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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    

Israeli agritech profits from military occupationMaureen Clare Murphy - EI - “The civilian agritech sector benefits from Israeli government subsidies for research and development in the West Bank and Golan Heights, finding in the framework of occupation ‘a testing ground for the development of products and technologies.’ Who Profits states that the extension of military technology into civilian industries ‘further cements the vested interest of private corporations in the perpetuation of the status quo’” [ry] 20/1/2020
How Israel’s top court outlawed moral opposition to the occupationHagai El-Ad - +972 - In the topsy-turvy world of Israel`s High Court, international law is nothing more than a disguise to delegitimize the state and its settlements [ry] 20/1/2020
Israel’s Renewed Campaign against UNRWA is an Attack on Palestinian Education and LiberationRamona Wadi - Palestine Chronicle - The international community has still not caught up with or refuses to acknowledge, Israel’s commitment to countering each purported victory for the Palestinians with yet more violations. These countermeasures implemented by Israel, notably to prevent the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) from fulfilling its mandate, are now concentrated upon disrupting education for Palestinian students.(rh)14/1/2020
As Israel’s role in Soleimani strike is revealed, Hezbollah’s Nasrallah warned he could be nextYumna Patel - Mondoweiss - According to the Times of Israel, following the Channel 13 report, Likud Minister Yoav Gallant, a high- level Israeli security official, warned that Nasrallah “should be wary” as he is “the most prominent figure left in Middle Eastern terror,” following the US killings of Soleimani, Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden, and Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghadi over the past few years. By Sunday, Nasrallah had gone public with threats that any further aggression against Iran or US refusal to withdraw troops from the region would result in retaliatory attacks from Hezbollah “If in the coming days or weeks the US doesn’t withdraw its forces from the Middle East, the American soldiers will return to the US in coffins,” Nasrallah said during a memorial ceremony for Soleimani, with whom he maintained close ties.(rh)14/1/2020
An eye on higher office, Edelstein walks a risky tightrope on Netanyahu immunityRAOUL WOOTLIFF - The Times of Israel - In over four years as Knesset speaker, Yuli Edelstein has showed little compunction about decisively banging the gavel to keep his unruly parliament in line. But recently, the Likud stalwart has found it difficult being as resolute when it comes to just one Knesset member under his charge: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. When senior Likud figures spoke out and backed Netanyahu after criminal charges were announced against him by Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, Edelstein was the last to do so. (rh)14/1/2020
After Mossad Targeted Soleimani, Trump Pulled the TriggerJEFFERSON MORLEY - Counterpunch - Last October Yossi Cohen, head of Israel’s Mossad, spoke openly about assassinating Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, the head of the elite Quds Force in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. “He knows very well that his assassination is not impossible,” Cohen said in an interview. Soleimani had boasted that the Israel’s tried to assassinate him in 2006 and failed. “With all due respect to his bluster,” Cohen said, “he hasn’t necessarily committed the mistake yet that would place him on the prestigious list of Mossad’s assassination targets.”(rh)14/1/2020
IDF says Israel `not the story` in Soleimani killingNina Fuchs - Ynetnews - "We`re watching from the sidelines," GOC Southern Command Maj. Gen. Herzi Halevi said at the Ynet conference in Jerusalem. "We need to look at assassinations such as this as part of a battle between Iran and the U.S. over Iraq`s character," he added. Halevi said the assassination will most likely have an impact on Israel but added that Israelis “are not the story here.” “It`s good that it happened so far away." (rh)14/1/2020
Support for Trump is low throughout the world, but not in IsraelMichael Arria - Mondoweiss - The Pew Research Center has released a new poll on the international support for Donald Trump. While a majority of respondents oppose the President, he remains very popular in Israel. 36,000 respondents were surveyed across 33 countries. 64% of them indicated that they don’t trust Trump “to do the right thing regarding world affairs”, while just 29% said they have confidence in him. 54% said they had favorable views of the United States, while 38% had unfavorable views. The lowest approval for Trump exists in Mexico and Germany. Just 8% of Mexicans have confidence in him, while 13% of Germans do. The countries with the highest numbers are the Philippines and Israel: 77% and 71% respectively. The President only has a majority of support in six countries. (rh)14/1/2020
NY private school fires Jewish teacher for anti-Zionist statementsPhilip Weiss - Mondoweiss - It is the second time in two years that a Jewish history teacher has been forced out of a private New York high school due to anti-Zionist statements. In 2018 longtime history teacher Joel Doerfler left the Riverdale Country School after administrators canceled his class on the history of the conflict because of his questioning of the official narrative. (rh)14/1/2020
The Wall Street Journal accidentally reveals the unbearable truth about Suleimani’s assassinationJohn Stoehr - Alternet - It would be unbearable to think the president ordered a man dead in order to give Republican Senators a means of defending him against an indictment for abuse of power and obstruction. It would be unthinkable for him to bring America to the brink of war in order to create an image of a “war president” too indispensable to remove. As a result, the press corps has been busy this week reporting in granular detail virtually every aspect of Donald Trump’s decision last week to target and kill Iran’s top general in Baghdad. Everything, that is, short of reporting the plain, obvious and unbearable truth: the president ordered a man’s death because he was impeached.(rh)14/1/2020
‘Disastrous mistake’: Iran admits it mistakenly downed Ukraine plane, killed 176AGENCIES and TOI STAFF - The Times of Israel - Iran announced Saturday that its military “unintentionally” shot down the Ukrainian jetliner that crashed earlier this week outside Tehran, killing all 176 aboard, after the government had repeatedly denied Western accusations that it was responsible. The Iranian president called the incident a “disastrous mistake.” (rh)14/1/2020
Israel’s Meretz party giving up on ArabsShlomi Eldar - Al-Monitor - Freij said that there are advanced negotiations underway with Taleb el-Sana and Abdel Wahab Darousha of the Arab Party to put a woman representing their party in the No. 6 slot of the Meretz party list. He refused to reveal who that woman might be. Of course, that is no assurance that such a candidate or even he himself would actually become members of the next Knesset. (rh) 14/1/2020
King of Jordan warns Islamic State on rise againAFP - Al-Ahram "Months after the ousting of IS last year from their last Syrian holdout, Abdullah said his "major concern is that we have seen over the past year the re-establishment and rise of Isis, not only in southern eastern Syria but also in western Iraq."We have to deal with the reemergence of Isis," the king added in an interview with TV channel France 24 ahead of talks this week in Brussels, Strasbourg and Paris. He also said many foreign fighters from Syria were now in Libya." ca 13/1/2020
You don’t need to mourn Qassem Soleimani to be deeply worriedArash Azizi - +972 - As American teenagers were wistfully joking about “World War Three” on Twitter, even the best-humored people from the Middle East could hardly let out a laugh. (...) For me, the best of the global left has long been its tradition of cosmopolitan solidarity — one that stands up to the misdeeds of one’s own nation abroad. Just as many European Marxists refused to back “their own” armies in the bloodbath of First World War, and just as American socialists stood up to the crimes of the U.S. in Vietnam, it is the duty of Iranian progressives to stand up to the nationalist myths that Tehran propagates and oppose Iranian interventions in the region. (...) the interests of ordinary people of this region, the people of Tabriz, Mosul, Homs, Nablus, and Ashkelon, are one and the same — opposition to war, opposition to economic deprivation, and opposition to autocracy. It is the job of progressives to build a political front that represents these transnational interests beyond the borders that divide us. [bz]7/1/2020
ISRAEL PULSE Instead of slandering it, Israel should join the ICC Yossi Beilin - Al-Monitor - Israel can solve the problem with relative ease: It only needs to go back almost 20 years and ratify the Rome Statute. Any state that ratifies the treaty is authorized to receive a seven-year deferral of action on any part of the document that it finds particularly troubling. If Israel chooses to cite the settlement issue, the ICC will not be authorized to arrest any Israeli on that count until 2028. Ratification would do justice to historic Jewish-Israeli efforts to establish the court and to try individual criminals, and on the other hand would avoid the arrest threat to decision-makers involved in the settlement enterprise. Regardless of the ICC issue, in the coming years, and especially if a different government is formed, Israel will have to make a supreme effort to reach agreement with the Palestinians. Such agreement would address the settlement issue, too. Once an agreement is reached, the issue will be removed from the international agenda, in general, and from that of the ICC. (rh) 7/1/2020
To Prison, Again, for Protesting Against Israel`s Colonial RuleJonathan Pollak - Haaretz - My Palestinian comrades do not enjoy the luxury of being tried in the relatively comfortable conditions of the Israeli courts. Rather, they are tried as subjects in the parody of a legal system that are Israel’s military courts. Unlike me, Palestinians do not have the option of refusing to cooperate with their captors, since the vast majority of them are tried while remanded into custody for the duration of their proceedings. It has been almost nine years since the last time I was incarcerated for more than a day or two. Much has changed since. Politically, reality does not even resemble that of a decade ago, and none of the changes were for the better. Personally, I am older, more tired and, mostly, not as healthy as I was. Of course, the price I have paid for my part in the struggle is a fraction of that paid by Palestinian comrades, but I cannot deny its subjective weight on me: from physical injuries, some irreversible, through sporadic despair, anxiety and sense of helplessness, to the encumbering sensation of loss and the presence of death – and the grip all these have on my day-to-day life. And yet, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Right now, just as it was back then, sitting in prison is better than any other alternative available to me. [bz]7/1/2020
Expert details why Trump’s Twitter threat to destroy Iran’s cultural sites is a historic mistakeDavid J. Wasserstein - Alternet - Two thousand years ago, the great Roman historian Tacitus put the following words in the mouth of a heroic leader of British resistance to the might of imperial Rome: “They make a desert and they call it peace.” The world has come to expect barbarism from Trump’s tweets, but barbarism in action is another thing. Ugly speech is hurtful, but at least it leaves the monuments of the past untouched. (rh)7/1/2020
Israel is on precipice of losing option of two-state solution, say US advisers : Authors ambassador Dennis Ross and David Makovsky warn that Israel is nearing the point of no return with Palestinians, in a live interview with ToI editor David HorovitzTOI STAFF - The Times of Israel - “Open up Area C for 60 percent of the West Bank [where Israel maintains administrative and military control, and most of the Israeli settlers are located] for economic activity for Palestinians so you preserve the potential of two states, and yet you don’t have to move the IDF, you’re not putting your security at risk, but you’re not creating a situation where by adding four to five thousand settlers a year beyond the barrier, you cross the tipping point and then you lose the option. Tactical decisions made now will have a long-term strategic consequence,” said Ross. Ross said two-states may require a different psychological landscape and that those leaders trying to make it happen need to stretch their minds. “It may well be that we need to come up with other kinds of models. But don’t put yourself in a position where you only have one state, one person for one vote,” said Ross. (rh) 7/1/2020
Soleimani’s assassination could not have come at a better time for NetanyahuNaim Mousa - Mondoweiss - Netanyahu has been attempting to provoke Iran and President Bashar al-Assad of Syria with dozens of Israeli airstrikes being carried out on Syrian and Iranian targets in the region all throughout 2019. Now that his wish has come true, it is looking more and more possible that he will remain in power for yet another term. (rh)7/1/2020
What was Israel’s role in Trump’s targeting of Soleimani?Jefferson Morley - Alternet - The Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida reported two years ago that Washington had given Israel the green light to assassinate Soleimani, as Haaretz recounted: “Al-Jarida, which in recent years… [has] broken exclusive stories from Israel, quoted a source in Jerusalem as saying that ‘there is an American- Israeli agreement’ that Soleimani is a ‘threat to the two countries’ interests in the region.’ It is generally assumed in the Arab world that the paper is used as an Israeli platform for conveying messages to other countries in the Middle East.” Trump has now fulfilled the wishes of Mossad. After proclaiming his intention to end America’s “stupid endless wars,” the president has effectively declared war on the largest country in the region in solidarity with Israel, the most unpopular country in the Middle East. (rh)7/1/2020
IDF general distances Israel from Soleimani killing in first public commentTOI STAFF - The Times of Israel - A senior Israeli military officer on Monday commented publicly for the first time on the operation that killed top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani over the weekend, distancing the Jewish state from the US drone strike in Iraq that has left Tehran fuming and vowing revenge. “Soleimani hurt American interests and represented a significant danger to Americans in the region. We must look at the assassination as part of a fight between Iran and the United States over Iraq’s character. That is the story,” said IDF Southern Command head Maj. Gen. Herzi Halevi. (rh)7/1/2020
The USA is now at war, de-facto and de-jure, with BOTH Iraq and IranThe Saker - Information Clearing House - What we see here is an immense political disaster unfolding like a slow motion train wreck. Make no mistake, this is not just a tactical “oopsie”, but a major STRATEGIC disaster. Why? For one thing, the US will now become an official and totally illegal military presence in Iraq. This means that whatever SOFA (Status Of Forces Agreement) the US and Iraq had until now is void. Second, the US now has two options: Fight and sink deep into a catastrophic quagmire or Withdraw from Iraq and lose any possibility to keep forces in Syri Both of these are very bad because whatever option Uncle Shmuel chooses, he will lost whatever tiny level of credibility he has left, even amongst his putative “allies” (like the KSA which will now be left nose to nose with a much more powerful Iran than ever before). (rh)7/1/2020
Israel is systematically poisoning one million Palestinian childrenRobert Inlakesh - If Americans Knew Blog - We have now entered 2020, the year in which experts at the United Nations (UN) once predicted Gaza would become unlivable. But the sad reality is not only that those same experts said that Gaza was already unlivable in 2017, but that now the population of 2 million residing in Gaza are under the real threat of genocide. Sara Roy of Harvard University’s Centre for Middle Eastern studies, who is considered the leading scholar on Gaza’s economy, has written that “innocent human beings, most of them young, are slowly being poisoned in Gaza by the water they drink and likely by the soil in which they plant.” So let us break down that statement, based upon the data available to us. (rh)7/1/2020
The myth of Judeo-BolshevismPaul Hanebrink - Le Monde diplomatique - A widespread contemporary version of the ‘plot’ casts Jews as promoters and cheerleaders of immigration, and as enemies of the timeless cultural values of nation and family on which western civilization supposedly rests. Over the years there have been different forms of the fears of a global Jewish conspiracy, and in the 20th century none was more potent or more destructive than the myth of Judeo-Bolshevism; this may seem paradoxical when the radical left is being accused of antisemitism. (rh)7/1/2020
Conflict with Iran Could Be Inevitable after Killing of GeneralMaximilian Popp - Spiegel Online - U.S. President Donald Trump has repeatedly insisted he does not want war with Iran. Now, with the killing of General Qassem Soleimani, that conflict could be inevitable. It is the price for instinctual foreign policy devoid of experts. (rh)7/1/2020
Israeli Justice… a Futile ChaseStanley L. Cohen - CounterPunch - "Independent of the pervasive culture of military and security violence and its companion lack of fairness and accountability, the Israeli judicial system… both criminal and civil… presents a compelling case study in a double standard delayed and disabled based solely upon one’s faith and national identity" [ry] 6/1/2020
Will Supreme Court force Netanyahu to `go do other things`? Akiva Eldar - Al-Monitor - Israel’s Supreme Court has scheduled a Dec. 31 hearing on whether a politician under criminal indictment can be tasked with forming the country’s government. Responding to the court`s decision to hear a petition on the matter, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, indicted on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust, said, “In a democracy, it is the people who decide who will lead them, not anyone else. Otherwise, it just isn’t democracy.” If what Netanyahu said is indeed the case, let us examine the opinion of one of the people who is not just anyone, but a prominent leader of his generation. Does the person who has led Israel for the past decade, as well as for three years in the 1990s, believe that a prime minister under criminal indictment is worthy of leading the people? It is worthwhile dredging up yet again the strong views that Netanyahu, at the time a Knesset member, expressed on the subject as leader of the opposition when Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was suspected of corruption, though unlike Netanyahu had not been indicted pending a hearing by the attorney general. “A prime minister steeped up to his neck in investigations doesn’t have a moral or public mandate to make such fateful decisions regarding the State of Israel,” Netanyahu opined on Dec. 13, 2008. “There is a real, not unfounded fear that he will make decisions based on his own interests of political survivability rather than the normal interest.” (rh) 31/12/2019
Israel Has Suspended Core Palestinian Rights for a Half-centuryMaureen Clare Murphy - Portside - “The Israeli army has deprived generations of Palestinians in the West Bank of their basic civil rights, including the rights to free assembly, association and expression, regularly drawing on military orders issued in the first days of the occupation,” the report states.“The suspension of core rights more than half a century later with no end in sight violates Israel’s core responsibilities under the law of occupation.” Israeli settlers in the West Bank enjoy basic rights denied to Palestinians living in the same territory. “Israeli officials openly speak of their intent to permanently rule over Palestinians in the West Bank,” according to Human Rights Watch. (rh)31/12/2019
The Israeli right’s fury is driven by fear of Palestinian citizensAmjad Iraqi - +972 - When the Knesset passed the Jewish Nation-State Law on July 19, 2018, there was an outpouring of concern for the Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel, who make up a fifth of the state’s population with 1.8 million people. The prevailing narrative was that the new Basic Law — which will serve as a constitutional anchor for Israel’s legal system — would “officially turn non-Jews into second-class citizens.” Large segments of the community bought into the narrative, too. Druze citizens, who are conscripted into the Israeli army, decried the government’s “betrayal” of their loyalty to the state. The Arab leadership in Israel, including the Joint List, High Follow-Up Committee, and civil society organizations, publicly campaigned for the law’s revocation. (rh) 31/12/2019
Netanyahu Announces Six-Point Plan to Annex Palestinian Land, Defeat IranPalestine Chronicle Staff - “First, we will finalize our borders; second, we will push the US to recognize our sovereignty in the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea; third, we will push for US recognition of our extension of sovereignty over all the communities in Judea and Samaria, all of them without exception,” Netanyahu said. “Fourth, we will push for a historic defense alliance with the US that will preserve Israeli freedom of action; fifth, stop Iran and its allies decisively; and sixth, push for normalization and agreements that will lead to peace accords with Arab countries”. (rh)31/12/2019
Israel’s national-religious party allies with racist rightShlomi Eldar - Al-Monitor - In preparation for the upcoming election on March 2, the chairman of HaBayit HaYehudi, Education Minister Rabbi Rafi Peretz, decided that his party would run as part of a joint list with Otzma Yehudit, a party that failed to pass the electoral threshold in last September’s election. Much has been written over the last year about the racist Otzma Yehudit party. Due to pressure from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, it ran as part of the Union of Right-Wing Parties last April (together with the HaBayit HaYehudi and the National Union parties), as part of a concerted effort to save the right`s votes from factional splinterin Netanyahu’s jockeying on behalf of Otzma Yehudit before April’s election reeked of political bribery. The prime minister meddled in the affairs of other parties, promising their members rewards if they ran as a single list, to get Peretz to run together with Otzma Yehudit. (rh) 31/12/2019
ICC decision to investigate war crimes touches Israelis’ deepest fear (accountability)Jonathan Ofir - Mondoweiss - The recently announced decision of the International Criminal Court to investigate Israeli war crimes (pending a pre-Trial chamber decision on the “territories” at hand), has hit a raw nerve in Israel. It is not merely that Prime Minister Netanyahu went on Hasbara overdrive with his antics, saying that ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda is ignoring “the truth when she says that the very act of Jews living in their ancestral homeland, the land of the Bible, that this is a war crime”. No, it went much further than that – opposition rival Benny Gantz also went ‘meshugge’ on this, calling it “a political decision, not a legal one,” adding that “the Israeli army is one of the most moral militaries in the world”, and that “the Israeli army and State of Israel do not commit war crimes.” (rh)31/12/2019
‘The Last Generation’: How Occupation is Driving Christians out of PalestinePeter Oborne -IMEMC News - Christianity here survived the persecution of its earliest converts under Roman rule. It flourished under the Byzantine empire, endured the early Islamic caliphates and enjoyed a revival under the Ottoman Empire before the territory of modern-day Palestine passed into British control in 1917. Yet every Palestinian Christian I spoke to doubted whether there will soon be any significant Christian presence in the land where the founder of Christianity was born, preached his gospel and died. With few exceptions they told me they were the last generation of Palestinian Christians. (rh)31/12/2019
IDF chief warns Israelis: The next war will hit our home front extremely hardJUDAH ARI GROSS - The Times of Israel - The military chief, in his first major speech, said the IDF was operating throughout the region — openly, covertly and clandestinely — in order to thwart the plans of Iran and its proxies, “even at the risk of war.” He also issued a bleak warning to Israelis that the next war, when it came, would hit the home front hard. “It must be known and recognized that in the next war — whether in the north or against Hamas — heavy fire will be directed against our home front. I’m looking people in the eye, and saying, there will be heavy fire. We have to recognize this and we have to prepare for this… We have to prepare for this militarily; the civil hierarchies have to prepare for this; and we have to prepare for this mentally.” (rh)31/12/2019
To tell you the truth, I didn’t know where I was bornJonathan Ofir - Moondoweiss - It all took a very long time for me to learn that I was born in Palestine, and that Israel was the name of the settler-colonialist project that I had been born into and raised upon. This project denied and rejected Palestine, because it was and is eliminationist. So actually, the two names, Israel and Palestine, are about the same place, but represent two different paradigms: one of nativity, one of settler-colonialist takeover. Ostensibly, the colonialist allows a certain potential existence of this “Palestine”, but that’s also under its occupation and is at most a form of lip- service. (rh)31/12/2019
High Court`s Netanyahu verdict may pose danger to democracyBen-Dror Yemini - Ynetnews - The possibility of the High Court of Justice barring Prime Minister Netanyahu from running in the upcoming elections is slowly becoming a reality. Let us all hold hands together and pray that day away. Such a momentous decision will cross all political and judicial boundaries in Israel. If the courts, G-d forbid, decide to unequivocally trample the written law and prohibit Netanyahu from forming a government, all hell will break loose, with at least, if not more than half the population raising his banner and galloping to the polls in order to keep the right in power. Netanyahu is very bad for Israel, even if his corruption is not of a criminal nature, it sure is a public one. He deepened the schism within the nation, leading Israel towards the disaster that is a one- state solution and colluded with racists and bigots in order to further his needs. But there is a difference between a political stance and public criticism. (rh)31/12/2019
From a Blessing to a Curse: How UN Resolution 2334 Accelerated Israel’s Colonization in the West BankRamzy Baroud - CounterPunch - “Gradually, the US government fortified its protective shield around Israel, thus rendering 2334 and many other UN resolutions meaningless. In other words, the US managed to turn international consensus regarding the illegality of the Israeli occupation of Palestine into an opportunity for Tel Aviv to disown any commitment, not only to the UN, but to the so-called two-state solution, and the ‘peace process’, as well” [ry] 30/12/2019
Israel, UAE and the hypocritical manipulation of religionAbdelwahab El-Affendi - Al Jazeera - Palestinians and other Arabs are not interested in the promotion of `religious tolerance` by highly intolerant regimes [ry] 30/12/2019
A letter to Supreme Court Judges on the Vanunu caseI read with sorrow and disappointment your decision to reject Mordechai Vanunu’s appeal against the restrictions that were imposed on him on his release from prison in April 2004. Again and again the security services repeat the lie that Vanunu has “secret information” that he intends to expose, and you adopt those words of defamation under cover of the revolting process in which the court hears evidence from the prosecution that is not disclosed to the defence.29/12/2019
The decade Israel erased the Green LineDror Etkes - +972 "Several months after the 2009 elections, Netanyahu delivered what became known as the “Bar Ilan Speech,” in which he said that “the territorial question will be discussed as part of the final peace agreement. In the meantime, we have no intention of building new settlements or of expropriating additional land for existing settlements...Over a decade has passed, and the rhetoric Netanyahu uses today can be summarized in a statement he delivered a week before the second elections of 2019: “Today I announce my intention, with the formation of the next government, to establish Israeli sovereignty on the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea [settlements].” ca26/12/2019
Gaza: Palestinians in limbo for Christmas after permits reversalMuhammad Shehada & Walid Mahmoud - Aljazeera - Israel on Sunday said it would allow Palestinian Christians in Gaza to visit Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank "in accordance with security assessments and without regard to age", reversing an earlier decision not to issue them permits. Late on Monday, Israel had issued 193 permits to travel, according to Kamel Ayyad, public relations director of the Greek Orthodox Church in Gaza. A total of 950 applications were submitted earlier this month, he added. About 1,050 Christians reside in Gaza, where 1.9 million people live under a blockade imposed by Egypt and Israel since 2007. (rh) Late on Monday, Israel had issued 193 permits to travel, according Kamel Ayyad, public relations director of the Greek Orthodox Church in Gaza. A total of 950 applications were submitted earlier this month, he added. About 1,050 Christians reside in Gaza, where 1.9 million people live under a blockade imposed by Egypt and Israel since 2007. 24/12/2019
Hurt and hope: For left-wing British Jews, UK election is a moment of reckoning Mia Rafalowicz-Campbell and Leeor Ohayon - +972 - While much of the attention has been on their parties’ approaches to Brexit, the NHS, taxation, and the climate crisis, there has also been considerable focus on the U.K.’s small Jewish minority and the allegations of anti-Semitism within Labour’s ranks that have engulfed the party. While not isolated to his reign, since Corbyn’s rise to leadership in 2015, the party has been rocked by repeated accusations — and a subsequent media storm — that have drastically intensified in the run-up to this election. (rh)24/12/2019
Are Israeli-Arab high school students neglected?Afif Abu Much - Al-Monitor - Israeli school children are weak in reading, mathematics and science skills, according to test results issued Dec. 3 by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The failure of Israeli students as reflected in the results of the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), which tests the reading, math and science skills of 15- and 16-year-old students, was twofold. Not only were their results below the average achieved by the students from 79 countries who took part in the 2018 testing, but the gap between the Jewish and Arab children’s achievements was huge given the poor performance of the Arab students, which declined compared to the 2015 results. (rh) 24/12/2019
Israeli weapons are heading for the East — with no concern for human rightsSahar Vardi - +972 - Over the past decade, Israel’s ever-growing arms industry has increasingly shifted its focus from the west, with Europe and the Americas as its main clients, to the east, with India now being the largest importer of Israeli arms in the world. The International Defense Cooperation Directorate of the Israeli Ministry of Defense (SIBAT) published a new plan last week to expand its global exports. Along increasing outreach and sales by small military companies, SIBAT will be focusing on six countries — the U.S., Finland, India, and three unnamed countries in Asia — as targets for weapons exports. (rh)24/12/2019
What Israel`s left could learn from the Arab Joint List Read more: Eldar - Al-Monitor - The leadership of the democratic-Zionist left-wing camp should take a page from the book of the Arab Joint List and learn a lesson in political pragmatism. The heads of the four Arab parties — Islamists, nationalists and socialists — swallowed many bitter pills in order to unite to ensure that they pass the electoral threshold so they can provide strong Knesset representation of the country’s Arab minority and advance its interests. Once the Zionist-democratic left puts its house in order, it will still take time to forge unity with the Arab camp. The common denominators have already been laid out on the table by Gilon and Raz as noted above. None of them will be achieved as long as Israel is ruled by a government that crushes the pillars of democracy and undermines the rule of law.(rh) 24/12/2019
The Hague vs. Israel: Everything you need to know about the ICC Palestine probeThe Times of Israel - Late last Friday afternoon, minutes before Shabbat started in Israel, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court dropped a legal bombshell when she announced her intention to launch an investigation into alleged war crimes committed in the Palestinian territories. How exactly the process she set in motion will end is entirely open: A worst-case scenario, from an Israeli perspective, would see Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, former and current defense ministers and army chiefs finding themselves in the dock in The Hague, accused of war crimes, a few years from now. (rh)24/12/2019
High Court to debate whether Netanyahu can serve as PM despite indictmentsYael Freidson,Tova Tzimuki - Ynet - The court announced it had received and approved a petition signed by 67 different individuals demanding a ruling on whether a Knesset member battling criminal charges can be tasked with forming a government. Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, who avoided addressing the issue as long as it was solely a theoretical question, has been ordered by the High Court to devise a legal opinion on the matter 48 hours before the court assembles to debate the issue. The plenary is still pending as no date has yet been decided On Friday, Mandelblit refused to rule on the issue, informing the court that he would only issue a legal opinion on the matter if it were to be taken up by the court.(rh)24/12/2019
A decade in review: the moments that shaped the past 10 years in Israel/PalestineYumna Patel - Mondoweiss - As another decade of the Israel-Palestine conflict comes to a close, the idea of a peaceful and just solution for the Palestinians seems further out of reach than ever before. Much of the past 10 years has been characterized by loss. Loss in the literal sense: of land, of homes, of lives. Paramount, however, seems to be the loss of hope. Loss of hope in local and world leaders, in international accountability, and in the prospect of a two-state solution. (rh)24/12/2019
At Hanukkah party, Trump signs controversial executive order on anti-SemitismERIC CORTELLESSA - The Times of Israel - At the annual White House Hanukkah Party, Trump put into place an order that will apparently require the US Department of Education to effectively interpret Judaism as a race or nationality, not just a religion. That will force the US government to withhold funding from colleges and universities if they fail to confront discrimination against Jewish students. Critics, however, argue that the definition of anti- Semitism used in the order — originally formulated in 2016 by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance — will chill free expression on college campuses and suppress the speech rights of Israel critics. (rh)24/12/2019
Trump is bad for the JewsRabbi Alissa Wise - Jewish Voice For Peace - Trump and his cronies are cracking down on student activism because it’s working. Trump’s executive order will do NOTHING to keep Jewish students safe. It won’t protect against Nazis or Nazi recruitment, it won`t prevent campuses from scheduling important events on Jewish holidays, and it won`t protect Jewish religious spaces from armed attackers. What it will do is incentivize administrators to create harsh rules against even the mildest activism for Palestinian rights – or risk their institutions’ federal funding. Trump and his supporters are afraid of our movement. Trump doesn’t want to keep Jews safe – he wants to suppress free speech to ensure our silence. [ak] 24/12/2019
Anti-Zionism is about correcting historical wrongs, not encouraging anti-SemitismRan Greenstein - +972 - The more we target concrete individuals, institutions, and policies, and avoid using vague and obfuscating terms, the better we can focus solidarity and resistance efforts, and effectively counter accusations of anti-Semitism as weapons used against the movement to end Israeli apartheid, and to achieve justice and equality for all. [bz]24/12/2019
The many faces of Benjamin NetanyahuDahlia Scheindlin - +972 - Netanyahu has only been so successful because he reflects and represents the many faces of Israel: victor and victim, global citizen and international outcast, pyromaniac and war-shy. [bz]24/12/2019
ICC intimidates Netanyahu from Jordan Valley annexation Itamar Eichner - Y-net - Immediately after the ICC chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda announced her intention to investigate alleged Israeli human rights violations, Prime Minister Netanyahu canceled a meeting of an inter-ministerial team intended to discuss the annexation of the Jordan Valley. Netanyahu had announced in September - a week before a national ballot - that Israel will establish its sovereignty over the Jordan Valley if his Likud party would win the elections, and has repeated the same campaign promise also when repeat elections were scheduled for mmarch 2020. But the ICC prosecutor specifically mentioned this Netanyahu speech as an example of Israel’s intentions which must be investigated (and possibly prosecuted). A government source noted that "Because of the prosecutor’s decision in the Hague, the issue of the Jordan Valley annexation will be put on a long hold”. [ak] 24/12/2019
Only The Hague Will Save IsraelGideon Levy - Haaretz - Israel has done everything to reach The Hague. That’s what happens when the prosecution is a cemetery for war crimes, the High Court whitewashes them and the media hides them and covers for them. That’s the way it is when international law is disparaged for decades. There’s probably no other country that thumbs its nose at international law this way and pays no price for it. Perhaps now the moment of truth is approaching, the moment of penalty. It will be very good for Israel. It might clean out its stables, stained with blood and stolen land. Every Israeli patriot and seeker of justice should now look to The Hague with hope.[ak]24/12/2019
Has the US thrown Jewish Zionists under the bus?Daoud Kuttab - Arab Media Internet Network - It is not clear whether it was intentional or not, but the current US administration appears to have thrown Jewish Zionists under the bus by declaring Jewishness to be a nationality, and not simply a religion. The primary aim of the recent executive order was to assist far-right Israelis in their efforts to silence pro-Palestinian students at American universities, by declaring any attack on Israel or Zionism to be anti-Semitic.(rh)24/12/2019
Trump’s Judaism Order Has Nothing to Do With Fighting Anti-SemitismSarah Gertler - CounterPunch - “When Jews and non-Jews alike speak up for human rights and are crushed into silence, no one is safer. When congresspeople who speak up against this are slandered as anti-Semitic, while our clearly anti- Semitic president is not, no one is safer” [ry] 23/12/2019
The US Is No Honest Broker in Israel and PalestineNew Internationalist - Adam Keller analyses the bitter decades of biased ‘mediation’ between the US, Israel and the Palestinian people [ry] 23/12/2019
Hundreds of Likudniks kicked out of party before leadership primaryGIL HOFFMAN - Jerusalem Post - Likud court head says New Likudniks act "in an ugly way as a fifth column" and "told people they registered that they don’t have to vote Likud, and they can be leftists who work against the party." (rh)17/12/2019
Born Without Civil Rights Human Rights Watch - The Israeli army has deprived generations of Palestinians in the West Bank of their basic civil rights, including the rights to free assembly, association and expression, regularly drawing on military orders issued in the first days of the occupation. Even if such restrictions could have been justified then to preserve public order and safety, the suspension of core rights more than half a century later with no end in sight violates Israel’s core responsibilities under the law of occupation. The responsibilities of an occupying power toward the rights of the occupied population increase with the duration of the occupation. (...) It is long past time for Israel to fully respect the human rights of Palestinians, using as a benchmark the rights it grants Israeli citizens, an obligation that exists regardless of the political arrangement in the Occupied Palestinian Territory now or in the future[bz]17/12/2019
2020 elections: Israeli-Arab party aspires to 15 seats Shlomi Eldar - Al-Monitor - Of all the political parties being dragged against their will to a third round of Israeli elections, only the Arab Joint List is rubbing its hands in anticipation, perhaps not with displays of glee, but at least with great satisfaction. The Joint List, an alliance of four Arab parties, garnered 13 of 120 Knesset seats in the September elections. Ahead of the March 2020 voting, it is gearing up for an even bigger showing. (rh) 17/12/2019
Military Courts in the Occupied TerritoriesAvigdor Feldman - Machsomwatch - Israel captivated the territories in war and holds them by force of arms. Therefore, there is no meaning to the question whether these territories, all or most of them, were promised to the People of Israel, and anyone else who had held them in the past 3000 years was an invader and a trespasser – a claim that has been endorsed even by a commission headed by a justice of Israel’s Supreme Court. If they are indeed ours, what is the legal basis for establishing military courts not by Knesset legislation but rather by orders and edicts of the Israeli military commanders of the region? The Knesset does not acknowledge the fact that military courts in “our” territories have already sentenced people to tens of thousands of years in prison. Meir Shamgar, former President of the Israeli Supreme Court, knew very well that if we deny the territories their status as “occupied” or “held”, the legal basis for holding onto them would be reduced to nothing and they would slip into a lawless abyss. This is why he forbade the State to claim that these are not occupied territories, or that the High Court of Justice has no authority to oversee their legality according to international law. (rh)17/12/2019
Dozens of Palestinian Workers Suffocate on Tear GasIMEMC - Dozens of Palestinian laborers suffered from tear gas inhalation, on Sunday, as near al-Ziraeia gate, along the Apartheid Wall, west of the town of Qaffin, northeast of the city of Tulkarem, northern occupied West Bank. Alray reported that Israeli forces pursued a group of laborers on their way to their jobs, inside the pre-1948 occupied territory and fired tear gas canisters towards them, causing several suffocation injuries among them. It is worth mentioning that a Palestinian laborer was shot and injured by the Israeli soliders at the same gate almost one week ago, and two brothers were shot and injured, on Saturday, at al-Ziraeia gate, built along the Apartheid Wall, west of Nazlat ‘Isa, north of the city of Tulkarem. (rh)17/12/2019
Palestinian ex-prisoners recall torture in Israeli detentionRania Zabaneh - Aljazeera - "We drove the kids to school and were almost at work, when a civilian car with Israeli number plates pulled up behind us," Noura said, describing how her husband was detained in Ramallah by undercover Israeli forces on September 25. "They snatched him from the car and started beating him on the head, neck and stomach," she recalled. Samer, 44, was arrested on suspicion of involvement in an IED explosion that took place on August 23 near the illegal Israeli settlement of Dolev, northwest of Ramallah. The bomb killed 17-year-old Israeli girl Rina Shnerb and wounded her father and brother. Three days later, Samer`s lawyer was informed his client had been transferred to a hospital the previous day - in critical condition, unconscious, and on artificial respiration. He was also suffering from kidney failure and had 11 broken ribs, the lawyer said. (rh) 17/12/2019
Prospects for a formal ICC-investigation into the Palestine situation are nilJohn Dugard - Information Clearing House - I have a short and easy answer to the question posed. No, there is no prospect of such an investigation under the watch of the present Prosecutor of the ICC, Fatou Bensouda, whose term of office expires in 2021. Why do I say this? It has become abundantly clear that the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) is determined not to open an investigation into crimes committed by Israel in Palestine and against the Palestinian people. On 16 January 2015 the Prosecutor commenced a preliminary examination into the situation in Palestine. On 15 May 2018 Palestine itself referred the matter to the ICC. (rh)17/12/2019
Qalandiya - Afternoon Tamar Fleishman - Machsomwatch - This was the home of the Shahid’s father, Shahid Ali Khleife, told me a shopkeeper – one of the shops above which the army demolished the home of the Shahid’s father in the refugee camp. I knew Ali. I photographed him and brought him the picture – which was the last one taken of him in the 23 years of his life. It was placed in the mourning tent, after he had been murdered by Israeli soldiers of the Kfir brigade. After the murder the army spokesperson announced that the Israeli army was looking into it. Eight years, and the army is still looking into it.-(rh)17/12/2019
How to Solve the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, According to Psychology ResearchNetta Ahituv - Haaretz - To be the victim in a conflict is no less significant in terms of impact than being the victor, according to a recent study conducted at Tel Aviv University. Indeed, for many people it is the main goal – whether the conflict is an argument between two private individuals or a national dispute. (rh)17/12/2019
UN General Assembly reiterates demand for Israel to comply with resolutions on occupied Syrian GolanSyrian Arab News Agency - The United Nations General Assembly reiterated its demand for Israel to comply with resolutions on the occupied Syrian Golan, particularly resolution no. 497 for 1981 which considers Israel’s decision to impose its law and legal jurisdiction and administration on the occupied Syrian Golan to be null, void, and without international legal effect. This came as the General Assembly adopted a decision titled “Occupied Syrian Golan” on Friday, with 157 states voting in favor, 20 states abstaining, and only Israel and the United States voting against. (rh)17/12/2019
Occupation and International LawDavid Kretzmer - Machsomwatch - In international law, the law of occupation is based on the assumption that occupation is a temporary solution to a military constraint. The assumption is that within a relatively short period the occupation will end with a political arrangement that will allow the residents of the occupied territory to enjoy their individual and collective rights. The law of occupation attempts to create a balance between the military needs of the occupying state and the interests of the population in the occupied territory. Alongside broad authority given to the military commander in order to ensure public life and public order during the transition period to a peace agreement, serious restrictions are imposed on the occupying state. The idea of temporariness is at the foundation of all the legal arrangements.(rh)17/12/2019
Jewish Letter denounces smears of Anti-Semitism against Labour and CorbynA celebrated attack on Corbyn by Chief Rabbi Mirvis was devoid of facts and instead complained of the Labour Party “culture”. (...) A detailed examination of all the anti-Semitism accusations against Labour done by a group of UK Jews supporting Labour found the charges were “smoke without fire”. As for what Jeremy Corbyn has done (as opposed to words taken out of context) his record is sterling, going back to the time he organized the defense of Jewish-populated Wood Green from a National Front rally. John Bercow, the Jewish former Conservative MP and Speaker of the House of Commons, testifies that, having known Corbyn over two decades, he has ‘never detected a whiff of antisemitism’ about him. This is a political fight, not a matter of a racist attack on religion or ethnicity. Right-wing Jews who hate Corbyn for his support for Palestinian rights and Right-wing non-Jews who hate Corbyn for his proposed social reforms are united in spreading the “Labour anti-Semitism” slander. If false charges of anti-Semitism are used by the Right in successfully destroying a candidacy in the UK, they’ll do it again and again worldwide. [bz] 14/12/2019
What should Israel be after Netanyahu?Nadav Eyal - Ynetnews "Any eulogy for Netanyahu would be premature before he himself says "I resign." ca14/12/2019
If you believe Zionism is racism– get ready for your close up! Philip Weiss - Mondoweiss "I say now and have said before, I would likely have been a Zionist 100 years ago in Europe. I would have been caught up in the movement given my ethnocentrism, my sense of being an outsider and my compassion for people being persecuted. But Zionism has failed utterly and completely. It is subjugating non-Jews in Palestine and pushing them out of their homes.The last thing the Zionists want is for you to look into what is actually happening in Gaza or the West Bank. They want you to notice what some one may have said to a Zionist student advocate on the way to Economics 101 class...This is the struggle we always wanted. Are you ready for it or not?" ca 14/12/2019
‘Palestine Needs Jeremy’: Palestinians Tweet in Support of Labour Leader Jeremy CorbynThe Palestine Chronicle - "Most of the Corbyn anti-Semite accusations are usually from right wing sources, who have taken his actions out of context. The main scrutinisation is his support for Palestine, however he supports the end of the ethnic genocide within Palestine that is caused by Israeli rule.— Asad Mahmood (@Asad667) December 12, 2019" ca 14/12/2019
Don`t Believe Netanyahu. Israel Doesn`t Need The Jordan Valley. Here`s WhyIllan Goldenberg - Forward - Netanyahu’s latest focus on annexing the valley is a transparent political ploy to stay in power and pressure Gantz to accept a unity government. In the process, he is building political support for the argument that Israel must annex the Jordan River Valley because of security concerns. (...) Annexing this territory, which makes up 22.3% of the West Bank, would amount to Israeli territory entirely enveloping any future Palestinian state, making it non-viable. [The writer served at the U.S. State Department as Chief of Staff for the team supporting Secretary John Kerry’s initiative to finalize IP peace-bz]10/12/2019
To understand the violence of Israel’s occupation, know these 30 storiesHagai El-Ad (director of B`tselem) - +972 - Violence and whitewashing are the double helix of the occupation`s DNA. Here are 30 stories of Palestinians killed or harmed by its brutality, collected by B`Tselem over three decades. And they’re just the tip of the iceberg. [bz]10/12/2019
Smoke without fire: the myth of a ‘Labour antisemitism crisis’Jamie Stern-Weiner and Alan Maddison - Mondoweiss - It has been prominently and persistently asserted that there is a “crisis” of antisemitism in the Labour Party. The charge-sheet comprises three main allegations: that antisemitism in Labour is widespread, that it has become institutionalized, and that elected party leader Jeremy Corbyn is himself an antisemite. (rh)10/12/2019
There are No Human Rights without the Right to HealthRan Goldstein - Physicians for Human Rights Israel (PHRI) - Today, International Human Rights day, it is important to remember that the right to health is a central, fundamental human right. In the Occupied Territories, Israel has near complete control over Palestinians’ ability to develop the health care system. The permit regime, roadblocks and checkpoints significantly hinder access to medical care by patients and access to professional development and training by health care professionals. Asylum seekers in Israel are denied health insurance and access to jobs; They are forced to live without protection, exposed to exploitation and to living quarters that are hazardous to their health. Prisoners in Israel are excluded from the National Health Insurance Law, and forced to contend with less accessible and lower quality medical services with no Ministry of Health oversight. Prisoners endure living conditions that are detrimental to health, high rates of sickness, lack of access to physical activity, mental distress and extreme crowding.[ak] 10/12/2019
EU`s new chief diplomat urged to consider Palestine statehoodAljazeera - The European Union`s new foreign policy chief has been urged to lead a debate on recognising Palestinian statehood. Josep Borrell took office last week as Brussels` chief diplomat and on Monday chaired his first EU foreign ministers` meeting, where Luxembourg`s veteran foreign minister made a written appeal for such a discussion. (rh)10/12/2019
Netanyahu: Time to Apply Israel’s Sovereignty over Jordan Valley, Annex West BankThe Palestine Chronicle - Israel’s PM Netanyahu on Sunday touted his plan to annex a swathe of the occupied West Bank and Israeli settlements in a last-ditch effort to prevent another general election. “It is time to apply Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and legalize all the Judea and Samaria [West Bank] settlements, those that are in settlement blocs and those outside of them,” he said during a conference organized by the right-wing newspaper Makor Rishon.(rh)10/12/2019
When you follow the gun trail, you sometimes end up in unexpected placesRobert Fisk - Information Clearing House - I’ve always wanted to find out where the guns came from. Who were the ‘willing accomplices’ to the wars I witnessed? In 1996, I traced to its Boeing makers in the deep south of the US a missile fired by the Israelis at a Lebanese ambulance. It killed two women and four children. I even went to Georgia and met the developers of the rocket that killed them. And in Syria, deep in the basement of a bombed Nusra-al-Qaeda headquarters in Aleppo, I found hundreds of mortars – along with their shipment documents and factory instructions. They were to be used against the Assad regime. But who had supplied them? They had been made in Novi Travnik in Bosnia, a town I knew well because I had covered the Bosnian war. One of the shipment papers carried the dispatcher’s name: Ifet Krnjic. I felt – I absolutely believed — I could find this man. A hunch? No. I set off to Novi Tavnik with the conviction that this man was there and would talk to me. And we found him, mowing his lawn on a Sunday afternoon in a neighbouring village.(rh)10/12/2019
The Unfinished ‘Coup’: The End of the Netanyahu Era and the Political Earthquake aheadRamzy Baroud - The Palestine Chronicle - Nothing seems to be working for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has tried every trick in the book to save his political career and avoid a possible prison sentence. Nevertheless, for Israel’s longest-serving leader, the end is almost certainly nigh. Netanyahu described his indictment on charges of fraud, bribery, and breach of trust by Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit on November 21, as an “attempted coup”. His loyalists agree. On November 26, a few thousand Likud party supporters gathered in Tel Aviv, under the banner “Stop the coup” to express their anger at what they see as a massive conspiracy involving Mandelblit, the media, various state institutions and “disloyal” Likud members. The Prime Minister’s main Likud rival, Gideon Sa’ar, received much of the verbal abuse that was going. Sa’ar, who almost faded into oblivion after leaving the Knesset in 2014, emerged once more on Israel’s political scene following the inconclusive General Election in April this year. Netanyahu’s failure to form a government then was compounded by a similar failure to cobble up a government coalition after the second General Election held in September. (rh)10/12/2019
Gantz’ silence on incitement could cost him premiershipAfif Abu Much - Al-Monitor - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had been waging a campaign against the formation of a minority government headed by the Blue and White party with support of the Arab Joint List from outside the coalition, calling such a government “an existential threat to the State of Israel” on Nov. 17. And as one could expect, this campaign had an effect on the field. On Nov. 30, Joint List Knesset member Ahmad Tibi arrived at a cultural event in Ramat Hasharon, and discovered that right-wing activists were “waiting for him” at the entrance. They tried to prevent his entry, yelled “murderer, terrorist, glorifier of martyrs” at him, and even tried to physically hurt him.(rh) 10/12/2019
Why are Netanyahu’s associates indicted in submarine scandal, but not the PM? Ben Caspit - Al-Monitor - They point to the close ties between Netanyahu and another cousin, American industrialist Nathan Milikowsky and his links with Thyssenkrupp as proof that the whole affair is tainted by deep systemic corruption. Milikowsky has been supporting Netanyahu with large sums of money for years. A business relationship between them reportedly netted Netanyahu a massive profit of tens of millions of dollars, even as Milikowsky served as a raw material supplier for Thyssenkrupp. Is there a connection between the fortune that Milikowsky lavished on his cousin and his financial interest in Thyssenkrupp, on the one hand, and the fact that Netanyahu was aggressively pushing billions of dollars in deals with that same Thyssenkrupp? All these matters have not been investigated yet, and these two issues — the Egypt submarine sale and the Netanyahu-Milikowsky connection — are at the center of a demand by Blue and White for the formation of an official commission of inquiry to provide the Israeli public with the requisite answers.(rh) 10/12/2019
Gaza farmer’s house is destroyed for fourth time– ‘and we are ready for the fifth’Ahmad Kabariti - Mondoweiss - The short phone call that Hamouda Abu Amra received from a professed Israeli security officer at 11:15 p.m on November 13 was the fourth catastrophic change to happen in his rural life in Gaza. The call still echoes in Abu Amra’s ears. “A heavy load is coming to your shoulders soon, uncle!” the officer whispered. “Evacuate your family in two minutes and don’t switch off your phone”.(rh)10/12/2019
Netanyahu’s Exit Won’t Jump-Start a Peace DealROBERT MALLEY and AARON DAVID MILLER - POLITICO - When he departs, a lot will change right away: Netanyahu’s cult-like figure will have left the stage, and his corrupt practices will be over. The state’s illiberal drift might well be halted and respect for the rule of law, the judiciary and democratic norms enhanced; and the fanning of hate and fearmongering toward Israel’s Arab minority potentially could abate. But as for significant changes to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process—the one issue that seems to retain the bulk of the world’s interest? Not so much. And that will be the case regardless of what government replaces Netanyahu`s. In fact, paradoxically, Netanyahu’s replacement by a less contentious and more reasonable prime minister may well ensure that the Israeli-Palestinian peace process remains more about managing a process than securing a peace. (rh)10/12/2019
The “expert” who lets EU off the hookDavid Cronin - EI - “While the EU takes no meaningful action to halt Israel’s colonization of the West Bank, the bloc continues to deepen its ties with the state that is building the settlements. Israel is essentially being rewarded for the very crimes the EU claims to oppose” [ry] 9/12/2019
Israel Approves Extra Funding for West Bank SettlementsNoa Landau - Palestine Chronicle - Israel approved an extra 40 million shekels ($11.5 million) for settlements in the occupied West Bank yesterday, reported Haaretz. The majority of the funding allocation approved by the cabinet – 34.5 million shekels ($9.9 million) – is reportedly a one-time grant for “security needs” of Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory.The remaining 5.5 million shekels ($1.6 million) is “for the construction of first aid stations”, reported Haaretz. (rh)3/12/2019
God help us, and protect us from so-called “friends” like you - from Jerusalem, a letter to Jared KushnerAngela Godfrey-Goldstein - Common Dreams - As a peace activist, I see the denial of Palestinian freedom by Israel and the United States following a tragic trajectory: we create what we fear. If we deny higher purpose or give in to such lower motives as selfishness, greed or the inferiority that needs to feel superior or “chosen,” I believe that we Israelis will never experience the freedom we yearn for, as referenced in our national anthem, HaTikva, while deliberately choking those we desperately seek to control." [bz]3/12/2019
Netanyahu is not the victim, we areYuval Diskin - Ynet News - Israelis are held hostage by a man willing to destroy every function of the state and its national unity to serve his own interests; he should recall his own words about his similarly indicted predecessor Ehud Olmert: This is a prime minister who is up to his neck in investigations, and has no public or moral mandate to make fateful decisions for Israel (rh)3/12/2019
Activists in the Jordan ValleyVideo - Social TV - A short day`s escort with the shepherds in the Jordan Valley reveals the distress and humiliation they experience from the settlers in the nearby outposts, backed by IDF soldiers. The number of Palestinians in the 1.6 million-acre valley is getting smaller by the year as part of the Zionist enterprise. In 85% of the land in the valley it is prohibited to live there, build, lay infrastructure, graze or cultivate. Those who come to the aid of the Palestinians and provide them with some security are human rights activists, the Valley Coalition. They accompany the shepherds to pasture and provide human protection for them. (rh)3/12/2019
PALESTINE PULSE Why the West Bank went silent when Israel attacked Gaza Adnan Abu Amer - Al-Monitor - Amid the recent military flare-up in Gaza, there were no protests, sit-ins or strikes on the West Bank to express support for the Palestinians trapped in the besieged enclave. The lack of public displays of solidarity has reportedly left Palestinians in Gaza angry and bewildered. The military escalation kicked off by Israel`s assassination of Islamic Jihad military commander Baha Abu al-Ata on Nov. 12 left 34 Palestinians dead and 111 injured along with 65 Israelis wounded.(rh) 3/12/2019
ISRAEL PULSE Withholding Palestinians’ remains not befitting Israel Yossi Beilin - Al-Monitor - Israel’s political right is convinced it has the solution to terrorism and that implementing it will wipe out, once and for all, the security threats the country faces without making peace with the Palestinians. Their would-be solutions have encompassed a variety of ideas, including instituting the death penalty for convicted terrorists, demolishing the family homes of assailants captured or killed while committing terrorist acts, sealing off attackers` homes, and to top it off, threatening to withhold the bodies of perpetrators from their families.(rh) 3/12/2019
Criticism Of Israel Is Not AntisemiticismJohn Scales Avery - Countercurrents - Criticism of the state of Israel is by no means the same as antisemitism. We can acknowledge the great contrubutions of Jewish culture and brilliant Jewish individuals, and at the same time criticize the state of Israel. There is much to criticize. The international community was unanimous in condemning apartheid in South Africa, but the state of Israel has pursued a policy of apartheid as cruel as that of South Africa – or perhaps even worse. Furthermore, Israel has repeatedly launched aggressive military attacks and wars against its neighbours, Lebanon and Syria, and is threatening to attack Iran.(rh) 3/12/2019
Gaza`s surviving al-Sawarka children struggle after Israel raidAli Younes - Aljazeera - Mohamad Awad, a member of the al-Sawarka Bedouin tribe and a neighbour of the family, told Al Jazeera the Israeli bombing was a "war crime" because Rasmi and his brother Mohamed were civilians and had nothing to do with any armed group."They raised sheep and were barely making ends meet before they were killed," he said. Awad denied the Israel army`s claim that Rasmi was a member of Islamic Jihad, and said he was an employee of the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority (PA) government. (rh)3/12/2019
The Systematic Torture of Palestinians in Israeli DetentionYara Hawari - Al-Shabaka - The recent case of Samer Arbeed highlighted once again the systematic use of torture against Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons. Israeli soldiers arrested Arbeed at his home in Ramallah on September 25, 2019. They beat him severely before taking him to Al Moscobiyye detention center in Jerusalem for interrogation. Two days later, according to his lawyer, he was hospitalized as a result of severe torture, and lay in critical condition for several weeks. A judicial body had authorized the Israeli Secret Service, the Shin Bet, to use "exceptional methods" to extract information in this case without going through the courts. This led Amnesty International to condemn what happened to Arbeed as "legally-sanctioned torture." (rh)3/12/2019
Bennett plans building Jewish neighborhood in HebronElisha Ben Kimon,Yoav Zitun,Elior Levy - Ynet News - Bennet instructed the military to begin the official process by advising the Palestinian municipality of the plan to construct housing for Jewish settlers in what had been the produce market which was closed in 1994. According to the proposed plan, the now-empty shops on the street level will remain in Palestinian hands while housing units will be built on the top floors to house settlers.The disputed territory was home for both Jews and Arabs before Arab riots broke out in 1929, in which dozens of local Jews were killed. The riots of August 1929 began when a long-running dispute over access to Jerusalem holy sites escalated into violence. Members of the local Arab community launched savage attacks on Jewish neighbors and their institutions, killing at least 67 Jews.(rh)3/12/2019
Israel’s Next Move: The Real Danger in US Decision to Normalize Illegal Jewish SettlementsRamzy Baroud - CounterPunch - "The US decision to defy international law on settlements is not dangerous because it violates international law, for the latter has hardly been a concern for Washington. The danger lies in the fact that the US foreign policy regarding the Israeli occupation has become a mere rubber stamp, that allows Israel’s extreme right-wing government to single-handedly determine the fate of the Palestinian people and sow the seed of instability and war in the Middle East for many years to come" [ry] 2/12/2019
Gaza immortalizes what Gantz and Netanyahu have in commonHagai El-Ad - Ynet - It was no coincidence that the prime minister reminded his so-called rival of their actions in Operation Protective Edge in 2014, when one was PM and the other IDF chief; the two are bound together by the blood of Palestinian children [ry] 2/12/2019
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