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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
Pope renews call for Jerusalem status quoAFP - Jordan Times "Pope Francis has again stressed the importance of preserving the status quo in occupied Jerusalem and urged fresh talks between Israel and Palestinians on a two-state solution, the Vatican said on Thursday.The Argentine pontiff strongly opposed United States President Donald Trump`s bitterly-contested move to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and his plans to move the US embassy there from Tel Aviv." ca 19/1/2018
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Israel: On the Way to a Theocratic StateIsrael Rafalovich - Lobelog "Israel is facing a rise in the influence of ultra-orthodox Jews. Their effort to impose their strictly conservative worldview has led to growing tensions with the country’s secular society. Radical rabbis are expanding their influence particularly when it comes to women. Jewish religious extremists are trying to impose gender separation in public, in elections, on buses, and in the street, all in the name of a morality that is supposedly agreeable to God." ca19/1/2018
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What is next for Palestine?Ramzy Baroud - AlJazeera "In this article, I sought the opinion of 14 independent Palestinian intellectuals from across Palestine and the diaspora. Although they subscribe to different ideological schools of thought and come from different generations and locations, they shared a lot of ideas. Palestinians are demanding change, or, in the words of renowned Palestinian historian Salman Abu Sitta - interviewed below - they want to "go back to the roots"." ca 19/1/2018
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Trump move to pressure Palestinian leadership will ‘take away food and education from vulnerable refugees’Allison Deger - Mondoweiss "“The U.S. Administration seems to be following Netanyahu’s instructions to gradually dismantle the one agency that was established by the international community to protect the rights of the Palestinian refugees and provide them with essential services,” the PLO said in a statement.“This administration is thereby targeting the most vulnerable segment of the Palestinian people and depriving the refugees of the right to education, health, shelter and a dignified life,” the statement continued." ca 19/1/2018
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U.S. Federal Court Indicts JDL Leaders for Hate Crimes at Washington Aipac ConferenceRichard Silverstein — Tikun Olam "A U.S. federal district court in Washington DC has indicted two leaders of the Jewish Defense League (JDL), one Canadian and another American. They are accused of committing hate crimes against a Palestinian-American professor and an American Jewish progressive activist during last year’s Aipac conference. Yosef Steynowitz, 32, of Thornhill, Ontario and Rami Lubranicki, 59, of New Jersey are charged with assaulting Kamal Nayfeh, a technical instructor at a North Carolina college; and graduate student, Ben Doernberg, with wooden poles and repeated kicks. They also assaulted Galen Vandergriff in a similar fashion, smashing the video camera he used to record the incident." ca19/1/2018
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Abbas` security coordination challengeDaoud Kuttab - Al Monitor "Abbas and his aides extracted a concession from PCC members in the form of a qualifier to the resolution calling for suspending recognition of Israel and ending security coordination. The clause calls for the resolution to be implemented by the Executive Committee of the PLO. With this qualification, the PCC gave Abbas a bit of room in which to negotiate or finesse how exactly the measure should be implemented so as to protect and safeguard the PA, as well as his own life and those of his aides and government." ca 19/1/2018
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Israeli forces kill Palestinian student, former prisoner during clashes in QalqiliyaMa`an News Agency - Israeli forces shot and killed a 28-year-old Palestinian student and former prisoner during clashes on Monday in the northern occupied West Bank district of Qalqiliya. Locals identified the slain Palestinian as Ahmad Abd al-Jaber Muhammad Salim, a student at al-Quds Open University in Qalqiliya and the secretary of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) student bloc. Salim was critically injured in the head with a live bullet during clashes in his hometown of Jayyous before he succumbed to the wounds just minutes later.-rh17/1/2018
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Homeless in GazaSarah Helm - The New York Review of Books - On November 11, 2017, the gray streets of Gaza suddenly turned yellow as tens of thousands of people came out to wave the flag of Fatah, the party of their former leader Yasser Arafat. This was the thirteenth anniversary of Arafat’s death, and, for the first time since 2007, when the Islamic resistance movement Hamas defeated Fatah in the bloody civil war that followed Hamas’s electoral victory the previous year, it had permitted a public commemoration of Arafat Day. By allowing the celebration, Hamas had given the first substantial sign that it was serious about a new reconciliation deal, signed with Fatah in October.-rh 17/1/2018
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Israel`s new death penalty bill `targets Palestinians`Shafik Mandhai - Aljazeera - The Israeli government`s proposal to make it easier for judges to hand out the death penalty for "terrorist activity" has been condemned as "fascist" by Palestinian politicians and rights groups, who fear it will give Israel legal cover to target Palestinians.-rh 17/1/2018
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Israel Will Hire Its Citizens to Capture and Assist in the Deportation of African Refugees (VIDEO)Palestine Chronicle - In an effort to resolve the ‘African Refugee Problem’ in Israel, Israeli civilians will receive cash rewards and generous bonuses if they sign up to serve their country as ‘immigration inspectors’, a position that includes monitoring, rounding up and delivering people whom the government is referring to as ‘infiltrators’ to the proper authorities for deportation.-rh17/1/2018
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Palestinian leadership faces monumental decisionsDaoud Kuttab - Al-Monitor - The 80-plus members of the Palestinian Central Council (PCC) who are expected to convene for a two-day meeting Jan. 14 in Ramallah face potentially monumental choices. Yet, on the eve of this crucial meeting, nothing resembling consensus can be discerned. The choices range from dissolving the Palestinian Authority (PA) to ending security cooperation with Israel to withdrawing Palestinian recognition of Israel to the declaration of Palestine as a state under occupation. Each choice has its advantages and disadvantages, its supporters and opponents.-rh 17/1/2018
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US withholds $65 million from UN agency for PalestiniansTimes of Israel Staff - Times of Israel - The United States sent $60 million to keep the UN relief agency for Palestinians (UNRWA) in operation but withheld a further $65 million while it urged others to pay more, a State Department official said Tuesday.-rh17/1/2018
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Ahed Tamimi should stay in prison because she might slap again — Israeli ethicistJonathan Ofir - Mondoweiss - Yesterday, Kasher appeared as a commentator on Ahed’s case. In news coverage for the Dutch NOS Journaal, he is seen viewing a video of her slap (see link from 7:47). Here’s the text of his short interview: Kasher: “So she is permanently provocative. So I can understand the judge” [who has so far not released Ahed on bail, unlike her cousin Nour, ed]. Interviewer: “But she’s a minor. How can she be dangerous?” Kasher: “Dangerous in the sense that she can slap the… slap another officer, and another… ‘Dangerous’ doesn’t need to mean jeopardizing life. It means breaking law and order. I mean, not acting properly, to the extent that disturbs the people from accomplishing their missions.”.-rh17/1/2018
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Defying Israel’s Civil Rights abuses through Martin Luther King Jr.Ray Hanania - The Arab Daily News - "Palestinians should turn away from violence and embrace the same strategy of civil disobedience to confront Israel’s racist practices, policies and discriminatory government practices." - id 17/1/2018
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Martin Luther King and the Israel FraudRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "...over time, King surely would have developed a much stronger appreciation of the injustices Israel meted out on its Palestinian minority population.  He would likely have understood viscerally that its suffering was akin to that of American Blacks over the course of their own experience first as slaves, and later as second class citizens." - id 17/1/2018
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It`s a Family Affair: Corruption Runs Deep in the Netanyahu FamilyRamy Khoury - ALBAWABA - In the latest development of the ongoing moral corruption of the Netanyahu family, the eldest son, Yair Netanyahu, was recorded nonchalantly offering to trade his girlfriend for money to pay back debts, bragging about knowing strippers and prostitutes, and asking his friend to pay for a stripper because after all, Yair’s dad snagged his friend’s dad, who is an oil tycoon, a multi-billion dollar deal.-rh17/1/2018
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Army Invades Many Apartments In RamallahIMEMCNews - Israeli soldiers invaded, on Tuesday at dawn, many Palestinian apartments, including one inhabited by a journalist, and conducted violent searches, causing serious property damage.The Palestinian News Agency (WAFA) said the soldiers invaded the apartment of one of its reporters, identified as Zahran Hammad, after detonating the front door.-rh17/1/2018
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Banning the Quakers won`t stop our struggle for justice in Israel-PalestineBrant Rosen - +972 Magazine - The inclusion of the AFSC (American Friends Service Committee) in the blacklist published by the government of Israel affects me directly, as a rabbi who works for AFSC, and who is proud of the important historical connections between the Jewish community and our organization. The AFSC helped get Jewish refugees out of Nazi Europe and got them settled in the US. A few years later, the AFSC helped Palestinian refugees who got in increasing number into the Gaza Strip. These were not contradictionary acts, as asserted by some apologists for the Israeli government. Helping Jewish refugees and helping Palestinian refugees derived from the same humanitarian commitment - which later led the AFSC to support the BDS call - a cri de coeur by Palestinians who were denied justice for many decades and who use a legitimate menas of non-violent struggle to demand rights which International Law should have guaranteed to them. [ak] 16/1/2018
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Abbas’s speech is a grenade in the Israeli right’s lapAvi Issacharoff - Times of Israel - The conclusion of the Abbas era, even if only in the symbolic sense, shouldn’t be cause for celebration on the Israeli side, not even among annexationists. On the contrary, there are more reasons to be worried. In recent years, the PA and Abbas have been the main buffer preventing violent and bloody outbursts against Israel. The Palestinian security forces prevented hundreds of terror attacks, stopped mass demonstrations and thwarted potentially volatile events. Simultaneously, the PA supplied a livelihood to a majority of West Bank residents.[bz]16/1/2018
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Israeli Jews will never accept Palestinians as equals Philip Weiss - Mondoweiss "Jim Klutznick, the chairman of the liberal Zionist group Americans for Peace Now (and a political player in Chicago and an early Obama supporter), yesterday dismissed the idea of a one-state outcome in Israel and Palestine because Israelis will never accept Palestinians as equals." ca 14/1/2018
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Silence as Israel Destroys Academia Amiram Goldblum - Haaretz "A bill that would make Ariel University in the West Bank a de facto part of Israel is a guaranteed formula for a tsunami against science in the country." ca   14/1/2018
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Book review: fresh thought on Israeli colonialism offered by “Global Palestine”Jimmy Johnson - Electronic Intifada "Settler colonialism — or the relationship between the Israeli settler and indigenous Palestinian societies — remains peripheral to mainstream discourse, even in the Palestine solidarity movement, but some exciting analysis has resulted from its study. Joseph Massad’s 2005 essay “The Persistence of the Palestinian Question” and Gabriel Piterberg’s 2008 book The Returns of Zionism are just two of the works helping put Zionism in a new, critical light.To this we can add John Collins’s latest book Global Palestine."ca 13/1/2018
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Israeli Opposition Slams Ban on Pro-Boycott NGOs : Lapid: `Idiotic` to Fight Boycotts With Another BoycottJason Ditz - AntiWar.com - Minister Gilad Erdan was responsible for a new, and controversial ban on members of a list of NGOs that are seen as pro-BDS, favoring boycotts to protest Israeli misdeeds.This has fueled a lot of opposition backlash, with many waring that it’s just going to further distance those NGOs from the situation inside Israel and make changing their minds harder. Yair Lapid called the bill “idiotic,” saying it was absurd to try to fight boycotts with another boycott.-rh10/1/2018
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Palestinians seek to join UN as full member – reportTOI STAFF - The Palestinian Authority intends to try to upgrade its status at the United Nations and become a full state member, it was reported Sunday, as Ramallah looks for ways to respond to a series of setbacks. In a unilateral step, the PA intends to apply to the UN Security Council to upgrade it from observer status to full membership in the international body, the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper reported.-rh10/1/2018
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Why I am Angry Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - "Being despised by the "superior" Ashkenazim, the Mizrahim started to despise their own culture. They tried to become Europeans, more anti-Arab, more super-patriot, more right-wing."- id 10/1/2018
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The Iranian threat is in dangerYacov Ben Efrat - Challenge - "The fact is that Israel, the start-up nation and the “only democracy in the Middle East,” views benighted regimes such as the military dictatorship in Egypt and the Saudi royal family as strategic allies, and their possible fall as an immediate and tangible danger. In the Arab region, a reality will be created in which the “only democracy in the Middle East” will be judged according to what it is: a colonialist and fundamentalist state, a remnant of the last century. And who knows, perhaps the Spring will also knock on its door."- id10/1/2018
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Harsh anti-Normalization undermines Palestinian interestsRay Hanania - The Arab Daily News - "Anger and emotion has driven many Palestinians to oppose any contacts with Israelis, calling it “normalization.” That’s a errant policy and a mistake, and it is misleading. Normalization is used by extremists to block any contacts between Palestinians and Israelis regardless of the intended outcome under the misleading belief that contacts will strengthen Israel’s influence and undermine Palestinian rights. In truth, contacts with Israelis can help Palestinians strengthen not only their base of support, it can weaken Israeli extremism by undermining their false base built on lies and facts."- id 10/1/2018
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Foreign Policy Elite Abandons Two-States, but Refuses to Envision OneRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "The NY Times, owned by the Sulzberger family, has been a bastion of liberal Zionism for all of that period and longer.  That is what makes the op-ed by Michelle Goldberg and the news analysis of David Halbfinger so remarkable.  It’s not so much what they said, but that they said it at all.  The process by which this is happening is like a massive dam slowly developing fissures as it gradually implodes from the pressure of the tons of water behind it."" - id 10/1/2018
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When one side’s bravery is another side’s humiliation Nahum Barnea - Ynet - "The Ahed Tamimi affair isn’t unusual, but the unusual attention it has received exposes the distortions of the occupation: The separate legal systems for Jews and Arabs in the territories, and the fact that a settler who kicked and cursed a police officer was sentenced to three months of community service, while the Palestinian girl will likely spend several months in prison."- id 10/1/2018
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Israel`s betrayal of African refugees Akiva Eldar - Al-Monitor - On Dec. 11, the Knesset plenum passed, by a 71-41 vote, a law that would deport and imprison thousands of refugees living in Israel. This month, Netanyahu directed the National Security Council to formulate a plan to forcibly deport those refugees who refuse to “voluntarily be removed.” That is, the fate is sealed even for those who prefer living in an Israeli prison to dying somewhere in Africa.-rh 10/1/2018
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Palestinians in Kufr Aqab: `We live here just to wait`Jaclynn Ashly - Aljazeera - Kufr Aqab and Shuafat refugee camp are neglected by the Jerusalem municipality, but beyond the control of the Palestinian Authority (PA). Police are absent and municipal services are limited. "All of these people are living here solely to keep their Jerusalem IDs," Moien Odeh, a Jerusalem-based legal expert, told Al Jazeera, gesturing to a sea of high-rise buildings in Kufr Aqab. The lack of available land means that these homes are built higher and higher to accommodate an exploding population, estimated to be about 65,000. Most Palestinians here are escaping a housing crisis and soaring prices in Jerusalem, while couples with mixed IDs - Jerusalem and West Bank - are forced to live in the area simply to stay together.-rh 10/1/2018
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Ahed Tamimi’s arrest sheds a disturbing light on how children are targeted by IsraelJonathan Cook - The National - Palestinian villages like Nabi Saleh are regularly invaded by soldiers. Children are dragged from their beds in the middle of the night, as happened to Ahed during her arrest last month in retaliation for her slaps. Human rights groups document how children are routinely beaten and tortured in detention. Many hundreds pass through Israeli jails each year charged with throwing stones. With conviction rates in Israeli military courts of more than 99 per cent, the guilt and incarceration of such children is a foregone conclusion.-rh 10/1/2018
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Israeli Chief of Staff hints at full-scale war against SyriaMiddle East Monitor - The Israeli Chief of Staff hinted yesterday at the possibility of launching a full-scale war against Syria to prevent the imposition of Shia hegemony in Israel’s neighbour. Lieutenant- General Gadi Eisenkot made his comments at the University of Herzliya and accused the Iranian government of working to form a “Shia crescent” to spread its influence across Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Bahrain and the Gaza Strip.“In recent months, investment in the Palestinian arena has also grown,” explained Eisenkot, “driven by a desire to influence it by increasing the annual funding in the Gaza Strip for Hamas and Islamic Jihad movements to $100 million.”-rh10/1/2018
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Israel Accused Of Revoking Thousands Of Jerusalem Residency Permits From PalestiniansDANIEL ESTRIN - NPR - According to an August report by Human Rights Watch, Israel has revoked the residency status of at least 14,595 Palestinians in East Jerusalem since Israel captured the territory from Jordan in 1967. The group cited data that lawyers and rights groups collected from Israel`s Interior Ministry through freedom of information requests and court cases.-rh 10/1/2018
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Israel Shoots Palestinian Teen in the Head During Funeral of Musaab Tamimi (VIDEO)Palestine Chronicle - A Palestinian youth was critically injured after being shot in the head by Israeli forces during clashes that erupted following the funeral of slain Palestinian teenager Musaab Firas al- Tamimi, 16, in the Deir Nitham village, northwest of Ramallah in the central occupied West Bank.-rh10/1/2018
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Israel`s new death penalty bill `targets Palestinians`Shafik Mandhai - Aljazeera - The Israeli government`s proposal to make it easier for judges to hand out the death penalty for "terrorist activity" has been condemned as "fascist" by Palestinian politicians and rights groups, who fear it will give Israel legal cover to target Palestinians.-rh 10/1/2018
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Ahed Tamimi flips Zionist mythology on its headGil Gertel - +972 - The story of David and Goliath is a central Zionist myth. The case of Ahed Tamimi shows that while Israel still thinks it’s David, in reality, it’s Goliath.-rh10/1/2018
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Why has Israel banned Jewish leftists but not members of Nazi-linked groups?Natasha Roth - +972 - Israel has banned leaders and key activists from Jewish Voice for Peace, the American Friends Service Committee, and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, among other groups that support BDS, from entering the country. So why doesn’t it extend the same restrictions to members of Nazi-affiliated groups? In its choices over who and who not to ban from the country, the Israeli government has demonstrated that its concern is not what Nazis and the rest of the far-right think about Jews, but rather what they think about Muslims, leftists. [bz]9/1/2018
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Trump Could Be the Best Thing That Ever Happened to BDSBradley Burston - Haaretz - Freed by Trump: Day by day, Netanyahu and his coalition lurch further and further to the right. As they do, the contentions of BDS activists are brought closer and closer to a simple recognition of reality. Buoyed by Trump: Thankful for his declarations marginalizing Palestinians and rendering peace talks impossible, Netanyahu moves to make Israel into a one state reality, even as Israeli officials get ready to waste an additional $72 million dollars – critically needed for Israel`s own social ills – on accusing BDS activists of seeking a one-state reality. [bz]9/1/2018
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This Palestinian camp is the community most exposed to tear gas in the worldChloé Benoist - MIDDLE EAST EYE - The small and densely populated refugee camp has long been the target of Israeli military raids, but a University of California, Berkeley study released on Thursday led Pierre Krahenbuhl, commissioner general of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East, to designate Aida the community most exposed to tear gas in the world earlier this year.-rh4/1/2018
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Israel ignores Iran’s support of Arab Peace InitiativeAkiva Eldar - Al-Monitor - "Israel keeps silent while Iranian President Hassan Rouhani signs onto the resolution of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation supporting Israeli-Palestinian peace based on a two-state solution." - id 3/1/2018
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The Man Who Jumped Uri Avnery- Gush Shalom - "What would life be like in the Israeli apartheid state? One thing is certain: it would not attract masses of Jews. The split between Jewish Israelis and Jews in the USA and other countries would widen slowly and inexorably. Sooner or later, the disenfranchised majority would rise, world opinion would condemn and boycott Israel, and the apartheid system would break down. What would remain? What would remain is the thing almost all Israelis dread: the binational State. One person – one vote. A country very different from Israel. A country from which many Israeli Jews would depart, either slowly or rapidly." - id 3/1/2018
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Trump’s Jerusalem Decision and Ongoing U.S. DeclineGary Leupp - CounterPunch - "What the president announced as a “new approach to conflict between Israel and the Palestinians” and “a long-overdue step to advance the peace process and to work towards a lasting agreement” is in fact another step down the slope." - id 3/1/2018
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Shin Bet Warns Israeli Ministers: Death Penalty for Terrorists Will Lead to Kidnappings of Jews Worldwide Chaim Levinson - Haaretz - Shin Bet chief Nadav Argaman has shared his negative opinion of the bill with the inner security cabinet. The security service will be presenting its opinion to the cabinet when it convenes to discuss the bill, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said it would.-rh 3/1/2018
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Palestinian 16-year-old Ahed Tamimi is the latest child victim of Israel’s occupationHarriet Sherwood - The Guardian - Ahed’s experiences are echoed in the lives of hundreds of thousands of children in the West Bank and Gaza. Such a brutal context for childhood can shape attitudes for a lifetime. Frank Roni, a former child protection specialist for Unicef in the Palestinian territories, said he had observed the “intergenerational trauma” of those growing up under occupation. “The ongoing conflict, the deterioration of the economy and social environment, the increase in violence – this all impacts heavily on children. Children form a ghetto mentality and lose hope for the future, which fuels a cycle of despair,” he said in 2013.-rh3/1/2018
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Made in Israel: Exploiting Palestinian Land for Treatment of Israeli WasteB`Tselem - Publications - B’Tselem research has found that there are at least fifteen Israeli waste treatment facilities in the West Bank. Most of the waste they process is produced in Israel. Six of the facilities handle hazardous waste which requires special processes and regulatory supervision due to the dangers it poses.-rh3/1/2018
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Palestinians ready for major shift in strategyDaoud Kuttab - Al-Monitor - The US decision is seen by many Palestinian leaders as a unique opportunity to rise up to this occasion by working seriously on national unity. Calls for a serious end to the Palestinian split and a unity of purpose have been on the rise in various Palestinian circles, with many thinking about the best approach forward that can preserve the steadfastness of Palestinians on the ground while making the occupiers pay a much higher price for their illegal occupation, colonial settlements and denial of Palestinian rights.-rh 3/1/2018
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Dozens of Israeli teens: `We refuse to enlist out of a commitment to peace`Haggai Matar - +972 - Sixty-three Israeli teenagers have published an open letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu on Thursday, declaring their refusal to join the Israeli army due to their opposition to the occupation. “The army carries out a racist government policy that enforces one legal system for Israelis and another for Palestinian in the same territory,” they write. “Therefore, we have decided not to take any part in the occupation and oppression of the Palestinian people… for as long as people live under an occupation that denies their human rights and national rights – we cannot have peace.”-rh3/1/2018
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Israeli Interrogations Could Lead to False Confessions, says Israeli CourtIMEMC News - An Israel judge ripped into the Shin Bet, an Israeli intelligence service, for its interrogation tactics, saying they could lead people to confess crimes they did not commit. The panel of Be’er Sheva District Court judges has issued the opinion blasting the security service as part of a ruling explaining their acquittal last month of Khalil Nimri, a Palestinian accused of terrorism.-rh3/1/2018
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Why Israel`s Permit System is more sophisticated and controlling than Apartheid South Africa’s Pass SystemTony Greenstein - Blog - When we think of Apartheid, whether Israeli or South African, we think of discrimination, segregation and separation. But the essence of Apartheid was labour control and to organise this it was necessary to have a system of pass control. People could only move with the requisite paper. In South Africa this was a crude system and it fell into abeyance but in Israel it is highly sophisticated, with over 100 different varieties of permit. It is the means by which Israel segments and divides the Palestinians, setting one off against another.-rh3/1/2018
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Trump, The UN, And The Future Of JerusalemRichard Falk - Countercurrents - This post is the modified text of an interview on behalf of the Tasnim News Agency in Iran as conducted by Mohammed Hassani. It tries to assess the wider implications of the UN reaction to Trump’s December 6th decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and to follow this by relocating the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.]-rh3/1/2018
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This Land Is Our LandRaja Shehadeh - The New York Review of Books - In the course of the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, some 750,000 Palestinians fled the fighting or were forced off their land. In 1950 Israel passed a law designating those lands as “absentee” territory and through a series of other legal measures reserved it for the use of the Jewish Israeli population. But there remained heavy concentrations of land—in the Galilee, the north of Israel, and the Negev in the south—that was still owned by the Palestinians who stayed in Israel and became Israeli citizens. In these areas, Palestinians still far outnumbered Jewish Israelis in 1950. The new state was confronted with two questions: how to “Judaize” those areas, and how to transfer most of the land there to Jewish Israelis.-rh3/1/2018
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Criminalizing the VictimAmos Gvirtz - A state dispossesses people of their lands, and then in the very sites to which it transferred them, it declares them invaders! [bz] 2/1/2018
Trump’s gift to AbbasAlex Fishman - Ynet - In November, Abbas met with Saudi King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman in Riyadh. The two revealed to him parts of Trump’s “major plan”, under which the capital of the Palestinian state would not be in east Jerusalem but in Abu Dis. Up to an already deep down Abbas to market the loss of the capital in east Jerusalem to the Palestinians. And that was not all. The plan also included a cession of the right of return, a recognition of Israel as a Jewish state and a recognition of parts of the settlements? And then the miracle happened: On Dec. 6, Trump gave Abbas a “golden ladder” he could never have dreamed of. Abbas is now enjoying an upsurge in his popularity like never before - he, the man who managed to subdue and isolate Trump and enlist nearly the entire world around the Palestinians` right for a capital in Jerusalem. [Fishman is Yediot`s respected military commentator - bz]2/1/2018
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You are here What were the top BDS victories of 2017?Nora Barrows-Friedman - Electronic Intifada "Early on in the year, key Israel lobby groups admitted in a secret report – obtained and published in full by The Electronic Intifada – that they had failed to counter the Palestine solidarity movement, despite vastly increasing their spending. The report outlined Israel’s failure to stem the “impressive growth” and “significant successes” of the BDS movement and set out strategies, endorsed by the Israeli government, aimed at reversing the deterioration in Israel’s position...in March, Israel’s top anti-BDS strategist conceded that the boycott Israel movement is winning – despite the Israeli government’s allocation of tens of millions of dollars and the formation of an entire governmental ministry whose sole focus is to combat BDS." ca 30/12/2017
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The Voice of the Next Palestinian Generation Gideon Levy - Haaretz "It was a confrontation between the realpolitik of the previous generation and the revolutionary spirit of its heirs. Between modernity and the electronic struggle and diplomatic messages and the world of old. Between a compromise with Israel (never achieved) and an unwillingness to compromise on anything and to conduct a determined struggle that is unlikely to achieve anything in the near term, but at least exudes a new spirit...Israelis should listen to the new voices. They will get louder. Abunimah is not a terrorist, nor is Safieh..." ca30/12/2017
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Doctors urge mental health group not to meet in IsraelMiddle East Monitor - "A letter addressed to the IARPP, signed by renown Palestinian psychiatrist Samah Jabr and a number of American therapists, calls on the body to consider: the grave crisis posed by the Israeli occupation and its currently escalating attacks on the Palestinian people – attacks reflective of an overarching policy of ethnic cleansing and consequent seizure of land, restriction of freedom of movement, and control over natural resources." ca29/12/2017
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Why is the West praising Malala, but ignoring Ahed?Shenila Khoja-Moolji - Al-Jazeera "There has been a curious lack of support for Ahed from Western feminist groups, human rights advocates and state officials who otherwise present themselves as the purveyors of human rights and champions of girls` empowerment...Even if we don`t launch campaigns for Ahed, it is impossible for us to escape her call to witness the mass debilitation, displacement and dispossession of her people. As Nelson Mandela said, "We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians." ca29/12/2017
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Rights groups slam Israel Supreme Court for giving ‘green light’ to tortureBen White - MIDDLE EAST MONITOR - As Israeli legal affairs analyst Yonah Jeremy Bob noted recently, Israel’s Supreme Court was “unique” in having established “a category of ‘moderate physical pressure’ that could legally be used on [prisoners]”. He added: “No democratic country in the present era has defended the legality of such methods or established normative legal principles relating to them quite like Israel.” Now, this latest High Court decision leaves Palestinian prisoners even more vulnerable to abuse. According to PCATI, the ruling “permits de facto use of torture methods”, including even those forbidden in the High Court’s 1999 judgement, and also “blocks the way for victims who have suffered from physical and psychological trauma to seek redress”.-rh27/12/2017
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Home demolitions in the Negev and Tel Aviv show the real face of government corruptionOrly Noy - +972 - "Corruption does not begin with Netanyahu’s cigars or pink champagne. It begins with an ideological system that sees entire segments of the population as undesirable and unnecessary, and as temporary residents in their own homes." - id 27/12/2017
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Trump’s Jerusalem proclamation backfiresGhassan Michel Rubeiz - The Arab Daily News - "Trump’s unilateral decision on Jerusalem, Pence’s faith-based rationalization of the status of Jerusalem, and Haley’s concept of foreign aid-conditional-to-compliance have significantly lowered the standards of US diplomacy. The US can no longer follow two independent diplomatic tracks, one for peace mediation and the other for unconditional support of Israel." - id 27/12/2017
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Cry, Beloved Country Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - "This is not the Israel I helped to found and fought for. My Israel would return the bodies to the fathers and mothers. Even if it means giving up some trading chips. Isn`t losing a son punishment enough? What has become of our common human decency?" - id 27/12/2017
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A White Christmas in Palestine : Each year the land that gave birth to Christianity is covered in tear gas instead of snowYara Hawari - Middle East Eye - Snow came early to many parts of western Europe this year, with many hoping for it to hold until Christmas. A white Christmas is what many wish for, as families come together in a tradition rooted in the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. But in the "Holy Land", a white Christmas of another kind is being inflicted on the Palestinian people. For decades now the skies of Palestine are routinely filled with white toxic tear gas that the Israeli authorities use to enforce their occupation.-rh27/12/2017
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The ‘New Anti-Semitism’Neve Gordon - London Review of Books - The question today is how to preserve a notion of anti-anti-Semitism that rejects the hatred of Jews, but does not promote injustice and dispossession in Palestinian territories or anywhere else. There is a way out of the quandary. We can oppose two injustices at once. We can condemn hate speech and crimes against Jews, like the ones witnessed recently in the US, or the anti-Semitism of far-right European political parties, at the same time as we denounce Israel’s colonial project and support Palestinians in their struggle for self-determination. But in order to carry out these tasks concurrently, the equation between anti-Semitism and anti- Zionism must first be rejected.-rh27/12/2017
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Year in Review: Will 2018 Usher in a New Palestinian Strategy?Ramzy Baroud - CounterPunch - "2017 will be remembered as the year that the so-called ‘peace process’, at least in its American formulation, has ended. And with its demise, a political framework that has served as the foundation for US foreign policy in the Middle East has also collapsed. The Palestinian leadership and its Arab and international allies will now embark on a new year with the difficult task of drumming up a whole new political formula that does not include the United States." - id 27/12/2017
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In the Occupied Territory, Two Kinds of JusticeSTANLEY L. COHEN - COUNTER PUNCH - Israel has two systems of justice… one for Jews and the other for Palestinians be they Muslim, Christian or atheist. Nowhere is that more apparent or destructive than it is in the Occupied Territory.-rh27/12/2017
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A Beginner’s Guide to the Unrecognized Villages of IsraelAniqa Raihan - Portside - It is commonly believed that Palestinian citizens of Israel — officially known as Arab Israelis — enjoy full equality in the Jewish State. There are Arab members of parliament, the Arab population in Israel has been growing steadily for decades, and the Arab cultural scene is thriving in places like Haifa. While all of these statements are true, Palestinians insist that occupation still exists inside the state of Israel, and nowhere is that fact more apparent than in the unrecognized Bedouin villages of the Negev desert.-rh27/12/2017
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Oren Hazan’s Assault is A Stigma to him, to Israeli Knesset and to Israeli ForcesPalestinian Center for Human Rights - On Monday, 25 December 2017, a group of extremists led by Oren Hazan, Member of Israeli Knesset of the Right-Wing Likud Party, boarded a bus coming from the Gaza Strip and carrying Palestinian prisoners’ families. The families were on their way to visit their sons in Ramon Prison. Videos published on Social Media showed the extremist Oren Hazan verbally assaulted a prisoner’s mother saying:” Your son is an “insect” and a “dog” and you will not be able to visit him again, except under the ground.” The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns this assault and holds the Israeli authorities fully responsible for it, especially that this assault was committed under the Israeli forces’ protection. The Israeli forces were supposed to provide protection for the prisoners’ ‘families, not the aggressor, but they allowed the Israeli extremist Lawmaker to take the cameras and photograph his assault on the prisoners’ families in a humiliating manner.-rh 27/12/2017
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Israeli forces violently disperse peaceful Christmas march in BethlehemAl-Akhbar Management - Al-Akhbar - Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) Tuesday violently dispersed a peaceful march calling for "Christmas without occupation" in Bethlehem. Demonstrators marched to the Israeli military checkpoint in northern Bethlehem to celebrate Christmas and hand out gifts to children in the area. IOF prevented the demonstrators, some of whom were dressed as Santa Claus, from reaching the checkpoint and fired tear gas at the crowd.-rh27/12/2017
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AHED TAMIMI`S FATHER: WE WILL CONTINUE TO RESIST ISRAEL`S OCCUPATION AS A FAMILYBASSEM TAMIMI - Newsweek -Last week, a video of my 16-year-old daughter Ahed resisting an Israeli soldier who was trespassing on our land in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh went viral. The contrast could not have been clearer and was on display for the entire world to see: a heavily armed soldier from Israel’s army of occupation and a young Palestinian woman armed with nothing but her courage and a righteous desire for justice and freedom. And for that reason, she had to be punished by Israel. Less than half an hour earlier, a soldier shot Ahed’s 14-year-old cousin in the face at close distance with a rubber coated steel bullet, causing severe injuries and leaving him in a coma. Then, two soldiers had jumped the wall of our backyard and forced their way on to our property when Ahed confronted them in an effort to make them leave.-rh27/12/2017
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Ahed Tamimi Has Become the Symbol of a New Generation of Palestinian Resistance It would be far better, however, if she could just be a child.Ben Ehrenreich - The Nation - If you’ve seen the video that led to her arrest, you might have wondered why Ahed was so angry at the soldiers who entered her yard, why she yelled at them to leave, why she slapped them. That’s why. That and a thousand other reasons. Her uncle and her cousin killed. Her mother shot in the leg and on crutches for most of a year. Her parents and her brother taken from her for months at a time. And never a night’s rest without the possibility that she might wake, as she did early Tuesday morning, as she had so many times before, to soldiers at the door, in her house, in her room, there to take someone away.-rh 27/12/2017
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In Christmas address, Pope says only two-state solution will bring Mideast peaceCATHERINE MARCIANO and TOI STAFF - Times of Israel - Pope Francis on Monday called for peace in Jerusalem in his traditional Christmas address, saying that only a two-state solution could lead to peace between Israel and the Palestinians. The pope also highlighted the plight of children scarred by conflict around the globe, after urging the world’s 1.3 billion Catholics not to ignore migrants.-rh 27/12/2017
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Top 10 reasons to celebrate the UN vote on JerusalemHamid Dabashi - Al Jazeera - The vote is a compelling indication that the US, particularly under the Trump administration, is a bully-state and a toothless tiger that roars much louder than it can bite. (...) The vote exposed that the Palestinian cause is a towering global concern not limited to Arab and Muslim countries. (...) The humiliation of Trump administration at the UN puts it blatantly at odds with the rising tide of pro-Palestinian consciousness in the US itself. This administration, more than any other before it, shows the pernicious power of the Israeli Lobby in the US to force its political elite to go against the will of American people and embarrass them in front of the world community. [bz]26/12/2017
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Nabi Saleh is where I lost my ZionismLisa Goldman - +972 - My radicalization was not only a consequence of witnessing brutal violence perpetrated right in front of my eyes, by soldiers of the army that was supposed to protect me. It was also a result of my seeing the Tamimi family endure that violence week after week, seeing their relatives injured, arrested and killed, and still not coming to the conclusion that the price of resistance is too high. They simply refuse to submit. [bz] 26/12/2017
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Jordan welcomes UN vote, calls for joint action to resolve conflict Anonymous - Jordan Times "On behalf of the Arab coalition at the UN General Assembly, Yemen’s Ambassador to the UN Khaled Al Yamani praised Jordan’s efforts under the leadership of His Majesty King Abdullah, the Custodian of the Holy Sites in occupied Jerusalem, and his endeavours in dealing with Israeli measures.He condemned the Israeli policies, practices and plans aimed at annexing occupied East Jerusalem, changing its Arab character and its demographic structure, and attempts to change the historical and legal status of the Islamic and Christian sites, including Al Aqsa Mosque/Al Haram Al Sharif." ca 22/12/2017
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In Jerusalem we have the latest chapter in a century of colonialismKarma Nabulsi - The Guardian - The current US president’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel bookends a century of such events: from the Balfour declaration in November 1917 to the partition plan of 1947; from the Nakba of 1948 to the Naksa of 1967 – with its annexation of Jerusalem, the occupation of the rest of Palestine, further mass expulsions of Palestinians including from East and West Jerusalem, and the invaders’ razing of entire ancient neighbourhoods in the city.-rh21/12/2017
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Gazan authors start new chapterMohammed Othman - Al-Monitor - One of the sectors hit hard by Hamas’ rule over the Gaza Strip and the Israeli siege was book publishing, but both publishers and authors see signs of a literary awakening this year. The political-economic conditions of the Strip in the last decade have led to a cultural stagnation, and few books are being published and fewer still are bought. But since the beginning of the year, publishers, authors and members of the Ministry of Culture have grown hopeful as more books have been published, more cultural events launched and more young people seem eager to read.-rh 20/12/2017
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Musta`ribeen, Israel`s agents who pose as PalestiniansLinah Alsaafin - Aljazeera - They are dressed like Palestinian protesters, speak with the same accents and expressions, and show the same mannerisms. Their faces covered with checkered keffiyehs or balaclavas, they chant against the Israeli army and sometimes throw stones in the direction of the soldiers, all while drawing in other protesters as they get closer and closer to the army. Then, quick as a bang, the scene erupts, and this group suddenly turns on the rest of the Palestinian protesters, brandishing guns that were concealed under their shirts, firing in the air, grabbing those nearest to them and wrestling them to the ground.-rh20/12/2017
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More Legal Warfare: How Critics of Israel Are Being Subjected to Aggressive LawsuitsBill Mullen, David Palumbo-Liu and Heike Schotten - Truthout - As the Trump administration announced its intent to move the US embassy to Jerusalem (in blatant disregard of UN Resolution 181 and UNGA Resolution 303), and the Netanyahu government moves ever rightward, continuing its demolition of Palestinian homes for the building of illegal settlements, the US government`s support for Israel only increases. Kenneth Marcus, Trump`s nominee to head the Department of Education`s Office for Civil Rights, is well-known for advancing pro- Israel agendas and clamping down on Palestine solidarity activism on campus. All of these actions have generated a groundswell of protest, especially in the academy.-rh20/12/2017
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PALESTINIAN CHILDREN’S BOOK BECOMES TARGET FOR BOYCOTT AND CENSORSHIPRadhika Sainath - Literary Hub - But nothing Palestine-related, no matter how anodyne, can be consumed safely in America, let alone on the Upper West Side. When I started chatting with the cashier when I bought the book a couple of weeks ago, I learned that the store was in the middle of a targeted boycott campaign.They haven’t even read it!” he said. Googling the story, I learned that Bashi, the author, received death threats and needed police security at her storytime reading at Book Culture’s Upper West Side location. Book Culture received threats comparable to when it refused to ban Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses after Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa. A local synagogue threatened to ban Book Culture from an upcoming book fair if the owners did not denounce the book, and anti-Palestinian activists called for a boycott of the store. The “Upper East Mamas” Facebook group was shut down after parents “went ballistic” over the book, as reported in Page Six, The Forward and The New York Post.-rh20/12/2017
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Did Trump’s Jerusalem decision revive support for Palestine? Daoud Kuttab - Al-Monitor - Palestinians and their supporters have clearly put aside, temporarily, their differences to stand up for Jerusalem. The big question that remains is whether this is a temporary emotional outburst or whether it can be leveraged to improve the lot of Jerusalemites and improve the Palestinian negotiating position.-rh 20/12/2017
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Attorney general opposes death penalty for terroristsTovah Tzimuki - Ynetnews - Mandelblit to submit updated opinion on death penalty for terrorists bill proposed by Defense Minister Lieberman this week, expected to oppose it; judiciary officials say Western countries tend to abolish penalty rather than add to it, fearing irreversibility of punishment; only two men executed in country`s history: one falsely convicted by military tribunal, while the other was Nazi criminal Eichmann.-rh20/12/2017
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The angry Arab: Covering Donald Trump`s Jerusalem moveMariam Barghouti - Al-Jazeera - ""Illegal Jewish-only settlements are called neighbourhoods. Palestinian protests and demonstrations are called riots. Attacking protesters is called dispersing crowds by Israel, and the media has adopted this. And you see these subtleties become in the reports and the language being adopted as the norm. It`s the same language that Israel uses and unfortunately, it has dominated the narrative."" - id20/12/2017
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Israelis, Palestinians need European mediationAkiva Eldar - Al Monitor - "So far, Pence has only contributed to the flames ignited by his boss and the poisonous Christmas gifts sent from America; senior officials in the Trump administration said Dec. 15 that the Western Wall would forever remain under Israeli sovereignty. More so, Pence has decided to visit the holy site himself." - id20/12/2017
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IN AN UNPRECEDENTED MOVE, 10 DEMOCRATIC SENATORS DEMAND THAT NETANYAHU HALT ISRAEL DEMOLITION OF PALESTINIAN VILLAGEZaid Jilani - The Intercept - IN A STARTLING demonstration of support for Palestinian human rights from Capitol Hill, 10 Democratic senators wrote a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday urging him to halt the impending demolition of two Palestinian and Bedouin towns. Israel has been actively planning the demolition of the West Bank Palestinian village of Susiya for months. Its government claims that the village is not authorized, despite the fact that it is in the occupied West Bank, which is internationally recognized as Palestinian territory. For the past couple years, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., has been a lone voice on the issue, writing directly to Netanyahu to demand he halt the demolition. Feinstein’s efforts have been successful, as Israel has put off Susiya’s demolition multiple times.-rh20/12/2017
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Christian Fundamentalists and Evangelicals in the White House Eileen Fleming - The Arab Daily News - "Today’s fundamentalist Christian evangelical community’s passion to see Jerusalem as being irrevocably in Israeli hands is based on religious beliefs and NOT rational, practical political concerns, or God’s desire to see all people the way Jesus did: as equals!" - id 19/12/2017
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Trump decides: One stateYacov Ben Efrat - Challenge - "The thread connecting Trump’s decision on Jerusalem and his support for Roy Moore is his determination to appease his constituents on the evangelical right." - id19/12/2017
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Children of Stones Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - "So is there no choice? Of course there is. There always is. The choice is between the Two State solution and No Solution. Eternal war." - id 19/12/2017
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The Arab political leadership’s absence from the anti-government-corruption protests and its disengaging from the Zionist LeftDoron Matza - +972 - The Arab leadership’s interest is to maintain the potential for implementing the hard-wrung economic development program, which has already borne fruit in the shape of newly-allocated funds from government agencies over the past year. Central players in Arab politics now have an interest in Israeli political stability. Despite the intense anti-Arab rhetoric by the government, and in light of comments about Arabs that are no less harsh emanating from the Zionist Left, the Arab leadership in Israel has opted to see the glass have full when it comes to government policies. [bz]18/12/2017
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Israel’s Sunni-Shia Divide and Conquer Strategy Richard Silverstein — Tikun Olam "Earlier this week, Israel’s intelligence minister, Israel Katz, who has already announced his intention run for Likud Party leadership should Bibi Netanyahu be forced to step down due to corruption investigations against him, published an interview on a mysterious Saudi website often used by the Saudis and Israelis to float trial balloons they fear might be controversial in the Arab world." ca16/12/2017
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How corporate media tacitly justify the murder of Palestinian childrenSteven Salaita - Mondoweiss - On Friday, Israel commenced yet another bombing campaign in the Gaza Strip. The Independent (London) began its report with a note from the IDF that it had “bombed militant targets.” The story then explained that six children were injured. The third paragraph completed the picture: “The Israeli military said it had carried out the strikes on a Hamas training camp and on a weapons depot in response to rockets fired earlier from Gaza at Israeli towns. Witnesses told Reuters that most of the wounded were residents of a building near the camp.” What first looks like standard reportage—a delivery of apparent facts, complete with views from both sides—is actually stock dissimulation that (intentionally or not) confers responsibility for harming children not on the Israeli bombers, but on the people who endured their detonation. A more pessimistic reading can make a reasonable case that the Independent actually blames the children for their own injuries.-rh 13/12/2017
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President Trump’s Audacity for ActionAbdennour Toumi - The Arab Daily News "President Trump’s decision killed the two-state solution and the MENA doctrine (Realpolitik) of the former Presidents H.W Bush and Bill Clinton." - id13/12/2017
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Time for One StateRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "There is no reason in the long run two, in this case, can’t become one.  There are, of course, a thousand reasons Israelis can come up with against it.  But in terms of democracy, equality, economics and common interest, Israelis and Palestinians have much more to gain from union than to lose. " - id13/12/2017
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Say no to the tyranny of the majoritySami Michael - Ynet - "All over the world, we Jews are obsessed with interpreting democracy as a shield and wall for minorities, crying out whenever we suffer as a religious minority; in Israel, however, we seem to have forsaken a decent interpretation of democracy." - id 13/12/2017
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Was Trump`s Jerusalem declaration a honey trap?Akiva Eldar - AThe presentation of a serious US blueprint for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations on a permanent status arrangement is the only hope of saving the peace process." - id 13/12/2017
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Artists boost Gaza’s morale with music, comedyHuda Baroud - Al-Monitor - “The main goal of the festival was to give artists in Gaza the chance to show off their work to the Palestinian public, which is keen to hear music,” Ismail Daoud, a well-known Palestinian musician and professor at the conservatory, told Al- Monitor. “The Edward Said Conservatory is the only institution organizing regular music festivals in the Gaza Strip.”-rh 13/12/2017
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Arab leaders plan major response to Trump`s Jerusalem move Daoud Kuttab - Al-Monitor - Arabs and Muslims are responding with both actions and reactions to the decision of the Donald Trump administration to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. While public protests have engulfed countries as close as Jordan and as far away as Morocco and Indonesia, political leaders are searching for actions they can take to respond to the unexpected large public protests and demands for action.-rh 13/12/2017
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After Jerusalem, the US Can No Longer Pretend to Be an Honest Broker of Peace : But that might not be a bad thing.Rashid Khalidi - The Nation - Every dark cloud has a silver lining. The torrent of complex problems that Donald Trump has unleashed by his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital will plague United States policy and Middle East peace-making for many years. You cannot un- recognize a capital once you have recognized it. Whatever caveats he may offer, Trump has effectively accepted Israel’s annexation of vast swaths of the occupied West Bank into greater Jerusalem, and its declaration of this entire zone as its “eternal undivided capital.”-rh13/12/2017
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Over 130 Jewish Studies Scholars Criticize Trump’s Jerusalem Decision JTA -The Forward - More than 130 Jewish Studies scholars have signed a statement expressing “dismay” over U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The statement criticizes the Trump administration’s “decision to reverse decades of bipartisan U.S. policy by declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel, and authorizing the relocation of the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv, outside of a negotiated political framework that ends the legal state of occupation and ensures respect for the rights of all Israelis and Palestinians to Jerusalem.”.-rh 13/12/2017
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The many casualties of Trump`s Jerusalem moveIshaan Tharoor - The Washington Post - And while Trump insists the move is critical to "advance the peace process and to work towards a lasting agreement," it appears to have had exactly the opposite result. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is expected to skip a meeting with Vice President Pence, who will be journeying to the Holy Land before Christmas. Pence will also be snubbed in Cairo by the head of Egypt`s Coptic Church as a result of Trump`s decision. French President Emmanuel Macron and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have said they are jointly working to persuade the White House to reconsider. Meanwhile, protests continued in Palestinian areas and a number of Middle Eastern and Muslim-world capitals over the weekend. At least four people have been killed following Israeli military strikes in the Gaza Strip. On Sunday, demonstrators in Beirut clashed with police outside the U.S. Embassy; at least eight people were hospitalized in the aftermath.13/12/2017
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Tencent, Singulato, Cancel Visits to Israel Following Jerusalem Travel WarningAmarelle Wenkert and Orr Hirschauge - The Calcalist - Business delegations from Japan and China canceled planned visits to Israel this week due to safety concerns following a Wednesday announcement by U.S. President Donald Trump stating the U.S. recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The announcement drew criticism from world leaders, and was followed by protests in Israel and elsewhere. -rh13/12/2017
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An Arab NightmareRobert Fisk - Information Clearing House - Amid three catastrophic Middle East wars, it would be difficult to imagine anything more provocative, dangerous – or just plain insane – than for the Americans to move their embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Yet that is just what Donald Trump is this week thinking of doing. In a way, we should have expected this: mad presidents do mad things. For it’s not that the embassy itself is just a symbolic move. It means that the United States would acknowledge that the city of Jerusalem, sacred to Muslims, Jews and Christians, is the capital of the Israeli state, and that the Palestinians can never share it-rh13/12/2017
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Israelis, Defy the Boycott of Arabs and Go Shopping in Wadi Ara : Lieberman’s statement that residents of Wadi Ara are `formally citizens of Israel, but they are not part of Israel,` reflects worse on the state than residents of Wadi Ara Haaretz Editorial - Singling out citizens on national and religious grounds and calling for a boycott against them are familiar characteristics of dark regimes, and they are always presented as a response to a threat. Lieberman’s comment that residents of Wadi Ara are “formally citizens of Israel, but they are not part of Israel,” reflects more on the State of Israel, in whose cabinet Lieberman is a senior member, than on the residents of Wadi Ara.-rh 13/12/2017
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Jerusalem Is (Is Not) the Capital of IsraelRICHARD FALK - Global Justice in the 21st century - The harm done by the Trump initiative on recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and declared intention to start the process of moving the embassy is impossible to assess fully at this time. Whether there will be an upsurge in resistance violence, political extremism, anti- American terrorism, and wider warfare is now essentially unknowable, although the stage has been recklessly arranged so that these developments seem more likely to occur than earlier, and if they do, will be treated as outcomes of Trump’s faulty diplomacy.-rh13/12/2017
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From Barak to Trump Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - "Palestinians, and Arabs at large, do have deep feelings and convictions. They are a proud people... To be treated like dirt by the US president and his Jewish entourage hurts them deeply, and may lead to a disturbance in our region that no Arab prince, hired by the USA, will be able to control." - id 13/12/2017
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Trump`s snowball rolls from Jerusalem to the Gaza border Eric Yellin - Other Voice in the South - Forty-eight hours after Trump made a reckless statement in Washington, a "Color Red" alert was heard in my town Sderot on the Gaza border. A few blocks away from my home a rocket fired from Gaza hit between houses, causing trauma to several people nearby and damage to property. On the following morning we heard there were four Palestinians dead. The recklessness of Trump has triggered a snowball effect whose size or intensity we cannot yet estimate - but damage has already happened and it is already costing lives.[ak]12/12/2017
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Trump`s pragmatic move Yossi Beilin - Israel Hayom - You don`t have to be a billionaire to understand that when the time comes to make a deal, both sides will need to make concessions. Trump could seemingly have kept the recognition of Jerusalem as an Israeli achievement to be had in return for concessions, but he may have decided instead to initiate a move that gives Israel an early achievement in order for him to be able to demand something in return when he presents both sides with a diplomatic plan. [bz]12/12/2017
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No Palestinian state and no capital in Jerusalem, the new American-Israeli consensusMenachem Klein - +972 - Trump has exempt Israel from all commitments to international law and UN Security Council resolutions, which established that annexing Jerusalem and the settlements are both illegitimate and unlawful. Abbas’ inevitable conclusion is clear: the U.S. has moved from acting as mediator to blind, open support for the Israeli Right. The peace process as we knew it, since it began ceremoniously on the White House lawn in September 1993, has come to an end. We must find a new way. [bz] 12/12/2017
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Bulldozing the Peace Process David Shulman - New York Review of Books - While President Trump was announcing his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel`s capital, several Palestinian communities on the occupied West Bank and in the Jordan Valley were awaiting the army bulldozers coming to destroy their villages. There is an intimate and sinister link between these two concurrent events. For many years, house demolitions have been routine. In the last few weeks, we have seen a dramatic deterioration at a local level. What is now happening is not a series of isolated demolitions, but an effort to eradicate entire communities. Simply put: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his ministers think they can now get away with a campaign of slow ethnic cleansing. [bz] 12/12/2017
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Jared Kushner is wreaking havoc in the Middle EastMoustafa Bayoumi - The Guardian - In his role as the president’s special advisor, Kushner seems to have decided he can remake the entire Middle East. The results could be devastating [ry]11/12/2017
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Europe, wake up and smell the coffeeHagai El-Ad - +972 - Netanyahu’s Israel openly mocks the values that Europe claims to hold dear. When will European leaders stand up and reject the unacceptable reality of the past 50 years? [ry]11/12/2017
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Palestinian Rage Over Trump’s Jerusalem Move Won’t Turn Into a Third Intifada Muhammad Shehada - Haaretz  "Despite Palestinian despair as deep as before the first intifada, there won`t be a popular uprising or widespread officially- sanctioned violence. It`s not in the interests of the PA or Hamas - and they`ve bought the obedience of the activists who would have led the charge." ca 9/12/2017
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Israelis Will Pay for Trump`s Jerusalem GambitNoah Feldman - Bloomberg View "Although recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital doesn’t necessarily entail formal recognition of Israeli annexation of East Jerusalem, it certainly suggests that the Trump administration is willing to come very close -- far closer than any prior U.S. administration. That carries meaning for the Palestinian and Israeli negotiators alike...The basis for the secret threat to Netanyahu will have to be that, as the most nakedly pro-Israel president ever, Trump has the clout to blame Netanyahu if he is truly responsible for the breakdown of the deal...The Israelis have gotten the recognition they wanted. Now they will have to pay for it, one way or another." ca9/12/2017
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Dangerous bend ahead MultiMedia - Al-Ahram Weekly "Countries and organisations that have warned against the move include, as well as Egypt and Al-Azhar, Jordan, France, Germany, Turkey, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Iraq, Palestine, Morocco and the Arab League. Ahmed Abul-Gheit, the Arab League secretary- general, said it would “fuel extremism and recourse to violence”." ca8/12/2017
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Photos: ‘Day of Rage’ rocks Jabalya refugee camp in Gaza after Trump’s Jerusalem announcementMahmoud Abu Salama - Mondoweiss "No text, only captions under the photos." ca8/12/2017
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We should listen to the wisdom of King Abdullah — Mogherini Reuters - Jordan Times "Jordan has a very special role, when it comes to the holy places, His Majesty, the King of Jordan, is the custodian of the holy places and he is a very wise man. He deserves and needs all our support in this difficult time and I believe we should all listen to him very carefully,” Mogherini said at a press conference in Brussels, commenting on the US decision to recognise the holy city as Israel’s capital and move embassy there...The European Union will engage even more with the parties and with our regional and international partners. We will keep working with the Middle East Quartet, possibly in an enlarged format,” said Mogherini, citing Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, as well as Norway. “We remain convinced that the role of the United States ... is crucial,” she said." ca8/12/2017
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Netanyahu left without any cards to playAkiva Eldar - Al-Monitor "Every rookie cadet in the foreign service knows that in diplomacy, as in business, there are no free lunches. When a seasoned businessman like President Donald Trump grants Israel the coveted US recognition of Jerusalem as its capital, he expects a quid pro quo. That is why Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered members of his government to lie low and, to the extent possible, abstain from crowing over the expected news from the White House...The diatribe Netanyahu directed at Sharon in 2005 is all the more apt now: “The Likud and the state need a leader who will stop the corruption and work to heal the rift among the people.” ca 8/12/2017
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TRUMP’S CHANGE OF US POLICY ON JERUSALEM UNDERMINES PEACE EFFORTS, COULD LEAD TO VIOLENCEJ Street - President Trump’s announcement today that the United States recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is an unhelpful step with no tangible benefits, only serious risks. Contradicting decades of bipartisan presidential policy, it does nothing to advance, and could seriously undermine, the administration’s stated commitment to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict while potentially threatening Israel’s security and alienating Arab regional partners.- rh6/12/2017
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Donald Trump’s Jerusalem statement is an act of diplomatic arsonJonathan Freedland - The Guardian - ot content with taking the US to the brink of nuclear conflict with North Korea, Donald Trump is now set to apply his strategy of international vandalism to perhaps the most sensitive geopolitical hotspot in the world. With a speech scheduled for later today that’s expected to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and reaffirm a pledge to move the US embassy to the city, he is walking into a bone-dry forest with a naked flame.-rh6/12/2017
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Trump`s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel`s capital is politically dangerous and morally egregiousYousef Munayyer - US Campaign for Palestinian Rights - Trump has just upended decades of US foreign policy by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. This effectively hands Israel a blank political check for its illegal annexation of Jerusalem and legitimizes Israel’s ongoing displacement and disenfranchisement of the city’s Palestinian residents. Trump’s move is politically dangerous, and morally egregious.-rh 6/12/2017
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Trump Denounced for `Reckless, Irresponsible` Decision to Move US Embassy to JerusalemJessica Corbett - truthout - Critics warned of violent consequences and immediately condemned President Donald Trump on Tuesday after it was reported he told regional leaders the US will recognize Jerusalem as the official capital of Israel and relocate the US Embassy in the coming months.-rh6/12/2017
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King and Emperor Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - "Netanyahu would like to be, like Queen Victoria, "king and emperor" - King of Israel and Emperor of the Jews. Well, he ain`t." - id 6/12/2017
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Imprisoned Human Rights Defender in Military CourtInternational Solidarity Movement - Abdullah, a leading non violent activist and human rights defender has has been held in military prison since the occupation forces raided his village, Bil’in, and took him from his home in the middle of the night on the 19th of November, 2017. Abdullah was handcuffed, gagged and his hand were tied to the roof of the jeep. Since then, two military judges have conceded that Abdullah is not dangerous and should be released on certain conditions, but the military prosecution is intent on making sure he remains in detention, and has continued to hold him without regard to due process. Tomorrow’s hearing will be to determine if Abdullah has broken conditions set for his release by a military judge after his arrest from the Alwada Cycling Marathon on Nakba Day, the 13th of May, 2016.-rh6/12/2017
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Resource: Exploiting Palestinian land to treat Israeli wasteB`Tselem - +972 Resources - A new B’Tselem report reveals that a significant portion of Israel’s waste treatment system is located outside its sovereign borders, in the West Bank. Because Israel has set out less stringent environmental regulations for industrial zones in settlements and even offers financial incentives such as tax breaks and government subsidies, it is now more profitable to build and operate waste treatment facilities in the West Bank than inside Israel. The lax regulatory standards there increase potential environmental and health hazards for West Bank residents. B’Tselem research has found that there are at least fifteen Israeli waste treatment facilities in the West Bank.-rh6/12/2017
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December 2, 2017 Umm al-Amad, Ma‘inDavid Shulman - Touching Photographs - On the way to Umm al-Khair we stop at Ma‘in and climb the hill to where the owners were digging shallow pits for planting baby olive trees, a few days back. The settlers of Avigail, across the highway, must have summoned the soldiers. This time they arrested ten Palestinians, accusing them of digging in an “archaeological site.” There is no square meter in Palestine-Israel that is not an archaeological site. A new and ominous pretext, potentially useful for stealing land. They kept their prisoners all day and released them in the evening. This story, like Umm al-Amad’s, isn’t over yet. One thing I can say. Things are getting worse.-rh6/12/2017
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East Jerusalem ‘Must Be Recognized as Capital of Independent Palestine,’ Insists PAThe Palestine Chronicle - Any just solution [for the Israeli- Palestinian conflict] must recognize East Jerusalem as the capital of an independent Palestinian state, a spokesman of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas insisted on Friday.“Tension and chaos will continue dominating the region and the world as long as the Palestinian issue remains unresolved,” Nabil Abu-Rudeineh told Wafa, the official Palestinian Authority news agency, adding: “The international legitimacy, which recognized the state of Palestine in the UN General Assembly on November 29, 2012 and delegitimized the occupation, will alone create an appropriate atmosphere for resolving all the crises in the region and regain the balance of US-Arab relations.”-rh6/12/2017
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Tens of thousands turn out in Tel Aviv for anti-corruption ‘march of shame’ALEXANDER FULBRIGHT - Times of Israel - 8 Tens of thousands of protesters took part in an anti-corruption demonstration in Tel Aviv on Saturday night amid the government’s efforts to push through the so-called police recommendations bill, which critics say is intended to shield Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a pair of graft probes.-rh6/12/2017
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An ominous warning: ‘Netanyahu needs a war with Iran. And he needs it soon’James North - Mondoweiss - In a dangerous escalation, Israel last night attacked a military base near Syria’s capital, Damascus, using both warplanes and surface-to-surface missiles. News sources in Syria said the target was an Iranian installation near Al-Kiswa, 7 miles south of the city.This attack — Israeli officials declined comment — is just the latest ominous sign from Israel that the unholy alliance of Donald Trump, Benjamin Netanyahu and the Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, may be planning to greatly expand war in the Mideast, targeting Hezbollah in Lebanon, and its ally and patron, Iran.-rh6/12/2017
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Old headaches for new reconciliation dealOmar Karmi - Electronic Intifada "angry civil servants hired by Hamas to oversee the administration of the Gaza Strip on Tuesday confronted employees of the West Bank Palestinian Authority under Mahmoud Abbas as they tried to reassume their old jobs after 10 years. The latter had been ordered to take up their previous posts from Ramallah, which is keen to be seen to have taken back control of Gaza.But this came without agreement with Hamas and without resolution as to what to do with the people – somewhere between 40,000 and 50,000 – who had been employed in the intervening decade." ca 3/12/2017
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Flynn Plea Shows Collusion With... Israel? VIDEO- AARON MATÉ - The Real News Network "What it does show is that the Israeli government, through Jared Kushner, pressured Michael Flynn to approach the Russian government through Sergey Kislyak, who was the Russian Ambassador to the US at the time to use its position on the U.N. Security Council to stop a resolution condemning Israeli Settlement activity, which the Obama administration was going to abstain on, something the US government hasn`t done before." ca2/12/2017
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