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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
How Palestinians should respond to Trump`s `one state`Alaa Tartir and Tareq Baconi - Aljazeera - Palestinians must make clear that the sole prerequisite needed for a lasting peace is justice on their lands [ry]20/2/2017
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Do not let go of the Green Line: It is Israel’s Achilles heelMa`an - Nadia Hijab/Al-Shabaka - Today, the Palestinians do not have the power to achieve a political end goal for the foreseeable future. This should not and does not prevent work to achieve interim gains, without compromising basic rights. That is, in fact, the position the BDS movement has taken: It is rights-based and not “solution-based.” By not espousing a political end game, the movement can pull in the largest number of Palestinians and solidarity actors, enabling each to act in their own way to challenge Israel’s rights violations. [bz for dn]19/2/2017
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The One-State Two-State BluesRoger Cohen - NYT - Trump’s trashing of two-state doctrinal orthodoxy at least had the merit of constituting a break with a sham. It places Israel and Netanyahu before the choice they face. But his interesting one-state two-state provocation will lead nowhere when at the same time the Trump administration blocks the appointment of Salam Fayyad to head the U.N. mission in Libya on the grounds that, well, he’s a Palestinian. [bz for dn] 19/2/2017
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Palestine: Hamas elects new leader in uncertain timeAli Younes - Al-Jazeera "The Palestinian sources, who declined to be identified for this story, said Sinwar could be instrumental in smoothing Gaza`s relations with Egypt and could ultimately play an important role in trying to avoid another costly military confrontation with Israel given his "security background". ca17/2/2017
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Trump`s radical message to IsraelHaggai Matar - +972 "I don’t have any illusions about Donald Trump. I am not counting on a misogynistic, racist real estate mogul to save us from ourselves. We cannot pin our hopes on anyone coming to save us. But the fact that even the United States president, on whom the Israeli Right has pinned its hopes, stated that any agreement must be acceptable to both sides is worth praising. This is an approach that, unfortunately, has been missing from the political discourse in Israel, and Trump is right to try and bring it back to center stage." ca17/2/2017
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Palestinian Jordan Valley February 7, 2017 AM and PMNurit Popper, Daphne Banai, translated by Tal Haran - Machsomwatch report - Ali lives in Ras Al Ahmar with his wife Dalal and their five children. The place is highly fertile, its ground containing plenty of water. Ali, however, may not pump a single drop. Since the region has been declared a firing zone, many generations after Ali’s family began living there, he may not even introduce a tractor to carry water and feed for his flock. For three months Ali’s tractor as well as the tractors of 6 other residents have been held by the Civil Administration. These people call me on a daily basis, desperate – these tractors are as vital to them as hands and feet. Two weeks ago they were notified of the fine they must pay. They ran to the postal bank and paid. All of them. But then the Civil Administration got clever – now they must also sign a commitment not to re-introduce tractors into the area. What can they do with the tractor if it cannot bring them water? Without water, this is no less than expulsion. It has no other name!-rh 16/2/2017
Police opened fire on Umm al-Hiran driver before he started driving, video showsMeir Turgeman - Ynet News - New video aired on Channel 10 shows that Yaqoub Abu al-Qiyan, the driver who ran over and killed Sgt. Erez Levi during a violent protest against home demolitions in the Bedouin village, only started speeding into the group of officers after they opened fire on him.-rh16/2/2017
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Using art to heal: Battling cancer in Gaza : One Palestinian female artist`s battle with cancer in Gaza. Aljazeera - Aya Abdulrahman was informed by her doctors that she would be dead by the end of 2014. At 21, she had seven malignant tumours. "Your daughter has two months left to live. You cannot do anything. Go home," the doctor told Abdulrahman`s mother. The painful news, however, did not stop her from pursuing her dreams. Since childhood, all Abdulrahman wanted to do was become an artist and leave her mark on the world through art. Abdulrahman seized every opportunity that came her way to display her paintings and drawings across the Gaza Strip and abroad, from Los Angeles to Morocco. She participated in art competitions, worked with sick and disabled children in Gaza to have them express themselves through art, and trained youth in drama and acting. After undergoing a series of surgeries over a three-year span, the locally renowned artist recovered in 2015.-rh 16/2/2017
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Since Trump Won, All Israel Is Talking About Annexation. Why?Naomi Zeveloff - Forward - In general terms, annexation means the political transfer of land. In the current Israeli context, it refers to the application of Israeli sovereignty to parts of the West Bank, which Israel captured and has occupied since 1967, and where Palestinians hope to build a state. Naftali Bennett, chief of the hard-line Jewish Home party, has a plan to annex Area C, for example, where hundreds of thousands of Israeli settlers live, and then offer citizenship to the less than 50,000 Palestinians living in that area.-rh16/2/2017
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Trump approach may not help Israel-Palestine peace processGhassan Michel Rubeiz - The Arab Daily News - "Had Trump been cognizant of what it takes to resolve this conflict, he would not have assigned the task of mediation to his son-in-law, Jared Kushner. His background does not make Kushner the new Kissinger. Had Trump been serious about peace mediation, he would not have chosen the pro-settlement activist David Friedman to be the next US Ambassador in Israel." - id 15/2/2017
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Netanyahu won`t cut any deals in Trump`s officeAkiva Eldar - Al Monitor - "Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu`s commitment to the two-state solution changes entirely depending on the public or person he is trying to please, and he couldn`t advocate it at his Feb. 15 meeting at the White House even if he wanted to." - id 15/2/2017
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Why Arab Autocrats Haven’t Confronted TrumpRobert Fisk - CounterPunch - "The potentates have been overwhelming the White House switchboard with calls, both Egypt’s Sissi and the Gulf Arabs. The Emirates actually expressed approval of Trump’s policies. The Jordanian monarch, who of course got to Washington first, is being followed in quick succession to the Trump throne room by Benjamin Netanyahu." - id 15/2/2017
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Donald Trump says US not committed to two-state Israel-Palestine solution Julian Borger and Peter Beaumont - The Guardian - The US president, speaking on Wednesday at a joint press conference with the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, did not rule out a two-state solution but stated that his administration had no preference when it came to the final geographical shape of the region. Asked what he thought about a two-state solution on Wednesday, Trump said: “I’m looking at two-state and one-state and I like the one that both parties like. I’m very happy with the one that both parties like,” he said.-rh 15/2/2017
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The Trump-Bibi-Murdoch Love Triangle Puts Us All at RiskEric Alterman - The Nation -  But one weapon that both men share and that none of their adversaries, enemies, or even “frenemies” can match is their ability to deploy massive media empires to intervene on their behalf. Each has long cultivated mutually beneficial relationships with powerful right-wing billionaires willing to put their money behind propaganda networks designed to bludgeon the public mind in the service of their business interests and pet political causes. As it happens, Netanyahu and Trump even share the same media cronies.-rh15/2/2017
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‘The way they arrested him was savage’: Israeli forces violently detain 14-year-old disabled Palestinian boy -Sheren Khalel - Mondoweiss - Mutaz Baraka, also 14 and one of Ali’s friends, told Mondoweiss that he, Ali and around a dozen other children their age had just gotten out of school and were playing in the street next to the refugee camp’s community center when Israeli forces opened the gate in the nearby separation wall. Through the gate, an Israeli military jeep came driving quickly towards them. “Everyone ran but Ali was the slowest, so he didn’t get away, they caught up to him,” he said. - rh15/2/2017
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2016 sees Israel demolish record number of West Bank homesB`Tselem - 2016 saw a marked increase in the number of homes Israeli authorities demolished throughout the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, citing lack of building permits as a pretext. The scale of demolitions documented by B’Tselem this year is the most extensive since we began systematically documenting demolitions in 2004. In East Jerusalem, authorities demolished 88 residential buildings and 48 other structures. Elsewhere in the West Bank, authorities demolished 274 residential buildings and 372 non-residential ones. These demolitions are indicative of Israel’s efforts to limit Palestinian presence in the areas it seeks to take over, taking advantage of planning and administrative tools to that end.-rh15/2/2017
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From the expansion of Leshem settlement to a Bedouin resident forced to demolish his own homeAmos Gvirtz - Don`t say we didn`t know 538 - ... But then I was informed of the confiscation of 326 dunams belonging to the villages of Jalud and Turmus Aya. Then came the news of home demolitions in Ras Al Ahmar and Kardala in the northern Palestinian Jordan Valley ... 14/2/2017
Netanyahu’s Trump predicamentOmar Karmi - The Electronic Intifada - Netanyahu “understands that we are on a slippery slope to some sort of one-entity reality,” said Alpher. And members of Israel’s influential security establishment are already sounding that alarm. Trump – who in the Israel Hayom interview published Friday observed that “every time you take land for settlements, there is less land left” – may get on board to save the charade for another while. But it is ultimately an unsustainable charade that settlers and their supporters are now rudely exposing. [bz]14/2/2017
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The cops at the checkpoint always remind me which side I`m onSuleiman Maswadeh - +972 - “Suleiman, you don’t look Arab,” I would hear over and over, not to mention remarks like, “I didn’t know you were Arab,” “You are different from all the other Arabs I know,” “Are you half-half?” and of course the classic: “You’re Christian, right?” Very quickly, I understood that Jews have no idea what an Arab actually is. In their view, an Arab is a Bedouin who rides a donkey and lives in a shack, wears a galabiya and uses a cane. [bz]14/2/2017
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Why Israel is in for a Rough Ride Under TrumpRobert Fisk - CounterPunch - "So that’s it. The guy is crackers. There’s no stopping him. And Steve Bannon appears to have his hands on the levers. Poor old Jared Kushner, the son-in-law with the much-trumpeted power to “tame” the American president, couldn’t prevent that disgraceful White House Holocaust statement which somehow just failed to mention the Jews of Europe. Don’t tell me it was left out to appease the Armenians" [ry]13/2/2017
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Netanyahu’s price tag attackSergio Yahni - AIC - The ‘Regularization law’ exacts an inestimable price against Palestinians for resisting illegal Israeli settlements [ry]13/2/2017
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Red Rag column - Murder in broad daylight in Umm al-Hiran - Racists of the world, unite!Gideon Spiro - The story of the destruction of the Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran includes elements of Ku-Klux-Klan-style police lynching, with an admixture of blood-libel from Israel Police General Commissioner Roni Alsheikh and Interior Minister Gilad Erdan, which are reminiscent of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. gm12/2/2017
From Outposts to The Hague: The Illegality of Israel’s Land-grab Law Aeyal Gross - Haaretz - One can argue that some players in the current Israeli government coalition would be happy for the court to save the government from itself by holding the law as unconstitutional. Then, they can have twice the fun: show their right-wing base they supported the law and then show that same base their enthusiasm in attacking the “liberal”, “lefty” judges. Trump himself could take lessons from the Israeli right in this area. But the Israeli court may not be the only one looking at the law. (...) The new law may end up driving the Hague prosecutor to shift from a “preliminary examination” to a full investigation, which in turn may lead to the indictment of Israelis responsible for settlement policy at the International Criminal Court. [bz for dn] 12/2/2017
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Israel Bulldozes DemocracyAyman Odeh - New York Times - The reality for Arab citizens is Kafkaesque: The state refuses to create municipal plans to accommodate growing communities, and instead destroys homes that are built without permits it makes impossible to obtain. The government must meet the housing needs of Arab communities. I have proposed a two-year moratorium on demolishing illegally built homes, together with a public campaign to discourage illegal building. During that time, the state should create municipal plans for every Arab city and town and ensure that there is proper accommodation for expected growth. This plan has the support of both relevant ministries. But Mr. Netanyahu is ignoring it. [bz for dn]12/2/2017
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The age of Trump spells the end of the Zionist dreamBen Lorber - +972 "As we all weather the short-term shocks Trump inflicts upon the political and civic institutions of American life, the full reverberations of this longer-term shock have yet to be felt by American Jewry. In the future, the era of Trump will be remembered as the end of the Zionist dream." ca11/2/2017
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To oppose Trump, Jews must join the fight against fascism and Zionism Yoav Litvin - Mondoweiss "As the blooming relationship between the Trump administration and Israeli politicians and apologists shows, the ethno-centric character of Israel shares many attributes with- and has been a source of inspiration for- American White nationalism, now embodied in Trump’s administration. In order to effectively fight this new administration and protect community members against the growing tide of anti-Semitism, American Jews need to recognize these parallels, come to terms with the failure of political Zionism and renounce collaborators such as Alan Dershowitz and David Friedman." ca 11/2/2017
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Moving the US Embassy to JerusalemEditorial Al-Ahram Weekly "To move the embassy to East Jerusalem, a territory occupied by force, would constitute a flagrant violation of international law and UN resolutions. This might not mean much to the new US president but it does mean something to the standing institutions immediately responsible for the promotion, safety and wellbeing of US interests at home and abroad which, in this region, depend on maintaining good relations with a number of moderate Arab states, foremost among which is Egypt." ca11/2/2017
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Israeli Land Law is Final Nail in the Two-state Solution CoffinJonathan Cook - Information Clearing House "The Israeli parliament passed the legalisation law on Monday night – a piece of legislation every bit as suspect as its title suggests. The law widens the powers of Israeli officials to seize the last fragments of Palestinian land in the West Bank that were supposed to be off-limits. Now, almost nowhere will be out of the settlers’ reach.Palestinian leaders warned that the law hammered the last nail in the coffin of a two-state solution. Government ministers gleefully agreed. For them, this is the extension of Israeli law into the West Bank and the first step towards its formal annexation." ca 10/2/2017
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Israel vote to legalise wildcat settler homes dubbed `an aggression against the Palestinian people` : Abbas: `What we want is peace.... but what Israel does is to work towards one state based on apartheid`Bethan McKernan - Independent - After more than a week of parliamentary discussion members of the Israeli parliament voted on the controversial legislation, retroactively recognising 4,000 Jewish homes in 54 “outpost” settlements late on Monday night. Speaking after a meeting with the French President Francois Hollande in Paris on Tuesday, Mr Abbas said the bill was “contrary to international law”. “This is an aggression against our people that we will be opposing in international organisations,” the President of the Palestinian Authority said.-rh 9/2/2017
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This isn`t Israel`s first `land theft law,` it won`t be the lastOrly Noy - +972 - Congrats to the Israeli Knesset for passing the settlement “regulation law” (also known as the “normalization law” and the “formalization law”) earlier this week. The law retroactively legalizes the theft by Israeli settlers of land privately owned by Palestinians, largely land on which those settlements Israel calls “illegal outposts” were constructed — because their existence is illegal even under Israeli law.-rh9/2/2017
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Legalizing the theft of Palestinian land has been Israeli policy since Day 1 Jonathan Ofir - Mondoweiss - The law would retroactively legalize about 4,000 settler homes built in what is known as ‘outposts’, outside the ‘settlement blocs’ and on privately owned Palestinian land. Until now, such construction has been deemed illegal even by the bizarre set of Israeli laws applying, indirectly as it were, to the occupation. Thus the law crosses a line Israel has never violated before, even according to right-wingers like Dan Meridor, member of Knesset for Likud and a former minister, who called the law “evil and dangerous”; Israel’s Parliament never regulated Palestinian property ownership in the West Bank because “the Arabs of Judea and Samaria did not vote for the Knesset, and it has no authority to legislate for them,” Meridor says. “These are basic principles of democracy and Israeli law.” -rh9/2/2017
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Military Court, Ofer 29.1.17Vivy Sury, Nitza Aminov - Ofer Military Court, January 29, 2017 - Malena! (we’re sick of this!) cried the woman, mother of a 12.5-year old son, when offered a plea bargain including a 3,000 shekel fine. A young woman, angry and hurting, approached us to tell about the arrest of her 12.5 year-old son. The family lives in (the Palestinian town of) Bir Zeit. After school a group of children rode horse-back, and the police came along to arrest them. All the children except her son managed to get away. Her son was taken to the Benyamin detention facility where his father was summoned to report. On the same day, late afternoon, the son was taken to Ofer for arraignment and the family was informed that his hearing would take place on Sunday. The woman told us these children have nowhere to play so they spend their time in the streets. The police arrive regularly to create provocations.-rh 8/2/2017
Netanyahu wants to repress my group, Breaking the Silence. May, don’t help him Yehuda Shaul - The Guardian - n Monday the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, met with his British counterpart, Theresa May. Among other things, he asked her to stop the UK government’s funding of the group I co-founded, Breaking the Silence, as well as other human rights organisations in Israel and Palestine. This is regardless of the fact that Breaking the Silence has not received funding from the British government since 2011. As an Israeli, it’s not my place to tell Netanyahu to stop interfering in decisions made by the British government. That’s something British citizens can do. What I can do is shed some light on the reason Netanyahu is so intent on stopping us, an organisation of soldiers who encourage public debate on the reality of occupation and the moral price it exacts from Israelis.-rh 8/2/2017
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Israeli peace camp should use language Trump understands: Private property Akiva Eldar - Al Monitor - "With President Donald Trump in the White House, the Israeli peace camp should focus its strategy on highlighting the theft of Palestinian lands for settlement construction." - id 8/2/2017
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Trump`s message to both Israel and Palestinians: I’m in no one’s pocketOrly Azoulay - Ynet - "If Netanyahu thought he had the ‘green light’ to expand settlements and build new ones as soon as Trump took office, the US president has made it clear in recent days that he is the one setting the tone." - id8/2/2017
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Israel “Legalizes” Settlements Built on Privately-Owned Palestinian LandRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "I really wanted to use the term “steals” in the headline.  But I figured I better use a slightly less confrontational term there and then really let loose in the post itself." - id8/2/2017
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Palestinian towns petition Israeli Supreme Court to strike down `Regularization law`Ma`an News - More than a dozen Palestinian municipalities filed a petition to the Israeli Supreme Court on Wednesday against the recently passed outpost “Regularization law” granting official Israeli governmental recognition to more than a dozen illegal settlement outposts in the occupied West Bank established on private Palestinian lands, as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas warned of the consequences of the new legislation on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Legal rights groups Adalah and the Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center (JLAC) presented the petition on behalf of 17 Palestinian municipalities whose lands will be affected by the new law, calling on the Supreme Court to strike it down.-rh8/2/2017
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B`Tselem: a semblance of legality to ongoing plunder Amit Gilutz - B`Tselem - The law passed by the Knesset proves yet again that Israel has no intention of ending its control over the Palestinians or its theft of their land. Lending a semblance of legality to this ongoing act of plunder is a disgrace for the state and its legislature. Passing the bill mere weeks after UN Security Council Resolution 2334 is a slap in the face of the international community. While enshrining the dispossession in law is a new development, in practice it is another facet of the massive land grab carried out openly for decades by declaring `state land`. [ak]7/2/2017
My sister is refusing to join the IDF — and I couldn`t be prouderAmitai Ben-Abba - +972 Magazine - In our childhood we would fight imaginary monsters. Today the monster of the occupation is far stronger — yet Atalya continues to bravely fight on, and is willing to pay the price for her beliefs. Atalya wrote the following in her statement of refusal: “I grew up in Jerusalem, so fear is no stranger to me. I know what it means not to take a bus because there’s an alert against an attack, what it means to hear gunshots and later learn of a terrorist attack on the other side of the street. That’s why I know so deeply that we cannot let this situation last.” Atalya could have avoided military army service in other ways, which don`t involve going to prison, but she wanted to make a statement against the military regime that systematically deprives Palestinians of their basic rights. [ak]7/2/2017
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Amona`s evacuation is no victoryOrly Noy - +972 "The Israeli legal system has never been neutral in everything having to do with the settlement enterprise. It certainly does not see itself as responsible for bringing about justice vis-a-vis the settlements, and its famed judicial activism has been expressed mainly in authorizing land theft on both sides of the Green Line... But an effective struggle requires a wider strategy — one which, first and foremost, requires of us to understand our reality. In this reality, the legal system, the state, the police, and the settlers are all on the same side — and it’s not our side." ca3/2/2017
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Operation Chaos: Trump Will Ignite a Powder Keg in the Middle EastRamzy Baroud - Information Clearing House " "Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it." Newly inaugurated US President Donald Trump is about to do just that, reversing an historical course that has been in the making for one hundred years. The inexperienced, demagogic politician hardly understands the danger that lies in his decision to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.If he goes through with this, he is likely to unleash an episode of chaos in an already volatile region.The move, which is now reportedly in the ‘beginning stages’, is not a mere symbolic one, as some naively reported in western mainstream media." ca 3/2/2017
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Israel’s Hard-Liners Want to ‘Go Big’: Annex a SettlementIAN FISHER - The New York Times - Ma’ale Adumim has become a flash point of the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis. Right-wing politicians, emboldened by a more sympathetic Trump administration, want to annex it to Israel proper — the first formal annexation of a settlement. Supporters of the move argue that in the long absence of negotiations, Israel cannot stand still, and Ma’ale Adumim would likely be a part of Israel in any case.-rh 2/2/2017
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How Palestinian authorities plan to clamp down on cybercrimeEntsar Abu Jahal - Al-Monitor - The law would address all forms of electronic crimes, in light of the recent high number of cybercrimes in Palestine. Per Palestinian police statistics in Ramallah, 2016 witnessed more than 1,200 cybercrimes compared to 520 in 2015, according to officer Louay Azriqat, the spokesman for the Palestinian police in Ramallah.-rh 2/2/2017
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Danwatch: Major EU pension funds invest billions in businesses linked to Israeli settlements Sheren Khalel - Mondoweiss - Five of Europe’s largest pension funds have — against EU directives — invested up to €7.5 billion ($8.09 billion) in businesses linked to illegal Israeli settlements, Danish investigative news team Danwatch, reported on Tuesday. In July, the EU released new guidelines that state that any Israeli entity “seeking funding from or cooperation with the EU will have to submit a declaration stating that the entity has no direct or indirect links to the West Bank, East Jerusalem or the Golan Heights,” Haaretz reported.-rh 1/2/2017
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All Israeli ministers keep silent on Trump’s Muslim entry curbsRaoul Wootliff - The Times of Israel - As President Donald Trump’s executive order suspending refugee arrivals and barring visas for travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries continued to send shock waves across the US, Europe and Middle East Sunday, Israeli ministers maintained complete silence over the move.-rh 1/2/2017
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Is the media to blame for Netanyahu’s irresponsible tweet?Sima Kadmon - Ynetnews - He has no shame, Israel’s prime minister. No shame and not an ounce of integrity. And this is no longer about post-truth, or even about alternative facts. It’s a lie. A bald-faced lie. Benjamin Netanyahu sat in front of the cameras on Monday and threw the entire responsibility for the crisis with Mexico on the Israeli media. First he denied that there was a crisis, and then he blamed the press for the non-crisis.-rh 1/2/2017
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We have nowhere else to go’: Bedouins say they will continue to rebuild as Israel carries out home demolitions at a record pace Sheren Khalel - Mondoweiss - On the morning of Wednesday, January 25th, Israeli forces escorted two bulldozers down from the main road up to the small Bedouin community. Mohammed Jahalin and his family were ordered out of their houses and forcefully gathered together on the edge of their encampment where they watched as the metal blades of bulldozers smashed through their homes.-rh 1/2/2017
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Why I, as a Proud Israeli, Want the World to Boycott Us Ilana Hammerman - Haaretz -As an Israeli citizen and a woman engaged in public life, I declare that the state does not respect my basic right to live according to my conscience. The Judaism it is forcing upon me is not my Judaism. Furthermore, the nationalist and racist fanaticism of the government (led by its interior, culture and education ministers) is becoming more and more extreme, and contrary to the values I hold most dear. These iniquities are an internal concern of Israeli society and I have the right – and for now, at least, also the possibility – to fight for their correction from within society.-rh1/2/2017
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How a Photo of Jewish and Muslim Kids Protesting President Trump Went Viral Olivier Laurent - Time - The little girl is wearing a hijab and the little boy a kippah. Both are sitting on their father`s shoulders, smiling to each other and holding signs in protest of President Donald Trump`s immigration order. The photo, shot by Nuccio DiNuzzo, a staff photographer at the Chicago Tribune, and published on Monday night, has since gone viral, with people praising the universality of its message. "I think that the picture speaks for itself," DiNuzzo tells TIME.-rh 1/2/2017
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Two families, die-hard protesters remain in AmonaYnet reporters & Reuters - Ynet - Police plan to first evacuate the remaining families of the 40 that have been evacuated that day, followed by the evacuation of those barricaded in the synagogue. Thursday morning, Ministry of Defense officials will commence the next stage of the evacuation—pack the belongings and removing the houses. Violent clashes had broken earlier in the afternoon as hundreds of activists staged fierce resistance against thousands of policemen deployed to the outpost to implement an evacuation ordered by the High Court of Justice (HCJ).-rh 1/2/2017
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Netanyahu, master of `alternative facts`Akiva Eldar - Al-Monitor - "The brilliant newspeak term “alternative facts” that Kellyanne Conway coined in a Jan. 22 interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press” rocketed George Orwell’s classic dystopian novel “1984” to the top of Amazon’s best-seller list. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has long made use of "alternative facts" when in dealing with settlement construction and building by Israeli Arabs and Palestinians." - id 1/2/2017
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When Law Enforcement is a CrimeAmos Gvirtz - The very government that transferred Bedouin tribes from their lands into the Sayag zone refrained from legalizing and recognizing the villages it created. The Israeli government decided to declare most of the Sayag lands exclusively cultivable land, thus criminalizing any Bedouin seeking to realize his right to shelter in his village! [bz] 31/1/2017
When Trump falls, Israel will suffer tooAviad Kleinberg - Ynet - Trump gambled on the presidency and hit the jackpot. The Israeli ruling right-wing are celebrating: the dams have been removed; all the things that required caution and restraint in the past have disappeared. But experience shows that Trump has repeatedly gone bankrupt. And when you place all your money on the gambler, you fall along with him. [bz]31/1/2017
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The Israeli Law to Legalize Land Theft Haaretz Editorial - The bill to legalize retroactively many settlement outposts built illegally on privately owned Palestinian land invites the world, in particular Europe, to conclude that Israel is a criminal state, and should therefore not be spared international sanctions. [bz]31/1/2017
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Trump’s unquestioning support means trouble for IsraelIshaan Tharoor - Washington Post - The Israeli leadership may want "carte blanche," as it seems to get from Trump, but that puts it on a collision course with the rest of the international community - and with a growing part of the Democrats. [bz]28/1/2017
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How we can stop the normalization of the occupationYuval Halperin - +972 - Peace will indeed be achieved via negotiations, but there is an important prerequisite to negotiations: they must be between two equal parties. Therefore, if one of the parties is a sovereign state, the other must be a sovereign state, too. For the negotiations to be meaningful and successful, their starting point must be an international ultimatum — one that demands that an independent and sovereign Palestinian state be accepted as a fundamental right of the Palestinian people, rather than an issue to be debated during negotiations. [bz] 28/1/2017
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Active StillsYonatan Mendel- London Review of Books "The Israeli government says there is no occupation; the documentary group Activestills shoots back with images of Palestinians living under constant military threat. The Israeli army says Palestinians who protest against soldiers are terrorists; Activestills shoots back with photographs of Palestinian civilians standing in silent resistance." ca27/1/2017
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Belgium is Not Britain: Israeli War Criminals Under ProsecutionPalestinian Centre for Human Rights - Tzipi Livni, who was the Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs at the time of the Israeli 2008-2009 offensive on the Gaza Strip, cancelled her scheduled visit to Brussels in Belgium when the Attorney General there announced she will be arrested to question her about war crimes committed in the Gaza Strip during the abovementioned offensive. The Belgium-Palestinian Friendship Association filed a lawsuit before the Belgian courts against the former Minister Tzipi Livni, for her role in the war crimes committed during the Israeli so-called “Operation Cast Lead”.-rh 26/1/2017
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Palestinian local elections on front burner : It looks like the Palestinian municipal elections that were postponed in September might take place in 2017Daoud Kuttab - Al-Monitor - Local Palestinian councils have already passed their regular four-year terms. Municipal elections last took place in the West Bank in 2012 and in Gaza in 2005. While it is best to hold local elections in an atmosphere of national unity, it is unfair to the people of Gaza and the West Bank to continue denying them the right to choose their local governments. Internal bickering and disagreements between Hamas and the PLO might continue for years, judging by the rhetoric coming from their respective media outlets and their public pronouncements. The sooner that the local population has a chance to express themselves in the ballot box rather than in any other format, the sooner that unresolved local problems can be addressed by local leaders with a mandate from their constituencies.-rh 26/1/2017
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The Israeli police’s extrajudicial execution of Israeli citizen Yaqoub Abu Al-Qia’an Jonathan Ofir - Mondoweiss - The shot to the knee, that is the right knee, may well have been the first hit, which would have accounted for his sudden acceleration, as that was the leg on the gas pedal. The bullet to the chest (nonetheless not hitting vital organs) is very likely the last shot, which was taken after the car hit another and came to a full stop, a shot which could be determined as ‘confirmation of killing’. Whilst I apply speculation here, the autopsy reveals an uncontroversial fact: That Al-Qia’an did not die immediately. He died from bleeding for over 20 minutes, as he was left unattended, despite the fact that there were three mobile intensive care units on scene.-rh 26/1/2017
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Israeli police probe into Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu corruption allegations widensLoulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith - Independent - AFP reports that police are addressing two other matters related to Mr Netanyahu, according to Israel`s Channel 10. One of the issues is understood to relate to a deal for Israel to purchase German submarines, while the other remains unclear. It is also not known whether the police’s interest in these issues are preliminary inquiries or official investigations.-rh 26/1/2017
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Israeli security forces shot and killed youth aged 17 while he was fleeing from the sceneB`tselem - On 18 Dec. 2016, at about 12:30 A.M., security forces shot and killed Ahmad Hazem ‘Ata Zidani (a-Rimawi), 17, and injured N.R., 25, during a raid in the village of Beit Rima, northwest of Ramallah. CCTV footage and B`Tselem’s investigation clearly show that they were not endangering the forces when they were shot. Israeli forces are currently entering the village once or twice a week. Such raids are commonplace in the West Bank, leading to frequent clashes and in some cases to the unjustified loss of Palestinian life.-rh26/1/2017
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Is Trump really Netanyahu’s `dream president’?Mazal Mualem - Al-Monitor - The question now is where things are headed in terms of the new administration’s policies. Furthermore, how long will Netanyahu be able to maneuver between the various diplomatic constraints and his personal struggle against his rivals, both in general and in the Likud? This latter question is especially important now that the prime minister has a new rival in the coalition, the leader of Yisrael Beitenu, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman. Liberman is trying to insert himself into the position of the pragmatic, moderate right. What this means in practice is that he opposes annexation, at least at this stage. He has also come out against Bennett, which is something that Netanyahu cannot allow himself to do right now.-rh 26/1/2017
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Palestinians, it`s time to take our fight into the global arena: The non-stop incitement against Palestinian citizens of Israel from both the government and media prove the need for a new kind of resistance.Rami Younis - +972 - The goal of Palestinian citizens is not to be law-abiding Israelis. Their struggle is aimed at turning the country in which they live into a democratic state, and for all Palestinians to become free people with equal rights. Israel’s racist laws, designed to maintain Jewish supremacy, are presented to the world under the nonsense banner of “Jewish and democratic” in order to give a more progressive feel to the ethnic cleansing that has been going on from 1948 until today. Working within that system is not the right way, and we’ve had enough opportunities since 1948 to learn as much.-rh 26/1/2017
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Bennett: Watchdog`s 2014 Gaza War Report Is a Political Earthquake Barak Ravid - Haaretz - Over the next few days, a political battle is expected to be waged in the subcommittee over which portions of the report to make public. The Prime Minister’s Office will apparently seek to prevent publication of certain details. A draft of the report prepared about two months ago was highly critical of Netanyahu’s performance during the war, and also of the performances of then-Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and the diplomatic-security cabinet.-rh26/1/2017
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In Umm al-Hiran, it is `a continuing Nakba` : Israel has advanced plans to raze the village of 150 homes and replace it with a town for Israeli Jews.Jonathan Cook - Aljazeera - Witnesses, including Israeli Jewish activists who were in the village to protest the demolitions, say Abu al-Qiyan lost control of his car on the dusty hillside below his home after Israeli police shot at him in the early morning darkness. An aerial video taken by police appears to confirm the witnesses` accounts, showing Abu al-Qiyan driving slowly and cautiously until there were bursts of gunfire from the police. The car can then be seen accelerating and veering wildly down the steep slope.-rh 25/1/2017
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Bibi: Master of incitementYacov Ben Efrat - Challenge - "Netanyahu can continue to pat himself on the back. He may have ensured himself continuing rule, but his one-sided war against the Arab population has been lost in advance. They are here to stay." - id 25/1/2017
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Trump’s vow to move embassy to Jerusalem is now a ‘decision-making process’ Philip Weiss - Mondoweiss - At his press briefing yesterday, White House spokesperson Sean Spicer three times addressed Jerusalem and repeatedly used the words “decision-making process” to characterize the lack of immediate action on Donald Trump’s promise to move the U.S. embassy there.-rh 25/1/2017
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Red Rag column - Basel Ghattas - A Hanukkah miracle - Eran Torbiner`s new projectGideon Spiro - The Security Council Resolution declaring that the settlements are illegal, which passed without a US veto, is news to gladden the hearts of all who struggle against the Israeli government’s policy of Occupation and apartheid. Almost a Hannukah miracle. I lit a candle in honour of those responsible for the Resolution. Of course, one might also ask President Obama, who is now a month before the end of his term – where were you during the past 8 years of your presidency?24/1/2017
Why trade with Israeli settlements should not existTom Moerenhout - Middle East Eye - The real power of the UN resolution and Kerry’s speech lies in the effect it can have on third-party countries that are directly or indirectly supporting Israel’s violations of international law. Many European countries do so, particularly by providing an economic lifeline through trade with Israeli settlements. [bz]24/1/2017
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Palestinians, it`s time to take our fight into the global arenaRami Younis - +972 - When Arabs’ houses are demolished — amid live fire against the homeowners — in order to make space for Jews, it’s clear that we need to find another way to resist. [bz]24/1/2017
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Umm Al-Hiran, Freud, and the Zionists’ Original Sin Mahmoud Zidan--Very few had seen the massacring of Palestinians, the destruction of Palestine, and the expulsion of Palestinians en masse in 1948. One may have seen a documentary on or read about the tragedy, but it is never the same as seeing and bearing witness to it firsthand.dn22/1/2017
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I have been looking for a home since I came to this worldTamam Abusalama--Being born as a refugee is a destiny that has always been the main factor in shaping each step of my life. Since my first steps in this unjust world, my grandmother who fled her homeland Beith Jirja at the age of 18 holding two children in her lap, used to spend whole nights telling my siblings and I what it means to be displaced and forced to leave home. I was raised in Gaza Strip where my grandparents fled to as it was the closest and safest place to our origin village. However, I have never felt it was my home. I think we refugees are unable to find out what home is because we have an image of home related to our homelands. Till this day I have internal conflict towards “home”.dn22/1/2017
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What the world is telling Palestinians, Israelis and TrumpRina Bassist--European diplomats believe the international attendance at the second Paris conference reflects broad support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. dn21/1/2017
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Palestine in the Age of TrumpRashid Khalidi--The entire Palestinian political and economic structure set up since the 1993 Oslo Accords was predicated on the idea that it would evolve into a genuine, viable, and contiguous Palestinian state. That illusion, held by many Palestinians, has by now been dispelled. This flawed structure was also based on the premise, a naïve one at best, that the United States had a national interest in moderating Israeli behavior and achieving a modicum of justice in the Middle East. That premise, too, has been demolished.dn21/1/2017
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"The deeper the corruption investigation – the wider the inflammatory incitement" Gush Shalom - "Knesset Member Dov Khenin of Hadash charged Prime Minister Netanyahu with deliberately inciting against the country’s Arab citizens and setting the police to brutal raids – with the deliberate intention of distracting attention from the ongoing police investigation into charges of corruption against the PM. “The deeper the police investigation of Netanyahu, the wider the flames of his incitement”. ca20/1/2017
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Violence: The Language of a Jewish StateJonathan Cook - Information Clearing House "The man on the ground is Ayman Odeh, a member of the Israeli parliament, the head of the Joint List, the third largest party in the parliament, and the highest-ranking Palestinian politician in Israel. Israeli police have just shot him with rubber-tipped bullets, not once but twice – including to the face. Odeh is one of the least confrontational politicians among Israel’s large Palestinian minority, a fifth of the population. His message is consistently one of peace and amity between all Israeli citizens, whether Jews or Palestinians. That does not seem to have protected him from the shoot-first, ask-questions-later approach of Israel’s security forces towards Palestinians." ca 20/1/2017
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Israeli Forces Seize Agricultural Tractors in Jordan ValleyIMEMC News - More than two dozens of tractors were confiscated in different areas of the Jordan Valley, over recent months.It is noteworthy that dozens of citizens living in Khirbet Abziq, mostly refugees from the pre-1948 occupied territories, are being deprived of many basic essential services under Israeli policies. The tractors are used for agriculture and water transference.-rh 19/1/2017
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We must know everything about Netanyahu-Mozes affairBen-Dror Yemini - YNet - There is no reason for the attorney general to keep the recordings between the prime minister and the Yedioth publisher confidential. It damages the public’s trust in the media and in the PM and allows countless manipulations. As long as the recordings are not exposed, we—Yedioth’s writers and editors—are suspects too through no fault of our own.-rh19/1/2017
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Israeli forces shoot, kill Palestinian teen during clashes in TuquMa`an - Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian teenager during clashes in the Bethlehem-area village of Tuqu in the southern occupied West Bank on Monday afternoon, the Palestinian Red Crescent (PRC) ambulance service said. A PRC spokesperson told Ma`an that 17-year-old Qusay Hassan al-Umour was shot with live ammunition in the chest at least three times, and that Israeli forces had detained him for an unspecified period of time before handing over his body to the health organization.-rh 19/1/2017
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New Video Raises Questions About Alleged Car-ramming Attack by Bedouin Almog Ben Zikri - Haaretz - A video released on Wednesday may shed new light on the events that ended in the death of an Israeli police officer and an Israeli Bedouin who police claim ran over the officer during clashes in the southern Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran.-rh19/1/2017
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Antisemitism and its useful idiotsAmitai Ben-Abba -Mondoweiss - All over the world people who challenge Zionism are being accused of antisemitism. You might imagine the one group of dissidents who are safe from this kind of delegitimization is the Israeli Jews—we are not. This cruel irony, when exposed, may actually play a productive role in decoupling antisemitism and anti-Zionism. As actual antisemites take positions of power in the US government while maintaining a pro-Israel stance, the need to oppose the false accusations of antisemitism becomes ever more vital.-rh18/1/2017
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Will Arab Knesset member be impeached?Mazal Mualem - Al-Monitor - According to all estimations, there is only a slim chance that the Knesset will obtain the 90-member majority needed to expel Ghattas, largely because of the divided opinions among the members of the Zionist Camp. On the other hand, it is obvious to those who support implementing the law — i.e., the parties on the right and Lapid — will win points among large swaths of the Israeli public for it. The sequence of events needed to implement the Expulsion Law for the first time since it was enacted begins with Netanyahu and his need to project a populist approach. This will not be the first time Netanyahu dragged the opposition behind him, even though they are supposed to present an alternative to his government’s policies.-rh 18/1/2017
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Report: Mossad Chief Worked for Firm Linked to Netanyahu`s Billionaire Friend Haaretz - Cohen returned to the Mossad in 2002. Since then, Cohen reportedly met Arnon Milchan dozens of times, both in Israel and abroad. Milchan was granted a place in Cohen`s inner circle when he was still head of Israel`s National Security Council under Netanyahu, Walla said. In 2015, the prime minister appointed Cohen to head the Mossad. A number of the reported meetings between Cohen and Milchan occurred in Los Angeles, where Cohen was sent by then Mossad Chief Meir Dagan to discuss the production of a movie about the secretive Israeli agency.-rh 18/1/2017
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Red Rag column - Elor Azaria - lament for the dead in JerusalemGideon Spiro - Elor Azaria is not my son, nor are any of those other armed "soldiers/children" who serve in the Occupied Territories, shooting at the civilian population and extra-judicially executing people, any children of mine. They are citizens who need to be persuaded to stop being members of the Israeli Occupation force. gm18/1/2017
Arab Israeli Lawmaker Shot and Wounded in Bedouin Clashes With PoliceMarcy Oster - Forward - Arab-Israeli lawmaker Ayman Odeh, head of the Arab Joint List, was injured in clashes between Israeli police and Bedouins after Israel demolished several homes. Odeh was hit in the head and back by sponge-tipped bullets fired by Israeli forces during the clashes on Wednesday morning. “This has been a terrible morning,” Odeh said in a statement after he left a hospital. “It was possible to prevent the spilling of blood.”-rh 18/1/2017
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Stuck with Bibi, stuck with OccupationYacov Ben Efrat - Challenge - "Bibi has a firewall not because he lacks opponents (actually there are many within and outside of his party, and the media are not letting him off the hook), but because his opponents see no credible alternative to his rule." - id 18/1/2017
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How Netanyahu eroded public trust in free pressAkiva Eldar - Al-Monitor - "It’s too early to assess whether the scandal dubbed “Noni-Gate” will result in an indictment of one of these two gentlemen, or both. One cannot rule out the possibility that Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit will accept their version of events." - id 18/1/2017
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Mock campaign supporting two-state solution reveals liberal Israeli racismJonathan Ofir - Mondoweiss -“We will soon be the majority!” says a huge billboard in the heart of Tel-Aviv in Arabic, showing Palestinians with Palestinian flags. As Walla reports (Hebrew), many Israelis have “erroneously thought this to be a hostile takeover of the media by Palestinian terror organizations”. But this is a completely Israeli, Zionist campaign – in fact a liberal-Zionist campaign from the ‘center’ of politics.A parallel television campaign is running at the same time. It starts by saying the phrase in Arabic, and then translating it into Hebrew with a caricatured Arabic accent. The ad ends with warnings from various Israeli security officials saying that soon ‘they’ will be the majority and that there’s no choice – we “have to separate from the Palestinians – now!”.-rh 18/1/2017
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Netanyahu`s media scandal: Who bribed whom?Jonathan Cook - Aljazeera - In 2007, as Netanyahu prepared for a return to power, his political patron Sheldon Adelson, a US casino billionaire, launched the Israel Hayom newspaper. Freely distributed, it soon had a circulation of up to 400,000 a day, making it more widely read than Yedioth Ahronoth. Israel Hayom`s barely disguised cheerleading for Netanyahu quickly earned it an unofficial title - the "Bibi-paper", after Netanyahu`s nickname-rh18/1/2017
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Don’t Mess with JerusalemJames J. Zogby - LobeLog - Those who think that Arabs and Muslims will simply bow down before a Trumpian display of decisive strength are playing with fire. It is true that the region is divided and distracted by the unraveling consequences of the Arab Spring, but messing with Jerusalem would be the catalyst for a focused and unified Arab and Muslim response. [bz]17/1/2017
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Netanyahu Finally Admits to Being a Corrupt LeaderUri Misgav - Haaretz - It looks patently insane to put the country through the whirlwind of an early election only two years after the previous election because of a preliminary vote on a bill that relates to some free newspaper. Holding an early election and replacing the Knesset and the government carries a huge price tag of around 2 billion shekels. But in his post on Sunday, Netanyahu made it clear: “After the law passed by a large majority, I dissolved the government and went to elections.” [bz]17/1/2017
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Paris peace conference: A damp squibMouin Rabbani - Aljazeera - A half-century of Israeli occupation is not going to be meaningfully addressed by international meetings [ry]16/1/2017
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Opposition to a Jewish state is a legitimate positionJackie Walker--This still is taken from an undercover recording of an anti-Semitism training session at the September Labour Party conference where Walker was heckled after questioning Israeli policy [Al Jazeera] dn15/1/2017
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Israel`s education minister takes on role of political censorAkiva Eldar--Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett is promoting a law barring representatives of any anti-occupation organizations from entering high schools, effectively censoring students from information that contradicts the state`s narrative. dn15/1/2017
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When some are more equal than others before the lawOrly Noy--Law is a deceptive concept. We like to take pride in being “law-abiding citizens,” and so tend to reject and condemn members of our community who have broken the law. Joint List head Ayman Odeh, for example, was quick to voice his disapproval of the news concerning Basel Ghattas, a Knesset member in his party who is suspected of smuggling cellphones to Palestinian prisoners. Immediately after the reports regarding Ghattas surfaced in December, Odeh emphasized “the importance of respecting the law.” dn15/1/2017
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This is the one good thing about Obama`s legacy in Israel – and John Kerry might be about to destroy it Nadia Hijab--Stating that Israel must be a `Jewish state` in which the 1.7m Palestinian citizens of Israel `live as equal citizens` is not grounded in reality: there are already over 50 laws that discriminate against them, and Kerry’s principles do nothing to address these dn15/1/2017
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On eve of Paris talks PA support for two-state solution not shared among PalestiniansSheren Khalel--Issa Amro, head of Youth Against Settlements, a Palestinian-led organization in Hebron, told Mondoweiss that most Palestinians feel disenfranchised by the continuous cycle of negotiation attempts. “The majority of the Palestinians don’t have any faith in the Paris Peace conference because no matter what, the conference won’t force Israel to fulfill its obligations to international law or human rights treaties,” Amro said. dn 15/1/2017
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The Two-State Solution’s Silver BulletSam Bahour - Huffington Post - If the international community, led by the U.S., is serious about preserving the two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the upcoming French-hosted international peace conference is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reframe the way forward. Recognizing the State of Palestine would politically contribute to ending Israel’s nearly 50-year military occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. This single act may be the silver bullet to save the two-state solution. [bz]14/1/2017
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Why the Fear-mongering? Only One Democratic State is Possible in Palestine and IsraelRamzy Baroud--Long before December 28, when Secretary of State, John Kerry took the podium at the Dean Acheson Auditorium in Washington DC to pontificate on the uncertain future of the two-state solution and the need to save Israel from itself, the subject of a Palestinian state has been paramount. dn14/1/2017
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Why FIFA paid close attention to UN anti-settlement resolutionDaoud Kuttab--When the global community was discussing an anti-settlement resolution in New York, officials at the FIFA headquarters in Zurich were watching the deliberation closely. When United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 was approved without a single opposition in the 15-member Security Council Dec. 23, the international governing body of soccer was provided a strong document to resolve the status of the areas in which six Israeli soccer clubs are playing. The clubs are located in West Bank settlements and FIFA bylaws clearly state that soccer associations need permission to play in the territories of another soccer association. dn14/1/2017
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IDF Reservists` Letter: Too Little, Too Late Zvi Barel - Haaretz "He who appoints himself to defend Israeli society and bear the colors of the most moral army in the world cannot do so from the safe cage of some generals’ fellowship, as if they are some rare species loftily perched above those who populate the jungle. Generals who speak of morality and are worried about what’s happening to Israeli society can’t fulfill their obligation by defending “one of their own,” while closing their eyes to the snowballing hazard called the Israeli government." ca13/1/2017
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Former U.S. Defense Official: Israel’s Security at Risk Due to Religious Intolerance Judy Maltz- Haaretz "Israel’s disregard and disrespect for the non-Orthodox Jewish movements could end up costing it the longstanding support of the United States government, a former senior defense department official with close ties to Israel warned on Wednesday." ca13/1/2017
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Palestinian journalists frustrated with inability to cover PA corruption Shlomi Eldar - Al-Monitor "Palestinian journalists in the West Bank and Gaza Strip are closely following the unfolding case of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu allegedly receiving favors or gifts. Their interest is not prompted only by glee at the possible downfall of the Israeli leader they despise, but also by appreciation and envy of Israeli democracy and press freedom that enable the questioning of the prime minister under caution and the investigative reporting against him by the media." ca 13/1/2017
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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas warns Donald Trump not to move US Israel embassy to JerusalemBethan McKernan - Independent - Several senior Palestinian officials have said moving the embassy would hinder moves towards a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. One influential imam said it was as good as “a declaration of war.” On Tuesday, the long-serving PA President, Mahmoud Abbas, added his voice to the concerns in an official letter which aimed to dissaude Mr Trump from the idea, Palestinian news agency Wafa reported.-rh 12/1/2017
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A Soldier, Not a “Child”Gershon Hacohen - The Begin Sadat Center for Strategic Studies - When we ask young men and women to give everything they have and more for the sake of their country and their people, we cannot at the same time see them as kids. This is by no means a denial that every soldier is in fact a son or daughter to their parents.-rh12/1/2017
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Israel`s collective punishment follows Jerusalem attackNigel Wilson - Aljazeera - Hours after the incident, Israeli security forces surrounded Jabal Mukaber, an East Jerusalem neighbourhood that had been home to the 28-year-old attacker, Fadi al-Qanbar. Police established a cordon around the community, including a concrete blockade at one of the main entrances and checkpoints at other entry and exit points. The restrictions remained in place on Tuesday morning. "They closed the street with cement blocks. There was an increase in the police presence - they stopped and searched vehicles and inspected identity cards," Atta, a local resident who did not provide his last name, told Al Jazeera."Many couldn`t reach work. I, for example, had to leave my car behind and walk on foot to the main road because of the cement blocks. You could feel the police were on high alert and that they were trying to punish us for what happened."-rh 12/1/2017
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10 Palestinian homes demolished in Israeli city, prompting mayor to resignMa`an - Israeli authorities demolished 10 homes belonging to Palestinian citizens of Israel in the city of Qalansawe in central Israel on Tuesday morning, prompting a defeated mayor to resign after Israeli authorities refused for decades to approve the city’s master plan. Local sources told Ma’an the devastating demolition campaign sparked clashes between Israeli police and residents. Mayor Abd al-Basit Mansour visited the area along with members of the municipal council and announced he would resign from his post, as Israeli bulldozers razed the homes to ground. Mansour told reporters that, "We have been waiting for approval of a master plan for twenty years, but our request fell on deaf ears.”-rh12/1/2017
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Why Netanyahu rushed to link Jerusalem attack to ISAkiva Eldar - Al-Monitor - "Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was quick to blame the Islamic State for the terror attack in Jerusalem, ignoring that Palestinian assailants are motivated first and foremost by the Israeli occupation." - id 11/1/2017
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January 7, 2017 Asael, Susya, Twaneh, Umm al-KhairDavid Shulman, Margaret Olin - Touching Photographs - Asael, possibly the ugliest of all the illegal outposts in the southern West Bank—and the competition is fierce—is rapidly expanding. Yellow bulldozers, parked at the perimeter fence of the settlement, have carved out a huge swathe of intermeshed, criss-crossing gashes in the hill and valley just below. This wide, deep wound in the soil has been sliced, needless to say, through privately owned Palestinian land. We know the families. We’ve plowed here, on the edge of the outpost. There have been many bad moments with the Asael settlers, the ones we can see this Shabbat morning walking their dogs over the hill or praying to their rapacious god or swinging their children on the swings in the painted park just under their pre-fab caravans.-rh11/1/2017
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The truck attack that killed four Israeli soldiers in Jerusalem was not ‘terrorism’ Jonathan Ofir - Mondoweiss - In Netanyahu’s rendering, it is not even significant to mention that the four Israelis who died were soldiers (and not worth even mentioning that the attack also claimed a fifth life, that of the driver, but let’s not get over our heads here). He simply notes them as “four young Israelis”. This is a description that strips the context of its military aspect, and I think Netanyahu knows this very well, as I will elaborate later. By such rhetoric, Netanyahu blurs the distinction between military and civilian targets, a principle which is very important in the distinctions concerning terror.-rh11/1/2017
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Israel is a Rogue StateJohn Wight - CounterPunch - That Israel is a rogue state has long been beyond dispute in discerning company. In light of the recent revelation that an Israeli official, working for the country’s embassy in London, was plotting ways to “take down” various British politicians over their opposition to Israeli settlements and support for a Palestinian state, it is now becoming increasingly apparent within the mainstream. Or at least it should be given that this latest scandal comes as only the latest exposure of such nefarious activity on the part of a state that has long operated with scant regard for international law at home and overseas.-rh11/1/2017
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What do Israelis think about settlements? Turns out age matters.Oded Haklai - The Washington Post - The year 2017 will mark the 50th anniversary of the 1967 war in which Israel conquered the contested territories from Jordan. According to the findings in this research, those born before 1967 are more likely to remember Israel’s pre-1967 boundaries. They know that Israel has not formally declared its sovereignty on Judea and Samaria. They view settlements to be outside the State of Israel’s territory. This is especially true for those who were at least 10 years old in 1967. For that generation, the Green Line is tangible.-rh11/1/2017
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Report: 7,000 Palestinians held in Israeli jailsYael Marom - +972 - Since the occupation began in 1967, Israel’s military legal system has jailed anywhere between half a million and 800,000 Palestinians, according to estimates. This is an almost inconceivable number. The saying goes that there are practically no Palestinian homes without someone in jail. The conviction rate of Palestinians who have been arrested and tried in this system stands at around 99 percent. This means that if you are a Palestinian who has been arrested, it is worthwhile agreeing to a plea bargain, because you have almost no chance of being found innocent.-rh11/1/2017
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Israeli court’s conviction temporarily fends off ICCDaoud Kuttab - Al-Monitor - "The manslaughter conviction of an Israeli soldier for killing a wounded Palestinian youth has fended off an investigation of that particular crime by the International Criminal Court, but it does not mean Israel is in the clear on allegations of war crimes for other deaths." - id 11/1/2017
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The real impact of UN Resolution 2334 has yet to comeShemuel Meir - +972 - There is no factual foundation for a U.S. policy that allows Israel to annex “settlement blocs” that would stay under Israeli control in a final status agreement. And there is no such promise in the Bush-Sharon letter. Presidents Obama and Bush held nearly identical positions on the territorial issues. It’s difficult to assume that President Trump will turn that stance on its head — it is a position that Washington has held consistently since Resolution 242 and the 1969 Rogers Plan that included minor territorial adjustments. [bz]10/1/2017
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ISIS Attack Theory Suits Netanyahu Well, but Jerusalem Is Not Berlin Nir Hasson - Haaretz - As far as the prime minister is concerned, this force of absolute evil has no motive or rationale, and has nothing to do with the occupation or any other Israeli policy. (...) Even if Sunday`s attack was inspired by ISIS, it still originated in Jerusalem and is part of the unending series of attacks the city has suffered over the past two-and-a-half years. [bz]10/1/2017
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Why the Latest Palestinian Attacker in Jerusalem Was Not Deterred Amira Hass - Haaretz - A group of soldiers in uniform is not a neutral sight to any Palestinian. That’s the look and dress of those who burst into dozens of Palestinian homes every night, those who shoot women and minors to death at checkpoints, those who are sent to attack in the Gaza Strip, and who accompany Civil Administration forces to destroy water cisterns, portable toilets, tin shacks and tents. That Israelis have erased these facts from their agenda doesn’t mean they don’t exist. [bz]10/1/2017
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Israel’s global standing continues to sink, top strategists sayAli Abunimah - EI - “According to the report, Israel’s efforts to compensate for its deteriorating relations with its traditional supporters, by bolstering ties with ‘non- democratic countries, especially Russia and China, are looked down upon in the international arena’” [ry]9/1/2017
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Azaria exposed the reality of Israel`s colonial projectNeve Gordon--Azaria was found guilty of manslaughter after he shot and killed Yusri al-Sharif as he lay wounded on the ground. This striking mobilisation to exonerate Azaria, which cuts across party lines and includes MKs from Labor, should actually come as no surprise, since the desired pardon is not really about absolving one lone murderer, but rather an effort to vindicate Israel`s 50-year occupation.dn8/1/2017
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Top U.S. Academic Group Rejects Motion for Boycott of Israel [pity, dn]Taly Krupkin--The resolution was proposed by a group called MLA Members for Justice in Palestine. A decision on the initiative has been postponed for several years. The vote followed a dramatic discussion. Rebecca Comay, the author of the boycott proposal, told the audience that "Palestinians are stripped of the rights we ourselves take for granted." dn8/1/2017
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Memo to Kerry: Support for one state is growing among Palestinians and IsraelisJonathan Ofir--In his recent speech ‘Remarks on Middle East Peace’ which I have already ‘interrupted’ and appraised the selective historical timeline of, John Kerry had also misrepresented a very central other issue, which I have not yet regarded in detail: The wish amongst Israelis and Palestinians for a one-state solution. dn8/1/2017
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Despite BDS, West Bank industrial zones are boomingOfer Petersberg--Head of the Shomron Regional Council Yossi Dagan was one of the drivers behind the opening of the new industrial park. He said “on the one hand, international companies don’t really comply with EU decisions. On the other hand, Israeli companies aren’t ready to give up on the advantages (of operating in these areas), and are marketing their products to places other than Europe, such as Africa, India, and China.” dn7/1/2017
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Being Jewish in the Age of Trump: Why We Must Honor Our History of Oppression by Resisting White SupremacyJulia Sharpe-Levine--I did not understand because I had grown up white in America. After millennia of genocide, displacement, persecution, and exclusion throughout the world, and decades of discrimination and rampant anti-Semitism in the United States, Jews had been accepted by White Christian America. By the time I was growing up in the 1990s, Jewish Americans had been thoroughly assimilated into dominant society and, as a result, had procured the myriad benefits that Whiteness carries with it. dn7/1/2017
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Palestinian resistance archbishop dies in VaticanAmira Howeidy - Al-Ahram Weekly "Jerusalem’s Archbishop Hilarion Capucci was a household name across the Arab world in the mid-1970s. At a time when Palestinian armed struggle was popular, even endorsed by Arab regimes, the unlikely figure of the Catholic archbishop gained celebrity status as a symbol of resistance against the Israeli occupation. Iconic images of the then 52-year-old Capucci in his all-black Melkite Catholic vestment appeared on stamps in Egypt, Sudan, Libya, Kuwait, Iraq and Syria, among others...twice boarded ships attempting to break the siege of Gaza. The last attempt was on the Turkish humanitarian aid flotilla Mavi Marmara, which was seized and attacked by the Israeli navy 31 May 2010. Nine activists were killed." ca6/1/2017
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Could an Embassy in Jerusalem Bring Us Closer to Peace?MARTIN INDYK - NYT "It might seem that these two desires — to cut the “ultimate deal” and to move the embassy — contradict each other. Indeed, recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital could be disastrous. But it doesn’t have to be. In fact, Mr. Trump could both fulfill his pledge and move the Israeli-Palestinian peace process forward if he plays his cards right." ca6/1/2017
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Will `earth shaking` revelation bring down Netanyahu?Ben Caspit - Al Monitor "Netanyahu, even before the investigation against him began, adopted tactics to make it clear that he has no intention of caving. To the contrary, in fact, Netanyahu intends to leverage his popularity and recruit his supporters, mainly the growing right-wing Israeli public, to constantly repeat one message: that he is being subjected to a political investigation and political persecution...Netanyahu has now declared war against the police, the state attorney, parts of the independent media and senior members of the political establishment. He is convinced that he will win, but everyone else is not so sure." ca 6/1/2017
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Israeli officials back shoot-to-kill policy of Palestinian suspects, says Human Rights WatchHarriet Agerholm - Independent - Leading Israeli officials have been encouraging soldiers and police officers to kill Palestinians suspected of attacks regardless of whether lethal force is necessary, according to a new report by a leading human rights organisation. Human Rights Watch has compiled numerous statements by senior members of Benjamin Netanyahu’s administration and the country’s police force, which appear to endorse using lethal force against suspects, irrespective of whether anyone is in danger.-rh |5/1/2017
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The Palestinians’ new peace initiativeUri Savir - Al Monitor - The proposal includes six central elements. The first is establishing a one-year time frame, ending in December 2017, for declaring a Palestinian state on transitional borders. A second element relates to the interim territory of the new state, which will include all of Area A (currently under Palestinian control) and Area B (under Palestinian civil control and joint Israeli-Palestinian security control) and 20% of Area C (under Israeli control) in the Jordan Valley with full Palestinian sovereignty. This means an Israeli withdrawal from parts of Area C and the transfer of security control to Palestinians in Area B. Then there is the issue of Israeli settlements in Area C. The settlers could stay, but under Palestinian sovereignty. A fourth and most important element is a complete Israeli freeze of settlement expansion, based on the 1968 UN General Assembly Resolution 2443. Also, Israeli-Palestinian security cooperation shall be increased. The sixth element concerns permanent status negotiations, which must be launched after December 2017 between Israel and Palestine. The negotiations, on the basis of the 1967 lines and the Arab Peace Initiative, should last no more than a year, with a one-year implementation time frame.-rh 5/1/2017
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Running From the Law, Netanyahu-StyleLawrence Davidson - Counterpunch - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threw a temper tantrum (24 December 2016) after the U.S. failed to veto United Nations Security Council Resolution 2234 condemning Zionist settlements on Palestinian territory. Netanyahu called the resolution “shameful.” He went so far as to tell the foreign secretary of New Zealand, one of the countries that brought the resolution forward for a vote, that this action was the equivalent of “an act of war.” He then started recalling Israeli ambassadors from the Security Council states that backed the resolution. Finally, Netanyahu said Israel would “not abide by it [the resolution].” All in all it was quite a performance.-rh 5/1/2017
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The challenges of being a Palestinian doctor in the ‘Jewish state’ Hatim Kanaaneh - Mondoweiss - The great majority of our physicians, like other professionals in the Palestinian minority in Israel, with the exception of teachers and nurses, received their higher education abroad. Two factors played a central role in this exceptional achievement: Initially the Communist Party, the majority of whose membership in Israel has always been Palestinian, awarded its diligent youth cadre with full scholarships to universities in the Soviet Union. This was conditional on their return upon completion of their studies to serve their communities and to swell the number of educated party members. The first physician who led this process was my good colleague and cofounder of the Galilee Society for Health Research and Services, Dr. Anwar Awad from the neighboring village of Rama in Galilee. -rh5/1/2017
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Elor Azaria: the Israeli soldier who exposed the country`s faultlinesPeter Beaumont - The Guardian - The case of Elor Azaria – the “Hebron shooter” – has cast a long shadow over Israel over the past 10 months. The baby-faced, diminutive soldier who fatally shot a wounded Palestinian attacker in the head exposed multiple faultlines in a country that itself seemed at times to be on trial. For the military, whose senior officers pushed for a prosecution, the case and the international attention that it drew appeared clear cut from the beginning, not least with the threat of action against Israel in the international criminal court.-rh 5/1/2017
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Israeli justice minister considers bill to grant Benjamin Netanyahu immunity in case he faces corruption chargesBethan McKernan - Independent - Israeli Justice Minister Ayalet Shaked has appeared to give her backing to a bill that would grant sitting premiers immunity from certain types of criminal prosecutions, a day after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was questioned by police over gifts he may have received from business leaders.-rh 5/1/2017
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Report: Israeli military turns blind eye to attacks on PalestiniansAssociated Press - The Daily Star - An Israeli advocacy group on Tuesday criticized what it called an "exceptionally low" prosecution rate by the Israeli military in cases of violence committed by soldiers against Palestinians. The report by Yesh Din, a human rights group that is often critical of the Israeli military, came a day before a military court`s verdict is to be delivered in a high-profile manslaughter case against a soldier. In its annual report, Yesh Din said the army opened 186 criminal investigations into suspected offenses against Palestinians in 2015, but just four of those investigations yielded indictments. The group said the 2015 figures, based on official army data, were the most recent available.-rh 5/1/2017
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The soldier Azaria is a minor accomplice, main culprit is the occupationGush Shalom - Press release - And yet, what took place today at the military tribunal is very far from justice. The great miscarriage of justice is in the very fact that a single young soldier was placed alone in the dock, to be condemned for a crime in which very many others share guilt. Missing in the dock at Azaria’s side were dozens of other soldiers and officers who have done the same, who wantonly killed Palestinians who posed no threat – only, in the other cases there had been no photographer present to provide solid legal evidence. Missing in the dock at Azaria’s side were government ministers and Knesset Members, government supporters as well as those from the “opposition", who had outspokenly called upon soldiers to do precisely what Azaria did.-rh4/1/2017
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The fate of Syria will be decided in AstanaYacov Ben Efrat - Challenge - "This is where Netanyahu’s interests converge with those of his newfound friends, Putin and Erdogan. Israel’s prime interest is to keep Syria from falling into Iranian hands." - id 4/1/2017
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Is Donald Trump the Friend Israel Needs?BERNARD AVISHAI - NYT - "... one cannot be a friend to Israel without actually being a friend to some Israelis over others, one conception of Israel, the region, and Jews, for that matter, over another." - id 4/1/2017
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Will `earth shaking` revelation bring down Netanyahu?Ben Caspit - Al Monitor - Netanyahu, even before the investigation against him began, adopted tactics to make it clear that he has no intention of caving. To the contrary, in fact, Netanyahu intends to leverage his popularity and recruit his supporters, mainly the growing right-wing Israeli public, to constantly repeat one message: that he is being subjected to a political investigation and political persecution. In a meeting of the Likud faction hours before the investigators arrived at his residence, Netanyahu claimed that he would not have come under investigation if he had had different policies. Instead, he said, he was being obsessively persecuted by the media. Many of his Likud supporters agree with his assertion.-rh 4/1/2017
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Activist who filmed Hebron shooting `fears for his life` after Israeli soldier convictedMa`an - Just one day after the killing and release of the video back in March, Israeli settlers gathered outside the home of Abu Shamsiyya to throw rocks and make death threats, and he has received countless hateful messages on Facebook since. The United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner last month condemned the “daily violations” of human rights and international law faced by activists and human rights defenders in the occupied Palestinian territory.-rh4/1/2017
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Inexhaustible Memories of Palestine Barbara Nimri Aziz - Counterpunch - I myself had witnessed the gradual transformation of returned Palestinian leaders into a corrupt and impotent club of (mainly) men hanging out in Ramallah pretending to lead, but actually serving as front for independence, their putative authority extending no further than the boundary of this city of NGOs, foreign schools and upscale restaurants. I also witnessed diaspora Palestinians returning to Gaza City after 1993, investing in their forthcoming state, “a Mediterranean Hong Kong”, only to depart within a decade, embittered and often more deeply religious, returning to homes in Austin, Texas and Brooklyn, New York.-rh4/1/2017
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Netanyahu’s holy war, and the coming Jewish schismYakov Hirsch - Mondoweiss - For many years Jeffrey Goldberg played a major role in the Hasbara world where Israel is the utter Good and everyone designated by Israel`s PM as "Anti-Semite/Anti-Israel" is Evil Incarnate. But now Jeffrey Goldberg, recently crowned Editor- in-Chief of "The Atlantic", plans to put his magazine at the forefront of militant opposition to the Trump Presidency. And with Netanyahu preparing for a love feast with Trump, Goldberg has no choice but to take a distance from Netanyhau - a choice which many other Liberal American Jews are bound to make in the near future. [ak] 3/1/2017
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Annex, Bibi, annexHaim Ramon - Ynet - If Netanyahu and Bennett really want to continue the occupation and are unwilling to give up a single inch of land, they should go all way and start annexing immediately. Such a move will finally put their vision to the test and present the full picture to the public. [bz]3/1/2017
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Kerry’s failure, Netanyahu’s liberation Nahum Barnea - Ynet - All the US administrations, since 1967, have seen the settlements as illegal. President George W. Bush was considered one of the greatest friends Israel ever had in the White House. Bush was particularly close to Ehud Olmert when he served as prime minister. “Just don’t ask me to help you fund the evacuation of settlers from the West Bank,” he told Olmert in one of their conversations. “The settlements are illegal. The United States will not compensate you for their establishment.” The six principles specified by Kerry are, more or less, what will stand at the basis of any agreement, if an agreement is ever reached. [bz]3/1/2017
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Conforming to Israel`s Malignant Occupation Amira Hass - Haaretz - It’s hard to admit that the Zionist ideology and its creation – Israel – have created a thieving, racist, arrogant monster that robs water and land and history, which has blood on its hands using the excuse of security, which has been deliberately planning today’s dangerous Bantustan situation for decades, on both sides of the Green Line. All Yehoshua is doing is toeing the line and suggesting another sub-definition that helps Israeli bureaucracy to subdivide the Palestinian people and separate them from their spaces and their land. [bz]3/1/2017
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Reflections on surviving the next four yearsTAREQ BACONI AND NADIA HIJAB--What chance does the Palestinian quest for rights and an independent state have under a Trump administration? To address this question one must look beyond the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to the way in which Trump’s rhetoric during the campaign trail and since has legitimated racism, xenophobia, and sexism. He has appointed figures who have nurtured white nationalism or who view the world through a clash-of-civilizations prism imbued with Islamophobia dn1/1/2017
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Don’t Move the Embassy to Jerusalem; the Downsides Are Too Great Aaron David Miller--I have worked for half a dozen Republican and Democratic secretaries of state, and when it came to the issue of moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, my advice was always the same: Don’t. dn1/1/2017
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Inside Israel`s Christmas reprimands of foreign diplomatsItamar Eichner--An enraged Foreign Ministry disrupts the holiday for the representatives of those countries who voted against Israel in the UN Security Council; adding insult to injury, small talk is dispensed with, no national flags are displayed, and refreshments aren`t even offered; find herein a glimpse into the machinations of the biggest simultaneous scolding the MFA has ever had to administer. dn1/1/2017
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What were the top 10 BDS victories of 2016?Nora Barrows-Friedman--Intensifying repression against BDS movement shows Israel is becoming “desperate and irrational,” Palestinians say. Ryan Rodrick BeilerActiveStills dn1/1/2017
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