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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
Little to celebrateKhaled Dawoud - Al-Ahram Weekly "The revolution, he (Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim, ca) told an audience which included President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi, reiterating what now appears to be the state’s preferred narrative, began as a genuine protest by frustrated young Egyptians against Mubarak’s corrupt rule but was later “stolen” by the Brotherhood and supporters of other militant Islamic groups...Activists who took part in the 2011 uprising and returned to the streets in 2013 to protest against the Brotherhood and reclaim the original goals of the 25 January revolution feel doubly betrayed. They find themselves condemned in the media.Many are behind bars for defying the controversial protest law..."ca 30/1/2015
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How the joint Arab slate challenges Israel`s discriminatory politicsAmjad Iraqi - +972 "...the joint Arab slate represents the only multi-party bloc that is unequivocally committed to full equality, the end of the occupation and a just peace to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. These are expressions of the landmark Future Vision Documents (including the Democratic Constitution), which were authored and endorsed by Palestinian citizen politicians, intellectuals, community representatives and civil society members. The slate’s candidates further attest to the bloc’s democratic vision and diverse representation, which includes Arabs and Jews, men and women, Marxists and nationalists, religious and secular, and others." ca30/1/2015
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How Obama Can Stop Netanyahu’s Iran WarSCOTT MCCONNELL - The American Conservative - Obama could stress that as president he will no longer stand for American policies being subject to manipulation by a foreign power. In speaking in terms of American national interest, he will find reservoirs of support Democrats haven’t touched in many years. As Merry makes clear, the pushback would be fierce. But a president who explained his decisions in terms of refusing to concede the country’s sovereign command over decisions of war and peace to a minor foreign power would be victorious.-rh 29/1/2015
Gaza 2014 : No safe placePhysicians for Human Rights - the report was written following a request by Physicians for Human Rights–Israel (PHR-IL) in order to determine the scope of destruction in body and spirit. It is the only report written by an independent international body granted a permit from Israeli authorities to enter the Gaza Strip during the war.-rh 29/1/2015
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Eyes Wide Open | Photo BlogMuhammad Sabah - B`Tselem - The following photographs were taken by Muhammad Sabah, B’Tselem’s field researcher in the northern Gaza Strip. This is his account of the story behind the images: “The fighting during Operation Protective Edge made it practically impossible to get around Gaza to document events as they unfolded. It would have meant risking life and limb.-rh29/1/2015
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PALESTINIAN GIRL IMPRISONED FOR TWO MONTHS, FOUR OTHER CHILDREN THREATENED BY ISRAELI AUTHORITIESEuromid Observer for Human Rights - Press release - A 14-year-old Palestinian girl has been imprisoned by Israeli authorities for 22 consecutive days without contact with her parents, and has just been sentenced to serve another month along with a stiff fine on her parents, reports Euro-Mid Observer for Human Rights. Another four children as young as 11 were recently held for four hours under threat of detention and death.-rh28/1/2015
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About buried phosphorus and thuggish diplomacyAdam Keller - Crazy Country - "One unnamed “Israeli military source” apologetically told Reuters that Israel did not know about the presence of an Iranian general in the convoy. Another unnamed source contradicted this a few hours later and reiterated the version that Israel “does not accept any responsibility” for the attack in Syria." - id 28/1/2015
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The Death of Reason: American bias when it comes to JusticeJafar M. Ramini - The Arab Daily News - "The very idea that anybody would dare to question Israel is sacrilege." - id 28/1/2015
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Netanyahu ‘Spat In Our Face,’ White House Officials SaidTimes of Israel staff - Information Clearing House - The White House’s outrage over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan to speak before Congress in March — a move he failed to coordinate with the administration — began to seep through the diplomatic cracks on Friday, with officials telling Haaretz the Israeli leader had “spat” in President Barack Obama’s face.-rh 28/1/2015
Israel army confirms 2 soldiers killed in Hezbollah attackMa`an News Agency - The Israeli military on Wednesday confirmed that two of its soldiers had been killed in a Hezbollah attack on its forces in the occupied Shebaa Farms near the Lebanese border.-rh28/1/2015
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Occupier’s justice: heads and tails you loseJonathan Cook - Mondoweiss - now that the settlers have a piece of paper with the court’s decision stating that the land belongs to Kiryat Arba, they can bill the Palestinian family for years of arrears on property taxes amounting to $22,000 – more than the family earns in several years. If they don’t pay, the settlers will seize the land and sell it.-rh28/1/2015
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Drones have forever changed usNeve Gordon - Aljazeera - drones change our conception of war because it becomes, in Chamayou`s words, a priori impossible to die as one kills. One air force officer formulated this basic benefit in the following manner: "The real advantage of unmanned aerial systems is that they allow you to protect power without projecting vulnerability."-rh28/1/2015
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Black Flag: The legal and moral implications of the policy of attacking residential buildings in the Gaza Strip, summer 2014B`Tselem - Summary - Even if political and military leaders thought this policy would bring an end to attacks on Israeli communities, they should not have implemented it because of its foreseeable, horrifying consequences as well as because of the black flag of illegality flying over it.-rh28/1/2015
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Living in Israel is not the solution to antisemitismAntony Loewenstein - Mondoweiss - Israel has framed itself since its inception as a ¡§light unto the nations¡¨. ¡§There is no demographic or practical existence for the Jewish people without a Jewish state¡¨, Netanyahu proclaimed in 2010. But the vast bulk of global Jewry feels secure in their own multicultural country with full rights and responsibilities, a transformation from 100 years ago when Jews were often ghettoised.-rh 28/1/2015
The Truth About The Fight Against `Anti-Semitism`Ludwig Watzal - Countercurrents - The Israeli movie maker Yoav Shamir documents in the film "Defamation" the fight of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) against "anti-Semitism". This "fight" has little to do with "anti-Semitism" but much with muzzling Israel critic. "Anti-Semitism" serves as a pretext to immunize the State of Israel against criticism. The Israeli peace activist Uri Avnery said about the fight of ADL. "None of them fights anti-Semitism. They fight criticism of Israel".-rh 28/1/2015
Palestinian political unity welcomed for Israeli electionsDaoud Kuttab - Al-Monitor - The unprecedented success of Palestinians in Israel agreeing to a joint list is in fact likely to create the fourth-largest bloc in the 120-member Israeli Knesset provided the public comes out to vote. Palestinians in the occupied territories generally welcomed the unity of their compatriots in Israel, and some leaders of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) have even taken partial credit for the list. In a phone interview with Al-Monitor, Yaser Abed Rabbo, secretary-general of the PLO’s Executive Committee, expressed his pride in the PLO’s contribution.-rh 28/1/2015
Galant`s Gallant Act Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - “To suggest that our leaders could order a military action to increase their chances in an election borders on treason. Yet it has happened before. Indeed, it happened in many of our 19 election campaigns till now. […] And then the silence was broken from a totally unexpected quarter. General Galant gave an interview in which he squarely accused the government of warming up the northern border for election purposes. Galant? Incredible!” [ry]26/1/2015
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About buried phosphorus and thuggish diplomacyAdam Keller - Crazy Country - “An immediate Hezbollah revenge could have ensured the victory of Netanyahu in the March general elections: a missile barrage from Lebanon on Israeli cities, which would have required a powerful response by the Israeli Air Force and initiated an open-ended military operation (‘Operation Protective Stiff Cloud’?) which would have continued to escalate until shortly before the election date - and during all that time, opposition leaders Herzog and Livni would have been constrained to express patriotic support for the government and avoid all criticism and propaganda. Alas, up to this moment Hezbollah did not deliver the goods” [ry]26/1/2015
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Netanyahu accused of putting US-Israeli relationship at riskBen Lynfield--Low point comes as Israel is hoping for US support to fight off Palestinian efforts to prosecute Israelis for alleged war crimes. dn25/1/2015
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Just how antisemitic is Britain?David Conn--Alarmist suggestions that Jewish experience in Britain today echoes the 1930s seem unreal dn25/1/2015
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Red Rag column: religious fanaticism in Paris and elsewhereGideon Spiro - The government of Israel has jumped onto the bandwagon of struggle against terror, but that is a pretence. The State of Israel is a terror state. The 47 years of the Occupation have been 47 years of cruel terror. Terror is the official policy of the government of Israel. The Israeli army of Occupation, the Israel Security Agency and the ideological nucleus of fascist settlers are producers of the terror among the fruits of which is the counter-terror of the occupied, which itself is often horrific.24/1/2015
Another election: expect no peace breakthroughShmuel Amir - Hagada Hasmalit - Among all the contending parties is there one party – just one – that truly aspires the peace which is possible, that overtly demands withdrawal to the borders of 1967? In Israel that is typical of all the parties that are “pro-peace”: they are in favour of negotiations (if possible to the end of time). 24/1/2015
Israel and the ICCNicola Perugini and Neve Gordon--The decision by the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, to open ‘a preliminary examination into the situation in Palestine’ could have a concrete political impact in Israel/Palestine, but not because the ICC will end up charging officials for carrying out war crimes. dn24/1/2015
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Arabs of Israel, suspects until proven otherwise?Haaretz Editorial--The deaths of two residents of the Bedouin town of Rahat – Sami al-Ja’ar last week and Sami Ziadna on Sunday – demand a thorough investigation of police conduct. This is essential not only for the sake of the Arab minority’s faith in law enforcement, but also to prevent similar deaths in the future. Sami al-Ja’ar, 20, was shot by police last Wednesday during the arrest of drug-trafficking suspects in Rahat. According to the Ja’ar family, Sami was not suspected of any crimes. dn24/1/2015
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Let’s stop pretending Israel isn’t a partisan issuePaul Waldman - Washington Post "But maybe this skirmish over diplomatic protocol is a good thing for everyone. Maybe we can stop pretending that Americans and Israelis are nothing more than loving and committed allies offering unwavering support to one another, when the truth is that parties in both countries are active participants in each other’s partisan politics." ca23/1/2015
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Obama, Kerry freeze out Bibi over impromptu Hill visitLaura Rozen - Al-Monitor "Neither President Obama nor Secretary of State John Kerry will see Netanyahu on his Washington visit in March, the White House and State Department said Jan. 22, ostensibly because it is just two weeks before Israel’s elections. But US officials left little doubt the cold shoulder was also because they were incensed that Netanyahu was plotting to come to Washington to lobby against Obama’s sensitive diplomatic efforts with Iran...Pardo, in his rare statement, appeared to concede the Israeli-backed push for new congressional Iran sanctions was designed to try to collapse the current Iran nuclear negotiations, because Israel considers the deal being negotiated too weak." ca 23/1/2015
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The Strategy Behind Israel’s Attack on Iran and HizballahJonathan Cook - ICH "Iran has invested heavily in arming Hizballah with rockets and missiles to provide a deterrent against Israel launching a strike on Iran. Using that arsenal now, as one Israeli analyst surmised, would be “wasting [it] on border skirmishes that have no strategic significance for Iran”.Hizballah, meanwhile, will be reluctant to fire rockets for fear of weakening its domestic political position. It has no popular mandate – explicit or implicit – to drag Lebanon into another devastating confrontation with Israel, like the one in 2006, in retaliation for military losses it sustained on Syrian rather than Lebanese soil." ca23/1/2015
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Turmoil and restraintHassan Al-Qashawi - Al-Ahram Weekly "Suicide bombers ended months of calm in Tripoli, Lebanon’s second-largest city, on Saturday when two men wearing explosive vests blew themselves up in a cafe in the predominantly Shiite neighbourhood of Jebel Moshin. Nine people were killed and dozens injured...Yet instead of fanning the flames of factional mistrust, Lebanon took the news in stride. The past few months of strife in the country have not been wasted on the country’s political forces, which, while bracing themselves for the worst, have been reluctant to provoke or escalate violence." ca23/1/2015
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Assimilating French MuslimsJoseph Massad - Electronic Intifada "This France is the France that accuses its Muslim population of refusing to assimilate to its ways, but never questions why it thinks it should not assimilate to their ways — since French Muslims too are as much part of France and its culture as French Catholics are and since France is no longer the exclusive property of French Catholics to do with as they please. Perhaps French Catholics (should we just call them Gaulois?) could learn some tolerance from French Muslims...After all, it is French Muslims who have endured and continue to the best of their abilities to tolerate the decades-long racism and intolerance of French Catholics." ca23/1/2015
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Netanyahu makes ICC decision campaign issueAkiva Eldar - While Europeans are suspending their criticisms until after the Israeli elections in fear of providing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with political ammunition, the ICC decision to open an investigation is being used by the Israeli right to present the Europeans as enemies.-rh 21/1/2015
Israeli forces weld shut the doors of an elderly Palestinian woman’s houses on Shuhada StreetInternational Solidarity Movement, Khalil Team - This afternoon in occupied al-Khalil (Hebron), Israeli forces gathered on Shuhada street, surrounding the doorways to the two houses belonging to Aamal Hashem Dundes, an elderly Palestinian woman, and her family. A soldier, wielding a torch and various other equipment, welded shut the doors. Soldiers and police kept international and Palestinian observers away as the houses were sealed up.-rh 21/1/2015
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Netanyahu blames Abbas for Tel Aviv stabbing attackOren Ziv, Yotam Ronen - +972 - A Palestinian man from Tulkarm stabbed at least 10 people on a public bus in Tel Aviv Wednesday morning. Three of them were in serious wounded, four moderately. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu placed blame for the attack on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, saying that it “is the direct result of the poisonous incitement being disseminated by the Palestinian Authority against the Jews and their state.”-rh21/1/2015
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Palestine at the ICC: Of course Israel hates it : Israel`s reaction to Palestine`s ICC appeal is no surpriseRachel Shabi - Aljazeera - Israel`s announcement that it is going to lobby ICC member states to cut funding for the tribunal is bordering on hysterical - these are, after all, nations that campaigned to set up this international body in the first place.-rh 21/1/2015
How Fragile the Belief of an Islamist Must BeSlavoj Zizek - New Statesman - If today’s so-called fundamentalists really believe they have found their way to Truth, why should they feel threatened by non-believers, why should they envy them? When a Buddhist encounters a Western hedonist, he hardly condemns. He just benevolently notes that the hedonist’s search for happiness is self-defeating. In contrast to true fundamentalists, the terrorist pseudo-fundamentalists are deeply bothered, intrigued, fascinated, by the sinful life of the non-believers. One can feel that, in fighting the sinful other, they are fighting their own temptation.-rh21/1/2015
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Nasrallah`s revenge will come when he`s readyYaron Friedman - Ynet - "Analysis: Hezbollah will respond to the deaths of six fighters and six Iranians in a strike in Syria; meanwhile, Israel has apparently sent a clear message." - id 21/1/2015
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Netanyahu and Europe’s Far Right Find Common GroundJONATHAN COOK - Counterpunch - "While Europeans are mired in debates about free speech and the role of Islam in secular societies, Israelis generally – and their prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, in particular – view the attacks as confirming Israel’s place as the only safe haven for Jews around the world." - id 21/1/2015
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Israel anticipates Hezbollah`s reactionBen Caspit - Al-Monitor - "Just imagine a Hollywood screenplay depicting an Israeli airstrike against a convoy of vehicles in the Syrian Golan.........." - id 21/1/2015
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The Paris effect that wasn’tBeate Zilversmidt - Crazy Country - "...if this is proof of an undercurrent coming more and more to the surface, then we may really look forward to a change in the political balance of power." - id 21/1/2015
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Analysis / ICC inquiry is a game changer for IsraelAeyal Gross - Haaretz - Even if charges are filed against Israelis, they could not actually be tried unless they were extradited to the court, the chances of which are extremely small. However, there is no doubt that the rules of the game have changed. Israelis and Palestinians alike are coming, for the first time, under the jurisdiction of an international criminal tribunal. [bz]20/1/2015
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Jihadists believe in paradise. And hell is hereYitzhak Laor - Haaretz - [From] the Parisian shakeup ... since the 17th century to (...) the African-French psychiatrist Frantz Fanon’s “The Wretched of the Earth”... Look at trains to Charles de Gaulle: businesspeople and tourists, and African cleaning women who won’t be flying anywhere. [bz]20/1/2015
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`Israeli army increasing use of live fire at West Bank protests`Ryan Rodrick Beiler & Oren Ziv/Activestills.org - +972 - Why the Israeli military uses a silenced rifle as a crowd control weapon is puzzling and counter-intuitive. But as eyewitness to several incidents of their use on the streets of Bethlehem, I can testify that there is absolutely no audible gunshot. As one advertiser of such weapons accurately boasts, from the perspective of the shooter, “the only noise you will hear is the firing pin hitting and then, the ‘smack’ on the target.” [bz]20/1/2015
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My IsraelRalph Benmergui--The first video of a 4-part series of My Israel, in which Ralph Benmergui sets out to find answers to questions he asks about Israel. Each video is about 5 minutes. The links to the remaining videos are on the right side of the screen. All are worth viewing. dn18/1/2015
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Zionism is over, Israel at critical juncture`Ariella Ringel-Hoffman--Avraham Burg, once speaker of the Knesset and deputy president, is voting for the communist Hadash party in the next elections; in 20 years, he says, Israel will be in a confederation with Palestine or a fundamentalist religious republic.dn18/1/2015
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Legacy of Strength: Saying Goodbye to Palestinian Feminist, Maha Abu-Dayyeh By Zahira Kamal--‘With Maha, you didn’t just say it. You did it,’ remembers Zahira Kamal, Palestinian Women’s Affairs Minister, of her friend who died this month dn18/1/2015
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Paris attacks: in this debate fear is the factor that dare not speak its nameJonathan Freedland--Whether it’s blaming foreign policy, the cartoonists or invoking free speech, we’re all searching for ways to cope with our terror dn18/1/2015
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Where Do I Apply for `Terrorism Expert`Amer Zahr--Terrorism. Islamic terrorism. Islamism. Jihadism. ISIS. Al-Qaeda. AQAP. Muhammad. Or just Islam. It is the top story in the news. In order to fully inform us, CNN, Fox News and the like feed us a long line of “terrorism experts.” Sometimes they even present three or four of them at once, creating an “expert roundtable.” There’s one problem, though. These “experts” are getting it wrong. They’re misstating the facts, they’re wrongly predicting things, and sometimes they are just simply lying. This is not “expert” behavior, if you ask me. dn 18/1/2015
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Don’t Limit Speech in FranceKenan Malik--On Tuesday, the French police arrested the controversial French comedian Dieudonné M’bala M’bala. He had written on Facebook “I feel like Charlie Coulibaly” — a mashup of Charlie Hebdo and Amedy Coulibaly, the gunman who killed four Jewish hostages in a kosher supermarket in Paris, in an attack linked to the Charlie Hebdo killers. Mr. M’bala M’bala, the police say, is being investigated for “defending terrorism.” dn18/1/2015
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Waving in the first RowUri Avnery - Gush Shalom - To conduct an effective fight, one has to put oneself first into the shoes of the fanatics and try to understand the dynamic that pushes young local-born Muslims to commit such acts. Who are they? What do they think? What are their feelings? In what circumstances did they grow up? What can be done to change them? After decades of neglect, that is hard work. It takes time and effort, with results uncertain. Much easier for politicians to march in the street in front of the cameras. [bz]17/1/2015
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How Palestinians Could Use Israel`s Own Legal Analysis Before The ICCSamantha Lachman - Huffington Pot - “It`s one thing to argue that the settlements are a violation of international law, which is how most of the world already sees them. It`s quite another to show that the Israeli government knew they were illegal before they began building them. Since 1967, successive Israeli governments have attempted various legal defenses of the settlements, but the Meron report shows that the Israeli government was advised of their illegality at the outset." [bz]17/1/2015
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Netanyahu Sells French Jews ShortBERNARD AVISHAI--JERUSALEM — At the turn of the last century, Nachman Syrkin, a young democratic socialist drawn to the “political Zionism” of Theodor Herzl, was a student in Berlin, a member of a discussion group of émigrés from the Russian Pale of Settlement. One day, the speaker was a left-wing intellectual eager to prove that an emancipated Europe would be a home to all Jews — that separatist nationalisms were a mark of obsolete despair.dn17/1/2015
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Al-Qaida proves: Still a bigger threat than ISISAmos Harel - Haaretz "AQAP hasn’t hid its intentions; they are evident in the pages of its English-language magazine Inspire. The suspects in the 2013 Boston Marathon attack famously made use, allegedly, of a 2010 article titled, “Making a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom.” Charlie Hebdo editor and cartoonist Stéphane Charbonnier, who was killed in last week’s attack, was on a “Wanted Dead or Alive for Crimes Against Islam” list that appeared in Inspire two years ago. The December 2014 issue contained further instructions for attacking the West, including how to make bombs that will pass airport security. A French passport can be seen in the corner of an image used to illustrate the article." ca16/1/2015
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Denying our right to return is an offense against justiceNael Bitarie - The Electronic Intifada "Folke Bernadotte, the first UN Security Council mediator in Palestine, understood fully why refugees must be allowed to return to their homes. In a report published one day after he was assassinated in Jerusalem in September 1948, the Swedish diplomat wrote that it would be “an offense against principles of elemental justice” if Palestinians uprooted by Zionist forces were denied the right of return.More than 66 years later, that right is still being denied. Arab governments and the West do not appear to care." ca16/1/2015
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Why Israel`s PA tax freeze will backfireAkiva Eldar - Al-Monitor - Israeli politicians cling to the assumption that punitive measures against the Palestinian Authority will create deterrence and prevent its leadership from diplomatic moves, not realizing that such an approach causes Israel strategic damage. 14/1/2015
France must not push Muslims into the arms of extremistsYossi Dahan - +972 - The terrorists who attacked Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket were well-trained, spoke French and knew their actions would play into the hands of France’s Islamophobic right. Let’s not give them what they’re after.-rh 14/1/2015
Israeli right campaigns on Paris terror attackAkiva Eldar - Al Monitor - "When calling on Europe to stand by Israel and when calling French Jews to immigrate to Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is harnessing the Paris terror attacks for his electoral needs." - id 14/1/2015
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Why Charlie Hebdo Must Be Free to Offend All — Even UsThe Jewish Daily Forward - Editorial - This is how democratic societies settle their differences: not by silencing offense, but by civilly confronting it. There should be no other way.-rh 14/1/2015
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Charlie Hebdo: Paris attack brothers` campaign of terror can be traced back to Algeria in 1954Robert Fisk - The Independent - But there’s an important context that somehow got left out of the story this week, the “history corner” that many Frenchmen as well as Algerians prefer to ignore: the bloody 1954-62 struggle of an entire people for freedom against a brutal imperial regime, a prolonged war which remains the foundational quarrel of Arabs and French to this day.-rh14/1/2015
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Congress says possible Palestinian unity gov’t must recognize Israel as a Jewish state in order to receive aidAllison Deger - Mondoweiss - Congress has passed provisions that immediately end funding to the Palestinian Authority in the event of a unity government with Hamas, or a joint government where Hamas exercises “undue influence.” Though, there is one exception. If a supposed unity government recognizes Israel as a Jewish state, the aid will continue.-rh 14/1/2015
Mourning the Parisian Journalists Yet Noticing the HypocrisyRabbi Michael Lerner - Huffington Post - I had to wonder about the way the massacre in Paris is being depicted and framed by the Western media as a horrendous threat to Western civilization, freedom of speech and freedom of the press, I wondered about the over-heated nature of this description. It didn`t take me long to understand how problematic that framing really is.-rh14/1/2015
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How Bibi Tried To Make Paris All About HimLisa Goldman - The Jewish Daily Forward - For those who haven’t been following the story, Netanyahu crashed the national solidarity event despite President Hollande’s explicit request that he stay at home. Then, after the VIP reception at the Elysee Palace, cameras for a local media outlet caught him elbowing aside a female French minister as he tried to jump the queue for the bus that would transport the group to the starting point of the march. Finding himself relegated to the second row at the march itself, he shoved aside the president of Mali and inserted himself in the front row, one down from Hollande himself and within eyesight of Angela Merkel.-rh 14/1/2015
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Living among Gaza`s dead : Families living in squalor inside Gaza City`s el-Sheikh Shaban cemetery are calling for international intervention.Megan O`Toole - Aljazeera - The 43-year-old cannot say exactly how he ended up living in a makeshift home between gravestones; all he knows is that his family has lived here ever since the Nakba, the 1948 expulsion of Palestinians from their lands.-rh 14/1/2015
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Secret Israeli Report Sees Rift With Europe GrowingJ.J. Goldberg - The Jewish Daily Forward - A classified Israeli foreign ministry document, leaked to the daily Yediot Ahronot, warns that 2015 will see Israel’s standing on the world stage steadily deteriorating. It predicts “worsening drift in Europe toward Palestinian positions, more parliaments recognizing the State of Palestine, fear of sanctions and labeling merchandise [to separate settlement products from tariff-free Israel-proper products] and no certainty that the United States will continue after Israel’s March elections to protect Israel with its veto.”-rh 14/1/2015
These traumas in France and Ukraine could lead to a European reawakeningNatalie Nougayrede - Guardian - "The continent has faced existential crisis twice during the past year. But something positive may yet emerge from it." - id 14/1/2015
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U.S. Duplicity In Punishing Palestine for Joining the ICCAlexandra Halaby - IMEMC - While the State Dept. spokesperson, Jen Psaki, was condemning the [Israeli] tax freeze on Monday, U.S. legislators were filing documents to cut funding to Palestine. [bz] 13/1/2015
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Unmournable Bodies , selective grief ?Teju Cole--literate but not a member of the literary élite, held a number of unconventional theological beliefs. He believed that the soul died with the body, that the world was created out of a chaotic substance, not ex nihilo, and that it was more important to love one’s neighbor than to love God. He found eccentric justification for these beliefs in the few books he read, among them the Decameron, the Bible, the Koran, and “The Travels of Sir John Mandeville,” all in translation. For his pains, Menocchio was dragged before the Inquisition several times, tortured, and, in 1599, burned at the stake. He was one of thousands who met such a fate. dn11/1/2015
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War Begets War: It’s Not about Islam; It Never Was Ramzy Baroud--Is it not possible that Muslims are angered by something much more subtle and profound than Charlie Hebdo’s tasteless art? dn11/1/2015
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Jo Roberts on Jewish trauma, the Nakba, and the olive treePhilip Weiss interviews Jo Roberts--One of the most fascinating books I’ve read about the conflict in the last year was Contested Land, Contested Memory: Israel’s Jews and Arabs and the Ghosts of Catastrophe, an exploration of Israel and its Jewish and Palestinian citizens by the English-Canadian writer Jo Roberts, in which she deploys her training as an anthropologist to explore collective memories in the to communities. “Palestinian citizens of Israel find themselves torn between the past and present, trying at different times to remember or to deny the history that continues to mould their world,” she writes. “The Nakba lives on in them: in their conflicted political ideology, in their second-class citizenship, in their awkward place as a minority in an ethnically conceived state, and in all the ways these play out in their daily lives.” The book shows equal respect for Jewish collective memory, and placed second for the 2014 nonfiction Dayton Literary Peace Prize. I recently sent Roberts a list of questions that she answered by email. dn11/1/2015
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Half of ShasUri Avnery - Gush Shalom - If Deri`s Shas survives the election in March with 5-7 seats in the next Knesset, his party may be a possible candidate for a center-left coalition – if the numbers add up. This could be crucial. gm10/1/2015
Could congressional sanctions on Palestinians backfire for Israel?Josh Ruebner--In their unstinting zeal to safeguard Israel`s stranglehold over the Palestinians, members of Congress may have inadvertently set the stage for the materialization of Israel`s nightmare scenario: the collapse of the Palestinian Authority (PA). As the new 114th Congress gets underway, here`s how the law of unintended consequences could unfold over the next few years. dn10/1/2015
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The Delegitimization of IsraelANDREW LEVINE--Congress is still in Netanyahu’s pocket and the White House still quivers. But now they do it for the money; the public is no longer jumping up and down behind them. dn10/1/2015
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Palestine’s ICC bid is part of Abbas’ long walk to freedomJoseph Dana - The National - Mr Abbas’s new strategy at the ICC appears to borrow a page from the boycott playbook by forcing an exaggerated Israeli backlash against the Palestinians that will ultimately cast Israel as an international pariah and thus dry up internal support for the occupation. It is a long game inspired by African National Congress efforts against the apartheid regime in South Africa. [bz]10/1/2015
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Palestinians breaking from US orbitEditorial Saudi Gazette - The Palestinians have good reason to be putting more faith in the path of statehood by way of international recognition than in the US-brokered peace process. The focus on US-brokered talks has simply allowed Israel the time and cover to continue eating away at Palestinian lands through settlement expansion. [bz]10/1/2015
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It Sadly Unclear Whether This Article Will Put Lives At RiskThe Onion - "“Today’s horrific events only reinforce the idea that we cannot and will not let extremist zealots dictate what we can and cannot say,” is a comment that we will quote, but one that we do with a legitimate sense of uncertainty over whether it could incite an attack against the speaker or their loved ones, a sense of uncertainty that feels awful, grotesque, and wholly unnecessary in this day and age." ca9/1/2015
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Why Israel`s PA tax freeze will backfireAkiva Eldar - Al-Monitor "There’s nothing that a proud Israeli such as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, for example, hates more than being a sucker. The prime minister even knows how to say in Farsi, “We are not suckers.” An Israeli who stands tall like Netanyahu does not ignore an attempt by the cheeky neighbors to turn the West Bank and East Jerusalem — or rather, Judea and Samaria and united Jerusalem, Israel’s eternal capital — into an independent Palestinian state along the 1967 borders. A “strong leader” such as Netanyahu does not just move on after the Palestinian Authority (PA) dares request to join the International Criminal Court (ICC). He’s not some sort of defeatist who gives thanks for rain whenever someone spits at him. All he needs now is Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett to produce a clip portraying him as a leftist who apologizes to non-Jews." ca 9/1/2015
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Is Islam to Blame for the Shooting at Charlie Hebdo in Paris?Nicholas Kristof - NYT "Terror incidents lead many Westerners to perceive Islam as inherently extremist, but I think that is too glib and simple-minded. Small numbers of terrorists make headlines, but they aren’t representative of a complex and diverse religion of 1.6 billion adherents. My Twitter feed Wednesday brimmed with Muslims denouncing the attack — and noting that fanatical Muslims damage the image of Muhammad far more than the most vituperative cartoonist." ca9/1/2015
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Orphaned war crimes, coming back to haunt usGideon Levy - Haaretz "To ask a politician if he smoked grass if fine,but to ask if he bore any responsibility for a massacre is forbidden...That’s the way it is with orphaned war crimes, those for which no one was ever punished or at least took responsibility; they keep on pursuing us like ghosts. And that’s the way it is with politicians who brag, “I’ve killed a lot of Arabs and there’s no problem with that,” (Naftali Bennett)." ca 9/1/2015
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Charlie Hebdo cartoon: I knew I had to express defiance because I wanted to be true to the spirit of the magazineDave Brown - The Independent "I wanted my response to be true to the spirit of Charlie Hebdo. I knew they’d want the magazine to carry on, so it had to be a gesture of defiance. So I thought: I`ve literally got to draw a gesture. Hence the hand rising out of the newspaper. Originally I drew it for my usual slot on page three, but then it became the front page of today’s Independent, and I think that really made it stand out." ca9/1/2015
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I Love Israel - And I Apologize : Apologizing would not solve anything or atone for anything, but it could signal a genuine intention to turn a new leaf.Gideon Levy - Information Clearing House - As a rule, in Israel people don’t apologize for anything, not in the occupation nor on the road. Here only nerds apologize. Guilt feelings are an embarrassment, and apologizing is for those with no backbone. That’s why Bennett’s election slogan: “Stop Apologizing. Be Proud” will become so catchy and popular: the “apologizers” vs. “the proud,” the “objective ones” vs. “lovers of the country.” I’m proud to belong to the former group.-rh 7/1/2015
From Nigeria, via New York, to the checkpointAdam Keller - Crazy Country - "Once gaining access to the International Court, the Palestinians could well draw indictments against settler leaders, building contractors who erect settlements as well as Israeli government ministers and officials engaged in the settlement project." - id7/1/2015
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As Iraqis cope with past injustices, so should IsraelisAkiva Eldar - Al Monitor - "Iraqis are looking courageously into their past, examining the attacks against the Jewish community in the 1950s that forced it to flee the country, and Israelis should do the same by acknowledging the Palestinians` suffering." - id 7/1/2015
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Palestine in the International Criminal Court: A game changer?+972 - The only threat to Israeli soldiers and officials abroad, Atty. Emily Schaeffer Omer-Man explains, is the lack of proper war crimes investigations back home. When it comes to settlements, however, there is little defense to be had.-rh 7/1/2015
Time To Move Out: The Problem With Mahmoud Abbas And His Authority Ramzy Baroud - Countercurrents - But he also survived because he used billions of dollars funneled by international donors to construct a welfare system, creating a class of Palestinian Nouveau riche, whose wealth was a result of the occupation, not despite it. While the new rich basked in their underserved wealth, the fate of millions of Palestinians were tied to pay checks, which were not the outcome of a productive economy but international handouts.-rh 7/1/2015
State Dep’t threatens aid to Palestinians over ICC, but holds out no consequences for Israel’s settlementsPhil Weiss and Annie Robbins - Mondoweiss - Yesterday we saw two glaring double standards in the American official discourse when it comes to Israel and other countries.-rh 7/1/2015
Why the world doesn`t see Palestine`s sufferingDaoud Kuttab - Al-Monitor - The interest of politicians, pundits and journalists usually piques about the Palestinians after sensational news generating major headlines, such as multiple killings, major settlement activities or various political machinations. Real-life, everyday events occurring throughout the occupied territories are rarely covered, although they are accessible through various public platforms.-rh 7/1/2015
Palestinian girl Malaak al-Khatib, 14, detained for additional week by Israeli forcesSamidoun - Palestinian girl, Malaak Ali al-Khatib, 14, was arrested on 31 December near her school in Bittin village, near Ramallah. Her detention was extended on Monday, 5 January for one week, until Sunday, 11 January, under the pretext of requiring a “conduct report” on the girl before releasing her. The 14-year-old girl is accused of “throwing stones” at Israeli occupation soldiers at the settler bypass road closed to Palestinians near her school. She is one of 23 women and girls and nearly 200 children detained by Israeli occupation forces.-rh 7/1/2015
Israeli settlers attack US consulate convoy in the West Bank (Updated) Annie Robbins - Mondoweiss - On Friday, American security personnel accompanying staff from the United States Consulate in Jerusalem drew their weapons on violent Israeli settlers who attacked a two vehicle U.S. convoy outside the Palestinian town of Turmusaya in the West Bank. Consulate staff were investigating an incident which took place on private Palestinian land on the first night of 2015 when six thousand recently planted olive saplings were uprooted, and dozens of old olive trees were destroyed by violent Jewish settlers from an illegal outpost, Adei Ad, near Turmusaya.-rh7/1/2015
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First Palestinian ICC case to focus on Gaza warAttila Somfalvi - AFP - The first case the Palestinians will refer to the International Criminal Court will be the crimes Israel committed during summer 2014, including the Gaza war, a legal expert said Sunday.-rh 7/1/2015
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When will Palestinians learn? Turning to international law isn`t the answer — just ask America and IsraelROBERT FISK - The Independent - Now just imagine if Israel and America wanted the Palestinians to sign the Rome document. Conjure the thought – for a split-second only – that Israel and America insisted that the Palestinians must abide by an international treaty and become members of the International Criminal Court to qualify for statehood. Abbas’s refusal to do so would be further proof of his “terrorist” intentions. Yet when Abbas does sign the Rome document, when the Palestinians want to abide by an international treaty, they must be punished – surely a “first” in modern history.-rh7/1/2015
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The German Left’s Palestine ProblemLeandros Fischer - Jacobin - he history of the German left’s attitude to Israel/Palestine is truly complex and for the uninitiated foreign leftist, perplexing and occasionally shocking. In the 1950`s Israel was seen as a progressive Socialist society. In the 1960`s and 1970`s, conversely, left-wing German students, like their peers elsewhere, felt strong solidarity with the Palestinians. Later, however, came the so-called "anti-German" intellectual and political current whose opposition to and rejection of German Nationalism took the perverse form of uncritical support for Israel and Israeli policies. The influence of such "anti-German" activists is perceptible in the present controversy convulsing Gregor Gysi`s Die Linke, the main political expression of the German Left. [ak] 6/1/2015
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Israel and Palestine need a one-state solutionMusa al-Gharbi - Al-Jazeera - In the resolution rejected by the UN Security Council a coalition of Arab states and the Palestinian Authority called for “full and phased withdrawal of Israeli forces” from all territories seized after 1967 and full Palestinian sovereignty over the West Bank and Gaza by Dec. 31, 2017. But even if the resolution would have passed, it had no enforcement mechanism: It was not taken under Chapter 6 or 7 of the U.N. Charter, which authorizes economic sanctions, diplomatic coercion or military intervention. Israel would not have faced consequences for noncompliance, which, given Israel’s history of defying U.N. conventions, was a certainty. [bz]6/1/2015
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Stop giving Israelis a pass: What Dennis Ross could have saidMichael Schaeffer Omer-Man - +972 - Former U.S. ambassador and Mideast peace process envoy Dennis Ross penned a ‘New York Times’ op-ed titled, ‘Stop Giving Palestinians a Pass.’ In it, he calls out European diplomats for supporting international efforts to end the occupation while not demanding more of the Palestinians. Below is a duplication of Ross’s op-ed, almost word for word, but this time calling out former American diplomats for disparaging international efforts at ending the occupation while not demanding more of the Israelis. [bz] 6/1/2015
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The One-State RealityDavid Remnick--Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin, the new President of Israel, is ardently opposed to the establishment of a Palestinian state. He is instead a proponent of Greater Israel, one Jewish state from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. He professes to be mystified that anyone should object to the continued construction of Jewish settlements in the West Bank: “It can’t be ‘occupied territory’ if the land is your own.” dn4/1/2015
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Israel’s upcoming elections and the false nostalgia of Liberal ZionismDr. Reem Khamis-Dakwar--A common thread through these articles, and others like them, is the allusion to an utterly false belief that left-center-wing Israeli governments represent an agenda of peace, positive change, and liberalism. That false association is a red herring and its unexamined pursuit will continue to make peace elusive.dn4/1/2015
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Palestine`s ICC bid is only as threatening as Israel makes itEmily Schaeffer Omer-Man--Instead of reviling Palestinian accession to the International Criminal Court as an effort to delegitimize and isolate it, Israel would be better off focusing inward. dn4/1/2015
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How I know BDS will win, and I will loseRaphael Magarik--BDS is compelling because it offers a concrete solution. If Jews want to prevent the boycott movement from gaining ground, we must offer an alternative plan to end the occupation. This month, the union of graduate students at the University of California voted to join the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel. This marked the first time that the membership of a major American union voted to endorse BDS. I am a member of the union, which represents about 13,000 student-workers, and I fought the resolution, writing in opposition. But as I campaigned, I also came to realize a bitter truth: BDS will only gain strength, unless U.S. Jews provide another path to end Israel`s occupation of Palestinian territories. dn 4/1/2015
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The Rock of Our ExistenceUri Avnery - Gush Shalom - From the beginning of the effort to this very day, not a single piece of evidence of the ancient history was found. Not a single indication that the exodus from Egypt, the basis of Jewish history, ever happened. Nor of the 40 years of wandering in the desert. No evidence of the conquest of Canaan, as described at length in the Book of Joshua. The mighty King David, whose kingdom extended - according to the Bible - from the Sinai peninsula to the north of Syria, did not leave a trace. (Lately an inscription with the name David was discovered, but with no indication that this David was a king.) gm 3/1/2015
Netanyahu set to lead a strikingly hardline LikudDAVID HOROVITZ - The Times of Israel "it is a safe bet even before the vote that the politicians on the Likud slate of 2015 — the first two dozen of whom have a reasonable expectation of sitting in the next Knesset — will be strikingly hawkish on the issue of peacemaking with the Palestinians, and that the list will feature fewer politicians with a track record for firmly upholding democratic principles than it did just two years ago." ca 3/1/2015
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Rafeef Zeadah Originates the phrase below "We Teach Life, Sir" Rafeef Zeadah--video about 10 minutes, dn3/1/2015
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UN rejection sends harsh wake-up call to AbbasAmira Hass - Haaretz - Even if the Palestinian-Jordanian proposal had passed, no one deluded themselves that Israel would adhere to it and withdraw. European countries and the United States would not punish Israel the way they do other countries in breach of Security Council resolutions. From that perspective, the potential of nine council-member votes in favor was largely symbolic. But this symbolism would have helped Abbas continue to once again postpone the signing of the Rome Statute. (...) As a Palestinian activist involved for years in preparing the application to the International Criminal Court in The Hague told Haaretz, senior Hamas and Islamic Jihad senior members have said they are prepared to risk being tried in this court themselves, if that is the price for a Palestinian request to investigate suspicions of war crimes by Israelis and Israel. [bz]3/1/2015
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Why Israelis should welcome Palestine`s ICC bidDr. Ishai Menuchin - +972 "All Israeli citizens who hold human rights and democratic values dear should not only support Palestine’s bid to join the International Criminal Court, they should be disheartened by their own government’s response." ca2/1/2015
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Spiral,’ ‘threat,’ ‘polarization,’ or ‘full-scale popular campaign for Palestinian freedom’ — reactions to the ICC movePhilip Weiss - Mondoweiss "Yousef Munayyer, soon to be the head of the US Campaign to End the Occupation, pointed out that the rejection gives momentum to the BDS movement:“Today’s vote is but another meaningless one for Palestinians living under the boot of the Israeli military. Each and every episode like this, where the international community underscores its failure to resolve the Israeli/Palestinian question, is another boon to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which provides an alternative to stagnation at the UN. Perhaps that is the silver lining of this moment.” ca2/1/2015
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Potemkin Villages at Erez CheckpointTamar Fleishman - The Palestine Chronicle - They, who had been attacked by IDF soldiers, injured and killed by IDF soldiers, and lost their homes and all they had because of IDF soldier, saw this hospital as a cynical exploitation of their situation. “What are they thinking? They shoot and kill us and we are supposed to kiss the hands that put bandages over the injuries they created and thank them?” a resident of the Strip said to me. “Even if I or one of my kids or relatives were injured during the war, we wouldn’t dare step out of the house, go out of the neighborhood and cross the line towards the soldiers to get to the hospital. Because if I tried getting there they would kill me while I was still on my way”.-rh 1/1/2015
PALESTINIAN RESIDENCY REVOKED AS PUNISHMENT Amnesty International - Urgent Action - The Israeli authorities have revoked the residency of a Palestinian woman, Nadia Abu Jamal, and stripped her three children of their health care rights. They are threatening to do this to all Palestinians involved in “terror” attacks, and their relatives.-rh 1/1/2015
Newsletter - December 2014Military Court Watch - According to the Israeli Prison Service (IPS), as of 30 November 2014, there were 5,527 Palestinians (West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza) held as "security prisoners" in Israeli detention facilities including 156 children. In the case of children this represents a decrease of 4 per cent compared with the previous month and an annual decrease of 4 per cent compared with 2013. According to the IPS, 48 per cent of Palestinian children and 90 per cent of adults continue to be detained in facilities inside Israel, in violation of Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.-rh 1/1/2015
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Where have Israeli intellectuals gone?Yuval Avivi - Al-Monitor - While Amir does aspire for greater influence by intellectuals over the Israeli public opinion, many young people in Israel feel differently. They do not understand the critical importance of the dynamics that are so essential to the public, where an intellectual elite provokes a critical debate that challenges a whole society. The role of these eloquent speakers has been taken over by people from the entertainment industry, who are of much greater interest to the public than professors.-rh 1/1/2015
How the children looked being shot by sponge bulletsIdan Landau - Mondoweiss - Last week,police shot Muhammad Jamal Ubeid when he stood outside his home in Issawiyah in “East Jerusalem”. A sponge bullet for demonstration dispersal hit him under his eye. Ubeid is 5 years old. This is how he looks.-rh 1/1/2015
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Uriel Ferera released from military serviceRuth Ferera - I am happy to inform you that last week Uriel Ferera was released from the Israeli military after spending 177 days in jail. You can read more about Uriel`s release in this article from the online magazine +972. http://972mag.com/freed-israeli-conscientious-objector-they-tried-to-break-me/100395/ Thank you for all your ongoing support.-rh1/1/2015
Security Council`s election message to Israelis: Keep ignoring the occupationNoam Sheizaf - +972 - As long as the diplomatic process – or any form of engagement – must pass through Washington, nothing will change. Instead of calling for more American involvement, maybe what the peace camp should hope for is American disengagement. With that in mind, the only encouraging aspect of the UNSC vote and the negotiations that led to it, is the active role taken by France (which supported the Jordanian-Palestinian motion), suggesting again that the EU might be better qualified than Washington to deal with the Israeli-Palestinian issue.-rh1/1/2015
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American Historical Association Taking Up 2 Resolutions Critical of Israel Rick Shenkman - History News Network - Both petitions are critical of Israel. One criticizes Israel for allegedly violating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights "by refusing to allow students from Gaza to travel in order to pursue higher education abroad, and even at West Bank universities." The other petition claims "Israel arbitrarily limits the entry of foreign nationals who seek to lecture, teach and attend conferences at Palestinian universities."-rh 1/1/2015
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Sheltering Gaza`s displacedMegan O`Toole - Aljazeera - Althamna`s frustration is echoed by many of Gaza`s displaced, who are running out of patience with overcrowded and underfunded temporary shelters and a lack of progress on reconstruction. Milina Shahin, a spokesperson for the UN refugee agency (UNRWA), acknowledged the difficult circumstances - but as for when displaced residents will be able to return home, "it is the question no-one can answer".-rh1/1/2015
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Challenges ahead for FatahDaoud Kuttab - Al-Monitor - Fatah will have a number of other challenges to deal with. The problems with former Fatah leader Mohammed Dahlan and his supporters will certainly leave its mark. Gaza and how to deal with the challenges of rebuilding and reconciliation will also loom large in all sessions of the congress. The delay in joining the International Criminal Court in The Hague will be addressed many times and the absence of an effective communications strategy will be discussed in various forums.-rh 1/1/2015
A virtual visit to the birthplace of Christianity, BethlehemRay Hanania - The Arab Daily News - "The fight to me is between extremists and moderates. Moderates are those who support peace based on compromise and the only real solution to the conflict which has claimed and continues to claim so many lives, the Two-State Solution. One State of Israel and one State of Palestine, sharing Jerusalem and where the people on both sides can live in freedom and security." - id 31/12/2014
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About diplomatic subversion and pressure cookersAdam Keller - Crazy Country - "El-Matan was one of the illegal settlement outposts which PM Sharon was supposed to evacuate, back in 2003 (so he promised ...) On the same year that Sharon pledged to the Americans to evacuate El-Matan, the child Ayala Shapira was born there." - id 31/12/2014
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Why I Still Dislike IsraelPHILIP GIRALDI- The Unz Review - "The United States government was created to serve the American people, not a powerful foreign interest. My fervent New Year’s wish is for the monstrous Bibi Netanyahu or whoever succeeds him in office to just leave us alone in 2015. Israel will have to stand on its own two feet for a change while Washington will not have to be constantly looking over its collective shoulder concerned about “Israeli interests.” It would be a divorce that would be beneficial for everyone involved." - id 31/12/2014
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Why Palestinian Statehood Poses Such A Threat To IsraelCatherine Shakdam - MintPress News - Beyond Israel’s refusal to recognize an independent state of Palestine as a reality lies a very real fear that years of occupation and abuses will need to be addressed before the International Criminal Court. [bz]30/12/2014
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The Davidization of Jerusalem: On the politics of symbolsDana Hercbergs - +972 - It’s no coincidence that images of the Tower of David are popping up everywhere in the holy city: right-wing settlers and real estate moguls alike have been using the symbol to gain power [ry]29/12/2014
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My Glorious Brothers Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - “All this may reaffirm the saying that ‘nothing changes as much as the past’. Or, in the words of Goethe: ‘What you call the spirit of the times is nothing but the spirit of the lords in which the times are reflected’" [ry]29/12/2014
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Five Reasons Why 2014 Was a Game Changer in Palestine Ramzy Baroud--In terms of losses in human lives, 2014 has been a horrific year for Palestinians, when an Israeli war against the Gaza Strip killed and wounded thousands. While some aspects of the conflict are stagnating between a corrupt, ineffectual Palestinian Authority (PA), and the criminality of Israeli wars and occupation, it would also be fair to argue that 2014 was also a game changer to some degree—and it is not all bad news. And here are five reasons why. dn28/12/2014
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Yes, I call on the world to interveneAkiva Eldar--ln every meeting with a European parliamentarian or American diplomat, I say that no one for whom the future of Israel is close to their heart is allowed to oppose an initiative that brings the end of the occupation nearer. Yes, I know that my position contradicts the policy of my elected government. In every conversation with a Jewish activist from the United States or with a Jewish friend from Belgium, when I am asked what my opinion is of the Jewish nation-state law proposed by my prime minister, I say it is an anti-democratic law that distances a fifth of Israeli citizens from their country. dn 28/12/2014
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Zionism and its Discontents. A Century of Radical Dissent in Israel/Palestine [book review]Reviewed by Ludwig Watzal--Nationalist narratives and political movements have dominated the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for a long time. They all ended up in a dead end. This insight has led Ran Greenstein, Associate Professor at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, not to look at history in retrospect, knowing the outcome, but rather from a contemporaneous perspective of the actors. None of the anti-Zionist actors, discussed in the book, achieved their goals, but they all made valuable contributions, which can serve as a starting point for new actions.dn28/12/2014
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Israel, a Jewish Republic?Kai Bird - NYT - Why does Mr. Netanyahu want to define his nation-state with precisely the same phrases used by Hamas, a nonsecular, fundamentalist party dedicated to the formation of an Islamic republic? (...) Israelis need to celebrate their “Israeli” national identity. They should talk about Israel’s cultural and technological achievements. And talk about Israel’s security, too, and where its borders should be drawn so that the endless conflict between Arabs and Israelis can finally come to an end. [bz]28/12/2014
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Is Israel held to an unfairly high standard?Are we unfairly ignoring the fact that Israel treats LGBTIs better than ISIS or Boko Haram does? Norman Finkelstein and Paul Jay discuss a full-page ad in the NYT. gm27/12/2014
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Why are Palestinians going to the Security Council?Saeb Erekat interviewed on PNN - It is not only a right for Palestine to call upon the Security Council to take action, but it is an international responsibility to put an end to decades of systematic violations of UN resolutions and grave breaches of international law. The Security Council is the international body in charge of preserving world peace and security and it has been marginalized for too long when it comes to the question of Palestine. ak 27/12/2014
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WATCH: Rightists campaign on hate, incitement and arroganceMairav Zonszein - +972 "In a highly incendiary video, Likud Knesset member Danny Danon, who was fired from his position as deputy defense minister for publicly slamming Netanyahu’s “restraint” during this past summer’s assault on Gaza, has released a campaign video in which he brands himself as “the real Likud.” ca26/12/2014
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Is Palestinian state only guarantee against Hamas?Akiva Eldar - Al-Monitor "In November, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi offered Israel his help in preventing the establishment of Hamastan in the West Bank. In an interview with the Italian daily Corriere della Sera published on Nov. 23, Sisi expressed willingness to deploy an Egyptian force in the West Bank to help the local police increase the sense of security on both sides and strengthen mutual trust. “Israel’s security cannot be compromised,” the Egyptian president said. “The Palestinians must stop carrying out serious actions that can be destructive for them.” He nonetheless stressed that sending a force to a Palestinian state, in full coordination with Israel and as part of confidence-building measures, can only be carried out after the creation of Palestine." ca 26/12/2014
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2014: the year Israel’s illusions of normalcy diedAsher Schechter - Haaretz "Because 2014 was the year in which so many of the things about ourselves we had tried to ignore came back to bite us. Our deepest delusions, our highest aspirations about our country, hit the brick wall of reality — and died." ca26/12/2014
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Rebel songs to rap: the history of Palestine’s musicSarah Irving - The Electronic Intifada - "What is the interplay between Palestinian musicians and their audiences? And what about the impact of “politics” other than that of the Israeli occupation — the historical influence of colonialism, for example, or the current effects of Islamist parties?" - id 24/12/2014
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France waters down Arab draft resolution on PalestineDaoud Kuttab - Al-Monitor - Both drafts reaffirm the 1947 General Assembly Partition Plan, but the French version published by the Montreal-based Center for Research on Globalization clearly hints at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s demand that Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state. The French version added to the clause a line saying that the 1947 resolution recommendation on the question of Palestine was for the establishment of “the independence of the Arab and Jewish States.”-rh 24/12/2014
Banning Dissent in the Name of CivilityChris Hedges - Nation of Change - I spent seven years in the Middle East as a foreign correspondent, five of them as the Middle East bureau chief for The New York Times. I speak Arabic. I was frequently in Gaza and lived for two years in Jerusalem. What frightens the Israel lobby is not my critique, but my expertise. It is impossible to spew out the usual Israeli propaganda, half-truths, distortions and lies—as retired Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz once tried to do when he and I appeared at a Columbia University event—to someone who has spent years in the Middle East reporting on the conflict. What the Israel lobby fears most are facts.-rh 24/12/2014
Israeli Court Allows Oil Drilling In Occupied Golan HeightsIMEMC & Agencies - The Israeli Supreme Court ruled, Tuesday, in favor of allowing the Afek Oil Company headed by hardliner and former Minister of National Infrastructure, Effie Eitam, to dig for oil in the Israeli-occupied Syrian Golan Heights.-rh 24/12/2014
Is Europe Running Out of Patience With Israel?Cnaan Liphshiz - The Jewish Daily Forward - Israel has long suffered in public opinion across Europe, where it has struggled to stave off mounting calls for divestment and the labeling of goods produced in its settlements. But since October, there have been signs that governments are beginning to embody those sentiments in legislation. The French vote follows similar measures undertaken by the parliaments of Britain, Spain, Portugal, Ireland and Sweden, and comparable steps are pending in Denmark and Slovenia.-rh 24/12/2014
What I’ve learned from living through three wars in the Gaza StripAlaa Radwan - Mondoweiss - During the summer’s Israeli assault, being exposed to horrible scenes of buildings falling down, of people losing their lives, of memories and dreams fading away, I just wanted to survive. I told myself I no longer need electricity. I do not want to “dream” to travel abroad to pursue my own dreams anymore. I do not want anything. I just wanted to survive. To survive was all what I needed. Luckily enough, I survived.-rh24/12/2014
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`No home and no hope`: Palestinians struggling to rebuild their lives amid the Gaza rubbleKIM SENGUPTA - The Independence - The reconstruction plan was set up between Israel, the Palestinian Authority and the UN. The conditions stipulated by the Israeli government for allowing supplies in have been labelled draconian, designed to prevent Gaza’s development. The Israelis insist they are vital to ensure that the material is not used for military purposes by Hamas.-rh 24/12/2014
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A Century Of Radical Dissent In Israel/PalestineLudwig Watzal - Countercurrents - Nationalist narratives and political movements have dominated the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for a long time. They all ended up in a dead end. This insight has led Ran Greenstein, Associate Professor at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, not to look at history in retrospect, knowing the outcome, but rather from a contemporaneous perspective of the actors.-rh 24/12/2014
No donkeys allowedInternational Solidarity Movement - Mohammad arrived at the Bab Al-Zawiye side of the checkpoint at 13:40 on Mondayafternoon, his mule laden with empty milk jugs and saddlebags packed with various provisions. Israeli forces refused to let him through, claiming no animals were allowed past the checkpoint – a claim no one, including other international organisations at the scene as well as the Palestinian District Coordination Office for al-Khalil, had ever heard before.-rh24/12/2014
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The Myth of Abraham and America’s Allegiance to IsraelGARY LEUPP - Counter Punch - "Those serious about challenging the default-mode Israelophilia that pervades U.S. policy ought, in my humble view, to hone in on this myth—this fountainhead of racism, colonialism, and messianic End Times craziness—and challenge it at every turn, urging their deluded friends to wake up." - id 24/12/2014
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Postponing UN bid won`t reverse Palestinian momentumShlomi Eldar - Al Monitor - "The Palestinians need not worry about postponing the vote on their UN bid until after the Israeli elections, since even if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is re-elected, the push toward Palestinian statehood is inevitable."= id24/12/2014
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Israeli rightists tour Aqsa compound for Jewish holiday Ma`an News Agency - Israeli rightists entered the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Monday for the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah as Palestinians protested near the Moroccan Gate. Mosque guards told Ma`an that at least 68 Israelis entered and toured the compound under armed guard.-rh24/12/2014
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Analysis: The customs union and the Israeli no-state solutionAmal Ahmad/Al-Shabaka - Ma`an - Israel gives Palestinians 20 percent of the import quota but none of the corresponding export quota. For example, if country Z pledges to buy 2,000 tons of tomatoes from Israel in exchange, 100 percent of these tomatoes come from Israeli producers. Effectively, then, Israel is using the Palestinian economy to divert pressure off its own market by reducing the penetration of cheap imports by 20 percent, while reserving the full benefits of export deals to itself. [bz]23/12/2014
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Gaza rocket could start a fire Alex Fishman - Ynet - Since the end of the fighting in late August, Israel favored the calm in the Gaza vicinity over dealing with Hamas` military rehabilitation process. No one is naïve here: Israel saw that Hamas was rebuilding its power, but preferred the calm over a resumption of the conflict. We should only hope, therefore, that the change in the Israeli policy we witnessed over the past weekend has nothing to do with the upcoming elections and only stems from clear security-related considerations. [bz]21/12/2014
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Who says Palestinians don’t have a vote in Israeli elections?By Michael Schaeffer - +972 - By warning that a Palestinian UN resolution might strengthen Netanyahu, Kerry is actually suggesting that Palestinians can influence Israeli elections — just not in the direction Washington was hoping for. But why should the Palestinians hold off on their aspirations for equality and national self- determination in order to give the Israelis time to elect a new government, when it is not clear that that government would have anything to offer them? ak 21/12/2014
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What Will Israel Become?Roger Cohen - New York Times - “We are not willing to accept that mothers and fathers on the other side don’t want peace. They also want it, and I understand that they have a lack of hope just like here.” ak21/12/2014
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Zionist Christians’ war on the true meaning of ChristmasActivestills - +972 - "It’s time to stop calling such groups Christian Zionists and instead use the term Zionist Christians, to more accurately reflect their priorities." - id 20/12/2014
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Europe`s symbolic solidarity with PalestinePatrick Strickland - Al-Jazeera - "As various European parliaments express support for a Palestinian state, critics say more substantive action is needed." - id 20/12/2014
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The hand that holds the status quo togetherNoam Sheizaf - +972 - "The negotiations are not balanced: one side is holding all the cards while the other depends on its good will; one side is in a state of emergency, and the other can ignore the issue altogether." - id 20/12/2014
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Will the real unilateralists please stand up?Peter Beinart - Haaretz - Why is Israel suddenly so offended by unilateralism? The Gaza disengagement was unilateral. So was building the separation barrier. It’s hard to think of anything more unilateral than settlement expansion: Virtually the entire world opposes it, and yet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu does it anyway. In fact, unilateralism – the idea that Jews should rely on themselves rather than the tender mercies of the gentile world – is deeply ingrained in Israeli political culture. As David Ben-Gurion famously said, “What matters is not what the goyim say, but what the Jews do.” As recently as last month, while speaking about Iran, Netanyahu proclaimed his unilateralism proudly. Israel, he said, “reserves its right to defend itself by itself.” [bz]19/12/2014
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Israeli Forces Kill Palestinian Civilian in Qalandya Refugee Camp, North of Occupied JerusalemPalestinian Centre for Human Rights - In excessive use of force, on Tuesday early morning, 16 December 2014, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian civilian in Qalandya refugee camp, north of occupied Jerusalem. The aforementioned civilian was killed when Israeli forces moved into the said refugee camp to arrest Palestinians. A number of Palestinian youngsters gathered and threw stones at Israeli soldiers to stop arrests. As a result, a civilian was wounded as he was standing on the roof of his family`s house in Antar quarter in the north of the refugee camp.-rh17/12/2014
Triple Race to Fiftieth AnniversaryAdam Keller - Crazy Country - "For the first time in quite a while, the Likud winning the elections and Netanyahu`s remaining in power no longer seem to be a self-evident outcome." - id 17/12/2014
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Podcast: Larry Derfner of 972Mag.com on Israeli electionsRay Hanania - The Arab Daily News - "Netanyahu has been one of the most rightwing extremists in Israel and he has carefully redirected Israel away from the peace process and used his office to provoke violence and confrontation." - id 17/12/2014
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Automatic American veto era is coming to an endAlon Pinkas - Ynet - Israel`s residents can`t remember a situation in which the United States did not veto an anti-Israel proposal at the United Nations Security Council. They can`t remember because it never happened." - id 17/12/2014
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Hamas removed from EU terrorist list on technicalityReuters, AP - Ynet News - European Union General Court annuls decision to keep Hamas on list of terrorist organizations, but temporarily maintained measures against it for three months or until an appeal was closed.-rh17/12/2014
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Palestinians sceptical of UN statehood vote : The repercussions of a resolution that ends the Israeli occupation would have a resounding effect on Palestinians.Creede Newton - Aljazeera - But a lack of US support may not end the issue entirely. The recent wave of recognition of a Palestinian state by European parliaments gave him further hope that "there might well be sanctions" taken against Israel, should they refuse to comply.-rh17/12/2014
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European Parliament wants Palestinian state as part of two-state solutionAssociate Press - Compromise resolution supports `in principle recognition of Palestinian statehood` but as part of two-state solution with Israel.-rh17/12/2014
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A united Israeli-Arab party could force Netanyahu outMazal Mualem - Al-Monitor - "Ultimately, all the Arab parties and their Knesset members will have to rise above themselves, their egos and quarrels, and unite in a genuine way. Otherwise they will squander an historic opportunity to increase their political strength and have real influence in replacing Netanyahu.” id 17/12/2014
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US Feels The Heat On Palestine Vote At UNJonathan Cook - Countercurrents - But while Europe is tentatively finding a voice in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, silence reigns across the Atlantic. The White House appears paralysed, afraid to appear out of sync with world opinion but more afraid still of upsetting Israel and its powerful allies in the US Congress.-rh 17/12/2014
Bypassing Israel: The necessity of recognition in European capitalsScott Ratner - Mondoweiss - Essentially every state in the international community has made it clear since at least the 1970s that the Palestinian people are entitled to a sovereign state on the 22 percent of Mandatory Palestine that Zionist forces did not conquer in 1948. This recognition does not, nor has ever, come with the stipulation that such a state must be premised or conditioned upon adhering to what Israel defines as its “national security.” -rh 17/12/2014
`Truth commission` uncovers the history of Bedouin dispossessionTom Pessah - +972 - Zochrot, an Israeli NGO, is experimenting with ways to bring awareness about the Palestinian Nakba to the Jewish Israeli public. After two years of preparations, they convened an informal Public Truth Commission at Ben-Gurion University in Beersheba last week, in order to examine the displacement of Palestinians in the Negev/Naqab by Israeli forces that took place from 1948 to 1960. Why until 1960? Most people are actually unaware of the fact the majority of local Bedouin tribes were driven off their lands into either Sinai, the West Bank, or an isolated reservation east of Beersheba (the “Sayag”) in the 1950s – long after the war ended.-rh17/12/2014
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Death of Ziad Abu Ein could work to Abbas’ advantageDaoud Kouttab - Al-Monitor - On a strategic level, the death of Abu Ein will certainly help Abbas and Fatah demonstrate that their policy of nonviolent resistance is a serious strategy that needs to be encouraged and expanded. Fatah is holding its seventh congress on Jan. 2 in Ramallah, and there is no doubt that the story of the new martyr and his effort to save Palestinian land with his body will resonate and produce a much more serious plan for Palestinian statehood based in large part on the need to support nonviolent popular resistance.-rh 17/12/2014
Israeli parliament seeks to bar Arab lawmakerWilliam Booth - The Washington Post - In June, soon after three Jewish Israeli teenagers were abducted as they hitchhiked home from their religious schools in the occupied West Bank — but before it was known they had been killed — Zoabi told Radio Tel Aviv that she did not believe the kidnappers were terrorists. “Is it strange that people living under occupation and living impossible lives, in a situation where Israel kidnaps new prisoners every day, is it strange that they kidnap?” she asked.-rh17/12/2014
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Israel tries to head off UN resolution calling for West Bank withdrawal in two yearsBEN LYNFIELD - The Independent - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today mounted a last-ditch effort to thwart a Palestinian and Arab bid to pass a UN Security Council resolution calling for Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank within two years.-rh17/12/2014
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The wave of Jerusalem attacks Israelis don’t hear aboutLarry Derfner - +972 - One hundred Palestinian bus drivers in the capital have actually quit their jobs... [but] even the head of transportation for the Jerusalem Municipality didn’t know that local Palestinian bus drivers had been getting attacked regularly until one of them was found hanged in his bus last month. [bz]16/12/2014
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The first step toward Jewish-Arab cooperation is a knock at the doorChibli Mallat - +972 - The political scene in Israel is in disarray. The traditional separation of 1948 territory into two states is giving way to a one-state discourse introduced by Zionist leaders, mostly from the Right, designed to avoid giving up any territory. Extremism rules the day, threatening to swallow any remaining decency. But, if Tzipi Livni or Isaac Herzog were to knock on Haneen Zoabi or Ahmad Tibi’s door, or vice-versa, with a view to form some sort of humanist understanding of the future, the chess deck might suddenly brighten up with new trajectories. [The writer is a law professor in Lebanon and the U.S. and the chairman of Right to Nonviolence, a Middle East NGO based in Beirut-bz]16/12/2014
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Herzl’s Vision Realized: Israel as ‘Outpost of Western Civilisation in Asia’ Chandra Kumar--Western countries have used Israel to advance Western imperial interests, with remarkable levels of hypocrisy and racism. (WH) dn14/12/2014
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Why does the U.S. support Israel’s ‘Jim Crow’ government?Stanley Heller--The intention of the Israeli government to have its parliament declare Israel to be the “nation state of the Jewish people” has created a political storm. A thousand Israeli Jews led by Peace Now protested in Tel Aviv against the legislation. The bill’s consideration played a part in the sudden collapse of the Netanyahu government. In the U.S. most are bewildered. Who cares about a few words? The words do matter. They were to become part of Israel’s Basic Laws (Israel has no constitution). dn14/12/2014
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U.S. torture report shows the danger of Israel`s legal loopholesNadeem Shehadeh and Amjad Iraqi--In American discourse, torture is a dark stain on the country’s recent history. In Israel, there is no law against torture and the justification of its use is still mainstream. dn14/12/2014
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Suicide Note from Palestine (2014)Freedom Theatre--One day before her final exams, Amal has a concerning nightmare: she is Palestine and she has decided to die. Amal’s nightmare drafts between confusion, torture and despair – notions set as strange characters that symbolise some of the key players in world politics that shape the history, land, politics and occupation of her country. dn14/12/2014
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Anti-BDS Professors Launch Push To Ban 4 Far Right Israeli LeadersDebra Nussbaum Cohen--A nascent group of well-known academics is calling on the U.S. government and European Union to impose personal sanctions on four prominent Israelis “who lead efforts to insure permanent Israeli occupation of the West Bank and to annex all or parts of it unilaterally in violation of international law.” dn14/12/2014
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Why is Israel preventing rights experts from entering Gaza?Amira Hass--Israel prevented experts from Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch from entering the Gaza Strip during Operation Protective Edge, and it still is preventing them. As a result, no independent professionals (for example, a certain retired British military officer) have been able to check in real time the army’s claims and versions; for example, about weapons caches or firing near or from inside UN buildings. If the Israel Defense Forces and its legal advisers were so sure they were adhering to international law, why were they scared to let these experts enter Gaza – alongside the many journalists who were allowed in? dn 14/12/2014
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European states should welcome and facilitate the return of surviving European Jews and their descendants. Ghada Karmi--Some 60,000 Jews from Thessaloniki were deported to Nazi concentration camps in 1943 [Reuters] While on a visit to Thessaloniki in northern Greece, I was taken to the old Jewish quarter in the south of the city by the waterfront. This sad, deserted place had once been the centre of a thriving Jewish community which had lived there until 1942. It had been composed of mainly Sephardic Jews who had fled Christian persecution in Spain.dn 13/12/2014
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Majority of Israeli Jews support bus segregation, survey findsDahlia Scheindlin - +972 "Surveys by Israeli Democracy Index and Tel Aviv University find that most Israeli Jews prefer separate buses for Jews and Palestinians in the West Bank; one-quarter of Arab respondents support the torching of Jerusalem’s only mixed Jewish-Arab school." ca12/12/2014
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We Will Never Know Whether Torture Works. That Shouldn`t Matter.Yishai Schwartz - The New Republic "It would be lovely if we lived in a just world where efficacy and morality were always aligned, where we never had to ask ourselves difficult, gut-wrenching questions—because, after all, torture never works anyway. But wishing doesn’t make it so, and too-fervent wishing has veered some commentators into dangerous over-readings of the available empirical evidence" ca12/12/2014
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PA official dies after being assaulted by Israeli soldierMa`an News Agency - Ziad Abu Ein, 55, died after an Israeli soldier beat him on the chest with his helmet in the village of Turmsayya in the Ramallah district, the director of the committee`s information center, Jamil al-Barghouthi, told Ma`an.-rh11/12/2014
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What does French vote really mean for Palestine? To really make a difference, France must go beyond rhetorical statements.Alain Gresh - Aljazeera - To really make a difference, it is necessary to go beyond rhetorical statements and clearly point to the Israeli government`s responsibility in blocking the process. Thus, bear the consequences by imposing sanctions, as France did against Russia or Iran. In that sense, the EU, being the first partner of Israel, could impose a ban on all products made in the settlements.-rh 11/12/2014
Palestinian prisoners’ resistance escalates as occupation increases use of solitary confinementSamidoun - Nahar al-Saadi, 33, has been on hunger strike for 16 consecutive days in protest of denial of family visits and solitary confinement; al-Saadi has been held in solitary confinement since May of 2013, despite an earlier agreement with Palestinian prisoners to abolish solitary confinement in order to end the mass hunger strike of April 2012.-rh 11/12/2014
How Netanyahu Committed Political SuicideAlon Ben-Meir - History News Network - Prime Minster Netanyahu’s insistence on passing a bill that will define Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people is as disgraceful as his denial that Israel is not an occupying power. If the bill were to pass now or in the future, it would blow up what’s left of Israel’s democracy and destroy rather than save the Jews’ last haven for which they have yearned for centuries.-rh 11/12/2014
The Young Woman at the Forefront of Jerusalem`s New Holy WarSARAH HELM - Newsweek - The women talk of how, a few days earlier, Latifa, aged 24, was arrested at this gate with eight others. She was accused of causing trouble by crying “Allahu Akbar” as the Jews tried to pray. The chant is called the takbir and means “God is great”. Women were hit by the police, they say, and some had their veils torn off.-rh11/12/2014
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How Israel Treats African `Infiltrators` : Law Mistreats Asylum Seekers — and Shames Jewish HistoryYehuda Bauer - The Jewish Daily Forward - In fact, Israel grants the right to work in Israel to a very large number of migrant workers, who outnumber the refugees from Sudan and Eritrea. The migrant workers are invited from non-African countries where people don’t face harm if they return, such as the Philippines, Thailand, Sri Lanka, etc. It appears that the refugees from Eritrea and Sudan who are threatened by their regimes endure discrimination in Israel mostly for the color of their skin.-rh 11/12/2014
Time for international community to hold Israel accountable — here`s howHiba Husseini and Omar M. Dajani - +972 - What is needed is a coherent and sustained effort by the international community to enable Palestinians to secure their fundamental rights as individuals and as a people. International recognition of Palestine – and, by extension, of the Palestinians’ right to self-determination in their homeland – is an important part of that effort. But it must be complemented by unequivocal non-recognition of the legitimacy of Israel’s continuing presence in the Palestinian territory, as well as further steps to define the framework for an eventual negotiated settlement.-rh11/12/2014
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New mooovie remembers cows that `threatened` IsraelDaoud Kuttab - Al-Monitor - Audiences across the globe might not initially believe that this agricultural act is innocent, but to the Israeli army, which was terrified of Palestinians becoming self-sufficient, this was nothing short of a declaration of war. Israeli military officers interviewed for the film admit that they were concerned that this action would spread, empowering Palestinians. Until the very last scene of the film, Israeli military officials were curious as to what happened to the cows.-rh 11/12/2014
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A Country That Never Wanted Me : Israel`s new nationality law only confirms what Arabs already knew: We aren`t welcome.SAYED KASHUA - Foreign Policy - To “enshrine in law” is the phrase the government of Israel uses when it discusses the Jewish nationality act. This phrase implies that the situation already exists de facto. So why not “enshrine” it in law? Discrimination already exists in every sphere of life, so why not make inequality between Jews and non-Jews legal as well?-rh 10/12/2014
Israel-Hezbollah deterrence game continuesBen Caspit - Al Monitor - "The reported airstrike against a convoy on its way from Lebanon to Syria has not yet sparked a strong reaction by Hezbollah against Israel, probably because its patron Iran is still negotiating a nuclear deal." - id 10/12/2014
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2014: The Political Year in ReviewRami G. Khouri - This Week in Palestine - This year may a historic shift away from the two dominant failed legacies - American-mediated peace negotiations and armed-struggle resistance leading to savage Israeli attacks, primarily against Gaza - towards a new and potentially more effective diplomatic strategy. This combines the use of international organisations and the power of European recognition to achieve meaningful Palestinian statehood, together with bottom-up activism such as the BDS movement. ak9/12/2014
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Israel tested in balancing faith and democracyJodi Rudoren - New York Times - New bill emphasizing state`s Jewishness was the last straw which broke the government. Israelis from across the political spectrum and leaders of the Jewish diaspora have denounced such proposals as superfluous, redundant, embarrassing, dangerous and ill timed. Palestinians within Israel and outside it are also virulently opposed, but they say it unmasks what they call a facade of a democracy that has long been discriminatory.[bz] 9/12/2014
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IDF earmarking West Bank firing zones for settler expansion, figures showChaim Levinson - Haaretz - The state’s official position is that the firing zones are used for operational purposes only, in keeping with international law, but are actually being used to keep the Palestinians out. Dror Etkes has analyzed the extensive geographical information in the hands of the Civil Administration and says it shows that the administration has been surveying and mapping the old state lands recently, although these are firing zones, and (...) in 2012, 900 dunams were taken from a firing zone and given to the settlement of Sha’arei Tikva, additional uses being planned including construction of an industrial zone. [bz]9/12/2014
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Israeli Anti-Semitism - Social Pathology of NihilismNorman Pollack - CounterPunch - "How can a Jewish nation be anti-Semitic? That’s just it, its exclusiveness—the pending Nationality Law, passed by the Cabinet, and now to be introduced in the Knesset–predicated on the exclusion of the Other as the means of affirming the self, represents the social pathology of nihilism (the cheapening of all life except that of its own; denial of the suffering and degradation caused the Other, in the name of its imagined superiority and closeness to God)" [ry]8/12/2014
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Indyk tells Bennett: You are living in a different realityYitzhak Benhorin--Economy minister criticizes `peace-making industry` for trying to solve an `unsolvable problem,` as interviewer Indyk accuses Israeli right of treating US officials with lack of respect without having to pay a price. dn7/12/2014
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Israel opposition leader: peace is "absolutely possible" with the Palestinians The Guardian-- video about 2 minutes7/12/2014
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Israel`s Druze ambassador can`t defend the nation-state lawBahij Mansour--Jerusalem`s envoy to the Dominican Republic says the Jewish nation-state bill sends a clear message to the Druze of Israel: You are not our allies. Last May Israel celebrated its 66th Independence Day. For all those years the Druze community struggled and strived for full equality and for full integration into Israeli society. Now, the government intends to pass a bill that would ignore the existence of our community and its contributions and sacrifices towards the vision of establishing the nation-state of the Jewish people as a Jewish, democratic and equitable state. dn7/12/2014
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What to look out for in Israeli electionsDan Perry (Associated Press) - Ynet - From Lieberman`s peace plan, to Kachlon`s new party, to a rise in Israeli Arab voter turnout – these are a number of the less discussed factors that could prove decisive in upcoming election. [bz]6/12/2014
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A good line from a Jewish fatherGeorge S. Hishmeh - The Jordan Times "For a clearer situation of life in Jerusalem, the opening paragraph by Nathan Thrall in the “London Review of Books” tells it like it is: “What the government of Israel calls its eternal, undivided capital is among the most precarious, divided cities in the world. When it conquered the eastern part of Jerusalem and the West Bank — both administered by Jordan — in 1967, Israel expanded the city’s municipal boundaries threefold. As a result, approximately 37 per cent of Jerusalem’s current residents are Palestinians. They have separate buses, schools, health facilities, commercial centres, and speak a different language." ca5/12/2014
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What Israel`s founding fathers never imaginedZeev Sternhell - Haaretz "The gravediggers of liberty and equality of our time are dragging Israel down toward the violent and fanatic Third World that surrounds us. The politicians of the centrist parties would do well to draw their own conclusions as the election approaches, and use all the energy and honesty that they still have to prevent the disasters that are on their way." ca5/12/2014
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Israelis, listen to the worldEditorial - Haaretz "The world’s message must become an important issue in the election campaign. Israelis will be required to choose between a government that increases Israel’s isolation and one that brings Israel back to the family of nations." ca5/12/2014
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Abbas and the ISIS schemeDina Ezzat - Al-Ahram "Arab heavyweights are backing Abbas’s Palestinian Authority, not in the hope of reaching a final status deal with Israel, but in order to focus on ISIS and militant threats...“It is not about what we prefer; it is rather about what we can deliver,” the PA diplomat said. With this mind set, Palestinian and other Arab, including Egyptian, diplomats are speaking of “intensive and progressing” consultations that bring together the PA, Israel, Egypt, Jordan, the US and the EU." ca5/12/2014
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A defensive Netanyahu announces elections hours after firing opposition members Lapid and LivniAllison Deger - Mondoweiss - Within hours of giving their statements decrying Netanyahu, both Knesset members were dismissed from their posts. The prime minister’s office circulated a notice of the termination two hours before Netanyahu called for an unusual 8:00 pm press conference where he announced the coming elections.-rh4/12/2014
Top 10 reasons Israel should be going to early electionsAmi Kaufman - +972 - From bombs dropped on innocent children in Gaza to the increasing gap between rich and poor, there are many good reasons why the current government needs to go.-rh 4/12/2014
Pssst! Is Israel going crazy?Philip Weiss - Mondoweiss - There was that argument in the Knesset in which a Palestinian parliamentarian was dragged out after calling Moshe Feiglin a “fascist.” There’s that Avigdor Lieberman “peace plan” that has just one idea: pay Palestinians to leave Israel. And that from the country’s Foreign Minister! There’s the prime minister’s bill to bar the Palestinian flag as an “enemy” flag at demonstrations and deport Palestinian Israelis accused of crimes to Gaza.-rh4/12/2014
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Palestinians prepare push for UN resolution on statehoodDaoud Kuttab - Al-Monitor - The Arab League has agreed to submit a draft resolution calling for recognition of the state of Palestine as Palestinians gear up for a diplomatic showdown at the UN Security Council.-rh 4/12/2014
Note to Adelson : An occupying regime is neither democratic, nor Jewish, a co-founder of Breaking the Silence writes.Yehuda Shaul - The Jewish week - While democracy is not an imperative feature of Israel for Adelson, Judaism is. To understand his vision of the Jewish state’s character, there is no need to activate one’s imagination or search in far away places. It is enough to visit Hebron. The importance of the city in Jewish history is undeniable.-rh4/12/2014
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The Insecurity That Lies Beneath Israel`s `Jewish Nation` Bill : Right Wing Backers Worry About One-State FutureJ.J. Goldberg - The Jewish Daily Forward - Holding onto the territories, maintaining a single state between the Jordan and the Mediterranean, means creating a binational state. The advocates face growing pressure — and anger — from the military, academic, arts and legal communities and other sectors, all demanding to know how Israel can absorb two million-plus West Bank Palestinians without losing the Zionist vision of a Jewish state.-rh 4/12/2014
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French MPs vote in favor of recognizing Palestine state Ma`an News - Palestinians are seeking to achieve statehood in Gaza and the Israeli-occupied West Bank with east Jerusalem as the capital. With little progress on reaching a settlement, they have been lobbying foreign powers for international recognition.-rh4/12/2014
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Arab-Israeli school in Jerusalem `set on fire` and walls sprayed with racist graffitiLamiat Sabin - The Independent - The school CEO Shuli Dichter said, as reported by the Jewish Press: "This is not the first time that our shared civic endeavor has been targeted. Even when they stain our school walls, they will not succeed in destroying our work.-rh4/12/2014
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Israel`s elections: A referendum on NetanyahuNoam Sheizaf - +972 - "There won’t be any new Bibi. Only the old Bibi, older. Netanyahu is closer than ever to Naftali Bennett and the settlers." - id3/12/2014
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When Israel needed unity, Netanyahu went to divissive voteOmer Benjakob - Ynet - "Timing of Netanyahu`s call for election almost as disquieting as reason he gave, but however dismal current situation is, we can be sure Netanyahu`s next government will only be worse." - id 3/12/2014
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Israeli nationality bill negates Palestinian self-determinationAkiva Eldar - Al Monitor - "Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s stubborn insistence on pushing through the nationality bill is not driven by political motives alone, but reflect his and his cohorts` belief that the Palestinians are not even a people." - id 2/12/2014
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Israel Provoking Violence as a Political WeaponRay Hanania - The Arab Daily News - "Ever since he was elected prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu has said one thing very clearly: He opposes the peace process and creation of a Palestinian State as surely as rightwing Republicans who support him oppose the Affordable Care Act introduced by President Barack Obama." - id 2/12/2014
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Government sponsored price tagEli Aminov - AIC - The visits by representatives of the Israeli government who arrived at the vandalised school were a clear display of the regime`s hypocrisy; While they support the state of the Jewish race, they denounce those who implement the conclusions resulting from this [ry]1/12/2014
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Why is Jewish violence always a reaction to Palestinian violence?Fady Khoury - +972 - The arson attack against the bilingual school in Jerusalem was committed within a broader political framework: it is an extension of institutionalized violence and ought to be traced back to incitement by right-wing Israeli politicians preaching for blind patriotism and hatred of the ‘other’ [ry]1/12/2014
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