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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
Any resistance becomes an “act of terror”James J. Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute - What Israel will not acknowledge and is attempting to obfuscate is that their 50 year long illegal occupation has driven a captive people to resist their systematic oppressive violence. In the process, Israel terms every Palestinian response “terrorism.” Whether throwing rocks at checkpoints, boycotting Israeli products or writing op-eds and going on a hunger strike—all become “terrorist” acts. [bz for dn] 23/4/2017
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Zionist Colonization is not "exceptional" –a Marxist viewpointThis article aims to challenge the rather widely accepted claim that the nature of Zionist settler colonization is exceptional 1 and even "defies appeal to any precedent that can usefully be invoked as to its evolution and eventual revolution".23/4/2017
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A Just Bill for PalestiniansChristian Sorensen - CounterPunch - "What would a just U.S. foreign policy look like? This faux bill lays forth a vision regarding one pillar of such a policy: justice for Palestinians." - id 21/4/2017
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Big Data, Big Brother and Little DavidRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "Israel has made poetry a crime when practiced by Palestinians."..."In Jerusalem, I dressed my wounds and breathed my sorrows And carried the soul in my palm." - id For an Arab Palestine. 21/4/2017
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Could Barghouti become Israel’s peace partner? Ronni Shaked - Ynet - "Through a hunger strike in Israel’s prisons, Marwan Barghouti wishes to fulfill his achievements in the last Fatah elections and position himself as Abbas’ successor. It may be time for Israel to change its tune and try to talk to the man who the Palestinians see as their leader." - id 21/4/2017
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CUI BONO? Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - In Syria, a terrible war crime has been committed. The civilian population in a rebel-held town called Idlib was hit with poison gas. Dozens of civilians, including children, died a miserable death. Who could do such a thing? The answer was obvious: that terrible dictator, Bashar al-Assad. Who else? And so, within a few minutes (literally) the New York Times and a host of excellent newspapers throughout the West proclaimed without hesitation: Assad did it! No need for proof. No investigation. It was just self-evident. Of course Assad. Within minutes, everybody knew it. A storm of indignation swept the Western world. He must be punished! Poor Donald Trump, who does not have a clue, submitted to pressure and ordered a senseless missile strike on a Syrian airfield, after preaching for years that the US must under no circumstances get involved in Syria. Suddenly he reversed himself. Just to teach that bastard a lesson. And to show the world what a he-he-he-man he, Trump, really is.-rh 20/4/2017
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An Israeli minister has threatened genocide in Lebanon, but where is the outcry? Asa Winstanley - Middle East Monitor - Liberal Zionist newspaper Haaretz published an interview with Naftali Bennett, Israel’s education minister and member of the security cabinet, in which he threatened to make Lebanon a free-fire zone: “Lebanese institutions, its infrastructure, airport, power stations, traffic junctions, Lebanese Army bases; they should all be legitimate targets if a war breaks out,” he claimed. If Lebanese missiles were then fired “at the Israeli home front, this will mean sending Lebanon back to the Middle Ages.”-rh19/4/2017
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NYT public editor: Failure to detail Barghouti’s crimes discredits usStuart Winer and Times of Israel staff - Times of Israel "Paper acknowledges that op-ed-writing prison hunger-strike leader was convicted of `five counts of murder and membership in a terrorist organization`." ca19/4/2017
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Israeli Government Is Petrified of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement Mark Karlin - Truthout - Rebecca Vilkomerson: In our advocacy work for Palestinian rights, we must always be vigilant for cases of real antisemitism directed against Jewish people -- as opposed to protest against the Israeli state -- just as we need to do more to combat all forms of bigotry and oppression in all of our movements.-rh19/4/2017
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Will the NYT start noting the violent pasts of Israeli contributors, too?Lisa Goldman - +972 "There was much uproar from the Israeli government and its supporters following the publication of a Marwan Barghouti op-ed in the New York Times. But where was the outcry when the paper published op-eds by Israelis with violent pasts?" ca19/4/2017
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Israeli Chief Rabbis Endorse Ethnic Cleansing, Palestinian ServitudeRichard Silverstein — Tikun Olam "The chief Rabbi acknowledged that Israel was currently not in a position to execute this plan; primarily because of the resistance to it from the non-Jewish world. However, he said that in the time of the messiah Israel would be in a position to implement this plan. And he looked forward to the Messianic era with great joy and anticipation." ca19/4/2017
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Abbas ready for visit to WashingtonDaoud Kuttab - Al-Monitor - While the Palestinian leader’s visit to Washington is to focus primarily on the peace process and the efforts of Trump’s peace envoy, Jason Greenblatt, to kick-start the talks again, it is expected that Abbas will also deal with several bilateral issues. These include security cooperation and intelligence exchange between the United States and Palestinian security on local, regional and international areas of mutual concern, and continued political and financial support by the Trump administration to the Palestinian people and government, sources in the Palestinian leadership told Al-Monitor.-rh 19/4/2017
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Eimear McBride in the West Bank: ‘All that is human in me recoils from this’Eimear McBride - The Irish Times - I had not thought about the world for a very long time and, of all places, this place had seemed easier to ignore. I am driving down to Jericho now and, for the first time in a week, I breathe. Not because I have become accustomed to the hassle of checkpoints or seeing young men and women, still teenagers some, looking out at me from behind guns that they know how to use. Not because I have stopped noticing how grown men and women close themselves up behind a mask of quietude in order to cope with their every movement being at the whim of those same youngsters.-rh19/4/2017
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Take a tour of West Jerusalem`s Palestinian history: A new documentary brings the hidden urban Palestinian history of West Jerusalem on to screens everywhere. Mary Pelletier - Aljazeera - Based on a series of tours through Katamon and Baka, former Palestinian neighbourhoods where Arab identity was swiftly erased after the 1948 Nakba, the project "Jerusalem, We Are Here" is a web-based interactive documentary that takes viewers on a journey in Jerusalem. The documentary revives the culturally rich landscape of Palestinian West Jerusalem, based around an interactive map embedded with original film footage, photographs, interviews and audio, directed and produced by Dorit Naaman.-rh 19/4/2017
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How Israeli soldiers interrogated meFarah Najjar and Shatha Hammad - Aljazeera - Currently, there are 6,500 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails. The number includes 300 children and 53 women, according to the Jerusalem-based Palestinian prisoners support and human rights association, Addameer. Laith Abu Zeyad, Addameer`s international advocacy officer told Al Jazeera that between 500 and 700 arrests of children are made each year in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Upon arrest, Palestinian civilians residing in the West Bank are sent to be tried in Israeli military courts, where conviction rates are as high as 99.7 percent, according to Abu Zeyad. Being tried in a military tribunal is a violation of international law, and means that civilians` due process rights are routinely disrespected.-rh 19/4/2017
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Haaretz columnist compares Barghouti to Irgun and Lehi fightersIsaac Dabush - YnetNews - In an acrimonious interview with Minister of Tourism Yariv Levin, Haaretz columnist and Army Radio interviewer Ravit Hecht draws angry reactions by comparing convicted murderer and terrorist Marwan Barghouti to fighters from the Irgun and Lehi.-rh19/4/2017
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Why is this year different for Israeli civil society organizations?Akiva Eldar - Al-Monitor - The traditional Passover Haggadah includes a series of questions designed to spark the curiosity of the children about the Exodus story. In addition to offering questions about why this night is different from other nights and the words to “We Were Slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt,” the “Jubilee Haggadah” includes commentary by Jewish thinkers from Israel and the United States. One of the first pages contains a lament penned by the writer Amos Oz in August 1967, some three months after the war. “We are condemned now to rule people who do not want to be ruled by us,” the noted author wrote in “Davar,” the now-defunct daily newspaper of the then-ruling Labor Party, “condemned, not merry and euphoric.” Oz warned that all occupations corrupt the occupier. “I have fears about the kind of seeds we will sow in the near future in the hearts of the occupied,” he wrote. “Even more I have fears about the seed that will be planted in the hearts of the occupiers.” Like many of his friends on the political left, Oz did not imagine that five decades later Israelis would be “merry and euphoric,” celebrating the “liberation.”-rh 19/4/2017
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Israel Celebrates 50 Years As OccupierJonathan Cook - Countercurrents - Israel is to hold lavish celebrations over the coming weeks to mark the 50th anniversary of what it calls the “liberation of Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights” – or what the rest of us describe as the birth of the occupation. The centrepiece event will take place in Gush Etzion, south of Jerusalem. The West Bank settlement “bloc” enjoys wide support in Israel, not least because it was established long ago by the supposedly left-wing Labour party, now heading the opposition. The jubilee is a potent reminder that for Israelis, most of whom have never known a time before the occupation, Israel’s rule over the Palestinians seems as irreversible as the laws of nature. But the extravagance of the festivities also underscores the growth over five decades of Israel’s self-assurance as an occupier.-rh 19/4/2017
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Will Birthright Kowtow To Israel’s Right-wing Government? Rachael Stryer- The Forward "I’m active in the Stanford Hillel and deeply engaged with the conversation about Israel and with Israel advocacy on campus.So what’s the catch? I am a strong supporter of the two-state solution as the only way to secure Israel’s future as the democratic homeland of the Jewish people and to guarantee the rights of the Palestinian people. I see the occupation and the entrenchment and expansion of the settlement movement as a threat to these principles. Because of this, I make the personal choice not to buy products manufactured in Israeli settlements in the West Bank.According to a new law, this position means that I could potentially be banned from entering Israel." ca 19/4/2017
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Why We Are on Hunger Strike in Israel’s PrisonsMARWAN BARGHOUTI - NYT - Israel has established a dual legal regime, a form of judicial apartheid, that provides virtual impunity for Israelis who commit crimes against Palestinians, while criminalizing Palestinian resistance. (...) Israel has tried to brand us all as terrorists to legitimize its violations, including mass arbitrary arrests, torture, punitive measures and severe restrictions. As part of Israel’s effort to undermine the Palestinian struggle for freedom, an Israeli court sentenced me to five life sentences and 40 years in prison in a political show trial that was denounced by international observers. (...) Rights are not bestowed by an oppressor. Freedom and dignity are universal rights that are inherent in humanity, to be enjoyed by every nation and all human beings. Palestinians will not be an exception. Only ending occupation will end this injustice and mark the birth of peace. [bz]18/4/2017
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Barghouti got 5 life terms? Begin would have gotten 91! Adam Keller - Gush Shalom opposed the show trial of Marwan Barghouti, held in the Tel Aviv court, in which the verdict was clear from the outset. Gush activists, headed by Uri Avnery, at the time carried out protests at the courtroom and were removed by police. But perhaps there was one good result: Marwan Barghouti`s long imprisonment has brought him great sympathy among the Palestinian public, bringing him closer to a leadership position in which he could become a partner in making peace with the State of Israel. [bz]18/4/2017
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Palestinian citizens of Israel are key to resisting the occupationRida Abu Rass - +972 - If Palestinians with Israeli citizenship, those who have grown up in Israeli society and lived alongside Jewish Israelis, were to truly organize and leverage their unique position, it would be impossible to break without ripping off the mask of apartheid [ry]17/4/2017
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Palestine Retold: Palestine’s Tragic Anniversaries are Not Only About RemembranceRamzy Baroud - CounterPunch - "True, 2017 is burdened with significant and tragic anniversaries, but these dates should not be used as opportunities to protest, registering only a fleeting movement of solidarity. They should offer the chance to re-articulate a unified Palestinian discourse that crosses ideological and political lines" [ry]17/4/2017
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Palestinians make peace process a group effortAhmad Melhem - Al Monitor "After the Arab League Summit on March 29 in Jordan, Abdullah and Sisi set in motion political action in the United States to mobilize the peace process between Palestinians and Israelis. The two leaders are making their move based on agreements reached during the summit: Arab leaders there mainly agreed to work toward setting "a specific timetable for ending the conflict based on the two-state solution,” observing the Arab Peace Initiative adopted during a 2002 summit...The Palestinian Authority is relying on help from Egypt and Jordan to involve the United States in the peace process with Israel, though some Palestinians question whether the United States can participate without bias." ca 14/4/2017
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Before Blood Is Spilled Carolina Landsmann - Haaretz "Bennett and Weiss aren’t denying the violent potential of their crowd`s response, only making it clear that this is not uncontrolled violence.Violence is part of the nationalist right wing’s response arsenal, and since its use involves recognizing the strength and the potential victim’s importance, it could be said that the nationalist right is in the midst of an internal debate. Is Haaretz important enough to spill blood over? Indeed, anyone following the responses to articles in the newspaper that raise the far right’s rage can see they range between two extremes." ca 14/4/2017
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Where the Rubber Meets the RoadMike Whitney - Information Clearing House "You don’t have to be a genius to figure out that the case against Syrian President Bashar al Assad is extremely weak. The chemical weapons attack in Khan Shaykhun, has produced no smoking gun, no damning evidence, in fact, no evidence at all. Similar to the Russia hacking fiasco, (not a shred of evidence so far) the western media and the entire political class has made the case for attacking a sovereign country on the thin gruel of a few videos of an incident that took place in a location that is currently under the control of militant groups connected to al Qaida. That’s pretty shaky grounds for a conviction, don’t you think?" ca14/4/2017
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Peace Now: Israel`s new settlement policy an attempt to `fool international community`MA’AN NEWS AGENCY - Following an Israeli security cabinet decision to approve the first new illegal Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank in more than 20 years, when a new government policy of “restraint” on settlement expansion was also introduced, Israeli NGO and settlement watchdog Peace Now has accused Israel of attempting to “fool the international community,” saying the policy showed no restraint whatsoever.-rh13/4/2017
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Passover has become little more than an act of communal hypocrisy Robert Cohen - Mondoweiss - My proposed liturgical replacement also tells the story of slaves and of a Pharaoh. It also describes oppression and it shows a route to liberation. It represents all that makes Passover delegitimised and, simultaneously, exactly how it can be made legitimate once again. It was published last month on the 15th March. My recommended reading for your Passover celebration is the UN’s Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) report on Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid. Its authors are Professor Richard Falk, a former United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied and professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University; and Virginia Tilley, professor of political science at Southern Illinois University. Their report is not a rant or a “hate fest” against Israel. It’s measured in tone and scholarly in the presentation and analysis of international law. It even anticipates and addresses the main objections to its findings.-rh 12/4/2017
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Red Rag column - police violence in Israel - hunger strike by disabled - Minister of PropagandaGideon Spiro - I am in mourning over the untimely death of the journalist Gila Flint, a comrade in the struggle against racism and the Occupation. Her unique voice will be missed by those who valued her and loved her. gm12/4/2017
Trump, Jordan King focus on Palestinian StateRay Hanania - The Arab Daily News - "President Donald Trump and Jordan’s King Abdullah II met this week, their second meeting at the White House since Trump’s election, and discussed ways to achieve peace through the establishment of a State for Palestinians." - id12/4/2017
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‘He has caused chaos’: How Netanyahu’s media war nearly split his governmentRuth Eglash - The Washington Post - A political cartoon of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stretched out on a psychologist’s couch and clutching TV sets, radios and newspapers to his chest might be the best depiction of a crisis that threatened to bring down the Israeli government. The cartoon was published in the Israeli daily Haaretz just over a week ago as the prime minister tried to stop the launch of a new public broadcasting corporation that he once endorsed and even set in motion. On one level, the cartoon represented what many Israelis see as Netanyahu’s fantastical obsession with the media. In a deeper sense, however, it denotes what critics say appears to be his determination to weaken and ultimately control Israel’s small, Hebrew-language news industry.-rh 12/4/2017
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Israel`s `slow` plan for peaceDaoud Kuttab - Al-Monitor - The arrogance of Israeli politicians arguing for an almost indefinite continuation of illegal occupation and colonial settlement stems from one simple fact: The cost of occupation is so cheap that it gives them little incentive to tackle it, as the Israeli population has moved farther right and become more hawkish on the issue. The situation will only change once Palestinians, Arabs and the international community make Israel pay a serious price for its continued occupation and violations of human rights.-rh 12/4/2017
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Turmus Aya`s Palestinians threatened by settlement planLizzie Porter - Aljazeera - At the entrance of the Palestinian village Turmus Aya, in the occupied West Bank, a large sign, written in Hebrew, Arabic and English, warns visitors that "this road leads to Palestinian areas [sic]. It is dangerous for Israeli citizens to enter". Contrary to the sign`s warning, it is the Palestinian residents of this seemingly tranquil area who are more nervous, specifically about the recent encroachment from the Israeli settlements that surround their village. Turmus Aya, home to around 4,000 people, lies in the shadow of a string of such settlers` communities, which are illegal under international law. On a bump in the land directly to the north sits Shilo, a well-developed example, built in 1979 and home to around 3,000 illegal settlers.-rh 12/4/2017
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The political scenarios to defeat Netanyahu in early electionsAkiva Eldar - Al Monitor - " With the prospect for early elections in Israel, the Zionist Camp must decide whether to join forces with left-wing Meretz and its liberal- humanist ideology or tag along with Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid." - id 12/4/2017
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Could an offshore seaport be Gaza`s salvation?Shlomi Eldar - Al-Monitor - In an interview with Al-Monitor, a senior Hamas political bureau official in Gaza said that building an Israeli-inspired island under full Israeli control would result in the perpetuation of the blockade. “Your minister is willing to invest billions of dollars to build a port that will serve Israel’s security, but this money could be used for millions of far more logical and feasible solutions,” said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Israel has been playing with the idea that it can continue to rule over residents of the Strip from the air, sea and land, he said, but he noted, “This cannot go on forever.” The only solution, according to the official, is to allow the Palestinians to build a seaport on Gaza`s shore.-rh 12/4/2017
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The spoils of war: Trump lavished with media and bipartisan praise for bombing SyriaGlenn Greenwald - NationofChange — IN EVERY TYPE of government, nothing unites people behind the leader more quickly, reflexively or reliably than war. Donald Trump now sees how true that is, as the same establishment leaders in U.S. politics and media who have spent months denouncing him as a mentally unstable and inept authoritarian and unprecedented threat to democracy are standing and applauding him as he launches bombs at Syrian government targets.-rh 12/4/2017
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Fewer and fewer want to visit Israel Asa Winstanley - Jews for Justice for Palestinians - War crimes and apartheid are ultimately quite a hard act to sell. The reason behind Israel’s unpopularity is no secret and has nothing to do with antisemitism. Israel is losing the battle for hearts and minds not because it has the wrong marketing strategy, but because it treats Palestinians appallingly. This much should be obvious to all but the most unreasonable of people. That is why the BDS movement goes from strength to strength. It is also why Israel will continue to face the “existential threat” of BDS for as long as it continues to deny basic human rights to Palestinians.-rh 12/4/2017
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University of Exeter Must Not Normalize Israeli Apartheid Alex Clark - The Palestine Chronicle - The University of Exeter is a microcosm of university campuses across the UK. Activists for Palestine have been met every step of the way with repression from government bodies, and university managements which do their bidding, and give in easily to pressure from pro-Israel lobby groups. But they have also been met with support from many students. At Exeter, students will continue to fight for their right to protest, to support the work of their elected representatives, and to campaign for solidarity with the Palestinian people. They will not rest until they have achieved Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel, knowing that, as with South Africa in the 1980s and 1990s, freedom for Palestine will not be far behind.-rh12/4/2017
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Why this Likud MK presents unique challenge to NetanyahuMazal Mualem - Al-Monitor - Glick is a complicated, different and confusing character in the Knesset, which is controlled mostly by populist and simplistic black-and-white politics. He is never tempestuous and never coarse, in contrast with the belligerence that characterizes quite a few members of Knesset in the ruling party. All this also paradoxically turns him into a favorite of the left, and he is sometimes described as the sanest figure in the Likud, from which he doesn’t spare criticism: “When an entity is aggressive, it doesn’t make it more powerful. Thus, in my view, a party that tries to forcefully prevent a conference of [anti-occupation nongovernmental organization] Breaking the Silence or that works to revoke the citizenship of the director of [human rights group] B’Tselem because he spoke against Israel at the United Nations — is a weak party. But a party that allows itself to be generous and let the other express himself is a stronger entity,” he said.-rh 12/4/2017
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Hamas` new charter reveals a willingness to changeMenachem Klein - +972 - Despite what the usual media critics may say, Hamas’ new charter is evidence of a movement in flux, and one that — when the need arises — allows itself to be guided by pragmatism. [bz]11/4/2017
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Facebook vs Palestine: Implicit support for oppressionNadim Nashif - Al Jazeera - Facebook has been cooperating with the Israeli government to remove content the latter finds objectionable, including briefly shutting down the page of the political party Fatah in March, because of an old photo posted of former leader Yasser Arafat holding a rifle. On the other hand, Israelis, including government officials, routinely post inflammatory content about Palestinians without censure. [bz] 11/4/2017
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Normalization in the Name of Peace: How Israel Understands the Arab Peace InitiativeRamzy Baroud - CounterPunch - “While the US administration may rebrand its approach to the conflict, what truly interests Israel and its Americans backers is breaking Israel’s isolation through regional ‘peace’ pacts and separate deals – in other words, normalization under Occupation” [ry]10/4/2017
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What prompted Assad to use sarin gas?Yacov Ben Efrat - Challenge - In the early days of the Syrian uprising, before the name ISIS fell from anyone’s lips, Assad presented the following paradigm to the masses that opposed his terrorist regime: "Assad - or we will burn the country!" Assad promised and Assad delivered. He has raised the ante with the generous help of Russia, Iran and Hezbollah—and with the passive collusion of the rest of the world. We needn`t go back in time and blame the previous president (the present one makes sure to do so at every opportunity) in order to explain Trump’s earlier weakness against the war crimes in Syria. Already in 2013, Trump expressed his firm opposition to Obama`s policy of the Red Line when he tweeted: "Do not attack Syria, correct America." [bz for dn]9/4/2017
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A show of weakness: The ‘Israeli Peace Movement’ marches in Jerusalem Ofer Neiman - Considering the breadth of the organizing coalition, and the rather soft, mainstream-friendly agenda, devoid of a broad anti-colonial or anti-Zionist discourse, Saturday’s 1000 strong action was far from impressive. In defense of Saturday night’s demo in Jerusalem, the very presence of bilingual Hebrew-Arabic banners, with the slogan “Jews and Arabs stand together”, counters the extreme right wing’s hegemony in the city, where one often encounters mobs chanting “Death to the Arabs” and assaulting Palestinians. Furthermore, Israeli activists should never give up on trying to mobilize their public. But progress will require more critical thinking on their part.[bz]8/4/2017
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The Tunic of NessusUri Avnery - Gush Shalom - Now God has punished the people of Israel again by giving them a miraculous victory, and turning that same victory into a curse that is leading to disaster. For this purpose, God borrowed an idea from his Greek colleagues. [bz]8/4/2017
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After the Airstrikes on Syria, What’s Next?Editorial - NYT "it is also hard not to feel unsettled by the many questions raised by President Trump’s decision. Among them: Was it legal? Was it an impetuous, isolated response unrelated to a larger strategy for resolving the complex dilemma of Syria, a nation tormented not just by civil war but also by the fight against the Islamic State? So far, there is no evidence that Mr. Trump has thought through the implications of using military force or figured out what to do next." ca7/4/2017
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The Enemy Just Blinked: Why Hamas`s New Charter Is a Big Deal Björn Brenner - Haaretz "The revisions to Hamas’ infamously anti-Semitic and pro-violence founding document is unprecedented evidence that even an extremist organization is capable of change." ca 7/4/2017
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Israel Steps Up Dirty Tricks Against Boycott Leaders Jonathan Cook - Countercurrents - Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed cohorts of Israel loyalists in the United States by video link last week at the annual conference of Aipac, the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee. They should, he said, follow his government’s example and defend Israel on the “moral battlefield” against the growing threat of the international boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement. In Netanyahu’s simple-minded language, support for Palestinian rights, and opposition to the settlements, is equivalent to “delegitimisation” of Israel.-rh 5/4/2017
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HRW: Israel denying human rights workers access to GazaFarah Najjar - Aljazeera - In the report, titled "Unwilling or Unable: Israel Restrictions on Travel to and from Gaza for Human Rights Workers", the US-based organisation expressed concerns over the restriction of entry to human rights workers who require access to the strip in order to investigate possible crimes committed during the 2014 Israeli assault on Gaza.-rh 5/4/2017
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Despite pressure, the legitimacy of the state of Israel was questioned at a conference in Ireland Vyara Gylsen - Europalforum - "The conference has been central to the major current shift in terms of thinking about international law in relation to Israel - i.e. the shift from the limited focus on legal checks and balances on occupation, to the need to view (and respond to) the situation through the broader international legal prohibitions on settler colonialism and apartheid," the organisers said in a statement. "This is a crucial shift after fifty years of what clearly can no longer be excused as a `temporary` occupation, more than seventy years of partition and a century of colonisation sanctioned by imperial policy" they added.-rh 5/4/2017
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Does BDS ban hurt Israel?Akiva Eldar - Al-Monitor -Reacting to the March 6 legislation, the American Jewish Committee said in a statement, “As history has amply shown throughout the democratic world, barring entry to otherwise qualified visitors on the basis of their political views will not by itself defeat BDS.” The committee`s president, David Harris, warned that the new law would not “help Israel’s image as the beacon of democracy in the Middle East," but make it hard to defend its legitimacy. The Anti-Defamation League, another organization central to the American Jewish community, said the new bill hurts Israel and that its best defenses against the BDS movement are Israeli democracy, pluralism and the openness of its society.-rh 5/4/2017
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Israeli forces open fire at Palestinian homes, spray pesticides on crops in GazaMaa`an News Agency - Israeli forces opened fire on Tuesday morning at Palestinian houses and agricultural lands in eastern Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip. Witnesses told Ma`an that gunshots were fired from Israeli military pillboxes across the border fence, causing material damage to a number of houses. No injuries were reported. Separately, in the southeastern and central eastern parts of the Gaza Strip, Palestinian farmers reported that Israeli drones sprayed "poisonous pesticides” on crops near the borders with Israel. They added that fields of melon, watermelon, okra, and wheat were sprayed with pesticides that may harm the crops.-rh5/4/2017
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Professor who labelled Israel an ‘apartheid regime’ defends UN report stating Israelis have used same termHarriet Agerholm - Independent - Professor Falk also pointed out that "apartheid" had been used by a number senior Israeli politicians to describe the situation with the Palestinian people, including the country`s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion. He quoted a 1967 radio address from Mr Ben-Gurion, in which - according to Falk - he said "Israel would soon become an apartheid state" if it did not "rid itself of the territories and their Arab population as soon as possible."-rh 5/4/2017
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Can Netanyahu outmaneuver Trump?Ben Caspit -Al-Monitor - Trump is unpredictable and aggressive, and Netanyahu will go to great lengths to placate him. Netanyahu wants to make sure that Israel won’t be blamed for the inevitable dead end of any negotiations or explosion of the entire process. That is why the Cabinet hurried to close ranks with Netanyahu. First and foremost, a gesture of goodwill toward the president was in order.-rh 5/4/2017
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Israeli guidelines point to largely unconstrained settlement expansionPeter Beaumont - The Guardian - Israel has indicated it will pursue a unilateral policy of largely unconstrained settlement expansion in the occupied Palestinian territories, as it announced the first new settlement in two decades. While Israel’s new settlement construction guidelines were presented as evidence of restraint and a “goodwill gesture” to the administration of US President Donald Trump – who has asked Israel to slow construction – the details seem to indicate the opposite.-rh 5/4/2017
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Border Police officers indicted for assaulting PalestinianRoi Yanovsky -Ynetnews - According to the indictment, Yosef Abadi, 22, from Rishon Lezion, and Oshri Ohayon, 23, from Beit Shemesh, had assaulted a Palestinian with the butt of their rifle and even threatened to kill him, because they thought he was suspected of having carried out a stabbing attack. The two arrived at the Christian Quarter in the Old City in May 2016 following a report of a stabbing attack. When they noticed a Palestinian walking by, they suspected that he was the assailant, even though he was unarmed. They approached him, and one of the soldiers struck him with the butt of his rifle, without informing him that he was being arrested or detained and without questioning him.-rh 5/4/2017
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Sarah Silverman Condemns Occupation in Passover HaggadahNaomi Zeveloff - Forward - Comedian Sarah Silverman spoke out against Israel’s military occupation in a new Passover Haggadah timed with the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Six Day War, when Israel conquered the West Bank. “Of all the people, Jews know the bitterness of being oppressed — and not being in our own country,” she wrote. “That’s what makes the occupation all so ironic. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between right and wrong, the situation is complicated and scary, but I’m guessing oppression will always prove to be on the wrong side of history.”-rh 5/4/2017
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Why `it`s not apartheid` arguments fail: Response to NYT op-edDahlia Scheindlin - +972 - It doesn’t actually matter if Israel is a carbon copy of apartheid’s policies or not. It doesn’t matter whether the mentality is rooted in obsolete racial ideologies, or in the desire to decimate Palestinian statehood. The result is a systemic separation of Arabs from Jews, by education, by opportunity, by land, roads and water and, in the West Bank, by law. [bz]4/4/2017
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Why Israel Is Nothing Like Apartheid South AfricaBenjamin Pogrund - NYT - I am acutely aware of Israel’s problems and faults, but it is nothing like South Africa before 1994. Those who accuse Israel of apartheid — some even say, “worse than apartheid” — have forgotten what actual apartheid was, or are ignorant, or malevolent. [bz]4/4/2017
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`The occupation will collapse. And then we`ll build a moral society here`Yuli Novak - +972 - On Saturday night, thousands of Palestinians and Jews gathered in Jerusalem for an anti-occupation protest marking 50 years since the occupation began. Breaking the Silence head Yuli Novak spoke to demonstrators about the importance of solidarity and resistance to the violence and racism of the Israeli government. [bz for dn]2/4/2017
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Can J Street coherently fight both boycott and occupation?Noa Yachot - +972 - Students representing the university arm of J Street, the “pro-Israel, pro-peace lobby,” attracted the ire of the anti-BDS conference at the United Nations when they rose to ask how to counter BDS to fellow students who oppose Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories. [bz]1/4/2017
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Red Rag column - contamination of Israel PrizeGideon Spiro - The awarding of the Israel Prize to the settler David Be’eri, a promoter of the transfer of Palestinians from the neighbourhood of Silwan in East Jerusalem, contaminates the Israel Prize with racism and apartheid, and as such is a faithful expression of 50 years of Occupation. gm1/4/2017
Why I am determined to tell Palestinians` storiesJames Zogby- The National "It was 40 years ago that I cofounded the Palestine Human Rights Campaign (PHRC) and wrote Palestinians, the Invisible Victims. I was concerned that in the American mind, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict had been reduced to a simple equation: Israeli humanity versus the Palestinian problem...This framing of the issue was not by accident. Rather it was the result of a systematic campaign to dehumanise the one side while humanising the other. " ca " 31/3/2017
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Israel’s Most Controversial New TV Series Reveals the Lives of Palestinian Inmates Itay Stern - Haaretz  "The creators of `Megiddo,` a film that outraged Culture Minister Miri Regev, spent a year and half at a huge security prison documenting the tense reality there. " ca31/3/2017
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Abbas expects Arab summit backing ahead of talks with TrumpAssociated Press - Ynet News "The Palestinian president said he expects this year`s Arab League summit to deliver a `clear message to the world` about Palestinian rights; Abbas initially feared he would be sidelined by the Trump administration, which early on embraced Prime Minister Netanyahu, but Trump has since invited Abbas to the White House." ca31/3/2017
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The Ultimate Deal: Henry Siegman on the two-state solutionHenry Siegman - London Review of Books - Unlike Trump, Netanyahu is very much aware that Palestinians have recognised the State of Israel. But like Trump, Netanyahu lies shamelessly. And like Trump, who turned viciously on Obama after the outgoing president extended to him entirely undeserved consideration, Netanyahu is a total ingrate. He never acknowledged that the Palestinians recognised Israel’s legitimacy not only within the borders assigned to it in 1947 by the UN Partition Plan but also including territory assigned to the Palestinians and confiscated by Israel following its War of Independence in 1948, in defiance of Resolution 242 prohibiting the acquisition of territory as a result of war.-rh30/3/2017
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Arab MK: Israel must `pay a price` for occupationDaoud Kuttab - Al-Monitor - Ahmad Tibi, a Palestinian member of the Israeli Knesset, believes that a two-state solution is still the best way to address the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. In an Al-Monitor interview during Tibi’s short visit to Amman March 15, he acknowledged the declining fortunes of the two-state solution, but added that “despite a slow erosion of support among Palestinian citizens of Israel and despite not having a good chance of it ever being accomplished, I am still in support of the two-state solution."-rh 30/3/2017
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Palestinian student seized by Israeli occupation, denied access to lawyer for 19 daysSamidoun - Palestinian student Kifah Quzmar, a Bir Zeit University student, has been imprisoned at the Moskobiyeh interrogation in Jerusalem for the past 19 days without charge; he has been consistently denied access to a lawyer. In a press release issued by Bir Zeit University, Kifah’s brother Majd Quzmar noted that Kifah had been seized when returning from a trip at the Karameh/Allenby crossing from Jordan on 7 March. His presence in Israeli detention was denied by intelligence agencies until the fourth day after his arrest.-rh 30/3/2017
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The little NGO that managed to move an Israeli settlementRuth Eglash - The Washington Post - “In legal terms, the Amona case was simple. Someone had invaded private land and built structures on the property. But ultimately we were dealing with the Israeli government with all its power, not just the trespassers,” said Michael Sfard, Yesh Din’s legal adviser and a key figure in the fight against Amona for nearly a decade. -rh29/3/2017
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Anti-racism coalition claims Israeli extreme-right groups getting state fundsShlomi Eldar - Al-Monitor - An Israeli nonprofit dedicated to promoting tolerance presented on March 21 a report titled “Funding Racism" in the Knesset Committee on Transparency headed by Knesset member Stav Shaffir. The report by the Tag Meir forum indicates that the State of Israel provides direct or indirect funding to radical right-wing organizations described as “racist” or “of a racist complexion.” Tag Meir, Hebrew for “Light Tag,” is a coalition of Israeli organizations founded in 2011 as a counterweight to the hate crimes perpetrated by rightist Jewish groups against Arabs and other non-Jews — attacks known in Hebrew as “price tag." -rh 29/3/2017
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Jordan`s King Abdullah: Israel wrecking the chances of peaceReuters, AP - Ynetnews - During Arab League summit, the Jordanian king condemns Israel`s continued settlement construction, adding that `There is no peace or stability in the region without a just and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian cause through a two-state solution.`-rh29/3/2017
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Israeli army statement on killing of Palestinian teenager in occupation is contradicted by evidence at scene Sheren Khalel - Mondoweiss - An Israeli army spokesperson said: “Three suspects exited a vehicle adjacent to the community of Beit El, where suspects threw firebombs at the community. In response to the threat, Israeli forces in the area fired towards the suspects, and several hits were confirmed. The suspects then fled the scene.” Evidence of the scene directly contradicts the army’s statement. The car the teens were driving was riddled with bullet holes and the seats and floor of the car saturated with blood, indicating that forces shot at the teens when they were seated in the car, not standing on the side of the road. When asked about the discrepancy, the spokesperson could not comment.-rh 29/3/2017
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Why I am determined to tell Palestinians` storiesJames Zogby - The National - When most Americans thought of the conflict they were able to imagine Israelis as people just like them. They were parents who loved their families. They wanted what Americans wanted: peace, prosperity, and a chance to watch their children grow and realise their dreams. They had names and faces. They experienced pain and loss. They were real. Palestinians, on the other hand, were, at best, presented as an abstraction. They were objectified into a faceless mass, without names or personalities. When spoken of at all, they were refugees or terrorists or, after a conflict, mere numbers in a body count.-rh 29/3/2017
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Political poetry as a crime: Inside the surreal trial of Dareen TatourYoav Haifawi - +972 - The first witness was Prof. Nissim Calderon, an expert on Hebrew literature. In his written expert opinion, Calderon stated that there are special rules concerning the expression of poets, describing a long tradition of poets who used harsh words to oppose oppression or injustice — sometimes going so far as to clearly call for violent actions. The poets, Calderon said, were not prosecuted, even by oppressive regimes like the Tsar in Russia or the British Mandate in Palestine.-rh29/3/2017
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Another worthless “Arab Summit” of rhetoricRay Hanania - The Arab Daily News - "The old saying that “the Arabs have the best cause but the worst lawyers, while Israel has the best lawyers and the worst cause” has always been misinterpreted. It’s not “lawyers.” It’s “PR Strategists!”" - id 29/3/2017
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Could `regional deal` be behind Israel`s government crisis?Akiva Eldar - Al-Monitor - "Following the annual Arab League meeting in Jordan this past weekend, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will bring up the issue of the Arab Peace Initiative in his upcoming meeting with US President Donald Trump.- id 29/3/2017
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Israeli soldiers drag shoeless Palestinian eight-year-old from house to house in shocking video from Hebron : Israel Defence Force troops force boy looking for lost toy to help them find other children believed to have thrown stones and a Molotov cocktailBethan McKernan - Independent - Eight-year-old Sufian Abu Hitah disobeyed his mother to sneak out from his grandparents’ house to look for a missing toy when he was seized by a group of around 15 soldiers who asked him in Arabic to give the names of children who had thrown stones and a Molotov cocktail at the nearby Kiryat Arba Israeli settlement. Crying, the boy told the soldiers he didn’t known anything. However, he was then grabbed by both arms and escorted to both the Kiryat Arba gate and into several houses, despite only wearing socks. Several women who witnessed the scene tried to intervene, eventually managing to free the boy more than an hour later.-rh 29/3/2017
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Israel`s false narrative on land swapsBen White - Al Jazeera - The idea of future land swaps has been used to justify expanding Israeli settlements on Palestinian land, analysts say. They also expect Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to deflect pressure from the international community against illegal Israeli settlements by using the concept of blocs and swaps. [bz]28/3/2017
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`There`s an opportunity to embed Palestine in the progressive agenda`Michael Omer-Man - +972 - What role does a Jewish-American organization have in fighting for Palestinian rights? What is the future of activism on Israel/Palestine in the Trump era? I sat down with Rebecca Vilkomerson, executive director of Jewish Voice for Peace, to discuss strategies, hopes and fears for the coming four years. [bz]28/3/2017
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Why is Trump so obsessed with Israeli-Palestinian peace?Orly Azoulay - Ynet - The US president doesn’t really care about the Mideast conflict, he just needs a foreign policy achievement. He wants a grandiose deal and is approaching the issue with no sentiments whatsoever. Failure means a bleeding wound to his ego, and he won’t let that happen [ry]27/3/2017
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Israel`s false narrative on land swapsBen White - Al Jazeera - The idea of future land swaps has been used to justify expanding Israeli settlements on Palestinian land, analysts say [ry]27/3/2017
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The voices missing from Syria`s peace talksZena Tahhan - Al Jazeera "Other than the fact that the government was sending people to prison for this, the regime outlawed the use of the term `civil society`. Civil society was being likened to Zionism and Masonry. There was a complete criminalisation of the term," Syoufi told Al Jazeera...With the war entering its seventh year, hundreds of civil society organisations have developed both inside and outside of Syria, amid a security vacuum and harrowing bloodshed, to fill the role of state institutions meant to protect and inform civilians." ca24/3/2017
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Israel and Hamas need each other — now more than everDoron Matza - +972 "The fact that Israel has no desire to destroy Hamas and re-occupy Gaza means the next round of fighting will end much like the previous ones: a ‘strategic tie’ with enormous human suffering in both Israel and the Strip...It is impossible to understand what is happening in the Gaza Strip without understanding the following paradox: the relationship between Israel and Hamas appears as a “zero-sum game,” yet both sides cooperate with one another." ca24/3/2017
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You are here Campaign Against Antisemitism is a campaign against PalestiniansTony Greenstein - Electronic Intifada "The Campaign Against Antisemitism was formed in August 2014 during a major Israeli offensive against Gaza. Its purpose was to paint Palestine solidarity campaigning and opposition to Zionism, Israel’s state ideology, as anti-Semitic.There was massive opposition to the attack on Gaza among the British public; an estimated 150,000 people took to the streets of London in one protest. Such was the climate of opinion that Sayeeda Warsi, then a Foreign Office minister, resigned from the government, describing its support for Israel as “morally indefensible.” ca 24/3/2017
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An appalling error Israel simply must apologise forJenni Frazer - Times of Israel - "I am not arguing that Israel should apologise because Dr Abuelaish was a bit of a media star, but rather because there was a terrible error made, in the heat of war. There’s a waiting path here, leading to the right thing to do. Please do it." - id 22/3/2017
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Is Palestinian frustration playing into Netanyahu`s strategy?Akiva Eldar - Al MOnitor - "With Palestinian frustration increasing over the hardships of the Israeli occupation, Israeli security experts keep warning of a violent breakout, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu keeps ignoring the warnings." - id 22/3/2017
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What did the UN apartheid report expose in reality?Mark LeVine - Al Jazeera - The most damning aspect of the new report by the UN`s Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), which accuses Israel of being an apartheid state, is that the authors have used the scalpel of international law and the seemingly moribund International Covenant on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid to create a new matrix of analysis of the occupation, its generative dynamics, and likely future path that will prove extremely hard for even Israel`s most ardent defenders to refute in the coming years. [bz] 21/3/2017
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Does the term `apartheid` fit Israel? Of course it does.Saree Makdisi - Los Angeles Times - It`s obvious, of course, that Jewish settlements in the West Bank aren`t exactly bursting with Palestinians. But also in Israel itself hundreds of communities have been established for Jewish residents on land expropriated from Palestinians, in which segregation is maintained, for example, by admissions committees empowered to use ethnic criteria long since banned in the United States, or by the inability of Palestinian citizens to access land held exclusively for the Jewish people by the state-sanctioned Jewish National Fund. [bz]21/3/2017
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UN Removes Report Accusing Israel of The Crime Of Apartheid From Its Web SiteMitchell Plitnick - The Third Way - The report makes more than a few points that I find either valid or, at the very least, troubling enough that a serious discussion about them is not only warranted, but crucial. (...) I have decided to post the report and the executive summary here. Let’s not stifle discussion, let’s not de-legitimatize debate. Let’s examine the substance of the arguments Falk and Tilley make and deal with them. [bz] 21/3/2017
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Israel and the A-WordJohn Reynolds - CounterPunch - "There are of course differences in the modalities of Israel’s discrimination against Palestinians – depending on whether they are inside Israel, in occupied territory, or in exile. The crucial point that the UN report highlights, however, is that this is nonetheless best viewed as a single overarching institutional regime which discriminates against the Palestinian people as a whole" [ry]20/3/2017
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Text of Resignation Letter by ESCWA Executive Secretary Rima KhalafJadaliyya - I cannot but stand by the findings of ESCWA’s report that Israel has established an apartheid regime that seeks the domination of one racial group over another. The evidence provided by this report drafted by renowned experts is overwhelming. Suffice it to say that none of those who attacked the report had a word to say about its content. I feel it my duty to shed light on the legally inadmissible and morally indefensible fact that an apartheid regime still exists in the 21st century rather than suppressing the evidence. [bz for dn]19/3/2017
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The Conscientious Objectors Threatening the Israeli System David Zonsheine - Haaretz - Tamar Alon, Tamar Ze’evi and Atalia Ben Aba are exceptional not because they decided not to join the army – everyone knows it’s very easy to avoid military service in Israel – but precisely because they decided to enlist in the service of publicly exposing the principal apparatus that inductees serve: Israel’s violent rule over the Palestinian people. The reason the army continues to keep them locked up is simple: they pose a threat to the mechanism. If the three had decided to seek an exemption via a mental health officer, they wouldn’t pose a threat and they wouldn’t have been jailed. [bz for dn]19/3/2017
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Red Rag column - the State Comptroller`s report on the Gaza warOpponents of the Occupation did not need the State Comptroller’s Report to know that “Operation Strong Cliff”, was a criminal operation, a failure, unnecessary and completely unjustified. Now we have the report of the State Comptroller, which reveals that the government did not discuss any political alternative to war.19/3/2017
UN agency labels Israel ‘apartheid regime’– and Israel likens organization to Nazis Allison Deger - Mondoweiss "Apartheid, the report described, is “a crime against humanity” and defined as: “[I]nhuman acts…committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial groups or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime.” ca17/3/2017
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Trump warns annexation of West Bank will cause ‘immediate crisis’ between US and Israel – Lieberman Annie Robbins - Mondoweiss - The warning came after Likud KM Miki Zohar, who advocates annexation, stated on Israeli television Channel i24 last night that the two state solution was “dead” and Palestinians, while not having full citizenship, would nonetheless enjoy rights like every citizen, except for the right to vote for the Knesset — unless they serve in the army or to “serve the country” which he hastened to assure viewers they would not do. Lieberman noted he’d been getting calls from “all of the world wanting to know if this is the position of the coalition,” continuing,“[W]e need to separate from the Palestinians and not to integrate them. The decision to annex Judea and Samaria [the West Bank] would mean the integration of 2.7 million Palestinians in Israel.”-rh 16/3/2017
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Israel denies redress to thousands of PalestiniansJonathan Cook - Aljazeera - Israel has given itself almost complete immunity from paying compensation in cases where its soldiers have killed, injured or disabled Palestinian civilians, an Israeli human rights group has warned. In a report released on Wednesday, entitled Getting Off Scot-Free, B`Tselem said that Israel had violated its obligations under international law by denying many thousands of Palestinians redress in Israeli civil courts.-rh 16/3/2017
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Left-wing activist detained by police in the West BankThe Times of Israel Staff - Times of Israel -Jeff Halper, a cofounder of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, told Haaretz that he was stopped by police after leading a group on a tour near the settlement of Ma’ale Adumim. He said they pulled him off a bus heading to Jerusalem and put him in a police van after saying something about the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, which advocates sanctioning Israel over its policies in the West Bank. According to Halper, the officers asked him if he had “any BDS material” in his bag, before proceeding to throw a number of maps he had on the ground.-rh 16/3/2017
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Donald Trump invites Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to visit White HouseTom Batchelor - Independent - The invite signals an attempt by the Trump administration to improve relations with the Palestinians after a series of controversial statements on geopolitics in the region. During a visit by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Washington last month, Mr Trump suggested the US was no longer wedded to a two-state solution.-rh 16/3/2017
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Women and the armyAdam Keller - Crazy Country - "Under the slogan in the "Neither secretary nor tank crew – a refuser and a Feminist", three young women this week repeated the ritual which the IDF forces upon those who were examined by the army’s "Conscience Committee" and ruled to be lacking a conscience." - id15/3/2017
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Comptroller`s report on the last Gaza war: More is hidden than revealedYacov Ben Efrat - Challenge - "Operation Protective Edge, which began in July 2014, was the result of a clear policy to thwart the unity government that Fatah and Hamas had recently established." - id 15/3/2017
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Bibi Offers Trump Envoy Platitudes About Palestinian Economic BettermentRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "Remember those South African Bantustans Ciskei and Transkei?  Well, add to that Palestine as envisioned by Bibi Netanyahu and blessed by Donald Trump." - id 15/3/2017
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Israel’s Ban Of BDS Supporters Stirs Rather Than Stifles DebateLiat Deener-Chodirker - Forward - The bill passed by the Knesset seems to have no tolerance for the views or commitments of people like me. It is an attack on core principles of free speech, democracy, and so many of the values that we as pro-Israel Americans hold up as central to the connection between our countries. It seems designed to exclude and isolate those who combine support for Israelis with support for the rights of Palestinians.-rh 15/3/2017
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How to hold Israel accountable for the crime of apartheidAlaa Tartir - Middle East Eye - As the US administration engages in designing and implementing its “regional solution” to the Arab-Israeli conflict, and as the international community is “celebrating and remembering” the anniversaries of the 1917 Belfour Declaration, the 1948 Nakba, and the 1967 Israeli occupation of the remaining of Palestinian lands, they should question the nature of the “one-state reality” that exists in Palestine-Israel.-rh15/3/2017
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‘Unfortunately there are many more decent than brave people’ — Michael Sfard Robert Herbst - Mondoweiss - “We can no longer resist with complete freedom. One has to be brave to participate in non-violent dissent, and unfortunately there are many more decent than brave people. Israeli politicians are afraid,” and there have been a “tsunami of bills to close the democratic space available to us.” -rh15/3/2017
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Arab citizens, not Israeli leftists, pay the real price for speaking outRoi Manor - +972 - The Israeli government may be cracking down on human rights NGOs and left-wing activists, but Palestinians citizens of Israel are the ones suffering from concrete persecution — with sometimes fatal results.-rh15/3/2017
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Israeli Police Abduct A Palestinian Novelist From JerusalemIMEMC News - Israeli police officers abducted, on Saturday morning, a Palestinian novelist after she finished writing her latest work dubbed “The Jackal’s Trap,” talking about informants and collaborators, spying on their own people. The Palestinian novelist, identified as Khaleda Gousha, was abducted after the police and soldiers stormed her home, in Beit Hanina neighborhood, north of occupied Jerusalem.-rh 15/3/2017
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Basil of Al-Walaja: RIPMazin Qumsiyeh - Popular Resistance blog - “The new Al-Walaja represented a threat to Jewish colonial settlements and West Jerusalem (because of its geographic location) but we had so many problems…the displaced and the refugees, the taking of our water rights, the wall built on our land, home demolitions, apartheid, residency rights. ….Resistance is a normal reaction [to this]….. Palestine is a microcosm of the world, its history that of mankind. What happens here is an indicator of things to come around the world.” These prophetic words rang in my ears when I heard of Basil’s martyrdom. [bz for dn] 12/3/2017
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Coming to terms with the death of a former partner in struggleAviv Tatarsky - +972 - Before he was killed in a gunfight with Israeli forces, Basel al-Araj was a nonviolent activist who fought for his village. His transition from nonviolence to armed struggle feels like a personal defeat for me. [bz for dn]12/3/2017
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A Palestinian state now or equal rights until there is a solution -- “we can accept either but we cannot accept neither”Tony Klug - SISO panel, J Street conference - After half a century, Israel’s “occupation-chickens” are coming home to roost – creeping isolation, growing challenges to the state’s legitimacy, rising anti-Jewish feeling, spreading accusations of apartheid, to say nothing of the blossoming of religious zealotry and radical nationalism. In the wake of the celebrated military victory of 1967, a number of Israeli voices rose above the exultant mood of the time to warn of the perils of triumphalism, hubris and complacency. [bz] 11/3/2017
Trump to Speak With Palestinian President Abbas for First Time on Friday Amir Tibon - Haaretz "The conversation with Abbas comes ahead of an expected visit by Jason Greenblatt, one of Trump`s top diplomatic advisers, to the region. Abbas will be one of the last Arab leaders to speak with Trump on the phone, after the president has already spoken with the leaders of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other countries in the region." ca10/3/2017
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Only the Israeli Dead Matter: Israel’s Failure at Investigating Its Bloody WarsRamzy Baroud - Information Clearing House "At a glance, Israel appears a true democracy. Take a closer look and that facade of democracy will soon dissipate, turning into something else entirely. Tuesday 28 February was one of those moments. The chain of events was as follows: An official Israeli State Comptroller issued another report on the Israeli government’s handling of the July 2014 war on Gaza; it chastised Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and then-Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon – among others – for the lack of preparedness and for their mishandling of the subsequent 51-day conflict; Netanyahu reacted angrily; Ya’alon took to Facebook to defend his record; the opposition in the Israeli Knesset went on the offensive; politicians lined up, taking sides; a media frenzy followed; the country was in an uproar." ca 10/3/2017
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How Netanyahu got cold feet over historic peace initiativeBen Caspit - Al-Monitor - The first time during this yearlong process that he got cold feet he decided to bring Yisrael Beitenu head Avigdor Liberman into the government instead of Herzog. This unexpected, pointed about-face took place in May 2016, leaving the entire system in shock. But Netanyahu’s true artistry lies in his ability to collect the pieces together after his shake-up and then recruit everyone again. The second time, it blew up last October, just before the formulation of the final version of the detailed draft that Netanyahu created for Herzog. This time, the excuse was the fact that the High Court of Justice had refused to extend the date for the evacuation of the Amona settlement. According to a diplomatic source speaking on condition of anonymity, Netanyahu claimed that the evacuation had caused a crisis in his coalition and asked Herzog to wait “a few more months.” At that point, Herzog knew that all was lost. He suddenly understood that he had spent an entire year with his foot on the gas — in neutral.-rh 9/3/2017
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Baseless Arrests in the Holy Kingdom of Judea and Samaria Amira Hass - Haaretz - We won’t publish S.’s full name because at 17 years old, he is a juvenile. Unidentified soldiers from an unidentified IDF unit arrested him and his neighbor, Saif-al-Din Ibrahim, on February 28. They fired shots to scare them, slapped them, inflicted pain and left them bound and blindfolded out in the cold for several hours. Then the police were called in on a baseless pretext to finalize the abuse. The arrests without cause of S. and Saif al-Din Ibrahim are two more of those unreported run-ins, an entirely normal circumstance in the holy kingdom of Judea and Samaria.-rh 9/3/2017
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Israeli land seizure bill ‘an opening to annexation of West Bank’Ben Lynfield - The National - Masoud Ganaim, an Arab member of the Knesset, said the bill will "legitimise the theft of land from the Palestinians and is an opening to annexation of the rest of the territory in the West Bank. It will change everything, it will close up the path to the peace process and to any two state solution. There won’t be two states, there won’t be a solution.-rh9/3/2017
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Exit through the checkpoint: Inside Banksy`s new Bethlehem hotelHaggai Matar - +972 - Every room overlooks the West Bank separation wall, the lobby features a Greek statue choking on teargas, and faux-security cameras dot the corridors. Welcome to “The Walled Off Hotel,” the new Bethlehem-based project from British street artist and enfant terrible Banksy.-rh 9/3/2017
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Video: ‘Apartheid has been here for ages. It doesn’t really bother us’ — Israeli comedian says in closing act Allison Deger - Mondoweiss - The Israeli comedian Assaf Harel and the host of the show “Good Night With Asaf Harel,” used the monologue of his series finale on Monday to dive into a speech where he said Israel had reached a state of “apartheid” long ago. “Ever since the right-wing took power, more and more voices are warning of apartheid. Are you kidding? Apartheid has been here for ages. Ages,” Harel said.-rh9/3/2017
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A Palestinian woman finds hope in American Jewish resistanceSamah Salaime - +972 - At the progressive Jewish conference of the year, a Palestinian politician wins rousing applause and a former U.S. presidential candidate talks of the injustices caused by the founding of the State of Israel — both seeds of hope for someone who wakes up every day to news of home demolitions and land grabs.-rh9/3/2017
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Israel’s Welcome Now Reserved Only For Jews Who Back NetanyahuJonathan Cook - Countercurrents - Arabs and Muslims have always struggled to gain entry to Israel. Palestinians are routinely abused at the borders, and thousands, especially from Jerusalem, have been stripped of the right to return home after living abroad. But new figures show Israel is excluding other groups too. Entry denials have increased nine-fold in the past five years, topping 16,000 people last year. Among those increasingly turned away are political activists. Israel controls all access to the occupied Palestinian territories, and has been regularly denying entry to solidarity activists and those who support the boycott movement. Legislation passed by the Israeli parliament on Monday night will only intensify the exclusionary trend. The new law forbids entry to anyone who supports a boycott, even if it is only of the settlements. As one legislator pointed out, that means Israel may quickly find itself bound to refuse entry to all officials from the United Nations and Europe.-rh 8/3/2017
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I Support Boycotting Settlements — Should I Be Banned From Israel With My Children?Peter Beinart - Forward - In 2012, I wrote a book that urged American Jews to buy products from “democratic Israel,” the territory inside Israel’s original boundaries in which Jews and Palestinians live under the same law, but not “nondemocratic Israel,” the West Bank, where Jews enjoy citizenship and Palestinians live under colonial rule. So while I oppose boycotting Israel as a whole, I support boycotting Israeli settlements, which I believe threaten Israel’s moral character and its long-term survival.-rh 8/3/2017
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`Basil al-Araj was a beacon for Palestinian youth` : Family, friends of Basil al-Araj, killed by the Israeli army, say his struggle against occupation will not be forgotten.Shatha Hammad and Zena Tahhan - Aljazeera - Dozens of Basil`s friends and family members have subsequently visited the house where Basil barricaded himself before he was killed. They marched in the streets of Ramallah on Monday with tears on their faces, carrying pictures of Basil and calling him the "martyr of security coordination". In response to Basil`s death, Hamas, the Islamic resistance movement in Gaza, condemned in a statement the security coordination between the PA and Israel. "The systematic killings and the security coordination with the [Israeli] occupation will not succeed in breaking the resistance or undermine the determination of our people."-rh 8/3/2017
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Can international force save Gaza?Akiva Eldar - Al-Monitor - "Halevy based his March 1 closed-door briefing to members of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, among other things, on a 2015 United Nations report warning that if current trends persist in the Gaza Strip, by 2020 Gaza will not be fit for human habitation." - id 8/3/2017
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Did Trump Warn Israel Against Annexation?Richard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - " Why would Trump even care at this point about annexation? It isn’t yet on the table in a serious legislative way in Israel." - id8/3/2017
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Red Rag column - Hassan Nasrallah: ally of Israeli civil societyGideon Spiro - Politics sometimes produce strange alliances and collaborations between erstwhile deadly enemies. For many years environmental protection organizations have been campaigning for the removal of the ammonia tank in Haifa, which could cause mass casualties in the event of its being the target of a terrorist attack. The owners of the ammonia tank, who belong to the tycoon class, succeeded in ridiculing the leaders of the campaign and with the help of the authorities implemented the classical capitalist maxim according to which profits are more important than human life. Until, that is, Nasrallah came along and changed the rules of the game. gm 7/3/2017
Who is the main culprit - settlers or government?Ben Ehrenreich - The Baffler - In making his documentary "The Settlers", Shimon Dotan got settlers to say the damnedest things on camera: “Arabs don’t belong in our country” /"The Land of Israel stretches virtually all the way to Iraq” / “Ultimately the Arabs are right, Zionism is the aggressor.” However, Dotan`s presentation is clearly slanted to place the full blame for Israel`s present situation on "the fanatic settlers" and distract attention from the willing complicity of all governments since 1967 - including Labor governments. [ak] 7/3/2017
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Unlearning apartheid apologism: A Jewish response to Israeli Apartheid WeekSophie Edelhart, Eliza Moss-Horwitz, Jack Snyder - Columbia Spectator - We had been lied to, but more than that, we had been raised in a community that failed to face the anti-democratic reality of the State of Israel. Rather than being taught to pursue justice for all—Palestinians and Israelis, Jews and non-Jews—we had been told to defend Israel at all costs. [bz]7/3/2017
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Has Israel recognized link between Gaza blockade, security threat?Shlomi Eldar - Al Monitor - Retired judge, now State Comptroller, Joseph Shapira dares to confront the fact that all recent Israeli governments energetically denied: that there is a direct link between the siege, the growing military strength of Hamas and the rockets fired at southern Israeli towns and villages. "The security-diplomatic Cabinet, especially Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu himself, did not give any consideration to the fact that Israel itself was creating an imminent major security threat from Gaza and endangering Israeli lives." [bz] 4/3/2017
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Divide and Conquer: Israel Learns from the ‘Best’Richard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "The concept of divide and conquer has been used successfully by colonial power for centuries, perhaps even millennia...Israel too has employed divide and conquer to weaken its enemies almost since its founding. When it found Arab minorities like the Druze or Bedouin whom it could co-opt, it offered them benefits and superior status. It recruited them to serve in the army, where they fought against their fellow Arabs. But when he couldn’t co-opt, Ben Gurion simply bared the claws of the state and expelled hundreds of thousands of indigenous inhabitants in the Nakba (a word Bernie Sanders almost used in his J Street speech!!)." - id 3/3/2017
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Scales of JusticeAdam Keller - Crazy Country - "Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked redressed this negative tendency, making a successful effort to change the composition of the Supreme Court and include more conservative judges, especially some who belong to the Religious-Zionist sector. A particular success was recorded with the appointment of David Mintz – a British-born jurist who came to Israel in 1970 and immediately moved to the West Bank settlement of Dolev." - id3/3/2017
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No leader at the end of the tunnelNahum Barnea - Ynet - "The overall impression from the state comptroller’s report on Operation Protective Edge is that Netanyahu isn’t functioning as a leader: He isn’t outlining a policy because he has no policy; he isn’t imposing his opinion because he has no opinion. The amazing thing is the gap between his image as ‘Mr. Security’ and his real involvement in security management." - id3/3/2017
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The Hypocrisy of the anti-Trump hatersRay Hanania - The Arab Daily News - "Nothing exposes hypocrisy of anti-Trump activists than rejection of Keith Ellison. When the Democrats and the anti-Trump haters have put meaning in their words but instead chose to expose their hypocrisy by back-stabbing the candidacy of the First Muslim Congressman Keith Ellison to become the DNC Chairman. They “love” Muslims but only enough to exploit it." - id3/3/2017
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Anti-Semitism in the U.S. doesn’t make me want to move to IsraelSarah Stern - +972 - "Why would American Jews be any less repulsed by the ultra-nationalist tendencies rampant in Israel than they are by those taking hold in America?" - id 3/3/2017
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New documentary highlights life of imprisoned Palestinian leaderDaoud Kuttab - Al-Monitor - “Marwan” was produced and directed by young Palestinian director Ahmad Barghouti (no close relation) and is more of a political documentary than a work of art. Othman noted that the story of Barghouti is the classical story of all Palestinians. “He was 8 years old when the 1967 occupation occurred. He came from a poor family and graduated from Birzeit University, where he headed the student council. He became a Fatah youth leader. He was deported in the first intifada, returned with [Yasser] Arafat and dedicated his life to the Fatah youth movement he had helped establish. He was imprisoned many times and yet he has never given up. And today, he has become the highest vote receiver in the seventh Fatah congress.”-rh 2/3/2017
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Trump’s Middle East ‘deal’ leaves out one vital player: Palestinians Rashid Khalidi - Once again, the future of Palestine is being decided behind the back of the Palestinians. Once again, they have been made invisible. In 1917, when the Balfour Declaration was being crafted in the British cabinet, Zionist leader Chaim Weizmann had direct access to key decision-makers. It was a privilege not extended to any Palestinian. “In Palestine,” Balfour himself said, “we do not propose even to go through the form of consulting the wishes of the present inhabitants of the country.” Weizmann also had direct access to President Truman in 1947 when the United States pushed through the United Nations General Assembly partition resolution that gave more than half of Palestine to the 30 percent that made up its Jewish minority -rh2/3/2017
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Bernie Sanders Electrifies J Street With Emotional Message On Israel — And TrumpRon Kampeas - Forward - “Now, as many of you know, I have a connection to the State of Israel going back many years,” Sanders said, addressing the liberal Jewish Middle East policy group’s annual conference.“In 1963, I lived on a kibbutz near Haifa,” he said. “It was there that I saw and experienced for myself many of the progressive values upon which the State of Israel was founded. I think it is very important for everyone, but particularly for progressives, to acknowledge the enormous achievement of establishing a democratic homeland for the Jewish people after centuries of displacement and persecution, and particularly after the horror of the Holocaust.” Sanders said that recognizing the ensuing Palestinian suffering should not diminish support for Israel.-rh 2/3/2017
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In Palestine, no job means no health insuranceKhaled Abu Amer - Al-Monitor - GAZA, Gaza Strip — According to official figures published by the Palestinian Bureau of Statistics on Feb. 16, the unemployment rate in Palestine climbed to 26.9%, with 360,500 unemployed out of a total workforce of 1.3 million in Palestine, while the poverty rate in the Gaza Strip exceeded 80%, according to the Zakat Department affiliated with the Palestinian Ministry of Religious Endowments. Despite these staggering figures, the Palestinian Cabinet announced Feb. 15 the cancellation of all health insurance benefits granted to unemployed citizens starting March 1.-rh 2/3/2017
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Israel`s hateful posts target Palestinian politiciansNigel Wilson - Aljazeera - A Palestinian member of the Israeli parliament since 2009, Zoabi has been verbally and physically assaulted since she participated in a flotilla attempting to break the blockade of Gaza in 2010. She has also received threats by telephone and email to her office. According to a recent study by the Palestinian digital rights group 7amleh, Zoabi was the subject of 60,000 hateful online posts in 2016. Her fellow Knesset member, Ahmed Tibi, was the subject of 40,000 posts, while President Mahmoud Abbas appeared in 30,000 posts.-rh 2/3/2017
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Settler leaders should have been put on trial, not AzariaAmnon Abramovich - Ynetnews - It’s not Elor Azaria who should have been put on trial, it’s all the leaders of the Jewish settlement in Hebron throughout the years. The trial should not have focused on morality in battle, but on the morality of their presence there. Some 900 settlers and yeshiva students have placed themselves among 250,000 Palestinians. Most of them are not preaching good neighborly relations and peace, they are agitators calling for a transfer.-rh 2/3/2017
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Could a Palestinian politician best represent American Jewish values? Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man - +972 "Delivering a keynote address at the annual J Street conference in Washington this weekend, Ayman Odeh, leader of the third-largest bloc in Israel’s parliament, the Joint List, described a Jewish-Arab agenda to advance true and full equality, social justice, and peace.I asked Odeh if, in the wake of Herzog’s plan to defer peacemaking, he believes there is a unique opportunity to present himself to progressive American Jews as the Israeli politician who is most closely aligned with their values.1/3/2017
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Netanyahu and the `apartheid state`Akiva Eldar - Al-Monitor - Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has come up with a new, supposedly sophisticated answer for pesky journalists who ask whether he still supports the two-state solution. If Netanyahu responded that he hopes for the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel, he would incur the wrath of his friends in the government, the Likud and the Knesset. On the other hand, if he said the two-state solution is dead in the water, he would face condemnation by the entire international community. He cannot, however, simply ignore the question. So what can he do? Throw out the response, “Rather than deal with labels, I want to deal with substance.”.-rh 1/3/2017
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Comptroller: Defense establishment neglected tunnel handlingYaron Druckman - Ynetnews - The Shin Bet and Military Intelligence failed to cooperate on tunnels; `significant gaps in intelligence` left troops on the ground no choice but to improvise; plans to combat the threat remained on paper, while the Defense Ministry cut down on budget to protect Gaza border communities.-rh1/3/2017
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Child Rights Briefing: February 2017 : News and updates on the situation of Palestinian children living in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.Defence for Children International - February 6, 2017—Evictions, demolitions, and UXO are constant risks for Palestinian children living in ares of the Jordan Valley that Israel has declared as "firing zones," where Israeli battalions regularly assemble to hone their combat skills. Before tanks can shoot off missile rounds and soldiers can carry out practice missions, goats are removed, animal pens and tents are dismantled. Read more.-rh1/3/2017
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The 50th anniversary of the occupation will rock the Jewish establishment Philip Weiss - Mondoweiss - †Ê …Y †Ô ‡ç ‡í In three months the American Jewish community is going to hit an iceberg called the Jubilee, the 50th anniversary of the occupation/Six Day War. The collision is going to change the Jewish establishment. The fractures that have been developing for years over Israel are going to break out in public agony. The anniversary will change the American Jewish relationship to Israel for a long time, as the Six Day War did 50 years go. Young Jews will take charge, young anti-Zionists will be welcomed into some synagogues, and some will speak up for BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) against Israel.-rh1/3/2017
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How Israel’s Gaza War report became a political battlefield Mazal Mualem - Al Monitor "Bennett`s new status as the political beneficiary of the criticism surrounding Operation Protective Edge bolsters his standing within his party and among the right at large. When confronting Netanyahu and Ya`alon, his two main rivals for the leadership of the right, he can now present himself as a security hawk who has a better understanding of the threats posed by the campaign in Gaza. Along the way, he is also firing off a warning shot at an emerging political threat by challenging the professionalism of Gantz, someone frequently mentioned as a candidate for Labor Party leadership." ca 1/3/2017
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