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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
The Iranian paradoxGush Shalom - A country which secretly produces nuclear arms is committing a grave dangerous act... [bz]12/11/2019
Israel soldiers filmed assaulting father in front of his young childMiddle East Monitor - The footage, which went viral on social media, was recorded in Hebron, the occupied West Bank, where Israeli forces protect a small, radical settler population. Both soldiers and settlers regularly harass and attack local Palestinians, who are subjected to numerous movement restrictions. The video shows two soldiers shouting at the father, claiming that the small boy had been throwing stones. The father expresses incredulity at the accusation, and replies his son is just five-years old. The soldier replied that he does not care how old the child is, at which point another soldier joins, and both attack the man, who tells them: “don’t raise your hands on me”. -rh12/11/2019
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Gaza flareup: What was Netayahu`s motive for a `targeted killing` just seven days before the end of Gantz’s mandate? Raul Wootliff - The Times of Israel - Labor-Gesher MK Omer Bar-Lev told Kan public radio that he was concerned the killing was ordered to prevent Gantz from forming a minority coalition. “There were many opportunities in recent months to carry out targeted killings,” Bar Lev said, but, he claimed, Netanyahu chose not to go ahead. “Therefore, when now of all times, seven days before the end of Gantz’s mandate to form a government, they do a targeted killing — it really, really bothers me.” [ak] 12/11/2019
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`Israel’s return to the policy of extrajudicial assassination is reckless and criminal. WAFA - Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, PLO Dept. of Public Diplomacy - "Israel’s return to the illegal and criminal policy of extrajudicial assassination and its wilful disregard for the lives of the Palestinian civilian population is reckless and criminal. Netanyahu is exploiting the culture of impunity to commit unchecked crimes and provoke a grave escalation for petty political and personal gain. On orders from the highest political echelons, the Israeli army is launching an assault on the Palestinian people, providing cover for the cold-blooded extrajudicial killing of a civilian in Hebron on Monday then ordering the assassination of two senior figures in Gaza City and Damascus by bombing their homes and targeting their families. [ak] 12/11/2019
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Gaza tensions threaten chances for minority Israeli government Read more: https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2019/11/israel-arabs-avigdor-liberman-joint-list-party-minority.html#ixzz65650atObAfif Abu Much - Al-Monitor - Despite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz` attempts to form a new coalition, the option of a minority government headed by Gantz keeps hovering in the background. It got a big boost late last week. Just moments before the start of the Sabbath on Nov. 8, Netanyahu surprised everyone by appointing New Right senior Naftali Bennett as defense minister. It is hard to forget how critical the Likud was of Bennett just one year ago. The party went so far as to declare Dec. 18, “The security of Israel rises above politics, and the Defense Ministry is not some way to find a job for Naftali Bennett.” It is obvious to everyone that the sole purpose of the appointment was to prevent Netanyahu’s 55- seat bloc from falling apart.Then, on the night of Nov. 9, it was Yisrael Beitenu leader Avigdor Liberman’s turn to steal the show. The wildcard of the election dropped a bombshell of his own, in the form of an ultimatum to Gantz and Netanyahu. His started with a proposed compromise that Gantz accept President Reuven Rivlin’s guidelines for a unity government and that Netanyahu abandon his bloc. Liberman said that if either side rejected this compromise, he would immediately throw his support behind the other. It looks like he is determined to avoid a third round of elections no matter the cost, and this ultimatum is his way of preparing to blame Netanyahu and the Likud if he decides to join forces with Blue and White.-rh 12/11/2019
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What would Israelis do if Palestinians disappeared overnight?Natasha Roth - +972 - Azem’s novel is a work of magical realism: she uses the impossible scenario of millions of Palestinians vanishing in the blink of an eye in order to pull at the loose threads of Zionist mythology about Israel’s establishment. Accordingly, several eerie scenes in the novel have a ring of familiarity to them for anyone who has read about the Nakba: homes with plates of food uneaten on the table; televisions still switched on; house keys still hanging by the front door — empty rooms that are innately disturbing for how undisturbed they looked, as if the residents had been suddenly spirited away in silence.-rh12/11/2019
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Israeli Extrajudicial Execution Policy Resumed: IOF Airstrike Kills Senior Leader of Islamic Jihad, and his Wife, in Gaza Palestinian Center for Human Rights - According to PCHR investigation, at approximately 04:00 on Tuesday, IOF warplanes fired a missile at Bahaa’ Salim Hassan Abulatta’s house (42), member of the al-Quds Brigades’ military bureau which is the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad movement, and he was in charge of its northern Gaza Strip activity. Abulatta and his wife, Israa’ Mohammed Hassan Abulatta (38), were killed during the targeted airstrike on their apartment, on the second floor of a residential building, resulting in complete destruction. The victims’ bodies were extracted from the rubble at the UNRWA school across the street from their apartment due to the extreme intensity of the explosion: his body was found near the gates, while his wife’s was found within the school. Furthermore, 7 others sustained shrapnel wounds in the airstrike, including 4 of the victims’ children (including two little girls): Salim (19); Mohammed (18); Fatima al-Zahra’ (13); Layan (11); two women from the neighborhood: Hanan Shehda Mohyaldeen Helles (26); Shereen Fouad Khalil Helles (21); and Mahmoud Fouad Abdulrahman Abulatta, victim’s bodyguard. The injuries were reported to be minor and moderate. - rh 12/11/2019
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Survey: Health care gaps between Jews & ArabsPhysicians for Human Rights - Without proper investment in primary care, conditions that could have been diagnosed and prevented or treated early, are discovered only at a stage where treatment and rehabilitation are more expensive - with the cost borne by the health care system and taxpayers. The “savings” on preventative medicine are swallowed by the high cost of emergency care, long hospital stays, medication and everything these involve. This state of affairs is enabled by the capitation system, which mostly hurts disempowered groups that require multiple services, particularly preventative care. Under this system, Israeli health funds have little incentive to improve the quality of the services they provide and prefer not to invest too much in these population groups. The Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Finance bear a responsibility to find a solution for this situation and ensure a fair and equal distribution of resources within health funds, while strengthening the geographic and social periphery.-rh 12/11/2019
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This Week Proves It: Anti-Semitism On The Right Is The Only Real Threat To JewsLiam Hoare - Forward - This week provided yet another illustration that despite the endless handwringing about anti-Semitism on the left, it is far-right extremism which constitutes the paramount threat to American Jewish life today.-rh12/11/2019
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Pressure increases on Israel`s attorney general over case against Netanyahu Ben Caspit - Al-Monitor - Even as Blue and White leader Benny Gantz struggles to break the impasse in his effort to form a government, Yisrael Beitenu leader Avigdor Liberman continues to rule out a narrow or minority governing coalition, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insists on going first in any power-sharing agreement with Gantz, all eyes are nonetheless on Jerusalem. In a modest office on Salah al-Din Street, Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit is holding intense discussions with 20 senior-level attorneys before announcing his decision on whether to indict Netanyahu on charges of corruption.-rh 12/11/2019
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Protests Against Israel’s Nation-State Law Proved a More Just State Is PossibleDov Khenin - The Nation - In the summer of 2018, I witnessed two scenes that sum up the contradiction that defines Israeli politics at this moment. Late one summer night, as a member of the Knesset (parliament) for the left-wing Hadash Party, I watched the dramatic passage of the Nation-State Law, which attempts to codify the inferior status of Arab citizens. In that messy parliamentary scene, I saw how far-right racism had made its way to the highest reaches of power, rendering dissenting voices helpless when it came time to vote. Yet later that same summer, I also witnessed a remarkable opposing political reality here: a defiant mass joint Jewish-Arab protest against the Nation-State Law, organized by the leadership of the Arab minority in Israel, and attended by tens of thousands of people. On that evening, I could barely move through the overcrowded streets of Tel Aviv. Chants in Hebrew mixed with those in Arabic, and bilingual placards were handed out among those present. For many who were there, that evening was so powerful because it provided us with a picture of the possible, demonstrating that Arab-Jewish equality was indeed not merely a slogan but also a reality we all knew how to achieve.-rh12/11/2019
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Bernie Sanders Is The Only Presidential Candidate Who Truly Cares About Palestinian LivesMuhammad Shehada - Forward - But this year, several Democratic presidential candidates actually debated serious action — including leveraging US military aid to Israel — to end the ongoing destruction of the peace process. Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) speaks during a town hall event on October 18, 2019 in Norfolk, Virginia. My eyes filled with tears as I watched Bernie Sanders demand that Israel “fundamentally change [its] relationship to the people of Gaza,” my home.-rh 12/11/2019
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Three options for Benny Gantz to compose a government Yossi Beilin - Al-Monitor - The delusional appointment Nov. 8 of New Right senior right-wing hard-liner Naftali Bennett to the position of defense minister indicates that Netanyahu is determined to ensure his continued role as prime minister. Now Benny Gantz has that rare opportunity to form the next government. It is not because his Blue and White party has one seat more than the Likud. It is because Avigdor Liberman, chairman of the Yisrael Beitenu party, decided to keep victory out of Netanyahu’s clutches. The motivation behind Liberman’s decision to fill the role of liberal in his current incarnation remains unclear. Then again, it doesn’t really matter. As long as this is the situation, it is a patriotic duty to save Israel from the unenlightened forces of extremism, and to start a new chapter in the country’s history. Giving up on this option to return the liberal camp to power is too big a risk, as will be seen if all other options are blocked.-rh 12/11/2019
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Bipartisan group of US congresswomen visits to show ‘no daylight’ on IsraelDavid Horovitz - Times of Israel "Asked about concerns in Israel that some high-profile members of the Democratic party have been loudly critical of Israel, and that three Democratic presidential candidates — Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg — have talked of leveraging US military aid in order to compel Israel to change its policies on settlements and the Palestinians, Wasserman Schultz replied: “Quite the contrary: The message given to us, particularly by Prime Minister Netanyahu, is that he does not perceive or believe that there is any erosion of support.” ca8/11/2019
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For J Street, holding Israel accountable is still a step too farJoshua Leifer - +972 "J Street’s 2019 conference heralded a new willingness to tie military aid to Israel to its human rights record. But the organization was quick to reaffirm a status quo of unconditional aid — despite ongoing abuses." ca8/11/2019
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On Jared Kushner’s PalestinophobiaHaidar Eid - Mondoweiss - Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s Middle East adviser and son-in-law is at it again. In June, he cast doubt about the ability of the Palestinian people to govern themselves. And, as if that was not enough, he made it absolutely clear this week that Israel is not responsible for Palestinian hardship.- rh5/11/2019
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A Conscientious Objector`s Thoughts From an Israeli Military PrisonYasmin Ricci-Yahav - Haaretz - In my conversations with fellow girl prisoners, both sides were forced to not only hear things they disagreed with, but to stay relatively calm and continue living together. I walked away from many of the conversations still thinking about the points that were raised, and how I saw them. I think other girls did too, because it was not uncommon for us to pick up a conversation that had been seemingly put to rest several days earlier. It was only after I spent time in jail that I realized how much we are missing this process in Israeli society. In our society, we can spend our entire lives agreeing with, and being agreed with, by our friends and family, whose opinions are similar – if not identical – to ours. We can demonize the other side, put words and beliefs in their mouths, but never give them the opportunity to explain themselves, or rebut our preconceptions and prejudices. We can feel enlightened, educated and realistic without actually engaging in productive talk with those who disagree with our perceptions. Israeli society desperately needs a more comprehensive, honest conversation, one that is conducted with respect and open-mindedness. Maybe it can learn a thing or two from the girls in Prison Six. The writer is 18 year-old, and is serving a fourth sentence in military prison as a conscientious objector. [bz] 5/11/2019
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There Will Be a One-State Solution - But What Kind of State Will It Be?Yousef Munayyer - For nearly three decades, the so-called two-state solution has dominated discussions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But the idea of two states for two peoples in the territory both occupy was always an illusion, and in recent years, reality has set in. The two-state solution is dead. And good riddance: it never offered a realistic path forward. The time has come for all interested parties to instead consider the only alternative with any chance of delivering lasting peace: equal rights for Israelis and Palestinians in a single shared state. 5/11/2019
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October: a slight increase in the chances of the Two States Solution The Two-State Index - Geneva Initiative - Throughout October, there were indications of a general shift in opinion within the US Democratic Party on the issue of aid to Israel. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders,as well as Mayor Pete Buttigieg, all hotly contesting the Democratic Primaries, came out in support of aid to Israel conditional on its conduct towards the Palestinians. Fromer Vice president Biden disagreed, but an opinion poll showed roughly 70% of Democrats are in favor of conditioning aid to Israel. At the same time, Trump`s so-called "vision for peace", considered to be damaging to the Two States, remains stuck. The combination of these two trends in October slightly increases the chances for implementation of the Two States Solution, as measured in the Two States Index. [ak] 5/11/2019
As indictment deadline approaches, Netanyahu panics Ben Caspit - Al-Monitor - Ohana’s wild attack on the country’s law enforcement authorities, which he delivered in a specially convened news conference, astounded even top figures in his Likud party. Some of them kept silent, and didn’t back publicly his remarks. Others have expressed lukewarm and not particular committed support. Many of the party’s top echelons realize that the timing of the attack, its severity and the fact that the prime minister did not condemn it are instrumental in the attempts to torpedo the formation of a unity government comprised of the Likud and opposition Blue and White party.-rh 5/11/2019
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The White House Plan to Strangle IranPhilip Giraldi - ICH - Make no mistake, the United States is conducting an economic war against Iran that is undeniably aimed at making the Iranian people so miserable that they will rise up in revolt. And the punishment being meted out will hurt the poorest and weakest most of all while also hardening support for the regime rather than weakening it. Not only is the White House action directed against Iran immoral, it is also illegal as Iran and the United States are not at war and Iran does not threaten Americans in any way. The whole affair is just one more example of how powerful domestic constituencies, in this case that of Israel, have distorted U.S. foreign policy and driven it in directions that are both shameful and that serve no plausible national interest.-rh5/11/2019
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New tourism: learning about the Palestinian-Israeli conflictKsenia Svetlova - Al-Monitor - Enjoying a Sabbath meal at a West Bank settlement, meeting Palestinian artists in Ramallah, popping over to Israel’s border to see the Gaza Strip from there — a growing number of tourists is interested in seeing more than just the regular tourist sites and attractions of the Holy Land. They want to hear about the people living here, Jews and Palestinians alike, and learn about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict from up close. These aren’t study groups that come to Israel and the West Bank with some specific educational objective. They are “ordinary” tourists, who are taking a break from their busy lives, and paying good money to boot, just to experience the complex realities of this land for themselves. What they find is light-years away from any glittery ad campaign.-rh 5/11/2019
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The US-Israel relationship, revisitedNaomi Chazan - The Times of Israel - The discussion about attaching strings to American aid to Israel that developed among Democratic party candidates at the J Street conference last weekend has evoked yet another minor furor in Israel. The Likud caretaker government’s denunciation of the mere mention of such a possibility was echoed not only in broader political circles in the country, but also in the mainstream media.-rh5/11/2019
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Birthright does not apply to Palestinians in JerusalemDaoud Kuttab - Arab Media Internet Network - Life has been difficult as a stateless person in Jerusalem for Mustafa Kharouf. He had the unfortunate case of being born to Jerusalem parents while they were in Algiers. His parents brought him back to Jerusalem but the Israelis for obvious racist reasons have refused to grant him residency in the only city he has lived in all his life. Ironically Jews around the world have a legal right not only to residency but also to citizenship in Israel simply because of what the government considers is their birthright because they belong to the Jewish faith.-rh 5/11/2019
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U.S. Jews Treat Israeli Arab Leaders as Equals. Decent Israelis Should Try ItAnat Saragusti - Haaretz - Israel`s political discourse excludes Arab citizens from the governing equation and the public square; the progressive American Jewish scene not only included them, but invited them to take a central place. The gap between the two is both dark and disturbing. It was disturbing because Ayman Odeh gave a highly nuanced speech to the audience of JStreet`s 2019 National Conference. He spoke about his wish, as a representative of Israel`s Arab minority, to be part of the decision-making process. It was disturbing because while most of the Arab leaders speak about a shared society, and their wish to be part of the coalition, to share responsibilities, to work side-by-side with the Jewish Israelis towards a better Israel – most of Israel`s Jewish leaders and politicians are afraid to express any true normalization towards Arabs. On the contrary, the more the Arab leaders speak about a shared society the stronger the pushback from the right – portraying them as enemies of the people, supporters of terror, and fifth-columnists. [bz]5/11/2019
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Arab Israeli leaders launch hunger strike over failure to curb crimeTOI STAFF - The Times of Israel - Arab community leaders in Israel have announced a three-day hunger strike and will set up a protest tent near the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem in protest of the failure to adequately deal with a wave of criminal violence within the community. The High Follow-Up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel, the top representative umbrella organization for Arab Israelis, announced the steps after two members of the community were killed Friday in criminal violence, bringing the last week’s tally to four and the year’s total to 80.-rh 5/11/2019
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Jewish-Arab partnership as an antidote to Jewish supremacismMeron Rapoport&Ameer Fakhoury - +972 "We need to redefine Israeli politics. No more left and right, liberal or conservative, religious versus secular. Instead: a new partnership of Arabs and Jews, working side-by-side to combat Jewish supremacism...The only way out of this paralysis is a minority government coalition composed of Blue and White, Labor-Gesher, and the Democratic Camp, with the support of the Joint List — and without Liberman. Blue and White, however, is not quite ready for this move. Nor are its potential political allies prepared to bridge the gaps between their disparate views." ca 1/11/2019
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New Survey Shows Americans Want a More Progressive Foreign Policy and, Yes, That Includes IsraelMichael Arria -Portside - During the recent Democratic debate in Ohio, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard asked Senator Elizabeth Warren if she would join her in calling for an end to “the regime change war in Syria.” “So, look, I think that we ought to get out of the Middle East,” Warren responded. “I don’t think we should have troops in the Middle East. But we have to do it the right way, the smart way.”-rh29/10/2019
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British Forensic Researchers Confirm Palestinian Child Was Hit by Israeli Live FireThe Palestine Chronicle - A team of British forensic researchers confirmed this week that 9-year-old Abdul Rahman Shteiwi was shot in the head on July 12 in the northern West Bank by a live bullet fired by Israeli soldiers and not by a rubber bullet, according to a press release by International Solidarity Movement (ISM). Shteiwi was shot in the head while sitting outside his friend’s house during a protest in his village. He sustained severe brain damage and remains hospitalized more than three months after the shooting. The Israeli army claimed that soldiers did not use live fire that day and that Shtawi was most likely hit with a rubber-coated metal bullet.-rh29/10/2019
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Report: Gantz tried for minority gov’t with Haredim, New Right — was rebuffedTOI STAFF -Times of Israel - Before he was officially tasked with forming a government, Blue and White leader Benny Gantz looked at the possibility of attempting to form a minority coalition that would include Labor-Gesher, ultra-Orthodox parties and New Right, Channel 12 reported Friday evening. Blue and White was said to hope such a coalition could be backed from outside by the Yisrael Beytenu party of Avigdor Liberman — who has repeatedly ruled out sitting with Haredi parties.-rh29/10/2019
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Rethinking the Looming Threat of Neoliberal FascismHENRY GIROUX - Counterpunch - Talk of a fascist politics emerging in the United States and in the rise of right-wing populist movements across the globe is often criticized as a naive exaggeration or a misguided historical analogy. In the age of Trump, such objections feel like reckless efforts to deny the growing relevance of the term and the danger posed by a society staring into the abyss of a menacing authoritarianism. In fact, the case can be made that rather than harbor an element of truth, such criticism further normalizes the very fascism it critiques, allowing the extraordinary and implausible, if not unthinkable, to become ordinary. Under such circumstances, history is not simply being ignored or distorted, it is being erased. Moreover, after decades of a savage global capitalist nightmare both in the United States and around the globe, the mobilizing passions of fascism have been unleashed unlike anything we have seen since the 1930s-rh29/10/2019
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Israeli settlers attack olive harvesters in NablusWafa - NABLUS, Sunday, October 27, 2019 (WAFA) – Israeli settlers attacked today a Palestinian family with stones as they were picking olives in their own land near the village of Rujib, to the east of Nablus City in the occupied West Bank, according to local sources. They told WAFA that settlers from the nearby illegal settlement of Itamar hurled a barrage of stones at a Palestinian family while harvesting olive trees in their land . There were no reports of injuries though.-rh29/10/2019
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If the Netanyahu Recordings Aren’t Bribery, What Is?Editorial - Haaretz - When you listen to the recordings revealed Saturday on the television program “Hamakor” – in which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Yedioth Ahronoth publisher Arnon Mozes discuss trading favorable press coverage for customized legislation – you gain insight into the cynical, corrupt-to-the-core world at the top of Israel’s elites in both government and journalism.-rh 29/10/2019
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What the Dismantling of the Berlin Wall Means 30 Years LaterJames Carroll - Truthout - For almost half a century, only readily dismissed peaceniks insisted that, in the nuclear age, war and endless preparations for more of it were not the answer. When the Berlin Wall came down, such idealists were proven right, even if their triumph was still ignored.-rh29/10/2019
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Why more Israeli-Arabs go to universityDanny Zaken - Al-Monitor - Afif Abu Much wrote in Al-Monitor on Oct. 24 that the Arab public has succeeded in forcing its will on the leadership of the Joint List — the predominantly Arab unified list — by introducing a new discourse on the issue of inclusion, which barely existed over the last few years. This reflects a desire among the Arab population to integrate into Israeli society and become part of the circle of decision-makers in the country. One of the reasons for this shift is the growing influence of the younger generation, which draws on the higher education it is receiving.-rh 29/10/2019
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Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association comes out in support of a bill that protects Palestinian childrenMichael Arria - Mondoweiss "While we fully support Israel’s right to defend itself against terrorists, we believe that the detention and interrogation of children is a very last resort only in the most urgent cases. It should never be a normal course of action,” reads a statement put out by RRA." ca25/10/2019
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Who Needs the Strategic Affairs Ministry?Yael Patir - IMEMC "The staff of the Foreign Affairs Ministry was trained to represent the State of Israel. They know that to provide diplomatic protection for Israel, they must create a unique fit suitable for the place, time and target audience. And yet, the Netanyahu government wanted to reinforce the narrative of the Israeli right wing – in Israel and abroad – and to do this he had to mark an international enemy to be fought for cohesion’s sake. That’s how the perfect demon was found: the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement." ca25/10/2019
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The judge who designed the legal foundations of Israel`s occupationMichael Sfard - +972 "In tandem with the protections he implemented for the important rights and freedoms dear to the Ashkenazi middle class of the time (freedom of expression, freedom from religious coercion, the battle against government corruption), Shamgar turned the Supreme Court into an ally of the security establishment, ready to assist in strengthening and deepening the other legal system Israel has created – the one that governs the occupied Palestinian territories and the settlement enterprise. In that section of Shamgar’s court, attorneys and judges utilized (and continue to utilize) their valuable knowledge and skills to uphold a system that commits brutal and unforgivable violations of human rights." ca25/10/2019
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Israeli-Arab voters succeed in forcing their will on party Afif Abu Much - Al-Monitor "the Arab street succeeded in forcing its will on the leadership of the Joint List. It has succeeded in initiating a new kind of discourse, which had not existed previously. It is a discourse rooted in a desire to integrate into Israel society and become part of the country’s circle of decision-makers. That is why we are hearing more and more statements from various parts of the Joint List, which do not reject future cooperation with Blue and White, in order to improve the situation of the Arab public and to help send Netanyahu home. After all, that is what most of the Arab public wants, given the incessant campaign of incitement, which Netanyahu waged and continues to wage against them, in his capacity as prime minister. This is what led to the party’s historic decision to recommend Gantz. It signaled that the Arab parties were returning to the political game, for the first time since 1992, when the Arab parties recommended Yitzhak Rabin for prime minister." ca 25/10/2019
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Rewarding the Israeli Attackers in the Settlements Amira Hass - Haaretz - Just as I write this column Monday afternoon, Israeli soldiers are preventing olive harvesters from the Palestinian village of Burin from accessing their grove to harvest olives. I repeat: their land, their olive grove, their trees. The grove is adjacent to the spot where last Wednesday masked Jewish Israelis attacked volunteers from Rabbis for Human Rights, including 80-year-old Rabbi Moshe Yehudai, with rods and rocks. The volunteers had joined the olive harvesters from Burin in the hope that their presence would ensure the Palestinians’ safety. The rabbi’s assailants had come from the Yitzhar settlement and its outposts. That is also where those who attacked Israelis soldiers came from. It’s a system – violence carried out with the army’s full backing and with the aim of expanding, on a daily basis, the area from which Palestinians are driven out. [bz]22/10/2019
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Settler terrorists attack their soldier marionettesGuy Hirschfeld - I am ashamed for them but also ashamed of them - I mean the marionettes in uniform. Are you not ashamed to look in the mirror, dear marionettes? What do you tell yourselves? Two days ago the terrorists from Yitzhar attacked you and your friends and today, like disciplined puppies, you simply follow his orders? And the saddest part includes the military restraint order that was issued today in order to prevent friction, because it was very quiet today until the terrorist and his militia arrived. They brought with them a lot of friction. [ak]21/10/2019
Release them! Gush Shalom - We all feel very sorry for Naama Issachar, Israeli girl on her way home, Jailed in Russia On a flimsy pretext. [bz] But who even heard of Hiba al Labadi Jordanian girl jailed in Israel Now on hunger strike? Administrative Detention. No need of any pretext. 15/10/2019
One land, dividedKirsty LG - Green Olive Tours - It’s summertime in Scotland and finally after four intensive months I feel enough distance and cooling of the air to be able to reflect on my time in Jerusalem. the city and the land have both enchanted and enthralled me. Layer upon layer of history and religious diversity have created a depth of culture that is unlike anywhere else I’ve been in the world. I would call Jerusalem a melting pot but the ingredients don’t mix so easily here as they do in other great cities of the world. (...)I feel sad that most Israelis will never get to drive to Ramallah and experience the hustle and bustle of the old city or the divine cakes at Vanilla café in the shiny new area of the city. Similarly, most West bankers can only dream of hiking up Ein Gedi, floating in the Dead Sea or visiting the Tel Aviv beaches again. The human spirit is resilient however and there is always someone worse off with a staircase of suffering leading from East Jerusalem, to the West Bank, to Gaza and down from there to other Arab states like Syria and Yemen. This resilience of spirit impresses me but it’s not ok in the same way as Apartheid in South Africa wasn’t OK. (This essay got the first prize in the 2019 Green Olive Competition). [ak] 15/10/2019
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Red Rag column - protest against judicial racism"I remind you that in a democratic state a judge is not the long arm of the government, but, among other things, stands on guard to put the brakes on a government that shows signs of democratic collapse", Gideon Spiro writes to Israeli Supreme Court Judge Alex Stein over his ruling to deport to the Philippines Israeli-born Rohan Perez. 14/10/2019
"The destruction of asociety": First the U.S. invaded Iraq — then we leftit poisonedDavid Masciotra - Information Clearing House "Fortunately, there is amovement to criminalize environmental contaminationcaused by war. Damage to nature and the humanenvironment must be considered a war crime.Scientists are currentlyasking international lawmakers to adopt a fifth Geneva Convention which wouldrecognize damage to nature as a war crime, alongsideother war crimes. I hope that will make a differencein our ability to protect human lives and our environment." ca 13/10/2019
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Congress should impeach David Friedman, too Josh Ruebner - Mondoweiss "While we’re at it, let’s add another Trump administration official, although for reasons having nothing to do with Ukraine, who also richly deserves to be impeached: US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman.Can the House of Representatives impeach an ambassador? Yes, it can. Although it has never successfully done so, there have been several efforts to impeach ambassadors and consular officials in the past and Friedman would make an excellent precedent for being the first one to be impeached." ca 11/10/2019
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Trump`s Decision to Abandon Syria`s Kurds Is Bad News for All U.S. Regional Allies Amos Harel - Haaretz - There is also a lesson for Israel’s leadership, apparently. Just a few months ago Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his ministers were jostling one another during that mortifyingly groveling ceremony in which a settlement in the Golan Heights was named after the American president. Since then, a promise to sign a defense pact between the two nations, tossed into the ether on the eve of the second election, seems to have evaporated. Again one must wonder whether too much reliance hadn’t been placed on Trump, at the cost of Netanyahu distancing himself far from the Democrats and undermining traditional bipartisan support in Washington for Israel. [bz]8/10/2019
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The Africa-Palestine Conference: Why South Africa Must Lead the WayRamzy Baroud - CounterPunch - “[…] South Africa is yet to take the kind of action that, when combined with others measures of international solidarity, could finally force Israel to dismantle its system of Apartheid in Palestine” [ry] 7/10/2019
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Is a new revolution in the making in Egypt? A correspondent in Egypt - Al-Monitor " For the second week in a row, demonstrations against Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi were held in the cities of Qena, Luxor, Sohag and al-Warkh near Giza governorate...In response to the protests, Sisi said that public opinion in Egypt would not accept the rule of “political Islam.” ca 4/10/2019
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How Netanyahu mainstreamed an anti-democratic visionHarry Reis - +972 "...the stakes of the election outcome are far higher than the political survival of one man. Throughout these last two rounds of forced elections, Israelis glimpsed an anti-democratic future – one controlled by a narrow immunity-annexationist coalition that would have protected Netanyahu as a man above the law. While Netanyahu failed to emerge with the majority required to enact that dark future, his irregular maneuvers over the course of the past two elections — attacking the judiciary, inviting extremists into his coalition, and undermining voting rights — upended a number of key democratic norms." ca4/10/2019
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How the Right Has Tried to Rebrand Anti-SemitismMairav Zonszein - New York Review of Books - Such false accusations of anti-Semitism do not come without a cost: the most dangerous long-term effect, which we are already beginning to see unfold, is that they will obscure and pervert people’s understanding of what actual anti-Semitism is—and thus undermine the battle to combat it.[bz]1/10/2019
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The suspect Samer ArabidGush Shalom statement - After two days of Shabak interrogation the suspect Samer Arabid was rushed to an intensive care ward. Not much chance for A serious investigation: The Israeli media Already judged him, Calling him `terrorist` and `murderer` Before he even stood trial. [bz]1/10/2019
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