Lebanon and Syria each claim as its own.(rh)28/7/2020
Where Netanyahu and Ganz agreeGush Shalom:
"We have the right
To bomb Syria
Whenever we want.

"We don`t tolerate
Any violation of our
Sovereign territory
By land, sea or air".

On this Netanyahu and Ganz agree.

(It would not be the first time
That a failing government
Tries to save itself by
Beating the drums of war.)
- [bz]
Netanyahu’s authoritarian rule is turning Israelis against the stateMeron Rapoport - +972 - The `anyone but Bibi` slogan has clear limitations, but when Netanyahu and the Israeli regime have become one and the same, a new civil struggle has begun [ry] 27/7/2020
Netanyahu is laundering the languageEinat Ovadia - Ynet - We live in `post-truth` era, where public attitudes are based on appeal to sense of `unity,` personal opinions and gut feelings, while facts and truth are of secondary importance in shaping public opinion and get lost in hodgepodge of carefully selected words [ry] 27/7/2020
Israel’s Jewish National Fund is Uprooting Palestinians – Not Planting TreesJonathan Cook - CounterPunch - “The JNF is a thriving relic of Europe’s colonial past, even if today it wears the garb of an environmental charity. As recent events show, ethnic cleansing is still what it excels at” [ry] 27/7/2020
How Netanyahu lost focus, and his coalition lost control, in fight against COVIDHAVIV RETTIG GUR - The Times of Israel - The coronavirus pandemic arrived in Israel in mid-February. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seemed up to the task. He led regular televised briefings announcing each new stage of social-distancing restrictions. At his side, each time, were top officials of the state bureaucracy, especially the directors of the Health and Finance ministries, Moshe Bar Siman-Tov and Shai Babad respectively. Cabinet ministers, on the other hand, were nowhere to be found during the most dire crisis Israelis could remember. Then-finance minister Moshe Kahlon and then-health minister Yaakov Litzman (now the housing minister) openly admitted they were uninvolved, and seemed happy about that fact. (rh)22/7/2020
Battling COVID-19 and economic meltdown, Israel now in a third crisis: of faithDAVID HOROVITZ - Times of Israel - The numbers are rising, seemingly inexorably: Israel at this writing has almost 25,000 “active” COVID- 19 cases, compared to just 2,000 eight weeks ago. The death toll in that period has risen from 281 to 380. Most strikingly, the number of serious cases has soared from 37 eight weeks ago to 56 just two weeks ago to 204 at this writing. We may have thought we had COVID-19 beat. We didn’t. (rh)22/7/2020
Annexation Delayed, Coronavirus Crisis RemainsDaniel Sokatch - New Israel Fund - Since May, when Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party and the Blue and White Party signed a coalition agreement in the shadow of a coronavirus emergency, which committed their government to embark on West Bank annexation in some form, our attention has collectively been fixed on this looming disaster. Pundits speculated about its potential scope and contours. Would it be a large or small annexation? What would be the impact on Palestinian rights, Israeli democracy, and the hopes for peace and reconciliation? Since that time, we have heard a steady drumbeat of opposition from around the world. (rh)22/7/2020
Israel needs an alternative national anthemFadi Maklada - Ynetnews - As various different populations in Israeli society feel excluded by the current anthem, we can look to New Zealand for a solution that can leave all parties satisfied. (rh)22/7/2020
You Want Planning? Take a Tip From the SettlersAmira Hass - Haaretz - The prohibition against building in Palestinian locales, and the accelerated and hushed-up demolition of homes there, are evidence of multi-generational and multi-party adherence to the mission: to foment despair among the Palestinians and to force them to move abroad or to the enclaves, leaving the area free for Jews (yes, I know, I’ve already written that a million times). And now it turns out that while we are shorthanded when it comes to carrying out missions to save lives and livelihoods during the coronavirus era, there is more than enough money for inspectors, soldiers, bulldozer operators, legal experts and officials to carry out the most important mission of all: to destroy the lives of Palestinians. [bz]21/7/2020
How Israel`s lobbyists occupied Mandela`s legacyNkosi Zwelivelile Mandela - Al Jazeera - Attempts by Israel`s advocates to portray my grandfather as a liberal pacifist is a distortion of his legacy [ry] 20/7/2020
To resolve the Palestinian question we need to end colonialismWesam Ahmad - Al Jazeera - The Israeli colonial project has many of the common colonial characteristics, such as supremacy, exploitation and entitlement, but it also has at least one distinguishing feature - its multinational corporate nature [bz] 14/7/2020
83 Organisations Send Urgent Appeal to UN Special Procedures on the Killing of Ahmad ErekatPalestinian Centre for Human Rights - After being shot Ahmad Erekat was left to bleed to death for an hour and a half, while the Israeli occupying forces denied him access to medical care, despite the presence of an Israeli ambulance at the scene. They also prevented a Palestine Red Crescent Society ambulance from reaching Ahmad. [bz] 14/7/2020
European countries need to recognise the Palestinian state before it`s too lateSam Bahour - The Guardian - Recognition is a purely bilateral, state-to-state issue that does not need approval or unity at the federal level. Recognising Palestine provides EU member states with a chance to underscore their commitment to the two-state solution as the only viable solution, countering Israel’s annexation plans by clearly demonstrating adherence to international law – not to mention EU law – and not the “law of the jungle” of prolonged military occupation. [bz]14/7/2020
‘Cancel culture’ letter is about stifling free speech, not protecting itJONATHAN COOK - Mondoweiss - An open letter published by Harper’s magazine, and signed by 150 prominent writers and public figures, has focused attention on the apparent dangers of what has been termed a new “cancel culture”. The letter brings together an unlikely alliance of genuine leftists, such as Noam Chomsky and Matt Karp, centrists such as J K Rowling and Ian Buruma, and neoconservatives such as David Frum and Bari Weiss, all speaking out in defence of free speech. Although the letter doesn’t explicitly use the term “cancel culture”, it is clearly what is meant in the complaint about a “stifling” cultural climate that is imposing “ideological conformity” and weakening “norms of open debate and toleration of differences”. (rh)14/7/2020
‘Strange Procedure’: Ahmed Dawabsheh, Child Survivor of Duma Arson Attack Summoned by Israeli CourtPalestine Chronicle Staff - Palestine Chronicle - “It’s a strange procedure. It means that they want to question the child. He was five at the time of the incident, I don’t know what the court expects of him under these circumstances,” Hamaisi said. Hamaisi added, “The welfare of the child is the foremost consideration, so we dispensed with his testimony at (an earlier) stage, and he did not relate what his life is like. We’re surprised that the court is now summoning him to testify, even though he’s not part of this case.” (rh)14/7/2020
Israeli police break up anti-Netanyahu protest in JerusalemAssociated Press - Ynetnews - The demonstrators have staged a sit-in outside Netanyahu`s official residence in Jerusalem for the past month, calling on him to resign while facing corruption charges. They said police used excessive force to dismantle the sit-in while opposition politicians decried the move as a restriction of free expression. (rh)14/7/2020
Prominent journalist, Netanyahu critic, loses TV jobAssociated Press - Ynetnews - Barak Ravid, Channel 13 TV’s diplomatic correspondent, was among nearly 40 people who received dismissal letters from the station. Ravid has gained a reputation for breaking stories about Israel’s relations with the U.S., the European Union and other foreign partners. His reporting has upset Netanyahu at times, and the prime minister has publicly rebuked Ravid in the past. (rh) 14/7/2020
Netanyahu Barred from Naming Police, Judges Due to Corruption Trialyasasmedia - The Palestine Chronicle - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been prevented from appointing police and judicial officials due to his corruption trial, Anadolu Agency reported. On Thursday, the Israeli government’s legal adviser, Avichai Mandelblit, informed Netanyahu of the ban on appointing senior officials in the judiciary and police. The Times of Israel quoted Mandelblit as saying: “Netanyahu must not be involved in the nomination of judges or the police commissioner, as well as any other appointments that would meddle with the work of the state prosecution, the Attorney General’s Office, or police investigations.” (rh) 14/7/2020
How vulnerable is Netanyahu? A right-wing backbencher gives PM cause for worryHAVIV RETTIG GUR - The Times of Israel - Conventional wisdom about the current government holds that the great winner and dominant actor in Israeli politics is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Eleven years on the job, he is, after all, still the prime minister. But a sudden legislative row in the Knesset on Wednesday demonstrated the limits of Netanyahu’s power and laid bare his growing political vulnerability. The row began with an obvious trap laid for Netanyahu by the right-wing Yamina party. Yamina made the fateful choice back in May to walk away from their alliance with Netanyahu and Likud, deeming their unity government with Blue and White “leftist” and vowing to serve as a fighting opposition. It was the first time in the opposition for the faction’s five MKs, but they’ve taken to the role with relish. (rh)14/7/2020
Hundreds of “investigations” in a decade, whitewashing and absurd punishmentEyal Sagiv - B`Tselem - On 30 May 2020, Israeli Border Police officers fatally shot 31-year-old Iyad al-Halaq, a Palestinian from Wadi al-Joz in East Jerusalem. The young man, who was on the autistic spectrum, was on his way to the Elwyn Al Quds Center for individuals with disabilities, which he frequented daily.This killing may be special, but it is far from the only one. The only exceptional thing is that since al-Halaq had special needs, he was not posthumously “convicted” of “terrorism”. This charge, which is automatically levelled at almost any Palestinian killed by Israeli security forces, is used to retroactively justify the shooting – even if the individual did not pose a threat that required deadly force. [ak]9/7/2020
Yavne: A Jewish Case for Equality in Israel-PalestinePeter Beinart - Jewish Currents - The painful truth is that the project to which liberal Zionists like myself have devoted ourselves for decades—a state for Palestinians separated from a state for Jews—has failed. The traditional two-state solution no longer offers a compelling alternative to Israel’s current path. It risks becoming, instead, a way of camouflaging and enabling that path. It is time for liberal Zionists to abandon the goal of Jewish–Palestinian separation and embrace the goal of Jewish–Palestinian equality. This doesn’t require abandoning Zionism. It requires reviving an understanding of it that has largely been forgotten. It requires distinguishing between form and essence. The essence of Zionism is not a Jewish state in the land of Israel; it is a Jewish home in the land of Israel, a thriving Jewish society that both offers Jews refuge and enriches the entire Jewish world. It’s time to explore other ways to achieve that goal—from confederation to a democratic binational state—that don’t require subjugating another people. It’s time to envision a Jewish home that is a Palestinian home, too. [bz]9/7/2020
‘Deal of the Century’ is War Crime: Canadian Lawyer Seeks ICC Investigation on Behalf of Palestinian VictimsPalestine Chronicle Staff - Palestine Chronicle - A respected human rights lawyer submitted a request to the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Tuesday calling for an investigation of US and Israeli officials citing allegations of war crimes committed against the Palestinian people. William Schabas, a professor of international law at Middlesex University in London, “filed a lengthy Article 15 communication with the ICC’s Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) .. asking for an investigation of the architects of the so-called ‘Deal of the Century’,” Commondreams news portal reported on Friday.(rh) 7/7/2020
Is Apartheid the Inevitable Outcome of Zionism?Henry Siegman - Responsible Statecraft - the failure of the peace process has not been the consequence of recent mindless and destructive actions by Donald Trump and of the clownish shenanigans of his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who was charged with helping Israeli hardliners in nailing down permanently the Palestinian occupation. For all the damage they caused (mainly to Palestinians), prospects for a two-state solution actually ended during President Barack Obama’s administration, despite Secretary of State John Kerry’s energetic efforts to renew the stalled negotiations. They were not resumed because Obama, like his predecessors, failed to take the tough measures that were necessary to overcome Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s determination to prevent the emergence of a Palestinian state, notwithstanding his pledge in his Bar-Ilan speech of 2009 to implement the agreements of the Oslo accords.(rh) 7/7/2020
Ehud Olmert to `Post`: Israel is becoming a fascist countryEhud Olmert - Jerusalem Post - Sliding down the slippery slope to fascism always starts with slight steps. Sometimes they’re so small that they are out of sight and invisible to the public consciousness. Their maturation period can be quite protracted, and they can manage to stay under the radar of public attention and out of the eye of the media, too, even though the media is supposed to be more sensitive. At some point, after an incubation period, the buds of fascism begin to sprout and push forth from within the soil. From this point on, they can grow quite quickly, sometimes so quickly that it’s hard to stop them from contaminating everyone around them. (rh) 7/7/2020
Has Israel lost control over coronavirus pandemic?Rina Bassist - Al-Monitor - Early this morning, the Knesset Law Committee voted in favor of a bill advanced by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to increase the fine for not wearing a face mask in public from 200 Israeli shekels ($58) to 500 shekels ($145). In order to be enacted, the bill must now be approved by the Knesset plenum. The coalition intends to bring it to vote already this evening, but might have to delay it after several lawmakers complained against the rushed proceedings. The lawmakers also contested the intention of the government to bring for Knesset approval within 48 hours the "big corona law," which will broaden the Cabinet’s authorities in curbing the outbreak. (rh) 7/7/2020
How fear of a US retreat from the Mideast is driving Netanyahu toward annexationHaviv Rettig Gur - Times of Israel - Why is the prime minister still pushing to apply Israeli sovereignty to parts of the West Bank, despite legions of critics and even disquiet in the Trump White House? -- Because American power is in retreat; because our enemies are on the rise; because our allies won’t really abandon us, since they need us just as much as we need them... [The article is based on an interview with the hawkish expert Eran Lerman-bz]7/7/2020
Despite coronavirus outbreak: Israel ramps up demolition of West Bank Palestinian homes in JuneB`Tselem - In April, Israel pledged before the UN not to demolish homes as long as the health crisis was underway and isolation guidelines were in place... [bz]7/7/2020
Area C, the chunk of the West Bank the Israeli right has long covetedMarc Daou - France24 - Encouraged by US President Donald Trump’s so-called “deal of the century”, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been in a position to start his controversial West Bank annexation plan since July 1. The prime, fertile Jordan Valley, located in the West Bank’s Area C are in the Israeli leader’s sights and have long been coveted by his hard-right supporters [ry] 6/7/2020
Annexation: What happened (and didn’t) on July 1?Amjad Iraqi - +972 - In a +972 webinar, experts Diana Buttu and Emily Schaeffer Omer-Man shared key lessons and ways forward in the fight against Israeli annexation [ry] 6/7/2020
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