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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

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Starving the Palestinians of money will cost Israel dearlyAlex Fishman - Y-net - The government`s decision seems logical at first glance. In order to punish murderers and deter others from going down the same path, Israel cannot possibly support them or their families. But reality has its own logic, and Israel will not only eventually have to transfer the money to the Palestinians, but it will also have to pay interest on it. The Palestinian Authority starts 2019 with a deficit of NIS 3 billion, out of an annual budget of NIS 18.5 billion. This deficit is mainly down the fact that the US has stopped pumping $1 billion directly and indirectly to the PA. Add to that the half billion shekels that will be deducted from Israel`s tax rebate and the Palestinians are starting the year with a budget deficit of 30-40 percent. This means that PA currently has no real capacity to keep all of its mechanisms running. (...) These numbers have one outcome: unrest. People will not be working, they will take to the streets, and Israel will be the address for all expressions of discontent. This will inevitably lead to the government in Jerusalem scrambling to find a way to restore the calm, at any price. No one wants another intifada, and certainly not in an election year. [ak] 19/2/2019
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Can a Light Rail Train Link a Divided City?KESHIA NAURANA BADALGE - City Lab - If there’s a neutral zone for the residents of Jerusalem, it’s on rails. In a city where real estate is highly contested, where walls divide neighborhoods based on faith, and the clothes you wear are code for where you should be seen, the city’s modern light rail system––whether by virtue of peace or necessity–– glides above the divide. That’s why a team of Palestinians and Israelis from Mekudeshet, an arts and cultural initiative, are using the city’s public transit as a platform for documentary and observation. Every summer, the group stages a program of original light-rail-based tours called Dissolving Boundaries—“docu-theatrical journeys” designed to distance you a little from your personal paradigms.-rh19/2/2019
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What Netanyahu actually said on Poles’ collaboration with NazisTAMAR SHARON and RAPHAEL AHREN - The Times of Israel - A brief diplomatic crisis between Israel and Poland has served as a sharp reminder of the power that a single word — even if that word is simply “the” — can sometimes carry in international relations. Top Polish politicians were thrown into a frenzy Thursday after reports emerged that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in Warsaw for an international conference on the Middle East, had said that “the Poles cooperated with the Nazis” during the Holocaust.-rh19/2/2019
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Will Israeli Jews support Arab Knesset candidate? Shlomi Eldar - Al- Monitor - Will Knesset member Ahmad Tibi, chairman of Taal, succeed in breaking the longstanding taboo of “anyone but Arabs in the coalition”? While it is still too early to tell, the possibility is already keeping Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu awake at night. On the evening of the 2015 elections, Netanyahu had warned, “Arab voters are heading to the polling stations in droves,” managing to drum up more votes for himself. On Feb. 9, he posted a video on his Facebook page attacking Benny Gantz, head of Israel Resilience, and insinuating that Arab votes are illegitimate. The target of his intimidation campaign was Tibi: “You vote for Gantz; you get Tibi,” is the title of the clip, which claims, among other things, “The Oslo Accords passed because of the Arabs’ votes. … Former Chief of Staff Gantz will do it again.-rh 19/2/2019
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Here’s why Bernie Sanders already has the Democratic party rattledNorman Solomon - Alter Net - With a launch of the Bernie Sanders 2020 campaign on the near horizon, efforts to block his trajectory to the Democratic presidential nomination are intensifying. The lines of attack are already aggressive—and often contradictory. One media meme says that Bernie has made so much headway in moving the Democratic Party leftward that he’s no longer anything special. We’re supposed to believe that candidates who’ve adjusted their sails to the latest political wind are just as good as the candidate who generated the wind in the first place.-rh19/2/2019
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Palestine`s other open-air prison : Here is what a West Bank Palestinian resident has to go through every time s/he tries to get out of home.Jalal Abukhater - Aljazeera - Under a debilitating siege for more than a decade, Gaza has been rightfully declared the biggest open-air prison in the world. But there is another, similar, prison in Palestine that is less obvious because it suffers from a different kind of siege, undeclared and indirect: the West Bank. Every Palestinian who resides there and holds official Palestinian identification papers is a prisoner in their own home. Freedom of movement is non-existent for the vast majority of the population because of a myriad of Israeli policies aimed at restricting it to the bare minimum. The situation is certainly shocking yet seems to be largely ignored by the world, especially by our Israeli neighbours.-rh19/2/2019
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Record number of reports criticizing Israel said to be released by UN next monthTOI STAFF - The Times of Israel - The United Nations Humans Rights Council is expected to release a series of reports critical of Israel next month, including one reportedly accusing the military of war crimes over its response to violent protests by Palestinians on the Gaza border. According to the pro-Israel watchdog group UN Watch, other reports are set to accuse Israel of alleged human rights violations in the Golan Heights, which it captured from Syria in the 1967 Six Day War war, and in territories claimed by the Palestinians for a future state, Channel 12 news reported Thursday.-rh 19/2/2019
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How To Speak About The Israel Lobby In A Non-Anti-Semitic Way Batya Ungar-Sargon - The Forward - If you’re upset the U.S. gives Israel unconditional support despite anti-Democratic measures like the racist Nation State bill and the entrenchment of the Occupation of millions of Palestinians, and that the U.S. makes no demands that Israel stop oppressing the Palestinians in exchange for the billions of dollars in aid we supply it, you’re not alone. Many Jews share this frustration. And as an American taxpayer, you are absolutely entitled to this non-anti-Semitic opinion. So say that. Stick to actual things AIPAC does in your criticism. Talk about specific problems you have with Israel’s conduct and the U.S.’s support of that conduct, and the people who lobby for this support. Be specific about the things you wish AIPAC, or the U.S. government didn’t do.-rh 19/2/2019
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What would be the fate of a prime minister convicted in a court of law?ISRAEL DEMOCRACY INSTITUTE - The Times of Israel - With the possibility of the attorney general announcing an intention to indict the prime minister just weeks before national elections, Israel’s political and legal system finds itself in uncharted territory. Whether or not Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is indicted, and whether he then decides to resign or chooses to wage his legal battles from the prime minister’s office, the current uncertainty does not appear to be tenable. Once the dust clears from the Netanyahu affair, we will need to consider amendments to the law to prevent such situations from arising in the future, for example, by establishing a process of suspension for the entire duration of the legal proceedings.-rh19/2/2019
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Likud`s mainstreaming of West Bank annexationShlomi Eldar - Al Monitor - Levin, like other Knesset members and ministers from the Likud (and other parties), have been recruited for the cause of annexing West Bank territories by the Sovereignty Movement, founded in 2010 by the right-wing activists Yehudit Katzover, of the Kiryat Arba settlement, and Nadia Matar, of Efrat, in the Etzion settlement bloc. The two also head a movement called Women in Green, which was established in 1993 following the signing of the Oslo Accords, its followers wearing green hats and demanding that Israel not return to the Green Line (border demarcation) (...) Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked had already promised to apply state laws in civil matters on the West Bank, in January 2018. “We intend to normalize life in Judea and Samaria [West Bank],” she had said. “We are in the territory. There’s no occupied state that seeks to regain the occupied land.” [bz]19/2/2019
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Mud flies as Gantz, Netanyahu take aim at each otherTOI STAFF - The Israel Resilience and Likud parties ratcheted up election campaigns against each other Tuesday, accusing each others’ leaders of abandoning the country’s security and supporting the uprooting of Israeli settlements in Gaza and the West Bank. In a series of videos Tuesday, Israel Resilience, led by Benny Gantz, accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of caving to Hamas and evacuating settlements. It was the first time the party has leveled a direct attack on Netanyahu, who has waged a months-long campaign seeking to portray rival party leader Gantz as a “weak leftist.”-rh19/2/2019
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Who’s for a Palestinian State?Yacov Ben Efrat - Challenge - "There is no reason young Israelis should care about a Palestinian state when their Palestinian peers have stopped believing in it. Abbas is irrelevant not only to Israelis but to Palestinians as well. With ample help from President Donald Trump and the Israeli Right, the Palestinian state has received a pauper’s funeral." - id17/2/2019
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ADC Stands With Congresswoman Ilhan Omar! Ray Hanania - The Arab Daily News - "As, Palestinians continue to endure violations committed by Israel with impunity, Representative Omar’s questioning of the U.S. role should be applauded. Just last week, Israel shot and killed two Palestinian children in the Gaza Strip, including a 14-year-old Palestinian boy." - id17/2/2019
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Jewish left and Israeli Arabs must uniteDr. Alon Liel - Ynet - "The Israeli left is in such a dire state that the only thing that could resurrect it is a proactive cooperation between Jewish and Arab blocs on this side of the political spectrum — namely, the Joint List and Meretz." - id17/2/2019
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It’s time to stop asking why the Israeli left has disappearedDahlia Scheindlin - +972 - "There is one thing shared by nearly every Israeli who does not define her or himself as right-wing: a profound desire to oust Benjamin Netanyahu. And yet, despite all their efforts, none of the left-wing parties today look capable of doing so." - id17/2/2019
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What Ilhan Omar Said About AIPAC Was RightAdy Barkan - The Nation "AIPAC and its partners, which include Christian Zionists and military contractors, are a central pillar of the Israeli occupation. Without congressional support, the Likud/anti- Palestine/pro-occupation project would be radically undermined. The money that AIPAC and the rest of the lobby spend is indispensable to that work. That’s why they spend it. Pointing this out is not anti- Semitic. "ca16/2/2019
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‘There are no foreigners left’: Israeli settlers rampage in Hebron following expulsion of human rights observersYumna Patel - Mondoweiss "Israeli settlers launched an attack on Palestinians in the Old City of Hebron in the southern occupied West Bank on Tuesday night, yelling “death to Arabs!” in the street and hurling rocks at Palestinian homes. Badee Dweik, co-Founder of the Human Rights Defenders group in Hebron, says the attack was a direct result of the lack of international human rights observers who had been expelled by the Israeli government." ca16/2/2019
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Photo Essay: Caves bring depopulated villages in the south Hebron Hills back to life Ahmad Al-Bazz - Mondoweiss - For weeks under the cloak of night Palestinians secretly renovated four caves and built a tin-roofed house in the West Bank hamlet of Ar-Rakeez where only a handful of residents live. Last week they opened the homes in a “bringing life back” ceremony. The event was not announced in advance as to avoid any potential disruption by the Israeli army, locals said.-rh12/2/2019
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Islamic Jihad, the new lord of Gaza?Shlomi Eldar - Al-Monitor - Who’s leading whom in the Gaza Strip? Does Hamas lord over the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), a militant movement supported by Iran, or is it the other way around? Over the past few months, Israeli security forces have noted the growing influence of the Islamic Jihad on Hamas. Seeking to avoid problems with Iran, the Hamas leadership feels it has little choice but to follow the Islamic Jihad’s dictates in their actions when dealing with Israel and Egypt.-rh 12/2/2019
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Nationalistic Motives, IndeedAmira Hass - Haaretz - The nationalistic coloring allows the Palestinian family and society to repress a troubling question about a son who had already been arrested for carrying a knife near Israeli security positions at the Cave of the Patriarchs and the entrance to the Al-Aqsa plaza. Had the suspect been seeking a way to commit suicide by cop or soldier, like other frustrated, desperate young Palestinians who lack a political perspective or personal future? The rape and murder took place near the Border Police checkpoint on the road leading to the village of Walaja, which is closed off by a wall, and the settlement of Har Gilo, which is expanding onto its lands. Was he hoping to reach the checkpoint, wave a knife and be shot to death, but then happened upon the young woman? Both suicide by cop and rape-murder, even if cloaked in patriotism, betray the weakness of the present Palestinian struggle. On the scale of victimhood, too, a nationalist-motivated murder is considered more prestigious than an “ordinary” murder or sexual assault committed by a man, as a man, against a woman. For the Israeli planning authorities in the West Bank, this will be an opportunity – which they will justify in somber, fateful tones echoing with history – to steal more Palestinian land on the pretext of security. Just yesterday they demolished another home in Walaja. [bz]12/2/2019
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Family of slain Druze border guard slams Netanyahu for politicizing his deathSTUART WINER - The Times of Israel - The brother of a Druze border policeman who bled to death in 2000 after he was shot in clashes with Palestinians demanded Monday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stop using the controversial circumstances of his sibling’s death as political fodder to attack political rival Benny Gantz.-rh12/2/2019
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Launch of Palestinian civilian monitor group angers settlers in HebronJACOB MAGID - The Times of Israel - Members of a new civilian monitor group launched by Palestinians in Hebron faced verbal and physical harassment from settlers Sunday as they walked a group of children to school in the flashpoint West Bank city. Footage from the skirmish showed an Israeli woman slapping Issa Amro, a local activist who is among the leaders of the group inaugurated less than two weeks after a pair of international monitor groups left Hebron.-rh 12/2/2019
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Thousands of Palestinian Bedouins have no access to vote in upcoming Israeli electionsYumna Patel - Mondoweiss - Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel released a statement Monday saying the group is appealing to the Israeli Central Elections Committee Chairman and Interior Minister, demanding that polling stations be placed in 11 “unrecognized” Bedouin villages in the Negev desert. The 11 villages, which are home to some 40,000 Palestinian Bedouins who have Israeli citizenship, currently have no polling stations or public transportation to reach existing stations.-rh12/2/2019
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Copenhagen mayor awards BDS activists for their courageJonathan Ofir - Mondoweiss - At a time when Boycotts, Divestments and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel are being punished by Israel-apologists, an award for the courage of these activists from the Copenhagen Municipality comes as a fresh wind.-rh12/2/2019
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Israeli court `enables, validates` Palestinian home demolitionsAljazeera - Israel`s top court enables and validates the disposition of Palestinians and the demolition of their homes in the occupied West Bank, a new report has found. According to the report, which was released on Wednesday by Israeli rights group B`tselem, Israel`s Supreme Court has been enabling the state to continue implementing illegal policies while ignoring the defects in Israel`s "planning policy" in the West Bank. The report, "Fake Justice", details how the state`s policy minimises Palestinian construction and aims to expand the building of illegal Jewish settlements.-rh12/2/2019
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In Palestine, even visiting a father’s grave can be a decades-long battleBen White - Middle East Eye - Copty, born in July 1948, never knew her father, who was killed a few months earlier. The family lived in Ma’alul village outside Nazareth, but became internally displaced when the village was occupied and destroyed by Israeli forces. The cemetery where her father is buried is now inside a military base. Since 2000, Copty has made repeated formal requests to Israeli authorities to be able to visit the cemetery. While none of the relevant bodies have explicitly rejected her requests, neither have they explained the rationale for the endless delays. In 2015, Copty was allowed to briefly enter the military base, but was not allowed to access the cemetery. Disturbingly, during the visit, Copty saw “excavation work on one side of the cemetery and that excavations had apparently desecrated some graves,” with exposed skeletons visible.-rh12/2/2019
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ISRAEL PULSE Israeli left-wing parties to unite or to sink Yossi Beilin - Al-Monitor - This author has been calling for a joint Labor-Meretz framework since the 1990s, after the United Workers Party (Mapam) broke away from the Labor Party, following the decision by Shimon Peres to form a national unity government in 1984. The joint Labor-Mapam framework was never reinstituted. I raised the need for this as a member of the Labor Party leadership and again in 2003, when I switched parties to Meretz and was elected party chair. A consolidation of this sort could increase the parties’ strength. After the 2015 election, for example, it would have allowed both movements to form a group with 29 Knesset members and be a significant force when dealing with the Likud and its 30 seats. Now, however, such a merger would be a “lifesaver,” not only for the two parties but for the entire center-left camp. Without Meretz or Labor, there will be no way to form a coalition of parties that could block the Likud after the April 9 election.-rh 12/2/2019
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The international observer mission in Hebron acted as a restraint on the worst excesses of Israeli settlers. Now that has come to an endJonathan Cook - The National - TIPH faced an impossible task from the outset: to “maintain normal life” for Palestinians in the face of Israel’s structural violence [ry] 11/2/2019
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As Abbas Ages, Fatah Moves to Consolidate PowerRamzy Baroud – CounterPunch - “Palestinian divisions have never been as pronounced as they are today. While all Palestinian factions, Hamas and Islamic Jihad included, bear part of the blame for failing to unify their ranks and form a single national strategy to combat Israeli colonialism and occupation, Abbas bears the largest share” [ry] 11/2/2019
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Syria’s Torture Photos: Witness to AtrocitySusie Linfield - NYReview of Books "As with photographs of cruelty from the Nazi ghettos and concentration camps, and from the Khmer Rouge’s S-21 death camp, bewildering questions arise: Why were these photographs taken? Why would a state record its barbarism, even if its rulers never imagined that the photographs would be disseminated? Caesar himself wonders about this, and has no definitive answer. In part, the photographs may have been made because of the longstanding practices of the competing intelligence agencies within Syria, none of which trusts the others and each of which seeks to protect itself by documenting its activities. In addition, the photographs have reportedly been used by the intelligence services to inform families of the fate of their loved ones without having to produce an actual, mutilated body—and, perhaps, to warn relatives of their own possible fates. The photographs are also, I think, a sign of the Assad regime’s disconnection from the larger world, which—as with the Nazis and the Khmer Rouge—has led to a kind of moral dementia. Whatever the case, they clearly manifest the regime’s sense of impunity and its not-unearned confidence that it will emerge victorious from the war." ca9/2/2019
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Israel lobby fakes campus anti-Semitismsay US journalistsMEMO - Information Clearing House "Details of how pro-Israeli lobby groups havefabricated accusations of anti-Semitism onUS college campuses in order to inciteofficial crackdowns against Palestinesolidarity activism were revealed earlier inthe week during a political talk show hostedby prominent American journalist ChrisHedges. The author and a visiting Princetonuniversity lecturer discussed the Israelilobby with co- founder of the ElectronicIntifada, Ali Abunimah and journalistMax Blumenthal, on his talk show “OnContact”." ca9/2/2019
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The Empathy of the Irish for Palestinians is in No Way Anti-SemiticRonit Lentin - CounterPunch - "I am a Palestine-born Israeli Jew, indoctrinated with the dual message of Jewish victimhood and Jewish supremacy throughout my youth, and a citizen of Ireland for the past 50 years. Like increasing numbers of American and European Jews, I am an active supporter of Palestinian rights." - id7/2/2019
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Holocaust scholars slam Netanyahu`s deal with the devilAkiva Eldar - Al-Monitor - "Historians warn the upcoming summit of the Visegrad Group in Jerusalem is a cynical play by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to ally himself with human rights abusers and Holocaust deniers for political gain." - id 7/2/2019
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Media hypocrisy puts pressure on Arabs but not Israeli activistsRay Hanania - the Arab Daily News - "You are right on ... they are desperate ... just look at all their name calling ... name calling is a replacement for facts. When they can`t respond to facts that attack people personally. The Israeli extremists do it all the time." - id7/2/2019
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Netanyahu, Trump and the league of suspectsNahum Barnea - Ynet - "Last week, several huge billboards sprung up along the Ayalon highway in Tel Aviv, showing two men in business suits: Benjamin Netanyahu and Donald Trump. The posters are part of the Likud election campaign, currently directed by the man in the solid red tie in the picture (which for once is not Trump). The slogan reads: "Netanyahu, a different league." Since the highway was bumper-to-bumper traffic — also thanks to the man in the red tie — I had time to stare at the poster and mull over its meaning, and over what exactly these two men have in common except their age (Netanyahu is 69 and Trump 72) and sex." - id7/2/2019
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USAID officially ceases assistance in West Bank and GazaYumna Patel - Mondoweiss - The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has officially ceased all assistance to Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza. According to Reuters, the move came in line with a January 31st deadline set by the Anti- Terrorism Clarification Act (ATCA), a new US legislation that allows Americans to sue foreign aid recipients in US court over alleged complicity in “acts of war.”-rh5/2/2019
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Deep empathy of Irish for Palestinians is in no way anti-Semitic Dr Ronit Lentin - The Irish Times - Irish society is not out of step with European civil societies. In fact, responding to public opinion and grassroots campaigning, the EU itself has recently introduced rules prohibiting itself from funding Israeli companies and bodies based in illegal Israeli settlements, and has warned businesses about the risks of doing business with illegal Israeli settlements. [bz]5/2/2019
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Is this a Tourist Attraction or a War Crime? AirBnb and TripAdvisor Don`t Care| OpinionGabriela Quijano - Newsweek - In Kfar Adumim, tourists can organize expensive camping expeditions which allow them to “experience life as it was in biblical times.” On land which was stolen from Palestinians and an easy walk from the condemned homes in Khan al-Ahmar, tourists from all over the world pay to sleep and eat in traditional Bedouin-style tents. [bz]5/2/2019
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10 years since `Cast Lead`: How Israel first declared total war on GazaAvihai Stollar - +972 - Former IDF Spokesperson, Brig.-Gen. Avi Benayahu, said at the time: “Our first priority is [to save the lives of]our citizens, second come our soldiers, third come their civilians, and fourth — their terrorists.” Since then, the tactics(i.e. the firepower, scale of destruction, and numbers of Palestinians killed) have become part of the IDF’s arsenal in its wars on Gaza. [bz]5/2/2019
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After expulsion of West Bank observer force, Israel’s commitment to Oslo under fireMary McAuliffe - i24NEWS - For 22 years, Palestinians have welcomed the presence of the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH) as a necessary force for safeguarding their well-being in a city gripped by tension and whose adversaries are protected by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Jewish settlers in Hebron, however, spent years lobbying for their removal having long reviled the international force which they see as a nuisance. (...) Both Jews and Arabs in Hebron say they expect a significant shift in the lives of residents following TIPH’s exit. [bz]5/2/2019
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Netanyahu`s election season infrastructure bonanzaItamar Eichner - Ynet News - With just two months to go until the elections for Israel`s parliament, and at the height of the election campaign, the Prime Minister`s Office has released a detailed document entitled "Infrastructure for Growth for 2019." The plan comprises a total of NIS 196 billion (approx. $54 billion) in investment in infrastructure for the coming years. Nonetheless, given the budget cuts expected to take place once the new government is formed after the elections, it is not at all certain that many of the items will ever make it out of the planning stages. It is also unclear whether Benjamin Netanyahu will be the prime minister to cut the ribbon on these projects.-rh5/2/2019
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Trump: Israel’s friends in words, not in deeds Yossi Beilin - Al-Monitor - Trump`s intention to withdraw 7,000 American soldiers from Afghanistan and reach an agreement with the Taliban, in complete opposition to the opinion of his former secretary of defense, Jim Mattis, is a stark example of the geostrategic threat he is creating for Israel by abandoning the region. It’s hard to find someone whose words are cheaper than those of the man who is supposed to be the leader of the free world and to whom gestures have no value if they don’t entail financial gain.-rh 5/2/2019
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The Moral Travesty of Israel Demanding Arab and Iranian Money for Its Own ‘Nakba’Ramzy Baroud - Axis of Logic - The game is afoot. Israel, believe it or not, is demanding that seven Arab countries and Iran should pay $250 billion as compensation for what it claims was the forceful expulsion of Jews from Arab countries during the late 1940s. The events that Israel cites allegedly occurred at a time when Zionist Jewish militias were actively uprooting nearly one million Palestinian Arabs and systematically destroying their homes, villages, and towns throughout Palestine.-rh 5/2/2019
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Assassins: Israeli Soldiers Just "Neutralized" A "Female Terrorist," aka A 16-Year-Old Palestinian Schoolgirl Going HomeAbby Zimet - Common Dreams - In their latest atrocity among too many to count or evidently acknowledge in the media, Israeli forces shot and killed Samah Zuhair Mubarak, 16, at al-Zaayim checkpoint in the occupied West Bank as she walked home from school Wednesday. Israel claims Mubarak tried to stab a security officer, after which “a rapid response by additional security forces brought about her neutralization with no injuries to the security personnel.” To bolster their narrative of a "female terrorist," officials posted a random picture of a small, pretty kitchen knife they said they found at the scene - they uncovered only schoolbooks in her back pack - and helpfully noted many knife attacks, especially by women, stem from personal issues and essentially constitute "suicide by cop."-rh5/2/2019
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As Gantz takes on the Rabin mantle, Israel’s Labor party slides toward oblivionDAVID HOROVITZ - The Times of Israel - Obscured by the headlines generated Wednesday by poll figures suggesting Benny Gantz’s candidacy now poses a genuine prime ministerial challenge to Benjamin Netanyahu was the same surveys’ indication that the Labor party is edging toward extinction. Gantz’s Israel Resilience Party reacted to the surveys with sensible scepticism, saying it was “not ecstatic over upturns nor worried about downturns. The public will decide.”-rh 5/2/2019
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Palestine’s head of mental health services says PTSD is a western conceptOlivia Goldhill - Quartz - Palestine has some of the highest rates of mental illness in the world. A quarter of Palestinian adolescents have made suicide attempts; about 23.2% have post-traumatic stress disorder (according to a survey of 1,369 over three years) compared to around 6-9% in the US; and the Palestinian territories have by far the highest levels of depression in the Eastern Mediterranean region. Samah Jabr, chair of the mental health unit at the Palestinian Ministry of Health and one of just 32 psychiatrists in the Palestinian territories, doubts those statistics. “I question the methodology. I think they’re measuring social psychological pain and social suffering, and they’re saying this is depression,” she says. “What is sick, the context or the person? In Palestine, we see many people whose symptoms—unusual emotional reaction or a behaviors—are a normal reaction to a pathogenic context.” There are many people in Palestine who are suffering. But Western-developed tools for measuring depression, such as the Beck inventory, do not tend to distinguish between justified misery and clinical depression.-rh5/2/2019
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New Amnesty report examines how Airbnb, Booking.com, Expedia, and TripAdvisor benefit from the Israeli occupationJonathan Ofir - Mondoweiss - Airbnb made news in November when it declared it would remove its listing from illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian West Bank. This declaration preempted a Human Rights Watch report on Airbnb and Booking.com, where Booking.com kept its silence. Yet, shortly after its announcement Airbnb met with Israeli government officials and announced that it would not be implementing the policy after all. It then issued a maddening set of contradictory statements, which amounted to it wanting to both have its settlement-cake and eat it too. As of this week, Airbnb has yet to implement its new ban policy, as Judy Maltz noted yesterday in Haaretz. In other words, Airbnb is profiting from war crimes, and hoping that it will be forgotten, while it obfuscates its criminality with contradictory statements.-rh5/2/2019
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“Largest Land Grab Since 1948” — Israel to Expel 36,000 Palestinians From NegevWhitney Webb - Mintpressnews - According to an Israeli media report, the Israeli government has completed work on a massive, far-reaching plan that would expel an estimated 36,000 Palestinians from “unrecognized” villages in the Negev Desert. If the plan is approved by the Knesset, Israel’s legislative body, its implementation could begin as soon as this year and would take four years to complete. News of the plan was first published by Israel Hayom – Israel’s largest Hebrew-language newspaper, funded by Sheldon Adelson, the top donor to both U.S. President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The plan — compiled by Uri Ariel, Israel’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, and his staff — features the seizure of an estimated 260,00 dunams (64,247 acres) from Palestine’s Bedouins. The size of the territory in question and the high number of Palestinians set to be affected has led some to call the plan the largest “land grab” of Palestinian-inhabited land since 1948, when the state of Israel was founded.-rh5/2/2019
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Netanyahu plays Iran threat at his convenienceAkiva Eldar - Al-Monitor - In two weeks’ time, that is less than two months prior to Israel’s April 9 elections, the Likud Party led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu can expect a rating-boosting campaign contribution. On Feb. 13, Netanyahu’s friends in Washington and Warsaw are convening an international conference on “peace and security in the Middle East,” to which 70 world leaders, including from Arab countries, have been invited. Unsurprisingly, Israel’s prime minister has decided to accept the American-Polish invitation. In fact, behind the seemingly bland conference title — "Ministerial to Promote a Future of Peace and Security in the Middle East" — hides Netanyahu’s magic word, which is also the key word of his re-election campaign: Iran. The magical qualities of the word are a proven fact: Reports about an Israeli air force bombing of Iranian positions in Syria push aside the latest news item about new evidence of Netanyahu’s alleged involvement in bribery.-rh 5/2/2019
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Gaza war takes center stage in Israel`s election campaign Ben Caspit - Al-Monitor " Israel is the only place where a military operation that occurred almost five years ago could resurface and feature in a crucial election campaign, with the army and defense chiefs who commanded it — both running for high office — coming under intense fire from the politicians who directed them. The fallout from Operation Protective Edge continues." ca 4/2/2019
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Now Chad, then Mali: Why African Countries Are Normalizing with IsraelRamzy Baroud - CounterPunch - "Unfortunately for Palestinians, Israel’s new strategy, of seeking separate alliances with UN General Assembly members seems to be paying dividends. Israel now hopes that other countries that have historically stood on the side of Palestinians – voting for Palestinian rights as a bloc at the UN – will follow the Chad and Mali examples." - id31/1/2019
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Palestinians have little to expect from Israeli electionsRay Hanania - The Arab Daily News - "Israeli journalist Tal Schneider was the guest in an online forum Thursday hosted by Americans for Peace Now. During the discussion, she observed that the Arab vote, despite uniting, might not be strong enough to refocus the country on addressing the occupation or on the Two-State Solution." - id 31/1/2019
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JVP just declared itself anti-Zionist and it`s already shifting the conversationMichael Schaeffer Omer-Man - +972 - ‘We often play the role of being able to say things that the rest of the movement cannot say,’ Jewish Voice for Peace director Rebecca Vilkomerson says in a wide-ranging interview about the group’s decision to come out as opposed to Zionism, how to fight the conflation of anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism, and recent attacks on Black-Palestine solidarity."" - id31/1/2019
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Pressured by settlers, Netanyahu ejects Hebron observersShlomi Eldar - Al-Monitor - "With elections right around the corner, it has become much easier for the settlers to pressure Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to do their bidding and let them rule downtown Hebron." - id31/1/2019
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Three positive developments for IsraelRon Ben-Yishai - Ynet - "Jerusalem can breathe a momentary sigh of relief as certain events in Syria and Gaza seem to be working in their favor." - id31/1/2019
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Former IDF chief launches shocking right-wing campaign Shlomi Eldar - Al-Monitor - Gantz’s political campaign is wrapped in the human tragedy suffered by 2 million Palestinians. He boasts about how he had returned the Gaza Strip to the Stone Age. The Israeli public was eager to hear the ideas of Gantz the politician, but instead received shocking wartime videos from him.-rh 29/1/2019
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Hamas-Fatah tension takes its toll on reconciliationMohammed Haboush - Al-Monitor - Tension between Hamas and Fatah has been surging, particularly since the latter accused Hamas’ security services in Gaza of cracking down on Fatah leaders and cadres after the Interior Ministry in Gaza refused to allow Fatah to hold a 54th anniversary celebration in the Gaza Strip. Fatah spokesman in Gaza Atef Abu Seif said in a press statement Dec. 31, “Security services in Gaza have arrested more than 500 Fatah leaders and members since Dec. 30, 2018, against the backdrop of the movement’s activities for its 54th anniversary, which falls on Jan. 1 of every year.”-rh 29/1/2019
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Why American are breaking their silence on IsraelRobert Fisk - Information Clearing House - It’s easy to accuse a white American of being an antisemite for “breaking the silence” over US- Israeli shenanigans; quite another to condemn a black American without giving the impression that such condemnation is not itself racist. And just read what Alexander actually wrote. If the US is to honour King’s message and not merely the man, she insisted, “we must condemn Israel’s actions: unrelenting violations of international law, continued occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza, home demolitions and land confiscations. We must cry out at the treatment of Palestinians at checkpoints, the routine searches of their homes and restrictions on their movements.”-rh29/1/2019
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The future is the center: Meet the parties shaking up Israeli politicsDahlia Scheindlin - +972 - Talking to these voters, I found that centrist Israelis who look carefree about the conflict on the surface aren’t as dismissive as they seem. Instead, they seem more depressed, confused and hopeless, gravitating towards issues where they still expect a possibility of change. [bz]29/1/2019
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Israeli settlers claim another Palestinian life: Father of four shot and killed in West Bank villageYumna Patel - Mondoweiss - Israeli settlers shot and killed a Palestinian father of four during a raid on the al-Mughayyir village in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah on Saturday night.Israeli settlers raided the village under the protection of armed Israeli soldiers — a common occurrence in areas of the West Bank located close to settlements — causing clashes to erupt with Palestinian residents of the village, who tried to fend off the settlers-rh 29/1/2019
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Can the Shin Bet stop hilltop youths` march to Armageddon? Ben Caspit - Al-Monitor - While the security source did not say as much, everyone in Israel is aware of the fear shared by every leader on the right, both secular and religious — that they could lose the support of settlers, particularly in an election season. The only person who has dared to express an opinion on this phenomenon, and who did so vocally, is former Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon. He has already been marginalized, paying a steep political price for his views. One can only hope that Israel`s leadership wakes up before these lawless settlers succeed in setting the West Bank on fire.-rh 29/1/2019
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Netanyahu’s archrival before elections: the attorney general Mazal Mualem - Al Monitor - Netanyahu’s election videos are very brief, rhythmic and provocative. The thing is that they do not target some political rival; they are focused on Mandelblit, who, according to all observers, is expected to announce his decision to indict Netanyahu for bribery (subject to a hearing) in Case 4000 (a telecom- media affair), and that he will do this some time in February, just before the April 9 election.-rh 29/1/2019
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Demolition highway: Israel plans to force Bedouin from homes : `Developing` the Negev has entailed repeated efforts to displace Bedouin Palestinians from `unrecognised` villages.Ben White - AlJazeera - As many as 1,000 Bedouin Palestinian families are threatened with forced displacement by the Israeli government under plans for a major new highway in the Naqab (Negev) region. The route of the new section of Road 6 already entails the forcible relocation of some 100 Bedouin families. In December 2018, however, Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel declared he intended to take advantage of the situation to expel a further 900 families.-rh29/1/2019
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Israeli teen charged with terror in rock attack that killed Palestinian womanJACOB MAGID -The Times of Israel - The Central District Attorney’s Office filed an indictment Thursday against the Israeli teen suspected of killing a Palestinian woman three months ago, in the most serious incident of suspected Jewish terror since the 2015 firebombing of a Palestinian home in Duma. The 16-year-old from the central West Bank was charged with manslaughter, aggravated stone throwing at a moving vehicle, and intentional sabotage of a vehicle. Each of the charges connected to the killing of Aisha Rabi, a 47-year-old Palestinian mother of eight, was qualified as having been carried out “in the context of a terrorist act.”-rh 29/1/2019
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Will seven politicians `Unite4Israel`? Akiva Eldar - Al-Monitor - Admittedly, most center-left Israelis are not stupid, but they are undoubtedly confused and embarrassed, having lost their way. The deep yearning to unseat Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his associates, among them Culture Minister Miri Regev, appears to have become their be all and end all, blocking the political and moral field of vision of wise and principled people. In other words, the dream of toppling Netanyahu and company in the April 9 elections has distorted the thinking of Israel`s best and brightest when it comes to the tremendous diplomatic, political and social challenges facing Israel.-rh 29/1/2019
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Bernie Sanders could be US president in 2020 – and this is what it means for Israel and the Middle EastRobert Fisk - Information Clearing House - But let’s remember a few more things about Sanders. He’s always supported the “right of Israel to exist” and its right to self-defence, and he’s always condemned Palestinian attacks on Israelis. But he’s also kept away from pro- Israeli Jewish lobby groups such as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and he didn’t restrain himself when he chose to condemn Israel for its illegal colonial project of building homes for Jews and Jews only in the occupied West Bank, nor when Israel has blatantly interfered in US domestic or electoral politics.-rh29/1/2019
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Sex scandal shakes Israelis` trust of judicial system Ben Caspit - Al-Monitor - It all started with an old mobile phone. This much-too-smart phone set off one of the juiciest scandals to hit Israel in modern times, threatening to tarnish the image of Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, whose meteoric political rise has generated speculation of a future run for the premiership. The phone belongs to attorney Effi Naveh, the all-powerful chair of the Israel Bar Association (IBA). Until his resignation this week, Naveh was a strategic ally of the justice minister’s. He was the one who helped her lead the dramatic double reform of changing the judicial appointments’ process and appointing to the bench many conservative judges (out of the hundreds appointed during her term as minister).-rh 29/1/2019
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The 2019 Women’s March: privileging victimhood and the power of class Activism Alice Rothchild - Mondoweiss "Linda Sarsour has been attacked as an anti-Semite because of her support for Palestinian rights and the boycott, divestment, sanction campaign against Israel.This is the same Sarsour who raised hundreds of thousands of dollars through her Muslim organization, MPower Change and other Muslim groups to support synagogues whose buildings or cemeteries were desecrated or in disrepair in St. Louis and Colorado. She is the same Sarsour who raised $239,000 to pay for the burials of the victims of the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh and who has worked with Jewish Voice for Peace and other Jewish organizations." ca "26/1/2019
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IsraeliCriminality, Hubris in Syria InvitesCatastropheFinianCunningham - Information Clearing House "But what’sremarkable about the latest Israeliaggression is the public acknowledgement bythe government in Tel Aviv. Prime MinisterBenjamin Netanyahu, while on an African tourat the weekend, openly acknowledged theIsraeli air strikes, as did the IsraeliDefense Forces (IDF).“We have aset policy, to target the Iranianentrenchment in Syria, and to harm whoevertried to harm us,” said Netanyahu on a visitto Chad." ca 26/1/2019
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Arab Israelis have the power to undermine Israel’s racismRay Hanania - The Arab Daily News - "Arabs in Israel represent more than 20 percent of the total population, but only hold 10.8 percent of the seats on the Knesset, or 13 out of 120 seats. The Arab Joint List consisting of the four largest Arab Israeli political parties ranks as the 3rd largest political group in the Knesset, but could be the largest if the Arab citizens of Israel voted instead of staying home on Election Day." - id 24/1/2019
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How Black Power spread support for PalestineRod Such - The Electronic Intifada - "A professor of history at Randolph-Macon College, Fischbach explores how the Black Power movement of the 1960s embraced the Palestinian cause and how this eventually influenced moderate civil rights organizations that had unquestioningly supported Israel." - id 24/1/2019
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A Green New Deal, Israeli StyleYacov Ben Efrat - Challenge - "In Israel, the issue of climate change ebbs in the face of the imaginary existential wave that Netanyahu is riding – the Iranian threat." - id24/1/2019
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Hoping for the best in Gaza, preparing for the worstElior Levy - Ynet - "Analysis: The Qatari ambassador is in Israel with suitcases of money, while the deputy UN special envoy tries to ease tensions in the Strip; the level of calm surrounding the demonstrations at the border fence will determine whether the money reaches Gaza anytime soon, while the specter of new violence is ever present." - id 24/1/2019
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Mandelblit in the middle: He’ll seal Netanyahu’s fate and maybe shape Israel’sThe Times of Israel - In the next few months, with attacks on him expected to ramp up yet further as he nears a decision on indicting the prime minister, the thickness of his skin and his commitment to those ideals will be put to the ultimate test. The widespread expectation that he will invite Netanyahu to a pretrial hearing, reportedly some time next month, will likely take the attempts by the prime minister’s loyalists to delegitimize and discredit him to a whole new level.-rh22/1/2019
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Time to Break the Silence on PalestineMichelle Alexander - New York Times - Martin Luther King Jr. courageously spoke out about the Vietnam War. And it cost him. But it set an example. So, if we are to honor King’s message and not merely the man, we must condemn Israel’s actions: unrelenting violations of international law, continued occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza, home demolitions and land confiscations. We must cry out at the treatment of Palestinians at checkpoints, the routine searches of their homes and restrictions on their movements, and the severely limited access to decent housing, schools, food, hospitals and water that many of them face. (...) We must not tolerate Israel’s refusal even to discuss the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes, as prescribed by United Nations resolutions (...) Many civil rights activists and organizations have remained silent, not because they lack concern or sympathy for the Palestinian people, but because they fear loss of funding from foundations, and false charges of anti-Semitism. They worry, as I once did, that their important social justice work will be compromised or discredited by smear campaigns.[bz]22/1/2019
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ILTV debate on the ever hot issues of the moment, (Jan. 13, youtube)Arik Ascherman and Adam Keller vs Martin Sherman and Zohar Tal [bz]22/1/2019
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Palestinian PM amends controversial regulation to exclude Jerusalemites Daoud Kuttab - Al-Monitor - Due to public pressure, the Palestinian government amended a controversial regulation dealing with East Jerusalem residents. The decision set out in an order by Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah Jan. 3 required Palestinians holding Israeli IDs from having to pass a security clearance before being allowed to rent property in the Palestinian areas. The amendment, which made an exception for East Jerusalem residents, has eased the tension. But many Palestinians are still angry at being treated in a discriminatory fashion.-rh 22/1/2019
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Is Israel spying on its visitors? Yossi Beilin - Al-Monitor - I found a Jan. 16 item written by Nahum Barnea in Yedioth Ahronoth discussing a form that visitors invited to attend conferences and meetings in Israel are asked to complete. It is a seemingly simple form that asks for personal details, but it also includes two rather astonishing questions: what are the visitor’s plans when not at the conference and with whom does he intend to meet in his leisure time. The second question concerns anyone the visitor knows in Israel — that is, names of family, friends, business contacts, academics, and diplomats and other people in government roles — and requests their phone number. As it turns out, this is (allegedly) a gesture of hospitality the state has decided to bestow on its guests. There is (seemingly) no requirement that one fill out the form, but those who do will be registered as a VIP and not subject to an interrogation upon exiting the country. Any attempt to learn what brilliant mind invented this new procedure encounters some difficulty.-rh 22/1/2019
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Israel halts transfer of Qatari funds to Gaza as border tensions spiralJUDAH ARI GROSS - Times od Israel - Israel refused to allow a previously approved $15 million transfer to the Gaza-ruling Hamas terrorist group from Qatar on Tuesday, as the restive border region spiralled into deadly violence. The move came after an IDF officer was injured by sniper fire on the border of the restive enclave, and a Hamas fighter was killed in a reprisal shelling by Israel.-rh22/1/2019
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INSS: Israel could face three-front war in 2019Itamar Eichner - Ynetnews - Israel could face military conflicts on three different fronts—Syria, Lebanon and the Gaza Strip—at the same time in 2019, according to an annual assessment of security challenges done by the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), a national security think-tank. "The main three fronts are: Syria, Lebanon and the Gaza Strip, and they are very volatile. Despite the continued mutual deterrence between the sides, there is a potential for a military escalation, which could eventually lead to an all-out three- front war … Israel is ought to be prepared for this scenario,” said the assessment, which was submitted to President Reuven Rivlin last week.-rh22/1/2019
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Election 2019 shaping up as a festival of purported indignation over leftism : Substantive policy debate is out as campaigns look to manipulation and defamation to define their opponentsHAVIV RETTIG GUR - The Times of Israel - Earlier this week, Benny Gantz, the popular ex-IDF chief who attracted nearly half as many Knesset seats in polls as the ruling Likud before even registering his new political party, naming his Knesset slate or expressing a political opinion (or, perhaps, because he had not yet done those things), sided with Druze activists seeking to amend the nation-state law. Gantz promised to do everything in his power to ensure the law would reflect their equal standing in the Jewish state. Likud’s reaction was revealing not only for its content but for the coordinated way it deployed its response. It was as though the party’s entire cabinet cadre had turned out on social media, online videos and press statements to pronounce Gantz a “leftist.”-rh22/1/2019
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Qalandiya Checkpoint: ‘Winter is a Harsh Season’Tamar Fleishman - Palestine Chronicle - A man who is yet to recover from his surgery waited with his wife for a taxi to take them back home, to Gaza. It was freezing and they were both shivering. Israeli soldiers didn’t allow just any taxi to take them home, but one that they would trust would indeed take them to the besieged Strip so that they would not stay in Israel or in the West Bank. The soldiers ordered the couple to wait outside, where there was nothing to protect them from the rain and cold.-rh22/1/2019
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Electricity shortage may close Palestine`s hospitals Charles Stratford - Aljazeera - The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza is warning that at least three hospitals may be forced to close because there isn`t enough fuel to power generators vital to the supply of electricity. The latest fuel crisis started after Israel stopped millions of dollars from transferred from Qatar to the Palestinian territory more than two weeks ago.-rh 22/1/2019
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Bernie Sanders could be US president in 2020 – and this is what it means for Israel and the Middle EastRobert Fisk - Information Clearing House - Sanders’ campaign is not just going to be about economics or the futility of Mexican walls. It might well be about Iran. It’s going to raise a lot of questions among the Christian fundamentalists. But, most importantly of all, it’s going to be about Israel. And, if this liberal intellectual is going to be a serious candidate for 2020, he’s going to meet plenty of latent anti-Semitism in the United States. It took long enough for John Kennedy, the first Catholic American to become president, to shake off the claim that he would be more loyal to the Pope than to America. Just imagine how Sanders will have to confront the same bigots when they insinuate that he’s more loyal to Israel than to his own country. He’s not – as one television presenter once suggested – a dual national. He’s not an Israeli. He’s the child of Polish Jewish immigrants.-rh22/1/2019
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Netanyahu`s well-oiled war machineTali Ben Ovadia - Ynetnews - Undermining the legitimacy of the justice system, trampling on the pillars of democracy, in this election race the prime minister takes no prisoners. Only a joint political campaign starring Lapid, Gantz and Ashkenazi could eat away at Netanyahu`s electoral advantage.-rh22/1/2019
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There Is No ‘Israeli-Palestinian Conflict’Matti Friedman - New York Times "There isn’t an Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the way that many outsiders seem to think, and this perception gap is worth spelling out. It has nothing to do with being right-wing or left-wing in the American sense. To borrow a term from the world of photography, the problem is one of zoom. Simply put, outsiders are zoomed in, and people here in Israel are zoomed out. Understanding this will make events here easier to grasp.In the Israeli view, no peacemaker can bring the two sides together because there aren’t just two sides. There are many, many sides." ca 21/1/2019
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A crusader in Cairo: Pompeo`s pompous imperialism has no clothesHamid Dabashi - Al Jazeera - The speech Trump`s secretary of state gave in Cairo put the thuggish truth of American imperialism on full display [ry] 21/1/2019
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The Moral Travesty of Israel Seeking Arab, Iranian Money for its Alleged NakbaRamzy Baroud - CounterPunch - "The game is afoot. Israel, believe it or not, is demanding that seven Arab countries and Iran pay $250 billion as compensation for what it claims was the forceful exodus of Jews from Arab countries during the late 1940s" [ry] 21/1/2019
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2018 was another year of BDS victoriesAsa Winstanley - MEMO - "An old saying attributed to Gandhi goes: `First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you and then you win.` This saying is, broadly speaking, the right way to understand Israel’s response to the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, since it was first founded by Palestinian civil society in 2005. As of 2019, Israel is deep into the `fight you` phase – with decidedly mixed results" [ry] 21/1/2019
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Before talks with Palestinians, Israel must fulfill agreementsAkiva Eldar - Al-Monitor - "Years of occupation and settlement expansion render the possibility of reaching an agreement with the Palestinians very slim, but Israel can reach out to them by implementing past agreements." - id 17/1/2019
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Gantz speaks, and the right goes wildSima Kadmon - Ynet - "Benny Gantz`s choice to make his first public political comments about the Nation-State Law, on which there`s near consensus, could have been his way to ambush the right. Or maybe we`re just putting too much meaning into it." - id 17/1/2019
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Khashoggi Murder Leads to Fundamental Regional Alignment: Public Enemy Number 1 is Now TurkeyRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "Middle East Eye asked me to contribute to an assessment of what 2019 will hold in store for the Middle East. I focussed especially on prospects for Israel and its relations with the other players in the region. Please read and disseminate it as widely as you can via social media and other ways." - id 17/1/2019
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Changes expected in Palestinian Knesset representationDaoud Kuttab - Al-Monitor - "There appears to be a good chance that the Joint List will not be the only party vying to represent the interests of Palestinian citizens of Israel in April elections for the next Knesset." - id 17/1/2019
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Will 2019 see an end to the Hamas-Fatah divide?Yousef Alhelou - The Arab Weekly - Israeli soldiers storm houses and media offices — including the Palestinians’ Wafa news agency — and such acts cannot be prevented by Palestinian security forces due to signed agreements. House demolitions and confiscations of land have become almost daily occurrences. Palestinian national unity is Israel’s greatest threat and most challenging issue. Palestinians must protect their internal and external fronts and realise that the Israeli policy of divide and rule must end.-rh 16/1/2019
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Israel opens `apartheid road` in occupied West BankMegan Giovannetti - Aljazeera - Route 4370 has a high wall in the middle, topped with fencing that segregates the road into two separate two-way lanes. The western side is for Palestinians in the West Bank to use to go around Jerusalem, which they cannot enter without an Israeli military-issued permit, while the eastern side serves Israeli settlers going to and from Jerusalem. Palestinians from the village of Anata, which lies on the outskirts of Jerusalem but is separated from the city by Israel`s barrier wall, say part of the highway is built on Anata`s land.-rh 16/1/2019
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Trump’s Full Spectrum Assault on Palestinian PoliticsIlana Feldman - MERIP - he Trump Administration announced on August 31, 2018 that it was ceasing all US contributions to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), rejecting what it termed “an irredeemably flawed operation.”[1] UNRWA provides education, healthcare, job training, and limited food aid for millions of Palestinian refugees in the Middle East, the majority of whom are descendants of those Israel forcibly displaced from their homes in historic Palestine in 1948, in what Palestinians refer to as the Nakba (catastrophe).[2] Unlike most UN agencies, the entirety of UNRWA’s operational budget comes from voluntary contributions by member states. The US has historically been UNRWA’s biggest donor, last year providing about one-quarter of its $1.24 billion budget. The US refusal to contribute is therefore potentially catastrophic for its recipients.-rh16/1/2019
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What sustains the Palestinian struggle?Khaled Barakat/Ranjan Solomon - Palestine Update - The stories and experiences of revolutionary strugglers behind bars affect the entire society, as their words and messages escape prison in those secret messages smuggled into open space, reaching the squares, streets, schools, alleys and cafes, from the cells that were intended to serve as narrow boxes of silence and isolation. (...) \It will leave occupation confused especially with its lack of moral grounds. Power may not surrender voluntarily. The pressure will bring it to crumble. [bz] 15/1/2019
The many battles of Gadi EisenkotYossi Yehoshua - Y-net - Eisenkot inherited a greatly deterred Gaza, but his replacement Aviv Kochavi will have to contend with the significant erosion of that deterrence. In addition, the IDF`s performance and results in recent rounds of fighting against the strip have not been good. But the main problem during Eisenkot`s term is the issue of motivation. The motivation to serve in combat units reached an unprecedented low during his tenure. Even the motivation for enlisted service is constantly in decline; with no other tasks but keeping order in the Territories and skirmishing of Gaza fence, young officers feel less inclined to continue with a military career. [ak] 15/1/2019
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Defying Racism: A Palestinian musician’s ordeal at Ben Gurion AirportNai Barghouti - Mondoweiss - As furious as I am at the Israeli security officer’s ugly racism and vengefulness, I felt slightly bad for her. Despite her best efforts to humiliate me, I shall go on resisting her state’s racism and apartheid with my music, and one day I may actually make a difference in my people’s struggle for liberation. She, however, will continue to search Palestinians’ underwear, to lie about our laptops not passing security checks, and to be an insignificant tool of a system of racist oppression.-rh15/1/2019
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Are U.S. newspapers biased against Palestinians? Analysis of 100,000 headlines in top dailies says, YesDorgham Abusalim - Mondoweiss - A study released last month by 416Labs, a Toronto-based consulting and research firm, supports the view that mainstream U.S. newspapers consistently portray Palestine in a more negative light than Israel, privilege Israeli sources, and omit key facts helpful to understanding the Israeli occupation, including those expressed by Palestinian sources.-rh15/1/2019
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Breaking silence, Gantz says he will ‘fix’ nation-state law to help DruzeRAOUL WOOTLIFF - The Times of Israel - After weeks of refusing to give interviews or make public statements, former IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz, the chairman of the new Israel Resilience party, offered on Monday a glimpse of his largely unknown political views, breaking his silence with a vow to “fix” the controversial nation-state law to help the Druze community.-rh15/1/2019
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Israeli minister calls for annexation of the West BankMiddle East Eye Staff - A newly appointed Israeli minister on Sunday dismissed the possibility of establishing a Palestinian state in the West Bank and called for the occupied territory to be annexed. "Settlements are the new Zionism of the 21st century,” Immigration and Absorption Minister Yoav Galant said. During an election campaign stop in an illegal Israeli settlement in the West Bank, Galant said: "I am clearly saying no to a Palestinian state. It is not possible to have more than one state west of the Jordan River.”-rh15/1/2019
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In farewell remarks, IDF chief urges cabinet to strengthen PA security forcesTAMAR PILEGGI - The Times of Israel - Outgoing IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot reportedly urged the government to strengthen the Palestinian Authority security forces, noting that they had recently thwarted a Hamas terrorist attack in the West Bank. In his farewell remarks to the cabinet on Sunday, Eisenkot said PA forces seized weapons and explosives originating from Hamas’ military wing in Area A of the West Bank several days ago, ministers attending the meeting told Channel 10 news. Area A are parts of the West Bank under full Palestinian control.-rh15/1/2019
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Palestine: The History of a PeopleRON JACOBS - Counterpunch - Recently, Zed Books Press published what is perhaps the most comprehensive and complete history of the Palestinian people to date. Titled Palestine: A Four Thousand Year History, the text traces the Palestinian people and their culture from pre-biblical times to the modern day. Author Nur Masalha has composed a narrative befitting a people whose future is ultimately crucial to the world’s. Describing most historical narratives about nations as myths based on religions and folk tales, Masalha rejects this approach and takes the reader through a detailed examination of trade, governance, and various inhabitants’ personal documents. In doing so he describes a history of a people and a place that began long before more traditional histories of either Palestine or Israel start. The result is a history based in verifiable data and unadorned by romantic notions of nationalism and religious mythology.-rh15/1/2019
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Veteran Likud member must raise integrity banner against Netanyahu’s rule Read moreYossi Beilin - Al-Monitor - Begin has already proved that he has no qualms about standing up to the Likud consensus or even to Netanyahu himself. Now that he is about to exit the political arena, this could be his big moment. He could call on Netanyahu to announce that he can no longer function in office and demand that he clear the way for someone else from their party to take over. It would be just like late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin did in 1977, after he was suspected of committing a crime (owning a dollar account abroad — which does not constitute a crime in Israel any more). Back then, Rabin announced that he could no longer function in office and transferred the reins of power to Shimon Peres.-rh 15/1/2019
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When Bolsonaro and Netanyahu Are ‘Brothers’: Why Brazil Should Shun the Israeli ModelRamzy Baroud - CounterPunch - "Europe’s excitement for Israel’s drone technology is related to mostly unfounded fears of migrants and refugees. In the case of Brazil, Israeli drones technology will be put to fight against criminal gangs and other internal reasons" [ry] 14/1/2019
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Gantz was an island of sanity during the Gaza warMatan Tzuri - Ynetnews "These days, we are witnessing attempts at a political targeted assassination of Benny Gantz by the Likud upper echelon, which promises to "expose" embarrassing details about his performance in the 2014 conflict. There is no dispute that the Gaza operation could have been handled differently, however, the political echelon should be held responsible for its own failures. The top military brass did nothing but follow their instructions." ca11/1/2019
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Egypt border closed to Gazans leaving amid Palestinian feudingAFP - "The Palestinian Authority announced on Sunday it would withdraw its staff from the Rafah border crossing -- the only way for Gazans to leave the Palestinian enclave that bypasses Israel.It blamed interference by Hamas, the Islamist group that controls Gaza, following claims of widespread arrests of members of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas`s Fatah party in the enclave." Ca 11/1/2019
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Pompeo Ignores Saudi Crimes—and U.S. History—in Middle East SpeechChristopher Dickey - The Daily Beast " The Khashoggi murder exposed the increasingly erratic and dangerous behavior of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, known as MBS. What Pompeo outlined in his Cairo speech is a posture essentially built on MBS promises that it’s now clear the Saudi ruler can’t deliver.The guts of Pompeo’s speech was this: Iran is the enemy, and that’s the glue that binds together America’s friends..." ca 11/1/2019
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The Zionist fallacy of `Jewish supremacy`Yoav Litvin - Al-Jazeera - "Framing Zionism as Jewish and not white supremacy is a dangerous proposition." id 10/1/2019
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Will Abbas go through with legislative elections without Hamas?Rasha Abou Jalal - Al Monitor - "Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas plans to hold legislative elections within six months, the first since the last Palestinian parliamentary elections in 2006, to the dismay of Hamas." - id 10/1/2019
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Can Qatar help Hamas without embarrassing Netanyahu?Shlomi Eldar - Al-Monitor - "The Qatari emissary asked the Hamas leadership to give him and Israel time to come up with creative ways to transfer the Gaza aid money without causing public opinion in Israel to explode." - id 10/1/2019
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Israel`s left wing must have the courage to tackle the big issueYaron London - Ynet - "The left must clearly state, without obfuscating in the name of political correctness, what it believes is the long-hungered solution for good relations between Israel`s Arab and Jewish citizens, instead of providing superficial and hysterical solutions to the country`s rising fascism." - id 10/1/2019
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23 police officers, 4 settlers hurt in violent clashes at Amona outpostJACOB MAGID - The Times od Israel - Israeli security forces early Thursday morning clashed with roughly 300 settler youths who gathered overnight inside a pair of mobile homes illegally installed on the West Bank hilltop where the Amona outpost once stood. Officers who arrived on the scene to carry out a Jerusalem District Court order to remove the caravans encountered “very severe violence from dozens of rioters who threw stones, burned tires and threw irons bars” at the forces, a Border Police spokesman said.-rh8/1/2019
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Gaza’s Opioid Problem : For people living under Israeli siege, with high unemployment, tramadol is a means of escape.Miriam Berger - The Nation - The anti-drug classes, however, are something relatively new for conservative Gaza, where drug use is highly stigmatized, but widespread abuse of the synthetic opiate painkiller tramadol is now part of the coastal enclave’s many interconnected crises. Khael started giving lessons in schools (for boys only) last year to combat addiction in a police program that’s part of the Hamas-run government’s own “War on Drugs”—despite criticism that Hamas has long profited from the drug trade along the way.-rh8/1/2019
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Legal official said to accuse PM of trying to ‘deceive public’ over graft probesMICHAEL BACHNER - The Times of Israel - In a live statement on prime time television Monday evening, Netanyahu demanded that police allow him to confront his former aides and colleagues who have reportedly provided incriminating evidence in the three graft cases in which he is a suspect. “Netanyahu wants to assert his power, weight and status to disrupt the investigation,” Army Radio quoted a “very senior official” in the State Prosecutor’s Office as saying. “In a confrontation with him, those state witnesses could give a different statement than what they gave police.” “The Israeli public is being deceived, and not for the first time, by Netanyahu, who is making use of the masses’ stupidity — meaning their lack of knowledge in those subjects,” the unnamed official was quoted as saying. “Anyway, no suspect has any right to a confrontation [during a police investigation] and it is inappropriate to hold an unnecessary and damaging confrontation.”-rh 8/1/2019
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Ten years after the first war on Gaza, Israel still plans endless brute forceAvi Shlaim - The Guardian - Israel’s conduct during the first Gaza war was placed under an uncompromising lens by the UN Human Rights Council’s independent fact-finding mission headed by Richard Goldstone, the distinguished South African judge who happened to be both a Jew and a Zionist. Goldstone and his team found that both Hamas and the Israel Defence Forces had committed violations of the laws of war by deliberately harming civilians. The IDF received more severe strictures than Hamas on account of the bigger scale and seriousness of its violations.-rh8/1/2019
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Detained Jewish teenagers suspected of murdering Palestinian woman — Shin BetJACOB MAGID - The Times of Israel - The Shin Bet security service on Sunday revealed that a group of Jewish teenagers arrested over the past week are suspected of involvement in the murder of a Palestinian woman in October. Aisha Rabi, 47, was struck in the head with a large stone while sitting in the passenger seat of a car being driven by her husband in the northern West Bank, the Shin Bet said in a statement, providing the first details on the investigation since a gag order was imposed on the case two days after the October 12, 2018, killing of the mother of eight.-rh 8/1/2019
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Birthright-will-fail-if-it-cant-adapt-to-the-needs-of-young-jewsPeter Beinart - Forward - Since June, 22 Diaspora Jews have either walked off Birthright trips in protest against their tour guide’s refusal to take them to meet Palestinians or been kicked off for raising uncomfortable questions about Israeli policy. And If Not Now activists and members of Na’amod, a similar group in Britain, have distributed anti-occupation literature to people about to embark on Birthright trips at airports. All this is both necessary and tragic. It is necessary because taking Diaspora Jews to Israel without giving them the chance to hear from Palestinians who live as non-citizens under Israeli control in the West Bank is dishonest and immoral. It’s like organizing a tour to America in the 1950s without introducing participants to blacks in the segregated south.-rh 8/1/2019
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Exporting the Technology of OccupationAntony Loewenstein - The New York Review of Books - Speaking recently to an audience in Tel Aviv via satellite from Moscow soon after the murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden alleged that Saudi Arabia had used Israeli-made spyware to track Khashoggi’s movements before his death. Snowden said that the Israeli cyber-intelligence company NSO Group Technologies had developed software known as Pegasus that was sold to the Saudis and allowed Khashoggi to be monitored by infecting the smartphone of one of his contacts, another Saudi critic, based in Canada.-rh 8/1/2019
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Israel and US officially withdraw from UNESCO over ‘anti-Israel’ biasYumna Patel - Mondoweiss - Israel and the United States have officially quit the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), citing “anti-Israel bias.” The decision, which was announced by the two countries in October 2017, officially took effect at midnight on New Year’s Day. UNESCO was co- founded by the US after World War II with the mission of seeking to “build peace through international cooperation in Education, the Sciences and Culture.”-rh8/1/2019
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Unseen enemy: Doctors in Gaza battling superbug epidemicThe Bureau of Investigative Journalism - Doctors in Gaza and the West Bank warn they are battling an epidemic of antibiotic-resistant superbugs, a growing problem in the world’s conflict zones and one that risks spilling over borders and diminishing the global medical arsenal against serious illness. The rise and spread of these virulent infections adds to the devastation of war, increasing medical costs, blocking hospital beds because patients need longer care and leaving people whose injuries might once have been healed with life-changing disabilities.-rh8/1/2019
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Gaza’s public servants outraged at Hamas’ recent spending Huda Baroud - Al-Monitor - On Dec. 17, media sites circulated a leaked document from Hamas’ Popular Action Department detailing the movements’ expenses for the celebrations of its 31st anniversary in mid-December in Gaza City. The expenditures included travel and accommodation costs to bring Al-Waad band from Beirut to Gaza to participate in the festivities, buses to transport citizens to the event location, monitors at the festival site, Hamas flags and banners, promotion on social media and personal visits by Hamas members to Gaza. The movement also paid to install a stage in Katiba Square, west of Gaza City, and rented seating and generators. The leaked document said total expenditures up to Dec. 13 were some $534,350 — a bill that has angered many Hamas government employees in Gaza who have not been paid their full salary since 2013.-rh 8/1/2019
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Who is Being Held to Account for Palestinians’ Food Insecurity?Ramona Wadi - The Palestine Chronicle - "It is a mistake to focus on Palestinians’ food insecurity only in light of the WFP’s reduction in aid. In its latest report, the Programme stated that 22.5 percent of Palestinians suffer from food insecurity due to limited access, lack of mobility and economic restrictions, as well as the discrepancy between income and food prices. All of this should be blamed directly on Israel" [ry] 7/1/2019
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A most unflattering investigationOded Shalom - Ynet - "As an Israeli journalist I can only envy the thorough work of Halbfinger and his colleagues. Having the time and resources for such investigative work should not be taken for granted. While the Gaza Strip remains closed to Israeli journalists—on the orders of the Israeli security forces — the foreign media is free to enter. Us Israeli journalists have to rely on announcements from the IDF Spokesperson, and have no way of properly cross-referencing information." - id3/1/2019
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The IDF doesn`t investigate Palestinian deaths — it whitewashes themHagai El-Ad - +972 - "The Israeli army says it would like to conduct thorough investigations of the Palestinians it kills or wounds. The only problem? It is unable to do so honestly." - id 3/1/2019
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Israel Supreme Court rejects “equality for all” billRay Hanania - the Arab Daily News - "In doing so, the Supreme Court refused to even allow a discussion of equal rights and a state for all of its citizens in the Knesset.": - id 3/1/2019
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Why Trump’s Middle East peace plan is just a sideshow Oliver Holmes - The Guardian - "Palestinian leaders have rejected Washington as a mediator and Israeli politicians openly deride peace efforts." - id 3/1/2019
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No one cares as Trump plan delayed againOmar Karmi - EI - "What’s left? The booming settlement construction sector? What harm to Israel could possibly arise from a plan put together by settlement benefactor Jared Kushner, settlement advocate David Friedman, and settlement guard Jason Greenblatt?" - id3/1/2019
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A Day, a Life: When a Medic Was Killed in Gaza, Was It an Accident?David M. Halbfinger - New York Times - A detailed reconstruction, stitched together from hundreds of crowd-sourced videos and photographs, shows that neither the medics nor anyone around them posed any apparent threat of violence to Israeli personnel. Though Israel later admitted her killing was unintentional, the shooting appears to have been reckless at best, and possibly a war crime, for which no one has yet been punished. [bz] 1/1/2019
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IDF in West Bank refrains from arresting Jews Shlomi Eldar - Al-Monitor - This December was particularly dramatic. At least one price tag attack was recorded about every three days. These included the slashing of tires of cars belonging to Palestinians, anti-Arab graffiti in Palestinian villages, the throwing of stones, the cutting down of olive trees and more. After the terrorist attack at the Givat Asaf intersection on Dec. 13, dozens of price tag attacks were recorded in Palestinian neighborhoods in Jerusalem. In Beit Hanina, for example, assailants slashed tires and sprayed slogans like “Death to the Arabs” and “We will not sleep when blood is spilled here.” The graffiti included the Star of David, which has been adopted by price Tag activists as a symbol of their nationalist crimes. Despite the steep rise in incidents, almost no suspects have been arrested.-rh 1/1/2019
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Seven hospitalized in settler attack on Hebron activistsEdo Konrad - +972 Magazine - Israeli settlers attacked a group of Palestinians who were attempting to rebuild part of a local youth center in the occupied city of Hebron over the weekend, sending seven of them to the hospital with minor injuries. On Saturday, according to eye witnesses, the settlers had demolished parts of a storage room being constructed at the home of local Palestinian activist Issa Amro, which also serves as a community center run by Youth Against Settlements. Amro filed a complaint with Israeli police against the settlers, who he says also tore off a metal gate from his neighbor’s house.-rh 1/1/2019
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Netanyahu`s election u-turn is meant to sway his criminal probesNahum Barnea - Ynet news - Nothing can separate the elections from the attorney general`s decision, and no decision will be to everyone`s satisfaction. If Mandelblit decides to postpone the decision until after the elections, many Israelis will wonder —and justifiably so—for whom are they being asked to vote. Is it for a man who is facing charges of bribery or for a man who is facing lesser charges? They will ask whether they are voting for someone whose criminal cases are about to be closed due to the fact that "there is nothing, because there was nothing," according to Netanyahu`s oft-repeated mantra. Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit Will the prime minister announce his resignation when Mandelblit`s decision is released? Will a deal be reached? Will his future coalition partners abandon him if he has already formed a government? Will Netanyahu even be the Likud`s ultimate candidate or does his candidacy depend on the outcome of these investigations?.-rh 1/1/2019
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Three Israeli teens arrested in Jewish terror probeJACOB MAGID - The Times of Israel - Three Israelis were arrested Sunday on suspicion of involvement in a major security probe whose details are under gag order, a defence official confirmed to The Times of Israel. The investigation is being conducted jointly by the Shin Bet security service and the police’s nationalistic crime unit, which are probing the unspecified incident as a possible Jewish terror attack. A squad of Shin Bet agents and officers in the Yasam police reconnaissance unit raided a yeshiva in the northern West Bank and grabbed one student, who has since been prevented from speaking to a lawyer, said a spokesman for the Honenu legal aid organization that is representing the detained student.-rh1/1/2019
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Don`t believe the hype: The Israeli right is weaker than it seemsMeron Rapoport - +972 Magazine - Political commentators are in near- total agreement that a solidly right-wing government will be formed after the upcoming elections, set to take place in early April. Even commentators identified with the liberal left say they have no doubt Netanyahu and the right will win. I doubt they are genuinely convinced of these predictions; rather, there are trying to avoid being seen as esoteric and out of touch with the people, as those who forecast a defeat for the right usually are.-rh1/1/2019
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The case against Netanyahu: Is Israel about to reelect a corrupt prime minister?DAVID HOROVITZ - The Times of Israel - The prime minister, a self- proclaimed victim of a political witch hunt involving the opposition, the media and the police, is seeking reelection in April precisely as the attorney general weighs whether to indict him for bribery, breach of trust and/or other allegations in three corruption cases. Immediately after Netanyahu announced Monday that he was going to the polls, discussion turned to the question of whether the prime minister was calling elections seven months before their scheduled date in part to bolster his legal position. -rh 1/1/2019
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The events that shook the Palestinian territories in 2018Al Jazeera - Over the past year, Palestinians have experienced no respite from the Israeli occupation, let alone a breakthrough of ending it. Although no full-scale war broke out in 2018, as some had expected, it did bring a grim year of deadly violence, illegal settlement expansion and home demolitions. At least 289 Palestinians - men, women and children - were killed throughout 2018, while thousands of others were wounded, including many who were maimed for life by Israeli gunfire. According to the Defense for Children organisation, the death toll includes 56 Palestinian children - an average of more than one child every week. At least 538 housing units and facilities were demolished in the occupied West Bank, resulting in 1,300 Palestinians losing their homes, a report by the Palestinian Liberation Organisation`s Centre for Studies and Documentation said.- rh1/1/2019
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Memo from Israel: Game still on in Syria Ben Caspit - Al-Monitor - “We are not prepared to accept the Iranian military entrenchment in Syria which is directed against us. We will act against it vigorously and continuously, including during the current period,” Netanyahu remarked. “I have said that we will not be deterred from doing what is necessary. Therefore, we are called upon and we act. President Trump`s decision to withdraw the American soldiers from Syria will not change our policy. We are standing steadfast on our red lines in Syria and everywhere else.”-rh 1/1/2019
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‘NYT’ report on killing of Gaza paramedic Rouzan al-Najjar is a big step forward, though flawedJames North - Mondoweiss - The New York Times surprised us yesterday by running a long, front-page investigation into the Israeli army’s killing last June 1 of a 20-year-old Gazan health worker, Rouzan al- Najjar. Before we criticize, let’s state clearly that this article was inconceivable in the Times up until a year, or even 6 months ago. By contrast, when Israel killed four small boys who who playing soccer on the beach during its 2014 assault on Gaza, the paper swallowed the army’s dishonest explanation, without challenge, even though one of its own photographers had been an eyewitness to the killings. This time, the Times came right out and said its inquiry showed that “. . . the shooting [of Rouzan al-Najjar] appears to have been reckless at best, and possibly a war crime, for which no one has yet been punished.” The paper waited until the 9th paragraph to say this, but better late than never.-rh1/1/2019
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In 2018, Israel’s mask finally came offGideon Levy - Middle East Eye - Apartheid has been in place in the territories for a long time, and now it will be on the law books, too. Those who deny Israeli apartheid - the pro-Zionist propagandists who claim that unlike in South Africa, in Israel there are no racialist laws or legislatively institutionalised discrimination - will no longer be able to disseminate their baseless arguments. Some of the laws passed this year, and those in the legislative pipeline, undermine the claim that Israel is an egalitarian democracy. Yet, such legislation also has a positive side: these laws and the ones to come will strip away the disguise, and one of the longest masquerades in history will finally end. Israel will no longer be able to continue defining itself as a democracy - “the only one in the Middle East”.-rh1/1/2019
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Hot debate ILTV - Watch: activists Adam Keller and Yotam Ya`akoba debate with right-wingers Martin Sherman and Ariel Burstein on Syria, Iran, the Palestinians, Trump and Netanyahu - many issues covered in an intensive half hour. [ak] 1/1/2019
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Law Clashing with Morality - The Case of Sheikh SayyakhAmos Gvirtz - In 1952 the Israeli military governor of the Negev came to the Sheikh of the time and said that the Israeli army is about to have maneuvers there and the Bedouin tribesmen must leave. He promised that after half a year, at the end of these maneuvers, they would be able to return. When they wished to do so, the Sheikh of the time was told they must pay for leasing the land. Naturally the tribesmen refused to pay lease for their own land. In 1953 the Israeli Knesset (parliament) passed the Land Purchase Law that, among other things, stipulated that lands not used in the period of time specified by the law would become state land. Thus, by Israel’s military force and legislation, the state claimed the lands inherited by the tribe members and headed by the Sheikh. [bz]1/1/2019
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