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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    

This land has been here longer than you and meAlex Stein--On one level, these arguments regarding historical claims are irrelevant. Even if one thinks there was no ancient Kingdom of David or that Palestinians didn’t exist before Zionism, it’s possible to acknowledge that there are currently Israelis and Palestinians living here today. But disputes about national legitimacy cut to the bone, and in order for there to be any possibility of a lasting peace, more thought needs to be put into reconciling these historical disputes. To achieve this, we need to get beyond the competing histories of Jews and Palestinians and begin thinking more deeply about the history of the Land itself. dn13/2/2016
Israel’s Terrorist Journalist: Haggai Segal (& Sons) Ira Glunts--Haggai Segal is a respected Israeli journalist. He is editor of the right-wing national religious newspaper, Makor Rishon. In 1984, Segal admitted to planting two bombs which were directed at two West Bank mayors. Segal, who was a West Bank settler in his 20s was convicted of causing grievous harm and belonging to a Jewish terrorist organization, which operated in the West Bank and Jerusalem. He received a five- year sentence, of which he served two.dn13/2/2016
No Peace Partner in Netanyahu`s Eyes, Only Wild Beasts Carolina Landsmann--Barkai’s words were interrupted by Erdan’s cries of shock. Barkai tried to explain – “in terms of the families’ feelings” – but it was evident that Erdan couldn’t believe his ears – in other words, not just that this was Barkai’s opinion, but that such an opinion is even possible. There is no question: Erdan’s insides, just like those of Simcha Goldin, are incapable of coping with a comparison between the feelings of bereaved Jewish mothers and those of bereaved Arab mothers. In that sense Netanyahu’s assertion – that we are surrounded by “wild animals” – is an accurate formulation of the Israeli zeitgeist, the essence of the stirrings of the Jewish soul in its land. dn13/2/2016
Call Apartheid in Israel by Its Name Oren Yiftachel - Haaretz - The occupation has not been defeated or liquidated, but rather has developed into the next stage: civil colonial control, accompanied by a creeping process of apartheid into the entire area controlled by Israel between the Jordan and the sea. ... Apartheid in the West Bank seeps into the entire area between the Jordan and the sea. In the West Bank, the expansion of the Jewish settlements means the erasing of the difference between “there” and “here,” while west of the Green Line, the means of repression are imported from the West Bank, such as the persecution of human rights organizations and removal of Bedouin from their ancestral lands. [bz]13/2/2016
Why Herzog`s diplomatic plan looks an awful lot like apartheidNeve Gordon - +972 "Looking closely at Labor’s plan, the logic behind it becomes clear: since it is difficult to envision a Palestinian state in the foreseeable future, Israel should no longer be ashamed of putting Palestinians in Bantustans." ca12/2/2016
Next Onslaught in Gaza: Why the Status Quo is a Precursor for War Ramzy Baroud - Information Clearing House "After his most recent visit to Gaza, Robert Piper, UN envoy and humanitarian coordinator for the Occupied Territories, left the Strip with a grim assessment: only 859 of homes destroyed in the last war have been rebuilt. He blamed the blockade for Gaza’s suffering, but also the lack of communication between the Ramallah- based government and Hamas movement in Gaza. ca12/2/2016
The State of Israel is changing its natureMichel Warschawski - Alternative Information Center "Like in previous cases in modern history, the majority of people are not fascist, and even despise fascism. The problem is the lack of a sense of urgency that we need to mobilize and unite, now. In few years, it may be too late." ca12/2/2016
Israeli bill targeting leftwing NGOs passes first hurdle Peter Beaumont - The Guardian - The legislation has been criticised as it would only affect leftwing Israeli organisations, many of which are funded by EU countries, and not rightwing NGOs, which are supported by private donations from wealthy supporters of Israel. MPs who oppose the legislation described it as “political persecution” and an erosion of Israeli democracy.-rh10/2/2016
How Palestine plans to shift its media strategyDaoud Kuttab - Al-Monitor - Dajani, who was also vice president for the Middle East and North Africa section at the US-based Internews Network, said that it’s basic communications to reach out to the population you represent, noting, “The job of any government communicator is to reach out and be transparent. You have to give people hope, but not false hope.”-rh 10/2/2016
Benjamin Netanyahu says he will build a fence around the whole of Israel to keep out ‘the wild beasts`Adam Withnall - Independent - Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to build a 15ft fence to surround the whole of Israel, saying that the country must “protect itself from wild beasts”.The Israeli Prime Minister appeared to use the extraordinary phrase – which has also been translated as “predators” – to describe both Palestinians and the people of neighbouring Arab states.-rh 10/2/2016
Palestinian government says willing to step down for unityAFP - Daily Mail - The Palestinian government said on Tuesday it was ready to step down to enable a new national unity government, as rivals Fatah and Hamas engaged in a new reconciliation effort. Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah was "ready to resign to support the formation of a national unity government and to take every effort to achieve genuine reconciliation", a statement read. The government is the remnant of the cabinet of independent technocrats that the West Bank-based Fatah and Gaza rulers Hamas agreed on in 2014 when they announced their reconciliation-rh 10/2/2016
‘Let the one-state era begin’– Tom Friedman explains there will never be a Palestinian state Philip Weiss - Mondoweiss - Our politicians are living in dreamland when it comes to the Middle East, Friedman says. Start with Israel. The peace process is dead. It’s over, folks, so please stop sending the New York Times Op-Ed page editor your proposals for a two-state solution between Israelis and Palestinians. The next U.S. president will have to deal with an Israel determined to permanently occupy all the territory between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, including where 2.5 million West Bank Palestinians live.10/2/2016
West Bank Settlers’ Listings on Airbnb Draw Palestinian AngerSteven Erlanger - The New York Times - The Palestinian Authority has condemned the company for “effectively promoting the illegal colonization of occupied land.” Settler groups, naturally, have fought back, encouraging more residents to list their homes on the site as a new platform to promote their intention to expand the state of Israel beyond its pre-1967 lines, and guiding journalists on tours of carefully selected properties.-rh10/2/2016
Israel`s New McCarthyismPeter Dreier - American Prospect - This week, the Knesset is expected to take up a bill backed by Netanyahu and his allies that will require Israeli nongovernmental organizations that expose and challenge the government’s human rights abuses against Palestinians to register, in effect, as foreign agents. Some Israeli activists call the legislation their country’s version of McCarthyism.-rh 10/2/2016
Today, Wednesday February 10th, 18:00 supporters will arrive at the hospital in Afula, accompanied by an ambulance and doctors, to transfer Mohammed Al-Qeeq for medical treatment in the Ramallah hospital.Adam Keller - - Journalist Mohammed Al-Qeeq is on the 77th day of hunger strike and fighting for his life. He has expressed his wish to move from hospital in Afula where he is currently being held without charge to the Ramallah hospital but the Israeli police refuse to allow it.-rh 10/2/2016
The death of the Arab Israeli dreamMazal Mualem - Al-Monitor - "The views of HaBayit HaYehudi have permeated everywhere — “We are not occupiers, we have returned to our homeland” — and anyone who says otherwise is kicked out of the circle. He is said to be an informer, a plant, unpatriotic, an Israel hater. More and more red lines are being crossed every day." - id 10/2/2016
Ending Business Activity in Settlements Isn`t `Collective Punishment`Sarah Saadoun - Forward - Ignoring the different legal status of Palestinians and settlers, Eisner argues that the withdrawal of settlement businesses would collectively punish settlers. But these businesses should not have been providing services to the illegal settlements in the first place. Settlement businesses unavoidably contribute to Israel’s violations by facilitating the operation of settlements and contributing to Israel’s confiscation of Palestinian land and other resources. They also entrench and benefit from this discriminatory system.-rh 10/2/2016
Time to divide: The answer to terror Efraim Sneh - Ynet - To stop individual terrorism requires a sharp change of mood in the territories. Only dramatic political action can do this. Many talk today about disengagement from the Palestinians. They can succeed if they call it what it is – the division of the country. This includes the division of East Jerusalem, where more than 300,000 Palestinians live. [Sneh apparently disagrees with his party, The Zionist Camp (Labor Party), which this week voted for a more meagre plan-bz]9/2/2016
One correction on `Israeli Labor Party adopts the apartheid mantra`Ran Greenstein - The Bantustans were kept afloat economically through migrant labour (and to some extent border industries), not through state subsidies. This made for greater freedom of movement in South Africa: black people depended on jobs in the white-dominated economy, white people depended for their prosperity on cheap labour supplied by Bantustan and township residents. This allowed black workers to organise and undermine the system from within. 9/2/2016
Israeli Labor Party adopts the apartheid mantraNeve Gordon - Al Jazeera - It does not seem likely that a just solution to the Palestinian plight will come from within Israel. [bz]9/2/2016
Jewish politicians meet with terrorist families tooEdo Konrad - +972 - Netanyahu wants to kick Arab MKs out of the Knesset for meeting with families of Palestinian terrorists. Will the same standard be upheld for those who meet with Jewish terrorists? [bz]9/2/2016
Israel shoots the messenger: An open letter to Ban Ki-MoonRichard Falk--What intrigues and appalls me is that while I was special rapporteur for Occupied Palestine during the period 2008-2014, you chose to attack me personally in public on several occasions, joining with US and Israel diplomats calling for my dismissal and doing the utmost to undermine my credibility while discharging this unpaid UN job under difficult conditions. At the time, I was doing my best to bear witness to some of the same truths about Israel’s unlawful and immoral behavior that recently got you in similar hot water. My UN mandate was to report upon the reality of Israeli violations of international law while sustaining their apartheid regime of oppressive control over the Palestinian people.dn 7/2/2016
`Don’t take part in a demagogic campaign against the Arab MKs`Gush Shalom - press release - The Prime Minister appealed to the general public to pour oil on the flames, to write to the Knesset Ethics Committee complaints against Knesset Members Jamal Zahalka, Hanin Zoabi and Basel Ghattas, and to demand that severe measures be taken against them. We of Gush Shalom appeal to the public to send to the Ethics Committee requests of an altogether different kind, and call upon members of the committee to act with responsibility and discretion. ... The Arab Knesset Members, who have won the vote of hundreds of thousands of citizens, are committed to represent the opinions of their own voters – not those of the Likud Party or ‘The Zionist Camp’. [ak]7/2/2016
Red Rag column: Ezra Nawi`s arrest; Tair Kaminer; Natali Cohen VaksbergGideon Spiro - Ezra Nawi is a friend of mine, and I am not in the habit of throwing friends to the dogs just because fascist contamination has entered the system. The activism of Ezra and his friends to help the occupied population in face of hostile and trigger-happy soldiers and settlers constitutes lifesaving in the most basic sense. For similar activism Mother Theresa received the Nobel Peace Prize. 6/2/2016
The emperor has no clothes: The West Bank, settlements and the two State Solution Miko Peled - American Herald Tribune - Not a single inch of the West Bank or the Gaza Strip is under Palestinian sovereignty. All of the Palestine, from the River to the Sea is controlled by Israel. So when European countries recognize Palestine they too are behaving like fools in a magic show, happy to be part of the illusion of some great master of deceit. And indeed, as the world is led by the nose, fooled by the illusion of a Palestine that exists, Israel, the master of deceit, continues to shrink what little is left of Palestinian life. [bz]5/2/2016
Israeli settlements as a limitation to the two-state approachVerena J. Nitschke - This paper is going to focus on the humanitarian and political effects of the Israeli settlement policy, evaluating especially the impact it has on the two-state approach. Due to its effect on the two-state approach, the settlement policy of Israel is not only relevant for the Palestinians whose human rights are restricted, but also for the whole international community and especially the states in the Middle East. The situation in the Middle East and the inter-state relations have an immense impact on international security as well as on the living conditions under occupation in the Palestinian territories. A solution for the conflict between Israel and Palestine, and thus a peaceful co-existence, can only be achieved, if either the one-state approach or the two-state approach will be accepted, adopted and established. The one-state solution would result in both nationalities, Israelis and Palestinians, living peacefully together in one territory, whereas the two-state approach concludes in two separate states, existing independently but peacefully next to each other.-rh 4/2/2016
3 Palestinians shot dead after Jerusalem attack kills Israeli officerMa`an News Agency - Israeli media reported that two of the three were barred from entrance into Israel and that all three had crossed over illegally. Israeli media reports also said none of the three Palestinians were affiliated with any political organization.-rh3/2/2016
NOTHING HOLY ABOUT THE HOLY LANDRay Hanania - The Arab Daily News - "“Normalization” is the king of hatred. It represents a path to peace, but it’s not just Arabs who are against it. Israelis oppose it too. Israel is the master of anti-normalization. It blends the semantics of anti-normalization and transforms the innocent into terrorists." - id 3/2/2016
How Im Tirtzu dominates Israel`s public debateMairav Zonszein - +972 - "The idea that it is somehow disloyal to criticize Israel outside the country is an old and very popular trope. It was not created by the Right, but by Israel’s founding prime minister David Ben-Gurion, to cover up for massacres against Palestinians that took place upon the state’s establishment." - id 3/2/2016
Welcome to the state of walls and barricadesTami Arad - Ynet - "Netanyahu is a sober leader who believes there`s no solution to the conflict unless an app is found that could make the Palestinians disappear. Until then, he says no to a diplomatic process, separation, or annexation - and yes to entrenchment." - id 3/2/2016
Why one Israeli campaign is calling artists `traitors`Akiva Eldar - Al Monitor - "Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli politicians have condemned the Im Tirtzu campaign labeling Israeli artists as traitors, but the group`s activities against human rights activists continue unabated." - id 3/2/2016
Netanyahu thinks mild Ban Ki-moon incites terrorRobert Fisk - Independent - I suspect that it was Ban’s comment about the Jewish colonisation of Arab land that the Israeli Prime Minister didn’t like. What he said was that “continued settlement activities are an affront to the Palestinian people and to the international community”, and I rather got his point. Because we know, just as Ban said, that people who are occupied do indeed resist occupation, which becomes “a potent incubator of hate and extremism”. Is that not how Iraqis reacted to us? And how Afghans react? And, indeed, how Palestinian Jews decided to act when they’d had enough of Britain in Palestine?-rh3/2/2016
The man behind the future of education in PalestineDaoud Kuttab - Al-Monitor - In a comprehensive interview with Al-Monitor, Saidam, who was appointed in August 2015, also wants to use changes to the controversial test to introduce a much more effective education system. The test results often determine people`s future and ultimately can bring great benefits to their families or keep them in poverty. Scholarships are available to students who get high grades. “This [testing] system divides society on the basis of the results of the tawjihi, which does not allow the students to express themselves and does not provide any space for analysis or interactive learning,” Saidam explained.-rh 3/2/2016
Progressive Jewish groups make New York Times parody issue to protest newspaper’s “biased Israel-Palestine coverage” Ben Norton - Salon - Activists from progressive Jewish human rights groups created a very convincing-looking fake edition of The New York Times to protest the leading newspaper’s coverage of Israel.The parody publication is written from a left-wing, anti-racist, anti-Islamophobic perspective that criticizes Israel’s violations of international law and Palestinian human rights, along with what the groups say is the Times’ failure to adequately address these crimes.-rh 3/2/2016
Despite total lack of evidence, Israeli court sentences ‘Hares Boys’ to 15 years in prison - See more at: Robbins - Mondoweiss - No evidence, no eye witnesses, and no crime preceded the capture, torture and forced confessions of the Hares Boys, 5 Palestinian youths from the West Bank village of Hares. And yet Ali Shamlawi, Mohammed Kleib, Mohammed Suleiman, Ammar Souf, and Tamer Souf were recently sentenced, after almost 3 years of imprisonment and over 100 hearings, by the Israeli occupation military court to 15 years in prison.-rh3/2/2016
Right-wing MKs flog ‘fascist’ group for ‘outing’ lefty artistsTamar Pileggi - The Times of Israel - The campaign, launched on Wednesday and titled “Moles in Culture,” features a list of artists that includes a number of well-known Israeli authors, actors and musicians — writers Amos Oz, David Grossman and A.B. Yehoshua, actress Gila Almagor, and singers Rona Keinan and Chava Alberstein are featured — accusing them of being “moles” who support left-wing groups that receive some of their funding from foreign governments.-rh3/2/2016
Israeli Justice Minister Shaked: `We Will Not Commit Suicide`Nicola Abé and Ronen Bergman - Spiegel Online International - Shaked is a member of his cabinet as his justice minister. She achieved that ascent by taking over the reins together with Naftali Bennett of the national religious party Jewish Home, which has become the third-strongest party in Israel, attracting the votes of young Tel Aviv residents as well as radical settlers. The fact that the party is able to manage this balancing act is also due to Shaked`s merits. She`s smart, secular and radical and doesn`t shy away from making razor-sharp -- some would even say racist -- comments.-rh 3/2/2016
Nonviolent Resistance in the South Hebron HillsCassandra Dixon - Information Clearing House -The worst worries of a child’s school day should be homework. Maybe a lost book, or an argument with a friend. No child’s walk to school should routinely involve armed soldiers and fear of sometimes being chased and assaulted by angry adults. But for the Palestinian children who live with their families in the small rural villages that make up the South Hebron Hills, this is how the school day begins. Illegal settlements and outposts isolate and separate their villages and soldiers are a constant in their lives.-rh 3/2/2016
Take action: 71 days of hunger strike for imprisoned Palestinian journalist Al-QeeqSamidoun - Hunger-striking Palestinian journalist Mohammed al-Qeeq is facing a severe risk of stroke, warned his lawyer Ashraf Abu Sneineh on 2 February. He has lost a massive amount of weight, and there is evidence of damage to internal organs of his body, Abu Sneineh said.-rh 3/2/2016
The Obama Administration Is Right to Reject the “Settlements=Israel” ConflationLara Friedman - Lobelog - Congress, in both bills, has passed language explicitly defining actions “against Israel” to mean not only against the sovereign state of Israel, but also actions against “Israeli-controlled territories.” This is the very definition of conflating. President Obama stands on the firmest possible ground in rejecting the current congressional effort to use its legislative power to change U.S. policy on settlements. [bz] 2/2/2016
The end of normalcy for Israeli settlements?Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man - 972 - U.S. joins the chorus of countries taking steps to distinguish between Israel and its illegal settlements [bz]2/2/2016
The `Professional Journalism` Behind the Silencing of Israeli Violence Amira Hass - Haaretz - In an earlier op-ed I wrote the following sentence, which contradicts the reality: “It is very tempting to say that the road to disaster is paved with logical steps, but the disaster is long in coming.” That’s nonsense of course, if you’ll excuse me. The Palestinians live in a routine of ongoing and incremental disasters. What is the deliberate imprisonment of 1.8 million people in a narrow strip of 360 square kilometers, if not ongoing calamity? And what is “Area C” and the prohibitions against construction and movement and drinking and irrigating there, if not an endless man-made disaster? [bz]2/2/2016
When equality is the biggest existential threat of allNatasha Roth - +972 - In these days of entrapping human rights activists and blacklisting ‘traitors,’ the concept of equality has become as radical as it gets — and a threat to everything the governing regime stands for [ry] 1/2/2016
Complex problematics of Palestinian representationRichard Falk - AIC - This issue of representation has been rendered acute partly due to Israeli policies of fragmenting the Palestinian people, and then complaining that they have no partner with whom to make peace [ry] 1/2/2016
This uprising is about more than knivesBudour Youssef Hassan--When the “intifada of the knives” set off in October last year, Western reporters flooded in to Jerusalem to cover the new “escalation,” interview people from “both sides of the conflict” and raise several variations of the old question: “Is this the beginning of a third intifada?” dn31/1/2016
Cultural Zionism good, political Zionism badRoland Nikles--Back in 2012 Peter Beinart wrote a book, The Crisis of Zionism, suggesting that Zionism has lost its way from the path promised in Israel’s declaration of independence. That promise was to develop the country for all its inhabitants based on precepts of liberty and justice; the promise was to achieve social and political equality for all its citizens. Beinart argued that Zionism breached this promise and has become illiberal. Beinart argued that liberal Zionism must be restored. dn31/1/2016
Fear them not: `1984` shall passSami Michael - Ynet - The culture minister did not hide her intention to ensure that Israel`s writers and artists eventually have to think, write and create in the exact same way and with the same obedience as soldiers in military uniform. There were also unforgettable rehearsals, such as when the actress Orna Banai was fired because she questioned the justness of Operation Protective Edge. The outcry over the al-Midan theater and the new Civics textbook were additional rehearsals. [bz]30/1/2016
A new mini documentary on Israel’s last election tells us something important about IsraelZack Beauchamp--Last March, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu won a reelection fight that the polls had all said he`d lose. How did Netanyahu do it? That`s the subject of a new mini-documentary from Israel`s Channel 2 news station, which tells the behind-the-scenes story of Netanyahu`s come-from-behind victory. The documentary emphasizes a quiet but immense voter outreach campaign that capitalized on deep fissures in Israeli society, including a naked appeal to anti-Arab prejudice. It`s a revealing look at what makes Israeli politics tick today. dn 30/1/2016
Don`t be fooled: Bibi and Im Tirzu are one and the sameMichael Schaeffer Omer-Man - +972 "The latest campaign of incitement in Israel is so extreme even the Right has condemned it. The irony? Its message is entirely in line with that of the government." ca29/1/2016
UK doctors call for removal of Israel from World Medical AssociationMa`an News Agency - " A group of British doctors is pushing for the World Medical Association (WMA) to expel the Israeli Medical Association (IMA), the IMA’s chairman said on Wednesday during a meeting of the Knesset Science and Technology committee.In a discussion dealing with the academic boycott of Israel, Zeev Feldman said that 71 British doctors recently called on the WMA to remove the Israeli medical group from its ranks due to allegations of torture by Israeli doctors on Palestinians.Israeli doctors in prison facilities have long been accused of standing by or abetting the torture of Palestinian detainees." ca29/1/2016
Palestine: Still key to stability in the Middle EastIbrahim Fraihat - Al-Jazeera "Sooner or later, the war in Syria will end, but the people of the Middle East, whether Arab or Persian, Sunni or Shia Muslim, secular or Islamist, will still desire justice for Palestine. ISIL may be degraded or defeated, but the extremism that has destabilised the Middle East will continue to feed on the issue of Palestine." ca29/1/2016
Gaza Speaks: This Is What the Decade-long Siege Has Done to UsRamzy Baroud - Counterpunch - The siege on Gaza was imposed in stages, starting January 2006, when the Hamas movement won the legislative elections in the Occupied Territories. Donors’ money was immediately withheld, so the new Government could not pay the salaries of its employees. The conventional wisdom, then, was the new Government would soon collapse, and Hamas’ rival, Fatah, would quickly resume its control over the Palestinian Authority (PA).-rh27/1/2016
The Limits of Israeli Liberalism: The Case of Ezra Nawi : A pro-Palestinian Iraqi Jewish homosexual activist exposes the limits of leftist solidarityJoshua Tartakovsky - Global Independent Analytics - However, it was from the Israeli liberals who are sympathetic to the Palestinian cause that the most bizarre response came. In an article titled “Human rights groups smeared over actions of one man”, pro-Palestinian Israeli writer Edo Konrad distanced himself from Nawi and bemoaned “Nawi’s indefensible actions” while complaining that Israeli leaders used this exposure “to attack and smear the entire spectrum of left-leaning and human rights organizations.” Nawi’s “unjustifiable” statements do not represent a majority of NGOs which should care for human life, he explained.-rh27/1/2016
Israeli police smuggle Palestinian suspect out of the countryHaggai Matar - +972 - The police took Nasser Nawaj’ah out of the West Bank and into Israel to face trial. When that didn’t work, they ignored a court order to release him and smuggled him back to the West Bank and into military custody.-rh 27/1/2016
The E.U. vs. B.D.S.: the Politics of Israel SanctionsBernard Avishai - The New Yorker - This past Monday, the European Union’s Foreign Affairs Council reaffirmed a November requirement that Israel label products made in the settlements differently from those made in Israel. On Tuesday, the State Department spokesman John Kirby unexpectedly reinforced the E.U. position, saying that “construction, planning, and retroactive legalization of settlements” is illegitimate, and that the U.S. does “not view labelling the origin of products as being from the settlements as a boycott of Israel.”-rh 27/1/2016
Lawyer: Hunger-striking journalist on brink of deathMA`ANS NEWS AGENCY - Palestinian journalist Muhammad al-Qiq, who has been on hunger strike in Israeli jail for 61 days, is on brink of death, the journalist`s lawyer told Ma`an on Monday. After visiting al-Qiq earlier in the day, Ashraf Abu Sneina, a lawyer with the Palestinian Authority`s Committee for Prisoners` Affairs, said al-Qiq was unconscious and unable to speak, adding that he has exhibited "sudden symptoms that could lead to his death."-rh27/1/2016
Israel`s Top General Praises Iran Deal as `Strategic Turning Point` in Slap at BibiJ.J.Goldberg - Forward - emember the nuclear agreement between Iran and the West? You know — the one that Benjamin Netanyahu insisted was the biggest danger to Israel and the Jews since time immemorial? Well, Israel’s military chief of staff told a prestigious defense conference last week that far from being a mortal threat, the deal has actually removed the most serious danger to Israel’s existence for the foreseeable future, and greatly reduced the threat over the longer term.-rh 27/1/2016
Netanyahu has taken Israel’s crackdown on Jewish dissent to a new low Mairav Zonszein - The Guardian - Not only were Shapiro’s comments condemned by Binyamin Netanyahu as “unacceptable and wrong”, but a former spokesman for the prime minister called Shapiro a “Jew boy” on an Israeli talk show – a derogatory term that essentially accuses him of being a self-hating Jew, a sellout, a traitor. Shapiro was personally and publicly attacked for uttering not his opinion, but a basic description of the reality on the ground.-rh27/1/2016
When homophobia becomes a tool for political persecutionNatasha Roth - +972 - The campaign against the Left in Israel reaches a new low: a planned protest at the wedding of an anti-occupation group’s director and her wife-to-be. It shows that when dissent is characterized as treason, there is no area of one’s life that is off-limits.-rh27/1/2016
Palestinian intelligence chief undermines his own political ambitionsDaoud Kuttab - Al-Monitor - Faraj rarely talks to the media, but in one of his first interviews, which was part of an article published Jan. 18 by the New York-based Defense News website, he seems to have gotten in big trouble with his own people. The attacks against Faraj, who was born in Dheisheh refugee camp near Bethlehem, focus on what people see as his justification of the Palestinian security coordination with Israel.-rh 27/1/2016
Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu accuses UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon of `encouraging terror`Henry Austin - Independent - "Palestinian frustration is growing under the weight of a half century of occupation and the paralysis of the peace process," he said. "As oppressed peoples have demonstrated throughout the ages, it is human nature to react to occupation, which often serves as a potent incubator of hate and extremism."-rh27/1/2016
The Fading Two-State Solution (Editorial)New York Times - With increasingly critical speeches by Ambassador Danie Shapiro`s and earlier by Secretary of State John Kerry it may already be too late for the one formula that has the best chance of establishing a durable peace: two independent states, side by side. [bz]25/1/2016
It`s open season on anyone opposing the occupationNoam Sheizaf--There is a campaign being carried out against anyone actively opposing the occupation in Israel, and it doesn’t matter if you’re an activist in the field, a human rights attorney or a former soldier talking about what you were ordered to do. dn24/1/2016
In the Jewish state, equality for Arabs is impossible by definitionUmar al-Ghubari (translated by Richard Flantz)--In the Jewish state, equality for Arabs is impossible by definition Isn’t it time to finally ask why every single attempt to achieve full equality for Palestinian citizens has failed? dn 24/1/2016
`I`m breaking the silence because I`m Zionist, Israeli and a patriot`Yehuda Shohat--[Although I am not Zionist, nor believe it is commendable, what Avner Gvaryahu says apart from being Zionist is very important, and perhaps even more so because he does consider himself Zionist. If all Zionists thought the way he does about the acts committed, there would be no need for Zionism. dn]23/1/2016
The Israeli Occupation Will End Suddenly Michael Sfard - Haaretz - It’s precisely now that we must recognize that the brutal onslaught shows that the right wing apparently knows something that we do not know. That they have cause for worry from us. We need to internalize one thing: The strength of both the organizations that are working to end the occupation and of their supporters is greater than we think. The defeatist sarcasm we often hear among members of the anti-occupation camp is unjustified. The tremendous baleful and violent force that is being unleashed against us shows something good about us. [bz]23/1/2016
The Israeli Occupation Will End Suddenly Michael Sfard--One day the occupation will end. It will probably happen in one fell swoop. And when it happens, it will suddenly emerge that everyone was against it. That the politicians had actually worked to end it, that the journalists strove indefatigably to expose its injustices, that the cultural institutions condemned it courageously and that Israeli academia was a center of persistent resistance, from which the struggle drew ideological and moral backing. In short, everyone was part of the Resistance. One day the occupation will end, because regimes of this kind are not viable. They are bound to fall, because regimes of suppression, almost by definition, are unstable. dn 23/1/2016
Apartheid by consentYacov Ben Efrat - Challenge - The paradox is that since the signing of the Oslo Accords, the Israeli Right has strengthened. Palestinians, because of their loss of confidence in the peace process and the ongoing expansion of the settlements, have been radicalized, especially since the Israeli Left lost power. Since the Netanyahu regime is not likely to end the Occupation any time soon, many Israeli leftists have declared that we live in one country composed of two regimes: full apartheid in the West Bank and apartheid “light” in parts of Israel (not to mention Gaza, where Israel controls the air, the sea, and all that goes out and comes in). The comparison with South Africa fails, however, because the Israeli Right refrains from annexing the West Bank (by imposing Israeli law there) and because Abbas assures the world that the PA is here to stay. [bz]23/1/2016
Extreme, extremer, extremistUri Avnery - Gush Shalom - Israel still calls itself a "Jewish and democratic state". The population in "Greater Israel" is by now half Jewish and half Arab, with the Arabs gaining. Israel proper is still more or less democratic. In the occupied Palestinian territories, a dictatorial "military government" is in charge, with hundreds of thousands of Jewish settlers trying to push out the Palestinian Arab population by all means available, including fraudulent acquisition of land and terrorism (called "retaliation"). gm23/1/2016
Only International Pressure Will End Israeli Apartheid Amos Schocken - [Publisher of] Haaretz - Zionism, which was always prepared to divide the land of Israel with its Arab inhabitants, was replaced by the godly promise of the Land of Israel for the Jewish people. This promise is being fulfilled by constant, methodical settlement in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) along with the pushing of Palestinians into defined enclaves and small, crowded population areas. This is the reason for the abuse of Palestinians, for the expulsion, exclusion, construction bans, lack of freedom of movement and prevention of development in Area C, which makes up roughly 60% of the West Bank. This settlers` ideology drives the state, and it is also the ideology of the prime minister (either that or, sadly, he realized he had to commit himself to it to get reelected). [bz]23/1/2016
When criticism of occupation becomes `subversion`Itay Mack +972 "The political arrests of anti-occupation activists is just the latest step in the Right’s war against political dissidents. The next stage is anybody’s guess." ca22/1/2016
How can we give young refugees a future?Gordon Brown - World Economic Forum "...200 million young people under 25 who are growing up in the Middle East and North Africa, a number that will grow to 225 million in the next few years? Not only are 47% of 18-25 year-olds in the region either unemployed or underemployed but with widespread access to social media these young people are aware as never before of the gap between the opportunities they crave and the limited opportunities in education, employment and entrepreneurship delivered to them...Without the chance of education, many will fall victim to extremist influences exploiting young people’s discontent." ca22/1/2016
How the Israeli government funds right-wing groupsMazal Mualem - Al-Monitor "Something good finally came out of the government’s persecution of leftist associations,” Knesset member Tamar Zandberg of Meretz told Al-Monitor. “It made us wake up, stop being passive; it drove us to search where the right-wing NGOs’ budgets, amounting to millions of shekels, actually come from. We were surprised to discover that some of this money came out of the taxpayers’ pockets and was hidden [in the state budget] under the generic heading of `participation.`” ca 22/1/2016
US Ambassador to Israel Slams Government Settlements PolicyAron Heller - abcNews - In the West Bank, Israelis are subject to Israeli civil law, while Palestinians are governed by Israeli military law, which offers far fewer legal protections. Palestinians and rights groups say that Israelis suspected in violence against Palestinians are rarely brought to justice, while Palestinian attackers are quickly arrested or killed.-rh20/1/2016
The Israeli Left`s challenge: Defeating ideology with factsMairav Zonszein - +972 - Left-wing and anti-occupation groups in Israel are finally hitting back, but the task seems Sisyphean: how do you win over people who don’t even acknowledge the same sets of facts.-rh20/1/2016
Israel: Economic reality trumps racist ideologyYacov Ben Efrat - Challenge - "The same government that works overtime to stress the Jewish character of the state at the expense of democracy suddenly reverses the entire historical trend, favoring equality over its pro-Jewish tendency." - id20/1/2016
Poll: 46% of Israeli Jews don`t think Arabs should have equal rightsMichael Schaeffer Omer-Man - +972 - "Did the good folks at Israel’s Army Radio station not think to ask Arab citizens themselves whether they think they deserve full and equal rights?" - id 20/1/2016
The black flag over Israel`s democracyAkiva Eldar - Al Monitor - "Israelis are relinquishing their democracy through their silence and actions." - id 20/1/2016
Israel-steps-up-home-demolitions-to-punish-palestinian-attackers/2016/01/16/7c198910-b4a3-11e5-8abc-d09392edc612_story.htmlRuth Eglash - The Washington Post - Israel appears to be stepping up its punitive response by fast-tracking the demolition of homes where the attackers lived. In the past two weeks, three Palestinian homes in Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank have been destroyed by the military. Many more have been measured for future demolition or their occupants served with demolition orders.-rh20/1/2016
Israeli Police Falsely Allege Murder Conspiracy by Human Rights NGOs, ActivistsRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - After a shady astroturf outfit, Ad Kan, infiltrated two spies into Ta’ayush, a South Hebron Hills support group for local Palestinian farmers, they created a hoax land deal which claimed (falsely) to sell the family land of a B’Tselem Palestinian activist, Nasser Nawaja’ah.-rh20/1/2016
Does draft Palestinian social security law really protect workers?Aziza Nofal - Al-Monitor - Criticism of the social security law has been leveled by representatives of workers unions, who are divided between those who view it as better than nothing despite its shortcomings and others, the majority, who think its shortcomings undermine the concept of social security. The proposed retirement funds — which the committee supposedly set at the minimum wage, 1,450 shekels a month ($366), which is also the poverty line — are not commensurate with the cost of living and difficult economic conditions in general for Palestinians. In fact, critics argue, monthly payments would fall well below the poverty line under the draft plan.-rh 20/1/2016
Extremists vandalize Jerusalem church with Hebrew threats: ‘Death to heathen Christians’ -Allison Deger - Mondoweiss - For the second time in a year, Israeli vandals targeted a Christian church in Jerusalem Sunday with extremist anti-Christian graffiti. Assailants tagged the religious site with threats in Hebrew: “Death to the heathen Christians, “the enemies of Israel”, “Let his [Jesus’] name and memory be obliterated” and “Christians to Hell.”-rh20/1/2016
Behind the Ban on the Islamic Movement in Israel Jonathan Cook - Middle East Research and Information Project - The decision to outlaw the northern wing of the Islamic Movement in Israel was announced by Benjamin Netanyahu’s government on November 17, 2015, days after attacks claimed by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, left 130 dead in Paris. Although the ban had been long in the making, the timing was patently opportunistic, with Netanyahu even comparing Israel’s Islamic Movement to ISIS.-rh20/1/2016
 Human Rights Watch Calls on Businesses to Withdraw From Israeli SettlementsAli Gharib - The Nation -  The new 162-page report, “Occupation, Inc.: How Settlement Businesses Contribute to Israel’s Violations of Palestinian Rights,” calls for businesses operating in and dealing directly with Israeli settlements to end their endeavors there. “In Human Rights Watch’s view, the context of human rights abuse to which settlement business activity contributes is so pervasive and severe that businesses should cease carrying out activities inside or for the benefit of settlements,” the report says.-rh20/1/2016
Occupation, Inc. - How Settlement Businesses Contribute to Israel’s Violations of Palestinian RightsHuman Rights Watch - HRW is not calling for a consumer boycott of settlement companies, but rather for businesses to comply with their own human rights responsibilities by ceasing settlement-related activities. Moreover, consumers should have the information they need, such as where products are from, to make informed decisions. [The 162-page report includes a revealing map-bz]19/1/2016
Ayman Odeh’s unlikely crusade David Remnick - The New Yorker - Herzog smiled and said, “Ayman, I love you, but I don’t have to agree with everything you say. You are a great hope. But if you like the bloc Rabin had in the nineties”—which included support from Arab deputies—“you have to remember that it was Rabin who said in the first intifada that the Army should break the bones of people throwing the stones.” [bz] 19/1/2016
Why it`s scarier this time aroundMichael Schaeffer Omer-Man - +972 - There is nothing new about the multi-pronged attack on human rights and anti-occupation activists in Israel, but there’s something different this time. Something scarier [ry]18/1/2016
Peres: Palestinian frustration over peace process freeze leads to violenceDaniel Betini - Ynet - "This terror is a revolt. Many young people in the world today are attracted by the totalitarianism of terror. The situation (in Israel) is part of this development - but at the same time it is different. We should have two states. There is only one. This contributes to the fact that young Palestinians are against us. Israel often does not see the real reasons. Israel does not see this protest. It only sees the killings," Peres said. [bz]17/1/2016
20 YEARS AFTER RABIN`S ASSASSINATION, THOSE WHO DEMONIZED HIM ARE RUNNING ISRAELAllan Brownfield--The assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin of Israel on Nov. 4, 1995 by an ultra-Orthodox religious zealot, Yigal Amir, brought the unknown and unreported world of Israel`s religious extremists under public scrutiny. The assassin was not a lone psychotic gunman but, instead, was a young man nurtured within Israel`s far-right religious institutions. After the murder, he was hailed as a hero by many, not only in Israel, but among kindred spirits in the U.S. Now, 20 years later, those who demonized Rabin and created the atmosphere in which the assassination became a reality are running Israel.dn 17/1/2016
Welcome to the Israeli Arab Ghetto Sayed Kashua--The most basic definition of a state, as I understood it from Max Weber, is a body that has a monopoly on the use of violence. What monopoly of violence exists in the country’s Arab locales? There is only violence, and it’s owned by no one. Violence that has no choice but to overflow the boundaries of the ghetto, and then it can be construed by the mother state as national, religious, a mentality and a culture – anything to avoid taking responsibility. dn17/1/2016
Israel’s NGO Law Inspired by Non-democratic Regimes, Certainly Not by the U.S. Frances Raday - Haaretz "the Israeli proposal is not a pale imitation of any U.S. law. Rather it fits well into the developing restraints imposed on NGO activities by a series of non-democratic or non-OECD countries, whom Minister Shaked did not cite. Middle East and North African countries have been introducing requirements for prior approval of foreign contributions. Russia and the Ukraine have opted for stigmatization of international funding for NGOs by labelling them foreign agents and in Russia donations will not be tax exempt unless the NGO is on a list approved by the government. Other countries impose burdensome registration or reporting requirements. There are no new ideas in the plethora of restrictive measures which the current Israeli government has considered or is considering. But they do not come from North America or Western Europe which is where the government claims Israel should be counted as a fully democratic modern state." ca 17/1/2016
Netanyahu at War, Stuck in the Dominant ParadigmAlice Rothchild--The recent two hour PBS Frontline episode on Netanyahu at War is both an eye opening look into the machinations of Israeli and US leaders and a sad commentary on what is wrong with coverage by mainstream media. This two hour documentary highlights Obama’s stormy attempts at putting daylight into the “special relationship” between Israel and the US and Netanyahu’s righteous and calculated rage. The documentary falls short when it comes to stepping outside the traditional paradigm and exploring Israel/Palestine with a clear headed analysis, respect for international law, and the brutal historical realities that are so often overlooked in US discourse. dn 16/1/2016
Israel’s imperial need to build walls and ban booksDavid Palumbo-Liu--For the Netanyahu government, restricting ideas is as important as seizing territory. dn16/1/2016
Palestine-Israel: Europe Drowning in America’s FailuresSam Bahour, Mousa Jiryis - Al-Shabaka - America supports occupation. Europe inadvertently subsidizes occupation. This regrettable logic is an accurate description of current reality. The US continues to advocate a hands-off, “it’s up to the two parties to decide” approach. As a result, Israel, which has all the power, has little incentive to concede, while the Palestinians, who have no power, are left to their despair. [bz]16/1/2016
Palestinian citizens in Israel: A fast-shrinking civic spaceNadim Nashif and Raya Naamneh. - Ma`an News Agency "Israel still portrays itself as a Jewish and democratic state. Yet in practice, as its Palestinian citizens can attest, it functions as a Jewish ethnocracy, leaving small margins of freedom for its Palestinian citizens that have been steadily shrinking in the past few years. Now the Israeli state has come under the complete control of the far right wing, which sees no need even for such limited margins of freedom. This is evident in the wave of discriminatory legislation and the use of the Emergency Regulations against established non-governmental organizations (NGOs) an movements such as the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel." ca15/1/2016
Arrest of Palestinian journalist reflection of ‘political chaos’ Daoud Kuttab - Al-Monitor "Palestinian journalist Salim Sweidan, owner of Nablus TV, was released Jan. 12 after having spent four days in jail. Sweidan, a member of the board of the Maan News Network, the leading independent satellite station and news website, was released on a bail of 1,000 Jordanian dinars ($1,400) after publishing an online apology... Members of the Palestinian Preventive Security Forces in Nablus had summoned Sweidan to their offices, where he was subsequently held. The name of one of the officers was listed in a controversial posting on the website that explained why the security force took the unusual step of arresting a well-known veteran journalist." ca 15/1/2016
Israel Needs Another Kind of Left, One That Won`t Commit Moral SuicideAri Shavit - Haaretz  "A moral left is supposed to say that the work done by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, Physicians for Human Rights, Machsom Watch and countless other organizations acting for justice is sacred work. But a man who informs on Palestinians to the Palestinian Authority so it can lock them up or kill them is a villain. A villain who is one of us. " ca15/1/2016
Senior IDF Officers Visit Palestinian Terrorists in Jail in Effort to Understand Their Motives Amos Harel - Haaretz "Palestinian terrorists held in Israel after being captured while carrying out attacks or attempting to do so during the present wave of violence have received surprise visits in their prison cells over the past month: The commanders of the Israel Defense Forces’ regional brigades in the West Bank have come to meet with them at the orders of the army’s Central Command. The goal is to understand the background behind the actions of the young people, who are described as “lone terrorists” and do not belong to any terrorist organization." ca15/1/2016
The Radical New Face of the Jewish Settler MovementNaomi Zeveloff - Forward - The hilltop youth have always had power, which they wielded through violent acts, often under the cover of night. But for most Israelis, these were distant events perpetrated by extremists in the West Bank, a kind of Wild West they rarely think about or visit.-rh 13/1/2016
Have Israelis abandoned any hope for change?Akiva Eldar - Al-Monitor - Things are no better in terms of democracy, tolerance and freedom of speech: The government has approved proposed legislation by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked requiring human rights and other activists whose organizations receive foreign government assistance to wear special identification badges. Education Minister Naftali Bennett has welcomed a decision to ban the teaching of Dorit Rabinyan`s “Borderlife,” a love story between a Palestinian man and a Jewish woman.-rh 13/1/2016
... News Agency - The head of the Palestinian Committee for Prisoners` Affairs warned Tuesday that Israel was preparing to force-feed a Palestinian hunger striker, in what would be the first use of the controversial practice since it was approved by Israeli lawmakers last year.-rh13/1/2016
Jewish-Israeli Passengers Hijack Airline’s IntegrityVacy Vlazna - Countercurrents - Two passengers, on Sunday 3rd January, who in good faith had paid their fares, had passed security checks, boarded the Aegean Airlines flight from Athens to Tel Aviv unexpectedly found themselves at the centre of a racist onslaught by belligerent Jewish-Israeli passengers accusing the two passengers of being ‘terrorists’ and demanding their removal from the plane. The victims were attacked for one reason only- they are Palestinians.-rh 13/1/2016
Welcome to Israel`s Version of ApartheidJonathan Cook - Counterpunch - Moments before an Aegean Airlines flight was due to take off, three Israeli passengers took security into their own hands and demanded that two fellow passengers, from Israel’s Palestinian minority, be removed from the plane. By the end of a 90-minute stand-off, dozens more Israeli Jews had joined the protest, refusing to take their seats. Like a parable illustrating Europe’s bottomless indulgence of Israel, Aegean staff caved in to the pressure and persuaded the two Palestinian men to disembark.-rh 13/1/2016
Birzeit University rises up against Israel`s arrests : Israeli forces have arrested dozens of politically active students amid a rise in violence in West Bank and Jerusalem.Mariam Barghouti - Aljazeera - About 90 students and two faculty members at University have been arrested in the past few months amid an Israeli crackdown. About 90 students and two faculty members at University have been arrested in the past few months amid an Israeli crackdown.-rh13/1/2016
Why Israel`s schools merit a U.S. boycott Saree Makdisi - Los Angeles Times - The United Nations` Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination points out with alarm that Israel maintains two separate educational systems for its citizens — one for Jewish children and another for the children of the Palestinian minority — a structure that reinforces the profound segregation of Israeli society in everything from matters of citizenship and marriage to housing rights.-rh13/1/2016
Israeli Investigative TV Program Unsure of Its Facts Amira Hass - Haaretz - The segment on Ad Kan was not true investigative journalism, for reasons elaborated on by +972 Magazine and the Friends of George blog (in Hebrew) . It was a puff piece for a privatized, mini-Shin Bet. If it had been investigative journalism, “Uvda” would have told us about Ad Kan’s funding sources and budget. It would have explained why the name of Goldway, as the recipient of a medal, appeared only in initials. Is the army associated with Ad Kan, and is it protecting Goldway from exposure, so he can spy on the left? -rh13/1/2016
The Palestinians MUST Put Their Political Act Together If Their Cause Is To Be Kept AliveAlan Hart - Countercurrents - For several years I have been wondering, sometimes on public platforms and in writing, if Palestine is a lost cause. I have now come to the conclusion that as things are it is and will remain so unless the Palestinians, the occupied and oppressed and the diaspora, put their political act together in order to give their cause new life with some real hope of justice eventually.-rh13/1/2016
Ta`ayush - a persistent thorn in the side of the settlement enterprise - targeted by a leading TV investigative news showAmira Hass - Haaretz - The segment on Ad Kan was not true investigative journalism (...). It was a puff piece for a privatized, mini-Shin Bet. (...) If it had been investigative journalism, the correspondent would have probed and discovered whether the Palestinian Authority really did – as Nawi bragged, in a crude way that reflects only his stupid side – execute the land dealers he allegedly handed over to it. [bz] 12/1/2016
Israeli Arabs fear terrorists tooAyman Sikseck - Ynet - The automatic request that I condemn the attack stems from the assumption that if I fail to do so in public, it means I support him. It`s a request which ignores the fact that I am an Israeli citizen and dismisses the life-threatening situation which I, like you, face in every such incident. Every Nashat Melhem, every Samir Kuntar, is a terrorist who also acting against me. I walk on Tel Aviv`s Dizengoff Street too. My friends could have been there on the day of the attack too. I also fear for my life and for their life. [bz]10/1/2016
A Flagship of Israeli Journalism Joins the Ranks of False PropagandaGideon Levy - Haaretz - That is how to conduct delegitimization. Presenting the human rights organizations as dangerous groups, and penetrating them, is compared to penetrating ISIS. The McCarthyists are glorified, depicted as heroes of Israel who excelled in battles in Gaza. All these are well-known ploys. And against this background, all that is left is to record Nawi boasting, to catch him uttering the taboo words, to present him as a “senior” activist, to ignore the entire context — the crimes of the occupation and the expulsion form the Southern Hebron Hills, which you never heard about on Uvda. Just ignore the holy work done by left-wing activists in this battered region, spice it with a few lies such as “execution” by the Palestinian Authority, add a few generalizations, suspicions and slander – and the dish is ready. [bz]10/1/2016
Human rights groups smeared over actions of one manEdo Konrad - +972 - While strongly condemning any action, especially by a human rights defender, that intentionally leads to another human being’s torture or death, it is important to note that there is no evidence anybody was actually harmed as a result of the incidents portrayed in the Uvda report. That is not a defense of Nawi’s reported actions, however, which are unjustifiable. [bz]9/1/2016
Does the state care when its Arab citizens are murdered?Abed Abu Shehada - +972 "As long as Arabs are the ones being murdered, the State of Israel has no problem with illegally-owned weapons. Only when Jews are harmed does this become a national issue. And then they wonder why we aren’t loyal." ca8/1/2016
And then there were noneNo mention- The Economist "Most victims of war and terrorism in the Middle East are Muslims, since they are by far the majority of the population. But the tiny Christian minority often feels singled out. Their numbers are declining where the fighting is worst (see chart). Overall, the proportion of Middle Easterners who are Christian has dropped from 14% in 1910 to 4% today. Church leaders and pundits have begun to ask whether Christianity will vanish from the Middle East, its cradle, after 2,000 years." ca6/1/2016
51 years after its founding, where is Fatah heading? Shlomi Eldar - Al-Monitor "The signing of the Oslo Accord in 1993, internecine Palestinian struggles (Hamas-Fatah) and the diplomatic confrontation with Israel generated a large crisis in Fatah, causing the movement to lose the great support it once had garnered on the Palestinian street. Most of the youths in the West Bank and Gaza Strip have given up on it, in light of their disappointment at Arafat`s and Abbas` regimes. They claim that the national Palestinian movement is tainted with corruption and cares only for its higher-up top brass, not its citizens." ca 6/1/2016
PA says Netanyahu `plotting` against it after he warns of its collapseMa`an News Agency - "... the PA foreign ministry said in a statement that his comments were an attempt to "mislead" the international community, and part of an ongoing "campaign of lies and incitement (he) has been systematically conducting against the Palestinian people, their rights and achievements." The ministry condemned Netanyahu`s government for weakening the PA while simultaneously "shed(ding) crocodile tears and claim(ing) they are concerned about the PA and its continuity." ca 6/1/2016
Views on torture split along ethnic lines, Israeli poll findsMichael Schaeffer Omer-Man - +972 "The issue of torture has been in the news in recent weeks because attorneys for a handful of Jewish extremists accused of committed acts of terrorism against Palestinians say the Shin Bet, Israel’s internal secret police, used methods amounting to torture in order to extract confessions from them." ca6/1/2016
Netanyahu`s strategy of hopelessnessMazal Mualem - Al-Monitor "Netanyahu’s comments were not intended to strengthen and unite the public in these difficult times of confusion and fear. He preferred to secure his standing among the Jewish population by maligning all of the country’s Arab citizens. With his words, he portrayed an entire sector as a group infatuated with illegal weapons, as a ticking time bomb. Though the prime minister did not blame the Arab sector for the attack — even praising those leaders who condemned it — his comments focused on how the law is not enforced in the Arab sector. His rhetoric was, in fact, rather sophisticated. Concerned and confused citizens who read between the lines would come to blame the violence on the current situation in the Arab sector." ca 6/1/2016
Who receives more foreign funds: The Left or the Occupation?Dror Etkes - +972 - The schizophrenic Israeli moral compass makes a distinction between international involvement that Israel is interested in, and that which it isn’t interested in. The Israeli government, and its justice minister, Ayelet Shaked, who sponsored the “NGO Law,” actually are very interested in international involvement to help fulfill its obligations toward the basic welfare of the Palestinian population in the occupied territories. [bz]5/1/2016
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