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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    

Global Justice in the 21st CenturyRichard Falk - Wordpress "withdrawing from international institutional arrangements, especially those positively associated with peace, human rights, and environmental protection has become the hallmark of what be identified as the negative internationalismof the Trump presidency. The most egregious instances, prior to this move with regard to the HRC, involved the repudiation of the Nuclear Program Agreement with Iran (also known as the JCPOA or P5 +1 Agreement) and the Paris Climate Change Agreement. Unlike these other instances of negative internationalism this departure from the HRC is likely to hurt the U.S. more than the HRC, reinforcing its myopic willingness to do whatever it takes to please Netanyahu and the lead American Zionist donor to the Trump campaign, Sheldon Adelson." ca23/6/2018
A Historian of The Holocaust Details the Shocking Precedent for Trump’s Decision to `Terrorize Children`Richard E. Frankel - Alternet - In recent days, millions of Americans have seen the shocking, heartbreaking images of children—crying, screaming, hysterical children—being ripped from the arms of their parents and sent away to a newly constructed camp in the Texas desert. So many of us have been justifiably outraged by the news. Here are children, arriving with their parents after a perilous journey, seeking asylum from the life-threatening conditions in their home countries, being terrorized by agents of the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE). And all of it part of a deliberate policy implemented by Donald Trump, Jeff Sessions, and Stephen Miller in their ongoing effort to re-build a white, Christian America through the exclusion (in this case through terror) of all those they deem to be outsiders.-rh20/6/2018
The Siamese Twins Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - "Rabin`s historic mistake was that, after achieving the breakthrough in Oslo, he did not rush ahead and make peace. He was too slow and cautious. I have often compared him to a general who has broken through the enemy lines, and instead of throwing all his forces into the breach, hesitates and stops. That cost him his life." - id 20/6/2018
World denounces Israel for brutality in Gaza StripRay Hanania - The Arab Daily News - "United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley denounced the resolution and said the United States stands by Israel’s right to murder unarmed innocent civilians to protect its Apartheid form of government and its racially discriminatory policies against Christians and Muslims inside and outside of Israel." - id 20/6/2018
Trump’s War on Children is an act of State TerrorismHENRY GIROUX - Counterpunch - State terrorism comes in many forms, but one of its most cruel and revolting expressions is when it is aimed at children. Separating children from their parents is indeed a form of terrorism and it points not only to a society that has lost its moral compass, but has also descended into such darkness that it demands both the loudest forms of moral outrage and a collective resistance aimed at eliminating the narratives, power relations and values that support it.-rh20/6/2018
Melania Trump’s Immigration Lawyer: Border Policy Is Like NazismThe Daily Beast - First lady Melania Trump’s immigration attorney criticized the “inhumanity” of the administration’s zero-tolerance border policy during an appearance on Fox & Friends on Tuesday. “The inhumanity of what we see is reminiscent of detentions center of Nazi Germany, of the slave trade,” Michael Wildes said. “We can do better when we try to figure out this problem.” The New York lawyer, who represented the first lady, her parents, and her sister during their immigration proceedings, also said the deterrence policy “goes against the very ethos of our founding documents and fathers.” -rh20/6/2018
Israel soldiers set dogs on elderly Palestinians and teens in Jenin refugee campMiddle East Monitor - According to rights group B’Tselem, on 7 May, a group of some ten Israeli soldiers raided Jenin refugee camp at around 4am, along with “two attack dogs”. The soldiers “forcibly entered two homes, woke up all the residents, turned the homes topsy-turvy, and detained two people”. In one house, home to Zahra Ya’qub, 85, her son Salah, 44, his wife Sabah, 40, and their three children, soldiers “muscled in”, and “assaulted the couple with dogs that knocked down Sabah”.-rh20/6/2018
Trump Gives Bibi Whatever He WantsGARY LEUPP - Counterpunch - Trump has given Netanyahu everything he ever wanted. Breaking with close allies, he has recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and withdrawn from the Iran deal. He has continued deployment of U.S. troops in Syria, having once on impulse announced their withdrawal; ostensibly there to fight ISIL they are really intended to undermine the anti-Israeli regime. He has strengthened ties with Saudi Arabia, now a de facto ally of Israel against Iran. He has withheld criticism of the relentlessly expanding Jewish settlements on the occupied West Bank and praised Bibi to the skies. He’s appointed his Jewish son-in-law, who’s been personally close to Netanyahu since boyhood, as his special envoy to negotiate a solution to the Israel/Palestine problem. For the Israeli prime minister, Trump is manna from heaven.-rh20/6/2018
Israeli bill forbids documentation of IDF abuses Shlomi Eldar - Al-Monitor - The Israeli ministerial committee on legislation approved a bill criminalizing the filming of Israeli soldiers in the West Bank June 17. Proponents of the legislation, introduced by Knesset member Robert Ilatov of Yisrael Beitenu, argue that it is designed to protect soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces operating alongside Palestinian residents, or as Ilatov himself phrased it, to prevent “filming meant to undermine the spirit of the IDF soldiers [and of] residents of the State of Israel or to damage state security.” The version of the bill approved by the ministerial committee imposes jail terms of five to 10 years on violators.-rh 20/6/2018
The fallacy of Israel`s human shields claims in GazaNeve Gordon & Nicola Perugini - Aljazeera - It has become part of a macabre ritual. Each week, thousands of Palestinians stride towards the fence surrounding the small swath of land in which they have been imprisoned for years, as Israeli snipers pick their victims and shoot. Since March 30, 132 Palestinians have been killed and over 13,000 have been injured as they have courageously protested the effects of Israel`s ongoing military siege on Gaza.-rh20/6/2018
There is a way to solve the Gaza crisisRon Ben-Yishai - Ynetnews - Analysis: An arrangement led by Egypt and supervised by UN and Arab League inspectors, which would lead to the creation of a joint PA-Hamas civil government, would serve all parties and gradually dismantle the explosive conflict—even without forcing Hamas to disarm completely. While this solution may be far from ideal for Israel, the chance is worth the risk.-rh 20/6/2018
UK government is complicit in Israel war crimes against Palestine protesters, says British campaign groupSamuel Osborne - Independent - The British government is “complicit in the violence” suffered by the Palestinians because it continues to support arms sales to Israel, a UK-based anti-poverty charity has said. Over 120 Palestinians have been killed and more than 3,800 injured by Israeli army fire since near-weekly protests along the Israel-Gaza border began on 30 March. Britain abstained from a United Nations vote which condemned Israel’s “use of any excessive, disproportionate and indiscriminate force” against the demonstrators.- rh20/6/2018
Settlers wound 11 policemen, but right-wing ministers remain silentYariv Oppenheimer - Ynetnews - Netanyahu, Lieberman, Erdan and Shaked, who rush to condemn every single Palestinian stone thrower, had nothing to say when settlers used similar violence against the security forces in the evacuation of the illegal outpost of Tapuach.-rh20/6/2018
“A Letter from Gaza, June 2018” by Hanan BashirHanan Bashir - UK Palestine Mental Health network - Hanan Bashir is a 21 year old student living and studying psychology in Gaza who has asked for assistance publicizing the following statement. Please share it widely:. I have always hated crying for help. You may have read about Gaza’s plight in newspapers or academic articles and you may have heard about the many deprivations we the Palestinians face, like having just four hours of electricity each day, three extraordinarily brutal wars, the almost always closed border crossings and so on and so forth. We, as humans with the human bodies and feelings, before any kind of divisions human beings may create, are all trying to send a message from inside the box (Gaza) to the humans outside the box. Our signal is intended to be sent everywhere that humans live, it is meant for all who want to listen.-rh 20/6/2018
Finding the truth amid Israel’s liesIlan Pappe - Electronic Intifada "Carmel’s book and dozens like it – brigade books, memoirs and military histories – could be found on the shelves of Israeli Jewish homes from 1948 onwards. Revisiting them, 70 years on, reveals an elementary truth: it would have been possible to write the “new history” of 1948 without a single new declassified document, but only if these open sources, as I call them, had been read with non-Zionist lenses." ca15/6/2018
Trump`s Israel-Palestine deal targets Saudi alliance, not peace Akiva Eldar - Al-Monitor "In this situation, Israel and Saudi Arabia would welcome the US plan and urge the Palestinians to resume negotiations with Israel based on the new blueprint. The Palestinians would flatly reject the plan, claiming that it disregards understandings reached over years of negotiations with Israel. The crisis would result in the dismantling of the Palestinian Authority and abrogation of the 1993 Oslo Accord. The Saudis would blame the Palestinians for the collapse of the deal and would renounce the 2002 Saudi-led Arab Peace Initiative that conditions normalization of Arab ties with Israel on its withdrawal from the occupied territories." ca 15/6/2018
Even Kites ShootYacov Ben Efrat 0 Challenge - "In order to deal with kite terror there is no need to sink billions into developing a sophisticated counter-punch, it’s enough to beef up the fire department. However, thousands of fire trucks, underground barriers, and sophisticated missile systems will not extinguish the great ball of fire that is just about to roll over Israel – an unprecedented humanitarian crisis that is presently erupting in Gaza. Every Israeli air force raid deep inside the Gaza Strip, which varies from 5 to 12 kilometers in width, only adds destruction and worsens the humanitarian disaster." - id13/6/2018
In Memory of Paula Hourani, Founder of Women in Black ViennaThe Palestine Chronicle - Paula Audrey Abrams Hourani, the founder of Women in Black (WiB) Vienna, passed away on June 4, 2018. Paula started WiB Vienna in 2001, coordinating a group of women and men, dedicated to the cause of justice, especially for the Palestinian people. Paula grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, in a middle class, secular Jewish family. She became aware of the horrors of occupation during her frequent travels to Palestine. Paula was untiring in her efforts to help the Palestinian cause and inform the public about the injustices inflicted by Israel to the Palestinian people. -rh13/6/2018
The Corporate Media’s World of IllusionsJonathan Cook Information Clearing House - For several years now, I have been writing these regular blog posts with one end in mind: to help open a door for readers and encourage them to step through. I select issues, usually those that dominate western media coverage and represent a consensus that we might term the Great Western Narrative, and try to show how this narrative has been constructed not to inform and enlighten but to conceal and deceive. It is not that I and the many other bloggers doing this are cleverer than everyone else. We have simply had a chance – an earlier one – to step through that door ourselves, because of a jarring life experience that the Great Western Narrative could not explain, or because someone held the door open for us, or more usually because of a combination of the two.-rh13/6/2018
When the Media Collude with the IDF to Whitewash Gaza War CrimesRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "A professor who is a friend sent me an invitation he recently received to participate in a conference in Israel later this month. He was so shocked by the agenda that he sent me the e-mail. It’s being organized by the Tel Aviv University think tank, the Institute for National Security Studies. There is no such thing as an Israeli think tank that is non-partisan or independent. Virtually all have a strong agenda and are funded by foundations, individuals or entities aiming to promote their own agendas. INSS is no different. In its case, its intellectual patron is the Israeli military-intelligence apparatus." - id13/6/2018
Are YOU Brainwashed? Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - "It`s frightening. Unprincipled psychologists, in the service of a malignant regime, use sophisticated techniques in order to control the mind of a person from afar." - id 13/6/2018
Why Anti-Fascist and Pro-BDS Work Go Hand-in-HandDavid Palumbo-Liu - Truthout - PUBLISHED June 12, 2018 SHARE A white lower-case t on a black background READING LIST WAR & PEACE Winning the News Cycle: Trump’s Made-for-TV Singapore Summit HUMAN RIGHTS Ten Years After Postville Raid, Immigration Enforcement Returns to Totalitarian Tactics ECONOMY & LABOR Using “Climate Solidarity” to Remedy Climate Alienation POLITICS & ELECTIONS Henry A. Giroux: The Nightmare of Neoliberal Fascism WAR & PEACE With Explicit US Backing, Saudi Attack on Yemen’s Humanitarian Lifeline Begins ECONOMY & LABOR Over 90 Percent of UPS Teamsters Just Voted to Strike Shortly after presidential candidate Donald Trump’s hateful rhetoric and eventual rise to power emboldened a bigoted and anti-intellectual backlash at universities across the US, several colleagues and I who are engaged in Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) tactics against the Israeli state established a national network to fight fascism on college campuses, called the Campus Antifascist Network (CAN). Zionists attacked us soon after. They targeted us precisely because we were also active in BDS work. The conservative blog Legal Insurrection sounded the alarm.-rh13/6/2018
How Israeli Banks Finance Theft of Palestinian LandAli Abunimah - Portside - “Human Rights Watch’s new report exposes more clearly and unambiguously than before the direct and deep involvement of Israeli banks, through their business with and in the illegal Israeli settlements, in Israel’s war crimes of forcible population transfer and pillage,” Omar Barghouti, co-founder of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, told The Electronic Intifada. “We welcome HRW’s unambiguous conclusion that Israeli banks ‘cannot mitigate or avoid contributing to’ Israel’s violations of international law in the occupied Palestinian territory.”,-rh 13/6/2018
Palestinian teen to serve full sentence for slap Shlomi Eldar - Al-Monitor - The parole board at Rimonim Prison has denied Ahed Tamimi’s early release request. The 17-year-old Palestinian girl was sent to jail for eight and a half months after slapping an Israeli soldier in her West Bank village of Nabi Saleh.Tamimi’s attorney, Gaby Lasky, wrote in reaction on Facebook, “It’s interesting that the parole board decided it was OK to grant an early release to Elor Azaria (so that he would serve nine months), and a different board prevented Ahed’s release so that she would serve eight months.” Lasky was protesting the early release in March of Azaria, who shot an incapacitated Palestinian attacker in the head in the West Bank city of Hebron and served almost the same time as Tamimi, charged with slapping a soldier.-rh 13/6/2018
How Long Will We Pretend That The Palestinians Are Non-people?Robert Fisk - Information Clearing House - Monstrous. Frightful. Wicked. It’s strange how the words just run out in the Middle East today. Sixty Palestinians dead. In one day. Two-thousand-four-hundred wounded, more than half by live fire. In one day. The figures are an outrage, a turning away from morality, a disgrace for any army to cre And we are supposed to believe that the Israeli army is one of “purity of arms”? And we have to ask another question. If it’s 60 Palestinians dead in a day this week, what if it’s 600 next week? Or 6,000 next month? Israel’s bleak excuses – and America’s crude response – raise this very question. If we can now accept a massacre on this scale, how far can our immune system go in the days and weeks and months to come?.rh 13/6/2018
Lieberman: Israel will not ease Gaza crisisMiddle East Monitor - Speaking to Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, Lieberman explained that Hamas should release the bodies of Israeli soldiers Hadar Goldin and Shaul Aaron and return Avraham “Avera” Mengistu who crossed from Israel to Gaza on his own. “The Palestinians want a humanitarian initiative from Israel, Israel also wants a humanitarian initiative from Hamas,” he said. Lieberman accused Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas of “exacerbating the Gaza crisis by not transferring the full salaries of Gaza employees.”- rh13/6/2018
Israeli drones drop Ramadan blessings leaflet on Gaza– before four more are killedAhmad Kabariti - Mondoweiss - The Israeli forces dropped leaflets by drones on the Gaza Strip Thursday morning, warning residents “not to get close to the border or try to attack Israelis”. “Residents of the Gaza Strip! Greetings, and may Ramadan bring you blessings,” the leaflets said. “A wise man considers the results of his actions in advance and chooses the action whose benefits outweigh the costs. If you consider this with regard to approaching or crossing the fence, you’ll reach the conclusion that this act isn’t worthwhile and is even harmful.”-rh13/6/2018
Israeli Military Training Destroying Village CropsIMEMCnews - Palestinian farmers in the northern West Bank town of Aqraba, south of Nablus, complained on Monday that Israeli army military training, in their area, has destroyed their crops. WAFA reported that, according to Yousef Dirieh, an activist in the anti- settlement committee of Aqraba, the Israeli army was conducting training with live ammunition in Khirbet al-Tawil, an area in Aqraba. -rh13/6/2018
The justifications given for the deaths of Palestinian protesters just don`t add up Muhammad Shehada and Jamie Stern-Weiner - Vice (UK) - The Government of Israel claims that the Gaza demonstrations have featured "violent mass incidents", that were "exceptional in their scope and the extent of threat they posed". These violent incidents allegedly included the firing of live ammunition at Israeli soldiers. In fact, credible observers report that, while a minority of demonstrators did throw stones and flaming bottles toward out-of-reach Israeli soldiers, the demonstrations "have largely involved sit-ins, concerts, sports games, speeches and other peaceful activities". An American journalist in Gaza found that, even among those demonstrators who approached the fence, "[t]here were no guns, no grenades, no rockets". Amnesty International informed us that, as of the 8th of June, it had "not seen evidence of the use of firearms by Palestinians against Israeli soldiers during the protests". This would explain why Israeli soldiers felt able to stand around in plain sight of the protesters while taking pot-shots into the crowd. [ak] 12/6/2018
Why else had Aref Jaber and his wife to be beaten?Amos Gvirtz - The Israeli media claim that on Saturday, June 2, 2018, Rami Sabarna tried twice to run over soldiers in Hebron before being shot to death. According to Palestinian sources, on the other hand, Sabarna was working for the City of Hebron with his Bobcat (a small, very noisy bulldozer) in the Jaber neighborhood, along the road to the Cave of the Fathers, accompanied by another worker. Soldiers instructed them to stop from a distance of about 10 meters. The other worker stopped, and Rami did not hear them and continued working. Soldiers shot him to death. The soldiers then prevented a Palestinian ambulance from approaching to help and took his body away. They also arrested Aref Jaber, a Palestinian when he began filming the event. On Friday, June 8, soldiers entered Aref`s home and beat him and his wife up. He was taken to hospital. Sadly, this validates my belief that the Palestinian version is the correct one. [bz]12/6/2018
Bernie Sanders’ Criticism Of Israel Is Radical. And He’s Taking It MainstreamPeter Beinart - The Forward - Last month, Sanders crossed one of the red lines demarcating politically acceptable Washington discourse about Israel. He organized the first letter written by multiple senators criticizing Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip. Then, last week, he raced past that line again with a video that is unlike anything I’ve ever seen from an American senator - a video in which Gaza Palestinians speak for themselves and tell of the prison in which they are living and of the deep despair which leads people to risk their lives walking towards the Israeli snipers and give the lie to the version that "it is all the fault of Hamas". For decades, the conventional wisdom has held that a video like Sanders’, which focuses without equivocation or apology on Palestinian human rights, is political suicide. But that conventional wisdom had rarely been tested. [ak]12/6/2018
Israel’s Strategic Dead End in GazaGershon Baskin - Jerusalem Post - The people of Gaza will remain Israel’s neighbors forever. They are not going anywhere. The combination is highly unlikely of a meaningful cease-fire; the limited ability of Hamas to increase its military power; the possibility of Egyptian and perhaps even Saudi observers in Gaza; a significant decrease in the economic blockade; and the return of the bodies of Hadar Goldin, Oron Shaul, Avera Mengistu and Hisham al Sayed to their families. However, to accomplish this last item – even if Israel has to release a few tens of Palestinian prisoners who did not kill Israelis, including most of the Schalit deal prisoners who were rearrested in 2014 but did not really return to terrorism – it is the right thing to do. [bz]10/6/2018
Strong as Death Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - "The Gaza Strip could have turned into a blooming island. Optimists spoke about a "Second Singapore". They spoke about a Gaza harbor, with due inspection of incoming goods either in Gaza or in a neutral port abroad. A Gaza airport, with appropriate security inspection, was built and used and then destroyed by Israel. And what did the Israeli government do? The very opposite, of course. The government subjected the Gaza Strip to a stringent blockade." - id 6/6/2018
Freedom Flotilla: Meet the 85-year-old woman trying to break the Gaza siegeAlaraby - Among the Freedom Flotilla family, which seeks to deliver aid to the besieged Gaza Strip, is an 85-year-old American woman who flew all the way from California to a port in Scandinavia to assert her solidarity with Palestine. Barbara, a doctor, became immersed in the Palestinian cause nearly 10 years ago after familiarising herself with brutal Israeli occupation. Before that, she specialised in obstetrics in the United States and volunteered in various Latin American countries with her husband.-rh6/6/2018
Israeli forces expel Palestinians from homes in Jordan Valley for military drillsWAFA News - The Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea make up approximately 30% of the West Bank and are considered the most significant Palestinian land reserves, according to the Israeli Rights group B’Tselem. Israel continues to pursue various measures to annex this territory de facto since 1967, targeting to ban territorial contiguity between a future Palestinian state and the rest of the Arab world. Meanwhile, Israel exploits the resources of the area and generates profit by allocating generous tracts of land and water resources to Israeli settlements. International rights organizations have considered the continuation of the Israeli campaign, which targets Palestinians in the Jordan Valley, whether though confiscations, demolitions or evictions under the pretext of holding military exercises, as a violation of international humanitarian law.- rh6/6/2018
Netanyahu wants Abbas to pay for Gaza kite arson Shlomi Eldar - Al-Monitor - everal hours before setting off for Europe on June 4, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on social media that he had instructed his national security adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat to start proceedings against the Palestinian Authority (PA) for damages caused by the fire kites from Gaza. Specifically, Israel would deduct the damages from tax revenues it collects for the PA and use the money to compensate Israeli farmers whose fields have been burned in the recent wave of airborne arson attacks.-rh 6/6/2018
Palestinians outraged at Israeli bill to ban filming of IDF Entsar Abu Jahal - Al-Monitor - The Palestinian Ministry of Information issued a statement May 27 describing the Israeli Knesset deliberations on a bill that would ban the filming of Israeli soldiers in action as the height of discrimination. The statement said the proposed law encourages Israeli soldiers to continue killing and called it an attempt to protect them from international legal pursuit. The proposal to ban the filming of Israel Defense Forces soldiers stems from concern that documentation would affect the soldiers’ work.-rh 6/6/2018
Israeli Minister: Assassinate Palestinians Who Launch KitesThe Palestine Chronicle - An Israeli minister has said today that Palestinians who launch kites from Gaza should be assassinated. Israel’s Public Security Minister, Gilad Erdan, made the comments while speaking at an event in the city of Sderot, close to the border with Gaza. Erdan is a member of the ruling Likud party and has previously worked as an advisor to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.- rh 6/6/2018
51st Anniversary of Naksa CommemoratedIMEMCNews- Palestinians marked, on Tuesday, June 5th, the 51st anniversary of the “Naksa,” or “setback,” when Israel invaded and occupied the West Bank, Gaza, Sinai, and the Golan Heights in 1967, during the Six-Day War, displacing some 300,000 Palestinians, as well as thousands of Syrians, from their homes. Palestinian officials and local rights groups have called upon people in all areas affected by the occupation and illegal Israeli settlements, to organize sit-ins and protests in commemoration of the day. Officials and rights groups called upon the international community to not only take action but demand every country to assume its legal responsibilities and stop all cooperation with the Israeli occupation, and to secure freedom and independence for the Palestinian people and protect them from the ongoing crimes and violations committed by Israel.-rh6/6/2018
The Palestinians who never leftStuart Braun - Le Monde Diplomatique - ixty unarmed protestors were killed last month by Israeli military on the Gaza border, on the day that the US inaugurated its new embassy in Jerusalem, outraging the world; the Palestinians had been, in part, commemorating the Nakba, the catastrophe of the displacement of so many from the new state of Israel 70 years ago. The Great March of Return movement argues for the refugees’ right to come back to their ancestral lands. Yet some communities never left. Staying in an Arab area south of Tel Aviv (1), I realised that Christian and Muslim Arabs and Jewish Israelis were, despite the divisive policies and rightward march of the Israeli government, still living together in a microcosm of what was once a very diverse part of the world.-rh6/6/2018
Knesset blocks bill defining Israel as ‘country of all citizens’Middle East Monitor - A bill calling for Israel to be defined as a state of all its citizens was stopped before it reached the Knesset for discussion yesterday. Submitted by three Joint List Members of the Knesset, the Basic Law: A Country of All Its Citizens stood contrary to efforts to define Israel as “the state of the Jewish people” thus denied equal rights to its non-Jewish citizens.-rh6/6/2018
Charged with killing Palestinian teen, two soldiers to walk freeJoshua Leifer - +972 - Indictments against two former Israeli soldiers charged with killing an unarmed Palestinian teenager will be dropped, the state prosecutor announced Monday. The two former soldiers, whose names are under gag order, had been charged for the “reckless and negligent use of a firearm” that killed 16-year-old Samir Awad near the village of Budrus in 2013. Awad was shot in the back eight times by soldiers who had been lying in ambush near a hole in Israel’s separation barrier. He was not armed, nor did he pose a threat to anyone. He was running away when he was killed.-rh 6/6/2018
The Colonization of Palestine: Rethinking the Term ‘Israeli Occupation’ Ramzy Baroud - Arabic Media Internet Network - The grassroot mobilization in Gaza and the West Bank, and among Palestinian Bedouin communities in the Naqab Desert are, once more, widening the Palestinian people’s sense of national aspirations. Thanks to the limited vision of the Palestinian leadership, those aspirations have, for decades, been confined to Gaza and West Bank. In some sense, the `Israeli Occupation` is no longer an occupation as per international standards and definitions. It is merely a phase of Zionist colonization of historic Palestine, a process that began over a 100 years ago, and carries on to this date.-rh6/6/2018
The most radical thing you can say in IsraelMichael Schaeffer Omer-Man - +972 - "The Knesset won’t even allow this law to be discussed, let alone voted on, because it proposes making Israel a ‘state of all its citizens.’ Why is that so threatening?" - id 6/6/2018
The Israeli Right’s campaign against IsraelBen-Dror Yemini - Ynet - A mainstream commentator laments: Brazilian singer Gilberto Gil won’t come to Israel. French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe decided to postpone—and perhaps cancel—his visit to Israel, which was scheduled to take place this week. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, a sincere friend of Israel, postponed his visit as well. This all happened, and there is more, on the backdrop of black Monday in Gaza two weeks ago. These are harbingers, and not of spring. They are making us realize that we are losing in the international battlefield. Mainly in Europe, but also in the United States, where the Democratic Party is becoming a European branch concerning Israel. And the Democrats will rise to power again sometime, maybe even in the not-so-distant future. [bz] 5/6/2018
Sacrificing Gaza: The Great March of Zionist HypocrisyJim Kavanagh - Counterpunch - All unarmed, non-violent but disruptive, Gandhian strategies to eliminate entrenched systems of colonial-apartheid rule will knowingly sacrifice many lives to attain their victory. Call it a politics of human sacrifice if you want. I won’t make any ingénue objections. But it’s not a sign of the subjugated people’s cynicism; it’s a result of their predicament. “Human sacrifice” defines the kind of choices a desperate and subjugated people are forced to make in the face of armed power they cannot yet overcome. A militarily-weak insurgent/liberation movement must use an effectively self-sacrificing strategy of moral suasion. That is now a standard and powerful weapon in political struggle. (...) At a crucial moment in history, it was Zionists who practiced a foundational “human shield” strategy, holding the victims of Nazism “hostage” to the Zionist “statehood” project – as none other than the publisher of the New York Times, Arthur Hays Sulzberger, recognized and criticized.[bz] 5/6/2018
Finding the truth amid Israel’s liesIlan Pappe - EI - “These violent acts against the Palestinians had very little to do with finding a haven from anti-Semitism. The Zionist project was, and still is, a project of de-indigenizing the Palestinian population and replacing it with one comprised of Jewish settlers” [ry]4/6/2018
Bankrolling Abuse - Israeli Banks in West Bank SettlementsHuman Rights Watch - The transfer by the occupier of members of its civilian population into the occupied territory is a war crime. Israel’s largest banks finance a critical step in this transfer. The banks are providing services that help support, maintain, and expand unlawful settlements by financing their construction in the occupied West Bank, including partnering with developers to build homes on land unlawfully seized from Palestinians. The banks’ involvement is direct and substantial: they acquire a property interest in the development projects and shepherd them through to completion. In addition to construction projects, banks provide loans to settlement councils (local authorities) and mortgage loans to home-buyers in settlements and operate ATMs and bank branches there (but not in Palestinian towns). [ak]30/5/2018
The Luck of the Gambler Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - "Inside Israel Netanyahu has unlimited power. Emperor Bibi and his wife look like a royal pair. He has no competitors. Every possible competitor was purged from the ruling party long ago. The remaining Likud functionaries look like dwarfs compared to Giant Bibi. The coalition partners are a miserable lot of small factions, whose leaders know that they have no chance against Bibi. The "opposition" is pitiful, at best." - id30/5/2018
BREAKING: Israeli Media Exposes Identity of IDF Commander Whose Unit Kidnaps, Assassinates PalestiniansRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "Palestinian villagers hate these nighttime raids in which their fellow residents are kidnapped, dragged for questioning, and often imprisoned for months or years either without charges or on trumped-up charges. Duvdevan personnel in particular often disguise themselves as mistarvim (dress as local Palestinians) to arrest and even assassinate targets. That’s why local residents engage in acts of resistance, including rock throwing, at the unwelcome Israeli troops." - id 30/5/2018
Netanyahu, Lieberman ignore US efforts for peace dealAkiva Eldar - Al Monitor - "On the Facebook page of Yisrael Beitenu, Lieberman pledged, “We will continue developing Judea and Samaria in practice.” He, too, obviously believes that developing Jewish settlements in areas where the Palestinians seek to create a state somehow contributes to peace." - id 30/5/2018
Along the Gaza border, they shoot medics (too), don`t they? Amira Hass - Haaretz - Any healthcare system in the West would collapse. Yet Gaza`s medical system, which for years has been on the brink of collapse, coped amazingly well with the challenge. It was the number of people injured by gunfire, more than the high body count, that was so shocking: Nearly half of the more than 2,770 people who sought emergency care had gunshot wounds. "It was clear that the soldiers are shooting above all in order to hurt rather than to kill, to leave as many young people as possible with permanent disabilities. (...) Each of the stations erected near the protest sites was staffed by paramedics and volunteer medical students. Within six minutes, on average, they managed to examine each patient, to determine the type of injury, to stabilize the patient and decide who needed to be treated in a hospital. (...) The first to be treated were people with injuries to blood vessels. Hundreds of people with less critical injuries waited in the hospital corridors for their turn... [bz] 29/5/2018
Italian Jews call: "Let arms be silent, move back to a path of dialogue!"Giorgio Gomel - Repubblica/Espresso/Manifesto - "Israel today may be a fortress, but it is not yet a home” stated David Grossman. We look with the utmost concern to the transfer of the US embassy to Jerusalem as decided by the Trump administration. We cannot keep silent in the face of the disproportionate use of force by Israel in Gaza. The use of live ammunition against civilians is admitted only if those civilians take part directly in acts of armed violence, not if they approach or seek to break the border fence with Israel. We ask that arms be silent and that avenues be sought now and for the future to attain dialogue, mutual recognition and peace in the region. (The above is taken from the statement issued on May 15, 2018 by a number of Jewish-Italian intellectuals and political activists, published in several Italian newspapers and later endorsed by 400 others). [ak] 29/5/2018
Israel’s High Court just made an ICC investigation more likelyMichael Schaeffer Omer-Man - +972 - The court’s rejection of a lawsuit challenging the shooting of protesters in Gaza is a reminder that the Israeli legal system simply isn’t set up to investigate the policy makers and policies that result in alleged war crimes [ry] 28/5/2018
After Gaza `Massacre` Israeli Parliament Proposes Bill to Ban Photographing, Recording SoldiersTelesurtv - "B`Tselem a human rights organizations that works in Israel, the West Bank and East Jerusalem to end the occupation and raise awareness within Israeli society, Machsom Watch a group of mostly elderly women who accompany Palestinians in their daily crossing of Israeli military checkpoints, and Breaking the Silence an organization of former soldiers, who work to expose the truth of military service in the occupied territory, could all be affected by the legislation." ca25/5/2018
Until the Palestinian issue is settled, there will always be a crack in Israel’s foundationsJeremy Bowen - The New Statesman "So much has happened in the Middle East since the Arab uprisings began in 2011 that the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians has been almost forgotten by the outside world. The horrible events in Gaza of 14 May, when 62 died during protests at the border, have been a sharp reminder that the conflict never went away..." ca25/5/2018
Ehud Barak on the crisis in Israel: ‘Netanyahu has to resign’Aida Edemariam - The Guardian "Very few people asked themselves at the time what kind of Israel would result from our holding on to land on which many hundreds of thousands of Arabs lived.” It is the question at the heart of his objection to Netanyahu and the rightwing politicians who will consider nothing but a “Greater Israel” on the biblical land of Palestine, including the West Bank:" ca 25/5/2018
Gaza`s protest leaders still believe in nonviolent struggleRami Younis - +972 "Despite the bloodletting in Gaza over the past months, the leaders of the Great Return March believe that nonviolent resistance is still the best way to end the siege. Rami Younis spoke to Hasan al- Kurd, one of the leaders of the march about the successes, mistakes, and future of the movement." ca25/5/2018
The Fraying Ties Between Liberal American Jews and IsraelEric Alterman - The Nation "The 70th anniversary of Israel’s founding, coupled with the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem and the mass protests and killings in Gaza, gives every indication of being a turning point. Israel is not divorcing America’s liberal Jewish community quite yet, but it is well on its way to estrangement." ca25/5/2018
The bias in Israeli media coverage of Gaza protestsBernard Smith - Aljazeera - Many Israeli journalists rely on the military for information and access to areas where news is happening. Fear of losing that access stops reporters from challenging the military’s narrative that the protesters were trying to invade Israel.-rh 23/5/2018
Broken Dreams and Lost Lives: Israel, Gaza and the Hamas CardSTANLEY L. COHEN - CounterPunch - Over the years, Hamas evolved from a social service network, throughout Palestine, to become an armed guard of the Palestinian people through the discrete Qassam Brigades and an elected political movement swept to power in 2006. That victory came in what was described, then, by former President Carter, as the most transparent and successful electoral process he had observed as a monitor over his many years of such service in the Middle East. Not long thereafter, all of Gaza was punished for the temerity of its electoral will through the imposition of the embargo that a decade later remains in place as an on-going stranglehold on the health, welfare and safety of its two million residents, punctuated by massive deadly Israeli onslaughts every few years.-rh23/5/2018
Blaming the victimDaoud Kuttab - Arabic Media Internet Network - print send by email It is hard to believe that anyone can simply put the blame on the Palestinian side for the mass killings of unarmed protesters by Israeli snipers. How is it the Palestinian fault for being shot. There is no report of a single Israeli soldier or civilian being hurt, yet the Israeli, and even American officials, repeat the very same argument. This reminds us of what Israeli prime minister Golda Meir once said, that she will never “forgive them [the Palestinians] for having forced us to kill their sons”. The US and Israeli talking points are identical. This is a Hamas-provoked violence and that Israel acted in self-defence.-rh23/5/2018
Hamas focused on ending the blockadeShlomi Eldar - Al-Monitor - Hamas is awaiting developments. As far as it is concerned, the “border operation” it mounted this week against Israel with tens of thousands of Gaza residents storming the fence was successful; the eyes of the world are directed once again at the Gaza Strip after a long hiatus of disinterest. Hamas is seeking, obviously, to end the blockade imposed by Israel on Gaza in 2007, and it is operating in accordance with a familiar modus operandi honed over more than a decade. The first stage is to put out feelers to see whether Israel is willing to discuss a long-term cease-fire. When Israel turns them down, Hamas launches a second, violent stage, in a bid to bring Israel to the negotiating table to discuss a deal it failed to achieve with its initial, conciliatory moves.-rh 23/5/2018
Life in GazaTom Helman, Joshua Grossman and Peter Klotz-Chamberlin - Mondoweiss - UNRWA provides the basic government services for refugees that government would provide—in Gaza, 275 schools for 272,000 children, 22 primary health centers, food aid for 50 percent of the people. This spring the Trump administration it has frozen $305 million from its $360 million budget for UNRWA, placing it ‘under review’ while making it clear they should not expect further U.S. funding this year. From the UNRWA website, one can see that the U.S. was UNRWA’s largest donor in 2017. UNRWA Officials say schools will not be able to open in September without this funding. 272,000 children will have nowhere to go, 9,000 teachers will be unemployed, alongside hundreds of thousands of already unemployed Gaza residents. The Trump administration also froze emergency food assistance in Gaza for the rest of 2018. Matthias Schmale was blunt: “it is a major nightmare when the United States government notified UNRWA that it will not grant emergency food money this year.”-rh23/5/2018
One Massacre, Many Partners in CrimeYacov Ben Efrat - Challenge - "The solution is to create an Israeli-Palestinian political movement that will demand democracy and equality for all. This is the only counter-balance to the Israeli Right, Fatah and Hamas – those who have brought us to this precipice." - id 23/5/2018
Dead in the Water: Trump Middle East Peace Plan and Pompeo’s Iran Plan BRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "Trump’s new motto should be: if at first you don’t succeed, fail, fail again. And since he has no sense of pride about these matters, he’ll repeatedly state the same nonsense ad nauseam, even though no one believes him; and he’ll repeatedly put forward the same policy notions which he’s tried and failed to implement in the past. Exhibits A and B are what I would call Trump’s folie à deux: his much-vaunted Israel-Palestine “peace plan” and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s expected Plan B regarding Iran." - id 23/5/2018
A suicide in GazaSarah Helm - The Guardian - When Mohanned Younis, a 22-year-old student, returned to his home in a relatively prosperous part of Gaza City one night last August, he was in an agitated state. He had been depressed, his mother, Asma, recalled. But she was not too worried when he locked himself in his room. A talented writer whose short stories, many posted on his Facebook page, had won a wide audience, Mohanned was about to graduate in pharmacy, expecting excellent grades. In his writing, he gave voice to the grief and despair of his generation. Only books gave him some escape. He often shut himself away to read and write, or to work out with his punch bag. The next morning, Mohanned didn’t stir. When Asma, helped by her brother Assad, broke into his room, they found him dead. He had asphyxiated himself.- rh23/5/2018
The Day of Shame Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - "But what topped everything was the huge machine of brain-washing that was set in motion. For many years I have not experienced anything like it. Almost all the so-called "military correspondents" acted like army propaganda agents. Day by day they helped the army to spread lies and falsifications. The public had no alternative but to believe every word. Nobody told them otherwise." - id 23/5/2018
Health Ministry: “Israeli Army Killed 112 Palestinians, Injured 13190 Since March 30th”IMEMCNews - Dr. Ashraf al-Qedra, the spokesperson of the Palestinian Health Ministry in the Gaza Strip, has reported Sunday that Israeli soldiers have killed 112 Palestinians, and injured 13190 since the Great Return March protests started on the Palestinian Land Day, March 30th, 2018. Dr. al-Qedra said that the soldiers killed 13 Palestinian children, and injured 2096 others, in addition to wounding 1029 women.-rh23/5/2018
The fight to define the very essence of IsraelBernard Avishai - The Guardian - "Behind the seemingly intractable Palestinian conflict lie deeper questions about what Israel wants to be: an ‘open’ globalised democracy or a ‘closed’ Jewish state." - id 23/5/2018
Israel’s Premature Celebration: Gazans Have Crossed the Fear BarrierRamzy Baroud - Countercurrents - The international community has already condemned Trump’s decision to relocate his country’s embassy to Jerusalem, and declared his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital ‘null and void’, but will it go further than mere words? Will the international community remain trapped between hollow statements and no action? Will they ever truly recognize the humanity of Laila al-Ghandour and all the other children, men and women who died and continue to perish under Gaza’s besieged skies? Will they ever care enough to do something? The plight of the Palestinians is compounded with the burden of having a useless ‘leadership’. The President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, has been busy of late, demanding allegiance from the occupied Palestinians in the West Bank. Large signs and larger banners have been erected everywhere, where families, professional associations, unions and companies have announced, in large font: the “Renewal of Loyalty and Support to President Mahmoud Abbas.”-rh 23/5/2018
Troubling tactics of the Israeli Police Mazal Mualem - Al-Monitor - Israel Police arrested 19 Arab Israeli activists during a May 18 demonstration in Haifa protesting the killing of Palestinians near the Gaza-Israel border fence in recent weeks. When the detainees were remanded two days later, the court ordered the police to release them. The bold decision by Justice Amir Salameh of the Haifa Magistrate Court to reject a police request to extend their detention saved the dignity of the Israeli law enforcement system. All too often, the police succeed in convincing judges to extend the arrest of suspects, using such important but sometimes nebulous claims of their potentially endangering public safety or interfering with legal proceedings. This time the police were publicly humiliated with the media in the courtroom. Salameh emphasized in his ruling that none of the 19 protesters posed a threat to public safety. He also said that some of those suspected of having committed assault required medical treatment themselves.-rh 23/5/2018
In search of Israel’s oppositionNaomi Chazan - The Times of Israel - The arrest of Jafar Farah along with 21 other protestors in Haifa on Friday night and his subsequent beating and hospitalization for a broken knee are the culmination of a series of increasingly violent police efforts to silence what remains of the opposition in Israel. Systematic attempts to quash alternative voices have been a norm for quite some time; the events of the past two weeks have granted a renewed mandate to push almost all divergent voices beyond the pale. Dissent is being presented as betrayal; protest is viewed as treason; criticism has become illegitimate.-rh23/5/2018
How Easy It Is to Follow Orders, How Hard to Refuse Moria Shlomot - Haaretz - “While I was waiting for another trial here, 42 civilians were killed. I hope my refusal and that of others will help stop this senseless killing. I am more certain than ever that it’s better for me to be in jail than to take part in this system of bloodshed,” CO Ayelet Brachfeld, who already spent three months in military prison. [The writer, former Peace Now director, is her lawyer.-bz]22/5/2018
Memo to Israel: Lebanon is not Hezbollah, Gaza is not HamasHalim Shebaya - Al Jazeera - Israel has tried to bury inconvenient facts about Lebanon and Gaza [ry]21/5/2018
The Donald, Vlad, and BibiAndrew Levine - CounterPunch - “When it goes sour, will Netanyahu be villainized in anything like the way that Putin now is? Don’t count on it. Hell will freeze over before a mainstream Democrat or Republican will have a bad word to say about the Bibster. Corporate media will follow suit; it always does” [ry]21/5/2018
Stories of the catastrophe: ExileAmena ElAshkar,Ali Ibrahim&Nadine Osama - Electronic Intifada "(Three stories:)"I have one last wish. I am 78. It will be my last wish. There was a berry tree right in front of our house in Tarshiha. I want to go back there and eat one berry. One last berry." "I joined the Arab nationalist movement in 1962 and later the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. I used to host secret political meetings at my house.The right of return is sacred. And if I don’t live to return, you will return, my son. And if you don’t return, your children will eventually return." "For me, Palestinian embroidery reflects identity, society and land. It reflects identity because every village in Palestine had their own style through which they proudly related to their heritage. It is a reflection of society, a kaleidoscope of diverse histories, threads, cultures and colors weaved together." ca18/5/2018
This is why evangelicals love Trump`s Israel policySean Illing - vox "According to a recent poll released by the Brookings Institution, 53 percent of American evangelicals supported Trump’s decision, while only 40 percent opposed it. (Sixty-three percent of all Americans opposed the decision.)To understand why evangelicals are so enthusiastic about this move, I reached out to Elizabeth Oldmixon, a politics professor at the University of North Texas. Oldmixon studies the rather strange alliance between evangelical Christians and people in the orthodox Jewish community who are stridently pro-Israel." ca 18/5/2018
VIDEO - Can Palestinian protests achieve anything? | Inside Story YouTube - Al-Jazeera English "Palestinians gathered for the third consecutive Friday at the Gaza-Israel border fence for what was labelled "burning the flag of Israel day". ca18/5/2018
68 Gazans have died while Israel`s High Court deliberates if it`s legal to kill themMichael Schaeffer Omer-Man - +972 - The High Court has refrained from ruling on an urgent petition about whether it is legal for the army to shoot unarmed, civilian protesters who pose no threat to human life. They have the blood of 68 people on their hands.-rh16/5/2018
Most US Jews oppose embassy move Yael Patir - Ynet - "It’s time Israelis understand that Trump’s decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem aims to satisfy his evangelical supporters rather than the Jews." - id16/5/2018
Who is the vassal? Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom = "Most people in Israel now believe that Binyamin Netanyahu, Bibi the Great, is really leading Trump on a leash. Bibi has such a magical hold over Trump, that the American president has to follow Israel`s lead." - id 16/5/2018
How Gaza Became Hell on EarthNeri Zilber - The Daily Beast - "The responsibility for this tragedy can be spread around among all the parties, but it remains, still, a tragedy—growing by the day, just like a mountain of trash overlooking the Mediterranean, with no end in sight." - id 16/5/2018
West’s failure to act will be cause of the next Gaza massacreJonathan Cook - Countercurrents - There was more than a whiff of hypocrisy too in statements about “defending borders” from a state that has refused to declare its borders since its creation exactly 70 years ago – as well as from a Netanyahu government currently trying to establish a Greater Israel over the Palestinian territories. But the hypocrisy was not restricted to Israel and Washington, which parroted Mr Netanyahu’s talking points. There was an ugly equivocation from other western leaders. They spoke of “regret”, “tragedy” and “concern at the loss of life”, as though an act of God had struck Gaza, not an order from Israeli commanders to quell the Palestinian urge for freedom with live ammunition.-rh16/5/2018
I FORGOT, LIKE YOU, TO DIE: 12 PALESTINIAN WRITERS RESPOND TO THE ONGOING NAKBA `GAZA MAKES AN AUDACIOUS CLAIM ON LIFE; ITS PEOPLE CONTINUE TO RESIST`Literary Hub - Yesterday, the global Palestinian community marked the 70th anniversary of the Nakba, the catastrophic destruction of the Palestinian homeland and dispossession of over 750,000 Palestinians from their homes and villages. Hundreds of villages were depopulated and razed to the ground, hundreds of thousands of people torn from their country. They were told by subsequent Israeli administrations— and most of their Western allies, chief among them the US government— there is no place for you. But anniversaries are a strange phenomenon when the past is a living, breathing, and unending current event. One has only to contrast the besieged Palestinians of Gaza—the site of months-long mass protests against erasure—with the dystopian paeans to “peace” and “freedom” at the opening ceremony for the new American embassy on stolen Palestinian land in Jerusalem to realize how easily words can be gutted of their meaning. For many Palestinians, the permission to narrate one’s own stories in their own words has been at the root of struggle and survival, as important as delineating a physical space for existence.-rh16/5/2018
IDF has ‘enough bullets for everyone,’ senior MK says of deadly Gaza clashesSTUART WINER and TOI STAFF - The Times of Israel - In an interview by Hadashot TV news early Monday afternoon, when the death toll in Gaza stood at 18, MK Avi Dichter, who chairs the powerful Foreign Affairs and Defense committee, brushed aside a question about the prospect of the number of dead mounting and Palestinians storming the border. “[Security forces] won’t let anyone put soldiers, and certainly not civilians, in danger,” he said. “The IDF has enough bullets for everyone. I think that ultimately, the means that the IDF prepared, whether non-lethal, or if needed, lethal, in cases where it’s justified by the open-fire regulations — there’s enough ammunition for everyone.”-rh16/5/2018
The Two-State Solution: An AutopsyHenry Siegman - London Review of Books - The invocation of Israel’s ‘sovereign right’ is the big lie at the heart of America’s responsibility for the collapse of the peace process. In Gaza, as in the West Bank beyond the pre-1967 armistice line, Israel is acting not in accordance with its sovereign right to protect itself, but to protect its occupation. What Israel’s military restores when it quells Palestinian protests is not law and order, but illegality and repression, reinforcing its theft of Palestinian territory in order to preclude the possibility of a Palestinian state, a goal it has achieved. Lieberman’s opinion of the value of the lives of Palestinians mirrors the view expressed by Ayelet Shaked, Israel’s minister of justice. A year before her appointment in 2015, Shaked posted on her Facebook page an article by Uri Elitzur, a settler leader, in which he said that Israel should target not only militants but the ‘mothers of the martyrs, who send them to hell with flowers and kisses. They should follow their sons, nothing would be more just. They should go, as should the physical homes in which the stakes were raised. Otherwise more little snakes will be raised there.’-rh16/5/2018
Why Jews in solidarity with Palestinians will win the dayROBERT A. H. COHEN - Patheos - Because it’s not 1933. Because the Palestinians are not the Nazis. Because we have not been here before. Because this is new. Why Jews in solidarity with Palestinians will win the day. Because you cannot shout about racism here but not there. Because you cannot care about refugees here but not there. Because discrimination at the Western Wall matters less than the Apartheid all around you.Because an Israeli sniper’s bullet is a bigger problem than an antisemitic tweet. Why Jews in solidarity with Palestinians will win the day. Because there’s no safety won by theft. Because there’s no security built on fear. Because democracy for some is not democracy. Because a nuclear armed ghetto does not normalise the Jewish condition.-rh 16/5/2018
Mass Murder In GazaBill Van Auken - Countercurrents - The two events—occurring on the 70th anniversary of Israel’s declaration of independence—were juxtaposed by the media, broadcast simultaneously on split screens by television networks. What could not be concealed was the fact that the opening of the American embassy was entirely in line with and, indeed, a statement of political support for the massacre taking place at the security fence separating the impoverished occupied territory from Israel.-rh16/5/2018
Here are the questions any journalist talking to the Israeli military should askYossi Gurvitz - Mondoweiss - The questions any journalist talking to the IDF Spokesman should be: How many casualties did the IDF suffer in Gaza? If the number is zero (as it is when these lines were written) or close to it, then the forces were not in danger, and this was not a military action but a massacre. How many weapons did the IDF capture, or at least documented used by the Palestinians? If the number is zero (and currently it is), or less than the number of people killed or wounded, then at least some of those shot were not a danger to the IDF. Given that currently the number is zero, it’s fair to assume none of those shot presented the IDF gunmen with mortal danger.-rh16/5/2018
The Guardian view on Gaza shootings: stop killing unarmed civiliansThe Guardian - Editorial - t is inexcusable for soldiers of a military, especially those under democratic civilian control, to shoot and kill protesters, almost all of whom were unarmed, and who pose no credible threat. Yet at the boundary between Gaza and Israel today Israeli soldiers seem to have done just that. It should make Israelis quail that demonstrators were sprayed with live ammunition with apparent impunity. There were dozens of deaths and hundreds of maimings among the Palestinians who had marched to the border to make a point about their right to return to their ancestral homes. Israel’s army evinced no shame in committing what looks like a war crime. These are serious accusations. Yet they were greeted with little more than a shrug. By blockading Gaza, Israel imprisoned 2 million people behind barbed wire and military towers. Israel treated the violence as a jailer might a prison riot: a tragic fault of the inmates.-rh16/5/2018
Israel’s Choice To Shoot Palestinians Should Horrify — But Not Surprise UsPeter Beinart - Forward - Long before Israeli soldiers decided whether to shoot at protesters, Israeli leaders decided to bar farmers in Gaza from exporting spinach, potatoes and beans. They decided to bar fisherman in Gaza from fishing beyond six nautical miles. They decided to bar students in Gaza from leaving the Strip to study, to bar spouses from leaving to legally join their husbands or wives in the West Bank, to bar grandchildren from leaving to attend their grandparents’ funerals. They decided to bar people in Gaza from importing the spare parts necessary to rebuild the Strip’s electricity grid. These were not split-second decisions made by young, frightened soldiers. They were policies formulated by politicians in air- conditioned offices. Those politicians responded to Hamas’ victory in the 2006 legislative elections by helping to torpedo a Palestinian coalition government that would have left Mahmoud Abbas as the Palestinian Authority’s President. They rejected negotiations with Hamas until the group met conditions—among them the acceptance of past agreements and support for the two state solution—that Israel’s own current government does not meet. Instead, they chose a policy of collective punishment: a policy that punished the people of Gaza for being ruled by Hamas. More than a decade later, Hamas remains in charge. But Gaza—which has barely any electricity or drinkable water— is on the verge, according to the United Nations, of becoming “unlivable.”-rh 16/5/2018
Why are Palestinians so outraged - CBS interview with Noura Erakat"What more do Palestinians have to do?" "They are not being given the choice to be free." "Why don`t we shift the conversation and ask Israel why it doesn`t want to negotiate with Palestinians? Why it doesn`t want to recognise their right to exist." [bz]15/5/2018
We are all accomplices to Israel`s massacre in GazaMairav Zonszein - +972 - This is a massacre of a stateless population living under military siege. And we are all accomplices for not doing more to stop it. On Monday, Israel’s top human rights organization B’Tselem issued a statement calling the shootings “an appalling indifference to human life.” It’s hard to explain it any other way. It is not too late to speak out. [bz]15/5/2018
Jerusalem Celebrates, Gaza Bleeds (Haaretz video) 15/5/2018
Trump Renounces Iran Nuclear DealRichard Silverstein — Tikun Olam "The last time Trump determined we would remain in the JCPOA, the president was restrained by pragmatists like Rex Tillerson, H.R. McMaster and Jim Mattis. Today, two of them are gone, replaced by a lunatic former Congressman, Mike Pompeo, and a militant adherent of bizarre conspiracy theories, John Bolton. They hold the keys to the Trump kingdom. They promise to take our country to dark places we haven’t been before; or at least have not been in many decades." ca11/5/2018
Trump withdraws from imbalanced Iran dealRay Hanania - The Arab Daily News - "Relying on information provided by Israel, Trump said that Iran continues to be the leading voice of violence and terrorism. Trump failed to note that Israel has the largest arsenal of nuclear weapons of mass destruction and refuses to allow for international inspections." - id 9/5/2018
Trump’s Decision on Iran Deal Spells Disaster for the Middle EastCesar Chelala - CounterPunch - "President Trump’s move was heartily supported by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and opposed by all other governments that are part of the deal. In March 2015, in front of both houses of the U.S. Congress, Netanyahu said, “We’ve been told that no deal is better than a bad deal. Well, this is a bad deal. It’s a very bad deal. We’re better off without it.”" - id 9/5/2018
That Woman Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - "Are the present leaders of Israel wiser than Golda? Do they respect the Arabs more? Are they ready to give back the occupied territories? No. And no. And no." - id9/5/2018
Netanyahu banks on escalation with IranAl-Monitor (THE PULSE OF THE MIDDLE EAST Weekly review, quoting regional commentators) - In Iran, writes Saeid Jafari, “the assortment of broken promises by the United States, Israel`s attacks on Syria and the joint US-French-British missile strikes have all contributed to the emergence of deeply negative views among Iranian political elites. Not only "hawks", also more and more "liberals" see negotiations with the West over the country`s missile program as a pretext for weakening Iran`s capabilities and setting the stage for a more vulnerable Tehran in the future. [bz]8/5/2018
Yes, Netta Barzilai is Cool, but she’s also the representative of an Occupying StateOrly Noy - Sicha Mekomit (+972 Hebrew site) Translation Yoni Molad - The Eurovision Song Contest is yet another stage in which Israel aspires to the normalisation that it longs for so much. Look, here we are normal and beautiful, productive and creative, and even send a specially cool representative to the competition. And in a certain sense it is also true - after all, we live our lives here like every woman and man in the world (...). It`s true that the Israelis don’t live the Occupation at every moment, but the Occupation lives us day by day, hour by hour. We may have succeeded in making a conscious separation between the two things, and this is our tragedy. The boycott movement`s call came to urge the world not to do the same thing. [bz]8/5/2018
Ashrawi slams Israeli passage of `Nation-State` billMa`an News Agency - "Dr Ashrawi response was issued yesterday in a media release: “Once again, Israel has reaffirmed its intent of institutionalizing discrimination, racism and xenophobia against all aspects of Palestinian life, transforming the military occupation into a deliberate sectarian confrontation and establishing ideological beliefs as official policy.” ca4/5/2018
Time to Say Goodbye to the Two-state Solution. Here`s the Alternative A.B. Yehoshua - Haaretz "A.B. Yehoshua, one of Israel`s staunchest fighters for the two- state solution, lays out a proposal for an Israeli-Palestinian partnership." ca4/5/2018
The ‘One Democratic State Campaign’ program for a multicultural democratic state in Palestine/IsraelJeff Halper - Mondoweiss "While achieving a just political settlement is our most urgent task, establishing a just and working state and civil society requires three more difficult processes: decolonization, restoration and reconciliation. Decolonization does not end the moment one people ceases dominating the others. Indeed, that is the moment it begins. It then continues until all forms of domination – economic and cultural as well as political and legal – are rooted out. Decolonization requires a country to be completely reimagined and reinvented so as to be as egalitarian, inclusive and sustainable as possible. This means, of course, restoring to the expelled, excluded and oppressed their rights, properties (actual or through compensation), identities and social position. Only then can the third process, reconciliation, be pursued. We therefore “bracket” the still open wounds of the Nakba, the Occupation and the suffering they have caused so that we may reach an agreed-upon political settlement." ca4/5/2018
Early elections: This is what Netanyahu is afraid ofAmnon Abramovich - YnetNews - Analysis: The day after the elections, we’ll likely see the formation of a rightist-centrist group—including Bennett, Lieberman, Kahlon, Levy-Abekasis and Ya’alon—which will offer Likud the rule, as long as Likud replaces Netanyahu as its leader.-rh2/5/2018
Europeans cast doubt on Israel`s claims about Iran nuclear breachesPatrick Wintour and Saeed Kamali Dehghan - The Guardian - European leaders have pushed back against Israel’s claims that it has new evidence showing that Iran is breaching the nuclear deal with the west which was signed in 2015. The US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, hailed the Israeli claims as significant, as the 12 May deadline approached for the US president, Donald Trump, to decide whether to pull out of the deal. But Pompeo declined to say whether they represented proof that Iran was violating the deal. The overall initial view in European capitals was that the documents did reveal new material about the scale of Iran’s programme prior to 2015 but that there was nothing showing a subsequent breach of the deal.-rh2/5/2018
For Netanyahu, Israel’s only problem is IranAkiva Eldar - Al-Monitor - “We have three problems,” Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman quipped during an April 29 speech in New York, “Iran, Iran, Iran.” Israel does not have a Palestinian problem, nor problems of poverty and corruption. Fortunately, there is Iran. Liberman did not invent the Iranian magic bullet for every ailment. That patent is registered to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the country’s top presenter who on April 30 recycled information about Iran’s nuclear program using amateurish show-and-tell aids. Here is what the prime minister said three years ago in response to a sharp rebuke by the government’s watchdog agency, the State Comptroller, on housing policy failure: “When we talk about the cost of housing, cost of living, I never forget for one moment life itself.” This is how Netanyahu dismissed his critics for dealing in minutiae. And what is “life itself”? The struggle against Iran, of course. “The biggest threat to our lives now is Iran’s nuclear armament,” Netanyahu went on to explain on his Facebook page.-rh 2/5/2018
Cops and Robbers : Distribution of Israel Police stations throughout the West Bank/ April 2018Kerem Navot - On June 14, 1967, a week after the onset of the occupation of the West Bank, Uzi Narkiss, former IDF commander of the Central Command, signed an order allowing the Israel Police to operate in the West Bank, despite the fact that it was not part of the sovereign territory of the State of Israel. As such, the Israel Police were not authorized to operate there to begin with.This report we’re releasing today is devoted to surveying the geographical distribution of dozens of police stations, all of which are located within settlements or areas subject to full Israeli control in Area C.-rh2/5/2018
Young Jews won’t cry over the end of the Zionist dream, Beinart saysPhilip Weiss - Mondoweiss - Peter Beinart has been doing great work lately. Last Friday he had a long piece in the Forward on Gaza that step by step took apart every rationalization for the brutal collective punishment of 2 million people and said American Jews are responsible. “Our community’s complicity in the human nightmare in Gaza should fill every American Jew with shame.” And two weeks ago at J Street, Beinart ran down the American Jewish establishment for its support for the settlement project that has destroyed the two-state solution, for its Islamophobia, for its destruction of American political dissent on Israel. And he called for Democrats to demand that the next presidential nominee state, Not a penny for your illegal settlements.-rh2/5/2018
How American Jews Enable Bibi’s Never-Ending Cycle Of Abuse Anshel Pfeffer - Forward - To Netanyahu, Jews who don’t support him and his vision for Israel are weak, lacking in identity and unlikely to persevere for another generation. And who says Netanyahu doesn’t listen to American Jews? Just look at so many of the advisors he has surrounded himself with over the years, like Ron Dermer, Naftali Bennett, Ari Harow, Dori Gold, and David Keyes. He has so many American Jews in his employ that meetings in his office are often conducted in English instead of Hebrew.-rh 2/5/2018
Why rules of engagement on Gaza border must be revokedGilad Grossman - Ynet News - The IDF, the Border Guard and the police have a variety of non-lethal means for dealing with protests, and these means can also be used to prevent damage to the fence or an infiltration into Israel. Firearms should only be used to defend soldiers’ lives and civilians’ lives. This is not only argued by human rights organizations and the law; it’s the IDF’s spirit as well. “IDF soldiers will not use their weapons and force to harm human beings who are not combatants… and will do all in their power to avoid causing harm to their lives, bodies, dignity and property,” the IDF’s Code of Ethics and Mission states.-rh 2/5/2018
Knesset gives power to PM to declare war with single vote backingAljazeera - The Israeli parliament has voted in favour of granting Israel`s prime minister the power to declare war, solely with the approval of the defence minister.The vote on Monday amended a law which previously required the whole cabinet to vote on such a move, transferring that authority to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Avigdor Lieberman, his defence chief.-rh2/5/2018
Arab Leaders Have Abandoned Gaza, TooJEET HEER - The New Republic - Saudi Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s foreign policy, for instance, is geared towards creating a coalition to contain Iran, which the crown prince sees as the root of most evil in the region. In an interview with The Atlantic, he said that “the Iranian supreme leader makes Hitler look good.” Thus, he seems intent on pursing a policy of normalizing relations with Iran’s enemy, Israel, even if it means sidelining the cause of Palestinian statehood and abandoning Palestinian human rights. “In the last several decades the Palestinian leadership has missed one opportunity after the other and rejected all the peace proposals it was given,” Bin Salman reportedly told a group of Jewish organizations in New York last month in a private meeting. “It is about time the Palestinians take the proposals and agree to come to the negotiations table or shut up and stop complaining.”-rh 2/5/2018
Are Palestinian Journalists Being Targeted by Israeli Snipers?Ben White - Palestine Chronicle - With two journalists dead and at least 12 others injured, international criticism of Israeli tactics grows. Some Palestinian journalists are accusing Israel of “deliberately” targeting them as they cover the ongoing protests at the Gaza border. In just five short weeks, two Palestinian journalists have been killed by Israeli snipers and at least 12 others injured.-rh2/5/2018
Jerusalem Residency Revoked for Three Palestinian MPs, One Former MinisterIMEMCnews - Israeli occupation authorities decided, on Sunday, to strip four Jerusalemite MPs of their permanent residency, under the pretext of not being loyal to Israel. Lawyer Fadi al-Qawasmi said that Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Deri decided to revoke the residency of MPs Mohammed Abu Tir, Ahmad Attoun, and Mohammed Toutah, as well as that of the former Minister of Jerusalem Affairs, Khaled abu-Arafa.-rh2/5/2018
The Real Victor Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - "On the fifth day of the six-day war in 1967, I published an open letter to the Prime Minister, Levy Eshkol. The Israeli army had just conquered the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, and I proposed that Eshkol immediately offer the Palestinian people to establish the State of Palestine there, in return for peace with Israel." - id 2/5/2018
Why rules of engagement on Gaza border must be revokedGilad Grossman - Ynet - The IDF, the Border Guard and the police have a variety of non-lethal means for dealing with protests, and these means can also be used to prevent damage to the fence or an infiltration into Israel. Firearms should only be used to defend soldiers’ lives and civilians’ lives. This is not only argued by human rights organizations and the law; it’s the IDF’s spirit as well. “IDF soldiers will not use their weapons and force to harm human beings who are not combatants… and will do all in their power to avoid causing harm to their lives, bodies, dignity and property,” the IDF’s Code of Ethics and Mission states. Nevertheless, the defense minister and the senior military command have chosen to ignore the law and allow the soldiers to shoot anyone who approaches the fence or is perceived as a “main instigator,” even if he is unarmed and poses no risk to anyone. [The writer is the spokesman of Yesh Din, one of the organizations that petitioned the High Court of Justice against the rules of engagement on the Israel-Gaza border.-ak] 1/5/2018
Netanyahu Tries but Fails to Bury Iran Nuclear Deal Before Trump Actually Kills It Chemi Shalev - Haaretz - A different video clip, of a Netanyahu appearance before Congress when he exhorted the U.S. in 2002 to make the “good choice” of invading Iraq and deposing Saddam Hussein, might prove more popular and go viral over the coming few days. “There is no question” Netanyahu asserted then, that Saddam is hell bent on building a nuclear weapon, which means that “the terror network” would soon have its hands on a bomb. Netanyahu went so far as to “guarantee” American lawmakers that Saddam’s removal would have “positive reverberations” throughout the Middle East, a prediction that did not pan out as expected. (...) The price for Netanyahu’s overconfidence, tendency to ignore doubts and dismiss criticism as well as his theatrical compulsion to cast himself in a leading role may ultimately have to be paid by Israel as a whole.[bz]1/5/2018
Knesset authorizes PM and defense minister to declare war aloneMoran Azulay and Shahar Hay - Ynet - As Knesset kicks off summer session, 62 MKs back, 41 oppose law spearheaded by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked and Avi Dichter permitting cabinet to launch military operations without government approval, and in extreme cases, only requires green light from prime minister and defense minister; `We must adapt ourselves to the present state security requirements,` Shaked says. [bz]1/5/2018
Netanyahu is playing to Trump’s abject ignorance — and it might workJennifer Rubin - Washington Post - In short, it’s no news that Iran had a nuclear weapons program, although it’s impressive the Israelis were able to lift the documents evidencing this. What Netanyahu did not display and what we have yet to find evidence of is Iran’s cheating on the terms of the JCPOA. [bz]1/5/2018
For Gaza Protester, Living or Dying Is the ‘Same Thing’Iyad Abuheweila and David M. Halbfinger - NYT - The protest, which grew out of a young activist’s Facebook page and was a grass-roots initiative before being embraced, organized and publicized by Hamas, the militant Islamist group that rules Gaza, has hardly scared the Israelis into altering their basic policy. Israel continues to treat the tiny coastal enclave like a deadly virus to be quarantined and, other than that, more or less tunes it out. But it has been a success in one important respect: It has cast a light onto the unsolved problem that is Gaza, and reminded a world that had seemed to move on to more urgent crises that its two million people, deprived of clean water, freedom of movement and a steady supply of electricity, are sliding steadily into despair.[bz]1/5/2018
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